#Think-Piece: Is Authenticity Back In Fashion? We Analyse 6 Trends

Society is reimagining and wrestling with identity at a global level – such as the right to privacy, migration and displacement and perception of women in the media. To help navigate through this change we look to uncompromising clarity.”  

By Aleksandra Medina

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Fashion Revolution Week: All You Need To Know About Who Made My Clothes? Campaign

Words: Anna Victoria Eihenbauma
Photos: Fashion Revolution

This year marks the 4th anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where over 1,000 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured. An eight-storey commercial building near Dhaka collapsed after garment factory owners ordered their workers to return to work despite warnings to avoid the building due to cracks in its structure. The Rana Plaza garment workers were producing clothing for European and North American high street brands when their workplace became life-threatening. 

The tragedy caught international media attention and revealed the need for a reformed fashion industry. As a result of this disaster, the Fashion Revolution Movement was created. 

Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organisation focused on campaigning towards greater transparency in the supply chains of the fashion industry. The international movement urges consumers to ask brands this seemingly simple question: Who made my clothes? 

“The global fashion industry is opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging and desperately needs revolutionary change. We love fashion, but we don’t want our clothes to come at the cost of people or our planet.”

- Fashion Revolution

Whilst working with multiple factories, suppliers and subcontractors at the same time, clothing brands are often unaware of how their products are actually being produced. Transparency in fashion would lead to improved monitoring and controlling of working conditions through all stages of the supply chain. 

Asking brands to become more transparent means asking them to become more accountable. This way, companies can ensure that human rights are respected and that environmental guidelines are adhered to. 

What started out as Fashion Revolution Day, observed every year on 24th April, has now become Fashion Revolution Week. Hundreds of events take place all over the world during this week, all aimed at raising awareness of the true cost of fashion. Individuals and organisations unite in their shared interest of designing a more sustainable future. This year the movement takes place from Monday 24th to Friday 30th April worldwide. 

“We believe in fashion – an industry which values people, the environment, creativity and profits in equal measure, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that this happens.”

- Fashion Revolution

Getting involved can be as simple as taking a photo. Fashion Revolution is calling on all of us to show our clothing labels and ask brands #whomademyclothes on social media. 

Together we can make a positive difference in the world. 

Find out about any potential events near you here.


Radically Responsible Ethical Elegance from Finland: ILUUT

In Finland, radical transparency is making waves in the clothing industry. With their seasonless style and Nordic grace, as a new brand in the market, iluut aspires to make ethical design more accessible to all customers. Who would deny introducing a pinch of minimal elegance into their wardrobe? iluut is comprised of a female trio, with their feminine enigma focused on building awareness of affordable slow fashion. Having just launched their web shop in early 2017, we wanted to know more about their journey towards the brave way of entering ethical fashion industry.

iluut, ss17. 

iluut, ss17. 

Describe iluut's debut collection in 3 words. 

Timeless, traceable and affordable.

What are the attitudes circulating about sustainable fashion in Finland? 

The Finns are paying more and more attention to making sustainable purchases, especially people living in major cities today show interest in buying clothes from smaller sustainable brands. However, iluut aims to expand further in Europe, and it’s great witnessing sustainable supply increase; there is something for everyone nowadays. We also think we have a great duty of educating people and building awareness of the difference between fast and sustainable fashion. We can’t wait for the day when sustainable brands really make a breakthrough and get a bigger market share. We are working hard for that.

What are the main complications you've faced when setting up iluut? 

At the very beginning, it was very surprising how difficult it was to find high quality, sustainable woven fabrics that have been made in Europe. We wanted to find fabrics that are fully traceable; meaning they come to us directly from the farm. We truly appreciate full transparency, because we believe it could decrease fashion’s biggest ethical and environmental problems, such as use of child labour, unsecured working conditions, dangerous chemicals and industrial pollution. In summer 2016, we made a European tour and visited a family-owned Italian fabric manufacturer, Albini. We are proud to say that our customers have so far been very happy with the quality of iluut clothes. Currently we are looking for new sustainable fabric options for the dresses we are developing. 

"Our aim is to be an open and collaborative brand that brings joy and value to its end customers." 

iluut, ss17. 

iluut, ss17. 

What are the benefits of a minimal capsule wardrobe? 

Minimal style looks fresh from year to year, and it’s very easy to combine. That means you don’t need so many garments, because with less pieces you can create many different kinds of looks that last throughout the years. It cannot be a conscious choice to produce something that people won’t wear anymore in a couple of seasons, and that will turn into more waste.

Who and what were the main influencers and influences iluut took note of since its inception?

Our whole team of three ambitious women loves fashion, but thinks that making beautiful things shouldn’t harm people. Last summer, we were fortunate to meet a pioneer designer in sustainable fashion, Marina Spadafora. She has been designing for high-end Italian brands, such as Prada and Miu Miu, before deciding to become a sustainable fashion advocate and a part of the Advisory Committee of the Fashion Revolution global movement; always including a strong social and environmental focus on her work. We take inspiration from people like Marina; people who have started doing things differently to really make a change. 

How does iluut differ from many other Scandinavian brands trying to conquer the ethical fashion market? 

There are only very few fashion brands that open the whole process of each garment: where the clothes were made and who actually made them. This is something iluut focuses strongly on, and we encourage others to do the same. We have also recently started designing two Spring/Summer dresses together with our Instagram and Facebook followers. We believe people will appreciate the clothes even more, if they can contribute to the process. Our aim is to be an open and collaborative brand that brings joy and value to its end customers. 

iluut, ss17. 

iluut, ss17. 

Choosing an angle to improve social or economic conditions in Third World is widely cherished by brands to make a change in the fashion industry. What's your social mission? 

At iluut, we want to work with companies that care about their workers and are willing to invest in them more than just on an average, distant level. For example, when we were looking for an atelier, we were convinced of our choice after finding an Estonian atelier with seven seamstresses, who are paid 40% more than the average workers in the industry. We started working on iluut aside of our daily jobs, and our margins are still low because our mission is to offer affordable sustainable clothes for everyone. How to make our mission happen? We need to rise the volumes and we just took the first steps towards that by opening our web shop, iluut.com. You are warmly welcome to have a look and make sustainable purchases.

"It cannot be a conscious choice to produce something that people won’t wear anymore in a couple of seasons, and that will turn into more waste."

iluut, ss17. 

iluut, ss17. 

What's the best season to be seen in your garments?

Fashion world rotates on the basis of seasons. That’s something we’re thinking differently: surely we’ll have clothes for different times of the year, but we don’t offer seasonal collections arriving two times a year. On the flip side, fast fashion brings new clothes to the market every week, which means compromising the quality and generating a huge amount of waste - both because the garments are not durable and get thrown away, and also because of the unsold stock left in stores. To improve the cycle, our goal is to bring something new to the market only once in around a month’s time, without compromising quality or workers’ conditions. Also, making clothes with a slower approach and seeing what sells and producing according to demand, allows us to avoid producing waste. 

Shop here:


NO/AN: Humane Artisanal Approach Towards Handbag Luxury

Finnish NO/AN by Anna Lehmusniemi is an artisanal handbag brand boasting a purposeful, well-executed approach, whereas each bag is crafted by one single artisan throughout the process. Created as a reaction to the reckless speed of fashion industry, Nordic NO/AN believes in honest, detailed design approach and thorough, transparent craftsmanship of patiently dreamed up bags from start to the finish. The collection’s trademark matte, muted colour palette, as well as sharp graphic and geometrical lines, recalling Nordic landscape and architecture, allured us immediately. One true meticulous, quality fashion staple worth having this soon approaching spring season, that's a NO/AN bag. 

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

What were the key concerns regarding the fast fashion industry that turned into values you embrace with NO/AN?

The key concern is the overconsumption of things that do not last and are not needed. If a T-shirt costs £4,99 and a pair of jeans £12,99, there is clearly something wrong. It indicates the quality is not good and the artisans haven't been decently paid for their work. Fashion productions are also often far bigger than the demand, and so much goes to waste, or is finally sold at a very low price. As a designer, I also feel that it is important to give the design process the time it needs to create a product that is resilient. When it comes to fast fashion, this route is not the objective.

NO/AN’s values are built on honesty and sustainability. I want to create bags that can last for a long time, both quality and design wise. For me it is also very important to work with ateliers and suppliers that care about their employees, who are paid fairly. 

What's the most unique thing about NO/AN we need to know now?

The most unique thing is that every bag is made by one artisan from the beginning to the end. The bags are also signed by the artisans who made them. For me this is luxury.

"As a designer, I also feel that it is important to give the design process the time it needs to create a product that is resilient. When it comes to fast fashion, this route is not the objective."

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

Is the leather and other materials you use ethically sourced? Where do they come from?

I use natural grain leather and nickel-free metal zippers in my bags. The leather is a bi-product of the meat industry, and it comes from a Portuguese tannery that prioritises environmental preservation. The zippers are made by the Swiss brand RIRI, which are partly made in Switzerland and partly in Italy. I know both suppliers well.

What's your opinion about the fashion industry turning a degree closer to transparency and honesty? What could still be done differently?

It is clearly a growing trend and I think it is great. If the brands have nothing to hide, it should not be an issue to be open about where they produce and source the materials.

Sustainability and transparency can easily sound like something boring. I think some transparent brands could focus more on the image and to create an interesting, story-telling world around their products. For example, Everlane has executed it very well.

How do your Finnish roots pair with the aesthetics of the brand? Do you feel geography has influenced your art direction in any meaningful way?

Even though I have been living abroad several years, my design style and personal taste is still very much inspired by my Finnish roots. Actually, I think that the more I stay away from Finland, the more I take inspiration from Finland and appreciate Finnish design. Finnish design is often very minimal, but still not entirely boring. These are the same characteristics I want to communicate with my bags and NO/AN's art direction.

"Sustainability and transparency can easily sound like something boring. I think some transparent brands could focus more on the image and to create an interesting, story-telling world around their products."

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

The branding of fashion will possibly always be more fast paced — we need new images for products every season, if not more frequently. It's all production, all waste. How could this advertising process be perhaps slowed down — I would bring forward more seasonless campaign images, etc? What's your take on that?

Since I do not work with fashion seasons, I also aim to have seasonless campaigns. From NO/AN’s first shooting you cannot say directly, if it is a summer or a winter collection, because it works for both. For me brands coming up with campaigns frequently is a positive thing. It creates work for photographers, stylists, make-up artist and models. If you create digital marketing content, you do not waste materials. But if you print, it is important not to print more than needed.

I think it is important to refresh the image of a brand and collection every once in a while, even though it is a slow fashion brand. A sustainable brand does not have to be boring.

Shop here:


B·COME: Ethical Fashion Studio Revving Up Radical Transparency

We were delighted to meet with Anna and Alba from B·COME Studio, find out more about their amazing brand… 

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

Tell us about the team... 

Most importantly, behind B·COME there is a team formed by individuals who are eager and committed to reach the entire world. B·COME is built upon a passionate team formed by multidisciplinary individuals who complement one another.  

What was the catalyst that made you start B COME Studio?

As there couldn’t be another way, B·COME was born after the experience and the aim to become part of the change that the fashion industry is currently experimenting. 

Alba Garcia, co-founder of B·COME, worked inside the textile industry for seven years. During this time she discovered the real system and impact of the fashion circle; which is mainly composed by processes that are increasingly standardised and don’t allow to take out the potential and the resources from others, especially from the providers. As a designer, one doesn’t take the time to discover the real value of each manufacturer, and the rhythm of the work doesn’t allow to explore it in depth. 

At this moment Alba Garcia and her partner Anna Cañadell (co-founder) of B·COME, who has a significant relationship with entrepreneurship business, decided to invest on their first trip to India. As an opportunity to meet possible clients, discover their potential and understand their needs.  From this moment on, the project has been evolving and adapting to each necessity. 

"As a designer, one doesn’t take the time to discover the real value of each manufacturer, and the rhythm of the work doesn’t allow to explore it in depth."

What is your personal relationship with sustainability (Anna & Alba)?

For B·COME there is no doubt that, sustainable fashion is the future. It is not a passing fad nor a way to ‘greenwash’ clean the name of a brand. 

Sustainable fashion at the moment has become a huge trend, and there is a big challenge for the next generations to value the importance to buy ethical/conscious and to start using quality products. It is important to understand that small changes can reduce the environmental impact and the social problem of mass production. At the end, everything is up to the decisions we make for ourselves. 

Tell us about how you work with other brands to build relationships between suppliers, artisans and brands... 

As a multitasking consultancy/agency specialised in sustainable fashion, we mainly advise companies from large corporations to providers who want to incorporate sustainable fashion and processes that are completely transparent within their production system. 

We are the top of the triangle that unifies sustainable providers and European brands. 

B·COME offers brands services including design and consultancy about quality and alternative techniques. 

The main objective is to offer collections that not simply meet the normal standards required for a certain brand, instead we want to offer the most sustainable option.  Always going a step ahead and by the hand of our provider. 

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

Tell us about your manifesto... 


B·COME believes in people. Together we are and we sum up. Our work consists on facilitating the communication between the retailer (brand) and the provider, throughout transparency and trust, with the final purpose of optimising their collaborations. 


Building a sustainable fashion business is about passion and seeing beyond present. B.COME believes that green and clean fashion is the future. Product quality and design is equally important as how sustainability it has been made.  We support organisations who believe in ethical fashion and integrity, our aim is to endeavour for ALL of us to be a protagonist of change.


Travel is what we do. To discover genuineness is our favourite.

"It is important to understand that small changes can reduce the environmental impact and the social problem of mass production."

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

B·COME Studio, 2016. 

Tell us about some of your recent projects and how B COME helped with the project...

At the moment we are working on several projects, we work with different kind of providers — from small artisans specialised in embroidery by hand (hand craftsmanship) with vertical providers as PRATIBHA (INDIA), who build organic cotton that produce large quantities of cotton, which allow them to work with brands, such as Patagonia, Inditex and C&A. 

We adore to travel and we try to take advantage of our trips to get to know new products and providers. At the moment we fall in love with them, we do whatever is in our hands to introduce them into the European market.