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Pippa Small x Turquoise Mountain

18 Aug
Last week, I popped over to Notting Hill to meet anthropologist turned jewellery designer Pippa Small. For those who don’t know of Pippa’s eclectic and bohemian collections, her socially conscious pieces are more than just pretty jewellery. Each piece tells a story and as they are inspired by different cultures, they make for an unique form of self-expression. Scratch beneath the surface though, and you will see what makes her so inspirational. Her jewellery business evolved as she began to work on craft initiatives with indigenous communities, researching and preserving their traditional designs to create unique pieces to cherish whilst working with the communities to provide income and self-sufficiency. 

Pippa has recently collaborated with Turquoise Mountain, an organisation which aims to regenerate the artisan and historical areas within Afghanistan to “create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of national identity”. The work of Turquoise Mountain has transformed an area where both heroin addiction and unemployment are rife, by employing and training 400 local men, they have worked together to change their lives, and those of future generations, forever. Pippa has set up a workshop for eight men to create her stunning collection, which draws upon traditional Afghan design and materials as it’s inspiration. The collection uses gems and precious materials such as Lapis Lazuli which is mined from nearby Badakshan and Kunzite from Azajib alongside natural dyed woven silks. The collection is inspired by the beauty of Afghanistan and has an underlying theme of love, my favourite piece is a pendant necklace with a love poem inscribed on it. The collection also features tribal pendants, smooth, eye-catching lapis pebbles, delicate rings, emerald chunks and dangling chains. 

The collection is available to buy at Pippa Small’s online boutique and in her Notting Hill boutique

H&M’s Conscious Collection

8 Feb

Sustainability and fashion haven’t always gone hand in hand, especially at the lower end of the high-street. In the past, retailers have almost justified using dodgy production practices by the lower price points as an excuse, I mean that £8 Primark dress could never be produced in a nice clean environment with workers working fair hours for a decent pay right?! It’s a vicious circle of consumers demanding more reasonably priced fashion and retailers resorting to increasingly unethical manufacturing practises to produce clothing as cheaply as possible. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve never shopped in Primark and that I only buy from ethical sources. But I am becoming more and more aware of where and how my clothing is bought, like most of you. Slowly, brands have began to wise up to that and grow a conscience. For example, Topshop have been using fairtrade and organic cotton for years now and brands like People Tree solely producing ethical clothing. 

Until now though, the lower end of the high-street has really struggled to keep up, especially maintaining their low price points whilst the price of raw cotton continues to rise. H&M’s new Conscious Collection is set to raise the bar for other retailers to re-evaluate their social conscience and show that you can create a green, environmentally friendly AND affordable range. The range caters for men, woman and kids with organic cotton, Tencel and recycled polyester in a white hot minimalist yet romantic collection featuring lace, broderie anglaise and draping. 

“It’s not just about organic cotton any more, the possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco smarter materials are huge now. By designing recurring Conscious Collections we have the opportunity to show in a variety of ways what’s possible using more sustainable fabrics,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of design. 

Emma Watson for Alberta Ferretti

16 Nov
Now that Emma Waston has put Harry Potter firmly behind her, she’s free to pursue her other interests. Fashion is definitely up there on her list of ‘things to do’. Unsurprising as she’s been the world’s fashion darling for a number of years now. She’s had a career that most models would kill for, with editorials for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia, Interview, Vanity Fair and Elle as well as the current issue of Vogue UK. Not to mention she’s been one of the faces of Burberry alongside established models Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Lily Donaldson since Autumn/Winter 2009, aged just 19. She’s set her sights slightly higher than being a (very well paid) clothes horse though. Before she worked with Burberry, she went on record as saying “I’m really not interested in doing it for my own ego. I’m not a designer. If someone asked me to do something that was beneficial to a cause, then maybe I’d consider it”. 

This year saw the launch of her collection with fairtrade brand People Tree. She’s said that her aim was to highlight “humanitarian issues surrounding fast fashion”. She’s stepping up her fashion credentials even more with the announcement this week that she’s partnering with Alberta Ferretti. Details are pretty thin on the ground but the range is organic and it’s said to be a very classic line, with 60s icon Jane Birkin as their muse. The range is coming out just after Christmas so watch this space!