Clothing & confidence: does wearing polka dots make you happy?

Modelling red coat
Modelling my new red coat at Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the UK mainland

During my time away from my blog, I spent a great deal of time wrestling with the relationship between clothing and confidence.  What we wear has so much potential to bring us joy but too often feels like a source of stress.  One day we can select an outfit that makes us feel ten feet high; another we can lie prostrate in front of the same rail of clothes despairing that we can nothing to wear – or at least nothing that feels good.

As I worked to get my mental health back on track after a dramatic downturn, I became acutely aware of the toll that my medication induced weight gain has taken on my wellbeing.  Five extra stone on a five-feet-****-all frame sure has an impact!  Suffice to say, nothing fitted and in my newly raw state I was sensitised to just how distressing the experience of getting dressed every day was.  Reduced to wearing an old pair of leggings and my boyfriend’s tops, I literally felt like I had lost myself.  Who was this person in a band t-shirt staring back at me in the mirror?  I didn’t recognise her.

Where had Rae with the cotton shirts and silk scarves gone?

Eventually I got myself together enough to go shopping for new stuff.  The relief was instant, the ease spectacular, the sense of identity restored.  With my new white shirt buttoned to the neck, I could work, I could go out, I could act in the world.  With my new red coat, I was able to go out when it was raining!

I was myself again. 

I am far from alone in recognising the transformative and restorative power of the right clothes.  The latest #StyleHasNoRules campaign from Long Tall Sally, a retailer who caters for women over five feet eight tall, focuses on helping women to reclaim their fashion confidence while having fun doing so.

A study of 1,000 UK adult women found that 76 percent did not feel confident when it came to choosing outfits even though 78 percent of them had when they were children.

96 percent said they had worn what made them happy until they were ten years old. 

Long Tall Sally responded by recruiting girls still in that age group (six to eight) to act as ‘Little Stylists’, selecting and styling outfits for six of their customers who felt in a fashion rut.  The resulting video on the company’s Facebook page has already had over 45,000 hits and generated emotional responses from both the models and the viewers.

The element of playfulness in this process was particularly emphasised by one of the Little Stylists who selected a polka dot dress for her model because ‘dots make me happy, and I want my lady to be happy’.  What we wear may have an important influence on our self-confidence but we can have fun with it too.

My fashion philosophy is that we should take it both more seriously and also less seriously.

The role of clothing in confidence is also recognised by the Smart Works.  Alongside interview training, this charity provides personal styling session for women who are job hunting, providing them with high quality clothing to wear to interviews and keep afterwards.  As they explain,

The clothes we choose to wear have a huge impact on how we are perceived by others, particularly when meeting people for the first time. Selecting what to wear for a job interview is a critical element of our non-verbal communication, and can be a huge influence on the interviewer when they are making a decision on whom to employ.

Furthermore, they claim that ‘over 95% of our clients reported that a visit to Smart Works significantly increased their confidence in succeeding at their job interview’.

It’s possible to support Smart Works in their mission and boost your own confidence through clothes at their forthcoming designer sale.  On Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May they will be selling some of their high quality stock at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill, with proceeds going to support the charity.  You can buy tickets here.

Tell me about your experiences of clothing and confidence.  Does wearing polka dots make you happy?  Do you think an outfit helped you to secure a job?  Or do you feel a lack of clothing confidence has held you back in some way?  And if you enjoyed reading this post, please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps!  Sharing button are below.

Thank you for reading.

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Inspiration from the past & present: Sunday Suggestions 05-02-2017

 

Inspiration from the past & present || Sunday Suggestions 05-02-2017: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do || raeritchie.com

Last Sunday I went to see Jackie at the pictures.  It. Was. Amazing.  Left with my mind spinning about the subject of women and power but longer term it’s the film’s style that will probably stick most with me.  The outfits are divine (they have to get the Oscar for costume), as is the set – notably the recreation of the White House in the early sixties.  This Vanity Fair article features the movie’s set decorator, Veronique Merley, who talks about how they achieved this feat.

As the film deftly shows, Jackie O definitely knew the power of image, including the image that she projected as FLOTUS (I wonder what she would have made of that abbreviation?).  Clothes were integral to the Kennedy vision.  Others, including many contemporaries of JFK, recognised this too.  Marjon Carlos wrote this piece for US Vogue about the importance of dress for women in the Civil Rights Movement, going from Rosa Parks to Angela Davis, Nina Simone to Maya Angelou.  

The Civil Rights Movement also features in an interesting, and challenging, long form article in Vanity Fair about Emmett Till, whose murder in 1955 sparked outrage and attracted more support for black civil disobedience.  Sheila Weller interviewsTimothy Tyson, who tracked down the white woman that Till supposedly attacked.

Some of these great Civil Rights activists must be turning in their grave if they could see what was happening in the US today.  It seems that American society is growing ever more divided, with the fault line often running along racial differences.  However the recent protests are a reminder that there is still some hope out there.  Likewise this story, although a seemingly small the gesture, encouraged me to retain hope: a Manchester mum and her two boys covered anti-homeless spikes with cushions. The power of small actions exemplified.

I also want to finish this weekly round up with another example of hope – and the power that we have to do good things.  The video features Lionel Messi, world class footballing legend at Barcelona, and his biggest fan – a young boy from Afghanistan called Murtaza Ahmadi.  For 2.46 minutes, push aside any opinions you have about football (soccer) and focus on Murtaza’s delight and the heartfelt treatment he received.  You may want tissues near by….

Because we all need to feel hope.

Messi & Murtaza

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Alexandra Shulman to leave British Vogue: The end of an era

Alexandra Shulman to step down as Vogue editor :: The end of an era :: raeritchie.com
Alexandra Shulman at the Paris couture shows

This morning the news broke that Alexandra Shulman is stepping down from her role as editor of British Vogue after twenty five years at its helm. She will leave her post in the summer.

I was initially shocked by the announcement, especially as she’d been much on my mind today while I read her diary of Vogue’s centenary year. Yet upon further reflection it isn’t so much of a surprise. A quarter of a century is a long time in any job, especially one that carries so much power and responsibility. Furthermore it is also clear from her diary that she was tiring of certain aspects of her role such as the regular travel (Shulman fears flying and loathes unpacking luggage, adding extra levels of stress to the hectic biannual fashion weeks).

The publishing world, and the fashion industry, has changed dramatically since Shulman joined Vogue back in 1992 (or, more accurately, rejoined; she was features editor for two years in the late eighties before moving to become the editor of GQ for two more years). Back then there was no internet, no Instagram, no hashtags, no influencers. In 2017 I am able to sit on my sofa with my phone watching the Paris haute couture shows live just as Shulman does on the front row, and yesterday I did just that. I saw Lily-Rose Depp escort Karl Kagerfeld out at the Chanel finale at the same time as she did.  Developments such as this pose new challenges for the publishing world. What added value can magazines offer to content that we can all view for free if we choose?

During the same period, and thanks in part to the same the same technologies, fashion’s constant demand for the new and the latest has accelerated beyond what was imaginable in the early 1990s. Consumers in both established markets and also the increasingly influential newer markets such as China and the Middle East want instant – or at least quicker – access to catwalk looks. The old two season cycle with its lag time of half a year is no longer tolerated by impatient customers. This is heralding further huge changes, such as a move away from the traditional fashion weeks to being able to order direct from the catwalk, as Christopher Bailey at Burberry pioneered.

Shulman was well aware of the need for print media such as Vogue to adapt and during her tenure she has guided the magazine in the direction of change. Vogue.com for instance is a lively and time sensitive source for fashion news (such as Shulman’s resignation, of course) and other trends (reporting on the Women’s Marches in recent days). She has bought on board modern fashionistas, such as Alexa Chung (who makes vlogs for the website) and Kate Moss (contributing editor), while also securing old school style and glamour, as in Kate Middleton’s first magazine cover shoot for Vogue’s centenary issue. On top of all this, Shulman has negotiated the delicate balance of producing a commercially viable – nay successful – publication, juggling technological and industry developments alongside keeping designers and their financiers happy all while sticking to budgets and sales figures. Not an easy task in a world where no-one turns up on time.

Some argue that magazines such as Vogue are no relevant to modern style nor represent the cutting edge of fashion. These claims are not without validity but for many (thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions?), Vogue remains synonymous with high fashion – and for the last twenty five years, Alexandra Shulman’s name has been part of that equation too.

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#FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty

The heart of Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
The heart of the store

For Emma

For a while I’ve been contemplating introducing another feature to my blog as I seem to have a whole bunch of ideas and recommendations that I can’t fit in anywhere else.  All these feel like the kind of suggestions that would make for a pleasant Saturday afternoon, so I’ve decided that’s what I’ll go with: at the start of each weekend, I’ll post five things that you could do later that day (or on any Saturday in the future!).

Sometimes they’ll be themed, as they are today; other times they’ll be more of a mix.  Let me know if you try out any of these ideas or if you have suggestions of your own – contact me directly or use the hashtag #FiveThingsSaturday.  Would love to see your responses!

An episode of The Apprentice 2016 was filmed in Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
Don’t blink or you’ll miss me! The back of my head featuring in The Apprentice 2016

If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Liberty, the London department store (the back of my head even briefly appeared in a recent episode of the BBC’s The Apprentice that was filmed in the ladies’ accessories hall).

Department stores have a special place in my history geek heart, being a new form of public space that emerged in the nineteenth century and one of the few urban places where women were not only welcome but were in fact central to their culture.  There were even moral panics about the heady effects that these palaces of dreams had on women’s nervous systems!

Not all of the original stores retain this magical aura but it is still palpable in Liberty.  Whether you’ve never visited or you’re a regular through its doors, the 1875 Arts and Crafts store is joyful place to spend a few hours on a leisurely afternoon.

Here are my top five things to do there:

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
How could you not take a picture?

 

(1) Enter the shop via the front central doors on Great Marlborough Street where you can marvel at the always stunning floral concession, Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist.  There’s often some jostling to get a decent snap of the lush, flower filled stands as it’s the kind of display that could define ‘Instagrammable’.

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist

(2) Absorb the craftsmanship and architecture.  From the front facade to the back staircase, it is beautiful.  Like gasp worthy beautiful.  Take the stairs on the right and let your hands run over the wooden banister and its carvings.  Head up to the top floor and just absorb the view looking down the central atrium to the floors below (see picture at the top of the post).  It’ll give you an insight into why department stores were the source of sensory overload back in the nineteenth century.

In the haberdashery room @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
In a corner of the haberdashery room

(3) Visit the haberdashery section.  Wander around the outer edge and take in bolt after bolt of patterned fabric to which the store gave its name.  Even if you’ve never cared to pick up a needle in your life, it’s like a colourful sweetshop rammed with delicious choices. And if you do feel inspired to take up a new project, don’t worry about asking the staff for advice – they are super knowledgeable and helpful.

 

 

 

(4) Get a piercing!  The renowned New York jeweller Maria Tash has a corner of the ground floor where you can buy a range of gorgeous little glittery things that they’ll insert for you wherever you choose.  Anytime of the day you’ll find small groups of women of varying ages gathered around the glass counters giggling and cooing over the array of choices.

I got three new piercings in my right ear back in November and it was a far more fun experience than getting the original pair done in a hairdressers upstairs in Nuneaton bus station.

Maria Tash Piercing at Liberty (booking recommended)

After a Skin Laundry facial @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
After the laser-and-light facial

(5) Have a facial: Californian skincare brand Skin Laundry has opened its first UK concession in the Liberty beauty hall.  They offer fifteen minute laser-and-light facials as well as a skincare line to support this treatment.  They are so convinced that you’ll love the effects that they offer every customer their first facial free!

I tested the treatment out last week.  I can report that my face looked brighter and felt tauter afterwards although I’m not sure I’d pay £50 to have it done again, especially as it was quite painful – the laser felt like a series of small electric shocks.  That said, it’s definitely worth trying out if you feel your skin could do with a boost!

Skin Laundry (again booking recommend)

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Sunday Suggestions 15-01-2017

Sunday Suggestions 17-01-2017: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do || raeritchie.comHello!  An especially warm welcome to those of you who may be new to Sunday Suggestions.  This weekly column is where I share a round-up of what’s caught my eye during the previous week, from articles to viral videos.  I try to ensure that it’s a mix of insightful, intelligent and amusing links that available to all.  Enjoy!

  • If, like me, you’re looking forward to the forthcoming release of ‘Jackie’ at the pictures, then check out this review of the film by scholar Oline Eaton: ‘Jackie’ and the post-truth biopic.  It’s a great read with an in-depth critique from an expert on Jackie O, going beyond the usual film review territory.  I know Oline from my academic days and love her insights into the world of celebrity and gossip.  Whether you’re planning on seeing or not, if you want a perceptive view on popular culture then follow her blog, finding jackie.

 

  • Another famous figure from US history surrounded by layers of myth and imaginings is Henry David Thoreau – yes, the man who ventured out to Walden Pond to see what he could learn about life from living in nature but omitted to mention that he still got his washing done by his mother and sister!  Despite his oversight in crediting unpaid female domestic labour, I am fascinated by Thoreau and his adventures.  One of the happiest afternoons of my life was when two friends and I ventured to his hometown of Concord, MA, then visited Walden Pond.
Walden Pond & scientific discovery || Sunday Suggestions 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
My friend Mel & me at Walden Pond, March 2014

Earlier this week, one of those friends forwarded me this article from the New York Times about the scientific research going on at the lake.  It’s a fascinating read about geology and time and the impact of humans on the environment.  It also touches on the intriguing subject of unconscious human emissions when wild swimming (just to warn you).  If you’d like to know more about Thoreau then check out this essay from The Thoreau Society.

 

  • Back to the present day, specifically 15th January 2017.  It’s the third Sunday of the new year.  How are your resolutions going?  Statistically the chances are that your resolve has ebbed away by now.  Maybe you didn’t make any at all.  I prefer to concentrate on plans and having a one word theme for the year, but I do set some goals too.  One for 2017 is to read a book for thirty minutes everyday.  It’s going pretty well so far.  I’ve polished off three interesting titles and have a pile more to keep me going (I’m recording my progress on a Pinterest board if you fancy taking a look or getting some bibliographical inspiration).

Because of this goal, I was pleased to discover that the master of, well, self-mastery, Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness ProjectHappier and Home and Better Than Before) had produced a handy download with tips on how to read more.  On the same page, she has other useful worksheets on topics such as working, eating and exercising.  You can freely access them all on this page.

  • As regular readers know, I’m a big fashion fan.  Today I want to offer up several different sartorial reads that have caught my eye in the last seven days.

Firstly, last Sunday night saw the start of the awards season with the Golden Globes.  Rachel Evan Wood found herself the centre of much discussion for her decision to walk the red carpet in a tuxedo rather than the standard couture gown.  As always, the Pool presented a measured assessment of the debate.  Incidentally, Wood’s look was my favourite of the night; she along with my other choices feature on another Pinterest board, Looks of 2017, where I’ll be pinning any other winning styles that I see in the public arena this year.

Secondly, I am becoming increasingly absorbed in the topic of sustainable and ethical fashion.  As is so often the case when you develop a new obsession, you find references to it all over the place.  This week, Refinery 29 featured ‘Six Ways To Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable‘.  This offers some good suggestions although it does read like a barely disguised promotion for the ethically minded online retailer Rêve En Vert.  Coincidentally, this week I met with another e-retailer who concentrates on sustainable fashion: check out Sheer for more.  You can also read about some ethical clothing companies that I love in a previous Sunday Suggestions post.

These brands are all small enterprises but the big guns are getting on the mindful fashion bandwagon too.  For three months Selfridges are promoting ‘Mindful Materials’, a showcase for eight brands that they stock with a focus on their environmental kudos in terms of the fabrics that they use.  It’s easy to be cynical about such initiatives but they can raise awareness of important issues.  Did you know that our demand for cashmere has led to the overgrazing of land and maltreatment of some animals?  No, neither did I until I read the Selfridges’ article.

A different approach to the topic comes from my friend Catherine over at Midlands Minimalist.  She’s written a guest post for Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist site about undertaking a wardrobe edit, a move which as a by-product can help us develop a more sustainable stance on what we wear.  Happy to get a little shout-out in the post too!

  • Finally, I like to finish on a funny or heartwarming video.  Today it’s the turn of ‘Our Dancing Town’.  On Wednesday I stayed up far later than usual and stumbled across a gem of a TV programme on the BBC.  Entitled ‘Our Dancing Town’, it’s about a choreographer visiting a rather down-at-the-heel working-class Yorkshire town called Barnsley.

His job is to get locals involved in performing a kind of mass flash mob on the streets of this former mining community.  It’s a tough challenge that you can see him undertaking in this clip of him spreading the word.  But I don’t think I’m giving away an spoilers to say that it all comes together amazingly in the end with a fun music and dance spectacular that could rival the theatrics of ‘La La Land’.  You can watch the foot tapping scene here.  It’ll put a spring in your step and smile on your face for the whole day. Watch and share!

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Tuesday Reviews Day 3rd January 2017: This column won’t change your life but it might make you feel a little bit better

Diptyque Baies & more || Tuesday Reviews Day 03-01-2017 || raeritchie.com

It’s the third day of the new year.  Maybe you’re excited about the twelve months ahead.  Perhaps you’re just hoping that they will be better than the last lot.  You may have made some resolutions for 2017.  You may have already stumbled over your resolutions for 2017.  You may know better than to make any resolutions for 2017, or any other year.

I stopped making resolutions years ago.  I switched instead to coming up with a few plans, maybe the odd goal or two, and choosing a word to guide and inspire me.  Around the same time as I made this change, my views on the inevitable media onslaught of ‘New Year, New You’ features filling the pages of newspapers and magazines, and increasingly filling our TV screens too, shifted.  I’d always loved them, the certainty of their tone and direction, but now their exhortations spark my ire.  We get enough of the ‘you’re not good enough’ messages all year round; we don’t need an intensive extra dose as we attempt re-entry after what is often the gluttonous chaos December.

As a result, I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to online teen magazine Betty‘s new year theme of ‘New year, same you’.  What a brilliant message to women of any age!  We are ourselves, whatever the time of year, despite our wishing otherwise.

At the same time, I also recognise that it’s not nice when we feel frankly sh*tty.  There are probably a lot of us out there who are feeling that way right now.  January can be a shock to the system after the bright lights and heavily laden dinner plates of December.  We are left overweight, overwrought and overspent.

I wanted to tackle this crappy feeling without straying anywhere near ‘New Year, New You’ territory and Tuesday Reviews Day seemed like the right forum for my offering (for more on the original vision for this feature, check out the first Tuesday Reviews Day post back in November).  So here I am offering you six recommendations, three for the home and three for yourself – by which I really mean your appearance, as that is an area that can often spark particular discontent at this time of year.

This list is not going to change your life.  It’s not going to change you.  But it might just help you out a little bit.  You might feel a little bit less sh*t if you take up one of the suggestions.  You might find one of them puts a smile on your face for an hour.  That to me is good enough.  An hour is that place to start.  We can work on the rest of the year some other time.

Let me know how you get on!  And don’t forget that if you like this post then please do share it on social media.  It really makes a difference.

 

For the Home

Along with the sights and sounds of Christmas come some distinctive scents too.  Cinnamon, gingerbread, roasted meat and vegetables – all of these aromas and more can linger for days.  At the time we love them, drawing on their proustian power to evoke nostalgia and connection.

Come January, we loathe them.  Like the decorations, we want them out of house.  We need a break from their richness.  One way to really draw a sensory (and emotional) line is to introduce a new smell to your home, particularly if it’s a fresh scent that contrasts with the festive ones.  I.e. get a new candle!

My three recommendations to give your home a clean, crisp January feeling are:

£  Ikea’s vanilla candles: these are so reasonably priced that with one trip you can stockpile enough to last to 2018!  Unlike other cheap candles, they don’t leave you with a smoky bacon stench after five minutes; rather they envelope the space in a light cloud of loveliness.  I would use these all the time except I used burn them in my old work office all the time and I don’t want to bring that olfactory association into my home!

££  I asked a candle expert from Diptyque for a suitable suggestion and they selected Baies.  According to their literature, this combines the sweetness of blackcurrant leaves with the freshness of a bouquet of roses.  I’m a big fan as it manages to be both fresh and warm, which is what you want when those of us in the northern hemisphere are still in the winter months.  Something about it reminds me of old-fashioned laundry, in a really good way.

£££ Shoyeido is a traditional Japanese incense company who used to supply the Emperor’s palace.  Their shop in Kyoto is still near to the imperial compound.  Since my partner and I visited their store, we’ve been burning their daily incense Enmei (Circle), well, pretty much everyday.  Their products are pricey but worth the extra outlay if you can stretch to it.  They have a Japanese website and one based in the US.

 

For Your Appearance

£  Clean all your shoes, even if you only have kitchen roll and some furniture polish in the house.  Gather them all up together on the draining board then remove the dirt and scuffs with a lightly damp cloth before buffing them up to (almost) their former glory.  I swear by this as a feelgood boost.

££ Get a brow lash and tint.  In the world of beauty treatments, a tint is probably one of the cheapest and quickest options.  It’s not as luxurious as say a massage or even a manicure, but it also doesn’t cost as much, which is a major bonus in January.  I also think it delivers a strong return; you just feel more groomed with them done.  It’s the only treatment I have done regularly (every five weeks).  I also swear by this as a feelgood boost!

£££  Have a hair cut.  This doesn’t have to be a major restyle or dramatic colour change.  Even just getting a basic trim and a blow out will help to banish the new year blues because whoever hasn’t felt better for a good haircut?  I swear by this as a feelgood boost too 🙂

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Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year

Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com
L to R: Sarah & Rhoda of P.I.C. Style, Sophie of Gung-Ho Designs, Nina of War & Drobe, Kenny of Poli & Jo – all designers at the Shoreditch Pop Up Shop || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

I’ve realised that my own fashion philosophy is quickly beginning to emerge now that I’m spending more time immersed in thinking and writing about the subject.  The phrase that keeps coming to mind is that we need to take fashion both more and less seriously.

We need to take fashion both more and less seriously.

At first glance this is a paradox but less contradictory than it sounds.

We can take fashion more seriously by looking closely at what we are wearing, where it has come from and what practices (working and environmental) have been involved in the creation process.

We can use our consumer power to support businesses who are trying to create new models of manufacture and retailing.  

Yet this consideration of the business side of fashion doesn’t preclude a bit of fun.

It is still possible to be playful and creative in what we wear.

Too often we take the appearance side seriously while neglecting to consider the actually serious side at all, but we can reverse this mindset.

Last Wednesday, I encountered an opportunity to do just this when I attended the press night for a pop-up shop in Shoreditch.  The garments and accessories on display were beautiful but had quirky elements as well, from fun prints to big bows to unusual materials.

At the same time, all the goods for sale had an ethical twist one way or another, including using up discarded fabrics to stylish but slow fashion to supporting key environmental causes with each purchase.

It felt like a really exciting and growing movement to be part of, and the evening really resonated with my ‘take fashion both more and less seriously’ ethos.

Alas the pop up shop will be closed by the time this post goes live but you can still buy from the brands featured via their websites.  Here are my recommendations based on the makers that I met that night, giving you some new names to check out in the new year…

© Gung Ho Designs || Tuesday Reviews Day 20-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
© Gung Ho Designs || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

Gung Ho Designs

Created by Sophie Dunster, Gung Ho Designs is comprised of organic cotton handmade garments all of which tell an important environmental tale.

Each features a different print, from bees to leopards to elephants, and when you purchase an item you receive a booklet explaining the challenges facing that particular animal.  Not only does this raise awareness, but with each sale a donation is made to a relevant good cause.

 

© Margot and Mila || Moon phase ring || Tuesday Reviews Day 20-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
© Margot and Mila || Moon phase ring || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

Margot and Mila

Named after important women who’ve influenced her, Lucinda Burke’s gorgeous jewellery collection is handmade in London and uses ethically sourced precious stones.  Lucinda also does bespoke commissions if you’re after a special piece!

 

 

 

 

© P.I.C collection || Tuesday Reviews Day 20-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
© P.I.C collection || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

P.I.C. Style

Rhoda and Sarah of P.I.C. Style may produce a versatile and interchangeable capsule collection but I wanted to buy every single item in it!  From a base of eight pieces they claim you can create over fifty outfits combinations, allowing you to make a great slow fashion statement.

These are definitely garments that you’ll want to wash and wear for a long time.  Even the partner of another designer in the pop-up was sporting their peg trousers!

 

© Poli and Jo || Tuesday Reviews Day 20-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
© Poli and Jo || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

 

Poli & Jo

Kenny of Poli & Jo usually creates limited edition handbags and bags that he sells from his long-established stall on Shoreditch Market but when he realised that car firm Land Rover had leftover roof material, a new concept was born.  Alongside his usual range, Kenny now crafts tote bags made from this recycled material.

The result is beautifully styled bags with a hefty dose of British heritage alongside modern design and durability.  If a Land Rover roof can survive the African desert, you are not going to wear the material out on the 283 bus.

© War & Drobe || Tuesday Reviews Day 20-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
© War & Drobe || Ethical fashion in London: New names for the new year || raeritchie.com

 

War and Drobe

Designer Nina Kovacevic and her family came to Britain as refugees from the Balkans War and they settled in London.  This is where Nina’s War and Drobe company is now based, with her making all the items by hand.

There’s a clear vintage influence on the brand’s vibe, with bolero jackets and close fitting dresses alongside high waisted trousers and jackets.  If it’s a feminine silhouette that you’re after, get some War and Drobe in your wardrobe.

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