So here it is – the very first post for Gather&See – exciting!
First and foremost lets get introductions over and done with. We are Stephanie Hogg and Alicia Taylor and we have started Gather&See as a sharing space and forum for our learnings and thoughts as we delve into the world of sustainable fashion. We will gather sustainably focused labels in one space and hopefully open up a few eyes along the way as to what some of these inspirational brands have to offer.
Gather&See is a long time coming. Since our friendship began at the age of 13 we have shared a love of fashion and an appreciation for design and unique style -though thankfully we have both moved on from Acupuncture shoes, crop tops and baggy jeans which were the height of fashion for teenage girls at the turn of the millennium. We have spent countless happy hours together trawling through markets, vintage shops and later online searching for unique pieces to mix with our favourite brands.
Through Steph’s nomadic childhood (which took her at various stages to Ethiopia, Kenya and Sierra Leone) and travels in our early twenties we both discovered, literally, a whole other world of beautiful products - amazing craftsmanship and artisan handwork. We also saw with our own eyes two things that stood out. The first was the ancient, traditional techniques that these artisans were using to make each piece from start to finish – no long supply chain needed here. The other was the extreme poverty that surrounded these artisans and the small wages that they were making. Both of these points got us thinking about our love of fashion and how disconnected we had become, as consumers, from the process of how our clothing was produced, let alone the affect that the production of our clothing could have on the very people making it. Some simple research on the production of the mass produced cheap clothing we were still buying revealed some startling and horrifying truths.
So we started looking into ethical fashion brands and were, frankly, disappointed in what we found. We didn’t want to compromise on style and fashion forward aesthetics which is what so many ethical fashion brands wanted us to do. In the words of one very well-known ethically minded fashion designer – “we don’t want to look like oatmeal porridge”.
That is where Gather&See comes in – it will offer ideas and inspiration on how to shop genuinely fashionably but in a more conscious way. We will follow the thinking of the Ethical Fashion Foundation in highlighting those brands that provide maximum benefits to people and have minimum effect on the environment. At the same time they will be brands that pride themselves on their aesthetics as much as their ethics.
Fashion is a billion dollar industry and can be a powerful force for development and equality. We hope that you will find our gatherings and inspirations of interest and please share them with any other like-minded friends. The more eyes we can open to conscious fashion the better.