Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sexy Waste

That got your attention. Except it’s not sexy, is it? All those coffee cups from your morning latte, the plastic packaging holding two slices of bread and limp lettuce leaf, the water bottle you use at the gym…I could go on. Think back to yesterday and all the waste you generated. All those by-products of modern life, where did they go? The bin. And where does that go? The bin lorry. And where does that end up? My bin lorry turns left out of my street but after that I have no clue.

There’s a real disconnect between what we throw away and knowing what happens to it. The UK produces around 280million tons of waste a year: 40% is recycled or composted, 48% of household waste ends up in landfill. And landfills are not a bottomless pit.

If we all re-used a bit more we would cut down on waste. What a fab by-product: less waste. And less waste equals less landfill.

Want to learn more? Recycle for Greater Manchester is hosting a week of events targeting waste reduction. Handily entitled ‘Watch your Waste’ week (and not to be confused with dieters watching their waists), you can go along to sewing and cooking classes for FREE to learn new skills which will help reduce the amount of waste you generate. Just sign up in advance to guarantee your free place. And lord knows we all love a freebie.

Friday, 18 November 2011

War on Waste

Waste not, Want not, Keep Calm and Carry On, Dig for Victory.

All recession friendly phrases from eras past.  And with Christmas slap bang in the middle of this period of financial uncertainty you can literally hear the sound of the end of year pay packets being stretched the accommodate yet another festive season: food, drink, party clothes, travel, presents, parties. So how can we really make our money go further?

You’ve heard the experts – cut down on non-essential items, switch your credit cards to 0% interest. Even David Cameron has been urging the Great British Public to pay off their credit cards. I don’t know if Visa accepts carrots but that seems to be all I have after my dig for victory.

But are we thinking about this the wrong way round? Is it about making what little cash may be floating around work harder? Or do we really need to spend any cash at all?

During the Second World War there was the phrase ‘make do and mend’. This call to action urged people to re-use their clothes by mending them. Socks were darned countless times over, trousers turned into shorts, curtains made into clothes. In a time when a) Hitler was rampaging across Europe and b) landfill was not an option, inhabitants of our fair island celebrated what they had and got the most wear out of their clothes as possible re-using and re-working as the Blitz raged.

Re-using passed out of our culture with man-made fabrics flooding the market from the 1970’s and the fast fashion culture which sprung up in the 1990’s. But if you have ever bought anything second hand or a vintage item then you have re-used without giving it much thought. If you have ever borrowed anything from your mate/ Mum / colleague then you are re-using. In most cases it’s easier than buying new. And it’s cheaper to boot!

Recycle for Greater Manchester is showcasing a wealth of events promoting re-using which will feed your brain and get you salivating over skills you never thought you could learn: sewing, cooking, furniture reclamation.  I got kicked out of sewing class for breaking the needle on the sewing machine when I was at school so I will be beating down the door of the sewing workshop to finish mastering the skills the sewing teacher (Mrs Turner) so wrongfully refused to teach me. And then there is the Fashion Show!! Saturday 26th November. Get your glad rags on, surgically adhere your biggest ‘I’m famous’ sunglasses to your face  and elbow your way to the Front Row.

All events are FREE. Yes, FREE. You will only need your bus money to get there and maybe you can car share on the way home. Just sign up in advance to be guaranteed a place. See you for some sewing.

For more info click here! Recycle for Greater Manchester

Monday, 7 November 2011

Fashion comes in all shapes and sizes

The average size of the British woman is a size 14. But who wants to be average?

I am really excited to be involved with this  Plus Sized Event on 26th November. Offering styling, alterations, life coaching and pampering to women size 16 and over the event is also going to be a great place to buy plus sized clothes at a fraction of the high street price.

With dieting comes weight loss, with weight loss comes dress size downsizing. This can be an expensive undertaking - buying new clothes at every dress size reached on the way down to your target weight! So don't shell out loads of cash on things you may only wear once before you drop another dress size - come to the event and snap up some preloved bargains which will make you look, and feel, great without breaking the bank!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Dress Agencies Darling

My Mum used to take things to dress agencies when I was little. My cousin Charlotte got married and my Mum bought these pink shoes. As soon as the wedding was over she bundled them back into the box and whisked them off.

Dress agencies are having a revival in the current economic climate. Cinderella's Dress Agency in Stockport was heaving last week, with clothes and stock. With labels such as Whistles and Hobbs at tantalising prices it's no wonder you couldn't move in there for happy punters gleaning the racks for bargains.

And bargains they are - depending on the type of dress agency and the stock they sell. Cinderellas sells dresses for around under £20 and tops for under £15. These are recent items - I spotted a Whistles dress from last season for £18 - in good nick and only slightly second hand/gently worn...whatever you want to call it.

Don't get excited though, filling bin liners full of your clothes thinking you are going to make yourself a wad of cash. Dress Agencies operate on a 50/50 commission basis. They sell your dress for £20, you get £10 and the agency takes £10. Why? They have staff to pay, rates and rent. They are running a business and your clothes are the cogs in a well oiled machine. The reason so many dress agencies have stood the test of time is because they know what their regular punters like: what they will wear and what they won't. Fill the shop with rubbish and they can kiss that season's trade goodbye. They are like successful local boutiques who know their customer inside out, are confidant in their stock and give great customer service.