Category ‘Slow Fashion’

6 Slow fashion London boutiques where to shop on Small Business Saturday

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion on Monday, December 1st, 2014

It may only be at its second edition, but Small Business Saturday is a big deal for indies. Taking place on the first shopping Saturday in December, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses, and these are the results of 2013′s inaugural edition: 48% of UK consumers were aware of the day and 40% of all Local Authorities supported the campaign; over 1.5 million facebook views and #SmallBizSatUK trending top 3 all day on twitter; and, most crucially: over £460 million spent in small businesses on the day.

There are infinite ways to support independents on the day (and beyond! This really should become a lifestyle…): go to a local farmers’ market/bakery/fishmonger (healthy quality produce!), have brunch at an independent cafe’ (much tastier!), read something you bought from a small bookstore (great conversation with knowledgeable staff!), and so on.
But obviously for me this is the perfect occasion to remind you to support slow fashion boutiques. Because here in London we are lucky to have several. So here is a little itinerary, which will take you around the whole city if you decide to make a great shopping day of it.

> 69b

69binterior

Established in 2011 in Broadway Market, this is an absolute gem. Owner Merryn Leslie has a long-spanning career as a fashion stylist, which shows brilliantly in her buying choices and visual merchandising. The space is fresh, edgy and elegant at the same time – only, all the labels also happen to be sustainable. Essentially, 69b already embodies the future of ethical fashion: when it will be just fashion. Plus, their new e-commerce website has just launched, literally this week. Visit in person on 6th December, and order online all year round.
69bboutique.com
69b Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

> Here Today Here Tomorrow

HTHT

Here Today Here Tomorrow is a collaborative studio shop between designers Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Emma Rigby, Julia Crew and Anna-Maria Hesse. Their Dalston space is used not only to house the designers’ own lines, but a range of other brands too, be they upcycled, fairtrade or Made In Britain – plus craft skills workshops such as natural dyeing techniques.
They also have an online store: heretoday-heretomorrow.com
30a Balls Pond Road, London N1 4AU

> Cock & Bull

CockBull

This is one for the boys: from a basic t-shirt to classic tweed flatcaps, this store is the ultimate sustainable gents outfitters. Nestled in quaint Cheshire Street just off Brick Lane, a visit to Cock & Bull will fit perfectly in your shopping itinerary.
Also online at cockandbullmenswear.co.uk/store
30 Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH

> The Fara Workshop

fara1_905

The Fara Workshop in Angel is another totally winning retail formula. Since the collection comes from reclaimed fabrics, the whole store has also been outfitted with reclaimed materials, which make for a beautiful and unique space. Every garment for sale is also unique, as well as handmade in the premises and contributing to a great charity. How many more boxes can you tick? Ah yes, you can attend sewing and upcycling workshops here, too.
28-32 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HJ

> The Keep Boutique

The-Keep-Brixton

Anyone in the know is aware that Brixton is where it’s at – particularly with boutiques like The Keep in its midst. With a selection of the best sustainable brands from Antiform to Wunderwek, and regular events held in store, this is exactly what the indie shopping experience is all about: handpicked pieces, a knowledgeable and friendly owner, the perfect atmosphere.
Shop online too, at thekeepboutique.com
32/33 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PR

> Lowie

Bronwyn-Lowie

No winter shopping trip is complete without a piece from knitwear brand Lowie, be it mittens or socks or the perfect Fair Isle jumper. And if you visit their lovely store, you’ll also find yourself in another great area for indies: Dulwich/Herne Hill (check out this The Resident piece on shopkeepers of the area). Or, find them at their Old Truman Brewery pop-up, or online at ilovelowie.com
115 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London, SE24 0NG

p.s.: if you are an independent retailer and are looking for ideas to make the most of SBS, have a read of this piece on the ecommerce advice blog I write for: 5 ways to get your business ready for Small Business Saturday.

 

Fast/Slow // The Bomber Jacket

Posted in Fast/Slow, Shopping, Slow Fashion on Sunday, November 17th, 2013

rewardrobe slow fashion bomber jacket

 

Shop for Goodone here. Shop for TRAIDremade here.

 

 

Weekend Trend // Panelled Knitwear

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion, Trends & Moodboards on Sunday, October 13th, 2013

When it comes to updating your knitwear for the coming autumn and winter, make sure it’s quality and Slow. And most of all, colourful and panelled!

From Somewhere: the new AW13 From Somwhere collection is a heady remix of classic FS imbued with new energy by designer Brandy Easter (fresh from BA Womenswear at CSM) and talented pattern cutter Jack Kindred-Boothby, who reworked luxury pre-consumer fabrics such as proofs, swatches, end-of-rolls and off-cuts reclaimed from the world’s leading design houses and mills. >Winter Lo top >Skinny dress >Anna top.

Antiform: The Unisex Tweed Sweater is designed for men and women, with genuine UK woven wool tweed front and back panels. The Grey version features pale grey sleeves mixed with a carefully selected tweed. The beauty of the reclaimed materials used is that you’ll get a one-off piece of English heritage that no one else will have, and that every piece is unique.

TRAIDremadeTRAIDremade makes clothes ethically in the UK – reusing unwanted textiles and producing in their Dalston studio and a small factory in Tottenham, London. Buy online or in-store at TRAID Dalston and TRAID Camden.

Komodo: the RON jumper is made of 100% pure Merino wool from non-mulesed live stock. Komodo does not use man made substitutes or blended yarns – but we like the way they blended the colours in this one!

Here Today Here Tomorrow: this lovely jumper is part of the Made in Nepal Collection. Since 2011, Emma and Anna of HTHT spent a month in Kathmandu working with the Association of Craft Producers (ACP), a not-for-profit fair trade organisation and a member of WFTO, providing opportunities for low income, primarily female artisans in 15 different districts of Nepal. Each product in the HTHT collections is handmade and provides the artisan who made it with economic and social support.

Paper London: Graphic prints and intarsia knits are the signature of British label Paper – so the gorgeous Sarentino dress falls right on trend.

 

The Summer Series // Sardinian jewellery

Posted in Books, Shopping, Slow Fashion on Monday, August 19th, 2013

For once, I’ve spent enough time here in Sardinia to allow me to do things a bit more slowly than the usual rush to see everyone and do everything in just a handful of days. This included being able to enjoy some of the books that still live on my shelves here, and that I haven’t moved to London (thanks a lot, low-cost airlines luggage limits!).

I have started a small collection of Ilisso books – wonderful coffee-table glossy tomes illustrating various aspects of Sardinia’s rich traditions, from food to costumes, to ceramics, to textiles. Gioielli is a stunning visual catalog of the island’s jewellery, very fine examples of which have been crafted since prehistoric times. See the slideshow below for a selection (albeit a limited one, which really doesn’t do the book any justice).


Interestingly, the final section of the book is dedicated to contemporary jewellers that have been inspired by the original and interesting shapes of these historic ornaments. Here’s a few examples by designers like Mauro Manca and Italo Antico.


If you’d like to own a special jewel, I have two brands for you. One is Kokku, who are handmade filigree specialists – and are also based in London, if you want to contact them for special commissions. Another brand I really like is Soha, based in the Sardinian capital, Cagliari – but with a great online store, so they aren’t too far away really! They are currently running a temporary space here in Porto Cervo, so I was lucky enough to meet Giovanni Pisu and André Baradat, the minds behind the brand’s refined aesthetic. Here’s a few snaps I took in the store – I’m currently having issues with uploading pictures on the blog, so a flickr slideshow is all I can add. Make sure to check Kokku’s and Soha’s websites for close-ups of their beautiful jewellery!


The Summer Series // Sardinia: Alghero & Antonio Marras

Posted in Places, Slow Fashion on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

If you’ve been following my ‘adventures’ on facebook and twitter, you’ll now this summer I’m spending an extended period of time in Sardinia, because I’ve had knee surgery and I am convalescing here. Despite the pain and discomfort, this decision didn’t come without its positives. I’m getting to spend a long time with my family, enjoy the amazing weather, and skip the physiotherapy studio in favour of exercising in the sea – I can’t think of a healthier and more enjoyable post-op recovery ever!

I had my op in Alghero, a gorgeous coastal town that I hadn’t visited for a long time – so the night before going to the hospital I took a stroll around the ‘bastioni’ (the ancient fortifications) and the maze of cobbled streets of the old town.

It is here that I saw the beautiful boutique of talented designer, Antonio Marras, a native of Alghero.

Marras is a recognised name of Italian fashion – having shown his collection at Milan Fashion Week since 1998, and having also been Creative Director at Kenzo for many years. He is a master of opulent fabrics and sculptural shapes – but naturally, what strikes me most about his work is his ability to take inspiration from the richness of his Sardinian heritage, where a sapient use of wool and embroidery feature heavily, and which is obviously the background to Marras’s masterful mix of textures and weights, and to the small details such as the buttons and pins modelled on the silver and gold ornaments of the sumptuous Sardinian traditional costume.

The boutique interior also references to local crafts – with monochrome carpets of Marras’s own design, but heavily inspired to Sardinian traditional patterns, among the most recognisable artefacts of the island – tastefully paired with ‘found objects’ for an elegant vintage feel.

The AW13 collection was already displayed, and I enjoyed not only browsing it, but actually being able to feel the wonderful fabrics. I got a few snaps in store, but you can view the whole collection here (courtesy of Style.com). How do you feel about this collection?

 

 

The Summer Series // Espadrilles, quintessential summer shoes

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion, Trends & Moodboards on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

In a list of essentials for a Slow summer wardrobe, espadrilles are an absolute must. They are perfect for the warm months, and their production is steeped in tradition and still strongly connected to its area of origin. And on top of this, they can be made in all the colours of the rainbow!

Anatomy of a shoe by Alice & Whittles

Espadrilles (or alpargatas, in Spanish) have been made in northern Spain, southern France and the Basque region for centuries. The term espadrille is French and derives from an Occitan word, which comes from espardenya, in Catalan: a type of shoes made with espart, the Catalan name for esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope.

A lovely Spanish espadrilles brands, Slowers, tells us a lot about the fascinating history of this very simple shoe: the espadrille, which dates back to the Iberians and Romans, was the footwear used by Spanish workers and peasants until well into the twentieth century. Later on, it became a summer footwear, for the comfort, freshness and hygiene that its natural fibres provide. (read more here)

The Espadrille Store has a great website with a whole section dedicated to the history and craftsmanship behind these shoes – make sure you watch the videos!

With such a traditional background, espadrilles are inherently Slow – and I love how quite a few brands now specialise in making espadrilles which look trendy but are made by local artisans. And for your summer outfits, here’s my suggestions:

1. Industry Of All NationsIOAN™ takes manufacturing back to the regions where products and materials originate, bringing unique local businesses to an international market. IOAN™ introduces basic everyday goods that are developed horizontally in collaboration with local communities around the world, creating new designs through traditional and innovative industrial processes.

2. Soludos for Lalesso – Lalesso has collaborated with Soludos for this exciting range of their classic espadrille adorned with Lalesso’s trademark prints. Check out the other patterns!

3. Soludos – A NYC brand that has brought the spirit of the Mediterranean to the US through espadrilles

4. The Espadrille Store – Espadrilles only, made locally in Spain following the rules of tradition. I chose the Catalan design from the heritage limited collection.

5. Vidorreta - Vidorreta is a brand from Cervera del Rio Alhama, in La Rioja, the espadrille cradle of Spain. It started off spinning, plaiting, warping and stitching jute for the manufacturing of soles, but now designs their own collections.

6. Alice & Whittles – a newly launched brand with a great social mission. A&W work with small-scale organic farmers, rural hand weavers and artisan manufacturers to produce hand-crafted espadrilles that step lightly on the planet and benefit everyone who has a hand in making them. The organic cotton for the uppers is grown and weaved in India, and the soles are hand-made in the South of France.

7. Slowers – Small brand inspired by rural Spain and its deep-rooted alpargatas tradition.

Weekend Trend // Fantasy Leggings

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion, Trends & Moodboards on Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Today’s trend may initially look suitable only for the more adventurous (or – dare I say it – young). But as with everything, don’t be tricked into believing you must style outfits the way they are shown to you in stores or magazines (or blogs! :) ). If you fancy something, just make it work for your own personality – or occasion, or age group. These leggings all have stunning prints – and they need not be limited to the ‘rock-chick teenager’. Pair them with a simple tunic (disguising midriff and behind), and switch the trainers or boots for flat sandals. Perfect for a refreshing dash of colour for summer.

Antiform - Lovely Sally - Front Row Society - Hell Yeah QooQoo - Bartinki - TRAID Remade

Mr Gugu and Miss Go - Amanda Pascual - Legguns - Phannatiq - Komana - RHLS Brooklyn

 

click on the links to buy directly from each brand’s online store

Weekend Trend // Triangle Patterns

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion, Trends & Moodboards on Saturday, July 27th, 2013

People Tree - The Top Project - Paper London

Feng Ho - Diletta - Lalesso

People Tree – The pioneer brand for sustainable and Fairtrade fashion. This t-shirt was made in India in 100% organic Fairtrade-certified cotton.

The Top Project - Created by designer Niki Taylor, The Top Project is a vibrant sustainable design store. Alongside a range of unique and luxurious silk tops and silk vintage blouses, The Top Project promotes and sells the work of emerging print designers and illustrators on 100% organic cotton printed T-shirts and sweatshirts. Exclusive and limited edition. The RED Triangle Tee is printed on organic cotton and was made in a wind-powered, Fair Wear Foundation factory.

Paper London – A modern British brand focused on creating clean, sharp silhouettes with an emphasis on graphic intarsia knits. Taking pride in the British manufacturing excellence, Paper is produced in London.

Feng Ho – Ethical designer Feng Ho uses a range of sustainable textiles such as Tencel, soy, organic cotton and hemp, or end-of-line fabrics from British merchants – and her whole range is hand-crafted in her Oxford studio. Feng Ho creates harmony between architecture and nature through the use of clean lines and natural form in her designs. Folds and drapes are utilised to create a sophisticated and modern look.

Diletta – Italian deisgner Diletta Forgnone Gianeri’s fashion is 100% Made in Italy. The DILETTA style is a balanced mix of technique and creativity, distinguished by its craftsmanship, hyper-contemporary treatment of fabrics, and an “experimental” use of colours matched to shapes which are pure geometry.

Lalesso - Lalesso was formed by co-designers Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser after a holiday to Lamu Island off the north coast of Kenya. Both Olivia and Alice are children of Africa and have been wrapped in its beautiful fabrics since birth. After studying fashion design together in Cape Town the pair were impelled to harness the magical beauty of the East African ‘khanga’, also known as ‘lesso’ to create vibrant and care free summer fashion. This relaxed kaftan with waist tie is 50% cotton 50% silk.

 

The Summer Series // Slow Swimwear

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion on Friday, July 26th, 2013

Funny how things go at times. What can be a problem and a nuisance, can also have a positive side. I’ve been told I needed knee surgery – luckily, I was also told I could have it in Sardinia, where my family live. So I can be looked after by them, and also spend a whole 6 weeks on my wonderful island. There’s nowhere else is the world I’d rather be in the summer.

However I’ve heard the weather has been great in London, too. Plus, many of you are now, or will soon be someplace in the Med. So here goes: a few very summery posts for the blog!

To start off, swimwear of course. If you thought it was difficult to maintain a Slow wardrobe when on a beach holiday, rest assured it’s not. Plenty of options here – so many in fact, that I’ve had to narrow them down for this post!

Hand-cut: Curlee Bikini + Individuals

Mallory Curlee produces custom, made-to-order swimwear the old fashioned way: pattern-making, cutting, and sewing each product herself. CurleeBikini Swimwear is made solely from remnant, vintage, and organic fabrics.

Individuals offers an incredible range of choice by letting the customer pick and mix among a choice of colours and shapes – and the manufacturing process is entirely artisanal, with every piece cut by the designer, Carlo Galli. Individuals is about local production and upcycling: fabrics that the garment industry would put into waste are used, and all manufacturing steps take place within 60Km.

Inspired by travel: Olga Ollson + Salt Resort Wear

Olga Olsson is a luxury travel brand “inspired by beaches, mountains, lakes, and cities around the world”. The namesake of the brand is her grandmother Olga, “who always travelled in style”.  The design process is focused on craftsmanship, quality and ethics.

Salt Resort Wear is the ultimate destination for luxury resort wear, all year round. The London store and online boutique house resort wear, ready-to-wear and accessories from designers like Babajaan. Babajaan was created in London by the Brazilian-born Sandra Moleirinho. Social responsibility is at the core of the brand’s philosophy, to give back to each country involved in manufacturing the collection. Babajaan is undertaking a project to establish support organisations to provide education to children in Brazil, India and Ecuador.

Doing good: Bantu + Ruby Moon

Speaking of giving back, designer Yodit Eklund created Bantu swimwear to dress women all over the world in African-inspired prints, while also helping the African economy. Since its birth, Bantu has been Made In Africa, by Africans, sustainably & fairly, using traditional processes and working exclusively with local vendors and artisans. Bantu was created by merging the rich history of African art and textiles with Africa’s deeply rooted surf culture.

RubyMoon is based on an ethical business model where for every swimming costume sold, women entrepreneurs throughout the developing world get  help to transform their future through micro-credit. Because RubyMoon only sells online, 100% of the profit is be donated as part of a micro loan which will launch a small business, that in turn, will generate an income enabling families to find their own route out of poverty. When the loans are returned, RubyMoon invest in more beachwear, to help a greater number of women each year.

SS14 preview: Front Row Society + Auria+Ada Zanditon

Front Row Society offers high quality accessories with unique and original designs, coming from an open collective of designers who submit artworks to specific challenges. Winning designs are curated into seasonal collections – and that for SS14 swimwear was titled ‘African Heat’.

The Lavera Showfloor at the latest Berlin Fashion Week saw the launch of a swimwear collaboration between Ada Zanditon & Auria London. The swimwear is made from recycled PET woven in Italy, sourced by Auria London, who also designed the silhouette and detailing, while Zanditon created the prints for the range. The Ada Zanditon Spring Summer 2014 collection is inspired by Ada’s visit to two Sea Turtle conservation projects in Sri Lanka – and if you want one of her creations for yourself, you can pre-order one if you back her Audacity of Fashion crowdfunding campaign.

Weekend Trend // Denim aprons and Workwear

Posted in Shopping, Slow Fashion, Trends & Moodboards on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

In October 2012 I attended the first edition of Best Of Britannia, a new event celebrating British design, manufacturing, people and their skills. Among a great selection of brands, I discovered Dawson Denim, hailing from Brighton. Unusually for a denim label, their star product was not jeans, but a denim apron. That’s because Dawson is in fact not an apparel brand: they produce Workwear. Which is possibly the coolest, Slowest trend in menswear right now. The idea is to reevaluate classic utilitarian garments, with their inherent durability, and design that is driven by a functional rather than fashionable approach.

Recently, I also spotted these on The Vintage Showroom‘s blog.

Then yesterday I saw this picture posted on Denham‘s facebook page, straight from Pitti Uomo in Florence. That’s it, I thought, the thing is really taking off.

So I did a bit of research and it seems I’m not wrong. All the coolest UK and US denim brands are at it. The denim apron is the thing to have right now.

1. Railcar Fine Goods - made of 12-ounce, dark indigo, blue line selvedge American Cone Mills denim from North Carolina. Built using triple and single chain stitch hemming, the exact same construction that’s used on all Railcar jeans. Thick, heavy-duty, 6 ounce raw leather straps with adjustable hardware make it easy to fit.

2. Hardmill - 14 oz. indigo selvage denim, 7 oz. hand-dyed leather, copper rivets. Handcrafted in U.S.A.

3. 3×1 collab with Cool Hunting - Handmade of rare Barber Pole denim from Cone Mills—specially selected for its unique green hue weft.

4. Stronghold - Heavy duty, organic selvage denim. True indigo dye. Designed, cut and sewn in Los Angeles, California.

5. Stanley and Sons - Available in narrow width selvage duck cloth or denim from Cone Mills, or cotton fabric with folded seams on all sides. All aprons are made to order. A limited edition has also been produced in collab with Monocle.

6. Gant

In actual fact, the concept of stylish workwear is something I was already familiar with. If you know Labour & Wait (and if you don’t, believe you me you should!), you’ll also know that they stock British workmen’s staples such as Yarmo fishermen smocks, Guernsey jumpers, Brady fishing bags (I love mine!) and leather satchels (from way before the Cambridge Satchel Company was even a twinkle in Julie Deane’s eye). And naturally, they have aprons, too. Actually, they have designed and produced a few, and wear them as the store’s ‘uniform’, as pictured below (the owners, Rachel and Simon’s picture is courtesy of Dwell – Brian’s picture courtesy of Wayne Tippetts).

They aslo stock pieces by Old Town, a brand of essentially useful items with reference points and influences from past costume, producing approximately 50 pieces per week from their own workshop, using British cottons, woollens and linens wherever possible.

I’d like to point out here, that Labour & Wait have been trading since 2000, and rather than riding the wave of interest for useful and traditional products and interior styling that seems to have swept London in recent years, they’re the ones who set it. Check out their online store or beautiful Redchurch Street shop for all things functional and cool.