Profit before ethics. I faced this dilemma every day, at every level. A subsequent petty battle over the provision of fair trade tea in the staff canteen was farcical but the message was obvious. If anybody wanted to change things at a high street fashion company they would be banging their heads against a brick wall.
Our new mannequin is a thing of great beauty. I'm so very proud of it. And the wonderful thing is that the beauty is also on the inside, not just the outside. In the fashion business, even in the digital age, mannequins still have a charm and a mystique about them. Now they have a goodness about them too. A goodness that goes right to the core. It's a totally innovative product.
The museum's latest exhibition Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style looks at the creative and thrifty responses to clothes rationing during the Second World War. Not only were the clothes of this time a triumph in colour, creativity and durability, there are some real lessons we can learn from the era where make do and mend was a necessity.
Imagine a world where everything that is exchanged, bought, used and consumed is made by machine, on an assembly line. Where every item is judged only on its functionality, valued for its utility, and on its ability to achieve economy of scale.
I spoke with Rose de Borman about her hand-painted silk screen prints as she worked away, blending paints inspired by a nearby pots of flowers she had collected from her garden and brought in as colour inspiration for her prints.
Their comments were at best a defensive attempt to justify their own positions in the ivory tower that is Vogue - their motivations perhaps to maintain (or reclaim?) the relevance of their voices, and at worst, nasty slurs of patronising condescension toward any girl representing fashion brands or expressing herself through personal style at fashion week.
Over time, I learned to let go of a lot of things. I didn't worry that I had no make-up on or that I'd worn the same pair of trousers three days running. Most importantly, I realised I didn't need so much stuff. I didn't need to buy that cute top that everyone on social media was cooing over because in a week it would be replaced with another trend.
I realised that the cheaply made, mass produced, fast-fashion I was buying was promoting unethical working conditions, environmental destruction and costing me a fortune. I decided that something drastic needed to change and set myself a personal challenge - to simply stop buying for a year.
It's just that we are so far removed from the production and manufacture of the things that we buy, that we've all kind of forgotten that someone somewhere had to make them. And that the price on the ticket not only has to have bought the raw materials, but paid someone to make it.
Since I met Adriana - inventor and co-founder - and we decided to build a team and develop her crazy idea of turning orange peels into a sustainable and silky textile for fashion, almost four years have passed. We have spent it following our dream and facing challenges
In many ways, we have reached a stand-off between these two fashion industry camps - a stand-off that drives heated debate in every fashion industry forum, and much frustration. Yet, the challenges of sustainability are common to all of us, to every fashion consumer and to every business owner.
So what, you might ask, have we at Tom Cridland spent LFW doing? Well, once we'd managed to resist the temptation of spending the whole week in pyjamas watching Narcos and eating Terry's Chocolate Oranges, we decided to mark what should be a momentous occasion for a fashion label by launching our first ever shirt.
Ever been motivated into action by thinking "What if that was my child working in the factory?" or "how would I feel if my workplace was unsafe" or "what if that river was the source of my drinking water?" Then you already know what I am talking about.
I became lactose intolerant and started being more considerate of what I ate and where it came from, eating mainly organic food. The experience of changing my eating habits made me think, if I can be careful about what goes inside my body, why can't I be careful with what goes ON my body
Sustainability is a hot topic right now. A trend in the fashion industry you might say - and although this recognition and rise in awareness can't be anything but good, trends are fleeting, sustainability cannot be.
Since my campaign, I have continued to explore my interest in Modest Fashion, through research I have gathered an understanding of what women like to wear, what makes them feel great and the impact this has on a person's confidence as a whole. If you wear a hijab, it doesn't mean you have to limit your choice of clothing, as long as you remain modest you can still explore with different colours, patterns and styles. Fashion is everywhere, if you feel your best, it's really amazing what you can you achieve.