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So I have had the privilege to review a necklace from Bottled Up Designs.
I would actually claim that the necklace already won my heart over by the packaging it came in please see the enclosed picture.
You can see a larger picture here of the packaging
I have been wearing it for a couple of days and people thought it was really cool especially when I told them the story of the glass and the idea behind the jewellery.
Bottled Up Designs is an idea of an avid bottle and glass collector called Laura Bergman from Pennsylvania bothered by the fact that glass collectors take the
Influenced by the talented dressmakers and crafters that I meet at our Nottingham Stitched Up Group and The Textile Workshop Im about to embark on proper clothes making and creating my own accessories.
Ive dabbled here and there making few things that I do actually use including a couple of bags a bit of jewellery and a summer top but nows the time to get serious. Why? Well for two reasons really. The first being that I love the idea of creating exactly what I want something that expresses how I feel and actually fits me. The second reason is because making things myself means I can decide where I source the materials doing it as sustainably as I can.
The thought of trying to learn the many many techniques that go into transforming fabric beads threads buttons yarns and zips into something that I would be seen outdoors wearing is both daunting and thrilling. Im excited by the idea of one day being able to picture an item of clothing and then make it a reality. I dont know whether Ill be any good at turning my hand to this skill but I will start as I mean to go on. I want to conserve energy reduce waste support ethical manufactuers be more independent AND be inspired.
So here is my hand made statement.
I cant pretend that this is my idea actually Ive shamelessly pilfered it from one of my favourite blogs Crafting a Green World. The timing was so right when I read their A Green Crafting Manifesto post that I decided to apply it to my clothes making (and crafting) plans. So here goes:
If I know how to make an item of clothing or accessory I will opt to do that before buying a similar brand new item.
I will always aim to use vintage second hand and recycled materials first. As an alternative or where these are not available I will seek organic or fair trade fabrics yarns etc.
Other than dowloading online patterns I will aim to use second hand paper patterns or books or loan these from the library or friends
I will continue to learn new skills and techniques and share these new found skills with others.
OK a teeny-tiny step in the self-sufficiency direction. Watch this space for updates on how it goes!
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For just over a year Ive been a member of the Gedling Fairtrade Group involved in campaigning for Fairtrade and working towards Fairtrade Town status for Gedling Borough.
23rd February 2009 sees the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight a time to celebrate and shout about Fairtrade even more than usual. The Gedling Fairtrade Group has lots of plans for the fortnight including a glamorous fashion show and were fortunate enough to have the support of 3 fashion marketing students from the famous Nottingham Trent Universitys School of Art & Design.
These 3 motivated students are all specialising in ethical fashion for their final dissertations. This is their choice but when I met them I wondered whether there are whole courses dedicated to ethical fashion. If so just imagine what education could do to the industry producing designers makers and marketers with a sound understanding of the social and environmental impacts of their trade and a drive to make it better.
So of course my next port of call was Google I thought that if I found at least a little information about ethical fashion courses then I could share it here and it may be useful for potential students. I honestly had no idea what I would find but I was genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised
University for the Creative Arts (UK)
MA Ethical Fashion (in Epsom Surrey)
This was the first MA in the UK in ethical fashion. It focuses on the business side of fashion including consumerism the supply chain recycling and marketing of ethics in fashion.
London College of Fashion (UK)
Developing an Ethical Fashion Brand and
Developing an Ethical Footwear or Accessories Brand
These are one day courses providing introductions to understanding sustainability developing a green supply chain impacts of legislation and the future of ethical fashion.
MA Fashion and the Environment
Aimed at recent graduates and industry professionals this course is about looking forward and considering sustainable fashion development.
The Ethical Fashion Forum
Fashion Business Workshops
The EFF organises a number of workshops for those interested in entering the business of ethical fashion
Chelsea College of Art & Design (UK)
Textiles Environment Design (TED)
This research project looks at the role designers can play in creating textiles which have a reduced impact on the environment.
Fashioning an Ethical Industry
Staff and Student Workshops
This Labour Behind the Label Project provides tutor and student courses which focus on themes related to working conditions and workers rights in garment manufacture.
The Higher Education Academy (UK)
Teaching Ethical Fashion
This was a conference which took place in April and although it has passed I though it was still worth a mention just in case it takes place again next year. This event was for tutors and educators teaching ethical issues on fashion related courses.
Im sure there are many more courses workshops and seminars in the UK and overseas. If you know of more ethical fashion courses get in touch and we can share them here on GGG.
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Theres nothing like the sense of achievement when youve made something yourself whether its a lovely meal a birthday card or a piece of writing the creative process can be very rewarding not to mention low in cost and eco-friendly.
The same goes for your wardrobe making items of clothing or accessories means you can have so much more control over the sourcing of the materials and production of the finished item. Thats one of the reasons Im learning dress-making skills. Dont get me wrong I think we should leave the good stuff to the experts the makers and designers who do this professionally but a little self-sufficiency in the wardrobe can go a long way.
I love browsing websites like Modish and Indie Fixx looking for independent designers. Especially those who use innovative techniques to create clothing and accessories in a responsible and ethical way. However as much as I love them I cant always afford them and it leaves my fingers twitching wanting to make my own goodies.
The fashion industry is huge and resource hungry. The wikipedia entry on cotton tells us that the production of non-organic cotton uses
No eco wardrobe should be without these stylish smart and 100% organic Green Girls Global and Green Guys Global t-shirts.
Each tee has its own unique design and message for living a sustainable life. They also come in unisex styles and various sizes from XXS to XXL. Choose from a variety of great colours too.
Wait! Theres even more! Each GGG tee order is wrapped in tissue enclosed with a GGG sticker and include a gift patch applique. 2 or more tees come in a printed cotton tote!
These fantastic tees are designed by the very talented GGG editor and artist Lee Tracy.
Check them out at our GGG Etsy Shop here.
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Heres the chance for green fashionistas to pick a brand new outfit for free this weekend.
Yep you read it right the Swishing East event takes place on Saturday at the Old Spitalfields Market in London. The clothes wont cost you a penny but you do need to bring one good item of clothing to take part in the swish. Thats what its all about swishing is sharing.
Heres how the event goes:
12noon 2pm clothes drop off:
Bring your clothes shoes or accessories to the swishing area and drop them off you will receive a stamp for each item (minimum 1 maximum 5) Make sure the items you bring are of a good quality that youd be proud for a fellow swisher to wear.
2.30pm Browsing time:
Take time to browse the goodies on display. Heres you time to eye up the goodies but no touching until the Swish begins
3.00pm Swishing officially opens:
There will be a brief introduction to the Swish and it will then swish away!
To find out more visit the East Festival website Swishing Event info page
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The Green Girls Global and Green Guys Global tees are all about projecting ideas for global sustainability. Each one holds a message about The way life can be and is inspired by articles written by the GGG editors.
The Green Girls and Guys talk about living sustainably in many ways and so the themes of the tees reflect those broad ideas and hopes for our planet including sourcing locally energy efficiency and conservation.
The tees are designed and printed by Lee Tracy artist and GGG editor. Lee has other tee projects including Kitten in the Engine and Look for Fiddleheads. She is committed to using low impact ways of printing and producing her organic tees. The printing process uses non-toxic water-based textile ink with no hazardous binders produces little waste and does not require any solvent cleanup. The ink is set into the fibers of the tee with a safe mechanical heat press that keep the fabric soft and washable.
The range of beautiful hand-dyed colours and designs can be bought at the Green Girls Global Etsy shop. Orders of multiple girls or guys tees come with a shipping refund GGG tote and a page from Lees sketchbook.
Of course I have a GGG tee or two myself and I can vouch for their loveliness. The fabric is extremely soft and the printed images are clear and colourful. But dont take my word for it heres what others have to say. Theres a whole lotta love for GGG tees out there
Our Etsy shop feedback
Were included in I Love Etsy
Handmade Moons top organic t-shirt picksGGG tees are in Dolan Geimans Handmade items we love
In the Berry Patch says our Learn How we Can tee is
I recently became the lucky owner of a pair of Simple shoes. Sadly because of all the snow here in the UK for the past couple of weeks Ive not been able to wear them out and had to stick to boots but I have been able to find out about the company that made them.
Simple was established in 1991. They wanted to be the antithesis of the over hyped over produced and wasteful shoe manufacturers out there. Recognising that the shoe industry was on the whole damaging to the planet they rejected the status quo and began with the Green Toe shoe collection made from natural fibres. Later they added recycled car and bike tyres and plastic bottles to their shoe-making materials as well as certified organic cotton hemp bamboo and eco-certified leathers and suede. The packaging is stripped right back to just shoe forms and boxes made from recycled post consumer card and biodegradable bags too.
Simples manifesto is: