By Amma Aburam
When Eluxe was just starting out, there was another sustainable brand on its first legs too – the online retailer From a Confined Space, curated by Carrie Davies. Carrie’s passion for ethical fashion has only grown stronger since she launched her first enterprise, and now she has a new baby: the eco-denim brand IDEN.
Carrie, alongside Elaine Stolworthy, form the Iden team. Elaine is an experienced creative denim buyer whose previous role was Denim Buying Director at Gap. Carrie’s eye for fashion is now focused on designing seriously gorgeous clothes under Elaine’s direction – in fact, the market positioning and brand name were Elaine’s ideas. There’s a load of denim here, and what gorgeous stuff it is, too – think jean-on-jean detailing, 70’s style denim dresses and twin sets, made from organic cotton, and/or recycled fabrics. But Carrie has also put her hand to designing non-denim too, like Reformation-style wrap dresses, delicate blouses and easy-to-wear jersey.
Though each piece bears the hallmark of a designer creation, prices are reasonable, and even more so for Eluxe readers, who are being given 10% off the collection (see below for details).
Interested in learning more about where this ethical brand is going? Read our interview with Carrie and Elaine below to discover Iden.
What was your goal when starting the brand, Elaine?
To create a women’s denim brand infused with a British sensibility through the design and the styling. Denim for the girl who wears denim to work, to a date, for dinner, dressing her denim up in a feminine way. There are a lot of amazing premium denim brands in the marketplace but they are expensive. I believe good design does not need to cost a fortune and really wanted to explore creating a brand that was accessible yet premium in its quality. Finally, there is so much opportunity now to create a collection that adheres to better sustainable practices than ever before. These three components were the driving force behind the concept.
Why did you choose to use denim as the focus of your brand?
Denim is the foundation of everyone’s wardrobe. It’s a classic and durable fabric that has longevity and emotion for the wearer. Everyone has a favourite pair of jeans that they wear year after year. It’s season-less and versatile. The longevity of a pair jeans supports the sustainable ethos of buying items to keep, jeans can be the antithesis to throw away fashion.
What’s your definition of British style?
Good question! I believe it’s eclectic, often feminine but with unexpected styling or details, yet still wearable for the everyday. British women tend to be experimental with their styling, playing with new colour combinations, print mixes or silhouette proportions, new creative and unique takes on styling, plus wearing with confidence; dresses with trainers or puffa jackets over suits for example. It’s the wit and ease and not taking oneself too seriously, that defines British attitude for me.
Frankly, the fashion industry is saturated with denim. How do you cut through the noise?
We’ve focused on premium fabrics and quality construction. We’ve partnered with a fantastic mill who are truly innovators in the denim field. It’s allowed us to use the newest fabrics, comprised of recycled cotton yarns, organic cottons, and post-consumer waste recycled polyesters. Over 50% of our denim range is made from organic denim and where this is not possible we’ve committed to using Better Cotton Initiative approved fabrics. Our sourcing is the start, but I think our RTW pieces that sit alongside our denim range offer a unique sensibility to the premium denim market.
Tell us a bit about where you source your denim and your ethical production processes
Without giving away too many secrets, the majority of our denim range is produced in Turkey with a small amount coming from the Far East. We work with fantastic factories who are committed to clean water processing. I’m proud that all elements of our jeans have been considered from an ethical sourcing standpoint, not just our core fabrics. For example we use recycled leather for our branded back patches and our branded rivets and buttons are Bluesign approved.
How do you make “jean on jean” work so well? It’s a difficult style to pull off!
By keeping it feminine, and by keeping it simple. Besides, it’s a slightly eccentric way of styling that embodies British attitude.
What are some of your favourite pieces in the collection?
Of course I love them all! But if I had to choose, I’d say the Virginia boyfriend jeans with the indigo side stripe and the Midi wrap dress.
Where do you see IDEN DENIM in the next 5 years?
In every discernable women’s wardrobe, of course!
Like what you see? Order from IDEN DENIM with the code IdenElux10 for 10% off your first order now.
Selected items from IDEN DENIM’S SS18 range are also available to PRE-ORDER now on their website! Get your hands on their premier collection of sustainable and organic clothing before it hits stores in February 2018. The pre-order event is available for a limited time, until Sunday 15th Oct 2017.