Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ethical Designer Spotlight: Eco Cheeks

Sandie Miller, founder of ethical label Eco Cheeks, is crafting a line of eco-friendly lingerie that will satisfy your cravings for both sugar and spice! Snuggle up somewhere cozy and enjoy my interview with this passionate British designer.
Q. Tell us a bit about how your love of textiles and vintage clothing grew into a determination to build a green British lingerie label. What were the biggest influences for this passion?

I’ve always had a love of fashion and vintage clothing, adapting pieces and adding my own inspirations. While I was growing up the women in my family had a big influence on me, I was regularly doing arts and was always surrounded by fabrics swatches, patterns and fashion magazines.

My Great Aunt Fanny taught me a lot of new skills with her ‘make do and mend’ attitude and her strong individual eye for colours and styles. I believe and enjoy natural products and wanted to start an honest, green British brand, producing luxury, fashion led lingerie with ethically sound business practices.

Q. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

We have a clear identity and strong brand values:

  • Designing with consideration

  • The philosophy behind eco cheeks is hand crafted, high quality feminine lingerie

  • Meaningful fashion, playful and beautifully cut

  • Delivering a history of the product, who made your garments and how your purchase can have a positive impact

Q. What makes Eco Cheeks a truly ethical choice for shoppers?

We focus on transparency and accountability, building awareness and making changes to reduce negatives. We aim to operate as efficiently as we can in all aspects. We use organic and natural fabrics and surplus materials. When we produce our collections we concentrate on quality, making lower quantities, meaning less waste. We use a green energy provider. And the entire design and production process is carried out in Surrey, England. Celebrating traditional skills and knowledge.

Q. What advice would you give to people who are interested in pursuing their passion in eco-design?

To plan and make strategies and to have a proactive approach. Surround yourself with a great team with complementary skills. Spend time talking to customers and listen to their needs and seek support.

Q. Which ethical designers inspire you?

  1. Henriette ludgate
  2. Sarah Ratty
  3. Ethical jewellery designer Parul Tolentino from Oak fine Jewellery
Q. Can you tell us a little about your first collection and the woman who inspired it?

We have a ready to wear collection and also offer bespoke items.

Our debut collection has a message and heart, and is inspired by and named after My Aunt Fanny, who was kind hearted. The collection has a fresh romantic spirit with floral prints, pale pastels and sorbet shades to candy apple red and fiery oranges. All made with luxurious delicate fabrics, catering for a variety of moods, taste and occasions.

Q. What role does kindness play in your life?

Kindness has a big part in having a green company, with a kindness towards the environment and to others is what we consider important. I think we should look after each other and natural resources as much as possible.

I believe people are becoming more kind as well.

Working towards a more sustainable future, the world is changing and our awareness about it is increasing. The trend towards a new caring way and eco actions appears to be unstoppable.

Q. Where can people find your designs and what does the future hold for Eco Cheeks?

We have a website and you can follow us on Twitter and, in the near future, from ethically fashion online stores.

We have plans for collaborations with charities and to slowly expand the range by adding lines.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

For the Love of Foxes

Recently I read a feature about a designer who felt they were "ethical" for trapping, killing and skinning foxes themselves for fashion. She loved them, she said and was grateful for their sacrifice so that she could stay warm and cosy - to say I was horrified would be an understatement.

In response I've gathered together this collection of cruelty-free items in honour of the fire and form of this  stunning animal - for truly fox fur only looks good on foxes!
Think Inside the Fox Tote from ModCloth - Love this quirky vegan bag with plenty of space for all of your thinga-majibs
Mr Fox Sketchbook by Ecojot - This fabulous children's sketchbook is made from 100% post-consumer waste
Purity In Red Tee by Tri Budiono - Fabulously ethereal and evocative design
Lilliebelle the Sleeping Fox Locket by Robin Lehto - Sweet design on this gorgeous accessory
Feeling Foxy Greeting Card by Monkeymindesign - The perfect card to let that special someone know you think they're a bit of alright :D
Organic Fabric iPod Pouch by Brooklyn Love Designs - Ah!!! So cute!!! The fact that the cotton is organic is an added bonus!
Lady Fox Upcycled Tote Bag by Cherrytime - This whimsical fox tote has been lovingly crafted from upcycled vintage white bed linen with the awesome addition of vintage buttons
The Fox Confessor Tee by Lindsey Carr - This a powerful design brimming with woodland beauty
Wooden Fox Earrings by bRainbow - Delightful! :D
Sitting Fox Drawer Knob from Ebony Paws - If you have any drawers that need some extra "cute" these drawer knobs will do the trick!
Fantastic Fox Hat by Awberry - Channel your playful side on those cold days with this foxy hat made from acrylic wool
Sleepy Fox with Pine Cone from Savage Seeds - This gorgeous fox is made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic bottles and has cuddly insides of bamboo fibre. All these marvelous toys come with paper hearts embedded with wildflower seeds & planting instructions
Mr Fox Retro Party Invitations available from State of Green - These foxy fun invites have been printed on environmentally friendly + carbon neutral card
Sleeping Fox Charm Bracelet by Graphic Spaces Wood - Made from bamboo this charming fox would be a delightful companion on your daily travels
Fox Forest Mobile by Little Luxuries Loft - These four colourful eco-felt foxes are ready to scamper about and add cheer to your home
Dapper Fox Men's Tee by Scatterbrain Tees - Incredibly cool original design! "He's suave and sophisticated and wears a tweed jacket. He is the dapper fox"
The Foxometer Personality Guide from Alison Fennell - Fun and furry conversation art :D
Vegan Fox Wallet by Bungalow 360 - SO CUTE! Made from natural canvas
Fox Print Pillow Cover by Supayana - Frolicking foxes for your home
Itty Bitty Fox Sculpture by Made With Clay and Love - EEEeeeeee!!! Love this :D
The Little Prince and His Fox Greeting Card from Britteny Maynard - This heartfelt illustration was inspired by a delightful episode in one of my favourite stories - The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Woodland Fox Pendant Charm from The Pendant Emporium - I really love the warm autumn vibe of this lovely pendant
Fox in Vintage Car Tee from American Duchess Boutique - Sublimely sweet design with a dash of silliness
Red Fox and Moon Illustration by Studio Tuesday - Love! Love! Love!
A French Fox Says "I Love You" Children's Tee - A particularly sweet gift for a beloved little one :o)
Keep Calm and Love Foxes iPhone Case from the Keep Calm Store - Whether you think of foxes as slinking and sly or sugary sweet...this iPhone case carries an important message xo