Veganuary was on the guest list at the UK’s first fully vegan fashion show, Bare Fashion 2018
This week saw 250 fashion-adoring individuals descend upon London’s famous Brick Lane to witness Bare Fashion – the UK’s first all-vegan fashion show. It was time for months of anticipation and excitement to reach a fabulous and innovative climax…
Fashion Laid Bare
Bare Fashion took place on the night of 16 August 2018. After months of meticulous organisation and planning, the brainchild of the creative team at Vegan Food and Living magazine came to life inside a traditional, two-story open space in the centre of London’s bustling Brick Lane. The atmosphere was buzzing with visitors, organizers and exhibitors all sharing in the delightful honour of being a part of such a pioneering landmark event on the fashion calendar. Never before have so many independent and upcoming ethical brands been housed under the same roof, with the collective purpose of promoting conscious clothing to a wider audience.
At the centre of the room stood a fittingly simplistic fashion runway; a raw brick backboard and a chipboard runway stage, both of which tied into theme of stripped-back fashion. The outer areas of the space were filled with exhibitor tables, keen to display their designs. Every popular conscious vegan outfitter was in attendance, from clothing brands including People Tree and ETHCS, to accessories from Hetty and Sam and shoes by Bourgeois Boheme.
The event in full swing as visitors chatted to the exhibitors
It was inspiring to see the tremendous level of interest and support from the visitors, who varied in their dietary types and lifestyle choices. One visitor shared:
“I came with an open mind, and left full of ideas. It’s revolutionised how I look at my wardrobe for good.”
Equally as passionate were the exhibitors. Speaking to Veganuary on the night, Katie, proud and enthusiastic owner of online vegan store One Small Shop, expressed her passion for the show’s principles:
“People are becoming more interested in sustainable clothing and beauty. With all of the great products out there in this day and age, why would you even consider buying something that was tested on animals, or even an animal skin? Events like this help people discover that there are increasingly stylish, vegan, cruelty-free items out there.
“There are lots of items that people wouldn’t necessarily think about when they become vegan, such as tights and socks. I source all of my ethical and sustainable products through meeting designers at festivals and events such as this one, and it’s amazing to see their work get such an important and influential spotlight. There are so many fantastic people with incredible ideas for the fashion industry. This is a chance for the smaller companies to show off!”
The main event of the evening was the fashion show, featuring pieces from over 15 different ethical designers showcasing their Autumn 2018 collections in front of the enthused crowd. To complement the event, each model cast to walk the runway was also vegan, making the show completely plant-based and authentic in every respect. The producers wanted to ensure that each aspect of the event was vegan-friendly, from the beautiful food supplied by Eat Chay to the drinks by London’s first 100% vegan pub The Spread Eagle. The models were far from bare-faced, with make-up for the evening supplied and styled by Kat Von D makeup artist Jack Burton.
Stealing the show was a black and white patterned dress by Phannatiq styled with shoes from Bourgeois Boheme. Each look was modern and unique, perfectly reflecting the 21st Century style of today’s ethical and conscious consumer.
Conscious Fashion Is Necessary and Beautiful
Bare Fashion has come at a crucial turning point in our global relationship with fast fashion. The fashion industry in itself is one of the most polluting on the planet. Documentaries such as The True Cost make for eye-opening viewing, appealing to the environmentally-concerned consumer. Our current relationship with fashion has left the planet in a state of discord. Thousands of tonnes of polluted chemical waste is poured into the oceans, streams and rivers of some of our most fragile ecosystems, whilst Greenpeace estimates that over 20% of the clothes we buy are sent to landfill every year. Using leather in goods also results in increased cattle farming, whilst the washing and dying processes expose workers to carcinogenic chemical runoff.
Showcasing their sustainable fashion on the night, Louise and Jack from People Tree spoke of their thoughts on the event:
“We were attracted to attend the show tonight by what the organisers stand for. We are a sustainable and ethically sourced Fairtrade fashion brand and we only use organic certified cotton. It’s great to be a voice in changing the perceptions of vegan fashion.
“It is important for consumers to consider how well their products are made, the materials that are used and how long the items will last. You’ll find sustainable brands hold up against fast fashion outlets in all of these areas, and we are proud to show our collection here tonight.”
Many designers are incorporating a great variety of fabrics and plant-based textiles into their products. From cork shoes and recycled tyres adorning dresses to pineapple ‘leather’ bags – green is this season’s most sought-after colour.
The fantastic organisers have certainly done the vegan community proud, saying of their mission:
“Bare Fashion has created a platform to showcase a wide range of the materials being utilised by today’s designers such as barkex, vegetable latex, pineapple leaf, organic cotton and cork – fabrics of the future for the fairer fashionista!”
The Future of Fashion
Bare Fashion has set the standard for ethical clothing. Events such as this help shine a light upon the up and coming designers whose creations are shaping the way in which we will shop and style our wardrobes in the future. By choosing vegan-friendly materials and sourcing our style with a conscience, fashionable consumers can make a statement upon our environmental health. We hope to see the return of Bare Fashion in the near future, and are confident that many upcoming fashion events will follow suit, making sustainable garments the height of avant-garde.
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