University of Reading: Climate change fashion wins sustainability award

A range of clothing featuring a powerful climate change visualisation created at the University of Reading has won a national prize for sustainable fashion.

The eco-friendly range of textiles produced by couture designer Tammam was based on the popular warming stripes graphic depicting rising global temperatures, created by Professor Ed Hawkins. The Tammam x University of Reading partnership picked up the Best Customer Engagement Campaign title in the Sustainable Fashion 2022 awards by fashion retail magazine Drapers.

One-off outfits and accessories bearing the stripes were showcased on the catwalk at London Fashion Week in September 2021. It marked the latest adoption of the warming stripes, which have become an emblem for climate action and been shared all over the world since their creation in 2018.

Lucy Tammam, the fashion designer behind the range of clothing, said: “We set out to make starting conversations about climate change stylish and fashionable and we are so delighted to see the impact this is having.

“Our sustainable scarves, showcased at London Fashion Week, have now been sent across the world and worn by some incredible people, including top scientists at COP26.”

In naming the partnership the category winner at a London ceremony on 21 April, Drapers judges pointed out that this was a campaign that went beyond educating Tammam’s own customers. They described it as ambitious in its scope – using different events and influencers to get the message across.

Lucy Tammam (L) and Professor Ed Hawkins (R) at the London Fashion Week launch of the Tammam x University of Reading eco-friendly range
They added in their statement: “We are in a climate crisis, and any influence and recognition we can bring to that is key.”

Attendees and special guests at the London Fashion Week show at Samsung KX in King’s Cross got the first look at the colourful, hand-crafted artisan garments in Tammam’s 2022 limited edition collection.

Fabrics include hand-loomed organic cottons, peace silks and Tammam’s exclusive eco-tulle, as well as reinvented vintage suits: repurposing luxury fabrics that no longer serve their original purpose.

Warming stripes-inspired clothing being modelled at the London Fashion Week launch of the Tammam x University of Reading eco-friendly range
The warming stripes represent the average annual global temperature since 1850, using reds for hotter years and blues for cooler years to clearly show how temperatures have risen dramatically due to human-caused climate change.

Tammam’s warming stripe silk scarves – still available to buy online – were worn by climate scientist Valérie Masson-Delmotte and UN goodwill ambassador Aliza Ayaz and others at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

Professor Hawkins, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Reading, said: “Bringing about vital climate action cannot be achieved unless we do things differently and this fashion partnership demonstrates a novel approach.

“It’s brilliant to see the impact of the partnership and I hope it will help bring home the reality of climate change to more people, which will lead to more awareness and more action.”

Stripes graphics for more than 200 countries and regions are available to download from showyourstripes.info, with more than a million people downloading them in the first week after the launch in 2019.

The London Fashion Week showcase came just days after the University of Reading hosted a major Climate Education Summit, to discuss how climate change could be taught across all subjects in schools.

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