This year for Fashion Revolution week we are shining the light on different individuals who are working to bring change to the fashion ecosystem. Whilst remembering the Rana Plaza incident, we wanted to focus on conscious fashion revolutionaries.
Sarah Thompson is a recently graduated fashion designer who explores the relationship the British farming community have to their clothing. The value in which they place upon practical attire and attachments they gain. Her collection ‘Farming People’, was exhibited as part of the Positive Fashion space during London Fashion Week. Find out what she has been doing during the pandemic and how she has been using her sewing skills to support her local hospital.
What effect has COVID 19 had on you and your business?
As a new graduate, I am working within the industry to develop my skills to benefit myself in the future for my brand and business. At this moment in time, I am on furlough, so I am using this time to put my skills to good use in making masks bags for my local hospital - along with working on some of my projects and growing some vegetables!
What has been the biggest challenge during this period of lockdown?
It’s been a huge change for everyone - but I feel very lucky to have my health at the minute and I feel it is our key workers facing the real challenge!
What have you done during lockdown to innovate?
I have been in touch with nurses in my community, asking what I can do to help with my sewing skills - My main priority is now to make masks and bags for my local hospital to help with shortages. And, I am an NHS responder too. I have taken some time to work on my skills such as drawing and enjoyed the time to sit and draw not for work just for me. I have also planted some vegetables in my garden, and I am trying to get a lot of exercises to keep motivated.
What small act of kindness has someone shown you or that you have shown someone during the lockdown?
I made some Easter cards and dropped them in with neighbours and family within my 1 hour of exercise (by bike) - I think in times like these small simple things can cheer someone up - especially if alone! Even just a phone call, to check-in or chat with someone who may be isolating alone! Another thing I must recommend is planning a quiz with family and friends - it’s great fun and a great way to get people together. Be kind, keep people in mind who maybe don’t have all the resources or people around them as you may have. Kindness is what we need now and pulling together is everything!
How do you think this crisis will affect the fashion industry?
I think (hope) attitudes may change - my beliefs in this industry is that everyone expects the new straight away, but maybe people will be more creative, re-wear - or remake? Pull out the sewing machine even! I’m not sure what the future holds for the industry, but my aim and focus are still very much the same. I hope this time isolating may make people get creative with their wardrobe and appreciate what they do have, instead of just always looking for the ‘new’.
How do you think you will need to do things differently in your business post lockdown?
For me, as a new graduate, my business is very much early stages, and my focus now is developing skills, getting involved in positive projects and see what the future holds for myself in this industry!
What would you advise our/your followers to keep their spirits up during lockdown?
This is a very scary time for us all. I send love to all families who have lost loved ones, along with key workers who continue to work hard for our nation - but at this time, try to learn something new! Whether it’s gardening or baking or exercise or something creative - we have been given time... and although in negative circumstances use it for YOU! Try out something you’ve always wanted but hadn’t had the time, whether it's some watercolours you bought 3 years ago and never used... Or a book you’ve had but never finished or a recipe you want to perfect. It’s okay to take this time for yourself, although it may seem weird as our country is in turmoil, it is okay - so let's stay positive, look out for each other and our key workers ... See what you can do if your local area needs help? Be productive and fill in your time with things you’ve always wanted to try! Follow the rules, stay home, spread love and together we will get through it!
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Watch Sarah's video interview @Swaprebellion
Check out Sarah's Instagram @t.o.m.o.d.e.s.i.g.n.s
Learn about Fashion Revolution here