We at Macbees are always conscious of supporting and representing independent brands with high standards of design and production integrity. This April we are supporting Fashion Revolution’s #whomademyclothes campaign, asking some of our favourite labels for their thoughts on the important issue of clothing provenance.
Fashion Revolution champions fair and decent working conditions, environmental protection, gender equality and the importance of transparency throughout the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution Week coincides with the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured.
Every fashion lover should appreciate the workmanship and creativity of the innovators, designers and artisans that make up the fashion industry and recognise how much work by real people has gone into clothes we all wear. They are not disposable (the people or the clothes? I would actually lose this line here as you say it in the conclusion). And as customers we all have the power to fuel the Fashion Revolution. At Macbees we are taking up the mantel by asking our brands ‘who made my clothes’ and encourage you to do the same in an attempt to create greater transparency throughout the industry.
We introduced the understated elegance of Cathrine Hammel this season and the more we learn about the company the more we love it. Cathrine Hammel concentrates on keynotes such as functionality, simplicity and craftsmanship when creating her collection. Each item is designed to last, be loved and mended. As a company it is constantly striving towards discovering new methods of sustainable design and works closely with its production team in India
‘Life becomes beautiful when you have people you can trust, open up with, depend upon and share your situation with . . . and that goes for the team at Cathrine Hammel’
Nettie & Raman (Indian suppliers to Cathrine Hammel)
Another new brand for us this year is the outerwear collection LangerChen whose philosophy is FAIR – CONSCIOUS – SUSTAINABLE. It has been a Fair Fashion label since 2013 and does not compromise on functionality, ethics or cutting-edge design.
Miranda Chen and Philipp Langer set up their own textile plant in 2009 to achieve their goal of fostering fair manufacturing conditions, creating high-quality products and minimising their ecological footprint. Five years later, they founded LangerChen and their entire collection is produced in their GOTS-certified factory just outside Shanghai.
‘Our team enjoys working conditions that are both safe and good, a fair living wage and also receives health insurance and a pension. We also ensure that the team works with the latest industry technologies meaning they are able to gain additional skills.’
LangerChen’s Jiecco textile plant just outside of Shanghai.
One of our favourites, Essentiel Antwerp, promises to bring you fireworks through its constant questioning, passion and celebration of life. This passion does not stop with design. Founder and creative director Inge Onsea makes it her personal mission to travel to India every year to see first-hand the conditions in which her clothes are produced to ensure the highest standard of quality and conditions. The design house informed us that ‘We currently have an officious team working on our ethical trade policy, from the heads of concerned departments such as production, supply chain, marketing, styling and legal.’
Closer to home, we also asked Irish designer Caroline Kilkenny. ‘I design each collection with a view that this is not throw-away fashion but interchangeable throughout the seasons,’ she said. ‘A stronger lean towards naturally produced fabrics and an ongoing nurtured relationship going back to when we started our company with smaller independent family run factories adds a layer of knowledge and sustainability.’
We at Macbees are grateful for the hard work that Fashion Revolution is doing to raise awareness of what goes into creating the beautiful clothes we wear so we can love them even more. We encourage you to pay a fair price to make sure that century-old techniques are not lost. Do not see clothes as disposable. Use your power as a shopper to shape the future of fashion and achieve positive change in the global fashion industry. Always ask the question – who made my clothes?
To find out more and join the revolution go to fashionrevolution.org