London's East End is Future-Proofing Fashion

When we look back on 2019, we’ll remember it as a year where brands big and small embraced the idea of sustainability, in a landslide of activity that ranged from tackling environmental concerns to the ethics of consumption.

While behemoths like Kering and LVMH have made globally recognized environmental pacts and major labels are doing away with fur and chemical dyes, for emerging brands, launching a label is expensive and being “sustainable” even more so (it was also not so prevalent a topic a few years back).

Fortunately Sustainable Fashion Accelerator is dedicated to fresh, young labels that are committed to eco-practices and the ethics behind sustainable fashion.

A bespoke program from the London-based social enterprise hub The Trampery, with funding from the London Legacy Development Corporation, it’s designed to help growth-stage fashion companies integrate sustainable practices into what they’re currently doing and going forward.

The idea, says founder Charles Armstrong, is that change will only happen “when a new generation of labels takes center-stage; [those] who have embedded sustainability and positive working practices into their business from day one. Instead of trying to retrofit it later.”

Among the new cohort of designers welcomed into the program this season are Daniel Fletcher, Martina Spetlova, Patrick McDowell and Petit Pli – a childrenswear brand that grows through technical pleats with the child wearing it. Six other businesses have already gone through the SFA and the aim is to help at least 30 companies over three years with six-month bespoke programmes that run four times a year.

“I have never experienced a programme that focuses not only on the business side of the brand but also supporting us holistically, from our own mental well-being to the sustainability of our actions,” said Steven Tai, a designer for whom the topic had always been something of interest; he’d just been struggling to find the right experts and information for such a dialogue.

Following input from the SFA, Tai has been able to implement ethical changes like these to his newly-launched online store - creating a delivery system that doesn’t purchase fabric until there is an order for it. And he has plans to overhaul his manufacturing processes in general to create less stock and wasted garments. “So I can attack this topic across the supply chain of the industry,” he said, adding that he has also enjoyed the community aspect the initiative promotes.

Daniel Fletcher, a noted name in the London menswear scene, joins the new line-up. Having launched his brand straight out of Central Saint Martins to great success, he confessed that despite the whirlwind, sustainability was not top of the list to tackle – though it has always been in the back of his mind.

“When I first started the brand, I had no idea [about the fashion business] at all. I didn’t even realize/admit that I’d started a label for a few month.  I just considered it as an extension of my degree,” he remembered.

And having started it without any kind of investment it all came down to cost and creativity. “The thing I was thinking about then was what can I do to actually produce a collection. But over the last few years that’s changed a lot. I’ve become more conscious about how much I’m putting into the world, my waste and what I can do to minimize that,” he said.

Consequently, the designer explained that has impacted the way he now designs.  The  brand is already taking small steps with the SFA program, which has been key in helping with the bigger picture.

Cost is now considered a long-term investment. “I’ve realised that doing the right thing is probably not going to be the cheapest thing; but I’m fine with that if it means what I’m doing is more sustainable,” he reflected.

Armstrong underscored the organizations commitment to shaping tomorrow’s talent. “The Trampery has been providing studio space and facilities for merging labels in London since 2013. I felt we needed to do everything in our power to help emerging designers grow their labels in a different way.” It’s thanks in part to almost two million pounds of funding from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund that the project has been made possible — something which is significant in promoting east London’s Hackney Wick area as a Creative Enterprise Zone and the area’s Fashion Hub status, as a whole.

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
A Play on Elegance and Eccentricity
By Alice Ierace and Ludovica Parisi
From Sophisticated to Eccentric: Meet Chanel’s Punk...
By Alice Ierace and Ludovica Parisi
By Alice Ierace and Ludovica Parisi
From Sophisticated to Eccentric: Meet Chanel’s Punk Princesses Today, Chanel kicked off the second day of Haute Couture Week by unveiling its Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection. Captured by Mikael Jansson, the collection is marked by a desire for...
From Sophisticated to Eccentric: Meet Chanel’s Punk Princesses Today, Chanel kicked off the second day of Haute Couture Week by unveiling its Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection. Captured by Mikael Jansson, the collection is marked by a desire for shimmering opulence and sophistication. “I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of ‘Le Palace’ at...
Artisanal Flair meets High-Tech at Couture
By Ludovica Parisi
Debuting her first-ever collection in Moscow less than ten...
By Ludovica Parisi
Debuting her first-ever collection in Moscow less than ten years ago, Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko has been receiving a lot of media attention due to her meticulous handcraft representing her native heritage.  Taking inspiration from antique...
Debuting her first-ever collection in Moscow less than ten years ago, Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko has been receiving a lot of media attention due to her meticulous handcraft representing her native heritage.  Taking inspiration from antique markets and vintage boutiques, her previous ready-to-wear collections feature eclectic clothes, bags,...
Dreaming of Faraway Lands At Digital Haute Couture
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
For the past four months, the global pandemic we’ve been...
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
For the past four months, the global pandemic we’ve been living in has been disrupting our daily lives, forcing industries to re-invent their plans for the year. Amongst them, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode decided to schedule its usual...
For the past four months, the global pandemic we’ve been living in has been disrupting our daily lives, forcing industries to re-invent their plans for the year. Amongst them, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode decided to schedule its usual Haute Couture Week digitally, on an exclusive online platform.   Nostalgic surrealism meets...
Hiroshi Fujiwara Designs Moncler's Latest Collection
By Rebecca Hitchon
Italian luxury brand Moncler rolled out today a new collection designed in collaboration with...
By Rebecca Hitchon
Italian luxury brand Moncler rolled out today a new collection designed in collaboration with globally influential streetwear designer and Japanese hip hop DJ Hiroshi Fujiwara."I wanted to create a new standard, delivering the message that Moncler loves the mountain, which is where the story...
Italian luxury brand Moncler rolled out today a new collection designed in collaboration with globally influential streetwear designer and Japanese hip hop DJ Hiroshi Fujiwara."I wanted to create a new standard, delivering the message that Moncler loves the mountain, which is where the story started," said Fujiwara about the 7 Moncler Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara collection. This message is...
Kering Sets New Biodiversity Targets
By Alice Ierace
Global luxury group Kering has announced a dedicated biodiversity strategy with a series of new...
By Alice Ierace
Global luxury group Kering has announced a dedicated biodiversity strategy with a series of new targets in order to achieve a 'net positive' impact on biodiversity by 2025.Aligned with its long-term commitment to sustainability, the group’s new biodiversity strategy outlines steps to not only...
Global luxury group Kering has announced a dedicated biodiversity strategy with a series of new targets in order to achieve a 'net positive' impact on biodiversity by 2025.Aligned with its long-term commitment to sustainability, the group’s new biodiversity strategy outlines steps to not only minimize biodiversity loss across its global supply chains but also to support nature and create net...
ALIITA: A Sparkling Family Affair
By Elisa Carassai
Family affairs are known to be a tradition amongst Italian fashion brands. The Missoni's, the...
By Elisa Carassai
Family affairs are known to be a tradition amongst Italian fashion brands. The Missoni's, the Fendi's, the Ferragamo's and the Castiglioni's, are just a few of the renown names that come to mind when thinking of the fashion empires that keep it in the family. One of these is Aliita, the jewellery...
Family affairs are known to be a tradition amongst Italian fashion brands. The Missoni's, the Fendi's, the Ferragamo's and the Castiglioni's, are just a few of the renown names that come to mind when thinking of the fashion empires that keep it in the family. One of these is Aliita, the jewellery brand established by Venezuelan-born and Milan-based designer Cynthia Vilchez Castiglioni with the...
Loewe Releases Divine-Inspired Collection
By Alice Ierace
Loewe has released its limited-edition Divine collection, honouring drag queen and actor...
By Alice Ierace
Loewe has released its limited-edition Divine collection, honouring drag queen and actor Divine. “[Divine] was absolutely out of the ordinary. He lived an intense life as a man, performer, character and as a body. For me, it is the embodiment of the principle of self-determination,” explained...
Loewe has released its limited-edition Divine collection, honouring drag queen and actor Divine. “[Divine] was absolutely out of the ordinary. He lived an intense life as a man, performer, character and as a body. For me, it is the embodiment of the principle of self-determination,” explained Jonathan Anderson, creative director of the house.The collection consists primarily of three t-shirts...
H&M Launches New CHIMI Collab
By Rebecca Hitchon
H&M has announced a collaboration with Stockholm-based eyewear brand CHIMI for a summer menswear...
By Rebecca Hitchon
By Rebecca Hitchon
H&M has announced a collaboration with Stockholm-based eyewear brand CHIMI for a summer menswear collection. The CHIMI x H&M collection, which became exclusively available on the H&M website earlier this month, marks CHIMI’s first venture into menswear, after gaining success among the...
H&M has announced a collaboration with Stockholm-based eyewear brand CHIMI for a summer menswear collection. The CHIMI x H&M collection, which became exclusively available on the H&M website earlier this month, marks CHIMI’s first venture into menswear, after gaining success among the Insta-generation for their “inclusive, fun, progressive” sunglasses designs, in the words of Creative Director...