During our Positive Spring Showcase in London we met the lovely Hannah Hughes. She gave one of our woad dye silk dresses a good home and kindly shared this lovely photo with us.
We decided to ask her some questions about what inspired her interest in sustainable fashion – she is the lady behind the cool Eco Style Editor blog.
What inspired you to write about ethical/eco fashion?
I started the blog in March 2014 so it's still a work in progress. I've been working as a magazine stylist for the past 12 years so have a lot of experience of editing, styling and writing about wearable fashion.
I've always had an interest in looking after the environment, always cycled or walked, am a recycling addict and tried to use non toxic cleaning products etc. Even though I worked in the industry I never looked really deeply into the fashion side of things.
After Rana Plaza and the Angora rabbit exposure I started to think a lot more about where our clothes were coming from. Who made them and under what conditions? I put together a page for the magazine I work at on ethical brands and as I was compiling it I found that there were a whole array of hidden gems, small companies that made fantastic fashion forward product that didn't conform to the negative connotations I had always associated with eco & ethical fashion.
I decided to start the blog as an outlet for all the wonderful brands I couldn't fit onto the page. I wanted to do it from a fashion editors perspective, only using pieces that would make the cut into a glossy magazine and that I would wear. It’s an edit of all the best products available, hopefully saving people time and making it easier for them to shop more ethically.
What are your top tips for eco-fashionistas?
The main tip I have found most useful is reassessing what I actually have in my wardrobe. I realised that I probably had enough clothes to last me a lifetime! I decided to stop buying (unless its from an eco/ethical brand) and that has saved me an absolute fortune! I've realised that I don't need to purchase something new every week/month that's just how we've been conditioned to think, not what we actually need.
Do some research into brands you love. If you find that they don't live up to your ethical expectations then tweet/write and ask them why? As consumers we vote with our £'s and if enough people take the time to ask companies why they are not doing more, they will start to listen. Look at Nike and how they've turned themselves around from all that bad child labour publicity.
Don't always buy off the shelf. There are so many fantastic outlets where you can easily pick up pre-loved designer pieces for a snip of the price.
Lastly if you want to buy into the designer market then don't assume that just because its expensive it’s made ethically. Some designers produce in the same sweatshop factories as high street labels. Check out Positiveluxury.com for a list of brands that have all achieved the Butterfly mark- meaning they are socially and ethically aware.
Big thanks to Hannah for the inspiration!
Outsider - The Home of Ethical Fashion