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Catching up with The Fashion Federation

**Nancy Serle, Style Editor talks with Lydia Cotmore, The Fashion Federation's blog editor, who reveals what the society has been up to so far this year. **

What has The Fashion Federation been up to since we last spoke?

We've been super busy recently with lots of great sessions, including scrapbooking and the first-term favourite feminist embroidery, and different projects on the side too! The first ever Fashion Fed sewing course is now up and running, and has been a huge success so far. Students have made tote bags and will progress to make bunting in future weeks; it's open to UoB staff and students alike (you don't need to be an FF member), consists of 4 weekly 2-hour sessions taught by the fun and fully-qualified teacher Alison, and we're hoping to run more courses in future as this one booked up so fast.

We would love to hear from anyone interested in doing the £40 course, in future so that we can gauge interest, so please message us on FB and like our page. Our blog is now also up and publishing regularly - posts on everything fashion and crafts related, from the political power of embroidery and dress to awards season fashion - we've had a great response so far, and are looking for more writers (so again, get in touch on Facebook or!

Do you have any more events coming up this term?

Yes, we have been running make your own crop top sessions (who needs depop?) and we have lots of ideas for more sessions running up to Easter!

Can you still join TFF or is it too late?

It's never too late! There was an amazing turn out at our 'Give It A Go' session earlier this term, where we invited people to come and try embroidery, hoping to show everyone that anyone from beginners to experts are all welcome. Membership for the year is only £10 and that will pay for all your materials in future sessions so that you don't need to pay again, or non-members can pay £2 per session, which is great if you want to casually try out sessions every now and again!

In light of Epigram’s green issue, how is TFF sustainable?

We're teaching people how to make their own accessories and clothing items, from jewellery to tops, and raising awareness of the ways in which you can revive old items in your wardrobe. By making your own stuff and reusing items you already own instead of buying new mass-produced clothes from high-street retailers, you reduce your contribution to the wasteful economy of fast fashion.

In the past we've also held clothes swaps, so that people can exchange old clothes they no longer wear for 'new' second-hand items. In this way the clothes are directly redistributed to other people in need of them, rather than being thrown away or held in storage unused; it is thought that only around 10% of donated clothes in the US are resold, so that is not always a fool-proof way of getting rid of unwanted clothes ethically. In our own small ways, Fashion Fed is trying to encourage people to love their existing wardrobes and donate what items they don't to those who will, so that Bristol fashion is a little more sustainable and the planet a little happier.

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