Zandra Rhodes X People Tree

Fashion

“I can see the roots of feminism and the ‘real political change’ spirit of the sixties in these prints; the culture of peace, caring and democracy – power to the people!” – Zandra Rhodes

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Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes?

Articles, Fashion
Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes? | Photo: fashionrevolution.org

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the devastating Rana Plaza collapse killing more than 1100 people.  Since the collapse people are seemingly more aware of the processes that go into the making of their favourite garment, but with the ease and affordability of high street retailers are people willing to do something about it? With Primark (one of the retailers manufacturing at Rana Plaza) reporting profits up 14% on last year and plans to open their first US store this year it would seem not.

Fashion Revolution came up with the “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign to mark the anniversary of the disaster, encouraging people to wear their clothes inside out, photograph themselves and tweet the retailers asking WHO made them.  A fantastic idea that makes people question where their clothes are made, and puts pressure on retailers to react and be more open with their ethical policies.  However, although I do think this idea has merit, I also feel quite sceptical.

With Primark’s profits soaring I feel as though, yes, people are more aware of the production process of a garment but it isn’t altering their shopping patterns.  If people are willing to shop in places such as Primark then what will make them wear their clothes inside out and fight for change?  I just feel that the people who are likely to have worn their clothes inside out are the ones who are already interested in changing the way we make our clothes.  In fact, when looking through the #insideout street style photos on Vogue.co.uk many of the items worn were either vintage or from a variety of ethical brands.

Magazines were quick to report on the Rana Plaza disaster when it first occurred but are keen to be the first to showcase the newest collection from fast fashion brands.  Again, they have been a voice for Fashion Revolution’s campaign for change whilst still advertising brands known to have below standard ethical policies, something I strongly think needs to be addressed.   I believe that if we really want to create lasting change when it comes to fashion we need to look to our fashion magazines to put more emphasis on ethical and sustainable fashion and not to forget the manufacturing process when it comes to a pretty dress with a low price tag.  There are many brands out there fighting their ethical and sustainable corner but getting little recognition in magazines,  we need to stand up for these brands, spread the word and help show people how beautiful ethical fashion can be.

What are your thoughts on Fashion Revolution’s “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign? Did you wear your clothes inside out?

 

{This post was written whilst watching The Sound Of Music (Maria is the ultimate upcycler – curtains into all those outfits!) and eating Champagne truffles!} 

Dream summer wardrobe moodboard

Dream Summer Wardrobe

Fashion, Uncategorized

“The sun has got his hat on, he’s coming out to play…”

I am loving this sunshine despite the fact it’s still actually quite chilly in the shade and I haven’t yet ventured out without my coat.  Even so this beautiful weather is making me crave hot summer days and long summer evenings on the beach.  As I’m not yet brave enough to get my legs out I have created a little moodboard of dream items to add to my summer wardrobe.

Ethical Summer Wardrobe

I am rather desperate for a pair of sandals and TOMS have got a really beautiful range of sandals this year.  As a company they have come a long way from their roots whilst still staying true to their ethos, for each pair of shoes bought they give a pair to child in need. I love this company for a million reasons and I cannot wait to get my hands feet on a pair of the sandals.

I can’t go wrong with a good skirt and People Tree have some really pretty patterns (they’ve teamed up with Orla Kiely, enough said!) and colours, I will definitely be getting some of these over the next few months!  I know I have mentioned Reformation in quite a few posts over the last few weeks, for which I am sorry (not sorry, I am borderline obsessed with the this company), but they really do have the best selection of dresses I have seen from an ethically minded company.  Although they are a little out of my price range I will continue to stare, and drool, over their delightful range of beautifulness (hey, it’s a “Dream Summer Wardrobe” right?)

I am a real sucker for a floral pattern and a kimono style top (I’m even wearing one now – seriously) they are just perfect for covering up a little when it’s hot without overheating. They also make a pair of skinnies look a little bit more interesting without having to try to too hard (something I live by!).  This Annie Greenabelle kimono is quite possibly one of the most perfect things I have ever clapped eyes on, and I have a feeling I will be wearing it before the month’s out.  The floral sleeveless shirt is by Komodo, an ethical brand I have just stumbled upon. I really love the colours and patterns in this shirt, if their future ranges continue in this theme they will have a very loyal customer in me!
Finally, the beautiful Breton striped top.  As you may know I get weak at the knees at the sight of a classic Breton, and this contrast yoke top from Seasalt sent me into 60s/French Riviera stupor. The ‘saffron’ coloured yolk screams summer, but with it being a cotton knit it’s perfect for Spring or a slightly cooler summer afternoon. I love this top more than words can say and I hope to find it folded neatly in my chest of drawers in the coming weeks!

After all that I am sufficiently summery and desperate to chase the ice cream man down the street.  How are your summer wardrobes shaping up?   What are your favourite  pieces for the season?

{This post was written whilst listening to Francoise Hardy and eating a very juicy mango}

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Be a mega babe, get married in Reformation

Fashion

“It’s a power move to have smoking hot bridesmaids, trust us, it says I’m such a babe that I’m really not worried about anyone out shining me” – The Reformation

 

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, Spring is here and Wedding season is looming. What perfect timing it is for The Reformation, an LA based sustainable clothing label, to launch their first bridal collection, and a stunning one at that.

The label was launched by Yael Aflalo to combat the growing disparity between people and the environment, and the fashion industry. She wanted to create a brand with a conscience, a brand where “you can change the world without changing your style”. All clothing is made either from viscose, woven in a mill free of toxic substances and dyes, or deadstock material, leftovers from fashion houses who’ve over ordered, which is then turned into their fabulous garments in their own downtown LA factory.

The wedding collection, with the rather wonderful subheading of “f*ck, you’re getting married” features a beautiful array of flowing fabrics, spaghetti straps, cap sleeves, plunging V-necks and scooped backs. Soft, draping dresses, and short, flouncing frocks in a range of colours and floral patterns. It really has everything you need for a Romantic, ethereal wedding party.

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Ambrosia Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Ambrosia Dress | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

I absolutely adore these shots, not only do they show off the dresses perfectly but also evoke a sense of romance and fun, just what you need on your big day.

Whether you’re a #REFBRIDE or #BABESMAID whichever outfit you opt for chances are you won’t be disappointed. After all, as The Reformation say, “why wouldn’t you want to look like a mega babe on your wedding day?”

{This post was written whilst listening to The Pixies and eating shortbread}

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS, my pyjamas have arrived

Fashion

As many of you probably already know I have a small (read enormous) obsession with pyjamas. I love them; matching sets, pockets, elaborate piping, flannel, cotton, shorts, plaid, stripes, monkey faces, you name it a version of these pyjamas have passed through my pyjama drawer at least once. So imagine my insane excitement when I spotted ALAS (All Light All Shadow, an Australian sleepwear company) on the ASOS Green Room. *cue a whole lot of girly squeals.*

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS have created a brand that is socially and ecologically responsible. Their sleepwear is made from organic cotton, grown, spun, woven and dyed in India. They ensure the cotton is grown without using dangerous chemicals, pesticides and dyed without using harmful AZOs and formaldehyde. They also ensure all their packaging, swing tags and business cards are recycled and recyclable, which means their pjs are packaged in the most amazing way.

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

Yup, that’s a little box. My pyjamas arrived this morning neatly folded in this little cardboard box, with phases of the moon cut out on the top.  Cute, no?  Aside from the amazing packaging, the pjs aren’t so bad either, in fact they’re actually flipping great!  They’re “inspired by the astronomer Kepler and his exploration of the harmonic geometry of the universe”, the blue and white geometric shapes make for the most perfect of all pyjama patterns.

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS are my new favourite sleepwear brand. They state that “we wander the globe, picking up pieces of inspiration from under stones on beaches, constellations in the sky and patterns in nature”, this sentiment can be seen in the patterns of the products as well as the company’s principles.  I’m looking forward to their next collection already!

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

Olga Kurylenko and Kellan Lutz rock sustainable glam on the 2014 Oscars Red Carpet

Fashion

We all love the Academy Awards, the hype behind Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Roles etc, the glitz and the glamour of the ceremony, and Ellen DeGeneres dressing up as Glenda the Good Witch, but my highlight was, no not Jennifer Lawrence tripping over on the red carpet (although that is up there, along with the pizza delivery, there’s something really grand about seeing Brad Pit tucking into a piece of pizza.)  No, my absolutely highlight was seeing Olga Kurylenko and Kellan Lutz stolling down the red carpet in gorgeous sustainable attire.

French actress and model, Olga Kurylenko, best known for playing Bond girl Camille Montes, and Twilight star Kellan Lutz graced the 2014 Oscar’s red carpet in Red Carpet Green Dress’ winning designs.

In 2009 Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of writer and director James Cameron, founded Red Carpet Green Dress, as a reaction to her accompanying her husband on the award ceremony rounds for environmentally aware film, Avatar.  An internationally recognised design competition that challenges designers to create an entirely sustainable gown, with the winning design being worn on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

Suzy Cameron and her sister founded MUSE School CA in 2006 with the aim of “empowering children to realize their full potential through academic excellence, personal responsibility, compassionate relations, global consciousness and environmental awareness”. The funds raised from the Red Carpet Green Dress go towards scholarships to MUSE School CA and Global MUSE (a network of sister schools modelled on the same principles.)

There is a strict design criteria for the Red Carpet Green Dress contest including using fabric from a sustainable source, organic cotton, bamboo or soy for example, harvested with as little impact on the environment as possible.  The chemical composition of the materials that go in to making the products must be considered, as well as paying strict attention to the amount of water used, and ensuring fair labour practises are in place throughout the manufacturing process.

This year’s winner was Alice Elia, a student of ESMOD in Paris.  Olga Kurylenko declared it “a privilege … to wear Alice’s gorgeous design on the red carpet” adding “it’s a great honor to have been asked.”  Her gorgeous dress is made from 100% silk and coloured with flowers, sounds pretty Romantic, no?

http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/3064109/olga-kurylenko-wears-eco-fashion-on-oscars-2014-red-carpet-02/

Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko shows sustainable fashion can be glamourous | Photo : http://www.justjared.com

To mark the 5th anniversary of Red Carpet Green Dress a menswear category was added to the competition.  The winning Tuxedo was designed by Jomnarn Dul from H Brothers (one of New Zealand’s most iconic menswear brands).  This isn’t the first time she has worked in the realm of eco fashion, with H Brothers collaborating with EKOCYCLE, a partnership between Will.I.Am and The Coca-Cola Company.  Kellan Lutz was the actor chosen to sport this amazing tux.  The trousers are 100% hemp, with the jacket being made with a mix of silk and recycled plastic bottles.

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

In all their red carpet interviews I found, they have both been asked about their sustainable choices.  It’s a really great way of getting the notion of sustainable fashion out there, but most of all showing that just because something is sustainable, or made from recycled items doesn’t make it any less glamorous
Red Carpet Green Dress is an amazing competition, I can’t wait to see next years designs.  What do you think of their outfits?

People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

The Search For An Ethical Summer Wardrobe Begins

Fashion

I have started my quest for an ethical wardrobe, and after a little research I went a little shopping crazy. I possibly spent a little too much in one go, but I was pretty restrained considering the amount of loveliness I came across!!

I started my search at People Tree, pioneers in Fair Trade fashion. They have a beautiful array of clothes, and their dresses are just perfect. First in the basket was this delicious Black Gingham Ruffle Dress. It fits snugly through the bodice and flares gently through the skirt. There’s red stitching on the straps which adds a beautiful bit of detail and colour, I can’t help but feel a little like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, all I need is a little dog and wicker basket! I absolutely love everything about this dress, there’s even the added bonus of pockets, POCKETS!! If you know me at all you’ll know I love a dress with pockets.

 People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

I also had a little look at what accessories People Tree had to offer and this beautiful charm cord bracelet caught my eye. This little hand made bracelet is produced in Bombolulu workshops in Kenya. The sale of this product goes towards People Tree’s Wheelchair Campaign and for every 100 pieces of Bombolulu Jewellery People Tree sell they donate a wheelchair to a disabled child in Kenya. Amazing, no? It’s nice to see the artisans making products that in time come back to help their own communities. Plus, the bracelet is absolutely gorgeous, always a bonus!!

People Tree Silver Heart Charm Cord Bracelet

People Tree: Silver Heart Charm Cord Bracelet | Photo : Laura Peta

I also found {Think} Boutique, a Glaswegian boutique launched in 2010. They strive to ensure all their products are from Fair Trade, organic, sustainable, up-cycled or locally produced sources, with many of their products being made here in the UK. My new saddle bag is made using environmentally friendly leather and dyes.  It’s quite a bright tan, sort of a rust colour, but it’s going to look amazing in the summer (it goes really well with my new dress – one summer outfit ready to go!). It also came wrapped up in tissue paper with a bow around it, all in a pretty cardboard box.  There was even a hand written note addressed to me personally thanking me for the purchase and advising that the product is “perfect to fit all the essentials!”.  It’s a simple but really effective way of making me, and each of their customers, feel truly appreciated.  Thank you, {Think} Boutique.

{Think} Boutique: My Green Bag | Photo: Laura Peta

{Think} Boutique: My Green Bag | Photo: Laura Peta

So there we have it, my first haul of ethical goodies, I just need Summer to hurry itself along so I can flounce around in my new gingham dress! Have you bought any sustainable items of clothing recently? I am intrigued to hear where you shop.