London Fashion Week: Orsola De Castro Picks Her Top 5 (Sustainable) Designers

orsola de castro

If you don’t know Orsola de Castro you should. She’s awesome.

You should also take note when she says somebody is up and coming because she’s always spot in, especially when it comes to designers in sustainability. Orsola is a pioneer and an internationally recognized leader in sustainable fashion as founder ofFromSomewhere, a London-based womenswear brand that works primarily with pre-consumer surplus from manufacturing houses and textile mills in the luxury fashion industry. She is also the founder of Estethica, a London Fashion Week event 18 seasons strong that runs through the British Fashion Council and Co-Founder ofFashion Revolution Day.

When we asked her how (post-London Fashion Week) she saw the face of fashion weeks changing she told us this via email:

“As we move towards an era of inter-communication and online connections, fashion shows as we know them now, will need to transform themselves to take into account the changing panorama in the way we approach the way we buy clothes. More space is needed to re-introduce and celebrate smaller brands, giving them the tools to sell and promote their work outside the fashion week’s circuits and to be more in touch, in a direct and intimate way, with their customers, buyers and supporters.

We need more diversity in this industry, and to create access and connections between smaller brands, artisanal brands, brands that are dedicated to making individual clothing, with the community of consumers worldwide.”

She says over the past 9 years Estethica has nurtured a new movement of like-minded designers, providing mentoring and support from the creative heart of LFW, ensuring that the ethics and aesthetics in fashion can work hand in hand.

“We have supported over 100 brands, launched the stellar career of Christopher Raeburn and supported sustainable design within the fashion industry, encouraging and showcasing young talents and more established brands who are mindful of their supply chain, respecting design, high craft, and the workers who make the clothes we wear.”

Here are her top 5 picks from London Fashion Week that you need to get on your radar:

Christopher Raeburn

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Christopher Raeburn is known for creating ethically-aware mens and womenswear collections that are original in design. Utilizing re-appropriated military fabrics  including parachute fabric, wool capes and camouflage textiles, the designer creates garments that are functional, intelligent, meticulously crafted and ”re-made in England.”

Flavia La Rocca

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Flavia La Rocca creates for the sophisticated, stylish, and socially conscious globetrotter with designs composed of interchangeable modules that, through the use of hidden zippers, allow the wearer to create multiple combinations for maximum versatility. All the garments are made locally in Italy, and the designer insists that the style and innovation of her designs must go hand in hand with social responsibility.

Katie Jones

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Katie Jones creates wearable crafted collections that embrace color, texture, pattern and thriftiness gathered from a wide range of influences. The designer takes a “waste not, want not” design approach as she reworks consumer waste, collected designer surplus and British materials into high fashion with a modern twist on traditional crafts to produce guilt free sustainable pieces.

Louise De Testa

louise_de_testa_bfda_brooklyn_lfwLouise de Testa designs elegant, comfortable and practical clothes inspired by sportswear for day-to-day needs. The designer focuses on zero waste patterns as she sources second-hand and leftover textiles from French manufacturers. When she designs patterns, she saves the textile waste and upcycles them in the textile marquetry; a technique she has been using in a decorative and functional way by adding pockets and interesting elements to her garments.

Wool and the Gang

wool_and_the_gang_bfa_lfwWool and the Gang is bringing back knitting as a viable means of sustainable fashion production. Makers are involved in every step of the process from design and production through teaching knitting skills at workshops. Materials are sourced with consideration as to reduce the environment by working with factories to repurpose their fashion waste into new yarns.

Pachacuti

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Pachacuti is a pioneer in ethical fashion and the UK’s only Fair Trade hat specialist. The brand name means “world upside-down” in the Quechua language and describes the company’s endeavor to redress the inequalities in the global fashion industry through demonstrating that it is possible to run a successful retail and wholesale clothing business which benefits the producers and is environmentally sustainable.