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Pen to Paper Interview with… Heather Knight of Fashion Revolution

By April 4, 2017 Ethical, Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a feature on TDP which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution began after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed on April 24th, 2013, in order to push brands and open up the conversation about the real issues within the fast-fashion industry. Fashion Revolution helps consumers understand what is going on behind the label, inspiring them to create change and ask questions.
Heather Knight heads up the branding and communications for Fashion Revolution. She makes sure everything looks good and sounds great, from Fashion Revolution campaign materials, fanzines and reports, to website, social media and newsletters. She believes in the power of creativity to make an idea irresistible, and the ability of communications to inspire real change.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // ZINE


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you would have read the words ‘Fashion Revolution’ a hundred times over by now. It’s one of the most influential campaigns regarding the fashion industry and I couldn’t be more honoured to be connected to the team in some way. They’re all truly passionate about the work they do and supporting them is one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

With Fashion Revolution Week just around the corner (April 24th – April 30th), I thought it would be a great way to start my Pen to Paper series back up and get some direct answers from Heather Knight, who heads up branding and communications.


Even in the past 4 years since Fashion Revolution began, we’ve seen a real shift… both in brands becoming more transparent and in consumers expecting and demanding transparency. There’s still a long journey ahead → We want a radical change in the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, but there’s momentum to change.

What has it been like to watch the fashion industry change over the years?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We shouldn’t shy away from presenting the shocking, grim realities, but they should be accompanied with inspiration and action. Making people feel guilty isn’t going to change behaviours – that’s been proven not to work. Showing that ethical fashion can look good and feel good and can make your wallet (and the planet) happy is a great way to shift hearts, minds + behaviours.

Do you believe we should focus on the more positive sides of ethical fashion or do you believe talking about the harsh truths is more important?


I personally believe this is one of the reasons Fashion Revolution has been such a powerful initiative. It has opened my eyes to many of the tragedies over the past few years but it has also made me see things in a new light and made me really champion those who are behind our clothes. It’s quite incredible to think that transparency is becoming more important, showing proof that we can get the results we as consumers are now asking for.

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


Buying from ethical brands is an option off their radar – there are misconceptions that ethical fashion is expensive, dull and ‘unfashionable’, but there are some amazing and affordable brands out there. But buying new clothes should be a last resort – there are so many better ways to update your wardrobe, from charity shopping, vintage, swapping or the clothes you already own! ↳ www.fashionrevolution.org/haulternative

What do you think stops the everyday shopper from purchasing from ethical brands?


Last year we had 1,251 brands/retailers respond with #IMadeYourClothes, and over 370 were major global brands. It was great to see G-STAR RAW respond with an interactive map and stories of their producers. American Apparel produced a video, and Marimekko dedicated part of their website to sharing stories about their producers.

With #whomademyclothes, what brands have had the best responses overall?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We want to see even more people participating, asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and more brands than ever replying with #IMadeYourClothes and demonstrating transparency in their supply chain. We want a BIGGER LOUDER Fashion Revolution that reaches more people in more countries around the world, inspiring people to think differently about the clothes they buy and wear.

What are your goals for Fashion Revolution in 2017? What can we all do to support it?


GET INVOLVED: www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved

Thank you so much to Heather for answering some questions, especially when we’re just 20 days away from the big week of pushing for change. Make sure to get involved as much as you can and follow Fashion Revolution throughout the year too. I know I will!


(Images courtesy of Fashion Revolution)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Ben Alun-Jones of UNMADE

By June 8, 2016 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a new feature on TDP, which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


bio pic

Founded by Royal College of Art graduates Ben Alun-Jones, Hal Watts and Kirsty Emery, UNMADE collaborates with creatives across a range of disciplines to bring together the best of art, fashion and design, which you then define.
In just a few clicks disrupt your pattern, shift lines and clash colours to create a made-to-order piece of knitwear that’s uniquely you. They hold no stock and nothing is produced until you submit your order. You can find them in features including The New York Times, DAZED, BoF, The Guardian and more.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM


Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


When I discovered UNMADE through Susie Bubble’s blog (Style Bubble), I knew instantly that this was the kind of brand I’d like to know more about. Mixing technology with ethical and sustainable fashion is basically a dream for me and that’s exactly what they’re combining. I had the chance to send over some questions to Ben Alun-Jones who is one of their founders to ask some more about how their brand works and what they’re doing to make their mark in not only the sustainable area of fashion, but the industry as a whole.

The brand brings together innovative technology which lets consumers manipulate and change the designs of their knitwear to exactly how they want them, with the original designs coming straight from the minds of designers and artists including Christopher Raeburn, Malika Favre and Nicolas Sassoon. They have no stock which reduces waste and makes the whole experience even more unique.


We saw an industrial knitting machine for the first time. 💡 This was the lightbulb moment. We could make a unique garment from a digital file in a matter of a few hours. Now to make that dream a reality… (The software didn’t exist yet).

How and when did the concept for UNMADE come about?

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


Simply put, no. Short term financial benefits trump longer term ethical and sustainable benefits. We’re trying to make a viable alternative to current industrial production (That happens to be more ethical and sustainable). We want people to choose it because its better, not because its more sustainable.

Do you think enough is being done to combat the issues around ethical and sustainable fashion?

What Ben said about making their brand a better alternative rather than a ‘more sustainable’ one was quite interesting to me. That’s the aim, isn’t it really? To be able to go to a brand with the knowledge that they’re focusing on ethical and sustainable issues, but actually shop from them because their designs and products are what draw you in.

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


We are a completely different approach to working with brands, customers and manufacturing. We need the acceptance of all these people. (This is hard).

Technology is a big, if not the most important part of how UNMADE runs - what's the biggest challenge you face with weaving tech into fashion?

We’ve had to build all the tools to make unique production work on an industrial scale. Now we’re taking it to the wider industry to create a more creative, more sustainable and more responsive approach to the industrial production. Watch this space…

What's your next aim? What direction do you see the brand going in?

As an aspiring designer who wants to focus on sustainability as I grow and learn, UNMADE is a huge inspiration to me. The concept may be niche, but it’s not hard to imagine it growing even bigger and having a wider reach. I’m excited to see what’s coming next, especially when we’ve been left with a ‘Watch this space…


(IMAGES COURTESY OF UNMADE)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Rankin

By March 17, 2016 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a new feature on TDP, which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Interview with Rankin Fashion PhotographerRankin is a fashion photographer who made his name through the publishing world after founding the well-known fashion and culture magazine, Dazed & Confused, alongside Jefferson Hack back in 1992. The magazine was a way to showcase emerging talent including fellow photographers. Rankin has shot for many well known brands (Nike, Dove, L’Oreal and Belstaff to name a few), magazines (ELLE, VOGUE, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar), names and faces (the Queen, Vivienne Westwood and David Bowie are among the list).
He has 30 published books to his name including F*ck Y*u” which is a collection of celebrity portraits which make a bold statement. Rankin is also known for his popular fashion and photography magazine, Hunger. His work has inspired many due to the strong impact that each piece makes and many of his projects have an inspirational story behind them.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM


Rankin Interview blog


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~
Handwritten on behalf of Rankin by Nick Forbes Watson (Assistant Producer)


Ever since I discovered fashion, I’ve always been interested in the photography side of things, and I’ve always been a fan of Rankin’s work, so to be able to have some inside knowledge from the man himself is quite an exciting thought. I’ve actually been working on this piece for a while now so I hope that the few questions that I do have answered, are ones that you can all take from.

In this day and age where photography is such a broad term, I thought it would be really interesting to find out what Rankin’s ideas are on social media and how it works within the industry, as well as his thoughts on very important topics and debates as someone who sees them from both sides. If you want to see all of his answers fully transcribed then click here or on the link above.


I think apps like Instagram make real photography even more of an art form. The really good photos rise to the top and you can see who is talented and who has an eye. But I guess it depends on your take on photography. Some people want it to have lots of meaning, some just want it to make them feel or think something. I’m in the latter camp.

In this digital world with apps like Instagram, do you think photography is still portrayed as an art form?

© Rankin Photography Alexander McQueen Portrait - Interview with Rankin


Alexander McQueen ~ Matthew Beard ~ Bjork


© Rankin Photography Bjork Collage - Interview with Rankin


The next picture is always challenging, because you are always chasing something that is almost impossible to create or predict. You want the next photo to be the one, the image that captures the moment. The moment that becomes a xx in history.

As a photographer, what challenges you the most?

What I find interesting about Rankin’s work is how honest it is. Often his work is there to make a statement but the way he encapsulates it is always in such a strong and empowering way. His photographs draw you in, in a way that I haven’t really ever seen before. It sounds rather over dramatic but really, if you compare his work to other fellow photographers, you’ll see what I mean.

© Rankin Photography Hunger Magazine Cover - Interview with Rankin


I think it’s more a fight than a debate and I think we should keep fighting for more diversity in modeling and representation. It can be frustrating how narrow it can all be, but it’s getting better. I want to help make it better.

As you are behind the lens, what are your thoughts on the fashion industry’s “skinny model” debate?

Photography used to be integral to the fashion industry; it was the lens through which the fashion house created dreams. That is shifting, with film, blogs, intstagram and social media. But the photo still shows a world that people want to dive in to. That means it’s got a few years left, as fashion at it’s most seductive sells you a dream and photography does that so well.

How much does photography influence the fashion industry?

I also love what he’s said about diversity. It really is true that it’s more of a fight about the whole spectrum of acceptance whether that’s racially or to do with size and shape and I’m interested to see where he’ll go in the future when it comes to making it better. It’s also interesting what he says about fashion selling you a dream. Although having campaigns about airbrushing is all well and good, maybe we really should step out and dream a little? We all have fantasies and ideas of perfection… perhaps it’s more about defining a new kind of fantasy as the new generations catch up with what’s up.

As somebody who has started to appreciate photography more as a whole, it’s been a big honour to put this piece together, especially as it’s somebody who I’ve always admired. I’ve actually been given the opportunity to meet Rankin twice before but both times I’ve had to turn it down, so perhaps after this, it will be third time lucky! Big thanks to the Rankin team for all the support too. I know all of you (my readers) will appreciate it.


(ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT OF © RANKIN


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Renata Morales

By January 7, 2016 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a new feature on TDP, which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Renata Morales Interview - Arcade Fire Costume Designer - Pen to Paper

Renata Morales is a textile and visual artist who has designed costumes and stage outfits for such artists and bands as Arcade Fire and Grimes. Her work is a mixture of texture and movement, and is a great place to start when looking at the deeper more abstract side of design and the inspirations behind certain concepts. Some of her more notable (costume) works can be seen in videos such as Sprawl II and Reflektor (by Arcade Fire), and even a Spike Jonze directed short-film (for Arcade Fire) called Scenes from The Suburbs.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM

renata morales2

 


Renata Morales Interview - Arcade Fire Costume Designer - Pen to Paper


Read More Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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