Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Grab some bargains at Adili

Ethical clothing retailer Adili have a summer sale on with up to 50% off some of their stock. I have suggested some great buys below. Bag some bargains soon whilst stocks last!

1) Kuyichi Jersey Cross Back Dress, fairly traded, £55, now £38.
2) Kuyichi Casual Summer Jean, fairly traded, £85, now £60.
3) Del Forte Denim Short, organic cotton, £85, now £55.
4) Alchem1st Sweetheart Top, ethically traded, fine jersey cotton, £70, now £45.
5) Kuyichi Harpoon Print Top, fairly traded, 50% cotton, 50% polyester, £40, now £28.

Friday, 27 July 2007

The jacket that's a bag that's a jacket

Functional fashion is the agenda for German designer Alice Kaiserworth, who has created a nifty two-in-one product called Dos Caras. One minute it's a sassy little jacket, the next it's a...erm, bag. What's even better is that everything you have stored in your pockets will remain there during the transformation, so no well-used tissues tumbling onto the pavement as you look around you in a state of sheer embarassment. It's great for the UK when the sudden change of weather from flood to searing heat requires an outfit alteration. Instead of lugging your jacket around trying to awkwardly drape it over one arm, you can simply morph it into its bag alter ego and away you go!

Centre for Sustainable Fashion

The London College of Fashion is currently in the process of establishing a new 'Centre for Sustainable Fashion,' which aims to unite sector experts in sustainable fashion practices and intends to foster existing partnerships. The project is expected to be launched in April 2008.

The Head of the London College of Fashion, Dr Frances Corner said, "London College of Fashion is committed to drive up the quality of advice, information and support surrounding issues of sustainability and climate change. Environmental and ethical concerns should be high on everyone's agenda, as fundamental considerations for any forward thinking fashion organisation."

The London College of Fashion launched its ethical fashion campaign, 'Is Green the New Black,' this year and is developing a postgraduate degree in sustainable fashion, as well as working towards featuring ethical and sustainable fashion in its undergraduate courses.

It's great to see this world-renowned educational fashion institution promoting more ethical and sustainable values. Hopefully this will lead to more graduates from the establishment setting up ethical fashion collections and this will improve the credibility and style stakes of earth conscious fashion.

[via Ecotextile News]

An ethical outfit

outfit3.jpgToday I have put together an ethical outfit for you that is a combination of organic high street and ethical brand items. It’s great to see the high street producing more ethical collections, in line with consumer demand. However, we have to be aware that they don’t always practice the ethics they preach. Many high street retailers are making efforts at improving their ethical policies but there is still a long way to go.

The high street brands I have sourced products from for the outfit below are Laura Ashley and Monsoon. Laura Ashley is a relative latecomer to the ethical fashion market, but they do have quite a few pieces, including the Archive Collection of vintage, organic retro, seventies garments. The organic cotton used in Laura Ashley’s small organic range is sourced from cotton farmers in Turkey who receive 1/3 more for their crop, plus their mills are organically certified. Laura Ashley could also do with paying a living wage.

Monsoon traditionally focused on clothes of ethnic origin and in 1994 established the Monsoon Trust, which aims to improve the lives of children, young people and women in South Asia, via projects that concentrate on education, health and activities to foster more income. Monsoon is also a founder member of The Ethical Trading Initiative (
ETI), an alliance of companies non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations, established to improve corporate codes of practice covering supply chain working conditions.

Monsoon could do better by increasing their organic and Fairtrade products and making more solid environmental commitments, but they do have higher standards than many other retailers. In reality all high street retailers need to be making more concerted efforts to improve their track record for producer working conditions and increasing their organic and fairly traded ranges.

The other items below are from Fifi Bijoux who produce jewellery using ethically mind gold, Novacas (sold at Moo Shoes) who produce vegan, cruelty-free footwear and Bourgeois Boheme who sell vegan, cruelty-free bags and footwear.

1) Fifi Bijoux, Starfish Pendant, made from ethically mined gold, £130 –
2) Novacas, Angel Beige Shoe, $95 –
3) Valencia Small Beige Tote Bag, £19 –
4) Jersey Grandad Top, made from 100% organic cotton, £7 –
5) Abigail Organic Regular Length Jeans, made from an organic cotton mix, £45 –

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Organic cotton is booming on the high street

The latest high street must have is organic cotton. High street retailers are seeing a growing demand from consumers for more organic and ethical fashion items. A number of well known brands are increasing their organic cotton lines. It is estimated that the value of the organic cotton market in the UK will rise by 50% this year alone.

Shops like H&M and New Look are just two of the latest high street chains to jump on the green bandwagon. New Look has introduced its third organic cotton collection this year, fronted by TV presenter Fearne Cotton, which will be available in its 560 stores this weekend.

25% of women classify themselves as ethical clothing shoppers. With such a demand from the major high street chains the supply of organic cotton is running dry. It is expected that organic cotton will make up around 30% of all cotton in the next 25 years. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, Martin Hearson of Labour Behind the Label has suggested that retailers should be committed to improving the working conditions of producers and suppliers. It's great that more people are keen to go organic in various areas of their life, but I agree with Martin Hearson that we also need to be considering the 40 million textile and garment workers worldwide who are subject to poor working conditions. One way we can do this is by buying more fair trade clothing.

[via The Independent]

Monday, 23 July 2007

Go mad for monochrome

I should be thinking about the autumn/winter season right now, but I am still hanging onto the hope of a summer arising out of the dreary gloom. Monochrome was a key spring/summer trend and the colour black is filtering through to the autumn/winter season (albeit minus the white!). So, just enough time to grab a few black and white ethical fashion pieces that will see you through the rest of summer. Enjoy your hols!

1) TUK Houndstooth Flat, $36 - Moo Shoes.
2) Vintage Zebra Dress, 450 kr - Mint & Vintage.
3) Edun Damas Organic Tee, $60, 100% organic, Fair Trade and sweatshop free cotton - Equita.
4) Ecoganik French Terry Bermuda, $75, 100% organic cotton - Couture Candy.
5) Black and White Bag, £9.95, fairly traded from India - Natural Collection.
6) BKMHattitude Not So Plain Jane, $25, linen - Etsy.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Ethical label Si:su launch their site

Ethical fashion newcomers, Si:su, established in July 2005 by Helen Stew, Hanneke Van Ryswyk and Rachel Bryan, have just launched their brand spanking new website at Si-su.com. Si:su was born out of the desire of its creators to launch an organic empire, which eventually manifested as an Oxfam Originals collection, crafted for their local store from vintage materials.

The label is currently producing a range of womenswear, accessories and interior collections, entirely from vintage and recycled materials. Si:su are passionate about producing eco-friendly products from sustainable fabrics. On 8th July they took part in the Sustainable Urban Styles Today (SUST) show in Manchester, which featured a host of established ethical and aspiring ethical designers including: People Tree, Enamore, Think! and Snood.

Si:su womenswear consists of two ranges (Pure and Bijou) with their own customised collections. The earth toned Pure range is, nostalgic, simple, pretty and practical to wear. The Bijou range is feminine and romantic, utilising luxurious satins and cottons, detailed with ribbon and lace.

Si:su's designs are available at Allthingsgreen.net.

Monday, 16 July 2007

DePloy demi-couture: A unique approach to fashion

When you think of ethical clothing you might not automatically consider an outfit with the ability to transform into another outfit, but DePloy's approach to sustainable fashion is just this.

With a unique popper system and detachable parts, each of their items of clothing can adapt into at least two different outfits. When the fashion tides turn you simply acquire new garment parts, to attach to your old ones and by doing so, you can enjoy contemporary fashions without contributing so heavily to landfills. Bulging, heavy suitcases with an overabundance of items can be a thing of the past, as you relish the ability of your dress to morph into a new set of rags. DePloy's Creative Director, Bernice says,

"My aim is to change the fashion process to make it less wasteful, more sustainable, and more interactive with the end customer."

You might be sceptical of the style merits of attire with a popper system, but DePloy's Autumn/Winter 2007 collection, with its muted autumnal palette, feminine structures and sophisticated sensibilities, makes multifunctional apparel an aesthetic, sensible and seamlessly more ethical fashion choice than non-modular clothing.

I am not aware of DePloy's approach to fabrics, but hopefully we will also see the brand using more recycled and vintage materials in their future collections.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Clothes swapping with Hybird

For fashion swapping devotees Hybird is hosting a clothes swap shop afternoon, Feather Duster, at The New Rose, Essex Road, London on Saturday 21st July from 2pm to 6pm. If you fancy popping along you will need to bring with you a minimum of one wearable item to swap. Anything left over at the end of the swap will be donated to the Salvation Army.

The clothes swapping craze appears to be sweeping the nation. Rather than throwing out clothes you no longer wear, it makes sense to swap for them for something you will wear. It's a great way of finding a new home for old items and getting great new garments for free. Whilst New York and Sydney has already fully hopped on the swap scene bandwagon, London's first official clothes exchange shop, Visa Swap, took place between Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June. Prior to the swap dates shoppers brought in their unwanted items and were awarded points on a 'credit card,' depending on the products they were bearing, which they could then redeem for items at the swap shop on the aforementioned dates. Any leftover items were donated to TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development).

Swapping, Myspace swap events, club nights and swishing parties, are cropping up all over the place in an amalgamation of ethical shopping, bargain hunting and socialising. 900,000 clothes and shoes are disposed of every year so it's essential that consumers become more environmentally conscious. Whether many of the attendees to such events are truly interested in planet saving, or just pseudo-ethical-shoppers keen to get some freebies, is another issue altogether, but if it means that fashion is creating less waste, it can only be a good thing.

If leaving the house is all too much for you, you can swap online with websites such as Whatsmineisyours.com or Swapstyle.com. For more information see Hybird.co.uk and Y-shop.co.uk.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Mootiful cruelty-free shoes from Moo Shoes

For a striking shoe that can translate into day or evening wear, the Novacas Darcy Burgandy, sold at vegan footwear boutique, Moo Shoes, is fantastic. With a rich, deep colour, towering heel and retro feel, it's perfect for any season. If burgandy is not your thing, The Darcy is also available in black and green.

Novocas is a vegan owned business that produces, manufactures and distributes stylish leather alternative, cruelty-free footwear. Novocas shoes are fabulous and absolutely quash the notion that vegan footwear is ugly and bland, with their striking, chic shoes. If you are not convinced by the Darcy, feast your eyes upon the Bridget (below) and Angel (on the right) shoes and I am utterly convinced that you will be converted.

Moo Shoes, founded by sisters Erica and Sara Kubersky in 2001, is a vegan owned business that sells a range of cruelty free products, both online and at the brand's New York City store. Why the 'moo' in 'Moo Shoes?' At 8 years old Erica Kubersky encountered a cow during a family trip to an Israel Kibbutz that lead her to become vegetarian. Eight years later her sister Sara convinced her to become vegan. Moo Shoes was an endeavour on the part of both sisters to make vegan living more accessible to New Yorkers.

I sincerely hope that we will be seeing many more vegan fashion and footwear boutiques in the future. Ethical fashion is wonderful but it sometimes leaves out the animal element, selling products such as silk, leather, wool and cashmere, fabrics that are derived from animals and involve animal cruelty in the extraction process. Keep up the good work Moo Shoes and other footwear manufactures take note and provide us all with a wider selection of cruelty-free footwear.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Thieves fashion will steal your heart

If you are searching for ethical fashion to get excited about, look no further than Canadian based Thieves, by eco designer Sonja den Elzen, who effortlessly evokes cutting edge style and sophistication using a range of sustainable fabrics, including: organic cotton, organic bamboo, linen, organic soy cotton and lyocell.

Sonja is as passionate about the environment as she is about producing meticulously designed clothing. Her love of fashion began at a very young age and eventually led her to create an urban street wear line, Jystijls, that was available in various boutiques worldwide from 1996 - 2002.

Thieves arose out of Sonja's desire to combine her fashion designing with environmentally friendly principles and practises. Thieves spring 2007 collection is stylish, thoughtful and earthy, using putty shades that evoke the imagery of nature. The fall 2007 collection literally takes us back to black, with a simple and refined collection that borrows Japanese detailing.

As thick as thieves, Sonja den Elzen and Dana Takeda established an online boutique for men and women in May 2007, called League of Lovers and Thieves, which sells the Thieves range and Dana's League of Lovers organic intimate wear and re-worked vintage pieces. Both women believe in using environmentally sound processes and materials, with the intention of, "taking the fashion world by storm and turning everything green one dress, one shirt, one jacket and one pair of pants at a time." With their beautifully created pieces, the outlook looks very promising.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Personalise your style with Armour Sans Anguish

We all want to be a one-off and now you can be with Armour Sans Anguish (clothing without sorrow), the brainchild of two fashion forward girls called Tawny Holt and Julie Edwards, who are both passionate about one-of-a-kind, recycled and sweatshop free clothing. Deconstructed vintage style is their forte and looking through their collections (which get snapped up pretty quick), Armour Sans Anguish excel at it.

Julie is a consummate pro when it comes to repurposing old items, having acquired the skill of thriftiness from a very early age. Tawny majors in Cultural Anthropology and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and has always loved making things.

Online eco-store BTC Elements are currently selling a beautiful Armour Sans Anguish, 'Layered and Lovely' reconstructed tulle dress, created from reclaimed and secondhand fabric, for $200. If you're a fan, get purchasing now, before it sells out, like all their other beautiful creations.

Gary Harvey's eco-couture

Eco-conscious fashion needs a dose of avant-garde innovation, cue Gary Harvey, who produced a collection of vintage couture inspired dresses from recycled garments, which were showcased at London Fashion Week this year.

From a towering bridal gown constructed from 10 wedding dresses, to an aptly named, military dress, made from 28 army jackets in various shades of olive green camouflage, Gary's collection is a striking and pioneering move for the ethical fashion world. Gary says, "By sourcing fabrics and raw materials that have literally been thrown away, you can look good and be good too." Gary Harvey was the creative director of Levi Strauss for almost 10 years and his earth-conscious designs were born out of creative frustration. Since then his passion for recycled couture has prevailed and Gary has designed a range of conceptual eco-couture outfits. He is now taking private commissions for his unique socially conscious designs.

It's exciting to see originality and great concepts filtering into the ethical fashion arena. Hopefully this will be a growing trend rather than a passing one!

Ecoganik bring contemporary chic to ethical fashion

Eco-fashion is constantly evolving and it would seem that it is finally on the cusp of something phenomenal that will hopefully move ethical fashion from the periphery to the mainstream in the longterm. Ecoganik has been plugging away for ten years in the contemporary organic fashion movement, attempting to make headway. With a new creative director, Genevieve Cruz on board and a re-modelled marketing campaign, Ecoganik are gracing the pages of prestigious publications such as In Style, WWD, Lucky Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times.

Ecoganik are experts at catering for the eco-conscious consumer and Genevieve Cruz is now looking towards fashionistas who are keen to be more earth conscius, without compromising their sense of style. Each piece designed by Cruz is wearable, comfortable and relatively inexpensive, ranging from $63 for a tank to $250 for a dress.

I am hoping that ethical fashion is going to become ever more innovative and a social norm. With labels like Ecoganik injecting effortless style into earth conscious attire, the dream seems ever more possible by the hour.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Eco Dawn in the Daily Mail

I am pleased to announce that I will be gracing the pages of the Daily Mail this coming Monday 9th June, with two other ethical stylists in a feature about ethical fashion. I got the opportunity to play at being a model for a couple of hours, which I was not particularly good at, but I did my best to pout and give some fierce Tyra Banks-esque poses in my ethical garments, whilst the photographer directed me and the friendly make-up artist rubbed foundation on my pasty, circulation impaired pins. It was quite a pleasant experience (the shoot, not the application of foundation) but I don't think I'll be adorning the cover of Vogue or any other high-brow fashion publications. I got to choose my favourite ethical fashion pieces for summer, in case it ever arrives.

If you fancy having a read about the rise of eco-fashion and seeing ethical style in action get yourself a copy, I know I will be and hopefully my picture won't be too cringeworthy!

Marc Bouwer presents 100% cruelty-free fashion

Marc Bouwer is a premier league fashion designer, known as the man that kits out celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Shania Twain and Mariah Carey. His creations add phenomenal glamour and style to an array of red carpet events around the world. He is a highly influential designer in the world of high fashion, so, when he decides to go ethical and stop using any animal skins or products in his designs it’s big news. Bouwer refrained from using fur, leather and wool in his collections once he became aware of the horrific conditions the animals were kept in.

Thanks to PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) he witnessed a video exposé of animals being subjected to the most painful and barbaric treatment, including conscious cows having their hooves and lips cut off, to enable their skin to be torn from their bodies.

This is far from being an unusual practise in the world of animal farming, animals are routinely kept in torturous and inhumane conditions.

Bouwers 100% animal-free clothing line ‘Imitation Is Life’ premiered at New York Fashion Week. Bouwer proved that high-end fashion does not have to be part of the animal trade, it can be just as glamorous, elegant, thrilling and beautiful without any cruelty involved. Hopefully more designers will follow suit, distancing themselves from animal cruelty and making an ethical statement as well as a fashion statement.

To view PETA videos of animal treatment see PETA TV.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Ethical brand lowdown: Adili

What do they do?

Adili is an online ethical store selling a range of Fair Trade, fairly traded, recycled, organic and other ethical womenswear, menswear, accessories, footwear, babies and children's clothing, household items, skincare and gifts, produced by a range of ethical labels.

What are they about?

Adili is the Swahili word for 'ethical and just,' which is what Adili stand for, believing that fashionable clothing can be made without causing unnecessary harm to people or the planet. Adili showcases the pioneering brands who have demonstrated that trade can be conducted in a fairer manner, without exploiting people along the supply chain. With this in mind, Adili has created a framework for each brand to be evaluated against, before they can be adopted as a supplier. Each supplier must demonstrate against a set criteria how they are ensuring the ethical and just nature of their production processes.

Who is behind Adili?

Adam Smith is the CEO of Adili, with 14 years experience in the retail sector. He has undertaken various roles throughout his career, including Director of Operations for sit-up Ltd and eCommerce Development Director at Dixons. Adam has experience of setting up supply chains from the Far East and Indian sub-continent and a personal empathy with the values of Adili.com.

Quentin Griffiths is the Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of ASOS. His background is in marketing.

Christopher Powles in a Non-Executive Director, who combines his experience of financing small unquoted companies with a long standing interest in the environment and developing world. Christopher was born in Africa and has been involved in conservation and ethical projects for a number of years.

Claire Lissaman is a consultant on ethical and fair trade, having formerly been the UK director for RUGMARK, a certification, labelling and development initiative working to end exploited child labour in South Asia's rug industry.

What criteria do Adili use to ensure that items are ethical?

Adili has a set definition of fair trade, which includes, "a trading partnership based on trasparency, dialogue and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade," amongst other things. Some brands carry a certification label such as those issued by IFAT (International Fair Trade Association) and the Fairtrade Foundation. Adili uses the word fairly traded to denote brands that are working within their set definition, but do not yet have formal certification.

Adili recognises organic certifiers who are members of The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), including: The Soil Association, Skal, IMO and AGRECO. Adili uses the term organic to denote products that are crafted from organic fibres but are not currently certified.

Adili also sells locally sourced products (which supports local businesses, promotes traditional skills and helps to combat carbon emissions from shipping clothes all other the world) and sells products that use alternative and recycled fibres (which prevents wastage, as millions of textiles are binned each year and avoids the reliance on cotton, a crop which accounts for billions of dollars worth of pesticide use every year and consumes vast amounts of precious water).

For further information on Adili's ethical framework, check out Adili.com.

Hot picks?

I thought you'd never ask, the Ciel Sophia Dress, for £185, made from certified organic cotton, the fairly traded Kuyichi Harpoon Print Top, for £40, made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester, the fairly traded Kuyichi White Denim Jeans, for £78, the Fifi Bijoux Ardent Pendant, for £205, made from ethically mined gold and gemstones, without the use of cyanide, arsenic or mercury and all the Spiezia beauty products, because I think Spiezia are fantastic!

Miss Selfridge add more vintage items

Further to my recent post about Miss Selfridge's vintage range, new items have now been added. They are getting snapped up pretty sharpish, so if you want to bag yourself a vintage number you'll have to be quick off the mark. Their latest line is 'Happy Days,' with some fabulously nostalgic pieces, such as: the Red and White Stripe Dress, £80, The Hawaii Printed Red Smock Top, £45 and the Blue and White Gingham Dress, £80 (a fantastic maxi length piece, for a coquettish milk maid look). New garments have also been added to the Guatemalan, Prom Queen and Psychedelic ranges. Here is a selection of the best buys.

1) Orange Embroidered Dress, £100 - 90% cotton, 10% other.
2) Red Chiffon Prom Dress, £120 - 90% chiffon, 10% other.

3) One Shoulder Puff Ball Dress, £90 - 90% acetate, 10% other.
4) Daisy Print Maxi Dress, £80 - 90% cotton, 10% other.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Kelly B Couture - Bringing sexy back

Sexy and ethical are not traditionally synonymous, but times are changing and Kelly B Couture has proven that ethical fashion can be as sassy and chic as the mainstream fashion industry, without the dubious environmental and production processes. Kelly B Couture is the invention of San Francisco based designer, Kelly Barry, whose love for fashion and design stretches back to her youth, when she was permanently attached to the family sewing machine.

Kelly spent three years at CCAC (The California College of Arts and Crafts) and upon graduation she entered a career as a production manager and designer for a supplier of organic cotton garments and fabric. This experience led to her establishing the environmentally friendly and highly fashionable Kelly B Couture. Her passion is to create comfortable and unique clothing for the conscious consumer. In real terms this means utilising organic and other natural fibres and ensuring fair labour practises in the production of garments. Kelly’s first organic cotton line debuted in spring 2006 and her current spring collection is colourful, urban, sassy and sexy and all this down to a girl with moxie.

For UK shoppers, online ethical store
BTC elements sell Kelly B Couture and ship to the UK.

via Hippyshopper]

Designer Insider: Camilla Norrback

Ethical fashion might have only hit the headlines in the UK more recently but Finnish designer Camilla Norrback has been incorporating organic fabrics into her collections since 2002. Camilla effortlessly combines eco-principles with inspired contemporary and aesthetically pleasing chic design, that screams "Wear me!" rather than "I'm a hippy!" Her ecoluxury collections prove that ethically sourced materials that are not harmful to people or the planet, can be of incredibly high quality and exceedingly luxurious. Her spring/summer 2007 range has sense of 1970s nostalgia, elegance and glamour and Camillas' autumn/winter 2007 collection is inspired by female pioneers throughout the ages, where, "old meets new in shapes and colours, female meets male." The garments are classic, with rich muted colours and intricate structures. The theme for the autumn/winter season is visions, working towards new goals and evolving in harmony with others.

Dawn Mellowship delves deeper into the inspiration behind Camilla Norrback's fashion statements and passion for eco-fashion, taking the opportunity to talk to the lady behind ecoluxury.

What is your background in fashion?

“I started sewing when I was twelve years old, and immediately fell in love! I got my first sewing machine when I turned thirteen. And since then I have created my own clothes, and in a way this is just continue my childhood dream.”

How and why did you become interested in ethical fashion?

“The deeper questions in life have always been important to me. In my work, I strive to contribute to the world in the best way I can. Also, having grown up in a small town in Finland close to nature, I have learned to the importance of taking care of our environment. Our lifestyle has a great impact today.”

How did your ecoluxury range come about?

"Actually, when I first started using organic fabrics in 2002, the environment wasn’t so 'hot' in the fashion press, so I sort of toned down the ecological parts of my work. My brand had a little bit of an identity crisis in 2003 and 2004, but as I was working on my autumn/winter 2006 collection I came up with the word ecoluxury. Suddenly everything fell in to place. I feel that it corresponds so well to my work and that people really appreciate what I’m doing both in way of designs and in the way I work."

What does 'ecoluxury' mean to you?

“It means not compromising with the design or the way of doing business, that people are most important, including those who produce the fabric and garments as well as the wearer. I strive to do my best in both senses – I need to fulfil my artistic needs, but not at the expense of other people.”

Are your products certified as ethical and what quantity of the fabrics is ethical?

“I work with three types of certification regarding fabrics, organic (which I of course prefer),

Oeko-Tex certified fabrics, and finally product controlled fabrics. I have personally visited the factories we work with to see how they work and to ensure that their standards are high. For me it’s important having a close relationship with everyone involved in the process of making a Camilla Norrback garment.”

What sort of fabrics do you use?

“I love all-natural fibres like cotton, wool, silk and linen. We mainly use organic fabrics such as organic cotton and wool, and Oeko-certified fabrics where we are unable to get organic. Silk usually falls in the third category, product-controlled. This means we get as much information as possible about the fabric, how it has been dyed, worker conditions etc. If we can’t find a fabric with any of those three certifications, we always chose the next best choice, such as a fabric that has been locally manufactured or a material with an historical background such as the Harris Tweed we are using in our coats this season."

What are you aiming for with your summer ‘07 and winter ’07 collections?

“To give people collections filled with great design and as much organic luxurious materials as possible!”

Where do you get the inspiration from for your designs?

“Mainly from the fabrics themselves. But also from movies, music and what is going on in society in general.”

What are your three favourite pieces from your spring/summer ’07 collection?

“Oh that’s hard to say… but I would go for the lace dress Moa in organic cotton, the silk balloon dress and the jeans in organic cotton with bow pockets.”

Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?

“I would have to say that I liked Phoebe Philo’s work for Chloe, Burberry and Prada.”

Do you have any favourite ethical labels, if so who are they are why do you like them?

“I like the philosophy behind Edun. They are really trying to change the fashion industry.”

Where do you go from here?

“I want to continue my work, making more clothes produced in a good way from the best materials. I really want to change the fashion industry and make it more human and caring! Not least, I will of course continue developing my collections and my design!”

More summer sales: People Tree

Yesterday, ethical brand People Tree launched a summer sale, offering up to 75% off of a whole range of items. People Tree is a pioneer in the ethical and Fair Trade fashion arena. They have a Fair Trade policy, to pay producers a fair price and aid some of the world's poorest communites and an eco-policy, to promote natural and organic cotton farming, avoid damaging chemicals, protect water and forest supplies and use natural and biodegradable substances where possible. People Tree is a registered member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), which stipulates ten standards that Fair Trade organisations are required to follow and the brand works with 50 Fair Trade groups in 15 developing countries, helping the world's most marginalised communities use Fair Trade to avoid the poverty trap. Their designs are stocked in over 30 Fair Trade and independent shops around the United Kingdom, in Topshop's flagship store in Oxford Street, London, as well as being distributed to a range of other countries.
Here are a few of my favourite bargains!

1) Delia Summer Dress, cut from £38 to £19 - 100% organic Fair Trade cotton.
2) Greek Tunic Top, cut from £28 to £21 - 100% organic Fair Trade cotton.
3) Emma Embroidered Blouse, cut from £36 to £9 - 100% Fair Trade cotton.
4) Amazon Leaf-Print Skirt, cut from £45 to £36 - 100% organic Fair Trade cotton.
5) Three-Quarter-Length-Trousers, cut from £45 to £22.50 - Fair Trade cotton.

6) Jute Safari Bag, cut from £18 to £13.50 - Fair Trade.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Ecoganik: Fashion with a conscience

Ethical fashion is picking up pace and more of us are realising the impact of the mainstream fashion industry on our increasingly fragile environment. Billions of dollars worth of pesticides are sprayed on cotton crops every year, polluting the environment and harming producers all over the world. Forty million garment and textile workers worldwide are subject to poor working conditions, low pay, forced overtime, unsafe working environments, to name but few of the problems these individuals face.

The ethical fashion industry is demonstrating to us that it is more than capable of producing stylish garments with a conscience. One of the brands that are embracing this vision is the California based Ecoganik, providing “a fusion of fashion and eco consciousness.”

Ecoganik is a member of the Organic Trade Association, the OTA Fiber Council Committee and Co-op America Business Network and they only use certified organic and eco-friendly materials in their clothing and accessories, free from harmful pesticides and chemicals. To colour their garments they use low impact dyes, free of metal and mordant substances.

Ecoganik make the most of alternative fibres such as eco fiber – a recycled cotton fabric, tencel – a 100% biodegradable silky fabric made of the cellulose extracted from trees, using a non-toxic process and hemp – a crop that is naturally antibacterial and resistant to insects and pests (thus it can be grown without the use of pesticides).

Ecoganik’s ranges are affordable and incredibly attractive. Here are a few of my favourite pieces. You can find all these pieces online at
Couture Candy.

1) Bamboo Dress with Lace in Sky, $129 – 92% bamboo, 7% spandex.
2) Long Stripe Dress in Blue and White, $150 – 62% polyester, 19% cotton, 19% modal.
3) Organic Tissue Earth Tank in Chamomile, $63 – 100% organic cotton.
4) French Terry Short in Tulip, $85 – 100% organic cotton.
5) Jersey Elastic Waist Mala Pant in Eggplant, $105 – 100% organic cotton.

[via Hippyshopper]

Summer sales: Pick up some bargains

Summer means sales and not just for mainstream fashion, but for ethical fashion too! A study carried out by Doorone.co.uk, of 1,152 UK adults, aged 16+, discovered that 67% of those questioned felt that ethical products are too expensive. So, now's your chance to make the most of the sales and grab some great ethical fashion buys. You don't have to go mad, but by slowly building up an ethical collection a bit at a time, you will eventually find that you have a whole wardrobe full of ethical garments. There is no need to throw your old wardrobe out (that will cause more waste), instead give anything you don't want to a charity organisation like Oxfam or the British Heart Foundation, exchange some items on Uk.freecycle.org or take them to a recycling bank. Check out Recyclenow.com for your one in your locality.

Back to the sales, here are just a selection of the bargains you can find out there.

1) Ecoganik Kimono Tissue Top, cut from $68 to $47.60 - 100% organic cotton,
BTC Elements.
2) Ecoganik Laurel Long Tie Side Thermal, cut from $62 to $37.20 - 100% organic cotton,
BTC Elements.
3) Edun Crochet Tank, cut from $154 to $92 - 100% organic cotton,
Coco's Shoppe.
4) Stewart + Brown Organic Cotton Cinch Skirt, cut from $80 to $48 - 100% organic cotton,
Coco's Shoppe.
5) Kuyichi It's All About Me T, cut from £35 to £23 - fairly traded,
6) Beyond Skin Suzy Pointed Toe Stiletto Court Shoes, cut from £165 to £94 - black faux leather,
The Natural Store.

Be an eco-fashion 'frilly' with Pardess

If you are feeling frilly this summer, in line with the New Romantic trend, I suggest you venture online and make a few purchases from Pardess. Pardess make some beautiful ethical clothes that are both wearable and stylish.

Every garment by Pardess is hand made by Mimi Rogers and the “Elite” Collection offers couture design for wedding dresses and evening wear. Garments are made from internationally certified organic materials, packaging is made from recycled tissue paper and card and printing is from soil-association approved organic printers.
Pardess was established after Mimi Rogers had a conversation with friends who shared her passion about fashion that would leave an ethical footprint. They didn’t see why we should have to choose substance over style, rather than having both, so Pardess was born. Mimi has been designing and crafting clothes since a very young age and after working on an organic farm in France, Mimi was inspired by the difference organic living made to people and the environment.

Pardess is also selling some fantastic bags and 20% of the profits from these will go to The World Land Trust.

I can’t wait for Pardess to expand their range, I am converted already.

Flourish in five flowery summer outfits

Eco-stylist, Dawn Mellowship, puts a spring in your step this summer, with five outfits inspired by this season’s flowery trend.

Summer is here yet again and we are all patiently waiting for it to stop raining, but just because the weather is gloomy, it doesn’t mean we have to be. Fashion is taking its cue from nature and flowery garments and accessories are a sure fire way to boost your mood and remind you of lazy sunny summer days. If the thought of flowers sends you running for the hills, you can inject an element of floral rather than going the whole hog and causing unsuspecting passers by to mistake you for a field full of blossom.

Ethical fashion is all about protecting the environment and people, so it makes sense to purchase flowery fashion that causes minimal impact to the planet. To get you started I have chosen five outfits that will keep you cool and leave you looking blooming marvellous! Most of this items can be purchased online at The Natural Store, or via the actual labels themselves.

1) All in the yellow (as seen above)

Anatomy Muslin Lace Camisole Top, £75.00 – made from organic muslin.
Emmeline 4 Re Box Pleat Skirt – Honey Rose, £75.00 – made from vintage, reclaimed 100% cotton fabric.

Snood Shrug, £39.00 – handmade in England from reclaimed and vintage wool.
Terra Plana Goa Off-white, £75.00 – recycled, vegetable tanned natural hemp.

2) Party in pansy

Enamore Pansy Cotton Shift Dress, £150.00 – made from organic cotton sateen certified by SKAL.
Beyond Skin Larry B Pointed Toe Kitten Heel, £167 – made from purple satin.
Bourgeois Bohéme Sandy Small Beige, £32 – textile with silver metallic tinge.

3) Yummy flowery mummy

Enamore Short-Sleeved Kimono Top, £65.00 – handmade in England in hemp/tencel fabric.
Emmeline 4 Re Midnight Forest Skirt, £75.00 – made from vintage, reclaimed 100% cotton fabric.
Charmoné Monarch Ribbon Tie-Up Flat Cool Green Blue, £149.00 – made from Italian microfibre faux leather.

4) Short, psychedelic and sexy

Emmeline 4 Re Unique Neck Tie Blouse French Lilac, £60.00 – made from vintage, reclaimed 100% polyester fabric.
Ciel Denim Shorts With Waist Tie, £130.00 – Denim, My Wardrobe.
Terra Plana Juniper Shoe, £95.00 – recycled vegetable tanned leather.

5) Floaty Romantic

Pardess Frenchie Bustier Camisole, £115 – 100% organic cotton.
Pardess Petal Skirt, £170 – 100% organic cotton.
Hetty Rose Yuki Vintage Kimono Shoes, £320.00 – vintage kimono.
Sarah Donegan Marry Handbag, Tea Pot Lace, £120 – made from vintage textiles and trims, The Green Apple.

Dawn Mellowship is the UK’s first online eco stylist offering a range of styling services and online ethical fashion resources. No matter what the occasion, Dawn will find some fabulous ethical fashion that suits your style and personality. Her website can be found at ecostylist.co.uk.