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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OPERATING FROM A PLACE OF REST

I love to work hard. I love to bring ideas to life and to dream and scheme and do. 

This is a huge part of my make-up and personality. My brain is wired for action and ideas and this is a gift to me, I know that. I get huge fulfilment from the 'doing' but lately I've been on a path of learning the importance of rest; but maybe not rest as I once knew it.

Our culture isn't a big promoter of rest is it? We are often encouraged to hustle, to do more, have more, be more. Work harder, faster, stronger, longer - achieve achieve achieve.  On the other hand, sometimes rest sounds like this elusive thing that is only ever achievable if you have no responsibilities or ambition. Neither of these binary ways of thinking are helpful or healthy. There is burn-out waiting around the corner and rest happening from a place of burn out is not rest. It is recovery. I don't know about you but I don't want to recover from my life. 

Rest doesn't always sound very exciting either does it? Maybe for you it sounds like stopping or waiting or hesitation and maybe even for some of us - weakness. 

I've had a bit of an awakening to what rest looks like for me - a bit of a stirring of realisation.

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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. 

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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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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.

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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.

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