The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, Eco Age’s and the Commonwealth’s new venture supported by Swarovski, will bring together designers, craftspeople and manufacturers from around the world to illustrate the power and potential behind artisan trade skills through a sustainability lens.
Right out of the gate with high ambitions, the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange begins by working with craftsman from 52 commonwealth countries that span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. The project has long term aims, running on the premise that fashion can be a common language by introducing the world to new design skills, trade links and ethical supply chains. This will in turn drive awareness and bring forth change for gender equality, sustainable production, innovation, economic growth and poverty reduction throughout these resource connections.
To achieve these goals, the project will pair up established and emerging fashion talent of the commonwealth from 31 countries with artisans from 25 countries to create one-of-a-kind looks. The major names representing each location include fashion industry veterans Karen Walker for Australia, Bibi Russel for Bangladesh, and Burberry and Stella McCartney on behalf of the UK. Swarovski’s contribution comes in the form of support of 9 designers, including providing upcycled crystals to complete their pieces, as well as extended overall project support.
The unique designs are set to be unveiled at a special reception at Buckingham Palace during London Fashion Week on February 19th followed by appearances at several key events throughout the year.