IFB Project – What Does Sustainable Style Mean To Me?

017 IFB Project   What Does Sustainable Style Mean To Me?

Jacket – charity shop
Pearl Necklace – vintage
T shirt – A Question of
Longer tshirt (layered underneath) – New Look
Leggings – People Tree
Shoes – Melissa

It is fantastic to see Independent Fashion Bloggers project for this week is about sustainable style. For such an influential organisation in the blogging community to be encouraging bloggers to post about sustainable fashion is really great and I am sure will help to get lots of people thinking.

Anyway of course I wanted to take part. so here is my entry for

What Does Sustainable Style Mean to Me?

I studied Environmental Life Science at University so have always had an interest in the environment but my interest in sustainable fashion really came about a year or so after I started fashion blogging.

As I immersed myself in a world of fashion and clothes which quickly changed from being just a hobby to a job, I started to buy more clothes just because I was exposed to so many different clothes on a daily basis and I wanted them. It suddenly dawned on me how wasteful it was to keep buying clothes that I really didn’t need and often didn’t even wear that much. I started looking for new ways that I could be creative with my style but without buying too many clothes. As I started to wear more charity shop clothes and explore sustainable fashion brands, I also came across many ethical fashion brands which were making a really positive difference around the world and felt inspired to choose clothes which not only had a minimum impact on the environment but also helped people in many different ways.

Sustainable style for me is about

  • Looking and feeling good – of course we all want to look good in our clothes but knowing that my clothes have had a positive impact on someone’s life makes me feel good too. My clothes are partly what gives me confidence and allow me to express my identity. Fortunately for me the concept of sustainability fits well with style because I find buying high quality clothes that will last always looks better than fast fashion.
  • Minimal impact on the environment – I think that buying less clothes that will last is key to sustainable style but I also minimise the impact of my clothing by buying second hand clothes where possible, avoiding dry clean clothes, mending and upcycling, looking for clothes made from sustainable materials including organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and recycled fibres. I also buy clothes that have been locally made and look for companies that have an overall commitment to minimising their environmental impact.
  • Ethical manufacture – exploitation is not a sustainable practice and for fashion to be sustainable, it should also ensure a sustainable livelihood for those involved in its manufacture.
Whilst many people may regard anything ‘sustainable’ particularly style as a bit boring, I think about it as exactly the opposite. To me sustainable style represents a way of exhibiting my own unique and personal style with quirky and usual vintage and charity shop clothes, luxurious fabrics, high quality and well made clothes, innovative styles, intricate detail (often found on fair trade fashion), bright and bold prints and something a  little different from generic ‘fast fashion’, that will make me stand out from the crowd.

Sustainable style means so many things to me – a means of creative expression, a force for change in the world and a way of preserving our world and future, a hobby and also a job.

What does sustainable style mean to you?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

P.s. If you haven’t already, please enter my sustainable outfit competition for fashion bloggers over on style-is.co.uk. There is a £100 shoe voucher to be won!

Sustainable Spring Style on a Budget

peacock dress Sustainable Spring Style on a Budget

One of the most common objections that I hear from people about choosing to shop more sustainably for their clothes is that it would cost more and there isn’t as much choice. In the past this may of been the case but now, I think their is a huge range of choice of ethical and sustainable fashion for all budgets ranging from luxurious designer pieces right through to more affordable fashion. In many ways sustainability and frugality go hand in hand. Here are my tips for greening your style for spring on a budget.

Buy Less, Choose Well

OK, I stole (or borrowed) this one from Vivienne Westwood but it really does sum up the easiest way on how we can become more sustainable, and save money too. Check out what you already have in you wardrobe, what you need or want. I always try and assess any clothes for value before buying by working out how much I am likely to wear them. I think about when I could wear them, what in my wardrobe they would go with and how long they are likely to last in terms of style and quality. I always try and wait a few days before buying to make sure that it is something I really want.

Cash In On Clothes That You Don’t Wear

Spring is the perfect time to have a good clear out of your wardrobe and any clothes that you no longer wear may be worth some money. You can try selling them through ebay a website like musicmagpie.co.uk or bigwardrobe.com or even take them to a clothes agency if you have one nearby. A newly organised wardrobe will also make it easier for you to find something to wear in the mornings and know what you already have to avoid buying more of the same.

Shop for of Sustainable Fashion with Discount Codes and in Sales 

If you really can’t afford to buy from a sustainable or ethical fashion brand, you can look out for discount codes for sustainable fashion. The high quality and timeless styles of most of these brands will usually make them a really good investment. As most of the styles won’t go out of fashion, you should easily be able to find something amazing that is relevant for spring in the sales. Here is a quick summary of the sales and discounts at style-is.co.uk at the moment.

15% off at People Tree until 21st April
15% off at Fashion Conscience until 30th April including Ruby Rocks, Komodo, SkunkFunk & Melie Bianco (vegan handbags)
15% off sustainable brands at Surfdome including Patagonia, Seasalt Cornwall, Monkee Genes, Rapanui and Seasalt Cornwall
Up to 20% off sustainable shoes at Spartoo including Timberland, Dream in Green and Swedish Hasbeens
£5 off sustainable fashion at Zalando when you spend over £50 including Komodo, People Tree, Kuyichi and Patagonia
8% vintage and ethical brands at Rock My Vintage - Including Nancy Dee, Lowie and Tatty Devine
People Tree Sale
Timberland Sale
Seasalt Cornwall Sale

Check out a Charity Shop

Charity shopping has to be one of the most fashionable ways to shop at the moment. It is fun, frugal and eco friendly. The best thing is that you never know what treasure you are going to find and then you can use it to create your own unique outfit. If you don’t have time to trawl the local charity shops, Oxfam Fashion online is a fantastic place to shop. You can search by size, style, colour and brand to find just what you need and there is also a good selection of vintage clothes.

Arrange a Swap Party

If you are really broke arranging a swap party is the perfect way to refresh your wardrobe for spring on a budget. Grab a bottle of wine, some friends with a pile of clothes they no longer want and swap away to your hearts content. The feeling of getting something new from a swap is as good as buying something new and you get a fun evening with your friends into the bargain. If you don’t have enough friends or you are all different sizes, you could try going to an organised swap party, there are lots listed on swishing.org.

Borrow it

If you need something to wear for a one off event, then the simplest option can sometimes be to borrow it. An informal arrangement with friends is great but you can also use the pinkmothballs.com app to help keep track of exactly what you have borrowed from and lent to people. For a special occasion, there is also the option to hire a designer dress from websites like Girl Meets Dress and  Wish Want Wear.

Please feel free to add any more ideas you have in the comments below.

Happy Friday, hope you have a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image – Peacock Dress by Ruby Rocks at Fashion Conscience

Is There a Sustainable Fashion Revolution Taking Place?

Vivienne Westwood Red Label 7 Is There a Sustainable Fashion Revolution Taking Place?

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

but…..

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.

wearthis Is There a Sustainable Fashion Revolution Taking Place?

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.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ps if you are a UK Fashion Blogger and would like to join the revolution, you could try entering my sustainable fashion outfit competition.

Image – Vivienne Westwood Red Label

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Fashion Blogger’s Sustainable Outfit Competition

outfit competition1 Fashion Bloggers Sustainable Outfit Competition

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.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

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.

diesel + Edun Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

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. PINKO BAG FOR ETHIOPIA Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

pinko Ethiopia Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

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 gcc Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborationsgucci Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

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.

orla kiely daisy heart dress 7e8e2f0e4890 Some Interesting Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

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?

Have a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Happy Valentines and a Mention in Metro

065 Happy Valentines and a Mention in Metro

Dress – Oxfam Fashion
Shoes – Dream in Green
Scarf – Charity Shop

I hope you had a lovely Valentines Day. Here is new (old) red dress that arrived just in time from Oxfam online. Although I didn’t go out for Valentines Day as we didn’t have a baby sitter, I think it is important to make an effort after nearly 14 years or marriage, hence the red dress, a rare night off work, a bottle of fizz and the meal for two from Waitrose for me and Mr Style Eyes.

metro 21 Happy Valentines and a Mention in Metrometro 3 Happy Valentines and a Mention in MetroFor anyone that lives in London that reads the Metro, you may have seen an article with some sustainable style tips in Tuesday’s edition. That is me at the bottom of the page next to Livia Firth! I was really excited to get a mention for my sustainable fashion website style-is.co.uk and really honored to be featured amongst some of sustainable fashions most inspirational people. You can check out the whole e-edition of Metro here, it also features an interesting interview with Bruno Pieters of Honest By on page 32.

Today is the start of London Fashion Week, whilst I can’t actually be there, I am really looking forward to hearing about everything that is going on. It looks like this is going to be a great season for ethical and sustainable fashion. You can read a post that I wrote about Liora Lassalle winning the Estethica Veolia Re-Source Competition.

If you are going to LFW, have fantastic time, if not have an amazing weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

Signing Up For The Climate Revolution

149 Signing Up For The Climate Revolution

It has taken me a little time to post this post from last weekend due to boiler breaking down, children off school with snow and generally loads of other stuff going on last week. As Mr S was away with work last Saturday, I decided to take the girls into Bath for lunch and then to pop into Lush to sign up for the Vivienne Westwood Climate Revolution.

The clothes I wore are not particularly sustainable brands except the shoes (Dream in Green) and the bag (Accessorize). However, they have been in my wardrobe for many years and I think that wearing what you have already got instead of buying new this is just about as sustainable as it gets. In fact a key part of Vivienne Westwood’s message for her Climate Revolution is ‘buy less, choose well’ and I am definitely buying less in recent years and the fact that I am still wearing something 5+ years after I originally bought it, I hope means that I have chosen well. It is difficult though to get out that mindset of buying because it is a new season, you are going out somewhere special, you have seen something you just can’t resist or just because you feel like cheering yourself up. I have to constantly challenge myself on this and balance my desire to try out and support ethical brands with reducing my consumption.

How long do you tend to keep a piece of clothing for? and when you buy something new, how much consideration do you put into how long it will last and how much wear you will get from it?

086 Signing Up For The Climate Revolution087 Signing Up For The Climate Revolution

If you would like to find out more and sign up to the Climate Revolution, you can do so at www.climaterevolution.org.uk (I think the campaign at Lush is now over).

Anyway we had a lovely day, with a little wandering around the shops in Bath (something I rarely do anymore). We didn’t buy much in the shops but we did decide to a chocolate facepack from Lush. My five year old could hardly believe her ears when she heard we were going to put chocolate all over our faces, it was like Christmas had come all over again!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend, keeping warm and not being too disrupted by snow.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

I am feeling far too bloated and unhealthy from to much food and drink to do any outfit posts for the last few days so have decided to go for the lazy option of a round up of my favourite sustainable outfits for 2012.

But before that, just a little reminder about the ethical outfit competition running on my new website style-is.co.uk. I have only one entry so far so if you would like to enter, you could have a pretty good chance of winning these fantastic prizes which include

  • £100 of vouchers for Spartoo.co.uk
  • A Skunkfunk Handbag
  • 2 X £10 vouchers for Rock My Vintage

The deadline has also been extended to 4th January to give you a little extra time to put together and post your amazing outfit. You can find out the full details on how to enter here Ethical Outfit Competition.

outfit 16 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Dress – Nancy Dee
Cardigan – Charity shop
Shoes – Irregular Choice
necklace – vintage 

outfit 15 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Skirt – Oxfam Online
Handbag – charity shop 
Boots – Dream in Green

outfit 13 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Upcycled charity shop jacket
leggings – People Tree
Top – swapped

outfit 12 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Dress – Oxfam Fashion
belt -swapped
Necklace – People Tree
Shoes – Dream in Green

outfit 14 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Cardigan – Charity Shop
Necklace – Made Uk
Boots – Dream in Green

outfit 11 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Jacket and Scarf – Vintage Fair
Necklace – Made UK
Organic Cotton Jeans – M& S
Boots – Dream in Green

outfit 10 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Vintage skirt – clothes swap
Necklace – Made UK

outfit 91 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Cardigan – Braintree Hemp
Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Shoes – Melissa

outfit 8 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012

Dress – Vintage
Leggings – People Tree
Boots – Dr Martins

outfit 7 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012
Dress – Monsoon
Scarf – vintage

outfit 6 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Trousers – ASOS Africa
Shoes – Melissa

outfit 5 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Dress – Komodo
Shoes – People Tree

outfit 4 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Dress – Frank & Faith
Hat – Pachacuti

outfit 3 My Sustainable Outfits in 2012Dress – upcycled

Well that is it from me for 2012, I am off to the pub for yet more food and drink. Have a fantastic New Years Eve and see you in 2013!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ethical Fashion and Sales Shopping

I hope you have had a lovely Christmas. I have had spent a lovely time with my family and after receiving some money for Christmas have decided to indulge in a little sales shopping.

Although the thought of people elbowing their way into the boxing day and new year sales and grabbing just about everything in sight does not really sit well with the concept of sustainability, I do think that you can bag yourself a bargain and still be sustainable. For me sales shopping is a great opportunity to try a new ethical/ sustainable fashion brand that I have never bought from before. The fact that I am getting a bargain makes me a little braver than I might usually be in trying something new. I think the golden rule to shopping sustainably in the sales is to only buy what you need, or really really want. This year I have made myself a sort of wishlist to ensure that I don’t buy anything pointless. So here is what I have got…

fridga Ethical Fashion and Sales ShoppingFirst of all I have treated myself to a clothes steamer, something that I have wanted for ages to steam my vintage clothes and cut down on dry cleaning. I will hopefully be writing a review as soon as I have tryed it out. They have some great reductions on at the moment at fridga.com.

black collar necklace cbd714020894 Ethical Fashion and Sales Shopping

 

orla kiely1 Ethical Fashion and Sales Shopping

black dress Ethical Fashion and Sales Shopping

I also got a black dress, a pair of leggings, a beaded collar necklace and a dress from the Orla Kiely range at People Tree. All items that I have been admiring on the site for quite a few months.

The People Tree sale is amazing and I would definitely recommend checking it out here. You can also find some great bargains on style is… sustainable fashion sale page. Finally there are also some great sales on at Timberland, Oxfam, Ethical Superstore, Seasalt Cornwall and Fashion Conscience.

I don’t have too much planned for New Year as usual, perhaps just an early dinner out with Mr Style Eyes and the girls and a bottle of bubbly in front of the TV. What will you be up to?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

An Ethical Fashion Blogathon for Blog Action Day

green blog image An Ethical Fashion Blogathon for Blog Action Day

I am organising an Ethical Fashion Blogathon in memory of my niece, Maddie (you can read more in my post In Memory of Maddie) and in aid of Naomi House Hospice on 15th October, Blog Action Day. I want to raise money for a really worthwhile charity whilst also promoting and raising awareness of ethical fashion.

So here are the details:

What: A 12 hour blogathan during which I aim to write a total of 24 posts about ethical and sustainable fashion brands, retailers and companies. I would also love other bloggers to join in by pledging to write and post one or more posts on their blogs.

When: between 9am and 9pm on Monday 15th October.

Why: To raise money for a fantastic charity and promote sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry plus it will be fun and you may get to discover some fantastic new brands.

Where: The whole event will take place online on a variety of blogs with posts and discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #ethicalfashionblogathon

How: I aim to raise money by gaining sponsorship of a set amount for each post written using Just Giving.

If you would like to take part, please email me (ceri at heathcotecommunications.co.uk) or leave a comment below asap with you blog url and how many posts you would like to do. I will then be in touch by Friday 12th with the brands/ retailers or companies for you to post about. You will need to post about 250 words plus a least one image and link for each post during the blogathon. I will also provide a blogathon badge for each post which will link to a list of all the posts in the blogathon. It will be up to you what you write.

Ethical / sustainable fashion companies that are interested in sponsoring the blogathon can also email me on ceri at heathcotecommunications.co.uk and I will be in touch as soon as I have further details.

So will you join in the fun?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X