by Camilla Ridley
Our visit to Hampton Court Flower Show this week highlights the change under way and how sustainability is increasingly important for this summer's statement printed floral silk dresses
Bedding in, influencers kat farmer @doesmybumlook40, Heidy @heidybrynjacobsenyoga and Becky @bricksandstitches enjoy press day at Hampton Court Flower Show in their statement floral printed silk Ridley London dresses.
I was very lucky to attend the VIP press Day for Hampton Court Flower Show on Monday with my wonderful friends Kat @doesmybumlook40, Becky @bricksandstitches and Deborah @bowelbabe. What an absolutely brilliant day, and I couldn’t recommend visiting highly enough. There are some incredible show gardens to see, beautiful planting, brilliant shopping and lots of inspiration for anyone of a slightly green fingered persuasion. It’s an incredible setting in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and a lovely way to spend time outdoors and being reminded just how beautiful nature really is.
Amongst the sea of floral boarders something altogether more jarring caught my eye. The conceptual Global Impact Gardens including The Extinction garden with a half a crash-landed plane in a ‘field’ of barley with Homo Sapiens emblazoned on its side and a garden in a bottle to remind us of the issues of plastic waste. While these are definitely not everyones idea of domestic inspiration or bucolic beauty, they are a crucial reminder of humanities destructive relationship with nature, underscoring the fallacy of improving our own little back yards while our entire existence is threatened. And chief amongst these elephants in the room is Baz Grainger’s Silver medal winning Fashion Footprint garden which cleverly highlights the negative impacts of the fashion industry. As you might be aware, a recent UN study highlighted how fashion has become the world's second biggest polluter. And as we continued to meander through the beautiful floral gardens with the assembled media and celebrities, I couldn’t help wondering which of the statement floral dresses and outfits on show were (somewhat ironically) actively contributing to the destruction of our natural habitats.
Top from left, Deborah @BowelBabe wears Ridley's Savanna Sundress. Kat @DoesMyBumLook40 is wearing the new Red Floribunda Livia Dress, Heidy is in Talitha, Camilla is wearing the Octavia Midaxi dress and Becky @BeckyBricksandStitches is wearing the Meg Maxi. Below, children emerge from a replica plane crash to educate about the planet's precious resources.
As a designer, this shock also gave me a sense of relief, knowing that the Ridley London dresses we were all wearing were not only celebrating nature through their beautiful floral prints but actively contributing to environmental stewardship through the sustainably sourced natural fabrics we use, the way Ridley dresses are individually made to order locally, so there’s no waste and minimal environmental footprint. The campaigns we support and the fact every Ridley London dress has been designed for greater versatility, made to fit better and last, so you’ll hopefully want to wear it time and time again. Like so much in life, fashion is undergoing an information based revolution and we’re all quickly becoming hostage to the individual choices we make. Whether you like it or not, it’s impossible to ignore how technology and social media are increasingly politicising every aspect of our lives. And stepping out and feeling absolutely brilliant is becoming as much about knowing that you’ve made the right ethical consumption choices as how the clothes you are wearing make you look. We all chatted about this over a glass or two of rosé and the consensus was resounding. To quote Kat's recent TV series…”You are what you wear!"