Fashion can help tackle climate change – and these projects prove it

Helen was an amazing support whilst on my MA for Fashion & the Environment at the London College of Fashion, and I am very excited to hear about this new project.

“The first ever physical embodiment of Dress for Our Time will be installed at St Pancras International train station at the end of November. It was originally meant to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, which of course has now been cancelled due to the devastating incident last week.”

“The fashion industry is perfectly placed to spread ideas and encourage action. We have power as consumers, suppliers and designers to tap into fashion to innovate and influence culture.

We need to attack the status quo and interrogate the pervasive culture of fast, cheap fashion and think more deeply about how we clothe ourselves. We also need to ask the difficult questions about whether we really want fashion at all costs – compromising our environment, depleting our resources and abusing the rights and health and safety of the skilled workers who make our clothing.

My new project – Dress for Our Time – attempts to do just that and seeks to build conversation and out between those willing to ask questions, imagine and live solutions together. It isn’t a list of 10 things to save the planet, instead it asks we think differently – engage with the issues rather than turning away.

To kick off the campaign we launched a social media experiment with the hashtag #LookMumNoFuture – inspired by a young girl on a climate change march holding tightly to a banner with this stark warning. We asked people to share a small piece of their past – an image of themselves as a child – which serves two purposes: it asks us to think about a time before we knew about climate change and what we should be doing now to safeguard our future for the next generation.

It also underlines the mantra that we are the first generation to know about climate change, but the last who can do anything about it. Interestingly, we have found that it divides adult opinion – with some feeling the sentiment is too defeatist and too direct. But it seems right the cry of the young should be taken seriously.

Working with school children recently, we asked what climate change meant to them and a 12-year-old boy replied: “I already know that when I have a child, I will have to say once upon a time there was a place called Antarctica.”Our children are worried about our future.

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