Winners of Oxfam vintage fashion competition revealed. See the stylish shots now…

Four fashionistas, each with a passion for vintage, have won Oxfam’s competition to find its faces of decades of vintage fashion #VintageFaceAndStyle.

The women, all respected fashion bloggers, showcase the looks of 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s in photographs viewable on the Oxfam Online Shop.

The images, which encapsulate the looks of each era, were taken by leading photographer Benjamin Tietge at Oxfam’s huge recycling hub Wastesaver in West Yorkshire. Make-up was by celebrity stylist Rosie Lewis. Andrew Williams Senior Stylist at Nicky Clarke worked the hair.

The Daily Telegraph’s Senior Fashion News and Features Editor Victoria Moss, herself a dedicated and discerning vintage fashion fan, judged the competition.

Victoria chose: 1950s Nora Thoeng, 29, norafinds.com; 1960s Sarah Brewer, 28, stylesixites.blogspot.co.uk; 1970s Leigh Travers, 25, foxandfeather.com; and 1980s Kristin McIlquham, 35, tightscameraaction.com.

“Fashion is currently having a love affair with mid century colours and inspirations,” said Victoria. “Sarah has a brilliant and enviable grasp of sixties style and her look feels current. Leigh’s look clearly takes inspiration from the 70s but feels very now as well, which is clever.”

All four winners were delighted to be picked. Nora, a molecular biologist researching motor neurone disease, even wears 1950s clothes to the lab.
“I wear vintage full time but since I’m a scientist I don’t wear my favourite vintage clothes to work because it can get messy in the lab. The 1950s is the most popular vintage decade – it never really left. You still see the 50s silhouette in modern fashion – the small waist and full circle skirt. It’s very elegant and feminine. You still see it on the runway of Christian Dior,” she said.

Kristin spends her spare time in charity shops. “Dedicate a day to vintage shopping. If you’ve never done it before, take a chance. Pick one shirt because you love the colour,” she advises.

Oxfam has more than 670 high street shops and the huge Oxfam Online Shop, which raise crucial funds for Oxfam’s work fighting poverty and suffering across the globe.

Many shops have vintage sections, while the Oxfam Online Shop is a virtual world where fashion lovers and collectors discover treasures from the past at amazing prices to create looks that are totally on trend.

Richard Saint, Oxfam Senior E-Commerce Product Manager said, “Our four winners are super stylish and influential women who share their flair and passion for vintage on social media. They rely on charity shops to create their looks. The Oxfam Online Shop is a huge virtual department store where shoppers can time travel at their leisure and find items from yesteryear and yesterday to mix and create looks that are bang up to date.”

For more information and interviews contact Emma Fabian, Press Officer 01865 47 2193, efabian1@oxfam.org.uk.

Notes to Editors

Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. And we won’t stop until we get there. Join us!

• For every £1 donated to Oxfam, 84p goes directly on emergency, development and campaigning work, 8p is spent on support costs, and 8p is invested to generate future revenue.

Oxfam Online Shop is the UK’s biggest charity shop with thousands of unique treasures all in one place, from the Oxfam Unwrapped range of charity gifts to more than 100,000 unique second-hand items. There are over 50,000 books, more than 23,000 women’s clothing and accessories items, 13,000 music products, films and video games and 6,000 items of homewares and collectibles. Oxfam shops across the country upload new items to the site every day, and volunteers at two central hubs, based in Milton Keynes and Batley,
Yorkshire, upload thousands of new items a week.

• Wastesaver is Oxfam’s central hub for all things vintage. It’s where unique clothing donations – from high street fashion to vintage gems – are sorted and listed online. Oxfam’s individual high street shops also list donations online, from designer labels to signed books and second-hand cameras.

• Victoria Moss is Senior Fashion News and Features Editor at the Daily Telegraph. Previously she was Acting Fashion Features Director at Marie Claire and Fashion Features Editor at Instyle. Victoria writes a regular column at Instyle.

• Photographer Benjamin Tietge was Mario Testino’s former first assistant and has also worked with Annie Leibovitz.

• Rosie Lewis is a QVC presenter who has made up faces from Hollywood to Brentwood and even the Prime Minister.

• Andrew Williams is Senior Stylist at Nicky Clarke’s salons.

Clothes Show Live: Style Spotted

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

This weekend we were at Clothes Show Live and the fashionista’s were out in force! Check out some of our style spots…

Charlotte Sykes wears all vintage. She doesn’t think too much about style but instead tends to just throw things together- we think this method is working very well for her! Loving the hat!

Naomi Mullings tells us how she likes to dress simply and then bling up her outfits with lots of statement jewellery. We love her simply polka-dot shirt and jeans combo!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Daniella Verrilla from Shrewsbury wears clashing patterns, chunky faux-fur and leather- some of our absolute faves!

Harley Howitt-Smith likes to shop in charity shops and find things from her Nana’s wardrobe. Her advice to shoppers is to be true to yourself- as long as you like it, that’s all that matters! We are loving her monochrome look!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Danielle lawson, an Oxfam volunteer, likes to make a lot of her own clothes. Her advice to shoppers is to be unique and find things that no one else has. She likes to shop in Oxfam, her local factory seconds store and vintage clothes shops. She is also setting up an upcycling website: danisattic.co.uk

Rosie Bishop looks stunning and elegant in her hand made headband. her advice to shoppers is to follow the heart… Looking angelic Rosie!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Here are some of our other style spots : )

The Monsoon Trust & Ethical Fashion Lovers: October Rebel

Shop festival fashion

In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the fashion industry has been scrutinised by the media and consumers blamed for their fast-fashion habits. Ethical fashion has slowly gained traction over the years, but there are still a lot of misconceptions around ethical and sustainable shopping in general.  How easy is it really? The Monsoon Trust asked some ethical fashion lovers to weight in:


October over at October Rebel gives her opinion:


“I became aware of fair-trade fashion and bought my first dress early in 2012. I didn’t really make a commitment to avoid sweatshop clothing until last January, when I made it my New Year’s resolution.

I think (my favourite fair-trade item) would have to be my Liz Alig dress (made by Global Mamas). It has a 50s silhouette, a ladder back that fastens with a complicated system of buttons, and it’s made from a recycled flour sack! It’s really a great dress though, and surprisingly versatile. I’ve worn it to run errands around town, and I’ve dressed it up to wear for a dinner date.

I think the biggest issue is the lack of consideration for the folks who make things. People are not disposable. Every worker should have the right to a safe work environment and a fair wage. It’s important for everyone – consumers, brands and politicians to recognize this, be responsible, and make changes.”

Keep an eye on the blog over the next week for more sustainable fashion talk from The Monsoon Trust and featured ethical fashion bloggers.

The Monsoon Trust & Ethical Fashion Lovers: Fair Enough

Shop festival fashion

In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the fashion industry has been scrutinised by the media and consumers blamed for their fast-fashion habits. Ethical fashion has slowly gained traction over the years, but there are still a lot of misconceptions around ethical and sustainable shopping in general.  How easy is it really? The Monsoon Trust asked some ethical fashion lovers to weight in:

Sarah writes at Fair Enough


“For a while before I started my year of shopping ethically, I had been getting more and more concerned with where and how the clothes we buy so cheaply in our stores are made. My excuse used to be that there was just no other way. I used to tell myself that – unlike food – there was no real option to buy clothing fair-trade unless you wanted to dress like a hippie. There just came a point where, as a Christian, I could no longer stand that my actions and the way I lived my life contributed to maintaining injustice and poverty. If I truly believe that my life should serve people
and fight injustice and poverty, then how could I justify nipping into H&M or Primark to buy a £5 t-shirt just to make myself feel better?

In October last year I made my commitment to only buy ethical and second-hand clothing for a year. I then started to do some research and discovered many more ethical brands, such as Annie Greenabelle, Komodo or Bibico as well as handy search engines and online super stores for ethical goods.

In a way I think the biggest issue is us. It is all well and good for us to constantly blame the fashion industry, but we have to realise that we all contribute to the way things are. We demand and buy the cheap, poor-quality clothing.

 The way the industry is at the moment is just not sustainable. Apart from injustice, there are huge waste issues. It is a strange world we live in where surplus clothes get slashed and destroyed to protect a brand identity and where our waste clothing is being sold back to the very people who made them in the first place. We have to wake up and realise that this fast fashion industry that is so consumer-focused cannot be sustained. Maybe the customer should not always be king…”

Keep an eye on the blog over the next week for more sustainable fashion talk from The Monsoon Trust and featured ethical fashion bloggers.

The Monsoon Trust & Ethical Fashion Lovers: Measure Up

Shop festival fashion

In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the fashion industry has been scrutinised by the media and consumers blamed for their fast-fashion habits. Ethical fashion has slowly gained traction over the years, but there are still a lot of misconceptions around ethical and sustainable shopping in general.  How easy is it really? The Monsoon Trust asked some ethical fashion lovers to weight in:

Eve over at Measure Up gives her take on the situation

I still think a lack of information to differentiate between different companies is the biggest problem.  It’s still really hard to find out which companies are doing things well and which are doing things badly.  Some of the biggest brands are starting to be more transparent, but there’s still a long way to go.

Our clothes have become too cheap and too disposable.  Whereas in the past people might have had a couple of new outfits a year, many of us now want a new one every week!  This just isn’t sustainable and it seems to be leading retailers to push to find ever cheaper ways of producing large quantities of clothing – even at the expense of things like safety as the tragic events at Rana Plaza showed. Seeing the massive-scale industrialisation taking place and talking to locals about their working conditions gave us a much clearer and often shocking picture of the origins of
many of the products we buy.

Keep an eye on the blog over the next week for more sustainable fashion talk from The Monsoon Trust and featured ethical fashion bloggers.

The Monsoon Trust & Ethical Fashion Lovers: Emma Waight

Shop festival fashion

In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the fashion industry has been scrutinised by the media and consumers blamed for their fast-fashion habits. Ethical fashion has slowly gained traction over the years, but there are still a lot of misconceptions around ethical and sustainable shopping in general.  How easy is it really? The Monsoon Trust asked some ethical fashion lovers to weight in:


Emma blogs over at Emma Waight


“When I first started blogging about ethical fashion I was making ‘token’ purchases from ethical brands, but not really changing my habits greatly. I had good intentions, but I think it’s actually only in the last year or two that I’ve really started taking it seriously. Now shopping really does make me quite uneasy, and I consider purchases carefully.

There are a lot of conflicting/changing opinions about what is ethical and sustainable so it takes time to gather the facts and make up your own mind. I don’t think society is quite set up for it yet; I don’t want to say cost is the biggest hurdle because if like me you favour second-hand stuff, it’s not. Plus trying to save energy, save water, eat simple foods; you’re going to save money. The biggest hurdle is convenience. To buy second-hand I have to commit a significant amount of time scouring charity shops or eBay, to recycle glass I have to collect it in my tiny
flat and take it to a recycling centre. It requires more thought and effort but for me now the benefits outweigh the disadvantages because I can’t live with the guilt. If I throw something recyclable in the bin it will genuinely haunt me for days!

There are a couple of brands who have started upcycling tyres and inner tubes to make bags and belts, that’s cool. I have a rucksack from Lost Property of London which was made from an upcycled coffee bean sack and had a lush Liberty print lining, used to use that every day and loved it.

We need more traceability and accountability. It’s as simple as that. Brands mean well but they’re too big and can’t keep track of their suppliers. Consumers need to push for change as well, and diversify their own shopping habits so they support smaller brands and independent stores.

Fashion is too big to be sustainable. “

Keep an eye on the blog over the next week for more sustainable fashion talk from The Monsoon Trust and featured ethical fashion bloggers.

The Monsoon Trust & Ethical Fashion Lovers: Little House In Town

Shop festival fashion

In the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the fashion industry has been scrutinised by the media and consumers blamed for their fast-fashion habits. Ethical fashion has slowly gained traction over the years, but there are still a lot of misconceptions around ethical and sustainable shopping in general.  How easy is it really? The Monsoon Trust asked some ethical fashion lovers to weight in:

Nicola  from Little House in Town

My decision to maintain a more ethical lifestyle began because of two things: firstly, I realised just how huge the plastic waste from a clinical laboratory was and felt a need to counterbalance that usage. Secondly, I signed up for an allotment with my now husband and we began to learn about the principles of organic growing and seasonal cycles of food production, which fascinated me. From that point I began to shop seasonally and look out for organic products in the supermarket and, being a keen high-street clothes shopper, it wasn’t long until the ethical principles began to
spill over in to my wardrobe!

Simple changes are always the best when you are trying to get started in leading a more sustainable/ethical lifestyle. With food I began to look for items marked with the Soil Association accreditation for organic or things produced in the UK. With clothes I looked for Fair-trade and Soil Association accreditation and began to read the ethical policies of different clothing brands on their websites. If they don’t have one, they are probably not using ethical practices! In addition to this, I massively scaled down my consumption of clothing and tried to free myself from the cycle of
‘fast fashion’ by buying quality items that would last me a long time, rather than stylish quick fixes that I would dispose of within the year. It was tough to get used to at first, but I get a sense of pride from it now.

I also have a folder in my internet bookmarks where I store links to ethical brands that I trust, so that I can return to them when I’m looking for a certain item. Another issue is that not many ethical brands have made it onto the high street, so ethical shopping remains largely internet-based, with the exception of certain companies including Monsoon and M&S.

My favourite ethical clothing item in my wardrobe is a fair-trade banana fibre jumper that I got from People Tree a couple of years ago. I get comments on it all the time and you should see the look on people’s faces when I tell them what it’s made from! It’s a great talking point and allows me to chat to people about ethical fashion without coming across as preachy!

I’m no expert on the fashion industry, but I think that the biggest issue in fashion is the culture of over-consumption and cheap, fast fashion that dominates the high street. The Rana Plaza incident was a huge tragedy and really should never have happened in this day and age, but factory owners are pushed by big brands to produce clothing at ever cheaper prices and the consequence is that the welfare of garment workers worldwide is often shelved in favour of increased productivity.

Keep an eye on the blog over the next week for more sustainable fashion talk from The Monsoon Trust and featured ethical fashion bloggers.

Behind the Scenes at Latitude Graduate Fashion Show: Hair & MakeUp

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With the sun in our eyes and fashion in our hearts, Team Fash headed backstage at the Latitude Graduate Fashion Show to bring you lovely lot the four-one-one on the hottest new hair & make-up backstage trends from summer 2013.

With world-renown Storm producing the best in up-and-coming model talent, we knew we were in for a treat. With a blend of classic elegance and current fashion trends, the Latitude Graduate Show effortless combined the old and new and brought us a beautiful array of hair & make-up, perfect for the summer festivals.

With Western undertones and a classic brow, these beautiful girls were the perfect blend of country chic. Crimped hair was boosted and tied into an uplifted plait that skimmed their sun-kissed backs and drew attention effortlessly to their lips, colour in classic shades of rouge and deep purple.

The make-up left minimal, it was the brows that were to stand out, complementing the beautifully sharp lips and pops of colour that lead the collections to stand out against the soft ripples of the Waterfront Stage.

With the look being simple yet stunning, Team Fash are expecting to see a lot of this around our travels on the UK festival scene! Follow on us on Twitter @OxfamFashion and Instagram to have a look at some of our exclusive behind-the-scene adventures from Latitude and many more!

Ben and Jerry’s Fashion and Beauty Sundae School: Ethical Fashion and Beauty

Ethical ice-cream extraordinaires, Ben & Jerry’s, hosted a series of ‘Sundae School‘ events this year featuring some of the UK’s most successful ethical entrepreneurs and business leaders.

I attended the ethical fashion and beauty event which was hosted in the orangery at No. 11 Cavendish Square, just a stone’s throw away from Oxford Street. However, the focus of the evening couldn’t have been further away from the ‘fast fashion’ that dominates one of the busiest high streets in the world.

An audience of budding ethical entrepreneurs gathered to hear guest speakers Liz Earle (co-founder of the Liz Earle Beauty Company), Safia Minney (founder and director of People Tree) and Kresse Wesling (co-founder of Elvis & Kresse) reflect on their unique experiences of establishing and developing their ground-breaking ethical businesses.

   

The audience tucked in to delicious ice cream as they waited for Liz, Safia and Kresse to take to the stage     

When Liz Earle launched her beauty business back in 1995, she had a clear and passionate vision that all her beauty products would contain natural based, ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. Asked whether she has ever been limited by her ethical vision, Liz talked about a new, revolutionary beauty product that was just about to hit the shelves – and then the UK government ruled that one of the key ingredients was no longer to be exempt from animal testing. Despite the years of research and product development by her dedicated team, and the funds that had been
invested in the product, Liz pulled the entire project.

Kresse Wesling, Liz Earle and Safia Minney. Image courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s UK

Safia Minney described the challenges still faced by the ethical fashion industry and how there are still many “myths to dispel” about sustainable fashion being “oat coloured…and not sexy or stylish.”

“There are huge communities with incredible craft skills and I have chosen to pay staff to hand weave…It’s an amazing alternative to normal, fast fashion,” she explained.

People Tree gives its artisans the technical support and production time to produce their fabric and garments to Fair Trade standards. However, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh was a stark and tragic reminder that many of the world’s largest fashion corporations refuse to comply with basic health and safety measures in their factories. Basic measures that could save their employees lives.

Safia commented that the only good to come out of the tragedy in Bangladesh is that there is now “a burgeoning understanding and awareness that people who have the same basic human rights as us are being paid to work in these factories.”

She added that since the disaster, many People Tree customers, old and new, have approached her to say “now we get it.”

Kresse Wesling’s label, Elvis & Kresse is also committed to supporting the communities associated with their products. The label transforms decommissioned industrial waste such as fire hoses in to bags, belts and much more, with 50% of their profits donated back to charities. Their products are now stocked in Harrods and Cameron Diaz loved the Elvis & Kresse belt she wore in her American Vogue shoot so much that she kept it.

The idea of the ‘Sundae School’ sessions was to inspire the next generation of socially conscious and ethical entrepreneurs to follow their instincts and establish businesses that will change the way we see and interact with the world around us.

If the overwhelming reaction on Twitter was anything to go by, then the ethical revolution may not be as far away as we think…..

The Twitter reaction to the ‘Fashion & Beauty’ #SundaeSchool