#Sustainability – make your clothes work hard!
By Nini Khatiblou
Sustainability is certainly the buzzword in fashion right now – there’s no question that more than ever before, our decisions and actions carry with them a huge impact on the environment and of course it’s our responsibility as the consumer to shop more carefully. So how do you shop in 2019 when affordable fashion has never looked more exciting and the Insta-buzz of Instagram posts shows no sign of dwindling? This isn’t in fact a rhetorical question but one which I as a stylist, a lover of fashion, a loud and proud shopaholic, and a young-ish woman with a disposable-ish income living in London faces all day every day. Have I been guilty of meaningless, impulsive purchases which are enjoyed once and then disposed of? Unfortunately yes. Do I always think carefully about the provenance of where the clothes I’m buying are made, who by and using what materials? Not always. Do I think I could make better choices – buy less and buy better – and actually practise what I spend my working week preaching by thinking a little more creatively and styling multiple outfits using the materials I already have? Absolutely! Every one of us can take a step in the right direction by making small but significant changes. For me, it involves limiting the number of new purchases I make a month and instead focussing on what I already own and how these items can best be repurposed using infrequent but quality, beautifully crafted and timeless new additions.
This brings me onto London W11; like most women, I love cashmere. For me, it embodies the word ‘investment’; it’s where I turn for long-lasting, premium quality, luxury and effortless style. I have tried and tested many cashmere brands over the years and overall I’ve felt pretty disillusioned by most of them. Several years ago, I was introduced to London W11 through a work contact and I have been a superfan ever since. Not only is the cashmere rich and luxurious in texture, colour and design, it somehow manages to dodge the pitfalls of trend-led, one-season wonders meaning that with some clever styling, you can produce several outfits out of one piece, season after season, year after year. And I’m talking several outfits for a whole spectrum of occasions be it work, weekend or wedding guest.
The versatility it offers is refreshing to consumers, particularly those with a growing social consciousness and allows us to continue feeling excited about our wardrobes without the additional guilt of how it is negatively affecting the world around.
Here I have taken my personal favourite for this season (cashmere and sparkle is a winning combination) and given it 5 looks which will work for a number of occasions:
For an office-friendly outfit which still ticks the style box, team your cashmere knit with a pair of cropped check trousers and flat loafers. The round neck means you can easily layer so try adding a classic white shirt underneath and finish off with a minimalistic leather bag. For extra style points, push back the sleeves so you can see a flash of cuff showing through, and casually tuck the front of the jumper into the trousers.
With the festive season slowly approaching, now is the perfect time to start thinking about a fail-safe party look. Cashmere and sparkle are made for each other and the mix of contrasting textures feels fresh and modern. This cashmere knit already has a subtle sparkle running through it so all it needs is a show-stopping skirt to complete the look. A pair of heels, earrings and clutch all in neutral silver are the perfect party accessories.
Rushing around town can still be stylish and comfortable with the right styling. The beauty of this knit is that it instantly elevates the most casual of outfits be it jeans or khaki trousers. For the ideal off-duty style, layer over a Breton tee, add a pair of relaxed khaki trousers and as the weather starts to turn, simply wrap up in a classic pea coat. Finally, a pair of understated trainers and a cross-body bag will mean you can run your errands with efficiency – and style!
LUNCH WITH FRIENDS:
An afternoon catch-up with friends usually calls upon a relaxed and effortlessly chic outfit. Wide-leg trousers in a silk
fabric are the ideal accompaniment to your cashmere knit; grey works with absolutely every colour combination making it the ideal styling piece. The silhouette says low-key but the beautiful combination of luxury fabrics keeps everything on the right side of smart. Push back the sleeves for a laid-back finish and simply add kitten heels and a chunky watch for a cool edge.
For the ultimate rock n roll look, toughen up your cashmere knit with black skinny jeans, a classic tux jacket and a pair of heeled leather boots. A skinny scarf is ideal for offering coverage to the neck area as well as adding a cool edge to any outfit.