To be or not to be….a rebel ?

Changing the face of the fashion industry might be a trendy topic at this point in time but the “how” remains incredibly hard to define.

Amongst the pile of “alternatives” that we are hearing about today, it is a challenge for anyone (consumers, buyers, brands) to gather information and seek transparency.

As Prof. Sue Thomas explains, rightly so, ethics and sustainability are two different things.

The first mistake most brands make is to merge both in the hope that some sense will eventually come out of it.

To be clear, sustainability is only a branch of the wider ethics department. Ethics do cover other things, such as workers’ rights, manufacture processes, regulations, animal welfare, marketing, etc….

So it has become a trend to tag products with “ethical” and “sustainable”, and actually not only in the fashion industry (food, upholstery, construction, etc….).

Greenwashing is a serious problem in the industry now, and causes damage to other brands that truly commit to circular economy and ethical practices.

So what is our take on tackling sustainability and ethical processes ?

Well, first we have decided to embed circular economy into our design practice which means that we only use recycled, recyclable, and up-cycled materials. We exclude new (virgin) synthetics - 100% oil-derived products, fur, cotton and other fabrics that are damaging to the environment in their production or life-cycle.

We have chosen leather as a material because it is so durable, biodegradable and easy to upcycle. We believe that any material which is a by-product of the meat industry (which, in the U.K. means that legally no animal is killed solely for their skin), should be valued and not go to waste.

We are committed to avoiding the use of new skins and chemically tanned leather because it is highly toxic and causes risks for the workers who manufacture these (generally in Asia) and the traceability is more than challenging when it comes to identifying where the skins actually come from.

Moreover, we do not wish to outsource the manufacture of our products, so everything is crafted in our atelier in London, and occasionally we work in our Parisian studios to deliver more custom commissions and collaborative projects. Each accessory is manufactured by a single artisan, to guarantee a high level of craftsmanship and respect for the product made.

Unfortunately nowadays, many brands produce their items through a supplier that is based outside the EU. The regulations of each country being different from another, the risks of indirectly exploiting workers, children, men, or women is high and it is difficult to measure the regulations to which these supplier truly abide by.

Head to our ABOUT section to learn more…

Aurelie Fontan