Friday, 21 May 2010

Roses are red, and sometimes pink too. And I love pretty dresses. To wear in the warm sun

You heard it right. Warm. Sun.
I repeat.
This is not a drill.
It is now officially warm in London. Instead of pubs, many headed for the parks after work last night, to spread themselves on the grass like contented lizards.



After my little photographic detour, we celebrated my mum’s birthday outside in the garden, hardly daring to believe winter is f-i-n-a-l-l-y over!

Showing once more that he is completed wasted on his day job and really should be a florist, my friend Vale (I do have other friends too, you know) brought a little bouquet from his garden. I wish you could smell the combination of sweet French roses with fresh mint. Amazing.

It is complicated to speak of giant corporations and sustainability on the same breath.
But I've been coming across some pleasant surprise finds since I’ve started my experiment on ethical consuming.
It’s easy to fall into a Michael Moore trap and wave a “Kill Capitalism” flag knitted in hemp. But then I’d be left with a very long list of contradictions to explain: why am I happy to write this blog on Microsoft and Google software, paid for with my work for a company whose primary goal is to make money, living in a city offering banking as its main economic activity?

This brings me to Tesco. First of all, I do not like the brand. I shop there out of convenience, but when given a choice, always choose other supermarkets, with friendlier staff and better products - namely, my beloved Waitrose. I’m also familiar with all the stories of bullying of suppliers and destruction of the countryside with their blue and red shops.
But is Tesco really the devil incarnate?
Well, they’re a very successful, modern company. So, moved by PR necessity as it may, they’re bound to have a finger or two in the sustainability pie.

You can look for yourself on the green pages of their website and check what kind of ethical projects they're involved with, but the one that got me excited is the the 2010 Ethical Fashion Forum INNOVATION Award.
Run by the Fairtrade Foundation along with the Ethical Fashion Forum, the competition is a fantastic opportunity for new designers to showcase their work.
This year, Tesco is sponsoring the competition's new fairtrade cotton category.

The rewards are massive: selected pieces of the winning collection will be sold on Tesco’s online fashion store. Tesco’s F&F's clothing brand will also offer the lucky designer support on developing a comercial colleciton. And advice will also be at hand from the Fairtrade Foundation on how to earn that coveted Fairtrade sticker on their labels.

I love the collections from last year's finalists.
Here are a few dresses from Lalesso, shown at the Cape Town Fashion Week:



Mia has a brilliant range of upcycled dresses (am in love with the word upcyled):


And the award for the coolest catalogue photos has to go to Henrietta Ludgate:



It is so tempting to end this post with “every little helps”, but I shall resist it!
Instead, here’s a much more irresistible photo of Carmela enjoying spring.




Have a lovely weekend.

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