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Becoming Circular: Revaluing Waste

With spring on the horizon, the team at Fashion District can’t wait for longer, lighter days and our upcoming event: Becoming Circular: Revaluing Waste, taking place on March 1st, 18:00 – 20:30, at Hackney Brewery & High Hill Taproom.

Presented in collaboration with the Green Business Network, we’re bringing you a roundtable event like no other. Designed to spark collective action and provide you with the tools to embed circularity in your business, the event will focus on three key approaches to eliminating waste textiles: repair, resale and redistribution. 

Kicking off with a keynote speech from Sarah Robins, Associate Sector Specialist – Textiles at WRAP UK, afterwards Layla Sargent, Founder of The Seam, will take to the floor to deliver a case study presentation focusing on how repair and alterations can contribute to eliminating waste textiles. 

Following Layla’s case study, you’ll then have the chance to share your thoughts in roundtable discussions chaired by over ten carefully curated table hosts. With a selection of tables each categorised under the themes of repair, resale, or redistribution, you’ll have the choice of seating yourself at the theme that you’re most drawn to. Our table hosts will then get the roundtable discussion going and feedback key takeaways to the room.

To round off the evening, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals over a drink or two. Following the event, attendees will also receive an exclusive document of key takeaways from the night. 

AGENDA

  • 6.00pm: Arrival and refreshments
  • 6.30pm: Introduction and welcome – Fashion District + Green Business Network
  • 6.35pm: Keynote – Sarah Robins, Associate Sector Specialist – Textiles, WRAP UK
  • 6.50pm: Case study – Layla Sargent, Founder, The Seam 
  • 7.00pm: Q+A 
  • 7.15pm: Introduce provocations and kick off roundtable discussion 
  • 7.20pm: Roundtable discussion 
  • 8.00pm: Summarise and wrap up


MEET OUR SPEAKERS + TABLE HOSTS

Sarah Robins – Associate Sector Specialist – Textiles, WRAP UK
For the past eight years, Sarah has run multiple circular fashion businesses and currently serves as Associate Sector Specialist at WRAP, working on the award-winning voluntary agreement Textiles 2030, which aims to accelerate the UK textile sector on circularity and climate action. In her role, Sarah works on the circular business models workstreams, citizen behaviour change and supporting businesses across the agreement.

Layla Sargent – Founder + CEO, The Seam
Founded in 2019, The Seam brings accessible, on-demand tailoring services to Londoners’ doorsteps while harnessing the skills of talented Makers in every neighbourhood. Recognised as a leading clothing care and repair company, The Seam services customers across the UK and partners with some of the world’s largest retailers and brands.

Tessa Solomons – Craftsperson
Specialising in hand embroidery and visible mending, Tessa Solomons is challenging the culture of overproduction and throw-away trends in the fashion industry by taking private commissions, consulting brands, and teaching workshops. Driven by the desire to make repairs visible, Tessa is on a mission to encourage brands to incorporate repair and reuse into their design process and make it accessible and affordable to all citizens. 

Louise Weiss – Co-Founder, dotte
Louise is the Co-Founder of dotte, the UK’s largest and fastest-growing peer-to-peer marketplace for children’s fashion. dotte is on a mission to build a community of families who want to share their kids’ wardrobes to help better the planet. A simple one-stop-shop where parents can buy, sell, donate and recycle outgrown children’s clothing, dotte provides a full circle remedy to the fastest area of fashion. 

Sia Grenkova – Sustainability Manager, Oxwash
Sia is responsible for setting and developing the sustainability strategy and circular practices at Oxwash – a B Corp Certified and carbon-neutral wet cleaning service. An alumnus of The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s course in Business Sustainability, Sia has previously worked as a consultant for numerous tech startups and large FMCG companies, where she has helped them on their sustainability journeys.

Jessica Brunt – Founder, Verte
With over seven years of experience in marketing and sales, Jess founded her business Verte in 2019 to encourage a more sustainable approach to consumption and shopping. Dedicated to building Verte’s community, Jess has plans to develop her business into a permanent swapping and second-hand space and build an app to encourage a wider variety of items to be swapped. By focusing on swapping versus buying new, Jess hopes to help the world move towards a more circular shopping economy.

Kaela Katz – Founder + CEO, FibreLab
FibreLab is an award-winning textile recycling start-up based in east London. They utilise a custom-built mechanical shredding machine to turn post-industrial textile waste, including off-cuts from garment manufacturing and damaged linens from the hospitality sector, into valuable recycled fibre. FibreLab’s approach to the circular economy is hyper-local, ensuring the entire waste collection, sorting and remanufacturing process takes place entirely within the U.K. 

Sophie Rochester – Founder, Yodomo
Sophie Rochester is an advocate of the power of making and champions Yodomo’s mission to grow participation in making to increase the reuse of materials, helping us all to shift more readily to a circular economy. In 2022, Sophie launched the Yodomo Circular Hub in Hackney, which has over 1,000 active ‘creative reuse members’ and has diverted nearly three tonnes of materials from landfill and incineration.

Sol Escobar – Founder + Director, Give Your Best
Sol Escobar is the Founder and Director of Give Your Best, an award-winning tech-for-good non-profit offering the first platform where people and brands can donate clothing online so that refugee women and children can shop for free with the choice and dignity they deserve. Sol is on a mission to tackle clothing poverty while improving circularity in the fashion industry and empowering people affected by displacement. 

Piarvé Wetshi – Co-Founder, Last Yarn + Colèchi
An advocate for reducing textile waste in the fashion industry, Piarvé co-runs the fashion collective and agency, Colèchi, and the fabric resale platform Last Yarn. Her background is in digital marketing across interior design and events. Piarvé also works with local groups and cultural venues to bridge the gap between fashion, making and education.

Mika Sembongi – Accessory Designer + Mending Expert
Born in Japan, Mika brings Manga influences to her hand printed designs and is highly skilled in the traditional mending technique, sashiko. Mika co-runs The Monday Mending Club, a monthly social sewing night at Big Penny Social, and holds monthly family sewing mornings at Leyton Green Studios, which aim to encourage families to enjoy mending clothing together as a weekend activity.

Judith Agwada – Founder, Maison Archives London
Judith Agwada curates regular vintage drops inspired by the seventies era for her online boutique, Maison Archives London. Maison Archives started out solely as a vintage platform, but has recently expanded to include hand crafted, vintage inspired pieces. Judith also sells vintage and pre-loved pieces at markets and pop-ups in east London – all in addition to her day job, working as a doctor at Whipps Cross hospital!

Samson Soboye – Founder, Soboye
Samson is the founder of Soboye, an African fashion and homewares brand, which offers both ready-to-wear collections and a bespoke design service that serves many celebrity clients, including Michaela Coel, Nile Rogers and John Boyega. Samson has a longstanding relationship with two main factories in Waltham Forest, providing him with expert knowledge on the measures they’re taking (and challenges they’re facing) to eliminate fabric waste in the industry.

Nicola Joseph – Founder, Uniform Choice
Nicola Joseph is an NHS health visitor who also runs pop-ups selling surplus school uniform stock that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Nicola works together with high street brands to sell these unsold uniforms (that are still packaged and in perfect condition) at affordable prices. She sells regularly at Host in Leyton and via ebay.

Gosia Rokicka – Retail + Operations Manager, Forest Recycling Project
Gosia is responsible for everything retail-related at Forest Recycling Project, a registered charity and social enterprise that sells reclaimed paint, fabric and wood and works with volunteers on structured upskilling and upcycling projects.

Anita Earp – Fabric Retail Co-ordinator, Forest Recycling Project
Anita’s role encompasses the reclamation of fabrics from companies or individuals that are looking for an environmentally sound method of fabric disposal. Fabrics are either sold or used in FRP workshops. Anita has an environmental degree and has been a lifelong creator of textile items.

ABOUT THE GREEN BUSINESS NETWORK
The Green Business Network is for businesses from all sectors that are keen to learn how they can improve their environmental performance and cut their business costs, as well as those with an interest or who work in the low carbon or environmental sector. Members include cafes/bars, brewers, fashion designers, renewable energy installers, retailers and freelancers.

In previous events, businesses have heard about the low-carbon transport options for the borough’s businesses (including zero carbon delivery), learnt about finance options for going green and heard from speakers including ReLondon, TSB Bank, Enjoy Waltham Forest and many more.


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