Series 5. Eco Icon No.9

Michelle Lowe-Holder’s off-cut jewellery collection


Canadian born Michelle Lowe-Holder studied fashion at the legendary Pratt Institute in New York before coming to London where she went on to complete an MA in knitwear at renowned art school Central Saint Martins. After graduating in 2000, she decided to stay in London and launched her own-name label . Michelle has shown at London Fashion Week and achieved three New Generation awards. She’s been building up a following for her lateral, unique collections which incorporate  hand crafted   elements such as knitting, beading, handpainting and prints as well as smocking and integrated jewellery pieces that form part of her fashion collection.

This exploration of textures and textiles led her to express her creativity through jewellery as well as her core fashion collections. Her commitment to sustainable design led to her being sponsored by London College of Fashion’s enterprising program for ethical designers , The Centre for sustainable fashion . She designed a new collection that occupied a central space at Estethica this year , launching her new collection of reclaimed ribbon and off-cut based designs. Michelle said of her new collection:

‘Ribbon Reclaim’ is about creating something beautiful from end-of-line fabric and ribbon. I like to explore old techniques and re-use them in a contemporary way.”

The off-cut cuffs have been snapped up by eco-design hungry fashionistas and now can be seen adorning the A-list wrists of many a celebrity…..

Series 5. Eco Icon No. 8

Mensa‘ coffee table by Lazarian Studio

UK-based Lazerian Studio  is a creative practice that was founded  in 2006,  by Liam Hopkins, a Manchester born designer-maker.

Based in an immense raw space which was an ex- hat factory in Manchester, the practice is focused on the creation of functional objects through playful investigation of materials and processes, their aim to  imbue objects with a bit of soul without adversely compromising the planet’s  natural resources.

Lazerian Studio’s latest collection was showcased  at the Designer’s block exhibition in Milan this year. It featured an origami inspired furniture collection made entirely by carefully cutting and folding sheets of cardboard recycled from their factory, the designers creating intricate sculptural forms that are structurally stable enough to be used as furnishings.

Cardboard is not the only material that Hopkins and Richard Sweeney are capable of transforming — their Borealis lampshades and Mensa coffee table  ( above) are created from CNC machined plywood, showcasing the designer’s skill in pushing a wide range of materials to their sculptural limit. The designers aim to create minimal waste through their use of repeated forms.

Representative of a new ,dynamic breed of multi-desciplinary design practices..they play as much with scale as with form, applying their design vision to everything from interiorscapes to accessories….all of them unified by their covet ability!

Series 5. Eco Icon No. 7

Camilla Wellton’s architectonic Eco Couture Collection

Swedish born Camilla Wellton made the decision to dedicate her talents to the environment when she was still in her teens. Although  all her designs use only   natural and organic materials, her pieces look anything but ‘natural’. Her new collection seems to be a fusion of ‘blade runner esque ‘ architectonic shapes with a zen minimalist colour palette. Wellton’s collection shows a contemporary directional aesthetic and her sci-fi-esque line of eco-luxe  clothing can be made to order in completely sustainable fabrics.

Finding Eco  loves their mission statement ……it has a wonderful freshness, sincerity and clarity of purpose….

“We are a Swedish Luxury Fashion brand in love with the dream of being the Soul in your wardrobe.

Our office and atelier is located in the heart of Södermalm in the city of Stockholm, Sweden.

We love to Love Nature, Love, Creativity and the Muses.

We love to excel by creating and offering you comfortable, elegant, discreetly luxurious,inspired and confident garments and products

We love to care by giving 10% of our profit to the Swedish NGO Vi skogen
to help promote agroforestry and the planting of new trees in Africa

We love to please by offering a made to measure option for most of our models

We love to delight by creating Eco Couture for those who desire ecological,
unique and perfectly fitted garments.”

So if your wardrobe is missing an organic-silk-lined trench, or a high-waisted woollen capri, of if you are searching for the perfect empire-cut evening gown made from a blend of organic silk and hemp and want to make a fashion forward statement that doesn’t compromise the planet…you’ve found your brand…Camilla Wellton.

Series 5. Eco Icon No.6

Eco rubber ‘Kelly‘ bag by UmmaGumma

According to founder/ designer Fausta Zambelli- the birth of Ummagumma came from her early appreciation of  the  properties of rubber while working in the tire recapping company founded by her paternal grandfather in 1919.
Hailed as a  visionary and creative “tire repair woman”, Fausta -designer, stylist, and artist has founded a business based on  transforming old inner tubes into a collection of iconic , fashion and homeware accessories.

According to fausta “recycling is all about giving new function to things that have outlived their original use. Materials like plastic, steel, aluminum, and wood can all be recovered and put to precious new application inside the home. Eco-design is an offshoot of Industrial Design that combines respect for the environment, sustainable growth, and creative fantasy. ”

More than a passing fashion trend, Ummagumma’s re-assembly and reinvention of old tire inner tubes into uniquely contemporary new eco objects points straight to the planet’s survival.

By recovering offcuts and recyclable materials from the tire repair trade and using high-quality hides and accessories usually employed in top end leather ware, the Collection combines the organisation and precision of an industrial production cycle with the passion and care of hand made italian craftsmanship .The natural and versatile qualities of rubber – when combined with butyl – have amazing characteristics of strength, stretch, and are 100% waterproof. And with prolonged use, rubber even softens and “ages” as gracefully as the finest leather.
Each product is produced in limited  edition series and is trademarked by laser. All materials are selected and processed in Italy using the same procedures adopted for leather ware with the rubber being worked as if it were a leather hide.
For the eco and style conscious fashionista….I can see a ‘Kelly’ style waiting list for the latest Ummagamma eco icon….