Falmouth joins the Fashion Declares movement

04 February 2022

People gather to protest the fashion industry. A placard reads 'no fashion on a dead planet'

Falmouth’s Fashion & Textiles Institute has joined forces with key leaders across the fashion industry to launch new grassroots movement Fashion Declares.

The Fashion Declares movement’s mission is to accelerate change in one of the least sustainable sectors in the world. It is aiming to get 50,000 individuals to become members by signing the open letter, and in so doing pledging their support for five commitments that could transform the sector. The five commitments are:

(1)        Speaking out for urgent action to tackle the climate, ecological and social crisis

(2)       Delivering decarbonisation, restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity

(3)       Working for social justice and a just transition

(4)       Ensuring radical transparency and corporate governance

(5)       Adopting a regenerative fashion model

As part of Falmouth’s plan to embed sustainable learning outcomes across all courses by the start of the 2022/23 academic year, the Fashion & Textiles Institute is already embodying the five commitments.

The department has already  taken various actions to foster sustainable initiatives. Students are being taught about innovative sustainable processes for fashion design and the fashion industry’s relationship to global environments and communities, as well as how to test ideas to reform the fashion system to deliver circular solutions.

Student feedback on the changes has been overwhelmingly positive, with one student saying “It has been incredibly eye-opening in regard to my view on how I create going forward. Sustainability is now something I want to consider in all of my work, since small things can add up to make a big change.” 

The Fashion & Textiles Institute has also examined its own practice and introduced sustainable solutions where problems were found. For example, it now recycles excess fabrics and yarns, grows its own natural dyes on campus, doesn’t make use of virgin polyester and has opted for sustainable alternatives to print pastes and screen emulsions.

John Boddy, Head of Fashion & Textiles and founding signatory of Fashion Declares, believes that any student who enters the Fashion & Textiles department will graduate with the knowledge to make impactful changes in the fashion, textiles and costume industries.

John told us, “With a holistic and foundational approach to conscious creative practice and a confident understanding of their own position as agents of change, our graduates will be equipped to make positive and impactful change when entering industry. 

“Fashion Declares is an obvious match for us and we look forward to being an influential part of this incredibly important movement.” 

Safia Minney MBE, who is spearheading the campaign, believes that fashion can become a force for good in the battle against climate change. “While this industry is a huge contributor to the climate and ecological crisis, we also believe it is a creative and innovative sector with drive and passion. 

“We can do more than just negate our impact – fashion can take a leading role in tackling the crisis and become a significant force to transform mindsets and lifestyles.”

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