Our Wellbeing & Our Product Choices

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Hey folks, hope you are all doing well! andddd I’ve just seen that I now have over 7k views on the blog so far since last year! Thank you ever so much, I am so so humbled!! I wanna discuss wellbeing and how it affects us through the products or clothes we buy. Being mindful of our choices as people can truly help us feel that little bit better in ourselves ❤

So for starters…

Wellbeing is, as a definition:

The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

There’s a lot that wellbeing is influenced by. From our mental health, what we eat, who we surround ourselves with, to what we purchase throughout our lives. Wellbeing is something we try to cultivate and maintain.

We all know that our clothes and things we buy reflect our personalities, and the essence of who we are as people. Why are we drawn to certain things? Some would say that we are attracted to specific clothes, products and objects based on our needs. Christian Jarrett from The Psychologist stated that ‘How much we see our things as an extension of ourselves, may depend in part in how confident we feel about who we are.’

So, what we’re truly saying is that it all comes from within, right? To truly see our clothes, objects, products as an extension of our inner souls, all depends on how we feel about our complete selves in the first place. We need to take a step back and reflect on our values too. Are you drawn to certain brands that reflect your personality? Or is it because it’s quick and easy to buy?

For me, I like to use products that reflect my passion for sustainability, and giving back to the Earth. Personally, I’m extremely passionate about wellbeing and taking care of our bodies. This goes from my brand choice for skincare (The Bodyshop, 100% Vegetarian, All natural ingredients, Cruelty Free, commitment of ‘Enrich Not Exploit’), to cruelty free make-up (Barry M Cosmetics and Sleek here in the UK) and my clothing choices too. I believe that when I purchase something, it makes me more confident in myself by making mindful choices. My clothes are lasting longer, the personal care products I use make me feel amazing knowing they’re giving back, and I know my clothes are made from people with fairer wages, who aren’t exploited in the hard work they do.

When buying products, clothes or anything just be that little bit more mindful. If brands are doing wonderful things for others and the planet- then contributing to that can make us feel super lovely ❤ Just by doing this, you’re making a difference.

Isn’t that a wonderful thought?!

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Trusted Clothes and Keep Real!

The wonderful Canadian non-profit Trusted Clothes are documenting my brand Keep Real’s journey of sustainability and inspiring wellness. So sweet! Please go ahead and check it out.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.06.15

It’s no good promoting mental well-being as a business, if the business doesn’t have the foundations of trying to be the best version of itself either. So we expanded the definition of wellness to include our sustainable souring policy within our supply chain.

Here’s the first blog post I did as the founder. Excitingggg!!! ❤

Challenges of Starting a Sustainable Fashion Brand

Why I Started Shopping Ethical/Sustainable

Hi folks! I am feeling much better lately, thank you so much for the messages of love and goodness ❤ I wanted to share with you my views of shopping in a conscious way. Being mindful mentally goes right into how I shop and why I shop for clothing and goods. It’s also why my business Keep Real is aiming to be as sustainable as possible.

Most of us think we should care about where our clothes come from. But a lot of the time, we don’t. This is the common ground we all share, and the feedback I got from my Keep Real focus group yesterday (which I will review in another post I think!). We want to care, but because of our shopping environments that have been forced upon us- we also feel we don’t have a choice.

Looking for the latest trend, and having the habit of eyeing up the inner labels of the garments- can actually be quite off putting as a conscious shopper. I personally love shopping, trying pieces on and feeling real good about my choices. But are my choices making me truly feel good? I check the labels in the fast fashion chains like Primark or Topshop for example and knowing that they are not sustainable is so disheartening. If only all our clothes we select when shopping were ethically/socially conscious, so we didn’t have to second guess the majority of the time.

Most of us think we should care about where our clothes come from, but because our shopping environments don’t really give us that option- we feel we don’t have a choice.

It surprises me that everywhere I go, apart from H&M having an extremely small ‘Conscious’ collection, that brands continue to produce collections that aren’t ethically sourced. The big chains have a lot of money to make conscious decisions. However, they exploit their workers in other countries, contribute to being the second largest polluter in the world as an industry, and use materials that aren’t fantastic for the environment. Why are we actively buying into this? It’s because we can’t actively see it. We see the clothes on the rails, and the prices on the tags.Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 19.31.57

It makes me upset, to be a small business start-up trying to do the best in making the better decisions- when such large companies could make the changes with every season to develop and improve the ways they produce their clothes.
I find it easier to shop ethically for skin care/beauty products- for example, Lush Cosmetics, The Bodyshop and the cruelty-free brand Barry M Cosmetics here in the UK.
Fashion as one of the largest industries in the world, it can be tough to change the ways which have been working ‘effectively’ for many years. But being responsible should have been common sense from the start. This is why it is so important for businesses right now to make the changes from the very beginning. It makes me so proud to see people making more conscious decisions, I know it can be hard to gradually create a sustainable wardrobe but you’re making the right step by just thinking about it!

This is why I shop sustainable/eco fashion/ethical/socially conscious brands. Because you know what you’re buying into, you’re contributing to improving the environment, to workers better wages and making yourself feel good too ❤

Next I’ll be discussing my favourite sustainable brands and why I shop from them ❤

My Dream: The ‘Keep Real’ Store

So, as some of you lovely people may know- I run my own small business I set up last year called ‘Keep Real‘. Providing goods and illustration to all who seek a positive place. At the tail end of 2014, I had the delight of being interviewed by an independent magazine website called ‘Sheffield Unchained’ where they stated very accurately, ‘Kimberley decided to combine interests in design, illustration and mental health with the launch of what she terms a ‘positive illustration and goods movement’, which is less about selling objects and more about promoting meaning and positive messages.’

I couldn’t havIMG_20140405_141826e put it better myself. I want to create a store that people can just hang out at and shop. No rushing in, no rushing out if you don’t want to. You wanna sit and talk to your friends about your day? Do it. You wanna buy a present for a relative, and hang out on the sofas reading a book? Do it.

There aren’t enough places when you’re shopping, to make you feel like you’re welcome to stay as long as it pleases you. ‘If you’re going to stay, you have to buy something’. I don’t want that bullshit for you. Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just DSCN0014to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place. If you’re gonna hang at Keep Real, just throw your loose change into a jar- where it contributes to raising money to Mental Health Charities. Just don’t abuse the freedom (I’m flattered that you wanna stay from 9am til 5pm but really? really?!)

I have so many ideas with Keep Real, creating a positive environment for all you individuals out there. They’ll be sofas, throws and chairs around, where they’ll be loads of books that you can just pick up and read. Artwork on the walls for sale, clothes, accessories, bags, prints and homeware.

Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place.

Who knows what the future holds for it, but after I graduate- that’s where I will make my dreams come true (ultimate corny thing to say, right?). ‘Staying True’ and ‘Keeping Real’ are the traditional sayings that prove a foundation for what I really want to create. It will happen, I just can’t wait to see where it takes me and who follows the journey with me.