Award-winning hair stylist Anne Veck had planned to hold her first Artweeks exhibition this month at The Jam Factory, to showcase her a series of photographs ‘Toxic Fashion’. 

Anne’s images team a fashion-shoot approach with colourful yet destructive materials and a post-apocalyptic flavour, to reflect the damage the fashion industry is inflicting on the environment and people’s lives.

“I shot this collection in a scrapyard and the intention is to shock and bring to people’s attention how destructive the fashion world is to people and the planet,” she says.

“Each image illustrates a theme covering the cotton industry, ghost fishing, and the overuse of plastic, to the pollution of our rivers by chemical discharges. To achieve the looks I incorporated waste materials including daubing the hair with paint, melting plastic into the hair and plaiting it with wire.

The resulting images express Anne’s horror and outrage at the fashion industry’s lack of ethical values and their exploitation of workers. They can now be seen online as part of the Oxfordshire Artweeks Virtual Festival.

You can also enjoy thought-provoking virtual catwalk in which Anne takes the Toxic Fashion message to the stage, with appropriately eery music and statement hairstyles.

Anne’s own salon, on St Clements in Oxford, is designed with sustainability in mind -the first hair salon in the UK to be accredited Carbon Neutral and awarded a number of Green Salon accolades.

“I believe that all salons, and all businesses, have a responsibility to help save the planet by reducing their carbon emissions, cutting down on waste and supporting organisations that stand for these values,” Anne explains.

“20% of industrial water pollution is due to textile dyeing and treatment,” she says. “Pollution kills three times more people than AIDS, TB & Malaria combined and it uses 4000 litres of water to make a t-shirt. Only 15% of discarded textiles are recycled and 350,000 tons of old clothes goes to landfill each year in the UK alone. What are we going to do about it?” she asks.  

Oxfordshire Artweeks Virtual Festival runs until 25th May showcasing the art of hundreds of local artists in on-line galleries, video tours and daily themed art trails.


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