I work and collaborate with a charity each season and sustainability is integral to this process. Through this collaboration with communities and charities, I hope to create collections embedded with real people and hope to cause a real effect in the social space we engage with. This will be accomplished through a cycle of exchange, generating profit, which will be given to connected charities, continuing the cycle of exchange.
I believe fashions’ reflection upon the world can create positive change. We try to encourage British Craftsmanship by working with local craftsmen and women factories and suppliers, to create traditional handcrafted techniques within print, woven, knitted and embroidered textiles. Similarly, all garments are 100% recycled or organic, consisting of organic or recycled components, i.e. materials, zips, threads etc.
What challenges have you faced as an emerging ethical fashion designer?
The most challenging part of ethical design is time, as sourcing of materials, ethical design, processes and production are very time consuming when developing collections. Additionally, the cost of producing in the UK is much higher and using hand made processes effects your wholesale price points when selling to stores. However, I believe this time and effort is needed to know your source. The buyer is becoming more aware of garment production and wanted to know how their garments are being produced, and their footprint on the planet.
From your experiences as a recent fashion graduate, do you feel that sustainability is something valued enough in the practices of other young designers around you?
Definitely, I think designers are looking at the impact our industry in making on the planet and designing more smartly so that quality isn’t jeopardized whilst finding sustainable solutions. I’ve also been working larger brands which have been developing innovative design and production techniques. For example, Kering has developed the process of tanning Gucci leather for bag production, without the use of heavy metals. The process is more sustainable but also costs the same to produce.
“I BELIEVE THAT SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES GO HAND IN HAND AND THROUGH EXPLORING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE ISSUES, WE MAY FIND INNOVATIVE DESIGN SOLUTIONS TO SUSTAINABILITY.”