Green, organic, sustainable, ethical…eco fashion is big business in these heady days of globalisation and consumer gluttony, and with the likes of Diane von Furstenburg, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Thakoon taking the time to descend from the dizzying heights of high fashion just to get in on the action, the whole eco-market is beginning to resemble a slightly over-stuffed black bean, falafel and hummus wrap.
So, at first glance, the news of a new 'green' brand a) came as no real surprise, and b) did not cause me to wet myself in excitement like a puppy presented with a shiny new toy. That is, until I read the back story…
Designed and crafted by the inmates of an Eastern European jail, Heavy Eco takes the societal sensation that is recycling to a whole new level whilst simultaneously blasting its own brand of wry realism straight to the often mawkishly sentimental heart of a staid, clichéd and phenomenally overpriced fashion sub-genre.
Reworking discarded billboards into edgy and innovative totes, satchels and wallets and stamping their own creative flair onto t-shirts, the inmates have created a range of hard-wearing, tough-as-old-nails accessories (they come with a lifetime guarantee in case you were wondering). This brand is about as far removed from the prosaic and unoriginal offerings being earnestly touted all over the internet as it is possible to get whilst still remaining within the usual constraints of space and time.
Heavy Eco takes gritty realism from the shadowed margins of society and forces the wearer to engage with the hidden, forgotten (ignored) taboo that is reality. Unfeigned, unfettered and unabashed, this is a truly unique collection. And with 7% of sales being poured back into charity projects to help orphans and the homeless, and the remainder going towards wages and materials, you can quite happily offset your consumer guilt with a little humanitarian goodness.