Happy New Year from @thecalendarmagazine and welcome to our January issue. As this first month of the year is traditionally a time for new resolutions and resets – we’re bringing you all kinds of ideas and content to help you with yours; from our edit of the best fitness clothing out there with conscious credentials, to our pick of some great new brands with a sustainable approach. Our Fashion Features Director Emma Sells @evjsells talks to Katie Ruensumran founder of @themeaningwell, whose focus on resourcing, slow fashion and oversized, statement silhouettes is one we’re fully behind at Calendar. We also have an exclusive interview with the creative forces behind @marques_almeida – a brand reinventing what fashion can be with its singular approach driven by community and purpose.
If, like us, you sometimes find the jargon around clean beauty more than a little confusing, we’re bringing you our Calendar Beauty Manifesto, compiled by beauty industry veteran and expert @annasolowij with the aim of helping you rethink your beauty approach for 2022 and beyond. And if you’re looking for an escape from it all (and who isn’t right now?) @swtravels’ guide to the best eco-focused spas out there is a must read. Finally, we are delighted to share that we will be launching our newsletter a little later this month, so if you haven’t already done so, do sign up at our link in bio for curated content and updates straight to your inbox. Enjoy and we wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous year ahead. Here’s to fashioning the future together.
There are very few humans whose charisma manages to shine through the clunky awkwardness of a remote video call. However, Eva Kruse, trailblazing executive at the fashion-meets-material-science company Pangaia – who’s talking to me today via Zoom from her sitting room in Denmark – is one such human. Although I’ve known Kruse for many years and watched her 2013 TEDxCopenhagen talk ‘Changing The World Through Fashion’ more than once, I was not previously aware of an interesting chapter at the start of her CV, which may explain her cut-through on a video call. She started her professional career aged just 20 as a TV presenter, first on a youth debate show, then later on a fashion programme. “It was at a time when MTV was a big deal,” she says with a smile, “so the Nordic countries created their own version of MTV.”
A powerful voice in sustainability, through her pioneering work as Chief Executive of Global Fashion Agenda (with its flagship event the Copenhagen Fashion Summit), Kruse joined Pangaia as Senior Vice President for Impact in March this year. This ingenious science-meets-fashion brand is both a direct-to-consumer business and a revolutionary industry resource. It sells cool, sustainable athleisurewear in just-so cuts (see its chromatically zinging Instagram feed featuring J.Lo in an ice-blue tracksuit and Harry Styles in a fuschia hoodie), as well as creating extraordinarily innovative products, utilising cutting-edge materials science. A bucket hat printed with ink made from upcycled traffic pollution, you say? You’ve got it. Or maybe a pair of shades made from air carbon? Ditto.
The Fitness Edit
While December was full of sparkle and extravagance, January calls for a more practical approach. With new year vibes comes an inevitable hankering for activewear, guaranteed to provide motivation and comfort in equal parts. Enter: our Calendar edit of standout fitness-wear. From ballerina-approved leggings made from regenerated fibres, to run-ready tank tops, there’s a piece to suit every kind of exercise plan – whether you’ll be wearing yours to the gym, for at-home yoga, or simply for WFH. Each piece has a sustainable twist, and each piece is editor-approved.
Our newsletter is on its way! Fresh for 2022, the count down to the launch of our twice-monthly Calendar email is on. Click the link in bio to join our journey – and we’ll deliver the first instalment straight to your inbox in a few weeks’ time. Happy Friday! ✨
Who else has a spa trip at the top of their January wish list? There is nothing quite like a new-year reboot to cheer up the grimmest month – but can you treat yourself without harming the environment? Spas are big energy consumers: all that water and heat needed for pools, steam rooms, rain showers and hot tubs, all those pristine towels and bathrobes that need constant washing, not to mention endless applications of lotions and potions that feel sooo good. But before eco-guilt stops you booking, the good news is that many spas are well aware of the need to be more environmentally savvy, and have made huge steps to reduce their carbon footprint. There are pools cleaned with natural reeds instead of harsh chlorine, lots of woodchip biomass heating (fun fact: burning a log releases only as much CO2 as it gives off when left to rot – albeit much faster), certified-organic beauty products, solar power, locally sourced spa menus, and unbleached cotton robes and towels. If you do your research, choose well and check out eco-conscious spa operators such as @healingholidays, you can detox without retoxifying the planet.
Ceanne Fernandes-Wong has spent almost her entire career working in fashion tech. Formerly head of marketing at The Outnet and chief marketing officer at Vestiaire Collective, her leadership has seen some of the internet’s best-loved retail sites skyrocket. It seems fitting, then, that her solo venture has experienced a similar trajectory. Launched in 2019, Cocoon’s success was a surprise to no one – but that doesn’t make its innovative concept any less thrilling. A rental site with a difference, Cocoon’s (digital) shelves are stocked with luxury fare that promises to delight even the most discerning of handbag fanatics. The concept is simple: subscribe to Cocoon’s well-stocked site, and add a new handbag to your wardrobe each month. With luxe brands including Bottega Veneta, Loewe and Chanel, it’s a chance to test-drive the finest ‘it’ bags around. Whether you pick an outlandishly out-there style or an instant classic that you’ll want to work into every outfit, its collection has something to match every kind of sartorial appetite. The only thing that’s left to do is whittle down our favourites. HB.
Katie Ruensumran’s path to becoming the founder of a responsible fashion label has not been how you might expect. You may recognise her – and her bold and brilliant sartorial flair – from her cult Insta account @katieismonster. That’s because, pre-pandemic, she was an influencer and front-row regular, working as a stylist and consultant and becoming ever-more disillusioned with the amount of waste and unused stock she saw being generated by the brands that she was partnering with. When the pandemic hit, she had an epiphany: the fashion system needed to drastically change, and if she could help that happen in even the smallest way, she would. So, she ploughed every penny of her savings into creating her new label, The Meaning Well. Based in a studio in East London, she recruited a talented band of pattern cutters, seamstresses and graphic designers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and set about building a brand that would do things differently while making beautiful clothes and supporting local artisans, factories and talents alike…
Mid-week inspiration comes direct from designer Duran Lantink, and his unique fashion perspective. Speaking to Calendar fashion director Emma Sells, Lantink explains the philosophy behind his spliced designs, his desire to make every piece a one-off, and his determination to make clothes you’ll keep forever. “It’s kind of a jewellery approach,” says Lantink. “You get an heirloom, you pass it on and melt it and turn it into something new – but you always keep it in the family.”
Object of Desire
When luxury trainers collide with sustainable innovation, we’ll always be interested in the outcome – especially when said innovative design is created by Stella McCartney. Made exclusively from recycled, vegan and plant-based materials, the brand’s Reclypse trainers offer a circular take on its Ecylpse style. The eco-friendly lining is ECONYL®, a regenerated nylon fabric made using regenerated fishing nets, while the bio-based sole is brilliantly chunky. The only way to make the style more covetable? Add a generous splash of vivid colour. With punchy strokes of acid purple and green – grounded by a neutral background palette – the pair makes a standout yet wearer-friendly staple you’ll couple with every fun-first ensemble. HB.
Reclypse Sneakers, £435 available from stellamccartney.com
Be In The Now
Happy Friday! And we’re celebrating making it through the first half of January while meditating on the beauty of these mesmerising winter blooms.
Video by @hobopeeba
Clean, ethical, green, eco, natural, sustainable – none of these absolutely defines a beauty brand’s stance on careful, mindful use of resources and the consequences for people and the planet. Because very little is cemented in law, greenwashing is rife in the beauty industry, while clever marketing in the form of virtue signalling can obscure and obfuscate to mislead consumers.
The Calendar’s Responsible Beauty Manifesto is a step (because the destination is unknowable and ever-changing) towards clarity, aided by a collection of graphic icons to help you navigate this complicated terrain.
Marques’ Almeida has London running through its DNA. It’s the city where the label made its debut a decade ago as part of the Fashion East line-up; where it won NEWGEN sponsorship in 2014 and both the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent and the LVMH prize in 2015; where it built a cult following with its eclectic aesthetic and diverse casting and showcased the now-iconic shredded denim pieces that spawned seemingly infinite imitations; and it’s where founders Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida honed their craft and joined forces on an MA at Central Saint Martins. But, since March 2020, the label’s epicentre has been in Porto, Portugal.
It wasn’t what Marques and Almeida intended. The duo, who were born and raised in Portugal, made a long-planned trip to their hometown, their two young daughters in tow, just as the world was shutting down and they never left. In retrospect, it’s turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Because, after ten years on the never-ending hamster wheel of the fashion calendar, with its relentless pressure to create the new, along with the day-to-day demands of raising a young family, the pair finally had the chance to take a breath, refocus the label and dive into the world of sustainability that they’d been interested in but put off engaging in for so long…
Brand We Love
Mix utilitarian styles with laid-back tailoring and pared-back palettes, and you’ll hit upon a recognisable signature that will carry through seasons. It’s no surprise that Issue Twelve founder Leah Chapman has found her fashion formula so naturally. The daughter of Ruth and Tom Chapman, founders of @matchesfashion, she didn’t set out to be a fashion designer (studying graphic design at university), but discovered her fresh creative outlet during lockdown. Issue Twelve was the result: a neat collection of wardrobe staples you’ll want to quickly weave into your sartorial roster, then keep forever. Brilliant design and bona fide sustainable credentials are at the forefront. Most of Chapman’s designs are made locally in London, and all use organic, recycled or renewable materials that have been carefully selected because of their eco status. Expect tactile chunky sweater vests, loosely tailored trousers, and effortless outerwear that will instantly upgrade whatever’s underneath. The common thread? We suspect these classics will never go out of style. HB
Be In The Now
Thursday inspiration courtesy of these wise words by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” 💫
It was only a matter of time before Jonathan Saunders’ colour-loving sensibility made its way to homeware. Expanding on his furniture offering launched in 2019, and in the year that saw many a fashion insider pivot to interiors (think: Henry Holland’s ceramics and Laura Jackson’s Glassette), it seemed only fitting that Saunders would explore this avenue, too. Having long collected and curated home accessories for his own spaces, last year saw him transfer his energies into conjuring up a range that perfectly encapsulated his contemporary, colour-blocked signature. The resulting range is a visual feast for anyone who values joyful brightness. Available exclusively from @matchesfashion, expect vibrant hand-knitted blankets, brilliantly playful fringed cushions and colour-splash merino throws. To top it all off, you’ll find a selection of S-shaped and crinkled candles that will update your mantelpiece with an intriguing detail, as well as a capsule collection of bright, cosy knits with a similarly tactile twist. Our wish list is already underway… HB
Object of Desire
Bethany Williams’ colour saturated aesthetic is a match made in heaven for the statement silk scarf – so it’s no wonder the designer’s latest project focuses on exactly that. As we’ve come to expect from Williams, the designs are far from ordinary. Made from peace silk, created through non-violent silk breeding and harvesting, they’re designed in partnership with artist @melissakittyj and @magpieprojectuk – a charity that helps families living in temporary accommodation. Together, the collaborators conjured up the magical narratives that play out on the scarf designs. From characterful monkeys to painterly florals, each is riotous with primary colours and intriguing enough to make you want to unfurl and take in the full picture. Available in eight styles, with two sizes to choose from, they’re true fashion collectables. HB
Trench coat weather will be here before you know it and new avenues for test-driving standout fashion staples will never not be exciting, so we’re all over Burberry’s recent foray into rental and resale. Launched at the end of 2021 in partnership with My Wardrobe HQ, the brand’s latest offering is a satisfying blend of luxury fashion and virtuous credentials. With 40% of each transaction donated to Smart Works, the charity that provides clothing and coaching to help women into employment, customers will play a part in providing the charity’s much-needed service. The other pro? The curated edit is full of covetable pieces. From iconic tan trench coats to accessories adorned with Burberry’s signature house check, each is an enduring classic. And you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to give a Burberry staple a trial-run, now’s the perfect time. Rent a piece for a 4, 7, 10 or 14 day period and, if you fall in love, take advantage of the opportunity to purchase outright. ‘‘Rental is going from strength to strength, but charities have been hit so hard through COVID as most of our usual channels for fund-raising were closed,” says Jane Shepherdson, chair of My Wardrobe HQ and trustee/patron of Smart Works. “Being part of both MWHQ and Smart Works makes this a very proud moment.” Ready to refresh your winter fashion rota? Look no further. HB
The Art of Fashion
We’re swooning over the sublime craftsmanship and exquisite detailing of this magnificent look from Marine Serre’s SS22 ‘Fichu pour Fichu’ collection. A brilliant illustration of how, when sustainability – 90% of the collection is either regenerated or recycled – and extraordinary creativity collide the results are next level magical. Artwork by @siduations
This might not be the best time to launch a hotel in Africa – although Mozambique has escaped the dreaded Red List – but this month sees the eagerly-awaited opening of Kisawa, a Robinson Crusoe fantasy of a resort, set on Benguerra island, 14 kms off the coast of Mozambique. Kisawa’s 22 bungalows are ranged along 5kms of the finest white sand, with elements created using sand and seaweed mortar in 3D sand technology, instead of more environmentally damaging construction methods. The workforce was made up of 80% islanders, 50% of them women, with local artisans contributing much of the handiwork, from textiles to thatching to furniture making, in keeping with Kisawa’s ethos of combining innovation and tradition….
Be In The Now
We’re rounding off our first issue of the year with these inspiring words by iconic writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Here’s to making progress✨