INTRODUCING... ASSEMBLY SESSIONS

INTRODUCING... ASSEMBLY SESSIONS

If you've been around this space for a while you will know that for the last year and a half I have been organising a new venture: Assembly Gatherings. These gatherings have been really significant for me - a real medley of all the things I love to do (outside of my work and home life) - organise, bring ideas to life, connect amazing women, help make spaces beautiful, get creative and work with talented creative women. EAT.

Almost 100 women have been part of Assembly Gatherings in the last 18 months and I'm really grateful for how it has developed and grown. This is largely because of the women that attend. They are openhearted and warm and they truly get it. 

5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE MORE ETHICAL IN 2018

5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE MORE ETHICAL IN 2018

Now is an amazing time to make some green changes to your everyday. The slog of January is over and the motivation of the new year is beginning to hum in the background…

Maybe you’ve felt drawn to be a little more earth conscious and you want to begin somewhere attainable. Maybe you have realised that we are both the problem and the solution to so many major environmental and ethical crises in the world today. What you need to know is that being green, eco, ethical or sustainable doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s merely a slight readjustment of priorities that we can all have a go at.

I’m talking small steps that really make a difference. That’s what this blog is all about – showcasing simpler ways to be more thoughtful in how we live; understanding that modern life and being ethical don’t have to be conflicting or difficult to marry up. There are ways and means to begin our eco journey without feeling overwhelmed – here’s my starter for five for 2018:

THIS WAS THE YEAR.

This was the year.

This was quite the year.

This was the year that my mum died; that my mum died. My mum died.

This was the year that the rug was swept from under us and we plunged into raging currents of grief.

This was the year that I held onto the word resilience like a life-line; willing it to come to me.

This was the year of 'Option B', of 'Braving the Wilderness', of Psalms and prayers and weary utterances into what felt like the big dark void.

This was the year of boundaries; lines drawn thick around what matters most.

This was the year of no sleep.

ASSEMBLY FESTIVE GATHERING

ASSEMBLY FESTIVE GATHERING

Our final Assembly Gathering of 2017 has come and gone. On Sunday afternoon 35 of us huddled around campfires, dined on delicious local food, foraged in the freezing sunlight and forged new friendships. 

With ice and snow covering most of the country over the weekend, it felt like madness to be hosting a dinner and workshops in a stone barn at the beautiful property of Laura & Ben in Downpatrick. Miraculously though, the sun came out as people were arriving and it wasn't long before we forgot about the cold and immersed ourselves in conversations, food and making. We forgot about the cold. We forgot about the cold. Maybe if I write it a few more times it will be true. It was cold. 

A year into running Assembly Gatherings has taught me a lot about the power of female resilience; of the wide open hearts of women who want to connect. Each time we have a gathering it feels like we are steadily building an army of supportive women, ready to propel and promote each other. I can feel it in my bones and see it in the way people are connecting both online and in person.

WHY FASHION IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

WHY FASHION IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

If you’ve stuck around here long enough, you’ll know that I am an advocate of slow, sustainable fashion.

Much of this passion has come from my work looking at exploitation and human trafficking – realising the connection between what we consume and the people who make our stuff. I have spent years now learning about the fashion industry; the systems, the policies, the garment workers, the belly of the beast.

The fashion industry is the most pollutant industry in the world; second only to oil. There are huge environmental concerns that we just don’t consider when we bag a bargain. Did you know it takes 1800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make the average pair of jeans? The rise of fast fashion means that factories in developing countries (where labour is cheap) are manufacturing non-stop to keep up with our quick-fix excessive shopping demands. The factories are filling the air with toxic chemicals pumped out by machinery used to making synthetic clothing.

The effects of this relentless manufacturing is evident in climate change – an issue that impacts developing countries with particularly huge devastation. Climate change means that developing countries are experiencing overwhelming heat and vast areas of drought, leading to crop failure. Crop failure means that farmers can’t survive in business and trade. Business failure leads to poverty, malnourishment and eventually whole community vulnerability. Can you see how it all connects…?

Environmental issues in the fashion industry are one thing, but lately I’ve been feeling strongly that in order to see real change, we need to recognise that fast fashion is a massive feminist issue as well.