sustainable luxury fashion

Gillian Smellie

I am an eco printer using only the natural pigments in leaves to create permanent prints on cloth.  I work exclusively with second hand clothing (mainly silk, wool and cashmere) to create unique items of clothing. 

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Latest Workshop

A selection of eco print papers

ECO PRINT WORKSHOP

The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

Sunday 5th May

10am – 4pm

£90 to include all materials

Blog

A brown merino wool jacket with three different visible mends and a needle threaded with blue thread. One mend is pink and blue woven darning. One is bright orange darning and one is blue darning

Is #MendItMay ready to break out?

You reach over to the other side of your desk and hear that unmistakable sound of a seam ripping and you know that everybody now knows that you have a pair of funky pink and purple spotted knickers.  But equally annoying, your otherwise perfectly good trousers are now unwearable.  What do you do? According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (2021) 57% of people would do nothing.  A more recent report by WRAP

Read More »

You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves

My reading went through a Russian period when I was about 16.  Pre-revolutionary authors, dissidents (I read all of Solzhenitsyn), and biographies, several of Stalin.  His quote, you cannot make a revolution with silk gloves references Lenin’s earlier  quote that you cannot make a revolution with white gloves.  In other words you  have to get your hands dirty.  Whilst that may be true for political upheavals and both Lenin and Stalin had rather filthy hands,

Read More »
Second hand Fair Isle Jumper

This old thing? Is second hand the new top drawer?

We Brits are not great about singing our own praises.  Even when wearing our only top designer pure silk and cashmere hand embroidered jacket,  a compliment is likely to generate the response “What this old thing, I’ve had it for years”  as we shove the astronomical receipt deeper into our pocket.  We don’t do showing off.  But have we now come into our own?  Is “this old thing” the new designer cashmere? It’s no secret

Read More »
Second hand mens jumper

Should we all buy second hand?

This second hand mens jumper arrived in the post today for my husband.  Its arrival did cause a little angst between us.  Although I do have to agree it is a gorgeous jumper did he need it and was it a better buy than a new jumper? Our first instinct is to say “Of course it is! Aren’t we all being encouraged to buy second hand?”  Spend more than a few minutes online or watching

Read More »
A simple guide to greenwashing

Is it Green or has it been washed?

Greenwashing – the act of spending more time telling people how environmentally friendly you are than actually changing your business methods to become more environmentally friendly. I think we all can pull half a dozen obvious examples of greenwashing out of the hat.   McDonalds introducing paper only straws – that turned out to be non-recyclable.   Or Innocent Drinks (owned by Coca Cola – one of the largest plastic polluters in the world) producing

Read More »

Do you have a death plan for your clothes?

I am deadly (no pun intended) serious. When you bought your last item of clothing did you think about what would happen to it when you no longer wanted or needed it? If you did then I salute you because you are in such a minute minority I doubt it is even measurable. Most of us do think about what we buy. We probably buy a lot of second hand clothes, we may even have

Read More »
A brown merino wool jacket with three different visible mends and a needle threaded with blue thread. One mend is pink and blue woven darning. One is bright orange darning and one is blue darning

Is #MendItMay ready to break out?

You reach over to the other side of your desk and hear that unmistakable sound of a seam ripping and you know that everybody now knows that you have a pair of funky pink and purple spotted knickers.  But equally annoying, your otherwise perfectly good trousers are now unwearable.  What do you do? According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (2021) 57% of people would do nothing.  A more recent report by WRAP

Read More »

You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves

My reading went through a Russian period when I was about 16.  Pre-revolutionary authors, dissidents (I read all of Solzhenitsyn), and biographies, several of Stalin.  His quote, you cannot make a revolution with silk gloves references Lenin’s earlier  quote that you cannot make a revolution with white gloves.  In other words you  have to get your hands dirty.  Whilst that may be true for political upheavals and both Lenin and Stalin had rather filthy hands,

Read More »
Second hand Fair Isle Jumper

This old thing? Is second hand the new top drawer?

We Brits are not great about singing our own praises.  Even when wearing our only top designer pure silk and cashmere hand embroidered jacket,  a compliment is likely to generate the response “What this old thing, I’ve had it for years”  as we shove the astronomical receipt deeper into our pocket.  We don’t do showing off.  But have we now come into our own?  Is “this old thing” the new designer cashmere? It’s no secret

Read More »
Second hand mens jumper

Should we all buy second hand?

This second hand mens jumper arrived in the post today for my husband.  Its arrival did cause a little angst between us.  Although I do have to agree it is a gorgeous jumper did he need it and was it a better buy than a new jumper? Our first instinct is to say “Of course it is! Aren’t we all being encouraged to buy second hand?”  Spend more than a few minutes online or watching

Read More »
A simple guide to greenwashing

Is it Green or has it been washed?

Greenwashing – the act of spending more time telling people how environmentally friendly you are than actually changing your business methods to become more environmentally friendly. I think we all can pull half a dozen obvious examples of greenwashing out of the hat.   McDonalds introducing paper only straws – that turned out to be non-recyclable.   Or Innocent Drinks (owned by Coca Cola – one of the largest plastic polluters in the world) producing

Read More »

Do you have a death plan for your clothes?

I am deadly (no pun intended) serious. When you bought your last item of clothing did you think about what would happen to it when you no longer wanted or needed it? If you did then I salute you because you are in such a minute minority I doubt it is even measurable. Most of us do think about what we buy. We probably buy a lot of second hand clothes, we may even have

Read More »
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