THE BLOG

Stitched Up?

17/02/2014 11:48 GMT | Updated 16/04/2014 10:59 BST

Quite likely yes.

London Fashion week was declared open this morning by Natalie Massenet of the internet shopping haven ne-a-porter and the shows as you're reading this are well under way. Editors flying half way across the world heading back from under grey clouds at Marc Jacobs to close NYFW. Has anyone in this circuit (bar the money men at the top) eaten? Unlikely. Has anyone slept? most certainly not. Am I a pot calling a kettle black? Yes.

Getting ready at the office, to jump into a taxi to take me down the road, we can go with one of two things, a journalist or simply a part of a machine.

Whizzing though my twitter feed as I took my seat last night I happened to see the perfectly poised editor supreme Anne Wintour sat beside trophy beauty Lupita Nyong'o watching a parade of women present themselves in a beautiful array of attire but not for a second would I have changed my seat.

"Radical gadfly" activist Tansy Hoskins chose The Rag Rooms to launch her book Stitched Up and what a fantastic array of people she got into the mix. As the glitterati of fashion present themselves in all their 'aspirational' glory, a very real discussion took place. Beyond the surface and behind the iron gates money allows the fashion industry to buy, before Phillip Green's fireworks shoot off under the pretext of creativity, individualism and 'Unique' the fashion industry got a look in, a glance in a very different way.

An industry with women at all levels; an all female panel took to the stage, model, author, activist and journalist different in their jobs, different in their roles but sharing a vision for change.

Water pollution and pesticides; asking the audience to keep pulling at that thread, pulling until it unravels and showcasing the real fabric of the piece at hand. Ethics aren't exclusive to fashion, ethics are principals, morals, ideas that are universal and don't discriminate. We can ask ourselves, where is our food coming from?

A teacher asks but what does the average person do, "I buy pants and do own a smartphone" is it not the system that needs to transform. We shouldn't be in a position where the ethically sourced and ethically produced isn't the mainstream. But in order to get there it is us who will have to fight for that change.

The rights of workers paid five pence an hour for eighty hours of work a week, abuse in the work place from the textile producers to the garment makers, interns at design houses and the models on shoots all left vulnerable to abuse. It is not a matter of which is worse and as Dunja Knezevic, president of the models union put it last night "there will always be causes more bleak than the ones you are fighting for but does that mean you do not try to achieve change"

Fashion may seem fickle to some, but it's beauty can be awfully deceptive. The female form so often picked, prodded or bleached might just be getting used to it. Abuse is rife in the work place and statistics don't shy away from presenting that. Sexual harassment - doesn't stop within the confines of Hollywood it doesn't stop within the fashion circuit and will not alter until real change is called for. This is not just about wages this is about systematic abuse. Empathy and solidarity must be at the centre of any campaign.

Everyone has the ability to make change, take action and make decisions, we walk on the worlds grounds and we consume from what it produces and we are all a part of the same struggle. There are no gender, racial or religious grounds when it comes to our ethics in dealing with each other.

Problems need to be tackled right from the top, within the garments industry a transparent supply chain and a review of our hoarding culture. The vilification of working class families does know one any good. Why is it that the price of clothes is the only thing in the UK that has gone down? Mobilize and start asking questions as Leah Borromeo said in front of the packed audience last night ask yourself "when you bag a bargain who pays for it?

A trend for change and a trend for action that's my review for the season to come -

spring/ summer 2014 coincides with Fashion Revolution Day one year on from Bangladesh's Rana Plaza factory collapse, one year on from the biggest industrial disaster in modern times.

A few weeks ago, I attended a function in Westminster's gold gilded houses of parliament, the function launching the 2014 list for the British Bangladeshi power & inspiration, happening to find myself on this list for anyone who wishes to listen to anything I have to say, untie those folds and pull apart those threads, if I can inspire you to do anything let me inspire you to change.