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A Shout-Out To My Longest-Standing Eco-Friendly Followers In Honour of Earth Day!

My goal with this blog and with my Instagram @itsmollymayfair has always been to build a community – a community of like-minded brands and readers who share in the knowledge of Mother Earth’s importance and the hope that we can live peacefully with the environment, treading lightly on this world. It seems like a long time ago that I started this journey but really it was only three years ago back in 2017! And since then I’ve had the pleasure of learning about some truly amazing people through my supporters and research. With everything that is going on right now, I wanted to share some hope and inspiration to remind us all that although these are truly difficult times, there is still so much happening to be hopeful for. So in honour of Earth Day, this is a SHOUT OUT to some of my longest-running followers – brands and individuals who inspire me every day and are working to make the world a more sustainable place. I’ve loved learning more about them over the years and now you can too! I reached out and asked them to tell me one thing they are most grateful for at this time and I’ve placed it alongside a summary of their ethos. Have a little read of their answers and see what resonates with you below…

1. All Natural Soap Co.

Rose Geranium Soap – £6.50 – All Natural Soap Co.

The All Natural Soap Co. is an award-winning natural soap brand who are committed to providing sustainable products and a personalised customer service every time. Their soaps are fully biodegradable, vegetarian (mostly vegan – see their full range here) and Palm Oil free, and they only offer accessories that are plastic-free and ethical. You could even eat the majority of ingredients found in their soaps and you get a free mini soap with every order! During these challenging times of COVID-19, All Natural Soap Co. say this: “The situation in the human world right now is making us sit back, pause and count our many blessings. In the first few days of the lockdown, gratitude for things we are so used to taking for granted – like hot water – really stood out”.

Check out their full range of soaps, shampoos and accessories on their website here or follow along on their journey on Instagram.

2. Thrifty Canadienne

Jessica, the woman behind @thriftycanadienne is a fellow sustainable fashion and thrift-shop addict. Her Instagram is, in her own words, “an account to hold me accountable & share conscious & vintage finds”. She has introduced me to the brand who made her beautiful wedding dress above, Héroïnes Paris, who make limited edition pieces in Europe, as well as one of the only affordable ethically made sun hat companies I’ve come across, La Boutique Équatorienne.

In her ethically-made sun hat

Jessica also wove many aspects of sustainability into her wedding itself, including using an independent florist who could tell her where her flowers were coming from, whether they were in season, and how she could make sure they were coming from Europe. She also used recycled centrepieces for her dining tables and decorated the tents with ivy from their garden! For dinner, her guests enjoyed fish instead of meat and hyper-local organic wine and local champagne. I reached out to Jess and she told me she was most grateful “for video chats with my little sister, spending time with my husband, and the privilege to have a great health care system and job protection provided by the French government. Not everyone is so lucky, so I’m trying to be still and acknowledge that when things get “tough” mentally. Also, I’m very grateful for yoga with Adriene on YouTube!”

I’m definitely going to be using these tips for any weddings or events I might attend in the future! You can follow along for updates or check out @thriftycanadienne here.

 

3. Reclaim Mallorca

Reclaim Mallorca’s motto is ‘Redefining Luxury’ and this is precisely why their founder set up the sustainable luxury brand on the island of Mallorca in 2009. They produce one-off, handmade bags from high quality upcycled materials – ‘designed to last’. Their bags are made from ‘a combination of leather that has aged naturally through a lifetime of use by thoroughbred racehorses, or spirited polo ponies, combined with century-old Mallorcan fabrics and surplus Italian cashmere’. The SOLLER backpack, for example, is based on the 19th-century design the founder’s grandfather used to have.

Grey Red Floral Soller Rucksack -€695 – Reclaim Mallorca

And the people behind these stunning luxurious bags?

Teal Floral Orient Tote Bag -€595,00 – Reclaim Mallorca

Local talented craftspeople on the island of Mallorca itself – and Team Reclaim believe in “keeping our workers happy, whatever that may take”. When I reached out to the brand, they told me something that really made me smile – quietly and behind the scenes, Team Reclaim have been using their network to get ventilators sent from Tesla (a sustainable energy company) directly to hospitals in Madrid to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about the donations here. At the moment, Team Reclaim’s head designer is most grateful for ‘the incredible blessing’ of being able to spend quarantine in the middle of the countryside with ‘her two furry besties’.

She says: “I am so aware of those families with young children who are locked into small apartments, wishing I could offer them my wild garden to run around in”.

Such a beautiful message and I just want to say – GO TEAM RECLAIM! Hats off to you, good luck with your truly inspiring project and stay safe.

You can check out Reclaim Mallorca here and follow along on Instagram here.

4. Little By Little Jewellery

Spinning Seville Necklace – £130 – Little by Little Jewellery

Little by Little Jewellery are a sustainable jewellery brand on a mission to help change lives with every piece sold. They do this by partnering with Luminary Bakery – a charitable partnership based in London that offers disadvantaged women the opportunity to build a career by using baking as a tool to equip them with transferrable skills for the working world. By offering courses, work experience and paid employment within the bakery, Luminary and Little by Little Jewellery empower women to build their career – for every purchase, Little by Little Jewellery funds one woman to train at the bakery for a day.

Their transparency in the production process of their jewellery and sustainability of their brand really stands out. The Peruvian factory they use to create their jewellery has been running for 32 years and is noteworthy in that it gives jobs to people with no prior technical experience and trains them in the art of making jewellery. The brand’s founder, Annabel, also visited the factory to ensure it is a safe, spacious and well-equipped place to work.

Seville Hoops – £80 – Little by Little Jewellery

The silver used in their jewellery is local Peruvian silver, some of which is recycled, and comes from companies ‘with environmental certification that meet with strict Labour standards and comply with human rights laws’, with an ultimate goal of supporting local miners and communities, whilst reducing their environmental impact.

Wedge Ear Jackets – £100 – Little by Little Jewellery

And one of the most unusual things about the brand? Their jewellery is all inspired by FOOD! Like these Wedge Ear Jackets, inspired by the graphical form found in the watermelon slice. The Seville Dome Pendant below is also inspired by food – this time, the Andalusian oranges of Seville.

Seville Dome Pendant – £125

When I reached out to Annabel and Georgina, the founders of Little by Little Jewellery, to check in with COVID-19, they said this: “We’re most thankful for the sunshine and simple pleasures in running a business at a slightly slower pace. The weather has lifted our spirits and we’ve had time to pause, reflect and be grateful for fulfilling orders, albeit at a slightly more gentle pace!” I love this message and the ethos behind their business – you can also check out their Instagram here. Stay safe Little by Little!

5. Purepod Studio

Pollinator Dress – $100 – Purepod Studio

At times like these, I was grateful to be able to hear from a fellow sustainable brand in Australia. Purepod Studio has a ‘vision for a fashion industry that holds planet, people and passion at its core”. Their collections are made by either local artisans or internationally, complying with Fair Trade standards, and are created with premium sustainable textiles.

Bee Vintage Waistcoat in Raw Linen – $149

These include organic cotton, organic denim, hemp, silk, bamboo, merino wool, raw linen and soya bean textiles – all naturally dyed and hand-printed. They have won many green fashion awards since their conception in 2007 (when, as they say, sustainable fashion was ‘still in its infancy’) and has been invited by trade shows to represent the Australian ethical fashion industry.

Bee Vintage Waistcoat in Raw Linen – $149

This Bee Vintage waistcoat is a perfect example of the care and traceability that goes into each and every Purepod piece. It is made from raw linen with a print design by Abby French of Bursaria Workshop in New South Wales, Australia. The material is then printed on using Abby’s design in Melbourne at Frankie & Swiss and the waistcoat itself is made in Canberra, before being hand embroidered by Kelli herself, the founder of Purepod Studio! A true Australian-made piece.

Reed Skirt – $140

Despite COVID-19, Kelli is still able to post orders and she is most thankful to have this time with her beautiful daughter and to be living in Canberra where they have a “big backyard and lots of bush around us to go for walks!” The Reed Skirt and Pollinator Dress posted here are from Purepod Studio’s Native Pollen Collection, created to highlight the importance of using bee-friendly materials to make our clothes. You can read more about fashion’s impact on the bees here in this Purepod blog post and their Instagram is here.

I hope you enjoyed learning about these wonderful brands!

Have a wonderful Friday and stay safe!

In Love&Light, MM XOXOX

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Spotlight on Sophie Pittom: The British Brand Pioneering Ethical Embellishment & Sustainable Luxury

Selena Slip Dress with Lace Overlay in Navy/Off White

Fragrant white-pink trellises twisting their delicate flowers over a country house… A woman sits beneath them as their sweet scent envelops her, honing the silk in her hands, threading it through most careful fingers…

Pink Geometric Print Hand Embellished Clutch

Feminine delicacy, precision, a floral burst of joy – these are all images that float up to meet me when I think of Sophie Pittom. Started in 2017 by the eponymous young British designer, this is a truly artisanal brand that is carving out a path in the fashion industry for luxurious, one-of-a-kind pieces championing embroidery and embellishment.

Handmade from vintage lace or luxury end-of-line fabrics sourced from designers such as Sophie Hallette, Sophie Pittom explains that each piece is created with sustainability at its core: “I felt that there was a gap in the market for a brand that offered luxury, embroidered pieces but in a sustainable and ethical way. I was inspired to create one-off embroidery designs for every garment that paired perfectly with an ethical way of working as we only produce small collections with a limited number of runs. It keeps it exciting and every piece is totally unique!”

Black Poppy Hand Embellished Clutch

So was running a luxury ethical fashion brand always on this designer’s horizon? “I have always wanted to run my own business since school, but I was keen to get a few years’ experience in the design industry before doing so. I am still working in the industry now while my brand grows…” Sophie, who runs the business with her mother, Samantha, says it’s a partnership that works perfectly: “We LOVE working together! The best thing is that we have the same values and vision for the brand but also different strengths. My mum is incredible at hand-embroidery and has a great eye for colour combinations. My strengths are creating the silhouettes and machine work so we make the perfect team”.

Selena Slip Dress with Lace Overlay in Navy/Off White

Based in Warwickshire in the historic town of Leamington Spa, Sophie takes inspiration every day from her surroundings, particularly the area’s celebrated architecture and stately homes dotted amongst its rolling countryside: “I am hugely inspired by [their] interiors – I love the grandeur and decadence they have”. And it’s an enthusiasm that extends far beyond the walls of Sophie’s studio: “When I am not designing, I am working on my house! I am currently renovating my lovely Victorian house as interiors and all things DIY is another huge passion of mine. This is also what has led me to create some home-ware pieces with our signature embroidery… a limited edition collection I am excited to release later this year.” This interiors influence can really be seen in the intricacy and elegance characterised in each piece – like a modern tapestry, Sophie weaves her embroidery of colourful patterns into a creation of wearable luxury – clothing and items perfect to be worn whilst wandering romantically through a country house, brushing blush-coloured silk against your skin as you pass through its echoing rooms…

Selena Slip Dress with Lace Overlay in Yellow/Off White

But this isn’t the only source of inspiration feeding into these designs. The floating, unfitted Kara T-Shirt Dress with Chiffon Overlay and faintly androgynous Charlie Sweatshirts speak of another layer to the vision: “Other influences come from menswear… I love to mix delicate feminine embellishment with relaxed silhouettes that inspire the casual pieces in my collections”.

Navy Kara T-Shirt Dress with Chiffon Overlay

These ‘relaxed silhouettes’ teamed with layers of lightweight fabrics and softened explosions of colour give the impression of an effortless, endlessly chic atmosphere around the brand, but head designer Sophie speaks openly of one difficulty encountered so far: “I think the biggest challenge of being a sustainable brand is making people aware of how you are sustainable and the impact this has. For example, our pieces will always be a slightly higher price because we source the highest quality organic cotton and then spend many hours creating our embellishments in a way that creates the least possible amount of waste. We try to be as transparent as we can about our production process so customers can see they are buying a quality piece that will last as long as you look after it for”.

Navy Kara T-Shirt Dress with Chiffon Overlay

This is a challenge being played out on the global stage as ‘slow fashion’ designers look to shift consumer perceptions around price points and the benefit of purchasing longer-lasting items. Yet there is a chasm of difference between the slower production of sustainable fashion brands and the much faster turnover and throwaway culture of the high street stores. It is a difference that needs to be learned from and a transformation that is long overdue. Indeed, Sophie herself explains that she would like to see “a big change in seasonal fashion and the seasonal buying format. We are proud to be a ‘non-seasonal’ brand to encourage slow fashion and re-styling key pieces to be worn multiple times through all seasons”.

Selena Slip Dress with Lace Overlay in Yellow/Off White

So what’s next for this pioneering young brand? “I would love for us to be involved in another pop-up shop opportunity. We did one last year and it was a huge success as I love getting feedback from customers and people can really appreciate the hand embellishment work up close which is lovely to see”. With so much attention to detail that goes into each piece, it follows that some of the best interaction the brand can offer its new customers is to see and feel the designs in person. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next pop-up so I can attend myself and I think it’s fair to say that Sophie Pittom is now well and truly on my wish list. Now about that country house…

You can shop the full range of Sophie Pittom designs on her website and browse her Instagram here.

In Love&Light, MM XXX

 

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Live Action from London Fashion Week: THE Eco-Luxury Catwalk Show To Grab Front Row Seats

My feet were aching in my high heels and I was feeling a little giddy from the third fourth glass of champagne I’d tippled earlier that afternoon as I sat at the gilded tables of Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill and waited for the show to start… but I was about to forget all of that.

Upstairs, the models were getting ready in a hush of excitement behind their elaborate mirrored wall and I was reminded of the children’s novel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, where the characters find an otherworldly wonderland waiting for them on the other side of the door…

As the lights dimmed, I sat forward eagerly in my seat and bathed in the strains of eerily beautiful Celtic music that began to pour from the speakers. I kept my attention on the mirrors and waited, trying not to get distracted – this is Ethical Girl London’s first fashion show after all – and I wanted to capture every moment of it. Aha! Here they are…

Jeff Garner – the man behind the splendor and the genius behind sustainable fashion brand Prophetik – had been inspired by historic regal figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots, for this – his 2019 catwalk show. Using traditional Scottish weaving techniques, he crafted his gowns and gentleman’s couture from plant-based textiles and dyes:

“Prophetik’s mission is to enlighten consumers as to the harmful effects of synthetic fabrics and petro-chemical dyes in everyday garments and to provide a beautiful solution and a purposed vision of awareness”.

The effect was magical – a storm of rich reds, gleaming creams and azure blues mixed with 16th-century charm.

Intricate brocades, tartan and gleaming jewels studded Prophetik’s pieces and Jeff Garner’s choice of models gave a modern twist to the collection. The weaving and textile mills Garner collaborated with are some of the oldest companies in the world for these types of textiles: craft lace from MYB Textiles in Ayreshire (since 1900), Kirkcaldy Linens (since 1825), Knockando Woollen Mill in Spey Valley (since 1790!), and Locharron of Scotland (since 1892), which is the world’s leading manufacturer of Scottish tartan.

Headpieces laced with gold and stunning necklaces adorned the ladies…

…whilst gentlemen in diamond-woven waistcoats and brocaded jackets graced the runway.

A flash of neckline, a low-cut back, a ruff at the throat – these were the tantalising parades on display as the gowns flowed past.

And here they all are together:

I apologise for the somewhat shaky nature of this video – I’m still getting the hang of this! If you would like a little snippet of Jeff Garner’s sustainable dying techniques, here is a video of him mixing up his potions in his kitchen at home! Enjoy.

In Love&Light, FS XOX

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Where To Buy Eco-Chic Denim For Every Occasion: Top 5. Sustainably Made Jeans

1. Mud Jeans

Available here 

  • Dutch sustainable fashion brand
  • Believe in: a circular economy
  • Use recycled jeans to make new ones
  • Up-cycle unique vintage pairs of jeans
  • Free repair service if your jeans get damaged
  • Receive €10 off your order if you return your old Mud Jeans to be made into another pair for someone else to enjoy

 

2. Hiut Denim

The Dina Skinny Fit – High Waist

  • Handmade in Cardigan, UK, on the western edge of Wales
  • Small factory with emphasis on quality
  • Believe in: Utilising local tradesmen skills and bringing back industry

 

3. Reformation

Hepburn High Skinny

Available here

 

4. Charity Shops of the Desired and Coveted 

The Olsen Twins – Thrifters Extraordinaire 

Available here

 

5. Atika, Rokit & Beyond Retro – London’s Best Online Vintage Stores 

Available here

 

In Love&Light, FS XOX