How this former fashion week planner hopes to reduce textile waste in Asia

Nurul Azliah
Senior Lifestyle Reporter
Founder of conscious festival Green is the New Black and The Wedge Asia, Stephanie Dickson. (Photo: Erwin Tan)

While the fashion week season has gone full steam, with many brands showcasing their collections for fall around the world this year, former fashion week events planner Stephanie Dickson is on a mission to reduce fashion waste one green step at a time.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore ahead of her conscious festival entitled “Green is the New Black”, the founder of events group The Wedge Asia shared with us thoughts about her movement’s objective to reduce textile waste in Singapore – and hopefully the region. She hopes to do so by bringing like-minded individuals and brands together to create awareness on the issue.

“In Singapore, we produce over 144,000 tonnes of textile waste each year – which, if you do the math, is approximately 120 T-shirts per person,” said Dickson, citing Connected Threads Asia. Green is the New Black, a festival that consists of talks by sustainability experts and a market by 60 “mindful” brands, among others, is happening on Sunday (1 October) at PARKROYAL on Pickering. This is the second year that the event is taking place.

Back when she was organising fashion weeks around the region, Dickson met with an epiphany and realised that there is no “Planet B” for the bulk of fashion waste that the industry produces.

“It was one of those pivotal moments in my life. It hit me that I had a choice – I could continue to be a part of the problem, or I could figure out how to be part of the solution,” she said. “Green is the New Black is on a mission to make conscious living the new norm and to become the number one place for sustainable brands in Asia.”

So how does one enjoy fashion sustainably? Dickson recommends that you start by reviewing your sense of style and shopping habits.

1. Try clothes-swapping

For starters, you can try to freshen up your wardrobe by swapping your old clothes for new ones. There’s a Singapore-based clothes swapping platform called Swapaholic that can help you do just that. You can also give pre-loved clothing a second chance by purchasing vintage clothes.

2. Remind yourself of the 3Rs before buying

Thinking of getting a new outfit? Think of the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – before you do so. Figure out how you can reduce your consumption, reuse your clothes or recycle some of them before you decide to spend money on a new piece of clothing.

3. Buy from socially-conscious brands

Before you splurge, Dickson recommends doing some research and buying from brands that are transparent about where their clothes come from. For example, Dickson cites apparel brand Matter Prints, a socially-conscious brand popular for their printed pants, and Reformation, which uses sustainable fabrics and vintage garments in their collections.

More updates on Green is the New Black are available on their website.

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