COP26, meet Fashion Revolution: Fashion Open Studio x British Council
Our designer showcasing and mentoring initiative Fashion Open Studio has joined forces with British Council to present a series of digital events in response to the themes of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26.
Launching at Digital Design Weekend at the V&A Museum during London Design Festival in September 2021, nine participating designers from across the world have been selected to open up their studios virtually to showcase their creative responses to fashion’s environmental impact and the themes of Adaptation and Resilience and Nature. The digital event series will take place 25 September – 12 November, forming part of the British Council’s The Climate Connection global programme.
Designers will be taking part from Argentina, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Each designer offers a perspective in response to their own experience.
From Cape Town, Sindiso Khumalo will be showing that social and environmental issues are interconnected. She will be demonstrating repair techniques and discussing inequality and the need for dignified employment to create resilient communities.
Bhukram is a Thai brand devoted to preserving and promoting the indigenous Phu Phan community’s way of life and its natural environment. Their event will offer a rare glimpse into the founder’s home studio in the Bhupan region in northeast Thailand and embroidery techniques that tell the stories of community and nature.
From Jakarta, Indonesia, Toton will be conducting a virtual studio tour, demonstrating their denim upcycling techniques, and sharing the work of an artisan group in Garut, a small town in West Java to highlight their collaboration.
Bora Studio also works with local indigenous communities around Nepal with natural dyeing and traditional craft techniques and will show how a highly localised supply chain and community works in practice, in harmony with people and the planet.
The event series will be animated by a physical activation in Glasgow during COP26 (1-12 November) which will offer the public and COP26 attendees alike an opportunity to interact with the open studio activities in person.
“Fashion Open Studio engages with young and established brands, with the people who make our clothes, for irreverent and forward-thinking debates and workshops that stimulate different viewpoints – COP26 is a crucial moment to put forward viable alternatives to create much-needed change to the fashion system.” – Orsola de Castro, Global Creative Director Fashion Revolution
The cohort of designers will have opportunities for skills and knowledge sharing to support and strengthen their work and knowledge, and the workshop series will culminate in a Speedshare networking event exploring the themes of COP26 in depth. The nine designers selected to take part are Garcia Bello (Argentina/Netherlands), Aranya Craft x Rahemur Rahman (Bangladesh/London), Iro Iro (India), Toton (Indonesia), Bora Studio (Nepal), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Bhukram, (Thailand), Huner (Turkey) and Vimbai Natasha Naomi, (Zimbabwe).
Fashion is one of the most damaging industries in terms of its pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As a significant contributor to climate change, it is important to highlight some of the solutions the creative and innovative change-makers in the fashion community are putting into practice. Tangible solutions and small-scale innovations have the potential to transform the burdensome impact of the fashion industry.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Fashion Open Studio to bring important themes of COP26 to life through the work of designers who are leading change in the fashion industry around the world. This exchange is at the heart of the British Council Climate Connection, which puts young people at the centre of climate change solutions in order to participate in dialogue, debate and action.” – Sevra Davis, Director of Architecture, Design & Fashion at British Council
About Fashion Open Studio
Established in 2017, Fashion Open Studio is a Fashion Revolution initiative. As a showcasing platform, the purpose is to shine a spotlight on best practice and innovation being led by fashion and textile designers, biotech labs and retail disruptors. As well as radical new startups, FOS has attracted some of the industry’s biggest names to collaborate, including Vivienne Westwood, Bethany Williams and Christopher Raeburn. The designers are selected for their commitment to clearly defined criteria of responsible design and systemic innovation. Designers share best practices in a transparent and open manner, in a way that offers access and stimulates discussion and questions.
All events will be free to access and available to book at www.fashionopenstudio.com