Amy Butterworth, Online Lifestyle Editor, interviews President of the Fashion Society Sacha Bushby on their upcoming charity fashion show
2019 was the year of buzzwords in the fashion world: ethical, sustainable, independent, vintage, the list endures. However, the Exeter Fashion Society are bringing in the new decade with style and consideration, as they translate these abstract concepts into tangibility in their upcoming charity event, the Re:Claimed Zero Waste Fashion Show, to be held on the 29th February, 2020. We spoke to Sacha Bushby, President of the society and one of the organisers of the much-anticipated event.
A fitting moniker for the event, Re:Claimed works to undo the problematic perception of ‘newness’ in the fashion industry. In fact, the event’s headline, “dress like it’s your last day on earth”, directly interrogates fashion’s forward-thinking nature, which tends to anticipate future trends and look to the next season. Sacha explains how this apocalyptic headline has a dualistic purpose: “we wanted it to be something impactful; this is an event you want to dress up for, something fun and creative, but we also wanted it to have that environmental meaning. If we’re talking about the climate crisis, this could be our last days on earth”. The show will explore this dichotomy of old and new as it mixes fashion-forwardness and a “reclaiming” of the old, as Sacha emphasises her aim of “celebrating the now and creativity and change that’s going on, but also look at all the shit that’s going on in the background” through the act of re-purposing vintage or charity shop items.
We wanted to showcase creativity, and have a really good night, while also supporting the climate and humanitarian crises
The outfits have all been constructed with this notion of ‘reclamation’ in mind: “we stuck to student and local brands. We are passionate about supporting people here, we have a mixture of vintage shops around Exeter, and also working with charity shops”, says Sacha, acclaiming that some outfits are even made solely from charity shop items. They credit a brand called Rapanui, as she discusses the show’s use of their circular range. “They use completely recycled materials to create t-shirts, so we have a combination of new and old”. And as well as this, the show will champion student brands which make homemade scrunchies and earrings – “very handmade and local”, Sacha boasts!
We were lucky to be disclosed with an exclusive setlist of the show, as Sacha describes how it will progress from the “every-day, minimalist vibe”, onto “a section that’s more streetwear, sports vintage, going into new sportswear as well”, and finally with the last section which is “absolutely crazy”. The Fashion Society are proud to announce their collaboration with Pole Fitness Society, who will be wearing oodles of biodegradable glitter; “it’s gonna be colour-crazy…showing how people can bring a bit of sparkle into their lives”. They are also working with a local business who create feathered headdresses called Pluma. “It’s gonna be minimalist in terms of their clothing, but then crazy, bright, colourful at the end”. Other unprecedented performances include collaborations with Art Society, Breakdance Society, URBN Dance and Dance Society. Sacha comments that first and foremost, “we wanted to showcase creativity, and have a really good night while also supporting the climate and humanitarian crises”.
Sacha is clearly passionate about fashion and style, but isn’t afraid to admit that “there is so much wrong with the fashion industry. There’s two sides to it, raising awareness and being aware of the green-washing that goes on. Brands like H&M, even though you’re buying something that says it’s been sustainably made, it actually has just five per cent recycled materials, and also you’re funding this mass corporation. Our shopping has impact, we need to spend our money like our vote, and put our vote in the right place”.
Our shopping has impact, we need to spend our money like our vote, and put our vote in the right place
And “our vote” can be extended to attending this upcoming charity fashion event, in which all the money from the ticket will go to non-profit organisation Remake. They work to promote news on the impact of fast-fashion, by making documentaries which reveal the truth of fast-fashion and giving a voice to workers. Sacha, an ambassador of the charity, comments that the videos “expose that there’s so much modern slavery that’s going on even in our own country, so the charity works to raise awareness of these mass issues. They have a website which has resources for people who want to give talks and screenings, and they have a whole list of “Remake” approved brands. It’s showing what people can do for the fashion crisis and also what’s going wrong”.
The Re:Claimed Fashion Show will be a night of inclusivity, justice, sustainability and creativity. They aim to portray that every person in Exeter has the ability to evoke change for the planet, both in humanitarian and environmental aims, without having to sacrifice creativity and individuality in our clothing. The society wanted to be “representative of who’s here in Exeter”, and have done so by accepting every single model that applied. Thus, we can also join the Fashion Society on the 29th February, to show the world that Exeter truly does represent those who strive for climate and humanitarian justice.
The Re:Claimed Fashion Show will be held on the 29th February at Unit 1. Tickets available here: https://fixr.co/event/477685970
Cover photo provided by the Exeter Fashion Society