Resolutions for 2018

Safia writes: When asked to share advice and suggestions for a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ – I’m keeping it simple – so 2018’s resolution plan for us all should cover HEALTH, Conscious consuming and SLOW LIVING.

CONSUME Consciously

I am tired with being part of a bankrupt economic system that doesn’t reflect the true cost of our natural environment and the rights of people and animals.

As ‘standard’ I only buy from ethical pioneers. It’s easier for larger companies or second generation businesses to follow once the market has been developed and the best practice set for supply chain and the business case proven. But the ethical pioneers are nimble and continue to innovate and set the agenda – and for that they need our support and greater access to funding for R&D and investment on more ethical terms to expand their distribution and scale operations.

I expect regular consumers in the fast fashion stores will switch and buy from their “Conscious collections”, but I feel the ethical consumer’s role is to keep redefining and pushing for better and more sustainable products and solutions – and some of these can only be brought about by passionate and agile social entrepreneurs.
I’d urge people to support pioneer social enterprises like People Tree, Po-Zu, Riverford organics, Ecotricity and buy from local initiatives too – also charity shops and local organic farms.

logo labourbehindthelabelWe can also effect great change beyond ethical consumption by joining campaigning groups like: Labour Behind the Label, Greenpeace, Fashion Revolution and learn from key influencers in this arena on twitter and instagram – join me on twitter (Safia Minney here) and you will find loads of information and links to sustainability news that inspire and are full of useful ways to be part of the solution. Share this information through your social media. The space is changing fast and we play a vital role in amplifying and forming it.

I think the financial system needs a huge overhaul too. Ethical investment is taking off as we decide we want to use our money to disrupt the system and promote social justice and sustainability. Many people are deciding either NOT to buy more ‘stuff’ but to invest ethically or only too buy stuff that is ethically made.

Join Triodos Bank, Shared Interest and seek out ethical investments like Po-Zu on CrowdCube and be part of the Shoe Revolution and help the ethical footwear brand go global. CROWDCUBE PO-ZU.

The principals of Fair Trade, (working in partnership and towards paying a living wage and promoting social justice) is a concern I increasingly feel at ‘home’ in the UK. Whether it’s underpaid workers in those chemically toxic nail bars or what seems to be a growing shadow economy. On resolution, after having down-loaded the Uber app after years of boycotting them ( I used my local taxi company who felt like part of my extended family until I recently moved to a new end of town) is to use their new “tip” function to add an extra few ££s tip as the drivers tell me that this goes to them and it’s a small way to bring their low wages up. Although far from ideal. Of course Uber should pay them decently and Uber should take less commission as at 25% commission, this means that drivers struggle to make ends meet.


Do you ever fancy a ‘duvet day’? {yes, even Managing Directors have slow days } – I skip into my “out-door slippers” Po-Zu warm and comfy boots which makes the transition between bed and office less brutal in winter.

I’ll be adding pumping weights to my yoga routines and hoping that this will keep my energy levels up!


logo renttherunwayDon’t buy new stuff unless you have to – and if you do please buy ethically or rent it. See rent the runway.

Mend your clothes and be proud of the repair.  Swap ’til you drop and don’t be afraid to fix things with Sugru glue and upcycle those old dining room chairs.

Get crafty – Make a mobile with the shells that you collected on the beach in Summer for someone special, pass on stuff that you don’t need and other people can use. There’s so many great ways of doing this and you make great new friends too and strengthen your community and network.

Make and take in your own lunches, or look out for Food Waste champions such as OLIO and TooGoodToGo. These are free apps connecting neighbourhoods and local cafes so surplus food can be shared.

logo greenpeaceInvest in a reusable bottle – 16 million plastic bottles are thrown away every day in the UK. Many of them end up in our oceans – killing marine life and threatening fragile ecosystems. We need to take action to stem the flow of plastic into our oceans. Greenpeace have a petition here to show your support for deposit return schemes across the UK.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and conscious 2018. Hope to meet you one day.

Find Safia on twitter here and SlavetoFash
Find Safia on instagram and SlavetoFash here.

Guest Post – Slowing Down, A Woodland Gathering

🍂Slowing Down🍂

Guest post from Laurie, A Woodland Gathering:

Laurie writes: After years of living in constant fear in a fast-paced world I became consumed by anxiety and OCD. Slowing down my pace of life and being mindful of the world around me has massively helped in my journey to getting better.

awoodlandgathering flowersAt the peak of my illness, I lost my job, I became unable to socialise and was housebound almost completely. Determined not to give up for the sake of my family and myself I turned to my creativity and started selling some of my handmade clothing and dolls on Etsy.

Having already had an interest in the slow fashion movement and following on from a pledge I’d taken to myself three years earlier ‘not to buy from fast fashion brands‘. I decided to turn my hobbies into a small business making linen (Oeko-Tex certified) clothing exclusively to order.

I wanted to provide versatile products that can be dressed up or down and can be used in a capsule wardrobe. I chose linen for many reasons, one, because of its natural beauty, two, it ages very well and is a tough material that can withstand the test of time, to name a few. To try to eliminate the amount of waste fabric, I create dolls from the clothing scraps. (Which is how I came to be writing this guest post. One of my dolls was featured on DollMakers instagram feed – inspired by Safia Minney – I created a doll in her likeness for International Women’s Day – see below.)

I feel my mental health has improved tremendously since starting this business.
I have a lot still to learn and hopefully a long way still to go but I am enjoying the ‘slow’ journey. I hope to always maintain an ethical and responsible standpoint with my business.

If you are reading this, and you’ve not yet read Slave to Fashion – go now and buy a copy, it’s a fascinating read. I’m going to find it so helpful… being in the early stages of my brand I want to ensure that every decision I make is thoughtful and responsible. I’m sure I will use this as a business bible for years to come. Such an important issue that consumers need to stop ignoring.

Laurie, A Woodland Gathering.

Safia Minney made by @awoodlandgathering (before @woodlandsisterdolls) for the Women’s Day project: #beboldmakedolls • “I chose to create a doll inspired by @safia_minney who is the founder of @peopletreeuk the pioneering fair trade and sustainable fashion brand. She developed the first organic and fair trade clothing supply chain and is recognised by the @worldeconomicforum as an outstanding social entrepreneur. She initiated World Fair Trade Day and Rag Rage and is a founder member of the @ethicalfashionforum @fash_rev and @strawberryearth which promotes eco design. • Safia’s pioneering work over 25 years had brought sustainable livelihoods and social welfare to over 5000 economically marginalised farmers, artisans and tailors in the developing world. If you have Netflix and are interested in learning more about the damage that fast fashion is having on our environment and fellow citizens of the world you should watch the documentary ‘The True Cost’.”

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