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FashMash relaunches Young Pioneers mentoring scheme

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

19 Apr 2022

Business

Image: FashMash

London-based fashion community FashMash is relaunching its mentoring scheme to support and nurture the next generation of industry talent with a sustainable focus.

The Young Pioneers initiative is looking for emerging fashion talent dedicated to “driving transformational change” with a focus on those who want to shape a more sustainable future.

The six-month programme was launched in 2020 in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the wider ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is intended to be inclusive for all but is designed particularly to support ethnic minorities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds to actively provide opportunities for less represented groups to succeed in the fashion industry.

After a successful first cohort, the second intake will focus specifically on sustainability, incorporating both environmental and social justice, and will team 12 senior FashMash members with a select group of those at the beginning of their careers.

FashMash opens applications for second Young Pioneers initiative with a focus on sustainability

FashMash is looking for UK applicants who are in an entry-level position within or associated with fashion, are under 27 years old, have an annual income of less than 25,000 pounds, and can demonstrate a keen interest in shaping a sustainable future for the industry through their career goals.

Those selected for the initiative will receive monthly mentoring sessions from a sustainability related senior FashMash member, networking with fellow alumni, invitations to the FashMash community’s biannual networking events as well as its mainline Pioneers speaker series, and a calendar of coaching sessions and intimate talks focused on personal and professional development.

Upon graduation from the programme, the Young Pioneers will also be invited to become full FashMash members.

FashMash co-founder Rosanna Falconer said in a statement: “Pivoting to focus Young Pioneers on those wanting to shape the future of the fashion industry through a sustainability lens was a natural progression after so much interest in the topic from our first cohort. But it was also the only option for us - there is no future of this industry without such consideration at the core of business practice.

“We’re seeking the leaders of tomorrow who can demonstrate a dedication to transformation and we’re hoping to once again open up a world of further opportunity to them through our community.”

Mentors for 2022 include Akash Mehta founder and chief executive at Fable & Mane, Ceanne Fernandes-Wong co-founder and chief executive at Cocoon, Claire Bergkamp chief operating officer at the Textile Exchange, Susie Mashford head of marketing at Ganni, Esha Ahmed founder at Omi Na-Na, Jalaj Hora vice president of product innovation and consumer creation at Nike; Rosie Wollacott Phillips group sustainability manager at Mulberry, and Steve Dool global head of brand partnerships at Depop.

FashMash co-founder Rachel Arthur added: “Today’s leadership within the fashion industry simply isn’t representative, and the subsector of sustainability even less so. At the core of Young Pioneers is a recognition that true sustainable change from both an environmental and social justice standpoint will only happen if we ensure we have a pool of diverse and inclusive talent invited to the table.”

The next Young Pioneers programme will run from July 2022, with applications closing on May 15.