Team SITCUK went on a journey to discover what is being done to help reduce the impact clothes are having on the environment. Along the way we came across some interesting articles including a feature about the  Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), who’s ambition is to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. It’s good to see many clothing companies are signing up and trying to make a difference.


Swap In The City UK caught up with Lucy Shea, Chief Executive of Futerra (the industry leading sustainability communications agency) and the founder of Swishing, to find out her thoughts on the developments within the fashion industry……….

Lucy Shea

What inspired you to launch Futerra?

I joined Futerra in 2003, after Ed Gillespie and Solitaire Townsend founded it in 2001. We had d crazy dream that we could change the world. After working in sustainability for some years, the best route seemed to be a communications agency set up to make sustainability development so desirable it would become normal.


What do you enjoy most about your career?

Finding people with a similar dream, be they clients, ‘Futerrans’ (our staff) or ‘Swishettes’ (the brilliant women I’ve met at swishing parties).


Name three items on your desk.

I’m hot desking. My desk is pure. There’s just a laptop, screen and phone. Under my desk is my second hand Ferragamo handbag.


Which eco-fashion brands inspire you and why?

From Somewhere, because I love Orsola and Filipo de Castro. Also the clothes are cool. Worn Again, for keeping true to their dream of eradicating textile waste, And the catch of all eco fashion brand of ‘second hand’. Most of my favorite items started out belonging to someone else. I’m writing this whilst wearing a Linda Allard for Ellen Tracey shirt that I got at a swishing party, and occasionally glancing at my vintage watch.


Where do you see the fashion industry in relation to sustainability in 5 years time?

Leading the pack. Very soon, the way we live, work and buy will transform. Glimmers are already appearing – from AirBNB’s cool collaborative consumption to Nike’s funky FuelBand.

The fashion industry has the potential to persuade us that this kind of radical change is both good and desirable. And if it doesn’t go that way, the alternative route in fashion becoming an irrelevance.


What is the longest amount of time you’ve ever been without purchasing a single item of clothing?

365 days. From August 21st 2011 to August 20th 2012, I swished for a year. I went through the seven stages of grief – from shock and denial, through depression and loneliness, to acceptance and hope. So it was tough but good.


What advice would you give to someone attending a swish for the first time?

Get your elbows out.


Finish the sentence… sustainability is…

Like the worlds biggest swishing party. Sociable, open to all and full of potential.