Kate Middleton is particular about the charities she chooses to attach her name to, often opting to support much needed mental health initiatives. This year, however, the Duchess is getting involved in another industry that’s near and dear to her heart: fashion.
Kate is set to be a judge at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange’s inaugural event in which 31 designers and 26 artisans hailing from one of the 52 Commonwealth countries will each reveal a sustainable fashion look to a panel of style insiders.
According to the Fashion Exchange, each designer was asked to dream up a look that would showcase the “creative skill and design ethos of each partner.”
The event is set to take place on February 19 at Buckingham Place. There’s no word on whether Kate’s grandmother-in-law will make an appearance, too, but given the location, it’s fun to imagine Queen Elizabeth casually sauntering down a set of gold stairs to take a peek at the eco-conscious designs.
The Fashion Exchange was created by, Livia Firth’s company, Eco-Age, a collective that celebrates sustainable design practices–and brings to light the negative impacts of fast fashion.
For the first time, established and emerging fashion talent from across the Commonwealth’s 52 countries will come together to showcase the power and potential of artisan fashion skills to deliver new networks, trade links and highlight sustainability through The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange. The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is an ambitious project with long term aims, that is being developed in partnership with @Swarovski, @thewoolmarkcompany and @matchesfashion , who will launch an edited collection in September this year. A very special thank you to @theroyalfamily @britishfashioncouncil @commonwealthfashion @buildanest @googleartsculture #FashionExchange
“Fashion is a huge weapon, because we are all connected to the clothes we wear,” Firth said in an interview with Vogue. “By utilizing the commonwealth…and through the potential of the artisan fashion trade, we can have a positive impact on female empowerment and poverty reduction.”
Designers participating in this year’s Fashion Exchange event range from up-and-coming names to well-established ones. Lucian Matis will represent Canada in a collaborative project with Namibian designer Omba Arts.
Other names include Stella McCartney and Burberry representing the UK, and Karen Walker for New Zealand.
“This is a project rich in partnerships and creative co-design. For example, one of our very talented designers from India is paired with an artisan group in Tuvalu,” Firth added in a press release. “As someone who is passionate about joining the threads of global fashion and creating real partnerships you can imagine how exciting it is for us to be involved.”
Everything that Kate Middleton wears, the world watches in detail, so her involvement in an event that educates the general public on the enormous amount of clothing waste that ends up in landfills and the detrimental impact of fast fashion makes a powerful statement. If Kate’s onboard, so are we.