Friday 24 April 2015

The fashion Revolution!

So today's the day when we ask "Who made my clothes"?
On the 24th of April 2013 an earth shattering event took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Over 2500 garment workers lost their lives in over crowded, unsafe, and illegal working conditions in a factory complex known as Rana Plaza.
These lives were not the only ones lost as countless others who depended on the wages of these workers also paid a heavy price!
Many families were left without the sole bread winner so the number of victims is in fact far higher then the actual body count.

Photo ©FashRev

The organisation Fashion Revolution has marked the day through a campaign which invites consumers through social media to ask high street shops and clothing labels:
"Who made my clothes?"

Supermodel Lilly Cole asks the question #whomademyclothes ©FashRev
Posting a photo on Instagram/Twitter might seem frivolous but in fact it's been working pretty well. So how does asking a simple question change anything? After the Rana Plaza disaster it was through social media that companies like Matalan were pressured by the public to do something about it and they did! Because of it they offered some compensation to workers and it was achieved through social media by everyday consumers like you and me... though we do think more can and should be done!
Asking questions, being interested and engaged with the world can only be good so... remember use the hastag: #whomademyclothes and tag your favourite clothing brands. Even if you don't get a response it doesn't mean that it hasn't been seen! The object of this campaign is not only to demand a change in how things are run in the garment industry but also to promote thought and discussion.

Because we've always believed in demanding fair wages and safe working conditions for garment workers this is a campaign we passionately support.
You may recall that Craft Guerrilla was born primarily because of this and our first campaign back in 2008 was to "wage war against mass produced tatt" which was our way of highlighting the exploitation and reminding consumers the cost of cheap mass produced goods.

©FashRev. Workers in Soko Kenya...

So two years on and we are still waiting to see real and lasting changes for garment workers in countries like Bangladesh.
We know that it's going to be a long road but we're positive that things can and will change! Plus with your actions and passion for making we're sure it will be a worthwhile endeavour.
Though on a final note I'd like to add that I do not boycott these labels and companies but in stead I do ask them questions and pressure them to take a stand and implement changes where needed which will better conditions for everyone involved.
I really don't think that solely boycotting is the answer, I mean we don't want to take anyone out of a job but we do want workers to have safe, clean, humane conditions and fair wages.

By making a few items, mending what you already own, up cycling, recycling clothing and buying your new clothing from ethical brands then you will be changing things with the best weapon you posses: your wallet!

Here today Here Tomorrow. London. ©FashRev

This year I decided that I'd be making more and buying less cheap fashion...
Here's my "afternoon skirt" -named because it literally should only take about 3 hours to make- as a project to remind myself of the work that goes into making a garment!
If you'd like to make your own you can find the full tutorial here:


For more info on how you can be involved and check if there are any events in your country please go to the Fashion Revolution web site:

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Feeling fruity!

So that's it, finally spring has sprung and that means summer is on its way!
Aw man, the prospect of warmer weather, eating beautiful and bright summer fruit and the option to wear only one layer has made me giddy with excitement  though it's also made me think about accessories that I can wear to liven up my wardrobe staples.
Instead of spending a fortune on new clobber this summer I'm going to recycle, remake, create a few key pieces which I can mix and match and wear confidently with the knowledge that I'm not adding to the huge global problem (waste, unfair/ unsafe conditions and exploitation in the textile industry etc. etc. etc)....

Though this a very little gesture it can also be a step in the right direction. We definitely need to make do and buy less.
And because of that I came up with this cute little diy tutorial which I think looks just fab with my stripey top and will fit with other bits and bobs I already have in my wardrobe!
Plus as it's also made from fabric scraps that means no wastage here!

I think it looks pretty good with stripes, block colours and/or patterns too...What do you think, how will you wear yours?

So why watermelons?

A) they are very of the moment (hooray finally!!!) and B) watermelons are one of my favourite all time fruits so if you are a lover of the ruby red, super juicy, super sweet sphere of gorgeousness... then join me in wearing it with pride!

What you'll need:

*felt (red/pink & green)
*thread & embroidery thread though you can opt to use a fabric pen (Black)
*a bright yellow bead -or a button
*pins, sewing needle and scissors
*sewing machine -though you can use fusible fabric if you don't fancy sewing it.

How to make it:

Step 1: 
Print out the pattern and cut as indicated... you'll need 2 x red felt shapes, 2 x green felt shapes and 2 x pink fabric shapes which should be backed with interfacing

Step 2: 
Embroider the watermelon seeds or use a fabric pen to draw these on...

drawn on with a black fabric friendly pen

*This is your front and the back... The shapes will be layered over each other so you'll notice they are slightly different sizes. Though you can trim if you need to...

Step 3: 
Pin into place and sew... I've used a black thread so you can see what I'm doing but if you want a super neat look you'll need to use red and green thread as needed...
You can also use fusible fabric if you don't want to see any stitching or if you haven't a sewing machine at hand.

Step 4: 
Overlap slightly the edges of the middle of the collar. Check in the mirror to see how it sits on your neck/chest. Sew a few stitches so they (the two segments) are kept in position. Finish off with a bead.
*I've used a bright yellow bead to give it a little extra cute umpf BUT you can leave it plain or use a button instead...

Step 5:
Sew on the ribbon to the reverse of the collar on both outer edges of your collar. This is your fastening.
Note: I've dabbed a bit of fabric glue on the edge of the ribbon to stop it from fraying but you can use metal chain, chunky plastic chain or even a leather thong with a lobster claw fastener.
(Also see the post make notes on the print out pattern!)

Step 6:
Tie around your neck and wear it like a fruit loving chicka!
I would have gone for the whole Carmen d'Miranda look but I'm saving that for summer...
Hum, what about a fruity head piece for our next tutorial? Now there's a great idea!

P.S. And you don't have to stop there, you can adapt this tutorial to make many fruity based collars! So think of any fruit which can be segmented like:
Apples, pears, lemons, oranges or even a couple of mini bananas would look awesome so just go for it.
Now you're set to make fun accessories which are totally Tutti Frutti!

Share your creations with us on twitter, tag us (@craftguerrilla) and post with the hashtag #CraftLovers and we'll re-tweet your amazing handy work!