Eco-occasion wear with E&W Couture & WLWA
The most fabulous event on the British calendar has to be Royal Ascot Races, and it is THE opportunity of the year to show off your flair for fashion!
It is a time to drink some Pimms, have some fun and (hopefully!) enjoy the British summertime. A big focus every year for the races is the fashion, the dresses, shoes and of course the headwear!
This year I wanted to try to go sustainable with my fashion choices. Royal Ascot is the type of occasion event where you are tempted to buy an entirely new outfit because you want to look your best. Nevertheless, if Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge has taught us anything over the years, it’s that you only need to mix up your outfits a little to feel fabulous and stay on track for #30wears.
I will be re-wearing shoes and borrowing a fascinator (clothes swapping with your friends is the best way to mix up your wardrobe!). My dress, however, will be new but packed with some eco-credentials. I have asked Sophie Creed, owner and designer of bridal brand E&W Couture, to make me an eco-occasion wear dress fit for Royal Ascot Races.
Getting started to decide on what eco-credentials I wanted was slightly tricky, it is a minefield of terminology! Did I want ethical? Did I want to upcycle some vintage materials? Did I want to use some end-of-roll material that would go to waste if not? Or how about some fabrics made from some seriously cool sustainable materials (think pineapple silks).
In the end, I decided that I wanted to divert textiles from the waste stream, so Sophie located some local shops that buy-in end-of-roll fabrics. She selected Bridgend Fabrics, which she had used previously to purchase materials. This led to my next dilemma, what colour did I want? This shop was filled with fabrics, there was just so many to pick from, even when I had decided on a colour!
Finally, the fabric was picked, and the rest was with Sophie to work her magic and create a beautiful zero-waste dress!
Sophie carefully selected the additional components to complete the zero-waste credentials of the dress. The ribbon for the straps comes from British manufacturer Berisfords Ribbon, who have over 150 years’ experience of producing quality ribbons from their Cheshire mill. Sophie had a small quantity of ribbon leftover in her studio, not enough for a new dress collection but enough for a bespoke one-off piece! The zip and lining were upcycled from vintage pieces Sophie also had in her studio. The zip came from an old dress and the lining from the back of some curtains that Sophie had previously purchased to be upcycled and repurposed. So, in addition to zero-waste, we can also add upcycled to this dress’s eco-credentials! Ascot Races watch out…
When I finally got to meet the dress that had been lovingly designed and made by E&W Couture, I was so excited! I was proud to be wearing a piece of statement sustainability, and I could not wait for people to ask me about what I was wearing!
The dress fit like a dream, it was perfectly suited to any special occasion event, and you could even do a swirl and get some air (check our Instagram boomerang @getswishing)! My borrowed fascinator and #30wear shoes and handbag completed my outfit for the day!
This dress is so much more special to me with its proud eco-credentials. I can’t wait to wear it again, and when I feel like I have had my use out of it I will be sure to join a local swishing event, to swap it for a new-to-me dress for my next big event!
Thank you so much E&W Couture, for making this fantastic dress, and we can’t wait at WLWA to see your new ethical capsule collection! Exciting!
If you love this E&W Couture dress, don’t forget all west London residents can be in with a chance to win a bespoke couture wedding dress by E&W Couture, worth £3000! All you need to do is have a wardrobe clear-out and book your free TRAID home collection! For more information on the competition, see here.