London Fashion Week 2019 – Sustainability, street style and sartorial excellence

It was the seventh year that Bags of EthicsTM has collaborated with London Fashion Week, producing the official eco-friendly, ethical and sustainably made totes and merchandise for this iconic event. This year the official totes were black 14oz bags in a medium to heavy weight canvas, in a classic portrait tote shape. The canvas was dyed to pantone using dyeing houses which are certified by the Environmental Board in India so that the inks are not a pollutant that could potentially harm waterways and do not contain any toxic effluents. The print featured on the tote, which is made up of the letters LFW, was inspired by the hairstyles that featured on the catwalk of Burberry’s AW/19 show. This catwalk show was by Riccardo Tisci, who named his second collection for Burberry “Tempest”, and featured a hairstyle made up of ornate curls carefully positioned across the models’ forehead. This ornate, almost Victorian-esque curl is what inspired the equally ornate lettering on this year’s London Fashion Week tote. This iconic print is printed edge-to-edge across the front of the bag, which makes the repeat logo almost like a printed pattern itself. The design is printed using white, non-toxic, REACH compliant inks. The bag also features the infamous Bags of EthicsTM green logo, which represents the ethical and sustainable practices that go into making each and every bag that features this label. All of the London Fashion Week bags were made in our ethical factory in Pondicherry, south India, by a team that is made up of 90% women, who are all paid fairly, and valued for their amazing work. Many of these women are the main breadwinners for their families, and are pillars of their communities.

We had the pleasure of attending a variety of different shows across the 5 day fashion extravaganza, and loved seeing next season’s catwalk styles, as well as the innovative looks that other attendees were sporting. As the producers of the official tote bags, we of course also had to make sure that we looked out for those rocking these limited edition totes at the event.

         

On Friday 13th September, London Fashion Week was kick-started  with the breakfast launch that Smruti Sriram, CEO of Supreme Creations/ Bags of Ethics attended along with the board and patrons of British Fashion Council (BFC), LFW designers, press, and sponsors to kick off the event. We were treated to speeches by Stephanie Phair, Chair of the BFC, Caroline Rush CEO of the BFC and Adwoa Aboah, who talked about new programmes and the current fashion climate. There was a strong focus on Brexit and the support that is needed for designers and the fashion industry to help with its stability, and also new initiatives including the Institute of Positive Fashion, the Future Leaders Programme with London Business School and the Mentoring programme for young talent to enter the fashion industry.

On Friday evening several members of our team attended the Matty Bovan catwalk show. Bovan’s designs were innovative and unique, with a mixture of patterns, prints, colours and materials which resulted in an eclectic and unusual collection. Later in the evening we also attended a show by Marta Jakubowski, whose signature aesthetic is a minimalist style, and her collection featured block colours and monochrome tones. She has evoked endorsement from the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna, and we can see why.  On Tuesday 17th September we also attended the Bobby Abley show. This catwalk extravaganza was based upon the Wizard of Oz, and featured a rainbow of colours, exciting prints and gorgeous fabrics. Highlights of this collection were the mixing of animal prints, the use of contrasting block colours such as yellow and red, and a Dorothy inspired rainbow dress crafted entirely from coloured feathers. These shows have given us design inspiration in bucket loads, and have given us an insight into the trends for next season –  a key colourway that we think is going to be a big hit in the upcoming season is ruby red, and emerald green jewel-like tones.

We also attended the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion exhibition – a curated collection of up-and-coming designers and brands that celebrate sustainability, equality and diversity. We me with the lovely Zanna Van Dijk and Natalie Glaze, the co-owners of Stay Wild Swim, a fledgling sustainable swimwear brand that produce unique swimwear pieces made from recycled ocean plastic. These two young women took the fashion world by storm during their time at this exhibition, and represented the fashion industries growing involvement in sustainability. We also met with, and interviewed Erika Maish, a designer intent on changing the way we shop, buy, and wear our clothes. Her pieces are made from recycled bottle caps, and can be interchanged and reshaped to create different sized garments and different individual pieces. Erika states that her interest in sustainable fashion comes from wanting ‘her children to be able to see the coral reef’, and want’s her work to help benefit the planet.

As well as meeting some fabulous designers, we also met a multitude of exquisitely dressed guests, many of whom were extremely obliging, and helped to model some of our favourite tote designs. Whilst we were attending the Matty Bovan show on Friday, we saw the ever elegant Anna Wintour, a true fashion icon, and editor in chief of American Vogue, and also got the chance to speak to Caroline Rush, the CEO of the British Fashion Council who is an incredible business woman that we feel blessed to have the support from as a business.

We loved seeing so many people rocking the limited edition London Fashion Week tote, which was given as a goodie bag to VIP guests, and contained snacks from Candy Kittens and Lara Bar, so many gorgeous beauty bits including a white mark-free deodorant from our client Nivea, and even a face mask from one of our amazing clients Seoulista Beauty. Whilst photographing some of the amazing street style that fashion week had to offer, we connected with many individuals who are doing wonderful things in the fashion space.

Fashion Week is about the drama, it is about the glamour, and it is about the celebration of fashion as an art form, but this year it was also about making sure that we don’t let the clothes that we choose to put on our bodies have an adverse effect on the world in which we live. This is something that we as a company care so deeply about, and is something that we feel equally proud to be a part of. If you are interested in or work in the field of fashion or sustainability, and would like to write a guest blog for us please do reach out on [email protected].

Daisy from Bags of EthicsTM

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