Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - London street stitchers take on ‘fast fashion’

London street stitchers take on ‘fast fashion’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lined up on stools outside a well-known clothes store in south London, around 20 needle-wielding stitchers took the fight against ‘fast fashion’ to the streets. AFP

London street stitchers take on ‘fast fashion’

Lined up on stools outside a well-known clothes store in south London, around 20 needle-wielding stitchers took the fight against “fast fashion” to the streets, showing shoppers how to revive shabby garments.

Their message is “stitch not ditch” – to repair clothes rather than throw them away and buy more, despite the temptations offered by low-cost fashion.

The roaming street tailors on Wednesday set up camp in the London suburb of Bromley, in the shadow a Primark shop, a symbol of “fast fashion” increasingly criticised for its impact on the environment.

Their slogan is displayed on the back of their stools and folding chairs, often stitched in brightly coloured threads.

Organiser Suzi Warren wants to raise awareness of alternatives to the constant purchase of cheap, easily discarded clothes.

“It’s not to say don’t buy it, it’s to say, if you do buy it, try and enter into some kind of contract to keep it as long as you can,” she said.

“We cannot keep producing clothes at this pace,” she added.

Warren, who runs an online shop selling clothes with humorous designs, launched the street stitching movement this year after hearing about the damage of “fast fashion” and her Instagram page has developed a loyal fanbase.

Meditative’ past-time

Among the stitchers on Wednesday, Madeleine Tanato was hard at work mending a dress.

“In recent years I’ve realised that fast fashion is having a really bad impact on the environment,” she said.

As intrigued passers-by stopped to ask questions, the needleworkers hoped to show that mending was a source of pleasure.

“Mending is very meditative and a healthy thing for mental health,” said Warren.

“It’s easy, cheap, all you need is a needle and a thread.”

Passers-by were invited to join in by scanning a QR code giving them access to online tutorials.

The event was one of many held simultaneously in cities in Britain and across the world to mark the UK’s Sustainable Fashion Week, held before London Fashion Week on Friday.

Low-cost fashion retailers are regularly criticised for generating waste and pollution and for the poor pay and working conditions of their staff.

The sector’s image was further tarnished by the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka in April 2013, which killed more than 1,100.

It was also hit by reports that some brands use cotton produced by the alleged forced labour of Uyghur Muslims in China.

In the face of criticism, Primark promised on Wednesday to make all clothing from recycled materials or more sustainable sources by 2030 and to halve carbon emissions.

Asos, another British brand, on Thursday committed to more sustainable manufacturing and carbon neutrality by 2030.


  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’