It all started on a sad gray day last October. London was once again in lockdown, fashion had stopped, the world was struggling with its shock. Covid. I met my friend, Vogue fashion director Daniela Agnelli for a drizzle in the park and we talked about where we are. Fashion, at least. At the speed of fashion madness. It had become, it no longer makes sense. Seemingly never ending collection of shows, travels. Ready to wear, wearable, Clothing, Cruise – What were they all for now?
Make no mistake, Daniela and I have improved our lives as fashion editors. For more than a decade, we took a two-year fashion tour from New York to London, Milan and Paris. For eight weeks of the year, each of these shows was full of days. Cat walk More luxurious places than ever before in the city’s most enchanting restaurants, and breakfast, lunch and dinner. As Editor-in-Chief of the Sunday Times Style Magazine and later Herod’s Magazine, I have danced. Beyonc At Donatella’s Melanie’s Town House, Gigi Hadid, accompanied by Tom Ford to Rose Petal Castle, climbed Alexander Wang’s New York Peak and dined at the innumerable bowls of the Resoto Melanie. It has been a blizzard of glamor, a whirlpool of social events and a full calendar of travel – when the shows weren’t ready to wear, we followed Dior from Morocco, Channel. Havana and Louis Vuitton Tokyo. It seemed like everything was getting faster and faster, there were more and more stores and products around to create the desired stories, so more and more people around the world would buy, buy, buy, eat, Will eat, will eat.
And then last March it all stopped. I decided to take the course and calculate the cost. Sustainability At Cambridge University (more on that later – it’s open to everyone and I can’t recommend it much). Daniela also had a moment of her own, which is why we now find ourselves on the shores of one of the most beautiful bays in the Balearics, as part of Six Senses Ibiza, the best new resort this summer. Inside the resort, we’ve created a new kind of shop: one that tells a story of fashion and sustainability. In fact, we’re reluctant to call it a store – it’s a live magazine (although you can buy everything in it).
It is called ‘Agora’ after the ancient Greek word for market. In those days, people would go to the market to listen to the news, meet each other, change stories and find out, buying as much as they needed. We want people to visit our store to hear the stories behind our products, such as buying clothes. Because the brands and products we’ve developed are associated with beautiful stories: how they got there, valued and supplied with content, travel and crafts in mind.
Uruguay has shawls made of rural labor: work that allows women to live in rural areas and not move to cities in search of jobs. There are block print shirts from communities in India who have completed the craft for centuries but are in danger of losing their livelihood. The CDLPs are shorts made of recycled plastic waste, an Iris van Harpan couture dress inspired by a scholarly book on future potential. MushroomBiodegradable shoes were invented by Camilla Squawgard, one of the most famous designers in the negative. There are no plastic buttons, just coconuts, recycled gold jewelry, vintage pieces with fashion history behind them, upcycled kimonos and ‘peace silk’ slips.
As our story unfolded we realized that fashion and sustainability is a story that can be told in four chapters. Recycling (either upcycling old or leftover fabrics, or new-facing fabrics made from recycled plastic waste: aconite, lucille and tensile three names), maintenance, which of course is about repairs. Yes, but also about preserving the ancient. Craftsmen and artisans who have supported communities around the world. Reducing is about our customers, buying less but buying better. And for Rent And for resale, we’ve come up with the idea of a Cinderella room: it’s Ibiza, which means a party, and you probably haven’t packed your hair gown. So why not rent one instead?
Fashion is the world’s fourth largest industry for environmental damage. The era of mass consumption, which began and began in the 1950s. Plastic, Overproduction, excessive global travel, and unbearable burning of fossil fuels have been the biggest drivers of fashion. But on the other hand, fashion is a frenzy of creativity and design, a celebration of personality happiness, confidence and identity. We both love fashion – we didn’t want to get away with it. Instead, we wondered if we could change the idea that was needed. If we can redefine luxury, as the world has to walk without friction as much as possible. Take, but give back at the same time.
As we assembled the store we learned the difference in sustainability, appreciating the new brands that were building innovative business models (such as BITE, Another Total, Ottemberg), the old brands that were part of their supply chain and their Want to re-engineer the place. World (Temperley, La Double J, Orlebar Brown), local Ibicencan brands whose work supports the island on which we found ourselves
In fact, we never imagined ourselves to be shopkeepers, but that is what we have become. The launch of Six Senses Ibiza, a resort dedicated to sustainability, found its audience quickly and almost overnight we had fast seat bookings: Alexa Chung, Lily Cole, Leah Cabade, Jordan Barrett, Louie Corner, Kate Moss and Sadie Frost have all visited. When guests arrive they find no plastic on site, the massive vegetarian menu is provided by our local farm, Hedgehog Century and Poultry Hotel. There is also a chicken coop this winter.
And they also discover Agora. For those who can’t see, we’re sharing our stories on the Instagram handle @ agora.ibiza. We’d love to hear from you, and find your solutions, brands and products that make a difference in your opinion. Please join our community and conversation.
There is an urgent need for all this. Environmental catastrophe is looming over us if floods hit this month in the northwest of the United States, Siberia and even the United Kingdom. The Arctic cap is melting and until we start using it more, pay a little more for something that will last us a lifetime, designed with its content, supply chain and community in mind. The results are incomprehensible to all of us. It means buying less and buying better. Choose the pieces you want from the heart. You know you will wear them at least 30 times, no matter what your budget. Ask where the clothes come from, what factory the clothes are made in, what money the money you are spending goes to help the community. Renting and reselling is another great solution – buy from Depot, eBay or Wester or any of them Great second hand sites Because then you know that you are not taking anything new from the world. Got a party or a wedding? Why not rent something instead – MyWardrobe HQ has glamorous gowns for just رات 30 a night. The fashion industry is slowly waking up. But as consumers, we have the power to supercharge this change. It is in our hands.
Five points of sustainable living:
- Buy clothes, not cotton. Linen comes from the flax plant, which needs a little water and can grow in poor soil. Throughout his life, a linen shirt uses 6.4 liters of water compared to a single piece of cloth, which uses 2,700.
- Check the contents of the swimwear. There are amazing companies like CDLP, All Sisters and others that make all their swimming clothes from recycled marine plastic waste at no extra cost. In addition, the clothes themselves are completely recyclable.
- Leather: What do you want? Pineapple leather, mushroom leather, even recycled plastic leather are the new materials of the future. And they look and feel good.
- Find peace silk or vegan silk. It is made from silkworms that do not die in the silk harvesting process. Instead, the cocoon is carefully unwrapped and the silkworm is allowed to move and live like a butterfly.
- Educate yourself. See sustainability courses. It’s expensive, but I learned a lot. But you don’t have to pay. Meanwhile, many of the courses I took were sponsored by the companies they worked for. Talk to your HR department!