German Scottish Sustain workshops and panel talks

Fashion Council Germany together with The Prince’s Foundation and Swarovski set up a three-day programme of panels, workshops and factory visits last month in Scotland for the current participants of the German Sustain Concept initiative – namely Lara Krude, Oft, Phylyda and Working Title – in addition to a selection of Scottish designers.


Scotland is revered for its traditional weaving mills producing top-quality cashmere and Harris Tweed, which count leading fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and Gucci as clients. Heritage may sound old-fashioned, but as Simon Cotton, Chief Executive of Johnstons of Elgin points out, these Scottish textiles are still in demand because “people want to know that the products they buy are made with environmentally friendly, sustainable processes.”

Over the decades however, the know-how has declined, and so in response to this HRH The Prince of Wales set up the Future Textiles training initiative in 2015 to inspire people of all ages to pursue careers in the local textile industry. The project is based in Dumfries House, where since 2018, the former-sawmill-turned LVMH Textile Training Centre, offers an industry standard training course for both local job-seekers and interested applicants alike. 

The German Scottish Sustain programme gave participating designers a platform to exchange ideas and experiences in order to better implement meaningful changes and continue to grow the dialogue around sustainability in fashion. Margaret Macleod, Sales Director at Harris Tweed Hebrides expressed how events like these are important to raise awareness of what the Scottish textile industry offers, giving young labels the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with traditional companies to help keep ancestral techniques alive and relevant today.

Besides an invite to a “Royal Reception” hosted by Prince Charles, participants got to take part in a series of workshops, co-curated by Sourcebook, such as upcycling discarded Swarovski crystals and exploring natural dyeing methods. The panel talks featured FCG board members including Vogue Germany editor-in-chief Christiane Arp and ICON editor-in-chief Inga Griese, as well as renowned fashion critic and columnist Sarah Mower.

For further details about the programme activities head over to the FCG Bulletin or get the press release (in German).


Image and video: Fashion Council Germany


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