An Interview With Revival Collective

At Brighton Girl,we are passionate about promoting more ethical and sustainable fashion. With Brighton Fashion Revolution Week creeping up on us, it only made sense to speak to the other half the events team, Revival Collective.

Founded by Brighton-based girls Hermione and Harriet, Revival Collective is a blog and forum dedicated to promoting more ethical and sustainable living within fashion, beauty and lifestyle, as well as raising further awareness on the continuous issues that surround these industries.

From interviews with ethical designers, to guides on cruelty-free beauty, their fantastic forum is perfect for anyone looking for inspiration and guidance to living a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle.

We caught up with them on the origin of Revival Collective and their anticipation of the upcoming Brighton Fashion Revolution Week.

What inspired you to create Revival Collective?

Harriet: The idea very much came from the fact that we were looking for something similar and couldn’t find it. We had become more and more interested in ethical clothing and I was particularly interested in ethical beauty and living more generally, but I found it hard to find places that sold those products that seemed to be aimed towards me.

We wanted to create something that was inclusive of a younger generation. Plus, when you’re new to the ethical industry, it’s really confusing because there are just so many different issues that interconnect, it takes a long time to really understand it all. I struggled to find a friendly, open, plain-speaking place to help people become a part of the ethical industry. So that’s what we wanted to create.

Hermione:  We also really want to overcome the ‘uncool’ associated with ethical and sustainable fashion. Ethical and sustainable living hasn’t been something that is a credible movement to be part of until recently, especially for the youth of today! But it’s our future that is at stake. We really wanted to create something that would both educate and offer alternatives in a way that was accessible to everyone, showing that you can still have beautiful things, be stylish and express your personality and creativity in a more conscious way. 

Why do you think that it's so important that we should be promoting ethical and sustainable fashion, beauty and living today?

Harriet: More and more people are starting to really recognise the impact we are having on the planet, and we’re already seeing the consequences of it. I think it’s important to promote a sustainable lifestyle more generally, and promoting sustainable products that you can simply buy is a great way to start with this. Changing your lifestyle to be more sustainable is a huge task, but just changing your buying habits can really help.

For example, changing your cleaning products to eco-friendly versions is a pretty easy way to start making that change. It’s much harder to make these changes with fashion, however, because we’ve all grown up in a society that teaches us to buy often, buy cheap, and to not expect good quality. 

Hermione: Our expectation for cheaper and cheaper clothing means that ethical labour standards have to be compromised. Making clothing is a laborious process, yet for many garment workers who are making so called ‘fast-fashion’ is has become an occupation that is extremely undervalued. Pieces of clothing that people have put their energy into making have become throwaway items for privileged westerners.  Many women identify themselves as feminists, and rightly so, but  how can we make this claim yet still buy clothes made by other women who are working in awful conditions and are treated in a way that disregards basic human rights?   

With Brighton Fashion Revolution Week just around the corner, what do you hope people  will get out of this event?

Hermione: With Brighton Fashion Revolution week, we really want to raise awareness in an accessible and creative to open people’s eyes to big issues within the industries. We want to offer platforms for discussions that question the truths behind ‘#whomademyclothes’. Alongside exposing the dark and damaging truth behind the current industries and the consumer culture that we are all participating in, through the ethical fashion talk and screening of the Machinists, we also want to show people that there are alternatives out there and we can all make conscious choices that can benefit everyone. 

Harriet: As cheesy as it sounds, I hope that people have fun! One of the big problems I’ve found with the ethical industry is that a lot of people find it kind of preachy, but we want to show that ethical options can be just as fun, creative and fashionable as high street options! We also hope to help people learn more about the industry with our film screening and our talk, and learn some practical ways they can make changes with our clothes swap and Brighton Girl’s panel. I also hope that people come away wanting to attend more of our events and join Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Brighton, our local group where we put on ethical fashion events regularly.

Are there any particular local ethical designers you would recommend Brighton Girls to try?

Harriet: When you start looking into it, you realise that there are a lot of ethical brands right here in Brighton. Of course, there’s the FAIR shop, which stocks a wide range of lots of different fair trade clothing and they have some great things in there. There’s also Plus Equals, which is a really fun plus sized fashion brand. All of their own styles are made in the UK so of course they’re sweatshop free, and she has a range of vintage and upcycled pieces too - reusing fabric is a great sustainable choice!

Hermione: Brighton is actually such a great place to find brands with ethics and sustainability at their core. There are many independents and brands that make their items locally, such as Brighton Lace, who make their beautiful bras and knickers here in Brighton. There are also many brands such as El Bras and Ruby Moon which not only offer clothing, but are also socially responsible businesses donating profits to charity.  

In Brighton, there’s something for everyone, from the boho chic of Kate & Aud to the sassy, and bold pieces by Plus Equals and Ugly Girls Club. Also, watch out for Zola Amour, an amazing up-and-coming ethical and sustainable fashion brand who’ll be releasing their first collection very soon! In terms of shoes, a great place to look is Beyond Skin, an ethical and sustainable vegan shoe company that has a great range of styles.      

For more information on Brighton Fashion Revolution Week and how you can participate, click here.