Welcome to our first collaborative photoshoot.
We decided to produce a fashion photoshoot showcasing sustainable design and our eco values. We did this by sourcing the clothes from ethical and sustainable sources and using a model who lives by her eco-conscious ideals.
As a whole, this shoot was a great example of how welcoming and collaborative the sustainable community is proving to be. Starting this shoot with only an idea, we began to send around a few emails, which lead to a couple of meetups. Ending with some lovely new connections, stories, great photos and a super proud feeling inside. We are so happy to share the results with you today and some of our inspiration behind the shoot.
Women are strong.
No one would deny there is a raw attitude in our current cultural climate. In a time when the world is experiencing a lot of disjointed political values, many strong women are stepping up to the table to be heard, especially when it comes to environmental issues. Influential people like Christiana Figueres and Vivienne Westwood are making it feel like women truly have the power to change the world. Whether it be in politics or fashion, in power or just in power of yourself, I commend every single person out there, who are making it their personal mission to “be the change.”
Looking into the future we have a lot of hurdles to jump if we are to meet the goals set by the Paris agreement, turn back the damage our actions have caused, and create a positive future for ourselves and future generations. The responsibility lays on all of our shoulders, to take action and hold the powers that be accountable. We are living in a time when we need to be bolder than ever before and fashion is a huge part of this.
Juxtaposing the famous brutalist architecture of The Barbican Centre with natural backgrounds within the conservatory (found within the centre) created a perfect backdrop for showcasing the awesome outfits. The outside area consists of coarse concrete surfaces, elevated gardens and a trio of high-rise towers. Created with the vision for a car-free community raised up over the city’s busy streets. The conservatory is home to exotic fish and over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees. It was our first choice of location and we had great fun exploring the landscape.
We worked with rental company, Wear the Walk and sustainable online store, Beyneu to pull the looks together. WTW offers one of a kind designer pieces and Beyneu is for down to earth everyday items. Both brands have quite different aesthetics so it was a good challenge to bring these two styles together.
Wear the Walk, offer an exciting new approach to dressing, allowing women to rent a new wardrobe. Renting our clothes on the regular would give us all the opportunity to refresh our look and elevate our style, without adding to the over-consumption crisis we are experiencing. I had a great afternoon looking through their showroom. Zoe the founder of WTW says, “We want to enable women to feel empowered by what they wear, not just once a month or when they have a special occasion, but all the fucking time.” The Empowerment of women is as important now as ever and clothing is a big part of that conversation.
Beyneu is a new online store. The idea is to help make everyone’s lives a little easier by pulling together products from cool up and coming brands, the best part is they are all sustainable, ethical, organic and affordable. Expertly vetted by the owner Alina. Her vision will inspire you to start a more sustainable journey with their infectious zest for life and desire to become pillars of the community. We appreciate any help given to make our lives easier, placing the power to change at the end of our fingertips.
With the two brands help, we created some fun and easy to wear, fashion-forward looks with a considered approach, hence why we named the shoot, “Culture Over Consumption,” as a thought piece. We want people to think of the ethical and sustainable clothing industry contrasting directly against the damaging world of fast fashion. Encouraging more considered purchasing, shaping our new world through thoughtful consumerism. We consider fashion and culture intrinsically linked together.
Comparing culture and the current often careless nature of the mass-market garment industry, allows us to ask the question: what does the way we buy consumption say about our culture?
We hope to help shine a light on the truth about the impact our appetite for fast disposable fashion is having around the world and offer solutions. The Race to the bottom pricing model built on exploitation has had a huge effect on how we view our clothes. We chose to provide a heavy contrast lighting on most of the images. Linking back to the retro feel of past generations when there was a strong sense of individuality and rebellion. It does feel like a rebellion of sorts talking about ethical fashion and saying no to the modern damaging systems that have become the status quo.
Personally, I love the 80s, a lot, not because I lived through that era, unfortunately. Growing up I related to the music and culture of that decade. The 80s was a time of extremes in fashion, makeup, and music. It was a time of major creativity, flamboyance and DIY styling. Researching into the 80s helped me grow into and learn about myself, particularly, that it is ok to go against the grain.
We wanted to give a subtle nod to the 80s with fun pieces like this painted leather cropped jacket with padded shoulders. Power dressing is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of the 80s. Inflated proportions often with a costume feel, but the powerful silhouettes signified a time when women moved forward in the workplace. This way of dressing allowed women to establish their authority in a professional and political environment traditionally dominated by men. This is just one example of how fashion has helped to create a movement.
Creating a Movement.
The idea behind the eco-fashion movement is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. Slow fashion is constantly evolving as the movement picks up momentum, generally, I like to say it is about buying quality over quantity and for love over lust. Plus wearing our clothes for longer and making the most out of the pieces we already own, through clever styling and customisation.
Coming back to the present. The success of the #MeToo campaign has created a global explosion of women demanding recognition in the workplace and an end to sexual harassment, a phenomenon that can be linked to the memory of the power suit, in all its shoulder-padded glory. This time using social media to power the message home. Women are making it clear that they are not standing for outdated systems anymore. Let’s not forget that women are at the centre of the fashion industry, both as consumers and as the garment workers making the clothes. So we really do hold the power for change.
We got the power.
When women unit and work together beautiful things happen. Like this photoshoot. Women around the world are more similar than we are different. We are all connected by our conventional roles as caregivers, relationship builders and communicators. Generally speaking, women often buy on behalf of the people who live in their households, as well as for extended family and friends. This is often referred to as the multiplier effect. We also help drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of buying power and influence. Influence means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something herself, she is often the influence or veto vote behind someone else’s purchase.
For all these reasons, as women and as consumers, we really do hold the power to be the change with every purchase we make. Doesn’t that feel great! We also made a video, watch it below.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in helping us create this shoot. You rock!
For our next collaboration, we will be looking to get a make-up artist involved to push the boundaries of what is possible in this space and do our part to keep the movement growing. If you have read this and know anyone who would like to get involved please get in touch. We hope you enjoyed this article, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Keep posted, more photos and videos and interviews with Zoe from WTW and Jess to come soon.
Love, Lottie xx
Into The Eco
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Photographer: Josh John
Model: Jessica Ewer
Producer: Lottie Woods