Ring ring red bells are ringing | Why you should consider to shop independent | My Style

I'd had this post in mind to write for a few months now. I ended up holding it off for a while for many different reasons: one being the shots I had taken to go with this post at the time were in height of the summer. I thought that maybe I had been a bit premature with wearing the jacket and black trousers (god was I sweating that day??) second of all it just seemed more fitting to put it nearer to the time of going back to university because in some ways this post is reflective and puts a lot into perspective about what I learnt over my year out. But timing worked out perfect because it ties in well with something that happened over the weekend that just makes this post even more important.

If you are on twitter or follow @betsyjtweets herself or any other independent designers/bloggers/ anyone passionate about this. You will have heard about what happened between Betsy Johnson (freckledace.com) and the Forever 21 Collab with Sami Miro if you don't know about it let me fill you in.

Firstly let me just say this kind of thing happens far more often than it should, if anything it is something that continually keeps happening and it is not okay. Fast fashion labels stealing or ripping off designs from independent, hardworking designers trying to get a wage living off what they love to do, is wrong in so many ways. 
(This one I brought to light more because it is so recent, but the same situations can be said for various different occasions.)

Betsy Johnson claims that she sent pieces from her own collection to Sami Miro to then see this new collaboration come about with Forever 21 whereby the designs look very similar. You can say its the truth or it is not, but there is no denying the similarity between the designs and the coincidence of the situation. 

That is just one example. Over my year out as you will have known, or perhaps come to know I worked for an independent designer. And this was something that over the year cropped up a lot. Whether that be for their brand or other independent designers in the same boat that I came to know about.
I seen first hand designs be copied in some way from bigger designers or from fast fashion, sometimes even other smaller brands actually copying from small brands- that one really baffles me.
Having been in that environment for a long time and seeing first hand the effect that can have on a small business makes me more passionate to write about it. 

If I'm honest being involved with the fashion industry fast fashion is a dying breed, or will become more of a dying breed as we move more into the future. I'm not saying we are quite there yet, I'm still a sucker for cheap items and fast delivery- who isn't?! Because to be totally honest shopping independently can be more expensive BUT it can be better and so much more worth it.
I'm about to give you a few reasons why. 

L E S S  W A S T E 

Okay so this may not be the case for every small designer out there but I'm pretty sure it is close to. 
When I would see designs get cut out on a daily basis, the patterns would be cut so that the more items of clothing you get from the fabric the better. I mean if you're a fashion student like myself you will know when cutting fabric out you don't just slap it on the fabric anywhere anyway. But cutting manually and in bulk you make sure that you're making the most of the fabric, then you are chucking less excess fabric away! 

O N E  O F F / U N I Q U E 

This is a complete given for shopping independently. Each designer or brand you will come across has their own style, their own take on things. So most things you do shop independently will be completely unique, or a one off as a pose to buying from a retail shop and shopping the same things everyone else probably owns. You'll probably find in fast fashion shops make dupes of other dupes say you walk in one shop and it has a skirt you like chances are they'll have a similar one of the same fabric in the next shop but in a top instead. Because thats just trends and colour being pulled from the same wheel.
Indepedant a lot of the time don't really follow trends- they do to an extent. But mostly its just things the shop owner wants to create for their customers. So its something a little different.

More on that

I T S   P E R S O N A L

A lot of the time brands do customised or one off pieces. So for any small brand you love, I can guarantee if you were to get in touch with any of them, they would tell you they can make a new item up for you in a fabric they currently have. Recently I contacted a brand asking if they could make shorts out of the same fabric of a top I'd seen and they did. Even better that seller will be so appreciative of you buying from and supporting their little business that they will go out their way to get it to you on time.

So be kind! Custom orders take longer. Or if it is being made from scratch, its got a lot fabric to it or its quite a complex thing to make. Be patient! And order within plenty of time, they aren't like fast fashion, they don't have 101 people to make the clothes up, get it packaged up and sent. Sometimes Items are ready to be shipped straight out other times it can be as little as 3 people making your orders up and getting things sent takes time. But it is oh so worth it to have a piece that possibly no one else has.

I T S  A N  I N V E S T M E N T 

 I mentioned towards the beginning that buying independently is slightly more expensive (though not all the time) they are special little stand out pieces to add to your wardrobe. Not nessisarally everyday pieces. It could be for a special occasion, or just a piece that makes you feel really good.
And most of all its worth paying that little extra to get a well made, handmade, lovingly put together piece that will hopefully last a long time. As a pose to something cheap that may last a shorter amount of time.
Again I'm not slating fast fashion theres so many really well made and reputable brands out there. Just making you aware of the possibilities!

You may find that a lot of small brands have a lot of offers on too. Because they truly value each and every sale they get they like to reward there customers or welcome new customers a lot of time. So they may have discounts for new customers, or for over certain periods, deals on certain items. Much like retail, except the discounts can work out quite good!

And if you need that little bit more convincing these are some shops that I adore!

Syd and Mallory

Bottle Blonde Studio

Hiker Cove
(10% of their profit goes to animals!) 

Use code: 'PAIGERH15' for 15% off your order 

Elsie and Fred

Shop Floor Whore

Lily and the Lamplight

Tiar Johnston

Shop Genoa
(currently closing down until 2018-snap up those pieces)

(OR similar) 

So one of the other reasons I kind of wanted to tie all this together and included this set of photos. Is because the jacket in this post is from the brand I worked for on my year out Bottle Blonde
Which let me start off by saying is in fact reversable?? A 2 in 1 jacket gets a YAS from me. 
So one side is kind of like a waterproof feel, quilted orange with a little bit of print like from the other side ( I didn't photograph that side because it just wasn't working with the orange t-shirt for me)
Then the side you can see, is this goddess print, quite oriental. What I love about it is that it feels really oversized and big, which gives it that sporty, street style look.

So I paired it with a pair of trousers, with a stripe down the side of the leg to add to that sports luxe feel. I am really loving side stripe trousers at the moment, I've just got a new pair that I'm really excited to show in my next post. They just feel really cool to wear, it adds that little something thats not too big of a statement but still makes a difference as a pose to just wearing a one colour pair of trousers. 

Oh and also you can see my wearing of colours is going well too, told you I wasn't lying!  

Until next time take care babes! 


What's your opinion?

  1. Lovelovelove this post!! I've been planning a post about the issue with fast fashion and definitely agree shopping at independent brands is the way forward. It's disgusting when they steal people's ideas and the majority of fast fashion now is just designer dupes which can be tiring. Love these photos and will definitely be checking out the stores you've recommended! X


  2. Loved this post Paige - you always looks so freaking incredible in everything thing you produce!

    Couldn't agree with you more tbh. Should an awesome post, really enjoyed it
    Iamfoxxtailz | alternative style diary

  3. love ur outer

    Mrs. Aa


@paige rhianne_