April 28, 2022

Sustainable Fashion Photography in Italy: Rupahaus in Cinque Terre

Sustainable Fashion Photography in Italy, featuring Rupahaus in Cinque Terre, a brand that puts its Artisans and its Community at its Core.

Who says that clothes that make you feel beautiful can’t also be for adventuring?

This is the thought that sparked an idea that turned into a weekend so sweet I can barely believe it happened. Four women from different cities in different countries, with different backgrounds and experiences, a suitcase filled with ethically & sustainably made dresses, the breathtaking backdrop of Italy’s famous Cinque Terre. We laughed and ate our way across Cinque Terre, from Manarola to Monterosso al Mare, clambering up rocks, running up pebble staircases, and marvelling at the endless beautiful views. All the while, wearing dresses by Rupahaus that made us feel and look like the very best versions of ourselves.


While 2020 was a year of turmoil and upheaval for almost all of us, it was a year that I believe also helped us to reflect on the lives we were living. With a lot of spare time on my hands, I began to ask myself what I would do if I could do anything at all. I’d known for a long time that I wanted to share more about brands and small makers that I love, and Rupahaus was at the top of that list.

Slow Fashion with Community at its Core

Rupahaus is so much more than a brand, though. Rupahaus is a label born from a belief that there had to be a better way to do things. It is Slow Fashion with Community at its Core. The three sisters behind Rupa began their search for traditional artisans after Stephanie, who worked in fast fashion, grew sick of mass-production and creating clothes without soul. Her story, one I’ll soon share as part of my Diversity in Sustainability project, is truly inspiring (although she prefers that the artisans and the clothing they create remain front and centre of Rupa).

What stemmed from that moment has been a beautiful collaborative project with communities of artisans in Indonesia, whose input, knowledge & skill is as important to each collection as Steph’s creative vision. Their goal was not only to create sustainable & ethical clothing but to empower the communities who make the clothes.

As the proud owner of a few treasured items of Rupahaus clothing, I think what makes these pieces so special is the way they fit and feel. The colours, derived from natural, traditional dyes, are soft and feminine but also sturdy. The designs are the same.

Rupahaus in Cinque Terre

As a kid, I always loved running around with my brothers and so I hated dresses – they felt unpractical and frustrating as I tried to keep up with the boys in their hardy shorts and Ts. If only Rupahaus existed when I was a kid, my Mum might have been able to convince me to wear a dress or a skirt! Truly, Ashley, Athena, Faith & I all felt our very best roaming around Cinque Terre, scrambling over rocks and running into the shallows of the Mediterranean Sea, all while wearing our beautiful dresses. It helped that we were stopped a few times in every town by curious onlookers, all asking where we’d bought our lovely clothes from.

Sustainable Fashion Photography in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is of course known for its five jewel-toned towns, precariously balanced on cliffs along Liguria’s rocky, romantic coastline. We chose to take Rupahaus’ Sustainable Fashion Photography in Cinque Terre because it tied in so well with the idea of Rupa’s clothing being delicate but sturdy, colourful but never too much. Not to mention, each town is unique in its own way, providing us access to a variety of backdrops that allowed for photos of all different moods.

Sustainable Fashion Photography in Italy

Of course, there are so many locations around Italy that we could have used to showcase & photograph Rupahaus’ sustainable clothing. From the wild coastline of Sicily to the famous cascading towns of the Amalfi Coast, the rolling hills of Tuscany to the ancient, art-lined streets of Rome. Italy is a country where slow living is celebrated – not just as a trend, but as a lifestyle that is ingrained into their culture. Dolce Far’ Niente is the art of doing sweet nothing, an art that is combined with one of the world’s oldest traditions of artisanship and appreciation of quality and craftsmanship.

It’s not only its appreciation of slow living and craftsmanship that makes Italy the perfect location for Sustainable Fashion Photography, though. Italy has captured the world’s collective imagination through its delectable food, its breathtaking landscape, and its staggering history. Italy is also synonymous with quality. By photographing Rupa’s sustainable dresses against the backdrop of Cinque Terre, Italy, I hoped to share it with a new audience of women looking for sustainable clothing that makes them feel their best, that they can be proud to wear, and that inspires them to chase their dreams.

Models: Ashley, Athena, Luna, and Rhianna May.
All clothing by Rupahaus.

If you work with or for a brand and would love to showcase your product in Italy, please reach out! I’d love to help you plan (and capture) Sustainable Fashion Photography in Italy, which is not only beautiful but helps to connect you with your community. Just get in touch via the link below!

Did you love these images of Rupahaus in Cinque Terre? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out Rupahaus’ latest collection on their website.