Posted by rebecca on Monday, December 19, 2011
Based out of a small studio in East London, Goodone creates practical and progressive clothing. I interned with the label a few years ago, and have since seen it develop into an award-winning ethical fashion force. Goodone offers seasonal collections (frequently a part of London Fashion Week) in addition to an online-exclusive Basics line and a bespoke fitting service.
I was thrilled to get back in touch with Nin Castle, the brand’s founder and creative director, to discuss her views of sustainability, fashion, and design.
How did you get started in sustainable fashion?
My interested started at university in Bristol, I wanted my final collection to be sustainably sourced. I had no money, so I made everything out of recycled fabrics. I realized that I was getting really good quality textiles and really sustainable fibres. The fabric has already been used, there is no strain put on the environment by using fabrics that already exist. For me it is the most sustainable fibre around.
What is your design process?
For us designing is definitely a two prong attack. It’s what we want to make and what we can make with the fabrics that we get a hold of. It comes from both directions, but design is always number one. We want to produce sustainable products that are strong, sexy and really really wearable. There’s no point making something that doesn’t look good. Our basics line its about making clothes that you want to wear on a day-to-day basis.
What textiles do you use?
When we buy stuff from the UK, it’s British wool, modals and fibres from textile recycling factories. We’re looking into importing high-tech sustainable fibres and not making rules for ourselves. The Goodone Basics collection is a mix of end of roll fabrics with reclaimed, its also a good chance for us to reuse fabrics from previous collections.
How would you like to see sustainable fashion develop?
Brands should use reclaimed fabrics as much as possible. It would make a big dent in the environmental impact of the industry. It’s very difficult to use entirely reclaimed fabric, and that’s why we don’t do it anymore, but it is very possible to use a percentage of reclaimed fabrics.
People need to buy less, but better. We need to buy half the amount of clothes for double the amount of money. Nobody wants to hear it, but its the truth. Consumers have demanded a cheaper and faster product and the industry has supplied it. Now consumers massively undervalue clothes. Buying cheaply made clothes isn’t value for money so consumers are worse off in the end.
Your favourite way to relax?
Desert Island Discs in the bath. I suppose I’m a bit nosey, so I find it really interesting.
To get your hands on some of Goodone’s goodies, visit their online shop at www.goodone.co.uk. Join their Facebook page to receive news of sample sales and studio events!
Sophie Caldecott trawls the city to unearth London’s most stylish ethical fashion boutiques and gift shops.
By Sophie Caldecott, Style and Then Some
11:12AM GMT 16 Dec 2011
It’s hard to find shops that are both stylish and ethical, especially in a big city like London, with so many places vying for your attention and not enough time to explore all the options. And when it comes down to it, what does ‘ethical’ actually mean? The Ethical Fashion Forum defines ethical fashion as “an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising impact on the environment.” It can be difficult for small businesses to cover all the bases, and most ethical shops will have a particular focus, whether that’s sustainability, supporting local talent and skills, or social justice in developing countries. Luckily, there are plenty of options across London – if you know where to look. Here’s our pick of London’s best ethical clothes and gift shops.
In Bloom London, Portobello Road
Best for: sexy, beautiful underwear and womenswear with more than a touch of French chic
In Bloom London’s cool and chic interior. Image: In Bloom London
On Portobello Road, Emily Huc’s pretty boutique In Bloom Londonshowcases her range of underwear alongside other ethical womenswear labels. Other brands stocked in the shop include Goodone, who specialise in stylish upcycled jumpers, Beaumont Organic, Bibico’s Fairtrade-certified knitwear, and EKO, producers of stylish Yoga wear in a sustainable bamboo fabric. Prices range from £9 to £150. Upcycled jewellery by Caipora is also available, alongside homewear and locally produced art. Emily’s own line is just as covetable, and impressively innovative too: the underwear range interweaves organic cotton with the pioneering lyocell fibre, a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp in Austria.
In Bloom London, Unit 8, Portobello Green Designers, 281 Portobello Road, London W10 5TZ. Tel: 020 7565 0493
Opening hours: Mon-Wed open upon appointment (please call 07503190095 to arrange); Thurs-Fri 11-6; Sat 10:30-6
Danaqa, Westbourne Park
Best for: beautiful leather handbags and striking jewellery with a story to tell
Danaqa in Westbourne Park. Image: S&TS
Power couple David Thomas and Nadia Manning-Thomas openedDanaqa in 2011. Their combined experience working in micro finance and agricultural development abroad gave them the know-how to source their products in a responsible way and to maximise the positive impact their business makes for small-scale producers. Beaded necklaces were made by a group of women who suffered domestic abuse in Nepal, and all the leather bags are made from off-cuts from the food industry that would have otherwise been wasted. To those who might question how ethical it is to stock leather products at all, David points out that around 85 per cent of families in Ethiopia keep livestock for food, and paying them for their leftover skins is another valuable way of helping improve their quality of life.
Danaqa, 282 Westbourne Park Road, London W11 1EH. Tel: 020 7792 3466
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:30-6:30; Sat 9:30-7; Sun 11-5
Best for: quirky gifts and homewear, and a large range of traditional textiles from around the world
Ganesha’s vibrant shop front. Image: Ganesha
Founded in 1995, Ganesha is one of the most well-established fair trade shops around. Stocking reclaimed silk scarves by Coral Seed, vegetarian soap by One Village, party plates made from 100 per cent biodegradable leaves, bags made from rice sacks, as well as colourful bunting made from old silk saris, Ganesha is a goldmine for unique gifts. Providing an eclectic mix of homeware and accessories, it is everything you would expect from a fair trade shop, packaged in a fun and accessible way.
Ganesha, 3 + 4 Gabriel’s Wharf London SE1 9PP. Tel: 020 7928 3444
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 11:30-6; Sat-Sun 12-6
123 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green
Best for: East End cool and up-and-coming British talent, irreverent and unusual gifts, recycled textiles
123 Bethnal Green Road champions local designers. Image: LMB & Co.
Owned by textile recycling company LMB & Co,east London boutique that champions local artists and designers. The in-house brand, 123, is made entirely from off-cuts and recycled fabrics at LMB & Co’s recycling faculty in Canning Town. A collaboration between the company and local designers mean various capsule collections will be launched throughout 2012, with recycled fabrics being used to create unique and sustainable pieces. A local bookbinder, for example, has been commissioned to cover notebooks and diaries with vintage maps, newspapers and recycled fabric. Ethical Fashion Forum Innovation Award winner Ada Zanditon’s jewellery is also available, as is honey produced by a local bee keeper.
123 Bethnal Green Road, 123 Bethnal Green Road E2 7DG. Tel: 020 7729 8050
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 12-7; Thurs 12-8; Sun 11-6
Komodo, Covent Garden
Best for: funky knitwear and handmade jewellery
If you like high street brands such as Fat Face and French Connection, you’ll love Komodo, a fair trade clothing brand for men and women which was established in 1988. Located a few streets away from Covent Garden Tube station, this little shop is crammed full of good quality, ethical and contemporary designs in such bright colours that it’s hard to believe they’re all made using natural dyes. Komodo’s factory in Kathmandu, Nepal, champions human rights and shows the rest of the fashion industry how it should be done. Nunu, who runs the shop, buys semi-precious stones and other materials from her travels in Nepal, Tibet and India, and makes jewellery on site. My favourite finds were an elegantly fitting woolen work-wear dress with a graphic print, and a snug bright turquoise patterned gilet with a fake fur-trimmed hood. Prices range from around £20 for t-shirts to around £130 for coats and jackets.
50a Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LA. Tel: 020 7836 5445
Opening hours: Mon & Wed-Sat 12-7; Sun 12-6; Tues closed
Sophie Caldecott is one of the team at the Style and Then Some blog. Written by four London-dwelling girls, it covers fashion and culture, with a focus on what’s going on in the capital. You can follow S&TS on Twitter@Style_thensome
Founded in 2006, Goodone is no new kid on the block. But as the much-needed ‘up-cycling’ trend grows internationally, we wanted to show our appreciation for one of London’s original ‘reclaimed to wear’ labels.
Goodone had already collaborated with the subversive fashion designer Noki, launched a manufacturing partnership with the HEBA Women’s Project and was in demand as far afield as Tokyo, when they were shortlisted for the RE:Fashion New Designer of the Year Award in 2008. It was then that I had the pleasure of meeting the independent label’s creative director and founder, Nin Castle. Her edgy figure-flattering designs proved that conscious couture had no excuse for compromising on style.
During the Anya Hindmarch “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” craze, Goodone released its edgier “Do I look like a f@cking plastic bag?” version. (I still cherish mine and it’s always good for raising an eyebrow or two at Waitrose). Since then, Goodone has launched a capsule range for ASOS, designed a limited edition bag for Puma, created a recycled collection for Tesco and made high street fashionistas ‘hot up’ over reclaimed to wear from the rails of Topshop.
The heart behind the label, which keeps both environmental and social impact high on the agenda, powered an impressive collaboration with Liberty, Amnesty, WWF, Greenpeace, Shelter and No Sweat, upcycling old campaign t-shirts. This was followed by the production of a limited edition dress for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign.
Nin and her co-designer/sourcing director, Clare Farrell (since 2009), now teach sustainable fashion at St Martins. They’re clearly succeeding in their mission “not to stand apart from the mainstream fashion industry, rather to achieve positive change from within.” The designers follow a method that is “informed by the use of recycled fabrics, but not restrained by it”. I think every conscious stylista will agree that these leading ladies deserve to be celebrated.
Check out the Goodone AW11 collection, featuring reclaimed silks and leather.