Amy's Army

Photo credit @greyhutton for Sunday Times Style.

To celebrate the premiere of new documentary Fashion Reimagined, which follows our creative director Amy Powney as she transformed Mother of Pearl and created our first sustainable collection, Sunday Times Style magazine asked Amy to bring together some of the women who are changing the future of fashion for a special photoshoot.

We went along to the shoot to meet some of ‘Amy’s Army’ – the academic Claire Bergkamp, CEO of Textile Exchange; the activist Dominique Palmer, speaker and climate justice activist; the resell expert Melanie Milham, founder of Curate & Rotate; the fixer Josephine Philips,  founder and CEO of Sojo; the film-maker Alice Aedy, documentary photographer and film-maker; and Nina Marenzi, founder of Future Fabrics Expo – and ask them a few questions about their work and their thoughts on the future of the industry.

They stand as proof that behind every sustainable fashion pioneer there are plenty more dedicated to pushing that vision forward. And this is just the beginning.” 
- Karen Dacre, Sunday Times Style

Read on for their sustainable pearls of wisdom…

Alice Eady, documentary photographer filmmaker and co-founder of Earthrise – a multimedia storytelling studio dedicated to stories of climate and culture.

“Q: How can we drive change in the industry?”

I am so passionate about storytelling because I truly believe that stories can change the world. Stories shape culture, culture shapes values, and values shape the system – and the system desperately needs to change. We know that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and, for me, I'm really passionate about telling stories that reframe the conversation around climate to climate justice and to really spotlight and hear from those living on climate front lines, but also those disproportionately impacted by industries like fashion that are massively taking the toll disproportionately on the global south. 

Alice is wearing our Romy jacket and Grace trousers in navy.

Josephine Philips, founder of Sojo - a startup enabling people and brands to access easy and convenient repair and alteration services.

“Q: Fashion has a huge problem with waste - not only on the production side, but also post-consumption. What do you think needs to change in the consumer mindset to keep clothes out of landfill?”

So much needs to change in the consumer mindset around clothing! But I think one really crucial piece that plays a part in this narrative is quality over quantity. Appreciating that it's not about the volume of clothes, but it's about quality, pieces that fit you well, that last a long time and that ultimately you can really truly see value in.

Josephine is wearing our Ariella dress in plum.

Claire Bergkamp, CEO of Textile Exchange - a global nonprofit that is helping the fashion industry adjust climate change through how it sources its raw materials.

“Q: At Textile Exchange you guide the textile and fashion industry in developing a more sustainable supply chain, what initiatives and/or technologies have you found the most effective for change at scale?”

I think when it comes to change at scale we still have a way to go. We have seen incredible improvements over the past few years around how companies are thinking about sourcing, but we really aren't seeing change at scale broadly yet. So I think it is really time for us as an industry – textile and fashion industry – to make some pretty big bets on what we want to see change. I think regenerative agriculture is gonna be a big part of the future, closing the loop on textile waste has to be part of where we get to, but the many other solutions that already exist and are ready to scale is what we need to be doubling down on.

Claire is wearing our Gemma dress in black


Dominique Palmer, climate justice activist, speaker and writer based in the UK working on intersectional environmentalism.

“Q: What can young people do to advocate for change in their daily life?”

The one thing that is so important that you can do every day when it comes to your wardrobe and creating a better future is upcycling and repairing what you already have. Taking care of the clothes you have, looking at how much time has gone into each piece of clothing, do that before buying any new clothes. And when you do buy new clothes, make sure you try to thrift them first and then make sure that you're going to sustainable companies and looking at where these clothes are being sourced. But the most sustainable thing you can do is to wear what you already have.

Dominque is wearing our Misha dress in champagne.

Melanie Milham, founder of Curate and Rotate – an online resale platform for those who want to shop and sell independent and emerging brands, contemporary and minimalist vintage.

“Q: In recent years we have seen the resale market grow significantly, what do you think circularity in fashion will look like in the future?”

We will have fully embraced secondhand and realise that secondhand does not mean second best. We will look to rotate our clothes, which is our word for sell, so once we no longer love those pieces we will resell them so they go to new homes and I think that brands will also team up with brands like Curate and Rotate to enable their customers to keep their pieces in circulation for longer.  I think that fashion will slow right down – that's what needs to happen.

Melanie is wearing our Dani sweatshirt in black and Britton trousers.

Nina Marenzi, founder of Future Fabrics Expo and The Sustainable Angle. Future Fabrics Expo is the largest dedicated showcase to sustainably and responsibly produce textiles.

“Q: Sourcing sustainable fabrics is a huge part of building an ethical supply chain, which innovations are you particularly excited by?”

One of the main themes at the Future Fabrics Expo is diversifying the fibre basket. So we need to move away from synthetics, we need to move away from conventional cotton, and what you see at the Future Fabrics Expo really is exactly that.

We really try to show all the different new materials and next gen solutions such as agricultural waste or materials that are made from, for example, something that looks like fur but is actually grown from flax. We're looking at dyes that are made from bacteria and algae. We've got finishing agents that are reducing CO2 emissions over 50%, simply by being completely synthetic free. So there's so much going on and so much innovation – we call it actually #MaterialRevolution because it really is. It's a whole new world of materials and textiles, ready for fashion to be a more responsible and sustainable industry.

Nina is wearing our Joy cardigan in ivory.

Read the Sunday Times Style interview.

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