A LONDON charity is calling on the UK fashion industry to be less mean and more environmental having been told one designer fashion house they would rather burn scrap material than give it away to good causes.
Over the last year, Newham based charity, Caramel Rock, has contacted numerous UK fashion labels to ask if they would be interested in donating scrap, offcut or otherwise unwanted material so it can be used by their students as part of its educational remit.
But whilst maybe of the leading UK fashion labels have failed to respond at all at least one designed label has come back to say they cannot risk their precious scraps material being used to produce counterfeit goods so they burn it rather than give them away or recycle them.
Caramel Rock is a fashion and creative arts education charity providing training and opportunities. It’s Chief Executive, Faith Johnson, said whilst she understands designer and other fashion labels may need to be cautious, she is outraged they would rather destroy material than reuse or recycle it.
She said: “We are a very small community charity with very limited resources, so I came up with the idea of asking for offcut and other unwanted material from large Uk clothing manufacturers and fashion houses.
“I could not work out when so many simply didn’t even bother to come back to me but then I got a sorry email from Burberry explaining their scrap material is too precious to be given away and they have to burn it to make sure it doesn’t end up being used for counterfeit goods – I was outraged.
“I understand the need to be cautious to protect a brand but to destroy a perfectly good product rather than give it away or recycle it in any way seems unforgiveable especially when organisations like ours could have put it to good use.”
Now Faith believes Burberry is not the only fashion label which is doing this with scrap or surplus material, since she got such a low response rate from all the numerous companies she approached, and she is calling for an end to the waste.
She said: “These are big companies with plenty of staff so it makes you wonder why I could not even get a simple thanks for your email but we can’t or won’t help. My concern now is that they are all secretly destroying material which would be a massive waste and a real shame for the environment.”
Faith said she would be happy to work with anyone who can help, designer label or otherwise but she just needs to source donated fabric for her charity to use. Fabric is used by students improving their skills and confidence by learning fashion and creative arts.
That learning is then consolidated with work experience, making a massive difference to those individuals maybe of whom have come from challenging backgrounds and who otherwise would not be in education, employment or training.
Faith said: “As a small charity we know every penny counts and we can make a little go a long way so even the smallest of scraps can he used in mood boards, arts project and in other ways and we always recycle where we can, so nothing goes to waste.
“Charities such as ours make a massive contribution not only to the people we train but also the local community and we are asking the fashion industry to help us simply by donating any amounts of fabric they don’t need – to help us help the next generation of designers.”
For more information about Caramel Rock please visit www.caramelrock.com
Anyone interested in donating material to Caramel Rock is asked to contact Faith via email at firstname.lastname@example.org