UK – Product design graduate Emily Harrison has re-invented the classic British brogue using innovative production techniques motivated by sustainability.
Harrison presented The Alternative British Brogue collection at the Edinburgh College of Art graduate show. The shoes were made using new tanning techniques and environmentally friendly materials, such as horsehair, and are 100% free from chromium, the carcinogenic and water-hungry chemical used in 90% of leather manufacturing.
‘Everything is UK-sourced and manufactured,’ says Harrison of her small-scale fashion activism. ‘I wanted to create a quirky brogue for professionals – through a new tanning process that is as successful as the chromium method, but without the negative side effects.’
Harrison has also created the Conscientious Collection of satchels and iPhone cases made from leather offcuts, turning landfill fodder into a comment on fast-fashion consumption. Harrison says both her methods could ‘definitely’ be scaled up to meet increasing demand for sustainable products.
An increasing number of designers are offering high-quality fashion without the eco-guilt. See our Haut Sustainable design direction, and look out for more in our forthcoming New Designers 2013 review.