This July, visual artist Alex Noble – who has worked with Nicola Formichetti and Lady Gaga – unveiled his first collection as EMG (read the story here), turning leftover fabrics from designers such as Giles Deacon and Markus Lupfer into gorgeous patchwork t-shirts, called ‘Salvage T’s’.
The results were beautiful – and so were the aims and intentions: sustainability through luxurious ethical design. The clue is in the name: EMG stands for everything must go. Collections are known as ‘Cycles’ – so this collection was Cycle 1 – with each cycle focussing on a different issue in the fashion and textile industries. TRAID and Childhope were the first to benefit.
This season, the BFC invited EMG to join Estethica SS15 for LFW. ‘It’s a great honour,’ thrills Noble, delightedly. And, being the smart cookie that he is, it’s also a wonderful chance to showcase his latest work: a beautifully intricate, beaded design made from waste materials provided by SEWA and Monsoon.
Monsoon, you’ll have heard of. SEWA, perhaps not. Registered in 1972, the organisation finds employment, healthcare, childcare and shelter for forgotten women workers in India who live through their own labour, without secure incomes or aid.
Monsoon, a former sponsor of Estethica, has worked with SEWA for five years, funding an embroidery centre and training initiatives in Delhi. Now we know where so many of the brand’s beaded pieces come from. If you want to understand how intricate Alex’s work is, take a look at the samples below and then the image above – and think about how one becomes the other.
’We wanted to support Alex,’ says Olivia Lankester, Monsoon’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility. ‘Estethica is about raising awareness for emerging fashion designers working with sustainable fabrics, and Alex is making his mark.’
He certainly is: ‘I’m excited to introduce EMG to the industry with this project, as well as promote the talented crafts people in India making the beaded fabrics for our high-street brands.’
The industry’s practices often leave masses of left over materials. The cost of of these materials is high, not only financially but in other aspects. EMG aims to turn these fine materials into beautiful products, to raise funds and awareness for causes such as children in the work force, child abuse, women’s rights, access to justice and the fatal health and safety issues within production factories.
Alex Noble and the EMG team are now working on Cycles 2 and 3. Cycle 2 is a partnership with British designer Margaret Howell; Cycle 3 a denim campaign which will raise awareness for issues affecting the LGBT communities across the globe. So much to look forward to.
EMG & SEWA collaboration will be showcasing at the Estethica Drinks Reception on Sunday 14th September 12:30 – 14:30, West Wing, Somerset House, London.