What We Love In May – Support Small Businesses Special
Image: Ayla Swim
We’ve turned over our monthly newsletter to sustainable small businesses. During the COVID-19 crisis, they are doing their bit to stand by their principles and they need our support.
This month we are turning over our May newsletter to sustainable small businesses in order to show our support for them during COVID-19. After all they will be the worst hit during this crisis and here at The Vendeur, we couldn’t let that happen. Many of these brands are also donating time, money and resources to the fight against COVID-19 so they deserve an extra loud cheer just for that. If you have money to spend at the moment, then this is where to spend it.
The fifth and final part of our Support Small Sustainable Businesses series looks at sustainable materials. Whilst natural fabrics are often touted as the most eco friendly option, there is evidence that the over production of cotton and cashmere are having devastating effects on the environment and the people who farm them. In contrast fabrics like ECONYL yarn, and other recycled PET plastics are an innovative and continually recyclable material. TENCEL and Modal by Lenzing are made using sustainably grown trees and is officially the softest thing ever. And you can forget plastic ‘faux’ leather. The only leather alternative to use these days is made from pineapple skins. These brands are making sustainable fabrics their mainstay and boy do we want something from everyone.
Innovative Sustainable Materials
Ayla create the prettiest, most feminine beachwear using eco aware fabrics such a Cupro, TENCEL and ECONYL yarn. Pair the teeny tiny bikinis with the stylish flared trousers for a modern take on 60’s Ibiza style. We’re in lust with the new Coral Collection which features new prints and colourways.
Ioanna Topouzoglou developed her conscious bag brand to celebrate and support artisan craft in her native Greece. The brand only uses eco friendly fabrics like Pinatex, water based PU, hemp and repurposed wood to create the statement styles. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand are donating 15% of all sales to Help Them Help Us and Bankuet.
We’re very excited for the launch of Carnations. Created in London, the range is made entirely from TENCEL, which is considered to be one of the most sustainable textiles available. It’s made from certified sustainable wood sources and is produced without pesticides. The range is made of gorgeous coloured co-ords, meaning they make a timeless addition to your wardrobe.
If you’re heading to the park to work out but don’t want sweaty activewear to stink up your bag on the way home then think of La Pochette. Not only do they offer sweat bags made from recycled plastic bottles, they also have an unbeatable range of cabin approved travel wallets, purses and bags all made from conscious materials. Perfect for when we can travel further than the park again.
Designed by sisters Clare and Fiona, Asmuss is a relaxed activewear brand that’s smart enough to wear every day. The Sisters concentrate on comfortable design, and environmentally friendly production and fabrics. While it’s all comfortable enough to work out in, it’s also pretty enough to wear to brunch.
Ohelo make reusable water bottles to be the most durable on the market. Thicker steel makes for a stronger bottle, but they are also lead free and the pretty powder coatings are engraved so the design won’t wear off. Not bad for a family run business who launched their first product in 2019! Check out the adorable Bee designs for something a little unique.
Comfort and simplicity are key qualities that designer Vicky Ido looks for when creating her beautiful pieces. Ifemi Jewels are all handmade by Vicky, with each piece designed to be an enhancement when worn by any women. She is careful to source her pearls from responsible manufacturers so she can be sure that her supply chain was treated fairly.
Inspired by a need to create an elegant but comfortable day to night wardrobe, Sophie Freeman founded Lyla Wilde. Combining beautiful pyjama suits and timelessly chic Ready to wear in the form of dresses and jumpsuits, there is an emphasis on eco friendly fabrics. We particularly love the Mother of Pearl buttons.
Organic Fabrics and Formulas
Vanesa only uses natural fabrics to create her comfy but elegant pieces. Created in small factories in London and Portugal, Vanesa is passionate about paying fair wages to her seamstresses. We love The Marshes denim jumpsuit as a flexible option to wear for any season. Not only is it organic, it’s also undyed so it’s creation has had minimal impact on the environment.
When fabric is close to your body, the last thing you want is something itchy and synthetic, and dyed using questionable chemicals. Elliot is a slow intimates brand that specialises in organic fabrics. They also guarantee that nothing has touched chemicals so you can sleep easy knowing that your skin is cared for.
Lets face it, we all need a bit of lifting at the moment. Yougi London create ethically sourced vegan candles, with therapeutic grade essential oils. And during lock down, they are bringing their candle making classes to your living room. Simply sign up and they will send you all the equipment you need beforehand. Hosted by Founder Emily Lynam, the Zoom class will introduce you to essential oils and take you through blending your own to create your candle.
Wunder Workshop create ethically sourced tumeric based functional foods. Enjoy teas, chocolates and honey that all have amazing healing properties thanks to the golden spice. We love their Golden Tumeric Honey, especially since it has been re branded to make sure that all plastic has been removed from the packaging.
If you’re looking for the perfect wardrobe basics, that haven’t cost the earth, then I’mdividual is a great place to start. Not only do they support organic farmers, they aim to be circular. By using natural trims and organic cotton, everything can be returned to the earth.
Upcycling and Recycling
Following the huge success of her nostalgic vintage feeling deadstock fabric dresses, Mary Benson has launched Mary Wedding. The first style in the range is Adelina, created with the same sensibilities as the rest of the label. Carefully sourced deadstock fabric is lovingly printed with romantic metallic florals. It even comes with a matching bag and garter made from the scraps!
Founded by Lizzie Clark, former print designer for McQ Alexander McQueen, We Resonate is a breath of fresh air in fashion. Lizzie sources vintage printed silks and mixes them together to create unique pieces. Each item is one of a kind, but elegantly timeless. The new collection Made For You allows you to have a dress made to your size.
Not only does designer, Nathalie Simond use recycled silver and gold in the pieces she creates for her brand Amadeus, the pearls are her own too. Having invested in a farm in the Philippines, she has developed eco friendly practices for farming the pearls. They shine so much brighter for it.
Finding the perfect vintage dress dress for your walk down the aisle may seem like an impossible task. However, A Lover’s Thread are here to make the process a joyful one. Come for the incredible vintage finds from all over the world stocked in the studio. Stay for the personalisation service as well as making sure that the fit is perfect for you.
Fascinated by human imperfection, Judith Peterhoff makes exquisite and unique jewellery resembling organic forms. She uses recycled and fair trade metals as well as certified stones to create something surprisingly affordable but no less special.
If you want to wear something sparkly and colourful for your big day, Flamingo Bridal will help you find your dream dress. Whether they source a vintage gem for you, or reimagine one you already have, they create stunning dresses to suit any wedding or bride. From dying to embellishment, they’ll ensure you get just want you want.
During uncertain times, it’s important to lift each other up through shared experiences and none does a better job of this than the Quarantine Quilt. Aiming to create kinship through isolation, everyone is invited to create a square of the quilt to illustrate their experience of isolation and of COVID-19. The piece will eventually be collected together to form the quilt but for now it lives online via @Quarantine_Quilt on Instagram.
‘We hope to bring people together through the simple action of making something. Because a stitch can heal, and because creating is often healing on so many levels, especially when we are doing it as a united collective.’
Held annually in Soho’s Brewer Street Car Park, the Women For Women International Car Boot Sale is an annual tradition at The Vendeur. But this year fashion brands, stylists and influencers will be selling their preloved designer and vintage from Instagram instead of their car boots. All proceeds go to support women survivors of war, who need our help now more than ever as we collectively struggle against COVID-19. Sign up quickly to be given priority access to each sellers Instagram sales as they go live. No need to sharpen those elbows this year but you should have a savvy swiping finger!
Made by women for women is the mantra behind silk brand Clemmie Rose. Every piece is named after a woman who has benefitted from the ethical factory project she works with in India. All workers are paid a fair wage and given 3 years of training where otherwise they would have struggled to find work.
Maxine designs shoes for women with purpose. The eye catching styles aren’t for the faint hearted, however the totally manageable heel heights mean that you can run from meeting to meeting without fear of breaking your ankle. Placing huge emphasis on materials and technique, Maxine’s shoes are crafted in the Marche region of Italy. And all the leathers are carefully sourced and chrome free.
If you worry about the origin of your jewellery, you’re not alone. Kashka London are serious about where they source their materials. Their silver is mined in exclusively female run mines in Columbia, the women are paid fairly for their work and mine in safe conditions. Just as importantly, the pieces are feminine and don’t cost the earth (pun intended).
Many of us don’t remember to check in with our bodies. Zoe Lindt Van’t Hof was inspired to create b’essential after her late mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The oil is created from 100% natural ingredients and encourages women to bring their attention back to their bodies. By using the massage oil you will stimulate your lymphatic system as well as becoming aware of any lumps that may be there.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to sustainable fashion, Fashionability Collective are a handy online directory featuring a variety of conscious brands. They are also on hand with styling appointments to make your transition to sustainable dressing totally painless.
Great quality wardrobe basics should be for all, not just the tall and slim. Juliet Herrera produces timeless staples with an emphasis on fabric and fit. She is proud to be a size inclusive brand and even prouder to be micro manufactured in London and Portugal by talented artisans.
Edward’s designs are instantly recognisable. His elegant marbled silk pieces are created by hand using Azo free dyes which are then dried in the sun. This minimizes the need for energy use. Each piece is unique, a playful commentary on the unpredictability but beauty of life. Perfect for this moment.
The innovative way of working with her artisans in Bali has meant that Lorna Watson’s accessories brand has kept producing, even through COVID-19. Workers are able to continue to earn a living and support themselves. Launching this month, the new jacquard bag straps utilise an age old Balinese technique and are perfect to add to your basket bag.
These exquisite pieces are hand block printed in Jaipur. It’s an ancient craft that Founder Lauren Franks is passionate about keeping alive through her beautifully designed pieces. From April, 50% of profits will go to Women for Women International to support their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inspired by her native Scotland, Ellis hand makes every piece in her collections using traditional techniques. Her signature use of coloured diamonds smattered into distressed, recycled metal give each ring an antique quality.
Unique lifestyle company Agnes Ldn based in London was founded by Sophie Agnes Rist. The beautiful hand made pieces are designed to reduce plastic packaging waste. The new collection features bento bags, lunchbags and Kalircrame bottle holders in a gorgeous Spring inspired colour palette.
Stockholm based footwear brand ATP Atelier have teamed up with Browns Fashion to create these achingly simple platform flip flops. Each pair is handmade from vegetable tanned Vachetta which has been reclaimed from the meat industry. We guarantee you will wear these year after year! A solid investment piece.
This London based handbag brand are all about East London. And not just because they produce there but because they truly believe in supporting an area steeped in fashion history. Paradise Row (named after a street in E1) are doing their bit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through sales of their Core Collection bags they are supporting local charities and offering you a little money off too.
Specialising in accessories restoration, The Restory is a handy London based brand that will lovingly restore your precious possessions. Simply book a pick up and they will collect from you if you can’t get to them. They also offer tips and tricks on how to care for your items so they last longer. For a little expert advice, we love this article, written by CO Founder Emily John.
Disclaimer: The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.
* We were sent a sample of this product to try before we made our recommendation to you. We were under no obligation to feature the product, we only include products we like and that we think work.