It has become increasingly important for me over the past few years to ensure all the shirts I make for the Hanna Edwards label are sustainable. Of course, we ensure that the manufacturing quality of each garment is as high as possible, so that they’ll last for years and years if cared for correctly.
But I also like to ensure the fabrics we’re creating – each is made to my specifications so that they are easy to care for and wear beautifully against the skin – are friendly for the planet. I’m proud that, in collaboration with our partners in textile manufacturing, we design our fabrics starting from the fibre. We use our knowledge, technology and experience to deliver the best quality to our customers.
Certfied Organic Cotton, used in pieces like the Revive Twill Shirt, has a lower carbon footprint than other types of cotton, using less water and energy to produce. Eliminating the use of chemicals makes is safer for cotton plantation workers – traditionally produced cotton uses more pesticides than another crop in the world – and can be worn by people with chemical sensitivities. They are also free from toxic dyes and other chemicals that are used to treat fabrics.
As for silk, we source thread cultivated using techniques that are consistent with organic production, so that the silkworms feed on leaves that haven’t been sprayed and where the trees haven’t been nurtured using synthetic fertilisers. The worms are also not fed hormones, a practice that makes them grow faster.
Silk is such a beautiful fabric to wear and I use it in a number of the shirts we create. There’s a classic blouse with split sleeves – available in bisque, blanc de blanc and ombre blue – as well as one of my favourite pieces, a limited-edition batiste and silk blend shirt with hand-crocheted lace insets in the sleeve, in black and blue.
When it comes to linen, we use global organic textile standard (GOTS) certified fabric. Linen is already a very sustainable fabrics because it’s made using flax, a plant that is more resilient and requires far less water than cotton.
During my career as a fashion designer I’ve found some women don’t like to wear linen. They find it too harsh on the skin and don’t care for spending time iron out the wrinkles. I’ve created a linen that is soft and wearable, and can just as easily be worn with lounge pants (if that’s what you’ve become used to over lockdown) as with a suit. Because the fabric is reminiscent of St Tropez I’ve called this my French Riviera-style shirt, and it is available in elegant whisper white and a soft lilac hint.
Because there’s absolutely no reason you can’t look good and also do good for the planet.