Are you ready to frock? It will soon be 1st February and time to kick off the 6th annual Frockery Eco-Fashion Challenge, where pics mean prizes and we can all enjoy showcasing our vintage, preloved and hand made outfits to celebrate the best in sustainable style and slow fashion.
We have made a few changes to the prize structure this year due to the increasingly dufficult task for our judges of picking just one overall winner and a runner up from the myriad of stylish outfits paraded down our virtual catwalk. For 2016 we have introduced three categories – vintage, preloved and hand made – with Frockery vouchers to the value of £50 going to the posters of the most stylish and creative (in our judges' opinion) eco-fashionable ensembles in each category at the end of the competition. In addition there will be vouchers for the most entertaining ‘story behind the style’ and a chance to win a gift for a loved one as it’s a leap year and St Valentine’s Day falls midway through the challenge.
The rules couldn't be simpler! Aim to wear clothing and accessories which are hand made, vintage, recycled or second hand during February and post your pictures, outfit descriptions and sources on the Frockery Facebook Group (it's a closed group but just send a join request). Alternatively you can post on our public Frockery Facebook Page or on our Twitter feed (using the #frockerychallenge hashtag so we don't miss it). If all else fails, just email us directly and we'll post for you. You can showcase as many or as few outfits as you like over the course of the month, but more is always merrier!
We are delighted that Janice Stewart from Tweed’ll Dee By Notions has agreed once again to be our chief judge and 'Ms Motivator', ably assisted by minor frocker Kirstin and the absolutely fabulous Patsy A, whose modelling career began in London back in the 60s.
Let's all have some frocking fun!
"Why buy new?"
Our fifth #frockerychallenge has ended and our judges have had the most unenviable task of trying to pick the prize winners from a record breaking number, and amazingly eco-stylish, array of entries.
Chief judge Janice Stewart, owner of Tweed’ll Dee By Notions of Brechin and a previous challenge winner; the absolutely fabulous Patsy A, a former model who graced magazine covers in the 60s and 70s; and, last but not least, our very own Kirstin Frocker, all admitted to tearing their hair out over the final decision, which we are now delighted to announce.
Cue drum roll....
This year's winning slot is a 'first equal' as the judges couldn't separate Breagha Cuinn and Onnagh Cuinn, who they all felt brought a sense of fun and quirkiness to the competition, as well as demonstrating some strongly 'street chic' eco-stylish credentials. They can put their heads together to choose frockery to the value of £100 from our catalogue (and we'll expect photographic evidence!)
Here's a small selection of their head turning outfits posted throughout the month.
Breagha: Second hand vintage sequin top, handmade furry skirt, charity shop tights 50p and handmade bow
Onnagh: Swallow dress from charity shop
Breagha: Charity shop dress £6, second hand pin striped blazer, charity shop tie, second hand tights
Onnagh: Brocade top £5 from a charity shop. Pin striped mini skirt £4 from a charity shop
Breagha: Chartiy shop sequin dress; second hand faux fur mini cape and glasses; hand made pom pom head band and vintage cat pad lock choker
Our runner-up, who is invited to choose frockery to the value of £50 from our catalogue, is Douglas Johnston, a superbly stylish young man who wowed us all with some dramatic costumes, including hand made Jedi robes! There was no going back once he had been entered by A.N. Other (possibly his mum?) in this dashing ensemble.
Zara suit from a St Andrews charity shop, around a tenner; vintage silk scarf his mum would have paid £1 for in a charity shop at some point
Here, Douglas cleverly combined third generation vintage with second hand to create a unique look with a proudly Scottish flavour and 'attitude'.
Kilt 3rd generation handed down through family; boots, waistcoat, shirt, bowtie- all second hand; velvet jacket - charity shop £1.99
Congratulations to our winners and please contact us to claim your prizes.
The fact that we had so many entries this year, all of such an exceptional standard, made it harder than ever for our judging panel. A big thank you goes to Janice, Patsy and Kirstin, as well as to all those who entered into the spirit of the challenge by posting their fabulous outfits and fostering a real sense of camaraderie among group members. [Note to Pat Jones: we're still waiting for that onesie pic!]
Looking at the stylish combinations of vintage, preloved and hand made clothes and accessories on display, it's clear that second hand is most definitely not second best, and we salute every one of our entrants for flying the eco-fashion flag and celebrating slow fashion with such passion. As Anne commented during the challenge, "I love the feeling of anticipation you get as you walk into a charity shop", a sentiment with which we can all identify, and some of our flea market finds and 'car booty captures' have been truly awesome. Let's keep spreading the message: "Why buy new when it's more fashionable, frugal and eco-friendly to go retro?"
See you all next February, we hope, for a full 29 days of leap year eco-frocking! Meanwhile, please stay tuned to our Facebook group for exclusive offers, giveaways and other one-off events that we hope to run during the year.
Forfar-based business, The Frockery, is inviting entries for its fifth annual Eco-Fashion Challenge, which kicks off this Sunday and will run throughout February to help combat the winter blues, as well as raising awareness of the need to tackle textile waste, much of which ends up in landfill.
Participants are once again being encouraged to “vaunt the vintage, rock the retro and celebrate the second hand, recycled and hand made” for 28 days, posting pictures and outfit descriptions to the Frockery Facebook Group, or on Twitter using the #frockerychallenge hashtag.
Chief Frocker, Alison Preuss, explains: “Our inaugural challenge was held in 2011 as a creative way of combating the February blues while snowdrifts brought the country to a virtual standstill. It was such fun that we decided to turn it into an annual slow fashion event with a serious message.”
Janice Stewart, owner of Tweed’ll Dee By Notions of Brechin and a previous challenge winner, has been co-opted on to this year’s judging team for the difficult task of deciding a winner and a runner up from an anticipated amazing array of entries. Frockery vouchers will go to the contributors of the most stylish and creative eco-fashionable ensembles at the end of the challenge.
To help inspire eco-fashionistas who want to save both the planet and the wallet in style, the Frockery has prepared a useful list of Top 10 ‘RE’-ACTIONS to the relentless pressures of the fast fashion industry. The message could not be clearer: “Why buy new when it’s more fashionable, frugal and eco-friendly to go retro?”.
We like Twitter. Even if we aren't the most avid of tweeters, the short sharp 140 character updates and retweets from those we follow invariably provide nuggets of entertaining, informative and engaging content (albeit interspersed with often pointless twaddle) on a rolling basis throughout the day. Most mornings we find time to read a few articles - usually about #vintage or #slow #ecofashion - that have piqued our interest on Twitter.
A tantalising tweet from @BritishVogue the other day led us to an article by Laura Milligan on Vogue and the Gown, described as
"a collection of some of the most beautiful images ever featured in the magazine, sorted and narrated by former features director Jo Ellison into an encyclopedic reference of not just the dresses themselves but the imperceptible emotions behind the fabric that make them so special."
— VOGUE.CO.UK (@BritishVogue) October 15, 2014
The article did not disappoint and lifted our vintage spirits significantly. We especially loved this observation:
"Looking at a beautiful model, in a beautiful gown, in a beautiful location, the world seems a better place," Ellison explains of the garment's restorative powers - and therefore our fascination with it. "Gowns are a palliative on dreary days, an escape, and a wonderful indulgence. Trousers aren't."
Still dreaming of the glamour of bygone eras, we came across a feature in Eco-Business via a link tweeted by Fashion Revolution @Fash_Rev, which fired us up for entirely different reasons: How fast fashion is killing the earth and our taste in clothes (see page 12).
— Eco-Business (@ecobusinesscom) October 16, 2014
In stark contrast to the timeless charm of the Vogue gowns, it painted a depressing picture of the fast fashion industry, which is founded on the exploitation of both people and planet, yet is still shamelessly promoted - as we have previously posted - by those who should know better.
Think about this as you fill your wardrobe with throwaway threads from cheap chain clone stores: "Fast fashion brands on average produce more than one million new clothes a day." How can that be sustainable?
As Christina Dean, chief executive of the sustainable fashion charity Redress, points out:
"With the invasion of fast fashion, many consumers' expectations around prices have gone down so much that it has become even more of a challenge to shift consumers from the 'buy less and buy better' mentality."
The frockers have been here before, of course, with Slow fashion: winning the race for hearts and minds? (also inspired by tweets) and Landfill fashion: what a waste; but we'll leave the final tweet to Vintage Alterations (@splendidstitch), who are every bit as 'slow' and sustainable as we are, in the nicest possible way!
— Vintage Alterations (@splendidstitch) October 15, 2014
Well the judges have deliberated, argued, agonised, sweated, swithered and even sworn a bit (as it was such a difficult task), but a decision has finally been reached and it's time to announce the winners of this year's Frockery EcoFashion Challenge.
Cue drum roll...
This year's winner is Janice Stewart, who will receive £100 of frockery from our catalogue. Some readers may remember that Janice is a previous winner, but the judges felt her creativity, quirkiness and unique sense of eco-style stood out, along with her colourful personality that was so evident in all her entertaining 'tales behind the togs'. Here is Janice rocking one of her creative combos (where muck boots meet Zandra Rhodes!) and a montage of her amazing customised undertaker's coat cheekily teamed with red lace and tartan!
"Today's ensemble is entirely charity shops, over the years, not all at once! even the muck boots! (i'm off to an open air rummage site today so need them) NOT taking the fabby Zandra Rhodes bag that i got in a blind auction in a charity shop but had to add it to the picture as i love it! Photo by youngest son...who actually said i looked good, then added...for a wifie your age!"
"Not exactly Sunday at Church wear...but this jacket will have seen the inside of a few in it's previous life as an undertakers top coat! I have now finished vamping it up & got hubs to take pics last night. The red lace dress underneath is from Sunrise..bought for a wedding that i couldn't get to due to snow a couple of years ago....tartan tights....just because i don't do american tan! Pink lens specs for special occasions...life looks better through rose coloured specs! #vintage#retro #upcycled #fun"
Our runner up this year is Cecilia Townley, who will receive £50 of frockery from our catalogue. Cecilia's distinctive style, eye for a bargain (we must all bookmark the Woking hospice shop for a visit!) and showcasing of a range of eco-outfits throughout the challenge - from vintage to charity shop chic, for work, play and special occasions - were truly inspiring. Here are just two of her winning looks.
"This most beautiful crochet baby blue dress, from The Frockery is what I'm wearing! "
"£4 for my red wrap dress. £4 for my navy blazer! Love a charity shop bargain Monday."
But read on, fellow eco-frockers, for there are no losers and everyone's a winner when it comes to eco-fashion!
Since it was so incredibly tough for our judges to come up with just one winner and one runner up from the array of fabulous eco-fashion on display throughout February, we have decided to offer £20 of frockery to each of this year's participants. So please email us with your choice of items and we'll wing them off to you.
Thank you again to everyone who embraced our fourth Frockery challenge with such enthusiasm and contributed to the community camaraderie. We hope you'll all take part again next year.
Please feel free in the meantime to use the Frockery Facebook group to post eco-fashion tips, bargain buys, vintage adventures and news and we will continue to post events, competitions and exclusive offers there during the year. And if you haven't yet 'liked' our Frockery Facebook page , why not?!