Yours Sustainably – ethical fashion

We don’t want our clothes just to be beautiful, we want to know where they came from…

Inspired by Fashion Revolution Week which starts today (23-29th April), we’re inviting you to have a good sort out, fall back in love with your clothes and make them last, buy ethical and ask brands: who made my clothes? For our spring issue, we created this completely ethical fashion photo shoot, featuring old and new, sustainable brands and those who are working towards change. We're inviting you to join Oh Comely’s very own fashion revolution…

  Bliss wears: Victorian pinafore, Visoko Studios;   Earrings, Gung Ho;   Sandals, Salt-Water Sandals

Bliss wears: Victorian pinafore, Visoko Studios; Earrings, Gung Ho; Sandals, Salt-Water Sandals

Photos: Teän Roberts / Stylist: Olivia Snape / Models: Emma Laird and Bliss Kelly / Hair and make-up: Keely Reichardt using Jane Iredale / Assistants: Lua Prichard and Alice Dindar / Words: Alice Snape

Sustainable shopping ideas:
Ask yourself, do you really, really love it? Will you regret not buying it? If you’re not 100% sure, do not buy.
Take some time to rediscover your own wardrobe, we’re all guilty of forgetting what we own.
Find out about the vintage you’re buying, does it have a story and do you know which era it’s from?

Why Salt-Water Sandals? Well, they wrap all their shoes with tissue and have a humidity sticker, eliminating plastics and reducing their environmental footprint. Their shoe boxes are made from one piece of cardboard with no heavy glue need, therefore no harmful chemicals. The first ever pairs were made with scrap leather from the production of military boots!

 

Stack of the good stuff

We shouldn't have to shout about fashion being ethical – we believe that all clothes should be. But until we reach that point, support brands who are working towards sustainability. Every item in this photo is there for a reason, these designers are pushing for change and altering our perception of what ethical fashion looks like.

  Emma wears: Jacket and shirt, Beaumont Organic; Red tights, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan, Earrings, Gung Ho /   Bliss wears: Trousers and jacket, Ilk & Ernie; Top, Beaumont Organic; Socks, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan

Emma wears: Jacket and shirt, Beaumont Organic; Red tights, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan, Earrings, Gung Ho / Bliss wears: Trousers and jacket, Ilk & Ernie; Top, Beaumont Organic; Socks, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan

Brands in the pile: Thought, Gung Ho, Beaumont OrganicBlitz Remix, Phannatiq, Baia at Studio, Reclaim Bags (bags made using recycled rubber inner tubes)

Although marginalised figures, the rag-and-bone men of the 19th century were way ahead of the curve and made significant contributions to the rag trade, offering sustainable solutions to the countless heaps of clothing otherwise laid to rest in landfill. They would collect up people’s waste and move them onto merchants and new homes. We say, bring back the rag-and-bone crew!  

 

Mix it up

We love pairing new clothes with our treasured favourites and vintage finds.

  Emma wears:   Shirt dress, Bamford;   Jacket, Visoko Studios;   Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan;   Tights and socks, Stylist's own;   Necklace, Gung Ho  /   On washing line: Green socks, Thought; Green jumper, Blitz Remix; Dress, Visoko Studios; White shirt, Ilk & Ernie; Red scarf, Thought; Jacket, Blitz Vintage; Bag, Baia from Studio B; Red tights, Thought

Emma wears: Shirt dress, Bamford; Jacket, Visoko Studios; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan; Tights and socks, Stylist's own; Necklace, Gung Ho  / On washing line: Green socks, Thought; Green jumper, Blitz Remix; Dress, Visoko Studios; White shirt, Ilk & Ernie; Red scarf, Thought; Jacket, Blitz Vintage; Bag, Baia from Studio B; Red tights, Thought

In a world full of stuff, newly launched Visoko Studios reclaim and revive. Created by designer Terri Cohen (who we met in Oh Comely issue 41), Visoko Studios sell the vintage clothes Terri has collected over years working in fashion, discover other people's pre-loved items to pass on to new owners and also hire out for special occasions, shop their Depop, and follow their journey on Instagram.

 

Loved clothes will last a lifetime

Care, repair and rewear, that's our motto. We're taking our cues from designer Katie Jones who holds regular workshops on how to reinvent your clothes. You can find out more on her website, katiejonesknit.co.uk

  Bliss wears: Trainers, Veja,   with pink ribbons bought from a haberdashers; Red tights, Thought; Jumper, Katie Jones /   Emma Wears: Jacket and jeans, Katie Jones; Green socks, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan

Bliss wears: Trainers, Veja, with pink ribbons bought from a haberdashers; Red tights, Thought; Jumper, Katie Jones / Emma Wears: Jacket and jeans, Katie Jones; Green socks, Thought; Shoes, Dr Martens Vegan

If you’re unsure about the sustainability of a brand, just get in touch and ask them. Or for bigger high street brands, use Fashion Revolution's Transparency Index, which is available to download from their website, fashionrevolution.org.

You can view this photo shoot in its entirety in our spring issue (which, rather excitingly, you can pick up in Sainsbury's), where we also raid our mothers' wardrobes, rework some Beyond Retro jeans, borrow not buy, and invest in some truly magical occasion wear that will last forever.