On a recent trip to Singapore, a team member at One Planet Rating came across The Fashion Pulpit and was left amazed. This fashion space aims to be a one-stop shop focused at revolutionizing the clothing industry. Not only can one swap clothing for the best selection of pre-loved fashion pieces, one can upcycle and learn fashion tricks, all at one place!
We caught up with founder Raye Padit to know more about the brand and his attempt at establishing fashion that cares and is responsible.
What is sustainable fashion…
I think it can be defined in two ways. As an industry, sustainable fashion is about putting equal measure to people, profit, planet and creativity. While as a consumer it is about being responsible with our consumption behavior.
How sustainable fashion is evolving in Singapore and globally…
When we started in 2015 spreading sustainable fashion through different initiatives we were quite surprised with the positive response from our attendees. Also how everyone quickly adopted the idea and understood the importance of practicing sustainable ways in consuming fashion. Indeed, it is not that people don’t bother to care, but the lack of information that prevented them to act.
Fast forward to now. And we have seen many businesses in Singapore that are adopting sustainable practices and new start ups that are driving positive change in the industry. Organizations and individuals will organize talks or events that revolve around the topic of sustainable fashion. Just last year, almost every month we had an event around it. Mainstream media is taking about it and big corporations are also trying to take part in the solution.
I would say within the span of three years much has changed. Of course, there are still many things that need to be done.
Your own journey in sustainable fashion…
For me it wasn’t just one moment that really changed how I see fashion. But, it was an accumulative experience and knowledge that pushed me to advocate sustainability in fashion. When I started designing for my own line PeyaR, I always felt that there is more than just designing and I need to find that. It was a question of how could I grow my capacity to be part of the solution instead of the problem in the industry. I loved working or being in the fashion industry, but I needed to do something to help make fashion a force for good.
Then, I started the non-for-profit organization Connected Threads Asia focused on spreading awareness and promoting sustainable fashion. It evolved to be a tangible action for actions like swapping. This platform allows everyone to be part of an easy solution, to lesser textile waste and pressure big companies to produce more items by swapping our clothes. This prolongs the lifespan of our clothes and doesn’t require virgin materials to produce new clothing.
What Fashion Pulpit aims to do…
Fashion Pulpit is a fashion space that values the two most important S’s in fashion – Style and Sustainability. Through this platform, we wish to gradually change the consumption behavior of everyone. We want you to see that before buying you should consider swapping first. We’ve made it easy so everyone can take part regardless of which spectrum they are from – a fashionista or environmentalist.
Yes, this varies. Like we organize talks to discuss different topics that relates to the industry. We invite experts to share their knowledge and experiences to hopefully encourage entrepreneurs and consumers to adopt those practices. We also do documentary screenings to spread awareness. And conduct various workshops to teach attendees necessary skills to help prolong the lifespan of our clothes.
Trends which make you optimistic on the adaptation of sustainable fashion
There are many trends that are coming out to offer solutions on how we can make fashion a better functioning industry that no longer harms the planet and the people who makes our clothes. We have interesting invention of new textiles from fruits, mushrooms and bacteria. We have new ways of designing to lessen pre-consumer textile wastes and innovative ideas to maximize the clothes that have been produced already. So, with all of these going on, it makes me a lot more optimistic that we can make fashion a force for good again. Fashion is such a powerful industry. If we use this power right, hopefully in the future there will be no distinction between fashion and sustainable fashion. Instead, only FASHION that cares and is responsible will exist.