Fast-Fashion: resisting the Temptation to Buy More in a Consumerist Society

Guest post by Ffion Lovelock

I think you will agree when I say that Instagram has certainly changed the world of fashion. It provides somewhat regular but largely followed Instagram users the opportunity to work with brands to promote products to their following and in doing so, has created the role of the influencer. A role that is now completely embedded within our culture and motivating our consumption. This contemporary method of marketing via social media allows influencers and brands to really work their magic to increase our retail purchases. On Instagram for example, you can swipe-up to purchase an item in seconds, come across links to a brand on almost every profile and find exactly where they bought that amazing skirt just at the tap of a finger. However, it is wise to consider if this is only adding to the detrimental consequences that fast-fashion has on our environment?

Browsing the likes of Instagram makes it incredibly hard to not be encouraged to buy more and more, especially when our society is so consumer orientated. Instagram is a digital space where we can be constantly exposed to an endless amount of branded content and we are all guilty of scrolling through its feeds tirelessly, so it is no surprise that we take such an interest in buying so much new clothing when the fashion influencers we follow wear it so well.  It is this temptation that can sometimes convince us that we need the item as much as their sponsored posts say we do.

However, some influencers are using their status to provide awareness of what a difference sustainable fashion can make to our planet. Even Emma Watson had her say through creating the Instagram account, ‘@the_press_tour’, to raise awareness of the designers who are dedicating their time to producing clothing from organic and recycled fabrics. Proving that those with a large number of followers do not only have the power to increase our consumption, but the power to convince us to limit it. They are influences after all, and we do often take on board what they have to say. So, go follow some vintage enthusiasts or an influencer who encourages sustainability and you will be surprised how much your outlook can change. Then through turning your attention towards how you could provide a more sustainable fashion footprint with the industries levels of environmental harm could be lessened.

       

Then why not make an active start by investing that temptation into vintage clothing through considering an independent vintage retailer like The Stellar Boutique, and making that conscious decision to re-wear, re-buy and re-sell?

We are all guilty of buying for the sake of it, I know I certainly am. Whether it be for a one time occasion or just because I thought it looked great on the 6-foot-and-tiny model on the website, we always give in to the prospect of something brand spanking new. Vintage clothing, however, allows you to still add something new to your wardrobe and get that exciting feeling that we all crave when we do make a new purchase, but you are contributing to sourcing that fashion ethically and sustainably. You can still shop to your heart’s content but at least you can be a small part towards solving a much wider matter; that being the fashion industries harmful effects on the environment. Not to mention that vintage clothing can also provide you with something that no one else has – a one of a kind item that people can wow over. Investing in something other than mainstream retail is always hugely beneficial and through learning to love what you have or what is already out there, the threat of irreversible climate change could be put to a halt.

The Stellar Boutique’s latest collection of eco-friendly slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts is another perfect example of how retail can eventually become far more sustainable. Through the use of organic cotton, the entire collection is free from any artificial growing processes and sets an example of how natural textiles can cater to our ever-growing retail consumption without our ecosystem having to suffer. So, whether it be vintage or made from sustained and natural materials, our societies love of fashion and constant desire for more of it could eventually be made less problematic in the future.

Read more from Ffion here Lifeandlovelock.com

 

Tips To Help You Improve Your Wardrobe

Having the desire to want to dress better and improve your wardrobe is a great goal. You’ll likely find that in the process of doing so you become more confident in yourself and with your appearance.

No longer will you be hiding from the world, but instead you’ll want to be seen and show off all of your new looks. This is your chance to completely rework your style and find options that truly allow you to stand out in a positive manner and help you make a statement about who you are. The following tips are going to allow you to accomplish this goal and figure out what outfits the best suit you.

Educate Yourself

It’s a wise idea to start by educating yourself about fashion and what looks and styles are trending. There’s a lot of information out there to guide you in making better choices and improving your wardrobe. Also, consider following fashion icons on social media and keeping up with what they’re wearing and advertising as what’s hot right now. Understanding fashion better is a process and takes you being willing to remain open-minded and learn some of the terminologies and why certain trends last and others fade out.

Go through Your Closet

It’s definitely worth your time to take a weekend and go through your closet and see what you already own. Try clothes on and get rid of or donate what no longer fits or is out of style. You can improve your wardrobe by combing through what items are dragging down your appearance and removing them so they’re not simply taking up space. You may also find old pieces that have been hiding or didn’t previously fit you but now do. This can be a daunting project if you own a lot of clothes but it’ll be well worth your efforts when you soon only have items in your closet that you actually enjoy wearing and know look good on.

Invest in the Staples

Another tip that will help you improve your wardrobe is to invest in the staples such as a good pair of jeans, work attire, a black dress and colourful t-shirts. It’s especially important you’re prepared to dress for success if you’re on the hunt for a new job or want to look more professional and put together where you currently work. If you’re short on cash but this investment is important to you then look into and find out more about taking out a loan so you can move forward with this project.

Know Your Body

Keep in mind that you may not be able to wear or that you might not look good in the various runway styles out there. What’s most critical is that you learn to know your body and what items look best on your shape. You can improve your wardrobe and style by finding outfits that compliment your figure and make you feel good about yourself. Focus on highlighting what you love about you and strategically making your flaws appear less noticeable.

Ask for Help

Know that you don’t have to go about improving your wardrobe all on your own. It’s a wise idea to reach out and ask for help if you need it. It’s possible you have a friend or family member who dresses well and is up to speed with the latest fashions. Spend some time with this person and discuss what’s trending and ask their advice about your current attire. Invite them over to rummage through your closet with you or see if they’ll go shopping with you and help you pick out a few attractive items to wear. There’s so much you can learn from someone who already has a sense of fashion that it’s worth your time to pick their brain further.

Stock up on Accessories

You can also enhance your wardrobe by stocking up on and wearing more accessories. This includes items like shoes, scarves, purses and jewellery which will not only create a better overall look but is a way to add a pop of colour to your outfit. When getting dressed each day think about how you can improve your current outfit by adding a few accessories here and there. Shop for them when you’re out and about and have a few favourites stashed away that you can turn to when you need to spruce up your attire.

Look Around

Another way to improve your wardrobe is to take a look around at what other people are wearing when you’re out in public. Don’t be afraid to compliment someone on their outfit and ask where they purchased a certain pair of pants or top. Go sit in a busy area or at the shopping mall and take notes about what you do and don’t like that people are wearing. Get ideas when you’re at work or the grocery store and observe what you think looks the best on others. Simply be more attentive and aware of your surroundings and you’ll quickly be able to pick up on what fashions are in style and which ones need to go.

Be Adventurous & Daring

You can also improve your wardrobe by being more adventurous and daring when it comes to your style. Don’t be afraid to layer items or wear a pop of colour every so often and see how you feel when you get outside your comfort zone. Try on and buy an item you normally would overlook when you’re out shopping and see how you feel in it and what kind of reaction you get from others. This is your chance to step outside the box and come up with new and fun ways to mix and match your clothes so you too can look trendier. Make changes to your wardrobe slowly over time and it won’t feel so overwhelming or nerve-wracking for you to dress differently. Have fun with this and be proud of yourself for being willing to challenge yourself and your style and try new looks.

2019 Fashion Trend Report

 guest post by Ffion Lovelock

2019 Fashion Trend Report; the year of empowerment, femininity and exhibiting confidence. It is the year of feeling comfortable in your own skin and wearing adaptable pieces that can cater to every woman. So what pieces exactly are we introducing, or more so, what are we bringing back this year?

Well, 2019 certainly looks like the year of some old favourites returning to our shelves. From prairie dresses to padded shoulders, we are taking things old school as we edge towards a brand new decade. Quite clearly showing that vintage is set to be popular this year, why buy new when it has all been done before? When everyone is shopping in the same sort of stores, you could be wearing a one-of-a-kind piece. Take the boiler suit for example, the return of its utility design can offer both an echo of the 30s working woman that foreshadows the feminine takeover that this year’s fashion trends have forecast, as well as an 80s vintage vibe that reflects a time where women really started to wear whatever the hell they wanted.

Utility (Elle, 2019)

Furthermore, in terms of styles and accessories, Neo-tailoring is set to take off this year for both men and women, with its strong looks being debuted recently on the catwalks by the likes of Balenciaga and Dior. Again, this style echoes classic 90s chic and sophistication. Another reason to seek out your vintage stores this year. On the bag front, we are going for small, cute and totally impractical this year. Oh yes, it’s the mini bag; a style that is more of a street-style statement than of any use to holding things. Still, some of our favourite designers seem to love it and it seems like this year we are all expected to fall in love with them too.

Neo-Tailoring (Elle, 2019)

 

The Mini Bag (Who What Wear, 2019)

When it comes to print’s we are sticking with animal print this year, which shows that the trend really does live on forever and so you are always best to hang on to any past statement pieces since you never know when everyone is going to start rocking snake-print all over again. The catwalks have been showcasing a lot of elegant leopard prints and proving the versatility of the beloved feline design. On top of this, we can expect to say ‘hello’ to some patchwork and some potential punk or preppy looks with coloured tartan as these busy prints are set to grace our high street stores and make for a very visually busy and colourful 2019.

Now to realise just how colourful fashion this year will be, colour schemes and palettes this year are expected to boast beige and lavender tones – a sophisticated palette which oozes confidence and Parisian chic. As both soft colours, we surely can expect something a little more crazy in the year of being bold, right? Well, of course. 80s neon is coming back, and you can expect to see fluorescent oranges, yellows, pinks and greens (basically the usual colours within a highlighter pack) to be widely popular throughout the course of the year. The high-street is already jumping on the bandwagon, the catwalk is labelling it ‘The Prada Effect’ and any clothes you have left over from the ’80s could be put to very good use if you are wanting to express your inner Madonna or Cyndi Lauper.

Neon (Harpers Bazaar, 2019)

Lastly and most importantly, a trend in 2019 that is set to make a change is the ‘Global Citizen’, which takes into consideration our global footprint towards fashion and our behaviour as such frequent consumers of fast-fashion. With a wide focus on vegan materials, ethical fashion and being overall more ‘green’, introducing this ‘Wegoism’ to the fashion industry this year will hopefully be the starting point of a more positive worldwide outlook towards slow fashion.

So why not take a look at The Stellar Boutique for all of your 2019 throwbacks and take notice of how you could be a better ‘Global Citizen’ towards fashion through purchasing some vintage clothing that is returning to our stores this year. Let’s empower people to make a difference and to feel super confident, glam and on-trend in doing so.

By Ffion Lovelock @ffilovelock

Read more from Ffion on her blog – Life and Lovelock

Stellar New Year challenge

Setting new years resolutions is always a love / hate relationship. If you’re anything like me it generally goes a little like this… December 31st, reflect on the year gone by, feel motivated, inspired and full of promise for the year ahead, set unrealistic resolutions, and by mid January all recollection of those so-called goals have disappeared into oblivion and it’s back to the old routine! If this isn’t the case and you stick to your resolutions like glue then I applaud you! Carry on as you were (and please let me in on the secret of your success!)

But for the rest of us, following on from our previous post on sustainable fashion, set yourself a challenge to make this year count and (if you’re not already doing so) make a pledge to take steps towards a greener, kinder and more sustainable fashion future.

 Because let’s face it, you love the world of fashion (hence you’re here now reading this) that’s not gonna change and neither should it have to! But there are plenty of wardrobe changes (even if small) that we can make without going cold turkey on our fashion addiction. So let’s set ourselves an achievable New Years fashion resolution and stick to it. There’s so many simple but effective improvements to our shopping habits we can incorporate, whether it’s deciding to purchase quality over quantity and avoiding fast fashion, only purchasing from ethical brands, buying less but choosing well, recycling clothes by buying second hand items and thrift store shopping, keeping it circular (and interesting) by sticking to vintage fashion, making a point of wearing more of your ‘old’ clothes that you once loved but that no longer get a look in, upcycle, customise and rework tired old pieces, set up a swap shop with your friends to swap and share clothes so you always feel like you’ve got something new and keep your wardrobe fresh, do that big clear out you’ve promised yourself (you know, the one you promised yourself last January too) and take your unwanted clothes to recycle bins or donate them to a local charity. Whatever you decide, little by little, we can all make a big difference.

We’d love to know how you get on so tell us what you decide and keep us updated by sharing your progress using #stellarnewyear

We can all do our bit to stay more fashion conscious , keep fashion circular and kind.

So have fun with it and use the challenge as a catalyst to get even more creative with your wardrobe choices, upcycle, recycle, rework and rethink.

The possibilities are endless xx

 

The curse of fashion and its cure

Guest post by Hafsa Hussain

On every item we own from our phones to the sheets on our beds, in small writing on the label it states, ‘Made in __’. This is most likely to originate from China or developing countries. But what is the story behind where our items are from, most importantly the clothes which we wear? Founder of Fashion Tech Lab, Miroslava Duma told the August 2017 Marie Claire, the first ever sustainable issue: “The fashion industry is all about storytelling and craftsmanship. Sustainability adds value because it makes that backstory even more impactful”. In recent years, consumers have been demanding more social and environmental information about the origin of the clothes they buy. This shows that more than ever, we are interested in our clothing, as the truth about the origin has been exploited in tabloids and documentaries, changing consumer attitudes.

Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world after oil? With approximately 80 billion garments produced worldwide per year (Green Peace, 2016). This is due to the demand for new trends and styles increasing in recent years. According to the documentary, True Cost, rather than four seasons of collections per year, fast fashion has fabricated fifty-two seasons, creating new styles every week. Keeping in mind the lack of consideration for social and environmental consequences. Can the industry succeed by continuing with fast fashion and being ethical simultaneously?

Factory workers in Bangladesh  (Photo: Sustainable Clothing Production)

In the fashion industry momentarily, fast fashion has been speeding up trends and shortening seasons, whilst becoming old, dated and out of style. The average turnover period of designer brands from the catwalk to consumers is six months and has now been compressed from only a few weeks by companies such as Zara and H&M, whose profits are exceedingly high. Swift cycles make these fast fashion companies succeed: having fast designs, effective transportation and items prepared on hangers with price tags attached ready for the shop floor. As fast fashion replaces the luxury, authenticity and exclusivity with planned impulse, lasting for a limited time due to the poor-quality fabrics, manufacturers have gone out of fashion.

(Photo: Remake)

H&M, a mass fast fashion company, has focused on their ethical profiles for sales growth in the long-term. According to Corporate Knights magazine, H&M ranked 57th amongst the world’s most sustainable companies with an overall score of 65.10%; Whilst Kering ranked ten places above with a score of 66.80%. H&M launched a garment collecting service at their stores, recycling textiles to “give their garments a new life and helping to close the loop on fashion”, stating they have gathered more fabric in comparison to 250 million t-shirts. However, according to the Huffington Post, H&M continues to produce 600 million garments per year which is more than double the garments recycled and reused. As consumers, if we began re-using and recycling our items, rather than constantly buying new pieces and throwing others away, producers would have no choice but to change their strategies, and companies would consider evolving to a slow fashion movement

H&M’s garment collecting initiative. (Photo: H&M)
(Photo: Yelp)

SOLUTIONS!

It’s time to change! There needs to be inventive strategies implemented to move from fast fashion to slow fashion, for the mass market sector, including the extension the product’s life cycle due to designs of clothes which are not molecular. For example, a coat which contains zips, buttons and trim can be recycled efficiently leaving just the fabric to be shredded back to its thread level, this new thread can become a new fabric and finally a new item of clothing. To achieve this, the jacket would need to have a mainframe hidden and attached in the coat’s fabric to hold the zips, button and trim altogether, and when the coat is at the end of its life cycle, the wireframe can be removed easily from the bone. Additionally, materials could be labelled with expected lifetimes including repair kits and services, provided by retailers, if the design development of the garments can be easily updated for the look or size.

Vintage clothing is commonly classified as clothing that is 20 years or older and if the garment survives more than 50 years it can be proudly called an antique. Vintage clothes are not only used pieces of garments, but it’s also part of history and adventure of thoughts of who wore them and their story to tell. Vintage clothing is a simple way to reduce, reuse and recycle clothes. During the manufacturing process, quality was important and key hence the fact they often last longer than most of the clothing today. But why has vintage fashion become popular recently, maybe because they can’t be replicated effortlessly or perhaps due to celebrities such as Kate Moss and Kim Kardashian having worn vintage on the red carpet? What people don’t realise is that fashion trends always come back around. Instead of throwing your ‘old’ clothes away, be patient, wait a couple years, fashion is not as new as you would think it is.

(Photo: TimeOut)

Recently we have seen a rise in 90s streetwear fashion on both our runways and on the streets. Big brands have dramatically increased their prices to offer ‘vintage’ pieces, but this could be saved if we as consumers actually visited vintage shops instead. Vintage can be advantageous in both ways, it allows you to differentiate yourself from the rest and it can also allow you to add to the current trends, so you look truly ahead of what the current runways have to offer.

Thank you!

Hafsa x

                                                                @hafsahussainphotography

Let’s change the fashion game

Fashion is fast becoming one of the biggest threats to the sustainability of our precious planet.

But that doesn’t mean we have to feel guilty about loving it so much, we just need to change the way we create it, use it, wear it and eventually ‘dispose’ of it.

Only buy something if you truly love it then you’ll happily wear it again and again. Get creative, upcycle tired old items and turn them into new ensembles. Buy vintage, rework old vintage and mend instead of trash.

 

Lights, camera and canine action

It’s that time again when I turn my house into a photographic studio and every corner becomes a possible fashion set!

So I thought I’d treat you to some behind-the-scenes moments from the weekend’s shoot and an exclusive peek at my new eco T-shirt collection.

as usual no fashion shoot at mine is complete without the help/hinder of my four legged assistants but With Clothes and dogs everywhere, I’m in my absolute element!

Massive thanks to Hannah (@hannahlittler1) for working her magic in front of the camera and being my muse for the day.

‘Blame it on the Moon’ collection of ethical and sustainable fashion slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts will be in store later this week

… just a few thousand pics to go through first!

Shop the collection here

granting wishes

So my latest commission was the sweetest sentiment, I was asked (by Justin) to paint his handwritten message onto this jacket for his girlfriend’s birthday. We decided to keep it in the style of his handwriting to add that extra personal touch! What an absolute pleasure helping out in the name of love! All done and on it’s way to NYC… Judy you’re one lucky lady, extra brownie points to you Justin 🙌🏼❤️👫
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Send me your requests and I’ll make your wish come true

Customise your jacket here

 

Barrow Girl

There’s nothing I love more than getting back to my barrow girl roots and hitting the road bringing my vintage fashion finds to fellow vintage overs across the country. When you’re so used to being stuck behind your laptop on a daily basis and working in relative solitude It’s always a special treat to meet your customers face to face and mingle with your fashion tribe.

I’m always fascinated when witnessing the process of a big empty space transform into a buzzing, thriving vintage haven. And when the venue is as beaut as the custard factory (birmingham) I just couldn’t resist snapping the behind-the-scenes set up of a pop up vintage fair! …what a gorgeous loft style apartment this would make!

So here are some of my favourite moments from the recent fairs in Birmingham, Chester and Liverpool for Judy’s affordable vintage fair.