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.
At 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’.”