In an impactful collaboration, GFX, the Global Fashion Exchange, is bringing a new sustainable format of shopping to the V&A
Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean having to be boring, and Global Fashion Exchange (GFX), an international sustainability-focused platform, is trying to prove just that. This summer GFX is shining the light on sustainable fashion in the British capital by teaming up with West London Waste Authority (WLWA) to host its first large-scale clothing swap and programme of pop-up talks in London, after previous successful events in major cities such as New York, Dubai, Toronto and Sydney.
A clothing swap, you say? GFX has been leading the sustainability conversation globally through curating events, consulting businesses and developing influencer network since 2013. This time round, the GFX London Swap + Pop-up Talks, as it is called, brings together influential leaders in sustainability including speakers from global organizations Fashion Revolution and C&A Foundation, corporations that are actively promoting better working conditions, transparency and recycling in the clothing industry. As such, a series of talks and pop-up events will be held at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum on the day of the exchange, while participants are encouraged to bring gently used clothes with them for recycling.
Speaking alongside GFX founder Patrick Duffy, who hopes to extend the life of one million pounds (that’s nearly half a million kilograms) of clothing this year, guests can enjoy talks by speakers including Charney Magri, the award-winning ethical photographer and co-founder and CEO of Fashion 4 Change – Magri will also unveil her film Catwalk to Creation at the event.
Other highlights include model Joanna Cooper, who will be taking to the stage to discuss consumerism from a social media influencer’s point of view. There’s also food for thought as Melanie Flory, a research psychologist and neuroscientist, who will explore the role of the individual (that’s you, dear reader!) within the fashion cycle. Culture will also play a role, as artist, writer and model Wilson Oryema will be on hand with poetry readings and fashionistas can hear firsthand from Marko Matysik, Contributing Editor for Vogue China and Japan on his thoughts on the event as a whole.
The aim of GFX London Swap + Pop-up Talks is to encourage a sustainable and waste-free approach to purchasing clothes, as well as to educate audiences on fashion’s harmful impact on the environment and what we can do about it. Incidentally, the museum is currently hosting the exhibition Fashioned from Nature. Running until 27 January 2019, it focuses on fashion’s relationship with nature and explores the theme of sustainability, so there’s plenty to check out once there.
“We believe in looking at the bigger picture, and our hope is to get everyone, from all walks of life, excited and mobilized to take action for a better planet,” explains GFX founder Patrick Duffy. For him, the most important point to get across is that sustainability can be fashionable and exciting.
According to WLWA’s sobering statistics we throw away around 300,000 tonnes of clothing every year. Making a change, however, is easy, they say: “if everyone wore their clothes more, we could reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30 percent”.
With brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge donating clothes for the swap, there’s no excuse not to be a little bit excited about being more thoughtful about our wardrobes. On the day, participants can bring pre-loved clothes and receive a token for each item, which they can then in turn exchange for any piece of clothing there, at no cost whatsoever.
So, by giving your clothes a second life, not only is it lighter on your wallet, but you can help bring about substantial and very necessary change to the environment.
Get involved: The fashionable affair will take place in the V&A South Kensington on 1 July. For more information, click here.
Images courtesy of Global Fashion Exchange