Is fast fashion coming to an end? A glimpse at Leicester's slow fashion revolution

Plus: Holocaust Memorial Day, Leicester's hospitals and the River Soar flood clean-up.

Photo of Leicester-based fashion blogger and educator Cathi Rae posted to Instagram
Leicester-based fashion blogger and educator Cathi Rae

In focus

Is fast fashion coming to an end? A glimpse at Leicester's slow fashion revolution

by Pelumi Kolawole

In the summer of 2020, Leicester's garment factories were in the spotlight. The Times revealed shocking pay conditions, with workers earning £3.50 per hour at the hands of some of the UK's biggest fashion brands, namely retailer Boohoo.

But despite the recent controversies, Leicester remains the second-largest textile hub in the East Midlands. Our city, once the richest in Europe because of its textile industries, still significantly shapes contemporary styles and trends.

Noelle is a Leicester-based, sustainably sourced clothing brand with a focus on comfort and timeless style.

Former De Montfort University fashion student Eliza McCann launched Noelle "after working in the industry for almost six years" but "quickly realised that the word sustainability was losing its meaning and becoming a buzzword".

She said: "Sustainability should be more than just a trend. What does it mean to be truly sustainable if a product costs £3? Who is being paid?" 

Leicester-based fashion blogger and educator Cathi Rae, who has over 10,000 followers on Instagram, has been a champion of change in the fashion industry for years. 

Cathi Rea said: "I am a 60-year-old influencer. I started taking pictures in lockdown wearing my thrifted outfits, and people liked it.

"I think fashion is a terrible thing because it encourages people to get into that throwaway culture. I believe fast fashion encourages hideous overconsumption. While thrifting is not without its faults, it is better".

So, how can the fashion industry continue to grow while addressing the environmental need for people to buy fewer clothes and improving worker's rights?

Local designer Jan Hyde and her brand Antiona York were created to celebrate slow fashion. "The goal was to produce stylish, environmentally friendly pieces", said said. I always try to work with factories and seamstresses locally. I think it keeps the skills alive. I believe brands can educate and inform the younger generation to create real change".

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Weather forecast

by Phil Morrish

☁️ Monday, 29 January: A cloudy but mild day with some early drizzle. Temperatures rising by early afternoon. This evening will be dry and cooler. A fresh 25mph wind from the west. Min: 9C | Max: 12C 

☁️ Tuesday, 30 January: Another mild and cloudy day as we move further into the week. There will be a few brighter spells in the afternoon. That west wind will continue. A dry night. Min: 8C | Max: 10C 

⛅ Wednesday, 31 January: A bright but relatively cold start. Cloud coverage will increase throughout the day, with temperatures continuing to rise. Some drizzle overnight. That west wind slows down but is still around. Min: 8C | Max: 10C

🌧️ Thursday, 1 February: A slightly warmer day, but still very mild and cloudy. Temperatures will speak by mid-afternoon. Some drizzle is possible, but mainly dry. Min: 9C | Max: 13C 

☀️ Friday, 2 February: A bright day with some sunshine. The wind may pick up in some areas. A very mild night. Min: 9C | Max: 14C  

🌤️ Weekend, 3-4 February: The weekend will be warmer than previous days but still persistently mild. Some more clouds overnight with some drizzle. Sunday will be wetter, and temperatures lower. Min: 9C | Max: 14C

In the news

by Rhys Everquill

  • Holocaust Memorial Day: Leicester's Lord Mayor, Cllr Dr Susan Barton, attended a service at De Montfort University on Saturday. Read more
  • Leicester's hospitals: A critical incident declared at Leicester's hospitals has been stood down. Read more
  • Somali community centre: A community centre in Leicester was left trashed with thousands of pounds of equipment damaged after a water tank burst. Read more
  • Leicester Cathedral:  A new Bishop of Loughborough was installed this weekend at Leicester Cathedral. Read more
  • Climate emergency plan: There's still time for people to have their say on the next phase in Leicester's aim to become a net zero and climate-ready city. Read more
  • River Soar: A group of litter pickers have used a narrowboat to reach rubbish washed up by the River Soar during Storm Henk. Read more
  • National Space Centre: Leicester's National Space Centre hit a record-high number of visitors in 2023. Read more
  • Leicester's socialist movement: The Gazette writer Margaret Brecknell explores the history of Leicester's socialist movement on the anniversary of William Morris' 'Art and Socialism' speech at Secular Hall. Read more
How a speech 140 years ago kickstarted Leicester’s socialist movement
‘Events on that night 140 years ago kickstarted a robust socialist movement in the city that still endures’.

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

Ready for some glitz and glam? The Made at Curve production of Sister Act returns to Leicester for just over a week. Matinee and evening performances are available. Tickets from £10.

If you like space, the National Space Centre is hosting an evening event all about astrophotography. Tickets cost £8.

Get up, stand up! 2Funky is hosting an evening of live music in tribute to Bob Marley. Expect all the best hits. Starts at 8pm. Tickets from £13.75.

Head to Leicester Guildhall to tour the beautiful building that dates to the 1300s. Book free tickets online.

The iconic exhibition has returned to the All Saints Church. Enjoy a 360-degree experience of the artist's most famous paintings. Tickets cost £13.

Want to learn about the history of Narborough Road and its local people? Pop down to Newarke Houses and Westcotes Library to see some fabulous archive photographs.

On the market

by Rhys Everquill

Another superb character property this week. This Grade II listed cottage has a traditional thatched roof and is situated on a good-sized plot. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the one for you.

Price: £350,000

Markfield Road, Groby, Leicestershire 3 bed character property for sale - £350,000
James Sellicks - Leicester present this 3 bedroom character property for sale in Markfield Road, Groby, Leicestershire

Letters to the Editors

Email with your views and opinions to feature on the website and in this newsletter. Please include your name in the email.

Letter: The crisis of NHS ear wax removal services in England
“It is estimated that around 2.3 million people a year in the UK require their ear wax to be removed by a professional”.

Food and drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of nachos and drinks

The Tree is a trendy little craft pub off the High Street in the city centre. They have a fantastic selection of craft beers and a myriad of cocktails and mixed drinks. While providing a great selection of beverages, they also offer food: I ordered the sharing nachos. I'll be honest: I've had better and worse nachos. They weren't terrible, but they won't be winning any awards on my behalf! Paired with a cold drink, they go down very nicely.

Price: £10

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • Men's football: Leicester City strode to an easy 3-0 win against a beleaguered Birmingham side, with Jamie Vardy scoring his 193-career goal. Read more
  • Women's rugby: Luke Stratford, forwards coach for the Leicester Tigers Women's team, has been placed on a 7-week suspension after verbally abusing ref Adam White. Read more
  • Men's basketball: Cheshire Phoenix barely beat the Leicester Riders in the Trophy Semi Finals on the 27th. Cheshire took the win with a 92 – 91 victory. Watch here


by Megan Lupton

A drawing of Leicester's oldest civic building, the Guildhall, by artist John Flowers circa 1830.

A drawing of Leicester's oldest civic building, the Guildhall, by artist John Flowers circa 1830.

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