Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Eco fashion - beyond guilt

Lisa Armstrong nails it in the Times:

Not that I am recommending that you buy something worthy out of guilt. For guilt, as I hope we all agree, is the very worst motive for partaking in any sort of retail activity. It is only through not being bought out of guilt that eco and fairtrade set-ups discover what we really want, especially if you follow your rejection with a comment on their websites. Call it tough love.

And they are improving. Honestly. In the past you looked. You pondered. You thought: “What a nice idea, I really must support it.” Then you went to H&M.

But things are changing, thanks to some serious hard work and soul-searching. “We are constantly working on ways to keep our customers engaged,” says Sim Scavazza, of, which describes itself as “a sort of ethical department store” (it has cute fair-trade trousers, wrap miniskirts and necklaces, by the way).

“We change the home page weekly, as you would a shop window, and are adding an entire section on news and features. And there's not a hemp dress in sight. We know that the demand is there. The high street is taking note and London Fashion Week has its own eco-brand section. It just hasn't reached critical mass yet,” Scavazza adds.


Anonymous said...

On the topic of eco fashion, I found a fabulous organic vintage-inspired dress which happens to be hemp:
I met the designers -- 2 twentysomething sisters from LA -- at a show in Seattle. They recently founded this business and I believe are pictured as the models on the site. The 6 fit well, where I normally take a 4 (US size) in dresses. Finally a marriage of fashion and eco-responsibility

Anonymous said...

Love the backless dress on that site. How fabulous!


Duchesse said...

You might also like Edun, Ali Hewson's line:

Similar approach, I prefer Edun's aesthetic.

greying pixie said...

This subject was touched on on Newsnight during the last London Fashion Week. In my opinion it all comes down to design - of course, we will wear hair shirts, but they must be cashmere and they MUST MUST MUST be well designed! Otherwise forget it!

Rollergirl said...

This has always been my problem with anything 'worthy' whether it's charity t-shirts or 'eco' or 'ethical' chic. If it's ugly, I don't care how good it is for the community I don't want it! I'm glad things are picking up now. I particularly rate Noir. Interesting that Sim Scavazza (formerly of Miss Selfridge) and Jane Shepherdson (formerly of TopShop and currently working with Oxfam) are both leading the way in this.