Academics hope large retailers will make changes based on their findings, including supporting people to “make do and mend” as well as buy new items. 

Learn how to avoid fast fashion at Cornish events this month

Experts working to help find ways to stop Britain’s fast fashion addiction will share their findings at a new exhibition touring Cornwall this month.

Research by academics at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in Cornwall shows teaching people how to sew, and about the impact of mass-production of clothing, leads to them choosing quality over quantity.

Academics hope large retailers will make changes based on their findings, including supporting people to “make do and mend” as well as buy new items. They have called for major high street stores to provide spaces to mend and alter clothes after new evidence shows this leads people shopping in a more environmentally-friendly way.

During August and September the research team will showcase their findings at events. As well as finding out more about the project and some of the environmental and ethical issues present in the clothing industry, viewers will also have the chance to have a go some basic techniques in making, mending and altering clothing and fabric. Research team staff will also be available during opening hours to informally talk about the project and answer any questions viewers may have.

Professor Clare Saunders, who is leading the project, said: “We have a rich evidence base that suggests that practical workshops like these can have quite profound effects on the way people think, feel and act in relation to their clothes. Key factors in shaping their shift towards more conscious clothing practices include recognition of the flexibility and mutability of clothing and fabric, and working together with like-minded others.”

The free exhibition will be held at Redruth's Back Lane West Galley from Tuesday 13th August to Saturday 17th August. It will be open to the each day from 10am until 5pm. A documentary made as part of the project will be screened at 7:30pm on Friday, and Professor Saunders will discuss the project. There will be drinks and nibbles, and a chance for the audience to ask questions. Attendance is free however those wishing to come along are advised to book a space either in person during the gallery opening times or by emailing A.Barbieri@exeter.ac.uk.

The exhibition will also be on show at the Poly in Falmouth on the 6th and 7th of September, The Museum of Cornish Life in Helston from the 8th to the 11th September and the Breeze Arts and Crafts Fair at Trereife House, Newlyn between the 13th and 15th of September.

For further information about the project and exhibition tour please email Anya Barbieri on a.barbieri@exeter.ac.uk or visit the project's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/S4sSensibilty

S4S has been funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is a collaboration between academics from the University of Exeter and Wolverhampton University's Fashion school.

Date: 13 August 2019

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