The Ethical Blog
It has been a while since I have been on here to keep it up to date and I apologise for that, life has been a bit topsy turvy but I have now landed that job working for a leading charity.
I wanted to start my updates with a recent event I attended in London , 'Style yourself sustainable’ , it was a first time event and brought together groups of people from all walks of life who have the passion and the will to change the fashion world to a more sustainable and ethical industry.
There were interesting talks from various businesses and many stalls, one of which I was most delighted to see was ‘the Jane Goodall institute’.
I had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting to some most inspirational people and learning about their businesses and how it contributes to the sustainable fashion world.
I first spoke with Jade from ‘Rozenbroek’ who told me all about her brand, luxury menswear, made in Britain and made from sustainable materials that are ethically sourced, organic, recycled and vegan. Their strong ethical values include a commitment to reducing environmental damage to our planet, with a Reduce, Reuse, Repair< Recycle and Educate attitude, transparency is key and products are of a high quality and stylish.
It was an interesting conversation I had with Lizzie from ‘We-Resonate’, we chatted long and furtively about the ethics of fashion and how we both felt education was the key. Lizzie recycles second hand scarves by designing floaty summer dresses and tops, she was wearing one herself and it looked fab. The quality and trend appeal was spot on.
Lydia Jackson Fields is a lifestyle consultant who had a pop up stall for Arbonne products, vegan and organic beauty and health products. It was interesting to chat with Lydia who gave me some interesting skin advice and after I mentioned I was tired a free taster of a green tea shot that tasted of pomegranate was offered to give a natural instant energy boost.
There was an interesting talk /interview with Alicia of ‘Bourgeois Boheme’, an independent footwear brand based in London. She produces luxury shoes for men and women totally vegan and made from various natural fibres like Pinatex, cork, recycled rubber and plant-based polymers from Italy and made in Portugal. It was interesting to hear that it would be too expensive to produce children’s shoes. A sample of the shoes were on display and I felt were of the highest quality, fashionable and stylish. The Pinatex had the feel and look of leather and I was most impressed by this leather alternative.
I would probably say the product that most impressed me at the event was from ‘Belo’ owned by Charlotte, a totally amazing story behind this fabulous bag company. The designs are trendy and unique, the shapes fashionable and stylish. Made from sustainable materials, all the leather is sourced from local industries waste stock, the textiles are made from recycled fabrics and plastic bottles using eco-friendly processes. Charlotte’s partner is Maria, who is based in Brazil and a designer, they employ Brazilian families to make the bags, their mission to get people out of poverty, and they are committed to giving some of their profit back into those people.
A beautifully ethical and sustainable business.
The prices are high but so is the quality and individual style of these fabulous bags. I feel these would sell well in department chains like House of Fraser, Debenhams, and John Lewis and even Harrods, after all Mulberry and Michael kors are has been trends. Anybody who is anybody will want to own a ‘Belo’ bag.
I also had the most delightful pleasure of meeting Caroline Keane from ‘Ethihub’, her stall displayed the goods made by a group of village women in Southern India, embroidered bags and purses and other products made from recycled paper.
Caroline told me the amazing story behind this fantastic business that is based on fair trade and empowering women. Caroline was full of passion as she told me how she met John Degler who had set up Kanimar and taught the village women how to hand embroider. The idea behind it all is to give these women the skills and flexibility to work from home and support themselves and their families. Caroline was so impressed she set up ‘Ethihub’ to sell these wonderful embroidered products on behalf of these ladies.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to Caroline who trusted me enough to offer and lend me her phone to take photos and then email them to me :)
Another talk that was so interesting and valuable to learn about was Charlie Ross of ‘Offset Warehouse’, a unique platform for ethically and sustainably sourced fabrics and haberdashery.
Charlie told us how she was a designer who was appalled by the unethical processes of the supply chain and so decided to work only with ethically sourced raw materials and production. However it was a big challenge to find sustainable textiles and eco-friendly dyes for her collections. The supply was limited and not well publicisedf and this is when Charlie set up’ Offset Warehouse’.
To quote from the website:
‘’IT’S ALL ABOUT MAKING IT EASIER...Being ethical in the world of fashion and interiors is hard work! Eco fabrics are still being produced in relatively small quantities and to both find these textiles and be able to acquire just a few metres takes a huge amount of time and research. We want the whole world to buy ethical textiles, and Offset Warehouse makes it easy by doing all the sourcing for you!’’
‘’IT'S ALSO ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING...All of Offset Warehouse's products are socially or environmentally responsible. So every time you purchase something from Offset Warehouse, you can feel good about ensuring a farmer or weaver's safety and livelihood, or that the environment is being carefully looked after.’’
It was indeed an interesting and fruitful morning and hopefully I can spread the word about these fantastic ethical businesses.