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The Designer: Slow Luxury Q&A

“Just as various industries, such as the building and the organic foods industry, have recognised standards and labelling at an international level, Slow Luxury will be a forum for achieving new value assessments for luxury fashion and design goods, based upon a Maker’s positioning and goals.”

Fiona Fraser, Slow Luxury

 

We asked Scottish artist, luxury designer and Creative Director, Iona Crawford, to tell us how our ‘Ten Commitments’ of luxury, bio-designed from seed to product, relate to her brand…

One – Bio Sourced: All natural materials from plants or animals sourced compassionately from certified bio-luxury providers, no synthetic or petroleum based materials.

“All our cloth is sustainably sourced, primarily from mills and tanneries in Scotland, where quality is high and we can satisfy our need for traceability. Our garments are manufactured in Scotland and all printing happens here too.”

Two  – Community: Promoting heritage, education and crafts, along with the manufacturing traditions of indigenous people.

“We are huge advocates of heritage and tradition, utilising skills, techniques and methods of production wherever possible. We believe in nurturing talent and enabling people to grow and progress within their specific area of expertise, and we aim to provide support and training to enable individuals working with us to blossom. Should interns wish to explore new areas and broaden their skills whilst working with us, we welcome and encourage such ambition.”

 

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Three – Skills: Retaining important, long-standing traditional industries and skills e.g. weaving, shepherding, spinning, deer stalking.
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Four – Economy: Positive impact on local economy. ‘Local’ production of goods over out-sourcing internationally.

“Working with an array of longstanding Scottish mills and manufacturers, we are incredibly proud and passionate about the wealth of age-old skills utilised in the making of each collection we create, across both fashion and interiors realms.

The Iona Crawford brand is committed to principles of timelessness, luxury and sustainably sourced materials.

We encourage an appreciation for exceptional design and excellent manufacture, all of which is of Scottish or British origin; reducing unnecessary air miles whilst supporting the rich and innovative textiles industry within which we exist. In addition, we manage this rich tapestry of processes in-house from our base in Glasgow.”

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Five – Ethical Provenance: Traceability and accountability of source of materials.

“All materials and cloth which we utilise reaches us from traceable, sustainable and accountable sources. This is a key priority for our brand.”

Six – Bio Harmony: Humane and organic treatment and management of plant and animal communities, in harmony with local and global eco system.

“Working closely with our suppliers and asking questions of their own supply chains enables us to maintain confidence in the treatment of the flocks, herds and stocks from which our materials are sourced. As a farmer’s daughter, this is an inbuilt necessity and a matter of human principle.”

 

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Seven – Low to Zero Impact and Waste Cycle: Environmentally friendly production techniques.
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Eight – Low Carbon Footprint: Planned whole product life cycle from design and manufacture to life beyond use, ultimately biodegradable. Least environmental impact, across supply chain and materials, cultivation, harvest, manufacture and distribution.

“Our intricate methods of production, tailored cutting techniques and close relationships with suppliers and manufacturers enables us to ensure absolute minimum waste throughout the entire process – from conception, through development, to production and post production.

Working primarily with Scottish suppliers and manufacturers rustically reduces our carbon footprint whilst enabling us to engage directly with the processes each partner undertake independently.

The nature of our garments, collection and brand ethos, coupled with our vision of timelessness, dramatically opposes any notion of throw-away consumption. Whilst the fashion industry machine dictates our biannual production calendar, we strive to create collection which transcend seasons and time. This, in itself, supports an environmentally friendly attitude.”

 

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Nine – Fair and Ethical Standards of Employment: Fairness across the supply chain.

“By placing our business with Scottish suppliers and manufacturers, the majority of which are small by international standards, we support the Scottish and local economy from grassroots to the top of the tree.

With each individual partnering company, we liaise directly with employees at every level, from management through production, from Liz who gently wraps and packs each individual garment for dispatch and loves her Persian cats, and Billy the courier who carrier our cloth down the A9 and would chat on the doorstep ’til tea time.

In house, we value our interns and placement students enormously, treating them fairly, paying for their time and expenses and ensuring they leave us equipped with valuable, transferrable skills and an rich insight into the workings of a design house and small fashion brand.”

Ten – Very High Quality: Manufacture intended for long term use.

“With expertise and ability in all aspects of sourcing, manufacture and production, we are able to ensure utmost standards of quality are maintained across the board, and much to the delight of our exceptional seamstresses, Iona herself is a stickler for a beautiful French seam. Quality is fundamentally a cornerstone of the Iona Crawford brand.”

 

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