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KU alumni return to give talk on sustainability in the fashion industry

By Tara Rashica Nov 28, 2021
Placards saying less new, less CO2 by a chairSustainable banners. Credit: Cherie Birkner/Unsplash

Kingston University fashion design alumni, Sydney Cassidy and Freya Renshaw, returned to Kingston to give an eye-opening talk about sustainability in the fashion industry. 

On November 26, a group of students went to hear the pair discuss that despite sustainability being a buzzword in fashion, it can be difficult to pinpoint the meaning of the term. 

“What does it mean to be sustainable? There are so many angles you can come from,” Renshaw proposed. While Cassidy described it as a “big word that is just overwhelming”.

Both Cassidy and Renshaw graduated from KSA this summer and went on to start their own sustainable fashion brands.

During the talk, the pair evaluated the sustainability levels of various materials: “If you’re using nylon yarn, it’s not really sustainable,” said Renshaw but added: “It isn’t necessarily bad if it’s taken care of and you get long term use out of it” . 

When talking about her own brand Cassidy explained: “My brand strictly uses only upcycled materials.” She added that she loves working with leather and suede but “there’s a lot of people that do object to that, but I only get mine from studios where they were about to be chucked in the bin.” 

Sustainability is something that has to be considered at every step of the process, ranging from the materials you use, how you source them, and production method. Then ther is also what you do with leftover materials, how long you keep and wear your clothes and how you dispose of them once you no longer need them. 

Renshaw was adamant that “you should never feel guilty” because there is always something more that you could be doing. Cassidy added, “It’s about making conscious decisions.”

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