I am happy to announce that I will be collaborating with the creative and stylish Gunda Hafner. I have been working closely with her for the past year and I am definitely looking forward to future projects by her side.
Founded in 2016, Gunda Hafner creates individual and unique pieces of garments. The materials used in the products are mainly natural fibres like wool, silk, linen, cotton, yak, alpaca and cashmere. It is important to add that they avoid using plastic, in this way you will feel comfortable as well as good about yourself as you will be contributing to sustainability.
All materials come predominantly from the UK, Austria and Italy, guaranteeing a high quality.
The purpose is to produce eco-conscious garments by minimising synthetics. Along with this, the line aims to be accessible, simple and clean.
The style is sporty, current, elegant sophisticated and urban, with the intention of embracing the lifestyle of a modern woman living up to her full potential.
Born and raised in Austria, the designer Gunda Hafner graduated from Fashion College Herbstrasse in Vienna. Here she got a lot of knowledge of designing and sewing. She completed her further studies at Central St Martins and Royal College of Fashion in London, where she specialised in garments styling. Now, she works in conjunction with her small team in London.
When giving talks, I have appeared several times wearing her collection, for example at Fashions Finest. I felt it was perfect because myself and the clothes I was wearing were all about fashion and inclusion.
Personally, I believe she is amazing at what she does which is why I usually wear her clothes. She designs specially for people who are in a seating position for a long time and it is super suitable for me and for many other people out there. It is great that she worries about the needs of wheelchair users. Apart from being a professional woman, she has a kind heart. Hafner helps homeless people. These are few of the many reasons why I count on her.
Having been a wheelchair model from an early age, Samanta has always felt frustrated by the lack of luxurious clothing available for disabled people. Working as an advocate for inclusion within the fashion industry, Samanta has decided to join forces with some of the most innovative emerging designers to develop her brand, ‘SB’ – a unique line of clothing based on the principle that “its not about being disabled, but about feeling beautiful and comfortable whilst in the siting position”.
Born in Brazil, Samanta moved to London 10 years ago and has since dedicated her life to improving the lives of people living with disabilities. She hopes that her collection will open people’s minds and hearts.
“We must be seen to exist” – Samanta Bullock
Meet the team – 8 different designers come together to work in an inclusive way, in partnership with Samanta Bullock.
Contessina is a family fashion brand established in 1958 in Athens, Greece. Today, the brand is also based in London. Clara Poulantza is the designer of the collections and founder of Contessina Inclusive, whereas her sister Agi Poulantza-Pamoukoglu is running the head company in Athens. Contessina London and Contessina Inclusive, apart from being a quality fashion brand, it contributes positively to our society, through its socially and environmentally concerned practices.
Amaella was founded in 2016 by two friends Julie Kervadec and Lara Miller, who shared the vision of creating a fashion company with ethical and sustainable values. Amaella produces lingerie classics that are kinder to the skin and the environment, being also better for farmers and their communities.
Peter Twiss is a London based women’s wear designer who spent much of his childhood in Assam, North East India. Peter draws on inspirations from his childhood roots which are reflected in his collections and provides him with his unique signature style.
Peter has helped raise funds to improve education and medical facilities along with bringing water and electricity supplied to a small rural village in Akuman, Nagaland. He returns to Nagaland twice a year where he has a studio and manufacturing base.
RUA LUJA design their own signature look designs using high quality fabrics that are carefully considered from local businesses. Each garment is made with exquisite fabrics and hand-crafted details of skill and sophistication. All garments are made in their small studio in the UK.
Nasim Rua Luja from a young age, had a dream of sharing this love of turning beautiful fabrics into elegant dresses to show off to the world.
The London Organic Beauty shop sells a range of natural organic skincare products that have been developed only by using the purest ingredients. They don’t contain any parabens, sulfates, preservatives or artificial chemical carcinogens that have been shown to lead to cancer and long-term health issues. The organic lotions and treatments that they sell nourish the skin to a healthy, beautiful you.
BeKoffee is a project that aims to take advantage of spent coffee grounds to produce composites that are used as raw material to manufacture decorative and personal pieces. The Bekoffee pieces are handmade, have a slight coffee aroma and have a unique design, inspired both by nature and human activity.
Created by an Italian Designer Carola Del Celo and produced in the UK, Caroline London is the newest revolutionary concept brand designed to give you greater freedom to express yourself and to dress in a distinctive and ever-changing way.
It’s all about two-part garments, using a multitude of styles and fabrics that can be mixed and matched with colourful designer zips by YKK to create your own unique look.
Gunda Hafner was founded in 2016. Their personal experience with intolerances made them aware of the importance of products used in everyday life, particularly garments. In order to create individual and unique pieces, they work with natural fibres like wool, silk, linen, cotton, yak, alpaca and cashmere depending on the season. It avoids the use of plastic. The style is sporty, current, elegant, sophisticated and urban. The line aims to be accessible, refreshing and uncomplicated, yet clean and versatile.
Sometimes the combination of being in a wheelchair and loving fashion can be a bit tricky, simply because not all clothing items are accommodating. Simple tasks can be extremely difficult when you’re wearing certain things, which can make shopping tremendously frustrating. Just imagine finding clothing that captures your heart but knowing it doesn’t suit wheelchair users!
So, to find a brand that produces awesome items that are also perfect for wheelchair users is so exciting. One that I’ve managed to discover is Caroline London UK. Back when I was at the London Organic event, they were there trying to give their brand some exposure. I instantly became fascinated by their vision going forward; it’s a completely unique idea. Since then, they send me their terrific items through the post for me to try out.
Essentially, their ethos is to allow people to mix and match, so you can design the look which you’ll love the most. But, the hallmark of their brand is a jump suit which utilizes a zipper mechanism down the middle. It’s split into two parts – the bottom half and the top half – which means you can mix and match between the two.
You can either keep the trouser aspect and switch out the top, or vice versa. In terms of being inclusive towards wheelchair users, the outfit is simple to adorn and allows you to unzip as and when you need to. For instance, during the winter months when the weather is freezing cold, you can go to the toilet without having to remove the whole outfit. It’s so convenient!
Moreover, for those that are severely disabled, such as individuals that are quadriplegic, it’s so much easier to get dressed when there’s a zipper straight down the middle. A wonderful fashion brand that creates outstanding items that look gorgeous, while priding themselves on being inclusive towards everyone at the same time is so refreshing.
Out of all the brands that I choose to represent, Caroline London UK is one of those that I have absolute belief in. I love the quality of their items and the flexibility in the way you select your outfit. Oh, and the range of choice is excellent too, because you’re empowered to play around with casual and luxury items, so you can source an outfit for any occasion.
I’d highly recommend checking out their brand, which you can do by heading to their website – carolinelondon.co.uk.
Here is the final part of Personal Styling for Wheelchair Users with Yvonne Phillip. This series was so fun to make and we got very nice feedback with a lot of questions around clothes for wheelchair users that we think we are going to do it once a year. So if you have any questions or suggestions send them through and lets make a more complete video.
In part 5 we went shopping in charity shops to try to find clothes that are wheelchair friendly. I would like to say thanks to my niece Emily for filming everything and for being such a good friend and spending part of her holiday working as a camera girl. Also thank you to the charity we went to, Cancer Research, Mind and Shelter.
One of our messages here is that is possibleto be sustainable and to be fashionable at the same time and to minimise the effect we have in the world using reusable clothes. It will also make an impact on your pocket as well as helping somebody.
‘Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility’. This is the definition of sustainable fashion I found on Wikipedia. So we need to have in mind the impact our actions will have on the system in our world and be responsible for our choices.
Please let me know what you would like to see more on the channel. Have a great week.