How to Style Sustainably…

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We talked to RAG Head Stylist Tiffany Grous and Deputy Stylist Maya Sherpa about the challenges they’ve faced with this year’s RAG fashion show theme…

Sustainability is a tricky theme in terms of styling; where did you draw inspiration from?

We’ve taken a different approach to sustainability in that we haven’t created themes from the traditional associations of sustainability, but drawn inspiration from why sustainability is important and the core reasons behind it. There are some surprises and themes that you wouldn’t automatically associate with sustainability but are the underlying reasons behind the importance of it – we are excited to reveal these on show night.

Where have you been sourcing clothes from? Any local sources in leeds?

The stylist team have been sourcing clothing from graduate designers at the likes of Central Saint Martins, LCF, Berlin and London. We have tried to put a focus on local designers also, using graduates from both the University of Leeds as well as Leeds College of Art; which we are very excited about. We have a range of designers, from independent local designers and brands, to high-end designers, eco-designers and vintage brands.

Why do you think sustainable fashion is important?

Sustainable fashion is important as it’s essentially the future of the retailing and fashion industry. Now that brands are having to consider the impact and footprint that they will have on the environment both ethically and from an eco-perspective, more awareness is being raised and more brands and designers are understanding their impact which is great.

What can others do to help to improve sustainability?

There can be a stigma associated with sustainable fashion, but it can be small adjustments to make in your fashion choices that can make the most impact as they are easy to maintain. Whether that’s re-working some of your denim, going to a clothes swap, walking whenever you go shopping or opting to buy local brands and retailers to minimise your clothes carbon footprint.

Stella McCartney in her Kering talk in November said that as consumers we have the power to challenge the people making our fashion. How much do you agree that we should be holding designers to account but sourcing ethical and sustainable pieces?

The power of social media and the accessibility of information online means that now consumers can make more conscious purchasing decisions in their life. Its great as it means that if you aren’t happy with a certain brands decisions, sourcing or manufacturing methods then you can say something. Social media makes it easy to find others with the same opinion and make a true impact through shared activism. Being aware of your purchasing decisions is more important than ever before, and is easier to do than previous years so consumers should take full advantage of the platforms that they have to research brands and voice issues they may have.

Meg Painter and Victoria Copeland 

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