We're curating the ethical fashion workshops with a bit of help from our friends the British Red Cross, come and find us over the party period in their exhibition space at Marlborough House. You'll be guided there by a rather attractive awning made out of pants courtesy of our neighbours M&S.
Today we did lot's of tweeting about our celebrity encounters and had From Somewhere transforming headscarfs into tops and upcycling t-shirts into bags while Stitch London were helping the public to stitch adorable little square sheep using reclaimed yarn, a whole herd was born by the end of the day. We spoke to some of our workshoppers about their experiences of the day.
Graziana is currently an intern at From Somewhere after completing her fashion studies in Italy. Her love of natural colours and dyeing processes and reusing materials is what inspired her to get involved. Her favourite materials to work with are natural fabrics like canvas, cotton and silk and she particularly admires brands like Agatha Ruiz de la Prada who use bright colours and fun innovative designs. The advice she would give to anyone interested in learning more about ethical fashion is to start thinking about the life of a piece of clothing, from beginning to end, especially the principle of making and then remaking when you want something to be reborn. Graziana had a great day in the Royal Gardens because "They're green!" and everyone was united around the same objective. Her top tips for remaking garments were to use appliques, fabric or sequins to cover holes in old garments and make scraps of fabric into cool accessories.
Di Hardy from the British Red Cross supported a lot of Graziana's sentiments and she's loving her work on merchandising at the moment. "It's a great project and hopefully it'll encourage donations to our charity shops all over the country". Di thought what we were doing really showed what was possible with upcycling and was thriving off the buzz surrounding the event. She prefers custom pieces to designer labels and it was her first time at any kind of event like this so was really thrilled that people were being helped to realise that you can still be an individual, perhaps even more so, if you buy secondhand clothes.
Lastly, perhaps with the most inspiring story to tell, Lauren O'Farrell set up Stitch London on the same day she learnt to knit! When we asked what inspired her to take on craft work her response was totally unexpected. "In 2004 I was diagnosed with cancer so I started knitting while I was in hospital. I'd never done any craft before now its ended being my full-time job! It's completely changed my life". During 3 1/2 years of treatment Lauren missed less group meetings than could fit on a hand. Since then she's collaborated on saw incredible projects- she once convinced 150 people to knit a scarf measuring 550ft to fit around the necks of the lions in Trafalgar Square. Her favourite materials are 'anything' and Stitch London recently created a replica of the 8 metre giant squid in the Natural History Museum knitted out of 166 carrier bags as part of the Deep Sea Exhibition. Lauren also divulged she's prone to a bit of "sneaky graffiti" or 'yarn storming' as it's affectionately referred to. You'll check out their site for pics because it's literally indescribable but it encourages the public to look at craft in a new way and see the fun side, the excitement and the unexpected. Tops tips for getting involved include starting off gently and warming up to big projects and think really creatively about what you want to make, her knitted strawberry bootlace accessories aren't exactly practical but they're certainly more fun than boring granny style bobble hats. When asked about her favourite designers Lauren said "In my knitting group I meet a new designer every week, you are your own designer label and you'll make something no one else will ever be able to. When people mix up patterns and add their own twist, that's what I find really inspiring".
We'll be bringing you plenty of extras from more inspiring minds throughout the Garden Party so keep glued to this spot.