New Book Showcases the Pioneers of Ethical Fashion

The themes of sustainable luxury and social entrepreneurship are explored in a new book, Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship: Stories from the Pioneers, with inspiring case studies, including the story of Positive Luxury, from industry pioneers who show that luxury and sustainability need not be conflicting principles.

This book raises the question of how the fashion industry can take advantage of the inspiration and energy of entrepreneurs in the luxury sector to create a sustainable, inclusive and fair society. The answer is explored with nine different case studies, including interviews with each of the founders, from trail blazers in the sustainable luxury sector.

The foreword is written by Oskar Metsavaht, founder and creative director of Brazilian fashion brand Osklen.

One inspiring case study is the story of Elvis and Kresse Wesling. In 2004, after moving to London, the pioneering pair started making accessories from old fire hoses after learning that they were discarded after only 25 years use, and so Elvis & Kresse was born. 

Washbag from Elvis & Kresse

Washbag from Elvis & Kresse

Another pioneer in the industry is Bottletop, founded in 2002 by Oliver Wayman and Cameron Saul. They designed a range luxury handbags made entirely from recycled ring pulls. These bags are not only great for the environment but create jobs for people in the developing world.

British brand Pachacuti designs panama hats which are authentically made in Ecuador by women who have been making them for generations. Pachacuti is both keeping traditional skills alive and paying a fair wage to the worker.

Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship edited by Miguel Angel Gardetti and María Eugenia Girón (Greenleaf Publishing) is available to buy here

Simone Hellyer

Simone is a features writer and sub-editor from Brighton where she writes for several online and print publications. You can find her blogging here.