Sunday, March 16, 2008


Vintage and recycled are two much used terms in ethical fashion. And for good reason – waste not, want not and all that. But for some people (indeed in some cultures as a whole) wearing what others before you (especially strangers) have worn is, well, weird. And recycled…what really tends to fall under that rubric in fashion? Dresses made of used ties? Shorts from what were once jeans? Sometimes. But does that tempt you? Hmmm….sometimes…some people…maybe. But what if it doesn’t?

Well, here's a tip about something DEFINITELY tempting from the diverse world of 'recycled' fabric -- From Somewhere, the edgy fashion label whose founders, Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci, are to be credited with coining the quixotic term ‘virgin recycled material’. And quixotic may well be how some describe From Somewhere's flea-market and vintage shop inspired collections. From Somewhere uses pre-consumer (hence virgin) textile surplus such as production off-cuts and end of rolls to make beautiful, one-off yet reproducible contemporary clothing. This re-use (or recycling) of fabric, notably retro fabrics & rare vintage prints that are already in the ‘system’, admirably redresses the balance between consumption and disposal.

I recently met the irrepresible (and wildy inspiring) Orsola de Castro and can see why she was chosen, along with her partner Fillipo Ricci, to curate LFW's now famous Esthetica(thank you to fabulous blog 'fabulously green' for this summary and slideshow). These are pioneers of London's ethical fashion scene who remain, fundamentally, design, fashion and quality well as commercially practical. It is this exact mix that is required to propel 'ethical' fashion into the club of 'mainstream' fashion. So, ethical cred aside, From Somewhere always has a finger on the latest 'look(s)' without being slave to any fashion trend.

Conclusion: they’re very smart about our looking smart.

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