As a fashion lover who is making more of a conscious effort to be an ethical consumer, I am beyond excited to share an exciting campaign I’ve been working on with Karen from @n4mummy this month! On the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza Bangladesh factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, we have been demanding greater transparency from brands. As part of Fashion Revolution Week - a global movement in the fashion industry - we have asked a selection of fashion brands #WhoMadeMyClothes ?
There are so many businesses who are striving to make a real difference and move away from the darker side of the industry and talk about their supply chains openly and honestly and they should be celebrated. Fashion should make you feel good and these brands are encouraging in their modern outlook and way of thinking, plus they are all brands that are wearable and stylish - helping lead the way in a fashion revolution.
These are some of the brands who are prepared to tell you #WhoMadeMyClothes …
Lucy & Yak
Small family run independent brand, Lucy & Yak, are famous for their fabulous unisex dungarees. They are the most comfortable item you will ever wear! This is a fun and colourful brand who have been championing working in the most ethical way right from the start. They currently have 30 people helping to hand make Lucy & Yak clothing out in India, the factory is very rural and over looks the beautiful desert and farmland of Rajasthan. They have a close relationship with the factory owner Ismail and his workers. Ismail understands the importance of treating the workers fairly and with respect.
“I feel so proud to not only have created more than 30 jobs in this beautiful country, but to know that we pay them what they deserve, enough so that they can take a day off when they feel like it, to spend more time with their family and friends. We know every one of our tailors, we see them everyday that we spend in India. I share photos with them of the people back in the west wearing the clothing they created, they love to see it.” Lucy & Chris from Lucy & Yak
These dungarees are super versatile and have adjustable straps - I styled them for this shoot with rose gold heels and a cream knit but they would equally work well with a tee or blouse and trainers or sandals.
Emma: Blue Stripe Scout Dungarees, £58 Lucy & Yak, The Relaxed Chalk Knitwear, £150 Navygrey, Rose Gold Sandals, £85 Pearl & Stud, Zebra Sunglasses, £95 Vow London, Bracelets, £46 Iris Sandals and Eddie Leather Bag, £119 Honey & Toast
Karen: Luna Blue Dungarees, £38 Lucy & Yak, Trainers, £74.95 Shoe The Bear
Mi Apparel is an online fashion and lifestyle boutique that only sell brands that have been made in an ethical, sustainable and transparent way. They have an effortlessly cool edit of fashion, natural organic beauty and homewares for a more conscious way of living. This pretty Kimono Jumpsuit is by Cossac, made from sustainable tencel in small runs out of a factory in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Sustainable fashion is a FASHION REVOLUTION! For me, it’s the only way” Kate, Mi Apparel
The stunning drapey jumpsuit can be dressed up with heels for a more formal look or dressed down with trainers and a stripy tee underneath it for a more casual everyday way. It has a very comfy elasticated waist and a little modesty button in the front wrap, you could also pop your own belt around it to give it a different look as well.
Clary & Peg
Clary & Peg make a range of beautiful, vintage-inspired clothes that are maternity friendly. I’m a long term fan of their nostalgic designs, all designed and ethically made in London. They make the best jumpsuits and dungarees but it’s nice to try one of their new dress shapes out for SS19. All their styles are breast feeding friendly and have clever features such as adjustable straps, poppers and button fronts.
This marigold print midi dress is SO comfy - pregnant or not! The perfect summer piece (would also work with heels for a wedding) teamed back with these low heel conscious clogs but also lovely with a chunky cardi and tights on those cooler days. It has kimono sleeves and little buttons down the front plus those all important pockets! The headband is made from vintage fabric and adds a playful retro touch to the outfit.
Their manufacturer, Julie, runs a small factory in Barking, with 3 people working for her. All of her staff are paid a living wage. Care is taken to create high quality clothing with longevity in mind. They try to minimise waste wherever possible. All small pieces of fabric are turned into headbands, bloomers or into lavender bags that are sent out with orders. The headbands and bloomers are handmade by a local seamstress in Nunhead, London. Clary & Peg work with UK fabric mills and often use end-of-roll fabrics to minimise their environmental impact. Where possible they source trimmings and buttons from vintage suppliers including their favourite place - Taylors in Fitzrovia.
Emma: Nancy Dress, £125 Clary & Peg, Headband, £20 Clary & Peg, Garnet Low Fresta Clogs, £99 Kitty Clogs Sweden, Sunglasses, Warby Parker, Circle Bag, £118 Caroline Gardner, Belcher Chain Necklace, £120 Catch Rhys
I’m really pleased to include a global high street brand in this campaign! I know colourful British brand Boden well, having worked with them for over 10 years when I worked as a fashion buyer. I know the amount of time and care that goes into their sourcing strategies and they take real pride in their sustainable manufacturing ethics and practices. Boden are members of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) - a global non-profit organisation whose vision is to work with businesses to create a just and sustainable world.
We are wearing pieces that have been made as part of the HERproject - a collaborative initiative that strives to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. Bringing together global brands, their suppliers, and local NGOs, HERproject drives impact for women and business via workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality. Since its inception in 2007, HERproject has worked in more than 800 workplaces across 14 countries and has increased the well-being, confidence, and economic potential of more than 850,000 women.
This striking red fit and flare dress has a real retro, Grace Kelly 1950’s feel to it, with a fold over collar and bow at the back. It’s made of jersey Ponte so flattering and comfortable. I’ve teamed it with tie detail espadrilles for more of a day look but it would look super glam with some high heels for a wedding or special occasion.
Spanish brand Bobo Choses are well known for their fun, playful clothes in soft, earthy colour palettes and heavy washes to give a real lived in vintage look. They try to be responsible for the impact of their activities on their community and the environment. Their collection themes often carry environmental messages. The Spring-Summer 2019 collection ‘To Make a Garden’, is a call for saving the honeybees by planting gardens everywhere, everytime. ‘Make the bees happy. Never stop planting. Have fun!’ Recently they teamed up with ECAP (European Clothing Action), to make sure they design in a more sustainable way and contribute to reduce clothing waste and stand for a circular economy approach. They bet on recycled materials (fabrics and thread), organic cotton and biodegradable bags.
Garments are made locally in Spain and Bobo Choses strive to make sure all their products are kind to the environment. 80% of the garments are made with eco friendly certified organic cotton. The cotton used to produce the fabrics are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or any other chemical fertiliser. The sustainable production system also helps to replenish and maintain soil fertility.
“We strongly believe that local production allows us to work with our suppliers as members of the Bobo family, and we are fortunate to know them all. This generates a dynamic of trust and quality that is difficult to delocalize. You can relocate production, but not the intangible value of working as a family." - Adriana Esperalba, founder and creative director.
I absolutely love the earthy tones of this lightweight cotton summery cami and skirt outfit - perfect for a hot day. I have also worn this cami top back with denim shorts and the skirt looks great with summer knitwear too.
Naomi launched Beyond Nine 18 months ago in response to the lack of decent maternity wear. Her best selling styles are the jumpsuits (I can vouch these are the comfiest things you will ever own!). Designed to feel as normal as possible - so no fiddly flaps, hidden zips or ruching traditionally seen in maternity ranges. “I get a lot of non-pregnant women also wearing our clothes which is the biggest compliment considering mat wear has such a bad rep!”. All clothes are bump friendly but designed to flatter without bumps too. They use organic and natural fabrics and produce ethically here in the UK.
Both our styles are from the new collection for summer and made of beautiful natural linen from a Lithuanian linen supplier. All their linen is Oeko-Tex certified (which means it does not contain any harmful chemicals through processing or dyeing, for example). Linen is a sustainable fabric, because growing flax requires less water than cotton. There is very little waste with flax that is because other part of the plant, like the seeds, can be used to produce linseed oil or flax seeds for consumption. Linen typically requires fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides than cotton. The durability of linen means it lasts longer than other materials, it is moth resistant and untreated linen (like the natural linen in our latest range) is fully biodegradable.
The jumpsuit is the perfect two on for a hot summers days, I’ve teamed it with some leather mules, a hairclip and my zebra sunglasses.
Smalls is a sustainable fashion brand making luxurious under layers for all the family out of fully traceable, 100% natural, certified superfine merino wool from 100% happy sheep. They produce in a small family run factory in Portugal. They use ZQ Merino which is an ethical Merino wool programme, it ensures the five freedoms for sheep are upheld to ensure they are always very happy sheep indeed. By choosing ZQ Merino products, you can be confident that the sheep producing the wool are well treated, well-fed, live natural and healthy lives. The factories Smalls use are Oeko-Tex and G.O.T.S certified and run on green energy - being only supplied by renewable energy sources.
“All this fast fashion and cheap, throwaway products are a false economy. Smalls garments are made to last, to be passed down to siblings, so you buy one or two and that’s it! There simply isn’t any need for piles and piles cheaply produced vests, pyjamas and other basics. Like any worthy wardrobe staple, Smalls go with everything, which proves that it is possible to love fashion and live life sustainably. And you can reduce your contribution to that ever-growing mountain of unwanted clothing that’s growing somewhere on our planet!” Smalls Co-Founder, Emma-Jane Adam
These multi-tasking and trans-seasonal styles are 100% breathable, keeping you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold - naturally regulating body temperatures all year round. These super comfortable styles can be worn alone as activewear, loungewear or athleisure wear and the cami has been really useful under summer dresses recently too. This is such a great eco brand with a lovely story behind it.
Smalls have also just created an earth friendly capsule collection for Fashion Revolution week using remnants and end of line fabrics - see here.
A massive thank you to all the brands that agreed to take part in this campaign and to Karen for being such a great person to collaborate with!
All photos taken by Bekky Lonsdale
*This is a sponsored post and items were gifted but please note all opinions expressed are my own and I love all of these brands and would shop from them anyway