Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fashion Revolution

Everything is thrifted, except for socks (though you can DIY your own)

Who made your clothes?

It might seem like a simple question, but have you ever really thought about it? It can feel like clothes begin their lives on hangers in shiny shopping malls, and from there they make a quick trip to our wardrobes (or in the case of online shopping, they magically appear on our doorsteps). It's a fact of our lives, how we were raised, to not give a thought about the life of our clothes before they end up in our stores.

Depending on the brand, your clothes may have come from any number of countries all over the world. However it's a sad fact that most labels who source their clothes from relatively poor countries don't provide a living wage to their workers (i.e. enough for that worker to be able to buy food, basic entertainment and live in decent housing). Many companies don't even know exactly who makes their clothes, because the chain of work becomes buried in subcontract after subcontract - and sadly, many are linked with forced and child labour.

To mark the 1 year since the Rana Plaza factory collapse, when an unsafe clothing factory in Bangladesh caved in killing 1133 garment makers, tomorrow (April 24th) is Fashion Revolution Day.

Fashion Revolution Day believes that fashion has the potential to be a force for good in the world (something I wholeheartedly agree with!) And as both lovers and consumers of fashion we have the power to change how it's done. By asking "who made my clothes?" and refusing to buy from retailers who cannot or will not answer that question, we can make a difference - we can start making brands be accountable for the rights of their workers, and start providing safe working conditions and living wages.

How you can contribute to the fashion revolution

Choose thrifting over fast fashion
Find your nearest charity stores and go nuts. Yes, at some point, some of these clothes could have been made using forced or unethical labour. But these clothes have already been bought by someone else, and so your money never goes to the retailers who originally sold the item and does not in any way support their practices, good or bad. In fact, secondhand stores prevent these clothes from going into landfill! Plus, the money you spend on these clothes usually goes into charities that help disadvantaged people.

I pretty much exclusively buy my clothes from thrift shops. Not only is it hella cheap, it satisfies that fast-fashion-urge and allows you stay on-trend, as you can basically find anything you need if you know where and how to look! (If you guys are interested in a thrifting-tips video, then I may be able to provide! Let me know in the comments.)

Who made my clothes?? I made my clothes!
You guys have seen all my DIY tutorials, right?? In that case, you probably already know that I'm a big advocate of making your own clothes. I'm trying to figure out how to make my own entire wardrobe, and this blog has documented much of that process!
p.s. Get your fabrics from thrift stores, or make sure that it's certified fair trade. One of the most unaccountable processes of the fashion supply chain is in the production of raw materials.

Buy ethically. Sometimes you might have to shell out a bit of extra cash to buy ethically. But it turns out that you don't even have to do that. Last year I did a bunch of research and compiled an Ethical Fashion Directory of super cute, cheap and ethically-sourced clothing and accessories.

Do your research
Educate yourself! Not all brands are evil, but it's good to know which ones to be wary of. Free2Work is a fantastic site listing many large retailers (such as Zara, H&M, Forever 21 and Target) and how they compare to each other on matters like accountability, transparency and worker's rights.

Spread the word. April 24th is Fashion Revolution day! You can show your support by wearing your clothes #insideout (okay, so I might not personally do this one because a) I have a psychologist's appointment tomorrow and I think that would probably worry them and b) I am also going to a waterpark and wearing a swimsuit inside-out is not ever a good idea) but the idea is to share your #insideout photo on twitter or instagram, with the name of the brand, i.e.

I want to know who made my [@brandname] dress etc #insideout

You can also take the opportunity to post something to your facebook page, talk to your friends, or even send messages to clothing companies asking them "who makes your clothes?" Companies will change if enough of its consumers demand it - otherwise they'll go out of business!

I hope that you're all having an amazing day,

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Monday, 21 April 2014


While I do prattle on about my love for science just about in every post I make on this blog, I may have also neglected to mention just how much work it actually takes to become a scientist! I'm so crazy busy with uni right now - for some reason I decided to do all this extra laboratory work, and while it's amazing to get hands-on experience, it has not left me with much time for blogging - which makes me a bit sad because I really love blogging!

Combine this with the end of daylight savings, and I just haven't had the time to take proper outfit photos lately. But I have still been aiming to document my outfits on most days, and for this reason I've still been very active on instagram- but for those of you who don't have it, I thought I should share some of my favourite outfits here on my blog!

And I apologise in advance for the terrible bathroom-selfie quality of these photos.

I got this adorable keyhole sweater from a vintage fair that I went to the other day (and I also entered in a vintage-style competition at the fair, which was the first time I've ever done something like that!!) The unicorn pin is from Ginger Pickle. I've also never done my hair like this before, but I really liked it!

The skirt and belt are thrifted finds, and the top is actually a bodysuit that I've had for about 4 years (I can't remember where it is from, though). I discovered just before running out the door that this skirt was rather see-through, so I will have to wear it with shorts in the future.

I thrifted this blouse for $1 and the hat for $4 the other day - can't go wrong with that!
DIY bear pinafore and a vintage blouse!
Finally, this is my first (of hopefully many) vintage headpieces, which I also got from the vintage fair the other day! I paired it with my amazing Hell Bunny dress so I could be all colour-coordinated.

I hope that you are all having an absolutely lovely day,

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Friday, 18 April 2014

DIY: How To Make A Bow (sewing basics)

Hi there!

Today I'm bringing it back to the basics and teaching you guys how to sew a simple bow (and turn it into a cute hair accessory).

Learning how to sew a bow, and getting really good at it, was an important step for me in learning how to sew my own clothes! If you feel totally overwhelmed by my DIY dress and skirt videos, then give this one a go first. I promise that if you can master a bow, making your own clothes is not much more of a stretch - and bow-making will give you all the skills that you need to make something more complicated.

Let me know how you go using the hashtag #diyannika on instagram!

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Blue! Polka Dots! Gingham! And Maths!

So check it out. I'm friends with a real-life Spice Girl.
Dress is from Bonne Chance | bag is thrifted | socks from a market | shoes from Yeswalker | hair clip c/o Sarsparilly

Now that I've convinced Katie to start blogging I'm fairly sure that my outfit photos are going to become 15% more ridiculous. Having someone to take photos with is much more fun than hanging out alone with my tripod or my grumpy boyfriend (who only becomes grumpy when I ask him to take photos, please keep that in mind, but it's not much fun).

So! My outfit. I was somewhat disappointed with this Bonne Chance dress as it literally has no room for my bust - I can only squeeze into it if I don't wear a bra and have my boobs flattened like crazy! While their other dresses usually fit me around the bust, this particular one is almost like a child's dress that has been scaled up but they forgot to account for puberty. While I love Bonne Chance's gorgeous dresses, their sizing is a little inconsistent - for example this one, although it gives the exact same bust measurements, is a LOT more roomy. However, it has inspired me to make a tutorial for you guys to show you what you can do when a dress is too small for you, but you really want to keep it! Stay tuned.

Katie's outfit in these photos is also 50% acquired from my own wardrobe - I gave Katie these pants (which I wore here) and boots (which I wore here), and I really like how she styled it up in a completely different way to what I would have done! It's really interesting seeing your clothes being used for a style that you wouldn't normally wear yourself! I have also slowly been learning that giving away your clothes to people who'll actually wear them loads is much more satisfying than hoarding them forever and never wearing them, haha.

So how are you all? I'm super, super busy and wish I could be posting more!! Uni has been stressing me out like a motherflipper, meaning I can't take as many photos of my outfits as I would like! If you have instagram, I have been documenting more of my outfits on there lately because it only takes 2 seconds - so you can follow me there (as "littlepineneedle") just in case you've been missing my outfit posts lately ;)

Lastly - this video is SO good! Maths & philosophy, I'm nerding out! You should appreciate this video even if you don't really like maths (I'm somewhat terrified of maths myself, and I am hoping that watching videos about it will trick me into suddenly being good at it... or something. Yup).

All the love in the world,

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