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Implementing social change with ReGo: Our Story in the Making

People working round a table
  • Written byLondon College of Fashion
  • Published date 19 May 2022
People working round a table
ReGo Collaborative Challenge workshop - Photography by Aran Knowles
ReGo and this project showcase intend to demonstrate how fashion activism can be used to shape better lives and address social justice, nurturing sustainability and prosperity for all!

— Dr Francesco Mazzarella of London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion and the ReGo Co-Project Lead

ReGo: Our Story in the Making is a new exhibition supported by Foundation for Future London and London College of Fashion, UAL exploring how fashion activism can lead to positive social change through a bespoke fashion collection, featuring students from MA Fashion Photography, BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production and BA (Hons) Hair and Makeup for Fashion.

Jewellery, bags, dresses and garments created from repurposed metal from knives received from KnifeSafe will be on display. KnifeSafe is an organisation that aims to reduce knife crime, by getting knives off the streets, by providing bins to safely and securely dispose of them. The showcased items have been co-created by young people from East London (Newham, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Tower Hamlets) in collaboration with local fashion brands including Michelle-Lowe Holder, Fibre Lab, The Reclaimery and CQ Studio.

ReGo means to put aside our ego and go again and again through a continuous process of change both in oneself and in society. ReGo: Our Story in the Making is the result of a year-long partnership between London College of Fashion, UAL's Centre for Sustainable Fashion and not-for-profit organisation Catalyst in Communities (CIC). The initial collaboration sought to connect creatives across disciplines with the aim to illustrate to young people how they can control the direction their lives take, by leveraging the power of fashion, making, and storytelling to shift the prevailing narrative around youth violence. The project had an initial focus on knife crime, and then widened to include other societal issues that the young people participating wanted to address through fashion activism.

ReGo: Our Story in the Making

"Project ReGo has enabled a multidisciplinary team to come together and work collaboratively to prevent and tackle the systemic issue of youth violence, including young people in local activities and community life in order to redesign their own future. To celebrate the achievements of the project to date, the ReGo: Our Story in the Making exhibition offers an opportunity for visitors to engage with and experience the incredible journey that has brought the project to life, including workshops delivered in local schools, student project briefs, and hands-on work experience in local fashion brands to co-create the ReGo collection. - Dr Francesco Mazzarella of London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion and the ReGo Co-Project Lead

Participants holding up banners
ReGo Project Participants holding their manifestos. Photography by Francesco Mazzarella

The three-week long exhibition opening on 19 May, will showcase the extraordinary pieces created through the ReGo project as well as a short-film and podcasts allowing visitors to fully understand the collaborations, workshops, people, and stories that have formed this unique and important display. After the exhibition, the new collection will be available to rent exclusively via LOANHOOD, the innovative rental platform offering a sustainable and accessible way to refresh wardrobes and wear unique high-end items that people might not otherwise have has access to. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting on-going educational and employment opportunities for young people in fashion.

As a result of their participation in the project, the young people have strengthened their voice and gained agency through the learning of new skills in fashion design, media and entrepreneurship, which will hopefully have a long-lasting impact in their lives. The potential focus of such a project, as well as its creative network, skills and techniques are numerous and scalable, and offer further opportunities for knowledge exchange to tackle complex social issues, through fashion activism. - Dr Francesco Mazzarella of London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion and the ReGo Co-Project Lead

To accompany the exhibition, and to launch the ReGo collection and exhibition, there will be a billboard campaign supported by creative street advertising specialists JACK, part of BUILDHOLLYWOOD, across sites in East London, showcasing an exclusive photoshoot starring the young people involved in the project.

People working round a table
ReGo participant in garment analysis session at LCF_Photography by Francesco Mazzarella

ReGo: Our Story in the Making is open Thursdays – Sundays, 12pm – 6pm, from 19 May – 5 June 2022 at The LabE20 (E20 1JB) and is free to visit.

Bag made by REGO students
ReGo Armour bag designed and made by LCF students.