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Can Fashion be Sustainable in the UK?

Written by Bianca Elgar

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Posted on September 10 2019

Can fashion be sustainable? 

We're well into September now and I'm sure that, like me, you'll have seen an abundance of hashtags doing the rounds on social media. Perhaps I shouldn't say this, but I suspect there is a lot of virtual signalling taking place - I'm thinking specifically of #secondhandseptember.

Personally, I've been buying secondhand for decades and have never considered this to be particularly noteworthy - I love clothes and some of my very favourite pieces have come to me courtesy of charity shops, car boots sales, and retro/vintage specialist stores. I think any fashion lover would feel the same – I saw the most exquisite 50s cocktail dress in Oxfam recently and love browsing their online store.

We all understand that fashion has an environmental impact but, please forgive me if I’m banging on about this, the environment which surrounds us is important. From the air we breathe, the water we use and the overall eco-system in which we live; I believe that we can all play our own small part.

Luxurious silk, versatile style and a commitment to low-impact manufacturing. 

Rather than follow a hashtag trend, I choose to use natural, sustainable materials and finding new innovative ways to develop products which follow the following three maxims:

  • Heirloom Quality – my products are designed to last. Natural fibres, such as silk, require a little care (see here for my blog posts on looking after silk) but ultimately are tough and resilient and this means that they will last season after season. 

  • Versatility – I shudder to think of all the clothes bought to be worn just once. Of course, I understand that there are some occasions where a dress code which must be respected, but – as you may have guessed – I passionately believe in the merits of a capsule wardrobe. Great quality, classic pieces made seasonal and relevant by clever use of accessories. A beautiful silk scarf can be worn in myriad ways and never fails to make an impact.
  • Sustainable – we strive to use recyclable, sustainable materials in everything we do, from packaging to product and only work with suppliers who have a similar ethos.

I have scoured Britain for the best product and manufacturers, searching for people that are willing to go that extra mile. I embrace the responsibility to make sure that the products I manufacture have as little effect on the environment as possible and endeavour to be transparent in my practices.

Wherever possible I manufacture with sustainable and organic fabrics as well as taking advantage of cutting-edge innovations to ensure a reduction in the impact that any products made.

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but please be assured I am trying to find them.

Here are some images of the beautiful Laura showing off the versatility of my Ava Tunic dress styled with my newest design, the Threads scarf.

     Ava Tunic Dress, looseAva Tunic Dress, belted with Threads scarfAva Tunic Dress, from the back

Ava Tunic Dress - Bianca ElgarThreads Print Medium Silk Scarf - Bianca Elgar

 

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