Ethical fashion made in Norfolk, inspired by nature
- Credit: Archant
Meet the founder of a sustainable, ethical Norfolk fashion brand
Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with images of the devastating effect humanity is having on the planet and its precious resources. But why are we not looking closer to home for those positive adjustments we can all make?
Well, Libby Double, founder of Norfolk brand The Way Of Tea, is doing just that. Creating fashion with a completely sustainable ethos, the planet-friendly clothing and textile company works seasonless when it comes to following the fashion industry’s constraints, but works fearlessly with our natural seasons to source her plant-based natural dyes and wealth of inspiration.
“My collection is inspired by nature,” says the environmental designer. “I don’t follow the fashion seasons, I follow the planet’s seasons. The colours of our seasons are far more interesting to me than the colours of the catwalk. Summer offers colours such as pinks, yellows and greens, and autumn brings deep reds, browns and oranges.”
Handmade in Norfolk, her clothing is made from organic or reclaimed fabrics and dyed using toxin-free, locally grown plants. Libby says, “Each piece has its own story. Many are made from deconstructed vintage clothing or reclaimed bedding. They had a story before they even got to me. I strip them down and give them a new life, so they can start their stories all over again.”
She adds, “Most of my pieces can be worn all year round but they’re made in time with the seasons. I’m inspired by women and all their beautiful differences, by fairytales, by happy endings, calm spaces and my found materials.”
Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter after oil. It’s destroying our planet, our home, abusing our people and damaging our resources. It’s about taking the right steps to minimise the industry’s carbon footprint and implement ethical practices too- all without compromising style.
The single mother of five ‘free-range’ children, proves shopping for sustainable brands are anything but boring and is the ideal suggestion when investing in new pieces. “My clothing is not made for the mass market or for a single standard, acceptable female figure. It is something you buy to express who you really are - just as you are.”
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“Knowing that you own the only piece of clothing like that feels special. It is yours and only yours. That is why I choose to give each piece a name - it has its own story and identity.”
Her innovative, ethnic collection hasn’t just caught the attention of local Norfolk residents. “I will be taking my Norfolk-made clothing over to New York and sending it down the New York runway in front of Vogue and many other media publications. I am part of the Emerging Sustainable Designers category and I couldn’t be more proud.”
She adds, “Bring on the Big Apple. I can’t wait to see my Norfolk handmade clothing strut its stuff.”
She is very proud of her Norfolk roots and Libby aims to focus her collection around the county and keep everything local. With sustainability and saving the planet in mind, this is a very important message to deliver when shooting the collection, teaming up with local models and photographer Becky Louise.
“We chose to shoot at North Denes Beach, Great Yarmouth, as the beach provides stunning white sand, some beach huts and a stunning wooden footpath,” says Becky Louise. “This combined aesthetic allowed for a fresh and natural landscape which really complimented the colour palette of the clothes. We also wanted to keep the location local to home and North Denes was perfect in every aspect.”
She adds, “Whilst we chose local models, we also deliberately chose a diverse selection of models to further promote the acceptance of body positivity, diversity and equality.”
As we know Norfolk is famous for its outstanding beauty and mother nature’s rare shows was definitely the icing on the cake for this sustainable fashion shoot. “Our favourite part of the day was definitely straight after the models had finished dancing in the rain and a double rainbow had appeared, it was really magical and matched the wholesomeness of the shoot,” says Becky.
Models: Chi Double-King, Katya Kudlaeva, Francesca Mesurier, Amanda Hall, Kenza Bendaha, Emily Blake, Cornelie Madinda and Evamarie Eagle
HMUA: Kenza Bendaha and Megan Ellen
Fashion designer: Libby Double from The Way of Tea @_thewayoftea_
Creative director/stylist: Amanda Hall @amanda_hall_stylist
Stylist assistant: Keiea from Eclectic Mix
Creative direction/photography: Becky Louise @becky_louise_photography