Bespoke Textiles has a strong dedication to sustainable fashion and ethical practices, stemming from our Founder, Katie Young Gerald. She has always been passionate about vintage fashion and upcycling what may seem like tired, old garments and this has been embedded into the business.
For the next edition of our new monthly series we interviewed Francesca at Ethical Unicorn blog about sustainable fashion and how it impacts her life.
What does “sustainable fashion” mean to you?
In a nutshell I think it's fashion that is created in a way that does minimal harm to the planet or the beings that inhabit it, and hopefully benefits them instead. This can take many forms, but it essentially always boils down to that desire.
What is something you wish people knew about sustainable fashion?
There are a lot of factors to consider, which can seem intimidating, but I think it also means there's lots of different ways you can get involved that work for you! You don't have to buy from really expensive sustainable fashion designers all the time, you can try thrifting, clothes swaps with friends, or maybe even learning skills like making or mending your own clothes. There are also lots of different ways fashion can be sustainable, because there are so many materials and processes out there, so it's not as limiting as you might think.
Who inspires you and why?
So many people! At the moment in the sustainable world it's probably Alden from Ecocult, because of her relatable approach to journalism, in-depth research and ability to build something like ethical writers & creatives, but also her willingness to be corrected and hold on to humility, which I think is important in the internet world!
Which sustainable fashion brands do you like?
I love Grammar. It was really cool to write about them when they were still fundraising and now to see their products in real life! Their white shirts are beautiful (even my mum has one!). Lara intimates will probably be my favourite underwear brand for the rest of my life, not just because they're sustainable and comfortable, but because they helped me learn I was wearing the wrong bra size and they actually make bras in the right size for me. I also love Traid for thrifting.
Have you ever had an issue of ethics arise in the past?
I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had to deal with anything too bad, because I’m quite strict about who I would want to work with. I think the hardest issue is that it's impossible to please everybody. It’s part of putting yourself out on the internet and there's no completely perfect company I could work with, which is why I try and explain as much as possible in my blog posts.
Do you have any inside tips on where we really shouldn’t buy our clothes anymore?
Honestly, just the high street. Right now I don't think there's anything coming out of mainstream high street brands that I could get behind (there's a lot of greenwashing out there and murky supply chains). That doesn't mean that people have to suddenly start buying mega expensive ethical fashion, but moving over to shopping vintage or preloved (like Ebay and Depop) is a great place to start
What do you do to help slow fashion?
I haven't grown in a solid ten years, so I still hold on to clothes that I’ve had since I was an early teen. I think a big part of being sustainable is looking after what we already have. Aside from this, obviously I have more pieces from sustainable companies that get sent to me, which isn't the experience of normal people, so I make sure to look after those pieces carefully so that I can hold on to them for decades to come. Nearly everything else I ever buy is second hand. The UK has amazing charity shops, so I have everything I could ever need just at my fingertips, but funnily enough I barely ever shop, which is pretty ironic for a fashion blogger!
We would like to thank Francesca at Ethical Unicorn blog for sharing her views on sustainable fashion with us. We hope you enjoyed the second edition of our new monthly series!