If I were to ask you: "Where is your dress from?", what would your reply be?
I'll hold on while you check the label. What does the cotton stitching read?
Zara? Topshop?
Ah yes, just last season's ASOS that you threw on this morning. It looks great, by the way. Really brings out your eyes. Doesn't make your butt look big at all.

But that's not what I meant.

Now check the other label. The one that tells you that your dress is 97% polyester and 3% elastane, whatever that means, with all those weird washing symbols that only your mum understands. The one that you've probably cut out because it tickled your thighs when you sat down.

Found it? Great. Now look really, really closely. In a small, sans serif font, probably capitalised...Can you see it? Those three little words that no one pays much attention to. The ones that manufacturers are obligated to declare on your purchases, that tell you that your dress was MADE IN CAMBODIA. Or is it Bangladesh? Or Turkey?
Your outfit is more well travelled than most of us will ever be. It has seen parts of the world that we would struggle locate on a map. But we don't pay attention to that. It's shocking how little we actually know about the origins of our clothes.

I was one of those snotty, irritating children with bags of curiosity and very little sense. My response to every question answered was always, to my mother's annoyance, "but why?"
I wanted to know everything. Why does the sky have to be blue? Why does the grass have to be green? Why can't I have another biscuit...?

And the thing is, I still want to know everything. I want to know more about where my clothes come from than just what the tiny text of the country of origin printed on the label lets on. It's easy to forget that on the other end of the industrial spectrum to you and your debit card, the jacket you're about to purchase from your favourite high-street shop has been sewn up in a factory three-thousand miles away, by a group of hard working seamstresses, working its way along a production chain of hundreds of identical jackets before being packed away and shipped over to be distributed.

But I do want to know who sewed up the side seams on my jacket. I want to know that they are doing alright. I want to know what kind of music they like, what their daughter's called, what she wants to be when she's older, how they like their eggs in the morning. 

Maybe if we knew a little more about where are clothes come from and who made them, we would treat them as the creations they are, products of time and energy and skills and finite resources, not just value them by the number on the price tag.

So, fashion industry, this is my plea: let's try for a little transparency.


autumn lovelist


// Fair+True beanie // Monkee Genes skinnies // Go Green cami top // second hand via Etsy denim jacket // MIJLO rucksack // Veja trainers // Arthouse Meath notebook // Aura Que purse //
And coffee, of course. Lots of it. 

I'm finishing up last bits of homework, tracking down stray maths textbooks and convincing myself that colour coding all of my folders is a complete necessity.
Sitting with bleary eyes and mourning as the last dregs of summer drain away.

I start my last year at school tomorrow.
So whilst pretending that that thought doesn't scare me witless, I've pieced together a little lovelist of my back-to-school essentials from some of my favourite ethical sources.

Take a peek at a couple of these brands, I dare you. It's awesome to see the ethics behind the production of their clothes (which are pretty awesome too).



Study is the NY-based contemporary womenswear brand founded by Tara St James.
They follow the slow fashion principal: designing, creating and buying garments for quality and longevity.
By encouraging slower production schedules, fair wages, low carbon footprints and minimal waste, Study promotes an ethical and sustainable standpoint within the modern fashion industry.
It's definitely one to watch.
Click to learn more about what they do, and the talented hands who make their garments.


the perfect wardrobe

The perfect wardrobe. The ultimate combination of style, quality, versatilely, comfort and function. It's an elusive concept that is the obsession of many.

Because surely this would be the ideal, instead of that overflowing closet in the corner of your bedroom, stuffed to the brim with unworn impulse buys and bargain low quality garments that are yet to see the light of day, leaving you surrounded by a sea of clothes but standing helplessly in your underwear whining "I've got nothing to wear!" To have ownership of a selective collection of a few interchangeable items; a consummate capsule wardrobe to erase the prospect of any future outfit planning dramas. Would this not be better?

So why is it that we still insist on hoarding mounds of odd garments, investing in whimsical trends over key pieces? Is it because we're restless? Indecisive? Greedy, even? Probably. And while the concept of the perfect wardrobe, curated and engineered to maximise use of a small number of simple and versatile items and minimise effort and waste, is more than a little attractive, at what level of order and regulation would the satisfaction of organisation overpower this incessant need to buy buy buy?

But does the perfect wardrobe even exist? I wonder whether our tastes for fast and fleeting fashions have banished the possibility of reaching a stable state of content with our wardrobes. There is no sort of guide that I am yet to come across that can tell you the means of forming such a thing, of tailoring your wardrobe to fit your personal needs. There is no equation to help you solve the optimum number of different trouser styles to own; no map to help you discover the required types of dresses to have.
What is there to say that the ownership of the perfect wardrobe is a tangible state?

Perhaps there is no such thing as the perfect wardrobe after all, just a Gatsby-esque dream that is hopelessly pursued, where the point of achievement lurks behind our consumeristic natures, lingering forever slightly out of reach.



As promised, here are the pictures of my garment.

The title for my concept was "Impurity".
Through my research I was exploring different interpretations of the word, both abstract and literal: traditional notions of virginity and purity as well as physical chemical impurities like smoke.

From there, I used photoshop to design my print, which was then printed onto fabric using a digital printer (literally like a huge scale ink printer for fabric - it was pretty awesome).

After a couple of scrawled designs, trial runs and mental preparations (those industrial overlockers are pretty darn scary), I started to make the dress.

As soon as it was finished, it was whisked away to the photo shoot to be worn by the gorgeous Nicola and shot by very talented Viva.

So, Ta-Daa, here you have it.



I've spent the last couple of weeks at arts summer school in Bournemouth, taking a course in fashion design.
I've been focusing so much on educating myself about the other side - the manufacture and consumption part- of the industry, so it was really interesting to look into the initial development stages of the clothes that we wear.

I learnt so much: about how the design process works, how to use an industrial overlocker, how to use photoshop to design prints...
I also learnt that living by yourself loses its novelty after you've had stir-fry for five nights running, that you are never too old for collaging and that there is no problem that an Oreo milkshake cannot solve. 

Over the course we picked an overarching concept, then researched around it before refining our findings into designs. Then we generated a digital print and made a garment, which was modelled and shot at a photo shoot at the end of the week. 
you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for the photos - they'll be up soon!

My concept was "Impurity".
Here are a couple photocopies of my sketchbook - I hope you like them. 


before & after: hangover shorts

Nothing says "adios school" and "hellooo summer" like a good old DIY. 

The baggy and relaxed fit of UNIF's 'Hangover' shorts definitely caught my eye when I saw them in Mika's video here
So, naturally, I was on the hunt for the second-hand denim to DIY myself some. And when I stumbled across this pair of shorts whilst scouring the East End Thrift Store there was no doubt in my mind that they would make the cut. 
(Pun totally intended.) 
Snip snip.