ISSUE 003 - FEB 2021


The new year is here, fashion season is on the horizon and there is hope in the air. After a very long 2020 – and now 2021 – and what feels like an endless winter, the fashion world has gifted us a much-needed distraction from everyday mundanity. A fresh fashion season is like a window into the future, a glimpse of what’s to come.

As I sit and write this in my London home, I can’t help but be in awe of the dedication shown by creatives over the past year. Still able to come up with incredible pieces and concepts, despite the chaos of the outside world. It is an inspiration to see all these designers and creators come up with their new collections. Allowing us for a moment to escape reality, entering that of the fashion world and looking forward to the future.

This issue, I get the pleasure of introducing you to some of the most fantastic forward-thinking minds of the moment. These are the designers that are pushing the boundaries in fashion to be as sustainable as possible, truly thinking outside the box. Such as our cover story feature STUDIO CLANDESTIN, which has created a service called THE CLANDESTIN LABORATORY which allows customers to up-cycle garments to have a new lease of life, adding off cuts from their studio and raw materials. Promoting a zero-waste fashion economy.

Packed with interviews, from ethical influencers to NYC chefs coming up with solutions for dining-in during the pandemic, I hope this issue brings you some hope happiness and much needed inspiration.


Georgia India


To the left II.Midnight (somewhere), £26.To the right VI.Céleste, £26.

We all love a brand with a story, and that is just what SUN.DAY of London has, a story! Originating from a little mountain town in Macedonia is a family that would handpick wild herbs and plants to make healing salves, teas, and soaps for the local people. These skills and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, to the founder of SUN.DAY of London. Now based in a workshop in East London, the founder has continued to use the ancient remedies and harnessed the properties of nature to transform that very ethos into a range of beautiful home fragrances.

All of SUN.DAY of London’s products are environmentally friendly and vegan. The candles are handmade and housed in apothecary jars, which are produced in the UK. Additionally, they use GMO-free coconut and palm-free plant waxes as well as pure cotton wicks generous doses of our uniquely formulated aromatherapy-grade, essential oil blends. Only the best of the best.

The handcrafted botanical candles bring an ethereal sense of balance and tranquility to the home harnessing the essence of nature that can often get lost in the day-to-day of our lifestyles.


We spoke to the empowering womenswear brand FEMPONIQ discussing all things fashion and sustainability.

Tell us a little bit about FEMPONIQ...

FEMPONIQ is a contemporary womenswear brand that gives a new meaning to power dressing while staying true to her desire of empowering women.With her sophisticated and feminine style choices, FEMPONIQ represents an effortless way of confident dressing within high quality and timeless collections.

FEMPONIQ is a fusion of three words: FEMININE, POWERFUL,UNIQUE, which simply describes the FEMPONIQ Woman and the brand aesthetics. She is confident to find her ways in order to create a more joyful,meaningful life. Her closet immediately tells that she is an advocate for women’s rights and that she is not afraid to express her opinion and lean-in. She cherishes every moment of life and turns challenges into opportunities to live a successful and happy life.

How is FEMPONIQ a Sustainable and Ethical brand?

FEMPONIQ only produces small runs of each collection in a bid to act against fast fashion. It allows our designer to spend more time researching and sourcing sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods. We make timeless clothes that are made to last, therefore, we frequently visit the production partners to ensure that the process is always ethical and garments are of the highest quality. The majority of our garments are made in London’s high end fashion ateliers, which run small production lines with a strong focus on sustainability. Our motto is to deliver quality over quantity.

FEMPONIQ lives and breathes sustainability from sourcing natural fabrics to the recycled e-commerce boxes that are delivered to the client’s doors.Every step of this cycle is designed to protect our environment and to create along-lasting joy of our high-quality garments.

We don’t use fur, leather, skins or silk. We want everyone working in the garment industry to be paid a fair wage they can live on and make the most of their remarkable skills. We believe that from maker to the wearer everyone should enjoy fashion equally. We would like to make women feel good with our clothing without harming our beautiful planet.

Is it important to you as a brand to work with influencers/celebrities that show an interest in sustainability?

It is definitely important for us to work with the right influencers/celebrities not only because they are famous or popular, but because they truly represent the FEMPONIQ woman and live the brand values. Therefore, they can enlighten and inspire other women to shop consciously.


FEMPONIQ, Asymmetric lapel a-line cotton dress (sapphireblue) £350.

When creating new collections what inspires you?

Sustainability is at the forefront of our mind and art is our soul. We are inspired by the art of innovation, contemporary art, and architecture. We at FEMPONIQ, value the experimentation and invention that abstraction allows. Abstract shapes and colours play a significant role in our first and most recent collection.

The city of London where we live is one of the most creative cities in the world and we are inspired by the new contemporary artists, the galleries, and museums it offers; Tate Modern being one of our favorite inspirational hubs.

Finally, and most importantly, what consistently inspires us is the educated, ambitious, and con-scious women. It is exciting to create unique and tailored pieces that women can feel confident in. We would like to empower women through our clothing, and we would like them to carry the message we are trying to express

What is most challenging about being a sustainable brand? Do you come across any difficulties within your processes? And how do you solve these issues?

One of the most challenging parts is to source the right production partners who are willing to deliver boutique quantities with the highest standards. The vast majority of production and fabric manufacturers require high order volumes in the industry, which is against the concept of sustainability.

As we are against mass production, we spend a considerable amount of time sourcing sustainable fabrics and production partners who have a similar mindset. This is why we work with high end fashion ateliers with small teams who can deliver quality over quantity with a strong focus on sustainability. All these factors require a bigger investment, which is reflected in our prices

How do you feel about fast fashion brands, do you find they can affect your business?

Fast fashion brands are a real threat to our environment and the communities we live in. The biggest issue is the culture that fast fashion brands are trying to promote; ‘throwaway outfits’.We will never be in a position to compete with the fast fashion cycle that offers more styles with poor quality on a low budget. This is why it is one of our biggest responsibilities to convert fast-fashion shoppers into conscious consumers, so they can start looking at fashion from an appreciative point of view.

How does FEMPONIQ see the future of fashion?

The technological innovations played and will certainly carry on playing a significant role in the future of fashion, however, the fashion industry must no longer contribute to modern slavery. FEMPONIQ strongly believes that conscious consumerism and living is the only cure to the problems the fashion industry has been facing. The future of fashion should aim to be like the fashion legend Vivienne West wood’s mantra; ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.Accordingly, FEMPONIQ’s vision is a new way of doing business; one that delivers growth by serving our society and the planet.


FEMPONIQ, Puff Shoulder sleeve lapel Jacket (golden yellow), £300.

With Nothing Undernearth - Shirt £85.

We speak to Baltimore based influencer Emily all about her conscious consuming choices.

Could you recommend one simple lifestyle change for someone who is looking to reduce their fashion waste?Use what you already have in your closet! The most sustainable way to reduce your fashion waste is by usingwhat you already have. If you’re feeling stuck with ideas on how to utilize your current wardrobe, try usingInstagram, Pinterest, and even Google for style inspiration. Search for outfit ideas based on one particular item(such as wide-leg jeans or blazers) to build an outfit. There are many ways to use what you already own, just get creative with it!

What led you to start being more conscious with your fashion/lifestyle choices? And what have you changed as a result?

I’ve always been interested in environmental studies and it really kicked off in high school when I took an Environmental Science class. Learning that fast fashion brands use unethical practices for their clothing to be made while also hurting the planet with how much pollution is created, I started to make a shift in the way I choose to shop for clothing. Clothing is also extremely hard to break down once it’s discarded and when it ends up in a landfill, our planet ends up hurting from it.

After deciding to make a change with how I choose to shop for clothing, I’ve been shopping for clothing second-hand since September 2019 and have been more intentional with what I choose to purchase and bring home. I’ve also noticed a huge shift in terms of my style and now I feel that I can truly express myself through second-hand fashion the way that I’ve always dreamed of.

When did you start thrifting and shopping second-hand?

I started thrifting in 2012, but in 2019 was when I made my full shift to second-hand clothing only for good.

What are your top tips for reducing fashion waste?

My tips for reducing fashion waste is to slow down your shopping. If you’re looking to declutter your wardrobe, don’t throw away your clothing! Instead, donate to a local thrift store or organization in need of preloved items. You could also swap clothing with a friend or family member. And lastly, use what you already have in your wardrobe.

How do you keep up with the latest trends without over-consuming?

To keep up with the latest trends without over-consuming, I’ve learned through a styling challenge on Instagram to take a look through my current closet and see what trends I already own in my wardrobe. The thing that’s amazing about trends is they repeat. You most likely already have trendy items in your wardrobe, just take a closer look!

What brands do you look at for the future of fashion?

I’m not going to lie, I’m horrible with brands! I focus more on style than fashion brands because styling is where I feel my talent is best represented. Through styling, I try to connect with other thrifters on Instagram together ideas and inspiration to take that into my own direction.

Could you recommend one simple lifestyle change for someone who is looking to reduce their fashion waste?

Use what you already have in your closet! The most sustainable way to reduce your fashion waste is by using what you already have. If you’re feeling stuck with ideas on how to utilize your current wardrobe, try using Instagram, Pinterest, and even Google for style inspiration. Search for outfit ideas based on one particular item(such as wide-leg jeans or blazers) to build an outfit. There are many ways to use what you already own, just get creative with it!


Emily Priscilla -@styledbyempris


Me Sous and their chief experience officer, Jameson Brown created a unique way during Covid to support local New York City chefs through having them create chef-curated grocery delivery boxes that kept well-known chefs afloat during the pandemic. “Me Sous was born to thread 2 experiences together: the connective experience of dining out that we’re all sorely missing with the personal triumphs of a homemade meal”. We spoke with Jameson Brown about the inspiration for Me Sous….

contemporary FASHION

What was the inspiration for Me Sous?

Long story short, to keep the restaurant community’s culture alive and standing in a different yet innovative way. A way that allowed people in the community to keep their dignity, and allow diners to still enjoy restaurant-quality food from their favorite places and personalities.

During the early days of the pandemic, we saw so many initiatives intended to “help” restaurants and their staff with short-term solutions such as gift card campaigns and Go FunMe’s. While these were valiant efforts and well-intended, it’s just not sustainable.

”So we decided to try to do things differently; in a way that allowed everyone from the farmers, to the chefs to the guests to benefit.

When did you launch?

We officially launched December 2, 2020.

What chefs have you collaborated with over the past year?

So far we’ve partnered with Wilson Tang of NYC’s Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Sarah Krathen & Dria Atencio of L’itos, Lucas Sin & Eric Sze of Shy*boyz club, Patricia Howard & Ed Syzmanski from Dame, The Smile (Restaurant located on Bond St), as well as Martin Brock who is the Head Chef of Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. With many more collabs to come!

Tell us about how you are giving back to the restaurant community.?

In addition to providing revenue to the Chefs with our collabs, we also donate to Restaurant Workers Community Foundation as well as Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants for every purchase made. These are amazing non-profit organizations that have really stepped up to support and help the restaurant community during the pandemic.

What is the vision for 2021?

We want to share Me Sous with more people, so expansion is the natural way to go. There are so many amazing cities with unique and spectacular restaurant scenes across the country. So the vision is to “spread the gospel of Me Sous” to other food hubs and help out as many people as possible along the way.

I’ve also always had a love and fascination for Fashion. I’d love to launch a functional Chef/Hospitality Streetwear collection. Think Carhart meets Supreme but designed for people in the hospitality industry.

We also toyed with the idea of doing Cooking Class/Dinner Parties, but we will resume that once it’s safer for people to gather together.

Where are you planning on expanding to outside of NYC?

We like to be places where the hospitality is warm and the culture is rich, so the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) might be our next destination.


We also toyed with the idea of doing Cooking Class/Dinner Parties, but we will resume that once it’s safer for people to gather together.

Where are you planning on expanding to outside of NYC?

We like to be places where the hospitality is warm and the culture is rich, so the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) might be our next destination.

What is one or two of your favorite recipes that you can share with us?

I’m personally a super huge fan of Pomegranate Salsa from the Smile. It was originally made to accompanied Steak, but I honestly love it on any protein, sometimes I even eat It just a as a dip!

I also LOVE the Eggs in Purgatory from Dame. It’s the perfect breakfast for the morning after partying haha.(recipes coming soon to our Instagram @contemporaryfashionmag)

What else would you like the readers to know about the Me Sous vision and strategy?

Our number one goal is to put the hands of the industry back into the hands of the people who make it possible.Kinda like what FuBu did back in the 90’s, creating a brand & service that is by the people in hospitality, for the people in hospitality.

We source as many ingredients as possible from local farms and often use the same purveyors that some of the best restaurants in NYC use. In addition to that, we also collaborate with local hospitality-focused brands like Boldric and local factories like Ace Apparel to produce all of our Merchandise.

Tell me about your approach to sustainable fashion and culture.

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest with a VERY Frugal mother. Hand-me-downs were inevitable and Back To School Shopping was done at Goodwill. Back then I hated it, however now, most of my wardrobe is either thrift-ed or handed down from friends haha.

I love dressing according to my mood so having unique pieces that have stood the test of time and are full of character are my Go To’s.

My Years Resolution this year was to support my friends, so I no longer shop anything off the shelf or luxury designer, instead I either shop my friend’s brands or go through their network. I believe in community so being able to sew into it with my dollars just makes sense.


From left to right, Couture Dress. Jacket. Coming soon - STUDIO CLANDESTIN

Inventive spirit, artisanal know-how, and the plasticity of contemporary art are what creates clothing brand STUDIO CLANDESTIN. Their pieces are innovative, timeless concepts, combining styling with the arts.

Looking at STUDIO CLANDESTINs latest collection you can see it has been heavily influenced by founder Jonathan Canuti’s youth. Growing us in the middle of Vallauris around lots of greenhouses that form a shelter for the most beautiful flowers of the Azurean region. The essence of the collection takes inspiration from Jonathan’s childhood hero’s; Ceramists from Vallauris, sculptors, and painters from Saint-Paul de Vence, glassblowers from Biot, and carnival riders from Nice. He is able to draw out the beauty and goodness from everyday life.

STUDIO CLANDESTIN is more than just a brand, it is an identity, a concept combining the loves of Jonathan’s life including the enhancement of the craftsmanship, the mixture of noble and industrial materials, and the endless reinvention of basic pieces. Through his deconstruction work, he up-cycles pieces already made by the industry to turn them into something truly unique.Their concept is for future collections to highlight other artists, as well as col-laborations with contemporary artists from various backgrounds

Alongside STUDIO CLANDESTIN's online store they have an exciting service: THE CLANDESTIN LABORATORY. The “Lab” will off customers a detailed sheet of the raw material necessary for the production of the original parts of garments from The Shop. Everyone is free to explore the intricacies of their closet or to go hunting for treasures and send them to Jonathan who will transform them. This clever idea allows customers to have a new lease of life to their basics and a significant reduction on their order. An up-cycling dream that allows STUDIO CLANDESTIN to promote a zero-waste fashion economy.



From left to right. Bedsheets, £82.99. Small Bedsheet, £36

Choosing bed linen can be an intimate choice and one in which you want to choose correctly. We have recently discovered the Swedish brand Midnatt, they offer crisp organic cotton bed linens. Their cosy yet effortless style was inspired by a washed-out favourite shirt and a duvet cover that’s been used for several generations at a family summer house.

Their ambition is to give customers contemporary-looking beds, where colour and patterns can be combined to create a truly personal touch. Coloured sheets and pillowcases are sold separately to make and create the perfect sleeping space, with pieces you already have.

Midnatts stone-washed finish gives the organic linen a beautiful structure with preserved softness, so consumers can truly feel at one with nature in their beds.


Looking at these beautifully intricate pieces you wouldn’t think that they have been created from plastic. Jing Wang, Founder of Upcycle with Jing, cleverly creates her unique jewellery solely from recycled PET plastic bottles – which would otherwise end up in landfill. The designer who is based in Finland understands the importance of having a positive effect on the environment, which is why Jing opted for plastic as her material of choice.

Influenced by nature, flowers, and earthly beauties, you can see each piece has been carefully created with these in mind. They are truly unique accessories, from the jellyfish earrings to the jasmine hairband, each piece transforms you into a fairy-tail version of the natural world. Purchasing a piece from Upcycle with Jing allows you to be part of a movement that is dedicated to protecting this world – Of Course, as well owning a beautiful accessory.

From left to right. EarHook, €40.Earrings, €32. Necklace, €36.


Sustainable shopping and conscious consuming doesn’t have to feel sensible and full of neutral tones, Psychic Outlaw has made sure of that, with their bold and bright up cycled designs, they are taking Instagram by storm. Created by Rebecca Wright, whose life-long obsession has been buying and creating, leading to the making of Psychic Outlaw in 2019.

Now a thriving hub of creatives based out of Austin, Texas, the team is dedicated to designing handmade products. Using vintage quilts and bandanas to create jackets, dresses, and accessories. By allowing customers to send their own quilts and bandannas to be used for the garments, they are allowing the consumers to become part of the creative process – while also recycling their old pieces.


From left to right. Leotard, £42. Low Cut Bra, £30. Low Waste Undies, £25.

“HARA - meaning green in Hindi” is what Founder Allie Cameron named her clothing brand, with sustainability at its core. Which is really no surprise when learning Allie was heavily influenced by her travels around India, and she saw first-hand the environmental impact the fashion industry was having on the planet.

HARA essentials are truly something everyone needs in their wardrobes. The colourful range allows customers to feel inclusive and empowered, wearing pieces that positive for the planet. All products are naturally dyed, cut, sewn, packaged and shipped in Melbourne, Australia.

HARA’s mission is to bring change, awareness and education to issues with the fashion industry.


From left to right Bike Shorts, £37. Sports Bra, £37. Bike Shorts, £37. Sports Bra, £37. Leotard, £42

“Ancient rituals with a modern twist” is the motto of the skincare brand Hello. They create skincare that is inclusive, uncomplicated, Hello Aloe. The ideal brand to start a holistic journey with.

The team at Hello Aloe has spent years researching the benefits of herbs, plants, and seeds, trying to understand their uses. Each ingredient has a specific purpose resulting in highly active, concentrated & efficient products. Small batches of their handmade vegan products all fresh to order. A truly conscious step forward for skincare.

Hello Aloe ensures they only use the best. Ethically sourced raw ingredients from a company in Ghana, that is committed to having a positive impact on emerging economies in the developing world. By teaming up with a cooperative society that employs women from the local community to harvest, gather and prepare the rawest ingredients to produce she a butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter (without disturbing the local ecosystem), they are supporting and helping improve the lives of those who work in their Fairtrade cooperative in Ghana. Setting the foundation for wellness and beauty worldwide.

From left to right Mango Aloe Butter,$35. Aging Oil, $34.


We spoke to Miranda Khamis, founder of the London-based tech platform Food Drop

Can you tell us a bit about what Food Drop is?

Food Drop is a tech platform that monitors and predicts surplus food in stores and intelligently connects this to local charities, who can collect the food at the end of the day. We have partnered with retailers like McDonald’s, Pret a Manger, Caffe Nero and Hummingbird Bakery to ensure over a million items have been redistributed to charities across the U.K.

What led to the creation of Food Drop?

Food Drop started as a passion project between my co-founder Everest and I when we were at university. We studied in a coffee shop and soon noticed that retailers we're often forced to throw away food at the end of the day, we also knew there were many local charities in need of food, so set about connecting to the two parties. We were soon being asked to launch across the country, so we began building a platform that would allow us to coordinate and optimize redistribution at scale.

How does Food Drop Work?

Food Drop is a two-sided platform. We partner with retailers and integrate into their stores. Stores have access to an online dashboard and in-store voice calling system that monitors and predicts surplus amounts. The tech platform then intelligently matches surplus food to local charities who have joined, these charities collect the food for free at the end of the day. Charities are supported and coordinated via an AI-powered chat bot that operates on WhatsApp.

What have been your top achievements for Food Drop?

Partnering with all our retailers and charities has been fantastic, as everyone has been so committed to the mission of reducing food and ensuring surplus food goes to those in need. One of our significant achievements was launching a bespoke platform for Mcdonald’s in three working days when the first lockdown started. The platform connected surplus food in restaurants and distribution centers to charities across the U.K., more than 220 tonnes of food and drink were distributed within the first eight weight weeks of the platform going live.

What’s Next for Food Drop or to help get to zero-waste in general?

Food waste is a growing problem, with more than a third of all food wasted. I think there is massive potential for Food Drop to continue to grow and help a range of retailers. I also believe there is potential for the platform to assist in there distribution of other surplus items.

Top Tips for reducing food waste while we stuck in lockdown?

My number one tip would be to use your freezer! If I see any veg or fruit is coming to an end, I’ll chop it up and pop it in the freezer. I have found this especially useful for avocados which I buy in bulk and use frozen in my smoothies. The second would be to check what you have before you go food shopping, and if possible plan your meals ahead, so you’re buying what you need. My third tip would be to get creative and try to use up what you have left, one of my favourite dishes is to make a vegetarian lasagne and use up all the left over vegetables in my fridge.


A story of tradition and folklore is portrayed in Doussou Traoré’s SS21 collection entitled “The Unwritten Tale”. Shades of indigos combined with various tie-dye prints are truly what brings the collection to life. With tailored silhouettes and skillfully constructed asymmetries. Every piece is fluid, emphasizing movement and expression.

Doussou’s fusion of world cultures, she’s Malian heritage, born in the United States and currently living in Italy. The blend of her backgrounds shines through in her work. Mali textiles, clothing made in Italy: Selected fabrics are craft pieces thanks to the artisanal know-how in spinning, weaving, and dyeing of cotton in Mali. Dyes are extracted from natural sources such as mineral mud, indigo, and other colour bearing plant leaves and bark. Using natural dyes allows a low environmental impact while producing high-quality results.

Patterning bridges between world-class art, textiles, and tailoring. Malian craftsmanship is at the heart of Doussou’s garments. The Sahel, textile makers practice ancient weaving and dyeing techniques to create motifs that spin hundreds of tales. Offering unique contemporary styles drawing inspiration precisely from this folklore.

Producing clothes in a manner that respects not only the environment but the people all along the production chain. Creating collections that are beautifully hand-crafted and ethically created.

Doussou Traoré


Homemade with a high fashion feel is what best describes Danish ceramic brand Bettunika. Founded by Betina Jørgensen, she believes in less is more. Having fewer products but that higher quality, allows consumers to shop more responsibly. She uses natural materials to create her useable artworks with no chemicals, all in the direction of sustainability.

The beautiful, handcrafted ceramics are created by a 10-step process, slow but well made in small batches. As the production is limited each piece finds its rightful owner to start its journey with. Betina’s pieces are that you could see on quirky fashion sets or the Instagram of your favourite influencer being used as a fruit bowl. It’s safe to say we are truly obsessed.

You can shop Betina’s ceramics via her Instagram - @Bettunika


From left to right, Red Bag, £60. Green bag, £60. Blue Bag, £60.

When you think of woven bags, beach bags come to mind with a rustic feel. The team at Lalohas cleverly created a modern and stylish collection using the traditional weaving method. The perfect everyday bags, that will dress up any outfit, as you can see from their trendy Instagram @lalotheshop. Founded by Honey and Jack, after falling in love with woven bags on a trip to Mexico – they soon decided to make their own designs. Naming the brand after a friend of their son – Lalo.

When purchasing a Lalo bag, you can be sure you are buying from a sustainable, Fair trade company that honors the traditional weaving methods of Oaxaca. Which is where their team of weavers is located.Their mission is to provide a support system within the Oaxacan weaving community and to pay their female creatives a fair wage, whilst preserving their artisanal trade. The designer duo is proud to be able to work with the women of Oaxaca to combine their expertise in order to globally promote these unique artisanal styles.

Designed in London and created in Oaxaca Lalo bags are made of 100% recycled plastic and come in the most mouth-watering array of colours.


Blouse €115 & Siz Beige Tongass Skirt €115. To the right Siz Choco-Darien Blaze

COLLECT & Derek Blasberg

Each year, City meals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday, and emergency meals for more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbours. As the designated emergency responder for the city’s elderly, City meals has been working on the frontlines and has delivered more than 2 million meals since the start of the pandemic. Last fiscal year, Citymeals delivered 2.6 million meals – a 26% increase entirely due to Covid-19.The vital mission of this long-standing non-profit is dear to the hearts of COLLECT founder Stacey Alvarez and Derek Blasberg, a proud board member.

Derek - When did you begin working with Citymeals on Wheels?“

The first time I delivered with Citymeals was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. New York was hurting and I was honoured to be a part of Citymeals’ efforts to give back to this city that I love so much,” Blasberg shared.

Derek – How did this collaboration come about with COLLECT?

“Since I joined the Board of Directors a few years ago, I’ve told Citymeals I’ll do anything they ever ask of me. I didn’t expect them to employ my art skills (or lack thereof!),but it was a thrill to collaborate with the organization on this T-shirt,” said Blasberg.

Stacey – Partnering with artists has always been a priority of COLLECT, how did this come to be?

“We know art to inspire individuals to think with agency and to feel an artist’s work authentically, these collaborations have created clothes that are collectible, an extension of your voice that speaks to your interior, that continually inspires by wearing your heart on your chest and contributing to the community via philanthropy,” says Alvarez


What led you to start being more conscious with your fashion/lifestyle choices? And what Skincare that has truly been born out of up-cycling – UpCircle. “Back in 2015, we had a thought: if we’re throwing away a cafetiere full of coffee grounds every morning, how much is going to waste from coffee shops allover London?”

Leading to the creation of their sort-after coffee scrubs. They began by collection coffee grounds from one shop, now they collect from hundreds of coffee houses all across London!Elevating leftover natural ingredients, by resurrecting them as beauty products. All of UpCircle’s collections are natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free and sustainable, ticking all the boxes.Handmade in the UK and sold in 100% recyclable packaging, customers are getting the full sustainable experience with UpCircle. They really go above and beyond with their waste-fighting formulations.“Natural is the new normal” – with their core ingredient being repurposed argan, tea, juice, dates, olives and wood. Rescuing and re-using these skin-loving natural ingredients from industries across the globe. “The only limit to by-product beauty is our imagination” – Founders William Brightman and Anna Brightman.


From left to right,Green Jacket- £440. Beige Trousers -£320. Navy Jacket -£440. Navy Trousers - £320.

From left to right,Grey Jumper- £360. Beige Trousers -£320.Beige Jumper- £360. Navy Trousers - £320.

London may finally have an antidote to fast fashion -Valentina Karellas. Knitwear unlike any other, at Valentina Karellas every single piece is a one-of-a kind. By using surplus yarn from large factories (that would have otherwise gone to waste), they ae able to create lifelong lasting entirely unique London originals. “Every piece has a story; every item is named after an obscure London road. This is our journey, come and join us.” - Valentina Karellas. Each of their pieces has been carefully hand-crafted, no two garments will ever look the same. A modern feel to London’s rich heritage of quality manufacturing. Unlike the larger fashion houses that tend to mass-produce garments to fit the season, Valentina Karellas designs are transeasonal. Adding new pieces to their range organically, fitting for any time of the year.

new pieces to their range organically, fitting for any time of the year.Using a linear business approach to their making process,Valentina Karellas can reduce their carbon footprint as well as focusing on the final garment quality, making no compromises to the finish.Reusing and reinvention is key to their process. Through a dedication to collecting every fibre that is produced, Valentina Karellas’ commitment to sustainable production means that nothing is left behind. Any scrap yarn is turned into accessories, celebrating the fibre in a new light.


Dutch brand Kingdom of Wow! Combine everyday luxury with sustainability, embracing slow fashion to create timeless quality footwear

.Each piece has been consciously designed and mindfully created to produce footwear that is made to last. The products are made-up of raw materials that have been sourced responsibly. Made in Cambodia by local women who earn fair wages in a safe and empowering workplace. Allowing consumers to shop sustainably feel ethically confident in choosing Kingdom of Wow! A sustainable and ethical brand, taking pleasure in the simpler things in life. “It’s about finding your hygge.”

contemporary FASHION


From left to right, Blazer- FEMPONIQ, £220. Shirt Dress - The Shirt of My Sensei, £240. Mens Shirt - Panareha, £60. T-shirt - Collect, £57.


From left to right,Jacket - Lalipop, £200. Leggings - Pure FreeSpirit, £37. Bag - LittleDune, £32. Shirt -FEMPONIQ, £160. Shirt - Lalipop, £120


Soaps varying from £13 - £25.

The fascinatingly formed Seem Soap was created by artist Mathilde Lehmann. Interested by the intimate, both emotional and functional relationship between a daily object and its user, she jumped from artist to artisan to create Seem Soap.

Seem Soap’s mission is to bring art and beauty to the mundane nature of daily life, making an ordinary gesture a moment of pleasure and emotion. They are breaking the standards, re-inventing soaps to become decorative and an object of design. With their use of colour and shape, it will illuminate your day and give you a unique sensory experience.

Inspired by several fields like art, nature, architecture, or fantasy, the shapes are ergonomic. The angles and curves of the soaps have been moulded to create a new sensation when washing hands.

It is important for Seem Soap to be conscious of the environment - all of their soaps are made from a natural or biological soap base. They are paraben free, surface active agent free, and glycol free, and only use natural pigments and fragrances without allergens. Committed to being as sustainable as possible, Seem Soap limit their waste and use recyclable packaging.


Elise St. Esprit

Discussing thrifted fashion and conscious lifestyle choices with Boston-based influencer Elise St. Esprit @TheThriftedCapricorn

What led you to start being more conscious of your fashion/lifestyle choices? And what have you changed as a result?

I have always had a passion for fashion and an eclectic style. I enjoyed thrifting for many years because of the lovely unique pieces you can find for a fraction of their retail prices!1 When I started @TheThriftedCapricorn in 2019 and got into the slow fashion community, however, I was shocked to learn just how big of an environmental impact fast fashion has – the only group currently producing more waste is the oil and gas industry!! Since I believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation, I decided to make it my goal to show the world that sustainability is so stylish and showcase through my Instagram that thrift store clothes are not just your grandmother’s old stuff. Together we can all make a difference and I hope to foster a space on Instagram for discussions, learning, and action!

When did you start thrifting and shopping second-hand?

I have been thrifting with my mom since I was a little kid in the late 90s!! She is the original thrift queen and taught me all the best tips and tricks I know.

What are your top tips for reducing fashion waste?

I like to make a “thrift wish list” of the pieces I am looking to find!! This helps me from getting overwhelmed while searching through the racks at thrift stores and encourages me to shop more mindfully while considering if the pieces are right before buying. You can reference back to it when shopping and see if you are on the right track for what you wanted!

How do you keep up with the latest trends without over-consuming?

Having a “thrift wish list” is a simple and effective way to combat over-consumption as well! When I know what I want to look for ahead of time and have that list in front of me, it helps me from getting distracted while I’m browsing through the thrift store racks and buying something I don’t need or want!

What brands do you look at for the future of fashion?

I think small, independent artists are going to be the future of our fashion consumption!! One place I love the shop if I decided to buy something new is Etsy. You know that there is a real person behind that shop – someone you can talk to that is passionate about what they do – and it makes me happy to know that I am supporting someone like that instead of a large corporation. These goods are beautiful, unique, and of a higher quality than mass-produced fast-fashion items!

Could you recommend one simple lifestyle change for someone who is looking to reduce their fashion waste?

The first thing I would recommend is to start shopping in your closet!! When you see, a new item you want or an outfit you would like to recreate, look at the pieces currently in your wardrobe to see if you have something similar to it already. You will be surprised at how circular fashion trends are and how easy it can be to repurpose or upcycle an old and out-of-date item into something trendy and cool again!! By doing this simple thing, you are reducing your consumption of new products as well as giving new life to something in your wardrobe that you may not love currently.

What are some of your favourite ethical/sustainable brands to shop at?

Today, most of my closet and home are thrifted/second-hand!! I love shopping at local thrift stores to support those in my community but with the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that is not always possible. Because of this, I have found many good websites and apps this year for shopping second-hand online, including De-pop. Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay. Facebook Marketplace also has some real gems – although it tends to be more for home goods than clothing!!


Could you recommend one simple lifestyle change for someone who is looking to reduce their fashion waste?

The first thing I would recommend is to start shopping in your closet!! When you see, a new item you want or an outfit you would like to recreate, look at the pieces currently in your wardrobe to see if you have something similar to it already. You will be surprised at how circular fashion trends are and how easy it can be to repurpose or upcycle an old and out-of-date item into something trendy and cool again!! By doing this simple thing, you are reducing your consumption of new products as well as giving new life to something in your wardrobe that you may not love currently.

What are some of your favourite ethical/sustainable brands to shop at?

Today, most of my closet and home are thrifted/second-hand!! I love shopping at local thrift stores to support those in my community but with the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that is not always possible. Because of this, I have found many good websites and apps this year for shopping second-hand online, including Depop. Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay. Facebook Marketplace also has some real gems – although it tends to be more for home goods than clothing.

From left toright, Shorts- £60. LinenShirt - £87.

Leading the way for men’s sustainable summer wear is Lisbon-based, lifestyle and fashion brand Panareha, they truly embody the spirit of summer. Their relaxed take on shirts, swimwear, and accessories are easy for their customers to style and comfy to wear, which in the warmer weather is key!

Panareha is always looking for what’s next, challenging the materials and manufactures, to produce more sustainable and long-lasting products that protect our planet’s natural resources. Aiming to create great menswear, with sustainability at heart.

Teaming up with the best artisans and partners to produce their products, that are located in the north of Portugal, a region that is world-renown for its premium apparel manufacturers. All of their collections have been handcrafted by skilled artisans using only the best materials. Which leaves their consumers with the highest quality of products.

Panareha is on a mission to create environmentally friendly products in the most harmonious and conscious way possible. They hope to involve their community in their vision and values, with sustainability in their hearts.


This Brooklyn-based jewellery brand will truly make you feel nostalgic for your youth. The candy colours and chokers-style necklaces give us all the 90s vibes in the best way possible. The perfect accessories to take us into the spring/summer seasons.

Founded by Natalie Lin in the summer of 2019 after she had spent a lot of time in Far Rockaway - exploring the beach, swimming & collecting shells. Her bedside table had turned into a small altar of her findings, which soon inspired her to turn them into jewellery that she could wear at all time.

Each of Natalie’s beautiful necklaces has been hand made by her with shells, pearls, and glass beads. The time and effort that has gone into each bespoke piece truly does show. You get a feeling of excitement and happiness when shopping with Natalie’s pieces.

From left toright, ColourBlock Necklace- $100. PapayaCosmos Necklace - $50. Starling Necklace- $100. SammyNecklace - $50.HM StruggleGlass 1 - $120.

contemporary FASHION
Pure Free Spirit

Female-founded brand Pure Free Spirit creates artistic and eco-friendly leggings that allow their customers to express their free-spirited style in comfort.Artist Jessica DeRita – The founder, had a vision, she wanted her company to have a little impact on the environment as possible, from design to production, to distribution. It is key for Jessica to be completely transparent with her customers.

“It’s important that our customers know where their clothing is sourced.We work with Art of Where, a print-on-demand manufacturer based out of Montreal, Canada to produce our products and ship them directly to our customers. There are no additional deliveries between Pure Free Spirit and our manufacturer, which eliminates unnecessary delivery truck pollution, which in turn reduces carbon emissions. Our manufacturer hand sews all our clothing and puts as much care into them as if we were to make them ourselves. Their ethical production and amazing eco-friendly fabrics are just a few reasons why we love working with them.” – Jessica DeRita.

Pure Free Spirit chose this manufacturer because of their shared passion to ensure materials do not go to waste as well as their decisions on choosing the best fabrics from a local Montreal textile mill. Choosing a manufacturer who is environmentally aligned with Pure Free Spirit’s values is particularly important to the brand. The durable and breathable leggings that are produced are created with eco-poly fibers that take 70% less energy, 70% less water, and 70%less heat during manufacturing, compared to traditional polyester manufacturing. The manufacturer also packages each order with limited materials so there is less thrown away. Plus, any excess or imperfect leggings produced for Pure Free Spirit are donated by Art of Where to inner-city shelters within Montreal,Canada. A truly well thought out and ethical production and distribution.

An important aspect of the Pure Free Spirit brand is that there is no extra inventory. When an order is received, it is instantly forwarded to the manufacturer where each pair of leggings and capris pants are hand-sewn in an ethical fashion. Great care and pride are taken to create this eco-friendly active wear so it takes a little longer to be received by a customer who may be accustomed to a typical 2-day delivery.

When you purchase from Pure Free Spirit, you are not only going to receive high-quality clothing that will enhance your own wild heart and free-spirited style, but you are also supporting a female-founded brand that is mindful of its impact on the environment.


From left to right, IGNIS Tote - $250.TERRA Tote -$550.

There’s something beautiful about the mixing of textures and patterns, something designer Aks Mathurs does impeccably. The Seattle-based brand desires to express inspirational ideas through its designs. Each collection conveys the passion for art coupled with useful creations.

Each of their products is an art piece in itself, diligently designed and created from ethically sourced high-quality leather. The beauty of the brand lies in the finesse and dexterous handcrafting skills that go into making each piece through cutting, stitching, and painting in their studio. Each innovative design has been carefully handcrafted out of raw materials (reducing the amount of waste), making each piece one of a kind.

With intricate details and powerful designs, it’s no surprise this young brand will be showing their new collections in mid-February at New York Fashion Week and then later in the year to be showcased at Paris Fashion Week.


The UK has had something exciting brewing in it over the last couple of years – Elementary Scents, a small indie perfumery making 100% natural perfumes. Launched in December 2019 by best friends Becky and Steve, who have taken the perfume game by storm.

Their scents use only the finest natural, plant-derived ingredients, and each fragrance is bold, distinctive, and unisex. Avoiding the bland and boring crowd-pleasers made with synthetic aroma chemicals. Elements opt to create high concentration, totally natural scents that are brewed in small batches. Beautiful scents that are long-lasting and have minimal impact on our environment, what more could we be asking for?!

When receiving an Elementary scent, it arrives in a charming glass vial, which can be re-used if you purchase again, and save you some money. The bottles & lids are also completely recyclable, promoting a zero-waste economy.

When purchasing Elementary Scents, you can feel happy that you have chosen to support a conscious business that is proud to be vegan, cruelty-free, and not afraid to be a little bit different.


Photos provided by BFA Joy Asico, Sally and Lisle Baker and Courtesy of Art Production Fund

Liberty Bell

Artist Nancy Baker Cahill created “LibertyBell”, a public art project utilizing augmented reality, which is presented simultaneously in six cities in the United States: Boston, MA,Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, Rockaway, NY, Selma, AL, and Washington, DC. LibertyBell will be on view through July 2021.

Commissioned by Art Production Fund, in partnership with 7G Foundation and the Jamaica Bay Rockaway Parks Conservancy, a project of the Fund for the City of New York, Liberty Bell is an animated, monumental and richly sonorous augmented reality (AR) drawing in 360 degrees and hence completely sustainable in nature. The public artwork will be geolocated at a series of sites and experienced on smartphones and tablets through Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app. The app was created in February of 2018 as “A tool of public access to art”. This project, which is two years in the making, lives at the vibrant intersection of public art, social consciousness and tech.

Nancy – What was the inspiration for Liberty Bell?

“From its origins in American history, “liberty” was only available to a certain demographic and came at great expense to others. You can’t have a conversation about freedom and not talk about the history of slavery and inequality in the United States. A bell can be a warning or a celebration; something spiritual or a wordless means of communication. In an age of pandemic, surveillance, injustice and disinformation, who is actually free? That’s the conversation we need to have.” - Nancy Baker Cahill, Artist

“That was why I wanted to use the colors of the flag for this,” “I created the individual pieces so they were frayed but also woven together to suggest how independent and interdependent we are — and be open to the moments where they merge and work together.”

Casey – What is your perception of the Liberty Bell project?

“Through a visual and sonic AR experience, Baker Cahill gives viewers the opportunity to reflect upon their personal experiences of liberty, freedom, injustice and inequality. We are honored to present this poignant work during such a remarkable time.” - Casey Fremont, Executive Director, Art Production Fund.

Contributing Editor - Dawn Reinholtz


Mother-daughter duo Kevina and Marisa understand the need for mindfully designed pieces which protect MotherEarth, which is why they created TLC – The Lullaby Club. The high-quality timeless garments outlive that of the big fast fashion brands. A strong influence of nature is seen throughout TLCs collection, with the use of linens and prints inspired by animals and flowers.

The family-run business has grown immensely since they started in 2018, from running it in their front room to having a fully-fledged HQ. There is an international demand for their long-life stylish pieces which are inclusive and affordable.


From left to right, Oat Shorts - £52. Lounge Shirt - £48.Oat Lounge Shirt -£48

Cicco Aroma

Cicco Aroma believes that wellness and self-care are keys to better physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. And we would have to agree, self-love is so important. Their natural collection harnesses the power of plants and the earth to help heal and protect your skin. Creating plant-based solutions that allow the user to feel good on the inside and the out.

Understanding the environmental impact caused by the current cosmetics and beauty industry. Cicco Aroma understands the need for beneficial products with little impact. This is why they meticulously choose each ingredient with specific intent. Using simple ingredients with proven efficacy, that are 100% naturally sourced and plant-based to support the overall wellness of both customers and the planet.

Using packaging that can easily be repurposed is important to Cicco Aroma. By using glass for their candles, body butters, and oils, they can encourage customers to upcycle the packaging to be drinking glasses, to hold new products, crafts, or tools. They also use naked packaging whenever possible to limit the amount of paper and cardboard used.

Cicco Aroma understands that there is always room for improvement, and they will never stop striving to be better and will always keep researching more sustainable solutions to our manufacturing, production, and shipping.