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  • We chat with photographer Fanny Beckman about her latest Body Positivity exhibition.

    Fanny BeckmanFanny Beckman is an incredible portrait photographer and writer who uses her creative work to explore feminist activism – and has worked on projects exploring dance, domestic violence towards women, ethical fashion and mental health struggles. Her most recent work is a body positivity photo series ‘Women of My Generation’ where she took portraits of a variety of different women in their underwear in their bedrooms. This was recently displayed at an exhibition at Brighton Dome for Brighton International Women’s Day, accompanied by a short talk about her project. All the women featured responded to a call out she did on social media and were made up of a combination of her friends and also people she had never met before.

    What is special about Fanny’s work is that not only does she capture raw portraits – through a combination of her gentle presence, gift of getting people to open up and dedication to empowering women through the set up of her shots she is able to build trust with anyone she meets and create powerful imagery of women, often in vulnerable positions, that truly reflects the beautiful and often raw and honest conversation that goes along with it.

    Can you explain your inspiration for your body positivity ‘Women of My Generation’ exhibition? And what was the message you hoped to convey to women looking at these beautiful photos?

    For the last eight years, I have combined my photography with feminist activism. Recently I’ve noticed that the body positivity movement has bloomed massively on social media, which is a massive relief. I am all about opening conversation about topics that have been hushed historically, and body dysmorphia is one of those issues. With more and more influencers/celebrities/authors being open about their feelings towards their own bodies, more and more conversations about these feelings have been brought up, and I have discussed it a lot with my own friends. I noticed quickly how many people who have suffered, and the shame that surrounds eating disorders for example. This is my attempt to question and challenge beauty standards and to prove that it is perfectly possible to feel comfortable and confident in whatever body shape you are.
    Body Positivity

    Was it easy to find women to volunteer to have their pictures taken in their underwear? What do you think convinced each of these women to go for it?

    It was surprisingly easy actually. I posted on social media that I was looking for models for my upcoming exhibition and got a massive response. I had to turn down a lot of people, unfortunately, due to a time limit, but I am planning to extend the series and to contact these girls again.
    I realized that most of the models did this for themselves, to go out of their comfort zone and to become more comfortable showing themselves in their underwear. I am so happy to be part of their journey towards better self-esteem!
    Fanny Beckman on Body Positivity

    We love Fanny’s gorgeous photo of local fashion activist and founder of Revival Collective Hermione in her Navy Longline Bralette, don’t you – we’re so proud to be featured in such an inspiring and thought-provoking photo series.

    Without mentioning any names, do you think any of the women you photographed find it to be a transformational experience do you think? If so could you tell us a bit more…

    Yes, I do. It has been transformational for all of us, myself included. I definitely feel like I have achieved my goal to contribute to these women’s confidence, mainly because they have told me so. However, going from feeling hate towards your body to loving it doesn’t happen overnight. But if I have made a little change for the models and the viewers, it means the world to me.
    Moreover, it is not only the actual photoshoots that I feel have been transformational. The conversations behind the scenes have been just as important. Women are bursting to share their emotions and to feel less lonely, and I hope that future viewers can sense this and start questing beauty standards themselves.

    As a woman yourself, what is your relationship with your body and body positivity?

    I had a problematic relationship with my body at an early age. Unfortunately, I don’t know many people, especially girls, who don’t share this experience. We live in a society where beauty is prioritised and whoever doesn’t fit the norm is often left unhappy. My body has changed a lot throughout the years, depending on how much I’ve exercised, puberty, if I’ve been stressed etc. One thing that I have learnt is that no matter what body shape I have been in, there has always been something that I’ve disliked. I’ve also realised that my appearance hasn’t defined my happiness.
    The norm is incredibly narrow which makes people feeling too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, way too small breast, way too big breasts etc. The list can go on and on. I’ve learnt to accept my body and to be grateful that I am healthy and smart and that I have more important stuff to think about than my looks. Sometimes those rational thoughts are
    easier said than done though, depending on mental wellbeing and if there is anything else in life I struggle with. But overall, I feel very confident and grateful  for my body.

    I know you are very interested in questioning gender roles and combining photography with feminist activism. Can you tell us a bit more about previous projects you’ve been engaged in?

    Body Positive Interview

    As earlier mentioned, I have combined photography and activism for quite a while now. I started at an early age to help feminist organisations producing content for their social media, and I was a press photographer for events and feminist conferences back in Sweden, where I am from. However, my biggest art project before ‘Women of My Generation’, was about domestic violence. It’s a series of 9 portraits of women scarred (both physically and emotionally) by domestic abuse. It’s a collaboration with the Women’s Shelter of Malmo where I volunteered for 2 years before moving to England. This project has been exhibited a few times in Sweden, the last time was in the Swedish Parliament in November 2017.

    What is next, have you got anything exciting projects coming up that we should know about?

    I am planning to extend my latest project since I still have a list of women to take photos off. I am currently trying to find galleries and art venues where I can display my photos. I really like the combination of exhibition and having a longer talk about the issue, and would love to do more of that.

    And finally, we’ve been thinking about the ‘female gaze’ – considering how female photographers look at women and women’s bodies differently to the usual ‘male gaze’. Do you agree?

    This is a really interesting observation, and I am very glad that you noticed a difference – thank you! The male gaze is very present in most media, and unfortunately, it is not only men who take photos from this perspective. We are all so used to seeing typical “male” and “female” poses, as well as different angles and lights being used for different sexes. It takes a lot of time and education to start seeing these patterns, but once you do it is impossible to ignore them. The fact that I am a woman taking photos of another woman doesn’t necessarily remove all the stereotypes and sexualisation. Women are very much affected by what is considered desirable, just as men. However, as previously mentioned I am constantly questioning gender roles, I have studied loads of advertisement throughout the years, both by looking at photos (private at home or at school/university). This has helped me to identify the underlying structural norms which create and recreates sexism, and therefore have had a massive influence on me developing as a Photographer. For example, I would never take photos of a woman in her underwear from above. The bird perspective has been used for centuries to objectify women, make them look smaller and ready to seduce the viewer. Instead, I take photos from slightly underneath her torso, to make her look more powerful and confident. It doesn’t only affect the final result of the photo, but also the dynamic during the shoot. I don’t want to stand above these girls, I sit on the floor admiring all these inspiring women who give me their time. You are incredible.

     If you’d like to see more of Fanny’s work, you can find her Instagram @feckman, her website www.fannybeckman.com and on Belongcon’s website too.

     

    Join our Body Positive #youbeyou campaign

    Have you spotted our #youbeyou campaign over on Instagram? We are practising what we preach & celebrating all the wonderful bodies in our community! Follow us on Instagram @brightonlace to see the campaign and how you can get involved.

    Love Letter To My Lacies

    Merlot Red Lace Lingerie Set

    Valentine’s Day – ‘Love Letter To My Lacies’

     

    A Valentine’s declaration of love and adoration to my favourite lingerie inspired by Lydia Higginson for Fashion Revolution

    Dear Lacies,

    I love you. A lot. I know that I don’t express this enough or show you the appreciation and care you deserve as often as I should. However, this Valentine’s day I thought that it was about time I stopped taking you for granted and told you how I really feel in a love letter, crafted from the bottom of my heart.

    To start with I just want to say thank you for always being there for me. When I wake up in the morning, open up my undies drawer and see your deep red lace gazing up at me my heart fills with joy.  Thank you for providing me with a little celebration every day!

    My Valentine – handmade lace lingerie that compliments my body, my eyes and my skin; always making me feel amazing no matter what the occasion. Whether I’m lazing about in my lacies on the sofa or I’m dressed up in my matching bralette and knicker set for a special occasion, you’re always there cheering me on, providing me with the gentle support I need.

    Sexy Red Lace Lingerie Set

    I always smile when I think back to the story of when we first met. That moment when I first saw you, looking so delicate, hanging on the rail at @flockbrighton, eager for us to meet. I fell for your exquisite floral motif, unlike any lace I’d seen before. From that first fleeting glance, I knew I had to make you mine. It was love at first sight…

    The more I found out about you, the deeper I fell. You are a vintage remnant lace from the British fashion industry – full of stories, memories and incredible experiences. You really were and still are one of a kind. I heard that red is difficult to dye, but your shade is perfect. I breathed new life into you, introducing you to my favourite wardrobe staples, and you have continued to inspire my personal style, a muse feeding my creativity.

    Our relationship flew by in a blur the way only true love does. Next thing I knew, it was the evening before my wedding day, and there you were, a special lace set – handmade just for me. Your vibrant red lace was a daring choice, but whilst I nervously awaited the moment I was to walk down the aisle, I felt so good with your gentle support, close to my skin. That day, you made my heart sing and you continue to do so every day.

    Merlot Red Tiger Lily Lace Lingerie SetYou are caring and comfortable – forever being the backbone of my underwear collection. A matching set that appreciates and celebrates my body just as it is, not trying to mould me into something I’m not with uncomfortable seams or wires. I could never ask for anything more from my underwear, you’re truly perfect.

    Thank you for the memories that have become interwoven into your beautiful lace. No matter what the future holds, I will love and cherish you forever and always.

    We’d love to hear your love letters to your lacies! It’s so easy to take our clothing for granted, especially when it comes to our underwear. Here at Brighton Lace, we felt that it was about time we all started showing our favourite lingerie some love! They are with us in our most intimate moments, through the monotonous work days into the exciting parties and encounters. Our lacies are special, full of memories and have the power to make us feel a million dollars. This is why we love our new Instagram hashtag #feelgoodundies because that’s exactly what they are!

     

    Self Care and Winter Wellbeing Tips

    Winter Wellbeing Tips

     

    Now that all the Christmas festivities have well and truly passed, and the winter chills seem to be indefinitely creeping in (for England at least!), it’s more important than ever to practice self-care and look after your mental and physical well-being.

    January is naturally a slower time of year, and it needs to be like this because you can bet that by the time Spring arrives we’ll all be out and about being busy bunnies.  As I write this I’m remembering that it’s okay to be quieter! I don’t need to ‘push’ myself to be productive, particularly after our super busy Christmas period! I’m making a promise to myself to take the time every day to be kind, to re-charge and to do some of those things that always get pushed to the side when things seem hectic.

     

    Here are 7 of our favourite ways to practice self-care.

     

    #1 Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness

     

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    Three things we should try and fit into every day. Yoga and meditation are the perfect act of self-care to start or end your day. They help you to transition into and out of work mode by allowing your body gentle movement and your mind to focus and relax. We also love using apps like Headspace, Calm or Insight Timer during a busy day for those moments when you need to disconnect and reset yourself. We also love the website Bright.

    Because our lacies are made to be comfortable and to fit your natural body shape you don’t even need to take them off to do your favourite yoga routine – see the lovely Anna De Sousa as a shining example. If you’re new to Yoga and don’t have the time or confidence to attend a class, why not give YouTube Yogi Yoga with Adriene for a spot to bedroom Yoga practice.

    #2 Get a good night’s sleep

    Lace Camisole

    Making sure you are getting enough sleep is essential to your mental and physical well-being and is one of the most important acts of self-care. We all need a lot more sleep in the winter and when the evenings are getting dark so early, our beds have never seemed so inviting.

    Now the weather is getting a bit too cool to sleep in our lace sets, we love snuggling up in our luxuriously cosy lace vests. They came in a rainbow of colours, all manufactured in the UK and hand-dyed by us.

    Our vests are so versatile – they are seamless and made from a soft stretchy diamond knit fabric. As well as being worn as loungewear or pyjamas, they can also be worn as a vest to layer over, or as a top in their own right. You get the feeling of not having to leave your pyjamas but still looking stylish and presentable.

    If sleep is something you struggle with, we also recommend using sleep masks to help block out the light (watch this space for our new ones, launching with our sleepwear collection next month!). Add a few drops of aromatic Lavender or Chamomile essential oil to your pillow in order to have the optimal nights rest.

    #3 Taking the time to relax

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    Prioritise ‘me’ time! Remember that doing relaxing activities is essential to help keep us more energised, motivated and positive.

    Whether that’s taking a scented bath with your favourite music or podcast on in the background, reading a new book, doing a craft activity or taking some time to practise journalling it’s important to take some time in the evenings to unwind and relax after a busy day.

    3 of our favourite podcasts to listen to while you relax include:

    #1 One Girl Band – A  podcast for female entrepreneurs and creatives who work for and by themselves, hosted by the wonderful Lola Hoad. This podcast is filled with real, truthful insights into running a small business and pep of purposeful and practical advice.

    #2 Late Night Woman’s Hour – this late night sister to Woman’s Hour is hosted by Lauren Laverne and guests and is a frank, funny and intimate panel discussion discussing various topical themes.

    #3 The Guilty Feminist – Comedian, Deborah Frances-White presents this hilarious comedy podcast alongside brilliant guests and a live audience discussing topics “all 21st-century feminists agree on” whilst confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles.

    Or you’re after more of a chilled vibe, try our latest playlist Sunday Mornings.

     

    #4 Practising Hygge 

     

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    Hygge, pronounced ‘Hoo-ga’ is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of cosiness and comfort that evokes feelings of wellness and contentment, helping you tackle SAD and get through the winter blues.

    Meik Wiking who has written The Little Book of Hyggeexplains: ‘Danes are aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing. After our basic needs are met, more money doesn’t lead to more happiness and, instead, Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.’.

    The essentials of making your home more Hygge are creating a warming atmosphere with candles, cosy blankets, a big jumper, warm socks, fairy lights and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Try it out and see what you think!

     

     

    #5 Get creative

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    We love crafting as this is a great way to practice mindfulness. It allows us to use a different part of our brain to achieve something beautiful. Let go of stresses and anxieties and just breathe, decorate, scribble and embrace lose yourself in the creative process.

    We’ve compiled a board on Pinterest called Create – it’s full of little crafty projects for quiet evenings and weekends. From DIY terrariums to flower pressing and Wabi Sabi Japanese-style mending – there’s loads of lovely ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

    Be sure to check out our other Pinterest inspiration boards too – including Embroidery, Self-Care and Upcycled Fashion projects.

     

     

    #6 Fresh air and exercise

    Walk

    When it’s cold outside it’s tempting to want to stay inside, but there is nothing like fresh air to leave us feeling calmer and re-connected. Nature is a big inspiration and influence on our design process here at Brighton Lace. We love taking in the salty air on cold beachside mornings and stomping up Sussex cliffs to watch the sunset.

    Being out in nature with the wind rushing in our hair makes us feel alive, helps us gain perspective and be appreciative of the world around us. Also getting your body moving, blood pumping and endorphins rushing is so important for our physical and mental health.

     

    #7 Eating well 

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    Food and the making of it is definitely an act of self-care, and one we greatly enjoy. We love big batch cooking in winter and cosying up on the sofa in our fluffiest jumper with a big steaming bowl of goodness. Our favourites are the Yummly Crockpot Lentil Soup, Deliciously Ella’s Simple Tomato and Mushroom Pasta and this Whisk Affair Tofu Red Thai Curry.

    Eating delicious warm meals in winter that are nutrient-rich help boost your immune system. When a meal is hot it requires less energy to digest and aids gut health. Big batch dishes like the ones above are full of vitamins and minerals and are easy to make and heat up throughout the week – and ideal for tomorrow’s lunchbox too!

    Good food not only feeds your body, but it also feeds the soul and leaves you feeling nourished and fulfilled.

     

     

    Brighton Lace Christmas Gift Guide

    You must all know by now how passionate we are about the magic of small independent businesses – we really like to shout it from the rooftops at every opportunity and Christmas is a golden one.

    To give you some inspiration we’ve put together a Brighton Lace Gift Guide including products from some of our favourite small businesses run by gorgeous women who make equally gorgeous items – from luxurious vegan candles to hand-made clothing, all of which are perfect for gifts. 

    As well as their top Christmas present picks we’ve also included a little about them and why they like us are passionate about shopping small. 

    We hope you enjoy and are inspired to ditch the high street and choose special, unique gifts from independent makers this Christmas.

    Hummingbird Hawkmoth

     

    Tell us a bit about Hummingbird Hawkmoth

    Hummingbird Hawkmoth is an ethical jewellery brand. Every piece is made by hand using recycled silver where possible. All of our packaging is made from recycled paper and card and is totally plastic free and biodegradable.

     

    Where are you based?

    I’m based in Brighton at Rodhus studios. This is a huge space with over 30 different artists and makers. I happily share a workshop with 4 other super jewellers.

     

    Where can we find you?

    The majority of our products are made to order (this means we can custom make to your size/specifications if need be!) and may be purchased via Etsy. I do also take part in markets and events throughout Brighton, Lewes and beyond.

     

    What makes Hummingbird Hawkmoth the perfect Christmas gift?

    Our pieces are  super lovely presents for several reasons. Our  jewellery is beautiful, handmade and ethical. Recycled sterling silver jewellery will last a lifetime and hence can make a very special and lasting gift for your Mum, wife, daughter or friend.

     

    Why should everyone shop small this Christmas?

    I’m a total convert to shopping small and local! It’s just a win/win situation. You know you’re supporting a small business and enhancing your local economy. By buying handmade you are championing creativity and enterprise. And you are gifting your loved ones with an item that is unique and made with the utmost care.

    Here are Hummingbird Hawkmoth’s top Christmas present picks…


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    Lotus Petal Hoops

    These are one of my very first designs. They were born out of a special play session.. And hence I love to make them and I love to wear them too!

    These are available in two sizes, medium and large.

    These are made from recycled sterling silver and are available in either a high shine or soft matt finish.

    Prices start from £45 including free UK delivery.

     

    Buy here

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    Circle stud earrings

    My simple circle stud earrings are made from recycled sterling silver and are a lovely comfortable and classic earring.

    They’re available in either a high shine (seen here) or soft matt finish. 

    They cost £25 and this includes free UK shipping.

     

    Buy here. 

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    Lotus Flower Pendant

    This is a new design and is one of my favourites! Again, made from recycled sterling and on a sterling silver trace chain. 

    This can come with a crystal point or unadorned.

    Prices from £65 including UK postage.

     

    Buy here.

    STALF

    Tell us a bit more about STALF 

     

    We hand make our super-simple easy wear. We choose not to design for mass-production or wholesale, instead we hand make small quantities of each of our garments to order, and send them straight to our customer. This means that each piece is unique and special, we get to know familiar names, the people who support us season after season. Our process is personal and unique.The design and manufacturing process is something to be valued and shared, and the way we work is something we’re very proud of. All of our products are researched, designed, hand-cut and made from scratch in small batches by us, in-house.

    Where are you based?

    STALF is based at the Pink Studio in Lincolnshire, UK.

     

    How can we find you?

    All available products can be purchased from our website, stalf.co.uk

     

    What makes STALF the perfect Christmas gift? 

    The beauty of STALF is that the garments really do slot into your life, whatever your circumstance!. I’d gift our pieces to almost any woman in my life, but they’re particularly good for expectant or new Mums, anyone who loves a throw-on-and-go garment, or demands a lot from their clothing! 

     

    Why should we shop small this Christmas?

    Shopping small (especially at Christmas) supports a fair, sustainable fashion industry, and keeps our independent businesses alive. Consumer choices steer the course we’re all travelling on, and collectively we can engineer change through the decisions we make and ultimately where we choose to spend our hard-earned money.

    Here are STALF’s top Christmas present picks…

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    Cocoon Jumpsuit

    The Cocoon Jumpsuit is our bestseller for good reason. It’s a throw on piece that works on so many levels and for almost any occasion regardless of age or season. 

    It can be layered over comfy tees and under slouchy knits for day, or dressed up with heels and a little sparkle for night. 

    Buy here. 

      
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    Organic Sweatshirt 

    The Organic Sweatshirt is another all-rounder with classic appeal.

    This style has all the throw-over-anything charm of your favourite sweatshirt, but the clean shape and simplicity keep it smart.It’s the ultimate Boxing Day jumper- super cosy and comfy (size up for ultimate slouch!).

     

    Buy here

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    Walnut Bobble Hat

    The new Dreams Collection is super special. A collection of treasures, limited editions, one-offs and small batch pieces all handmade at the pink studio.

    I picked the Bobble Hat in Walnut, a soft, neutral shade that goes with everything. We’ve made our Bobble hats from the softest 100% British Wool, this is not a scratchy hat! It’s the most beautiful, handmade gift to receive on Christmas day and wear forever. 

     

    Buy here

     

    House of Scandal

     

    Tell us a bit about House of Scandal

    House Of Scandal was created by Hannah Patrick to provide elegant luxury at an accessible price. With our invigorating scents, each candle is hand poured with soy wax and blended with the highest quality fragrances. Our scents are inspired by everyday life, whether its a distant memory, a word, or that first coffee in the morning.

    We wanted to create a multi sensory experience, as scent plays such an important part in our memories, providing the perfect luxury experience in interior scent.

    Where you are based?

    We’re based in London

    Where can we find you?

    Head to our website www.houseofscandal.co.uk

    What makes House of Scandal the perfect Christmas gift?

    The versatility of our candles are the reason why they are such a timeless gift option. We all have that one person on our list that we can never figure out what to get. Who doesn’t want a gift that they can use over and over?

    Why should we shop small this Christmas?

    Small businesses strive to survive and one of the biggest advantages they have over big retailers is the ability to provide a more personable experience. So why not cause some scandal this Christmas?

    Here are Scandal’s top Christmas present picks…

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    Trophy Wife in Rockstud Rose Gold

    This statement piece for your home is the definition of interior scent. With its stunning rock studded container you’ll be drawn in by its intoxicating blend of Ginger, Patchouli, Jasmine and sandalwood.

     

    Buy here 

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    Seductive Secrets in Diamond Chrome

    Who doesn’t love a secret? Scented with Lotus Blossom and Jasmine.

     

    Buy here

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    Bad Girls Club

    Meet our Bad Girls Club members, this wooden wick duo is available in a Gold Cloche scented with Playful Peony or a Purple Small Cloche scented with Damson Plum & Dark Rose.

    Available as a set or sold individually.

     

    Buy here

    Emperor’s Old Clothes

     

    Tell us a bit about The Emperor’s Old Clothes

    We’re dedicated to sustainable fashion working exclusively with vintage fabrics & end-of-roll remnants which would otherwise find their way to landfill. This also means that when you buy a new item of clothing you are adding another chapter to the story of each beautiful cloth. 

    Where are you based?

    Every item is handmade by our all-female team in our cosy Brighton studio. Packed to the rafters with beautiful vintage fabrics this is where the magic happens! 

    We’re passionate about ethical business. This isn’t simply about products and supply chains, it’s about the people behind the brand. Every member of our team is paid the living wage and gets the opportunity to develop their creative & technical skills in our friendly Brighton studio.

    Where can we find you?

    You can find our latest range of one of a kind clothing + accessories in our online boutique. You can visit us at Flock boutique in Brighton or you can visit one of our other stockists: Godiva Boutique in Edinburgh and Poot Emporium in Frome, Somerset.

    We offer design your own + bespoke services so customers can book to visit us for fittings and consultations.

    What makes The Emperor’s Old Clothes the perfect Christmas present?

    Our pouches, bags, and purses make great gifts for all ages. Lots of people buy them as gifts for their loved ones because they fall in love with the one of a kind patterns + prints.

    Why should we shop small this Christmas?

    We’re so passionate about shopping small! There are so many benefits to choosing to shop small + independent over the high street. Supporting small businesses helps to boost the local economy, creates more local jobs, it often means supporting innovation + sustainability and we’re sure you’ve heard the phrase that every time you shop small an actual person does a dance!

    Most of all you get far more originality for your money! By shopping small you can treat your loved ones to something truly unique that they will treasure.

    Here are Emperor’s Old Clothes top Christmas present picks…

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    Travel Pouches

     Our travel pouches are a firm favourite with customers young + old. They come in three sizes: laptop cases (13″ or 15″), tablet cases (perfect for ipad fans) + small travel pouches.

    Each one has a gold zip and quilted padded interior for extra protection. The outer fabric is handpicked from our range of vintage / end of roll fabric collection.

    Our pouch collection is perfect for keeping your valuables safe in your bag or suitcase, or double up as clutch bags to add a pop of colour or texture to an outfit. We recommend using them for laptops, tablets etc but our customers have told us they use them for everything including make-up bags, pencil cases and sewing kits!

    Buy here

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    Coin Purses

    Need somewhere to keep those precious pennies? This beautiful handmade coin purse is the perfect gift for those who like to travel in style.

    Lovingly hand sewn from scratch this gorgeous coin purse comes with an antique gold metal clasp.

    Buy here

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    Clasp Handbags

    Our clasp handbags have a brown leather style shoulder strap and fastens with an antique gold metal clasp.

     This beautiful handmade handbag is the perfect gift for those with a love of vintage fabrics and styles who are always on the move.

    Buy here 

    Hearts and Guns

     

    Tell us a bit about Hearts and Guns

    Hearts and Guns create unique pieces of clothing from beautiful vintage and limited edition fabrics with a contemporary feel. Focussing on fabrics such as lace and antique embroidery we repurpose forgotten textiles so that they can live on in fresh pieces of clothing.

    Where are you based?

    All our pieces are handmade in Brighton.

    Where can we find you?

    You can buy our pieces via our Etsy shop, at Flock in Brighton or from Poot Emporium in Frome.

    What makes Hearts and Guns the perfect Christmas present?

    Our pieces are the ideal gift for the free-spirited women in your life who are fans of one-off and completely unique items of clothing.

    Why should we shop small this Christmas?

    You should shop small because it is so much more personal. You are dealing directly with someone who has poured their heart and soul into creating unique items just for you! 

    shop-independent-brighton-lace-gift-guide-christmas-handmade-maker-small-business-gift-guide-mums-sisters-friends-hearts-and-guns-top-purple-sleeves-boho-handmade

    Silver Moon Sweater

    Oversized and slouchy, perfect for those chilly winter days or as part of your PJ set. Created completely from repurposed fabrics.

    Buy here

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    Cropped Vintage Tweed Jacket 

    This jacket fits up to size 12. This stunning piece with its sheepskin collar is perfect for layering your winter wardrobe and adding a touch of glamour to any outfit! Created from recycled fabrics.

     

    Buy here

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    Silk Velvet Kimono Minidress in Dusty Rose

    This dress fits up to size 8, other sizes available on request. This is a perfect party piece! The amazingly luxurious fabric drapes beautifully and the dress is a real head turner! Also available in Dark Olive.

     

    Buy here

    Brighton Lace

    And lastly it’s us, Brighton Lace. You already know about us and our hand made lace bralettes, knickers and vests. But did you know that they are all made by hand by us here in Brighton? Our beautiful sets are perfect for the special women in your life who love colour and celebrating every day. 

    Here are our Christmas present picks…

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    Scarlet Red Longline Set

     This set is a gorgeous, festive scarlet red with pink details. The longline bralette set is particularly good for winter because it gives a little more coverage than your traditional bralette.

     

    Buy here

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    Merlot Red Lou Lou Set

    The Merlot Lou Lou Halter Set has to be one of our all-time favourite pieces in the collection. It’s a real luxury set, handmade from a stunning and soft deep red lace. 

    This backless vintage-inspired high-neck halter top comes with lace ties behind the neck and back, so it’s pretty sexy! 

    Buy here

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    Sheer Black Lou Lou Set

    This is the same as the Merlot Lou Lou – this time it’s in our stunning sheer vintage-style black lace!  

    Buy here

    We hope you’re feeling suitably inspired…

    You can find out more about why we love shopping small in our blog post here.  Happy gifting everyone!

    P.s don’t forget small businesses often need a bit more notice to make, package and sent out your orders… so don’t leave it too late x

    Our Values – Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

    Brighton Lace Studio

    We are proud to be an ethical and sustainable fashion brand and want our lacies and other pieces to be little celebrations enjoyed by women everywhere, without coming at the cost of the environment or its inhabitants.

    Fashion should be about empowering people, giving everyone across the planet a decent wage and working environment and using materials that cause as minimal impact on the planet as possible whether that is vintage materials like ours, materials made from post-consumer waste or new natural materials.

    This is why one of our values here at Brighton Lace is to create beautiful lace lingerie sets, tops and loungewear which are perfect for conscious women who care about how their clothing came to life.

    Being an ethical and sustainable fashion brand is incredibly important to us

    Our vision with Brighton Lace has always been to create feel-good lingerie handmade by empowered women, exactly what fashion should be. The sad truth is, a lot of what we’ve come to see as ‘fashion’ has been made under shocking conditions in factories around the world. Lots of companies outsource their clothing which means that even the fashion brand themselves may not even know (or turn a blind eye) to what extent garment workers are being exploited, allowing them to claim ignorance and take responsibility.

    This was brought to the public attention with the Rana Plaza Collapse in 2013, an event that shocked so many of us immensely and kicked many people into action to campaign about the way we produce our clothes including Fashion Revolution, a really inspiring organisation.

    A lot of this can be blamed on the increasing pressure for factory owners to produce cheap clothing at a ridiculous pace, this is why we are huge advocates of paying a fair price for slow fashion, steering away from fast-fashion and looking to beautiful products that have been crafted with the creativity and longevity that has been lost.

     

    What makes us an ethical fashion brand?

    Our business is based in Brighton, England and this is where our three women team design, hand-make, hand-dye and package all our pieces. Everyone involved is paid a living wage, and we are able to work in comfortable conditions doing something we love.

    Traditional crafts were moved away from the UK abroad and were blown up into large-scale production. Making clothes has become associated with speed, convenience and cheapness in a system that is exploitative for everyone involved. What was once seen as an artisanal, highly creative and skilled craft that was an integral part of local economies and community has been lost. This is something that we find incredibly sad.

    Everyone deserves to be paid an empowering living wage and their work valued in the same way. Choosing to buy handmade products like our lacies means that not only are you buying beautiful clothing you are supporting a creative skill, helping makers earn a living from a livelihood they are passionate about.

    We want to create beautiful lingerie that supports women to enjoy being themselves and our pieces are made with love and care, to be loved and cherished by the wearer. We adore creating slow fashion, taking our time to choose new designs, pick our beautiful colours and see our visions come to life in front of our eyes. You can follow this whole process on our Instagram @brightonlace where we’re always posting behind the scenes videos and pictures.

    You can also meet some of us in the flesh! Every Saturday Lou takes Brighton Lace to the Portabello Market in London!

    Our products are made in England and materials sourced from Europe This means that it is much easier to track all parts of our supply chain – making being a conscious business a lot easier this also helps us control our environmental impact too.

    Rolls of lace

    Why we’re a sustainable fashion brand too

    Sustainable fashion spans a lot of things including providing fair wages and having a positive social impact as mentioned above. It also refers to environmental impact too. The fast-fashion industry is one of the biggest pollutants in the world and one that comes at a huge cost to our environment. The impact is significant throughout the life cycle of many garments we’ve come to love including the production of the raw materials, the creation of the garment, how it’s used and cared for, and finally how its disposed of. That’s why it’s so important to keep materials and garments in the loop.

    In a recent BBC documentary where Stacie Dooley explores ‘Fashions Dirty Secrets’, she talks about a lot these issues including the terrifying impact the fashion industry has had on the Aral Sea. It’s definitely a must watch.

    We’re so inspired by the natural world around us and care deeply about our beautiful planet. Thinking about how much we are all polluting our surroundings is heartbreaking. This is why we try and be as zero waste as possible and reduce our impact as much as we can. There really is so much pre-existing material out there already – from second-hand clothing, to end of line and offcuts, all of which are sitting there waiting to be used. But, they do always say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

    Lace lingerie collection

    How our lacies come to life

    All our lingerie and other pieces are made from gorgeous remnant laces and vintage fabrics leftover from the British fashion industry. We’re proud to be reusing, recycling and saving these beautiful materials from going to waste – instead, crafting them into something beautiful. After we’ve found the perfect laces for our collections we then hand dye them here in Sussex in our specially chosen colour combinations and make them up. The best thing about using vintage materials and remnants is that our lovely lacies are not only environmentally friendly, they are also limited edition and completely unique.

    We believe it is a business’s responsibility to be more sustainable in their practices and allow people the options to buy beautiful things that don’t come at a cost to the environment.

    Clothing purchases have massively increased in the last few years – we’re paying less, buying more and only keeping things for a short amount of time. According to WRAP ‘on average, clothing lasts for 3.3 years before they are discarded or passed on’ to make way for the new.  A lot of clothing ends up going straight into landfill after only a few years of wear, a shocking fact when most clothing causes such significant pollution during its production. This attitude isn’t sustainable and is devaluing our clothing.

    We want to provide you with an alternative, handcrafting special pieces that you will want to love and cherish forever.

    Zero Waste Fabric Offcuts

    But how do you know if a company is actually ethical or sustainable?

    Ethical and Sustainable fashion has now become a buzzword that has been getting more and more mainstream usage. This is great in terms of awareness, but with so many big brands jumping on this bandwagon and claiming that they are sustainable, it can be hard to know who is genuine and who isn’t, this is called ‘Greenwashing’. ‘Sustainable fashion’ as a term is tricky because it can mean a variety of things.

    The most valuable thing a business can offer you is transparency, if a company is transparent in their practices then this allows you to make sure that they align with your values. Small independent businesses like ours that make locally and promote slow fashion are a great place to start, especially if you are able to meet the designers and makers in person. Find out more about why it’s great to shop at small independent businesses here.

    Remember, never be afraid to ask questions about where your clothes have come from, who they’re made by and how they’ve been made – if they won’t tell you, they’ve probably got something to hide.

    If you have any questions at all about Brighton Lace, our practices and our materials feel free to send us a message and we’ll be more than happy to answer them. Also, we know we’re not perfect and always looking for ways to improve and grow as a business, your feedback and ideas are more than welcome.

    If you want to learn more about ethical and sustainable fashion check out organisations like Labour Behind the Label and Fashion Revolution. Also, for more inspiration follow our favourite Instagrammers @storiesbehindthings.  

     

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