Archives for ethical fashion

Lounge-wear Label Eight Hour Studio Launches Online Store

EIGHT Hour Studio is the recently launched, wonderfully dreamy and ethically conscious luxury loungewear label founded by husband-and-wife duo Sonia and Ash Padam. The London-based brand’s designs centre around the idea that a well-balanced day encompasses eight hours of work, play and sleep respectively, with the studio’s inaugural collection focusing on the latter of these elements, with products designed for work and play expected to be unveiled in the near future.

Dusk and Dawn Collection © Eight Hour Studio

The delicate, pastel-hued, ethereally beautiful Dawn and Dusk collection thus consists entirely of sleepwear – lightweight camis, delicate night shirts and breezy trousers – all of which feature prints that wistfully evoke memories of far-flung corners of the globe inspired by the couple’s multi-cultural background and in particular, their extensive travels around India.

Dusk and Dawn Collection © Eight Hour Studio

The designs are manufactured using fair trade, 100 per cent organic cotton and their unique patterns are achieved through the art of hand-block printing – a craft sadly languishing amid technological development and mass production in the sartorial industry. The prints are first designed on paper, then hand carved from wood blocks which are then hand-pressed repeatedly onto fabrics – each one meticulously lined up by eye. The job is a highly-skilled one, and each artist involved in the production process is ensured fair pay as well as safe working conditions. As environmentally conscious as they are socially responsible, the brand uses AZO-free dyes, many of which are vegetable based and contain no heavy-metal mordants.

Dusk and Dawn Collection © Eight Hour Studio

by Hannah Bergin

Eight Hour Studio’s first collection is available on their website

Handbags with a Conscience – Introducing Spanish brand Lautem

FOUNDED in Spain, Lautem is an exceptional leather goods brand that promotes an unique blend of luxury, conscious production with timeless design.

Clean lines, boxy shapes and strong, rich colours form Lautem signature style. The designs are all carefully created to transcend fleeting trends – Lautem only launches a small number of new models per year, usually outside of the conventional fashion season dates.

Lautem bag entitled Structurae – I Got Rhythm Yellow

Lautem redefines the “box bag” vogue and succeeds in fashioning a staple that bridges generational gaps. Luxuriously modest design appeals to women of all ages who, like the Lautem team, adore a simple, but excellently executed detail – hence the brand’s celebrity following which includes Emma Watson and Eva Herzigova.

The brand’s founding principle is ultimate extravagance with ethical edge which it combines with the exceptional skill of its makers with every stage of the bags ’construction led by the notions of excellence and durability.– resulting  in a modern classic destined to last decades.

ponsa1A model with a Lautem bag Structurae

The creative mind behind Lautem is designer Elena Garcia Silva whose prime interests and experience come from restoration, architecture and furniture design, which all manifest themselves in the sophisticated practicality of Lautem bags. In her own words, she is “an architect is first and foremost a thinker-designer. From a blank sheet you start creating using your knowledge and experience”.

Lautem relies on traditional craftsmanship and handmade production to create their exceptional goods – all elements are made in native Spain. The assembling of the bags takes place in a small village Ubrique, known as the homeland of some of the most prestigious leather specialists in the world, with the leather first treated in Catalonie and the handles manually manufactured in a small factory in Valencia.


Another view of a Lautem bag in yellow

Most importantly, however, Lautem follows the growing trend of brands turning to highly skilled crafts people capable to produce their output. The local Spanish artisans producing the bags for Lautem use of historical techniques which are the main component of the final item. The brand also stresses the importance of fair treatment and payment to all of its employees.

by Magda Pirowska

Lautem bags are available from their online store and selected stockists – details here

Eco-Friendly Label Thoreau Launches Debut Collection

WITH authenticity, integrity and ethical consciousness at its heart, UK-based brand Thoreau has recently launched its inaugural AW16 collection. Every piece in the collection is both environmentally and animal friendly – and these values  in no way detract from the exceptional quality, elegance and style of the range.

Dandy Top from Thoreau

Each garment is manufactured in Britain, using only reclaimed fabrics, or those produced using water-based recycling systems – leftovers of which are donated to charity. Any animal fibres – such as wool or silk – are ethically sourced and therefore guaranteed to be 100 per cent cruelty free. Natural dyes prevent pollution and what’s more the company tracks emissions caused by manufacturing and shipping, with the intention of eliminating them all together and thus offsetting their carbon footprint.

Javan Dress from Thoreau AW16 collection

Operating in an industry responsible for approximately 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, Thoreau’s founders, Hannah Little (who has worked in fashion for over 10 years), and her partner Owen, are hoping to initiate a significant change in the way that the industry functions, inspiring suppliers to re-evaluate their production processes, taking into consideration the planet’s most urgent needs.

Frenchie Bed Jacket by Thoreau

Likewise do they urge consumers to reconsider the way the shop; quality, and thus longevity and durability, are of the upmost importance to Thoreau’s designs. The collection is composed of versatile, staple pieces intended to form the basis of a capsule wardrobe, the idea being that each garment may be worn and re-worn, for seasons and indeed years to come. The aesthetic is therefore classic, a subtle 70s vibe imbued throughout, evident in light, breezy blouses and floral prints.

Coco Blouse by Thoreau

Hannah says, “We believe that personal style does not have to come at the expense of the conscience and that there is a general shift underway in the way people are shopping. We believe that this shift towards a new kind of consumerism means that people are demanding a more authentic, transparent experience from their purchases.”

Thoreau’s designers Hannah Little and Owen Weatherley

She continues, “We like to think of ourselves as the opposite of disposable, fast fashion. We are thinking about every stage of the process and seeking out solutions that minimise our impact on the world – we’re striving to strike a balance between the styling choices of the individual woman and our collective responsibility.”


by Hannah Bergin

Thoreau is exclusively available online. The brand offers free shipping across the UK