‘Fashion Reimagined’: Amy Powney Brings Sustainable Fashion To The Luxury Market

Back shot of Amy Powney silhouetted against fields of green and rolling hills, ‘Fashion Reimagined’ text across the top.

Image: Fashion Reimagined

In an eye-opening, thought-provoking and poignant 90-minute documentary, ‘Fashion Reimagined’ follows designer and Creative Director Amy Powney on a mission to transform her successful luxury label ‘Mother of Pearl’ into a sustainable brand, whilst inspiring widespread environmental change within the fashion industry. 

Whether you’re a sustainable fashion expert or novice, this documentary is a total must see. 

Amy Powney

‘Fashion Reimagined’ gives us Amy Powney’s first-hand account of her awe-inspiring journey at luxury fashion house Mother of Pearl, going from sweeping the cutting room floor to Creative Director and company owner in just 10 years. 

Amy Powney, closely inspecting a sheath of fabric in a workroom.

Image: Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl's mission statement says, 'clothes that make you feel incredible don’t have to cost the earth. At Mother of Pearl, we believe in delivering beautiful products without compromising on integrity, ethics or responsibility.'

In the new film, Powney details the influence of her own unconventional upbringing in her desire to shift Mother of Pearl into an ethical fashion brand - having spent much of her adolescence living off-grid.

The film, directed by like-minded filmmaker and environmentalist Becky Hutner, captures Powney’s passion for sustainability as the team travels the globe to source materials as close to their mission statement as possible. 

Throughout the process, Powney, in her refreshingly candid manor, highlights the importance of implementing long-term, non-performative processes in order to protect our planet from the ongoing damage of general consumerism - the fashion industry in particular.

“We produce 100 billion items of clothing every year, and 3 out of 5 of them end up in landfill. The chemicals, the quantity, the pollution of the carbon emissions…it’s complete nonsense.” - Amy Powney

As a whole, Amy Powney remains unwavering in her commitment to transparency  throughout the three-year affair, as we see the MOP team working together against daily roadblocks and issues.

No Frills

(Left) Emma Thompson wearing Mother of Pearl. (Right) Saoirse Ronan wearing Mother of Pearl.

(Left) Emma Thompson wearing Mother of Pearl. (Right) Saoirse Ronan wearing Mother of Pearl.

The primary focus of ‘Fashion Reimagined’ of course lies in the now famous Mother of Pearl ‘No Frills’ collection - or: the collection that inspired a movement. 

Powney set out to create a new line of sustainable pieces following her 2017 ‘Vogue Designer Fashion Fund’ win, its namesake alluding to the ‘speaks for itself’ ethos of the ‘No Frills’ collection’s low-key advertising campaign. 

The first of many for Mother of Pearl, ‘No Frills’ was a passion project born out of Amy Powney’s desire for a transparent supply chain, with, ‘organic natural materials, social responsibility, respect to animals, a low carbon footprint and great quality’ across the board.

Consequentially, the resulting collection prides itself on an organic, traceable cotton and wool base without compromising on the aesthetic and timeless quality expected of any luxury brand - a vital counterpoint of Powney’s mission being to retain all of the tasteful playfulness of their prior collections. 

More recently, Mother of Pearl has added a collection made purely from deadstock materials, called Fabric Reimagined. It features beautiful leftover MOP deadstock materials in new designs, crafted in limited run.

Main Takeaways from Fashion Reimagined

Back shot of Amy Powney standing with two white alpacas, taken from the Fashion Reimagined documentary</span></p> <p> </p>

Image: Fashion Reimagined 

Though of course we can’t be sure of the exact impact of Mother of Pearl’s stance, fashion houses from Gucci to Saint Laurent have since followed suit in leaving behind the traditional fashion calendar, cutting their annual releases in half. 

Most importantly, Amy Powney sheds much-needed light on the intricacies and difficulties faced in creating an ethical fashion brand, allowing both companies and consumers to apply more critical thought to our decision-making.

If you manage to catch a showing of ‘Fashion Reimagined’ (we absolutely recommend you do) let us know what you think - let’s continue the sustainability conversation!

Sustainable Fashion at Gen Woo 

At Gen Woo, we are continually looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment. We’re taking time to think about our processes, our production methods, and our product life cycles. We’re seeking to economise on our use of natural resources, and we’re improving the social conditions of those who work in our supply chain. As a family-run business, we believe we all have a part to play in ensuring our children inherit a better, brighter world. We offer transparency, accountability, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

We're reducing our water and energy use, and improving our energy efficiencies by investing in new technology and machinery. We're using our hot waste water to heat our cold water. And we're using solar heating panels to reduce our use of fossil fuels, and gradually changing to all LED lighting in our family-run factories. We are taking steps in the right direction, and you can read more about our sustainability initiatives here.

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