Bethany Williams believes that social and environmental issues go hand in hand and through exploring the connection between these issues, find innovative design solutions to sustainability. What I love about this brand is that it is not just commenting on social issues through design, but actively using that deisgn to make a difference to the causes communities who are directly affected by said issues.
The current collection ‘Breadline’ particularly wants to highlight and help find solutions to the hidden hunger in the UK, specifically working alongside the Vauxhall Food Bank and Tesco to achieve this.
The brand has developed an exchange of fresh fruit and vegetables for waste items from the food bank users’ household. They have developed a collection using these waste materials, plus recycled cardboard and ‘Tesco everyday value’ branded organic prints, all donated by Tesco. 30% of profits from any sales are donated to The Vauxhall food bank, continuing the cycle of exchange. Through traditional techniques and working with local craftspeople, they have developed the surface of these waste materials to create handcrafted woven, printed, knitted and embroidered textiles.
“Every one of our garments is 100% sustainable and made in the UK. We provide an alternative system for fashion production, as we believe fashions’ reflection upon the world can create positive change.”
Bethany’s previous project, named ‘Roofless’, established a similar cycle of exchange, where three warm, second hand items are exchanged for one item belonging to the homeless. The brand takes these items and the stories of the person who previously owned them and create a unique new garment, embedded with a history.
So that the clothing retained its essence and character from the previous owner, ROOFLESS added a second skin, making the items reversible. By using materials sourced from hardware stores, ROOFLESS relines, reinsulates and reinvigorates garments, creating a newly improved form of shelter. Ironically playing with the requirements of a garment belonging to the previous owners in contradiction to the requirements of the new owner.
ROOFLESS strives to alter and question the complex system of fashion and believes the critical power of art can be used to achieve this. Through this collaboration, ROOFLESS has created a collection embedded with real people and we hope to caused a real effect in this social space.
Find out more about this brilliant movement and beautiful collection by fashion designer Bethany Williams at http://www.bethany-williams.com
I love sharing stories like this of fashion brands that are striving to make a change. If you are, or someone you know is, championing ethics and sustainability in your work as a designer, artist or business owner, please get in touch, and do visit the ethical fashion section of my site to find out more about my passion project!
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx