Conscious Christmas Gifts

Fashion Revolution fanzine #001:Money Fashion Power  pages of poetry, illustration, photography, graphic design and editorials that explore the hidden stories behind our clothes

green rose earrings by Gung Ho from Ethical Collection

nothing more, nothing less t-shirt by Prabal Gurung from YOOXYGEN

lip crayon in shade Keen by Axiology from Content Beauty

sample vial of Edition Perfume She Came to Stay inspired by the novel written by Simone de Beauvoir in 1943.  A unique stocking filler or just an excuse to top-up the shopping basket and enjoy the holiday discounts on Content Beauty when you spend £30+ (ends 29th Nov 2017)

candy skull leggings by Yoga Democracy from Rêve En Vert

antique jewellery box LASSCO

face care kit Natural Spa Supplies featuring British Hemp Oil Soft Soap,  Rhassoul Clay, fragrant Organic Rose water and Virgin Cold Pressed Organic Argan Oil

 

PR 101: I am enough

Just like a business, we personally rely on our reputation so we should all know a bit about PR.  The other week I saw movement maker and musician, Charlie Dark talk about his life through the theme of encouragement. The plus one of a friend, I had no idea what I was walking into when I pulled-up a pew in the charming chapel at The House of St. Barnabas, a not-for-profit members’ club in London.  Here is some of the wisdom I walked away with intertwined with stories from that week.  I hope it helps your understanding of PR and why we should all be PRing not only others, but ourselves.

My professional reputation had me addressing a room full of women in business on the power of PR.  In the name of encouraging women through mentorship, of course I was game, and armed with a decade of experience in PR to talk about. Less seasoned in running my own business, the journey for Reclaimed Woman has just begun, so I felt like an imposter advising women on their businesses when I too am a beginner.  Charlie Dark had his audience introducing themselves to the person next to them by paying them a compliment.  Charlie explained that as children, we lap up encouragement but as puberty hits we’re more ready to reject compliments.  PR and positive talk have the power to influence perception. Talking myself back into being comfortable at beginner phase, open to encouragement, helped both me and the audience recognise our abilities and limitations to move forward for the future.

A few days later, the future kicks in, and I am in a café feeling momentarily flat.  An older man (about 70) with a face as youthful as my new business joins the queue and asks me: “Are you a happy bunny?”  At that moment, I wasn’t, but with his genuine smile and my answer that I was, I suddenly was.  His question was his PR, you never get a second chance at a first impression and his charisma totally transformed my mood.

Charlie Dark started and finished his talk with the importance of finding your champions, people that will not necessarily always give you or tell you what you want to hear, but that will encourage you.  Growing-up in a part of London where people on his street didn’t make it much further than their neighbourhood, all Charlie wanted was a bike so he could explore a bit further. Instead of the bike-shaped present he hoped to see one birthday morning, his mum presented two gifts.  The first was a box of pins and the second was a globe.  She told him to close his eyes and put a pin in the globe, for wherever it landed, she would take him.  The pin landed on the boot and kicked Charlie and his champion to Rome.

I just lost one of my champions to cancer.  My friend Charmaine was a talented costume designer with confidence that she shared with everyone that crossed her path.  Dressing actors and models, she saw the insecurities that don’t come through on screen and found admirable self-believe.

Build your champions in the media by believing in yourself and what you are pitching.  Every morning, Charlie Dark wakes up to a wall of street art in his garden with these encouraging words.  Repeat after me: “I am enough.”

©Photograph  of me wearing a trench by independent designer Naya Rea courtesy of All Women Should Own – a new project with my friend and champion Roxanne Chen.   To be continued…

Woman, Reclaimed

One year ago I left my corporate fashion job to follow a more conscious life.

My job gave me pleasure and pain, and enabled me to buy my first home in west London. Like a secret diary, I started to blog about my journey into a more sustainable existence (shoe collection excluded), as head of PR for a shoe brand at the time…. I vowed to do-up my new home with as many old, reused and reclaimed things as possible.

One bedroom, one bathroom, one garden, one kitchen… now my walk-in wardrobe, and one woman taking her first steps into a salvage yard.

One foot in fashion, one foot in salvage, often up to my knees in reclaimed building materials, but refusing to part with my knee-high boots, whilst dancing in mud with reclaimed radiators from the roaring 20s.  I started to question, are these industries really so different? Both can be intimidating, but as soon as you cross the facade, you find the heart of great stories. The reason I fell for fashion PR in the first place.

Fashion at an unsustainable pace, ticking-off trends rather than expressing personal taste left me cold compared with the storied pieces of individuality I was dressing my home with.  This is when I decided that I not only needed to claim to love my fashionable life, but reclaim it.

Designing my home with reclaimed materials was a style choice as well as an ethical, environmental one. Reclaimed Woman is my attempt to find fashion and home fashions that don’t compromise ethics. A space to retrieve yourself, be real, inspired and conscious, because the examined life is worth living.