Orsola de Castro – eco fashion's Anna Wintour?
- By Carly Wood -
- Jul 04, 2012
Today's guest blog focuses on the long overdue eco shake up the fashion industry is set to undergo...
It looks like fashion is getting a shake-up because eco fashion weeks are the latest addition to the global fashion calendar. Leading the change is London's own version called 'Estethica'. Set up in 2006 by Orsola de Castro and partner, Filippo Ricci, together with the help of the British Fashion Council, it has become arguably the biggest and best eco fashion week in the world.
Italian-born Orsola is a big name in the world of eco fashion, having set up her own label, 'From Somewhere' over a decade ago. Since then, when it comes to fashion she has comfortably combined the worlds of sustainability and accessibility with collections for supermarkets and swimwear companies.
To begin with Orsola took clothing that was already made, and simply embellished or re-made it. But after seeing how much material was wasted through off-cuts at a clothing factory in Italy, Orsola realised the potential in fashion's waste.
She went on to bring up-cycling - or remaking clothing - to the mainstream having designed two collections for Florence & Fred, the clothing range by supermarket chain Tesco. In these, the clothing was made using leftovers from the Sri Lankan factory where Tesco usually produces its clothing. The collection was made up of the signature look of 'From Somewhere' with bright colours and body-con dresses. And whilst it only featured six pieces, it was a major step in making eco fashion accessible to people across the UK.
And then there's Speedo. In June 2010, the swimwear giants sent Orsola 5000 LZR Racer swimsuits, which had recently banned by swimming's world governing body, FINA. In just three months, Orsola had created a ten-piece collection including skirts and dresses that went on to be snapped up by department store Selfridges.
In the midst of these projects, Orsola has found the time to launch 'Estethica', London's Eco Fashion Week. Since it's conception, the British eco fashion event has promoted and supported over 100 designers, and in February 2012, it was back for its twelfth year. Some 13 designers showed their autumn winter 2012 collections including, UK retailers, Monsoon, sponsors of the event since 2007. Ada Zanditon, Henrietta Ludgate, Junky Styling, Makepiece and The North Circular are just some of the designers who have taken part in the past, showing their ready to wear collection at the event. Hats, jewellery and even luxury lingerie are also represented during the week, with label, Charini, show-casing its latest designs for the past two years.
If you want to step into some eco fashion, Orsola has some top tips - number one is to support eco fashion labels. Brands such as People Tree or Monsoon both have their green stripes, so shop about. Instead of buying frivolously and on a whim, only buy clothes you really want. Orsola also backs quality clothing because it will last - and if it doesn't, take the time to fix it, learn to mend or sew items instead of simply throwing them away.
This blog post was written on behalf of The Splash, an online magazine that loves all things eco & green. You’ll find more articles about eco fashion on our website.
This guest blog complies to Virgin.com terms & conditions.