Sunday, March 20, 2011

Few and Far

Reading the April issue of Homes and Gardens at work yesterday I found the follow quote.

'Customers are becoming more interested in provenance. They want the story behind how an object is made. This applies to clothes too' 
Priscilla Carluccio, Founder of Few and Far

The items and clothing stocked at few and far are 'A surprising mix of carefully made clothing collections from India - France - Morocco - Italy - the Faroe Islands - Mongolia and the UK, sit happily with contemporary and vintage furniture, toys, craft and tabletop, jewellery and exhibitions.' (

The shop is in South Kensington, London. Check it out if you happen to be passing or online - a fantastic retail experience with the opportunity to buy truly unique and carefully sourced products. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Semple Secrets

Are you be interested in interning for a great initiative and lovely people in Covent Garden?
Maggie Semple Ltd are looking for interns to commit 2/3 days per week. You would be writing blog posts and managing their blog/facebook/twitter pages, helping organise the events as well as being involved in a potential TV pilot.

If you are unable to intern, but are interested in the work of Maggie Semple Ltd., please do visit the website and submit your Semple Story. Semple Secrets is an initiative to reveal the story associated with the most treasured garments belonging to women.  Semple Secrets are looking for women to send their fashion stories, approximately 200-300 words, with an accompanying photo of the garment.

I took my treasured garment (an upcycled Junky Styling hooded top) along to the Semple Secrets event 'Maggie Semple in conversation with Claire Wilcox' last month. Please check out the Semple Secrets blog here to read more!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The People's Supermarket

Today I finally made a visit to The People's Supermarket on Lambs Conduit Street in central London. I watched the series on 4od and LOVED the concept behind it, the determination of the founders and the way the project has progressed and succeeded despite some pretty tough challenges.

It's such an inspiring idea providing a truly community-focused and unique shopping experience - a welcome alternative to the super-mega-hyper-store market retailers that have the monopoly on the market, collectively turning over billion-figure profits whilst simultaneously pushing down prices of produce - often causing extreme pressure on the farmers, with british dairy farmers in particular experiencing a great deal of pressure and suffering as I write this (read a related article here).

The People's Supermarket has now exceeded their original target of recruiting 500 members, providing enough staff to keep the shop open and many more member customers. The prices are competitive, with many products priced cheaper as there are no wage costs. I love that TPS are able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables that don't look perfect. Imperfections or mis shapen food will often not be bought by the giant supermarket retailers and, as a result, become surplus to requirement for the provider, quickly becoming waste. The People's Supermarket plays a vital role in ensuring this food 'waste' is not thrown 'away' - and is instead thrown into the TPS vans and brought to their store to be sold!

I 100% support the changes this supermarket is making to the way people shop, place themselves within a community and work together to make something happen. Although I don't live in Holborn I am going to become a member as I think it's a fabulous idea. By becoming a member I am able to play a small role in the growing success of a unique alternative retail experience and encourage them to look for another site closer to home in Elephant and Castle!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Upcycle Fashion Website!!

The upcycle-fashion website went live today.
Please check it out and get in touch re: all things fashion and upcycling

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fashion Laid Bare

Happy Fairtrade Fortnight!

To mark another important year of fairtrade fortnight events I will be speaking at the Fashion Laid Bare event at Kingston University this Thursday 10th March from 6pm.

The event has been organised by the Kingston University Sustainability Hub and Kingston Fairtrade and will take place at the Penrhyn Road Kingston Uni site.

Other speakers include Barbara Crowther from the Fairtrade Foundation and Abi Petit from organic cotton label Gossypium. Although the main focus for the event is ethical trading I am keen to also engage the panel and audience in the issues of longevity and reuse and to engage thinking within all areas of the fashion lifecycle about the other stages of the supply chain that could cause environmental or ethical damage.

For more information on the event and other fairtrade events and news in Kingston please visit the Kingston Fairtrade website

A review shall follow next week!

Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity

Last Thursday night's event: Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity was a great event held at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London.

Many crafts people came together to show and sell their work and to meet others who are passionate about the same areas of sustainable fashion.

The Museum was a great venue for the stall spaces, speakers, exhibitions and workshops. I didn't magage to see the main talk earlier in the evening as a steady stream of people wondered past the London College of Fashion stand and interested to talk and learn more about the work.

The MA Fashion and the Environment showcase included examples of students final work, sketchbook development, information regarding external collaborative projects, film footage and information about the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, based at the London College of Fashion. Many visitors were interested in the work of students and keen to understand the ways in which fashion and the environment is taught to students through the MA programme. Zoe Grace Fletcher's knitwear collection was shown alongside her swatches of naturally dyed yarns (displayed in the glass frame). For more information about Zoe's work please visit her website.



 I displayed the two Upcycle-Fashion books alongside previous sketchbook development and my portfolio including articles I have written for the University of the Arts London newspaper and magazine. Taking the book with me to various events such as this is a great experience as I can see the reactions people have to it first hand, whilst also being available to talk through the ideas behind my work and answer any questions they may have or information regarding stockists (I'm working on that one!). As well as developing the content through the school workshops, it is also really important to get feedback from a different audience with a unique approach, with perhaps also a different angle on the issues.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity TONIGHT!

If you are free this evening between 6pm-9pm please do come to the Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity event at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

MA Fashion and the Environment students will be showing their work, answering questions about the course and future plans of graduating students (!) and giving information about the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion.

Other great exhibitors and speakers will be there such as Lucy Siegle, Amisha Ghadiali, Joss Whipple, DIY Couture, Ethical Fashion Forum and the Papered Parlour.

Can't wait!
Report to follow tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Green Carpet Challenge 2011- Oscars Success!

An Oscars success in more ways than one for Brits at the Oscars this year - showing the best of british talent in acting and upcycling!

The Gary Harvey Oscars dress Livia Firth wore to the ceremony was absolutely stunning and she looked amazing - see the piece on ITV London News and Livia Firth's Blog on about the Green Carpet Challenge