Exploring Sustainable Fashion Event at Portobello Baptist Church
By Archie Catchpole
Community Outreach Worker
What do you get when you put African shirts, Malay dresses, baptism gowns, thousands of shoes and a couple of kilts in the same room together?
An event exploring sustainable fashion. Obviously.
For four days, our sanctuary at Portobello Baptist Church (PBC) resembled a fashion show far more than a worship space. Dresses hung from balconies, mannequins manned the floor, and exotic attire brightened every wall. (If ever there were a time to preach on the priestly garments in Exodus 28, this would be it.)
How did this happen?
Friends and members of PBC loaned us their treasured, re-designed, or re-purposed clothes. A team of creatively gifted volunteers then curated a sustainable-fashion-themed feast for the eyes.
Why did this happen?
Great question. To answer simply: to raise awareness.
Did you know that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions? Or that the UK bins 300,000 tonnes of textile waste each year?
No, I didn’t either. And neither did many of our visitors. The guestbook we left by the exit is bursting with comments echoing a sentiment similar to this: “Wow! Excellent display, lovely people, thought-provoking message.”
We were delighted to highlight the evils of fast fashion and promote a sustainable approach. We were just as thrilled to open ourselves to our Portobello community. Hundreds of people entered our church for the first time and found it full of fun and friendly people.
All that’s left for us now is to sustain our efforts towards a better Portobello and a fairer world. Easy, right?