At the Jam House in Edinburgh, some of the most fashionable people gathered to watch the R Sustainable Fashion Show, an event which I arrived an hour late to but never missed a second.
Long flowing coats, platform shoes, paper-bag styled trousers and a lot of midi rings, the audience wandered around, small talking and, if anything like me, gawking at the runway.
As a fellow student and pessimist, the event I walked into was not the event I had pictured in my head.
R Sustainable, a pretty new social enterprise group run by Edinburgh University put together this event after months of planning and organising. Having followed their Instagram account for a few weeks prior to the event, I had watched the slow reveals of the exhibitioners, the raffle prizes and the designers, most of whom were students themselves.
Sunday night at the Jam House in Edinburgh, I walked in with my camera in hand, surrounded by some of the most fashionable people. I v-lined for the bar before wandering around the enthusiastic guests.
I felt like I was at Fashion Week, except ethical.
I took my seat about 15 minutes before the event was actually due to begin.
Ruth MacGilp, a renowned ethical fashion blogger, took to the stage to explain the nights proceedings and the chairs began to fill up.
Seats lined either side of the runway, as well as a balcony over looking.
Alongside a number of other designers, both girls featured their work in the show.
Milda Lebedyte, a fashion designer, had three separate looks walk the runway. Her collection included up-cycled materials, food packaging and turmeric died clothes.
Daniela Groza, a jewellery designer also featured her work in the show.
Also featuring three models, her collection incorporates recycled plastic bags, which have been moulded into 3D printed structures which gave life to a series of abstracted columns.
Each piece included a word to raise awareness towards mental heath issues.
Reassure.Daniela’s messages to raise awareness for Mental Health.
Hannah Myers was also a designer featured on the night.
Hannah has created costumes inspired by the discarded plastic that rides the ocean waves. The bottle tops have been collected by her father over the past decade with the intention to eventually make them into something beautiful and wearable. She found the pink foam sheet floating around her studio and decided to repurpose it into this ocean pollution costume.R Sustainable Fashion Show
Yana Roze Jewellery
Yana Roze Jewellery’s collection was made by using cardboard to create distorted eggs that symbolised humans destroying nature and through that, themselves.
Sara Fehres’ collection featured one model to create a look using industrial off-cuts of lace, tulle and upcycled garment bags, in combination with the certified organic felt, bamboo silk and Tencel.
The first designer of the night was Psychomoda which showcased kilt inspired dresses made from repurposed fabrics.
Designer Sian Griffith is interested in body dysmorphia and the role that the fashion industry plays in it.
Her collection was inspired by organic flowing shapes found in the ocean and muted sea shades.
Robyn & May Taylor
Robyn & May Taylor featured work that was arguably the most hard hitting. With their collection actively showcasing the ocean debris whilst wrapped around the models, created an extremely vivid image for me.
Whilst on the interval, I went to speak with the exhibiters.
Swedish Eco, a premium organic underwear company that sent a representative all the way from Sweden to exhibit the brand. I was lucky enough to speak with Cherie, their community manager.
She told me that she was extremely proud to work for a company that cares about the environment and its workers equally using GOTS certified cotton for all their garments.
She hadn’t worked for them for long at all, but there she was, standing in a completely different country sharing the story of a brand she was evidently passionate about.
Pretty Pink uses vegetable ivory, a dried seedpod from the Large Fruited Ivory Palm to create, beautiful and colour jewellery from necklaces to earrings.
The best thing about speaking with Ilana was her passion for her work, a project that derived from a special childhood memory and now is something real and beautiful.
Noah, Italian Vegan Shoes, had the most beautifully crafted shoes and accessories on display that were spoken about with such passion and excitement.
Many of the exhibitors were surrounded by equally passionate onlookers as I worked my way around, picking up leaflets and filming, but Noah especially.
My personal consensus of why;
Ethical and vegan shoes are extremely hard to find (in Scotland that is).
When I spoke with Finisterre, a young girl who was there to represent the brand, all I could see was Patagonia.
A brand started with similar ethics, from similar needs, all in its own rights and uniqueness; I was enraptured. Born from the needs of British surfers, Finisterre makes products sustainably for those who love the sea.
After not long opening a store in George Street, the brand continues to find new ways to develop and become even more sustainable.
Fashion Revolution also had a stall set up. With Milda and Ruth both being representatives of the project, it was exciting to speak in more detail about a project that is every growing and just as important.
I’ve never attended an event that felt so unified, so driven to raise awareness and support a movement, whilst simultaneously displaying talent and creativity.
Milda, Daniela and everyone else involved, I applaud you as loud as I and everyone else did the night of the show.
Yana Roze Jewellery
Robyn & May Taylor
See R Sustainable Fashion Show on Facebook for the full list of designers and exhibitors.