Podcast Ep. 30 KIT WILLOW, SUSTAINABILITY GETS GLAMOROUS

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If you've listened to this Episode on iTunes already (don't forget to subscribe - it's free), welcome to the SHOW NOTES. If you haven't heard it yet, scroll down to LISTEN.

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Our MUSIC is by our friend Montaigne, who sang a special acoustic version of "Because I love You" just for us. It's from her album Glorious Heights.

EPISODE 30 FEATURES KIT X'S KIT WILLOW

 Kit Willow photographed by Duncan Killick for the March issue of VOGUE Australia, with the dress she created for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, at Buckingham Palace. 

Kit Willow photographed by Duncan Killick for the March issue of VOGUE Australia, with the dress she created for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, at Buckingham Palace. 

Meet the Australian designer on a mission to save the planet one dress at a time. She's just been in London for Fashion Week showing her work at Buckingham Palace, no less. Livia Firth and Emma Watson lover her, and she's always in Vogue. No wonder everybody's talking about her label KITX.

Kit is fearless fighter for fashion's eco future and a true original, who considers sustainability at every stage of her design and production process. She counts among her fans Emma Watson, Karlie Kloss and Princess Mary of Denmark, but if you ask her if she gets a special thrill from famous women wearing her clothes, she says no. In Kit’s mind, all her customers are equal.

 KITX Collection 9

KITX Collection 9

 KITX Collection 9

KITX Collection 9

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT...

In 2018, Kit was one of the designers featured at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, taking place at Buckingham Palace. The initiative, founded by Livia Firth, brings together designers from 52 Commonwealth nations and pairs them with artisans around the world. Kit worked with local craftswomen from the Solomon Islands on a dress “using natural everything; there are no dyes, no machines – it’s all done by hand and it’s wonderful,” she told VOGUE. Read the story here.

In this Episode, we discuss how designers define their positions on sustainability, and how the rest of us need to decide how that fits with our values. For Kit, it’s all about materials. As she says, "It starts with the field."

ARTISANSHIP  - Kit has an ongoing relationship with Artisans of Fashion making beautiful bandhani fabrics in Varanasi, India for several seasons. She has also worked with Nest to produced hand-loomed silks, also out of India.

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The questions Kit raises around conventionally grown cotton in India are complex. For further reading on this, try this riveting piece from the New Yorker - I reference it in my book, which includes a large section on organic vs. conventionally grown cotton. In Australia, you can buy the book here (free delivery). In the US, pick up your copy here.

This article details the devastating claims around farmer suicides.  Vandani Shiva is a must read on this subject. Prince Charles has also weighed in on the issue. Monsanto denies it of course. 

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The book Kit mentions is The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

REBECCA CORBIN MURRAY is a British stylist known for her passion for sustainable fashion. Her clients include Lily James and Emma Watson. Read this British Vogue Q&A with her here.

Livia Firth and ECO-AGE collaborated with Emma Watson on the press tour for Beauty and the Beast "that every red carpet appearance can truly marry ethics and aesthetics." 

 Emma Watson in KITX at a MoMA Film Benefit in 2016

Emma Watson in KITX at a MoMA Film Benefit in 2016

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Until next time,

Clare x