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Thursday 29 November 2012

Swoonworthy Sustainable Shopping: A Boy Named Sue

If I told you I was into eco fashion you'd probably think of sludgy brown, shapeless sacks; itchy, scratchy hemp pieces; cheap looking, plasticky shoes and maybe a bit of tie dye...

Sustainable fashion gets a very bad rap, which is a shame given that almost 10,000 items of clothing go to landfill every five minutes (that's about 1 billion items of clothing every year). And then there's the huge volumes of pesticides used to grow non-organic cotton and the enormous carbon footprint of the many millions of items of clothing flown halfway around the world to fill our wardrobes... Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty of binging on disposable fashion as anyone else. I love a little H&M fix and there's nowhere that churns out budget friendly, catwalk inspired must-haves better than Zara and Topshop. 

However, I've been thinking for a while that I'd actually be much better off investing wisely in a few better quality, more classic pieces than buying bagfuls of cheap clothes that I get bored of about as fast as they fall apart. So with 2013 and New Year's Resolution time fast approaching, I'm thinking that next year I'll be making an effort to shop more consciously where I can. I'm sure they'll be some Zara impulse buys, but for the main part I want to be spending my hard earned cash on things that I won't be chucking in the bin before the year's out. 

Which brings us onto the next issue, where do we buy clothes that will have our little fashionista hearts fluttering just as fast as that sparkly sub-fifty pound Topshop trophy jacket? Step up brand new online boutique, A Boy Named Sue

The boutique's story begins with two Hong Kong fashion bloggers, Tania Reinert and Sam Wong, who decided on a whim to see whether there were any stylish eco-designers out there and who ended up finding a wealth of awesome sustainable fashion that they wanted to share with the world. The pair centre their designer selections around a self-created sustainability triangle seeking to ensure that each brand that they curate ticks at least one of three boxes - eco; social and local. 

So that's the eco-credentials sorted, but what about the aesthetic side? Another mega tick! I can confirm that each and every piece that the girls have selected is swoonworthy to levels far beyond any eco item I've ever encountered before. From super soft organic cotton tees to buttery leather jackets these are wardrobe essentials that you'd lust over irrespective of their sustainability.

I popped into the boutique's launch party a couple of weeks ago to check out all the lines that the online boutique carries while sipping on hot mulled cider and nibbling on carrot cake cookies. Despite having a minuscule timeframe to fit my browsing into, the super lovely Tania found the time to talk me through each of the designers and I even managed to snaffle myself a dove grey Groceries Apparel t-shirt (quite possibly the most flattering fit t-shirt I've ever owned). 

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I've heard rumours of some very exciting A Boy Named Sue projects on the horizon including a Hong Kong/ China produced local line. In the meantime, hop double quick over to the website for a fab fashion fix that guarantees to leave you fuller for longer... All shopped out? Stick around to have a nose around the gorgeous website which is packed with interesting info on eco-fashion and a very cool 'Paperback' section which includes interviews with designers and city guides (the Paris one is forming the basis of our NYE trip itinerary...). The girls ship internationally for free so we can all get a slice of sustainable shopping, no matter which far flung corner of the world we call home. 

If you need any help whittling down your wish list, my current top A Boy Named Sue Crushes are...

Isabell de Hillerin Mosaic Jacket

Isabell de Hillerin works with local craftswomen in Romania & Moldova supporting the dying art of handcrafted textiles. All garments are sourced and produced in Europe.

White Tent Peplum Dress

White Tent is produced in a family-owned factory in Portugal which uses only organic and recycled yarns to produce each item.

Hien Le Cashmere Blend Shell Top

Hien Le uses Vegan-friendly Alcantara (a suede substitute). All garments are produced in Berlin.

Isabell de Hillerin Tux Jumpsuit

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