YOUNG GUNS: The Centre for Sustainable Fashion, part of London College of Fashion, took some industry issues to Britain’s House of Lords this week, with an event called “I Stood Up — A Voice for Change.” Young, first-time voters were given the opportunity to put their questions to a panel of MPs and fashion industry insiders ahead of the general election in May.

 

Chaired by Baroness Young of Hornsey, the panel included Louise Court, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan; professor Frances Corner, head of London College of Fashion; Lois McNay, professor of theory of politics at Oxford University; and member of parliament Amelia Womack, who is also deputy leader of the Green Party.

 

Up for debate were issues as diverse as London’s spiraling house prices, whether it’s possible for fashion to be liberating as opposed to oppressive, and how greater transparency can be achieved in the industry’s supply chain. Corner enjoined everyone to take responsibility as consumers: “If you start boycotting certain stores, they will begin to change things,” she said during a discussion about ethical manufacturing.

 

Cosmopolitan’s Court told the young people in the audience not to underestimate their power. “Young people have a greater influence than they ever have,” she said, citing her own interns as real fonts of information. “Back in the day, you went to the shops your mum wanted you to go to. But now as no one wants to get old, you want your kids to tell you where you should be going. You are very powerful, you just might not think it some of the time.”

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