Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Reduce Your Carbon Jimmy Choo

In the guerrilla market of retail it seems of late the small voices of Ethical Fashion Groups have finally begun to break through and industry professionals are slowly becoming a little more aware. The big guns seem to be taking time out to think about waste and the negative effects that throw away fashion seems to be bringing to our environment. Honestly, up until recent times I too was entirely ignorant to this greater environmental problem. I'll admit I have an all consuming over indulgent love affair with fabrics and layering and up until this point had never bothered to take any steps towards improving the big picture.
This brings me to the introduction of Miss Mia Nisbet (a friend of a friend) who has taken all of the above into her own creative hands and developed a collection purely based on old clothing that has been recycled, twisted, remade and recreated into her ‘Reclaim To Wear’ collection. Due to her recent success in the ‘Make Your Mark In Fashion’ comp she will show the collection under the label ‘MIAWI’ at Fashion Week here in London. How exciting.

On a recent trip to Malawi, Nisbet was overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of surplus second hand clothing that had been imported from the states and sold in street markets hence giving her the idea of fusing these ‘left overs’ with traditional Malawi dress in the theme of recycling and designing. She proposes to fuse together these hand me downs with “African Clothes, fabrics and prints of Malawi” and show them here in September. Brilliant.

I love the messiness mixed with structure and the hints of the original garment that are still visible in the final product. Due to the recreative (made up word) process that each piece has gone through it seems that each article of clothing has a story, a past, where did the fabric for that bustle come from? Who slept in on a cold Sunday morning in that hoodie before it became a statement piece on the catwalk at LFW?

I am by no means an environmental angel and most certainly a victim of 21st century consumerism. Yes, I have been privy to the odd Battersea car boot sale (3 in total), I have lots of pretty stars next to my name on ebay and have be known to send garbage bags home to be passed off on my younger cousins. I must admit though, of late, I have been taking a little more notice of ethical fashion groups and the awareness they are trying to raise. What I don’t understand is why we don’t think twice about ensuring we turn off the tap when we brush our teeth, turn off our PC at the wall before we go to bed, take care and recycle only the correct materials, yet these ethical groups/labels still have to work so extraordinarily hard just to be noticed?…... Superficiality I fear.








9 people have commented:

Lluviaschick said...

love this article and love the idea of this designer... right now I´m working on a article about fair trade and ethical fashion and I was wondering if I can include this project. do you mind if I use it? I would give you credit, of course...
my email: lluviaschick@yahoo.co.uk. write me there if you prefer.

Imelda Matt said...

I love the concept but I think the execution misses the mark! That said, this is the start of a new movement so it needs time grow.

susie_bubble said...

I sadly had to miss AFW so thanks for the intro to this designer....

gracie said...

I am not one to like new furniture so I am so glad they recycled the elegant old furniture it is timeless and will never end up on the scrap heap ,what a shame some of the beautiful lace they had many years ago was sent to the thrift shops and would have ended up as rags .
Thank you to all you guys that shop in thrift shops that bring these alive again.
Australia is just starting to have our own history we are still so young

annah said...

this collection, and concept is wonderful! i love the use of ethinic models too.
its also made me think about going through my old clothes and remaking...

Beau In Boston Now In London said...

I recently went through my drawers throwing out long lost fashion disasters prior to the first Big Move, and I don't think even Mia's miraculous talents could resurrect some of the rescued tragedies that really should never again have seen the light of day..

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mia, and I must say, she is as charming, sweet and genuine as she is talented. Hopefully her efforts at LFW puts her on the fashion map, as she thoroughly deserves it.

On Track said...

Fantastic post, very inspiring :)

Angie hearts said...

Good read, thanks for the post, I do look forward to a new change.

The Clothes Horse said...

I did read what you said, but I am quite distracted by the stunning top hats...