Leading sustainable fashion designer Orsola de Castro took a break from designing dresses to wear to the Oscars to call on Scottish designers to take a more environmentally friendly approach today, at a sustainable fashion symposium at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. The event, hosted by Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Textile and Leather Association (STLA) was chaired by presenter Janice Forsyth and looked at ways to reduce the environmental impact of clothing, and included the launch of a new fund for Scottish designers to a create ground-breaking zero waste fashion range.
The keynote speech was delivered by Orsola de Castro, an internationally recognised leader in sustainable fashion who runs the eco-fashion label From Somewhere and co-ordinates the sustainable fashion area Estethica at London Fashion Week. Orsola has designed collections using reclaimed fabrics for Topshop and an Oscar dress for Colin Firth’s wife Livia as part of the ‘Green Carpet’ initiative designed to bring sustainable fashion to the red carpet. Orsola called on Scottish designers to embrace the possibilities of using reclaimed and re-used textiles by launching a new fund to enable Scottish fashion designers to create zero waste, closed-loop clothing and apparel ranges.
The symposium and fund are both part of Zero Waste Scotland’s work to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry. Clothing contributes around five per cent of the carbon footprint and between six and eight per cent of the water footprint of all the UK’s goods and services and accounts for more than a million tonnes of wasted materials. Zero Waste Scotland’s new fund will allow Scottish designers to lead the way in reducing textile waste by adopting new innovative methods such as zero waste pattern design, designing clothes to be easily disassembled and repurposed and using closed loop textiles made from recycled materials.
Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland Iain Gulland commented: “It’s incredibly exciting to see Scotland leading the conversation on sustainability in textiles. We have a really diverse and engaged mix of textile producers and clothing designers here in Scotland, and the funding we have announced today will enable the industry to start testing out ways to make waste a thing of the past in textiles, and create a circular textile economy that sees fabric flow in a cycle of re-use and eliminate waste to landfill.”
Orsola de Castro commented: “I am delighted to take part in this exciting initiative with Zero Waste Scotland. The industry needs to take a positive approach to a changing world and sustainability will inevitably penetrate all aspects of the fashion an textile design and production. We need to look at waste as a resource, and inspire young designers to its immense creative potential and help the industry to understand its viability, scalability and role in the future.”
The textile symposium explored the possibilities for a circular economy approach to the Scottish textiles industry, and was attended by over 80 delegates from across the clothing, fashion, retail, textile manufacturing and design sectors and was followed by a catwalk show by Scotland Re:Designed. Scotland Re:Designed is a Creative Scotland funded programme designed to stimulate innovation and growth in Scotland’s fashion industry. Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Your Clothes campaign is sponsoring an award at the Scotland Re: Designed awards on 21 November, which will see the winner receive funding and mentoring from a top designer to create a fashion range from recycled textiles.