A Week in the Life of Ethical Dressing

Dear people who ask me what ethical fashion is,

To coincide with London Fashion Week I decided to do a week in the life of ethical dressing to show that there are many ways to take part in ethical fashion. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can be fashionable (even if you might not approve of my personal style). London Fashion Week showcases the next season trends but the most sustainable thing to do is dress true to yourself. Buy things that you love and will wear again and again. There are lots of ways to dress ethically, for example:

• Buying second-hand or vintage clothes
• Buying fair trade, ethically made clothes from ethical brands
• Buying organic cotton clothing
• Buying locally produced clothing
• Making your own clothes
• Upcycling/recycling
• You can still shop on the high street, but buy good quality that you will keep for years.

AVOID CHEAP, FAST FASHION.

I signed up to What I Wore Today to post my outfits last week and will continue to do so! Here’s the round-up. There’s no fancy photography here, I do apologise.

The particularly observant amongst you will notice I got my hair cut 🙂

Day 1: No Nasties organic cotton tee and upcycled denim shorts (jeans given to me by my sister which were too tight so I chopped the legs off)
Day 1

Day 2: Vintage M&S dress bought from Oxfam, Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal upcycled man’s shirt (taken from other sister who didn’t wear it), charity shop belt
day 2 eco outfit
m&s vintage label

Day 3: Organic cotton Edun dress. Had it for years and just keep wearing it.
Edun dress

Day 4: John Smedley organic cotton, undyed, made in England sweater, charity shop Topshop trouser
ecooutfit4

Day 5: Vintage Chelsea Girl dress (altered to fit), Banana Republic charity shop wool cardigan (had a small hole in it I stitched up, make-do-and-mend!)
eco outfit 5

Day 6: People Tree fair trade, organic cotton Peter Jensen Bear Sweatshirt, Monkee Genes organic cotton, fair trade skinny jeans
ecooutfit6label
ecooutfit6

I wore these for a couple of days too. Shoes in the pictures are Clarks and Barratts – buy quality shoes which last. iPhone – yeah that’s not so ethical, but allows me to work!

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Estethica Focus on Ada Zanditon and Charini

London Fashion Week ran from 17th-22nd Feb and was home to the biannual ethical and sustainable fashion exhibit Estethica, sponsored by Monsoon for the tenth season. Fourteen brands were present, I’m sure I will feature them all at some point over the coming weeks but here are two of my highlights for AW12.

Ada Zanditon

I loved speaking to Ada about her AW collection. She had a narrative for each and every piece, and as a geography researcher myself, it was interesting that much of that narrative was based on the earth and conservation of the natural world. Her collection is called Simia Minerals, meaning ape of the mineral (an analogy of the human race). A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Ada describes her new season influences as “geology, primates and conflict.”

Ada’s strong signature silhouettes are reworked through a geological lense, imaging the structure of metals at the atomic level and layers of the earth from an archaeological yet modern perspective. The collection expresses the chaos and conflict that arises from the exploitation of the earth for our material gain, though glamorous evening dresses and technically perfect jackets and coats. A statement piece is the tailcoat, inspired by the Silver Back Male Gorilla and featuring a swathe of sustainably sourced human hair. Fabrics used in the collection include fairtrade organic velvet, English woven wools, eel skin and upcycled Chanel tweed.

Charini

Luxury, stunningly beautiful lingerie that is ethical too, what’s not to love? I hadn’t come across Charini before attending LFW so it was fab to have a nose at the only lingerie label at Estethica. Designed by Sri Lankan born Charini Suriyage, the label debuted last year after Charini developed it alongside studying for her MA at London College of Fashion.

Charini is launching two ranges this year, the ‘Marry Me’ bridal range using ivory shades and elegant styling and ‘Range X’, a bolder collection using classic black and bronze and faux leather. Charini’s concept for both ranges was her ‘no waste’ policy where upcycled elastics became the basic element of her collection. Using hand woven silks, lace and luxurious satin sourced from artisan communities in Sri Lanka both ranges remain true to the ethical heart of the brand. She refrains from using metal or harmful dying processes in her products too. Sexy lingerie, using traditional manufacturing processes, makes Charini very special indeed.

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London Fashion Week & Estethica


We are currently in the middle of LFW AW12 season, and yesterday I went up for a one day whistle stop tour. It was my second season at LFW and I was keen to see as much as I could in one day, being unable to take any more time off work.

I didn’t attend any of the shows, but I did go round the exhibition, where brands showcase their latest designs, and concentrated my attention on Estethica, the ethical/sustainable fashion showcase. Later in the afternoon I attended the Ecoluxe London Showrooms which also popped up for LFW. Featuring a collection of smaller ethical and sustainable fashion, accessories and jewellery ranges, Ecoluxe ran for two days by invitation. I will be writing up a review of Ecoluxe for Oxfam in the coming days.

Estethica launched at LFW in 2006 and has been sponsored by Monsoon for the last 10 seasons. The exhibition space for Estethica felt a bit cramped (or maybe cosy?) but in my opinion was the most interesting part of the whole LFW exhibition space. The following designers showcased at Estethica and I will be focusing on some of their collections in future blog posts:

Ada Zanditon
Aiste Nesterovaite
Pachacuti
Joanna Cave
Charini
Dr Noki-NHS
Henrietta Ludgate
Junky Styling
Makepiece
The North Circular
Reclaim to Wear
Victim Fashion Street
Monsoon

Great to catch up with brands I’ve seen before and to have the opportunity to see new ones like lingerie label Charini. If you haven’t read the Estethica publication yet, you can find it online.

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