Archives for ethical

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

UK Fashion Brand Beautiful Soul London Launches SS16 Collection

BEAUTIFUL Soul London, one of the rising stars of London’s independent fashion design scene, have launched their new SS16 Patti Wilson collection, named after the mother of Nicola Woods – the founder and designer of the brand.

 

Look 14 - Ami Shirt CoatAmy shirt coat, blossom navy and British lace

Beautiful Soul is a British luxury womenswear label based in Notting Hill, London. It was founded in 2011 by Woods on the principles of perennial design unwavering in its femininity, British heritage and sustainability.

 

Look 15 - Chika Shirt DressChika shirt dress with blue British lace

The brand has been synonymous with the finest of British craftsmanship and the latest collection provides a continuity to this notion. Inspired by childhood memories and nostalgia, Woods has created a collection made up of delicate, flow-y silhouettes carrying the brand’s signature floral prints. The selection includes dresses for various occasions, coats, elegant separates and feminine skirts and shirts.

Look 23 - Oka Jacket + Kiko ShortsOka jacket in blossom pink. Kiko shorts in blossom pink

Nicola and team behind Beautiful Soul have always been committed to a conscious and responsible approach to fashion with ethical ethos of local production and sourcing and minimising waste in the production process to zero. They achieve that by using end-of-line fabrics, skillful pattern cutting, and crafting fastenings and embellishments from leftover textiles to ensure the full use of every piece of fabric.

The SS16 collection therefore features British lace sourced from a Nottingham lace factory that compliments the composed colour palette selection including both vibrant shades and coveted pastels. The main floral themes are Hydrangea and Blossoms, occasionally accompanied by dainty ladybirds and bumblebees which evoke the charm of British countryside summers.

Look 16 - Mai Midi Dress + Midori T-BlouseMai midi-dress in blossom aqua with Midori T-blouse in blossom navy

Beautiful Souls’ ethical approach to fashion and production and smart tailoring allowing the designs to be effortlessly carried from day to evening have earned them international following and has gained admiration from several notable wearers including Pippa Middleton, Taylor Swift and Erin O’Connor among others.

Nicola Woods’ pieces are appreciated for their timeless design and excellent quality, both of which lend to the brand’s ambitions of creating fashionable heirlooms. Nicola says, “For SS16 I set myself the challenge of re-working my favourite signature prints from Beautiful Soul London’s Archive; embracing the movement towards ‘slow fashion’ and promoting the brands ethos that pieces are timeless and remain current season-after- season, which offers a more sustainable, slower fashion cycle.

Look 27 - Emi DressEmi dress in blossom pink

“I have named the collection, Patti Wilson after my mum. What is most precious about Beautiful Soul London pieces is that they transcend age and generations, lending themselves to the passing from mother to daughter, aunt to niece, or sister to sister. I thrive on challenge. It makes complete sense to challenge the ‘fast fashion’ system and with the launch of our new website, it’s time to show that we can do this without compromising style.”

The collection is now available online but can also be viewed during open days or by appointment in the brand’s Portobello Road studio where they offer unique way of experiencing a brand – through personal shopping service which includes meeting the designer Woods.

by Magda Pirowska