As Selfridges’ Material World promotes eco-friendly fashion, and Fashion Revolution Week takes place, Kohinoor Sahota looks at the shops championing sustainable clothing and shoes across the capital
We show you how easy it is to be green with our pick of ecofriendly stores that sell everything from stationery to shoes.
While most people agree with ethical fashion – making garments in fair working conditions, while protecting animals and the environment – it can be hard to find places where you can shop with
a clear conscience. We have helped make that search easier by finding stores where you can buy clothes that are not only ethical, but stylish and affordable, too.
Step forward Selfridges. The department store (p. 51) is known for being forward-thinking: last year it opened a theatre in the store, and collaborated with singer Beth Ditto on a plus-size collection. This year, MaterialWorld (to 31 Mar) sees the shop launch a campaign with the motto ‘buying better, inspiring change’.
Linda Hewson, creative director of Selfridges, says: ‘ MaterialWorld will examine sustainable textile development, with a focus on social, local and global production stories. The project will explore current problems and their impact as well as presenting solutions and ideas, with honesty and humour, in a retail environment. Through MaterialWorld, we want to invite consumers and the industry to refashion the way we think about our clothes, and how we talk about sustainability.’
Eight young designers – who use materials such as plastic, leather and cotton in surprising ways – are being championed by the store, because of their sustainable outlook. Dutch brand Dick Moby uses Bio Acetate and 97 per cent recycled plastic to make its frames, while menswear brand Tengri uses Fairtrade Mongolian yak hair in its knits.
You don’t have to look too far to find ethical independent shops in the capital, too. When Kate Richards no longer enjoyed her job, she decided to set up her own shop.
‘Frustrated by the poor quality of most things in my wardrobe, and uninspired by high-street shops, I began to seek out clothes that had a story behind them,’ she explains. Established in 2012, The Keep in Brixton sells men’s and women’s wear and stocks brands including Ace & Jig, People Tree and Desmond & Dempsey ( GranvilleArcade, 32ColdharbourLane,SW98PR).
Anyone for vegan shoes? Couple Angela and James set up The Third Estate in Camden, which also stocks ethical clothing and accessories for men and women.
‘It’s so important to have the chance to see an item, ask questions about it and make sure it’s just right,’ they say ( 27BrecknockRd,N70BT ).
If you love sleek aesthetics, visit Family Tree in Clerkenwell, London’s design quarter. Opened by Takaka Copeland, a Central Saint Martins graduate, and Jo Waterhouse, an artist, designer and antique dealer, the shop sells stationery, jewellery and homeware made by local craftspeople ( 53ExmouthMarket,EC1R4QL). Meanwhile, next month, Fashion Revolution
Week (24-30 Apr) takes place in countries as far flung as Zimbabwe and Paraguay. Raising awareness about the cost of fashion, London venues ranging from Somerset House to the House of Commons will play host to catwalks and talks ( www.fashionrevolution.org).
Clockwise from this image: Tortoise, Community Clothing and Deadwood, all available at Selfridges’ MaterialWorld