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Pen to Paper Interview with… Heather Knight of Fashion Revolution

By April 4, 2017 Ethical, Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a feature on TDP which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution began after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed on April 24th, 2013, in order to push brands and open up the conversation about the real issues within the fast-fashion industry. Fashion Revolution helps consumers understand what is going on behind the label, inspiring them to create change and ask questions.
Heather Knight heads up the branding and communications for Fashion Revolution. She makes sure everything looks good and sounds great, from Fashion Revolution campaign materials, fanzines and reports, to website, social media and newsletters. She believes in the power of creativity to make an idea irresistible, and the ability of communications to inspire real change.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // ZINE


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you would have read the words ‘Fashion Revolution’ a hundred times over by now. It’s one of the most influential campaigns regarding the fashion industry and I couldn’t be more honoured to be connected to the team in some way. They’re all truly passionate about the work they do and supporting them is one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

With Fashion Revolution Week just around the corner (April 24th – April 30th), I thought it would be a great way to start my Pen to Paper series back up and get some direct answers from Heather Knight, who heads up branding and communications.


Even in the past 4 years since Fashion Revolution began, we’ve seen a real shift… both in brands becoming more transparent and in consumers expecting and demanding transparency. There’s still a long journey ahead → We want a radical change in the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, but there’s momentum to change.

What has it been like to watch the fashion industry change over the years?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We shouldn’t shy away from presenting the shocking, grim realities, but they should be accompanied with inspiration and action. Making people feel guilty isn’t going to change behaviours – that’s been proven not to work. Showing that ethical fashion can look good and feel good and can make your wallet (and the planet) happy is a great way to shift hearts, minds + behaviours.

Do you believe we should focus on the more positive sides of ethical fashion or do you believe talking about the harsh truths is more important?


I personally believe this is one of the reasons Fashion Revolution has been such a powerful initiative. It has opened my eyes to many of the tragedies over the past few years but it has also made me see things in a new light and made me really champion those who are behind our clothes. It’s quite incredible to think that transparency is becoming more important, showing proof that we can get the results we as consumers are now asking for.

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


Buying from ethical brands is an option off their radar – there are misconceptions that ethical fashion is expensive, dull and ‘unfashionable’, but there are some amazing and affordable brands out there. But buying new clothes should be a last resort – there are so many better ways to update your wardrobe, from charity shopping, vintage, swapping or the clothes you already own! ↳ www.fashionrevolution.org/haulternative

What do you think stops the everyday shopper from purchasing from ethical brands?


Last year we had 1,251 brands/retailers respond with #IMadeYourClothes, and over 370 were major global brands. It was great to see G-STAR RAW respond with an interactive map and stories of their producers. American Apparel produced a video, and Marimekko dedicated part of their website to sharing stories about their producers.

With #whomademyclothes, what brands have had the best responses overall?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We want to see even more people participating, asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and more brands than ever replying with #IMadeYourClothes and demonstrating transparency in their supply chain. We want a BIGGER LOUDER Fashion Revolution that reaches more people in more countries around the world, inspiring people to think differently about the clothes they buy and wear.

What are your goals for Fashion Revolution in 2017? What can we all do to support it?


GET INVOLVED: www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved

Thank you so much to Heather for answering some questions, especially when we’re just 20 days away from the big week of pushing for change. Make sure to get involved as much as you can and follow Fashion Revolution throughout the year too. I know I will!


(Images courtesy of Fashion Revolution)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How To Support Fashion Revolution Day… 18th – 24th April

By April 17, 2016 Ethical

So as you will know from the past couple of years, I’m a big supporter of Fashion Revolution, so this is just a quick reminder for those of you who are new around here (or just new to Fashion Revolution Day in general)… it’s also a great way to refresh your mind on how to support the campaign even if you’ve joined in before…

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

On the 24th April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. The campaign and it’s supporters believe that 1,134 is too many people to lose from the planet in one factory on one terrible day to not stand up and demand change.

On 24 April every year, Fashion Revolution Day brings people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes. Fashion needs to become a force for good. The aim is to transform the fashion industry into a transparent one and that all starts with the question… who made my clothes?

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

One of the main ways to get involved is through social media, asking the all important #whomademyclothes hashtag. Send a picture or selfie of your clothes, inside out, with the label showing and tweet the brand, to ask who made it. Keep trying if you don’t receive an answer – it should be an easy question to answer for all brands, no matter how big or small. Here’s an example tweet (click to use it!)…


I’m [name] and I want to thank the people who made my [clothes] Hi @ [brand] #whomademyclothes? @Fash_Rev


If you’re a blogger, then make use of the resources on the Fashion Revolution site to make up your own images for your blog and social media. Spread the word to as many of your followers as possible!

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

If you’re out and about shopping over the next week (and well… anytime), make sure to hit up your local charity, vintage and second hand shops! Don’t be scared… just go in, take a look and save some money! Change your mindset… think about where your clothes are coming from and how they effect the world we’re living in, and the people in it. Don’t buy something just because it’s cheap – think about the alternatives. DIY and revamping is also included! It all counts.


TDP Archive: The Importance of Second Hand Shopping // Starting An Ethical Wardrobe // Ethical Directory


How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

One of the biggest and most important things to do is… educate yourself! Learn more about why these sorts of issues are effecting the fashion industry. If you wear clothes, then you should know about wear they come from and what happens after we let them go, right? Right. One of the best documentaries that I can personally recommend, is The True Cost. I’ve written about it before, but I don’t mind bringing it up again. Please watch it and let me know what you learnt!



Reading Material: The Label Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story // Rana Plaza // The Plastic Age


Let me know if you get any responses from your favourite brands in the comments! Let’s do this together!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Importance of Second Hand Shopping for Fashion Revolution Day 2015

By April 23, 2015 Ethical

Tomorrow (24th April 2015) is Fashion Revolution Day! If you’re not sure what that is, well I’m here to explain. Fashion Revolution is a campaign to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future. I’m quite passionate about the whole thing and I believe you should be too. There’s quite a good explanation over on Huffington Post too!

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As part of Fashion Revolution Day this year, they’re trying to get as many bloggers, writers, YouTubers and influencers to share a “#Haulternative” video or blog post. The idea is to inspire as many people as possible to get back into the charity shops, raid through jumble sales, purchase vintage gems and think more about expensive, quality, investment buys than huge hauls of cheap and cheerful items.  I think it’s such a great idea and it shouldn’t just be aimed at bloggers either; YOU should get involved too.

You can watch my #Haulternative video above. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite second hand items. Some of them were seriously cheap and look seriously cool among most of my wardrobe. If you are inspired by this video and blog post, make sure to let me know in the comments! I’d love to know what you purchase…

fashion revolution day - second hand shopping

I didn’t want to just talk about some of my favourite pieces though, I wanted to talk about why second hand shopping is actually really important. In my opinion so many people shy away from charity shops and jumble sales because I suppose the idea is a little bit odd. You’re wearing something that a stranger has already worn before. I get it. It is kinda’ weird, but when you think about the positives of buying second hand, you’ll probably want to go shopping straight away…

fashion revolution day - second hand shopping

You’re helping the environment…

Clothes that you pick up from the charity shops and vintage stalls have been worn before, and they’re there to be worn again. It’s fashion’s way of recycling. This stops clothes from being chucked into the landfill sites and being completely wasted. A perfectly usable pair of jeans could be sat there in your local Oxfam waiting to be worn again! If you remember that you’re helping the planet and reducing waste when you purchase, then you should be able to forget that someone else has worn the same jeans.

Second hand clothes come with a purse-friendly price tag…

Unless you’re shopping at a top end vintage designer store, most second hand items will be cheap as chips. You can watch my video just to see a few of the bargains which I have picked up. I mean, who can resist £1 KENZO shorts?! The more expensive charity shops tend to be those with higher quality, more interesting pieces but even then you probably won’t be spending more than £25, which in my opinion is still a bargain. So if you’re on a budget, get down to your town’s weekly car-boot sale and find something for less!

Purchasing items at charity shops and jumble sales doesn’t just help your wardrobe…

It’s in the name, “charity” shops! When you buy, you support a good cause. I’ve listed below just some of the places your money goes at popular charity shops across the UK…

…but don’t just think only charity shops help! Things like car-boot sales and jumble sales help your community! Even on eBay, you help somebody out by putting a few coins back into their purse 🙂

Oxfam

Oxfam spends it’s donations on… emergency response, campaigning for change and development work. 

Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder spends it’s donations on… hospice and neurological care for people facing frightening and life changing conditions. 

Red Cross

British Red Cross spends it’s donations on… first aid care for global emergencies. 

Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation spends it’s donations on… live-saving research for heart conditions. 

Cancer Research

Cancer Research spends it’s donations on… researching ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.  

 

Most pieces are as good as new…

As I mentioned above, a pair of perfectly usable jeans might be out there waiting for you, but not just jeans! I’ve found so many pieces (like the ones in my video) that are in perfect condition and look as good as new. So you don’t have to worry about anyone thinking you shop second hand… and if you do feel worried, or anyone does mention it, direct them to this blog post and explain why it’s much better to be wearing someone else’s clothes than something brand spanking new!

fashion revolution day - second hand shopping


Ask the brands you wear #WhoMadeMyClothes Share your #Haulternative


Those are only a few of the amazing positives of shopping second hand. I hope it has inspired you in some way! I definitely want to start buying more second hand pieces, because you really can find some brilliant pieces in your price range. And, if you do, make sure you not only share your #Haulternative shopping spree, but make sure you tweet the brand that is on the label with #WhoMadeMyClothes to see where it came from! Now go and get spreading the word!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Creating the Best Wardrobe with Nike Making App

By April 24, 2014 Fashion

Howdy! *waves* Today I have another different kinda’ post like my last one, and it’s all in support of Fashion Revolution as today is the day people! Are you wearing anything #InsideOut? If you are make sure you tweet @TollyDollyPosh and @Fash_Rev with what you are wearing! Anyway, back to the post… P.S There is still time to nominate my blog!

Whilst researching more about where our clothes come from, I found out that Nike had created an app for designers (or everyone in general) to help them make better decisions on what fabrics they use when doing their collections. The App is called ‘Making’ and you can download it free from the App Store here. It basically shows you what fabrics are best for certain aspects of the process, like power usage, water, waste and even the chemistry behind it. I decided I wanted to use the App to find out which of my favourite pieces of clothes, really should be my favourite.

How did I calculate it? On the App, it gives positions from 1st to around 35th, using these positions, I could make averages which could help me find out what pieces I should really appreciate the most. For a piece which is only made of 1 fabric, I looked at it’s positions in each category, added them up, and divided them by the total of categories (i.e an average/mean), and that gave me the average position for that 1 garment. For a piece which is made of more than 1 fabric, I made the averages for each fabric, then multiplied each average by the percentage. So if a piece was 25% Cotton, I would times it by 0.25, then I would do the same to the other fabric(s), and add the totals up! The totals I have, are positions which match to the Nike Making App, so the highest position, will be the best piece in my wardrobe!

nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day NEON EMBROIDERED DRESS (ASOS): 95% COTTON + 5% POLYESTER – ESTIMATE

This is probably one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe… well one of the newest ones at least. It was such a bargain in the ASOS sale, and I love it! Unfortunately though, the scores didn’t make me feel too good about it. For it to be so high on the amount of water it took to make it, and for it too use quite a lot of power, means it wasn’t such a great piece after all. Of course, I still love it, and I can’t do much about it now, but it’s a shame that it really did take such a toll on the environment. Overall Cotton comes in at 21st place (for the 95%) on average, with the Polyester (used for the orange thread) comes in at 1st, which isn’t too bad, but that is for just that 5% used.

COMPARING COTTON TO SILK

Power – Cotton uses 69% less WaterCotton uses 103% more Waste – Cotton creates 6% more
Better option – I can’t decide! It’s probably 50/50 for this one.

nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day

NIKE FREE TR FIT 5.0* (JD SPORTS): 25% RUBBER + 25% EVA FOAM + 25% POLYESTER + 25% COTTON – ESTIMATE

Seeing as I used the Nike App, it would be wrong not to include my Nike Free’s. I honestly do love them, and they are super duper comfortable. You can read my full review on them here. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the fabric percentages for them, or get an answer quick enough, so I went with a rough amount of 25% for each fabric… Other than the Polyester and Cotton, they come up quite strongly. Rubber is actually the best fabric for shoes according to the App, which I think is awesome! We should all embrace our wellies and what ever other rubber made shoes are called… perhaps?! EVA Foam is the padding you find in some shoes, and especially Nikes, FYI!

COMPARING EVA FOAM TO LEATHER

Power –  EVA Foam uses 91% less Water – EVA Foam uses 22% less Waste – EVA Foam creates 12% more 
Better option – EVA Foam

nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day PINK COAT* (ARK): 80% POLYESTER + 20% VISCOSE

When I received this, I fell in love, and I still love it even if it is covered in cat hairs… naughty Paloma! But… do I still love it after to looking at the results? For the Viscose I had to take it that it would be Rayon-Viscose ‘Wood’ rather than ‘Bamboo’, as that is what it usually is according to Wikipedia… In my opinion the results aren’t brilliant (aka, they are pretty darn terrible), but because I love it so so much, I think I can forgive it… maybe? It’s still awful to imagine that Viscose is actually that bad to the environment… and for the Polyester to be equally as bad too. It’s a shame really.

COMPARING POLYESTER TO WOOL

Power – Polyester uses 62% less Water – Polyester uses 40% less Waste – Polyester creates 15% more 
Better option – Polyester

nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day nike making app fashion revolution day LEATHER SHOES (JUMBLE SALE): 100% LEATHER – EXCLUDING LACES & WINGS

These shoes were quite the bargain for what they are. They’re vintage, and cost me less than £20 which is pretty darn good in my eyes, so I was really interested to see what Leather came up as… unfortunately it was 20th. I can’t really tell if my shoes came from grass fed cows (sorry veggies…), or corn fed, so I just went for grass… and the results were pretty shocking. 43rd in power? The waste isn’t too bad which is a good sign, but I think the rest of them show that really… it’s probably not the best to buy leather shoes. As you can see below, when compared to Polyester… Leather uses 518… yes, 518% more power.

COMPARING LEATHER TO POLYESTER

Power – Leather uses 518% more Water – Leather uses 17% less Waste – Leather creates 20% less
Better option – Polyester

nike making app fashion revolution day

So…. as you can tell… my Nikes came out on top! I officially can love them a tad bit more than any other piece in my wardrobe! YAY! Plus… they look incredible, they’re totally up my street! But I don’t think I can leave you here, we need to talk about all of this…

Is Cotton always best? Throughout this post, we can see that Cotton isn’t a very nice fabric. Are there alternatives? On the Nike Making App, in 3rd place for clothing, you have Polypropylene Fabric, which is commonly used in thermal underwear and base layers. It’s strong, heat resistant and good in water. It has better chemistry than Cotton, it uses 11% less power, 57% less water, and only creates 10% more waste, so how come we haven’t seen it being experimented on with other garments? Silk is also a good alternative, other than the fact it uses 226% more power… yikes!

Buying new vs Buying old… Whilst doing all of this, I have realised that the options we go for straight away, aren’t always the best, which leads me on to the question… should we buy new Cotton, polyester and other bad fabrics? If we buy new, we are putting more money into the specific industries, which means more of these fabrics will be made, and that means, more power and water will be used, and more waste will be created, where as, if we were to purchase second hand pieces, not only are we helping the people we buy from, but also we are avoiding pumping more dough into already unhealthy fabric industries. Even if Cotton is what we usually go for, if it is using so much energy up, why should we carry on funding it? Do ya’ get my flow here? Do ya’?

 Go and download the app, and create your best wardrobe. Find out which pieces were really worth the money. Leave a comment telling me what your results were!  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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