Fashion Revolution Week

On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.

There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.

From BBC –

This week has dubbed Fashion Revolution Week to challenge how we think about buying clothes and what impact the fashion industry has on people and the planet.

www.fashionrevolution.org has tons of information, advice and how to get involved with the movement. 

Fashion has changed so much in the last 20 years and fast fashion has now become the norm.

How many items have you bought in the last month? How much did you pay for them? Did you think about the people who made them or what materials they are made from?

Lauren Bravo makes a good point in this article about her own fashion diet, that we often spends lots of money on meals out, takeaways and coffees in a month but we have a set limit in our head about the price we’d pay for a single item of clothing and then spend more by buying multiple cheaper items.

For many years now I have tried to be more conscious of the ethics of the shops I buy clothes in and there are certain shops I won’t buy from because of practices I know about or simply by thinking if that item is that cheap to me the consumer how much is the person that made that garment earning. 

Since the beginning of 2016 I have been “No New Clothes” sourcing as much as I can second hand from charity shops, vintage shops and on eBay. Even though I am buying my clothes second hand I don’t try to buy a lot of clothes. This is not a habit I have had to change as I’ve never really been into retail therapy and tend to just buy something when I need it.

As a vegan I don’t wear clothes from fabrics made from animal products (fur, leather, wool, silk) some of which involve quite complex processing methods using chemicals which aren’t good for the workers or the planet. This means I wear either synthetic fabrics or plant based ones such as cotton and linen. This Fashion Revolution Week I’ve been thinking about the fabric I wear. As I only buy second hand does it matter that I wear synthetics? These products are already in existence and I am reusing them and preventing them from ending up in landfill. On the other hand (and I use this argument against wearing fur, real or faux) am I perpetuating the view that these fabrics are fine and we should be making use of them? I think it’s something I’m really going to consider when making future purchases.

When buying plant based you can also seek out organic options which means chemical pesticides haven’t been used on the plants and are healthier for the workers and the planet.

You can search the hashtags #whomademyclothes and #imadeyourclothes on social media to find more stories on this issue. 

Craftivist Collective have started a new campaign in support of Fashion Revolution, Mini Fashion Statements are thought provoking messages that you write on scrolls, tie with ribbons and pop into the pockets of clothes in shops for customers to find.

Bourgeois Boheme currently have a pop-up in The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane showcasing their line of shoes which are made from pinatex, a newly engineered fabric that replicates leather but is made from fibres from the leaves of pineapple plants.

From their instagram feed –

What do you think about your own shopping habits? Do you think you should make some changes or would you like to? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Fashion Revolution Week

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

So we are already a quarter through 2017, how times flies eh? So let’s see how I’ve been getting on with my goals.

1. Continue to jog/run

I have slowed down with this one due to not feeling very well recently although I’ve still been running about once a week. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I will be able to start running a little bit more. I’ve signed up to take part in Bubble Rush a 5k run through foam in the Olympic Park in Stratford in May.

2. Take up yoga again

Again my practice has lapsed a bit due to my energy levels but I did take part in a yoga event in February and I hope to attend more events in the year.

3. Eat more wholefoods

I’ve been doing well with this due in part to my veg box. I’ve bought some tempeh starter to make my own tempeh from dried soya beans. My Husband is trying to cut down on meat so he’s been eating more food with me and made us a lovely dhal the other day.

4. Use less plastic

The way I have been achieving this is just by buying less overall but I don’t feel like I’ve made many substitutions apart from buying the veg box. Obviously buying less is great but I need to do more research when making essential purchases.

5. Be more politically active

I’ve attended two events already this year, the protest against the Great British Greyhound Board in January and UN Day Against Racism in March. I already have a list of events in my diary for the upcoming months and I’ve been taking part in craftivism taking tips from Craftivist Collective.

6. Support more independent shops and traders 

I have been doing well with this. I have only had one chain coffee this year! I went to a lovely little wholefoods shop in Hackney the other day and got some smoked garlic I’m really excited about trying. When I’m in a new area I’m searching my maps app for independent places. I find it the most difficult in stations when I really need something quickly.

7. Continue No New Clothes and expand on it 

I have not bought any new clothes so I’m doing well on that front. I need to source some running tights/leggings as I am a larger derriere’d lady and feel like I need a sports bra for my bum – the jogging bottoms aren’t providing enough support! I keep seeing a lot of vegan branded products I would like to buy but I have been resisting the urge!

8. Attend Church more regularly

This is another goal I’ve been successful with. I have attended church every weekend I’ve been home and I attended on Saturday evening last week as I was busy on the Sunday. I found the local Catholic Church when I was down in Ramsgate and it was really nice visiting a different church.

9. Watch less television

This has been easier than I was expecting. I think because of the eating more wholefoods I’ve been cooking more, leaving less time for TV and as I’ve been fatigued I’ve been sleeping earlier too.

10. Continue to blog

I have also done well with this goal. I’ve been quite active and have had lots to blog about! So hopefully this’ll continue in the coming months. I still have a couple of ideas I’ve been meaning to blog about which I haven’t had a chance to as other topics have come up.

So overall I think I’ve been doing pretty well. There are a few areas I need to concentrate a bit more on so I will try to keep those in mind.

How have your goals been going? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

February Round Up

How has the month been?

I started the month off by visiting my Husband’s family and catching a cold from our germ-infested nieces! This lasted a couple weeks but ever since I have felt really exhausted. I assume this is just a hangover of the virus but I’m going to get some blood tests to see if anything else is going on there. Although I’ve been very tired it hasn’t really affected what I have done apart from less exercise/running and more naps! It was also my birthday this month and I have had a great time celebrating which I’ll share more with you below.

What new foods have I tried this month?

When I looked through my photos this month I couldn’t believe have many new things I have tried. Who said being vegan was boring?!

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I celebrated 10 years with  company at the beginning of the month so I brought in some yummy vegan treats. I made a jaffa drizzle cake, which is an orange drizzle cake with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. This was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

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I went out with some colleagues  to Ekachai as one of our work friends was leaving the company. It is a South East Asian restaurant which is very efficient for lunchtime eating! I had this gorgeous tempeh curry and there are a few vegan or easily veganised dishes on the menu.

I went down to visit my friend Karen and her family in Bournemouth this month it was so nice to pick up some provisions so easily in Waterloo station. I got four vegan cupcakes for us to share from Lola’s Cupcakes and it’s great to see them continuing to expand their vegan range.

We went out to Wagamama for dinner and I had the itame coconut, chilli and lime soup with tofu and vegetables. I’ve never had this dish before as I prefer the noodles to soup but as I had this stinking cold I thought it would do me good! It was really tasty and I had some cauliflower in a lovely sticky chilli sauce as a side.

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We stopped for a hot drink and a cake at Sweet Greens which I wrote about in this post.

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I asked Dani from Vida Bakery to make my caterpillar birthday cake and she certainly didn’t disappoint!

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I celebrated my birthday eating food from Vegan Peasant which I wrote about here.

On Saturday I went to a local independent space and had a lovely chocolate brownie and Earl Grey. It’s nice to see small, local places catering to vegans.

On Sunday we took a trip to Green Bay and I bought all this swag I’m currently working through.

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And finally on the food front we used the sgaia bacon pictured above with some mushrooms in a giant pancake to share to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

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What have I enjoyed?

I went vintage clothes shopping with my Sister-in-law on the first weekend in February which I wrote about here and I also picked up this fab vintage swimsuit in Bournemouth.

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I had a fab time in Bournemouth as a whole, even the body combat class we did on Sunday morning!

I spent some time catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve now known these ladies over 10 years!

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I loved receiving all these gorgeous presents for my birthday.

I completed my second parkrun of the year and felt better afterwards than the first one and I bought myself a Lush giraffe bubble bar to celebrate.

Plans for March

We are heading down to Ramsgate for a belated birthday weekend away. I plan on taking part in a march against racism and we have tickets to see Post Modern Jukebox at the end of the month. If you haven’t heard them, check them out on YouTube.

How has your February been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

February Round Up

Retrospect London Haul

On Saturday my Sister-in-law and I went to a kilo sale hosted by Retrospect London in Islington.

There were a lot of fabulous clothes but they didn’t seem to be in any order at all (not item type, size or era!) But there was a staff member frantically moving things which was quite annoying while you were trying to look through the racks!

As it’s a kilo sale you pay by weight and I got four fab items for just £12!

There was a gazebo style tent in the middle so we could try on our clothes and although it was a bit dark in there is was a great addition rather than having to get changed in the toilets!

First up is this A-line skirt. It’s velvet in a dark teal colour with pink and green bursts. When I described this to my Mum I said they were a cross between fireworks and palm trees, and when she saw it in person she said that’s exactly what it’s like. The waist is a smidgen tight but I’m sure after another month of running it will be more comfortable.

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Next was this embroided brown linen shirt, I love the shape of this and the detailing. This felt a bit tight getting on as it has no fastenings but once it was on it was really comfortable.

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My Sister-in-law tried on this Disney t-shirt but it didn’t fit her nicely and she felt the colour washed her out. I really like this monochrome style as I haven’t really seen the before on Disney stuff and it’s rare that you see something with Scrooge on it (also found out on Friday Ducktales is coming back with David Tenant as the voice of Scrooge!)

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Lastly from the sale is this fabulous flower power dress! It is A-line which doesn’t suit my shape so I’m going to attempt to take the in and fashion a waist into it. For the moment a belt will have to do!

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After the sale we popped into the lovely FARA charity shop which I visit every time I am in the area. My cousin loves a garish jumper and I originally spotted this one for her but fell in love with it myself so decided to keep it for next Christmas. It was only a fiver too so a fab bargain!

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If you’re into vintage fashion I would definitely check out Retrospect London’s events. You never know what you might pick up!

Plumes x

Retrospect London Haul

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few months. I was feeling really tired a lot of the time and had got into a rut with my eating so didn’t fancy doing my weekly updates on my food when I thought it was really boring and samey!

I think going forward I’ll only do food posts when I cook something special or different or if I’m eating out. I did find my weekly food posts a bit of a chore and that’s not what this blog is about!

So onto my clothes challenge. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to take on “No New Clothes for a Year”. I was inspired by Jen from My Make Do And Mend Life and joined her two Facebook groups (no new clothes and buy nothing new) to connect with others doing the same. You can set your own rules and mine were that I could only buy second-hand/vintage clothes and essentials.

At the beginning of the year I was buying a couple of second hand pieces a month but as the year went on I even cut down on that. I managed to go without buying any essentials thanks to my Mum donating me some of her tights as she doesn’t wear skirts/dresses very often, and as I started jogging in the summer I managed to get some second hand gym gear on ASOS marketplace and eBay. The only two new items I had in the year were T-shirts, one from my company for our London Pride event and one from St Francis Hospice when I took part in a charity walk. Both these have gone into my gym clothes which I use regulary.

So in a year I have bought 5 dresses, 2 tops, 1 gym outfit, 1 skirt, 1 coat and 1 pair of shoes – all second hand, which I don’t think is too bad. The only things I’m a bit unsure of were the pink t-shirt dress in the middle and the coat. I’ve still been wearing the dress but it doesn’t exactly “spark joy” which is a mantra of minimalist guru Marie Kondo. I will continue to wear it until I get bored and then it shall be re-donated to charity. I love the pattern of the coat but it didn’t fit perfectly so I bought it as a “target” item. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this but I did love it! Unfortunately I didn’t look at it carefully enough before I bought it as the lining needs a lot of stitching and the sleeve is moth-eaten so I think it will need to be recycled. A lesson learnt!

The only things I have really struggled with is tights and having a lack of options where I have gained weight. When I gain weight I don’t like to buy new clothes in a bigger size anyway so that hasn’t changed and am now back on a healthier lifestyle eating mindfully and doing exercise. I have already seen some rewards in having clothes fit more comfortably, my mental health is better and my skin is clearer!

So what does this mean going forward?

I plan to keep my clothes shopping to a minimum and buy vintage/second-hand where I can. I have asked for some vouchers for Christmas in order to buy some tights and bras and my Husband has bought me a new pair of everyday shoes as my current ones are falling apart. I don’t buy a lot of shoes and wear mine until they are completely worn out. I have struggled this year to find good quality, non-leather, second-hand shoes. I will continue my hunt but will buy new when I absolutely need to.

I had a clear out of my clothes throughout the year but I plan to do this again as I have some clothes I haven’t worn at all this year.

The only things I have really wanted to buy but have resisted are vegan/animal/charity/campaign t-shirts. I tend to wear dresses so I don’t have many bottoms to go with them. This is my logic for resisting temptation! Although I have bought a few slogan tote bags throughout the year (which I don’t count as clothes) although I do now need to cut down on these too!

I want to extend my reduced shopping to the rest of my life and have a good declutter. I live in a one bedroom flat with my Husband so I don’t have much space. I already minimise what I buy and I don’t like having too many things but I think there’s still room for improvement.

The area I think I can make the most impact in is my kitchen. I have a lot of cookbooks only a handful of which I use and I put myself on cookbook ban a long time ago, but I can clear out those I don’t use. I also need to clear out my cupboards of unused out of date food and use up what I do have in there. As my flat is small things just get bundled in the kitchen cupboards and I can’t actually see what I have to use. My fridge broke a few weeks ago and we had to get a new one which was a great opportunity to get rid of all the old jars in there. I also need to clear appliances. I have a dehydrator and an ice-cream maker boxed up in my living room for months that I still haven’t put on ebay/freecycle.

I’m hoping that decluttering the flat will also improve my mental health as I always feel happier when it is clearer and tidier. With less things I’ll have less to clean and will be less tired from chores and have more time for fun stuff!

I don’t think my Husband will be looking forward to this as he can be a bit of a collector. Our hallway is wall to wall shelving with games, books and films and the top of the shelves house his collection of video game memorabilia. I won’t insist on him decluttering but by getting rid of some of my things there will be more room for his so it will generally look tidier. We are also hoping to move in the not too distant future so decluttering will help when we need to get a few jobs done in the flat. It is so difficult in a small place as you don’t have any space to move anything if you need to do some plastering or decorating!

What is your style? Are you a minimalist or a hoarder? Do you have any plans to make any changes?

Let me know in the comments

Plumes x

 

 

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

My 100th blog post!

100th post

I can’t believe I’ve made it to 100 posts!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog and given me feedback either on WordPress, Twitter or Facebook. You are the reason I do this and as long as you are interested in what I write I’ll keep doing it!

I did have a blog a few years ago but soon lost interest. I think having my weekly round ups have kept me on track as I know I’ll be posting at least once a week. It has also made me be more imaginative with my food as I know I’ll be sharing it at the end of the week.

Apart from food and veganism I’ve really enjoyed writing about my adventures in vintage clothing and I’m hoping to write more about my running as I get more into it.

Writing this blog has helped me be more reflective and the positive feedback I received for my post Exercise and Mental Health have given me the confidence to be more open about my anxiety. I think we all need to be more open about mental health issues to help remove the stigma and if my writings can help one person I’ll be happy.

So here’s to the next 100 posts!

celebration

Plumes x

My 100th blog post!

Half way through No New Clothes!

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So as it’s 1st July I have successfully completed the first half of my No New Clothes for a Year challenge!

I have only bought second hand or vintage clothes. I thought it would be difficult to source items when I needed something in particular but I had no hassle when I looked for vintage running gear and I think I came out with items I love more than what I would be able to find new.

The biggest challenge I have had is tights. My Mum came to the rescue and gave me a bundle as she rarely wears skirts and dresses. Since I have been running I have been wearing socks more so I will see how I go, I may try to learn how to darn them although I think it’s quite difficult!

I have recently joined Vegan Runners and I’m itching to buy some merchandise to run in but I’ll just have to wait. Or I could buy some patches and attach them to my current running gear!

I’m already starting to look ahead to when my challenge is over. I plan on starting a sewing course in September so hopefully that will give me some skills to mend and alter either clothes I already have or second-hand/vintage clothes I could completely re-imagine!

I hope to always investigate the second-hand market first and only then in the unlikely event I can’t find something suitable will I go for brand new, preferably from an ethical, sustainable company.

How do you think you’d fair if you couldn’t shop for new clothes?

Plumes x

Half way through No New Clothes!