On Monday 17th November, London Ethnic hosted a Fashion and Politics Champagne Brunch within the Jubilee Room
at the Houses of Parliament.
Some of the most senior UK politicians with a fashion remit were in attendance including Damian Collins MP; (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fashion & Textiles) along with Baroness Lola Young (the Ambassador for the Ethical Fashion Forum amongst other roles).
The event was hosted by Seema Pathan from TVs political debate show The Wright Stuff, with talks from MPs and fashion pioneers such as the founder of Fashion Revolution Day Carry Somers.
The brunch was organised as an official event for Parliament Week, the aim of which is to engage young people with parliamentary activities and inform them of the importance of politics in their daily lives. Invitees included students from London Universities, members of the London fashion world and politicians. The MPs were on hand to answer questions about how Parliament can campaign for change and make a difference to young people’s lives, Tom Brake, Deputy Leader of the House said, “Whatever field you are in, we can do one thing in Parliament that no one else can and that is to change the laws in the country.”
The speakers talked about the many ways in which fashion and politics are linked. Damian Collins MP said, “Fashion and Politics are intrinsically linked. Fashion is about personal expression and politics is about personal expression. The UK is a world leader in Fashion & Textiles.”
One change that many guests wanted to see was the working conditions of factory workers producing garments for the UK. Nick De Bois MP a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh explained, “Parliament will always be at its best when it reflects the people it represents” he furthered the importance of the government’s role in the public being aware of the ethics behind clothing production, “London Ethnic is addressing the question; where are your clothes produced? Consumers need to be informed about the clothes they buy and the conditions they are produced in”
Besides the young people in attendance the event also promoted women’s involvement in Parliament, Chloe Smith MP, who became the youngest MP in the house when she was elected, “It’s great to see so many women here. It’s been really nice to talk to all the people you’ve brought here at this very important event.”