In a groundbreaking move for the creative chain of clothes making, a retail concept has emerged amidst the bustling of Regent Street in London W1. No, it's not a new Dover Street Market look-a-like, nor even a replacement for the Matchesfashion disaster that has seen a beloved e-commerce brand bankrupt and picked apart. Instead, it's a new way to shop for the creators of the clothes we love, in a way that places sustainable sourcing right at the heart of the retail high street.

Spearheaded by The Materialist, along with The Circular Fashion Innovation Network (CFIN), in collaboration with the British Fashion Council (BFC), UK Fashion and Textile (UKFT), and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), (yes, we know it's a LOT of acronyms), this new hub marks a significant leap towards a circular fashion ecosystem. The showroom subverts the traditional physical store system to offer source material for designers and fashion industry as a library format, ready to be ordered in the lengths either desired or left.

The brainchild of The Materialist, a female-led enterprise dedicated to repurposing high-end deadstock fabrics (fabrics that are leftover or unused), the showroom boasts over 5,000 samples  sourced by Maeba International Benefit Company, one of the oldest deadstock providers. With a focus on reducing waste and overproduction, the offer serves as a catalyst for change, fostering a community committed to sustainable fashion practices while enabling all the partners more data to help inform both government regulation on the uptake and how better to embed sustainable practices into British businesses.

A recent IPF Forum highlighted how regulation and government shaping of policies for a more sustainable fashion industry is paramount to enable an even playing field.

Marianna Ferro, Liv Khan and Lavinia Santovetti, Co-Founders of The Materialist, emphasised the importance of technological innovation in meeting industry demands. By facilitating the procurement and redistribution of deadstock fabrics, The Materialist aims to minimise the environmental footprint of textile manufacturing, thus driving the industry towards a net-zero future. The showroom's role in challenging misconceptions surrounding deadstock fabrics, promoting them instead as high-quality alternatives and an integral part of the circular fashion revolution, is key. But at the end of the day, it's the quality of the deadstock fabrics that creatives will get excited by, and a space in Central London encourages touch and feel of the key component to our clothes.

Catalyzing change one fabric at a time is a small step, but an important step. The journey towards real sustainability in fashion is an incremental process - in the face of little seismic change - but the new showroom feels like a promising step within the great chain of everything that needs to move, and adapt, if we truly want what we wear to be responsibly sourced and made.

The showroom will run for an initial three months until beginning of August. To book an appointment at Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent St. London W1B 5TB, please go on the
materialist website under ‘ecosystem’