This week we caught up with Isabelle Iles on how she is improving her fashion choices and what we can all do to help drive positive change
Hey Isabelle, thank you so much for your support both shooting and talking about our brand over the past few months!
We wanted to tell our subscribers a bit about you and in particular what you look for when trying to shop more sustainably
Isabelle ''Thank you! Something that I am always looking for nowadays when shopping is what a brand is doing in relation to their foot print and impact on our planet. It never even used to cross my mind, although I have never been in to fast fashion brands anyway due to their quality.
I am trying to be as sustainable as I can in everyday life and my wardrobe is a big part of this.
I am not claiming to be the most environmentally friendly person in the world but I feel really strongly that in today's world we must start to protect our planet. My partner always says, ‘what difference is it going to make by little old me using a reusable coffee cup!?’ And I always explain to him that if everyone had that attitude nothing would change but if 100 or 100,000 people made a small change then that would be one big change on the planet!''
I totally agree, we need to work together on this as small changes have a big impact!
Isabelle ''Yes 100%.''
What is your main consideration when purchasing?
Isabelle ''One of the things I look for is timeless style. That is something that I think you do very well at Palones. Your clothing is not simply a ‘trend’ range that you buy for one season and never wear again. It is built on classic wardrobe staples. I want versatility from my wardrobe now, I believe we all need to re-wear our wardrobes more and show it! I love how you make trans-seasonal designs that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.''
We really love your rail edits and styling reels! Can you tell us a bit about how you build outfits and make your wardrobe feel new at the turn of a season?
Isabelle ''Thank you! Reels are so much fun. I am actually using a book shelf right now for my rail shots but excited to set up a cool place in our new house soon. I think the best way to re-style for a new season is with accessories. For example my trousers, skirts and dresses will now be worn with chunky boots, leather jackets and aviator jackets instead of sandals and summer blouses.
The other main thing that I do is layering; so I will add chunky knit cardigans to my shirts and add layers under my jackets. Its all about having a look at what you have and playing around while adding in a few new accessories.''
What are the other things you want retailers to do to improve their footprint?
Isabelle ''I think packaging is a major issue, I hate opening a parcel to find loads of polyester bags that I have to throw away, it makes me so sad. I would love to see more people use cardboard as you do, or re-usable packaging, surely that is achievable!''
We do agree, it is a hard one isn't because plastic is so useful which is why it has proliferated! At Palones we don't claim to be perfect but our deliveries to customers are 100% plastic free and we are trying to make our shipments from our factory either plastic free or using 100% recycled plastic. That is our goal for next year!
Isabelle ''That's great!
How do you feel about recycled fabrics?
Isabelle '' I think they could be a fantastic thing but sometimes it costs the planet more to recycle than it does to make new. It needs to be assessed on a very specific basis. There is a lot of 'green washing' around recycled fabrics that hides the reality. For example where demand increased for recycled polyester, mills were actually buying more plastic bottles just to melt down again. Crazy!
I think we should focus on making the product right and made to last in the first place. I think that brands should now be being more mindful of quality and re-educate the customer that the garments are made to last. The internet has made it so hard to judge quality so people get away with it! Clothing just shouldn't and doesn't need to collapse after 3 washes, there is a better way,
That is actually one thing I noticed when I discovered Palones. As soon as I took the first piece out of the box, I knew the quality was there.
Thank you that makes us so happy!
Isabelle ''On another note I also think that fit is so important to the longevity of a garment in your wardrobe. If my clothes are not comfortable, I cannot wear them. I know I will not make it out of the house in the morning unless I feel comfortable.
Having a chronic female illness called Endometriosis means I suffer daily with swelling in my stomach and pain. Anything tight around my waist, ill-fitting or restricting is just not an option for me.
All Summer I was looking for some comfortable tailored shorts that I thought just did not exist until I discovered your Bermuda Shorts. I love the clever gathered waist band, makes them so comfortable!
If you try something on and are not immediately comfortable I don't believe you will choose that item when it comes to getting dressed. You have to go with your first instinct on this.''
Finally what are your three biggest take aways for anyone wishing to shop sustainably?
Isabelle ''Number one and the biggest one is do your research and pick out the brands that are doing their bit. Some brands now have sections on their websites that will tell you what they are doing or you can simply ask brands more about their approach.
Number two would be do not invest in fast fashion pieces that will not last. What is the point in buying something and then having to re-buy because it shrunk in the wash or the stitching came undone! So frustrating. I do buy some trend pieces as we all like to be on trend but I make sure they are high quality pieces that I can put away until the next time they come back in fashion.
And number three would have to be packaging. This is such a big problem within the industry. If you order from a brand and it comes wrapped in plastic that isn’t recycled or recyclable I would think again about ordering online with them''
You can follow Isabelle on Instagram @isabelle_iles & her floristry business with beautiful dried arrangements is @isabloomfloraldesign
** All Photos are Isabelle's own