In HURR Wardrobe is back with a very special edition starring Freya Rabet. After working as a designer for both fast and sustainable fashion brands, Freya Rabet launched her own label, Freya Simonne, of upcycled pieces last year and an environmental education project, Protect Your Mother. As extensions of her own personal style and sustainable ethos, Freya crafts her limited-edition collections from gorgeous vintage fabrics and duvets in an array of florals and pastel hues. We caught up with Freya to learn more about her work and to introduce you to her fabulous world.
Not only did we get a behind-the-scenes peek at Freya's design process and personal style ("Eclectic! Feminine! Fun!") but she is also launching an exclusive capsule rental collection of her pieces on HURR, a portion of the proceeds of which will be donated to her friend's charity, The Love Hearts Appeal. Her entire process is the embodiment of our monthly theme of loving your clothes. Welcome to In HURR Wardrobe.
With a pile of clothes I had been wanting to alter for literally years, Lockdown 1 finally gave me the opportunity to do this. I really enjoyed getting back on the sewing machine after so long. I then bought a vintage dress which was a funny length on me so I decided to rework it a bit, at the same time a Virtual Vintage Market launched their first reworked vintage market and so I took a bit of a leap of faith and applied and haven't looked back since!
For me it is super important to use only things that are already in existence to avoid using up more virgin resources and putting extra pressure on our beautiful planet. I source vintage fabrics, quilts, clothing and trims. Nothing is new. I then look at the piece I am going to rework always putting it on or draping the fabric around me and instantly decide how I want it to be. I then make a plan of how best to use every last bit so nothing is wasted. Initially I didn't use patterns but I have now made patterns of my most popular blocks to speed up the process a bit. My very good friend also bought me a pack of vintage hat patterns which I love!
For me everything I do is about being as sustainable as possible. If it can’t be done indefinitely without negative consequence it shouldn’t really be happening at all. I am super passionate about zero waste, for this reason where possible I square pattern cut to ensure space between pattern pieces is eliminated and to reduce the amount of offcuts.
I always find a use for the scraps, either as accessories or if the scraps are too small I save them and I am working on using them as padding in my puffer jackets. This is the same for threads. I also really take into account end of life from the beginning and think about how easy it will be to recycle it and so for this reason I limit fabric mixing as much as possible and also avoid using trims where I can.
I love everything about what you guys do and that you are also really passionate about sustainability and creating a circular fashion cycle. I was so impressed by your new green dry cleaning in partnership with Oxwash. I also think adding the element of renting to my pieces only lowers their impact as new fashion pieces further giving more people the opportunity to wear them knowing that they will stay in use.
I hope that the future of fashion is fully circular. I hope that it slows down and clothes are given back their true value. That there is true transparency of the whole journey and each stage is celebrated as much as the final garments.
To work in collaboration with everyone involved in the process from farm to factory these are the truly skilled people and we need to ensure they are not only protected and safe but actually thriving themselves. To realise that the earth's resources are finite, that waste is a design flaw and take responsibility for that. If no one takes responsibility, then nothing will change.
Most people think the journey to a more sustainable wardrobe starts with buying more sustainable fashion BUT we are here to tell you there is in fact an even better (and cheaper) beginning to that journey. Take a look below for some storage and care hacks that will extend the life of your clothes, show them the love they deserve and cut down on new purchases.
Words by Joanna Standley