Slow Fashion Lancaster is born!
October 2018 saw a unique, sustainable-themed day of fashion workshops, exhibitors and a bespoke catwalk show unveiled at Lancaster Town Hall. Created from an idea by Lancaster seamstress, Gabriella Bavone, along with Lancaster’s business training organisation for women - The Growing Club – brought Slow Fashion Lancaster to life, in an event designed to exhibit the art of fashion in an eco-conscious style.
The day was a showcase of artisan craft makers, displaying items such as vintage hats, handcrafted leather goods, handspun British yarn and knitted items. Workshops took place throughout the afternoon, where visitors could take part in traditional arts and crafts like rag-rugging, learn about the process of raw wool to the finished clothing article and the art of Afghan calligraphy.
The evening session saw a glamorous fashion event, showcasing some of the north-west’s independent fashion designers’ creations on a catwalk. Renowned Lancashire storyteller, Jacqueline Harris, spoke about the Wonders of Fashion.
Former lawyer-turned-designer and dressmaker, Karen Harvey, from Lancaster’s Reinvintaged, displayed two of her dresses in the evening catwalk, saying:
“Sewing is in my blood. My mother and grandmother both made clothes. I fell in love with all things ‘vintage’ after attending the 2012 Vintage Guild Weekend in Preston. It’s been my passion ever since and I love creating pieces for women of all sizes.
“I make clothes and use fabrics I buy at vintage fairs and offcuts of newer materials. I also love to buy unfashionable and often unwearable wedding dresses and bring them back to life.”
Another local designer and fabric shop owner, Jenny Atkinson from Fabrix, exhibited at the 2018 Slow Fashion event, stating:
“The teaching of sewing skills in schools has declined, but I have noticed an increase in community-based courses and groups. Many people love to upcycle or customise clothes they buy, to create unique pieces. “I particularly love to see parents or grandparents bringing children in to choose fabric for a project. There is a huge amount of satisfaction when you can say you have made something yourself, especially when someone compliments you on an outfit.
“Slow Fashion Lancaster brings local makers and designers together under one roof and enhances the sense that we’re all part of a community with a shared passion.”
Organiser and seamstress, Gabriella Bavone of Artisan Bazaar, talks about slow fashion as a concept:
“Slow fashion is simply the opposite of fast fashion; the process of designing good fashion that is kind and respectful to the planet. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries out there.
We wanted to create the opportunity show off the north’s magnificent creative craft and talent – it is the perfect chance to display a variety of artisan makers and designers under one umbrella. I want people to feel like children in a sweet shop, surrounded by new possibilities.”
Jane Binnion, founder of The Growing Club in Lancaster, said:
“As an ethical business trainer, I am absolutely delighted to be involved with this event here in Lancaster. Sustainability is key to our work and we now have an opportunity to raise this with regards to what has become a throw-away fashion industry.
“We showcase the talented women and men who make clothes and accessories with love and care to last for years.
“To have a day of local craftspeople sharing their time-honoured skills with the community, followed by a bespoke evening catwalk event, will be an unmissable date in the calendar each year.”
This will be the second year we host Slow Fashion Lancaster and we couldn’t be more delighted to open the call for designers, makers, crafters and artisans for the 2019 daytime stalls and workshops and fashion designers’ submissions for the evening catwalk.
If you’d like to be part of our unique sustainable fashion extravaganza, please contact