The Boiler House

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Who and What is Sustainable Fashion?
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We all know the most sustainable piece of clothing is the one we already own. However, here at The Boiler House HQ, we’re no strangers to wanting to dress to impress. Style is important: it’s our calling card to the world. But Fast Fashion’s unsustainable practices are on their way out… and our way of shopping is changing radically!

Unless you’ve spent the last few months living on some planet in a distant galaxy, you’ve come across the term ‘sustainable fashion’. It’s what all the cool kids are wearing. But how does one know whether the garment they’ve just purchased is sustainable? The short answer is straightforward: if it’s good for the Planet, it’s in. If its production has been wasteful or exploitative of the precious natural resources we have, it’s out. Because fashion shouldn’t just look good, it can and should be a force for good, too. So what’s out there? Here are 9 of our favourite Slow Fashion retailers, handpicked with care.

Gung Ho

In Gung Ho’s ideal world, “Fashion shouldn’t just make you look good, but showcase your values too.” And Founder Sophie Dunster has put her money where her mouth is and come up with a truly original concept. Every year, her clothing line is inspired by an important environmental topic: “Plastic Oceans”, “Precious Insects”, and their newest range, “Food for Thought.” Eco-prints and embroidery are used to explore the issue, producing unique, high-quality garments. The idea is that the next time someone compliments you on your fab clothing, you can start up a convo about the issue the print represents.

Gung Ho uses exclusively natural & sustainable fabrics, nut-based buttons, and their collection comes in only 2 sizes (XS/S & M/L). This helps them reduce fabric and end of season wastage. Fabric offcuts are used to produce small accessories like one-of-a-kind scrunchies and neck scarves, and they also have a pesticide-free perfume line. The cherry on the cake is that 10% of their profits are donated to a selected charity. Founder Sophie Dunster is giving a panel talk during our LSD Sustainable Fashion event on the 16th. One not to be missed!
Shop online for statement fashion from Gung Ho.

Pond Jewelry

Gold mining is one of the least eco-friendly practices on Earth. After having spent two decades honing their skills in jewellery and fashion, designers Holly Archer Nichols and Natalia Holt decided to take action against the wastefulness of the industry. Hence, POND was born as an eco-statement. It’s possible to design and produce an exclusive jewellery line with 100% recycled silver and gold.. and unwanted broken jewellery. One-of-a-kind pieces, beautifully handmade from the copious amounts of gold already in circulation. Apart from the recycled 9ct gold, giving subtle elegance to each piece, expect salvaged chains, glass vintage beads and handmade clasps and ear hooks. POND founders say they are inspired by the “familiar and overlooked”, but their gold earrings with pearl and ceramic also remind of Ancient Rome. All pieces are hallmarked in London. Don’t miss your chance to get hold of one of these Talismanic pieces. POND be with us at the Boiler House Market during our LSD Sustainable Fashion event.

Hand of Gaia

Hand Of Gaia is our favourite mother-sun business. The name means “Mother Earth guides and nourishes you towards your destiny.” Founder Biancha makes contemporary, African-inspired clothing for newborns and toddlers. Her mission is to create purposeful gifts that inspire spiritual growth; everyday reminders to connect with our Highest, Divine Selves. In her online shop, you can find 100% Organic Cotton Bodysuits with non-itchy, hand-printed labels; and also lavish Organic Tea towels, Charms, Cushions and Roots Culture Medicine Prints. Our favourite pick is the Akuaba-shaped dolls (Akuabas are traditional ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby regions.) As a print designer, Biancha has focused on hand-drawn and traditional symbols of self-care, spiritual growth and healing. Through her business, she intentionally honours her ancestral heritage and Nature. Last but not least, we love that her Muse is Gaia, her young daughter. She’ll be on our Panel Talk at the Boiler House on the 16th! Our free LSD Sustainable Fashion Event tickets can be found here.

The Keep Boutique – Brixton

The Keep Boutique offers customers the experience of browsing by “philosophy”. Whether you want some organic tees, zero-waste sportswear or vegan jewellery, your wish is their command. Every item present in the shop has been introduced with the clear aim of forming a “long-lasting” relationship with the buyer. Founded back in 2012 by fashion blogger Kate Richards who had an eye on the sustainable trend before it was chic. That eye turned out to be excellent foresight, as The Keep is one of the city’s most en vogue sustainable fashion boutiques. Definitely worth a visit. Opens 11 am – 6 pm Sunday to Friday, and 10.30 am – 6 pm on Saturday

Granville Arcade, 32 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8PR

Raeburn Design – Hackney

The Guardian says Christopher Raeburn is to menswear what Stella McCartney is to womenswear. Undoubtedly, fashioning highly aesthetic streetwear items out of vintage parachutes, kites and military stock is no easy task. But designing and creating collections that become a statement of the fashion revolution – he was one of the first to use the “reduce, reuse and repair” motto – can only be the product of high-level ingenuity. Everything you’ll find in his shop is either raemade or raecycle from surplus fabrics. Raeburn is a stroke of genius, put to the service of humanity, in style. What’s more, the studio has become a community hub for anyone interested in design, style, sustainability and DIY. They run Repair open days, “make your own dog collar” classes, animal off-cut workshops and open studio tours. Find their monthly schedule for events, talks and workshops here.

Studio 1, The Textile Building
29a Chatham Place
Hackney, London
E9 6FJ

69B Boutique – Tower Hamlets

69B was founded by the ex-stylist and fashion editor of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and i-D Magazine. So they’re pretty serious about their style. The boutique offers a range of beautifully curated womenswear from contemporary brands who are big on the sustainable and ethical front. These include People Tree, Here Today Here Tomorrow, Marimekko, Veja, and Thought. They also stock vegan and eco-friendly footwear, bags, jewellery, accessories, and homeware. Perfect if you’re looking for vibrant colours, dadaist shapes and some pretty eccentric vintage pieces. Opening Times are Monday to Friday 10.30am – 6.30pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 11am – 6pm

69b Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

Lyme Terrace

Imagine getting together with your most eco-conscious pal and deciding you’ve had enough of worrying. You’re taking action. You’re going to put your skills to service and create something beautiful and useful. That also makes you money. Et voilà! Lyme Terrace was born from two mates joining forces and doing their bit for the environment. They focused on a gap in the market, as “the mainstream clothing industry was being exposed, but there was no clear alternative for guys.” So they designed slick clothing for the conscious urban guy with recycled, regenerated and organic materials. Eco-slick!

We also love this company for their transparency about suppliers: read about in-person and third-party audits on their dedicated page. They see their obsession for sustainability as being a natural part of the job. As designers, they are “intrinsically linked to the future and the people who use and experience what we create. We are obligated to shape it responsibly.” Their motto is: “The world is changing. Dress accordingly.” We couldn’t agree more!

You can order your Lyme Terrace eco-fashion items here.

Atelier Tamman Boutique – Bloomsbury

Think couture fashion cannot be sustainable? Think again. In order to guarantee their customers the highest level of sustainability, all independent brands stocked have to be able to demonstrate a clear ethical brand policy. Hence, all beautiful hand-made gowns from fair trade, vegan, vegetarian, eco-friendly and organic fabrics. Their vendeuses will advise on whether it’s their high couture or dressmaking services you require (there is a substantial difference in budget.)

Their creations are perfect for the sophisticated boss lady, although some fit more the description of “wearable art.” Also, be mindful that their bespoke design, fabric sourcing, styling and couture alternation are by appointment only. This ensures that any experience you have of their services is perfectly tailored to your needs. In addition, they’ve recently refurbished their premises with a range of sustainable products and services which you can check out here. Now that’s commitment! One of the most intimate haute couture encounter you may have – and certainly one of the most eco-friendly.

Atelier Tammam,
5 Hastings Street,
Bloomsbury, London,
WC1H 9PZ

Lucy & Yak – Brighton

The last store of our list is not in London, but it’s worth the trip down to Brighty.. that’s how good it is! Lucy & Yak’s birthing story is what dreams are made of. But then again, this company has been the diamond in the ruff of the fashion industry for quite some time. The two founders started making pouches and dungarees from second-hand clothes while travelling the world. They then found a tailor in Rajasthan, India, with whom they clicked and produced their first set of signature “Corduroy” dungarees. These sold out in a matter of hours, and the rest is history. If you’re looking for bamboo bras and briefs, recycled wool jackets and stylish urban eco-clothing, this is the place to come to. We love the fact that their marketing is inclusive, showcasing the beauty of bodies that wouldn’t normally be chosen for advertising. Lucy & Yak are a certified living wage employer. Their motto is: “The System is what we decide to make it, so let’s make a system where everyone wins.” We’re right behind you!
Opening times are 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday, or shop online.

101 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF

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01 / 02 / 2020 // Written by Sylvia Helen Goodrick
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