I was working with the Fashion Revolution team at London College of Fashion. I really needed a swimsuit for a trip to the Bahamas and heard that AURIA swimsuits were for sale at the EMG Progressive Fashion Concept Store in Beak Street, Soho, just a few blocks away.  I found the perfect swimsuit!  As it’s Fashion Revolution Week, I, of course had to ask the question #whomademyclothes?IMG_0095

 

AURIA’s swimsuits are made from Econyl.

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According to their website ‘the innovative ECONYL® Regeneration System is based on sustainable chemistry. With this process, the nylon contained in waste, such as carpets, clothing and fishing nets, is transformed back into raw material without any loss of quality.

fishing nets
And here are the people who made my swimsuit …

Paolo here in the #ECONYL plant? He prepares nets for regeneration
This is Paolo in the ECONYL plant He prepares nets for  regeneration

this is Ivo with some nets to be turned into #ECONYL yarn

This is Ivo with some nets to be turned into ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that we regenerate into #ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that is regenerated into ECONYL yarn

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the#ECONYL regeneration process

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the ECONYL regeneration process

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the #waste material that will become #ECONYL yarn

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the waste material that will become ECONYL yarn

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality #ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

You can find Boro always around our bobbins of #ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality!

You can always find Boro around the bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality

Bobbins of our #ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn't get to our clients if it wasn't for Muamer

Bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn’t get to clients if it wasn’t for Muamer

And all of this recycled fibre then gets made into gorgeous AURIA swimsuits

I’m really happy to see that ECONYL is able to answer the question #whomademyclothes and show me the faces of everyone who has helped to make the fibre for my new swimsuit #imadeyourclothes

Marlene Birger dress, worn by Sienna Somers photograph by Paul Pickard

At last Fashion Revolution Week (18th-24th April) has dawned upon us once again, trying to mend the broken links in the supply chain and helping us to fall in love with our clothes once again. In an era dominated by fast-paced, emotionless fashion, we need to take a step back, slow down and learn to appreciate the garments.

This year, Fashion Revolution is asking us to write a Love Story on a favourite item, the journeys you’ve shared with it and why you love it. My love story is based around my year 11 prom dress.

I had already looked everywhere: vintage fairs, ebay, high street but this dress was elusive and my search was endless. It had to be special.  I bought a reserve prom dress at a vintage fair for £20, which I have worn several times since, but I knew it wasn’t the one.

During a trip to London Fashion Weekend, in September 2011, I found what I thought was the dress. I tried it on. It was long, it was silk, it was gorgeous colours of the sunset, it was perfect. It was ripped. This wasn’t just an easy-to-mend rip due to the delicate nature of the material and the voluminosity of the skirt. The whole waistband would have to be removed and remade.  Then to my dismay, the price was significantly higher than I initially thought due to my misreading of the product code as the price! So I decided, with considerable reluctance, to walk away.

But this dress didn’t walk away from me. I obsessively googled the Marygold dress. I tried to find one so many times online. I phoned Malene Birger. I visited the shop. I came to the conclusion that the dress was very limited edition. I sadly moved on.

My mother always used to visit Clerkenwell Vintage Fair when she was showing at London Fashion Week as the two always coincided. In the middle of February 2012 my mother found the dress. It was the very same dress, bought by Miniola Vintage at London Fashion Weekend, mended by her, and for sale on her stand at Clerkenwell Vintage Fair.

After school one day, my mum surprised me with the dress.

The dress was greatly admired at the prom.

I treasure the dress and long for another opportunity to show it off…

Wearing one of the prom dresses I bought at Clerkenwell in 2012. Photograph by Paul Pickard

Wearing the dress. Photograph by Paul Pickard

With UK shoppers throwing away enough clothing to fill Wembley Stadium each year, our attitude towards fashion needs to change.  Fast fashion means that we can buy what we want and discard it with equal abandon.  New collections come and go so quickly that I don’t have time to fall in love with a beautiful piece of clothing, save up for it, and then cherish it. By the time I have earned enough money, it will be long gone from the rails.

 watch movie Smurfs: The Lost Village now

haulternative

 watch movie Smurfs: The Lost Village now

Buying vintage fashion, I can own beautiful quality, timeless pieces which come with ready-made authenticity, whatever decade happens to be on trend.  I also never have to worry about meeting anyone else wearing the same outfit!

My Haulternative for Fashion Revolution Day is different to a traditional haul. I want to demonstrate that vintage fashion really can provide a viable alternative, not just to the High Street but to Designer fashion as well.  From my floor-length, gold Gucci dress worn 20 years ago on Blind Date, to my denim Burberry jacket picked up from a stand at Glastonbury, here is my vintage #haulternative.

To see more of my fabulous vintage finds, from £10 gold Valentino trousers to red Sergio Tacchini Tennis shorts for a quid, check out my previous blog on Preloved Clothing.

Vintage clothing comes with a ready-made story attached. I wonder who has worn it and where it has travelled. Fashion Revolution Day, on the 24th of April, wants you to think about the story behind your clothes, and ask brands and retailers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

“Be curious, find out, do something.
Become a part of the solution.
You can help to change the world, one outfit at a time”

On 24th of April, I will be supporting Fashion Revolution Day. If you want to join in too, watch my short video to find out how.

 watch movie Smurfs: The Lost Village now

 watch movie Smurfs: The Lost Village now

emma watson

This week I made a video about How to Join the Fashion Revolution.

To demonstrate how to take a selfie showing your label, I wore my favourite T-Shirt with the slogan WE ARE THE SEA.

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And then I started wondering:

Who made the T-Shirt I was wearing in the video? Where was the cotton grown?  Where was it printed?

 

 

So, I decided to contact the brand, We are Islanders, and ask them #WhoMadeMyClothes?

This is the fantastic reply which I have just received from Erin at We Are Islanders:

“Hi Sienna, thanks for asking! Your We Are The Sea t-shirt is from Continental Clothing’s Earth Positive Apparel collection, meaning it is 100% organic with 90% reduced CO2.

The production of this t-shirt has been audited by the Fair Wear Foundation before being hand-printed by the We Are Islanders team in a Dublin print collective.”

 

We are Islanders 1

 

We Are Islanders also sent me some photos of them screenprinting T-Shirts like the one I wore, so now I really do know Who Made My T-shirt!

 

We Are Islanders 2

 

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