Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

10 eco designers to watch out for in SS10: Part One

A who's who of responsible fashion

Written by Rachael Oku

Amelia’s magazine did the rounds at the SS10 press days and whilst we were enthralled by so many beautiful brands we’ve thought long and hard about criteria for our summary and there was really only one thing for it– a comprehensive round up of the best environmentally friendly and fair-trade brands we’re predicting great things for in 2010… Brace yourselves guys, you’ve got exactly 22 days until we expect the magic to begin!
Yellow and White mac 008Image courtesy of Christopher Raeburn

Christopher Raeburn
A designer whose name is never far from any eco fashion list is that of Christopher Raeburn, who is famed for his high end, innovative and functional fashion created using re-appropriated military fabrics. Sourcing his material from de-commissioned military stock and hot-air balloon canvas among other materials Raeburn both redesigns and manufactures his groundbreaking garments ethically within the UK.

PB121954Image courtesy of Rachael Oku

Of his SS10 collection Christopher says: “This season presents a great opportunity to play with colour, negative space and flowing lines; from its inception I wanted to create an upbeat, fresh and experimental collection.”
With the emphasis on rouching, contrasting geometric panels and colourful taped seams Raeburn utilises laser cutting techniques for the first time introducing repeat patterns of concentric circle cut-outs which are peppered throughout the collection cleverly hidden between panels and layered hoods and sleeves.

Parachute dress

Image courtesy of Christopher Raeburn

What is most striking about Raeburn’s new contemporary collection of dresses, ponchos, skirts and macs is how well his colour palette and themes work together with layer, light and silhouette being the main focuses. With the majority of fabric used being transparent it is Raeburn’s bright accents of colour and playful dots that really inject life into the garments, and are reminiscent of jellyfish.

Purple and White Jacket with matching bag 006

Image courtesy of Christopher Raeburn

Rather excitingly the new collection also features accessories for the first time, with Raeburn fusing woven netting with his trademark parachute fabric and cord to great effect adding to the high impact of this super functional range.

Lu FluxPB121959Image courtesy of Rachael Oku

Another exciting designer who we’re predicting big things for next year is the lovely Lu Flux; who has just launched her debut collection after being named ‘London’s newest one to watch’ at Vauxhall Fashion Scout earlier in the year. What sets Lu’s designs apart is that her work is created using salvaged, vintage and organic fabrics, which she cleverly combines with traditional techniques such as knitting, pleating and patchwork.

PB121960Image courtesy of Rachael Oku

Lu’s witty and playful SS10 collection titled ‘The Eco Life of Riley’ is inspired by the ‘humble bluetit’ which is cleverly juxtaposed with bold jarring graphics throughout the collection. If developing her own eco brand wasn’t enough of a challenge Lu is also busy working on a project called SOKO Kenya to produce her raffia woven products. The idea behind this project is to work in conjunction with local Kenyan tailors who attend the community owned Ukunda Youth Polytechnic, which offers basic vocational training to local residents at a low cost.

!cid_2D1E7675-BCF5-4460-8B57-B855D8816400Image courtesy of SOKO Kenya

This collaboration will see SOKO invest a minimum of 5% gross earnings into the Polytechnic annually in addition to year-round fundraising to help acquire sewing machines and other essential equipment for the students. Additionally SOKO are committed to providing support in the design and running of the Polytechnic’s existing tailoring department and syllabus according to international fair-trade and eco production standards.

IMG_3182Image courtesy of SOKO Kenya

PB121961Image courtesy of Rachael Oku depicting SOKO Kenya products

Most importantly both parties are committed to working together to transform the Polytechnic into an eco institution by introducing a rainwater catchment system and working to create solar generated electricity. To find out more about this great project and where to buy SOKO Kenya products head to their website.

Apron Dress and BodysuitImage courtesy of Julia Smith

Julia Smith
Another groundbreaking designer who caught our attention was Julia Smith, a designer who has graced the webpages of Amelia’s magazine a few times previously. Julia’s SS10 collection entitled ‘Nurture Me’ explores the idea of mixing beauty with function. Part inspired by the 1930’s and 1940’s, when loose shapes and function were paramount Julia’s collection also references the concept of underwear as outerwear. Created using tactile fabrics such as soy, bamboo and organic cotton and linen Julia cleverly juxtaposes these with recycled polyester which is made from recycled plastic (PET) bottles.

Lara Jacket and Power BodyImage courtesy of Julia Smith

What really sets Julia apart is her second line aptly titled ‘Julia Smith Made in Africa’, which supports lives in Ghana through the vision of Mrs. Marian Essel, a highly skilled batik printer from Ghana, West Africa. Having worked for the Global Mamas in Cape Coast, Marian and Julia Smith have now formed a co-operative in the suburbs of Accra, Ghana’s capital city, offering employment opportunities to the struggling community.

Made in Africa 1Image courtesy of Julia Smith depicting the Made in Africa collection

With Marian using all the proceeds of her work to employ disadvantaged adults as well as sponsoring children so that they can go to school, this is a fantastic initiative which aims to help everyone within the community get the best educational start in life. The ‘Julia Smith Made in Africa’ collection is stocked in Julia’s new flagship store in Marble Arch’s Connaught Village.

borrato

Matt and Nat
Image courtesy of Matt and Nat

A new brand to Amelia’s magazine which is fast becoming a firm favourite is that of Matt & Nat, a pioneering vegan luxury accessories label who create animal free products for both men and women. Interestingly (which I’m hoping you’ll agree) Matt & Nat is not a design duo as the name would suggest but is instead founded by Inder Bedi who was challenged almost 20 years ago to forgo animal products for 30 days. Ever since he has made a conscious effort to use recycled and greener materials in his work steering clear of leather, wool and animal by-products.

commix

Image courtesy of Matt and Nat

For SS10 Matt & Nat are continuing where they left off last season with their 21 water bottles campaign which sees all the linings in their handbags and wallets created using 100% recycled plastic, with each accessory using an average of 21 bottles.

hendrix blueImage courtesy of Matt and Nat

With the inspirations for their SS10 collection being biker chic and glam rock, each bag has been embellished differently with everything from studs to zip details. Made primarily from eel skin (incidentally the softest type of leather I have ever felt,) the colour palette of fiery scarlet, intense blue and blush pink bring a vintage feel to the pieces.

Henrietta Ludgate
A great designer who has already received quite a bit of media attention in 2009 is Henrietta Ludgate, who won the Ethical Fashion Forum ‘Fashion Innovation Award’ earlier in the year. Creating sustainable and sculptural garments from her studio in the remote Highlands of Scotland, Henrietta stays close to her Scotch roots by working primarily with Scottish linen.

4    Image courtesy of Henrietta Ludgate

With a brand ethos to support both the Scottish and British textile industry as a whole, all fabrics are sourced from within the British Isles with all pieces produced locally.

image15Image courtesy of Henrietta Ludgate

A champion of slow fashion, Henrietta’s minimalist silhouette remains hauntingly elegant and distinctive. For inspiration Henrietta often looks to Elsa Schiaparelli, and her vision of fashion as a type of architecture, and beliefs that clothing should be ‘closely connected to the frame of the body’.

image12Image courtesy of Henrietta Ludgate

With the recent opening of a swanky new showroom in London’s Covent Garden, things are looking bright for 2010.
Stay tuned for the second instalment tomorrow…

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA image