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Guilt-free fashion festival

6 Mar 2019

Belfast City Council has teamed up with fashion and textile students from Ulster University to deliver an exciting sustainable fashion event in the city from 14 – 16 March.


The three day event will include an exhibition, pop up shop, film screening and masterclass, and aims to make sustainably produced and upcycled clothing en vogue once again.


The events kick off on Thursday evening on The Barge at Lanyon Quay with an exhibition of cutting-edge sustainable fashion designs from the students, followed by a screening of the groundbreaking film “The True Cost: Who pays the price for our fashion?” Described as “A portrait of exploitation” by The New York Times this documentary tackles fast fashion head on and challenges the consumer to think twice about their shopping habits.

Councillor Kate Nicholl, Chair of People and Communities Committee in Belfast City Council said: “I am delighted that Belfast City Council is part of this exciting and worthwhile festival. The Belfast Agenda aims to create a vibrant and sustainable city and ‘greening’ the fashion industry and shaping consumer habits will contribute greatly to achieving this aim. It’s also an excellent way for our residents to learn more about the fashion industry while helping the environment, and I’d encourage everyone to come along to the events, have fun and become inspired to become more ethical shoppers.”

On Friday 15 and Saturday 16 March,  Ormeau Bowling Pavilion at Park Road will be converted into the ‘Matters Market’ from 10am - 5pm each day. This sustainable fashion flea market will have a huge range of vintage and barely worn items selected by fashion and textile students on sale  as well as the opportunity to have your favourite tired outfit brought back to life. There will also be some original creations from the student designers’ own upcycled portfolios to choose from.


Maureen Collins, course director MSc Fashion and Textile Retail Management at Ulster University said: "Retailing and fashion retailing, in particular, has been under scrutiny lately and thankfully changes are starting to happen. Our students are committed to a fun, fabulous and sustainable future for fashion and wanted to work with Belfast City Council to ensure that we are part of a movement to encourage grassroots change in consumer behaviour. It will also be a lot of fun and the chance to bag some original fashion items at great prices.”


For more information on any of the events join the Mattermarket2019 event on Facebook or email

L-R: Christabel Murray, Esther Mogada, Owen McCleery, Rachel Henry, Kendal Russell from Ulster University sorting vintage clothing and accessories in preparation for the sustainable fashion market. Kendall Russell and Christabel Murray (MSc Fashion and Textile Retail Management) sorting vintage clothing and accessories in preparation for the sustainable fashion market.