Fall in love with minimalist sustainable fashion by Paper & Fog
This post was sponsored by minimalist sustainable fashion label Paper & Fog who make gorgeous sustainable garments and homewares inspired by Japanese design traditions and the beauty of linen. These collaborations help to cover the costs of running this blog and continue bringing you great content for free. You can rest assured that I only collaborate with like-minded brands that meet the highest standards for ethics and sustainability, and that I think you will enjoy.
There are so many things to love about sustainable fashion label Paper & Fog. The label produces a small collection of slow fashion garments and homewares that showcase the beauty of my favourite sustainable textile, linen. Linen is a wonderful textile that softens and grows in beauty as it ages. This quality of the textile has inspired the Japanese mending tradition boro, which uses decorative embroidery techniques to make wear and tear a feature of the garment as it ages. Linen is also a textile that lends itself well to minimalism. Japanese and European linen clothing have traditionally been very minimalist in aesthetic, allowing the drape and quality of the textile to be the feature of the garment. You can see the influence of this textile and it’s history on the design aesthetic embraced by Paper & Fog founder and designer Michel Stong.
While the collection includes materials that extend beyond linen alone, the choice and usage still reflects the look and feel of this beautiful textile. Michel also incorporates denim, indigo printing and dying, hand-stitching, and raw and natural elements across the range in a way that suggests that linen has been taken as the inspiration. I am not sure whether Michel would describe linen as her muse, but that is the sense that I get from the collection. You can feel the beautiful qualities and history of linen reflected in the design of everything across the range. Even the concrete and silver tillandsia plant hanger, with it’s raw, unfinished and natural elements, seems to me take it’s design inspiration from the collection’s feature textile.
The cornerstone of Paper & Fog is the little linen dress. This linen shift dress is stunning in it’s simplicity. Whilst minimalist in it’s design, it is far from plain. The feature of the dress is two customisable pockets on the front. Each dress is made to order, and you can choose from a selection of traditional indigo printed pockets or pockets printed with artworks. Michel collaborates with local artists to support the creative sector and allow you to wear a little piece of art for yourself. I love this feature, particularly because I grew up in a creative family and I know how difficult it is for artists to make a living from their work. These customisable pockets make art more accessible to the average person and are a creative way to support the work of talented creatives. Michel tells me that she lives in a very diverse and creative community in California, and loves to be able to collaborate with the artists in her community to create unique features for her collection.
Like many founders in the sustainable fashion space, Michel was drawn to create her small fashion label as a counterpoint to the immense waste in the fast fashion space, and an ethical alternative to the manufacturing that has led to tragedies such as Rana Plaza. A designer by trade, Michel has also created other design based businesses (and has even co-designed an item that is featured in MoMA), but she was motivated to create Paper & Fog as a more authentic expression of her design aesthetic.
Paper & Fog garments are designed by Michel, and sewn locally by skilled production seamstress Debra Sherman, much of it made to order. This is slow fashion at it’s best. If you are looking for good quality US-made or ethically made garments, that you will cherish for the long term, this is a great place to look. With linen, denim, indigo dyes as the feature, the collection is also made up of sustainable natural materials which are all plant-based (and therefore vegan). So sustainable fashion and vegan fashion shoppers can get what they need here too.
There is much to love in the collection, from the hand-stitched table runners to the winter smocked hoodie jacket. I would encourage you to spend some time browsing. If you love minimalist sustainable fashion which pays homage to Japanese chic then you will find much to fall in love with. I know that I have!2