Lauren Matthews’ collection was fuelled by a passion to protect the world’s oceans from human activity and litter. Seeing the copious amounts of litter left on the beach of her home town after a busy day of tourism, Lauren began thinking about how this related to the waste produced by the fashion industry and if there was anything she could do to reduce the negative impact. From this, the ‘Conscious Bride’ collection was born. Taking shape and silhouette inspiration from the discreetly vulnerable coral reefs, Lauren has created a bold and contemporary bridal/eveningwear collection. Whilst there are many brands currently trying to be sustainable in one way or another, the Conscious Bride collection aims to do so in a way that utilises waste from other brands in addiciton to preventing further waste by encouraging circular fashion.
Hues of ivory focus her collection as it blends elegance and modernity. Lauren can say with every inch of confidence that all fabrics and trims used in her collection are waste: all of the fabric featured is deadstock fabric, most of which she sourced from a local millshop. She also found some of her trims in charity shops, and even tried using old cable ties found in a shed for boning in garments. At a time when consumers are more concerned than ever about the environment, and are seeking transparency through the supply chain, this collection gives them reassurance that they can invest in fashion and not have a negative impact on the environment.
The collection features draping, layering, pleating, gathering and flouncing, making statement investment pieces. Lauren’s idea was to not only create a collection which utilised waste instead of creating it, but to promote cicularity in fashion. She hoped to encourage people to re-wear these pieces as eveningwear, hence it being a bridal/eveningwear collection. She also intended the pieces to be passed down as heirlooms so they would outlive a generation, preventing post-consumer waste and serving a way of life rather than a trend.