When it comes to The Acey, we’ve long been converts. Since the sustainable clothing site launched in 2014 (shaking up an outdated eco market in the process), it’s been impossible not to fall in love with the brand’s vision of bringing fair, fashionable and contemporary clothing straight to the doorsteps of ethically-minded consumers. Three years later and The Acey founder Holly Allenby continues to do exactly that. The roster of brands on offer is impressive - each combining aesthetic with ethics. Think upcycled leather skirts in modern shapes or Swedish fishnet stockings in recycled yarn made in solar-powered, zero waste factories.
So it was perhaps only a matter of time before The Acey took things in-house. This week saw the launch of the brand’s first ever house-produced collection - three pared-back dress silhouettes made locally using the most sustainable, hard-wearing fabrics on offer. Even better, our very own Glasshouse girl Rosie just happens to be the fresh face of the collection, looking her Acey woman best in sunny East London (braided organic cotton shopper in hand, naturally).
We’re not just saying this because Holly is our Netil House neighbour, but we truly believe in what she’s doing with The Acey and the positive influence it is having (and has already had) on the way we consume fashion. Their in-house collection is a continuation of this, so we thought it only right to find out more from the woman herself. Scroll down to read what Holly told us…
Tell us about what made you want to create an Acey In-House collection.
I saw a gap in the market for sustainable everyday dresses made for the modern woman combined with the desire to be even more transparent with our Acey women about the origins of their garments.
Who is manufacturing the garments and what does it mean to you to do this so locally?
We’re working with a small manufacturer just 10 minutes from our studio in East London, it consists of 5 female seamstresses. As soon as I walked into the sewing studio I was taken by the space; a light, airy first floor studio with a mezzanine above it where the office is. I feel strongly about supporting local, independent businesses in my daily life so I didn’t want to make a compromise when it came to choosing our manufacturers for the Acey In-House collection.
Give us a little background as to why you chose the particular materials and colours you went for.
When creating the line, we soon realised our small quantities wouldn’t meet the minimums required for most fabric mills so we decided to work with a company that sources dead stock from other production runs. This way we are giving left over fabrics that are already in the eco system a new life. We also focused on fabric content and chose to work with what’s called mono materials - a fabric made up of one (100%) fiber, as these can be easily broken down and recycled unlike blended fabrics. In our case 100% Tencel and 100% Linen which are both very low maintenance fabrics when it comes to the farming process as they require little to no irrigation. Colour was important, I wanted to bring some fun vibrant colours to the sustainable clothing world and so far they have been well received.
What kind of woman can you see wearing the pieces?
Acey women of course! Modern women with a purpose that need to simply put one piece on and feel complete.
Finally, can you tell us about your new Acey space in Hull?
Absolutely. Hull is my hometown, where I grew up and where most of my family live so I personally have a soft spot for it as a place. This year (2017) it is the City of Culture and it’s incredible to see the change that’s happening, particularly around the Marina in the old Fruit Market, which is where the Acey Shop is. We have teamed up with a local furniture/design studio Blok Cnc, who manufacture beautiful FSC certified plywood furniture to co-create a space full of sustainably sourced goods. It is located in a former banana wholesalers, it’s a beautiful space with bi-folding warehouse doors onto the street. Open Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm.
Thanks Holly! Shop the full In-House Acey collection here.
Images: Thea Lovstad for The Acey
Words: Lucy Vincent