Talking Sustainability with Emma Slade Edmondson


On this International women´s day it seems only appropriate to celebrate a truly inspiring woman.

We asked thought leader and girl boss Emma Slade Edmondson, who is renowned for her transformational work within the charity retail sector a few questions about sustainability.

1. Tell us about yourself and what you do…

I do many things but lots of those sit under the umbrella of consulting for sustainable and ethical brands, brands who are working towards being more sustainable and ethical and charity retailers. I help these brands with everything from Marketing Strategy and crafting their brand and creative direction - to events, production and connecting them with the right suppliers for their ambition. 

I am probably more well known for my work with charity retailers  and charity fashion live - I often work with charity retailer to help them to change perceptions around what’s available in their stores, to attract a younger fashion focussed crowd by helping them shape their comms and visual representation so they can show their target audience the type of thing they want to see in the places they tend to hang out online or IRL. 

And then there’s my initiative Charity Fashion Live which saw myself and a creative team recreate London Fashion week looks in real time with only what we could find in a single charity shop at the time. We did this for 6 seasons with a view to get younger people interested in second hand fashion and textiles and to open the door to conversation about sustainability and a thoughtful approach to fashion and fashion consumption. 

Everything I do is with an eye on sparking and nurturing behaviour change - for example I recently Co produced and creative directed the Love Not Landfill pop up shop (an event with The London Waste and Recycling board) This was focussed on getting 16-24 year olds into the space to consider second hand clothes as a viable option for them and to introduce them to sustainability fashion facts. 

2. What does sustainability mean to you?

It’s a very big, tough daunting journey we are all on. In the words of Greta Thunberg - we are on it whether we like it or not. Some of us got started earlier than others. But ultimately the sooner people get on the road - the better off we will all be... people do have the power to instigate change and sustainability is an example through which we can literally see this playing out. 


3. How does sustainability or ethics play into your work? 

Like I say - the work I do tends to be focussed on creating behaviour change over time. With this in mind many of the projects, campaigns and strategy I work on for brands have some agenda that intends to either open a conversation around sustainability with new audiences or to educate, create further apeal for sustainable, ethical and second hand alternatives to fast fashion. 


4. Who are your favourite sustainable brands?

 I tend to by second hand from charity shops and vintage shops as a first port of call but for a treat when I really want want something new I love Lucy and Yak, Veja, Mara Hoffman and Reformation. 


 5. What is next on the agenda for you? 

I’d like to do some broadcast work around my favourite topics and to further promote the value in making a switch to second hand textiles as a core fashion option. 

I’d also like to carve out some time to work on a book that would have a similar ambition. 

Check out Emma´s work on her website 

& Instagram