Rendez-Vous with Lola Young

Looking Good: People, Planet, Profit

Guest lectures

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At 3pm on May 10th, the Rendez-Vous series will welcome the Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, Officer of the Order of the British Empire and founder and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion.

Fashion is an international, trillion dollar industry that makes a substantial contribution to the global economy. As well as being huge business, the ways in which we dress are also a key component of how we see ourselves. Both our individual and group identities creatively interact and intersect with musical affiliation, faith, gender and sexuality, culture and ethnicity: clothing carries meaning.

While for many fashion is fun and allows freedom of creative expression, it also has a problem. Several in fact. Environmental sustainability is not sufficiently embedded in our current production and consumption of fashion; post-consumer wastage and cleaning perpetuate pollution; more landfill sites will not solve the problem of over-production.

It’s not all doom and gloom however. By working collaboratively and involving all stakeholders, solutions can be and are being found. This lecture will suggest some of the actions we need to take that will enable the industry to address environmental problems and the employment conditions of those people who work throughout global supply chains.


After an extensive acting career, Lola Young went on to become professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, a writer, broadcaster and cultural critic. Lola subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority before being appointed an independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2004. Baroness Young founded and Co-Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights and has previously served on Select Committees on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on EU. As Chair of the Young Review, and Agenda: the Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk, Baroness Young has addressed racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system and the vulnerability of traumatised women and girls respectively.

Baroness Young holds several honorary doctorates, has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations and charities, has been a Chair of judges for the Orange Prize for Literature, and The Observer newspaper Ethical Awards. Lola was chair of judges for the Man Booker prize 2017 and is now focused on strengthening legislation that addresses modern forms of slavery in supply chains, with a focus on fashion and sport.