Friday, 21 December 2012

Flawns of St.Ives

Starting this project sparked an interest in where my mum worked before she married my dad. 

I knew that she was a seamstress and was very talented as she made a lot of my clothes when I was growing up and even made two ballgowns for one of my sisters (who's 10 years older than me). Sadly, my mum isn't here to ask anymore - so at a recent family gathering I asked one of my uncles (he has a very good memory and has lived in St.Ives all his life). And he told me that my mum worked at Flawns, a famous clothing factory as a seamstress after leaving school at 16 and until she married my dad in 1961. 

I asked my dad what he remembers and he seemed to think that my mum enjoyed working there and that they made clothes for Marks and Spencers - but I wanted more details.

I googled the name - but couldn't find anything, other than the fact it was on Porthmear Road and now, in it's place, there are a lot of smart flats. So my uncle suggested I contact the St.Ives Archives. I sent them an email a few weeks ago and was contacted by one of the volunteers called Maggie, who said they did indeed have a file on Flawns as it was a very important employer! And if I liked she would copy what information they had! 

Yes please I said!

Today a large envelope arrived in the post! So exciting!

I've only skimmed through the information so far but Flawns was actually part of the John Lewis Partnership from 1947 - 1963 and they made clothes for the 'Jonelle' range (the John Lewis own brand). Including 'can-can skirts' and silk dresses which apparently cost as much as 10 guineas. That's about £10.50 in new money - which would have actually been a lot of money in the 1950s.

The envelope of photocopies that arrived today!

There is also this amazing picture taken I think in the 1940s, so before my mum worked there - but it just fascinates me! And isn't that dissimilar to a photo I took of the sewing room at UWE when I was there the other week. 

Flawns in the 1940s (I think - there is no date on the photo)
UWE sewing room
One photo - of a works do - appears to have my mum in it so I'm going to ask for a proper photograph copy of it, I'll ask one of my aunts - as she worked there the same time as my mum and I think she is also in the photo. 

According to some interviews with people who worked there - it was a fun place to work, 'as the radio was usually on so they could listen to music as they worked' and one article in the St.Ives Times & Echo dated December 11, 1959 describes how busy they were making 'can-can' skirts that year:

"The manager of Flawns, Mr. Glyn T Jones says there is so far no sign of the gay and delightfully provocative can-can skirt losing its popularity - next year the factory will make a lot more! Can-can skirts are worn for dances, parties and many other carefree occasions  winter and summer. Some girls wear two and even three of them at a time, according to the girls of Flawn's' who themselves know how to wear pretty clothes - as well as make them."

Love it! (although does it sound a tiny weeny bit patronizing? Or is that just me?)

I'm off to a carefree occasion tonight (the pub), sadly lacking a can-can skirt.  

There is also reference to a John Lewis Partnership 'gazette' which features Flawns in an illustrated account called 'Fish and Fashion' (the factory used to be a fish works before it was converted) printed around April 1955 which I would love to get my hands on! So will contact John Lewis to see if they have a copy in their archives.

And apparently there was also a very famous silk factory in St.Ives in the 1930s called 'Cryside Silks' which warrants some investigating. I had no idea St.Ives had once been a hub of fashion design!

Also, as a result of my query about Flawns to the St.Ives Archives, Maggie told me that...

"We have been inspired by your request to think about doing a display of St Ives textile/clothing firms, and trying to jog the memories of those older people who worked at Flawns. Part of what we do is to record memories like that. I will let you know if it happens."

That is pretty exciting too!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Knitting Machine - It works!

Been a bit of a delay in posting this as I've been 
a) away 
b) busy making Christmas presents and 
c) working on The Christmas bulletin for The Community Farm


The knitting machine! 

I picked it up last Wednesday (Thank you Alison Stephenson!) and also had a bit of a tour around the UWE knitting and the sewing rooms. 

Amazing! Was really inspiring being there and talking to some of the other tutors as well as some of the students to see what they were doing. Also saw some of the 'Toiles' (test garments) the student are taught to make before committing to making a garment in the proper fabric. 

I thought this was a great idea for me especially due to my fear of messing it up! so if I do it this way - at least I'll know it will fit. Even if it does mean it will take longer to make. I'd planned on learning how to be more patient anyway!

Was away that evening so couldn't actually get a proper look at it until Thursday - and here it is!

Amazing - on the box it says 'Made in Britain' and 'Simple to Use'. Excellent.

I found a great video on YouTube (love the intro with the family running across the beach!!) am guessing it's from the 80s but ignoring that - it was super helpful in showing me how to set up the machine. Thank goodness for YouTube - and well the internet!

Also discovered what things were missing - so the clamps to keep it in place - haven't been able to track any of them down yet, so will be 'making' something to do that job...(hopefully!) as well as some of the other key cards. 

But was so keen to have a go!

It was pretty easy to set up - I chose the orange wool as a test - but as I'd been advised, it was really too fine for the machine and I ended up with a 'string vest effect'!! 

Then I went a bit fast and some of the wool came off the needles. 

So next steps are to make something to secure it to the table and then I can have another go with some thicker wool.

Will have another play with this during the Christmas break. Once I have a bit more time.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

What have I spent so far verses what I have made..

Well it's nearly Christmas (slight panic as not ready yet - even though - yes, it is the same time every year!) and that means I'm (well we, as there is a lovely group of us doing this!) are almost two months into the challenge of not buying any new clothes!

As I was writing yesterday's post, I became very aware that I've been collecting more things and spending money and haven't actually made anything yet (other than the dress a girl pillowcase dress - which I don't think really counts as It's not for me - I really enjoyed doing that!). 

So I wanted to add up what exactly I have spent so far and what I've done with those things. 

Here's a quick recap. These are all charity shop buys:

Checked fabric -  £2.95 - still in its bag
Jigsaw cardi at the Eco Fashion show - £20 - have worn at least four times
Monsoon pink dress - £12 - still in its bag as it needs altering
The charity shop haul of wool spools, patterns and books - £17 - wool is in a crate and books etc on my table..

Total spend so far: £51.95

Which is what? One pair of nice trousers from Monsoon perhaps? 

But - It's more than just the money spent - its been the experience so far -  I've had so much fun already just getting these things and have already met some great people.

And tomorrow I pick up the knitting machine! *excited*

Monday, 10 December 2012


I'm quickly learning just what a kind and generous world dressmaking, knitting and well, craft is!

Just two recent examples.

Last week I was at the post office and I got chatting to the lady behind the counter called Moira  I was posting some patterns I'd found for Jen of My Make Do and Mend Year, and so the conversation turned to knitting, crochet and this project.

Without hesitation Moira said "oh I've got some things you can have! In particular a really old knitting and crochet book that used to belong to my aunt, and which I've used to help me to learn to knit and crochet. And I'll have a look for some needles and crochet hooks for you!"

Wow - I thought! How kind!

So I got a text on Friday to say that she's put some things together and next time I was in the area - to pop in. So I went this morning!

And this is what Moira gave me: A very very useful book (the Woolcraft one), a couple of magazines and some different sized needles. Brilliant!

NOTE: I am aware, however, that I've been busy *collecting* things again (is my name actually Magpie?) and have yet to actually make anything!! 

AND another amazing thing has happened - as you may remember (it's OK - this isn't a test) I managed to get a load of wool and thread from a charity shop and discovered it was for using with a knitting machine - so I asked if anyone had access to a knitting machine that I might be able to borrow. 

And the super lovely Alison (who I met via my 'Do What You Love' bags. Alison took one with her when she cycled from The Dead Sea to The Red Sea for Water Aid earlier this year!!) 

Alison is an extremely talented lady who also happens to be a tutor at Bristol's UWE. So on seeing my call-out - Alison very kindly said she would ask the technicians in the 'knitting room' (how cool to have a knitting room!!) if there was a way I'd be able to use any of their machines...And YES! turns out they have an old, simple machine that was donated to them that I can borrow. Yippee!

Think the machine is something like this
- minus the instructions. (pic from internet)
Apparently it's a Bond 'Classic' and says 'The new way to knit' on the box, but there are no instructions with it - and it has been sitting in the corner for sometime, unused, and just waiting for someone to come along to use it! So they were more than happy to let me borrow it (very kind).

I'm now on the hunt for some instructions. I have joined a forum called downsizer as they had some conversation threads about these machines - and have just come across Maggi who has set up the online Knitting Machine Museum! So I'm also going to contact her for some advice. 

I'll be picking up the knitting machine on Wednesday. Just in time for the Christmas holidays. So you can guess what I'm going to be doing!!

Have you used one of these? or know someone who has? I'd love some advice - and also to see what can actually be achieved with a Bond Classic! - so please get in touch if you do. ;-)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The great charity shop haul - part 2

Yep. I went back this morning to get the rest of the spools. So now I have 24!!! I paid £10 for the rest of the wool. They seem to be a mixture of different fibers - so some acrylic, some cotton, some called 'crepe'. They are all very fine yarn though. Love the colours!! Excited about using them!

Plus a few extra patterns and a rather groovy 1970s advanced dress making book. It has some really lovely things to make and really clear and easy to follow instructions (essential for me). These extra bits were £2. So total spend £12 today. Bargain!

The 1970s book and additional knitting patterns I bought

I really like this pattern for an 'overdress' so am adding this to the list of things I want to make.
Plus I though I might make this very stylish shirt for Mr.LWYW...Am sure he'd be impressed. Esp. if it's made with some lovely polyester...and check out those white slacks. Smart.

Also found these really cute patterns for knitted toys! Hard to tell how old these patterns are but at a guess would say 1940s? Would love to know!

Will *try* and stay away from charity shops for a while (until next week at least - I've been given some insider information as to which charity shops have lots of sewing/knitting etc books, patterns and fabric). I'm going to start keep a running total of what I'm spending too, as I have a feeling I might actually be spending more than I think! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Possibly the best charity shop haul ever!

I've not been very good at keeping to my goals and progress has been slow with both the A-line skirt (so plan of getting that finished by this weekend isn't going to happen!) and same goes for the Jumper 2 Cardi! 

So I am yet to complete a garment and to be honest had been feeling a bit rubbish about it.

Then I remembered *why* I hadn't been focusing on those things and put things in perspective a bit! 

I have been busy making, making, making for pop-up shops and Christmas markets and have also just joined The Community Farm as their Social Media and Marketing Volunteer for 6 months (one day a week) which I am very excited about! So have also spent some time on the farm which has been really interesting so far. 

Being on the farm did make me panic slightly and think 'heck I'll need lots of new warmer clothes!' (heated gloves are top of the list), but soon realised this wasn't actually the case. Think I learnt then that I've tended to 'panic buy' clothes and never really plan out what I actually need. Don't expect I'm alone on that!

Also realised I can't help myself when I find amazing things in charity shops!

And, today I might just possibly have had the best charity shop haul ever!

Here's what I bought............all for £5

  • 4 massive spools of wool - one of which is quite 'sparkly' and says 'burnleys' inside. I think these are actually to be used on a knitting machine - but you can hand knit or crochet with it apparently. It's 2 ply so might be better to crochet with? I'll need to do some research here as I don't really know. This should push me to learn to crochet now!

NOTE: *I have just called the charity shop and asked them to put aside the rest of the wool they had - think there were about 8 other spools - I'll go and get that tomorrow!*

  • Two lots of lining fabric - one black - one gold

  • The art of crochet leaflet

  • 10 knitting patterns (one purely because the picture made me laugh)

  • 10 sewing patterns - x2 skirt,  x1 shorts, x1 top  x6 dress  

some of the sewing patterns have never been used and some have been cut. They are also varying sizes - but I couldn't resit snapping them up with the hope that I can alter the patterns to fit me. 

Here's the photos of the sewing patterns! Am really loving the 1970s dresses! 

And the knitting patterns! Can you guess which one I bought just because it made me laugh??

The 'New Style Elegance' pattern book is dated 26 March 1966 and looks like it came free with Woman's Own Magazine. I picked this up as I liked the 'be dainty in a see through top' pattern (not quite sure how you would achieve this - but willing to give it a try) with the long sleeves - shown below.

I just love old patterns! Pre 1980s though (all went a bit awry in the 80s I think in the world of knitting - and well fashion in general). Looking at the designs, I guess from the 60s and 70s here - I think there are some really smart designs and styles. 

Question is now - what do I make first???

(after the A-line skirt and jumper2cardi that is...)

Monday, 19 November 2012

A clear winter pear. That’s me!

Over the weekend I dipped my toe into the world of colour analysis and body shape.

The charity shop dress
After buying a delicious hot pink dress at a charity shop last week.  (which was too big for me, but was a monsoon dress that still had it’s tags for £12 – I had to snap it up) I nearly didn't buy it, but discovered it looked better on the ‘wrong way around’ so decided to buy it and then take it in to fit me.  Although I also wasn't that sure about the colour..

Anyway this whole experience got me thinking about colour and shape/styles.

What colours really suit me? What ‘body shape’ am I?

So I thought it would be a good idea to try and find out.

Plan being that by doing this it will eliminate or at the very least minimise any ‘errors’ in fabrics I *might* have bought and styles I make. After all,  If I’m going to be investing time and energy making something I’d really like it to work and well, compliment my figure. I can’t just take it back if it isn't right!

So first things first had a trawl of the internet and a conversation on twitter about what colours we are and how best to find out. Ginny and Catherine both shared some really helpful links. But to be honest I found it pretty difficult to work out what I was.

It’s no longer just the ‘four seasons’ of the colour me beautiful days in the 80s. There are now 16 options to choose from!!

Am I Light, Deep, Clear, Muted, Warm OR CoolAnd then what season am I? Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

I was a bit confused.

At first I thought I was a ‘deep winter’ but that didn't really fit as I have blue/grey eyes and deeps have brown maybe I’m a ‘cool winter’??

I’d established the ‘winter bit’ down to the fact I have dark brown hair and quite a pale complexion.

Even the quizzes I was doing didn't really help! (I can see why people go to have their ‘colours done’ professionally)

I did get a bit bored by this point and was thinking ‘surely it can’t be that difficult to work it out?? I was going to give up – but realised that wasn't really going to help me. So I enlisted the help of my fella. And by looking at the different options as well as celebrities who had similar colouring to me. Was able to work out that I’m more Megan Fox and Liv Tyler than I am Anne Hathaway or Demi Moore.  Which meant ‘Clear Winter.’

*phew* cracked it.

So what does this actually mean ‘colour wise’

Good colours are:

From Left: Medium gray, charcoal, black, dark taupe, icy grey, taupe, icy blue, icy lavender, lavender, icy pink, clear red, raspberry, raspberry pink, aubergine, icy yellow, bright golden yellow, hot turquoise, emerald turquoise, purple, dark purple, royal blue, navy.

Avoid: dusty muted colours, pastels (opt for Icy versions of colours instead).  I ‘kinda’ knew already that I look totally washed out in any pastel colours. 

Here’s a link to the sites I used for colour analysis:

You might need to enlist some help! Let me know how you get on! ;-)

Next was body shape. 

This was a bit easier..esp as I interviewed a lovely stylist for another project recently (you can read that here) and was told I was a cross between a pear and an apple – so a pearple...!

But what did that ‘actually’ mean?

This was easy in comparison to find out (thank goodness). And I’m more pear than apple. And that being a pear is good news apparently – and is also the most usual female shape. (don’t want to use the word ‘common!)

Pear shaped figure
I’m smaller upstairs than downstairs. What I mean is I have narrow shoulders, small bust (doesn't Shakira sing about that?) and wider hips and when I put on the pounds it goes on around my tummy and hips (so no bigger boobs for me!)

Styles that suit me are colourful, patterned, and detailing up top and plain and dark colours below. 

That means the eye is drawn to the ‘best bits’ shoulders etc and away from the slightly larger hips. Yep I can see how that all works. All good and pretty easy to follow. 

And wide leg trousers are also better for me as they balance out my shape. Great! I love wide leg trousers.

I've actually found some of my wardrobe does have these items and thinking about it always feel more comfortable when wearing those items.

I must admit to finding doing this exercise really useful and now feel more confident about what things I need to look out for – from bargain charity shop items, to which patterns to make.

This is the body shape finder site I used:

I still have lots to learn, but at least I feel I'm on the right path now!

Do you know what colours suit you and what you body shape is? If not, why not find out this week? Share your thoughts below...

Saturday, 17 November 2012

How sewing helps to ‘Dress-a-Girl around the World’

On Thursday, I went to a super ‘charity sewing day’ held at the lovely sewing cafe, Cordial and Grace in Clifton, Bristol to make a 'pillowcase' dress for the ‘Dress-a-Girl around the World’ charity.

L-R: Louise Horler of Sew Scrumptious and UK co-ordiator for dress-a-girl, Me and Jen with our dresses
Once again – thanks to Twitter!  And to Jen of My Make Do And Mend Year who came across this event in the first place and let me know about it. 

I *promise* to try and curb my enthusiasm for twitter as I’m sure you’ll get sick of me saying – oh twitter this, twitter that. Especially if I start putting #infrontofeverything.

But, for now. Twitter ROCKS! Anyway... Back to the event!

The day was organised to coincide with Cordial and Grace’s first birthday (Happy Birthday to you!) and co-ordinated by Lousie Horler of Sew Scrumptious and Maria, who owns Cordial and Grace.

Finished design
Stamping the plain pillowcase

Louise runs the UK arm of the ‘Dress-a-Girl Charity’, which was founded in America and is part of Hope 4 Women International who have been ‘bringing dignity to women around the world since 2006’Louise joined up after reading about the charity in Sewing Magazine last year.

Me concentrating
The idea is that every girl deserves at least one pretty dress no matter where they live. The dresses are made from pillowcases and are pretty and simple to make. They are then distributed to young girls in Malawi, Kenya, India, Ghana and Uganda.

I had a plain white pillowcase that I wanted to make ‘prettier’ so hit upon the idea of decorating it. I wanted to use things I had at home, and as luck would have it I found a pretty butterfly stamp and thought that would work with the fabric ink pad I use on my ‘Do What You Love’ bags. 

I remember being advised to put the pad on the stamp and not the other way around as I wanted a nice print. So I gave it a go! *phew* it worked. So I printed away..and was really pleased with how it turned out!

Jen concentrating
After heat sealing it (basically ironing over the design - I used a piece of old cloth in between to avoid getting any paint on my iron). Packed it in my bag and set off for the bright lights of Clifton village to meet Jen. We thought it was a perfect opportunity to meet!

The cafe was a hive of activity when I arrived, and Jen was already there, wearing a very fetching fur coat. A carboot purchase apparently. Looked good. 

We had to wait a little while before some machines were available. The day was running from 11.00 - 21.30 and we’d booked the 15.30 slot to use the sewing machines for free. Was great to see so many other ladies had turned up to make dresses to.

Was no matter though as it gave Jen and I a chance to chat and enjoy our drinks. (very good Americano coffee from their deliciously bright orange coffee machine. Excellent choice of colour!) Didn't have to wait long, and we were escorted downstairs to the 'sewing parlour.'

A really smart set up. We were each give a machine and a pattern to follow on how to make the dresses. Thankfully Louise and Maria where both there and able to give advice and help during the process. I hadn't realised how different it would be using a machine other than my own! 

‘Um where’s the ‘go slow’ setting?’ I asked – having one on my machine so I don't go too fast!

Maria, of Cordial and Grace
- helping me

Discovered It was all down to foot pressure - so I had fun going 'fast - slow - fast - slow' (you get the idea) until I got the hang of it!

I also discovered that I can’t actually sew AND chat at the same time! 

Nope. Not me. Jen seemed to have this down to a fine art – sewing and happily chatting away. Me - I had to concentrate. ;-) so much for this multi-tasking business.

Had a few ‘unhappy machine moments’ but the lovely Maria sorted that for me. Thank you!

Jen seemed to finish hers in no time at all, and had to go, so I stayed on to finish mine and was there for maybe longer than I expected! (I really, really enjoyed it though!). But I did it!

Was really pleased with it. And I hope a little girl somewhere is going to get lots of wear out of it. ;-)

At the end of the day 21 dresses had been made – and some had gone home with their ‘makers’ to be finished off. I had a great day and met some very lovely people!

Also discovered the dresses have another message;

Looking at the Hope 4 Women site there is an even more important message that the dresses can give. Apparently, it can portray that theses girls are well cared for and being looked after by an organisation which, just might dissuade possible predators. And hopefully offer them some protection.

What kind of predators I thought? Well (again using info from the Hope 4 Women website) ‘these are vulnerable young ladies who live in a society where they have no value—where they are used as slaves—where they are abused and preyed upon and no one considers this to be unspeakable injustice’.

No value? I just couldn't imagine that. Like they are a ‘commodity’ and not just a little girl?

It hadn't occurred to me that these young ladies would/could actually be directly linked to the ‘Fashioned for Freedom’ event I went to on Monday evening.

So, I really hope that the dress I made, and all the dresses that have been so far really do help. It’s so much more than ‘just a pretty dress.’ 

And maybe, just maybe the fact I printed butterflies on the pillowcase I used, somehow represents a ‘freedom’ they might not have had without this charity?

Want to get involved and make some too?

You can get the patterns from Louise's site Sew Scrumptious here – or why not set up your own day and get some friends together? I know that Su Senior – (A Love What You Wear participant) is going to make some. Yeah!

Dresses hanging in the window of Cordial and Grace. Yep was dark when I left! ;-)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Twitter, Trafficking and Ecover

Last night Catherine (aka Bella & Will) and I went to ‘Fashioned For Freedom’ by House of Beth, which was held in the very impressive St.Mary’s Church, London. The evening was organised to raise awareness and funds to support survivors of human trafficking.

12 days ago I didn't even know Catherine, or that this event was taking place.

So back track a bit as to how this came about.


Yep. Twitter

Since setting up this project, Twitter has been the main social platform I've been using and has brought so many of us like-minded people together (25 at the last count but I need to check that!).

So, here’s what happened. 

I spotted a tweet by EcoverUK saying ‘who’d like some tickets for this event’ and I thought – oh yes I would. So I tweeted them about this project. And lucky lucky I won! (thank you!)

I then thought, ‘I'd like to go with someone who has joined up to this project with me’, and that’s where Catherine comes in. We can’t even remember how we first got connected, but think it was via Jen and her 'make do and mend year'', discovering a joint admiration of John-Paul Flintoff and both being scanners (see John Williams here about that) meant we quickly became ‘twitter friends.’  

So when I asked if anyone would like to come with me and Catherine was able to come, it was really exciting!

I know this isn't about the actual event – just yet – but it’s all part of the story. And I like a story. I like to know how things come about and ‘happen.’

So all sorted and off I went on the train from Bristol to London yesterday afternoon. Was a breeze actually. Straight into Paddington (train was pretty empty) on the circle line to Edgeware Road, then walked to the venue. Have to admit to using the gps on my phone to get there mind...

Met Catherine there and in we went! (Catherine also used the gps on her phone to find it, so that made me feel ok!)

Catherine and I in front of one of the Art installations at the event
There were lots of groovy sorts about looking fashionable, but I reckon we looked just as good. (I was wearing a charity shop purchase skirt (jigsaw) and Catherine was wearing a beautiful skirt she’d made.  I was very impressed. And what was also lovely about her skirt was the fact the fabric had belonged to her nana. So a story with it to. I like that.

The event wasn't quite what I’d expected – but that didn't stop us having a great time. I didn't actually take that many photos as well, umm we were chatting so much.  I’d had this idea it was going to be a fashion ‘show’, with a catwalk and models etc. 

In actual fact there were some speakers (Head of Marketing for Ecover being one of them – hence tickets and their involvement), music by digital animals, a film about human trafficking - what happens when fashion and that world collide – followed by an auction of the dresses shown in the film as well as rails of pre-loved clothes for sale. 

Talia Chain and Sarah Kendal, House of Beth founders
We both bought something from those rails and even ended up being in a ‘film’, although have no idea when we’ll see that! Random.

Have to confess to not staying for the auction. We popped off to the pub.  (Hope that doesn't appear disrespectful).

There was a very serious message being shared through this event. I don’t want to get too heavy about it – but at the same time don’t want to gloss over it and ignore what is going on – and also what’s being done to challenge it – and ultimately change it.

It’s shocking and to be honest I have trouble accepting that this kind of thing is actually happening today. And in the UK. It’s not just something that happens ‘over there in another country,’ once I have some ‘UK facts’ I’ll share them. 

Apparently it is hard to quantify figures of those 'enslaved' world wide, but according to the charity ‘Free the Slaves’ they estimate it to be around 27 million.

That is a lot of people.

Just under half of the UK population*   

I’d thought that was a thing of the past and ‘slavery’ had been abolished in the UK by William Wilberforce in 1833. (Yes, Bristol is built on the slave trade. The fascinating and harrowing stories that you can read about in the newly opened M shed in Bristol, is really well worth a visit).

And ‘Trafficking’ isn't just about ‘sexual’ trafficking – there are many types including domestic, labour and serfdom. (I had to look up what that meant. A condition of modified slavery – wiki link)

And cheap clothes are part of this.  Well I guess cheap goods are in general?

Now, I don’t know enough about it all yet and I’m not an expert, but that’s also partly the point of this project. To find out more and ask those kinds of questions.  And also hunt out the small companies and brands that are doing good things – as there are many. (For when I’ll be buying new again. Although who knows after a year..)

One of the ladies who’s joined up said jokingly she wanted to join ‘the revolution’. And I thought – ooh I like that. We are all doing something ‘different’ by committing to this project and being more considered about what we wear.

Powerful stuff really.

(hope I’m not getting too carried away and you’re still with me?!)

Creating a better world – one stitch at a time...(??!!)

This isn't about taking the fun out of it all – but seeing that the event was all about this – I felt it was important to write about it.

Who are House of Beth? 

House of Beth is a social enterprise, set up earlier this year by Talia Chain and Sarah Kendal, two very inspiring ladies, who both work for human trafficking charities.  (Talia founded The Red Light Campaign).  The aim is to offer financial support to the survivors by selling pre-loved designer clothes, with 50% from any clothing item being donated to fighting Human Trafficking. They also sell on behalf of two ethical jewellery designers - Jennifer Sturrock and Justine Silverstone.

You can buy pre-loved items from House of Beth online here

And thank you to Ecover UK for the tickets, fabric bag and samples ;-)

Tell me, what are your thoughts on this?  
And are there any books/websites you’d recommend I read?  

(*UK population 62.6 million - ONS 2011 census).