As part of Fashion Revolution Week, 23 – 29 April 2018, the British Council have commissioned a series of 7 short films profiling the innovative stories of 7 practitioners across the world, including fashion designers, artists, architects and entrepreneurs. The films have been created in the spirit of the grassroots movement, using content produced by the practitioners themselves and directed by Kate Coxand produced by the The Smalls.
CATHERINE & SONS
Ugandan brand Catherine & Sons looks to alleviate the issue of the mass quantities of second-hand Western clothing flooding the African market through upcycling. In this film, they explore the issues and their processes.
Using environmentally responsible materials and recycled fabrics, C&S’ designs are feminine yet classic. But they are more than that: they are also unique. Each piece is made from carefully recut, reassembled second hand clothing and sewn together to create a whole different, new and individual story. C&S strive to uphold exactly that integrity, stability and beauty – through our design, tying aesthetics and ethics. But wasting waste is also a waste of resources. This is why our mantra consists of upcycling.
CYNTHIA CHAMAT DEBBANÉ
Cynthia Chamat Debbané, Beirut-based designer and retailer, creates clothes which are gender and culturally fluid in order to limit the amount of stock she produces and create sustainability. She takes an unusual approach by producing one-size fits all stock which is then tailored in store to fit the customer and make for a more personal garment. Like most projects that start out of ‘frustration’, it is Cynthia’s earlier struggle with weight and her feeling of marginalization by the fashion industry that eventually, when came the time to design, instigated in her the fierce desire to create a clothing line that is alternative and inclusive of all body types and beauty ideals. And thus, came to life her brand, URBAN SENSE and her store, BOUTIQUE HUB. which stocks today more than 30 local emerging brands.
ONEBYME is a gender fluid, urban lifestyle brand created by Miles Dunphy and Elsa Ellies. In their film, share how they use a single piece of cloth and a circular economy approach to make their designs more sustainable.
Their innovative method of garment construction is revolutionary. Their aim is to not only address the environmental impact of our creative process, but also the social and economic well-being of the United Kingdom as a whole. Their mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty by providing marginalised individuals with the personal and occupational skills they need to access and compete effectively in the labour market.
Dhaka-based Bangladeshi architecture and design studio Paraa demonstrate through their film that making a change in the fashion system isn't just a role that should be left to fashion designers. Through their practice, they work with marginalised communities, including garment workers and craftspeople, to look at improving well-being and livelihoods through the built environment.
In this film designer Yasia Khomenko of the Ukranian brand RCR Khomenko, takes viewers on a trip through Kiev, where she has searched for old things to turn new since she was a child. Yasia tells the story of her upcycling process, and how she hopes to bring fairy tales to life through her work. CR Khomenko is a smart, storyteller, ironic and sustainable Ukrainian brand established in 2011 by young designer Yasia Khomenko. Inspired by second-hand clothes and children’s fairy tales, Yasia works on creating a real mass-market of upcycled clothes in Ukraine.
In this film, Ken Samudio, a former marine biologist born in the Philippines, turned fashion designer, looks at how to help our environments and communities through fashion. Being a socially conscious entrepreneur, Ken Samudio employs mostly disadvantaged women in his small production house becoming the strong work force of skilled artisan working behind the label. His unique technique explores the natural and organic forms found in nature mimicking distinct textures by using indigenous and recycled materials. He creates artworks from up-cycled beads made from water plastic bottles, recycled sea glass and other sustainable materials indigenous to his home country.
Mexican textile artist, Victoria Villasana, describes herself as 'painting with yarn', and as a textile artist a sort of hybrid designer-painter. After studying design at ITESO University in Mexico, she spent over a decade in London working where she became well known in the street art community for her rebellious femininity and acute cross-cultural imagery. Now residing in Mexico, her work is shown in exhibitions and public installations.