Call for sustainable fashion taskforce

Friends of the Earth Cymru and Sustainable Fashion Wales are calling for the Welsh Government to set up a sustainable fashion task force following the success of their #GreenCarpetWales campaign.

Back in October, Michael Sheen, Jodie Whitaker, Ruth Jones, Huw Stephens and Celyn Jones supported calls for Welsh Bafta nominees to wear sustainable fashion at the awards ceremony.

And now Welsh Music Prize nominees HMS Morris, Carwyn Ellis, ACCÜ and the winner, Adwaith, have supported our challenge to wear something sustainable at red carpet events.

12 Welsh Music Prize 2019 nominees were invited to wear second-hand or vintage, re-wear or borrow clothes at the award ceremony last month to build awareness for the need for drastic changes in the fashion industry.

The #GreenCarpetWales challenge highlights the harmful effects of the fashion industry by asking people to rebel against ‘fast fashion’ and to break away from the ‘only wear once label’ at awards shows.

Heledd Watkins from Welsh band HMS Morris said, “we like to have fun with fashion on stage, and we’re dedicated to doing that without leaving a bad trace on the world.’ Heledd said she ‘will only be buying, pre-loved, vintage or sustainable eco-friendly fabrics from now on”.

Welsh Music Prize founder John Rostron was equally supportive of the challenge, commenting “like good music, we’ll have clothes on repeat!”.

There was a fantastic array of pre-loved jackets, vintage gowns and reused shirts at the event highlighting the fact that you can dress well without buying new. As ACCÜ put it, wearing pre-loved and vintage often makes for a more unique and exciting look. 

Friends of the Earth Cymru spokesperson, Eleni Morus, said: 

“It’s great to see the #GreenCarpetWales campaign gaining momentum. By setting a shining example, our celebrities can encourage us to make sustainable fashion choices.

“But the whole system needs fixing, which is why we’re asking the Welsh Government to set up a taskforce of sustainable fashion experts to advise on the future of fashion in Wales and to set the wheels in motion for a change in the way we interact with our clothes and textiles and how fashion retailers treat our planet.”

Helen O’Sullivan from Sustainable Fashion Wales said:

‘The success of our #GreenCarpetWales campaign shows there’s a real appetite for change in Wales. Let’s fix fast fashion now. It’s time for our nation to lead the way yet again and the first step for the Welsh Government is to set up a task force.”

Welsh Government has the power to make some important changes to the industry here in Wales. For example, as part of the zero-waste strategy, it can ensure the extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme includes fashion and textiles.

Every year in the UK 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill. Our increasing appetite for quick and easy fashion comes at a severe cost to the planet; the fashion industry is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and the second largest user of water resources. Find out more.

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