London Fashion Week has been and gone for another season, leaving in its wake the usual discussions of politics, good taste and whether runway styles can ever be replicated on the high street.
The Estethica initiative, however, once again put a line through any question marks concerning whether sustainability and ethics can cut it next to mainstream materials and supply chains when it comes to style. The Estethica designers more than held their own with competing collections, demonstrating an enviable range of innovation, imagination and understanding of sustainable design.
As with London Fashion Week AW14 in February, Estethica SS15 spread itself throughout the Designer Showrooms crowding Somerset House – and even onto the catwalk thanks to Christopher Raeburn – with designers announcing their sustainability credentials via a subtle Estethica tag. Among the brands was Termite Eyewear, its latest collection Palm Peach inspired by photography from 1970s Miami. The pieces, made to order in England, are made from sustainable birch plywood and beach-bright acetate offcuts rescued from years spent forgotten at a glasses factory.
Also in the Accessories rooms was milliner Mich Dulce, showcasing her collaboration with bag brand Zacharias alongside her statement headwear. The feminine headpieces utilise abacá fibre and are the product of the hand-weaving and craft skills of women in the Philippines. Nearby was the classic Panama hat label Pachacuti, the work of 200 female weavers in Ecuador, with Plant Hunters the theme for SS15. A certified Fair Trade brand, the hats featured sustainable touches including recycled glass beads and decorative bows coloured with vegetable dyes. Social enterprise Bottletop returned to the Bags showroom with a more pared-down look for a number of its pieces, using the natural metal of the drinks can ring pulls – upcycled by female artisans in Brazil – that form the basis of its designs.
Meanwhile in Ready-to-Wear, Eden Diodati’s luxury eveningwear and jewellery is produced by social cooperatives in Italy and Rwanda, made up of painterly printed silks, modern feminine silhouettes and glamorous embellishments. Christopher Raeburn’s celebrated sports luxe pieces started life as military parachutes before being ‘intelligently reconstructed’ in England, proving that catwalk styles can have less than elegant beginnings.
Similarly, Auria’s fun bingo-themed swimwear line had nothing to suggest its provenance as recycled fishing nets from the Philippines. The UK-made collection also features lining discarded by a larger swimwear brand, bagging more eco-credentials. Lingerie brand Charini, showcasing its batik and nature-inspired designs, has many values to its name: the use of reclaimed fabrics from carbon accredited factories, silks from small businesses in Sri Lanka and handmade trims from traditional craft communities, while rejecting plastics, elastic, underwiring and harmful dyes.
However, as with AW14, this season the real buzz was in the Estethica Emerging Talents room. The space is an opportunity for designers to present their first or second collection, and saw the return of Flavia la Rocca, Louise de Testa and Katie Jones following their LFW debut in February. Flavia la Rocca’s new collection continues her theme of recycled fabrics and modular fashion – zips and buttons join or divide garments, designed in modern shapes and wearable colours, for a flexible wardrobe – while Louise de Testa has developed her innovative zero-waste designs and offcut marquetry for her 1930s tennis-inspired sportswear collection.
Katie Jones showed that knitwear can work perfectly for the spring/summer season with metallics and ice-cream colours inspired by childhood trips to Brighton Pavilion with her grandmother – her own crochet work providing inspiration through the classic patterns that comprise Jones’s pieces. Jones uses surplus and reclaimed materials and spins her yarn in England. Also proving that knits are not just for winter was Estethica newcomer Wool and the Gang, showing light sweaters and hats created by a community of knitters – the ‘Gang’ itself – and a bright bag made from upcycled T-shirt jersey fabric. Unusually, Wool and the Gang also encourages its customers to knit their own clothes if they prefer, supplying the yarn and patterns.
In addition to the collections on show at Somerset House, Ecoluxe London held its biannual London Fashion Week event down the road, bringing together designers and brands with an even greater variety of ethical and ecological concepts. Community craft initiatives, upcycled clothing, new natural fabrics and handmade skills were all attendance. It was recycling, however, that caught the eye and the imagination: cement bags (Craftworks Cambodia), postage stamps (The Duck and The Sesame), saris (My Wild Heart), umbrella fabric (Supported by Rain), feathers (Bailey Tomlin) and even food waste (Hoyan Ip/Bio-Trimmings) were all reworked into wearable styles.
Ethical fashion may still need the backing of initiatives like Estethica and Ecoluxe London at present, but with such an abundance of ideas against a backdrop of diminishing natural resources and increasing consumer demand for transparency from brands, the niche is edging into the mainstream.
Morwenna Kearns is a freelance writer, online editor and PR and social media manager for businesses and organisations running the sustainability and ethical gamut, from fashion to food to filmmaking. She also works within the visual communications sector. Morwenna can be found tweeting as @morwennakearns, blogging about ethical fashion and beauty at GreenGlitter.co.uk and editing environmental business news at SustainableReview.net.
Photo: Termite Eyewear
How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018
Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.
Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:
1. Energy – produce it, save it
If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.
It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.
While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.
Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!
2. Don’t be just another tourist
Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.
3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly
We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.
To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.
It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.
4. Know thy recycling
People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.
People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.
5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool
Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.
All in all
The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.
Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.
Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.
Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.
Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar
The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.
It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.
The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.
Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.
It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.
And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.
Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.
Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics
Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?
Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.
Minimize Your Water Usage
Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?
These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.
From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!
- Energy2 weeks ago
How Much Energy Does Bitcoin Use, Really?
- Environment3 weeks ago
Biggest Tip to Eco-Friendly Car Ownership (Which May Surprise You)
- Energy3 weeks ago
Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- Energy3 weeks ago
4 Energy Efficient Home Upgrades that You Can Install Yourself