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Lenzing – An International Sustainability in Fashion Conference has been held at Dumfries House during the week of His Majesty King Charles III’s 75th birthday in recognition of his well-documented commitment to responsible fashion. The annual conference is the result of an ongoing collaboration between The King’s Foundation, formerly The Prince’s Foundation, and Fashion Council Germany, which aims to educate and inspire school pupils, industry professionals and young makers and designers.
This year’s event was supported by TENCEL™, eBay and The PVH Foundation, and followed the theme of ‘Disruption’. The international delegates were given the opportunity to gain an insight into the challenges facing the industry through fascinating panel talks which focused on how to disrupt fashion consumption and material solutions, the perception of fashion, and sustainable design strategies. The high-profile speakers included TENCEL™ brand partner and designer Patrick McDowell, British Vogue’s Emily Chan, CEO of Fashion Roundtable Tamara Cincik, celebrated German fashion journalist Christiane Arp, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion Professor Dilys Williams and designer Alice Robinson.
The morning session welcomed 80 secondary school pupils including many from across Scotland, and 24 German pupils who have undertaken a sustainable fashion course with Fashion Council Germany. At the end of the session, each of the young guests showcased their learnings from the event through making a series of Youth Pledges. The afternoon session saw participation from industry and further education programmes, bringing together makers, designers and students to gain inspiration and share best practice.
Ashleigh Douglas, Future Textiles Manager for The King’s Foundation, said: “For many years, The King’s Foundation has helped people of all ages learn textile skills that will help them gain employment or start their own responsible fashion business. The charity has always championed the important role that convening can play so it was an honour to have so many influential people from the fashion and textiles industry from across the world visit us here at Dumfries House to share their experiences with school pupils, students and people in the early stages of their professional careers.”
In support of the TENCEL™ collaboration, Eva McGeorge, Head of Marketing & Communication in Europe & Americas for Lenzing AG explained: "It has been a privilege to collaborate with The King’s Foundation and Fashion Council Germany, supporting the Future Textiles initiative, championing cross generational knowledge sharing between industry experts, trailblazers, brand partners and young makers and designers, to cultivate community, whilst encouraging mutual learning and alternative approaches to find innovative solutions. This year's theme of 'Disruption' is key to empowering the next generation of design talent, celebrating fashion values that inspire and challenge the changing shape of our industry".
TENCEL™ brand partner and designer Patrick McDowell, discussed “How To Disrupt Fashion Consumption”, emphasising conscious consumption, ethics and environmental practices in the industry and shared: “We need more opportunities like this to deliver sustainable messages and foster greater mutual efforts in a broader community. At Patrick McDowell, we promote sustainability, not only in the way we produce but also in the way we sell and educate our consumers. It’s about the emotional connection to fashion, showing people that wearing something that’s made for you can look and feel incredible, our continued collaboration with TENCEL™ naturally aligns and highlights these mutual brand values.”
The collaboration with Fashion Council Germany, TENCEL™, eBay and PVH is part of The King’s Foundation's Future Textiles initiative, designed to breathe new life into a renowned British textiles industry that exports to 150 countries worldwide. The programme, which runs at Dumfries House, Highgrove Gardens and at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, provides expert tuition in traditional skills such as luxury fashion manufacturing, weaving and hand-embroidery to school pupils and adults looking to gain employment in the industry. The initiative is part of the wider work of The King’s Foundation, which exists to educate, inspire and demonstrate how practical knowledge from the past can create sustainable prosperity in the future.exists to educate, inspire and demonstrate how practical knowledge from the past can create sustainable prosperity in the present.
Fashion Council Germany’s Scottish-born CEO Scott Lipinski commented on the importance of the Sustainability in Fashion Conference for Fashion Council Germany’s work in educating the next generation. He said: “We are delighted to welcome the support of TENCEL™ to this year's conference, providing an educational student workshop to share knowledge around the fibre applications as well as providing fabrics made using TENCEL™ fibres to continue designs to be showcased at Berlin Fashion Week for the FASHION X CRAFT program. With the support of The PVH Foundation, Fashion Council Germany visited German schools and interacted with 2,000 pupils last year in their GENERATION ZUKUNFT to introduce them to sustainable practices in fashion. Together with the Swarovski Foundation, the Council also invited six German designers for a three-week residency at The King’s Foundation’s craft training base at Highgrove Gardens. There, they received intensive training in a variety of craft skills in order to apply their new achievements to their professional lives as designers. All these initiatives have come together here in Scotland during the conference, workshops and training.”
Images related to the announcement can be downloaded HERE.