November 15, 2010
Lingerie is big business, with financial forecasters predicting that by 2016, the retail market will sell 1.64bn bras and 4.74bn briefs worldwide. However, behind all the lace and frills, many retailers have dubious manufacturing credentials, which fail to adequately consider the sustainability of their fabrics or the ethics of their production lines.
Enter Green Knickers, a lingerie business which was the brainchild of Sarah Lucy Smith, a young entrepreneur with a flair for design and firm commitment to ethically sourced, Fair Trade products. Sarah attended a degree course in Eco Design at Goldsmiths College (part of the University of London), where she was inspired to create a special line of ‘green’ knickers, using environmentally-friendly fabrics including silk, hemp and organic cotton, to create a truly unique lingerie business which puts the Fair Trade back into fashion.
Fair Trade fashion
Green Knickers is committed to creating a commercially viable business built on ethical principles – giving customers greater choice, and ensuring that global and local suppliers get a fair deal. Sarah, with her business partner (and old school friend), Rose Cleary, are also keen to challenge the eco-warrior stereotype, reflecting a fun and playful sense of humour in all their products. Green Knickers are stitched with quirky messages like ‘Stop deforestation’ and ‘Cycle more’ which aim to convey serious messages in a fun and accessible way.
Explaining their approach, Sarah says: “There are a variety of styles, but there’s humour in all of them. That was my aim: to add a cheeky excitement and much needed humour to green politics. I want people to be excited about changing their lifestyles – not bullied into it. Otherwise you can get demoralised – people who care, often end up feeling guilty all the
It’s certainly a sound proposition, which combines stylish, sexy designs with ethical production values.
Just a fad?
We all know how fickle the fashion world can be, so it’s easy to assume that the focus on ethical fashion could be a passing fad. And with Green Knickers at £25 a pair, there are significant affordability issues which the average consumer might find difficult to swallow. However, while cost is perhaps a barrier for now, it’s clear that fair trade fashion is growing
in popularity. Charity shops have reported significant increases in sales, with Oxfam and others capitalising on the vintage fashion potential of clothing donations to their stores. Indeed, with fashionistas like Sarah Jessica Parker regularly sporting the vintage look, it’s clear that recycled fashion offers consumers a chance to develop a unique and individual look that high street store chains simply can’t deliver.
So whether you’re looking for a vintage collectable, or shopping with a conscience, it’s clear that ethical fashion is on the rise. Green is definitely the new black, and it seems that at least some high street retailers are starting to…ahem…cotton on. Consumer demand for ethically produced clothing is also likely to increase pressure on big name designers to adopt fairer trade and production values, encouraging the rest of the industry to follow suit. And with Green Knickers proving that you don’t have to substitute style for substance, let’s hope the trend is here to stay.
May 14, 2010
Of course if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. But if you’re buying anyway, Elvis & Kresse create life-style accessories by re-engineering seemingly useless wastes. The innovative and pioneering Fire-Hose range is made exclusively from genuine de-commissioned British fire brigade hoses which, after a distinguished career fighting fires and saving lives, were otherwise destined for landfill.
50% of profits from the fire-hose line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.
Not only fire hoses though, according to their site they also use:
# Waste coffee sacks
# Scrap sail cloth
# Used Air Traffic Control flight strips
# Repurposed sunglasses and optician’s boxes
# Reclaimed pewter for our belt buckles
# Parachute silk
# Decommissioned office furniture textiles
I also like their packaging philosophy too. for example any boxes have all been used at least once before, including old shoe boxes, glasses boxes or even pink lady grapefruit crates. They have an inexhaustible supply of used Jiffy bags, product labels are hand printed on the back of used Air Traffic Control Strips and the string is strands of old coffee sacks and much more you can read here.
[Hat tip: Springwise]
July 31, 2009
Eco Emporia’s fire hose belt was worn by actress Cameron Diaz in a feature on green fashion. Founder Anna Burns wrote:
“Eco Emporia were delighted when they were contacted by Vogue magazine to help highlight green fashion in June’s issue of American Vogue. Hollywood’s green queen Cameron Diaz talks about making eco sensitive shopping choices and models our stunning West End Fire Hose Belt whilst on a shoot with world renowned photographer Mario Testino.
“The belt is part of a collection of accessories made from decommissioned fire hose saved from landfill and transformed by the team at EaKo Ltd. All are handmade and unique, each bears the scars of active fire-fighting duty and many retain details of the original hose batch number and manufactuer’s name. All are made in the UK and even the belt buckles and rivets are made from 100% reclaimed pewter.
“The full range of 11 stylish eco-friendly belts, plus card holder wallet, wash bag, saddle bag and tote bag are available from online gift retailer Eco Emporia. What’s more 50% of profits made by EaKo Ltd from the sale of every item in the fire hose range are donated to The Fire Fighters Charity.”
To read more about the Vogue photo shoot and see the full range of fire hose accessories visit www.ecoemporia.com/vogue