We first met Jose Hendo last Spring when our founder Christine de Leon was looking for fashion designers in Tottenham for a talk she was delivering the Victoria & Albert Museum entitled “Tottenham streetstyle:  resistance, power and pride”.

Jose comes to fashion design with a background in sculpture, which explains the aesthetic of her early exploration of tree bark as a textile to make clothes with. The frocks and coats seem like giant origami pieces held together by clever pleats and folds. There is a minimalist aesthetic to the work and while the possibilities of using this most sustainable material for fashion design, Jose is also experimenting with everyday textile that we take for granted – denim.

At last month’s London Fashion Week, Jose announced a new venture with Sue Ryder, one of Britain’s largest charity shops. The designer will be working with their denim stock and upcycling these into “new” pieces for retail.

The annual sustainable fashion design competition based out of Hong Kong has announced its semi-finalists from the UK. Katie Jones, Kévin Germanier and Chloe McDonald will now go through to the international judging. One of these talented semi-finalists will reach The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 Grand Final where they will present their sustainable collection at Hong Kong Fashion week in January 2015.

“It’s exciting to see designers fluent in creating clothes that have zero waste, using up cycled and organic fabrics.  May this become the industry standard very soon.” said local judge Melanie Rickey.

Katie Jones is a designer we spotted last season at Estethica. Her quirky knits have caught the eye and imagination of curator Orsola de Castro and influential fashion editor Susie Lau.

Chloe McDonald  is currently at University of Westminster studying for a Fashion Design BA(Hons). She has interned at Marios Schwab and Giles Deacon.


Welcome to Very Nice Threads v2.1.

It's been a bit of a challenging year in terms of turning Very Nice Threads, from a blog into something more. One of the major hiccups was losing the entire Very Nice Threads archive last March. Believe me, that was a massive life lesson in ROUTINE DATA BACKUP. I have slowly been piecing together remnants of the old site and housing them in a temporary archive on Tumblr. Rather than recreate the old blog which, in the early days, were streetstyle photos I took around London, Paris and Berlin from 2009 - 2014, I thought it was important to move forward my work as a writer and a content strategist.

I've been writing about sustainable and ethical fashion since 2009. In this time, I have seen sustainable and ethical fashion inch closer each season from the fringes of industry and toward the centre. Every major fashion label now has a corporate social responsibility mandate and the number of independent brands who put sustainability at the centre of what they do has exploded in the last two years. 

Over a thousand fashion industry leaders from 33 nations attended the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the sector's biannual corporate social responsibility love-in. It's worth noting that many of the speakers were also headline sponsors for the event, so the cynics in the house were justified in their greenwash tutting. But if holding up commercially successful sustainability initiatives comes veiled in a marketing exercise, should we throw the baby out with the 30° bathwater? Apparel giant H&M doesn't seem to think so. It used the event as an opportunity to illustrate that fostering change in consumer behaviour is possible and it is one way to address the enormous impact that fast fashion has on the environment. Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability at H&M announced the company's Clever Care campaign, which educates their customer on how treat their garments by drawing attention to the wash care labels. H&M view this aftercare as part of extending the longevity of their products and to reduce their impact once the product has left the shop floor.

The promise of an early Spring has hit these North London streets! Loving this guy's crisp white and cheerful green colour combo.

This is day one of my research for a talk about Tottenham street style that I am delivering at the Victoria & Albert Museum at the end of the month for their 'Friday Late' series. This month it is called 'Tottenham Takes Over' and will feature the local creative community who will fill the space with the Museum for an evening, presenting a range of music, art, design, architecture and more.

I'm interested in looking at what young people are wearing today and yesteryear. As it happens, Tottenham was the centre of Teddy Boy fashion in the 1950s and Rocksteady fashion in the 1980s. I'll be checking out the archives too at the Bruce Castle Museum which should have a lot of information. They've just held an exhibition about afrocombs and their importance in British culture. Did you know the largest afrocomb factory was located right here in Tottenham?

A new wave of Philippine designers from Manila are addressing climate change by incorporating indigenous sustainable textile and social enterprise in their working practices. 

Last month's International Fashion Showcase saw more than 30 foreign embassies and cultural institutions present young design talent to a London audience comprising press, buyers and fashion aficionados.

The Manila Wear showcase from the Philippines was the only one that highlighted how six designers incorporate indigenous sustainable materials into their designs. In addition, each designer had either a partnership with an NGO where profits are put back into community development, or was collaborating with local artisans and textile suppliers.

Read the full article at The Guardian.

Contrary to popular belief Estethica did have a presence this season in Somerset House's West Wing. Estethica has taken a new direction this season and serves as an emerging talent platform where curator Orsola de Castro mentors the new design talent. K2TOG and Devika Das are our favourites for the A/W 14 season. Both are working with knitwear in their each unique ways.

Devika Das is working with alpaca wool and collaborating with local artisan communities and Katie Jones is upcycling old arran knit jumpers to create new styleways.

This month, we found ourselves in another collaboration with Futurefrock which took us to Zagreb, Croatia for Dreft Fashion Week.

Head stylist Alice Wilby was commissioned to do her magic on the catwalk presentation for London label Phanntiq. We snapped some backstage photos to document the event for posterity. 

Phannatiq's Spring Summer 2014 Collection has her trademark urban screenprint incorporated into the work, but the summer season takes a brave departure from the monochrome palate to fluoro yellow. Designer Anna Skodbo works with natural dyes to get the bright shades and has been doing a lot of research into this process. 

The silhouettes are floaty and dramatic and use luxurious bamboo silk. The edgier pieces are bodycon or cropped and harken to a 1980s streetstyle aesthetic. 

This blog first appeared in Ecouterre on 21 February 2012.

No ordinary lookbook will do for Ada Zandition. The British designer, who launched her Autumn/Winter 2012 collection at London Fashion Week over the weekend, screened a short “fashion film” directed by Thomas Knights at the Estethica showcase in Somerset HouseSimia Mineralis (loosely translated as “ape of the minerals” or the human race) plunges its protagonist into a looking-glass mashup of The Lady of ShalottThe Turn of the Screw, and Ziggy Stardust. A departure from last season’s Poseisus, which borrowed inspiration from the Greek god Poseidon, the film evokes the industrial revolution and the turmoil and conflict it created in its wake. “This season we’re moving from the sea and into the jungle,” Zandition tells Ecouterre.

This article was first published in The Huffington Post on 9 November 2011.

Horrible, foul London rain. Today would be the perfect day to wear a waterproof number from Christopher Raeburn's capsule collection for Victorinox entitled REMADE IN SWITZERLAND. I personally like the orange "kagoul" (that's rain jacket to our North American friends and family).


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Jose Hendo bark cloth from #uganda taken to high fashion