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Thread model.  Photography: Jason Kibbler.  Styling: Zoe James

BBC launches online ethical fashion magazine Thread

As ethical fashion promises to be the next big thing, the BBC has today launched Thread – a new online magazine for fashion conscious people who care about where their clothes come from.


New research conducted for Thread among 16 to 30-year-olds suggests that ethical fashion is no longer a fringe movement; almost one in three (31%) intends to buy more ethical fashion in the future. Young shoppers believe ethical fashion is a worthwhile cause, yet do not know where to turn for information on how to be sustainable and stylish.


The Thread research highlighted that young people are actively seeking information on ethical fashion and are keen to put pressure on fashion retailers to provide information on eco-credentials of the clothing they sell.


  • Half (50%) want information on the working conditions of people manufacturing the items

  • 43% would like to see organic labelling on clothes

  • 41% are concerned about the use of pesticides and toxic chemicals which are currently not disclosed

  • 36% want advice on how to dispose of used clothing and its packaging

  • 31% would like "fashion miles" declared by retailers disclosing the distance and form of transport used to get the item to the shop floor

  • 30% want information on the energy usage involved in production


Katherine Hamnett, designer and supporter of Thread, says: "Thread is great because ethical fashion promises to be the next big thing and not just a passing fad. Young people are really interested in these issues."


Thread will cut to the heart of what "ethical fashion" means, covering a range of issues from the environmental footprint of clothing manufacture, to the impact of the fashion industry on human and animal rights and why the choices we make as clothes shoppers make a real difference.


First and foremost Thread ( is dedicated to showcasing the latest in eco-fabulous style. The magazine shows you how to get the look you want in an eco-glam way through a unique mix of affordable fashion, exclusive celebrity videos and interviews, photo galleries and thought-provoking features.


It will also offer ideas and information on how to give your wardrobe an ethical makeover through a mix of shopping for new or vintage clothes, to swapping clothes with friends and customising existing clothes. Thread is proof that there are ethical options to suit your style, your budget and your views.


BBC Radio 1 DJ Nihal, a reporter for Thread magazine, said: "Organic cotton, fair trade, restyling, vintage wear ... ethical fashion is this year's carbon footprint in eco terms but it's still a new concept that we're all trying to get to grips with.


"The perception of ethical fashion as being ugly, expensive clothes for hippies is changing, it's so much more than that – I can't see myself in a hemp poncho any time soon! Ethical fashion is about affordable style, with substance.


"There are now loads of places, both online and on the high street, where you can find clothes that are produced in a way that looks after people and the environment as well as giving you the edge in the style stakes.


"Thread is the place to find them. It is a place where fashion conscious people can tap into the latest trends and get the low-down on how to adopt ethical fashion into their lives in a fun and stylish way. Go online and check it out."


Thread magazine launches on 22 April 2008 in conjunction with Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts, a new four-part series on BBC Three in which six young fashion lovers will swap shopping for the factories and back streets of India to make clothes for the British High Street, offering a unique insight into how our clothes are made.


Over the next six months Thread will also be at the heart of further fashion events and programming across BBC television, radio and online.


Notes to Editors



  • Thread has been produced by BBC Learning which delivers campaigns that aim to inspire and empower individuals to take action – action that changes their lives, benefits communities and helps to transform society. BBC Learning sits within BBC Knowledge and provides specialist learning content, formal and informal, for children and adults.

    Thread aims to raise awareness of a hotly debated fashion issue, giving young people all the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves.

    The BBC commissioned research using representative samples of 550 people (research conducted by Voodoo research). The research was carried out in February 2008.

  • Thread magazine launches on 22 April in conjunction with Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts, a new four-part series on BBC Three in which six young fashion lovers travel to India to find out how their clothes are made.

  • The photography featuring in the first issue of Thread's online Style File was taken by fashion photographer Jason Kibbler and the clothes were styled by stylist Zoe James.

  • Thread fashion photographs are available for publication on request.

  • Thread magazine will be supported across BBC channels BBC Three, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network and BBC 6 Music and on








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Category: Factual & Arts TV; BBC Three; Learning
Date: 16.04.2008
Printable version

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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