Latest posts by Andrea (see all)

    The term ‘sustainable fashion’ brings to mind several things: guilt-tripping articles with a commercial agenda, expensive and beautifully packaged lifestyle items that you don’t need and high street stores trying to claw back their customers with updated marketing. But long before you’d get death stares for using a straw, Silou sustainable activewear was born in the mews of Sloane Square. The luxury work-out gear is the love child of former Victoria’s Secret model Tatiana Kovylina and entrepreneur Phoebe Greenacre, whom The Haute Heel met back in 2017 for a feature on women that travel as their job. So two years on, amidst the gradual consumer awakening to better shopping habits (I’d like to credit social media for some of it), we caught up with the girl who can do it all. Read on and find out what it means to have a sustainable brand and importantly, how we could all do effortless things to be more mindful.


    ethical sportswear brand


    1. How long has Silou been around?

    Silou was born in February 2017. So we are nearly three years young.
    2. What’s the brand vision in terms of sustainability and values? 
    At Silou we strive for high quality, long-lasting, classic styles that can transcend season to season. We have our sustainability promise that by 2021, all materials in every part of the product from design, production, fabrics and packaging will be recycled or made from sustainable resources.
    3. What challenges did you face as a sustainable brand in terms of logistics, costing, expectations and understanding your customer?
    From day one, we have tried to be as ethical as possible with every decision of the business. Trying to do everything the most sustainable way is usually the most expensive and difficult to source. We have actually inspired our suppliers to be more eco or offer more eco alternatives. The biggest issue lies in our need to have stretchy, elastic fabrics. So right now it’s impossible to make a biodegradable, plastic-free legging that also performs as you workout and won’t fall apart. We didn’t want to go down the road of using bamboo, as no one likes baggy, faded leggings after a few washes.
    4. Why do you think ‘sustainability’ is associated with high cost for consumers? 
    Unfortunately at this point in time, its really expensive to produce products in an ethical and sustainable method. So it’s actually a luxury to have an ethically sourced, sustainably produced and low-planet-impact product. Silou is made in Europe by women who are paid a living wage for European standards. All our fabric is sourced from Italy and Portugal, and they are always certified by ECO-tex. This means they have been produced without harming the environment or used toxic chemicals in treating or dying the fabrics.
    5. Where do you see sustainable fashion going in the next 5 years? 
    I think customers are becoming more woke and mindful of what they’re consuming. From what they put on their skin, to where their clothes are made, it’s only going to get more difficult for brands to hide their indiscretions. As people become more educated and regulations evolve for the better, brands will have no choice to meet certain criteria.
    6. As a brand owner, what advice do you have for emerging labels that want to be more conscious? 
    Do your research. Don’t follow the crowd. You don’t need to produce four full collections a year to keep up with the fashion calendar.
    7. What shopping tips do you have for consumers that want to feel good about their purchase habits? 
    In terms of fashion, I always try to buy into brands that have been produced ethically. If you are unsure, email the brand and ask them. I’m not perfect at all – I have high street clothing in my wardrobe but I’m not going to throw it out because I’m trying to be more sustainable. However, I look to buy for longevity and multi-use. I always ask myself, “can I wear it to work, to play, to travel? Do I feel comfortable in this? Does this bring me joy (hello Marie Kondo)?” And if I need a fancy dress, I love using a dress rental company like ByRotation or borrow from a friend. 
    Silou Phoebe Greenacre
    8. What are your favourite pieces from Silou? 
    The Ella Unitard is my favourite as well as the as our best selling Audrey crop bra
    9. What are your tips on how to be more mindful beyond fashion? 
    Take a good look at what you are consuming. From what you buy to what you dispose of. Then multiply that by 7.5 billion people or more. There is just too much waste going onto the planet that won’t ever disappear. Food and waste is my biggest passion when it comes to be sustainable. I’m a recycling fiend. When I’m grocery shopping, I opt for anything that comes in a glass jar (compared to plastic), I take my keep-cup for coffee and refillable water bottle everywhere. As for cling wrap at home, they’ve been swapped to glass storage containers. It’s all about the small things.
    10. And what are your favourite brands to shop from (doesn’t have to be fashion)? 
    I love Everlane, Reformation, LoveShackFancy, Fella, Rixo and Sir the Label.
    PREV. ITEM Sustainable high street fashion buys NEXT ITEM MAC X Pony Park
    30th October 2019
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