Last week I spent a morning with the fantastic Juta Shoes team who let me come along to their weekly shoe making group session in East London. I had the greatest time finding out more about them, their sustainably made, environmentally conscious shoes and the local women who make them by hand in London, gaining skills and making new friends all whilst quite literally doing their bit for the planet.
For Fashion Revolution Week 2018 sustainable and ethical footwear brand Po Zu have curated a space in the heart of Truman Brewery in London’s Shoreditch bringing a handful of ethical and sustainable fashion brands to the heart of all things cool.
I kick started my Fashion Revolution Week with Po Zu’s curation (you can take a look and read more about Po Zu here) I took so many photos they needed their own post!
Here are some of the other brands that are showcasing in the pop up store space until Sunday.
Last night I headed over to Truman Brewery in Shoreditch (A really cool East End space where brands come to host events) to take a look at the Fashion Revolution Week pop up opposite record store Rough Trade. Po Zu are hosting the pop up and have invited fellow sustainable brands to join them. People Tree, Howies, Lowie, Wear The Wall and Brothers We Stand are alongside Po Zu and are selling samples and showcasing their sustainable and ethical fashion ways everyday for the rest of the week.
Being just down the road from work, I had a wander up in the sunshine ready to see what Fashion Revolution Week in London was all about!
As a sustainable fashion blogger I’m always looking for the latest and greatest eco effort from high street brands. After all, mainstream brands like H&M, Topshop and Asos can make such a big difference. So seeing the updated ‘Made In Kenya’ page on Asos’ ‘Eco Edit‘ section got me really excited. Artisan ideas, training and skills rolled out into a mainstream, accessible product? I’m all for it, but the more I looked into the product and it’s fabric breakdown I was downhearted to discover that there’s nothing ‘Eco’ at all about Asos X Kenya’s fabric choice what so ever. It’s all got polyester in it.
Polyester is not an ‘Eco’ fabric in any way shape or form. They should take their ‘Cos caring for the planet is cool’ slogan off asap.
I love wandering through places I’ve never been before and despite Paris being only a stones throw away from London, I haven’t been there since I was a kid and that was on a trip to Disneyland!
I really enjoyed my little wander and exploration of the shopping districts, here are a few of the pictures I took on my way to Galleries Lafayette.
During my walk I came across some lovely little independent stores, book shops, retro stores and a billiards only store, now niche! I managed to capture some of the street art too. It always interests me, a cities street art, it says a lot about the people and the culture of a place.
I’d never been to Galeries Lafayette before and was totally mesmerised by the huge space, amazing visuals and all the brands and designer stuff they had on offer. It really is massive and their Christmas centrepiece is incredible! It’s ginormous, there windows are definitely worth a look too, full of character and colour. A great destination for a spot of holiday shopping.
After work, I managed to catch a few of the Parisian sights, the Louvre, Notre Dame and wandered down the River Seine after filling my stomach with delicious French cuisine and a glass of red!
It was a short but sweet trip to the French capitol and I hope to be back soon to discover some more, hopefully next time I’ll fly and feel a little bit better!
I really do love my job. There’s a real work life balance, which applies to work abroad too. After a long day yesterday, we headed out to find some drinks before having a very well deserved dinner. Our long day turned into a very fun night exploring the city and having some down time, we ended up crashing pretty late; which led me to wake up on Thursday morning needing coffee and a serious lie in. I could get the coffee, but the lie in would have to wait as Berlin waits for no one, this is fashion week.
We headed to our first stop of the day, Premium, taking an uber to look at the sights of Berlin on our way. On arrival, Coffee was top of the propriety list and a cheeky pain au chocolate later, we felt ready to take on the day.
A magazine we’ve been working on at Work, View Two launched today so we were finally able to tell people about what we’d been working on, View Two is a trade textile and trend magazine and is available here. (If you’re a fashion student, I’d highly recommend it!)
After the excitement of the View Two Magazine publication date, we headed into the halls of Premium. Premium is a trade show showcasing collections for the next spring summer season. I love trade shows, I always have, meeting new people, discovering new products and brands and flexing the creative ideas with likeminded people, it’s great. Whilst wandering around, I managed to find an outdoor area with some serious sunshine and a cute little pop up garden, a long way removed from my usual morning commute scenery!
Premium covers mens, women: clothing, shoes and accessories as well as a little bit of lifestyle and beauty products. It’s so exciting to see new colour palettes, silhouettes and brands emerging, but of course, I can’t tell you what those are or what they look like now, this is after all, a work trip!
After a very successful morning, we headed to our final call of the trip, Selvege Run denim show, a space purely dedicated to denim, Selvege features lots of asian denim brands (Asia is renown for it’s denim) it’s super interesting discovering the craftsmanship of denim and all the detail that goes beyond simply making a pair of jeans. There were also lots of handsome men as Selvege, imaging scadi meets hoxton hipster, not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
After completing the shows, lunch was on the cards. I have a massive appetite normally, but throw a few extra thousand steps into a day and I can eat and eat and eat. I was however out of my depth with the portions of chips that we had for lunch. Between the three of us, we couldn’t decide which ones to order, so we ordered wedges, fries and sweet potato chips alongside veggie hallumi burgers. Dreamy. So much food and with a flight to catch, we were in a hurry. The chips defeated me.
We needn’t have been in a hurry, although it did take an hour to get to the airport in one of Berlin’s finest beige mobile taxi’s. We boarded the plane, no issues, but as soon as we were seated we were informed we were would be delayed due to some airspace issue, then some london geezer decided to start a flight and had to be taken off the plane, we all then had to verify our bags for the flight to continue for safety reasons, causing totally necessary, but annoying delays. we all clapped when he was taken off the plane. What a bellend.
It was an eventful trip and an eventful flight back to London. And although I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to berlin, nothing is quite as good as the feeling of your own comfy bed!
Speak to you soon,
A 3am alarm clock is never welcome, regardless of what you’re up to or where you’re going at that time of the morning. I was off to Berlin on this random Tuesday in July. It’s a work trip to Berlin Fashion Week and the Berlin trade shows, which show the SS18 collection that will be released early next year. I love my job and I love to travel, so combine them together and you’ve got a winner.
I’ve never been to Berlin before, so this was my first time. The trip was very last minute so it was a case of pack a bag and go, fortunately I’ve done trade shows before, back when i worked in streetwear and underwear, so i packed light, nice and concise with plenty of space left over in the case. My trusty tripp suitcase came out for another adventure, my god has that suitcase racked up the miles.
As these are trade shows, I have to do that annoying thing and say I can’t tell you anything! If I did you’d all know the latest and greatest trends now and I and others would be out of a job! But the shows are great, seeing what’s coming, discovering new brands, meeting new people. A trade show is kind of like the clothes show, or a very fancy markets with lines of stalls of brands and designers showcasing their latest collections. The collections are typically a year ahead, so what’s being shown now will be in store this time next year.
There’s a fair bit to take on board at these shows, names, products and tonnes of info on things. I always leave with a very heavy bag, full of lookbooks, magazines and papers. Our job whilst out in Berlin was also two fold, we were also there to chat to people about View 2 magazine a trend forecast magazine that was published whilst we were in Germany. (If you’re a fashion student get a copy, i’ll save your life, for real and save you a lot of headache!)
After doing the first show, Seek. We stopped for a drink and a breather. And the view weren’t bad. There was a fake beach, a DJ and a swimming pool in the middle of a river. It felt very ‘Abroad’ despite being no where near sea or sand.
The second show, Bright, is very urban, Lots of streetwear, skatewear. It’s always very youthful, bright and out there!
After the shows, we needed some food! We dropped our show bags and headed into Berlin’s centre to explore and get some food.
Once food was found, I was happy! An amazing vegan burrito that was very much needed after the 3am start! And that was the first day in Berlin done! One down, two to go!
You can follow the adventure tomorrow, when I’ll upload day 2!
I am loving my new job. The company is so interesting, the work is grabbing my attention and the team is super friendly. And although I’m new, I don’t feel like the new girl.
It’s a bit strange, being away from home but not in a place that’s my own, but I’m not spending too much time in my hostel other than to sleep and shower. I’m spending most of my time at work, before and after my start and finish times, because I’m so interested in all the stuff that I’m working on and as a real bonus they have Yorkshire tea. Tonnes of it. The very best type of tea. Great people + great tea = job match made.
Whilst I’m just graduating and have so much to learn, I feel like I’m in a fantastic position; the work being fresh, new and engaging, without being repetitive. Having an existing skill set that I can build upon and learn more about is great and so refreshing straight of university. I’m being given guidance without having anyone hold my hand, which is a great feeling; that people know you’re capable and responsible enough to get the job done. It’s really nice.
This was a good move for me. It wasn’t as scary leaving H&M as I thought it might be, but I’m glad I took the leap. I’m taking the change of scenery in my stride, even if my bum isn’t used to a desk job!
Getting a numb bum is a real and painful thing!
Obviously I can’t tell you too much about what I’m working on at work, but it’s creative, fulfilling and I’m having a blast. I feel exceptionally happy and am looking forward to all the other areas of life slotting in; starting with a permanent place to live!
I just thought I’d give you guys a little update, I know the blog had been on the DL lately, I’ve fallen out of love with scheduling as I don’t feel it’s as authentic, but once I’m settled in my own space, I’ll be sure to pick it up again!
Charity shop shopping has a bad rep. It’s often assumed that charity shops only sell the things that people don’t want, which is true, but another persons trash is another persons treasure.
After investigating fashion supply chains and fashion disposal during my final year of university, I took Traid’s pledge to source 70% of my wardrobe from second hand sources and the other 30% from sustainable and ethical brands and makers.
I buy a fair bit of Vintage clothing (There’s a vintage haul coming next week!) and as I’m still on a student’s budget, I thought I’d give charity thrifting a go. Granted, it’s not as glamorous as vintage thrifting, and the quality of product isn’t the same standard, but there are bargains and treasures alike to be found!
So here are some items I’ve bought over the past few weeks, there’s lots of smart casual pieces that I’m going to dress up for work (I’m starting a new job, exciting!) and dress down for the weekend. I’m aiming to maximise the wear of each garment, so will be doing some styling blog posts soon to share with you my ideas and looks.
First up is this houndstooth print esque long sleeve, pyjama style shirt. It’s 100% polyester and in primary colours of navy and red. Originally from Autograph at Marks & Spencer, bought from Acorns Children’s Hospice Charity Shop dot £3.99.
Due to the fantastic condition of this top and the style, I’d say it’s less than two years old and has only been worn a handful of times. I love the pyjama, yet smart look and busy print. It’s a size UK 14, but I always like to have some wriggle room in my tops for my expressive arms.
Onto my vintage charity shop find! I picked up this Vintage Tesco blouse from Cancer Research UK for £2, it’s the second vintage Tesco blouse I have from the 50s/ 60s. It’s plain baby blue in colour, with pretty fold and embroidered scalloped detailing, a gentle vintage piece.
100% Polyester, with cuffed sleeves, this subtle piece will be a tran-sesonal piece and very versatile for casual styling and work appropriate looks. There are a few marks on the material from day to day wear, so will give those a good dose of stain remover before popping it in the wash. The label again, states a 14, but is a good fit.
The next one was a conundrum. I was instantly drawn to the print, a lovely bright summer print, but was disheartened to discover it was Primark. I can’t stand the place. I’ts so unethical and mass produced and everything I stand against. But here it was, a pretty top, unworn and pretty much brand new.
Whilst I would never purchase new Primark, I reasoned that I could give this item a good home, get lots of use out of it and one day, when it can be worn no more, re-use, up-cycle or recycle responsibly.
I can see myself being reminded of Rana Plaza whenever I wear this top. It’s definitely going to fuel my sustainable fashion mission, that’s for sure. At least Cancer Research UK got £2 for it and I hope that that money can go towards something good.
My next find is perfect for the flared and bell/ tulip sleeve trend currently in fashion. A short sleeve tulip sleeve blouse from TU at Sainsburys, 100% Polyester. I picked it up in a size 12 for £3.29 its a flattering fit, whilst fun with the sleeve cut and super appropriate for the time of year with the neutral flower and leaf print.
I’m going to tuck the top into smart trousers and leave over the top of jeans. It’s not very often I see a top that has print and statement detail, but this top mixes the two really well.
The tag has been ripped out of the Classique blouse, but by the feel of it, again It’s polyester. Three quarter sleeves and a super jazzy print. Fun, free and easy to wear, this is the ultimate summer shirt!
It’s in super condition and was just £5.49, I’m going to get lots of wear out of this one!
Red is the colour of the summer season this year, so I was chuffed to find this pretty short sleeve jumper with frill v neck detailing for £3 and on buy one get one free offer. 91% Viscose 9% Nylon and from Bonmarche, a very unusual product pick up for me, as I thought Bonmarche only made clothes for pensioners, that said, I do tend to have a grandma chic look.
For my free item, I picked up this vintage M&S short sleeve men’s shirt for Adam. I couldn’t find anything I fancied for me and I’m not in the habit of buying just for the sake of buying. Hopefully it fits him and he likes it!
It’s not just clothing I’ve been picking up at charity shops, I’ve managed to get my hands on a pair of navy Dune sandals for £6, which are super comfy and have only been worn a few times judging by the minimal wear and tear on the bottom of the shoes. I’m supper picky about footwear, especially second hand, but you can find great shoes in great condition at great prices.
I’ve also been picking up small styling bits and pieces to make the most of my clothes and develop further outfit options. Belts are super cheap, usually around £1 and can make an outfit. They’re super useful to have on hand and charity shops always have loads of different shapes, sizes and colours available.
But my ultimate bargain was this lovely yellow pop of sunshine, at £4 it was a great buy, especially for a brand new bag, then I found it was still available in accessorize for £27. Someone clearly didn’t fancy the gift they’d been given, but fair play for donating it to charity, so someone else could enjoy it and the charity could benefit.
The environment is really important factor for me and 95% of clothing thrown away to landfill can be recycled through charity shops, textile collection and main stream re-cycling, so next time you’re finished with clothes, shoes and accessories, donate them to a charity shop, to help support that charity, whilst saving the environment and allow your old items to become treasures to other people, just like these old items have become my new treasures.
Reduce, re-use and recycle!
As I compile this post I get the niggling feeling that I never wrote the February edition. After checking I’ve found I have in fact taken all the necessary photographs, just failed to write, edit and upload. So, with a bit of re-jigging, that post will be up and live prior to this one!
Since January, I’ve been writing each month (or belated month) about the fashion purchases I’ve made. Mostly clothing. I’m trying to buy 70% of my wardrobe from second hand or vintage sources in a move to become more environmentally conscious and a better, more considerate western fashion consumer.
So, without further ado; here is what I bought in March…
Never let me go t-shirt H&M £12.99
A lovely oversized tee for my forthcoming trip to New York. Light weight and versatile styling wise, so ideal to travel with, made of 100% viscose, so not as environmentally friendly as Lyocell or Tencel, but better than brand new acrylic or polyester (BAD BAD BAD!)
Tencel trousers H&M £24.99
Oh boy, these are going to be my summer staple- they’re gorgeous! High waisted, turned up bottomed, Lyocell trousers in khaki. A little on the thin side, so I’m hand washing for caution, but they are beautiful styled with espadrilles, denim tips and shirts and statement safari earrings. I’m planning a safari themed summer, you heard it here first. Now all I need is the fabulous weather!
Knickers from sample sale £5
Now this item makes me sad. I bought these quite literally ‘jazzy pants‘ at a sample sale that was happening in the same building as the Newcastle vintage kilo sale a few weeks ago, which I talk about later in this post.
It was hosted by an upcoming independent underwear label, who were selling their seconds in aid of charity. Years ago I used to work in lingerie and am in need of some new underwear, so was more than happy to have a browse and support a small brand. Unfortunately they didn’t have my bra size, but I picked up a pair of frilly knickers for £5. It was only when I got outside that I discovered they were 100% polyester and without sounding like a drama queen, I thought I was about to cry and apparently my boyfriend thought i would too. I’d just bought something that I was whole heartedly against, but wouldn’t return due to it being money donated to charity. So, with this in mind I will wear these pants until they fall apart in order to maximise their life cycle. I will then send them to polyester recycling so they can be disposed of properly.
Even those truly dedicated to shopping sustainably and ethically slip up from time to time.
Now onto the supper fun stuff…
Second Hand & Vintage Fashion
Long line 90s etch blazer £16
Amazing. Simply stunning. A bargain at £16 from Cow vintage in Birmingham. A lovely 90’s long line fit, that’s very flattering on the waist and my top half considering it cuts off at the largest and widest part of my body, my thighs.
Long line 90s Ralph Lauren blazer £15
What a bloody bargain! Legit RL with complete set of buttons! Navy Lin line blazer with gold RL buttons, fully lined with velour like subtle collar to break up the look. Such a great piece to simply throw on top of anything: can be dressed up or dressed down. Love love love. Navy is so timeless and a much better colour against my pasty skin tone. £16. Steal.
Red cardigan from the kilo sale £7
This was a purchase from the kilo sale in Newcastle, which I must say, was a massive disappointment, it was full of American seconds, really poor quality pieces and brand new mass produced jewellery from China. Wouldn’t have said it was ‘vintage’ vintage. I took my boyfriend, Adam along and he was able to find more pieces than I did! Unbelievable. I walked away with this oversized red cardigan, with gold button detailing, it’s a little pulled on the arms, but it’s got some life left in it yet! It’s 100% wool, so is a good investment piece in a gorgeous, statement red colour. Can’t go wrong with red!
Cropped vintage jaeger navy wool trousers £8
These are too good. I was doing some retail research in Covent Garden / Seven Dials (read about it here) and stopped by Rokit’s store. Their Covent Garden location is spacious, easy to shop and accessible. Whilst their staff could be a little friendlier and engaging,they could have thrown these Jaeger trousers in my face and I’d have bought them (edit: on reflection, no I wouldn’t have!) At £8 they are a total bargain: navy blue, fantastic condition, hardly worn in a 30 inch. High rise sitting with belt lips, pickets and zipper. Cropped, to flash a little ankle, just how I like them. Smart and versatile for modern vintage chic. The only downside was that they charges me 50p extra because I paid by card, now that people, is a vintage concept. Annoying.
I’m still loving the thrill of vintage shopping, raiding and rummaging and I find I’d much rather do it in store than online. I’m enjoying having a diverse range of clothing,
Mixing and matching from different eras and not liking or having the same clothes as everyone else. It feels good to be and look different.
So the wardrobe is looking bright and colourful, smart and fun all at the same time and that’s how it will stay!
Can you tell I’m a fashion student? haha
Until next time!