ONE MINUTE WITH
"Reformation achieves the balance of good ethics & transparency without compromising on gorgeous clothes & design"
"people are seeking products with a story or something they can connect more deeply"
Tell us about you?
I work in the Cultural Futures department at Flamingo doing cultural brand strategy. I’m a Londoner but about to move to NYC because, you know, keep your friends close and Donald Trump closer
Tell me what you're wearing today
Today I’m wearing a grey cashmere jumper from the Rag & Bone sale, some umber trousers from Henrik Vibskov, black tights and some ankle boots I nicked off my grandmother, may she rest in peace.
Fave tune of 2017 so far
What's good design?
Things which are thoughtful and strive to be original. Laziness has no place in good design; bring on the surprise and delight
What's the best bit of design you've seen recently?
The B.heard Sound Pod – it’s cup shaped to maximise the acoustics of your phone speaker, like when you put your phone in a glass as a last resort at a party when you have no speakers – but much, much better! Looks cool too.
What does quality mean to you?
Quality means being durable and long lasting for me. It’s the opposite of planned obsolescence. Nothing makes me more furious than buying something expensive which reveals crappy stitching or cheap parts or some other secret laziness. Things which are good quality make me feel innately happy
What do you think is driving a growing interest from consumers in the provenance of products and in brands offering greater transparency, is it here to stay?
The information is out there and it’s harder to ignore. Whether it’s the fact that the fashion industry is the 2nd biggest polluter after oil (!), or shady manufacturing processes being unearthed – once you hear about these things, it’s harder to just blithely buy a product and be cool with not knowing about where it came from or the impact its production is having. The positive is that people are empowered now to hold companies accountable – see Lego backtracking on their collab with Shell – public outcry is a powerful tool
What brands do you feel are succeeding in their approach to greater transparency and sustainability?
Last year, Patagonia donated 100% of their Black Friday sales to grassroots organisations that help the planet – I love that for addressing the excess of Black Friday head on. Reformation achieves the balance of good ethics & transparency without compromising on gorgeous clothes & design - their comms are spot on too – blunt and funny but not preachy
Million dollar question..Can conscious consumption flourish when the default is to constantly refresh, renew and rejuvenate?
Oh man, this is a hard one. Capitalism & advertising has culturally hardwired us to desire the new. But… people seeking experiences over possessions – that’s still a strong driver, and people are seeking products with a story or something they can connect more deeply to over something generic, mass & available globally; the backlash against globalisation will further this. From a brand / company perspective, viewing ‘growth’ as being more than about just profit is pretty key; Patagonia, Everlane, Tom’s etc – they’re leading the way in this. On the flipside you see the burnout rate amongst high fashion designers who can’t cope with 6+ shows per year and the new ‘see now buy now’ approach – that doesn’t feel sustainable. I feel an overwhelming sense of horror when faced with the sheer volume of clothes & products in big retailers or malls – but until you can democratise conscious consumption for those that can’t currently afford it, it’s a hard sell.Read more Interviews