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Behind the brand: Meet the designer creating sustainable couture


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This week is Fashion Revolution week, seven days that are dedicated to raising awareness of sustainable practices in the fashion industry. It is organised by Fashion Revolution, a not-for-profit organisation that campaign tirelessly to ensure transparency in the clothing market. In our Behind The Brand series, we have interviewed many brand owners who have created their own companies dedicated to making sustainable garments. 

Lucy Tammam is a British designer behind the brand, Atelier Tammam, founded in 2007. She ensures that each of her garments is made with a conscious mind. Tammam are transparent with their practices since the beginning which makes them the perfect choice to chat to for Fashion Revolution week.


Image credit: (c) Sam Lane Photography, Courtesy of Lucy Tammam 

Creating a brand with an ethical ethos...

The Tammam brand is all about eco-friendly practices, on their website it says 'if there has to be a victim in fashion, make sure it's you'. Lucy herself says that the brand was born from her desire "to create incredible fashion which did no harm to the people who created it or the planet." 

This ethos is clearly in line with what Fashion Revolution represents, and it's no surprise that Lucy has worked with them since the beginning. They are all about informing consumers about who made their clothes, and Lucy was ahead of the game with the way she structured Atelier Tammam. This week she opened the doors of the House of Tammam so that people could see first hand how the beautiful garments she creates are made in her Bloomsbury studio.

Image courtesy of Lucy Tammam

Couture over fast fashion... Always!

For a couturier like Lucy, fashion trends are never factored into her work. She is all about creating classic designs, and the brand focuses heavily on wedding dresses (she was even in the running to be The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress designer.)

"I love couture craftsmanship, design and style" she says, before adding "Fashion and trends - no!" Her ethos echoes that of the late and great Yves Saint Laurent who once said "Fashion fades. Style is eternal."

For Lucy, her interest in looking after the planet has been with her since she was a child. "I was a child animal rights activist and started my first ethical fashion label while still at college. I didn't want to work for a brand making things worse for the planet so I started my own." She also joined this interest with fashion and art in her collaboration with Dana Ellyn in 2016 exploring the devastation of ByCatch and overfishing to our oceans. 

The One Dress project...

As part of Atelier Tammam, Lucy created the 'One Dress' project, in which people can contribute to the creation of one of her incredible gowns. For as little as £2, you can have a word embroidered on the dress in honour of a woman who has inspired you the most. Some of the phrases already included are quotes by suffragettes Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Wilding Davison. 

The purpose of One Dress is to bring woman together all over the world and create a garment that puts the artisans at the forefront. This is a true art project that is here to promote women's rights through couture and donated, reclaimed, vintage or found violet yarn representing the voices of women. 

Getting into the industry and words of wisdom...

There are many different paths to get into the fashion world, so how did Lucy get her break in the industry? "I studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins, but I gained my experience in the real world working for tailors and couture houses."

She also has some final words of wisdom for anyone who hopes to follow in her footsteps... "Be passionate and have a purpose."

For more information on sustainability in the fashion industry visit: Fashion Revolution.

To see more pieces in our 'Behind the brand' series click here.

Lead image: Courtesy of Lucy Tammam

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