Fashion

  • The end is nigh for trash fashion

    May 13, 2008

    Yes, the end is nigh for disposable ‘trash’ fashion. Well, it must be true if the BBC are telling us that cheap chic (an oxymoron if ever there was one) is on the way out. Have they been reading our blog, we wonder?

    For the past decade or so, fast ‘fad’ fashion has dominated the high streets and supermarket aisles. A new t-shirt costs less than a bottle of wine, with the result that binge buying of cheap clothes has become something of a national pastime. Meanwhile, consumers have been largely content to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s exploited labour, or else remain blissfully ignorant of the workings of the global economy.

    However, there is evidence to suggest that the trash fashion trend may be stalling. Rocketing oil prices are taking their toll on the all important bottom line, which means an inevitable increase in the price of throwaway clothing for the consumer. Let’s face it, garment prices couldn’t come down any further without becoming ‘giveaway’ fashion!

    The credit crunch is now biting households hard across the country, which has meant a sudden and significant rise in the cost of living. As we all struggle to meet the escalating costs of life’s necessities like food, fuel and mortgage payments, we are becoming far more discerning consumers. Increasingly, we are looking for best value based on quality rather than price alone, all of which adds up to more bad news for the fast fashion industry.

    There are also signs that the mass media’s love affair with ‘fast’ culture is coming to an end. Even the BBC are now acquainting consumers with the reality of how and by whom these cheap garments are produced and how far they have to travel to reach our high streets and supermarkets. All so that we can wear them once (or not at all) and throw them away. We reckon it amounts to collective insanity.

    In reality, there is no need to stay a fast fashion clone when you can so easily and affordably set your own style with the textiles that are already in circulation. We are delighted that the BBC and style gurus everywhere are at last catching up with what we’ve known all along. It is heartening to see them embracing The Frockery’s own eco-fashion tips with such enthusiasm!

  • Landfill Fashion: what a waste

    April 21, 2008

    We are becoming increasingly fed up of living in a society which seems hell bent on creating ever greater mountains of unnecessary waste. From plastic bags in their billions to fast food packaging, cheap promotional items that no one wants or needs, and even shrink wrap covering for supermarket  cucumbers, we are drowning in the stuff.

    Textiles waste is a particular bugbear of ours. Did you know that in the UK alone, we throw out in excess of one million tonnes of textiles every year, most of which ends up in landfill sites?

    Far from being harmless holes in the ground where we can conveniently bury anything and everything we no longer want, landfill sites cause significant environmental damage. In the case of landfilled textiles, garment dyes and bleaches can cause toxic chemical seepage into the ground and water courses. As the material decomposes, the build up of methane gas presents further hazards.

    Although environnmental issues have been gradually nudging their way up the political agenda, there is no evidence that our throwaway society is ready to take responsibility for its wasteful behaviour. We need a sea change in attitude and, while there is some great work being done to reduce textiles waste through reuse and recycling, the clothing industry remains awash with cheap ‘fast’ fashion which is likely to end up in landfill in a matter of months if not weeks.

    So how can we as concerned individuals make a difference yet still stay stylish (and solvent!)? Well, we have put together a list of simple ‘RE’ ACTIONS  to the relentless pressures of the fast fashion industry, and we hope the following top ten tips on working towards a greener wardrobe will be useful for waste aware, eco-friendly fashionistas like ourselves.


    The Frockery's Top 10 eco-fashion ‘RE’ actions

    1.   RESIST temptation. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it! Your wardrobe is probably already bulging with impulse buys, many of which you have never worn, so you know it makes sense.

    2.   REJECT fast fashion outlets and cheap imports which have been transported halfway round the world, may have been produced by an exploited workforce, including child labour, in dangerous conditions, and will probably fall apart after one wash.

    3.   RETHINK your buying habits. Support ethical, fair trade businesses and ‘home grown’ designers.

    4.   REUSE clothing and accessories. Buy from vintage, second hand or charity shops, car boot sales and auction websites – or swap clothes with friends

    5.   REDISCOVER the back of your wardrobe and the darkest corners of your attic which may well harbour some long forgotten outfits that are yearning for a new lease of life.

    6.   RESTYLE your current wardrobe. Get the sewing box out, refashion a dress into a top and matching bag, add a few embellishments, chop off some sleeves, or just shorten a hemline or two.

    7.   REFRESH your ‘old’ clothes by adding belts, scarves and complementary accessories for an instant style update.

    8.   RECYCLE the clothing you no longer need. Drop it off at your local textile recycling bank, freecycle it, or else donate to charity.

    9.   RESELL your unwanted clothes on one of the internet auction sites or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, through a local or online dress agency.

    10. RESEARCH environmentally friendly fashion alternatives which combine style with sustainability. We recommend Kate Fletcher’s Lifetimes project as a great starting point for both information and inspiration.


    recycle  symbol

  • Frockery shopping for frugal fashionistas

    February 13, 2008

    The credit crunch is taking its toll on household budgets everywhere as the cost of living continues to soar, with upwardly mobile mortgage payments, escalating fuel prices and public transport fares making ever greater demands on all our disposable incomes.  Meanwhile, as the credit card bills continue to roll in as regular reminders of our buy now, pay later festive spending activities, it’s time to take firm financial action if we are to get back on budget. 

    In the depths of winter, however, we all need a few little indulgences to help us beat the cold weather blues and there is nothing like a new (or nearly new) fashion look to make us feel like the million dollars we don’t have! Fortunately for frugal fashionistas, The Frockery specialises in the sort of fashion which suits small budgets and, literally, doesn’t cost the earth. We endeavour to bring our customers the very best in pre-loved apparel, from vintage and retro fashion to top quality contemporary labels which have been worn only once or twice or sometimes not at all.  

    The Frockery motto is simple: why buy new when it is more fashionable, frugal and eco-friendly to go retro?   

    As veteran collectors, buyers and sellers of pre-owned, vintage and retro clothing and accessories from eras gone by, mainly the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, The Frockery team are big fans of the ‘slow fashion’ genre which celebrates sustainability and ethical elegance as opposed to the disposable fast fashion clone culture which dominates today’s high streets.  

    London Fashion Week has once again demonstrated that designers are continuing to borrow from the past for inspiration and we can all take a leaf out of their style files. There is no need to spend a fortune on the latest fashion trends when these are so often derived from bygone eras and you can adapt, reinvent and accessorise items from the back of your own wardrobe for next to nothing. Failing that, come and have a browse through The Frockery virtual rails for some affordable vintage fashion - or else just some good old fashioned inspiration!

  • The Glasgow School of Art Fashion Show

    February 3, 2008

    The Glasgow School of Art Fashion Show 2008, 4th and 5th March @ The Vic, Glasgow School of Art. Tickets available from Tickets Scotland, £7.50/£5.50 (concession).

    An array of unique and exciting designs from 3rd year undergraduate textiles students (including The Frockery's very own Kirstin) will once again be showcased at this prestigious annual fashion event! For more information, visit the GSA Fashion Show's MySpace.

  • Marion Donaldson: the label that brought the Swinging 60s to Glasgow

    January 8, 2008

    In 1966, at the age of only 22, newly married and with just £50 of capital behind her, Glasgow designer Marion Donaldson created a new and exciting fashion label which was to have a profound and lasting influence and which has since been widely credited as bringing the mood of Carnaby Street and the Swinging 60s to Glasgow and Scotland.
     
    Specialising in one-off mini skirts and dresses, Marion and her husband David quickly took the fashion world by storm. Contrary to popular belief, they never had their own shop but began selling their clothes wholesale to Glasgow’s first fashion boutique, In Gear, and Aquarius on Byres Road, soon graduating to Fenwick’s of London. A subsequent partnership with Liberty’s of Regent Street led to a rapid expansion and the production of Marion’s best known ‘signature’ dresses in fabulous Liberty fabrics.
     
    The company’s turnover quickly grew, but while the customer base was widely spread throughout the UK, the design and manufacturing elements remained Glasgow-based.
     
    The company’s iconic art nouveau label was originally inspired by an oval mirror which the Donaldsons bought at auction and remains instantly recognisable in all of their garments. Initially printed purple on white in the 60s, it changed to brown on cream, then gold on purple and finally became silver on black.
     
    Marion Donaldson Ltd traded from 1966 until 1999, but her garments have a timeless charm and quality and remain immensely popular, both for everyday wear and collecting.
     
    The Glasgow Museum of Transport is currently creating a display of family snapshots about 60s fashion with a particular focus on the work of Marion Donaldson as she is recognised as being such an important design influence. According to curator Kate Tansley, "The popularity of the Marion Donaldson label reflects the mood of Glasgow at that time, and hopefully the photographs will help visitors travel back in time to the 1960s." For more details of the project and exhibition, visit the Museum's website.  
     
    The Frockery can never resist a Marion Donaldson piece and we have a selection currently in stock.

  • And so that was Christmas!

    December 29, 2007

    The Frockery team are back to business after two days of turkey (and vegetarian alternative) consumption, but we are already planning to enter into the spirit of Hogmanay and a new year next week. In Scotland we celebrate for longer than those south of the border and so will be closed on New Year’s Day and 2nd January, but customers can of course still place orders at any time.

    Christmas for us was a time to stop, relax and recharge the batteries after a busy year with scarcely any respite, especially as the festive season approached. Party frocks in particular were flying off the rails until the last possible posting date (and beyond), but the most sought after item this year was a cute retro reindeer sweater, of which we only had one and which very quickly found a loving new home.

    Since we re-opened for business on 27th December, we have had an increase in visitors and our stats tell us that, even on Christmas Day, we had 58 intrepid fashionistas surfing through our frocks! Having braved Glasgow city centre the other day during the sales, we can happily say that online shopping remains our own preferred method of buying goods and services. It’s not only easier on the pocket and the planet - it also helps preserve one’s sanity!

    As 2007 draws to a close, we would like to thank our customers for shopping with us. We have got to know some lovely people over this past year and really appreciate their feedback, which tells us that, despite postal strikes and occasional delayed or missing parcels, we have usually managed to get things right.

    Our first Frockery fashion challenge proved a great success and we are hoping to repeat it in 2008. We also have a few surprises up our vintage and retro fashion sleeves, so keep dropping by for the latest Frockery news.