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Design duo Vin + Omi on eco-fashion and raiding Prince Charles' garden

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Designers Vin + Omi put sustainability at the heart of all their collections and believe shoppers need to move beyond their desire for fast fashion.

London Fashion Week designers Vin + Omi will be speaking at Drapers Sustainable Fashion on 11 March.

Their most recent autumn 20 catwalk show, “Resist”, used materials sourced from the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove estate tell us about making a collection using surplus natural materials found on the Prince’s estate.

Everything in the collection is made of eco-friendly materials, with clippings taken seasonally from pet animals, not from livestock: think jackets made of dead hydrangea heads and dresses made of “comfort-clipped” horse hair. It is their second season working with remnants from Highgrove, a collaboration that first started in September 2019.

Vin tells us about the brand’s eco-friendly signature and what needs to change in the fashion industry.

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Vin + Omi autumn 20 hydrangea jacket

Why is sustainability such a focus for the brand?

If you believe in sustainability, eco-fashion and processes, there is no way back. You build on your learning each season and develop new ways of working. We have brought 24 new eco and sustainable textiles to market to date. We were one of the first brands to make textiles from recycled bottles. Equally as important for us is that the majority of our textiles are linked to circular economy projects and have a social impact focus at the core.

What materials did you include from Prince Charles’ estate at your most recent show at London Fashion Week?

Nettles, horse hair from a pet horse at the Highgrove stable, hydrangeas, willow, ash, wood chippings and waste garden bags.

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Vin + Omi autumn 20 horsehair, nettle, linen and recycled plastic dress

Why did you name the collection Resist?

We want to encourage people to resist what doesn’t make sense, resist the wrong, resist the false.

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Join the world’s leaders in sustainability at Drapers Sustainable Fashion 2020 in London on 11 March 2020.

The event is for fashion brands and retailers, clothes manufacturers, supply chain experts, innovators and anybody for whom sustainability matters.

We are creating a programme of hard-hitting talks, projects showcasing sustainability in action, and start-up innovation that is pushing the boundaries of the possible.

What did you use from the Prince’s estate in previous collections?

We focused on developing a brand-new type of nettle fabric from more than 3,000 nettles we gathered that would otherwise have been going to waste.

Does committing to sustainability make the design process more challenging? Do you enjoy this?

It gets easier every season as we develop new fabrics and processes to incorporate in our collections.

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Vin + Omi autumn 20 pet alpaca fleece and nettle jacket, recycled plastic trousers and boots.

Why do you think it’s important for the fashion industry to focus on sustainability?

As the second largest planet polluter - the fashion industry needs to change radically

What type of changes would you like to see in the fashion industry in the future?

Consumer demand for fast fashion needs to shift. The fashion industry needs to educate its customers and be less greedy in its drive for profits. There are many things that need to change.

What topics will you be discussing at the Drapers Sustainable Awards?

Some of the points will include our approach to fashion and how we have evolved, thriving as a sustainable fashion brand, textile development, and social impact projects as a part of fashion.

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Vin + Omi

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