Fashion? At a time like this? While some members of the population may insist that this is a moment in which to hunker down (it most definitely is) and remember what matters (OK, that too), could we really be advocating something as frivolous as… shopping?
Absolutely. And with good reason. We’re not suggesting that you shop simply to chase a dopamine hit, though the self-soothing aspects of the activity are important. (Please don’t pretend you didn’t anxiety-browse the Net-a-Porter/ & Other Stories websites in the early days of the crisis. We sure did.) In fact, in these extraordinary, isolated times, shopping constitutes a lifeline. Every purchase keeps designers, sewing teams, warehouse workers, shippers and delivery squads employed – and grants a tiny moment of connection to the wider world when it arrives at your door.
But we want to engage in the right kind of shopping, yes? Shopping that goes beyond mere wardrobe junk food. Shopping to feel good about later, because the pieces we choose are so useful and joy-bringing. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite brands (some nominated by our stylish friends). Most of them are British and/or sustainable. Because when you’re shopping kinder, why not make it really count?
Mary Benson London
Nominated by Lauren Bravo, author of How To Break Up with Fast Fashion
三级成人视频‘Mary’s flamboyant, otherworldly dresses are made from deadstock fabric and in limited runs to minimise waste. These are as far from the stereotype of a sustainable dress being a worthy hemp smock as you can get.’
Nominated by Jasmine Hemsley, Hemsley & Hemsley co-founder and author of East by West
‘Knitwear label Sheep Inc’s merino-wool jumpers are hard-wearing, temperature-regulating, designed to be worn day in, day out – and will eventually recycle back into the earth. The brand is carbon negative, and every jumper comes with a trackable sheep adoptee in New Zealand.’
Nominated by Cora Hilts, co-founder and CEO of sustainable luxury e-tailer Rêve En Vert
‘I’ve known stylist Anna Foster since she started ELV, when she made each pair of jeans by hand, herself. I love that she has carried on manufacturing in east London even after she needed to produce in higher quantities, and that she has remained true to the idea that each pair is upcycled.’
Each of Stelar’s vegan basket bags and colourful woven leather totes is handcrafted by an artisan in Bali – and the brand wants you to know exactly who made your bag. To that end, every item comes equipped with a small metal disc embossed with a unique five-digit code. Enter your code on the website to connect with the artist behind your bag.
Lavender Hill Clothing
Every order from this sustainable clothing brand, which specialises in super-soft T-shirts and yoga pants, arrives with something extra tucked into the tissue paper: heart-shaped, lavender-scented soaps made just down the road from founder Isobel Ridley’s parents’ house in East Sussex.
Earrings from £42,
You know that pair of earrings that everyone notices and asks about, no matter how many times you wear them? Mine are from Métier, the in-house line at this independent contemporary jewellery shop in London’s Muswell Hill.
Mother of Pearl
The creative director of ultra-covetable sustainable fashion brand Mother of Pearl, Amy Powney, is also behind the #FashionOurFuture campaign, and has a new capsule collection with John Lewis coming soon – see next week’s Stella for more.
三级成人视频Satisfy the instinct to seek out comfort with a pair of trainers from Allbirds. Its plastic-free designs are, as its tagline goes, ‘light on your feet, easy on the planet’. (Soles are made of sugarcane cellulose and the woollen upper is as sustainably produced as possible.) The brand is also gifting 2,000 free trainers as a thank-you to healthcare workers on the Covid-19 front lines.
There are many reasons to love this London-based clothing brand, which tailor-makes all its orders. Now, however, it’s donating all profits from its new loungewear collection to the charity Re-Engage, to help fund programmes including a telephone support network for the two million older people in isolation.
One of our best-kept secrets for quietly beautiful womenswear and childrenswear, the brand’s home products look especially appealing with so much time in the house ahead.
The fashion and beauty brands giving back
- LVMH has set the standard. The luxury conglomerate, whose holdings include Givenchy, Christian Dior and Guerlain, temporarily halted fragrance and cosmetics production, turning its factories over to manufacture hand sanitiser for the French hospital system. Days later, it donated 40 million masks to the French medical sector and has re-purposed its French workshops to make non-surgical masks.
- Mayhoola, the owner of Valentino, Balmain and Pal Zileri, donated €1 million each to a Milan hospital and the Protezione Civile Italiana (the department tasked with managing the response to coronavirus); followed by a further €1 million to Madrid’s emergency field hospital at the IFEMA centre.
- Resortwear brand Three Graces London donated 100 per cent of online sales proceeds from the first three weeks of lockdown to homelessness charity Crisis.
- Jewellery brands Alighieri and Yassy are among the companies dedicating sales proceeds to the Trussell Trust, which supports a UK-wide network of food banks.
- The Beauty Banks project, which fights ‘hygiene poverty’, raised nearly £90,000 in the first two weeks of its #HelpingHands fundraiser to buy hand soap and sanitisers for those in deprived areas.
- Body and skincare brand Sister & Co has launched a Neighbour in Need campaign, giving out a free charcoal soap bar (below) with every order for customers to give to a neighbour, for at least the next two months. Meanwhile bath and body brand Nuddy is offering free soaps, asking only for contributions towards P&P (nuddy.co.uk).
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