London and fashion. The two go together like cheese on toast, and September saw the grand amalgamation of the two (London and fashion, not cheese on toast) in the form of London Fashion Week 2010.
From September 17th – 21st, the Exhibition at London Fashion Week was housed under one roof in the neo-classical surrounds of Somerset House, with designers such as Christopher Raeburn showcasing their Spring/Summer 2011 collections.
With over 60 new names exhibiting for the first time this season, and with the launch of the first Sustainable fashion show, this season’s Exhibition proved to be a spectacular eye fest for those fortunate enough to attend.
The Sustainable Fashion Show
On September 14th 2010, the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced that it would hold the first Sustainable fashion show on the official LFW catwalk schedule to showcase key looks from established and emerging designers working sustainably.
Held in partnership with START, an initiative by the Prince’s Charities Foundation to promote and celebrate sustainable living, the event not only served to reinforce the BFC’s commitment to sustainable fashion, but also raised awareness to the public of the Esthetica initiative, with a significant number of designers from Estethica taking part.
As part of the Esthetica initiatve, which was founded over four years ago, designers adhere to at least one of the three Esthetica principles of fair-trade and ethical practices, and organic and recycled materials. This year saw 15 new designers to the Esthetica brand, including ‘rescue and recycle’ luxury eco-bag brand Lost Property of London, which takes abandoned everyday fabrics and transforms them into fashionable yet practical accessories. At the Exhibition I was able to have a chat with the designer of the brand, Katy Bell, to find out more on this fascinating initiative.
Q. Katy what is the idea behind Lost Property of London and what made you decide to launch this new venture?
A. Well at Lost Property of London we take abandoned fabrics, such as coffee sacks, and transform them into fashionable yet practical accessories such as totes, carriers, and travel bags. To be honest the idea came to me one day when I was on my way home and I saw some coffee sacks sitting on the side of the road. I thought to myself “why has no-one else done this?” So I took my idea for the recycled bags to Liberty and they loved it and the whole ethos of one person’s trash being another person’s treasure.
Q. So each item is made from recycled materials?
A. Yes, we’re extremely eco conscious, so every item is made from recycled textiles, and we feel that by doing this, it gives every one of our products it’s own unique style.
Q. I have to agree with you there, these bags would definitely make for a compelling conversation starter! But it’s not just by sourcing recycled textiles that you’re eco conscious is it?
A. That’s right, at Lost Property of London, as well as making the most of fabric we find around us, we try to avoid potentially polluting manufacturing processes in favour of hand-made techniques and natural finishes.
Q. And all this without compromising on style!
A. Exactly, we’re keen to stress that environmental considerations need not compromise the aesthetics and desirability of a product, and in our case we have found we are able to still offer a great range of style, but ecologically. You’ll be pleased to know too that our eco antics go beyond the re-use philosophy – all of our waste is recycled, and our suppliers are vetted for ethical integrity.
Q. Top points! One thing I also noticed about your product range, is the consideration that has been given to the male eco conscious shopper, can you elaborate on that?
A. Well when I was initially starting out with the idea and doing my research, I noticed that whilst there were some 100% recycled textiles bags available, there was not much distinguishing them in terms of style. They tended to be the standard sort of shopping bag style, which are great, but they don’t offer much in terms of colour, shape etc. and men don’t tend to be attracted to these either. So I thought carefully when considering my designs and came up with ranges that would appeal not only to women, but to the eco conscious male too.
Q. And where can we find your products?
A. Well our new product range is currently being showcased in the Bazaar, but also you can visit the website lostpropertyoflondon.com for more information.
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.