Moderator, Hilary Alexander OBE and Global Vice President of Sustainability at Swarovski, Dax Lovegrove, kicked things off by discussing the importance of making ethically conscious choices when it comes to creating their jewellery.

Crystals have a low impact on the environment, which ensures that Swarovski can continue creating their designs without negatively impacting the world. Lovegrove pointed out the benefits of using modular items when designing jewellery - by enabling the swapping out of stones, their customers are able to reuse and recycle their jewellery for years rather than throwing them away.

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Thanks to Swarovski’s international crystal upcycling programme, artist and activist Daniel Lismore was able to create his show-stopping outfit, made entirely from recycled and repurposed items, and Swarovski crystals. As Lismore says;

“It doesn’t have to cost much to make something beautiful”.

His penchant for taking something, such as a jumper, and turning it into a skirt ensures its life cycle is prolonged, which is something Fashion Designer, Patrick McDowell also promotes. McDowell says the easiest way for us all to do our bit for the environment is to look in our own wardrobe - change, alter and fix items that you already have rather than buying more things. His words of wisdom were to apply the “30 wears rule” - if you can’t wear something 30+ times, then don’t buy it.

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Aki Choklat, International Design Professional and Shoe Designer, was positive about the future of sustainability in fashion. Making a commitment to ensure sustainable thinking is part of his curriculums, and he also encourages large scale fashion brands to consider a clothes return scheme where consumers return worn clothes which then become reused and turned into other fabrics. “Sustainability” is now used 6x more in business documents than it was a decade ago, which is a promising sign that the fashion industry is moving in the right direction.

Written by Faith Richardson

Photography by Nicholas Kristiansen and Becky Louise