Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fairtrade Foundation Paper People Power

The Fairtrade Foundation has launched its 2013 Fairtrade Fortnight campaign calling for action to end trade injustice around the world. Jonathan Ross, Tulisa and Harry Hill are among the celebrities supporting the campaign, which will see three-inch versions of the stars join a march on Parliament during Fairtrade Fortnight which is NOW! (Well, more accurately, 25 Feb-10 March).

Marking a new model of campaigning for the Fairtrade Foundation, everyone who supports the petition will be able to create a personalised paper person! Watch out for mine making an appearance in the near future...

In Fairtrade Fortnight, the campaign will culminate in thousands of paper people coming together for a march to highlight support for a fairer deal for small farmers. The Fairtrade system helps provide these farmers with a fairer price for their produce, and a chance for a better livelihood for themselves and their families. / @FairtradeUK

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ecoluxe London

"Promoting Luxury with an Ethos" - this season's fashion and accessories exhibition had some very desirable hits. Every LFW Ecoluxe shows the best in Eco-luxury - it's worth a visit...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Show me you love me!

Looking for last minute Valentine's inspiration? For today and way beyond, Ayten Gasson's latest collection, Future Vintage Classic is a a lush choice made up of stunning black silk satin trimmed with Nottingham lace and delicate UK-made satin bows.

In fact each item from the collection is lovingly and proudly made in Britain. FAB! Buy for me please...although something tells me I won't look quite as good as this. Darn you pancake day.
Ayten Gasson Classic Silk Bra - ooh er!
Classic Silk Bra
Classic Silk Babydoll
Ayten Gasson Camisole Set - yum
Organic Camisole Set
Shop online at

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Creative skills for future-proof fashion

With all the stress and DIRE cost associated with University these days, it's with a happy heart and great applause that I heard about the upcoming National Apprenticeship Week recently, and especially the Higher Level Apprenticeships in Fashion being run by Creative Skillset (which build to become equivalent to the first year at Uni).

Being able to 'earn and learn' is a lifesaver for the many out there who don't have the leg up from their family that some enjoy. True to form some of fashion's biggest trend-setters have been early adopters of an approach that is working hard to plug the looming skills shortage that could threaten a vital £4 billion industry, including Mulberry and Dr Martens.

Ian Scott, Group Supply Director at Mulberry, was the driving force behind the establishment of the first Fashion and Textiles apprenticeships in 2006. Recognising that invaluable skills were going to be lost to the industry, Ian instigated the first Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship, in conjunction with Bridgwater College, by hiring ten apprenticeships. Since then, Mulberry has hired 64 apprentices with 47 still being employed by the world renowned luxury leather goods company.

“Our industry needs all types of people, those with hands-on skills and those with strategy, tactical and planning ability. Fundamentally, a work place can’t have all graduates, it needs a mix of people with different skills and aptitudes,” says Ian.
Stephen Bent and Millie Purbrick at Dr Martin's
Stephen Bent and Alex Cotton at Dr. Marten's are also big supporters. “We were reliant on retained skills and with many of our employees reaching retirement age, there was a huge gap in skills coming into and through the industry,” said Stephen. “With no future skills resource, we knew we had to identify a way of attracting new talent to the industry.”

Alex was given guidance on the process of apprenticeships from Mulberry. “Mulberry was invaluable in guiding us to create our apprenticeship as they were already running very successful apprenticeship schemes.”

One of the Dr Martin's apprentices is Mollie Purbrick, pictured above, who relocated from Brighton to the factory base at Wollaston when she was accepted to the scheme - um, shove that in your face any politician who tries to claim the young aren't trying hard enough to find work!!

Mollie’s love of British made goods started when she was working at Fred Perry and she wanted to continue working with an iconic British brand. “It is quite overwhelming to be working in Dr. Marten’s original factory and to witness making shoes from prototype through to final production.” said Mollie. “My father was a shoemaker, repairing clowns shoes so I understand that this is a very old industry steeped in tradition and one I am immensely proud to be part of and appreciate that I have been given a doorway into my chosen industry.”

“I can ask questions all day long and everyone is so keen to help. An apprenticeship offers what no other job pathway can by putting me in a professional environment as a student,” said Mollie.

Good on you Mollie and friends. I'm looking forward to hearing more success stories come National Apprenticeship Week, 11th-15th March.

If you're interested in hearing more, head down to the Apprenticeship Open Day to be hosted by Fashion Enter at its Fashion Studio at the University of East London at the Knowledge Dock Business Centre on Tuesday 12th February. It'll bring together leading High Street Stores, clothing manufacturers and potential apprentices with Creative Skillset for an informative workshop and job fair. On Thursday 14th February, The Factory will open its doors from 10.00am to 15.00pm for visitors to review the new facilities and meet the team.

For more info visit

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Lulu Guinness opens a pop up in aid of (RED)

The lovely Lulu Guinness has opened a pop-up boutique in Bicester Village near London, housing her much-loved creations including the iconic ‘Lips’ clutches, with a whopping 30% or more off the RRP until 12 May.

Lulu will be supporting Bicester Village’s ‘(RED) is The New Black’ campaign that aims to raise €100,000 for the fight to help deliver an AIDS free generation by 2015, with a personal appearance to spread the love on 14 February.

The ‘(RED) Is The New Black’ campaign has now launched, with mega support from the likes of Helena Christensen, and promises a vibrant celebration of all things coloured red for the entire month of February. Founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands and organisations to bring millions of people into the global fight against AIDS - learn more about it here.