How to create change in fashion

Following on from our hugely successful month of free ‘How to…’ events I wanted to put pen to paper about change. In October we covered a range from digitisation, production, sourcing and IP protection. But what do they all have in common? From a Rockett Fashion perspective we’re talking about change. Getting involved with digital tools for a new fashion system, producing as responsibly as possible, sourcing novel fabrics and utilising your IP in new and innovative ways.

We are an industry which celebrates change - usually every 6-months to be exact. We host fashion shows to celebrate newness, excitement and the future. But when it comes to the fashion systems and business models that support this showcasing calendar they tend to lag behind. So, how can we create change within an outdated system?

Here are five ways that you can create change as an independent fashion designer - no matter how small you might be at the moment:

1. Shout about your values

Is sustainability and local production important to you? Well, shout about it. Figure out what your personal and business values are right from the very beginning of your business development and then stick with them. Brainstorm the different ways that you might embed your values into all aspects of your business from your branding to your care labels and your mailing list to your Instagram bio. When it comes to values we’d recommend heading to Instagram to have a look at the brilliant @bymegancrosby.

2. Design your business

How do you want to sell? Don’t feel obliged to follow what other people are doing. You do you. Design your business like you might design your garments - with creativity, your passion and personality and a little flair. Find your groove in the industry to create and share something that you really want to develop and grow with. Do you want to sell through regular pop up stores or online through a multi-brand retailer? We love what Rebecca and the team are doing at @lonedesignclub for the future of physical and digital retail.

3. Know when to say no

I’m probably the worst person to give this piece of advice because I really need to listen to myself on this one. It’s probably only in the last few months that I’ve really seen the value in being able to say no. During my MA at LCF I worked at Harrods, for UAL, interned unpaid for various fashion brands and attended my MA lectures. I was constantly exhausted, I did nothing property and I had zero social life. All because I got so excited by all of these amazing opportunities I said yes to all of them - simultaneously. I’ve now learnt a lot about the ability to stand back and work out what is possible to do well in a certain amount of time. I talk more about this on Instagram @rockettfashion.

4. Talk about it

I’m a firm believer in talking about what you’re doing. Whether that’s in the form of social media posts, blogs, Instagram lives or podcasts. If you’re doing something innovative, different or unique tell us about it. Showcase what you’re doing so people can hear from you. The sustainable and responsible fashion communities are growing at an enormous rate on social media so be part of it! A great place to start is by checking out Becky Hughes @theniftythrifter on Instagram.

5. Read about it

If I’ve learnt nothing from lockdown but to fall back in love with reading I’ve certainly been successful. For the last year or so I’ve struggled to really get into books and have utilized my Audible subscription to get my fix. But since March I’ve really found my groove with books again. Here’s a few quick book recommendations for you when we’re talking about values and change in fashion. I've included links to buy these books from independent book sellers.

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