Tips to buying clothes that last!

 

 

We need more, want more and want to buy more often. As fast-fashion feeds our consumeristic habits, we load our wardrobes with rubbish and fuel the need to keep buying. It’s an endless cycle of poor quality purchases and owning clothes that don’t last. Buying clothes that endure starts with a mindset change.

Here are a few buying tips to get you going.

 

Quality

Start by ‘wanting’ to buy with quality and time in mind combined with a wardrobe review. Once you decide its time for a change, the rest is easy!

 Next take a good hard look at what you wear most and love most. Divide your wardrobe into the clothes you wear most often, the clothes you wear sometimes and the clothes you wear on special occasions.

 

Styles

What styles do you tend to go for? What are your staples, basics and which items do you cherish? Pile up the clothes you haven’t worn in the last year and start looking closer at the clothes you’ve selected as your best.

 It is important to settle on what you like and to know what you use your favourites for! You should be looking at occasion (work, evening, party, day) and season.

Now look at styles you like; the fits that suit you best; the fabrics you prefer; the details you like and your lifestyle in general. What kind of person are you? This helps you to understanding what clothes you need, even if the occasions brings out another ‘you’.

 

Manufacturing

An understanding of who is making your clothes and the effort that has gone into making it matters next. Turn a few favourites inside out. Look at the stitching, the panelling and the care labels. How many hands do you think it took to make your items? This gives you an indication as to not only the conditions your garments were manufactured in, but also whether it’s been slapped together for fast fashion or tailored and tweaked for a quality finish.

 What details are on the clothes you buy? Embroidery, buttons, collars, cuffs, special hems, fabric combinations? You should expect to pay a little more for quality, because if you want it to last longer, you will realise the manufacturing effort has taken longer, the fabrics are stronger and of a higher quality. Corners haven’t been cut and you can wear an honest garment that not only honours your values and fuels your confidence but should ultimately last longer.

 Buying quality also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy clever, care clever and wear clever once home. Look to buy practical garments that mix and match well or statement pieces that stand out with basics.

 

 Taking care

Always read your care labels or learn about the fabrics you buy so you know how to nurture them for years to come. Above all, wear your clothes like it’s the first time you have them on every time.

 Your love for your clothes will grow and you will appreciate everything gone into the craft behind them, the story within them and the decisions you have taken to own them.

 Shopping for clothes that last a lifetime needn’t be hard work. Once you get to grips with what to look and feel for, your shop becomes more enjoyable and your wardrobe becomes healthier and happier, hopefully lasting the test of time.

 

Happy Shopping!

 

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The face of fashion in Africa

 

 

The face of African fashion

 

Africa is developing at an almighty pace.  From solar power plants, speaking books, hydrogen cell vehicles and apps helping industries and individuals all over Africa. All such developments are created from need, desire and alternative circumstance and above all, innovation.  It’s no wonder the fashion scene sees so much popularity and curiosity.  The fashion scene, like many innovations on the continent is fresh, innovative and vibrant.  You can’t help but be drawn to it.

 

It is estimated that in 2016, the African population will reach 1,069 billion people, most under 30.  Africa has the highest rates of urbanisation.  Poor infrastructure has previously hampered growth and development, but not any more.  It’s now a keen catalyst for innovation.

Mobile phones have become a game-changer for the continent. According to Ericsson, the technology company, by 2019 there will be 930 million mobile phones in Africa, almost one for every person on the continent. There is greater mobile penetration than electricity penetration. Now, people are able to connect, get news, share information and stories, trade, gain access to things they never had access to previously, bank and connect with a world they had zero exposure to before.

As Africa continues to rise, we are seeing an enormous appetite for African fashion; A $31 million industry. Emerging creative talent pools are harnessing the continent’s beautiful heritage & culture, fabrics and artistic techniques  These are then being translated and reworked for international audiences. It no wonder that Africa & ‘Made in Africa’ is coined as the next big fashion trend.

Much of Africa is still hidden under a rock and away from western understanding but not from innovation.  It’s a heaving playground of excitement ready to surprise the world with it’s creativity and colour.

As technology leads the way on the continent, we will see this area of growth in fashion as well, along with organic need-stake areas like sustainability and culture, due to intrinsics.

 

Everyone has a story to share in this world and now Africans are finally able to share theirs. This is a time African fashion will shine with authenticity and grace. Such honest fashion stories from the continent and African inspired clothing are expected to be received with much enthusiasm, love and interest.  Its like magic watching it happen.

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20 THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM AFRICAN WOMEN

20 THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM AFRICAN WOMEN

African women are strong, connected and expressive.  We can learn so much from them. Here’s a few tips from the content we should all take on board.

 

Life is short. Embracing it is half the battle!

 

1.      Keep looking forward. Wake up every day with hope!

2.      Be present; with yourself, your family and your life to find truth and a pure sense of belonging

3.      Appreciate what you have in your life every day

4.      Respect your elders and your culture to feel connected in this world

5.      Dance with your family with confidence first so you can dance with the world  like no one is watching!

6.      Express yourself often, with new hairstyles, crazy nails and colourful clothes so the world can see you

7.      Know your neighbour so you can learn how to share

8.      Lift your head high and fight for yourself.  Strength is a mindset.

9.      Family and great Friends is the secret to happiness

10.  The secret to self achievement is having a place to really call home

11.  Be proud of who you are, what you look like and what you wear. You only have one you!

12.  Celebrate life everyday. You never know what happens tomorrow.

13.  Be connected to the Earth and everyone in it. We are people of the the earth and all connected.

14.  Be aware that you are here because of who we all are. Ubuntu = human-ness.

15. See the way you are as a strength

16. Be liberated from fear and silence.

17. Accept yourself. Recapture some of the positive aspects of your culture.

18. Keep walking in life, no matter how you journey.

19. You can’t do it alone. Its’ teamwork.

20. There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments

 

If this doesn’t inspire and make us stronger, more connected and rethink how we live.  I’m not sure what will. This is a celebration from women, often with less who have a tendency to celebrate and challenge so much more.  It’s beautiful, powerful and something we should all celebrate as people of this world, male and female.  

Young and old!!

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WARDROBE WASTE-LINE!

WARDROBE WASTE-LINE!

 

 

It’s getting warmer and we’ll all be thinking about eating healthier, watching what we eat and eating more greens. But we should also be taking a good hard look at whats clogging up the wardrobe and start tightening the waste-line in there too!

 

Slimming down on all the rubbish buys and the seasonal, once off wears is as easy as deciding to live a healthier lifestyle, eating cleaner and knowing its time to feel better about yourself. Buying with a little purpose can set you up for healthy habits far into the future.  Understanding more about how our clothes were made,  who by and in what kind of environment is a good start. We all need start asking more questions.

 

 Buying from companies who are transparent about their processes and production lines helps make informed decisions about whether you are buying an item that has been through an ethical process or not. How much waste lives in your wardrobe?  Have you ever stopped to count how many items you’e only ever worn once,or never or that have fallen apart after a few washes? How do you feel in these clothes?  When you buy with intent, you have time to consider whats already in your wardrobe, what you need and all the why’s.  In better if it coms with a really great story you can share as well. You wardrobe will not only start to look better, but you will feel better, your clothes will last longer and best of all, it’s completely guilt free!

 

So clear out the cobwebs, toss those over manufactured garments out.  Look forward and buy with an open heart and an open mind. Approach shopping with a less is more attitude and buy smartly.  Your wardrobe will thank you and you will thank yourself!

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Wear in Africa

Wear in Africa

 

 

This story is not about a place in time or a title spelt the wrong way. It’s about fashion in Africa.  An unknown idea to many, Africa pumps innovation through her veins and into every probable industry as she grows and harnesses the possibilities of technology and the world around her while leaning on her cultural roots, her stories, her land and her people.

 

Fashion becomes her freedom and expression.  Many Africans wear their wealth, their story and sense of self. In South Africa,a self-made fashion design collective called the Smarteez are unwilling to be limited by the past apartheid stereotype or community dress expectancies. They use fashion as a tool of expression and a declaration of freedom. It is that consciousness that labels the Smarteez as a movement.

Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as he was affectionately known in South Africa built a fashion flair and legacy that started with his bold and coloured shirt prints. His casual approach to African fashion was a beautiful expression of his love for the country, his human touch to an otherwise heavy political drive and an inspiring view on his push against power dressing. This style enabled Madiba to embrace something unique to him.  A style the world will long respect and remember.

 

Nigeria’s Nollywood scene is gaining popularity and eyes in the world with improved technology and alongside it, music video’s. Nigerian musician ‘Flavour’ is one example of how African prints are donned as art in his this music video.  Fashion and music go hand in hand, but in Africa, it goes with vibrancy and impact. 

Fresh young African fashion bloggers and designers are interpreting cultural garments in modern ways using the power of social media to spread the word.

The tradition of African prints are getting a facelift too. Expected African colours, designs and prints are being replaced with innovative aesthetics and traditional stories are being told in new ways through fashion, unpacking an exciting time in an all-African way.

 

So ‘wear in Africa; is she exactly? She is somewhere exciting and her journey is just beginning!

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