Eco-chic accessories: ISSI
This year, my favourite fashion accessory will be tea sacks, yes, tea sacks, and perhaps some old parachute silk. Who knew that these basic waste materials could have such a high quotient of style and be transformed into awe-inspiring bags, clutches and even men’s wallets? I am talking about ISSI, an art-meet-environment-meet-fashion company started by designers Isabella Macpherson and Sigrid Wilkinson in 2010.
Today, ISSI collaborates with award-winning artists to make stylish accessories from household, industrial and commercial waste. Their basic raw materials consist of decommissioned fire-hose and parachute silk, reclaimed leather and event material, and tea sacks. ISSI’s products are an innovation in both design and manufacturing.
For their launch collection, ISSI joined forces with well-known environmentalists Elvis & Kresse and came out with bags made from discarded fire hose. The British fire-hose bag became an instant hit with the likes of Cameron Diaz, Leonard Cohen and Lord Mandelson. After firmly making their mark, the brand has continued to collaborate with a range of international artists, such as Lothar Götz, Olivier Millagou, Paul Morrison and Simon Periton.
Our favourite pick is Olivier Millagou’s lovely Nancy (Girl on Fire) clutch inspired by the iconic Nancy Sinatra and her hit single, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’. The clutch is made of red fire hoses and lined with old parachute silk. There is also a fun yellow wallet made of fire hoses and tea sacks and branded with spider webs. Now, that’s making recycling fun.
What’s more? 50% of sales proceedings go to charities associated with the relevant waste. For instance, profits from the sale of fire-hose range will go to Fire Fighters’ Charity. In the past, ISSI’s creations have been exhibited at the V&A Museum, Sotheby’s and London Fashion Week.
Check out this environmentally friendly line here.