Ethical fashion made in Norfolk, inspired by nature

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30 07 September 2020

Style from The Way of Tea. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

Style from The Way of Tea. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

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Meet the founder of a sustainable, ethical Norfolk fashion brand

The Way of Tea is a sustainable fashion brand. Photo: Becky Louise PhotographyThe Way of Tea is a sustainable fashion brand. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with images of the devastating effect humanity is having on the planet and its precious resources. But why are we not looking closer to home for those positive adjustments we can all make? 

Well, Libby Double, founder of Norfolk brand The Way Of Tea, is doing just that. Creating fashion with a completely sustainable ethos, the planet-friendly clothing and textile company works seasonless when it comes to following the fashion industry’s constraints, but works fearlessly with our natural seasons to source her plant-based natural dyes and wealth of inspiration.  

“My collection is inspired by nature,” says the environmental designer. “I don’t follow the fashion seasons, I follow the planet’s seasons. The colours of our seasons are far more interesting to me than the colours of the catwalk. Summer offers colours such as pinks, yellows and greens, and autumn brings deep reds, browns and oranges.”

Handmade in Norfolk, her clothing is made from organic or reclaimed fabrics and dyed using toxin-free, locally grown plants. Libby says, “Each piece has its own story. Many are made from deconstructed vintage clothing or reclaimed bedding. They had a story before they even got to me. I strip them down and give them a new life, so they can start their stories all over again.”

The models celebrate at the fashion shoot for ethical brand The Way of Tea. Photo: Becky Louise PhotographyThe models celebrate at the fashion shoot for ethical brand The Way of Tea. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

She adds, “Most of my pieces can be worn all year round but they’re made in time with the seasons. I’m inspired by women and all their beautiful differences, by fairytales, by happy endings, calm spaces and my found materials.”

Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter after oil.  It’s destroying our planet, our home, abusing our people and damaging our resources. It’s about taking the right steps to minimise the industry’s carbon footprint and implement ethical practices too- all without compromising style.

The single mother of five ‘free-range’ children, proves shopping for sustainable brands are anything but boring and is the ideal suggestion when investing in new pieces. “My clothing is not made for the mass market or for a single standard, acceptable female figure. It is something you buy to express who you really are - just as you are.”

There was even a rainbow at the end of the shoot! Photo: Becky Louise PhotographyThere was even a rainbow at the end of the shoot! Photo: Becky Louise Photography

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“Knowing that you own the only piece of clothing like that feels special. It is yours and only yours. That is why I choose to give each piece a name - it has its own story and identity.”

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Her innovative, ethnic collection hasn’t just caught the attention of local Norfolk residents. “I will be taking my Norfolk-made clothing over to New York and sending it down the New York runway in front of Vogue and many other media publications. I am part of the Emerging Sustainable Designers category and I couldn’t be more proud.”

She adds, “Bring on the Big Apple. I can’t wait to see my Norfolk handmade clothing strut its stuff.”

She is very proud of her Norfolk roots and Libby aims to focus her collection around the county and keep everything local. With sustainability and saving the planet in mind, this is a very important message to deliver when shooting the collection, teaming up with local models and photographer Becky Louise.

“We chose to shoot at North Denes Beach, Great Yarmouth, as the beach provides stunning white sand, some beach huts and a stunning wooden footpath,” says Becky Louise. “This combined aesthetic allowed for a fresh and natural landscape which really complimented the colour palette of the clothes. We also wanted to keep the location local to home and North Denes was perfect in every aspect.”

Fashion brand The Way of Tea is all about the ethical, sustainable way to create style. Photo: Becky Louise PhotographyFashion brand The Way of Tea is all about the ethical, sustainable way to create style. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

She adds, “Whilst we chose local models, we also deliberately chose a diverse selection of models to further promote the acceptance of body positivity, diversity and equality.”

As we know Norfolk is famous for its outstanding beauty and mother nature’s rare shows was definitely the icing on the cake for this sustainable fashion shoot. “Our favourite part of the day was definitely straight after the models had finished dancing in the rain and a double rainbow had appeared, it was really magical and matched the wholesomeness of the shoot,” says Becky. 

Credits

The models from The Way of Tea fashion shoot. Photo: Becky Louise PhotographyThe models from The Way of Tea fashion shoot. Photo: Becky Louise Photography

Models: Chi Double-King, Katya Kudlaeva, Francesca Mesurier, Amanda Hall, Kenza Bendaha, Emily Blake, Cornelie Madinda and Evamarie Eagle 

HMUA: Kenza Bendaha and Megan Ellen 

Fashion designer: Libby Double from The Way of Tea @_thewayoftea_ 

Creative director/stylist: Amanda Hall @amanda_hall_stylist 

Stylist assistant: Keiea from Eclectic Mix

Creative direction/photography: Becky Louise @becky_louise_photography

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