Ethical Fashion Forum Founding Members
An introduction to the founding members of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF). EFF was founded in 2006 as a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee, and now represents over 6000 members in over 100 countries.
Ascension (previously named Adili) was one of the first online retailers of ethical and fair trade fashion. Ascension’s goal is to make a difference to people’s lives. Instead of fast fashion Ascension promotes treasured pieces that are made with real consideration and care.
A portion of Ascension’s share value has been committed to the Ascension Foundation, with the aim of overcoming poverty through trade, creating better livelihoods, improving working conditions and caring for the environment. Ascension is also allocating a percentage of turnover to producer groups, helping them help themselves to become more self-sufficient.
Aranya is a member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT). Set up in 1990 by Ruby Ghuznavi, the company’s aim is to revive and promote traditional Bangladesh textiles whilst working in partnership with craftspeople, guaranteeing them a fair wage and ensuring that they are not exploited or undervalued.
Ruby has worked in craft development since the mid 70’s and revived natural dyes in Bangladesh using eco-friendly, non-pollutant, indigenous plants to create a range of 30 colourfast dyes. Aranya has trained hundreds of dyers, weavers and textile artisans and continues to offer free training courses to artisans and small NGOs across the country. It has also successfully established the commercial viability of natural dyes and is one of the foremost organisations specialising in these dyes in the region.
Ciel produces designer womenswear collections using organic natural fibres, alpaca, bamboo, cotton, hemp-silk, 100% Azo free dyes and fabrics certified by ‘Oekotex’, ‘Confidence in Textiles’, Skaal, JAL and EKO.
Sarah Ratty, the designer behind Ciel, was one of the first fashion designers to actively address sustainability. In the early 1990’s Sarah launched the pioneering “Conscious Earthwear” label, and has been working to address the environmental impact of the industry ever since. Her work has been exhibited at the V&A, Barbican, Crafts Council and toured with the British Council.
Sarah is an eco design consultant and a member of the Soil Association Textile Advisory Committee since 2002; she has worked with PAN UK Organic Cotton Working Group 2002-2005,Traidcraft and AHF in 2006. Sarah is a Fellow of the RSA.
Elizabeth Laskar/ SARIDRESS
Elizabeth Laskar founded SARIDRESS as a means to raise awareness amongst young people about sustainability issues, at the same time as creating bespoke dress designs from second hand sari’s. Working with fashion schools and colleges, SARIDRESS projects involve fashion students in a creative competition process culminating in an auction. SARIDRESS is a not for profit company and profits from auctions are donated to development charities. A qualified image consultant and stylist, Elizabeth Laskar also provides creative direction and choreography for fashion installations and catwalk shows.
Founded by Jenny Ambrose, Enamore collections are made from organic and sustainable fabrics including hemp, cotton, peace silk and vintage materials. Collections include womenswear, lingerie and accessories.
Equop’s motto is “Seek balance”
A fashion and design label, the business aims to practice, support, and promote socially and environmentally responsible trade.
Equop clothing incorporates fair trade and organic cotton and includes certification by Agrocel (agrocel-cotton.com), Skal International and the EKO quality symbol (skalint.com) A percentage of all Equop online sales is donated to charity.
From Somewhere is a designer womenswear brand. From Somewhere collections are made from left-over fabric from garment factories which would otherwise be discarded.
Filippo Ricci and Orsola De Castro, founders of From Somewhere, are dedicated to promoting and facilitating sustainable practices in fashion, and were responsible for initiating the Estethica exhibition which is now an established part of London Fashion Week, as well as a number of other projects in the sector.
Gracie Burnett has worked for many years to revive and develop natural and non-toxic dye processes for clothing. Gracie Burnett collections feature naturally dyed, handmade designer womenswear, made from organically sourced fabrics.
As a company, Howies is dedicated to promoting respect for the environment.
Howies collections include organic cotton, recycled waste cotton, and recycled fabrics. The company pledges to give 1% of our turnover or 10% of pre-tax profits (whichever is greater) to grass-root environmental and social projects.
Founded by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager, Junky Styling transforms second hand clothing to give it a new life, creating unique collections as well as one off bespoke designs. Customers can take any item from their wardrobe into the junky workshop to have it re-designed , fitted and turned into something to be treasured rather than discarded.
Juste. has three core goals:
1. To create high quality, design-led womens wear collections.
2. To work in partnership with designers, textiles and fashion producers and co-operatives all over the world- to build on local capacities and skills, create opportunities and build sustainable livelihoods.
3. To minimise the impact of sourcing and manufacturing processes on the environment.
The company is committed to transparency in all its business practices and raising awareness of the positive opportunities in the fashion sector, through example.
Made are about producing gorgeously unique, high quality designer accessories for style-savvy shoppers. But in doing this they are able to radically improve the lives of impoverished communities in developing countries.
All made products are designed by influential designers, then sourced and created within disadvantaged communities across East Africa. Following the principles of fair trade they train local artisans in new skills, providing fair wages and support at every level. Via this ‘trade not aid’ ethos they believe they can help break the cycle of poverty and empower the people who create their products.
Made’s distinctive accessories are well-known amongst fashion aficionados, made has created collections for high-profile brands, including Whistles, Nicole Farhi and Kate Moss for Topshop. Our latest collaborations with Brian Crumley for Urban Outfitters is due to hit US stores in March. An exclusive high-end collection, ‘made Boutique’, has been launched online featuring must-have pieces by top designers such as Pippa Small, Natalie Dissel and Bex Rox, along with celebrity designers including Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldof and Pearl Lowe.
Natures Mistress womenswear collections use tree cotton which is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, using sustainable perma-culture (permanent agriculture and permanent culture) systems. The cotton trees grow on the edges of terraces beside food crops and on land unsuitable for growing food. The trees become established in the local eco-system, and do not require chemical pesticides or fertilisers.
As the tree cotton is unsuitable for machine spinning it is hand spun into yarn, dyed using plant based dyes in small batches, and dried in the sun. All garments are handmade using traditional skills and are designed in Devon and Nepal.
Pants to Poverty
Pants to Poverty was launched in 2001 oﬀ the back of the Make Poverty History campaign.
Pants to Poverty has integrated sustainability at the core of its business model. The goals of Pants to Poverty are to achieve widescale change for the communities behind its products, and raise awareness about and reduce poverty.
Sari was launched in November 2002 as a project recycling saris into accessories to raise money for children in developing countries. The project grew into an ethical label.
Sari launched its first womens wear collection in June 2004. Sari uses unwanted and second hand saris and transforms them into exclusive women’s wear and accessories. The use of exquisite saris makes each garment unique and distinctive. Sari continues to support international aid by donating 10% of its sales to a children’s charity.
Squared Cycle was founded by Allanna McAspurn to create a distribution model, linking fair trade organisations with markets for high quality products in fashion and homeware.
By building links with a network of buyers and boutiques in the UK and Europe and combining this with expertise in market and quality requirements, Squared Cycle provided sustainable market access and product development for a range of goods made to fair trade criteria.
Terra plana is a shoe company focused upon innovative, sustainable shoe design.
Terra Plana uses a variety of eco friendly materials including: Chrome free leathers, vegetable tanned leathers, recycled materials, pure latex soling materials, recycled rubber soles and recycled foam foot beds. Terra Plana also uses E-leather in shoe collections. A leather by-product, E-leather is a blend of leather and textile fibers ‘re-woven’ and finished so it is practically indistinguishable from good quality leather. E-Leather is produced with closed loop water usage and best practice pollution prevention methods.
THTC (The Hemp Trading Company) t-shirts are made from 55% hemp and 45% certified organic cotton.
THTC focuses upon hemp in its collections- Using hemp in a t-shirt can save hundreds of gallons on water and the hemp can be grown organically in most climates.
With a long tap root able to reach water, bind and aerate the soil where other plants can’t, hemp crops can be used to reclaim land in areas prone to drought ( e.g. African Sahara) or flooding.
Tonic is an ethical clothing label offering original designs on sweatshop-free ethically sourced, fairly traded and organic cotton men’s and women’s printed t-shirts and embroidered polo shirts and hoodies.
TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) is a charity committed to protecting the environment and reducing world poverty by recycling and campaigning. Funds raised in the UK by TRAID through the collection and sale of reclaimed clothing and shoes help to divert waste from landfill and fund sustainable development projects in some of the poorest regions of the world.
TRAIDremade works with designers to give torn nad stainded clothing a new lease of life by mixing, matching, ripping, cutting, sewing and printing. From floaty skirts to fitted shirts, TRAIDremade follows the fashion trends widely available on the high street. However, as designers are working exclusively with donated materials, each and every piece of TRAIDremade is completely one-off and original.
Worn Again creates new products from recycled materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. The company is designed as a platform for improving social, economic and environmental conditions in regions where it operates, while building a profitable business.
Making shoes is one of the most toxic, polluting, resource intensive industries there is. In order to produce shoes with least environmental impact, Worn Again uses recycled materials, sources regionally and works to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
Worn Again was founded through a partnership between Anti-Apathy (An NGO which promotes awareness and action for positive social change, www.antiapathy.org) and Terraplana (www.terraplana.com)