My London: Alex McIntosh – Founder of Create Sustain

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Alex McIntosh is the founder of Create Sustain a unique consultancy which brings together like-minded strategists and creatives to support businesses from start-ups to global corporations in embedding sustainability in their culture, operations and communications.

Alex has been working in the area of fashion and sustainability for fifteen years and was one of the founding members of The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the University of the Arts London leading the Fashion Futures MA programme there. He was Managing Director of the pioneering menswear brand Christopher Raeburn and has developed mentoring programmes with the Ethical Fashion Forum, The British Fashion Council and Enterprise UK, supporting start-up brands in adopting sustainable practices.

Alex is working with Siemens, who is launching an online guide to the sustainable fabrics taking the fashion world by storm, and the care instructions to keep them in their best condition.


Favourite neighbourhood:

Until very recently I was a life-long North Londoner so for sentimental reasons I’ll have to give a shout out to my old neighbourhood of Crouch End. It’s not particularly fashionable but there are some hidden gems, Nickel does a great Negroni.


Favourite place for brunch:

Strawbale Cafe at Freightliners City Farm in Islington – the best place to have brunch with a hyperactive two-year-old.


Best coffee in London:

I’m not a coffee connoisseur, caffeine doesn’t agree with me but I’ve spent a lot of time in Common Ground on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park – they have a nice garden and they make a mean decaf flat white.


Favourite gallery or museum:

Hard to choose one but I love the Hayward Gallery, it was one of the first galleries I ever went to of my accord, to see a Lichtenstein exhibition. I didn’t really like the art much but I loved the architecture and I still do.


Tell us a secret:

I don’t live in London anymore I haven’t quite admitted it to myself!


Favourite place to shop:

Hostem Blue Mountain School, I can’t afford anything but I love the concept and the experience, it’s retail at its best and a much needed antidote to fast and furious consumption.


Favourite place to find inspiration:

I could lose many days in Foyles, in the age of Amazon and Audible I don’t visit book shops nearly enough and when I remember how important the tactile experience of turning a page can be.


Best London destination for a date:

I first kissed my wife in a slightly seedy bar on Colombia Road called The Fleapit, a year later they converted it into a restaurant called Brawn, so I’d advise anyone to go there as it was a lucky location for me!


Favourite park:

Has to be Hampstead Heath, I always lived within walking distance of the heath, the lungs of London and a place where you can wild(ish) swim always wins.


Favourite food market:

Honestly I got a bit tired of farmers markets they all blur into one – bring back Camden fruit and veg market a staple of my childhood!


Your sanctuary in the city:

Queenswood in Highgate is some of the oldest woodland in London and a magic and very peaceful place that takes you out of the city and into nature.


What inspires you?

People who really live their values (I’m not sure I’m one of them) or more to the point people who value their life and the things in it. Much of my work is about trying to nudge people to consume in a more conscious way taking time to make more sustainable choices but also thinking more about what they already have and how they can care for it better.


This season I’m loving:

The upsurge of interest in sustainability and the very tangible impact that the climate crisis is having on the way people are thinking about and designing fashion. As more and more new sustainable innovations come onto the market it is vital that we are really clear with customers about why something is better and also about the actions they can take in their daily life to make the things they buy last.

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