Under 18s music event raises awareness about fast fashion

Performers at Future Yard’s inaugural New Noise Club <18 wore upcycled outfits designed by Wirral students to help raise awareness about the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion. 

The show on Saturday 16 July included sets by Birkenhead’s Zuzu, fresh from the release of her debut album Queensway Tunnel, West Kirby’s The Room and Wirral-based Astles and the Balloon Moon Orchestra. Each wore dramatic outfits designed as part of the TexPop project, in which local students were asked to design upcycled outfits for their favourite bands.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee for Wirral Council, said, “Fashion and music are such key elements of youth culture, so combining the two is a great way of getting the message across about the dangers of fast fashion. It’s estimated that the textile industry produces 10% of global carbon emissions, and are a large source of microplastics, so it’s really important we try to change clothing habits by encouraging people to use preloved textiles”.

Headliner Zuzu said, “It’s been so fun working with the gang on the TexPop fashion project. It’s so inspiring to see the younger generation really caring about the environment and about each other. It’s given me hope for the future!”

The concert was Future Yard’s first New Noise Club <18, which aims to give under 18s a safe space to experience live music. The dry bar events will take place every month and host some of the most exciting new artists from the North West, while also showcasing young, emerging local talent. Tickets cost £4.

Astles posted on Twitter to say, “Boss to perform in this outfit designed by young textile student Atlas at the weekend for the Future Yard New Noise project. I had no idea what to expect but was made up with this! My dreams of becoming Buzz Lightyear might have gotten a bit closer’. Astles on Twitter

Zuzu, whose singles include My Old Life and The Van is Evil, said, “It’s super important to be able to play under 18 shows in Birkenhead to get young people involved in the ever flourishing music scene we have here.”

Also playing were The Yard, a band formed at Future Yard’s New Noise Music Centre. The club takes place every Saturday morning and gives teenagers an opportunity to experiment with instruments and music-making techniques.

For more information on New Noise Club <18 or to buy tickets, visit Future Yard’s website

Five ways you can reduce your clothes waste

1. Don’t be fooled by the low price tag – fast fashion is often made from cheap materials so does not last as long, meaning we have to buy more. Buying better quality clothes means they last for longer.

2. Drop off your unwanted clothes at recycling points in supermarket and local car parks. Many high street retailers such as Primark and M&S offer clothing donation banks too. To find your nearest recycling point visit the recyclenow website

3. Did you know that 0.5 million tonnes of microfibres from washing synthetics are released in to the ocean every year? Synthetic fabrics are man-made materials like nylon or polyester. Consider natural fibres like cotton and wool from sustainable sources, which are much better for the environment.

4. Could somebody else wear your old, unwanted clothes? You can sell second hand items at sites like Depop  or Vinted , swap them with friends or siblings, or even donate them to a charity shop.

5. Clothing items in thrift and charity shops are often more unique than mass-produced styles… and are much better for the environment too. You might find something vintage that’s really cool.

Image: © Robin Clewley

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