Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Fashioned From Nature: My Day at the V&A

Beetles, Bustiers and Breaking Taboos
The exhibition is shedding a light on the cruel history of the Fashion Industry, and how it needs to change

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The exhibition asks viewers to think about their clothes and their relationship to the world. Image: V&A

I went to see the Fashioned by Nature exhibition at the V&A yesterday. At the beginning of the exhibition were a couple of waistcoats with gorgeous embroidery showing flowers and monkeys. The jackets themselves were made of silk and another natural fibre and dated from the 1780-89. The detail and intricacy was unbelievable. The lines of thread were so carefully coordinated and planned, so painstakingly sewn into the fabric. Craftsmanship like that isn’t easy to come by these days, certainly not that kind. Imagining somebody wearing that waistcoat is difficult: it’s delicacy and beauty somehow render it impractical.

Men's waistcoat , 1780-89, showing Macaque monkeys. Image: The Guardian
In the next cabinet were some examples of lacework. These were extraordinarily delicate and detailed. Metres and metres of hand-sewn lace, coiled like a ribbon. I thought of the craftsperson, bent almost double, the night encroaching on them as they strained their eyes to see, the light of a single candle guiding the needle in and out of the fabric like a lighthouse signalling to a ship.

But that wasn’t the full picture. Beside the exhibits were notes explaining how the raw materials were sourced and processed. Here the full story came to light. Flax and cotton gathered and woven by slaves. Factories where women and children were taken advantage of and paid next to nothing. Workers exploited, garments made in bulk by vulnerable people, water sources polluted, air spoiled, indigenous populations abused or neglected, animals slaughtered and insects harvested, natural resources badly managed, creatures hunted almost to extinction for hats and corsets. It was eye-opening and appalling.

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Slaves in a cotton field, c.1850. Image available under Creative Commons license
The thoughtlessness that has bloomed in fashion which grew out of the ever-growing need to express wealth and affluence in dress, and the desire to imitate nature, has often caused populations and habitats to decrease dramatically in size. The lack of respect for animals, fellow humans and ecology is staggering. The thing is though, it’s definitely got a lot to do with class. The amount of money it took to get hold of these materials, and in such large volume, must have been astronomical. Exotic beetles, wolves, raccoons, cotton, etc. had to be imported to the UK and must have cost a fortune. The people who eventually wore the clothes would’ve had little to no idea where it had come from, or the cost to the environment of their garment. The consumer was worlds away from the manufacturer.

Muslin dress decorated with beetle-wings, 1868-9. Image: V&A

These days you can easily find out where your garment was designed and made, but there are so many steps in between these two processes that your garment could have travelled half the world before being worn by you. And you would never know, just as you would never know how the materials your garment was made of were made or harvested, processed and worked into their final form. You wouldn’t know who had laboured over your garment, or who designed it.
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The Who Made My Clothes campaign is taking off! Image: The Joinery

It calls for transparency in the fashion industry, to abandon the whims of the consumer by reducing the influence of fast fashion, and for more compassion for the environment. It also demands research into the manufacturing of materials alternative to those made from oil (polyester, nylon etc.). There are so many ways to make clothing sustainably if you do the legwork and don’t cut corners. Prolific designers such as Stella McCartney have already declared war on non-sustainable fashion. Speaking to Vogue, she said: "If you’re lucky enough to have a business on this planet, you have to approach it in this [sustainable] way." The Stella McCartney website has more details of where the brand stands on issues such as the environment, nature and people. 

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One of Stella McCartney's latest collections was shot on a landfill site. Image: Stella McCartney

It really doesn’t need to be difficult, and the more people do it, the less it will cost in the end. I really hope people are woken up out of this crazy dream where the clothes they buy don’t have a huge, hidden cost to the planet and its population. Because nobody in their right mind would realise how detrimental conventional fashion practices are to the planet, and then carry on as before. Nobody.

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Emma Watson wears a dress made from recycled plastic bottles, by Calvin Klein. Image: Teen Vogue

Fashioned From Nature is now showing at the Victoria and Albert until 27th January 2019
Text: Ophelia, admin assistant at Madia & Matilda 

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Three Cheers for Mummy!

Mother's Day 2018

With Mother's Day just around the corner on the 11th March, we have some 
last-minute gift ideas if you haven't quite got it sorted yet.  

If you're hoping to give your mum the opportunity to kick back and indulge in some serious relaxation, you couldn't do better than a gorgeous gift from Lola's Apothecary. Their Queen of Roses bath milk has won awards for its amazing scent and super calming properties, and if your mum likes to chill out in the bath this could be the one for her! 

Remember when you and your mum used to do everything together, like bake, or going to the park together? This Hettie bag, made from British tweed is a great gift to surprise your mum; whilst  you bring back those memories with a slightly lower-stress baking project, and enjoy the results with a lovely fragrant cuppa from Hoogly Tea. They do a fab Apple Strudel flavour that was basically made for those lazy baking afternoons and it comes in the sweetest little box! 

If you're looking for a beautiful, hand-crafted card to write something lovely and soppy in, think about getting a card from Coco Loves. They do a Super Mum card made from Scrabble tilesa brilliant upcycled gift.

Shout out to all the badass mums out there — you rock!

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sustainable Christmas

Happy Sustainable Christmas!

It’s a well-known fact that we all enjoy indulging ourselves a little more than usual at Christmas – whether it be by buying our loved ones more gifts planned, treating yourself while Christmas shopping (cos that shizzle is exhausting!), or having to unzip your jeans after dinner. But spoiling ourselves this season does not mean we need to spoil our planet too.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a sustainable Christmas this year. Challenge accepted? 

1) Sustainable Christmas Trees

Christmas is a massive tree brushing the ceiling of your living room, adorned with glittery baubles and lights and memories of Christmases past, right? Doesn't have to be! Why not try an artificial tree for a more Sustainable Christmas – these can be bought from most shops and last on average up to 20 years.

Not only that, but they come in all shapes and sizes – for example, there is the classic artificial tree, but also more unconventional trees such as this stunning steel tree above. Stick it away in the loft when January rolls around and re-use every year!

Another option for a sustainable Christmas tree would be to rent one! Yes, you read that right. There are now companies all over the UK, such as Forever Green, Christmas Tree Rentals, or Living Christmas who specialise in growing Christmas trees in pots. You simply order yours, they deliver it and you water it every day. Then, come January, the company comes to pick it back up and look after it all year until it gets rented again the following Christmas. The benefit of this is that trees are not simply being planted to be chopped right down again come Christmas time. Here at M&M, we think renting Christmas trees is a pretty great idea and will certainly be renting ours from now on!

2) Eco-friendly decorations

There is nothing prettier than an autumnal wreath on the front door at Christmas time and our friends at Fleur de Rue in Stroud Town Centre are selling the most stunning wreaths that would look amazing in any home this winter!

Why not pop down to their stall and have a little nosey for yourself at their beautiful pieces?

3) Recycle your tree!

You do not have to rent a tree or buy a fake one to be sustainable this Christmas. Make sure to recycle your tree when Christmastime is over and ensure you're not contributing to the 90% that end up in a landfill. For advice on recycling your tree, simply call your local council.

4) Send e-cards

Not in the mood to handwrite hundreds of Christmas cards this year? No worries – check out how to create an e-card and then email them to your recipients. The process takes minutes and all your cards can be sent at the same time – saving you time and effort, which means more time to get into the Christmas spirit with your family and save trees in the process! Win-win! Or a voucher from us, now what's not to love! 

5) Why not try a Vegan Christmas dinner?

The Vegan Food and Living website has some incredible Christmas meals and snacks to try. What's to stop you from updating your Christmas dinner, whilst still allowing for tradition? Check them out now for stunning and simple recipes such as Vegan Christmas Pie and Vegan Tofu “Egg” Nog and enjoy a sustainable Christmas dinner.
6) Eat your leftovers!
Boxing Day's leftover-sandwiches are a great part of the season's culinary offerings. Ensure to make your Christmas leftovers last and avoid throwing away good food this Christmas instead of binning your food remains. Books such as Love Your Leftovers from Friends of The Earth are a great way of doing this, but failing that, it might be an idea to donate your leftovers to your local homeless shelter. For some, it may be the only Christmas dinner they will get this year and you will be helping to cut down on global food waste whilst making someone feel loved. Is that not what Christmas is all about?!

However you choose to spend Christmas this year, we hope this has been of some help to you in having a more sustainable Christmas! All of us at M&M would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year and thank you for all your support this year.
Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Things to do for Mothers Day

Not sure how to treat your mum this Mother's Day? Check out some of our ideas below.

Dine in on luxurious finger sandwiches with fillings such as smoked salmon, ham and mustard and cucumber, scones with jam and clotted cream, homemade cakes, tea or coffee and a small glass of house wine for Afternoon Tea at Hatton Court.

Hatton Court
Check out the deal we have found for you here.

Fancy treating your mum to something a little more hands-on this year?

Why not try The Creative Cake Academy's incredible cake decorating classes and book you and your mum in for a little cake TLC this month.

Treat your mum to an afternoon of decorating treats in this lovely location in Cheltenham
Places to eat

Dinner out with your mum just got sweeter. Why not try dinner at a local restaurant?

For something a little European, check out L'Artisan in the centre of Cheltenham,

The French cuisine and calming atmosphere is perfect for a Mother's Day meal out, and the restaurant has been rated 5*'s on TripAdvisor. Check out their website for more info.

C  & W's African Experience in Gloucester is another fun meal out option for you and your mum this year! Completely different to anything you have ever experienced previously, you are sure to have fun!

Think your mum would prefer Tapas more? Sebz Restaurant in Gloucester is the obvious choice.

Not feeling exotic cuisine? No worries!

Check out Dinner at Six in Stroud for amazing meals sure to make any mouth hungry and presentation to make Heston Blumenthal cry. Book a table here.

Looking for an ethical and sustainable Mother's Day gift? Our shop has plenty of mum-worthy clothes, jewellery and candles to make her swoon. 

The Adian Embellished Blouse and Eduora Pleated Skirt are perfect for any occasion. Be it a gift for your mum, or for you to wear to a meal out or shopping spree with her!

Not sure what she would like? Why not pick her up a card and voucher and let her choose?

For the Mum that loves a good smell, pick up one of our curated brands candles from Lola's Apothecary here.

Want to treat her to all of them? Why not buy the Empress of Roses Hamper?

The new season comes with promises of longer days and warmer weather. Pick up your mum some fresh flowers from Fleurs De Rue in the centre of Stroud.

Is jewellery better suited to your mum? Check out LilyFlo's beautiful pieces here.

Shop mothers day gifts from M & M this year. #madiamatildagifts

Whatever you and your mum get up to this Mother's Day, we hope you enjoy yourselves!

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Beyond Indulgence - London Chelsea - Belgrave - Knightsbridge

Visits to London, sees us in Chelsea at an exclusive members only club Grace the epitome of calm tranquility and well-being.



 A stones throw away is the Chelsea Flower show
near Sloane square and the Saatchi Gallery. For those who like a arts and culture.
 RHS Chelsea Flower show

Then cross town at Buckingham Palace a worthwhile visit, if you'd like the real tourist trip.

Sincerely Madia & Matilda