We hosted the first virtual edition of our FashMash Pioneers speaker series last night, featuring not just one but four incredible pioneers from the Emergency Designer Network.
A true example of cross-industry collaboration, these four women, Holly Fulton, Phoebe English, Bethany Williams and Cozette McCreery, are reshaping the way the fashion industry has typically interacted. They launched this volunteer-led enterprise at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to galvanise local production to make key garments for the NHS.
Our co-founder, Rachel Arthur, chatted to them about what working together to help the crisis has meant, why a sense of pre-competitiveness stands for so much more within fashion’s sustainability goals, and just what the future of the industry might hold ahead.
Here are some of the highlights:
ON WORKING TOGETHER
“EDN was about creating a framework of positivity; it has demonstrated the power of friendship and collaboration within the industry. What was originally an idea for 10 designers, snowballed into 150 designers coming together to create 6,700 gowns and counting.”
ON BROADER COLLABORATION
“We believe the industry should work together more - ideas and recommendations freely discussed help everyone improve. It’s important to share knowledge, especially in sustainability where we are all learning. This kind of widespread action and sense of community needs to be continued long after COVID-19.”
ON DRIVING CHANGE
“This pandemic will be a catalyst for change. I hope it gives people the opportunity to work in less damaging ways. I am hopeful for change, and would like to see strong action behind the strong statements being announced.”
ON A SENSE OF DUTY
“As a [public figure], there’s a sense of responsibility to support the next generation. It's about helping others make informed decisions; to pass on what we have learned.”
Interested to read more? Watch the full video of the panel discussion above, or take a look at this story on Eco-Age where our other co-founder, Rosanna Falconer, has written up further details about the conversation.
Tickets to the webinar were free of charge with an optional donation to the network. If you would like to donate, please do so via the EDN's GoFundMe page here. Please give what you can - it costs £6 for the material for each garment.