Last week, Launderette attended the Fashion Fushion Expo at the Old Truman Brewery in East London, which was meant to be a showcase for the very best in ethical and sustainable designers in African, Asian, European and Fair Trade clothing, shoes and accessories. Sadly, most of the designers represented were pretty awful. There was even a really embarrassing ‘catwalk show’ that was like a bad amateur model competition at your local urban shopping mall.
In the midst of an overall disappointing afternoon, I managed to find hope again in the future of ethical fashion with two very different and brilliant designers: the fantastic new men’s denim label called Trousers London and the ethical silver jewelry collection of Ute Decker.
Trouser London was launched as a sustainable and premium men’s denim label in early 2008. Since inception, it has sought to move away from the disposable clothing trend towards a stronger tradition of collectible fashion. TL believes that sustainability should be fundamental when building a brand, rather than just an afterthought.
The collection is crafted in small batches using 100% organic cotton denim and other recycled materials such as disused ties for detailing such as the pocket lining. All manufacturing happens in a small Italian factory as supporting producers in the EU is important to TL. This is particularly important as transparency in the supply chain becomes more of a deciding factor for consumers.
“Although higher prices may reflect our choice to manufacture closer to home, we believe that for the discerning customer, the quality and good conscience represented by a garment “made in Italy” using organic materials outweighs the money saved by purchasing a mass-produced item churned out of the sweatshops in the Third World,” says Arturs, co-founder of Trousers London.
Not only this but TL pays special attention to modern design and impeccable tailoring. Having garnered fans such as fashion designer Matthew Williamson, Trousers London is already making waves across the men’s fashion industry. Each pair of TL jeans are given a unique ID number and each style is limited edition, meaning that everything is carefully crafted and all materials are hand-selected and original.
I would gladly give my phone number to any guy wearing a pair of these:
German-born, London-based artist and jeweller, Ute Decker combines organic and architectural forms to create minimalist sculptural necklaces, rings and cuffs. With an academic background in political economics (like me!) and having been born into a family of artisan wine makers (I wish!), Ute has a deep respect for nature and craftsmanship. This is evident the instant you see any of her amazing pieces. I secretly wanted to walk off with this ring:
Ute’s works of art are as much about being worn as about being collected. How stunning are these arm cuffs?
Ute uses only recycled silver and other organic materials such as bio-resin to create her wearable sculptures and strives to apply the most sustainable practices through every step of her production process and packaging. She is also an active campaigner for ethical jewelry and is participating in the first worldwide launch of Fairtrade gold later this summer.
Keep a close eye on these two labels as I think we can expect to see a lot more of them.