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Pure fashion

24 Aug

Zoe Robinson finds ethical fashion is really kicking off at Pure

Earlier this month I spent a day in the bizarre bubble that is London’s Olympia to visit the fashion trade show Pure.  This bi-annual event takes place for buyers and press to have a good old gander at what designers have created for us all for Spring / Summer 2012.

Over the last few seasons the ethical offering at Pure has grown, largely thanks to the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF), ‘the industry body dedicated to a sustainable future for fashion’, who also runs seminars at the show.  Primarily geared towards buyers, their must-see seminars focus on how to put together a great ethical fashion collection in store, and with sales of eco clothing having grown by 72% in 2010, retailers really have an incentive (and in my opinion a responsibility) to source their stock ethically.

At Pure, EFF also present the winners of the EFF Innovation Award which recognises excellence in design, quality of product and ethical credentials.  Here are just some of my favourites from this season’s Pure, starting with one of the Innovation winners Chichia…

This exciting new collaboration between Made By Africa and Chichia is produced in a fair-trade certified factory in Tanzania. The colourful and highly wearable designs combine jersey with African prints in organic cotton (see above).

Nancy Dee now produce their entire collection in the UK using eco friendly fabrics suchs as organic cotton and bamboo. In addition to their wonderful and much-loved printed jersey dresses (above), they have some great tailored pieces for SS12.

If you are a regular reader of EggMag you’ll know we do love London-based brand Lowie so I was very excited to see this 50s style dress (above) in a cute boat print – the first print they have had designed exclusively for them.

This image doesn’t do justice to this ultra feminine dress by Komodo (above) – it’s a  really beautiful print and such a versatile style.

There is so much to like about this sublimely simple, versatile and very soft organic cotton dress (above) from Stewart+Brown. How can I style thee? Oh let me count the ways…

It was great to discover this very exciting new Colombian brand Cyclus at Pure. Crafted from highly durable inner tubes these these bags are a triumph of expert design, upcycling and local production. Loathed as I am to recommend a new ‘it’ bag – or utter the words ‘must buy’ – but if you invest in one hot new accessorise brand next season, let it be this one!

I have my eye on this new style from Makki (above) which would go with just about anything. Made from eel skins that are a by-product of the food industry it’s sustainable and stylish, just what we like.

Beautifully feminine bag from Coco Barclay (above) – the vintage gloves can be removed for a more casual look and if it’s cold outside they will keep your fingers cosy.

The brilliant Beyond Skin are a vegan brand who make efforts to be as sustainable as possible. Some of these stunning (and surprisingly comfortable) shoes are produced using a super soft fabric made from recycled plastic (see above).

Meher Kakalia’s amazing footwear and bags are produced in Karachi often using ‘found’ materials (some weaving embellishments are done with thin strips or ‘threads’ of plastic bags), utilising tradtitional techniques and supporting local, highly-skilled artisans. I love them so much I took extra photos, which are below for your shoe-ogling pleasure.


See Zoe’s website www.think-style.co.uk
Twitter @zoerobinson1
Facebook Think Style

The right white stuff

1 Apr

If you were a child of the 70s or 80s, like myself, you’ll probably have similar memories of milk breaks. That Very Important time spent perched on your tiny, brightly-coloured plastic chair, nursing a mini milk bottle and sucking up watery cow-juice with all your might in order to earn a star. And, if you were well behaved, you got to clear away the empties (how did they ever fool us into thinking that was a privilege?) But the best thing that could happen in a milk break – the truly most brilliant reward for having to down the phlegm-making cow-juice like a rugby boy downs beer (but without the same enjoyment) was being given, simply, an unshaken bottle. Here, like a magnolia-coloured crown, the cream would sit. Oh, the joy of seeing that little piece of goodness resting precariously on top of the milk! The next move was to squash your straw, slip it down the inside edge of the bottle so as not to disturb your curdled prize, suck the bastard dry and savour the final, thick, sweet goodness left at the bottom and stuck to your straw. Remember?

These days, opinions on milk have changed somewhat. It is still seen as an important element in a person’s diet. It’s gone from being a national obsession to a bit of a controversial topic. Lactose intolerance is now widely acknowledged as a cause of thickened phlegm and mucus (nice), dry skin conditions like eczema – particularly in young children – and stomach complaints. The culling of male calves born into dairy farms is a serious issue, and the proposed US-style, in-humane super-dairies are a very real possibility.

Although milk is undoubtedly a good source of calcium and other nutrients, we consume so much of it, which is crazy when you think that the human digestive system is not massively efficient at breaking down lactose. The enzyme is also often hidden in processed foods as well, like soups and crisps and this is why some people react to it.

Luckily, there are plenty of other readily available options like goats milk (which naturally possesses lower levels of lactose – and is much tastier I find) and soya, rice and hemp milk too. I suppose, with all this contradictory information, the thing to do is to buy organic cow-juice where necessary, as it will most likely come from farms that are against the culling of male calves – and it’s proven to have higher nutritional value. Also, why not create your own mix-and-match milk menu? Rice milk is really good with cereal, hemp milk tastes decent in a cuppa, just as soya does in a coffee. But, all that said, there’s nothing – just nothing – like a bloody good spoon of cream. And whatever any health food bod says, that is one thing that CANNOT be replaced…