First sustainable fashion event celebrating county's fibre growers and makers is declared a big success

Jenny Morisetti, Creator, Defashion Dorset (centre) with speakers Sara Arnold (left) and Elizabeth Keach. Picture: Saj Collyer.

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: June 4, 2023 | Updated: 5th June 2023

A sustainable fashion event celebrating Dorset’s fibre growers and makers has been declared a big success and will be back in 2024.

Defashion Dorset was held at Hawkers Farm near Shaftesbury.

The inaugural event hosted a variety of workshops and exhibitors andwelcomedvisitors from near and far including Wales, Winchester and Weymouth. 

Jenny Morisetti, Creator of Defashion Dorset, said: “The event was a huge success.

“It was gratifying to have so many people attend, all with a common interest in supporting local fibre growers and makers.

“The natural fibre movement is 15 years or so behind the local food movement, but it is certain to be ‘the next big thing’.

“We consider ‘food miles’ so why not ‘fashion miles’?” 

Jenny, pictured left, is passionate about sustainable living and bringing new life to discarded clothing by redesigning or visible mending.

As a member of Fashion Act Now, a community of individuals on a mission to challenge and transform the values behind our clothing systems, she was inspired to organise an event to promote a local clothing culture.

Aiming to explore and encourage regenerative practices in the community, Defashion Dorset was committed to putting the planet first and drawing attention to the local businesses and individuals who are making a difference within the fashion industry. 

Attendees enjoyed a variety of activities including workshops, demonstrations, speakers and exhibitors.

Visitor Jo Edwards said: “The atmosphere in the barn was buzzing, with all the second-hand and antique clothes, the hand-spun and dyed wool, the haberdashery and sheepskin stalls.

“Whether an antique ball gown or a French peasant skirt, all the jackets, dresses, suits and skirts were ready to be re-purposed, re-formed, re-accessorised or re-decorated for a new lease of life.”  

Exhibitors included:

  • Jo Nash Textiles with her hand-spun, naturally dyed woollen products.
  • Second to None showing off a curated collection of natural fibre second-hand clothing
  • Honnor & Queens with bespoke, statement, headdresses made from recycled, locally sourced materials,
  • Snooks Farm Alpacas showcasing luxury alpaca and sheep goods including rugs, clothing, make yourself kits and much more. 

Workshops taught methods of enhancing, embellishing, and mending clothing including Shibori, a Japanese tie-dye technique, visible mending and weaving patches.

A panel discussion featured Sara Arnold, Founder of Fashion Act Now; Rachel Worth, Professor of History & Dress at Arts University Bournemouth and Elizabeth Keach, Co-founder of Atonement Ltd. 

Lynne Franks OBE, best-selling author and Founder of SEED, pictured right, said: “So happy to visit Defashion Dorset, set in organiser Jenny Morisetti’s glorious organic farm, where numerous workshops and exhibitors showed and talked wonderful Defashion.” 

Jenny is the Chair of Sustainable Dorset, promoting the Dorset Green Living Guide, and is currently working towards a joint event with Dorset Climate Action Network and Zero Carbon Dorset in the autumn.   

She said: “We had some incredible feedback from visitors and stallholders who all wanted to know when the next event will be.

“A Sustainable Fashion Week event at the beginning of November is being considered and Defashion Dorset will be back in 2024, hopefully growing into an even bigger event that will help people to transition to a local clothing culture.” 

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