We wanted to have at our very core a realistic, attainable, positive strand of sustainability at ALSO22. We have long been influenced by Kate Raworth’s 'Doughnut Economics' – she won our ideas prize (The Transmission Prize) in 2014 and her work has now been adopted by so many companies, places and cities (Amsterdam and Copenhagen to name but two). If you have any responsibility for place, or have influence in your company or your own enterprise we heartily recommend her work. And in the background of ALSO please know we are reforming the shape of us to deliver and design ALSO along the guidelines of the doughnut. Within the bones of ALSO is repair, reuse, renew. We have built ALSO by hand – we literally carry everything into the festival we use so we don’t want any waste. We feel the best use of our time is doing deep work to redesign all of ALSO this way and we wanted you to know…how we solve power in site is a challenge. We will be doing an intro and a workshop on Doughnut Economics in-festival for those of you who want to go deeper and a big piece of our sustainability work will veer off in a totally different direction…
We wanted to look at sustainability in a way that touches all of us and that all of us can pick up in the festival an idea or two to take back into our lives that could be transformative. So of course, we hand to look at clothes. I hear the alpha males groan but allow me to seduce you into my thinking. Looking at our threads gives us range, and it allows us to play to one of our core strengths – playfulness, and it means all of us in the field can be transformed without being overwhelmed and finally it provides the perfect hanger (GEDDIT) to consider our use of the planet’s materials. We hope by asking everyone to take a look at what’s in their closet - at what they wear and why – we hope we’ll provide a way for everyone who chooses to be part of ALSO to change what they are wearing. It’s probably our most grown up theme of ALSO, largely because when it comes to sustainability you could argue that the longer you’ve been on the planet the deeper your relationship with it – perhaps even the more you love it, so this theme is really for those old enough to buy their own clothes, and to be cognisant enough to have an emotional relationship with clothes (oh my god – what was I thinking wearing that?, I wish I was confident enough to wear that, I can’t throw that away because I bought that for that.) Clothes and dressing up is fun, and yet this industry has a troubled soul. But this is an easy climate/planet/resource emergency to solve. It matters where you buy your athleisure, your pants, your festival threads. We know via the work we have done at ALSO the clothes that we buy make the production of clothes the fifth most polluting industries on the planet. Yikes.
To help we will offer so many chances across the weekend to get involved, to consider the way you dress, acquire and wear your clothes. From workshops to talks to a full-on fashion show (want to be involved – want to walk the runway - no problem) – we want all who dress themselves to have a truly transformative epiphany in the fields of ALSO and one that comes with no stress, no angst, no worry – just truly celebratory.
And if we can change all of that and make a lot of people and a lot of animals happy in doing so – and we will offer in-festival the tools to create this – I mean - what could be more ALSO? And it all begins with what you decide to wear.
We are being helped by Orsola de Castro (founder of Fashion Revolution, author of Loved Clothes Last) who will be on the main stage to give us the information we need the bedrock of this idea, and in a double talk to go deeper for the many people we have in site who do love clothes and want to go deeper. We are also in collaboration with Lauren Bravo for the fashion show. Lauren is a sustainable fashion writer and wrote the brilliantly instructive How to Break Up with Fast Fashion and our fashion show (working title: ‘Darling Can you Walk?’) will be showcasing so many ways to explore your best self via excellent new ideas for redefining your relationship with clothes. Fashion designer and textile visual artist, Osman Yousefzada is in the field talking about the role clothes played in his fascinating life, and our Saturday night theme for clothes is wear-that-thing-in-your-wardrobe-you-love/makes you feel fabulous-but-don’t-wear. Why not wear it in the field with pride (and appropriate footwear for a field and something warm for later).
Dress yourself in flowers, or dress yourself in perfume – we have the first-ever Scent Tent from Sarah McCartney, founder of perfume brand 4160Tuesdays exclusive to ALSO with so many ways of using scent as a way to communicate with others about the person you are….
Want to be involved? It takes a team of volunteers to run a fashion show. Want to try your hand at being a stylist, dressers, makeup artists, hair artists, set dressers, and models to make it work? Explore your highest fashion self, dig deep into your creativity, categories swirling around as potentials for groups of cat walkers are masculinity now, action wear that isn’t depressing, look what I got pre-loved, look at my second hand/swapped find, perhaps a ski Sunday segment - and why yes we are open to suggestions. A hugely inclusive big piece of programming from the tweens and above means everyone is invited to get involved or come watch our runway radicalism.