London College of Fashion partnered with Cordwainers Community Garden and artist Zoe Burt to grow and manufacture an item of clothing entirely within London. Over 500 people including LCF students and staff, children, community groups, growers and craftspeople collaborated to grow, harvest, dry, ripple, ret, break, scutch, heckle, spin and knit flax into a garment.
Grow a Garment embraced LCF’s urban location, using the attributes of city living – lots of people and small, disparate areas of land - as an advantage, rather than seeing it as a barrier to sustainability. The project helped to connect LCF to its neighbours and strengthened links with their local community.
The project increased LCF students’ social and environmental awareness. For instance one student spoke of her pride to be involved with this project which, she believed, emphasized the need for a holistic view on garment making and infused responsible practices within the supply chain.
1 The project had a wider reaching impact than we initially imagined, reaching many people who weren’t already interested in sustainable fashion through workshops and exhibitions
2 Involving different generations meant skills and knowledge were shared within the community, flax growing was jointly researched and ideal growing and processing conditions were developed together
3 This project is especially exciting because of the wide range of future applications – the thinking could be applied to flax and/or nettle growing across the UK, re-starting the national fibre growing industry.
Photo credit - Ryan Sardjola, Quentin Hubert, Ka Hei Law, Laurel Fish