The second part of the i-Sustain project is now live. The project is a collaboration between the CSF and i-D aiming to inform, inspire and challenge i-D readers to change the way they think, buy and wear fashion, using their buying power to support a whole raft of new designers who are moving the fashion and sustainability agenda forward. This month we focus on Partimi by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith, one of the first designers to join the CSF mentoring programme and a true advocate for fashion that combines beauty, wear ability and consideration for the environment. Check it out
i-Sustain issue II
Sanyukta Shrestha is a London based fashion designer specializing in bridal wear. Her contemporary creations are artistic, timeless and elegant. Each piece in the collection is embedded with her ‘love green, believe in ethics’ ethos.
Her bridal collection combines the eco-friendly use of fabrics with exquisitely hand crafted millinery and accessories. Most of the fibres used in the collection of hats, fascinators and accessories are wild fibres, skilfully hand loomed by women in a village in Nepal. The whole range is handmade in the UK, and hand embroidered by artisans on a fair wage in Nepal, under Sanyukta’s guidance.
Sourcing and production follow ecological guidelines, with fabrics from ethical and fair trade certified manufacturers. Beautifully tactile eco fabrics are used, like soft hemp silk, 100% bamboo, 100% wild nettle, wild hemp, organic silk, soya, banana, 100% organic & fair-traded cotton.
Sanyukta has been selected as a 2011 ‘New Talent: a small group of talented UK designers poised for critical and commercial acclaim’ by the White Gallery London. Sanyukta will be showcasing her sustainable and ethical bridal collection alongside internationally known designers such as Amanda Wakeley, David Fielden, Ian Stuart and Matthew Williamson.
“I had a vision but the paths were shrouded in mist; the CSF Programme has helped me clear the path and be more precise. The knowledge and experience shared during the workshops has enabled me to broaden my awareness of the possibilities of sustainability, which has been an invaluable support for me to grow as a sustainable business.’’
- Visit Sanyukta Shrestha
Ahilya was founded by Manuela Moollan in 2008. Born and educated in Paris, Manuela’s passion for cultural exchange and adventure inspired a radical career change in 2008, when she started ahilya, a label initially inspired by the ancient traditions of Kashmir and its namesake fibre.
Manuela is fascinated by experimentation as a means of pushing traditional techniques beyond their conventional boundaries. Debuting with Calais leavers lace and increasingly experimenting with techniques such as bespoke hand framed knits, handpainting and silk screen printing, Manuela brings personal cross cultural paradigm to the product.
Having spent several years exploring the technical aspects of the production process and researching fibres, ahilya commits to a sustainable engagement with Kashmir’s textile traditions at every stage of the production process. Manuela travels regularly to Kashmir, where Ladakhi hand-combed cashmere is hand-spun and hand-woven as it has been for centuries.
Committed to manually processed fibres from wool selection, washing, separation, spinning to weaving, ahilya sources from Nomadic herders in untouched Himalayan landscape of Ladakh, Kashmir. This is where they believe the finest quality cashmere is produced using the kindest methods. ahilya is proud to provide information about this weaving tradition.
ahilya’s key value lies in scarves that will develop into heirlooms, just as ancient Kashmiri shawls were to the Indian and European aristocracy. ahilya shawls play to luxurious pragmatism; longevity and functionality over a short-term fix.
Seeking to strike a harmonious balance between innovation and tradition ahilya continues to explore new and visionary techniques through the creation of a sterling signature product line, the AW11 ahilya couture collection. Key commissions this season include a hand-knitted trim by innovative knitwear designer Sara Bro-Jorgensen and a conceptual print by contemporary artist Frédérique Loutz. These commissions reflect ahilya’s primary commitment towards creating modern handcrafted designs to update hand combed, spun and woven cashmere from Kashmir.
Ahilya won the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation Award in 2010. The label is stocked internationally, including Browns.
“The CSF Business Support Programme has helped broaden ahilya’s knowledge base on ethical practices in the fashion industry, highlighting materials and techniques with high negative environmental impacts. ahilya takes a much more thorough approach in its use of material throughout its collection development.”
- Visit Ahilya
Lizzy Nolan designs ladies coats using a combination of luxurious fabrics and bold prints complemented by fine tailoring.
Leaving Dublin at 17, Irish born Lizzy Nolan began a global voyage, living in a variety of diverse cultures, from Egypt to Vietnam. While living in Hong Kong and working as a fashion house fitting-model for a variety of internationally renowned brands, Lizzy began her informal training. Learning the importance of attention to detail and how to fit clothes in order to make the most of a womanly figure, she also gained invaluable knowledge and a love of fabrics.
Throughout Lizzy’s career in the Asian fashion industry, she witnessed firsthand how unrealistic demands for cheaper, quicker fashion had eventually damaged many small businesses. Using this insight and a degree in Social Studies, Lizzy has worked hard to build a unique and sustainable relationship directly with a family of tailors. Lizzy continually strives to produce sustainable, ethical collections.
Lizzy’s collection of ladies coats with their timeless classics and dramatic looks, have built a loyal and international client base.
“My participation in the Business Support Programme at CSF could not have come at a better time, as I was in the process of a total re-branding and change of direction for my business.
I must admit I was slightly nervous before I arrived at the first workshop, not sure if I should be bare-foot and wearing only hemp or if the mere mention of the “C” word, as in I work directly with a family of tailors in “China” would result in gasps of horror or hissing from the group! But this was not the case at all, what I learned from the extremely diverse and informative workshops that followed, was that although there is always room for improvement, I was in fact on the right track.
Building a business within this ethos is not easy for even the richest fashion brands, so any changes to my business must be both ethical and commercially viable. Simply put, if I am unable to sustain the business itself, then there is little hope of sustaining much else.
It was so refreshing to meet and learn about other business owners and designers that strive to work in an ethical way, even the smallest change in thought and practice can help in the drive towards a more sustainable Industry.”
- Visit Lizzy Nolan