While Bo Carter is no stranger to her Leeds, UK, eco-conscious fashion followers, you might be meeting her for the first time. Better yet, now you can shop for her designs online!
Follow this bite-size Q&A to find Bo’s wardrobe must-haves, how to shop smartly, plus how and why she became an award-winning designer…
I’m so please to see your fun fashion now launched online and, most importantly, easily deliverable to my South African home! So let’s get right into talking clothes! We women might find great enjoyment in our fashion choices, yet so many of us don’t dare look into seeing if our garments are made with the kindness we ourselves portray. You have a solution for us, tell us more…
Q. It’s super that all your designer ranges are made of animal-free fibres. Yet, tell us about the human, ‘handmade’ element of production to those ranges? A. We have about 5 different designers at the moment but constantly adding new arrivals. All the clothes are produced in small runs, mostly by designers themselves to make sure that the finishes touches are perfect and the individuality is put to every single garment.
Q. Are your clients specifically sorting you out for your ethical use of materials and labour practises or simply buying on unique design choices? A. There is a mixture of both, however every person who buy for uniqueness will soon find out about our ethics as this is something we are very proud of.
Q. Which wardrobe basics within your ranges would you look to as the classics, those we shouldn’t be without? A. I am a huge lover of vests, t-shirts and leggings and some cool jackets. We starting to work with some truly amazing artists and designing fully ethical t-shirts, they will be hitting our website shortly. Those to me are the pieces which I cant live without and you can do so much with them.
Q. How would you suggest someone, who has recently become aware of the inherent animal cruelty in fashion, rework their wardrobe? A. This is dependent on individuality. I know some people love shopping in second hand shops and charity shops which is good as I am all up for recycling. As a designer I would never promote fur or any other animal driven garment. I myself wouldn’t wear that either, however if your budget is limited and you got in wardrobe jumpers with some percentage of wool, putting them in bin would be a pointless exercise in my opinion, just make sure that moving forward you won’t support/buy any products which harm animals. In my opinion that is far more important.
Q. As a designer what innovation in materials would you like most to see in the next 5 years? In other words, what man-made fabric will benefit our environment, the lives of our fellow man and animals the most? A. You know I would be over the moon if fur and leather got band. There is just no need or point. It does drives me mad. Black bear hats for Queens guards, it’s my non-stop fight. I encourage everyone to sign the PETA petition to band this hideous tradition. We can produce amazing, much, much better, funkier, cooler and nicer man made fur, why we still killing bears for Guards hats?
Q. I’ve certainly not yet seen main street retailers taking advantage of an emerging trend (cruelty-free fashion) to its potential. Why aren’t retail giants like Marks & Spenser, Selfridges and Primark overtly promoting a grouping of animal friendly lines? A. I think it is changing a bit, I admit its slow, too slow. Those are big companies, where profit is the key and those companies do answer to customer demands and needs. I think is down to people to become more aware and more educated and more responsible for their choices. So many of my friends and clientele are still weary of man-made materials. The perception out there still seems to equate man-made with less ‘natural’, more toxic. How are conscious designers overcoming these biased perceptions? I cant speak for others here, but to me, man made fabric is the only choice. This never was debatable when I started ‘fashion’, there is no option this is what I do and what I stand for.
Q. As animal-friendly customers, aside from buying man-made fabrics, what else can we do easily to bring about more awareness within the fashion industry? A. Social Media play huge role here I think. Having some great celebrities wearing and sending the message out there about man made fabric is what we need more of!
Kudo’s to Bo Carter who was awarded the ‘Most Talented New Designer’ for 2013 by PETA.
“Up-and-coming designer Bo Carter is part of a bright new wave of fashion talent who are shunning animal skins in their work. Bo always puts her principles first, so instead of bowing to industry pressure to use leather and fur, she expresses herself by creatively exploring the qualities of synthetic fabrics. The results are simply stunning: beautiful, original (and completely vegan) clothes.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.