How a Creative Studio is making a difference in the world of fashion
Jun 2020

Hello internet! We are Isabelle and Elena, together we are ie studio. We are a London based creative duo whose services comprise of art direction, photography, hand print and styling; what sets us apart is our ideology which is rooted in ethicality, sustainability and inclusivity. We are also part of the team behind The Earth Issue, a print magazine and online platform using art as a driving force for environmental activism. 

Our journey began by working together for The Earth Issue; where Elena is the co-founder/photographer and Isabelle is the fashion & lifestyle editor/stylist (we wear many different hats, it being 2020 and all). We clicked quite naturally in a professional and artistic way and found ourselves producing the in-house imagery for the magazine. Upon this realisation, ie studio was formed.

Between us, Elena and I share over ten years of experience working in our respective industries. We love what we do, but found we didn’t love having to compromise our values. The fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, 20% of all waste water, and consumes more energy than the airline and shipping industries combined. 

Isabelle worked as an in house stylist for some pretty big fashion brands in the past, working firsthand with a conveyor belt of poorly made fast fashion on a daily basis- clothes would at times fall apart upon wear. Elena became frustrated with work that didn't instigate change or activism through creative value. With this in mind, our work is rooted in conscious progress through sustainability, ethicality and inclusivity. We formed ie studio in order to work with people who share the same values, creating creative content with purpose and intention.  

Our business model is different as we work with the planet and its people at the forefront of our minds. We believe in a circular economy and are big fans of donut economics which is a framework that regards the performance of the economy by the extent to which the needs of people are met without overshooting Earth's ecological ceiling. 

We put our money where our mouth is from the little things to the big things. We only have reusable bottles and cutlery on set, we prefer to shoot outdoors with natural light when we can in order to minimise our electricity usage and are selective with our clientele. When it comes to styling, Isabelle sources items from conscious brands, second hand/ vintage shops and even from her own archive- which can be challenging but altogether very rewarding. 

Inclusivity and diversity is important to ie studio, especially in the current political climate. We both have unique backgrounds which is why this is something close to our hearts; Elena is half Italian/ half German, growing up in Europe and the US, Isabelle is a Filipina woman who spent her childhood in the Philippines before moving to London. 

We believe that the fashion industry should be representative of all skin colours, body shapes and celebrate everything beautiful in between. In order to promote this we have a selective process that involves street casting as well as casting from talent agencies, Instagram and even family and friends. 

One of our favourite shoots remains our work for Stella McCartney and Another Magazine, it is one of the first times we worked together and is an example of what we stand for at ie studio. We shot everything outside amidst nature in Walthamstow Marshes, it was a very small crew and we casted our friend as the model; it was very organic and that sensibility really comes across in the photographs.

ie studio is something born out of our passion for the planet and its people, we want to inspire and harness the power of social and environmental change. 

We are not saying we’re perfect, but we cannot continue to operate as business as usual. There have been many times when we felt powerless, there have been times when we thought about throwing in the towel altogether to disengage ourselves with the broken system we are operating in. 

But we learnt that it’s better to dismantle institutions from the inside to instigate change, ie studio is our contribution towards a better, fairer, more conscious fashion industry and we’re so excited to see where our journey will take us. 

> To see more of their work you can follow ie studio on Instagram.

The Imperfect Blog

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have it all figured out in order to lead a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, it's better to make small conscious choices when possible, than none at all. We explore every topic under the sun around kindness to our environment, wildlife, other people and ourselves.

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