When Beck and I first came together to create ethazon we desired an eco fashion place for people to dress for the world they want. Fast forward two years and we have seen a flurry of fashion trying to clean up its act, which is great for the movement, but with sustainability suddenly the word of the moment it is even harder to separate the green from the washing, so our founding mission is potentially more apt now than ever.
ethazon is about taste and transparency. We’re building an eco fashion place for people to dress deliberately from carefully selected designers and makers. We’re still working on our website, but we’ve launched a private Instagram so that followers get the first look at our recrafted accessories and thrifte vintage, whilst bigger collaborations with designers in eco fashion and dealers in reclaimed interiors are on the horizon.
If like us you’re emerging from lockdown conscious of the world in distress and are seeking a new look or a new outlook then join us. Follow @ethazon for our secret carbon conscious collection of things to dress yourself and your home.
There is nothing like a good research session to get one in the mood. I like to seek out the eco fashion and decor offering when I visit a new city, but hopefully I can skip you to the main event with my shares from Edinburgh. Sustainable secondhand usually reigns supreme in terms of physical shops to visit in a city. This is no bad thing as true vintage (at least 20 years old) and a peppering of pre-loved pieces provide that mysterious, storied appeal that make you really want to wear them, and no one likes a souvenir that doesn’t get used.
Edinburgh is rich in true vintage, but also offers that rare delight when 2 become 1. Rather than Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger and Posh’s ‘90s rendition about the bonding of lovers — and the importance of safe sex! I am referring to shops that offer new ethical and eco brands alongside vintage.
So, here are the places I recommend in the order I visited them over a few days in the capital. Everywhere on my list is reachable by foot or by bus. Just don’t pull my Londoner move and plant yourself randomly ready to pile onto the bus. Edinburgh is a civilised city and there’s a queuing system, and it seems the same goes for pubs should you need refreshment.
9 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2JA
If you’re not riding a unicorn upon arrival, you’ll feel like you are when you leave Godiva. Fleur has led her boutique through many incarnations and today, 2 become 1 with the unconventional mix of local ethical and eco brands with eat your heart out eighties and other eras housed in the backroom dedicated to vintage. The chandelier perched in the corner was given to her at a party, which makes Fleur’s the best party favour I’ve heard of. The jewellery is a highlight, including ethical brand And Mary which makes hand painted porcelain pieces in the Scottish Borders. Purrrr.
Holyrood Architectural Salvage
146 Duddingston Rd W, Edinburgh EH16 4AP
If that’s given you a taste for chandelier spotting then this showroom is worth a visit as it makes shopping for salvage easy. Holyrood Architectural Salvage is home to Edinburgh’s largest selection of antique fireplaces, but regular reclaimed items include lighting, original cast iron radiators, and a good supply of door furniture and doors – clearly organised by period or by panels.
Miss Bizio Couture
41 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AH
“Welcome to my wardrobe” says owner, Joanna as you enter (and she means it). Every visitor to Miss Bizio Couture is treated to Joanna’s personal wardrobe and the extraordinary eye she has been honing since she started collecting when she was fourteen. A stint in a high powered, high paid job before being discovered as an artist allowed her to acquire remarkable pieces, but not just because she had the money to buy luxury, as she is not impressed by labels, but driven by the key anchors we should all look for before buying: colour, fabric and fit. “Everything had to be right” she said. There is not much for less than £100, and there is not much room for browsing. It’s so unapologetic, and why not? Why visit a shop anymore if you’re not looking for a personal experience. If you’re after something alluring then Joanna will personally find it for you.
Elaine’s Vintage Clothing
55 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AH
Closed when I visited, but made it into my edit for these beautiful shutters.
Those Were The Days
26-28 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AL
Nestled next to its sister boutique, which is dedicated to vintage bridal with stock ranging from Edwardian to ’90s wedding dresses, you’ll know where to come after you’ve found love in the form of vintage Yves or Ossie Clark. A visit to Those Were The Days is a lesson in how to shop vintage and look modern. Neatly selected vintage high street and accessories suit different budgets, whilst other prices are higher, but fair for luxury labels like Chanel and Courrèges. The menswear looks like it just stepped off a Gucci catwalk and the handbags are true talking pieces.
Zero Waste Hub (by SHRUB Coop)
22 Bread St, Edinburgh EH3 9AF
On bread Street you’ll find free bread. No joke, Zero Waste Hub offers the chance to swap your pre-loved things, enjoy some rescued food and learn and share skills to make a practical difference to the world. It is designed for members, but visitors can still shop the swaps, attend events, enjoy the veggie and vegan cafe and appreciate the reclaimed gymnasium floor.
51 Bread St, Edinburgh EH3 9AH
Opened by Rachael in 2016, Carnivàle offers trinkets that intrigue, yet a layout that is easy to explore with pieces arranged by category and size. Despite offering a collection that ranges from antique to ’90s fashion, you get the sense that Rachael’s goal is to pull back the curtain on vintage fashion and encourage anyone and everyone to share a piece of her love for it. This is a good stop for traditional men’s vintage too.
151 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DP
This isn’t a shop, it’s a mood. You feel like you’re in a stylist’s studio before a photoshoot with really great jewellery and accessories to multiply the outfit potentials from what is a compact, quality edit of womenswear with some menswear. Yes, I did buy something (the oat coloured coat I am wearing in the photo below), but I also left Herman Brown inspired about getting dressed with what I already own.
Fitted dresses and thick knits were my uniform in Edinburgh. I don’t usually don one, but I’m okay with my Ally Bee wool cleavage.
Multiple locations with their flagship at 81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ
Okay it was Halloween weekend when I visited, but Armstrong’s struck me as a landmark destination for authentic fancy dress. Established in 1840, W. Armstrong & Son is the biggest emporium so they can keep prices lower. You may have to shimmy in between art students curating their university wardrobes, but it’s worth it for an affordable Aran knit.
39 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QB
Each secondhand or locally produced piece feels purposefully placed by the shop’s owner, Hannah. Wholesome objects with a small but quality mix of fashion, accessories, and items made in Scotland with surplus yarns are the focus. Hannah’s dad, John is a sustainable textile designer and creates bespoke tartans and tweeds alongside working in the family business Stag & Bruce, which is the brand behind many of the wool throws and blankets at PI-KU Collective. See @pi.ku.collective for quirky flat lays.
54 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE
The name Still Life caught my attention as it’s pleasant to slowly ascend the winding road of Candlemaker Row, where you guessed it, candles were made centuries ago. Enter this Aladdin’s Cave and you will be welcomed with art, antiques and collectables balancing on every surface, but no need to be daunted as the owner, Ewan is super friendly.
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
71-73 Raeburn Pl, Edinburgh EH4 1JG
The city has lots of great charity shops, but I think it’s good to know your shopping supports local communities. The Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland shop caught my eye with its striking window and No Life Half Lived campaign. This particular location is one of the charity’s Boutique Stores so it has a mix of vintage and pre-loved pieces, including luxury names. Good for womenswear and menswear with a little homeware.
Sara wuz also here. I hope you enjoy Edinburgh as much as I did.
If you’re looking for proof that magic exists then Kimaya’s ethical elegance will suit you.
After more than a decade working on fashion planet aka Paris, Anne-Sophie Planet swapped city life for southern India to realise her dreams as a designer.
Following her intuition, she landed in the international sustainable township of Auroville and created her eco-conscious fashion brand Kimaya.
Sitting somewhere between the forest and the ocean, Anne-Sophie writes to me – sitting somewhere between London’s Holland Park and Portobello Road – and through the wizardry of the web we realise that we both believe in magic.
“I just followed my heart. It was maybe the first and only time of my life where I had almost no expectations. I was really in the moment. Discovering, meeting new people, resting, enjoying life, taking care of myself.”
The first collection has the carefree kindness of a globe-trotting woman that is as interested in others as she is independent. Anne-Sophie wants Kimaya to bring out the best in you: the authentic. Naturally cool in organic cotton, banana silk and tencel with respect for ancient print techniques, handloom, dyes from roots, nuts, flowers and fruits, and for mother earth herself.
UNESCO has protected the township of Auroville since its birth in 1968 and today over forty nations from all age groups, social classes and cultures make up around 2500 residents.It is recognised as the first and only ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness.
Sometimes, without realising it, we live life like we’re stuck on repeat, so what advice would she give herself on arrival in India, knowing what she knows now?
“My advice would be to enjoy even more every minute of this time because living in the flow without thinking of tomorrow is precious.”
Revived with essential values: co-creation, respect for people, connection with nature and simplicity of life, she was ready to create her brand.All of the fabrics are from India, and mostly from southern India as she is keen to keep Kimaya as local as possible.
“We are so lucky to have this cultural diversity here and so many skilled people,” says Anne-Sophie who collaborates with Aurovilian artisans from India, Germany, France, Switzerland, the US and the UK.“Auroville is a laboratory, where we all experiment and learn how to grow individually and collectively. That’s unending education.”
She is aware of the part she plays as both designer and consumer. She spent the majority of her time in Paris working for small, humane designer labels, but also did a three year stint with a mass market brand.
“I have been to factories in China, India, Bangladesh, North Africa, Turkey… Always more, faster and cheaper! I was part of the play. But in a way, we are all part of the play because we are all consumers. We often hear ‘shopping is voting’ and it is true because as the final consumer, we have the last word. If we become more conscious about the way we consume and what we consume, things will change. Not only regarding fashion.”
Kimaya is designed to challenge the idea of shopping as a mindless occupation, and to encourage us to re-evaluate the relationship society has with clothing. If shopping is voting then don’t we all have the right and duty to choose consciously and express the power of the purse?
“Of course sometimes it is challenging but it is worth the work for making a change and manifesting something. I feel grateful to be part of this adventure in constant progress, to have the possibility to do what I love most and to evolve with people from so many countries, cultures and backgrounds,” says Anne-Sophie.
A real change in fashion may take more than one miracle – the meaning of Kimaya in Sanskrit – but I do believe in magic, do you?
Not putting words in your mouth, but I do love this indigo batik ‘oui’tee.
I packed learnings of balance in my suitcase back from Berlin (alongside this Resolution organic cotton tee by Cruba).
I should have known it would be a knowledge excursion when I spotted my school history teacher on our flight over.Ms Hodson taught me everything I know about Berlin’s past, and I was about to learn about the future and significant hub the city has created for the international fashion crowd that likes their lewk sustainable.
I could share spring summer 2019 trends from the Greenshowroom, now rebranded NEONYT – a combination of the old Greek and Swedish words for new, but this isn’t a show that promotes out with the old, in with the new seasonal dressing.One could note hemp like you’ve never seen it; cullotes; the colours yellow, rose, summer black, and athleisure with a persuasion for tennis above all other sports, but the newness at NEONYT is more about optimism for a change in fashion for good. The designers showing here are about capsule wardrobes with considered additions and innovation like this clever cork bag by COSSAC.
This bag will beautifully balance summer essentials – beach towel + big book, which brings me back to the dressing lesson I’m taking back from Berlin – balance.
Even though the city was sweltering, Berliners struck the balance in summer-wear they felt comfortable in that didn’t look like it belonged at the beach.Sometimes it is tough in the city to get the right harmony of skin-on-show, shoes that are pavement or even cobble friendly, but aren’t sweaty and Berlin handled the heat perfectly.
My strategy was a lotta linen, like this ’80s Oscar de la Renta dress (above) and Noumenon shirt (below) with trainers or a wedge.
And a free and easy Etro wrap skirt from my local Mary’s Living and Giving Shop worn with a COSSAC t-shirt and a choker made from surplus furniture fabric by Noumenon, as before.
The other resolution I made, actually just before Berlin was to give up gel nail varnish.I’m ashamed to say that despite making an effort to live green, my make-up bag has RSVP’d, but is yet to attend the party.I’ve swapped all lipsticks for organic Ilia shades, but I am still working through things, so next up it’s nails.People in the clean beauty scene talk in the number of chemicals a nail polish is free from – the starting point being 3-free – meaning formulas with no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate.I love having long nails and gel polishes kept them strong and long, albeit unnaturally, so I was thrilled to find vegan non-toxic 10-free formulas by Kure Bazaar. The nail polishes are nourishing with 85% of the formulation derived of natural origin, such as wood pulp and potato.
I’m wearing them shorter in Beige Milk whilst they repair, but the collection is full of awesome spring summer 19 ready colours like Sunset (above).
*Content Beauty is currently offering a free base coat when you buy two Kure Bazaar nail polishes, so it’s a good time to buy if you’re trying to cure a gel mani addiction.
The Fresh Therapies remover is designed to retain the natural oil in your nails and all of the ingredients are biodegradable, plus it actually smells good (as if you’ve just been squeezing limes).
But as ever, when you commit to resolutions, there’s always more you can do. I’ve been a pescatarian since I was nine and in recent years I’ve removed more and more dairy from my diet. Agata, founder of COSSAC and Dena, founder of Noumenon invited me and my friend Rebecca for dinner with the team from Vegan Good Life magazine. By chance, we sat by dietary group with the meat eaters on one end, vegans on the other and me in the middle. There was no logic to our seating order as we were all sharing vegan plates at 1990 Vegan Living, which was, as billed, ‘hands down the best Vietnamese place.’
I’m not going vegan yet, but I’m thinking about it, and the Vegan Good Life special edition, Ethical Fashion Today is good fashion for thought.
Nobody wants to feel like a tourist. Who us? No no, we’re trailblazers – so you can imagine our surprise when we discovered our destination of choice is Lonely Planet’s No.1 city to visit in 2018.
If like me you have to work through some guilt before enjoying your summer holiday then Seville is your sun blessed escape.My pre-trip guilt stemmed from a) taking a holiday when I work for myself and b) taking flights when I’m also working on what it means to live green.
Beyond sustainability shaming yourself, holiday stresses come from many things; your work to-do list is longer than your list of tapas bars to try; you splurged on that collab bikini between Tanja’s Crochet and AdornmentStudios; your pet-sitter pulled out; you’re already anticipating the urge to Instagram whilst being present; you didn’t buy that cute collab bikini between Tanja’s Crochet and Adornment Studios; the reasons to stress continue…
The most stressful thing about Seville is scaring yourself into thinking you might never experience that much joy again.From the moment we arrived in the city we were soothed by purple flower blossoms on the jacaranda trees.It’s like 2018’s city teamed-up with Pantone’s colour of the year to deliver the promise of intrigue for what was to come.
Purple is also the colour of mindfulness, so it’s no surprise that the Andalucian capital has a captivating way of bringing your attention to the present moment.
Eat & Drink
Seville attracts Game of Thrones fansas scenes from the series were shot in the city’s Alcázar Palace – which is stunning and absolutely on the list of things to do – but for us the main game was tapas bar crawls.
Seville is home to thousands of tapas bars so it’s good to do as the locals do and have a drink with one or two tapas and then move on to try another place.Wine by the glass is really great value so you don’t get stuck in one bar with a bottle and you get to sample more and branch out into the local speciality – sherry.My husband took to ordering deliciously dry manzanilla to mix things up.
The food is incredible so it’s hard to go wrong, but here are my absolute favourites.
You have to have breakfast at Bar El Comercio.Take tips from the local old ladies on how to eat churros – dipped in coffee without spoiling your lipstick.
I’m not a local lady so I also went for a cup of melted chocolate to dip my churros
We loved Bar Estrella for lunch. Away from the bustle, we stumbled across it when we lost our way trying to return to a tiny tapas bar we liked, but couldn’t remember the name of (which incidentally is La Taberna del ReyCalle Corral del Rey, 2, Sevilla).It’s definitely a city to get lost in and we were glad we did.We got chatting to a local guy that took us down the street from Bar Estrella to see Iglesia de San Isidoro, a church and a living example of how the building was once peacefully used by both jewish and muslim worshipers with the Star of David over one entrance and the muslim horseshoe arch decorating the other.He pointed out Moorish tiles as we meandered back to Bar Estrella and helpfully warned us not to over order here as the tapas are generously portioned.
Casa Morales is a wonderful place to stand and eat by the wooden bar or pull up a chair surrounding the giant wine vats.Originally opened as a winery in 1850, the family run place still attracts locals and is charming in a hectic kind of way with a printed menu that’s not worth ordering from as the dishes they actually have that day are all on the blackboards.Definitely sample the sherry here.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the modern Maquilla Bar.Scrumptious croquettes, really friendly service and especially good if you like beer.
Eslava is on every list you’ll read so there’s a lot of hype and you have to queue, but as this was the only time we did it was part of the experience, plus you get to people watch and sip sangria whilst you wait.Expect interestingly arranged tapas.
We chose Abaceria La Nina Bonita for our final dinner.Situated in what was once a grocery opened in 1931, the setting and menu are full of character. They deliver the food from their sister restaurant Bar Antojo, but this is absolutely the best setting to enjoy it.
The only evening we didn’t eat tapas and booked ahead was for slow food restaurant ConTenedor. The menu is presented in alternating coloured chalk on a blackboard propped on mismatched chairs that the waiter kindly translates, explaining the fifteen or so daily dishes. We loved everything about this place from the live music (on Tuesdays) to the unique wine list to the eclectic interior. Definitely save space for dessert.
When not taking in tiles and more traditional sights – such as the Alcázar and Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses pictured below – here’s some other ideas to get your heart going.
I picked-up this silver pendant below in the Sunday morning market in Plaza del Cabildo. It’s mainly for coin lovers, but worth it just to see the local men trading stamps in this monumental square.
My best flamenco experience came in the form of a visit to local flamenco atelier, Aurora Gaviño. The shop has two cabinets of earrings ranging from big to huge. I got these hand-painted tiles for earrings.
Vintage and preloved fashion can be found on Feria, the street that is transformed into a flea market every Thursday morning.I noted Crispa2 Vintage for the cute preloved Fendi bag I saw in the window, but it wasn’t on Feria street so there’s ironically a second Crispa2 somewhere else in the city.
Near the Metrosol Parasol, the giant controversial wooden mushroom structure that we thought was stunning, sits some good places for conscious shopping. Verde Moscú is a great little boutique selling eco-fashion for women and men with their own brand of clothing alongside other sustainable Spanish and European brands such as Thinking Mu, Tiralahilacha and Armedangels. I also discovered the Barcelona backpack brand Urbanita here.Isadora is another women’s boutique just in front of Verde Moscú that is more cutesy, but stocks some cool pieces by Skunkfunk.
There are lots of shoe shops, and I couldn’t leave Spain without a pair of espadrilles. La Mallorquina, Calle Córdoba, 7, Sevilla had the best classic styles in bold colours by brands that are part of the espadrille association from the town of Cervera del Río Alhama in Rioja.
There’s an intimate little club called Jazz Naima Sevilla in Alameda, which is the hip district with a beautiful square and lots of bars and restaurants.It’s free so you can poke your head in to see if you like the vibe of the music which ranges from jazz to swing, blues to funk fusion from night to night.
Check out the Triana neighbourhood across the river where the flamenco artists, bullfighters and gypsies used to reside. Triana looks a lot more ordinary than the other side, but when you explore there are some real gems like casual local bakeries and tapas bars where we sampled our first salmorejo soup (like gazpacho, but creamier). Note: If you’re veggie then it’s worth making sure they don’t garnish it with serrano ham. The indoor food market, Mercado de Triana is also worth a visit for genuinely great local food.
Packing list with what I wore from the Indigo crop at the top
Today’s eco-warrior is less hemp, more hot. I don’t mean to do a disservice to the durable natural fibre, but hemp clothing is still building a new rep amongst fashion seekers that have discovered sexy and sustainable can coexist – as they do in the #ecohot label COSSAC.
I met Agatka Kozak, the woman behind COSSAC in a café off Brick Lane in East London. The day of our interview was one of the worst snow days in the city this season, yet our café was surprisingly busy with the usual mix of hipsters and high-flyers you would expect on the border of Shoreditch and the financial district.
The concept of seasons is fluid for Agatka, which is reflected in her collections with items that can be styled up or down throughout the year – or even from day to night. This design philosophy works for the sustainable fashion-minded, along with buying less, but better, and it also works for women living in the city that want a versatile wardrobe with often very little storage space.
I’m styled-up the day we meet – making the most of the multiple accessories the Labour Behind the Label Six Items Challenge rules allow, but both Agatka and her intern Mao look at me and shiver as I take a seat in less layers than suitable for the weather.
Thankfully, this is the second time Agatka and I are meeting, and she’s used to seeing me half-dressed as the first time we met in a Hoxton hotel suite at her shopping and preview event. I bought an asymmetric midi dress just before I started my challenge, which is impatiently waiting in my wardrobe to be worn. My dress encapsulates the COSSAC signature of effortless sass and I can’t wait to wear it.
“People don’t like to be told off” she says as we get past niceties and down to the nitty gritty topic of ethical fashion. “If we were only aiming at ethically minded people, we would be out of business.”
COSSAC treads the balance with a non-preachy, yet transparent tone about the materials, manufacturing – even garment neck labels are made of recycled polyester. “For me it’s a standard, I don’t necessarily scream loads about it but if someone asks me, I explain.”
Agatka emphasises the importance of balance, as it is that which allows her the freedom to create the newness the fashion industry demands, whilst maintaining her mission as a sustainable designer. I clutched onto maximising usefulness in COSSAC’s manifesto, as the Six Items Challenge has made me think more about how my wardrobe works for me. She adds more food for thought with the fact that “apparently we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.” I want to have some kind of useful fashion formula by the end of my challenge and to create a new relationship with my clothes – upping the average number of wears each garment gets.
As well as designing, Agatka also shops consciously, and (aside from wearing COSSAC most of the time) before making a purchase she asks herself if she will wear it at least 30 times.
Just like sustainable shopping, sustainable designing comes with its challenges, for example when your collection orders amount to more than the quantity of deadstock fabric you have to make the pieces…Thankfully COSSAC has built great relationships with buyers, so she could utilise some beautiful deadstock fabrics that came with a warehouse one of her manufacturers recently acquired. The fabric would have either been recycled or chucked, as nobody else wanted to deal with the difficulties of working with it. Agatka has overcome the challenges of deadstock fabric by agreeing with the manufacturer and buyers that when it runs out, extra orders will be fulfilled using other organic fibres.
Sourcing fabrics locally allows Agatka to keep the carbon footprint and the costs down for both the brand and her customer. There is an increasingly enticing selection of sustainable fabrics on the scene, and she is always researching new options, but also adamant about keeping her brand affordable.
Other strings to her sustainable bow include candles and organic perfume. I bought one of the first editions of Her – the debut COSSAC fragrance (which officially launches in August) and it lives in my handbag as a secret mood-lifter.
Currently partaking in many perfume courses and exploring the health benefits of essential oils, Agatka’s next mission is not only to dress, but de-stress her customer.
“The woman I design for, in my head she lives in the city, so on top of having amazing scents, it could have stress relief benefits”.
We end on Fashion Revolution as the week that encourages us all to ask brands ‘Who made my clothes’ is fast approaching on the 23rd – 29th April 2018. The campaign also encourages us to remember the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where over 1000 people were killed and many more were injured on 24th April 2013.
Incidentally, Mao, Agatka’s intern is starring in this year’s campaign (pictured far left).
COSSAC offers a refreshingly realistic perspective for an ethical brand with the realisation that women often buy fashion first, but that sustainability is also an increasingly expected added value. COSSAC caters to modern women who want to feel feminine, empowered and beautiful inside and out.
“I just want everyone working on my brand to be happy. There’s a very humane element, like I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew that someone was miserable. I want to go to bed every night with a clear conscience.”
The new COSSAC collection Transeasonal Diaries is available to shop now.
COSSAC counts global stockists. Check out the full list here.
And if like me, you’re obsessing over the jewellery worn with COSSAC clothes throughout, check out jewellery designer Naida C. Castel.
sample vial of Edition PerfumeShe Came to Stay inspired by the novel written by Simone de Beauvoir in 1943. A unique stocking filler or just an excuse to top-up the shopping basket and enjoy the holiday discounts on Content Beauty when you spend £30+ (ends 29th Nov 2017)
Part free spirit, part dedicated fan of fashion, 10 years in the industry has ingrained particular months (before fashion weeks) when I feel the clothes in my wardrobe aren’t cutting it. Coupled with 10 consecutive grey London days and counting, I know I am not alone with wardrobe woes in this transitional weather.
A lack of inspiration can lead to impulse buys for fast fashion pick-me-ups. The disappointment is that they rarely satisfy our need for long, as research by McKinsey proved with the stat “nearly three-fifths of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made.”
A woman “ain’t what she wears but, what she knows.” Do you know that know that India Arie lyric? Well, this woman has been educating herself. I just took a free online course by Future Learn with Fashion Revolution and Exeter University called Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution is a global movement for transparency catalysed by the fatal Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. The course lifted the lid on issues facing the global fashion industry and made me even more conscious about materials and the things I consume.
To solve transitional weather dressing with sustainable choices, I collaborated with neighbouring business, Ethical Collection, an eco-luxury boutique. Ethical Collection is a force for positive change, founded to enrich the lives of the women that shop with them as well as the lives of the people that make their products.
I fashioned a Mara Hoffman summer slip dress with this grey trench by Kowtow and they felt amazing. Arms free, slips are so comfy and perfect for layering as the season changes, whilst the relaxed-fit trench felt like soft denim, which can be both cool and cosy. I wore them with the knowledge that the dress was made of Birla Viscose – made from the pulp of sustainably harvested trees, and the trench was made with Fair Trade organic cotton, so you could say my test-wear was biased. Once you know, you can’t un-know and what is fashion, if not for making us feel good?