ELLISS is a London-based responsible brand focusing on organic jersey wear. The collection 'Unconsciously Conscious' speaks of choosing responsible clothing unconsciously for its aesthetics rather than merely ethical production. Their vintage-inspired jersey wear, using ultra nostalgic silhouettes, sported by vulnerable looking girls, is not only visually appetising, but out-of-this-world comfy, too. Even so much so, we want to keep it close all winter long...
How does ELLISS connect sustainability and fashion?
We use organic materials and manufacture in England to maintain a low carbon footprint and are conscious of every element of the design process to waste as little as possible.
What are the main aspects ELLISS as a responsible fashion brand looks to improve?
I would like to show that sustainable fashion can be stylish. The design is very important to me. I want people to buy the clothes because of the way they look, rather than just because they are consciously made. The collection is called ‘Unconscious Clothing’, I want the women who buy my clothes to not necessarily be looking for something eco-friendly, but to choose a piece because of the design – to unconsciously be conscious.
Why is it so difficult to get something responsible manufactured in Britain?
It isn’t difficult to have things responsibly manufactured in the UK as you can oversee the production. However, it did take time to find the right factory. The options are few, but I am lucky to have found a factory I can work closely with. The price is slightly higher in the UK than abroad, but the quality is fantastic.
What inspired the creative direction for ELLISS? Who is perhaps your muse?
The creative direction has happened very naturally from working with great teams on the shoots. Amy, the model in our lookbook, is incredible — she has the ability to look so vulnerable and confident at the same time. That is something that is important to me, to show women in a natural way. We just released a behind-the-scenes film of the launch presentation, which is a candid look at the girls, the playful, real moments.
"I want the women who buy my clothes to not necessarily be looking for something eco-friendly, but to choose a piece because of the design – to unconsciously be conscious."
What personally bothers you the most about fast fashion? How can we still look good with less?
The waste — the nature of the way people buy clothes needs to change. The best way to shop is to buy less, but pieces you really love. Curate your wardrobe.
How much importance does sustainable living have in your everyday?
It plays a big part in the way that I think. I like to buy vintage clothes – that is one of the reasons I decided to focus on jersey wear. Vintage shopping is great for a trousers and outerwear, but when it comes to lingerie and T-shirts – you want something fresh and new. I love wearing matching jersey underwear and a soft T with a pair of vintage jeans.
"The best way to shop is to buy less, but pieces you really love. Curate your wardrobe."
What makes it tricky to have an entirely Made in Britain clothing brand?
Manufacturing in the Britain is more expensive, but it means that you have control of the production and can see everything that is going on throughout the process. I think it is important for the customer to know where their products are coming from.