Happy International Women's Day! For #IWD2019, I am celebrating all the incredible women I have had the honour of meeting and collaborating with over the past year, who are empowering people and protecting the planet with inspiring determination.

Photography by Ellie Morag.

A month ago I attended a bloggers’ clothes swap in Edinburgh, organised by fab ethical fashion enthusiast Ruth MacGilp in collaboration with social venture ALICAS. It’s been a while since I’ve attended any blogger events in Edinburgh so it was fantastic to catch up with friends and meet new bloggers too - it was great to put faces to Instagram names!



Prior to the event, we were encouraged to bring along not only well-loved items from our wardrobes to swap and give a new home, but brand new items with tags-on. You know, the kind that you order online, then never wear because you didn’t like the style or it didn’t fit you properly, and then forget to or just don’t return for whatever reason.

Why?

To donate to ALICAS. The Scotland-based social venture was founded in early 2017, by its inspiring Founder Rachael Bews, and creates bespoke clothing parcels for women in clothing crisis, such as survivors of domestic abuse. ALICAS only accepts new and unused clothing with tags still on (or in extremely good/brand new condition) in order to support and empower women in retaining their dignity, identity and confidence when rebuilding their lives. They also gather and use surplus stock from fashion retailers for the clothing parcels, providing brands with a socially and environmentally friendly alternative to landfill and incineration.


Having worked for the social venture over the past few months, it was very rewarding visiting the new office in Edinburgh, learning about the process and getting involved with curating a bespoke capsule wardrobe to support a woman in clothing crisis.

All clothes left at the end of the clothes swap were donated to local charity shops, leaving no waste.


Photography by Ellie Morag.

Being surrounded by a group of such positive women sharing similar views on ethical and sustainable fashion and feminism has definitely fuelled my interest in contributing to the sustainable fashion movement myself. My final research project (aka dissertation) for university is focusing on how Scottish organisations can encourage more sustainable buying behaviour in consumers, and my research so far has been extremely eye-opening. I'm very excited to complete the project and publish my findings publicly, with the intention of continuing to explore how we can use fashion to empower people and protect the planet.

If you’d like to support ALICAS, you can find out how to donate unused, tags-on clothing at alicas.co.uk/donate or buy an item from their sustainable merchandise collection designed by EJ Cassidy. Stay up to date on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to find out more about how you can support ALICAS as they grow and help clothe even more women with love.

Happy International Women's Day to Rachael, Ruth and all of the incredible, inspiring women determined to empower people and protect the planet.


International Women's Day: Empowering People and Protecting the Planet

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