London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week

LONDON, Sep 21, 2009 / — This London Fashion Week has been a week of firsts – with numerous designers challenging some of the more negative criticisms levelled at the fashion industry, with Mark Fast using plus sized models to PPQ choosing a cast of all black models for their Saturday evening show.

And this season, more than ever before, the Estethica eco-friendly clothing project is really holding it’s own against some of the bigger, more established designers showing in the capital.

Estethica is a project sponsored by high street store Monsoon, and sees over 40 designers exhibiting their eco friendly and ‘fair trade’ clothes – whether it’s organic knickers or wild moss silk!

Bringing any entirely new dimension to the way we look at fashion, t5m went down to the exhibition to see what this new, fashionable and chic face of eco-friendly and ethical dressing was all about…

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Firstly we spoke to Orsola de Castro, founder of From Somewhere and Estethica about the role this project plays in bringing new designers into the mainstream, as well as reminding consumers at all levels of the market of the importance and availability of ethical clothing.

It’s clear that ethical clothing really breeds invention, as we spoke to Christopher Raeburn whose summer dresses and adorable smocks were made from reappropriated military parachutes – a fabric he favours due to it’s longevity, durability and water resistance. And while you may have your reservations, his designs in bright and vibrant citrus colours looked like an essential addition to any bohemian summer wardrobe.

We also caught up with Natalie Dean, the founder of vegan shoe designer, Beyond Skin, who talked us through the various definitions of ‘ethical’ clothing – whether it concerns the people who make the clothes, where the clothes are sourced or whether there is any cruelty in the production process. For Beyond Skin, the focus is non-cruelty, so all of their fabulous shoes are made from entirely vegan products, and would not look out of place on any red carpet.

Perhaps the biggest known ethical clothing company is People Tree, who have collaborated with the likes of Topshop and Eley Kishimoto in the past, Sofia Minney (CEO) also lets slip that they are currently working with Harry Potter star Emma Watson, as well as reminding us of the various large ‘fashion houses’, such as Armani, Katherine Hamnett and Stella McCartney who have all made ethical choices with their designs.

For those of you who thought ethical fashion was all sandals and hesian sacks, think again. Estethica proves that ethical fashion is a hot bed of talent and directional pieces.

Not be missed!

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