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September 15, 2016, 03:27 PM

Calling recruits to reclaim fashion

By Sara Morel

Mahala reclaimed bag collection ©Style Salvo


London South East, UK - Thinking about sustainable fashion? Me too, which is why I normally think of style rather than fashion as the very word conjures up connotations of quick trends rather than conscious consumption and something more unique to you. As part of the London Design Festival, LASSCO is showcasing three designers that explore the potential of reclaimed materials and an environmentally conscious approach to design. I chatted to one of the designers, Emily Griffin about moving the trend towards more sustainable buying decisions and imagining a time when "sustainable fashion" is just fashion.

Emily Griffin makes handcrafted homewares and accessories for her shop Mahala and has created a special capsule collection of handbags and holdalls for LASSCO. Working with durable materials, Emily styles army surplus fabric to create individual pieces of fashion for women and men that she describes as "made to last, both aesthetically and practically".
She has always been a pacifist, so it troubles her to think too much about where the old army/RAF bags she uses have been, "by the time I get hold of the old army/RAF bags each one has been on a journey… Part of the reason I use army surplus is to give these pieces a new life and change of use".

Emily's signature is unisex appeal, but this capsule collection features more feminine shapes. She designs for herself and is not happy with a bag unless she would use it herself. 90% of her wardrobe is vintage and secondhand as like me, she enjoys knowing that you'll never find another quite like it! We talk about fast fashion and she tells me the trouble is that people have "got used to being able to buy a pair of jeans (for example) for the same price as a nice bottle of wine" without thinking where the materials came from, who made them and how they got here.

"There are people of influence who are trying to change things like Livia Firth of Eco Age and Emma Watson and the 30 Wears campaign, however I don't think that is enough… how do you get someone like Phillip Green to put Fairtrade, environmental issues and ethical treatment of workers ahead of profit?"

Emily hopes for a shift in shopping trends and until then she is doing her bit. Fond of a breton striped t-shirt, Emily's style is timeless and her bags are a good place to slow down one's fashion and buy less, but wear more.

Sara Morel, Reclaimed Woman

LASSCO Ropewalk


Story Type:  Feature

ID: 96838

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