Throughout history, plants have played a fundamental role in fashion - as dye, as fibre, through floral motifs and botanical folklore, connecting us to a place, a story or a culture.
However in our globalised world, this connection has been lost. Our clothing today is more likely to be derived from fossil fuels and made using toxic chemicals, damaging human health and nature’s ecosystems.
A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution Garden aims to re-establish the connection between plants and fashion. The garden is intended to imitate a textile, with planting in distinctive blocks of colour to create the impression of a woven fabric. Shallow reflective pools represent dye baths, with fabric or fibres soaking in natural dyes, and a series of paved seams will lead through the planting. The garden will reveal the beauty to be found in plant-based dyes and fibres and sow a seed of curiosity about what is in our clothes.
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Fashion Revolution was founded in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Since then, the organisation has grown to become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy. Fashion Revolution campaigns for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry.
A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution has been repurposed at Headington School in Oxfordshire, where textile students helped dye the textile boundaries featured in the garden. It will live on as a teaching garden, for students to learn about the plants that textiles and fabric dyes are derived from. The school has developed a new syllabus which includes the study of plants used for textiles, along with their propagation and use.
Head to the link below to find out more about the garden and the people involved in its creation and legacy.