Fast Festivals

I took a few days off in July to travel to the beautiful Byron Bay with my man for Splendour in the Grass, renowned for being one of the biggest and best musical festivals in Australia. We were welcomed with a sunny 22 degree day, a perplexingly difficult tent to put up, and a confiscated bottle of vodka. Nonetheless, we persisted through the minor setbacks as we experienced non-stop musical acts and a plethora of food trucks, with the highlights undoubtedly being Childish Gambino, Foals, SZA and the chilly billy burger. I needed to have a couple of them over the weekend.

Literally the ONLY photo taken of one of my outfits

And how could I not mention the amazing fashion at Splendour? The opportunity for festival fashion almost supersedes the importance of the actual music. You could tell that people put months of thought into elaborately creating these impressive festival looks for each day of the festival. People were decked out head-to-toe in fully coordinated outfits, from their hair colour matching their shoes, to matching leopard-print boyfriend and girlfriend outfits. Dan and I missed an opportunity there.

It was wonderful to see such creativity and what is essentially art with some of these spectacular outfits. But it was a shame to think that quite a few of the clothes would have been sourced from fast-fashion brands and would be immediately discarded after the conclusion of the festival. Because realistically, you don’t walk around and see anyone typically flaunting the kind of clothes that were seen at Splendour. Furthermore, plenty of these clothes were made from environmentally-damaging materials such as sequins and synthetics, and some looked as though they would fall a part after a night spent in the mosh pit. So it is a bit of a problem that festivals are perpetuating the appeal of fast fashion when there is such a desire for inexpensive (and, often outrageous but fabulous) clothing at these events that can be used as once-offs. And since we have just passed Earth Overshoot Day on 29 July (being the date that humanity’s demand for earth’s resources exceeded what the earth can regenerate in a year), the need to curb our consumption of fast fashion has never been more urgent.

Rather than eliminating the show of fantastic fashion entirely, op shopping would be a more sustainable option for festival-goers who are looking to create unique and insta-worthy looks (because we can’t deny that part of the motivation to dress up is for the ‘gram). Alternatively, if you rummage through the wardrobes of your friends or family, you may find something super exciting like your dad’s lairy shirt from the 80’s. If this doesn’t satisfy your desire for something fabulous, then scope out businesses that provide outfit rental services and do some renting for the weekend, on the proviso that the clothes don’t undergo any damage, that is.

Ultimately, festival style doesn’t need to be purchased brand-new and festival-goers should refrain from doing so if the intention is to wear it for once and then to discard it once its purpose has been fulfilled. My pledge meant that I had to choose from what was already in my wardrobe, and my probably unnecessary concern for getting my clothes ruined did slightly inhibit my outfit choices. But it was pretty easy to find a few things to wear when I did some mix and matching. It just challenged me to be a bit more creative.

Thanks for stopping by! x

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But I Love Them So Much

I went and did a bad thing. I bought a pair of boots.

I will admit wholeheartedly that I broke my pledge at the six month mark to not purchase any fashion for 2019, because I fell in love with a pair of Tony Bianco boots. I had been going so well for the past six months to the point that I haven’t even had an urge to buy a single thing – until these boots flashed up on my screen while I was scrolling through Facebook. I tried to switch the wanting off, and I tried to ignore it for a few weeks.  I even re-read Every Women’s Guide To Saving The Planet as a last ditch attempt to curb my desire. But once I performed the dangerous act of trying the boots on (just to tryyyy), I was sold. I just love them so much.

So rather than dwell on my failures, I will accept that I caved and that it SHALL NOT happen again in 2019. I promise to do my best.

The other day I took the cheat boots out for a lovely lunch and matched them with my green ASOS coat, Witchery skirt and top and a red bag.

HOW NICE ARE THEY. They are faux snakeskin, knee-high and with a heel that doesn’t endanger the hips or knees. I will be wearing them plenty through out the winter, so close-ups will arriving on the blog eventually.

I also took some photos of the aesthetically-pleasing and delicious food consumed at Dinner by Heston that afternoon. There was even a dish with what appeared to be a plum, but it actually contained pâté. Surprises all around.

Boots: Tony Bianco

Coat: ASOS

Top: Witchery

Skirt: Witchery

Bag: Marcs

Thanks for stopping by! x

What Does My Dress Really Cost?

Just as I thought that I would have to pack away my summer dresses for good, the Easter break brought along some beautiful weather. For a Good Friday lunch, I brought out this multi-layered dress from Tree of Life that I purchased at the end of 2018 for a bargain and absolutely adore wearing. There’s just so much going on with the paisley print, the inconspicuous sequins that are dotted all over the fabric, and the pretty under layer that peeks out from the paisley. This dress can also be worn as a long skirt, which I have been matching with a white cotton t-shirt or bandeau top and some nude sandals. I think I’ll keep it in my winter wardrobe for some multi-seasonal use, because I have a feeling that it might look alright as a skirt with some boots and a leather jacket.

 

Dress: Tree of Life

Bag: Markets in Italy

Tree of Life was given a grade C ethical rating in the 2019 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide, which isn’t terrible, but there’s certainly room for improvement. This is particularly important in the face of the climate disaster we are facing, where the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries due to its excessive use of resources. And unless the fast fashion movement is halted, the fashion industry will continue to jeopardise the state of our climate.

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which aims to highlight the social justice issues that are rife in the industry as well as the environmental consequences that are posed. Fashion Revolution Week is urging people to post on social media a photo of themselves in their clothes with the hashtag #whomademyclothes, directed at the brands they are wearing to encourage transparency in the supply chain. Maybe I’ll ask Tree of Life, or maybe I’ll ask some of the other brands that I love to wear. Either way, it’s important as consumers to recognise the power we hold and to use it to demand the production of clothing that doesn’t cost the earth or the rights of garment workers. And next time I love a dress like the one above, I first and foremost need to consider where it came from and what it’s made from before I hand my cash over.

Thanks for stopping by! x

#GIRLBOSSES Jess & Krithika from Solus Shop

I interviewed students Jess & Krithika, founders of Solus Shop (@solus.shop), who started their Instagram business in 2017. These two fashion-savvy ladies scope out op shops all over Melbourne and overseas to find unique and chic second-hand clothing to sell on their Instagram, which has 2,000+ followers and counting. Here’s what these lovely ladies had to say about navigating the world of Instagram fashion business.

Can you tell us a bit about Solus Shop and how it came to be?

Solus began with our love of op shopping, we would spend days going to op shops around Melbourne. It was from here that we decided to start a business. Solus sells vintage and revamped clothing, we also specialise in hand embroidered t-shirts.

Did either of you have any prior business experience? And if not, how have you found setting up a business?

Both of us did not have prior experience in setting up a business, which we have found challenging at times. However it was dedication and a lot of research about prior start-up businesses that managed to really help us out. We also make sure to listen to our customers; it can be as simple as posting polls to see their preferred payment method.

What is the process of finding clothes to sell?

We have spent many hours and days at several op shops and also checking out wholesalers around Melbourne and overseas. We source our t-shirts from other people who have bought it in bulk and no longer need it so it doesn’t go directly to the retailers.

What are the benefits of running a business from Instagram?

Being able to directly communicate through the app with the customers. Having an instant click to show our followers what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. We also have the opportunity to help contribute different beauty standards to Instagram which has become full of unrealistic expectations. We seek to have all different types of models and refuse to edit our pictures aside from filters.

How does this business concept fit within the current backlash against fast fashion?

Australian’s buy at an average 27 kilograms of new clothing each year and only 6000 kilograms goes to the landfill every 10 minutes, this was reported by ABC News report. We want our business to be able to reduce this number by reusing clothes to fit the new trends.

LOVE their work and what they’re doing to negate the effects of fast fashion. Check them out on their Instagram @solus.shop!

We Got the Pink

It was clear to see that pink ruled the day on the 2019 Oscars red carpet, in possibly every bold and stimulating shade of pink there is. This sent a strong message there’s no better time than the present to be brave and splash on some of the divisive hue, as every celebrity who has sported pink this season has looked nothing less than glorious.

So, I have mentioned previously that the only exception to my pledge to not buy any clothes in 2019 is my uniform for work. And fortunately, Witchery decided to unleash a hot pink collection early in the year to which I squealed and exclaimed: “I NEED some pink in my life!”. Even though I haven’t worn any type of pink since the early days of galavanting in my fairy princess dresses, the fashion gods were sending a message that pink is strong, empowering and queenly. I decided that I wanted to be a part of this pink parade, so I bought this silky bright shirt (see pics below) and have been bombarded with compliments every time I have worn it to work. I matched it with my cream high-waisted shorts that I have worn all summer, and white Mimco sneakers which I LOVE due to the patterned detail. All round a vibrant and comfortable outfit for work – not to mention, on trend with the freshwater pearl hoops!

My modelling partner in crime, Sebastian.

Shirt: Witchery

Shorts: Witchery

Shoes: Mimco

Earrings: Witchery

After suggesting to some customers that they should try the pink shirt, they would hold their hands up and say, ‘Pink? No way, that is so not my colour!’ although I assured them it would most definitely become their colour. Maybe it’s the preconceptions of pink being associated with girlishness and children that makes it so divisive, though surely that’s no longer relevant. It may require some confidence to pull off, but there is no better time to seize the day and give it a try. And I am so delighted to finally have something hot pink inhabiting my wardrobe that’s not in the form of a Princess Aurora dress.

What’s your opinion on pink? Let me know in the comments below! x

Winter is Coming….And I Cannot Buy a Thing

This wardrobe is definitely going to get a workout

Winter is coming and my favourite time of year has arrived: the introduction of autumn/winter fashion. I absolutely love it when new clothing collections are draped on mannequins in store windows and brands release photos of their autumn/winter campaigns on social media – it gets me so hyped for arguably the best season for fashion. This is the glorious time when I can begin preparations for my winter wardrobe by selecting new key items that will get me through the cold season that coincide with the current winter trends. What colour coat should I buy? Which style of boots should I invest in? And most importantly, what will be my winter colour scheme (almost always black)? But alas, this cannot be the case this year.

My 2019 resolution to not buy ANY clothing for the entire year has stopped that yearly activity in its tracks, and surprisingly I don’t even mind that much. I see you all shaking your heads in disbelief and cry ‘how?’ exasperatedly. The truth is that my attitude towards fashion has undergone a complete transformation ever since reading the book Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and becoming a subscriber to The Fashion Advocate (see relevant article here). As a lover of all things fashion, I felt an ethical obligation to educate myself on the impacts of one of the world’s most polluting industries and the accompanying social justice implications. When I realised the extent of the damage caused by fast fashion, overconsumption and the exploitation of human capital, I felt ashamed of my past spending habits. I have a wardrobe filled to the brim with clothes and shoes, and although I love every piece I own and have made great attempts to shop ethically in the last few years, why do I really need all of this stuff? Surely I don’t need to anything more and can survive on what I already own.

So, as inspired by The Fashion Advocate’s mission to not purchase any new clothes in 2018, I have decided to embark on the same mission. The only purchasing I have to allow is the mandatory buying of uniform for my fashion retail job (which I have tried to keep to a minimum). And I know that it’s only early days, but I am shocked at my lack of desire to buy anything at all. Becoming educated on the ethical and environmentally-conscious consumption of fashion has halted any inclination to go out and buy, and I hope that I can continue this momentum in three months time when winter officially hits. Of course, I anticipate that I will eventually enter struggletown and want to cave into my favourite act of therapy (shopping with my mum). I will have to continually force myself to re-read Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and The Fashion Advocate to curb any dangerous cravings. But during this journey, I will endeavour to educate others on becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion and the importance of shopping sustainably, because in the words of The Fashion Advocate, It’s not about giving up fashion. It’s about making it better.

So, when an urge kicks in to browse for a pair of black cowboy boots or a faux fur jacket “just for fun”, I will say NO – THIS IS UNNECESSARY, LAURA – and take a scan of my wardrobe to reinforce the fact that I absolutely don’t need any new clothing in my life. I will probably have a lot more spending money by the end of it, develop a greater creative styling ability, and hopefully raise awareness of the fact that we all have the power to minimise the damaging effects of the fashion industry through our consumption choices. Stay tuned!

Blue Velvet

An understated but utterly elegant outfit can be comprised of a pretty skirt and a plain t-shirt. Toss in some slides or boots plus a pair of killer earrings and that’s an outfit sorted – especially when that skirt is in teal and velvet. Readers of this blog are bound to know that I have an endless love affair with teal, which was why I ended up convincing myself to buy this Michael Kors skirt at a bargain sale price. It’s swishy, long and remarkably light, making it perfect to wear in winter with boots or slides and mules in summer.

I wore it for the first time with my Balmain x H&M t-shirt and a black belt I have had lying in my closet for years that I’m pretty sure previously belonged to my mum. Big belts are officially back, and look fabulous with long skirts or wide-leg pants. Op shops usually have a great selection of belts, so if your wardrobe lacks this accessory of the season, then don’t bother heading to buy new and consider your local op shop.

Finally, I finished off the outfit with my plastic mules from Midas and a silver bag from Nine West. Silver and teal are a match made in my personal heaven.

Skirt: Michael Kors

Top: Balmain x H&M

Bag: Nine West

Shoes: Midas

This skirt is definitely my favourite purchase in a while. I just want to wear it all the time! It will also be my last purchase in a long time, because I have pledged to avoid buying fashion in 2019. After realising the destructive impact of fashion on our globe (and particularly fast-fashion), combined with the overwhelming feeling I experience when I peer into my wardrobe filled with stuff, I decided that I need to to take action on a personal level. I was inspired by Claire Goldsworthy from The Fashion Advocate (her story can be found here) who did not buy a single thing in 2018. This is going to be a challenge, as even op shops are a no-go. However, I truly believe that I have everything I need within my wardrobe and I certainly don’t need to add to my already burgeoning collection of belongings. Maybe I’ll even rediscover a few things I forgot about, and it will surely challenge my creative styling abilities! I plan on updating my progress (well, lack of purchases) on this blog, so look out for any frustrated or erratic ramblings (hopefully that is only a joke).

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear what you think of my ambitious plan in the comments below! x