Good People: Kevin Harper from ‘We Are Harper’

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Kevin Harper has always had a strong connection to the environment. He grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches listening to Midnight Oil, at a time when the issue of climate change was starting to creep into public consciousness. Kevin has taken his interest in and commitment to the world around him- and applied it to his urban menswear label ‘We Are Harper,‘ which promotes strong social, ethical and environmental practices.

Here, Kevin Harper tells his own story and shares his thoughts on ethical fashion, good government and autumn style.

I had a very active childhood centred around the surf club and swimming.

Being connected to the beach and water, I think you gain an appreciation of natural environments- the beauty and the power. My conversations about the environment started early when the beachfront properties in our area were in danger of being swept into the ocean during what we were told were ‘one in 100’ year storms. A few years later we got hit again. It was clear this was going to be something that would affect communities around the world for years to come.

The last few decades have been witness to a rise of corporate influence not seen before in Australia.

The tentacles of lobbyists and the corporate elite reach so far into the political process that their coercion has eroded the effectiveness of government (think banking, media and gambling to start with!) Where we could once rely on policy to counter balance the ever hungry profit making desires of the corporate sector, we no longer can. Government is now too often a spokesperson for the corporate sector on the falsehood that a profitable corporate sector makes for a successfully functioning community.

I’m inspired by people that look beyond themselves and have moved the world forward in positive ways.

I admire people like Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Elon Musk (Tesla Motors).

Roddick was one of the first to champion fair trade with third world countries and to stop testing ingredients on animals, all while building a successful ethical business.

And we’ve all heard about Gates’ investment in health research. The potential to move the world forward in this area is incredible.

There’s a couple of things I like about Musk and it starts with thinking outside the box. Corporates like to throw this phrase around, but rarely do it. Musk built a car company by employing specialists who had never worked in the car industry. Once he build the world’s most desirable new car, he gave away the intellectual property so that competitors could use the technology to build their own electric vehicles.

I believe that if you expect a fair wage for the work you do, then you must also expect others to be paid fairly for theirs.

Let’s remember that garment workers are someone’s mother, sister or child (typically they’re women). We are global citizens. They are part of our community.

By supporting unethical manufacturing we are perpetuating a cycle of poverty for millions of workers. Women make up 90% of garments workers where they are not even paid enough to live on. Pushed to exhaustion and mistreated by managers, they send their children off to work to make up the shortfall in the household income.  These children miss out on education (and play time) and the cycle continues.

I think we’re so beguiled by the glossy image presented to us by fashion houses that we can’t imagine those expensive items being made in sweatshops by impoverished communities. Let’s think consciously when we’re shopping, ask questions of your favourite brands and dissociate the marketing message from the manufacturing reality.

‘We Are Harper’ is interested in quality apparel that you come back to season after season.

We offer value for money items that will be worn again and again. Part of the problem with fast fashion is that styles are designed to come and go, but of course, this just contributes to landfill and waste. It’s also important to us that we think about the lifecycle of the clothes we wear. This might mean upcycling items or being able to swap them with someone- or in the case of our bamboo tees, that you can compost it at the end of its life.

This autumn we’re talking about recycled – ahem, vintage – flanos. We want to continue the discussion around the use of recycled/vintage clothes alongside new items. Your wardrobe can be a cool mix of new and recycled.

We are on a mission to create a more equal and fair society in Australia.

We will rally against sexual and gender inequality, poverty and disadvantage of any kind. We’re looking for partners that can help us on our mission and spread the ethical, social and environmental message.

To connect with (and of course shop!) We Are Harper, visit their online store.

 

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Good Style: Kester Black Winter Colour Drop

unspecified-1unspecified-2Australian beauty brand Kester Black recently released a new range of winter nail polish colours, using a brand new water permeable base- the first ever released by a homegrown label.

The new range aims to make manicures ‘healthier’- as the new formula allows nails to grow naturally, without the restriction of a non-breathable base. Even though this might sound a bit technical, it is an important innovation for the company (and they have even released some Q&As on their website to better explain it- complete with scientific graphs!) Importantly, it doesn’t affect the longevity or cover of the colour, so manicures can be enjoyed without compromise.

In addition to this exciting move to become even more of a natural beauty champion- the label has shown its true style with the gorgeous colour collection, which boasts a charcoal grey, moonlight blue, hazy blush and lagoon green. They even have the delightful names of Soot, Lapis, Petal and Typhoon.

Kester Black specialises in Australian made nail polish and luxurious soaps, which are palm oil free. They are committed to beautiful design, quality products and environmental sustainability.

All of their products have a Choose Cruelty Free and Vegan Society accreditation and are free from the toxic nasties found in most conventional nail brands.

The label is planning to convert its full range of nail products to the new water permeable formula by 2017.

Get these delicious designer shades on your digits!

Photo Credit: Anna Pogossova (images are of the colours Typhoon & Soot)

Good News: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection Launch

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H&M have launched their 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection (which will be available in Australian stores next week!).

Described as a merging of history and modernity, the H&M team have delved into the Musee des Arts Decoratifs collection of archival fashions, to inspire the collection’s key pieces. In fact, the launch coincides with the opening of the museum’s exhibition- 300 Years of Fashion– to which it pays homage.

The fluid and easy styles revolve around languid dresses, kaftans and sculpted skirts- with pieces turning into works of art with pops of colour and surprising print. Botticelli’s ‘Three Graces’ even adorns one of the dresses, as a nod to the link between old and new.

The forever stylish Julia Restoin Roitfeld who is the face of the campaign, said one of her favourite pieces from the range was a mini asymmetric dress which is inspired by a painting of Gustav Moreau.

Importantly, sustainability stays at the heart of the style. H&M Creative Adviser, Ann-Sofie Johansson said, “Working with innovative sustainable materials and ornate embellishment, the collection is a layering of references, shapes and textures topped off by intensely decorative accessories and deco-inspired bijoux.”

The materials used to create the collection include organic silk, hemp, recycled linen and Tencel blends, as well as beads made from recycled glass and ‘Denimite’- a new material made out of worn out denim, which is being used for the first time by the iconic fashion company.

H&M are also dipping into the green wedding trend, with three wedding dresses forming part of the collection for the ‘eco bride to be.’

The H&M 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection will be available in stores from 7 April, but in the meantime, fashionistas can catch the collection’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ video on YouTube.

Images courtesy of H&M. 

 

Good People: Model Rhondell Williams

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(from L-R Mable Daylight, Letisha Gabori, Rhondell Williams, Alma Williams)

The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) which was held earlier this month, hosted an exciting fashion showcase celebrating Indigenous design- Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal. The showcase celebrated the vibrant cultures of Far North Queensland, through an integration of dance, music & fashion.

A number of models from North Queensland and the Torres Strait were invited to participate and share story and tradition on the contemporary catwalk. One of those models was the amazing Rhondell Williams (pictured second from the right). In her own words, Rhondell shares her story and a bit about her journey to VAMFF.

I grew up surrounded by lots of mums and dads.

My Mum is one of the traditional owners of Bentinck Island and Dad is from Birri Country of Mornington Island. I spent a lot of my young life at the outstation of Birri, watching the stars at night as Pa Johnny Williams explained what the stars meant and the traditional stories of our mob.

He was one of the famous Woomera Dancers in his young days.

He travelled all over the world. He is still a very respected elder and artist in our community.I still like to watch him paint, sit down with him and listen to him yarn- learn about our culture and country- and hear him explain what he’s painting that day.

My Mum Betty is also an artist.

She paints at the art centre (Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation) and she makes lovely silk felts. One day she came home excited- telling us her collection was going to be debuted at a Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Who would have thought that I would become one of the six girls selected to take our art all the way to Melbourne!?

We girls were so excited to be a part of the show. It’s funny to think that in the not too distant past, we were running along the beach as kids- fishing and camping- even hunting for wild honey, goannas and wallabies. Goanna is my favourite tucker- especially cooked over coals…and it’s true- it tastes like chicken!”

Good Style: U&I in a Surf State of Mind

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A unique collaboration between Australian fashion designer Jodie Hayes and Swedish designer and photographer Emma Backlund, has created the first independent women’s surf label from Bells Beach- U&I.

The chase for waves led both Jodie & Emma to Torquay in 2012, where they bonded over their love of good surf and great style. Together, they decided to create a surf wear line for women that ’empowers instead of objectifies.’

The concepts and styles are dreamt up between surfs, laughs and beers and Jodie and Emma say that “every stitch is inspired by the power of the ocean and designed to complement the grace of female board riders.”

In addition to their Summer 15/16 range (which is a very clever interchangeable mix of tops, bottoms and one-pieces) the recently launched Storm Collection is a more ‘luxurious’ extension of the summer staples- complete with on trend prints.

All garments are designed and hand dyed in Torquay and are proudly made in Australia.

Shop your surf style at U&I!

Good News: Indigenous Fashion at VAMFF

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This year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) features one of the strongest Indigenous and cultural programs in its 20 year history.

On Thursday 3 March, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Fashion Performance –Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal– showcased the vibrant cultures of North Queensland through dance, song and style.

Eleven designers collaborated to showcase wearable fashion which included felting techniques from Mornington Island, beading, feathers and bright colours to represent the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef and fibres, stencils and hand dyed fabrics, to reflect the northern rainforest environment.

Curated by designer Grace Lillian Lee (perhaps best known for her gorgeous woven accessories), the unique experience featured 20 models from North Queensland and the Torres Strait, who all received modelling and choreography training in the lead up to the event.

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CIAF Artistic Director Janina Harding said, “this performance fulfils the CIAF vision: as a platform for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to present and promote their distinctive artistic and cultural expression.”

In addition to Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal, VAMFF will also feature the ‘Global Indigenous Runway‘ this Tuesday 8 March, as part of its off site runway series.

The ‘Runway’ is a modern interpretation of Indigenous fashion from around the world, where designers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Pacific Nations, will honour ancient cultures and traditions in new and contemporary ways.

Delivered in partnership with Global Indigenous Management, the showcase will exude boldness, personality and of course, fashion flair.

Great to see Indigenous design being celebrated at such an iconic event!

Find out more about the VAMFF Indigenous & cultural program here.

Good People: The Kindlings

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Melbourne based best friends Nina & Kat are the creatives behind Kindlings.

Kindlings (which officially launched yesterday!) is an independent, online community magazine aimed at inspiring positive action and of course, kindness.

Nina & Kat are all about doing good in the world. Not only do they want to create an inspiring community, they also want to give back to social enterprises and projects they care about. They are huge supporters of home grown beauty & fashion brands -like Sukin & ALAS- think Amal Clooney is amazing and are the carers of an incredibly adorable rabbit called Cedric (pictured below).

We caught up with this dynamic duo to find out what sparked their exciting new venture.

One of our favourite quotes is…

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have” – Margaret Mead. This is exactly what we we hope to inspire within our followers.

We’re motivated by a desire to give our best to impact positive change during our time on this planet. With Kindlings, our aim is to provide a collective space with tools, information and inspiration to take action towards a kinder world.

Our vision is for Kindlings to become a community and platform that aligns values with actions, inspires and produces good, and motivates positive actions with real impact…

It was borne of a desire to do more with our lives and make a difference; a desire that wasn’t being met with the know-how to do so.

Seeing so many of our peers in the same situation – young people training to become job titles, feeling unfulfilled but not knowing where to start- gave us the drive to bring Kindlings to life. What we found was that there were so many great ideas and projects about but no collective platform that covered what we were looking for. We saw a need for a hub of information and inspiration -and so Kindlings was born.

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In our first issue, we have stripped our content down to the bare bones…

We are sharing one article for each of our key areas.

Each month, our headline category, KindlingsVOTE will feature three positive projects or initiatives and we’ll ask the community to cast votes for their favourite project for Kindlings to support. Ultimately we hope to be able to provide these initiatives with support from our profits as well as through giving them exposure.

Make sure you also look out for our stories on the treatment of both vegan & non vegan friends and how to become a Kindlings contributor!

Amy Poehler, Amal Clooney and Emma Watson are just a handful of role models we look to for inspiration…

We have also been really inspired by the teams at social enterprises and not-for-profits driven to create positive change, such as Who Gives A Crap toilet paper, Moxie and Shop Wisely Merchants.

We’re big fans of Sukin and Natio’s beauty ranges. We also love Ethical Collection, funkis, Alas the label and just Be apparel.

We are currently on the hunt for like minded Kindlings…

Those interested can sign up at our website, or connect with us across FacebookTwitter (@kindlingsmag) and Instagram (@kindlings.co) . We’re building a community, so we’re actively  looking for people who want to contribute their ideas or write articles.

After our launch, we’re hoping to recruit some regular writers to join our team. If there’s the space for it, we’re considering producing a Kindlings print magazine and also hoping to be able to support ethical companies and projects with financial backing.

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to growing our community and bringing future issues to fellow Kindlings.

Make sure you connect with these kind souls!

 

Good Style: Byron Bay Folke

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The Byron Bay based FOLKE label has not even celebrated its first birthday, but has already made a mark on the ethical style scene.

Starting out with a simple original tee, it has now blossomed into a small collection made from organic cotton, hemp and recycled materials. The label uses no plastics or chemicals and in a nod to natural beauty, does not employ any make up artists or stylists for its fashion shoots.

Founder Francis Cloake says the culture of Byron Bay heavily influences the FOLKE style.

“We want to keep the free spirit, eco warrior vibe that once was alive and influence the younger generations to embrace more conscious sustainable fashion. The bay, with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and a backdrop of rolling hills and Mount Warning – these experiences shape you and make you to want to protect your natural environment.”

The label aims to diversify the materials it uses in manufacturing and will soon add a swimwear range made from plastic bottles, fishing nets and other materials found in the ocean, which threaten marine life.

Find out more about the good folk at FOLKE at http://www.folke.net.au

Positive Changemaking with Carly Wallace

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Carly Wallace has made a career out of inspiring others. A bona fide media maven, she entered the world of radio and television to bring about more positive representations of Indigenous Australia. She is motivated by her heritage, a fierce loyalty to her family and the power of storytelling.

Despite having faced more personal tragedy than most, she channels her diverse life experiences into a positive energy that she shares with others, particularly in her new role as a National Presenter and communications assistant at the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

One of AIME’s major fundraising events National Hoodie Day is coming up in the next few weeks, so I thought it was the perfect time to catch up with Carly to find out more about her work with this game changing organisation, but also to dig a little deeper to really understand what makes her tick.

In her own words, Carly talks about how her personal journey has led her to this exciting new role, her commitment to giving voice to everyday Australians through her media work and why we should all be wearing AIME Hoodies on July 10 (and taking selfies in them!)

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(Carly with Catherine Satour & I on the set of ‘Our Songs’ at NITV)

I am a Dulguburra Yidinji woman from the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. I am now based in Brisbane and have the privilege of working two amazing jobs.

I am a National Presenter and communications assistant for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and I also work part time for National Indigenous Television (NITV) as a television presenter.

I get to work with hundreds of Indigenous kids from all over Queensland in my role with AIME, watch them grow and achieve their goals and dreams. I have the opportunity to create positivity and change for our next generation of Indigenous students and that alone motivates me to get out of bed everyday.

I am lucky to have been brought up in a strong family unit where I was encouraged to always give things a go. That motivation to keep striving and achieving and make my family proud inspires me in both of my jobs and in my everyday life.

When I’m not in the office working on AIME’s social media platforms, I’m out travelling as far as Rockhampton, Gladstone, The Sunshine Coast or Gympie, delivering its educational mentoring program.

The best thing about my jobs is that no two days are ever the same. I am often out working with Indigenous students in years 9-12 in my National Presenter role with AIME and I’m also often filming stories for NITV in my spare time. I love being able to travel and meet students and people from all over the state.

After a long day of travel and work, I head home and chill with my little brother who is 17 years old.

Media is a huge part of who I am. When I first began my career in radio, I was a shy teenager, had a lot of self esteem issues and suffered massively from shame.

I have worked in the media industry since I was 19 years old, predominantly in radio and then with NITV over the last few years. I always loved music and talking and telling stories though, so I forced myself to do radio in order to break out of the shame factor.

Over the past decade, media has taken me to so many places and has allowed my self confidence to grow massively. I have worked in both Indigenous media and non Indigenous media. I love the storytelling element of media. I love being able to tell positive stories, especially about Indigenous people. As a teenager, I would get angry with the way media portrayed us on radio and TV so I used this as motivation to pursue a career in the industry with hopes of changing a lot of those stereotypes from the inside.

But at the end of 2010, I lost my mum suddenly and took a hiatus from the media industry to move back to North Queensland from Sydney where I was working for ABC 702 at the time, to start raising my little brother who was 13 years old.

It was a massive shock to the system to walk away from my career to raise my brother but something I don’t regret doing. I missed radio at first and found it hard to get back into working in media due to the location of where we were living in North Queensland.

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I wasn’t sure I’d ever make it back into the media industry and struggled for a few years without work until I moved my brother and I to Brisbane in 2013.

It was then that I started with NITV and began a new chapter in my media career, making the switch from radio to television. At the end of 2014, a job came up with AIME in Brisbane and I applied for it and got the position as a casual national presenter. I felt this job would allow me to use my media skills to help inspire the next generation of Indigenous youth and it worked well alongside my job with NITV.

Over the course of this past year, I have realised that my story and my journey, the good and the bad, has led me to this job with AIME. I am now full time with AIME as a National Presenter and communications assistant where I get to combine my love of working with Indigenous youth and storytelling and use my media skills to run the AIME Twitter and Instagram pages. I am extremely grateful that I am able to do a job that I love where I get to share my story and the message that Indigenous=Success to the next generation of Indigenous youth.

The most rewarding part of my role with AIME is seeing the individual changes that occur in every student from when they first begin the AIME program to when they finish. I get to see kids smash that shame factor.

It’s great to see them go on to achieve everything they want to during school and beyond. To be able to have a hand in influencing young Indigenous lives everyday is something I never take for granted and something I hold close to my heart.

Every AIME site I get to work at, whether it’s Rockhampton, Brisbane, Gladstone, Gympie or The Sunshine Coast, I am always in awe of the students and mentors I meet and work with. I get to witness Reconciliation first hand every day. They all inspire me with their dreams and goals of becoming doctors, builders, engineers, teachers and even Prime Ministers. I get to witness these students finish high school despite the odds they face on a daily basis and continue to create Indigenous success in this country.

National Hoodie Day is AIME’s winter fundraiser and is coming up on Friday 10 July 2015.

It’s a chance for the whole nation to don an AIME hoodie to support our goal of more Indigenous kids finishing school at the same rate as every Australian child. Every limited edition hoodie sold brings AIME closer to working with 10,000 Indigenous kids annually across Australia by 2018.

We also have a national hoodie day competition online using the hashtag #hoodieday15 . For those that want to get involved, you can win some dope prizes just by uploading a photo of yourself in our 2015 AIME Hoodies, posting it onto your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages and using the hashtag #hoodieday15. This year’s hoodies are red, black and yellow and are selling fast so get in quick. You can get involved by purchasing a hoodie from our shop page and wearing it with pride!

If you are a uni student at one of our partnered universities, you can also jump onto our website and sign up to become a mentor for our program.

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One of my personal highlights from the past 11 years has been graduating with my diploma in radio broadcasting from The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.

I was also lucky enough to win the AV Myer Award for Indigenous Excellence on the same day. Making the switch from radio to television has also been a highlight, as well as being able to travel and deliver radio workshops to Indigenous Broadcasters across Australia on behalf of AFTRS.

I’ve met so many people and interviewed famous musicians and politicians to everyday, inspiring people like artists, teachers and doctors. I have covered many events from National NAIDOC Balls, to the Yabun Festival and other cultural events. I’ve met fashion designers, young people and elders and travelled to some of the most remote places in Australia.

No matter what the event or story is, I always realise how blessed I am to have the opportunity to give a voice to everyday Australians through the medium of radio and television.

Find out more about National Hoodie Day and get involved!

Being Bashful with Teresa Redrup

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Winter has well and truly settled itself into Sydney, bringing with it biting winds and frosty mornings. One of the upsides of the cooler months however, is the stunning selection of styles full of chunky knitwear, lovely layers and diverse textures.

In preparation for the change of season, I like to stock my wardrobe full of colourful cardigans, scarves and tights and as an avid online shopper (the internet is full of bargains!) I am always on the hunt for new stores full of sustainable fashion.

Teresa Redrup is the brains behind Bashful Garter, an online shopping destination that supports local Australian and New Zealand designers. It is fast becoming one of my ‘go to’ sites as it has a unique aesthetic and a strong commitment to quality design, boasting labels like Kowtow, Penny Sage and Romance Was Born (along with a pretty awesome blog!)

Here, Teresa talks about the birth of Bashful Garter and shares her tips on conscious consumption and creating a chic winter wardrobe!

I have been in the fashion, bridal or costume industries my entire working life.

I have also acted in a few roles which saw me having to communicate with a number of offshore manufacturers. In the last few years working in these roles, I came across more and more information about poor working conditions in various places around the world and it made me think about how little I knew about the people I was working with. It also made me realise how hard it is for consumers to get a good idea of what’s going on given they are even further removed from the process. I considered getting out of the industry for a while but I couldn’t imagine what else I would do with myself!

I guess the idea for Bashful Garter stemmed from a desire to work in the field that I knew and loved, but to do so with a clearer conscience and with more control. I wanted my business to be thoughtful and considered as well as beautiful.

I like to think we are creating our own little Bashful Garter feel and aesthetic which is very important to us.

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(photo of Teresa Redrup)

We are guided by the desire to be as responsible as possible, which makes us a little different from many online stores.

We choose to work with local Australian and New Zealand designers that manufacture locally, as the industry here really needs the support. I also feel like I can stand by these products as being well made. We love working with designers who are championing fair trade and organic fabrics and dyes.

It’s also important to me that they manufacture to a certain quality as I want everything we stock to have a decent life-span. I think really highly of all the brands we stock and am pretty pleased to have them in our little shop!

It’s really easy to walk into a mall and find $50 jeans and $15 tshirts at the moment. Sadly, that’s the extent of ‘the story’ shared with the customer.

I think it’s easy to ignore some really poor manufacturing practices when people are so disconnected from the ‘story’ of their clothing.

The garment industry here is not that big and most people today don’t sew at home. That can mean we have less understanding of the process of creating fabrics, dying and printing fabric, creating a pattern, cutting and sewing a garment and that lack of understanding can make it harder to see the value in items of clothing.

I’ve always found so much joy in making things and spending time with other makers. Making is magic to me! It’s a form of meditation and expression. It has been my means of income for years and also my hobby.

I love documentaries about craft and couture and have a shelves full of textile books. To me fashion and textiles was always this really romantic thing. I felt the ‘story’ was great and something that should be shared, not something to be swept under the carpet.

It’s something I am trying to communicate more and more on the website as I feel like it’s a massive part of appreciating things. And I feel that if more people appreciate what they have then fast fashion wouldn’t be the norm.

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There are lots of easy, little ways of being more conscious in how we consume fashion. My biggest tip is to buy the best quality you can afford.

I know everyone has different budgets, but try to think long term and spend a bit extra on things you truly love and will wear regularly. All fashion has some impact on the environment, so make sure that what you do buy is well made so it won’t fall apart easily.

Take care of your things- learn how to darn or find a good alterations place that can do repairs and wash delicate items by hand.

I try to select versatile pieces for the shop that can we worn in different ways in different situations, dressed up or dressed down. I’m not really into dress codes as such. I tend to just wear what I want and put more effort into my hair and make up and sling on some heels if I am attending more of an ‘event’. I don’t like having clothes sitting in my closet waiting for an appropriate occasion. Only buy things you love and wear them.

Merino wool and boucle are big favourites of mine for Winter.

I love the Penny Sage jumpers and big boucle coat. I like the slightly looser shapes for winter so I can layer up underneath. I really like the cold and tend to go to town with layers. My feet need to be warm, my head needs to be warm and my coat has to have pockets!

There is a great material that a few of the designers have used this Winter- a bonded nylon, which is a bit like scuba diving material. I’m loving it as it’s thin and achieves a tailored look. It stands away from the skin but is really insulating. The cold wind doesn’t get through it at all. It’s also really easy to care for, easy to wash and hard to damage.

Lately I’ve been wearing…

The Romance Was Born Mr Bears a-line skirt on high repetition and the Arnley Rivoli dress. It’s the perfect little black dress for Winter as it’s great as a dress with tights and also with nice pants underneath.

And finally, it’s not strictly a style tip, but one winter I couldn’t shake the cold and seemed to be sneezing and coughing for months. A friend recommended I put Vicks VapoRub on the bottom of my feet before putting shoes and socks on. Best advice ever! I do this all the time now and it really does keep my feet warm.

Shop for your winter essentials at the Bashful Garter online store.