business Podcast Retail sustainability

Roland Mouret: Rethinking single-use plastics

“Being creative gives us the ability to help change the world”, says Roland Mouret, a designer on a mission to eradicate single-use plastics in the supply chain, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

“Let’s not consider our creativity penalized by the fact that we have to become responsible,” he explains during the recording at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum this year. 

His view is that the concept of luxury that dominated the past few decades has been destroyed by the climate crisis, meaning having money, logos and power are no longer the values consumers want to be associated with. 

Instead, we’re seeing a global shift to a more sustainable approach, he explains. This makes for a highly complex business shift, he acknowledges, but he’s doing so by taking a small step that could add up to a big change if adopted across the industry. 

Consequently, one of his focuses is around the humble coat hanger. Not those glamorous types you see in luxury stores, but the cheap plastic ones that flood the supply chain to get products from manufacturer to shop floor, and ultimately end up going to waste. He is working with a startup called Arch & Hook to do so. 

Fashion designer Rouland Mouret with our co-founder, Liz Bacelar

He refers to hangers as the plastic straws of the fashion industry, highlighting their need to be replaced by sustainable alternatives. In doing so he ties the fashion supply chain in with the overconsumption challenge of single-use plastic. Worldwide, about eight million tons of it leak into the ocean every year. 

Join us for this episode where we also talk to Mouret about why he’s on a mission to make sustainability sexy, the major trend he thinks is dying out in fashion right now, and how the climate crisis is redefining power and the luxury industry. 

Listen here: Entale | Spotify |  Apple Podcasts | Android Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Comment counts: It may not be catwalk, but it’s still designer

Independent or boutique designers may never show on the catwalk, but they should still be classified as designer fashion, argues Rebecca Glenapp of Lux Fix.

Eden Row

Arguably for all but those with the highest disposable incomes, top luxury designers are becoming a rare treat. A Chanel quilted handbag, for example, was $2882 in 2009, five years later it’s gone up by 70%.

Ensuring appeal for the phenomenally wealthy across the globe is a continued explanation. But does it have to be?

One of the key reasons for buying designer fashion is the effort and expertise put into the pieces by the creative director and their team. Boutique owners were originally local independent designers selling specialist product direct to customers. Their knowledge covered every minute detail about their pieces, from the provenance of the cashmere fibres to the fit of a particular sleeve. While that group is now much expanded, they maintain that core principle of intimate knowledge about their product and accordingly their customers.

Like today’s big luxury brands, they spend a huge amount of time working to understand their customer, to produce collections that are as well targeted and relevant as possible. They aren’t aiming for the international fraction of “one percenters”, but a much broader demographic of women still after premium, often more unique product. This means even selling within their domestic market – if the price and product is right – they can shift enough to make the business viable.

Premium womenswear (the category boutique designers come under) is a £5bn global market, according to Mintel, with six million female shoppers in the UK alone. It’s defined as fashion relevant to the AB demographic, 30-60 year old women, with high quality production (fabric, fit and design).

The giants in this space in the UK include high street names like Reiss or Jigsaw, as well as mail order brands including Boden, leaving clear room for independent designers who provide alternative original options. In the UK alone, there are hundreds of these; the antithesis of faceless brands that sell everything from jeans to candles.

While not trying to replicate the time (days, sometimes weeks) or materials (rarefied) it often takes to create a luxury designer piece ready for the catwalk, these boutique designers do have a lot of common ground with the luxury designer world, and should be credited accordingly.

For example, boutique label Eden Row was founded by two friends: former Liberty’s buyer Michelle Kneafsey and dressmaker Anjelica Poole. Michelle’s industry connections ensure their collections are made in a factory that also produces for Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo. Their target customer “loves clothes with a classic with a twist style, but she also likes to be comfortable and practical, which is why our collection is made from a bi-stretch crepe which can be machine washed”. Clearly targeted at the AB demographic woman, their bestselling item is the Lourdes dress at £139.

An example in a different category is Lucy Choi, Jimmy Choo’s niece, who having spent years at French Sole, decided to set up her own shoe label with a similar focus on “affordable luxury” at under £200 for most of her pumps.

Many of these designers have personal relationships with each of their pieces and are able to share details on design and inspiration as a matter of course. Nancy Mac designer Hannah McMahon for instance, used a much loved and worn vintage lace tea dress from her wardrobe as the basis for the core piece of her current collection (£165).

While catwalk pieces are sometimes produced (and sold) in mere single digits, the small quantities boutique designers like Nancy Mac produce, accordingly make the products feel special and enable consumers to feel unique. And it’s this that is at the core of what makes boutique designers so different from their price-comparable and often ubiquitous high street counterparts: buying their individualistic designs is still buying into the concept of original designer fashion, just at a different price point.

Rebecca Glenapp is one of the two co-founders of LUX FIX, the UK’s largest collection of boutique women’s fashion designers.

Comment Counts is a new series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via

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Romeo Beckham fronts SS13 Burberry campaign

burberry spring_summer 2013 campaign featuring romeo beckham - on embargo until 18 december 00_00 gmt

Romeo Beckham has been announced as the spring/summer 2013 face of Burberry’s mainline campaign.

The 10-year-old son of David and Victoria Beckham, appears in a print image and short film (as below) shot by Mario Testino, which broke online earlier today.

He wears a signature Burberry trench coat while playfully pointing an umbrella at models Edie Campbell and Charlie France who appear alongside him. Tom Odell’s “Another Love”, which featured in Burberry’s SS13 show, plays over the top.

Future content released throughout the season will star other Brits including Cara Delevingne, Charlotte Wiggins, Alex Dunstan and Max Rendell, all of whom have previously featured in Burberry campaigns or runway shows.

Chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, said: “This season’s campaign lights up with the infectious energy of an amazing young cast of old and new Burberry family. Cara, Edie, Charlotte, Charlie and Alex are joined by Max and Romeo, who was a joy to work with and really stole the show.”

The campaign is being rolled out across “all Burberry touch points and platforms globally”. That will include outdoor and print advertising, as well as, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, Douban, Kaixin001 and Youku.

As with last season, consumers are also able to purchase the new collection straight from the images on as well as in stores.

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Digital snippets: Givenchy, Miu Miu, Chanel Boy, 7 for all Mankind, Gap, M&S

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:


  • Liv Tyler cover INXS song for new Very Irrésistible Givenchy Electric Rose fragrance ad (as above) [YouTube]
  • Woman turns into a dress in Miu Miu’s new short film [The Cut]
  • Alice Dellal stars Karl Lagerfeld’s short 1920s-inspired silent film for Chanel Boy [Fashionologie]
  • First episode of 7 for all Mankind’s James Franco-directed video series starring Lily Donaldson, launches [7 for all Mankind blog]
  • Gap uses bloggers for new digital catalogue [PSFK]