Eco fashion revolution hits city

The co-founders of Dunedin  eco fashion hub Just Atelier,  Fiona Jenkin (left) and Fiona Clements...
The co-founders of Dunedin eco fashion hub Just Atelier, Fiona Jenkin (left) and Fiona Clements, are looking forward to the opening of their pop-up project with Urban Dream Brokerage and worldwide organisation Fashion Revolution on April 18, which...

Ethical and sustainable clothing is a topic Dunedin residents are ready to talk about, one fashion designer says.

Fiona Clements, co-founder of eco fashion hub Just Atelier in Dunedin, is one of several designers and ‘‘creatives'' involved in an upcoming pop-up project ‘‘Unstitched: Local Fashion Revolution''.

The project was part of a worldwide campaign by ethical fashion organisation Fashion Revolution, Ms Clements said.

The organisation began after Bangladesh's Rana Plaza complex - which housed factories for some of the world's biggest fashion chains - collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1000 people.

Ms Clements, who has recently become a committee representative for Fashion Revolution, said people needed to become comfortable discussing the ethics around their clothing choices, looking at ‘‘upcycling'' second-hand items and becoming part of the process for encouraging ethical and sustainable clothing practices.

She said many people were afraid of the topic, but the pop-up project aimed to create a place for Dunedinites to discuss it in a positive way.

‘‘We're so ready to have [that discussion].''

The pop-up space, which has been created through a partnership with Just Atelier and local gap-filler project Urban Dream Brokerage, would include free workshops, displays, lunchtime ‘‘bring your own'' crafting sessions and a photobooth - as well as plenty of information.

Urban Dream Brokerage broker Tamsin Cooper, who also owns her own fashion label, said the project was close to her heart, as her designs were all ethically made in North Vietnam.

Ms Cooper said the project, which would be the third hosted by the Brokerage since in started late last year, looked ‘‘very exciting''.

Ms Clements said the space would also provide the opportunity for skill-sharing and either learning or re-learning sewing or repairing techniques to continue on the sustainable side of fashion.

She said the fact it was also during the school holidays was good, as the project welcomed people of all ages.

‘‘Unstitched: Local Fashion Revolution'' will be open at 19 George St (just north of the Octagon) from April 18-24. While the workshops are free, bookings must be made at fashionrevolution.org.

- by Greta Yeoman 

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