Forget Fast Fashion

As the city welcomes the UK’s first Sustainable Fashion Week back to its streets this month, which will debut its brand-new catwalk show, we take a look at how some of Bristol’s slow style pioneers are moving from fast to ‘forever fashion’…

Bristol welcomes the UK’s first Sustainable Fashion Week
The UK’s first and only Sustainable Fashion Week will debut its brand-new catwalk show on 21 September in Bristol. Models will strut their stuff in upcycled, vintage and sustainable clothing with the ethereal venue of The Mount Without providing the perfect backdrop to explore creative clothing and switching up attitudes towards buying new.

The catwalk show will unite the week’s four driving themes, Regenerate, Rewear, Repurpose and Reconnect, which will encourage attendees to look at their wardrobes in a new light to end the fast-fashion cycle.

Sustainable Fashion Week’s four community partners will be bringing each of the themes to life. This includes Bristol-based Wear My Wardrobe Out, which offers rental outfits for every occasion and Black2Nature who foster environmentally-focused conversations with ethnically diverse communities. They will be joined by Future Leap, working in partnership with popular clothing brand Lucy & Yak. Lead partners, the City of Bristol College, will be representing the Reconnect theme, and are using textiles donated by St Peter’s Hospice to make their designs for the fashion show. The finished garments will be showcased in some of the charity shop’s windows which will be specially decorated by the students.

Above: one of the models from last year’s Sustainable Fashion Week | Credit: Future Leap @ Sustainable Fashion Week 2021

Sustainable Fashion Week starts on 16 September, welcoming clothes swaps, panel talks, workshops, film screenings, augmented reality experiences and photo exhibitions. Taking place in locations across Bristol and online, the community-led events are accessible for all to join. Bristol students can expect a wardrobe upgrade with a Re-fresher Your Style sustainable student shopping day, taking place on Park Street and Queens Road in the city centre on 22 September. This event will be followed by a panel discussion and live styling from industry experts at 6.30pm at The Vintage Thrift Store.

Local Bristol businesses will be sharing their love for eco-friendly fashion throughout the week too, including Loot Vintage, Sobey’s Limited and Oxfam, by offering a range of uniquely sourced, second-hand clothing to prove that pre-loved fashion is always in style.

A wider discussion to raise environmental awareness will be led by Bristol businesses such as Wagamama, Ryman and Audio Excellence, promoting sustainability through recyclable cutlery, stationery and tech, and implementing a bring your own container scheme.

For more information about all the talks and events taking place, and to book tickets for Sustainable Fashion Week’s first catwalk on 21 September, visit:

Benedict Raven: now and forever made in England
Born in Bristol with all products now and forever made in England, Benedict Raven is a luxury British menswear brand who craft exclusive wardrobe staples for the man who seeks more. Based in Quakers Friars, the brand has sourced the finest fabrics from around the world to create a timeless collection, all made in limited numbers. Never driven by seasonal trends, Benedict Raven aims to create timeless clothing for man’s everyday moments. All garments are designed in the city and are made by skilled artisans around the country. The brand’s approach is all about quality over quantity with sustainability and style at the forefront of everything it does.; Quakers Friars Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3BZ

ClothingXchange calls for pre-loved items
ClothingXchange is an exciting new concept in brick-and-mortar sustainable retail where customers can buy, sell or trade current, on-trend fashion in store. Having recently opened its first store in Broadmead, CXC’s two floors are packed with good quality clothes, shoes and accessories from well-known labels and high-end designers including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Alexander McQueen. The business model is the first of its kind on a UK high street but bears similarities to proven companies in the US such as Crossroads Trading, Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet. Customers can bring their pre-loved items into the CXC, where they are assessed by a buyer for saleability. The seller can choose either cash (25%) straight away or trade credit (50%) on a gift card, based on the price the items are expected to sell for in store.; 62 Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3ED

Featured image: Amelia Twine, Founder of Sustainable Fashion Week along with the team