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E C O T U R E ™

In 2004, after a year living in Brazil, Deborah approached the natural beauty company Aveda to collaborate with her on a groundbreaking sustainable couture project. The US company, who have an impressive environmental track record agreed to finance and mentor the collection of 11 dresses which each researched a different aspect of sustainability. As part of that research, Aveda invited Deborah to accompany them on a visit to Aveda’s partners, The Yawanawa Tribe of Acre, Brazil who provide urucum for their hair and beauty products. The resulting Collection is inspired by that trip, Aveda’s ethical approach to business and their life enhancing plant based products.

 

The Aveda project enabled Deborah and her team of experts to develop their own dye processing, marbling, weaving and embroidery techniques. Karen Spurgin, Penny Walsh and Emma D’Arcey went on to found ao textiles, in 2006.

 

The collection was described by British Vogue as “elemental like sunsets and storms” proving that couture could be both beautiful and sustainable.

Y A W A N A W A   D R E S S

 

Materials:

- Silk duchesse satin and recycled old stock tie fabric donated by Mantero Textiles, Italy, a company striving for zero environmental impact.

 

Technique:

- Photos from Deborah’s visit to the Yawanawa tribe were embroidered by a family-run business in China. The technique is a traditional art threatened by rapid industrialisation. Silk threads were hand dyed using natural dyes.

B I G   K N O T   D R E S S

 

Materials:

- Silk satin organza and silk crepe. Tie-dyed naturally with indigo and fine touches of Tumeric.

 

Technique:

- Deborah consulted with Aveda's research and development team about the natural dyes used in their hair colour. Then, her team worked with their own dyeing process using tree resin extracts and plant dyes to achieve the effects.

S A N D A L W O O D   D R E S S

Materials:

- Silk organza and satin. Vibrant colours created with natural dyes made from tree resins such as fustic (reds) and madder (oranges/reds). Sandalwood logs supplied by the Kuktabubba Nation, Western Australia.

 

Technique:

- Sandalwood logs were hand cut into unique, impeccably-finished shapes, which were woven together with the fabric to create a free-flowing, unconstructed belt.

S M A L L   K N O T   D R E S S

Materials:

- Silk organza and silk crepe satin, dyed naturally with indigo.

 

Technique:

- As with the Big Knot Dress, Deborah’s team worked with their own dying process using tree resin extracts and leaf dyes. Once the silk was dyed, Deborah tied the shaping knots in place and draped the fabric to create fullness and movement.

M A R B L E D   D R E S S 

Materials:

- Silk jersey.

 

Technique:

- Hand marbled using Urukum supplied by the Yawanawa tribe for Aveda. Deborah chose marbling for its striking designs and eco-friendly process: the printing technique has been adapted to create minimal waste and uses oil paints instead of acrylic.

F I R E W O R K   D R E S S

Materials:

- Hand woven silk organza by Women Weave, India. Fair trade silk crepeline.

 

Technique:

- Tie-dyed with natural dyes using Shibori techniques.

P L A S T I C   L A C E   D R E S S

Materials:

- Recycled plastic bags, silk tulle and Swarovski crystals.

 

Technique:

- Recycled plastic lace created from plastic bags. Recycled nylon forms the netting of the underskirt and Swarovski crystals give the look an elegant finish.

G R E E N   P L E A T   D R E S S

Materials:

- Hand woven silk organza from Women Weave, a fair trade weaving collective in India. Net base with old stock recycled nylon net.

 

Technique:

- Tie-dyed using Shibori techniques and hand dyed using natural dyes.

A U B E R G I N E   D R E S S

Materials:

- Hand woven silk and cotton by Women Weave. Although, not certified organic, cotton used by Women Weave is not grown with pesticides. Dyed using natural dyes.

 

Technique:

- Embellished with sequins made in Africa from recycled vinyl records.

R O U S S E A U   D R E S S

Materials:

- Fabric donated by Mantero Textiles from old stock of tie fabrics. Jungle scene hand sewn using a              mixture of appliqué and reverse appliqué.

 

Technique:

- Dress backed on mixture of silk organza from Women Weave and Italian super organza.