Slow fashion designer inspired by Steel City fights against fast fashion

A sustainable fashion designer who takes inspiration from her home city of Sheffield is leading the way in changing the landscape of fast fashion in the UK.

Christiana McKenna, 25, started her fashion brand ‘Christiana’ after being made redundant from her role working as a Design Assistant in London, due to COVID-19.

Miss McKenna said: “It gave me a chance to do my own thing.”

Christiana, as a brand, focuses on using organic materials that have been made sustainably.

By using thread made from plastic found in plastic bottles and sourcing organic fabrics from across the world to ensure that her work has a positive impact on the environment.

Miss Mckenna said: “At the minute I’m recycling old stuff.

“I like keeping the clothing’s details to show that it has been recycled.”

She says the location of her home city, close to the countryside and the Peak District, has inspired her to help create “a more sustainable future, with zero waste and more positive impacts on our environment”.

Her first collection, entitled Made in Sheffield, took inspiration from the silhouettes and details of the steelwork structures that litter the city’s skyline as part of its steel industry.

In the last year Miss McKenna’s brand has received praise from British Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Miss McKenna, whose studio is in Dronfield, said that social media platforms like TikTok are helping push slow fashion into the mainstream.

She said: “You can really see a community forming against fast fashion.”

On Monday Sheffield Friends of the Earth and Rotherham Climate Action held am online event ‘How to Finish with Fast Fashion’ raising awareness on ways to buy more sustainable clothes.

According to Sheffield Friends of the Earth, the industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste annually.

Sheffield Friends of the Earth Area Coordinator, Lindy Stone said: “Fast fashion is such a danger to the environment now that fast fashion is responsible for 10% of total global carbon emissions all measures are welcomed.”

The event boasted many ways in which you can act more sustainably including buying preloved clothes, repairing clothes and buying from sustainable companies.

Ms Stone said: “The creativity of work such as Christiana is wonderful, as well as sustainable and also points the way for simpler measures such as basic repairs which we can all be part of.”

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