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/ 19 July 2017

A lifetime of ethical fashion?

Clothes laid out on a table.

Karen Fong, who is a church minister at St Peter’s Notting Hill, discusses a major issue that affects Christians and Londoners. Through her blog writing, we can see how she has turned from a former fashionista, to become a lawyer and a woman who has questioned the relationship between fashion and religion, and whether it can be influenced by a faith in Jesus.

In the following great blog, she discussed trying to break the habits of a lifetime and starts to think seriously about the ethics and sustainability of the clothes she wears. Here she looks at the Labels, her Conscience and how it related to Life, and whether fashion and religion are obvious bedfellows, and how the latter affects the previous.

Karen starts her blog, below, by writing:

“Bags and bags of clothes lined the sidewalks surrounding the Latimer Road area.  More piled up on the floors of surrounding churches and community centres.  Just hours after the horrific fire tore through Grenfell Tower in west London last month, donations came flooding in: clothes, bedding, toiletries, nappies, food and drink from all over London. As volunteers sorted through the piles, a word that will now always be linked in our collective consciousness with the disaster cropped up in their conversations: cladding.  Not a word that was ever a part of my vocabulary until that grim Wednesday.

“Cladding is used to insulate and improve the appearance of a building.  Grenfell Tower’s infamous cladding, with its flammable core inside an aluminium casing, was installed last year as part of a £10 million makeover.  From the outside, the building was shinny and new, but nothing was done to improve safety.  In fact, it was the glittering new exterior that caused the rapid acceleration of the fire.

“In 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,100 garment workers and injuring scores of others.  It was this disaster, much further from home, that first nudged me to think about whether I knew where “my cladding” comes from.”

Read more to continue this thought provoking blog.

About Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall is a Communications Assistant. He writes for and manages the Parish Communications Network, the Creatives Network, and the Sports and Physical Activity Network. He also manages the diocesan social media accounts. In his spare time, he is a Cathedral Warden, helps run a homeless charity, loves hiking and all outdoor adrenaline sports, including biking, and rugby. He dreams of hiking to Rome and Jerusalem.

Read more from Matthew Hall

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