I wanted to share an event that I thought would appeal to all lovers of vintage fashion tea and cake – A Vintage Tea Party at Vintage Fashion Fair London.
This looks like the perfect opportunity to get dressed up in a lovely vintage dress and catch up with friends or meet up with some fellow vintage loving fashion bloggers. The vintage tea party will be held at VIntage Fashion Fair London on 19th May. It is the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon with a vintage afternoon tea served on vintage china, music from the forties performed by singing and dancing act ‘My Favourite Things’ and the chance to shop for vintage clothes, accessories and textiles on the vintage stalls which stock a great selection of genuine vintage from a variety of decades. If the weather is nice there will also be tables available in the garden at Cecil Sharp House.
Tickets are £10 and available in advance from Eventbrite
* Entrance to the Vintage Fashion Fair for some great shopping.
* A lunch or tea consisting of delicate finger sandwiches, a selection of delicious cakes and a pot of tea or coffee.
* All served on vintage china at pretty table settings.
* Entertainment from ‘My Favourite Things’ who will be performing at 1.00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m
Further information visit www.vintagefashionfairlondon.co.uk
Cardigan – charity shop top – Zakee Shariff at People Tree Leggings – People Tree Denim Skirt – upcycled Shoes – Melissa
The bank holiday weekend was our first chance this year to get away in our old camper van, Roberta so we loaded her up with beer and pointed her south. We stayed in a lovely campsite in Weymouth that we stayed at last year when the Olympics were on. Admittedly Saturday was very windy and pretty cold, I spent most of the day huddled in the campervan with my book whilst, the children played and Mr Style Eyes amused himself with cooking a barbeque and insisting it wasn’t that cold until eventually he gave in and put a jumper on. I am afraid due to the mass hair frizziness caused by the wind, I took no outfit photographs!
Sunset and the view from our campsite over Fleet lagoon and Lyme Bay
On Sunday, to my relief, the weather was so much better so we packed a picnic and headed down to Weymouth beach to check out the Kite festival, make sandcastles and enjoy a cheeky glass of cider in the beach cafe.
I won’t bore you with all my kite photographs as I think you really had to be there! But here are just a few
The time passed far too quickly and before we knew it, it was time to go home so we trundled across some of the most beautiful countryside home.Here we stopped off for a bit of lunch to give the old girl a rest (and let the queue of traffic behind us pass) after climbing the massive Spread Eagle Hill. It was well worth the effort as this hill has the most amazing views as far as the eye can see across Somerset (the Levels, I think) which you can sort of see in the top photograph.
I hope that you had a lovely bank holiday weekend and enjoyed the sunshine, fingers crossed for lots more of it.
On a more serious note, today I have read that yet more people (at least 7 people) have been killed in a factory fire in Bangladesh. So incredibly sad and needless, I hope that there will be change in the fashion industry soon. Yesterday I wrote a post for Ethical Fashion Bloggers about How Fashion Bloggers Can Make a Difference. I would be really grateful for any shares or comments as I thing this is a really important issue and we can all help to prevent more tragedies.
As I included in the post here are a few things that you can do:
Join Ms Wandas 1% Campaign calling for companies to invest a minimum of 1% of theirprofits to ensure the human rights of garment workers are properly protected. You could also tell your readers about these campaigns. Facebook and blog badges and Twitter Avatars are also available at Ms Wandas.
I have a pretty fun packed week with lots of birthday treats and celebrations. On Saturday I treated myself to a ticket to the ‘Can Fashion Change the World?’ talk at Vogue Festival. The Panel for the talk consisted of Livia Firth, Katherine Hamnett, Tom Craig and Vivienne and was hosted by Vogue features director Jo Ellison. The talk was entertaining informative, though provoking and inspiring in equal parts.
Each member of the panel talked with passion about how they though fashion could change the world and also how fashion related to a bigger picture. It became quite heated in parts with Vivienne Westwood insisting that she continue with her talk despite running out of time and blaming Vogue for not organising it properly!
Vivienne was keen to share information on the Climate Revolution, you can find out more here.
Unfortunately there was no time for questions, but I had wondered before the event how they were going to cover such a huge topic in such a short space of time. I have written a fuller review of the debate in my post Vogue Festival – Can Fashion Change the World?.
My favourite quote for the day came from Livia Firth
“Not only can fashion change the world, but it absolutely must”
Unfortunately the lighting and my poor photography skills prevented me from getting a photograph of the panel but you can check out more photos on the Vogue blog.
I also met up with the lovely Angela of Sasstainable and took the opportunity to chat ethical fashion, blogging and take some blogger pictures before and after the talk.
Dress – SkunkFunk Jacket – Rokit Vintage Necklace – People Tree Shoes – El Naturalista
I was lucky enough to have the whole day to spend in London so after a wander round to check out some of the amazing outfits, braid bar and Vogue covers on the wall, indulging in a extra stylish bottle of Coconut water and Vogue muffin, I headed out to check out the view from the bridge and made my way to Brick Lane to check out the vintage shops.
Whether it be styling the right outfit, looking good in glasses, or finding treasures in your closet, ultimately as fashion bloggers we share our fashion story. Through words or through photography, this roundup takes a closer look at making life more beautiful, fashion icons like Lilly Pulitzer who passed away over the weekend, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.. and the downward spiral of the house of Saint Laurent. What are we going to do to keep the world beautiful? Sustainable fashion and shopping our closets? And how will we document it.. there are fantastic photo tutorials in the mix to.
Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup, April 11th
I have been blogging about (and wearing) ethical fashion for the last few years and whilst it is some thing that I strongly believe in, I have in the past felt a little on my own amongst not just the fashion blogger community but also often friends and family. Many of the events that I am invited to just don’t seem to relevant to my blog or the clothes that I wear. I have also wondered how seriously people take my blog, perhaps considering me to be slightly eccentric because I have never stepped foot in Primark (well not in the last 20 years anyway) and refuse to buy from Topshop
I am really starting to wonder if there is a sustainable fashion revolution starting to take place. Of course there have always been a hardcore of eco friendly and sustainability enthusiasts, charity shop and vintage addicts and make do and menders, but recently I have noticed not only a growing number of fashion blogs dedicated to sustainable style but also lots of fashion bloggers posting about related topics. Thrifting, swapping, buying less and upcycling, the results of which can be seen on outfit sharing and street style websites, all sit well with sustainability whilst also being very fashionable at the moment as well.
But it’s not just the bloggers that are talking about sustainability and fashion. Today, something happened that I really didn’t expect. H&M hosted a panel at Vogue headquarters about, guess what? ‘sustainability and fashion’. Before you condemn it as an act of green wash to promote their latest Concious Collection, I really did get the impression that H&M are really starting to take it all quite seriously (check out the video above for yourself). Putting aside my concerns over whether fast fashion could ever really be considered sustainable or ethical, I was pleased to see that H&M have dedicated the homepage of their website to promoting the Concious Collection and the live stream of the panel discussion. Definitely a step in the right direction and a high impact way of raising awareness amongst their customers. The panel featured Jasmin Malik Chua of Ecouterre, Bruno Pieters of honest by,Scott Mackinlay Hahn from Loomstate, fashion consultant Julie Gilhart as well as Helena Helmersson, global head of sustainability at H&M; Catarina Midby, head of fashion and sustainability communications at H&M. It was moderated by Simon Collin, the dean at The New School for Design at Parsons.
H & M have also taken the unprecedented (for a fast fashion chain) step of publishing their supplier list. Don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of issues, which have been well explained in Leena Oijala’s post for Ecosalon here. But things are definitely moving in the right direction no?
Over 400, 000 people have supported Greenpeace’s recent campaign’s to detox fashion. It had some really amazing results with brands like Zara and Levi’s committing to clean-up their supply chain and products. People (well some people anyway) are showing that they really care and the brands are starting to listen.
Image from www.fashioningchange.com
I have also seen some fantastic sustainable fashion brands and retailers popping up. Of course my own sustainable fashion website features about 140 innovative ethical and sustainable brands ( I never even realised there were that many!), many of them very affordable. There is also the much talked about Honest By, the worlds first 100% transparent company which launched in January. Brand founder and designer Bruno Pieters also just happens to create some pretty amazing fashion which I would definitely recommend checking out. Both Modavanti and Fashioning Change are also playing a key role in educating and increasing choice and accessibility of ethical and sustainable brands in the US.
And then there are the celebrities who are well known for their ability to influence fashion. Livia Firth and her Green Carpet Challenge has not only glamorised sustainable fashion, something that might have been considered distinctly lacking in glamour in the past but also got us all talking. Such a fantastic way to raise awareness. Dame Vivienne Westwood (pictured above) is an active campaigner for climate change and could not have summed it up better when she advised us to “Buy less, choose well”, a simple but high impact message that is sure to have reached many people.
And in the press, recent fashion weeks saw plenty of coverage of sustainable brands. Diesel recently celebrated their collaboration with ethical fashion brand EDUN by teaming up with Grazia Magazine to host an intimate dinner for bloggers. In the US Adriana Herrera, founder of Fashioning Change, has her own column in the New York times dedicated to ethical fashion. This years Vogue Fest also features a talk entitled ‘Can Fashion Change the World?’ and features Dame Vivienne Westwood, Livia Firth and Katherine Hamnett. I can’t wait!
I realise that fast fashion is still a big issue and that we have a long way to go. Also that there will always be those people that just couldn’t care less. But more than ever before, I think there is a revolution starting to happen.
So what do you think? are things moving in the right direction? do people really care less? or am I just stuck in my happy little ethical fashion bubble? I would love to know your thoughts or experiences.
I hope that you had a lovely Easter. My was fairly relaxed if uneventful filled with walks in the freezing cold, lots of good food, wine and watching films. Never mind that we didn’t go camping as we usually do at Easter, at least we were warm!
I am running another sustainable fashion outfit competition over at style-is.co.uk, with £100 of Spartoo vouchers up for grabs for the winning entry. Spartoo have a fantastic range of eco and ethical shoes including Timberland, Swedish Hasbeens and Dream in Green.
The competition is the perfect opportunity to show off your sustainable style and inspire others at the same time. All you need to do is make an outfit which includes at least one sustainable piece of clothing or accessory (or though more than one is even better). You can make the outfit in real life and take a photograph of yourself wearing it or create it using something like Polyvore. This could be a vintage, second hand thrifted or upcycled piece some thing by your favourite ethical brand. Full details of how to enter the competition can be found here.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to have sustainable style, you may be surprised by some of the amazing ethical brands that you find to create your outfit with. I would love to see your sustainable outfit and hope you will enter the competition.
The Nakate Project was founded by Shanley Knox on returning to California after living in Uganda. The brand brings the beautiful work of East African artisans to high fashion with accessories for adventurous bold women (just like those who have made them).
Shanley was inspired by the stories her father told about objects collected when travelling and she began to collect her own wearable pieces from her travels, each one was imbued with memories and stories from the locations that she has visited. She used these accessories to introduce these stories and memories into her daily life.
‘Nakate’, the name of the project is associated with a memory that is particularly poignant for Shanley. Nakate was a nine year old girl that she met in a Ugandan village called Kakooge. She lived with her aunt, a local prostitute after losing both her mother and father to Aids. It was Shanley’s desire to connect Nakate to the role models in her own society that lead to the Nakate Project and its business model of connecting African talent to women in remote villages to nourish artistic growth and development. The Nakate project was launched after Shanley’s 21st birthday in collaboration with celebrity stylist Antonio Esteban and individual artisans in Uganda.
She hopes that each of the pieces of jewellery will act as a reminder to the wearer to express the adventurous, bold woman that lives in each of them and to use the unique aesthetic of the jewellery to celebrate a part of the world that teaches us to live more deeply!
The Nakate Project also works to create artisans in rural areas of Uganda that we see as previously untapped or undervalued. They help in providing income for women that are struggling to support themselves and, for many of them, the families that are relying on their income. The project also adheres to fair trade principles and environmentally friendly practices including maximizing the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources, buying locally where possible and encouraging our artisans to work in environments of their choosing – which are often in the open air.
This post is the first part of my new series Story Behind the Brand where I share with you the inspiring stories behind some amazing ethical fashion brands.
What do you think? do you love this story? I know I could definitely do with a little reminder to be adventurous and bold and live more deeply sometimes.
I think that collaboration is probably the biggest opportunity for ethical and sustainable fashion brands at the moment to get themselves out there and recognised for how amazing they are with the added bonus that the brand they collaborates with get to find out a bit more about sustainable fashion. There is certainly plenty going on with sustainable fashion collaborations at the moment and I wanted to share some of the interesting ones that I have come across.
The newly launched DIESEL + EDUN collection features raw, untreated denim with a reinterpretation of the four-pocket jean of the 1970s popular on the streets of South Africa forming the basis of the collection. It also features Malian textile prints, embroidery details reference traditional Zulu weaving patterns and Kenyan metal work. The collection aims to engage a global audience and create awareness of the creative opportunities in Africa and build sustainable trade with the continent through fashion. Both brands already had programs in Africa DIESEL’s Only The Brave Foundation project in Dioro, Mali and EDUN’s Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI) in Uganda. After touring each others they decided to join forces with DIESEL + EDUN for even greater impact. They also developed the concept of Studio Africa – a Tumblr for a new generation of creative talents from across the continent. The campaign features nine artists in fashion, film, music, literature, and photography; individuals with both talent and a deep commitment to their respective countries and people.
The Pinko for Ethiopia Collection is a collaboration between Italian brand Pinko (obviously!) and Fashion for Development (F4D) , a global awareness project that seeks to nurture economic growth in the third world through the power of fashion. The collection which focuses on ‘awareness and renewal’ features some bold and bright print jumpers some with contrasting sleeves and one which clashes 2 leopard prints. There are also some great shopping bags which I would definitely be proud to be seen out with.
Gucci have now joined up with Livia Firth to launch a new Gucci Green Carpet Challenge Handbag Collection that is produced legally in the Brazilian Amazon and is assured not to contribute to deforestation. You might not have realised it but two thirds of the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is caused by cattle ranching. The collection was a result of Livia introducing Gucci creative director Frida Giannini to the National Wildlife Federation and the Rainforest Alliance, which provides certification to cattle farms based on environmental and social justice criteria, as well as the ethical treatment of cattle. The collection launched at Paris Fashion week with three styles featuring bamboo tassels. Each comes with a Gucci GCC “passport,” which documents the origin and traceability of the bag.
Last but most definitely not least (in fact one of my favourite brands) comes People Tree. They are now old hands at fantastic designer collaborations and for SS13, they have some fantastic printed dresses and tops by both Orla Kieley and Peter Jensen. I can’t quite make up my mind which I like the best but at the moment am swaying towards the Orla Kiely Daisy Hear Dress. Actually I have another People Tree Orla Kiely dress in the same style but a different print. It is super flattering and easy to wear.
What do you think of these collaborations? would they make you more likely to buy ethical/ sustainable fashion?
Organic cotton is something that I first learnt about when writing for a baby clothes company and even before I started wearing sustainable fashion, I was interested in why I should choose organic cotton for baby and children’s clothes.
I think that it is a much more sustainable choice than conventional cotton, mainly because it is grown without the use of environmentally damaging pesticides but also because with organic cotton the soil fertility is maintained naturally and locks C02 into the soil helping to combat global warming. It also avoids using energy intensive fossil-fuel based fertilisers which cause greenhouse gas emissions.
When you put on a piece of conventional cotton clothing or dry your face on a fluffy cotton towel, it is hard to imagine that cotton farming is responsible for one quarter of all the world’s insecticides and 10% of pesticides, some really toxic chemicals which are poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing an estimated 16,000 people each year. Organic cotton is better for the health of farmers and gives them a sustainable living helping to alleviate poverty; you can also be sure that organic cotton clothes have been manufactured according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
But even for those who don’t worry too much about environmental concerns, organic cotton has some very real benefits especially when it comes to baby and children’s clothes.
First up, it is a natural fibre which is breathable and feels good against the skin. My children don’t like wearing synthetic clothes much as they get too hot. Organic cotton children’s clothes tend to be high quality and well-made, meaning that despite very active children and lots of washing they last well and can be passed on down the family.
Jo Nilsson, head of Marketing at Polarn O. Pyret agrees with this sentiment. “Great kid’s clothing should be defined as clothing that your child feels comfortable in; clothes that can handle a child’s playtime activities and clothes that are durable – it has to be defined by more than just the print, colour, styling, patterns or brand”. “We are trying to learn and grow with eco-concerned parents and other consumers – that is why over 30% of our selection is organically sourced, and our classic stripes selection which represents the ethos of our company is entirely organic too”.
Elaborately designed conventional clothes could contain a variety of chemical residues including pesticides, fire retardants, formaldehyde and toxic dyestuffs that may cause allergies and respiratory problems.
With organic clothes there are no chemicals at all. I know that my children are probably exposed to a variety of different chemicals everyday but this is one way that I think I can reduce their exposure.
There is a really interesting post on Feelgood Style which asks Organic Cotton: are you willing to pay more? I am definitely prepared to pay a little more for organic cotton especially for children’s clothes; I would love to know what you think?
Have you checked out the Observer Ethical Awards yet?
If you are already involved in an ethical business or idea you can find out more about how to enter here. They have some fantastic categories this year including Well Dressed which I have mentioned in previous posts. The Awards are sponsored by Ecover, the company that is known for its cleaning products which are made from sustainable plant-based ingredients. You may also know about Ecover’s involvement with ethical fashion through some of the events and projects that they have been involved with. I hear they have lots more exciting ethical fashion projects happening in 2013.
This year Ecover have their own category in the awards for Young Green Champions for the under 18’s. In their own words, they are looking for “a young green champion with an idea so good it hurts” perhaps even someone a few steps ahead who has already begun.
The winner will not only get a mention in an Ethical issue of the Observer Magazine on Sunday 16th June 2013, but also a specially designed trophy to acknowledge their success and £6000 to make their idea work. The leader of the project (supervising adult) will also be rewarded with a three-night stay for a family of four at the Coppice Woodland in Hertfordshire with Sawday’s Canopy & Stars.
Lucy Siegle, chair of judging, said: “It is entirely possible that there’s a group of under 18s with an ethical project so clever that we haven’t even thought of it yet. We know that so many young people refuse to put up with inheriting a planet in bad shape and that they are doing something about making the world a better place. We want to hear their ideas so that we can help their brilliant scheme really take off.”
This award would be a fantastic way to get started if you are an under 18 and would like to work in ethical fashion, just think how amazing it would be to get this funding to make your idea work and how fantastic it would look on your college application. Last years winner was a fantastic ethical fashion idea which you can find out more about in the video above. I personally would love to see more ethical fashion this year and be inspired by a future ethical fashionistas that are going to help move the industry forward in the future. Of course it is not just about fashion so if you have any other great ethical ideas, what are you waiting for, get that entry in!
The awards close on 22nd March. You can find out more on how to nominate or enter here.
As said by Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”