Images via: www.made.uk.com
For some time now there's been a clamouring in the ethical fashion world for more high profile names in fashion to get with the ethical programme and start banging the sustainability drum. We know it's superficial, but it's an undeniable truth that big names get big press and without them it's hard to convey important messages in engaging and aspirational ways. Especially in an industry like fashion that's all about glitz and glamour. So we're delighted that ethical fashion in the UK is now getting some much needed star quality from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Erin O'Connor, Lily Cole, Livia Firth and now Laura Bailey.
Ethical Fashion Advocate
Laura Bailey has been one of the UK's top models for the best part of two decades and, while she is still working intermittently in front of the lens, she is now using the majority of her time to act as an advocate for ethical and sustainable fashion backstage. She also writes regularly on fashion for Vogue's Green Style Blog and other publications.
Ethical fashion and the mainstream industry have run in parallel with each other for some time now, without much crossover. The Estethica show each season has done great work raising the profile of ethical designers at London Fashion Week, but it still remains a ghetto inside the main exhibition.
London Fashion Week SS11
However, at this season's London Fashion Week it was noticeable that ethical fashion's star quality was on the rise, with a catwalk at Clarence House and the new "She Died From Beauty" label from Erin O'Connor and stylist friend Kate Halfpenny creating quite a stir. Laura Bailey is another example of a fashion insider, with access to all the key hearts and minds in the mainstream industry, who really has some clout to try and start encouraging change from the inside out.
Working with Made in Kenya
Earlier this year Laura travelled with the Fairtrade ethical jewellery label Made to Kenya to work with local artisans on a new collaborative collection. Last month her designs for Made were launched in John Lewis and Topshop and are apparently doing brisk business next to other mainstream brands. Below you can see the video of Laura's visit to the Made workshop.
Laura Bailey Interviewed at Fashion Business Club
At the recent Fashion Business Club event held in London, Laura Bailey was interviewed by Vogue.com editor Dolly Jones in the Swarovski Store. The surroundings and the audience could not have been more Fashion, with a capital F, and yet the topic of the day was Laura's work as an advocate for ethical fashion. So we are certainly beginning to see some mainstream infiltration going on, thanks to Laura's work.
It is great news for ethical fashion to have such an eloquent, passionate, hands on, and informed spokesperson.
Dolly Jones of Vogue.com interviewing Laura Bailey. Photo credit: Sam Atkinson for FBC
Here are some of the highlights from the FBC interview:
"I'm delighted that Vogue has given us the opportunity on the Green Style Blog. It is about wonderful, glamorous, intelligent people creating a conversation. The sustainability conversation hasn't been an easy one to join so far, we need to put it on the radar. But I am an optimist and I do believe things are changing."
"I love fashion now more than ever. I'm interested in the story behind the labels, travelling to the source, and I'm especially interested in the craft."
"The trip to Kenya with Made was the most amazing work experience of my life. I saw how sustainable production really affects lives."
"Made is a good example of not banging the green drum, but creating stylish products that compete with other brands in Topshop."
"I'm very aware of the hypocrisy of being a model selling products on one hand and telling people to buy less on the other. I just try to be as honest as I can. I'm certainly not against the £5 bargain, if it is bought from a charity or vintage shop, but I also believe in buying classic pieces that can be handed down to your daughter."
"Estethica has played a really important role in bringing press attention to small labels that otherwise wouldn't have had exposure. The more we can do together to level the playing field the better."
Fashion Business Club
Vogue Green Style Blog
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