September and its focus on fashion serves up an opportune moment to introduce positive change – for ourselves and the planet.
We might finally be waking up to the catastrophic scale of human impact on the environment – and the industries to hold accountable – but where do we go next in incorporating eco-conscious decisions into our everyday lives? This September, as the fashion crowd descends once more on New York, London, Milan and Paris for the shows, a number of inspiring initiatives and exhibitions are kicking off the season by urging us all to lighten our load on the planet. From the clothing campaign sweeping social media to panel talks bringing together industry experts to discuss sustainability in detail, these are the London events championing change.
Melissa Hemsley’s Sustainability Sessions
Chef, author and British Vogue’s brilliant sustainable kitchen columnist Melissa Hemsley will host a series of live events throughout September and October encouraging personal and planet-friendly transformation. Inviting a range of cross-industry experts – including Skye Gyngell, Grace Dent, Lorraine Pascale, Matt Haig, Fearne Cotton and Amy Powney – to join her, the sessions will cover topics from creating a greener beauty regime to upcycling at home and curating a more conscious closet. The evenings promise to be full of motivational discussion over delicious canapés and, better still, £5 from every £15 ticket goes to a different change-making charity each week.
On Mondays throughout September and October, melissahemsley.com
In the month when the fashion industry is most celebrated and scrutinised, Oxfam is urging shoppers to take strides away from the disposable clothing culture (which currently sees 11 million items ending up in landfill every week) with its #SecondhandSeptember campaign. It’s easy to join in – just resist any brand-new clothing purchases for the 30 days of September, instead reworking your current wardrobe and delving into the joys of secondhand shopping. The pledge has swept social media already, with editors and influencers alike sharing their not-so-new discoveries.
Pause Conscious Pop-Up
Pauce Conscious is coming to the UK for the first time with the ninth edition of its sustainable fashion pop-up. Taking place over London Fashion Week, the global initiative will showcase sustainable brands and promote the ethos of conscious consumerism. From browsing 80 sustainable designers in store to enjoying inspirational exhibitions and performances, visitors to the pop-up will leave with a newfound understanding and appreciation of a more mindful fashion movement.
13 – 22 September, pausefashionhub.com
Prince’s Trust Fashion Futures Catwalk Show
Fashion Futures kicks off a bi-annual runway show during London Fashion Week this September, giving a platform to four emerging designers set to take the industry by storm. The chosen brands are all the more exciting given their commitment to using sustainable production practices. Taking place at WeWork’s Devonshire Square location, the show and afterparty will raise funds for the Prince’s Trust, while the up-and-coming designers will receive ongoing business mentoring.
Sunday 15 September, eventbrite.co.uk
The Future Of Sustainable Fashion
On the last day of London Fashion Week, Fast Forward 2030 is inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to explore how the fashion industry (which is currently responsible for 10 per cent of the global carbon footprint) will look in a sustainable and ethical world. Particularly focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, gender equality, decent work and economic growth and responsible consumption and production, the event will include talks, a panel discussion and a Q&A with those paving the sustainable way.
Tuesday 17 September, fastforward2030.com
And beyond fashion…
Food: Bigger Than The Plate
Bringing together “the politics and the pleasure of food”, this exhibition at the V&A offers a sensory examination of the food cycle (from compost to the table) and how the choices we make can impact it and the planet. Prepare for an innovative exploration of a sustainable, fair and tasty future of food.
Until 20 October, vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/food-bigger-than-the-plate
Car Free Day
In a step towards Sadiq Khan’s goal for 80 per cent of all London journeys to be made via sustainable travel means by 2041, September 22 will see the capital celebrate its biggest ever Car Free Day, with 20km of roads closed around Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the City of London. The aim is to get Londoners to reimagine their streets car free, and to embrace walking, cycling and using public transport, subsequently reducing harmful car emissions and improving air pollution.
22 September, londoncarfreeday.com