As summer draws to a sleepy close and Autumn feelings start to fill the still-warm city air, where many moons ago I would have felt excited by new season trends and directions, instead I find myself exhausted by our culture’s constant drive to make us consume, purchase, overhaul and reinvent ourselves and our style once more. Freshly back from the bare, elemental shores of Croatia and suddenly surrounded by free magazines on the tube and huge shop windows in the city, something in me tears in two directions as I navigate my to do list on the high street (today a pregnancy pillow, matronly bra and hot scramble to yoga class).
For on the path toward adopting a more conscious approach to living on and with this magical planet, we inevitably come up against the constant noise of an increasingly trend-led world, and the idea that what we wear should be a constantly shifting narrative in line with the dictates of a disposable culture, where what was relevant yesterday holds little fulfilment tomorrow. And if you were to peek inside my knitwear drawer or black boot cupboard that have slowly amassed since my modelling days over ten years ago, you’d see I’ve long towed the line seeking the thrill of the new and the fresh – the perceived value of the external grossly disproportionate to that of what lies beneath.
Of course it’s only human to desire and dance with the novel. Yet as we work to cultivate a stronger sense of self within and not without, something slowly shifts and there is so much liberation in the embracing of an ethos, world view and self-love that are greater than the transience (and environmental impact) of a purely trend-driven approach to design. We all know that high street fashion costs much more than the pitiful money we pay for it. And when I recently came across conscious German footwear brand Trippen at London’s Natural Shoe Store, I immediately fell in love with something not just glued together to withstand a few short fashionable months but truly beautiful, of the highest craftsmanship, designed for immersive adventures in any landscape I could dream up and to last for years if not a lifetime. Perhaps it’s impending motherhood, perhaps it’s just an evolution in my consumer patterns, but I felt intuitively that brands like this will propel our high streets forward in all the right ways, standing for harmony as well as aesthetics.
With natural vegetable dyes and traditional techniques at the centre of their vision, they design pieces with environmental policy and ecological processes at the forefront of the process, instead of just reacting in response to them, conceiving each style with replaceable parts to create sustainable shoes that can keep on living forever. Rooting me to the ground with carefully crafted layers of bouncy cork and natural rubber, my faithful Tramp boots have just begun what I feel sure will unfold as a very long and varied journey aboard planet earth.
Without meaning to, I feel like I’ve mated for life.
Created in collaboration with Trippen