What is the name of your blog?
Tells us about your blog and why you started it.
I started my blog Adore, Reflect, Sustain more than 3 years ago because I was studying for a research-based Masters in ethical fashion and I wanted a space to promote ethical fashion and also have an online presence for when I started looking for jobs. It changed direction a little once I started my PhD so this year I also launched ethicalhighstreet.co.uk as a space to promote everyday ethical shopping choices, not just in fashion but for the high street as a whole.
Why is sustainable fashion so important?
I do see a slight distinction between ethical fashion and sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion is slow fashion, kind to planet and people. The problem with fast fashion is that we have lost an understanding of how clothing is made, it’s so easily accessible and cheap; we’ve almost lost respect for the process. The way it stands the fashion industry just can’t be sustainable. Sustainable fashion is important because it puts the love back into clothing so we buy fewer but better quality clothes, making our environmental footprint as low as possible.
How would you describe your style / fashion sense?
Increasingly eclectic! I like to look feminine but I don’t think I can get away with some of the super girly clothes I wore a few years ago. I love vintage clothes and the traditional English heritage look. At the moment I wear a lot of skinny jeans and skirts with baggy sweaters.
Who do you admire in the world of sustainable fashion?
I love Lily Cole because she has used her incredibly prominent place in the fashion industry to promote ethical fashion through the Environmental Justice Foundation and also through her own sustainable fashion brand The North Circular. There are lots of amazing people who have dedicated their life and career to changing things in the industry.
What are your favourite ethical brands and why?
People Tree is an all-time favourite. They have got a lot more fashion-conscious over the last few years and they always have some stunning dresses and great quality too. Locally to me in Southampton, WhoMadeYourPants? manufacture and sell gorgeous underwear with a great story at its heart – they offer jobs to local marginalised women who might otherwise struggle to get jobs because they have a low level of English or lack British qualifications.
What are your top tips for buying ethical and sustainable products?
There are so many wonderful, ethical brands out there you just have to go and look for them. Buy classic pieces which won’t date and don’t be afraid of new fabrics like bamboo or milk fibre. I don’t think you have to boycott the big brands, just make sure you buy their ethical/sustainable products (most of the big names offer organic or Fairtrade cotton t-shirts for example) to show that there is consumer demand.
What are your plans for the future?
I am writing up my PhD on second-hand consumption at the moment. Adore, Reflect, Sustain will continue to be my personal blog but I want to grow Ethical High Street into a bigger and better resource for shoppers.
What are your 3 top picks of the Fashion Compassion website?
For my top picks I've choosen; the Burqa's Silk Ikat Cocktail dress, for its sexy shape and gorgeous colour, the Bhalo's Cloudgazer skirt, as I'm loving long skirts at the moment, and GUNAS’s Admiral Baguette Clutch. I always worry about anything very embellished (not knowing who has sewn on all those sequins) so it’s great to find a beautiful alternative to put my conscience at ease.
Emma is also on Twitter.