Posts in Activism
AVOIDING FAST FASHION IN A CONSUMER DRIVEN SEASON

There’s really no denying it…

It’s upon us. The countdown meter at the supermarket even told me today that it’s only 32 sleeps. We are either merrily entering, gently tiptoeing or begrudgingly dragging ourselves into the Christmas season.

I’m not quite there yet - but I feel it starting to pull. I may have even started thinking about what kind of garland will adorn the mantlepiece this year and where we’ll put the tree. I may have dived back into my Christmas pinterest board.

We all know that Christmas is the highest consumer season of the year. We throw cash around that we don’t have on things that we and other people don’t really need. We buy outfits for parties and novelty clothing that we’ll forget about next year. In fact, this article exposed that one in four Christmas jumpers bought last year will never be worn again. One in three under 35’s will buy a new Christmas jumper each year (stating that they don’t want to be seen in the same one again or that they buy new ones because they are so cheap). It’s estimated that £220 MILLION POUNDS are spent every year on novelty Christmas jumpers alone. Call me scrooge. I can take it.

About 6 weeks ago, Stacey Dooley’s BBC documentary about fast fashion aired. It caused quite a stir and started some brilliant conversations on and offline. It did a great job of highlighting some of the major environmental catastrophes connected with the demand for fast, disposable fashion and people were rightly outraged and concerned with how our excessive consumption of clothes is effecting people and the planet.

I thought it might be a good time to circle back on some of those conversations - to remind ourselves about the impact that fast fashion has and how we can be agents of change as consumers, especially with party season approaching and the lure to buy new shiny things becoming a real draw.

If you are wanting to change your fast-fashion habits this season, this is for you.

If you want to pull the reigns in on your over-consumption and look at fashion as a long lasting investment, this is for you.

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THREE THINGS TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT ETHICAL FASHION

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:

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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:

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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.

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HACKS FOR HANDLING KIDS, CONSUMERISM & CHRISTMAS

It’s officially November, so I thought I’d get in early and start the conversation about Christmas and kids and all the stuff that comes with that. I think it’s worth taking just a little time now before the rush comes in to figure out how we can handle consumerism with our kids and family at this time of year.  

Raising kids that are not sucked into the consumeristic way our society is postured is a big deal to me and as I delivered my ‘Eco Family Living’ online course in September, I was aware of how many of the participants really wanted to dig into this issue too. How do we keep our kids from having too much unnecessary stuff without feeling like we are depriving them? How do we align our values to these gift-giving times of the year when so much feels out of our immediate control?

Firstly, I want you to know that it is possible. It’s possible to be a conscious consumer, to consider the impact of your purchases on people and planet and still have a magical time of gift-giving and joy with your family.  

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SUSTAINABLE SUMMER STYLE: SUKKHACITTA CLOTHING

It's the middle of August here and although Summer seems like a distant memory already, I wanted to share one last brand with you that I've been wearing this Summer.  I think you're going to love them.

Sukkhacitta is a beautiful hand-crafted clothing company making a huge difference in rural Indonesia and indeed, the world. It's focus is on empowering women who face massive economic and educational barriers by investing in their craft and giving them ownership and investment in their abilities. They are passionate about community impact and by investing in these women and their skills, the ripples of this are felt throughout the village they work in. Everyone benefits. 

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SUMMER ECO BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

If you are interested in 'greening' up your beauty cabinet, this post is for you. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite summer eco beauty essentials that are being used day in and out. Summer is a great time to try some new green products out because our skin tends to be out more and in need of good protection.  

Full disclosure, my 'beauty routine' is hardly a routine at all but is focused on convenience and less being more. I love natural products that enhance what I've already got goin' on and so I feel like what I do buy needs to be good quality, long-lasting and as naturally produced as possible.  

I've chosen six items that I wouldn't be without this summer - here goes:

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Ethical Fashion - 5 Tips to Update Your Wardrobe Using eBay

I have been on an eBay mission of late. This is me - I go through the motions with eBay. I'm all or nothing. On a roll or just can't be bothered. 

Lately though, it's go time. I've done some good post-baby clothes clearing out - anything that was feeling too frumpy, too worn out and clothes that I was actively avoiding got purged. This left room for a few items that I wanted to replace in a more thoughtful way. Good basics that would see me through this Winter to Spring transition without breaking the bank.

There are so many amazing professional sellers out there on eBay, and if you are a vintage clothing lover, you could whittle away a great many hours scouring all the vintage eBay shops for unique and rare finds. Trust me, I have. I adore the fact that I can secondhand shop at home in my jammies without having to root through the bowels of a musty charity shop (that sounds unfair - I still do love a good rummage in a charity shop but there is less time for that these days) and I am still able to keep my sense of style on a budget. 

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