ateliertammam

A web log about putting decadence in a small sustainable package. www.tammam.co.uk

Category: Uncategorized

Re-opening after lockdown

On 4th July we officially reopen Atelier Tammam, after over three months of being closed during the Covid19 pandemic lockdown. We’re open reduced hours with a limited service for now. We are also still able to offer virtual appointments and video consultations. Get in touch if you’d like to make an appointment or to discuss any of our services.

I am delighted to be back in my beloved Atelier after so long but anxious to ensure we re-open safely.

The bespoke process is such an intense and wonderful experience, we are hoping to keep things, as much as possible, the same whilst ensuring both our team and customers stay safe, and feel comfortable in this new environment.

Fittings will be slightly different to usual

For the safety and comfort of both staff and customers we have stocked up on organic hand sanitiser for customers to use on arrival, we also have face coverings for our team. We’re asking for air kisses only for now, after all this is fashion!

We’ve enhanced our cleaning plan to ensure there is a weekly deep clean of the whole premises and we’re doing daily disinfecting of high touch areas.

We are installing a Samsung AirDresser which will mean we can sanitise dress samples as soon as they have been tried or worn, ready for the next customer.

We won’t be able to do do any of our fabulous sustainable fashion sample sales for a while, but if you’re looking for eco ready to wear you could pre-order a Climate Stripes Scarf from our lockdown accessories collection, supporting artisans in India through the pandemic.

I personally quite like all these initiatives, and although I can’t wait to be back in the studio full time I think many of the new additions will stay for good.

I can’t wait to see you in the Atelier soon.

Air kisses

Ms Tammam

Pay it Forward and opening after lockdown

At the start of May, after the Atelier had been closed for over a month and I was hearing from my suppliers in India how hard it was for them to keep afloat, I launched a Pay it Forward campaign – part of the Mayor of London’s efforts to support the city’s businesses during Covid19. My plan was to pre-sell a range of beautiful scarves, and other accessories, paying the producers in advance and asking them to create the products when they can. The other thing on my mind was climate change, with apparently much “bigger fish to fry” it was a subject that seemed to have been sadly abandoned – so it became the theme of my small collection and the glorious climate stripes visualisation by Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading) inspired the vibrant and exciting scarf designs.

I have worked with an incredible supplier of eri (peace) silk in Assam for many years and I am so delighted we will be able to send them an order for these beautiful scarves soon (we have already prepaid the first part of the order based on sales so far). They are a social enterprise that focusses on enhancing the livelihoods of rural women, who make up 90% of their weaving and spinning staff.

Through the lockdown in India all their staff were still being paid even though the company had no income.

Despite the announcement in India last month, there has been no aid provided by the government (we hope they will get some but, even if they do, it likely wont come for a while and staff need to be paid straight away to survive).

The order for these scarves, placed with advance payment, have helped provide remuneration for rural artisans who have no other means of earning money at the moment. This will also help the company manage its overheads during the crisis-period. The more orders we get now the more we can support the amazing artisans in India.

I personally cannot wait for the silk scarves to arrive, they are going to be amazing and I am certain will be an Autumn/Winter 2020 must-have: The sustainable, stylish and utilitarian (ideal for face covering) accessory….

https://payitforward.london.gov.uk/support-atelier-tammam-saving-the-world-in-style

Please share it with your friends and networks! Only a couple of weeks left.

We are slowly re-opening the studio, and although we aren’t quite open for appointments yet, since we need to get quite close to our customers during fittings, we are working out ways to make sure we can safely welcome clients back to the Atelier as soon as possible.

I hope to see you there soon, until then – air kisses and virtual hugs

Ms Tammam

2020 a view from inside the Atelier

It’s been a busy year for Atelier Tammam, from couture bridal gowns to trips to India to antique dress restorations we’ve been using our unique sustainable studio to make (and reinvent) the best fashion possible, collaborating with incredible talent in India and the UK. We have always offered internships for young talent at the Tammam Atelier, a fantastic opportunity to support and nurture the next generation of creatives in a real life work environment.

Isabella turned up for an interview for a work placement at Atelier Tammam in October last year. Her beautiful portfolio of hand crafted textiles wowed me and her dedication to sustainability and the environment meant she was obviously a perfect fit for our team.

I asked Isabella to write a blog post about her time at Tammam, her words have made me so happy, as she so beautifully describes the environment I have strived to create at our unique fashion studio. I’m really sad she only has a month left with us and so grateful for all the hard work she has put in (and equally grateful that her visa was extended so she could stay on longer than we initially planned!).

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During my time at Atelier Tammam I have experienced a truly meaningful opportunity to work at an environmentally conscious couture atelier. Throughout my time at the atelier I have discovered the beauty and grace within the fashion industry.

This experience sincerely reinforced my belief that the fashion industry can change the world. Ethical fashion offers a resolution for the current affairs in environmentalism, stimulates the growth of a circular economy, and advocates for essential human rights. By transforming the conscious perception of how clothes are worn and seen and by embracing environmentally sound practices, it will naturally lead us towards a stronger and more globally cohesive future. At Atelier Tammam I have experienced first hand that there is a way to participate in the fashion industry by utilising morally and environmentally considerate principles whilst creating beautiful garments.

From the start of my internship, I have had an incredible, enriching experience. Each day presented chance to learn something new, and to first hand experience the diligent work necessary to create ethical couture. Atelier Tammam is a true advocate of clothing made through considered care. As I patiently learned each stitch, I found a loving sense of care for each garment. When an item is created through bespoke work, every pristine detail becomes relevant for the seamstress and the customer. I learned that even the smallest ornamental stitch would be considered, demonstrating the evident value the atelier places on the customer. This process gives one time to appreciate the true essence of each garment, and how its story will evolve as it passes through the hands of the customer.

I was truly in awe of the teaching methods found within the atelier. Everyone in the atelier was taught with patience. Each person working there regardless of their background, ethnicity or level of experience was given a chance to cultivate their own unique skill set. This demonstrated the devotion to diversity and it gave me the courage to learn new skills and aspire to a couture level. From the first week I learned the proper stitches for button loops, the tracing of bespoke patterns, to understanding how the cursive words on one dress are to be gracefully embroidered with a split stitch. In this supportive atmosphere I felt accepted with a sense of support and encouragement to further cultivate my skills.

By witnessing this hopeful model of slow fashion, I have been reminded of my love for the craft, as it brought to surface the reasons why I was drawn to fashion as a young girl. At the atelier there was always an ambitious project to take part in to meet production needs. Yet because of the business model that takes mindfulness and a positive work environment into consideration, everyone is so willing to participate. In this way each task has the chance of becoming a positive experience, and I believe this is why those who work at the atelier are willing to put passion into their work and reach to set new goals and heights in the fashion industry.

Throughout my internship I was inspired by the variety of projects and how there is always a new field to be immersed in and learn from. I felt a sense of reverence for the existing collections, as each piece had been contrived through beautiful ethical fabrics and designs that were intelligently rendered. The whole of the atelier captures classicism whilst embracing contemporary design, utilising revolutionary production methods.

Atelier Tammam is more than a fashion studio. It is an environment where like minded individuals who have a passion for environmentalism and human rights can come together. It is a refuge outside of the fast fashion industry that offers both a sense of solace and revolutionary ambitions where fashion is redefined. It reclaims its role as an art form that touches the lives of all and therefore responsibly takes into consideration the welfare of those involved in its fabrication, from those employed in its production to the resources used to produce it.

At the atelier I experienced a shared sense of sisterhood and team work. Every woman working at the atelier supported one another and was devoted to an external philanthropic cause. This sense of collaboration went beyond the atelier to a rendered sense of connection to the women working across the globe through fair-trade initiatives on shared projects such as One Dress. One Dress is a principle example of how the atelier strives to initiate global activism. It allowed me to tell a word of my own story while striving to share the project so women around the world can feel equally empowered.

It is hard to describe my experience at the atelier in words. It has shown me the power we have to pave in the fashion industry. Demonstrating through interdisciplinary collaborations we can all aspire to make a difference through ethical fashion. I am now confident that through strategies of cohesive co-creation and the business models presented at Atelier Tammam, stitch by stitch we can create the world that we aspire to live in. The future is in our hands.

 

Thank you so much Isabella, we’ll miss you at the Atelier and wish you so much luck with your future career.

 

Ms Tammam

2019 in the Atelier

Well the last of 2018 whizzed by in a whirlwind, and as we’re speeding towards February it seems a perfect time for an update…

Last week I was invited on to the Jo Good show on BBC Radio London.img_3221

What a treat to talk to the lovely Jo about ethical fashion and the One Dress project.

Just before the holidays we launched One Dress gift certificates – these make a delightful Valentines or birthday gift for a special woman, who might prefer to choose her own word, and can be bought via the website.

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Since we returned from our tour of Australia in the Summer the dress has kept up it’s wondrous wandering. Appearing at the Bloomsbury Festival in London, the FiLiA conference in Manchester, A fantastic women’s art showcase at Atelie397 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has been added to by our very own apprentice Nivea, who now lives in Rio. It also made a guest appearance at the site of the WSPU headquarters in Holborn (now Bill’s!) for international day of the girl and to celebrate the birthday of legendary suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison, along with Kate Willoughby and PAWA.

 

The dress is currently on display in the window of Atelier Tammam in Bloomsbury – let us know with a tag on instagram or twitter (@HouseOfTammam) if you happen to pass by, perhaps you can spot your word through the glass! We’ll be setting off on our travels again soon, sign up to the mailing list to be the first to hear all our news and where you can see the dress next.

 

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It’s coming up to being about half way embroidered and I’m aiming for it to be completed by October, to be showcased as a finished piece at the fabulous feminist FiLiA Conference in Bradford – tickets are available now.

The register is available to view on line – all the wonderful words that have been lovingly embroidered on so far can be seen, along with the name of the person each is dedicated to and the amazingly skilled woman (from the UK, India, Kenya or Brazil) who stitched it on.

Yours in awe of the, often unrecognised, talents of women

Ms Tammam

One Dress in Australia and Sustainable Oz – Part Four – Melbourne

The last stop on our One Dress Australia Tour brought us to Melbourne, an amazing, massive and eclectic city filled with incredible indie designers (we love A.BCH), fabulous diverse artists, delicious sustainable food and drink, and just wonderful people.

We were hosted by the best indie gallery in the city, 4Dverse, a hub for artists and creatives to gather, showcase and create.

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Vincent, the owner and fellow artist helped us create quite an event to see out our Australia tour.

I was contacted a week or two before by a wonderful artist, Melissa Coffey, who had created a poem about sweatshops (when written down it is in the shape of a dress, another dress of words!) and kindly agreed to perform it at the event.

We drank organic beer from Struman’s which was simply delicious and more words were collected for One Dress.

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There’s still plenty of room for words on the dress. Before we left for Australia we snuck the skirt onto the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square. Choose your words for this historical gown on the One Dress page. More dates for the Work in Progress tour will be announced soon.

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Yours back in Blighty,

Ms Tammam

One Dress in Australia and Sustainable Oz – Part Three – Sustainable Sexy Sydney

In Sydney we were invited to showcase One Dress at an incredible concept store, Citizen Wolf.

This wonderful company offers bespoke, made in Sydney, customisable T-shirts – made to fit to perfection. Very much aligned with our own principles at Tammam, this was the perfect place to showcase One Dress and allow some of Sydney’s fashionistas to personalise their own small piece of couture.

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I had just enough time to order my own bespoke Citizen Wolf T (an Australian made Breton stripe jersey, long sleeve slash neck, à laCocco herself) which truly does, amazingly fit to perfection (despite very few measurements and my weight and bra size being used to calculate the fit!)

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Yours in modern day bespoke heaven

Ms Tammam

PS today is the Tammam label’s eleventh birthday – Saving the world in style since 2007! We aren’t having birthday celebrations this year but we are very proud of what we have achieved over the last eleven years. Send us a birthday message on twitter or Instagram @HouseOfTammam

 

One Dress in Australia and Sustainable Oz – Part Two – Queensland Continued

Back in Gold Coast a day on Tamborine Mountain was highlighted with buying avocados on the roadside and stopping for home-grown Coffee at Green Lane, who have an organic plantation right behind their bijoux cafe on the way up the mountain. However, the magical moment came when we stopped to see the glow worms, a conservation project aiming to reduce the negative impacts of deforestation on wild glow worm colonies. Entering the climate controlled, man-made cave, the door shuts and you are instantly greeted with thousands of tiny glowing specs. Such an incredible experience! And such inspirational poetry too;

I wish I was a glow-worm,
a glow-worm’s never glum
‘cos how can you be grumpy
when the sun shines out your bum!

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Photograph supplied by Binna Burra

The next stop on our Queensland adventure was Binna Burra Lodge, a heritage eco retreat in the picturesque Lamington National park. Founded in 1933 the lodge retains much of it’s vintage charm, and quite frankly I think holds a little bit of magic too.

 

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Our petite cabin was perfection, it has hosted (we were told by a small plaque on the door) Princess Alice ad Charles Chauvel. It really did have the most spectacular view (though so did pretty much everywhere in the lodge, from the quirky library (with preserved specimens in jars of varying small wildlife), serving high tea cheese and biscuits as the sun sets to the marvellous dining room, where guests are encouraged to eat communally next to a large glass wall showcasing the vista of the valley beyond.

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Photograph supplied by Binna Burra

I have never been so enchanted by a place. One of the staff told me he used to visit as a boy and requested to work here as an adult, I can see why! The nature is incredible, our evening walk along the driveway brought us to dozens of happily grazing pademelons (something like a cross between a hare and a kangaroo) and of course, just look up, the night sky from here is unbelievable, certainly for a Londoner who can hardly see the moon most nights. We ventured on a couple of hikes too, one guided, one alone where we came across a large scaled creature (probably a snake, but we didn’t stop long enough to be sure) which made us turn and retreat with the greatest haste (the pure joy of getting back to the lodge was immense), and despite this Binna Burra is still one of our favourite places in Australia.

In a different state but less than an hour away is Byron Bay and the eastern most point in Australia. Here we marvelled at Dolphins and whales in the sea and lizards on land. We also enjoyed a bit on conscious consumerism at the Mullumbimby markets and Byron boutiques.

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One Dress came out and found a few more words and before we knew it, we were Sydney Bound!

Yours Down Under

Ms Tammam

 

One Dress in Australia and Sustainable Oz – Part One – Eco R&R in Queensland

For the last few weeks the Atelier has been having a rest, the studio locked up and the machines unplugged – we’ve been travelling! After requests and invitations, we decided to start the One Dress Work in Progress tour all the way “Down Under”.

Australia is far, the flights alone created over 6 tonnes of CO2 – that needs around 35 trees to offset (we’ll make sure to ask our tree planters in India to make that happen!)

So when we arrived in Oz, we decided we would be as sustainable as possible. We had One Dress showcases lined up in a few cities and a bit of time to explore (a relatively small part of) the country, and after a frenetic first half of the year we were in need of a little R&R. We landed in The Gold Coast and headed 6 hours north, to a small town called Hervey Bay, and straight onto the Ferry for Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, an immaculate eco retreat in the Coral Sea.

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Photography supplied by Kingfisher Bay Resort

 

We stayed at the Kingfisher Bay Resort – a gorgeous and indulgent lodging on the west coast of the Island, a little taste of luxury, in amongst the wilderness. Immediately we were warned to be confident if we saw wild dingoes(!!!) and had to decide between relaxing in the pool, going to the beach or indulging in the many incredible activities the hotel has to offer.

As newbies in Oz we decided to try out the fascinating Bush Tucker talk – tasting an array of wild seeds and berries. We canoed – our fabulous guide admitted to us that our tour was the shortest she had ever led (our city girl arms did not take us far along the quiet and alluring creek) we enjoyed it none the less, spotting rays in the water and birds in the trees along the immaculate sandy shore.

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Photography supplied by Kingfisher Bay Resort

We chose Kingfisher Bay for its commitment to sustainability and we were not disappointed. The staff are all incredibly knowledgeable, championing the excellent eco credentials of the resort, yet nothing was imposed on the many relaxed and delighted visitors. Kingfisher Bay was certainly the break we needed to revive ourselves, acclimatise to the glorious Australian climate and get ready for the tour ahead.

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We took the sunset ferry back to Hervey bay, and marvelled in the spectacular view – sunsets in Oz are quite remarkable! Then took the (comparatively) short drive up to our amazing eco-residence for the night – the “Tiny House” in Glenwood. We spotted wild Kangaroos on the way, and from the veranda in the morning we saw a little Joey giving his poor mother the jump around. Our host, Leroy, built this little lodging himself, a scaled down version of his own home on the same land – with every eco amenity you could want – harvested rain water, compost toilet and organic snacks. All immaculately clean and luxurious in it’s simplicity. Our only regret was having to leave so early the next morning to get to Mooloolaba.

And what an adventure we had there – we had just enough time to stop at a fabulous eco boutique, Meraki at The Wharf, before jumping on the Sunreef Wild One boat to go “Swimming with Whales”.

Dear reader – we entered this challenge with some trepidation – I, very much a city girl, with my feet firmly on concrete pavement, and not in shark ridden (we all had to wear shark repellent bands!) oceans. I tried, I went in, I swam, I got a cramp, I panicked (bobbing alone in the middle of the ocean –  someone who doesn’t even really like the Hampstead Heath ponds because you can’t see the bottom), a wonderful fellow diver rescued me, and I spent the rest of the adventure on the boat – marvelling at the immense hump-back whales and their incredible curiosity in us, one even stayed a while to perform some tricks. So even though the swimming with whales was not my cup of tea – the other divers were delighted by the experience and we all thoroughly enjoyed the magnificence of these most incredible creatures, free in their natural habitat.

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Photography supplied by Migration Media

Sunreef also offer whale watching tours, but for thrill-seekers go for the swimming with whales (you can be a spectator if one of your party wants to swim). They are certified by Eco-Tourism and throughout the trip I was reassured they really do respect and revere those incredible whales.

One Dress was travelling with us too, collecting words along the way! It’s now at almost 600, about a third of the way there, still plenty to go and we’ve picked up some beautiful and unique words in Australia…

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Yours in Oz!

Ms Tammam

One Dress continues – guest post

Ah, dear readers! Once again it has been an age since I last web logged about our bijoux atelier and all it’s goings on. Just last week we hosted an event which saw queues to the end of the road and in a few days I’m jetting off half way around the world to Australia to showcase One Dress Down Under! Words are still available to buy at tammam.co.uk/onedress. We’ve had lots of attention over the last month or so – let me know if you see or hear the project mentioned anywhere.

For the last few weeks we’ve hosted the delightful Kathryn from Chicago. Here’s a little guest post from her, all about a photo shoot we did for One Dress, inspired by our fore-mothers and the incredible work they did for equality. Millicent Fawcett became the first women to wear One Dress – still a work in progress – a fitting analogy; The woman who was at the forefront of the chain reaction for the fight for women’s rights, wears the dress, still early in it’s creation – awaiting it’s completion.
Yours in admiration of the women who helped us get where we are today, and the women who still fight for us now.
Ms Tammam

This summer I made the spontaneous decision to travel to the U.K to study and intern for nine weeks. With its growing culture and creativity, the opportunity to live in London for the summer was one I knew I couldn’t pass up.

I was intrigued and immediately hooked when I heard about Atelier Tammam, a fashion label that makes all its clothes sustainably. Sustainability has been a core belief of mine ever since I started university. My interest sparked when I joined a sustainable food club my freshman year. Learning how so many factors can be affected by the way food is sourced was mind blowing to me. With the current state our of earth I find it essential to practice ethical living in as many parts of my life as possible. With clothing and fashion being one of my favorite forms of expression, I have grown very interested in ethical and second hand clothing.

Tammam’s core beliefs include sustainability, feminism, art, and story, all areas I have found extreme passion in. After reading more about Tammam, it seemed like the stars had aligned and I had found my perfect fit. 

Tammam’s current One Dress project has really inspired me to practice slow fashion in my everyday life.  Fast fashion is something that I feel often goes overlooked when it comes to living an ethical life. One Dress is the antithesis of fast fashion with its sustainable sourcing practices.

One of my jobs during my time here was to help produce a photoshoot to promote One Dress, inspired by historic photos of women’s suffrage in London. I went on some reconnaissance missions to scope out locations after researching antique photographs. 

We decided on four different locations: The Millicent Fawcet Statue in Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, The National Portrait Gallery, and Buckingham Palace. 

Here are a few of the photos I took and the inspiration behind them.

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The first location was the Millicent Fawcet statue in Parliament Square. Millicent Fawcet was a trailblazer in women’s suffrage in London so we thought it was only fitting to have her wear the One Dress skirt to celebrate women and their fight for rights.

The next location we went to was Trafalgar Square. During women’s fight for suffrage, many gatherings occurred at Trafalgar square, one of the most famous being when Christabel Pankhurst invited women to rush the House of Commons in 1908. 

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A short walk away we found the National Portrait Gallery where the Christabel Pankhurst painting proudly hangs. The design of One Dress was inspired by this incredible portrait.

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The final location we went to was Buckingham Palace, a very important location during the fight for women’s suffrage. Many suffragettes would hold demonstrations and often get arrested for their actions outside Buckingham Palace. The determination of these women is absolutely inspiriting.

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Yours Truly,

Kathryn

For International Women’s day 2018

We’ve just returned from an incredible trip to Kenya, working with the wonderful women of SOKO to embroider more words on the phenomenal One Dress.

Violet Voices in Vintage and Reclaimed Threads on One Dress
One Dress in Kenya with Rosie, Clorinne, Lina, Priscilla and Tabitha

This month is International Women’s Day, Fair Trade Fortnight and Mother’s Day (if you’re still looking for that perfect, unique gift; dedicate a word on One Dress).

HeForShe Arts Week is asking for gender equality through the arts, FiLiA launches it’s new project FiLiArt100 asking female artists to submit their work on the theme of suffrage, emancipation and women’s rights and various events celebrating, discussing and empowering women are happening all around us.

 

At Atelier Tammam we have worked with so many incredible women throughout the years – here’s to them and their magnificent craftsmanship skills. Happy International Women’s day to everyone!

Yours in solidarity and sisterhood

Ms Tammam