Being the fortunate lady that I am, for several years I have worked for designers who care very much about having an ethical supply chain and wish to promote the idea of buying better to consume less. The longer I talk to these enlightened folk, the more interested I become in the issues surrounding garment production and fabric manufacture. So part of my blogging time is going to be spent investigating labels that are thoughtful, intelligent and uncompromisingly well-designed. I am starting this series with the brand that after plenty of digging around on the internet, seem to perfectly encapsulate all three. And I was going to write this piece with a focus on the sustainable practices behind Gorman Clothing, but forget about that for minute: look at the beautiful clothes! I am realising that is the reaction all sustainable design should generate if it is to be viewed as a success, However, even after all the solid progress within the industry, type 'Sustable fashion' into Google search and links to clothing this plugged into the reality of women's daily lives are thin on the ground. We commute, we work with other humans, we go to out with our friends, so a skirt made from used coffee filters may be a beautiful art piece but isn't very practical in terms of you know, walking along the street and sitting in a chair. I am truly passionate about finding great sustainable design and promoting it so if you find designs you love - and it needn't be fashion: print media, homewares, packaging plus anything else I am forgetting - hit me up with a link and I will share it.
I am happy to say Gorman seem to combine style and joy in clothing form, two things I am constantly on the hunt for. The brand rely on great surface pattern design and wearable garment shapes that reflect what is happening on the catwalk. I am seeing a few of the major stories (tropical leaves, Matisse cut-outs, metallic pleats) interpreted in a way that suggests whoever is behind those ideas is a real artist and it all feels quite honest and heartfelt. As someone whose job is to make physical their interpretation of the world, I find it easy to get on board with that aesthetic. I also discovered they do homewares too, and I am loving their brightly-coloured quilts. The sun seems to be shining through my computer screen, despite the cold March winds that do insist on blowing around my desk this morning. There's no UK outlet for them yet, but they ship all over the world for a flat rate of $25 Australian Dollars. I am fully aware that enviro-pedants will point out that the airmiles of shipping will undercut the low-impact power of Gorman, but you know what? I can buy clothes that I don't like and will fall apart after one season from certain high street stores and they are also flown in from far away places. Sustainable fashion is never going to be completely perfect in every link of the chain but I truly admire those who do what they can with what they have. And Gorman do way, way more than that.
Thanks, Anna at Gorman for letting me share your beautiful pictures. See more at www.gormanshop.com