All the pictures from last years family holiday to France have been coming up in my Facebook memories and reminding me of how beautiful that time was so I thought I'd document it here for myself and for anyone who might be looking for somewhere to escape to in Provence this year...
It's been a few weeks since we had our Assembly Spring/Summer Gathering for the year so I thought I'd take you inside and show you what we got up to.
These Gatherings are pretty all consuming for me in the lead up - so much thought, preparation, promotion, sourcing and energy goes into putting this day together and I love it. I do. It flexes creative muscles in me that I want to build but make no mistake, it also takes a small army of helpers around me to make it happen. I am so grateful for all the people who were on my team for this Gathering - so many beautiful women who made it all come together - with their skills, expertise, encouragement and generosity.
In this last year my work hours have upped a little bit. My job at Freedom Acts remains the same but my other work with writing, speaking and Assembly has grown in leaps and bounds and required more time of me (and by more time, I mean more juggling). I often finding myself hunched over the laptop on the sofa, stealing margins in the day to meet deadlines or keep people in the loop. Dave also works from home most of the week so he has claimed one of our attic extension rooms as his office.
Up until recently, the office has existed as a ginormous old desk, a chair and a HEAP of stuff lying about the floor. You know the scene. It pained me to go up there to work because it was such a mess and my brain is not good with clutter so I thought it was high-time that we put some effort into creating an office space that we could really organise, that we both wanted to work in and could close the door to at the end of the day.
It’s a bit of a beast, this Internet age isn’t it? The endless opportunities at our fingertips. I get so excited by it; full of ideas, about the innovation and connection potential it holds.
But it’s also exhausting, right? I can’t be the only one that finds it exhausting. I’ve sat on this blog post for approximately three months because I find the social media exhausting and I kept coming back to this piece with more to say.
I counted recently that there are no less than 15 ways that people can contact or get a hold of me online – through DM’s, tweets, emails, whatsapp, comments etc. That feels kinda crazy and a long way from waiting on letters arriving from penpals or going to the cupboard under the stairs to ring the home phone of a school mate and having to go through small talk with their mum before you got passed the phone.
A couple of months ago I had a bit of a tough conversation with a friend. She shared how she had noticed that I had responded to lots of comments on one of my Instagram posts but had waited days for a reply to her text message about lunch. That stung. It stung because it was true and pretty hard to face. A message from a dearly loved friend had got lost in the frenzy of engagement online.
It's Fashion Revolution Week - five years on from the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where over 1000 people lost their lives because of health and safety negligence when a garment factory collapsed.
I'm so glad to see ethical fashion become a more mainstream conversation every year and I'm so grateful for trailblazers in the fashion, labour and environmental industries that are demanding change, creating change and expecting change. I am a proud ethical fashion advocate - it's something that I've worked hard to understand and be intentional about. Slowly, over the last 6 years, my fashion habits have changed and I feel connected to and part of this movement.
There are so many amazing articles and books that are available for those just starting out on the journey that are hungry for more information to change their mindset and habits (my personal recommendation would be to read any of Safia Minneys books - Slave to Fashion or Slow Fashion are my two favourites) but here are some issues I think we need to dig deeper into if we want to get serious about ethical fashion: