“We need to start changing our mindset about waste in general – how we can repurpose, how we can reuse and how we can value it and change the way we are thinking.” ~ Michelle Lowe-Holder



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About this interview:

What is wrong with a culture of fast fixes?  

In this episode, Amisha meets sustainable fashion designer and lecturer, Michelle Lowe-Holder.   Michelle was inspired to relocate to England from America by the famously radical and innovative fashion design scene. It was here that she became interested in working with sustainable materials and practises – catalysed by a mentorship programme at the London College of Fashion – and released her first sustainable fashion collection in 2010.    


Michelle has most recently acquired a surprisingly detailed understanding of teen drug culture, as well as a collection of over 3,000 used nitrous oxide canisters. We hear the story of how she became equally fascinated and appalled by the mass littering of used nitrous oxide canisters around her home in East London, left behind by young people partying in their cars. Michelle spent months gathering the shiny detritus and trying to find out more about how and why they were appearing in such vast numbers around the parks and brownfield sites of our cities.    


As an artist and designer, Michelle is passionate about repurposing every day waste into something that is either beautiful, provocative or both. She has created incredibly impactful works of art from her glittering urban forage, which shock audiences by their scale. Her hope is that we will wake up to the scale of our waste problem and shift to new ways of thinking and acting.    


Together Amisha and Michelle discuss the impact of fast fashion on our mindset and environment, how the ‘fast high’ of nitrous oxide exemplifies a worrying trend towards disposability and increased waste, and what we as individuals can do to counter such trends.  


“We need to start changing our mindset about waste in general – how we can repurpose, how we can reuse and how we can value it and change the way we are thinking.” ~ Michelle Lowe-Holder


Born in Canada holding UK and USA citizenship – Michelle Lowe-Holder holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Distinction in Design from Pratt Institute in New York. Michelle worked for several years in the fashion industry before returning to study and completing an MA in Knitwear at Central St. Martins in London. Following graduation the “MICHELLE LOWE-HOLDER” RTW collection was launched. Several BFC “New Gen” sponsorships followed including on-schedule runway shows at London Fashion Week and sales representation.

 In 2009 the MLH label took a change of direction when the Center for Sustainable Fashion / LCF invited Michelle to attend the first cohort of mentoring to help develop makers/designers to develop a more sustainable, slow and artisanal approach. The AW10 “Ribbon Reclaim” is the first group of MLH hand made pieces for the body using heritage crafting techniques and upcycling vintage and end of line ribbon. Michelle has also been involved in projects from designing a knit pattern collection for a heritage Norwegian wool company, to upcycling for M&S and being part of the CSF development team for the Nike Maker App.  

To find out more about Michelle, visit www.lowe-holder.com


To connect or work with Amisha, visit www.amisha.co.uk  

Links from this episode:

London Design Festival

London College of Fashion

Ethical Fashion Forum



Fashion Revolution 


Katie Jones

Jane Withers, Brompton Design District

Owen Bowden-Jones, expert on club drugs


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