Rin Simpson rounds up some of the best buys for conscious shoppers. This month, she looks at must-haves for fabulous fashionistas
Forget steel-plated bracelets and diamond-encrusted faces – if you want a watch that will really stand out, you need to think along more natural lines. We Wood’s range of wooden watches are not only free of any artificial or toxic materials, they also look pretty sharp.
The Italian luxury brand features designs in a range of unusual woods, from South American guaiaco to Tasmanian blackwood, all of which have been reclaimed or recycled. And they’re just as impressive on the inside, thanks to the accuracy of the Miyota 2315 movement. Prices range from £88.99 to £99.99, and each watch comes with a two year warranty. What’s more, for every watch bought, We Wood plants a tree.
There’s a sassy new brand on the lingerie scene, which is hoping to give sustainable fashion a sexy new look. Blysia is only a few months old but, as a member of both the Ethical Fashion Forum and the Fair Wear Foundation, it’s already playing with the big boys. The debut range of provocative underwear has been created “to prove that it’s possible to be a vixen while being kind to the planet and its people.”
Founded by Welsh designer Helen Ball, who makes everything herself using solar power, the company is not only environmentally minded but also aims to support local industry. Helen is currently applying for grants to set up an educational arm to the business, which will see people with little or no education and skills given the chance to learn about design, manufacturing and creative business, giving them greater opportunities for the future.
Strike a pose
Ethical fashion has taken another step towards the mainstream thanks to a new book by People Tree founder Safia Minney. Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution (£14.99, New Internationalist) features some of the industry’s most well-respected names, from designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Orla Kiely to journalist Caryn Franklin and actress-turned-model Emma Watson.
Featuring a collection of personal accounts and opinion pieces, interviews and essays – not to mention a wealth of dramatic images – this book proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that sustainability can be stylish. An accessible, fascinating read that’s as thought-provoking as it is informative, yet easily pretty enough to grace any coffee table.
Keeping it brief
It was Nelson Mandela’s 2005 call for the world to make poverty history that inspired the founders of Pants to Poverty. Working closely with an organic farming collective and a carbon neutral factory in India, the company sells a range of organic and Fairtrade underwear for men and women.
Since then, the fashion brand has expanded into 20 countries and supports over 5,000 farmers in India. But Pants to Poverty’s products aren’t just ethically made, they also carry some clout in the campaign world. In fact, within a week of the company launching their first campaign, they had convinced multinational chemical company Bayer to pull a killer pesticide off the market.