Meet the Brighton mother and daughter saying no to fast fashion
The fast fashion fight back is in full swing.
With many people now more conscious about what they buy and its environmental impact people’s spending habits are changing.
Zola Amour’s founder Emily Evans saw first hand the business model of buy cheap, wear it a few times and chuck it away when it falls apart, and decided she wanted to do something different.
“I was working as a shoe designer in New Zealand for mainly high street brands.
“I found it really shocking that one company I worked for there were 200 shoes that weren’t perfect, they would cut the label out and the top and bottom and send them to landfill.
“It just didn’t sit right with me that this was happening.
“I visited factories in China and there were massive piles of cloth off cuts or imperfect clothes just heading for landfill.”
After moving back to the UK Emily moved into the luxury fashion market but found the processes weren’t much better.
“I couldn’t believe that we would have design meetings where samples were being completely changed and thrown away.
“I remember with the shoes I said to someone can’t we give these to a women’s charity as some were still wearable and no one had ever thought of that.”
Fast fashion is the reproduction of highly fashionable clothes from the catwalk at high speed and low cost. So something you see at New York fashion week on the Friday will be on the high street or fast fashion websites as little as a week later.
“F**k Fast Fashion is a sentiment I 100 per cent stand behind.
“I’m sorry if this offends you, but fast fashion offends us. I’m fed up with fast fashion brands masquerading as sustainable and ethical - it’s all green washing.
“The BS has to stop - it’s time to give up fast fashion in the name of having a positive impact with your purchase by purchasing from ethical, sustainable makers like Zola Amour.
“I just became disillusioned and lost. I always wanted to be a fashion designer and found I didn’t know what I wanted to do any more for about three months.”
Emily started Zola Amour in 2016 in Brighton.
“I found that many of the ethical or organic brands weren’t ticking all the right boxes for me, they either had slogans all over them or just weren’t right.”
After researching the ethical fashion industry she started her own brand.
Zola Amour is an ethical, sustainable timeless fashion brand, designed by Emily, and handmade by her mum Mims.
Emily said: “We are really transparent at every stage.
“We wanted to ensure people were paid fairly and the only way to ensure that was to take control of it ourselves.
“It is important to me that everything is great quality. It isn’t a great business model but I want people to buy once and have it for like ten years. I hope it becomes someone’s favourite piece of clothing.”
Zola Amour currently has a store in 23 Dukes Lake in Brighton until the end of the year. Then the business will focus on made to order whereas the shop has one of each item in each size.
All of the pieces are made out of good quality organic cotton, modal and bamboo, 80 per cent of the fabrics are also knitted in the UK.
Emily and Mims even go as far as stitching the garments in organic cotton thread to make sure the garments actively return to the ground when they are finished with.
“We use Discovery Knitting in Leicester, they are certified cotton producers and work directly with a farming family in India to grow the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton that they use to knit our fabrics.
“We love the quality of their knits and being able to buy British cuts carbon out of our supply chain.”
Mims and Emily see sustainability as going to be a generational problem.
“Ethical and sustainable fashion is an investment - an investment in the item itself for years to come and also an investment in the planet,” Emily said.
To see the collection online, visit zolaamour.com