Saturday, 19 November 2011

Buy Nothing Day

Did anyone else know it was ‘Buy Nothing Day’? I had no idea, but I do remember reading about the campaign months ago in a book. I have to admit I went out this morning; brought some bits and even placed an order on HMV for Christmas presents. Ironically it was one of my buys that informed me! The Guide (The Guardian’s wonderful weekly guide) contains a humorous cartoon with a statement underneath:

You’ve brought the Guardian, now take a 24-hour holiday from consumerism for Buy Nothing Day

It’s a shame the campaign is not more widely advertised as I would have liked to try and take part. I have ultimately decided to try the challenge tomorrow, which should be easier as it’s Sunday – nice.

But, seriously I do think that Buy Nothing Day is a good effort to tackle consumerism. The underlying tactic is to make people think about what they need, over what they want. Generally what we want thus buy, we never actually need. Employing this method of thinking has certainly helped me to limit my spending over the last year. I urge you to give it a go, save your money for experiences. I promise you the feel good feeling will last much longer. Let’s roll out Buy Nothing Day to once a month, not a year.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Lets Clean Up Fashion 2011

Labour Behind the Label has released its 5th edition of The Let's Clean up Fashion 2011: The state of pay behind the UK high street. I remember reading the 1st edition (some years ago now) when I was studying for my BA Fashion degee. The report opened my eyes to the workings of the fashion industry and triggered something in me to research more.

The report focuses on the living wage and grades many UK fashion retailers from 0-5m for example 0=does not accept the principle of living wage and 5=sustained implementation of an effective living wage policy across entire supply base.

It's safe to say that no retailers researched for this study achieved a grade 5. M&S, Monsoon Accessorize and Next lead with a grade of 3.5, while reatailers such as French Connection, Gap, H&M and Levis Straus staddle behind with a grade 1. The most shocking results of the study are the reatilers graded 0: Hobbs, Paul Smith, Reiss and White Stuff all of which cover a higher price point within the market. However the flaw within this grading is obvious when looking at the Data collected for these retailers; all except one (I will let you read to discover who) states that the retailer 'did not respond to our request for information and makes no information available on their website'. I do not think this is sufficient evidence to tar these companies with a grade 0, but the argument for this could be they must be hiding something. However, hiding something does not mean they have to be hiding something bad. What do you think?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Future Fabrics Expo

I was so excited to receive an invite to the Future Fabrics Expo. It looks like a brilliant event and its free! Take a look:

The only problem, its on a working day. I printed the invite and presented it to my manager proudly, advertising it as a great opportunity to discover new developments for technologists and designers alike. 'Brilliant,' she said 'I'll send Mandy (name changed for legal reasons, but our fabric technologist).' I must admit I was miffed. I wanted to go. Everyone please wallow in my sadness, especially as I wont be able to cover it on my blog :(