New Mills fashion week team to mark Earth Day with online event on town's history and industry ethics

The team behind New Mills fashion week are hosting a one-off online event this month linking the town’s textile heritage to the ethics of modern day supply chains.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 2:35 pm

Following on from their successful week of online events last October, organisers have joined with together with local sustainability group Café Transition to present the Flaming Threads of Fashion on Thursday, April 22, starting at 8pm.

A spokesperson for the group of women behind fashion week said: “New Mills has a rich history as a textile town, including factory fires and poor working conditions – connecting it to the current industry in other parts of the world today.

“This event both celebrates Earth Day, which supports environmental protection, and commemorates the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 when a building in Bangladesh, which housed garment factories, collapsed, killing and injuring many of the workers.”

Factory fires were as big a risk in the history of New Mills as they are in parts of the Global South today.

The 90-minute Zoom meeting will kick off with a talk from local historian Jill Hulme entitled ‘The Fantastic Follies of Fashion: the Making of New Mills and Its People’.

She will trace the 200-year evolution of textile production from the growing market in fashionable printed cotton goods and the establishment of the cotton textile industry in the north of England and explore how that story shaped New Mills, for better or worse, into the town as it is known today.

The second speaker Patsy Perry, a marketing expert from Manchester Fashion Institute, who will talk about supply chains and sustainability in an industry notorious for its exploitation of human resources, animals and the environment.

This talk will look at the processes and modes of production that lead to ethical problems, and examine the potential role and responsibilities for retailers, manufacturers and consumers in addressing those issues as well as the marketing practices which encourage overconsumption.

For details of how to join the event, see or write to [email protected]

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