Written for The Good Trade by Alicia Taylor and Stephanie Hogg of Gather&See
There is something magical and inspiring about September. As beautiful as turning leaves and the golden hues of an Autumnal sun are, there is something more profound about this time of year and a changing of seasons that can invigorate and motivate us into rethinking lifestyle, fashion and even culinary choices in a positive way.
For the ethical fashionista it is, of course, all about style. With that in mind we have put together our Fall Inspiration Guide to help you harness those positive Fall vibes and get your wardrobe ready for the season ahead. Grab yourself a pot of organic tea and enjoy!
Detox Your Wardrobe and Get Back to Basics
First things first - Fall is a great time to detox wardrobe so that you have a clean palate to start from. If you have unwanted clothes that you can’t alter to suit put them up on a specialist fashion re-sale site or take them to your local charity shop. Whatever you do please don’t put them in the trash. 10.5 million tons worth of clothes end up in land fill in the US each year and our earth can’t take it.
Invest in some really good basics. Starting from the bottom (literally!) Danish brand Woron have made a beautiful line of simple soft bras and briefs made from sustainably produced Modal (derived from Beech Wood). Modal is harder wearing, cooler and softer than cotton and thanks to its unique properties uses much less water to produce. The results are sublime - underwear perfection that feels as good as it looks.
Choosing some simple separates that go with everything will also stand you in good stead for the changing seasons. These are the pieces that will form the basis for your entire wardrobe - you can layer them, mix and match them and create so many looks from just a few simple styles. We adore Kowtow’s organic cotton and fair trade Building Blocks pieces such as their Oversize Dress, Long Sleeve T Shirt and black Turtle Neck,. The cotton is super soft and premium and we will be living in such easy to dress pieces long past Fall!
Invest in a Good Coat
A good Fall coat is an essential for the ethical fashionista. We have two favourites that will last way beyond one season. The first, for the warmer winter months, is a classic trench. The trench has really come into its own in recent years - its a classic design that goes with everything and will always look stylish. Luckily for ethically minded shoppers, New Zealand based Kowtow have just launched the aptly named Keepsake Trench, crafted from 100% Organic and Fair Trade cotton twill. It is tough, functional but bang on in the style stakes.
When the temperature falls further, you can’t beat a wool coat. Well actually, if you are eco-conscious, you can - you can choose the beautiful Italian recycled wool Maud coat from CUS Barcelona. The highest quality Italian wool is recycled and turned into an effortlessly cool oversized coat in clever CUS’s studio. We love the draping belt detail at the back for a super chic look. The dark navy goes with everything and wears per buy will be huge in this investment purchase.
Get Inspired by the International Fashion Weeks
Now you have your wardrobe in a good place, it is time to get inspired! Sartorial elegance is always front of mind for the ethical fashionista so we can’t help but get excited at the prospect of the SS16 Fashion Weeks which start in New York in September and finish in Paris in October. We love nothing better than people watching at the shows - the street style photographers and bloggers throng the streets and it makes for good viewing.
Some high end sustainable brands to keep an eye out for include Edun in New York, Christopher Raeburn in London, Stella Jean in Milan and Maiyet in Paris. Prices may be steep and you won’t be able to get your hands on pieces until the Spring, but for a little ethical fashion inspiration it is a bit of fun. Make like an ethical fashionista and put together a Pinterest board with some of your stand out looks to help you start planning ahead and searching out buys from second hand shops and ethical websites like Gather&See that will work for both this season and next.
Fall Trends We Love
Talking of Fashion Weeks, there is no reason that shopping ethically necessarily means avoiding the latest trends and themes. In fashion magazines the September Issue is always the biggest, most important issue of the year as they cover key trends for the season ahead. We couldn’t resist putting together an ethical slant to some of the most important trends - check them out - you can mix and match stand out statement pieces with basics for a pared down look. Choosing to follow trends doesn’t mean only wearing these items for a season - shopping sustainably is about pieces that will fit into a trend but are also timeless in their beauty and quality making you want to wear them year after year.
Summer was all about 70’s revival and whilst that trend continues to some extent into Fall, there is also a big 80’s influence coming back into the equation. Think more volume in the silhouette, including billowing sleeves and tapered trousers. Statement prints and show off metallics work particularly well for this trend. At Gather&See, CUS’s Baxter top shown above is a great example of how to get the 80’s look without overdoing it - the hand illustrated organic cotton top has exactly the volume and stand out print but can be worn with simple jeans to tone it down at touch.
The AW15 shows once again touched upon geometry and design with a Japanese aesthetic becoming increasingly popular. This is an easy to do trend, that works well in ethical fabrics like organic cotton. Kowtow have nailed it with their beautiful Kintsugi and Raku Dresses whilst the amazing Osei Duro, who work with tailors in Ghana to produce Fair Trade fashion, have a wonderful batik print long Column Skirt and Maena Shell top pictured above, that also work brilliantly for this look.
Checks of all kinds - tartans, houndstooths, plaid - work brilliantly for Fall as they add depth and texture to an ensemble. The beauty with this trend is the diversity on offer - choose colours that suit your skin tone and types of check that flatter your figure. We can’t get enough of Beaumont Organic’s easy to wear Leigh Shirt Dress in navy and green seen above - great worn over jeans, leggings or just as is with some ankle boots. Meanwhile Osei Duro’s Houndstooth batik print looks sharp and current both as a jacket and pants - great worn with this season’s must have plain black turtle neck.
For more on ethical fashion and more fall trends and ideas check out Gather&See.Com
Gather&See offers carefully curated collections from the very best in sustainable fashion talent from around the world. Showcasing designers that pride themselves on aesthetics as much as their ethics, the website will present sustainable fashion in a fresh and innovative way. Not only do each of these brands have a great story to tell, they also fit into at least one of the Gather&See's 6 founding principles: Fair trade, Organic, Recycled, Eco-friendly, Handmade and Small Scale Production.
Gather&See is offering FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING throughout September.