Oxfam DIY at London Fashion Week

Oxfam DIY Flyer

Estethica has been providing otherwise blinkered fashionistas (myself included!) with an environmental eye opener at London Fashion Week since 2006. The Estethica exhibition brings together an exciting bunch of ethically sound, fair trade and environmentally friendly fashion labels and charities so that they may showcase their work, infiltrate the mainstream fashion industry and get noticed by the press.  This year Oxfam was there and grabbing a piece of the LFW action…

Oxfam Stall

‘DIY’ is the latest campaign from global poverty fighter Oxfam. When we think of Oxfam’s past gifts to fashion we may immediately think of their charity shops, stuffed full of cast-off clothes. But the DIY campaign is hoping to ensure that our clothes may never have to find their way into a charity shop or, much worse – a landfill, ever again.

Oxfam Jump Suit

For this DIY project Oxfam partnered up with ‘Mrs Jones‘ (aka Fee Doran) – a quirky designer and stylist to stars such as Alison Goldfrapp, The Killers and Kylie (she was responsible for the white hooded catsuit!). Mrs Jones is apparently a regular charity shopper, a habit that provides her with plenty of raw materials to work her re-styling genius on.

This must have been a dream project for her, as Oxfam gave her free reign of their donations to play with. The result at the Oxfam Estethica stall was curtains reinvented as couture and stuffy mens suits resurrected as jazzy jumpsuits (above). These creations and more are all available to buy at Oxfam’s Camden outlet, which Mrs Jones helped to turn into the flagship ‘Oxfam DIY’ store.

Oxfam Dress

The aim was to show us that by using our sewing skills, and a little imagination, fast fashion doesn’t have to die young and we can bring our out-dated outfits bang up to trend. The stall was even giving out handy little zines with customising tips and step-by-step guides to get us started!

So, with an emphasis on loving our fashion for longer, weren’t Oxfam shooting themselves in the foot somewhat? Were they actually looking forward to a future where donations to their own charity shops will run dry?

Not quite – as their website shows, any revamping projects can (and, they hope, will) be done with items they sell in their stores. It’s all about finding an outlet to express your creativity and individuality, and if you can find that outlet in a second hand purchase from Oxfam then so much the better!

Okay, so it’s not exactly the newest or most original idea but re-fashioning a garment (as opposed to binning it) will always be a good idea. Plus, Mrs Jones’ creations are incredibly inspiring. Head to the Oxfam DIY website to get more tips on transforming your old threads ( I especially like the ‘Hammer Pants’ how-to!) or some new-to-you threads  – purchased from your local charity shop, naturally!

Oxfam Pics

(All photographs by Sarah Barnes. First image from Oxfam promo flyer, photograph by Deidre O’Callaghan)

More of my London Fashion Week reports over on the fabulous FashAddict;
LFW: Bryce D’Anice Aime
Street Style Sunday: London Fashion Week Special!
LFW: Headonism
LFW: Jean-Pierre Braganza
LFW: Did anyone grab a piece of Pauric Sweeney?
LFW: Vivienne Westwood Melissa Shoes
LFW: We Love Tee Shirts!
LFW: It’s On!

By: Sarah Barnes, 04.11.2009 | Comments (0)
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