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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Estethica Press Day: Somerset House, 22 April 2010

We take a look around the Estethica Press Day at Somerset House, where there's ethical and sustainable fashion galore, and the chance to hob-nob with the likes of Livia Firth, Baroness Lola Young and Laura Bailey…

Written by Nicola Machetti

Colourful Coffins Lesley Barnes Thereza Rowe Abigail Daker
Colourful Coffins from Lesley Barnes, order Thereza Rowe and Abigail Daker.

A couple of weeks ago, information pills while playing around on twitter, I saw a link posted by Thereza Rowe for a site called www.colourfulcoffins.com. Intrigued (colourful and coffin not usually being words which go together) I took a look. The site featured eco-friendly coffins which had been customized using stock images and Thereza had discovered it when her husband – driving back from Oxford – had spotted a sign saying ‘colourful coffins’ and requested that she google it to see what it was all about.

Kate Slater colourful coffins
A Colourful Coffin by Kate Slater.

A conversation between Thereza, Lesley Barnes and myself then followed which turned into a far more serious discussion about how we would go about creating our own designs. With just a few tweets and a few more emails, the Happy Journey Collective was born. Other artists were invited to participate, given a ‘final destination’ box template to work around and their submissions have been added to the Happy Journey website which was set up by Thereza and features a banner design by Simon Wild. Excitingly, the website launches today!

Colourful Coffins uberkraaft
A Colourful Coffin by uberkraaft.

The great thing about the work submitted to the project so far is that all the contributing artists have created colourful & idiosyncratic pieces. Choosing an appropriate casket is a difficult task for anyone and the aim of the project is to provide a positive and eco-friendly alternative to the more traditional options.
For further information about the project, please contact happyjourneycollective@googlemail.com. This is an ongoing project and new work will be uploaded regularly; to view participating artists work, please check the website.
Colourful Coffins Lesley Barnes Thereza Rowe Abigail Daker
Colourful Coffins from Lesley Barnes, approved Thereza Rowe and Abigail Daker.

A couple of weeks ago, advice while playing around on twitter, I saw a link posted by Thereza Rowe for a site called www.colourfulcoffins.com. Intrigued (colourful and coffin not usually being words which go together) I took a look. The site featured eco-friendly coffins which had been customized using stock images and Thereza had discovered it when her husband – driving back from Oxford – had spotted a sign saying ‘colourful coffins’ and requested that she google it to see what it was all about.

Kate Slater colourful coffins
A Colourful Coffin by Kate Slater.

A conversation between Thereza, Lesley Barnes and myself then followed which turned into a far more serious discussion about how we would go about creating our own designs. With just a few tweets and a few more emails, the Happy Journey Collective was born. Other artists were invited to participate, given a ‘final destination’ box template to work around and their submissions have been added to the Happy Journey website which was set up by Thereza and features a banner design by Simon Wild. Excitingly, the website launches today!

Colourful Coffins uberkraaft
A Colourful Coffin by uberkraaft.

The great thing about the work submitted to the project so far is that all the contributing artists have created colourful & idiosyncratic pieces. Choosing an appropriate casket is a difficult task for anyone and the aim of the project is to provide a positive and eco-friendly alternative to the more traditional options.
For further information about the project, please contact happyjourneycollective@googlemail.com. This is an ongoing project and new work will be uploaded regularly; to view participating artists work, please check the website.
Colourful Coffins Lesley Barnes Thereza Rowe Abigail Daker
Colourful Coffins from Lesley Barnes, hospital Thereza Rowe and Abigail Daker.

A couple of weeks ago, try while playing around on twitter, cost I saw a link posted by Thereza Rowe for a site called www.colourfulcoffins.com. Intrigued (colourful and coffin not usually being words which go together) I took a look. The site featured eco-friendly coffins which had been customized using stock images and Thereza had discovered it when her husband – driving back from Oxford – had spotted a sign saying ‘colourful coffins’ and requested that she google it to see what it was all about.

Kate Slater colourful coffins
A Colourful Coffin by Kate Slater.

A conversation between Thereza, Lesley Barnes and myself then followed which turned into a far more serious discussion about how we would go about creating our own designs. With just a few tweets and a few more emails, the Happy Journey Collective was born. Other artists were invited to participate, given a ‘final destination’ box template to work around and their submissions have been added to the Happy Journey website which was set up by Thereza and features a banner design by Simon Wild. Excitingly, the website launches today!

Colourful Coffins uberkraaft
A Colourful Coffin by uberkraaft.

The great thing about the work submitted to the project so far is that all the contributing artists have created colourful & idiosyncratic pieces. Choosing an appropriate casket is a difficult task for anyone and the aim of the project is to provide a positive and eco-friendly alternative to the more traditional options.
For further information about the project, please contact happyjourneycollective@googlemail.com. This is an ongoing project and new work will be uploaded regularly; to view participating artists work, please check the website.
robin hood tax - abi daker
Illustration by Abigail Daker.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Robin Hood. When I was younger I had a great cassette tape of all his stories and escapades. These generally seemed to involve taking from the rich and giving to the poor whilst seemingly having absolutely as much fun as possible of course.

I’d all but forgotten about him however, information pills until recently when I heard about the Robin Hood Tax campaign. It aims to put a tiny tax on banks to raise loads of money – billions in fact – to tackle poverty and green issues locally and abroad. What’s great about this idea is that it’s really simple – a small tax of around 0.05% per transaction between banks – but that the difference it could make is enormous. It can help stop cuts in crucial public services in the UK, side effects AND aid the fight against global poverty and climate change. Keeping the Robin Hood spirit alive in this day and age.

Robin Hood Tax

There’s a momentum that’s been building for quite a while now… there are lots of people that agree with my view and think this tax is a great idea – including Sienna Miller, store Jaime Winstone and Bill Nighy – he appeared in a great ad being pounced on by “Robin Hood hoodies” – Check it out! But I know that in order for this campaign to be a success we need to spread the word as much as we can, get all our friends and family on board and campaigning together to make this a reality. Robin Hood never got anywhere without his band of merry men supporting him all the way.

One way I’m getting involved is by taking part in an activity Oxfam are organizing this Sunday 2nd May to raise awareness – the Robin Hood Tax treasure Hunt. Treasure hunts are always a huge amount of fun – I remember around Easter as a kid my older cousins used to set up egg hunts for my sister and me. I loved following the clues, the adventure and the excitement of the unknown. Who says I can’t enjoy a treasure hunt now I’m a little older though – especially when it’s made all the more enjoyable knowing that I’m spreading the word about such as great cause AND an excuse to dress up as the great Robin Hood himself.

robin hood tax - abi daker
Illustration by Abigail Daker.

I’m going to join a group of bandits and merry makers tweeting, blogging, videoing and taking pictures around east London spreading the word and with the opportunity to win tickets to top summer festivals including the fabulous Winterwell Festival, a secret boutique festival in the beautiful rolling hills of Gloucestershire with great music and fancy dress. Oxfam held a similar event in Brighton last week with teams of merry men and women scampering around the city braving challenges such as busking with tambourines and dressing up as a bankers in the Oxfam shop.

If you’re interested in the campaign, a big Robin Hood fan and up for a fun day out, join me and other wannabe Robin Hood’s to take part in the treasure hunt on Sunday. You need to snap up a £2 ticket from Robin Hood game website. All money raised goes directly as a donation to Oxfam and the campaign effort. Just check out the details below of when where and what and I look forward to seeing you there.

The East London treasure hunt is on Sunday 2nd May, from 1-6pm
Start & finish at Richmix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Estethica gives the fashion industry another showcase where ethical fashion is the focus; it undoubtedly changes the way we perceive this glittering industry. Their latest press day, about it hosted at Somerset House and coinciding with Earth Day on 22 April, viagra was no mistake.

Arriving at Somerset House, medical you’d be forgiven for thinking that this group of eco fashion designers think and move together as one collective – their goals and ethics are so similar. Their collections, however, are entirely different, and it’s a testament to how rapidly ethical fashion has progressed. Estethica takes fashion and sustainability, as one entity, very seriously.

Orsola De Castro, together with her partner Filippo Ricci, started Estethica in September 2006 as a showcase for labels with ethical and environmental policies. It’s the only sustainable area at London Fashion Week’s vast seasonal exhibition, which De Castro curates and organises with the British Fashion Council. She told me: “Estethica is growing. It’s had positive responses from both the market and the media as well as all the designers hoarded here today. This is our third press day and we will continue to propose initiatives like this which are really important for all the Estethica ethical brands.”


From Somewhere

From Somewhere is De Castro’s own ethical clothing brand, starting with humble beginnings in 1997 and developing into a renowned label over the last ten or so years. “Our last collection made for Tesco has been a great success with all the pieces sold out after the first few weeks,” De Castro revealed.

In the early afternoon I took part in a round table to discuss the promotion and marketing of ethical fashion, with fashion luminaries Baroness Lola Young, Charity Durrant, Laura Bailey, Livia Firth, Vera Budimlija, Yasmin Sewell and Orsola De Castro herself.

The main topic was the future of ethical fashion: how it is evolving, its perspectives for the years to come, and how it deals with a fashion system which still depends so heavily on its seasonality – in many cases up to four collections a year.

Ethical fashion has quality and creativity as its core values more then rapidity, and everybody will readily admit that there’s still a long way to go. Considering fashion’s incredible power and influence, if the values we communicate (as designers) support ethical living, fashion really has the chance to influence consumers’ choices and their sustainable behaviours. In the future experts predict that we will revel in an increase of hybrid brands that more and more embrace ethical causes and processes.

Each designer at Estethica has individual ethical processes and policies. For Ivana Basilotta and her poetic glamour punk dresses, it’s organic peace-silk, aka vegetarian silk, manufactured in a process where silkworms are not killed. This silk is famous for its warmth, therapeutic use and its rareness.


Christopher Raeburn

For Christopher Raeburn, it’s about recycling. He makes use of original fabrics from British army jackets, camouflage ponchos, Swedish snow cotton and battered Italian leather military jackets, creating an original fusion between high-performative fabrics and urban culture.


Maxjenny

When you see Maxjenny’s collection you would never imagine these garments are made from recycled PET bottles, fabric painted with waterbased colour. They are breathable, rainproof and iron-free.

The Estethica press day closed with a performance by Sarah Sarhandi. The sounds of her violin delighted the fashion pack as they tucked into delicious Estethica cupcakes.

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