It is now almost universally accepted that climate change is a fact. As forecast, extremes of weather conditions have been experienced worldwide and, as always happens, it is the developing countries whose inhabitants suffer the most from the ensuing drought, flooding and the like. Therefore, it was appropriate that this year’s main fund-raiser for the Associated Country Women of the World had ways to help alleviate this as its theme. Entitled ‘The Only Way is Ethics,’ it was a fashion show with a difference.
ACWW representative and organiser, Moira Hammond, welcomed an audience from all over the county (and beyond) to the tiny village of Dennington for two shows (afternoon & evening). These combined catwalk sessions with various stalls demonstrating ethical products and, of course, there was a raffle + tea and cake too!
Before the fashions were modelled, Climate Ambassador, Denise Goldsmith alerted everyone to some shocking statistics proving how serious the situation is if we do nothing to halt the effect of global warming. The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world! Then Climate Ambassador, Helen Lewis told us of ways in which she has been trying to lessen her damage to our planet.
Jo Salter, a regular Radio Suffolk broadcaster on the subject, led the first part of the fashion programme with more information about fabrics, their sources and ethical use of labour. Then, using three WI members as models (Gill Denny, Wendy Robinson and Rosie Western), she demonstrated some of her own brand clothes (‘wheredoesitcomefrom’), sourced and designed personally by her. There followed a parade of Fairtrade clothes, including a scarf and hat made from banana fibres.
The second half of the show concentrated on reducing fashion-waste by recycling and upcycling. It began with a colourful contribution from Elene Marsden who, in addition to frequenting charity shops, e-bay and the like, to dress in the most elegant style, also loves spending time in the far east where she acquires her more exotic clothes. Next was Jackie Maxwell showing us a beautiful skirt made from her grandmother’s tray-cloths and a fascinating jacket created from fabric salvage strips. Finally, we were entertained by a series of wonderful creations by Kate Mason, upcycled from curtains, tablecloths and other unusual fabrics. Her models were mainly from ‘Cake & Revolution’ and her finale was a collection of quirky bridal-wear which was met with tumultuous applause.
So ………. a very successful, dual-purpose event, highlighting ways of tackling the climate crisis, while at the same time raising considerable funds for ACWW.