Are there ways to save a friend?
Emily needed water. Badly. She needed water not in the way Pete Doherty needs a bath - more in the way a car needs a brake.
It had been a long night. We'd been to a lot of places. It was London Fashion Week and we were on a quest - me to find the good stuff, Dominic to find a good man and Emily to find a good time.
Me, I found some fashion week winners... especially Christopher Raeburn and Henrietta Ludgate.
Christopher Raeburn's won many ethical fashion awards. He re-uses military fabrics, especially parachute silk, and his 2013 ready to wear look mixes curvy ladylike shapes with cuts inspired by old school female aviators. Plus he prepped for the fashion week season by climbing 15 Welsh mountains in 24 hours for Cancer Research.
Henrietta Ludgate also has plenty of altitude. She's from the Highlands, her studio is based there and her fabrics and sourced locally. She says she's all about 'slow fashion and a minimalist silhouette' and what's not to like about that?
I felt like I'd scored. Dominic did even better. Some fashion clichés are no more, others remain. Fashion may be heading to the ethical but it ain't heading to the heterosexual - at least as far as the men who work in it are concerned. Dominic went home a happy boy. Or rather, with a happy boy
For Emily, on the other hand, the results were mixed. As were the drinks. Fashion week is basically a long corridor filled with perky twentysomethings offering you slightly sickly cocktails while a thousand people push past you looking for someone more important.
There are two main strategies:
1) When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional (aka sip, skip and tip)
a) Sip: Take one glass every show/party, clutch it tight and hold it to your lips every 30 seconds hoping you don't absorb too much alcohol.
b) Skip: the taxis - carbon footprint sure, but also your own footprint. Pack a pair of Nikes (the company has just signed a deal to use waterless dye), slip the Miu Mius into your backpack and clear your head with a brisk walk.
c) Tip: a waiter. Slip the underpaid internsomething when they offer the canapés and ensure you're not drinking on an empty stomach. This rule has nothing to do with sustainability, but its just as essential.
2) Neck as much as you can, break your Miu Mius and make an unfortunate pass at one of the male models. (aka grip, trip and rip)
Emily went for the second option. He must have been 28 years old, possibly a dancer, probably straight, definitely going out with a powerful women's magazine fashion editor. As she lunged I was almost swept off my feet by the rush of air as all the eyebrows in the room raised at once.
Dominic and I closed into riot formation and hustled her towards the toilets. Emily resisted and we staggered to a halt next to a pool table
'You need some water,' Dominic hissed. 'To the bathrooms.'
Emily dragged a slightly chewed bottle of mineral water from her clutch. 'I got some. My refill. Sod off.'
How to handle this? - I could have told her the perils of plastic bottles - most obviously, with a refill, Bisphenol A (or BPA) which is kind of like death on a stick. BPA is basically a vicious little organic compound used to harden the plastic in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polycarbonate plastics, most commonly found? Yup. Plastic water bottles. BPA causes cancer (breast and prostate), diabetes, thyroid damage,nerve damage, sterility, damage to unborn babies, heart disease, liver damage and brain tumors and it leaches slowly into the water over time, moving faster the warmer it gets.
I could easily have told Emily that there are safe, easy ways to remove plastic bottles from your life - there's Brita's portable water filters or Reusable Filtering Bottles, which absorb heavy metals and dangerous bacteria from tap water, making it cleaner than most mineral water. Slicker and quicker, you've got Aquapax mineral water - sold in cartons looking a little like a posh version of Innocent Smoothies. The cartons recycle and contain zero per cent BPA.
I could have told her that, if she insists on bottled water, she should ditch the exotic import and look for a local brand like Belu - British water, no air miles, 100% carbon neutral.
I could have told her all of these things... but I'm not sure she would have taken it in as she dry heaved in front of Lily Cole. So Dominic and I did the one truly sustainable thing that would solve all her problems at once, dragged her to the ladies and stuck her head under the tap.
Damp girls don't flirt!