Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Never Buy New

Read the article here from the Yahoo website 10 things to never buy new...I really like this phrase as it sounds better and doesn't have the same connotations of '2nd hand'...

NBN... never buy new!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Clothes Show London

Setting up the Clothes Show on Thursday morning was great to see the space of the Earls Court 2 venue empty and a shell hosting an army of people setting up their stalls, stages and stands for the weekend.

Things started to come together as the clothes entered the venue, signs went up and the people arrived on Friday morning!

The Ethical Fashion Forum stand at the Clothes Show 2010 was profiling the work of great designers such as Junky Styling, Pachacutie and Mia. The Dress Doctor, Jo Pullen, was also exhibiting her designs and the work she does, reinventing and bringing wardrobes of clothes that are no longer loved or worn back to life.
Above is the EJF stand within the Carnaby Street Area of the show. Below is Una and myself dressing the EFF display.

FASH//OFF EFF June Social

The June Ethical Fashion Forum Social was held in collaboration with MA Fashion and the Environment at the new High Holborn headquarters of UAL.

The theme of the event was to raise awareness in a fun way and to communicate the values of sustainable fashion to the consumer.

We had sewing machines for customising, filming of Oxford Street shoppers and their thoughts about 'eco-fashion', a film about our work, exhibition of images from Green Fair and Lyla from Traid with their wonderful button sewing sessions. The quiz questions ended the evening and were tricky but made people think about the issues in a fun way.

We also met the girls from the MA Ethical Fashion girls from Epsom, who won tickets to the Clothes Show by creating the most popular FASH/OFF outfit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I finally decided to set up a twitter account, with regular updates for upcycled-fashion and contemporary cultures for contemporary clothing.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Ethical Fashion Forum Social June

You are warmly invited to FASH/OFF: The June Ethical Fashion Forum Social

Held in collaboration with MA ‘Fashion and the Environment’ students from the London College of Fashion.

With exhibits, hands on activities and networking, come along for thisfun, free EFF social on Thursday 24th June from 6.30pm. See how EFF workcollaboratively to raise awareness of environmentally and ethically sustainable issues within the fashion industry, and be excited by the innovative and radical approaches to sustainable fashion which makes this the fastest growing movement in fashion!

Get a group of friends together and enter into our FASH/OFF competition. Your challenge will be to create a beautiful garment/outfit from a small collection of unwanted ‘waste’ garments,
in just one hour!All equipment will be provided – just bring your team and get creative! If you have something gathering moths in your wardrobe - bring it along and revive it!

Throughout the evening you will be able to view the work of the MA students and take part in practical workshops and discussions. A specialist fashion quiz will conclude the activities focusing on the issues explored throughout the evening.

Thursday 24th June 2010
6.30pm - 9.30pm
UAL Hub, 272, High Holborn, WC1V 7EY


For further information or to rsvp please contact: marketing@ethicalfashionforum.com


Friday, June 18, 2010

Creative Alterations@Make Lounge

I bought this dress from a small boutique in covent garden about 4 years ago and have worn it occasionally but always like the print more than the style as it just seemed too baggy at the bottom - it's a funny length to have an elasticated hem. As I looked through my wardrobe for items to take to the Creative Alterations class at The Make Lounge, I found this dress and thought it was the perfect garment to take along and alter. I hadn't worn it in about 6 months and the baggyness of the fit was really putting me off wearing it any more, I was sure I could remake it and love it again.

I took it along to the creative alterations class at The Make Lounge up in Angel Islington that is run by Nin, who created the amazing reclaimed fashion label Goodone. There were 8 of us who attended the two part class, six hours overall.

I decided to remake the dress into a separate top and skirt. I first had to cut straight through it...
I cut off a bit of extra fabric to make a binding for the botton of the top. To make the waitsband for the skirt I used a part of a dress from another girl in the class that she had cut off as part of her alteration. I stitched this most of the way round and then attached a couple of loops to thread it through so I could get in and out of the skirt (because the waistband wasn't stretchy material).

I love this top and skirt so much more than the original shape of a dress and will wear both garments so much more, I have a new skirt and top (I'm wearing the skirt today!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Living and Giving Westbourne Grove

All about The Education

When discussing issues of sustainability, especially with those who do not seem to care much about it, pretty much 99% of people also follow that comment by saying that they know very little about it. Which makes complete sense, how can you be passionate or inspired or responsible for something if you don't know exactly or don't have a specific understanding about what it is?

I am sure that if I knew more about football, if I knew the history and background of the world cup, players, games, manager - and how he selected the England team, I'd be hooked to the remaining world cup fixtures. As it is I know only the bare minimum about the sport (not even offside rule) and therefore watching, talking and reading about it brings no pleasure.

When living and studing in a communtiy around people who are already inspired and knowledgeable about sustainability issues (and acting upon them in everyday life) it is hard to take myself out of that and look at the population as a whole. However, as I do so I realise I am in a minority.

The majority of people that share my passion for issues regarding the fashion industry and the environment have come from a creative background, where making and sewing in whatever capacity has been a part of thier lifestyle. Learning these skills allows you develop them and adapt them for every day 'real world' needs. Sewing on a button, replacing a zip, sewing back a hem. All these little changes that the younger generations of today are seldom taught at school, as design technology takes many other forms and pressures on timetable organisation does not prioritise such subjects. However, I feel that the lack of sewing education for schoolchildren perpetuates the lazy attitude towards consumption - that of fast fashion. Many children who don't leave school with sewing skills and who aren't taught by family are less likely to consider mending and may find it harder to take responsibility for their clothing (i.e throw it away at the first sign of wear and tear), and also find it difficult to add creative value to the garment themselves (through customisation and creative alterations).

Throughout my research time I really want to speak to as many people as possible to ask why sewing skills have faded within curriculum, and aim to get sewing skills back into schools and taught in an exciting and relevant way to all schoolchildren.

If you are a textile design teacher or head of a school that would like to pursue further textile workshops please get in touch!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A short tale of the Candy Stripe dress

Found in the dressing up box and displayed at the Camden Green Fair...
Explored with alternative shaping options...
Styled and altered with many ribbons by a 4 year old visitor to the Fair...

Then upcycled by Jo...

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Colour Me In Dress

To encourage collaborative work within a short space of time throughout the afternoon at the Green Fair I used a toile from a previous project and some fabric pens to create the 'Colour-Me-In' Dress.

Ethical Fashion attendees were invited to choose their favourite colour pen and to draw,doodle, colour in or write on the garment whatever and wherever they liked.

The resulting surface design was a lovely montage of childlike sketches - mainly flowers and hearts in pinks and purple. I was thinking that perhaps I would be able to wear the dress after the colour-me-in collaboration...however I think it would be best suited to a younger girl than me (!)

Ethical Fashion @ Camden Green Fayre 2010

Yesterday Regents Park in London, was home to the annual Camden Green Fair and Bikefest. Included in the festival were food stalls, green living and healthy lifestyle stalls and marquees with lots of hands on activities for the many adults and children seeking a fun day out to learn more about green lifestyle choices.

My fellow coursemates and I were running the Ethical Fashion workshop tent and Fashion Show and ShopShop marquee.Zoe was in charge of the knitting and pom pom making workshop which was a brilliant success and many people throughout the day sat and spent time with the needles and wool to make their own unique creation as a reminder of the day...
Beth was selling amazing and very yummy home made cakes to raise money towards her bike ride from London to Paris for the charity the Environmental Justice Foundation.
I was running the customising area which was mostly popular with the children attending the Green Fair. Their imagination and excitement at the thought of transforming clothes from the dressing up box to fit them was a joy to see and work with for the day.

We also had a SwapShop running all afternoon for people to swap those unwanted items for ones they will love. The swapshop ran in the fashion tent until 5pm when the fashion show began. Labels such as Annie Greenabelle, Komodo, Monkee Jeans and Nancy Dee were worn by stunning models and watched by large crowds of people who had gathered throughout the day.