by Maggie McMillan, Digital Content and Production Manager, Colour Elements (ECCI Low Carbon Ideas Lab Residents)
(C) Caitlin Rae
Last year the fashion industry was projected to reach a staggering $2.4 trillion in total value. If it were ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP, the global fashion industry would represent the world’s seventh largest economy. However, the production and consumption of fashion also has an enormous environmental and carbon impact.
Our company Colour Elements thinks it’s shocking that a third of our clothes end up in landfill each year, so we use digital products to promote a new mindset and endorse sustainable shopping habits. It’s our role in trying to curb fashion’s impact on the environment that led to us being chosen as one of the first ever Ideas Lab residents at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). It allows us to be part of a thriving low carbon community using innovation to set us on the path to a zero carbon world.
Last Wednesday night, ECCI was transformed into a buzzing hub playing host to Edinburgh’s only Fashion Revolution Event of 2017. Fashion Revolution is a global movement that was founded following the horrific Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, where 1,138 garment workers lost their lives and over 2,500 were injured due to the collapse of a garment production factory. Fashion Revolution has worked hard since to radically change the way clothes are sourced, produced and consumed. The event saw more than 100 people flock to ECCI for a screening of Alex James’s documentay Slowing Down Fast Fashion and an expert panel discussion, live workshops and a showcase of cutting-edge sustainable designers.
The night provided a platform to push forward the sustainable discussion, promote innovation in the industry and ignite the public into taking action. Seeing so many people come together, and the fantastic response it got on social media, was overwhelmingly positive!
Events such as the Copenhagen Fashion Summit show there is a massive global interest in developing sustainable methods of sourcing and producing clothing.
Scotland has the opportunity to be part of this conversation and ECCI is happy to host! Colour Elements has already bagged a place at the table – want to join us?
Led by founder and CEO Karen Finlayson, Colour Elements is the product of one of the original ideas incubated in ECCI’s Low Carbon Ideas Lab in 2015. The Low Carbon Ideas Lab, based at ECCI’s purpose built low carbon hub in the centre of Edinburgh, provides support, mentoring and world class accommodation for inspirational ideas that accelerate Scotland’s progress towards a low carbon economy. Find out more: http://edinburghcentre.org/Ideas-Lab.html