‘The Smack’ at Clerkenwell Design Week – from marine plastic to lighting…

Yikes. Where have the last two months gone? It feels like an age, yet only yesterday that we were down in the underground cells of Platform for Clerkenwell Design Week 2017, showing the latest iteration of our marine plastic product research work – ‘The Smack’.

Made using 365 recovered Lucozade Sport bottles, split into their component materials and remade into fittings reminiscent of jellyfish, ‘The Smack’ went down an absolute storm. We had a huge amount of interest not only in the installation, but the story of marine plastic itself. Press interviews, TV interviews and a spot on a documentary – as well as hundreds of conversations with people staggered at awfulness, yet beauty of the piece and countless tweets and instagrams. #TheSmack was well shared!

What was really encouraging was the amount of people who knew about the wider issue. Some people knew about the Parley x Adidas marine plastic trainer, others had been watching the Sky Ocean Rescue project and some had even seen the latest marine plastic documentary – A Plastic Ocean. Awareness is certainly growing.

The few days of the event zipped by, but we are already booked in and planning what we will be doing for Clerkenwell Design Week 2018. We will be back down in Platform again with our next iteration of products made from reclaimed marine plastics. We have a VERY exciting project in the pipeline that you will see popping up here very soon… watch this space as they say.

(images by claire potter)

***EVENT*** Settlement at Green Man Festival…

Last week was quite a different one for us here in the studio. Instead of sitting in our converted WC studio at our computers in Brighton, I (claire) was standing in a beautiful big top style tent in Wales, talking to people about the journey of marine litter. The Waterfront tent, curated for the Canal and River Trust formed part of the Settlement pre-festival at Green Man Festival and was the hub of all water based talks and workshops. We were delighted to be part of it all.

Sunday saw the drive up to Wales in glorious sunshine, with our new vintage tent soon pitched beside a mature pine in a lush and green field. Monday morning saw the start of Settlement at Green Man Festival and the planned activities at Waterfront – Geography field trips, talks on water purification and our bunch – a workshop on making jewellery from ghost gear recovered from Brighton beach, and a foraged cocktail workshop to round off the day…

Green Man Festival 16 marine litter 3

With families arriving, soon the tent was filled with kids and adults of all ages, engaging with the (cleaned) fishing netting and line we had brought up and turning the fragments into new pieces.

Green Man Festival 16 marine litter 2

With only a small amount of instruction, the kids were soon away – experimenting with charms (to show how fish get caught in the netting), braids, knots and plaits. The hour zoomed by.

Green Man Festival 16 marine litter 5

Then came the foraged cocktail workshop. Using our ‘larder’ of prepared syrups, cordials and juices, 40 people were taught the basics of how to use foraged produce in real recipes. And very alcoholic ones at that. With lavender infused vodka, honeysuckle syrup, rose syrup, blackberry vodka, crab apple syrup, wild mint cordials and more, four cocktails were made by each of the tables and the session (which got progressively rowdy) was finished off with a quince brandy or sloe gin slammer. It was a roaring success.

Green Man Festival foraging 16Tuesday dawned bright and hot again, with each of our workshops being booked out pretty quickly. The Foraged Cocktail one in particular was proving rather popular. Must have been my sparkling wit. *ahem*

Green Man Festival 16But whilst the festival goers were all there for a relax and some fun, I was delighted to see a HUGE turnout to my talk about the journey of marine litter ‘High Street to River to Sea’. Explaining about plastic, the origins of marine litter, the depressing facts and yet the positive aspects of how we can all be part of the sea change, the talk went down very well indeed. The second making workshop using marine litter was also fully subscribed, with another set of hugely creative pieces being made by attendees of all ages. It was great to talk to so many people about the issue and hear their own stories about the marine litter crisis.

Green Man Festival 16 marine litter 4

We have found that empowering people to make things and gain not only ownership but knowledge and pride is a very powerful thing. And each person that left that tent proudly wearing a bracelet or necklace made from marine litter will pass the story on. This is what it is about.

Green Man Festival 16 marine litter 1

The last session of our stint at Settlement for the Green Man Festival was another Foraged Cocktail workshop – strangely enough, another fully booked, roaring session.

All in all, a marvellous few days – thank you to Jo, Cara and the whole team for inviting us to be part of such a brilliant event. Roll on next year.

(all images by claire potter design)

SPOTTED – sustainable product design at New Designers 2016… pt2

On Tuesday, we started our pick of the best sustainable design we spotted at the recent graduate design show New Designers – and with over 3,000 exhibitors showing their work it was no mean feat to select our favourite. Tuesday saw our pick of the ‘different materials’ projects, where the designers have rethought a waste material into something new. Today, we are looking at ‘recycling and repair’…

Starting at the University of Brighton’s 3D Design and Craft stand, we were delighted to see a really interesting mix of well thought out projects, finished beautifully.

Helen Jones 5

The work of Helen Jones, entitled ‘Alternate Endings’ looked to challenge the throwaway culture we have, and endeavours to reinstate the value of a product with visible repair.

Helen Jones 2

The range of products shown were really beautiful – from plastic repairs to ceramic and metal restorations. A very poetic and powerful set of pieces.

Helen Jones 3

Also on the University of Brighton stand was the work of Ella Hetheringon, who immediately had us hooked with her investigations into ‘Forgotten and Future Foods’.

Ella Hetherington 1

Looking into how we could both eat sustainably whilst connecting with the seasons, Ella also created tools made from site specific materials. The marine plastic handled knives were a real thing of beauty…

Ella Hetherington 2

Whilst the detailing on the folded leather bowls was delicate and considered. A very nice set of works indeed.

Moving onto plastics, there were two recycled plastic projects which really stood out for us this year – and interestingly, both won New Designers Awards too. Is this a sustainable shift we see?

Jack Hubery 4

First up is the work of Jack Hubery, who tackled the issues with our obsessions with plastic by creating a kit system to allow people to reuse their own plastics at home.

Jack Hubery 3

The ‘Experiments in Recycled Plastic’ created a series of recycled plastic plates, made using a simple jig that fitted in a domestic oven. Would this type of plastic reuse increase the emotional connectivity with the material and encourage a more sustainable use of plastic? An interesting set of pieces for sure.

In a similar vein, Josh James from the University of West England was also using recycled plastic, with another ‘kit’ to allow plastic reuse at home.

Josh James 1

The pieces had a very appealing, sweetie style aesthetic, with colours and effects marbeled through both the geometrically moulded final products and the nuggets of sample combinations. We particularly liked the illustration of how much material went into a piece.

Josh James 2

And after winning the Not On the High Street Award, we will keep our eyes open for perhaps some bespoke recycled plastic pieces online soon…

So there we have it. Our top eight designers spotted at New Designers 2016 who were doing something sustainable and interesting. We look forward to seeing what they get up to next, and here’s hoping that we will have far more to cover next year.

(all images by claire potter)

SPOTTED – sustainable product design at New Designers 2016… pt1

Last week went rather quickly for us at the studio and like most days, we were wearing at least two different hats. Up at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London for the prestigious graduate design exhibition New Designers, our first role was with the final year Product Designers from the University of Sussex (who won three awards), co-coordinating the build of their stand and talking about the Design for the Circular Economy module we teach. The other hat was our blogging hat and we had a good hunt about for all the sustainably minded student design projects from over 3,000 exhibitors…

First up is our ‘different materials’ selection, comprising different designers who are using somewhat alternative materials to make new products.

Lucas Santos 1 New Designers 2016

With our own research area being firmly in the marine litter area, we were delighted to see Lucas Santos’s exhibit at the Edinburgh College of Art stand, which was designed to highlight the issues of discarded cigarette butts. Combining the butts with natural resins and forming it into a surfboard was a nice way to show the scale and environmental issues. It was just over a year that we discovered the NURDkit by Alice Kettle at the same stand, so there appears to be a marine litter strand running through the University of Edinburgh concepts…

Tereza A 1 New Designers 2016

Also on the Edinburgh College of Art stand was the work of Tereza Astilean, who won a New Designers Award for her project which looked into the waste created from the carpet and textile industry, and how it could be reused.

Tereza A 2 New Designers 2016

This is a very nice circular economy based design – taking the waste from another process and building into the ‘food’ for another process. The garments on show were also nicely put together, with a very utilitarian nod.

Abbie Karrington 1 New Designers

Heading over to the University of Plymouth stand, we spotted this very interesting concept from Abbie Karrington. Named VEGtables, reclaimed table legs were combined with an undulating surface made from waste vegetable peelings mixed with a 100% natural resin. The surface was very tactile and visually appealing (no pun intended). We would like to see it a bit thicker with a ground down smooth surface too – similar to Solidwool (who we will be featuring here on the Ecospot very soon).

Meg Walker 2 New Designers 2016

Last up is Threadbear from Meg Walker, who was an intern with us last year and has just completed her final year in Product Design at the University of Sussex. Meg’s concept is very circular economy based, with extensive research into items that get consigned to landfill. Soft toys that have lost their labels are one item that are seemingly worthless as they cannot be re-sold, so through a meticulous disassembly and transformation process, the Threadbear fabric was created.

Meg Walker 1 New Designers 2016

Using everything from disassembled soft toys, the new woven fabric includes threads from the fur and spun polyester filling, with added colour and texture from the fur itself. A very handcrafted process, the Threadbear fabric is high concept, but is certainly something that could be scaled…

It is always incredibly heartening to see student designers taking on environmental issues with their projects – and each year we hope to see more…

Keep your eyes peeled for our next SPOTTED from New Designers – coming up this Thursday.

(images by claire potter)

The Untangled Project for the World Cetacean Alliance… pt 3

Things are coming together for our Untangled Project – the Ghost Gear Chandelier which we are creating for the World Cetacean Alliance – which will be exhibited alongside the work of other artists and designers very soon. So – how have we been progressing? We have been sorting and washing our netting…World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear washing 2World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear washing 3 World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear washing

World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear washing 4

And with our ghost gear netting colour sorted, and through four water changes to get rid of the grit and smell, we turned our attention to the hardwear element of our Ghost Gear Chandelier…

We are massive fans of Factorylux – and use their stuff in many of our projects (including our own Studio Loo) as the gorgeous coloured fabric cable, fixtures and fittings they produce are exceptional quality, and it was not long until we had decided on a bright blue lighting flex and antique brass lamp holders. The bulb – one of Factorylux’s stunning eco filament bulbs will be revealed soon as we start to build our Ghost Gear Chandelier.

claire potter design World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear lighting hardwear

Watch this space!

(images by claire potter)

2015 recap – November – The Global Wave Conference…

Much of our studio research in 2015 was about marine litter – a theme which will continue into 2016 with a couple of very exciting projects in the pipeline. So, it is no surprise that November saw us looking at the Global Wave Conference…

(first published November 17th 2015)

Many moons ago, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Obsessed with sharks (and their behaviour patterns) I was going to travel the world studying these beautiful creatures and educating people about how they are animals to be admired, not feared. Fast forward a few years and I now study design, not sharks, but this deep connection to the oceans has never left. Living and working in Brighton certainly has something to do with this too, but the deeper we delve into our place as designers in this world, the more concerning we find our global attitude to our seas. It is not only sharks that have a lack of respect. And so, it was with great delight that we happened upon the Global Wave Conference, which, for the first time this year was held in the UK.

global wave conference

Hosted by Surfers Against Sewage (who we support as members in the studio), the three day event featured an incredible line up of environmentalists, researchers, artists, scientists, activists as well as surfers – each with their own observations, actions and concerns about our oceanic attitudes and the impact we have with our consumerist ways. Our seas and oceans reach between us all, across the globe – it’s one thing that truly unites us.

The conference was split into categories, with specialist speakers in each:

Surfing health and tourism

Surfing ecosystems

Climate and surfing coastlines

The surfing economy

Surfing and protected areas

We were gutted to not be there – our studio research has very much been rooted in the ocean plastic and litter issue for a little while, but fortunately, each of the inspirational talks were recorded – and are now available on the Global Wave Conference website, but to get you started, we have selected three of our favourite talks which look in detail at our own obsession with marine litter and what you can do with it – Dr Marcus Eriksen from the 5 Gyres Institute, Jon Khoo – Co-Innovation partner with Interface Carpets and David Stover – Co-Founder of Bureo Skateboards (who we wrote about here)… enjoy.


(images and videos via the Global Wave Conference)

2015 recap – October – the sustainable Brighton Fashion Week…

October 2015 saw us heading to the sustainably founded and focussed Brighton Fashion Week, to see the latest responsible developments in ladies and menswear – from the high street ready to the conceptual…

(first published 19th Oct 2015)

Talk about sustainability, and haute couture fashion is often not the first thing that springs to mind, but with a commitment to all things ethical and sustainable, the Brighton Fashion Week 2015, which was held on 15-17 October certainly put this straight. All this week we will be looking at the activities and shows – starting with our Photo Special of the Showreel Design Competition, sponsored by Bolli Darling.

Located in All Saints Church, Hove, the last of the catwalk shows was actually a design competition, where designers, artists and creatives created one outfit from a ‘Beauty from Waste’ brief for a showcase of fashion, art and performance. It was rather spectacular too… starting with an incredible construction from competition sponsor and costumer extraordinaire, Bolli Darling…

Bolli Darling BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

And so, here are a few of the entries.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasilva – Gunna – chicken skin and recycled cotton combine to explore the notions of beauty and elegance… This dress was as delicate as paper – and was modelled beautifully.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasileva BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture – Rags to Riches  – a dress created from 58 recycled garments, showing how post-consumer waste could be reimagined… A stunning, flowing dress that felt almost mermaid like, with a huge trailing tail of material. This was one dress where the origins of the material could be seen clearly.

Genieve Couture BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou – Glorious Junk – tribal inspired costume made from waste… This was a performance – with each model adorned in jewel like creations of material, plastic and metal. The opulence was incredible in these stunning pieces.

Anne Sophie Cochevelou BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache – Les couleurs d’Afrique Recycler – inspired by a heartfelt story of selflessness and appreciation for what we have, waste was used to create these African prints… Beautiful prints, with structure and flow.

Afton Ayache BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise – Raggedy – Rebirth- A design which explores confidence and the process of being reincarnated or born again… Another performance piece, with a cloaked ‘crawler’ adding pieces to the long tail of the dress, which itself was highly textured.

Hayley Trezise Raggedy BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotKumiko Tani – Evening Coffee – couture dresses created from upcycled materials that explores our desire to dress up… A dress that was clearly constructed from waste, but that was well conceived in design.

Kumiko Tani 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotKumiko Tani BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Freya Von Bulow – Flow of Nature – a technical gown designed to raise awareness of production and efficient recycling techniques… This dress was very structured and featured interesting pieces, like the clothes pegs in the neck section.

Freya Von Bulow 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Juliette Simon – American Dream – a journey through the dark side of the American Dream… Very American Beauty, this dress told a clear story of waste and consumerism.

Juliette Simon 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotJuliette Simon BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

We were blown away by the creative theatre of each of the costumes, but after lots of deliberation, the judges awarded Afton Ayache the £1000 prize, courtesy of Veolia.

Afton Ayache 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

A fantastic competition, showing the wealth of talent out there – and we will be staying with Brighton Fashion Week 2015 for the rest of the week, with the Zeitgeist and Sustain shows, plus a look at the debates…

(all images copyright Claire Potter)

*** REVIEW *** The Global Wave Conference 2015…

Many moons ago, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Obsessed with sharks (and their behaviour patterns) I was going to travel the world studying these beautiful creatures and educating people about how they are animals to be admired, not feared. Fast forward a few years and I now study design, not sharks, but this deep connection to the oceans has never left. Living and working in Brighton certainly has something to do with this too, but the deeper we delve into our place as designers in this world, the more concerning we find our global attitude to our seas. It is not only sharks that have a lack of respect. And so, it was with great delight that we happened upon the Global Wave Conference, which, for the first time this year was held in the UK.

global wave conference

Hosted by Surfers Against Sewage (who we support as members in the studio), the three day event featured an incredible line up of environmentalists, researchers, artists, scientists, activists as well as surfers – each with their own observations, actions and concerns about our oceanic attitudes and the impact we have with our consumerist ways. Our seas and oceans reach between us all, across the globe – it’s one thing that truly unites us.

The conference was split into categories, with specialist speakers in each:

Surfing health and tourism

Surfing ecosystems

Climate and surfing coastlines

The surfing economy

Surfing and protected areas

We were gutted to not be there – our studio research has very much been rooted in the ocean plastic and litter issue for a little while, but fortunately, each of the inspirational talks were recorded – and are now available on the Global Wave Conference website, but to get you started, we have selected three of our favourite talks which look in detail at our own obsession with marine litter and what you can do with it – Dr Marcus Eriksen from the 5 Gyres Institute, Jon Khoo – Co-Innovation partner with Interface Carpets and David Stover – Co-Founder of Bureo Skateboards (who we wrote about here)… enjoy.


(images and videos via the Global Wave Conference)

The Disruptive Innovation Festival starts today!

Festivals do not need to mean tents, mud and questionable sanitary provisions. Starting today, and running until the 20th November, the Disruptive Innovation Festival is a (mostly) online event dedicated to the discussion and expansion of knowledge around all things circular economy – our own committed way of working here at CPD.

DIF 2015

Founded by the circular economy pioneer charity, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2014, the DIF… ‘brings together thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses, makers, learners and doers to catalyse system-level change for a future economy. Over three weeks, using a mix of online and face to face events, participants have an abundance of opportunities to explore the economy through a different lens. We want to share all the ways you and our partners are challenging the linear ‘take make and dispose’ model of the economy, replacing it by a more prosperous regenerative and circular economy – is this the ultimate disruption?’

It is very exciting. We will be talking about the DIF and circular economy issues a great deal over the next few weeks, posting about up and coming talks and reviewing those that we take part in ourselves. And the best part is that most of it is online – and therefore accessible to most of us. And it is free.

Register for the Disruptive Innovation Festival here –  and get exploring. From the Big Tent Talks, to the Open Mic events, there will be something for everyone who would like to know more about how the circular economy is the way forward for the way we live, work – and how we can thrive.

Want to see the highlights from the 2014 event? Take a look below…

(images via the DIF)

2015 Eco Open Houses a great success!

Last weekend we were delighted to be part of the 2015 Eco Open Houses trail in Brighton – opening up our workspace, Studio Loo to the public. This is the second time that we have been part of the trail as we opened for visitors in 2014, when the studio was about 80% through it’s conversion from derelict wc to the eco office space it is now. It was great to look back over the past year and recall the photos from the construction period.

claire potter design studio 2

And it was also great to welcome back people that visited last year – many had returned so they could see how we had finished the space. For instance, visitors last year saw the reclaimed parquet flooring as individual sticks in bags, but this year they got to see it down, sanded, polished and lacquered – and complete with a years worth of little scratches and dents from use.

But it was also great to welcome a load of new people to Studio Loo – many of whom had travelled a fair distance to see our converted wc and talk to us about their own projects – and how what we have done could be applied to their spaces.

eco open houses 2015

We discussed recycled paint, solid insulation, solar gain and glazing, timber certification and we even gave away a few of our secret spots for finding reclaimed furniture and materials in Brighton and the surrounding areas. 

On Saturday we had a visit from MP for Portslade and Hove, Peter Kyle, who was with us for almost an hour discussing the merits of great design and the reuse of abandoned buildings, and on Sunday we had a visit of nearly 40 people in one go, courtesy of Cara Courage and the Brighton and Hove Urban Ramblers…eco open houses 2 2015

Another great weekend of chatting about all things sustainable design and architecture – we are now gearing up the studio for our next public opening as part of the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses – watch this space!

(images by claire potter and courtesy of Cara Courage and Eco Open Houses)

*** REVIEW *** Brighton Fashion Week 2015 – pt4 – Sustain Show…

For the last of our photo specials for Brighton Fashion Week 2015, we are heading to the images we took at the first of the catwalk shows held at All Saint’s Church in Hove last week – the Sustain Show…

‘Clothing is a physical representation of our inner being; creativity, imagination, fantasies, desires, mentality and our ethics. Fashion is a second skin, one we shed daily and that remains malleable to our ever-changing sensibilities. Fashion should not be harmful in any way, nor irrelevant. Sustainability is key, and ethical garments can represent this beauty powerfully. Our ‘sustain’ show promotes sustainability through the showcasing of designers and practitioners that are willing to combine innovative fashion design and ethical thinking to produce unique and efficient collections. Brighton is a city that overflows with morality and strong ethical values, making it an ideal location for ‘sustain’ to premier. ‘Sustain’ will unveil collections designed to test the boundaries of sustainable fashion as we know it; expressing the personality of the city and its people.’

Angus Tsui…

Angus Tsui 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Angus Tsui BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Angus Tsui 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Clare Poggio… (powered by Veolia)

Clare Poggio 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Clare Poggio 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Clare Poggio BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

KellyDawn Riot…KellyDawn Riot BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Kitty Ferreira…

Kitty Ferreira BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Milkweed…

Milkweed BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotMilkweed 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Raggedy…

Raggedy 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Raggedy BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Rhiannon Hunt…

Rhiannon Hunt BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotRhiannon Hunt 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Tiffany Pattinson… Tiffany Pattinson 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotTiffany Pattinson BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot(all images by Claire Potter)

*** REVIEW *** Brighton Fashion Week 2015 – pt 3…

Whilst editing our images from the fully sustainable Brighton Fashion Week 2015, there were a series of designers that we were drawn to, and in the Zeitgeist Emerging Talent Catwalk Show, we were loving the collection from Carlotaoms – Alegoria. With strong colours and structural urban qualities, we really could image these pieces on the streets of Brighton and beyond. And with a pledge towards creating for longevity, these pieces would no doubt age and wear beautifully…

Carlo Taomos 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotCarlo Taomos 4 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos 5 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos 6 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos 7 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos 8 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Carlo Taomos BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

(images by Claire Potter)

*** REVIEW *** Brighton Fashion Week 2015 part 2… Zeitgeist Catwalk Show

Last week we were at each of the catwalk shows for the Brighton Fashion Week 2015, showing the cutting edge of ethical and sustainable fashion design, so for the next of our photo specials, we are looking at the Zeitgeist show. This showcased designers who are shaping, shifting and progressing the fashion industry by starting to integrate ethical practices within their work in a range of ways, organised as ‘pledges’:

1 – The inclusion of organic, upcycled, recycled fabrics or other sustainable materials in the garments and collection.

2 – Designing out waste and reducing material consumption during the making of the garment.

3 – Designing for longevity – creating value for the garment to ensure the consumer will treasure it forever.

4 – Designing garments with a lower carbon and water footprint and ensuring no harmful dyes are used in the process.

Fanny Holst – Draped in Smog (pledge 3)

Fanny Holst BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Gabriella Sardena – Sugar (pledge 1)

Gabriella Sardena 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Gabriella Sardena 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Gabriella Sardena 4 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Gabriella Sardena BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Isaac Iva – Blue Lights (pledge 3)

Isaac Ava BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Tracey Dockree – Parade of Giants (pledges 1/2/3)

Tracey Dockree 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Tracey Dockree 4 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Tracey Dockree 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Isaac Raymond – The Revolution of Bravery (pledge 1)

Isaac Raymond 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Isaac Raymond BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Isaac Raymond 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Leif Erikkson – The Leif Erikkson Collection (pledges 1/3/4)

leif Erikson BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot leif Erikson 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

No Such Thing – (pledges 1/3/4)

No such Thing 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotNo such Thing 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotNo such Thing BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotLuqman – (pledge 3)

Luqman BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

L.O.M. – Tribal Tales (pledge 1)

LOM 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot LOM 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot LOM 4 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot LOM BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Rozanna Walecki – Black & Blue (pledge 3)

Rozanna Walecki 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 Rozanna Walecki 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 Rozanna Walecki BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015

Hellavagirl – Diary of a Lost Girl (pledge 1)

Hellavagirl 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 Hellavagirl 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 Hellavagirl 4 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 Hellavagirl BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015

(all images by Claire Potter)

 

***REVIEW*** Brighton Fashion Week 2015 – part 1…

Talk about sustainability, and haute couture fashion is often not the first thing that springs to mind, but with a commitment to all things ethical and sustainable, the Brighton Fashion Week 2015, which was held on 15-17 October certainly put this straight. All this week we will be looking at the activities and shows – starting with our Photo Special of the Showreel Design Competition, sponsored by Bolli Darling.

Located in All Saints Church, Hove, the last of the catwalk shows was actually a design competition, where designers, artists and creatives created one outfit from a ‘Beauty from Waste’ brief for a showcase of fashion, art and performance. It was rather spectacular too… starting with an incredible construction from competition sponsor and costumer extraordinaire, Bolli Darling…

Bolli Darling BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

And so, here are a few of the entries.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasilva – Gunna – chicken skin and recycled cotton combine to explore the notions of beauty and elegance… This dress was as delicate as paper – and was modelled beautifully.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasileva BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture – Rags to Riches  – a dress created from 58 recycled garments, showing how post-consumer waste could be reimagined… A stunning, flowing dress that felt almost mermaid like, with a huge trailing tail of material. This was one dress where the origins of the material could be seen clearly.

Genieve Couture BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou – Glorious Junk – tribal inspired costume made from waste… This was a performance – with each model adorned in jewel like creations of material, plastic and metal. The opulence was incredible in these stunning pieces.

Anne Sophie Cochevelou BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache – Les couleurs d’Afrique Recycler – inspired by a heartfelt story of selflessness and appreciation for what we have, waste was used to create these African prints… Beautiful prints, with structure and flow.

Afton Ayache BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise – Raggedy – Rebirth- A design which explores confidence and the process of being reincarnated or born again… Another performance piece, with a cloaked ‘crawler’ adding pieces to the long tail of the dress, which itself was highly textured.

Hayley Trezise Raggedy BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotKumiko Tani – Evening Coffee – couture dresses created from upcycled materials that explores our desire to dress up… A dress that was clearly constructed from waste, but that was well conceived in design.

Kumiko Tani 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Kumiko Tani BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Freya Von Bulow – Flow of Nature – a technical gown designed to raise awareness of production and efficient recycling techniques… This dress was very structured and featured interesting pieces, like the clothes pegs in the neck section.

Freya Von Bulow 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Juliette Simon – American Dream – a journey through the dark side of the American Dream… Very American Beauty, this dress told a clear story of waste and consumerism.

Juliette Simon 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Juliette Simon BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

We were blown away by the creative theatre of each of the costumes, but after lots of deliberation, the judges awarded Afton Ayache the £1000 prize, courtesy of Veolia.

Afton Ayache 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

A fantastic competition, showing the wealth of talent out there – and we will be staying with Brighton Fashion Week 2015 for the rest of the week, with the Zeitgeist and Sustain shows, plus a look at the debates…

(all images copyright Claire Potter)

*** PREVIEW *** Brighton Fashion Week 2015…

With multiple retailers pushing the next ‘key look’ on an almost daily basis, fashion might not be the first industry that screams sustainability. In fact, ‘fast fashion’ is perhaps the antithesis of sustainability – with an enormous amount of virgin raw materials used and seemingly worthless human labour hidden away behind the cracked walls of many an intensive factory. Exploitation, not ethical design. But fashion can get a bad rap. The values of some are certainly not the values of many, and as consumers, we have a large part to play too. Fortunately, there are many designers who think that sustainable design is not a trend, but the way the industry should be moving – with ethics across the board from materials to workers rights. And Brighton Fashion Week 2015 is spearheading the future. Running from 15th – 17th October this year, Brighton Fashion Week features a range of events, from the standard catwalk shows to clothes hacking / reuse workshops and debates on the issues key to the fashion industry. Each event has the inner vein of sustainable design, proving that fashion and sustainability are not, at all mutually exclusive. This is essential to communicate to not only the industry itself, but to all of us. We all wear clothes, after all…

‘Not all purchasers of fashion understand the impacts of what they choose to buy. Brighton Fashion Week will tell the story of waste people create from their fast fashion shopping fix contrasting this with sustainable fashion practices and the need for fair wages.’‘We have started to increase consumer awareness around the social and environmental impact of clothing through our events, social media and press coverage over the past two years and wish this to increase further. We now have decided to bring criteria around sustainability in fashion into ALL aspects of the event (the three main catwalk shows) as we feel this is an essential step that the fashion industry needs to take.’

We are delighted – and very excited to announce that we will be covering many of the fantastic events that are being held for Brighton Fashion Week 2015 here on The Ecospot, so stay tuned to our reports from the week.

The schedule for the week is great – click here for full details of all the shows, events and workshops. We are really looking forward to the debates, which have a stellar line-up of speakers from the extended fashion industry, as well as resource efficiency experts from WRAP.  Some events are ticketed, but some are free – especially the hands on ‘Love your clothes’ and ‘Fashion Salvage’ demonstrations were you can learn how to reuse an old garment and watch designers working with the tonne of clothes in the central space of The Open Market. This will certainly be a sight to behold…

Check out the Brighton Fashion Week 2015 website for full details of all the events and the designers taking part in this unique fashion event… see you there.

(images courtesy of Brighton Fashion Week)