Nettles from Prince Charles’ Highgrove residence hit the catwalk for “punk” designers at London Fashion Week.
In an unexpected collaboration with eco-conscious conceptual design team Vin + Omi, Prince Charles featured in a London Fashion Week runway show. The textiles on show were made from Nettles exclusively harvested from Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate.
He met the designing duo at an event promoting equality and sustainability in fashion. They told him about their experimentation with alternative fabric production using local products such as Nettle, Cow parsley and Mushrooms.
Upon hearing this, Prince Charles offered them use of the surplus of Nettles in his Gloucestershire residence’s gardens. With the assistance of Highgrove head gardener, Debs Goodenough, Vin + Omi were able to collect 3000 Nettle plants for processing.
“I don’t know how many stems they took, but they took two van loads, and stripped off the leaves before they went,” remarked Debs. “They didn’t want to come back too many times because they were concerned with their carbon footprint.”
Using traditional methods, the Nettles were made into a fluffy wool-like fabric and naturally bleached. Some other materials from the estate were taken to be utilised for jewellery and accessories, such as disused sack, broken flower pots and reclaimed wood.
Vin + Omi say they are not a brand, but an ideology, relying on partnerships with like-minded brands and individuals. Some famous supporters include Debbie Harry, Michelle Obama and Kate Moss.
They also have the backing of famous hotel, the Savoy, where their sustainably-made, punk-inspired garments walked the runway. Additionally, starting in spring, the luxury establishment will also be dressing their doormen in Vin + Omi uniforms made from the hotel’s waste plastic.
Co-designer Omi was very surprised by Prince Charles’ enthusiasm for green fashion, and support for such conceptual designers. “It was quite surreal,” said Omi. “We are not establishment at all. Our look is 1980s Camden punk.”
The duo described the future King of England’s commitment to sustainability as ‘mind-blowing’, and say he has stayed in touch, sending Vin + Omi frequent letters of support.