I hope everyone indulges in something beautiful for someone beautiful. I hope each time we go for gold... we see if it really does glisten not just for us but for all those who mine it, make and those who wear it.
In the context of life in Myanmar, of course there is a different lens on this. Tedious work that pays is aspirational if the alternative is an inability to feed one's children. Yet, what this experience brought home to me was the depth of our double standards across the fashion industry as a whole.
It can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to making more sustainable fashion choices. And in case you're about to write this article off as frivolous, let me quickly tell you why this is such an important topic.
With a million people in the UK now identifying as vegan, interest for cruelty-free living goes beyond what is on our plates. In a time when fashion consumers care more than ever about where their clothes come from, clothing made from animal skin is falling out of favour.
'Ethical', 'sustainable', 'eco', 'green', 'transparent', 'slow' - there are numerous buzzwords within sustainable fashion, but the message that this niche part of the industry is trying to portray still seems to exist within a vacuum. This is the year we all really need to step up and change things.
Many of the items produced in cashmere, from hot water bottles to bed-socks to jumpers in the palest, most delicate shades, reinforce this association with luxury. It continues to be regarded as an investment choice, the antithesis of fast fashion. As such, it's easy to assume that cashmere is therefore a good sustainable choice.
Back in Anjuna I sifted my way through the bundles wrapped in yesterday's news. I matched fabrics and trimmings with my favourite items of clothing. Having grown up on Portobello Road, I had been collecting vintage clothes since I was thirteen. I hauled the huge bag to a local Nepali tailor and handed over my original pieces, explaining that I wanted them copied, but altered in quite radical ways.
In the words of Mrs Clinton, "never give up for fighting for what you believe is right." That fight might have got a little bit harder but now, like never before, it is imperative we act both as individuals and as businesses.
Yes, women's rights are human rights. And with so many women across the world affected, for better or worse, by our consumption habits, it's time we did a little less marching and let the way we spend our money reflect our values.
I know these can seem daunting but remember to choose 1 or 2 in areas where you know you can stick with it like morning coffee, volunteering or just walking. Another tip get your family & friends involved the more the merrier and you can hold each other accountable.
Christmas is approaching fast, the high streets are alive with shoppers, and presents are mounting up ready to be wrapped. Among the most popular of gifts are clothes; after all, we love to look good. But, do we really need them?
While more and more general consumers are starting to take the implications of carbon emissions seriously, the fashion industry is lagging behind. Green and fair trade designers utilising domestic talent and sustainable technology may be gaining traction among small niches; however, the majority of large scale fashion houses still source cheap labour from overseas and use unethical manufacturing processes.
Transitioning to Slow Fashion from Fast Fashion is a different experience depending on your current shopping habits. For many of us, it can come as a rather shocking moment- a moment where we realise that our relationship with our clothes has been diminished to a two month magic line where the pieces transform from chic to let's be frank, not so chic.
Almost every day brings stories of violence against women - from partners at home, sexual abuse and mutilation, and tragic suffering in ravaged communities and war zones. One in three women suffers violence, often from those closest to them, and it takes many forms.
Professor Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion opened the 3rd annual Kering Talk with the comment that when LCF moves to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2020, all the faculties and facilities will be under one roof, giving the students and teaching staff "literally the space to think".
It is the mandate of FIREup to allow designers space, time, academic support and funding to conduct reflective research and steer their business forward in a more successful and thoughtful way.