Launched in 2011, Selfridges’ ‘Bright New Things’ champions young, emerging design talent, and since 2016, the fashion-led initiative has become part of the department store’s wider commitment to sustainability, with a clear focus on eco-conscious labels. This year, it has expanded its remit further, and alongside fashion is also showcasing a selection of beauty and homeware brands that engage in sustainable practices as part of the project.
While the beauty brands involved in ‘Bright New Things’ will be revealed separately in October, the six other selected brands have been announced by the store, and we’ve profiled each of them below.
The GoodWaste initiative is the first project by EAR, a London-based design studio founded by fellow Royal College of Art students Ewan Alston, Ambra Dentella and Rafael El Baz. The trio collect the offcuts and waste materials from northwest London’s diverse range of manufacturers, and use it to produce furniture and homewares for new homes that are currently being built in the area.
Highlighting the potential of so-called waste materials as a valuable local resource, they transform marble, steel and Corian into beautifully designed shelving units, vases and lamps, not only helping to reduce the area’s manufacturing waste problem, but preventing an influx of often low quality, mass-manufactured goods that must be shipped across the world.
Launched last year, Yatay’s mission is to prove that uncompromised quality can be achieved without sacrificing sustainability. The Italian sneaker brand combines made-in-Italy quality with green fashion technology to produce its handmade footwear, which is constructed from recycled rubber and plant-based fibers.
PETA-approved and vegan-friendly, Yatay also plants a tree in a deforested area for each pair of shoes sold, thanks to its relationship with One Tree Planted. The US-based non-profit pools the donations it receives and sends the funds to its reforestation partners around the world.
Founded by Chelsea College of Art and Design graduate Olivia Rose Havelock, this independent British clothing label specializes in handmade-to-order items produced by the designer in her Edinburgh studio. Fabrics are sourced and purchased locally in the UK, and each garment is cut, sewn and stitched from scratch, rather than pre-made, and available in very limited quantities to ensure as little wasted fabric and resources as possible.
British ready-to-wear designer Charlotte Knowles launched her eponymous women’s label shortly after graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2017. Working with her partner, Alexandre Arsenault, she has built a brand that celebrates the female form through a distinctly female-centric lens, producing utilitarian-inspired collections that feature sculpted bras, deconstructed corsets and semi-sheer negligees.
Employing ethical practices across their supply chain, the pair create durable, timeless pieces and work in a recycling-focused studio. They also constantly research developments in fabric technology in order to make use of an increasingly wider range of sustainable fabrics each season.
Headed by designer Raphael Young, Italian label F_WD creates ‘streetcycled’ footwear that combines eco-responsibility with iconic design. Operating under the motto “Be part of the solution”, the brand uses recycled, biodegradable, vegan, and environmentally friendly materials to create its streetwear.
Committed to supporting the livelihoods of artisans in rural areas and preserving ancient textile techniques, Marissa Maximo’s Philadelphia-based label works with local communities in India and Boliva to produce its artfully relaxed designs.
With a focus on natural fibers, including cotton, wool, alpaca and silk, garments are made using traditional processes such as handlooming, and dyers use azo-free, eco-friendly vegetable dyes.
Working in close proximity to where materials originate, the brand concentrates on small-scale production, supporting women in rural areas, and ensures each worker receives fair compensation.
The ‘Bright New Things’’ brands are being stocked in both Selfridges’ Oxford Street store and online, and will be available for a minimum of two seasons.