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Posts Tagged ‘sustainable fashion’

Blink Catching Up: Fair Fashion

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Ferry journey from Istanbul

Apologies for the lack of a Music Monday or any other posts yet this week but I have been on a rather exciting last minute journey and just got back very late last night.

You may have spotted this image on my Instagram account on Sunday. It’s the ferry out of Istanbul taking me across to Mudanya on the long journey from London to Bursa. I was on my way to meet a really exciting collection of manufacturers and mills to kick off a wonderful new Blink London Consultancy project. I’ll share more with you as it develops (and if I’m allowed).

There are several areas in Turkey where textile and garment manufacturing happens, and has been happening for centuries, and Bursa is one of those. I love working with Turkey as a fashion manufacturing resource because the way that this country’s fashion manufacturing has evolved means that there are inherent sustainable practices. You will very often find that the garments you are having made in Turkey are being constructed from fabric that has been woven or knitted in very close proximity to the garment production plant, and often that fabric has been created from Turkish yarn too. This means that already your garments have incurred as few miles as possible before being shipped to it’s final destination. That is always going to be good news.

I met with a mill that has been awarded more eco certificates than any other in Turkey to date (and to Swiss standards, not Turkish ones), and in fact is becoming a vegan factory. Yup, you heard that right. This is a factory who is working towards eliminating any animal created fibres that cause that animal to be killed during that fibres harvesting. They are also supporting ethical and cruelty-free fibre producers when they are buying wool, and working at the forefront of recycled synthetics. I am so very impressed.

So here’s to a long and exciting relationship blossoming from here, and to me sharing more really positive fashion industry news with you from my new project!

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Overview

Friday, January 15th, 2016
Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

Blink London’s fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond

I hope you’ve found our series of fashion forecast posts good food for thought. It’s interesting for me to see how these things that have all been percolating in my mind for some time, are now frequently popping up in many of the conversations I am having with clients. That is the kind of synergy that makes the world of fashion the exciting, reflective, forward-moving, innovative place that I adore. So to summarise this series we have one last word for you to add to your future fashion lexicon…Contemplation, Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

We end with ‘contemplation’. We encourage you to take a moment to really consider that every action has a reaction; and sometimes in ways you may previously have never imagined. For us contemplation not only represents a slowing down in thinking, but also in responding. No more knee-jerk, bandwagon-jumping speedy, throw away, careless fashion. If you add up all of our seasonal forecasting statements from this series I think you will end up with a collection that is far more significant, grounded, innovative and creative leading your customers to respect and treasure you and your products so much more. What could possibly be better than that?

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Authenticity

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

In our last forecasting post we talked about the all-encompassing importance of passion. Your collections must be built from a place of altruism, created out of clever cooperation, intended to be seasonally resilient, and feel energised by your passion. Behind everything though must be our next forecasting focus. Next we talk about authenticity.Authenticity, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

This is how you stand out from your close competition. This is how you respond to the seasonal trends in your own unique way. This is how you build a loyal customer base. This is how you create a consistent brand identity, fit out your shops, create your advertising campaign, set the tone of your management style, communicate across your social media channels. You will have utter clarity if everything comes from a place of authenticity.

Of course you must have a brand statement that is fully formed and well defined so you understand what your authenticity is. What is your raison d’etre? What drove your business to be created in the first place? What is the unique need that you alone fulfil? Of course this should evolve over time as markets change, as your business develops, but the heart of what you stand for, your purest authenticity, should remain the same at all times.

In addition to what authenticity means for a brand, we must also look at the absolute importance of the authenticity of how your product is created. Part of this can be rooted in your brand identity (the tradition of where your brand was born), and expressed through the craft employed in making your product- which in turn informs your brand’s identity. But in a more tangible way, the expression of care that comes with a product that has been crafted using authentic techniques, authentic materials, developed from authentically historical reference points is so very important. Not only does this ensure that you are delivering something unique, you are also delivering something of value that encompasses all of those key forecasting directions that we have already identified.

The way forward is not about more for mores sake. It is about doing less but doing each thing better, with more care, more consideration and more honour. There is a joy in that which will give you and your customer untold pleasure.

This is the final part of our series of predictions. I do hope that you are feeling inspired. We are and we are very excited to see what the next round of collections have to offer.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Resilience

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Yesterday on the blog we focussed our forecasting view on altruism. Today we have a new forecast focus…Resilience, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog




the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. The capability to recover size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Resilience is a good quality to foster in yourself, perfect to deal with the stresses of life in general when you look closely at the definition. It’s that elasticity element that is key here. Resilience is not a rigid, hard thing. As a designer in the fashion industry I know first hand about resilience. It’s quite a tough call having to present your ideas to scrutiny by committee. You have to be flexible, open-minded and of course brave, but above all you must be resilient as you’ll have to get up in front of that same committee time after time.

From a brand perspective, resilience equals longevity, and again that flexibility is key. Take the stresses and pressure of a changing environment, competition and customer and allow those things to help shape you, strengthen you, keep you on your toes, clarify your beliefs and character. Fluidity, openness, responsiveness all sit perfectly well within our view of resilience.

From a product view, resilience is a must. We don’t mean that everything must be tough and strong. Who wants a silk blouse that feels like a pair of jeans? Resilience is about creating product that will work through more than just a passing fashion fad. Considerate design, a view to your brands values and the reality of wear should all combine to create product that is fit for purpose, and perhaps even has that ‘after purpose’ re-purposing or ‘afterlife’ concept planned in too.

We hope that you are enjoying our fresh take on forecasting for this season, feeling the picture we are starting to build. There will be another piece added to this puzzle tomorrow. In the meantime, for more forecasting posts, take a look here.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Altruism

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

So if you caught our posts yesterday we promised a fresh approach in 2016, and that extends to our fashion forecasting practices too. We usually start the year with some insights in to colour, form, materials, design reference points to shine a light on the way fashion is moving forward in to the seasons ahead. Well this time around we are feeling far more strongly for something more subtle, something more contemplative, something more cerebral perhaps.

We are talking about something more akin to a mental and emotional intention. We have enjoyed how fashion is becoming less about the quick fix, the buzz of making that new purchase, the immediacy of the ‘haul’ high, and more about the process, the impact, the meaning, the personal symbolism. To reflect that fact we have chosen some words that we think reflect fashions process now; reflects how designers, makers and retailers are feeling now; how you are engaging with all of the stages involved in making your fashion purchases emerge from a concept to a real product that adorns your body.

Here’s our first in a series that we hope you’ll find thought provoking in the upcoming weeks…Altruism, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog




disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. “unselfishness, opposite of egoism,” from the French altruisme, autrui“of or to others,” and from Latin alteri, “other”.

We feel that this is a key word for our world of fashion, encouraging us to think about the source of all the materials used in making a product, all of the people who have been involved in every stage of turning an idea in to a reality, the impact that this product has had ecologically as well as economically.
As a brand is creating collections, the altruistic element will be more to the forefront of their thought process than ever before when considering their customer too. How will this enhance this individual’s life, their comfort, their needs and their unique self expression.
For more of our forecasts, just click here.

meet Lucy Favell, founder of URSA London

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

URSA LONDON, online fashion boutique, new designers showcase, British fashion website, Blink London, Lucy Williams

To help celebrate their 5th birthday, we are posting about URSA London today, sharing this exclusive interview with founder Lucy Favell. Now incase you haven’t encountered URSA London (where have you been?!?) here’s a quick intro to this luxury online boutique, and to Lucy herself…

A personal love of discovering new designers inspired Lucy to create URSA, providing a platform of support for the new wave of emerging talent from the UK and Europe. URSA is now globally renowned for being the online destination to discover unique, fresh and exciting luxury fashion & jewellery (which is why we LOVE it), and over the past 5 years they have showcased some new designers who have now become huge fashion names. Another reason why we think URSA is so fabulous is that they support and promote sustainable manufacturing methods with over half of their featured designers manufacturing in the UK or Europe using traditional techniques. We are fascinated by the story behind URSA London and so we put some questions to Lucy Favell.

Lucy Favell, URSA London's founder

Lucy Favell, URSA London’s founder

Blink: I love the background behind your name. How did you come to that decision?

Lucy Favell: I’ve always been obsessed with the stars and constellations. I loved the strength of the name Ursa. It’s powerful, enlightening and inspirational, all at the same time. Also the fact that it is synonymous with the Great Bear, home to some of the brightest new stars in the hemisphere. URSA is home to some of the brightest new stars of fashion. It was the perfect fit!

Blink: What is your proudest URSA moment?

Lucy Favell: I am proud of everything that the team have achieved over the past 5 years. One thing that fills me with pride is the growing fan-base we have across the world, and all of the amazing feedback we get from both customers and designers.

Blink: Could you name some designers that you backed at the outset of their careers who have now become big names?

Lucy Favell: I am not afraid to take risks with my buying, and i am proud to see designers URSA supported first enjoying great success. Labels such as Soulland, E Tautz, Charlie May, J JS Lee, Imogen Belfield are all on the ascendant which is such a joy to see.

e tautz SS16

E Tautz SS16

Blink: What has been your biggest surprise at URSA over the past 5 years?

Lucy Favell: My biggest surprise in launching a UK online store is since the onset we attracted a global customer, in fact most of our customers are in the USA and Asia. We are excited to be getting more UK customers now as consumer confidence returns.

Blink: You are celebrating your 5th birthday today. Are you where you planned to be as a business by year 5?

Lucy Favell: I would be lying if i said 100% yes, however what we have achieved since launch is incredible considering we are still a wholly independent business. Running a start-up retail/tech business, everything is constantly evolving, and you have to keep evolving with it. I am incredibly ambitious and have exciting plans for URSA with more exclusive collaborations and new label launches in the months and years ahead.

Blink: What saying best sums up your approach at URSA?

Lucy Favell: always look ahead to the future.

Blink: How are you planning to celebrate your 5th birthday?

Lucy Favell: Our 5th birthday is such a milestone for us and to celebrate over the next 12 months we are launching a series of exclusive pieces created by our incredible designers. Starting this December with a unique diamond pendant created by Imogen Belfield.

Blink: What does sustainable fashion mean to you? 

Lucy Favell: URSA is the antithesis of fast mass-produced fashion from the high street. All of our designers work in a sustainable way, for every garment or piece we are able to trace where it was produced down to the fabric or materials. Over half of our labels manufacture in the UK, which we really support and want this to eventually become the norm in luxury fashion. Our discerning customers do not mind paying more for luxury fashion if it has been made to exceptional standards and will last. I love seeing pieces bought from URSA five years ago still being worn and still looking brand new. 

Blink: What styles do you find yourself repeatedly drawn to, season after season?

Lucy Favell: All of our designers have a distinctive signature, this is what makes them special, so I aim to capture this each season, mixing it with some fresh styles. The key for me is not to follow trends as this ensures that all of our styles will be investment pieces to be treasured for years to come.

V Jewellery Baguette and Hollow lobe earrings from URSA London

V Jewellery Baguette and Hollow lobe earrings from URSA London

Blink: What makes Ursa so different to all of the other online luxe fashion retailers?

Lucy Favell: Our curation of designers is what makes us so different, and as we are often first with new notable designers, customers are guaranteed to find something sartorially fresh and unique.URSA London screen shot

Blink: What from Ursa’s current offer would you most like to find wrapped up under your Christmas tree?

Lucy Favell: I love diamonds, so i am coveting our exclusive Imogen Belfield Diamond Star pendant to commemorate our 5th birthday! I am dropping plenty of hints!

Blink: Who is the designer that you are currently most excited about?

Lucy Favell: I am excited by all of the labels on URSA, all of our designers are consistent in creating pioneering collections each season, which keeps us one step ahead.  We have many new labels about to launch in the months ahead, I am very excited about that!

URSA London, the luxury online boutique

URSA London, the luxury online boutique

Thank you so much for the time you gave to us Lucy and happy birthday URSA! For more of our interviews with brilliant creatives, just click here. For more great posts about retail news, then look here.

“Blink” Events: Fix Up and more!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Huge apologies that we have been a bit absent on the Blink London blog for the past week. We did leave you with a stunning #MusicMonday from Lionbabe to keep you entertained in the meantime though, as well as lots of pretty Instagram pictures, tweets and FB updates. It’s just been a particularly hectic time here at Blink Towers.

Today’s post is to get you in the loop of what we have been up to as well as giving ourselves a right big pat on the back for all that’s been achieved by the team in a very short amount of time.

Fix Up Look Sharp in aid of CLIC Sargent, cancer charity, supporting childern with cancer, upcycling fashion, sustainable fashion

Fix Up Look Sharp in aid of CLIC Sargent

So first off, last week we spent the day working with CLIC Sargent’s Fix Up Look Sharp team. We first met these guys at the official launch event for this brilliant upcycling fashion venture and were blown away by their commitment, resourcefulness and creativity. We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with them and support their efforts to raise more money for the CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. CLIC Sargent provide much needed clinical, practical, financial and emotional support.

Ruth, the creative driving force behind the Fix Up Look Sharp label, sustainable fashion, fashion designer, upcycled fashion, CLIC Sargent, childrens cancer charity

Ruth, the creative driving force behind the Fix Up Look Sharp label

The Fix Up team, most of them voluntary, spent the day with us last week so that we could work with them on how they could further spread the word about their fabulous upcycled, sustainable fashion collection to a wider audience through blogging and social media. I can’t wait to see the results. Guys, I will be checking up on you!

Blink London's 'Intro to Blogging and Social Media' workshop, learn about blogging, social media, London based blogging class, fashion blogging, lifestyle blogging, beauty blogging

Blink London’s ‘Intro to Blogging and Social Media’ workshop

Actually this proved a great practice run for our ‘Intro to Blogging and Social Media’ workshop that we are running for the first time this year from tonight. We’ll be at Parlour Kensal Green for our sold out session so there has been lots of prep to do to make sure this runs perfectly. You can read more about it here. We still have spaces on our May 5th and 6th session so email us if you’d like to come along.

I’m also giving at talk about social media at the rather fabulous Electric House, so if you are a member please do come along and listen. It’s only an hour so you can all feel empathetic workshop attendees who are with me 7 hours!

Know your @ from your #, my talk at Electric House

Know your @ from your #, my talk at Electric House

On top of all of this we have also been overhauling our reporting service. As the fashion world is becoming more globalised, and there is more and more free information available on the interweb, the fashion industry’s support services, like Blink London, have had to redirect their efforts and find new ways to work with clients.

'Blink Instants', Blink London's brand new monthly publication, fashion forecasting, fashion inspiration, gashion news, British fashion,

‘Blink Instants’, Blink London’s brand new monthly publication

Blink Instants is a brand new approach for us, moving away from simply retail reporting and in to something that is far more unique, exciting and diverse. This has been created with the fashion womenswear market in mind but the diversity of content means that this could be a wonderful tool for any creative industry or service (interior design, product design, visual merchandising teams etc).

We are planning this report will only be available as a soft copy to capitalize on the nimble, swift and ‘instant’ way we work as a small boutique-style service. We are keeping everything crossed as this is a big change for us. As soon as we have more to share with you we will be updating our The Reports page so keep an eye out for that.

So I hope that you’ll forgive us for leaving you hanging, but we will be resuming your usual fabulous service on the blog very, very soon!

“Blink” 2015 Predictions: The Fashion Afterlife

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

As we promised you this morning, we are kicking off the year with some predictions for the year ahead. Some will be big, far reaching statements and others will be small and very focussed but no less significant.

I’m starting with a theme that we have been looking at and discussing for quite some time. We are calling it ‘The Fashion Afterlife’.  We hope that you all embracing the trend towards mending rather than binning your garments. There are many brands, mostly better-end menswear outwear, sportswear or footwear labels, that offer customers a repair or refurnish service. I hope to see more of this in 2015. How great would it be to see Topshop hosting ‘Make Do and Mend’ sewing circles with skilled menders teaching how to darn, patch or mend your Toppers favourites?

Image with thanks to Pinterest. Make do and mend with elbow patches on your knitwear.

Image with thanks to Pinterest

We have to slow down this rabid consumption somehow, and wouldn’t you have a higher regard and a bit more love for those old jeans if you’d invested some time in searching out just the right patch to cover up that tear you made when spinning out post tequila slammer? We need to build that stronger relationship with our clothes to make us cherish them, care for them and ultimately wear them for longer so we are each buying less frequently and certainly never again turning a tee into a duster because the hem fell down.

Image with thanks to Pinterest. A patched and mended collar

Image with thanks to Pinterest

As part of their utterly integrated approach to being a thoroughly sustainable brand, Patagonia have teamed up with IFIXIT to create some easy to follow instructions on how to mend some of their key products. On the Patagonia website, they also have a great page to ‘help make sure that your gear has a long, interesting life. as they put it. It would be wonderful in 2015 to see more brands, great and small, take on this approach to increasing product durability and longevity without negatively affecting aesthetics. It is more than possible.

But what about when your product is beyond the healing powers of needle and thread? How will you give your old faithful an ethical and sustainable end-of-life experience? Well, we think that this is where the real newness comes in. Your first stop is obviously to take unwanted garments to your local charity shop. However, if you are letting it go because it’s beyond all hope of resuscitation, then that’s not an option. Back to Patagonia again, who offer a recycling service for their products that have reached this stage in their lifecycle. Just brilliant.

Image with thanks to Pinterest. Mended, patched and darned denim jeans

Image with thanks to Pinterest

How amazing would it be to buy a product that comes with an end of life plan already built in? What if brands worked in a really in-depth, sustainable way that encompassed the whole of the products lifecycle, from fibre to even beyond its final gasp of wearability. What if your product came with a promise to provide you with access to information on how to best care for it, protect it and mend it above and beyond those graphic symbols that show you how to wash a thing like Patagonia do? What if you could have the option of returning it to the manufacturer who would then deconstruct it and recycle or re-use all of the elements because they are making future product using the same trims or fibre composition? Or perhaps they have partnered with a company that makes something completely else but that needs your old garments to recycle and remake back into a cup or a bottle or part of a shoe?

We believe that this whole lifecycle and afterlife will be considered and planned in, accessible and soon enough, normal for all of us to engage with. What an exciting prospect for 2015. One thing is sure, if you demand it then it will happen sooner and as far as those that know are concerned, sooner is the only option…

“Blink” Events: LCF x Kering

Friday, October 31st, 2014

On Wednesday evening I was invited to a very exciting event at LCF. This was the inaugural talk to announce, explain and celebrate the groundbreaking partnership between Kering (previously known as PPR) and the London College of Fashion/ Centre for Sustainable Fashion. This is a game-changer, and one that we have been waiting for within the fashion industry. It also has the potential to reach far beyond the fashion industry and influence global business, lifestyles, consumer behaviours and the way we integrate sustainable practices into our daily lives. That is how exciting this is.

As Kering Chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault put it at the event, this is a “social and economic imperative” and “we have no choice but to act”.

I learnt a huge amount about the great work that Kering is undertaking across every facet of its business, and here’s the video that we saw on Wednesday night for you to gain an insight into their very thorough and innovative approach too.

I will share more with you about this event and the partnership over the next week so keep an eye out for the upcoming posts. In the meantime, huge congratulations to Professor Frances Corner, Head of LCF and to Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion. This is the result of their hard work and dedication to starting a necessary revolution that requires every single one of us to participate. I’m in. Are you?

“Blink” New Designers: Tengri

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

With all new fashion ventures, success or failure is first and foremost rooted in your product. In supporting roles are your approach, your story and your ethics. In my opinion, many sustainable brands focus too much on their ethics and not enough on delivering fashion relevant, want-able, gorgeous product.

Nancy Johnston, founder of Tengri, seems to have the balance just right with her collection of  100% natural, undyed, hand-combed Mongolian yak wool knitwear that is eco-friendly and sustainable, as soft as cashmere and warmer than merino wool. I think it looks really gorgeous and I can’t wait to get my hands on some, especially in the wake of last Autumn Winter’s horrific angora scandal (you can read more about that here and here). Animal fibres are a tough ethical call in many ways. Even the humble woolly sheep often doesn’t get given the care it deserves at home or abroad.

It seems that the small scale, socially engaged, empowerment oriented Tengri offers us a very clear, open and utterly spotless source to production picture that supports all involved from start (the Mongolian yak herders) to the finish (the UK production is manned by retired industry professionals). It’s a beautiful approach and we’re delighted to share this really great fashion story with you.

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

You can contact the brand and pre-order from this collection on their website.

For more new designers news, just take a look here.