Askirt made from discarded fishing nets wowed an audience of 500 people at Exeter’s first Slow Fashion Show in the city’s cathedral. Hosted by Exeter ethical fashion and lifestyle brand Sancho’s and Inexeter, the show was the flagship event of what has become an annual affair – Style In Exeter Week.
When Inexeter approached Sancho’s to organise and execute the Slow Fashion Show, Sancho’s owner and creative director, Kalkidan Legesse, also saw a bigger opportunity to showcase the talent of the region.
Legesse, who started the sustainable brand with her partner in 2014, says “We know we live in a part of the country that is getting more switched on to the idea of living sustainably.
“We also know that throughout the South West there are incredibly talented and inspiring designers whom we wanted to give a platform, and so the Sustainable Design Awards were born.”
Thirteen designs were shortlisted that met the strict criteria of entering the awards: to use sustainable materials; consider how the entry could have meaningful impact to combat fast fashion if production were to be scaled; and/ or if the entry could provide a creative solution enabling us to move into a more sustainable future.
Sustainable swimwear brand Davy J, which is based in Newton Abbot, walked away with the winning £750 prize money thanks to their innovative stance. The audience, who were the judges of the award, were evidently impressed not only by the skirt that was made from discarded fishing nets, but by the swimming costume worn underneath, which came from Davy J’s first collection.
Founder of Davy J, Helen Newcombe, explains: “Our first collection uses 100% regenerated nylon yarn from waste, including spent and ghost fishing nets.
“An average of 640,000 tons of fishing nets are left in the oceans every year, making up 1/10 of all marine litter.
“For every ton of waste nets collected, there is enough nylon regenerated to create more than 10,000 swimsuits.”
Runners up, who each received £100, were Storm in a Teacup artist and designer, Lisa Tricoteuse; fashion knitwear textile designer, Leanne Callon; and Exeter based advocate of everything handmade, Arrietty. bottles, bags, wire, old net curtains, old road cones, hanging baskets - the list goes on. Bases can be made from anything from a rock, old wheels, or car engine parts.
“I am now at the stage where I am specifically looking for litter that will lend itself to being a mushroom.”
Rob is based in Dainton, Ipplepen, where he rents a yard, nature area and pond on the site of one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s former atmospheric railway pump houses. Find him on Facebook.
Pulling against ocean pollution
A charity auction in Exeter has raised £4,500 to combat ocean plastic pollution.
The four women behind Devon’s ‘Row for the Ocean’ team raised the sum in one night at their charity auction, raffle and boat unveiling at The Terrace in Exeter.
With just a few weeks to go until they set off on a gruelling 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the West Indies, the total is a big boost for rowers Kirsty Barker, Rosalind Holsgrove-west, Kate Salmon, and Laura Try.
They were delighted to be joined on the night by sponsors, supporters, and well-wishers. The team’s main sponsor – local company P1 Investment – had the honour of taking the wraps off Liberty, the boat that will carry the girls through towering waves of up to 40 ft as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Row for the Ocean aims to raise as much as possible for South-west based charity Surfers Against Sewage. The money will fund SAS’S Ocean Schools programme, which teaches children about the effects of plastic pollution.
The women are also using the race as a platform for the Plastic Free Exeter campaign, which they set up alongside local volunteers.
Team member Kate Salmon says: “We hope people across Exeter and further afield will continue to back our campaign against single-use plastic, as the date of our departure draws ever closer!”