Fashion Roundtable’s Fashion, Politics and Empowerment Workshop
On 23rd July, Fashion Roundtable’s second Fashion, Politics and Empowerment Workshop looked at marginalisation, policy and empowerment through the lens of the fashion industry.
Beginning with a Q&A with Tolu Coker, winner of the AW19 Merit Award, which explored identity and culture in London, and how gentrification is impacting communities in the capital, the workshop brought together the voice of artists, industry leaders, academics and young professionals.
The series of workshops started with Dr Royce Mahawatte’s exploration of how the fashion industry reinforces the marginalisation of certain groups and identity traits, and invited guests to question why so many images used for advertising refers to colonial stories. After a short presentation, attendees were divided in two groups and discussed “How can companies try to address marginalisation in their fashion offer?” and “How can you take the lead on centering fashion to be more inclusive?”.
After the discussion, Fashion Roundtable’s Policy Research Assistant Rafaella de Freitas explored how group divisions (such as ethnic groups in the Census) and categorisation is used in policy, and how these classifications can increase the marginalisation and exclusion of groups. This was followed by Tamara Cincik’s overview of how social change happens, from lone voices to collective movements, and the importance of policy in consolidating change. The workshop closed with attendees sharing their feelings about being more included in policy and decision-making, and what government should do to make their voices feel more heard and included.