Katharine Hamnett

From the catwalk to the sidewalk Katharine Hamnett has been making politics fashionable for over 20 years.

The former designer of the year is famous for using her creative talents to defend human rights. In 1984 she wore an anti-nuclear T-shirt to meet Margaret Thatcher.

She’s always done her own thing and now she's introducing organic cotton clothing into a supermarket chain.

What possessed her to sign a contract with Tesco?

It’s simple – she's bringing affordable ethical living to the masses. Not a bad move for Hamnett, considering the chain store ordered 250 tonnes of organic cotton directly from a mill in India.

I’m not treading on anyone’s toes putting organic cotton clothing at an affordable price into a supermarket chain.

Katharine on organic clothing

Why go it alone?

In 2003 Hamnett turned her back on the industry, ripped up unethical manufacturing contracts and started afresh.

The environmental impact of the clothing industry is horrific.

Katharine on the truth behind our textiles

Speaking to Friends of the Earth she said:

I wanted to create demand for organic cotton. I wasn't prepared to live any more at the expense of people at the bottom of the supply chain.

We have more power as consumers than voters. The fashion industry has got to clean up its act to survive.

Katharine on consumer power

So what’s next?

Owner of a Spanish farm, she’s watched her farmer weep during droughts and has begun another quest to find solar power solutions.

I’ve been running my own business for the past 36 years and you’ve got to be realistic.
Solar power could get us out of the energy jam without having to change our lifestyles to the point where we go back to barbarism.

Katharine on energy solutions

Bold rather than barbaric, she certainly has her work cut out.

Check out Katharine's website.