blonde gone rogue

Where to shop ethical brands in London?

SustainabilityGergana DamyanovaComment

The growing interest for sustainable fashion and handmade crafts has seen a growing trend of independent boutiques across London. 

Here is the guide to some of the best shopping spots in London :

69b Boutique : Women’s Fashion

This small and airy shop on Broadway Market in Hackney Central sells sustainable fashion from environmentally and socially conscious brands as Tomorrow, Matt & Nat, People, Treat, Veja… Every item are ethically and consciously made. 

69b looks quite small from the outside, but don’t let the tiny showroom fool you. There are additional racks of clothing and shoes downstairs ! 

Check out its website : http://www.69bboutique.com/#designers

Check out its website : http://www.69bboutique.com/#designers

AIDA : Men's and women's fashion

AIDA isn’t just a shop selling; it’s a gathering space and a cafe ! 

Located on the quirky area of Shoreditch, the store focuses on community and connection : music events,  artisan classes and sample sales take place through the year. 

AIDA carries a hundred independent fashion and homeware brands from all over the world - many of which are committed to sustainability :  Field Notes, Kinfolk, the Organic Company…The fashion brand Anecdote for instance, produces quality, slow fashion pieces, and each item is made with local materials by family owned ateliers in Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Check out its website : https://www.aidashoreditch.co.uk

Check out its website : https://www.aidashoreditch.co.uk

The Third Estate : Men's and women's vegan shoes

The Third Estate is one of North London’s most lovely gems.

With an entire wall dedicated to displaying vegan footwear, this laid-back boutique is the perfect place to find cruelty-free trainers, dress shoes, sandals, and Chelsea boots.

The shop also sells reasonably priced, sustainable clothing and accessories. 

The Third Estate is located in the somewhat discreet area of Islington, so you probably won’t stumble upon it by chance unless you live in the neighborhood.

Even still, it’s worth the trip !

Check out its website : https://thethirdestate.co.uk

Check out its website : https://thethirdestate.co.uk

The Keep Boutique : Women's Fashion

The Keep Boutique is a shop to purchase clothes you will keep !

Located in the popular Brixton Village, Londoners who live south of the Thames will be pleased to find this shopping space perfect for ethical and affordable clothing items. Since the opening in September 2012, The Keep Boutique promotes sustainable fashion brands for women and men that have a story and that will last.

Check out its website : https://thekeepboutique.com

Check out its website : https://thekeepboutique.com

Henri : Organic Cotton shirts for women

« Soft. Light. Dreamy » These words come to mind when wearing an organic cotton shirt created by Henrietta Adams, a London-based designer and the founder of the store Henri. 

Henri makes women’s shirts committed to longevity and sustainability. Every London woman needs a shirt by Henri, and while the label does not have a permanent store in the city, Henri frequently hosts pop-ups and attends events across this city.

Check out its website : https://henri.london

Check out its website : https://henri.london

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Is 'sustainable' an option or a necessity for the fashion industry?

SustainabilityGergana DamyanovaComment

Sustainability will be at the centre of innovation in the fashion industry in 2019.

Fashion companies have started to embrace the importance of sustainability. For instance, Eileen Fisher - a leading brand in Eco-fashion, aims to be 100% organic by 2020.

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Furthermore, the July edition of Milano Unica accepted the challenge of exploring innovation, quality and a new vision of the future with a restyled, improved and extended sustainability area - the 'Tendenze area'. This edition of the fair attracted interest above expectations. Over 50 entrepreneurs presented more than 250 samples of textiles and accessories created in a sustainable production process using sustainable materials.

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These actions are very important as the fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world, closely following the oil and gas industry. The current fashion system is consuming resources at a rapid rate amplifying mass-consumption and pollution.

The CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition - an organization that measures the environmental performance of apparel supplier says: “Natural fibres go through a lot of unnatural processes on their way to becoming clothing. They have been bleached, dyed, printed on, and scoured in chemical baths.” This is an environmental issue not only during the production process but after consumers dispose of their garments. In landfills, these chemicals leach to the groundwater. Or if burnt - the clothes release toxins into the air.

To put the issue of disposing of garments into perspective - ~13.1 million tons of textiles are trashed every year in the US only. At the same time - globally, only 15% of disposed garments are recycled or donated.

The above problems would be much less worrying if fashion companies recognize the urgent need of incorporating sustainability in their supply chains and act upon it.

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The young generation recognizes the importance of sustainable production and consumption. That's why they are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies, which have a positive social and environmental impact. 

This socially connected generation is much more aware and concerned about the fashion industry’s environmental and social shortcomings than the previous generations.

They care about sustainability in fashion and so do we!

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That's why, as a brand, the main aspect of our company is to take a stance in social issues such as pollution, climate change and workers' rights. We believe in a vision for an improved apparel industry and will continue to build a sustainable solution. As we are all about walking the talk and engaging our customers in our journey, our next collection will be  entirely from recycled and sustainable materials.

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Creating a Fashion Collection: from A to Z

FashionGergana DamyanovaComment

With our second collection coming out this month, we thought it would be cool to share with you our creative process. So far we have done this only two times and everything is still very experimental and exciting! So, this is how we do it.

  1. Inspiration

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At the foundations of a strong creative process lies the inspiration. What inspires us should be something that gives us a real drive, a desire to create, something that really gets us hyped up. How we, at blonde gone rogue, get inspired is by exploring. We enjoy art exhibitions, joining design events, meeting new people and, most importantly, traveling. We like to make memories and draw our inspiration from those experiences.

When we started working on the Summer collection, it was already getting gloomy outside, so we felt quite nostalgic about all the wonderful adventures we had under the August sun. It was all so fresh - the ocean waves, the salt on our skin, laughing with our friends at the back of a camper van and those cute guys at the gas station in Portugal. So there it was - this collection was going to be about freedom, adventure and hot weather.

2. Research

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Now down to business. We start analysing the topic of our inspiration and then look deeper into the key aspects. We collect all the visual and conceptual material that we will later translate into our garments.  This is the point where literally every detail counts. We source our favourite elements and we start playing around with them. Color and trends research is also an essential part of the process.

3. Sketches

After the research phase is completed, we get down to work. In designing a collection, this means one thing - sketch, sketch, sketch!
After all the ideas are visualised, we lay all sketches down and arrange them into what would be our initial collection.

4. Material & Trim Sourcing

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This must be one of the most exciting and challenging parts. And a very active one! We go from place to place, meeting with suppliers and manufacturers of fabrics and trims, looking for the right materials for our designs. We paid special attention to the texture, color and feeling of the fabrics to make sure they bring good quality and that summer feel to our products.

Here, as in every stage, everything needs to be aligned with the concept of the collection - freedom, adventure and hot weather.

5. Prototypes

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With all materials sourced, we were ready to go into the prototype stage. First, we construct our patterns and with them our first physical samples are sewn! This is followed by the first fitting and with it all the changes to make our garments look as envisioned. We went through this process a couple of times to make sure everything’s perfect. For a company that aims to produce unique items in small quantities like ours, this is as well the most resource consuming part of the creation process.

6. Final Lineup

During the prototype stage a lot of things are changed! And that’s just normal. Materials are replaced, some styles are canceled, new styles came in. By the end of it, the collection is different from the initial one but as well much, much better. The final line-up moment is where the last check is done before production starts.

7. Production

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With every detail brought to exactly how we envision it, we were ready to go into production! Woop-woop, almost there! 

8. Visuals

Last but definitely not least comes the final photoshoot. It's important to find a venue that matches well the theme of the collection and the clothes. With the right model and team, this is always a day of great fun and experimenting! 

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5 eco-facts about the fashion industry or why we care

SustainabilityGergana DamyanovaComment

We are a fashion start-up and as you have already guessed, we care about fashion. We are passionate about beautiful and functional design. However, next to this, we are passionate about the environmental impact of the industry.

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Wonder why? Here are 5 facts or a few of the reasons why we care:

1. One cotton shirt consumes 2,700 leters of water, one pair of jeans consumes up to 10,000 leters of water. Main cotton producing countries are already facing water shortages and are soon to face the dilemma between conventional cotton production and availability of drinking water. A person drinks approximately 1,000 leters of water a year.

2. The average consumer in 2017 purchased 2 times more garments compared to 2000. At the same time fast fashion companies get out up to 25 more cycles of garments to their stores versus the conventional 2 cycles per year. Can you imagine that this is not increasing pollution?

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3. Consumers keep items on average half as long as they used to in 2000. We have grown to see garments as disposable items that costed us just a few bucks. However, the environmental and societal cost that we face in our communities is much higher than what we pay in store.

4. On average every garment is worn only 7 times. Think about all the garments you have worn many, many times. There should be a lot of items that have never been worn to bring the average to only 7!

5. Every second the equivalent of 1 garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. It has taken you approximately 60 seconds to read the article up to this point. That has been 60 trucks.

We are surrounded by friends and colleagues who aim to reduce their environmental impact and live a more conscious life. Yet, we found out that few of them are aware of the impact and the actual cost of the apparel industry. Without this knowledge, cheaper garments always seem tempting.

That's why one of our 2018 goals is to embark on a consumer-educational journey. We will share troubling facts with you. We will present the fascinating work done by so many passionate people around the globe. We will show you how you can contribute to a better apparel industry that costs our society less.

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