Goose Studios: Fashion that doesn’t cost the earth

GLOBAL fashion brands seem unwilling to change their unethical and unsustainable practices. Although frustrating, it means change might have to come from the bottom up. This provides an opportunity for passionate start-up fashion brands who want to bring solutions to a crisis that has been ignored for too long. 

I FIRST got chatting to Rich & Sam (left to right in the photo above), mates and co-founders of Goose Studios, a few months ago. Within minutes, I’d fallen in love with their approach to life, and to business. They’ve created Goose Studios in order to have some fun and help save the planet… They just happen to sell great fashion.

RECENTLY I caught up with them, and they filled me in on how to build an ethical wardrobe, what they predict for the future of the fashion industry, and just who Goose Studios’ BAE is.

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100% ethically sourced long-sleeved tee – use code DISTIL15 for 15% OFF


Hi Guys! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. First of all… How on earth have you ended up running a sustainable/fair fashion brand?!

Rich: Back in 2015, we’d both just read Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, which showed us sustainability in fashion was something our generation needed. We had started putting together a line of t-shirts for Disco nights we organised whilst at uni. This merchandise line got out of hand, and the next thing we knew we were running a sustainable fashion brand!

Amazing! And why is sustainable fashion important to you?

Sam: After we’d read Let My People Go Surfing, we realised every product made has an impact on the planet. We both love the fashion scene, but want to make sure it has as little impact as possibleStacey Dooley’s recent documentary also reinforced fast fashion’s shocking environmental impact. We know attitudes can be slow to change, which is what drives us to continually improve our efforts in flying the flag for fashion that doesn’t cost the earth.

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Reverse of the navy long-sleeved tee


Nice one guys, and do you get the sense it’s as important to bigger, global fashion brands, and to the general public?

Sam: When it comes to the bigger brands and their production, it would be fair to say that most brands are making at best, a token effort. They heavily promote one or two sustainable styles, but these only make up a minute percentage of their ranges. Even though there are some exceptions like Weekday.

Rich: The good news though is that there is a large amount of smaller brands who are starting with a totally new philosophy, of being accountable and transparent when it comes to sustainability. We’re big fans of the likes of Finisterre and Know The Origin.

I think 2018 was a good year for sustainable and ethical clothing starting to get recognition from the public. Big exhibitions like Fashion for Good in Amsterdam, and Fashioned By Nature at the V&A, have definitely helped sustainable fashion hit the media. And it feels like it’s here to stay.

Let’s hope so! And how do you guys go about making sure Goose Studios’ supply chain and product is as sustainable, and ethical, as possible?

Sam: We rely on making sure that all our suppliers have the global accreditations that ensure we have an audited, ethical and fair, sustainable supply chain. This starts with only using 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton, minimising the abuse of toxic chemicals polluting soil and waterways.

Rich: Our suppliers also have Fair Wear foundation membership, meaning they pay a fair living wage in their respective countries of production, and it ensures the continual development of worker rights. 

We’ve just had news that our t-shirts are now PETA certified, meaning the production is animal cruelty free and vegan friendly. All our tees are also hand printed by our friends over at Memory Screen Print Studios using water based inks, we visit them a few times a year so know exactly what’s going on. Equally our packaging is 100% recyclable and we are now also a plastic free company. Meaning that all the processes we have control over, are plastic free.

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Unisex short sleeved tee – use code DISTIL15 for 15% OFF


That’s fantastic! When I started to get interested in fair fashion, I didn’t have a CLUE where to start – any advice for our readers on how to build an ethical wardrobe?

Rich: You can make really easy swaps with your basics first. Switch your cotton t-shirts and sweatshirts to an organic cotton version. There are some great organic cotton underwear brands too. For items like jackets, try marketplaces like ASOS marketplace or Depop where you can pick up ace second hand vintage pieces, denim jackets especially. Charity shops are a great cheaper alternative too, especially for items like waxed jackets or oversized vintage sportswear.

Any more brands you’d like to recommend?

Sam: Goose Studios!

Rich: But seriously, brands like Weekday are great starting points for casual style, with a solid range of organic tees, sweats and denim. Finisterre are a more adventure lifestyle brand, and are a bit pricey. But their jackets are top notch, super stylish and last forever… I think they do free repairs too.

Sam: Know The Origin and Idioma are smaller operations, but have good price points for your everyday wardrobe.

Rich: If you need a winter jacket take a look at Ecoalf. We’d love to see them become the new sustainable Canada Goose. It’s quite high-end though, it used to be cheaper!

Sam: And for footwear we live in our Vejas – they take a while to break in, but they’ll last for ages. Mine are 2 years in of daily use and still going strong. I like to think I got them before they were cool!

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Thanks guys – great reco’s – and in your opinion, will the fashion industry become more sustainable?

Sam: In short, yeah, it will have too. It’s fashion or the world… Depressing right?! But it’s like all polluting industries, there’ll come a point when everyone’s like “Oh shit, it all needs to change. Right now.” And I don’t think we’re too far off that to be honest.

… And the future for Goose Studios?

Rich: Even if us growing a bit makes bigger brands think about being sustainable too, then that’s a win for the planet! We genuinely believe we are arriving at a tipping point where fashion needs to wake up and start taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. 

Sam: We want to show people they can have it all – an organically sourced, sustainable garment, that looks great, feels great, and doesn’t cost the earth. 

Exciting times! And finally thanks so much for talking to me… Just one last favour… Describe Goose Studios in three words?

Sam: David. Attenborough’s.

Rich: BAE.



GUYS – thanks so much for checking this post out – it really means a lot to me 🙂 Goose Studios is a fantastic example of a start-up business bucking the trend of fast fashion, and helping us move towards a more sustainable way of consuming and living. I hope to bring you guys many more interviews with other such projects in the near future, so watch this space.

If you decide you would like to support the lads, and purchase something from Goose Studios, please save yourself some cash by using promo code DISTIL15 at checkout (valid for a limited time only).

A 🙂

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sustainable fashion: my move towards it

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support so far, and hope you’ll continue with me on this journey 🙂


AROUND one year ago, I did something I’d been thinking about for a long time, and finally mustered up the courage to start a fashion & lifestyle blog. Distil My Style was born.

SINCE then, I’ve mainly produced (some good, some bad, some ugly) fashion content, but recently I started to feel an unease about posting it. I noticed I was getting more enjoyment and satisfaction from lifestyle posts such as 6 places to visit in Sao Miguel, Azores and 3 gym classes to try and in most cases they were being better received by you guys 🙏

AFTER reflecting on this for some time, I realised the reason for my angst was the fact I wasn’t giving much consideration to the fashion brands I was promoting. Plenty of thought was going in to the fit, the print, and the price of the clothes, but none given to whether they’re sustainable and/or ethical. Did the production of these garments carry a negative external cost to the people making them, or to the environment?

EVEN though I’d shopped loyally with many of these brands for over a decade, the seed had now been sewn, and I had to look more deeply into the issue. I soon found many amazing people had been researching and campaigning for an alternative fashion industry ever since the rapid emergence of fast fashion in the late 90s/early 00s.

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LUCY Siegle is a pinoeer of this movement, and in her revolutionary book To Die For, she discusses how:

“As consumers we’ve been completely anaesthetised by the seemingly incredible value of fashion over the last decade. The kick that buying cheap items gives us makes it easy to forget the reality of their production.”

THE more I continued to read about the devastating affect the fashion industry is having on certain people’s lives and the environment, the more I began to angle my blog and Instagram content towards sustainability.

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Some charity shop outfits 😝

MY mind was made up when I watched Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, which focuses on the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Dooley cleverly and candidly tackles the topic from a consumer’s point of view:

“The few pounds we spend for an item of clothing isn’t the true cost – the real cost is the millions of gallons of clean water that was used to grow the fabric, or the millions of gallons of fresh water that was polluted with toxic chemicals to dye the clothes.”

AFTER watching this I felt I had no other choice than to focus Distil My Style completely on sustainable fashion, making it the unequivocal topic of conversation on the blog.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE

  • More charity and vintage outfit posts using recycled clothes
  • Practical life hacks on how to shop fashion more sustainably
  • Interviews with established, and upcoming, sustainable fashion brands

SO, I hope this slight shift in focus is as exciting to you as it is to me, and that you’ll continue with me on this journey. To those who have been with me since the beginning, and to those who are just joining, thanks again for your support! 

A

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