Tell us about your background.
I’m the Brand & Style Director for heritage brand Ascots and Chapels. I fell in love with the art of tailoring and retail as a teenager, starting my career as a junior apprentice at the luxury clothing store Louis Copeland. Now, with fifteen years of international tailoring and retail experience, including six years at renowned Irish department store Brown Thomas, my passion is delivering exceptional personalised experiences for every client. My style influences are traditionally very British, with a contemporary twist. I hold a degree in Retail Management and Services from the Dublin Institute of Technology. On a personal note, I’m married with 3 children and have been residing in Dubai for the past 8 years.
What interesting and successful projects have you been involved in?
Over the last couple of years, at Ascots & Chapels we’ve been working tirelessly on implementing and introducing sustainability, as a priority in everything we do. We’ve learnt how sustainability in fashion has an impact on our day to day lives, the environment and our planet. We’ve also started looking at how else we can be sustainable, from our partner mills and where we source our fabrics, to even little things like reducing paper in our stores by sending digital receipts and invoices. Recently we have also partnered with globally renowned charity Trees for Life, an NGO based in Scotland. This partnership sees Ascots & Chapels plant a tree in the Caledonian Highlands on behalf of the customer as a thank you gesture to a) the client and b) another little way for us to give back to the environment. So, for every suit sold, not only does the customer buy the heritage of a bespoke brand which will last a life time (no fast fashion here), but they also get to give back to society on a global level, by planting a tree.
Why is it so important for fashion to be sustainable?
It’s high time for us to realize the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry. According to a European Parliament report published last year, clothing and footwear production is responsible for 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined! The fashion industry also creates huge amounts of waste!
Even the UAE government has reaffirmed its commitment to cut CO2 emissions, increase clean energy use by 2050. The country aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions to about 240 million tonnes by 2030, down 22.5 per cent compared to the business as usual figure of 310 million tonnes.
Hence this encourages us to be more responsible to take care of our community at large.
By choosing bespoke and shopping at Ascots and Chapels, the consumer is left rest assured that the suit purchased, is the perfect fit for their body shape and preferred style, meaning it will last them a lifetime and won’t be casually thrown out after the season is finished.
A bespoke suit could potentially last even more than many years if it is made with a heavy tweed or fabrics similar to that. Very rarely you would you see bespoke garments being sent to landfills or incinerators like many mass-produced goods.
How has the pandemic affected fashion?
The pandemic has made all of us to step back, in terms of evaluating our own choices and decisions when it comes to buying. For, us it has given us the opportunity to look at all aspects of our business and we have been able to take the time to see where we can be more mindful in terms of being more green.
Due to the ease in restrictions across the country and our staff, consumers being vaccinated. Their confidence has returned to visiting our stores in person. We have begun to move away from zoom consultants and we are now seeing our clients return back to stores to get that experience. We look forward to host all our clients at the store.
What is the future for your sustainability initiatives? What are your sustainability goals for the next 3 years and beyond in the Middle East?
We plan on growing our partnership with Trees for Life, all our carrier bags and suit bags are environmentally friendly. To reduce excess waste of materials and to keep in line with our sustainability values, we repurpose our off cuts of fabrics and turn them into luxury shirt bags perfect for gifting purposes.
We’ve also seen the number of eco-conscious consumers are consistently growing in the region, hence we are educating our clients on the benefits of bespoke over other fast fashion, ready to wear work clothing. Since bespoke is a one-time investment piece ,which will last for a longer time (if not forever). It’s also a sustainable option for them too in terms of fashion which might not be available from other ready to wear or fast fashion material.
We are glad to highlight the importance to talk about the carbon footprint of bespoke tailoring when we talk about environmental sustainability.
How can our readers find out more about you/Ascot & Chapel?
Readers can find more about us on – www.ascotsandchapels.com
Visit our stores and get a free suit consultation-
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Tel: +971 4 325 2216
Dubai Marina Mall
Tel: +971 4 427 0124
Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi
Tel : +971 2 676 1001