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Learn how luxury British fashion can be sustainable at its heart | The Independent

Following an uncertain 18 months of ‘not-really-doing-much’, there is a hope that this autumn-winter season will finally return us to the days of old – where social restrictions are a distant memory and family and friends can gather around the warmth of a wood fire, with the familiar and comforting aroma of spicy mulled wine in the air. And with the falling of the leaves and the outside chill of winter, there comes the need to reinstate our winter wardrobes. However, when it comes to a closet makeover, many of us now have different priorities – because, during this downtime, our attention has been drawn to the urgent need to make more environmentally conscious decisions in our everyday lives.

Enter Troy London, a contemporary fashion label with environmental and humanitarian awareness at its core. Embracing fashion-forward designs for both men and women, this family-run business is gaining profile for doing exactly what the world needs more of right now – investing in quality, timeless and ethically-crafted clothing.

“Our whole concept is about investing in something that is well made and will last,” explains Rosie van Custem, who co-founded the brand with her sister Lucia Ruck Keene in 2013. “We understand our customers seem so much more engaged with this ethos – rather than wishing for the latest trend that they can wear for a few weeks and then throw away.”

Rosie van Cutsem founded Troy London in 2013 with her sister, Lucia Ruck Keene

(Nicole Hains)

Aspiring for positive change

Growing up in Oxfordshire, Rosie and Lucia spent a lot of time outdoors in the elements as young women. It was this experience that quickly taught them about the gap in the market for high-performing outerwear – particularly for women – because “it’s very difficult to find waterproof jackets that were truly waterproof and not boxy or unfeminine in style.”

The sisters founded Troy London as a contrast to the ethics of the over-saturated fast-fashion industry. “Education has brought about an awareness of what goes on around the world,” explains Rosie. “We’ve found that our customers are prepared to pay a little more for something that is created in a sustainable way. People know of the factory conditions associated with fast, cheap fashion. Not only are these products not made to last, but they also have a serious impact on people’s lives. Making everything locally means the carbon footprint of our creative process is very low – but also because we love to celebrate quality manufacturing and support UK businesses, we work with British-milled fabrics and natural fibres as much as we can.”

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword

By producing their clothing within the UK, Troy London is cutting out emissions and pollution caused by long-distance transport, storage and protective packaging. In addition, they aren’t contributing to the overwhelmed and unethical working conditions of overseas factories currently suffering from a worldwide habit for fast fashion.

Instead, Rosie describes working with local quality craftsmen and women – true specialists in crafting fashion – as “an eye-opener”. After all, if you’re looking for high-performing clothing that is long-lasting, it needs to be well-tailored. A beautiful, luxurious collection is the added bonus.

(Troy London)

“Whether it’s working with suedes or waterproofing fabrics – or creating beautiful shirting with intricate details – these people are really skilled, and we should cherish the talent we have here in the UK,” she explains. These little hints of luxury within our designs, make our collection feel special.”

Where luxury and sustainable fashion meet

The most wonderful thing is that customers are never disappointed. Styles such as Troy’s trademark tracker jacket in khaki for women (£275) – as recently worn by the Duchess of Cambridge – or their best-selling navy wax parker (£350) are prime examples of timeless wardrobe staples that will never go out of fashion. They also look phenomenal, highlighting the femininity of the garment through a cinched shape and elegant detail.

Together with the more recent menswear line – that includes a stunning men’s waxed camouflaged jacket (£425) and several editions of the traditional British lambswool jumper with suede shoulder and elbow patches – this is outerwear that takes the technical detailing seriously, with storm cuffs that don’t allow rain to run down the sleeve – and a wire mesh to fit the hood perfectly around the face.

In addition, Troy London offers customers the option to become active in their sustainability journey – with every customer given the option to receive their purchase in a reused box to reduce waste. At the check-out, comes the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint through Greenr, an initiative where consumers can re-distribute the impact of their own carbon footprint towards a worthy cause.

“We are so happy to say a large number of customers add that percentage to their purchase. These small initiatives make a big impact,” adds Rosie.

An ode to quality craftsmanship

As Rosie rightly points out that, perhaps, sustainability isn’t a new initiative at all. Instead, we are following the valuable advice passed down through generations; to look after our things, because they will then last us a long time.

“A sustainable approach is heavily embedded in our human roots. I think we just lost our way a little,” she says, smiling. “However, we are now returning to what we know – that it is better to have quality to return to. Our clothing is something people can wear with pride, and for many years and many seasons.”

Much like Rosie and Lucia, the team behind The Macallan also take pride in high-quality British manufacturing, combining the finest ingredients and a sustainable production process to create a whisky of outstanding quality and distinctive character. The Double Cask range, currently available at The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop, Waitrose and other premium retailers. Find out more at

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