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Journal

Sustainable Fashion Conference

The Prince’s Foundation partners with Swarovski and Fashion Council Germany for a conference about sustainability in the fashion industry

This month, as part of the ‘German Sustain Concept’ programme, initiated by the Fashion Council Germany, the Council, The Prince’s Foundation and Swarovski invited guests to sustainability workshops and panel talks at Dumfries House in Scotland. The series of workshops and panel discussions were designed to share craft knowledge and skills, promote sustainability and support emerging fashion talent.

People standing in front of Dumfries House

Amongst those attending were brands in the Fashion Council including Lara Krude, oft, Phylyda and working title, who were invited to share knowledge on different topics such as ‘Natural Dye Methods’, ‘Heritage Yarns’, and ‘Upcycled Crystals’. Discussions also took place with industry experts including fashion journalist and critic for US Vogue Sarah Mower, editor of ICON & ICONIST Inge Griese, editor-in-chief of the German 'Vogue Christiana Arp, British Fashion Designer and Future Textiles co-chairman Patrick Grant and Nadja Swarovski who is the Head of Corporate Communications and Design Services at Swarvoski.

Natural dye workshop using flowers from the Dumfries House gardens

HRH The Prince of Wales meets Berlin-based designer Ashley Marc Hovellea

“Fashion designers who want to start their own business today and no longer asking themselves about sustainability issues,” explains Christine Arp. “They think of natural materials, environmentally friendly production and fair production conditions. But, the implementation is not easy.”

Man in leather sewing workshop

“Dumfries House is home to several craft businesses and schools that provide education for young people and economically revitalise an entire region. Our trip to the estate was for exchanging ideas, networking and mutual inspiration - over the long term, so truly sustainable.”

A man and a women standing in a garden looking at flowers

Image of designer Ashley Hovellea standing next to his mannequins

The conference was attended by more than 120 young people and designers from across Scotland and Germany, with the aim of the event being to expand on their knowledge of sustainability developments and highlight new trends through interactive sustainability workshops.

“As a company with 125 years of history, driven by innovation, creative collaboration and responsible practices, we are delighted to support talented, aspiring and sustainability-minded designers,” says Nadja Swarvoski.

Image of someone holding a jewellery

The collaboration between Fashion Council Germany, Swarvoski and The Prince’s Foundation is part of the Future Textiles initiative, which is designed to breathe new life into the British textiles industry, that exports to 150 countries worldwide. The programme runs at both Dumfries House and Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, where expert tutors teach traditional skills in sewing, weaving and cutting to school pupils and adults looking to gain employment within the industry.

Nadja Swarovski, Jacqueline Farrell from The Prince's Foundation and Scott Lipinski
Nadja Swarovski, Jacqueline Farrell from The Prince's Foundation and Scott Lipinski

“At The Prince’s Foundation, we strive to helps the industry by inspiring people of all ages to consider careers in textiles by providing them with expert training and links to the industry,” says Ashleigh Douglas, manager of The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles initiative. “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.”

Words: Rebecca Parker

Imagery: Iain Brown