The Threads of DUCFS 2019

At what point does a problem transition into an epidemic? When does social responsibility become absolute necessity as opposed to an assumed luxury? In a fashion era characterised by compulsive buying, ‘conscious consumerism’ is at the forefront of DUCFS 2019.

DUCFS recently announced this year’s theme as The Thread, both a literal and metaphorical representation of the global citizen’s individual role within a framework of collective thinking and action in today’s socio-political climate.

A thread functions both as a symbol of individualism and collectivism. As activists we can use our own individuality to powerfully unite the student body and our generation with passion, creativity and cause. The collective is rendered useless without input of the individual; a fabric unravels without stitches of thread. This notion is manifested in the DUCFS 2019 team, from the executive committee to the models; from the events representatives to the charity volunteers.

Pippa Tatton-Brown, this year’s President, believes DUCFS is far more than a fashion show; it is a social movement propelled forwards by the collaborative work and ideas of students, who together, supported by local and international communities, can implement change.

“DUCFS proved it can make astonishing amounts of money for charity but to restrict the notion of charity solely to the passive recipient of monetary contributions does it a huge disservice. To amplify the voice of a charity a paradigm shift in attitudes, intentions and actions is a fundamental requirement. Students can bring around social change by exhibiting one crucial thing; awareness.”

It is this idealistic yet wholly achievable notion of a conscious and morally engaged form of living which we should strive towards. “The status of DUCFS as the largest student-fundraiser and student fashion show is an accolade of which we are all immensely proud. However, with it comes a sense of responsibility and duty that means we must recognise the devastating impact of the fast-fashion industry on both people and planet alike”.

Crucially, Pippa states “fashion cannot empower some whilst it enslaves others, no fashion trend is worth the cost of our grandchildren’s future”.

Our Charity Officer, Scarlett Regan, is the daily coordinator of communication between DUCFS and the Environmental Justice Foundation. “I’d say the main aspect of my role is to align EJF with the vision of DUCFS 2019. I want to achieve an undeniable sense of continuity between charity and fashion show. EJF must be intrinsically placed at the heart of DUCFS, from marketing to events, products to sustainable fashion brands.”

Vice President, Hetty Hodgson, has high hopes for DUCFS 2019 and believes this year’s show could set an entirely new direction for student fashion shows at universities across the country. “This year I want DUCFS to expand as a movement more than anything, realising its true potential as an effector of social change”.

With our Clothes Swap, festival of sustainable fashion and club nights, the exec committee are aiming for a consistently strong presence around the entire university. “It is so exciting that DUCFS 2019 can exist all year round as a student project and organiser, I’m hoping with all our pre-show events students will be able to become truly invested in DUCFS and the Environmental Justice Foundation as a cause”.

Representing the work of EJF visually is as important in raising awareness of environmental issues, as any other marketing campaign. The responsibility of this creative cohesion falls to Vice-President Jemima Bunbury.  “I want to create sustained engagement with our charity and to inspire thought and conversation surrounding such important topics”.

It is imperative to remember we all have our share in this global issue. It demands a place in our conscience so we can sustain our planet and ensure a prosperous future for the generations to come.

Liv Tomlinson