Framlingham College was delighted to welcome fashion designer Caroline Smithson to the Prep School, to share with pupils her insights on the impacts of fast fashion.

Graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2008, Caroline has worked for iconic fashion brands such as Celine, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler, Roksanda and Victoria Beckham over the last two decades.

As the current Design Director for Emilia Wickstead, and the founder of Ssōne – a womenswear brand dedicated to empowering marginalized women in the garment industry,  Caroline is passionate about educating, building community and employing sustainable fashion practices.

Talking about the process and life-cycle of making clothes, Caroline explained to pupils how materials such as cotton, hemp and bamboo are harvested, as well as detailing the design process and pattern development which bring garments to life.

She then went on to outline what happens when we speed this process up, and how fast fashion companies cut corners when it comes to costs, the environmental and human rights.

Opening the floor up to pupils, who were eager to learn if some of their favourite brands were classed as fast fashion, Caroline said: “It’s important to understand how a t-shirt becomes a t-shirt, and how this can impact our planet. Even by making small changes such as buying one nice item rather than five or 10 pieces from a fast fashion online store can help us all be more sustainable.”

Concluding the lecture, Year 8 prefect for sustainability Duncan M thanked Caroline for her insightful talk, before she presented the Year 8 pupils with their leavers hoodies, this year purchased from a sustainable GEO accredited supplier.

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