Innovation and Waste During Fashion Week – Huffington Post

Whilst showcasing collections from over 250 designers to a global audience, London Fashion Week is part of the waste in fashion conversation, whether it would like to be or not. Brewer Street Car Park – the British Fashion Council’s base for the 5 days in September, complete with its neighbouring locations for shows, exhibitions and pop ups, caters to over 5,000 visitors including buyers, TV & radio crews, journalists and photographers.

Ethically sourced food from The Store Kitchen and a recycling bins aside, not much is visible on the sustainable event production side, whilst other fashion weeks, namely Portland’s, stay innovatively ahead of the game. With recycling bases, eco friendly materials for the models, a bamboo runway and recycled material used for drapery as standard, Portland Fashion Week has been spotted at the races, flying a very green flag, even using its platform to collect used clothing and shoes for charity.

It doesn’t end there. Portland Fashion Week runs a programme to offset the entire event’s carbon footprint by planting over 5,000 native trees and nearly 4,000 shrubs respectively which is truly groundbreaking and innovative. Read more…

The Role of Quality And Keepsakes In Countering Waste – Huffington Post

This September London Fashion Week entered its sixty-fourth edition, with 83 designers showcasing collections and over 150 in the showrooms. Global interest in these exhibitions shows no signs of slowing down – figures recently released (Oxford Economics 2016) show that the British fashion industry has increased in value by 8% to £28 billion, actually exceeding GPD of 5%.

Whilst fast-fashion culture – one which global fashion weeks with their relentless thrust of trends, directives and must-buy lists are often (quite unfairly) blamed for – is indeed a contributor to the speed of our throwaway attitude to clothing, design obsolescence is too. The industry practise of intentionally creating fashion with a short life cycle from cheap inputs means that garments fall apart easily, and need to be thrown away sooner than is sustainable – darning and mending only delays the inevitable (according to the International Fabricare Institute, most shirts are designed to last just 30 washes). Ripped seams, popped buttons and clothing which loses shape after a few wears all contribute to a lack of attachment – as does fabric that loses colour after a few washes or feels abrasive on the skin, or items shy of a good overstitch (a preventative anti-fraying measure) that fall open with one tug of a seam.

One way the fashion industry can create an environment which actively combats waste is by providing quality, durable garments made from the best inputs. Instead of joining the race to the bottom, brands need to take the financial hit and invest in quality, whilst consumers need to be prepared to pay the true cost of their garments. Here heritage and craft-focused brands occupy a truly unique space, and this is true whether looking at the hand craftsmanship exhibited at Temperley or the impeccable fabric selections of heritage brand Mulberry, a fashion house respected for its consistent and poreless quality. In short, creating collections of collectibles is one way to counteract consumer waste.

The final touch. #LFW #SS17 #JohnnyCoca

A post shared by Mulberry (@mulberryengland) on

Established in 1971, Mulberry has a longstanding reputation for supporting and nurturing British craftsmen and women (600 specialists work from its two British factories alone). Read more…

Stylish and Green Fashion Week Hub? Yes please! Part One – Huffington Post

St Martins Lane Hotel is my base for London Fashion Week, but much more than that it will be a hub for the busy week ahead. Aside from its location in bustling Covent Garden – this design-led hotel is 3 minutes’ walk from Leicester Square tube station and 4 minutes’ walk from the National Gallery – it was an appealing place for me to stay whilst writing about London Fashion Week through the lens of sustainable fashion and waste for other reasons. Whilst it’s safe to say the slick rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and mood lighting feature smart TVs, free WiFi and minibar are not to be scoffed at, the tipping point for me was the hotels’ green credentials. The vibrant, fresh hotel coined the term ‘Glamorously Green’ with its focus on a daring and innovative approach to embracing the greener lifestyle whilst continuing to set precedents for the hotel industry.

In five core areas – Environment, Sustainability, Utility, Recycling, and Social Responsibility – the hotel is looking at greening its’ operations, from the obvious elimination of paper towels in restrooms to the more significant plans for LEED certified buildings and installation of low flow showers, toilets, sprinklers. Needless to say, it felt like a good fit, especially as I am going to be dressing (as) sustainably (as possible), and writing about the same topic in my London Fashion Week coverageRead more…

A Sustainable Fashion Diary for London Fashion Week – Full Day Three – Huffington Post

Day three for London Fashion Week and I wore head to toe Harisma. Based in Lativa, Tatyana Tulchinski and Julia Bibik’s womenswear brand approaches cutting denim and combining textures – structural versus fluid – in a way I find to be quite incomparable. Whilst technical innovation is the design motivation, the brand incorporates no-waste techniques into the process which also ensure that no fabric is left wasted on the cutting floor.

fullsizerender-13

I loved wearing Harisma, and as I was running around and getting through a decathlon of shows today, opting for a comfortable yet still design-led style seemed astute. The baggy hand crafted cropped denim jacket and satin trousers felt both effortless and elegant, and quite frankly the jacket had me feeling like an extra in an Aaliyah meets Total music video. The brand itself began not as a fashion house, but as a family premium jewellery brand called ‘Imperial Court’ back in 1778. Fast forward a few centuries, a new generation of designers – Tatyana Tulchinski and Julia Bibik – have pushed through with the idea of combining luxury, durable fabrics with affordability to deliver everyday clothing. My jumper was 100% GOTS certified silk (Harisma only work with certified suppliers), and felt luscious. Read more…

A Sustainable Fashion Diary for London Fashion Week – Full Day Two – Huffington Post

Designer Gyunel Rustamova was born in Azerbaijan, moving to London to study fashion at not just one of the heavyweight design colleges, but two. The London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins alumna designs a ready-to-wear and couture line from her South Kensington atelier, creating all of her prints in house from hand illustrations. These are then transformed by a skilled design team into prints. It’s been a long love affair for me with Gyunel – I call her pieces wearable art, because she creates fashion, yes, but always with a fine art edge to them, they are a creative delicacy. The devil is in the detail and you can discover worlds of it, if you stare at a Gyunel piece for long enough.

Can’t believe I am finally in @Gyunel_Official. It’s been a long love affair for me with Gyunel Rustamova – I call her pieces wearable art, and always with an artistic edge. Gyunel was born in Azerbaijan and moved to the study fashion at heavyweight fashion colleges, London College of Fashion AND Central Saint Martins. Yup. She also designs a Couture line from her South Kensington atelier. All prints are created in house from Gyunel’s hand illustrations and transformed by the skilled team of print designs, and garments are produced in Italy with the finest quality fabrics I have felt in a long time – Vivienne Westwood’s infamous words ‘Choose well, buy less, make it last’ spring to mind. They are dope. My jumper and skirt are from Gyunel, the black faux suede shoes are @publicdesire and coat is from Brick Lane independent designers @twinsdiverse and all jewels are @swarovski. Close ups coming!_______________________________________________________ #Gyunel #SamataAroundFashionWeek #LightsCameraFashion #LondonFashionWeek @londonfashionweek #CuratedStyle

A post shared by Life & Style of SAMATA (@iam_samata) on

Gyunel garments are produced in Italy and made from some of the finest fabrics I have touched in a long time, in fact Vivienne Westwood’s infamous words – ‘Choose well, buy less, make it last’ – spring to mind whenever I see her clothing. Quality is paramount – none of the lining-less, single seamed and cheap fabric offerings that sadly come with so many fast fashion brands. When it comes to waste, Gyunel’s leather is by-product from the meat industry in Italy and whilst not everyone advocates for leather, by-products are certainly part of the waste conversation. As the ready to wear designer herself says, ‘Each piece from my RTW collections is sampled in England, and manufactured in either Italy or England, to try and support small and local businesses’. On the subject of operating with a close knit London-based design team Gyunel says, ‘Gyunel Couture collections are made entirely in my Knightsbridge atelier by a team of couture specialists and the quality speaks for itself. I feel our level of sustainability is definitely one of the things that makes my brand unique.’ Read more…

A Sustainable Fashion Diary for London Fashion Week – Full Day One – Huffington Post

I am planning to look for sustainability in every corner and during each encounter I have during London Fashion Week – my green lens is officially on. I’ll be looking at the fashion, the designers, the organisation of London Fashion Week as a whole, and the important topic of waste, currently a focus on this site as part of the Reclaim project. It started for me at check-in; as I write this, I am based in St Martins Lane Hotel, and whilst the hotel is design-led and clearly comfortable in the modern luxury stakes, the tipping point for me choosing this as my base were the hotel’s green credentials.

The Morgans Hotel Group recently coined the term ‘Glamorously Green’ with its daring and innovative approach to embracing a greener lifestyle – including its recycling initiatives. From donating unused soap and toiletries to Clean The World’s soap recycling program to giving mattresses to charity organizations for both local and overseas needs, I was excited to hear how the boutique hotel was working to tackle the issue of waste and educate guests during their stay.

I have also challenged myself to dress as sustainably as I can from head to toe for the five days of shows, including a recycled element where possible in the spirit of the fashion and waste theme currently live (my contribution to the theme will go live shortly). I am going to try to be at least ‘80%’ sustainable on each day! Can I make an impact without an impact? Let’s see….day one.

fullsizerender-12

Today I am excited to wear Tata Naka – a brand designed by identical twins, Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, born in Tbilisi, Georgia. I love their designs (as do many influencers on the fashion scene – the brand has been worn by the likes of Cameron Diaz, Mina Suvari and Sarah Jessica Parker). You might even recognise some of their pieces from regular appearances on the legendary series ‘’Sex in the City’’, and from the Carrie Bradshaw cover of the official SATC book however not many people know about the brands zero-waste policy. Read more…

London Fashion Week SS17 for Huffington Post

I am excited to be covering London Fashion Week for the Huffington Post and to bring you some inspiring and creative content – we also have our Red Carpet Green Dress winning student, Talia Connelly, in town for the month of September for her internship with famed fashion house Vivienne Westwood, so it is all go, go, go! Be sure to follow @RedCarpetGreenDress on Instagram and Twitter to find out more about what Talia gets up to. If you support what I am doing and want to keep up during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 17 (and hopefully encourage me too!) – I ask you to please do the following:

Follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter. My personal style outfits will be tagged #InSamatasOwn. I have set myself the challenges to dress completely ethically and sustainably for fashion week, to pick up my looks you can visit this page and click on the corresponding images.

Follow#SamataAroundFashionWeek for my candid shots of what is going on around me from runway shows to after parties, including my stay at St Martins Lane Hotel, Covent Garden.

Finally, sign up for my next newsletter by clicking the link below, for a summary of the month of September when we get to the end!