Who’d have thought a cement bag could be turned into such mighty fine recycled accessories. This new range by Fikay Eco Fashion is produced by local villagers, they’re paid a fare wage, to support their communities. Fikay is run by socially minded Students (who are winning lots of awards while they’re at it). The company’s aim is to make a ‘positive, sustainable impact on communities in poverty by employing local producers’. Fikay Eco Fashion also donates Bricks to help build schools in the producing communities. People over profit.
Fair, Individual pieces that are Kind to the Environment, take social Action and say Yes
My gorgeous friend Leanne kindly sent me this community, knowing how much I’d love love love it!
They’re a ‘community of 20,000+ people celebrating kindness & wisdom in modern life.’ They explore a variety of ideas from compassion to creativity, mindfulness to business and the arts. Mouth of word has spread through their free kindness cards. Their founder Jono did his first kindness event in 2009 as a test to see if anyone would come. He was expecting a few but 400 turned up! They now put on workshops, special evenings, films and have a flagship business conference hoping to inspire kind and wise living.
What a bloody good idea, shame they’re based in Australia.
Why Kindness & Wisdom?
As Jono their founder would say the Dalai Lama gave us a hint when he said, “kindness is my religion”. Science and wisdom traditions point to mindfulness and kindness as key qualities for living with purpose, meaning & fulfilment – oh yes.
‘This performance was part of “The People Speak, Live!” with Matt Damon and Lupe Fiasco at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People’s History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.’
From a very early age anchoring becomes part of our hard wiring, locked deep into our neurology. Those little neurons go crazy programming certain situations and how they make us feel. I remember being given a mixed CD from a family friend when I was about 10, Toto’s Africa always makes me feel a certain way.
Anchoring can be used to create responses, both good and bad. We can all find anchors and fire them to change the mood of ourselves and others, hopefully for the better. The more senses are engaged in an anchor (sound, smell, visual, taste, touch) the stronger the emotion. So pretty useful to be able to fire certain anchors before a presentation.
NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) can be used for personal development as a model for learning, tapping into our behavioural patterns and self-awareness, to create those positive anchors. It gets a lot of criticism and here’s a pretty good blog post about the pros and cons.
“Neuro-Linguistic Programming n. a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them; a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.” – [Oxford English Dictionary]
Surely having some positive anchors can’t be a bad thing – being aware of what some of our triggers are and being mindful of them? I know certain tracks are a positive anchor for me, what are some of yours?
‘Every once in a while an idea comes along with the potential to truly make the world a better place. Suspended Coffee is one of those ideas.’ #suspendedcoffees
I heard about this months ago and have been meaning to feature it. You walk into a coffee shop and instead of buying just one cup of coffee for you, you buy two, or more. One for yourself and one for someone in need.
The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples (about 100 years ago so the story goes). Someone who’d experienced good luck would order a ‘sospeso’. They’d pay the price of two coffees and one would be kept for someone who may need it. A caffè sospeso (suspended coffee).
The UK arm of coffee chain Starbucks signed up for a charity initiative based on the suspended coffee concept in April 2013. I know it’s Starbucks so slightly taints they idea! Starbucks said it would match the value of each suspended coffee with a cash donation to the Oasis charity. I guess they can afford to with all the money they should be paying for tax.
Other shops are expanding the idea to cover cookies and other food. The Facebook page in the UK has designed “Suspended Coffee Supporter” logos which shops can display on their doors so you know which are on board. Hopefully some shops would donate any money left over at the end of each month to a good cause, which may be a concern for sceptics who think shops may benefit.
You know when you meet someone with a sparkle in their eye, well that’s Colin. Officially one of the nicest men I’ve met, as voted by me and within minutes of meeting him. I’m sure some of you will think I’m exaggarating so here goes….
Colin sells hats, not just any old hats but amazing top hats from a London milliner. I bought a lovely black floppy hat for my holiday for £20.
He was homeless, through No Second Night Out he’s now working on this market stall in Spitalfields. Starting off with 8 donated hats, he now has over 20. The money he makes helps to keep him off the streets and make a living.
‘The No Second Night Out (NSNO) was launched on 1 April 2011 as a pilot project aimed at ensuring those who find themselves sleeping rough in central London for the first time need not spend a second night on the streets.’
Photography by Amelia Karlsen
Another magazine have just had their 25th issue mad hatter tea party, I wonder where Sienna got her hat from. We all love a bit of fancy dress so if you need a hat, you know where to go, and it’s much better than Topshop!
We’ve been pretty busy the last few months, planning the 2nd Clothes Club event on Wednesday 4th September. It’s a chance to enjoy the last of the summer, hopefully, on the Dalston rooftop. We’ve been in touch with their team since last summer when we decided to first launch TCC, so it’s a pretty weird feeling that the event is suddenly upon us.
We’re supporting Bootstrap Campus who run programmes and workshops for disadvantaged kids in Hackney. Our first Clothes Club supported Hackney Pirates who also help kids in Hackney, with pioneering educational programmes (after school hours). The youth sector is definitely something we’re passionate about, so it’s great to be partnering with yet another great social enterprise in this space.
Bootstrap Campus are part a social enterprise, Bootstrap Company, who have been around since 1977. They help incubate 100s of early stage companies and believe ‘in the power of creativity and micro-enterprises’. By leveraging the creative enterprises that are part of the Bootstrap building community, they develop programs that focus on creative learning and career building, all done within the perfect space – the iconic Print House building, the WW2 bunker and sought after Dalston rooftop.
Their CEO Sara Turnbull is a ‘Chartered Environmentalist with experience in holistic sustainability, energy efficient retrofit and behaviour change’, she’s no doubt had a major impact on the company (and I’d love to interview her).
If you’re free on Wednesday evening pop by with 3 items of quality clothing to swap. You’ll get tokens in return which you can exchange for clothes and do your bit for the environment. There will be cocktails, live sketching of the event in action, and a famous DJ. But best of all for just £10 you’re not only getting new items, it also helps kids in Hackney (win:win).
The Prince’s Trust have just released some alarming new research ‘Abandoned Ambitions’, supported by HSBC, which shows that 1 in 3 young people leaving school with poor grades believe they will “end up on benefits” and 1 in 5 young people claim they have “abandoned their ambitions” due to their poor qualifications.
They’re twice as likely as their peers to say that they “struggled to concentrate on schoolwork due to family problems” and that their “homelife was so stressful that they struggled to focus” . They are also significantly less likely to have had access to a computer, the internet or a quiet place to do their schoolwork at home.
Martina Milburn CBE, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, believes it’s more important than ever to invest in ‘vocational support and training for young people who are not academically successful’ and that government, employers and charities ‘must work together to get them into jobs’. Without this, thousands will struggle to compete, leaving them hopeless and jobless which causes a huge impact on the economy.
I’m doing a mentoring programme with Timebank at the moment and during our training session we met the Major of Tower Hamlets (who was about 16 as he was a young ambassador). Having a quiet place to do schoolwork or study was something that cropped up then too. Also the glaring disparity of the wealth in Canary Wharf versus some of the poorest areas in Tower Hamlets.
It made me think, why don’t corporate companies open up parts of their offices to school children struggling, in the evenings or weekends to do their school work or study. Surely this is paramount in PREVENTING the issue in the first place, rather than trying to help people to find jobs and build confidence AFTER they’ve got low grades.
A lot of effort has to go into un-doing damage to self confidence so why not help make things more accessible before it gets to that stage. Corporate partners surely have a role to play in society and giving something back. Are there programmes focusing on opening up their offices to these kids to study?