Manchester is ‘the catalyst’ to drive forward slow fashion movement in the north west
- Local sustainable businesses given opportunity to showcase their work at ethical fashion fair
- Plans are currently in place for a second event to go ahead next month
- Founder Mark Hamburger says 'council saw us as being the catalyst for the area'
A new sustainable fashion initiative showcasing the city’s slow fashion movement has received backing from the council.
Future Fashion Fair (FFF), which took place as part of September’s annual Cheetham Cultural Festival, comprises ethical fashion vendors, workshops, live musical performances and a swap shop within The Yard.
FFF founder Mark Hamburger, 54, invested in The Yard in Bent Street in 2018 with the intention of providing young creatives with a platform to start their career.
He said: “It gives people the opportunity to realise their dream without having to pay for a plot on the space. There was nothing like that when I was starting.”
Although primarily specialising in live music events, Mark felt it a necessary next step for the venue was to branch out into the slow fashion movement.
“At the end of the day unless we open our eyes to the issues that are around us, you can bury your head only for so long,” he said.
“The council saw us as being the catalyst for the area, the heartbeat of the fashion district.”
The project, also supported by Manchester Fashion Movement and Manchester Fashion Institute, is planning another second event on 27 November.
NQ spoke to vendors who showcased their work, many of whom only started their businesses during lockdown.
Anastasia Keegan moved to Manchester from Dubai just over two years ago and has more than 10 years’ experience working within the fashion and beauty industry.
“Lockdown happened and I was like, I have all these illustrations and I couldn’t find what I wanted to buy for myself, so why not do it!” she said.
Her brand Style in MCR produces bags made from leftover fabrics and organic bamboo satin which are more closely woven than normal satin producing garments and are built to last.
Anastasia said: “My brand isn’t only about the end product, it’s about the process.”
KIHT Collective founder Danielle King’s worked previously with the design team at fast fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing.
This opened her eyes to the severity of the issue, she said: “Being in the industry for a long time this is the type of thing that we need to push it forward.”
For every order placed Danielle works alongside charity Tree Sisters.
“Everything they did just spoke to me, they specifically plant trees that are indigenous to the area,” she said.
“It’s all about biodiversity and bringing back the natural climate that should have been there.”
Rachael Robinson, who left behind a career in HR during the pandemic to launch her brand Magpie & Mama, said: “I really felt like I lost my identity so for me the brand was about you and feeling good.
“I’m not a fan of fast fashion, I never have been. Some of the stuff in my wardrobe I’ve had since I was at university over 10 years ago.”