The last two weeks in India has flown by in a magical, colourful blur and it feels like I have been here for years. I have seen sunrise ceremonies on the river Ganges in Varanasi, been serenaded by Indian army veterans on a steam train in Shimla and browsed through rainbow markets of fresh produce in Ragasthan. The sights, sounds and smells of India charm the senses and no day is ever the same. Well, there’s actually thing thing which stays consistent everyday: the scorching heat! Due to an irregular monsoon this year (is this the effects of climate change?) India is experiencing higher temperatures than what is normal for October and we have been facing days of 36-40 degrees in most areas. It’s almost impossible to walk around for long during midday and I spend every single day red faced and sweaty as I try to find yet another sweet lime stall to quench my thirst.
I think we’ve all experienced that feeling of excitement, which quickly turns to anxiety, when a special invitation leaves us freaking out about what to wear. It’s one of the oldest and most unavoidable situations, no matter how comfortable and confident you feel within yourself. Whether it’s a party, wedding, conference, or simply meeting someone new for the first time, we all want to make a good impression and visually represent who we think we are inside.
So, when I was recently invited to attend the Observer Ethical Awards, with the scary sounding dress code of “Sustainable style”, I experienced this vain but natural freak out. If I could even claim to have some form of style in the first place, I would feel a little less nervous. But unfortunately, my outfits usually consist of charity shop hauls and friends hand-me downs. Naturally due to my “make do and mend” approach not simply that I’m a complete fashion-phobe!
However , determined to at least attempt some kind of eco sophistication, I did some digging to see if I could find my own unique sustainable style, without spending more money on one outfit than I would normally spend in a year at the Cats Protection charity shop!
The good news is, my search was easier and closer to home than I thought. It turns out Cornwall is already a bit of a hub for eco fashion, so I don’t have to roam too far to kit myself all green and shiny!
Like many counties across the UK, Cornwall has always been extremely proud of its own home-grown produce; not least because down here we see ourselves as a county within itself! From clotted cream and pasties, to tin mining and the iconic surf culture; Cornwall naturally and seamlessly balances both its historic and modern identities. So it shouldn’t really be any surprise that 5 of the best ethical fashion brands happen to be Cornish… Continue reading Is Cornwall a new hub for ethical fashion?
For those of you who have ever met me in person, you’ll know that I am the least fashionable person out there. I take the ethos of reduce, reuse and recycle to heart when it comes to clothes; and prefer a rummage in a charity shop rather than a credit card binge on the highstreet. This serves three main purposes:
Firstly, I don’t contribute to the throwaway fashion economy, in which you can buy a whole outfit for less than the person who made it earns in a year. Secondly, and rather vainly, I don’t have to feel old and frumpy in the latest fashions; choosing instead to stick to my 90s grunge look which has served me well for the majority of my 20s. Lastly, and most lazily of all, I don’t have a clue when it comes to “ethical fashion” and prefer to hide away from having to actively research the rabbit warren which is the clothes and shoe industry.
If only Vivienne Westwood could come shopping around Truro with me, and help me find a bargainous green outfit which makes me feel 3 stone lighter. But alas! The trains getting down here are a bloody nightmare. But even the most clueless of us occasionally fall in love. And when I fall in love, I can become pretty wistful and dreamy. Meet the Amanda Blue – the most beautiful shoe I have seen in my life. Continue reading Bourgeois Boheme: From Shoe Apathy to Shoe Passion