Fashion designer, advocate and writer – just a few of the many titles held by Céline Semaan-Vernon. She is also founder of The Slow Factory, a sustainable fashion agency aiming to redefine fashion into a zero waste, circular economy. And, she is founder of the Library Study Hall, which produces a conference series promoting sustainability literacy called Study Hall. Through her work at Slow Factory, Céline has pioneered new materials and also coined the term “fashion activism”, i.e. using fashion as a medium for social change.
Why do you work in sustainable fashion?
Fashion is culture. It’s an effective way of spreading ideas, specifically around climate and the need for change, since it’s something everyone engages with. We all wear clothes and fashion touches everyone.
Tell us about one item of clothing from your closet that embodies sustainable fashion.
I live in Mara Hoffman. Her products are made sustainably, they last, and they’re versatile. We’re currently working with her and her team through the One X One initiative.
What do you think is the biggest achievement of the sustainable fashion movement?
The fact that it’s been getting the mainstream attention is a huge deal. More people are talking about it than ever and creating awareness. This needs to continue growing and go even deeper.
With regards to making progress towards building a sustainable fashion industry, who do you want to thank and why?
I want to thank black and brown Indigenous people who have been leading this movement for thousands of years.