MAALS watches: Focus interview with founder Andy Sealey

 

MAALS Watches: Andy’s earlier guest post described how he and his brother Bruno set out to start a design-led, affordable watch brand.

Here, FAULT Focus interviews the brand’s co-founder to see what it takes to start a fashion accessory business:

 

MAALs watches co-founder Andrew Sealey

MAALs watches co-founder Andy Sealey

FAULT: What was your primary inspiration for starting MAALS Watches?
MAALs watches co-founder Andy Sealey: We were looking around for new watches and found that the majority of the watches on sale today have the same look, with a few exceptions. Bruno has backed a couple of design-led watches on Kickstarter in the past and we thought, “if they can do it, why can’t we?” This whole journey so far has been both scary and exciting, but I know if we didn’t go for it then we’d be forever wondering. Plus creating the brand and watch has been good fun.

Can you tell us about some of the unique features of the brand?
MAALs watches: We’re a family owned start-up designer and producer and when setting up we agreed that we wanted to be in the affordable area of the market rather than going high-end – that market is already well served – because the affordable market is where we personally sit in when it comes to our own collections. Our collections are paid for through saving and impulse chance finds and we figured there are a lot people like us that want something away from the norm, that looks good, can be a bit of a talking point, but won’t cost a fortune.

We created the design of our first watch, Jump Over The Moon (JOTM), by looking at our own collections and seeing what was missing, in this case a moonphase, and setting out creating something we love to have in our own collections. There are loads of gaps in our collections for instance, we’re missing retrogrades, perpetual calendars, LEDs, something really extravagant like a tourbillon and lots of others. JOTM is just the first in a planned family series of three, so we have plenty of scope when it comes to designs.

MAALs watches

You were both avid timepiece collectors before you launched MAALS but did you have to learn a lot more about the craft of watch-making when you started designing?
MAALs watches: Bruno knows more about mechanicals than I do to be honest, he’s much more into the intricacies than I am. For Jump Over The Moon, the design came first then we worried about how it would work! Not the most efficient way of doing things but it meant we had some absolutely wild ideas. Some were just too complicated, but have elements we can take and use in future designs, but the process of just designing whatever was in our heads was great. For the next watch in the series we’re going to choose the function first so that’s set, then free design again.

What/who were the main influences behind Jump Over the Moon – if any?
MAALs watches: 70’s jump hour watches such as those from Damas and Lasser, have had an influence for sure, their use of softer rounded edges rather than the more current sharper edged look has been pulled through into our design, as well as the domed dial and screen. The red of the Italian sports cars was the influence for the red second hand on the brushed steel version, and a mirror frame from an interior designer friend on mine gave us the idea for the sunburst dials.

You decided to work with British artist Okse for the distinctive casebacks on Jump Over The Moon. What drew you to his work, in particular?
MAALs watches: He was at an art gallery exhibition that I was attending, showing some of his comic and super hero artwork, I really wanted his Batman piece, we got talking and went from there. His artwork is excellent and fun which appealed. We wanted the back of the watch to be as eye catching and interesting as the front and bring of a ‘wow factor’ to the back of the watch and Okse delivered in spades.

We’ve agreed that we want him to create new caseback artwork for next two watches in the series too. No idea what he’ll create yet, whatever he does make though it’ll be based on the name we give to the watch.

Is there anything that you think is of particular importance to a beautiful, functional timepiece that a lot of watch designers don’t consider/don’t include in their final products?
MAALs watches: Not sure, really – I’m by no means an expert. Anyone that designs/makes watches or anything does it because they find it fun and enjoy it (well I hope they do anyway), so I hope designers remember to put something of that ‘personality’ for want of a better word in to their designs. Mr Jones is an example of a brand that just seems to be having the time of their lives making crazy timepieces and good on them.

MAALs watches

It’s early days yet but what has been the greatest success story for MAALS so far?
MAALs watches: That’s easy, the reaction to the design when we showed it for the first time and the independent reviews we’ve had so far without a doubt. Sending something you’ve spent time, money, heart and soul in to designing and making, to publications that review watches day-in-day out, is probably the most nerve wracking thing we’ve done so far. We knew they’d rate us on what they had in hand and we could only hope they liked it, if they didn’t then there’d be little to nothing we could do about it and it would’ve been a serious blow to our credibility and our confidence to be honest. Thankfully the reviews have been positive and hopefully it’ll give people confidence in us, our brand and what we’ve created.

And what’s been the greatest challenge that you’ve faced to date?
MAALs watches: Making a design that actually worked. Think kid in a sweet shop and that was us on our first go. Hardened ceramics, precious and semi-precious metals, tourbillon movements looked amazing, but they all spectacularly failed our own and the ODM’s [Ed: original design manufacturer’s] affordability feasibility test, so we stopped, took stock and went back to the start.

MAALs watches

What are you currently working on?
MAALs watches: At the moment we’re concentrating on the launch of Jump Over The Moon on Indiegogo, as that’ll provide the funding and springboard we need to create more watches and push on. We’ve also got advanced designs for a ladies version, carrying over all the same design elements and movement of the current models with the case, dial, second hand, strap and even the mins and hours discs colours being discussed. We’ve set up a small focus group of women to advise us on the design.

What are your plans to expand the line? Where do you go from here?
MAALs watches: After the ladies version it’s on with the next watch in the series which will be a new design, with elements from JOTM so it’s part of the family. We’ve got it down to a choice of 3 movements, but I’m not going to give any spoilers away I’m afraid, you’ll just have to keep an eye on us to see what comes next!

MAALs watches

For more information on MAALS, visit their website:

MAALS.co.uk

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Follow MAALS watches co-founder, Andy Sealey, on Twitter

How to Dress for Success for Any Occasion

More than 150,000 people recently signed a petition in support of Westminster receptionist, Nicola Thorpe when she was sent home from work after refusing to wear high heels. As a result, parliament was forced to investigate sexist work dress codes and subsequently called for a review of equality legislation in the workplace. Dress codes are everywhere in modern society and the boundaries are continually changing in step with our values and fashion. After all, we don’t dress in the same way today as we did fifty, or even twenty years ago and our social or work fashion etiquette has evolved accordingly. Whether you’re wondering what to wear as a recent graduate or how to adhere to a dress code for a social event, then check out this guide to help you make sense of the most common dress code terms.

When to dress smart casual

While there are no hard and fast rules to dressing in a smart casual way, it is possible to adapt your wardrobe easily to fit in with the required look according to the event you’re going to. You wouldn’t, for example, turn up one evening to play at a casino wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Instead you might wear clothes that reflect classic and contemporary styles which are more appropriate for your image at a casino. This could include a cocktail dress for women or straight leg trousers with a buttoned-up shirt or polo for a man. If you’re in any doubt, ring the venue beforehand to clarify what’s acceptable to wear for the occasion.

When to wear business casual

The mix of these two contradictory words makes this definition quite possibly one of the most confusing to follow. The combination of ‘business’ which implies professionalism and ‘casual’ which suggests relaxed, means that the dress code in an office can vary considerably according to the work industry, location and even age group. Given that business attire has significantly changed over the years, the shift in wearing appropriate clothing has been more difficult to define. For women, consider a dress or skirt which sits past the knee, or smart trousers with an understated blouse. Men should wear tailored trousers with a collared shirt, preferably with a belt. The look should not be overly formal but yet be polished with a relaxed feel.

When to be a casual dresser

The casual or informal dress code can suggest an open invitation to wear what you feel most comfortable in but still reflects your style and personality. One of the most important things to consider is to wear your clothes with confidence as studies have shown that clothing affects our self esteem in different situations. It may be that jeans and t-shirt with some low key accessories will suffice at most informal events. While, casual implies that anything goes, it does not usually mean you can turn up wearing a tracksuit and trainers so think carefully how casual you are expected to be before your arrival.

If you’re still in doubt over what to wear make sure you do your research first either by speaking to the venue beforehand, or asking a friend for advice. The last thing you want to do is to turn up wearing clothes which are inappropriate to the occasion!

How to Build a Strong Portfolio as a Fashion Designer

The interviews we’ve had with top fashion designers, as well as features posted about designer labels and their collections, should give you glimpses of just how exciting the fashion industry can be. Between designing a new collection, styling top celebrities, and preparing for photo shoots, the fashion industry is filled with things that will keep you excited and driven.
Pursuing a career in this industry is no longer a difficult dream to realise. Thanks to the resources you have today, you can work as a fashion designer, start your own fashion line, work on various collections, and be at the top of your game in no time.
Of course, that pursuit needs to start somewhere. Having the right mentality and all the necessary resources are also very important if you want to make it as a fashion designer. More importantly, you have to have a portfolio of your work to break into the industry. To help you craft your own career in this field, we are going to take a look at the best tips on how you can build a strong portfolio as a fashion designer.

Research, and Research Some More

Before you start making and collecting designs and photos, you need to do a bit of research first. Your portfolio needs to represent who you are as a fashion designer, which means you have to define certain things about the portfolio itself and your work as a whole before you can start building a strong portfolio to support your career.
Turn to your sources of information and develop ideas for a strong portfolio. Find a genre of fashion and design – or several of them – to act as the root of your work. Plan ahead and you will be able to create your portfolio around the roots you have selected.
Another thing that needs to be defined while you do your research is how you will use your portfolio in the future. Why are you making the portfolio? Are you applying for a position in fashion? Do you want to get into fashion school? Depending on the objectives you want to achieve, there are requirements that the portfolio must meet.

Hold It Together

Next, you need to figure out a way to build the portfolio itself. Since we’re talking about pursuing a career in fashion today, a digital portfolio is certainly the way to go. A digital portfolio that can be accessed from anywhere will help you land your dream job or project. When applying for a position in the fashion industry, all you need is a link to your online portfolio.
Out of the many online portfolio builders on the market, you want a reliable provider that is known for their portfolio websites. Providers like Format have the best balance between appealing design, great features, and incredible user-friendliness. You don’t need to know how to create web pages or be an expert programmer to be able to create a fantastic fashion portfolio that stuns everyone.
Format.com isn’t only easy to use, but also very flexible in terms of design. You can choose to use one of the available themes, add your own design elements, and integrate a variety of designs and visual elements for a truly appealing portfolio. The platform even supports e-commerce, which means you can also sell merchandise and designs directly from the online portfolio.

Work on Your Content

With a capable platform and a well-designed page ready to go, it is time to work on the content of the portfolio itself. Here’s one tip you want to keep in mind when creating a strong portfolio: variety matters. The goal is using the portfolio to show your best works, but the way you do that matters just as much as the results you share with your audience.
You need to let your portfolio tell most of the story. Showing process is a great way to get started. Instead of displaying only photos of your latest collection, you can add elements such as the raw sketches and designs, behind-the-scenes pictures, and even videos you made for that collection. These are simple elements to add to the portfolio, but the addition of these elements is very impactful.
You can even add text – written stories – to the portfolio. This is a great way to highlight what matters to you personally. You can take the audience on a journey and let them understand your personal perspective when designing fashion items. It is also a great way to separate yourself from other designers trying to break into the industry.

Look for Your Strongest Ideas

It is worth noting that not all of your ideas – your designs – are worth featuring in the portfolio. It is not uncommon for a collection to have one or two items that really shine. These are the items you need to feature in your portfolio since they highlight your best ideas. They are more likely to capture the attention of potential employers.
Strong ideas also boost your chances of gaining more exposure. People are more likely to talk about your designs when they find things that really interest them in a personal way. The natural reaction to seeing great ideas is sharing them, and that means more people seeing your work and appreciating your ideas.
The big question is: how do you find your strongest ideas? There is no definitive rule to follow, but your best ideas are usually the ones that you enjoy working on the most. The passion you have for fashion shows and viewers will notice that same passion when seeing your work and your portfolio as a whole.

Think About Branding

The final element to add to your portfolio is, well, yourself. As a fashion designer, you need to have a unique brand that others can immediately recognise. A lot of new fashion designers make the mistake of not bothering with a brand, thinking that they can do branding later when they are already successful. This isn’t the approach you want to take.
Create a simple logo that others can recognise easily. Add other branding elements – colors, accents, and more – to the mix. Your brand doesn’t have to be particularly complex; an initial or your name can be a brand when treated correctly.
Branding is about consistency. As you build your portfolio, you want to be extra certain that elements from your brand are also found in it. If you have a certain color scheme that you use for your brand, for example, adding touches of colors from that scheme helps create a more consistent feel throughout the portfolio.

Share and Improve

Portfolios are made to be seen. There is no point in having an interesting portfolio if there is no one to see it. Since your portfolio is online, start sharing it to the right audience and begin collecting more exposure for your work.
You can use social media to connect with fashion lovers and industry experts directly. Be open to feedbacks and let others comment on your designs as they view your portfolio. Accept those comments with an open mind.
Building a strong portfolio isn’t a one-time deal either. Now that you’ve heard what others think about your portfolio, you have more information to work with. This means you can fully evaluate your portfolio from an objective point of view, and you can improve it further.
Breaking into the fashion industry gets easier when you have a strong portfolio. Build a strong portfolio today, get it online, and direct the right viewers to the portfolio to start your career in fashion.

What You Can Do to Ensure A Perfect Night Out

The perfect recipe for a night out can either be really daunting or very simple. It all depends on what exactly you want from your occasion. Once you’ve established how you want to present yourself, you’ve got everything else in the bag. First, we’re going to cover the essentials: hair, shoes, and how to dress.

Society’s stance on dressing for the occasion is always changing. Through the years, you can see how different things are from just ten years ago compared to what’s in right now. Sometime’s vintage is cool, but if you’re on the move to impress someone like a date or someone important, staying in the modern zone is safe. So let’s get into it.

Hair

Tried and true, curls will always be seen as romantic, luxurious, and sexy. When on a date and you want to leave a soft yet unforgettable impression, loose beach waves or big barrel curls are the way to go. However, if you’re feeling more daring, a sleek straight look with a middle part will leave the room with all eyes on you. A bold, pin straight finish will be one of the classics that’ll never go out of style. To make the night fun, it’s always a good idea to go a little bit out of your comfort zone, even if that means switching up your hairstyle for that one evening.

Shoes

One thing every girl knows is the struggle of wearing heels all night. Your feet can get blisters, the risk of spraining your ankle is high, your feet can even become sweaty which can lead to stinky shoes, something no one wants. Here, I’m going to walk you through the best types of shoes to wear, how to walk in heels, and how to be rid of stinky shoes.

There’s a range of heels to choose from. For beginners, it’s best to go with a heel that’s chunky and not so high. Wedges, ankle booties, or a peep-toe-shoe are perfect options. Wedges go great with a billowing, light fabric, summery dress. Ankle booties are fantastic for a casual night out, or even pairing it with a smart look. Peep-toe are similar to ankle booties, they’re universal in the same aspect. Skinny stilettos or strapped heels are amazing if you want to achieve a confident, elegant, and mature look for the night.

The way to walk in heels is all about balance. Walk one foot in front of the other with no rush and you’ll be walking like a pro. It’s all about practice, the more you walk, the easier it is for you to find your center and make a simple sidewalk into a runway.

Through the night, it’s only natural to sweat and sometimes we can even sweat on our feet. Gross, but it happens. Sweat leads to odors and here’s how easy it is to get rid of that icky issue. This has prevented me from suffering from stinky shoes a numerous amount of times. My ritual for perfectly dry, nice smelling shoes is this:

  • Exfoliate my feet
  • Add a little deodorant spray into whatever shoe I chose that night
  • Use shoe insoles
  • Sprinkle baking soda into the shoes
  • Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol

Clothing

We’re onto the main event, how to dress for success for any occasion. There are three types of important forms of dress. There’s casual, business casual, and smart casual. It’s human nature to dress to reflect how you feel. Dressing up to make you feel confident is essential when it comes to a person’s self-esteem, but there is a time and place for everything.

For dressing up on a date, you want to focus on not restricting yourself. Don’t wear anything that you can’t walk in, breathe in, or eat in. No one wants to see their date straining themselves to the point where they look like they’re in pain. It’s all about being comfortable; your beauty will shine through much better if you’re relaxed.

If you’re out to impress at an important meeting, a cocktail dress or an all-black pantsuit will work wonders for making a statement without having to say anything.

Overall, getting ready for the night ahead of you is always the best part. It’s fun trying on new things that may have been hiding in your closet. The excitement and the adrenaline of what the night has in store for you is sometimes more exhilarating than the actual event itself. Staying calm and stress-free will always lead to a positive outcome. So remember to be confident, open-minded, and self-assured!

The 5 Types of Boots You Need in Your Closet This Autumn

As summer draws to a close, many of us are ready – or not so ready – for longer nights, cosy fashion ideas, and wearing boots every day throughout the Autumn. Although some days are still fairly warm, it’s never too early to start planning your Autumn and Winter wardrobe, with many high street and designer brands rolling out collections already.

Whether you’re a fan of over-the-knee, knee-high, ankle boots or booties, boots are undoubtedly a fashion staple for the colder weather, keeping your feet warm and you looking amazing at the same time. With so much choice out there, it’s tricky to know exactly which type of boots you need this Autumn; not to mention that it can be tempting to buy a few pairs of every style. Read on for our suggestions on the type of boots every woman needs in her closet this Autumn.

#1. Ankle Boots:
When it comes to footwear for the colder weather, you really can’t go wrong with a sturdy pair of ankle boots. A smart pair of leather ankle boots is perfect for both the office and casual, taking you from the workday to drinks with colleagues and friends in the evening easily. Ankle boots from dunelondon.com come in a wide range of different styles, including classic black or brown leather that are versatile enough to pair with a dress, jeans, or even office wear. Or, stand out from the crowd with a pair of vibrant leopard print, opaque white, or bright red boots to add a splash of colour to any outfit.

#2. Moto Boots:
Perfect for trudging around town, moto boots are great paired with your favourite jeans and a sweater, or a comfortable floral dress with a pair of tights. Both stylish and functional, flat moto boots are definitely an Autumn and winter staple since they can be dressed up or down and are great for throwing on for a trip to the shops or a couple of drinks with friends. Whether you prefer yours plain with a well-placed zipper, decorated with bulky buckles or adorned with intricate stitching, be sure to invest in a good quality pair as you can be sure that they’ll last you for years.

#3. Knee-High Boots:
Perfect for those colder days, knee-high boots will keep your entire lower leg cosy whilst making sure that you look as stylish as ever. A good, functional pair of knee-high boots can be paired with almost anything, from jeans and leggings to dresses and skirts. Opt for flats or a small heel for everyday wear in a classic colour such as black or brown that can be paired with almost every outfit you choose to wear. Heeled or stiletto knee-high boots look great for nights out and other special occasions; for a sleek and stylish look, opt for ‘sock’ styles to show off your shapely legs too.

#4. Rain Boots:
No Autumn wardrobe would be complete without a sturdy pair of rain boots. Whether you’re planning some countryside walks with your dog or simply want to keep your feet warm and dry around town, a pair of rubber boots will certainly do the trick. Rubber booties are great for any kind of wet weather or go for knee-length wellington boots if you want a little bit more protection.

#5. Over the Knee:
Last but not least, make a serious fashion statement in a pair of sexy over the knee boots. Whether you go for stretchy leather or soft suede, they’re sure to make your comfortable autumn leggings and oversized sweater look sleek and stylish. Or, pair with a dress on a night out.

Which boots are a must-have for your Autumn wardrobe? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Olivia Holt cover shoot for FAULT Issue 29 Screen section

Olivia Holt X FAULT Magazine

Olivia Holt - FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Screen section cover

Photography: Benjo Arwas | Styling: Courtnee Scully @lalaluxe | Make-up: Tonya Brewer | Hair: David Stanwell @thewallgroup | Post-production: Nadia Selander | Director of Photography: Scott Smith | Editor: The Pioneers | Production: Kiley Coleman | Thank You to Saksfifthavenue.com

By most standards, actress and musical performer Olivia Holt appears to be on the precipice of a career breakthrough.  With her new role as Dagger in Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation, Cloak and Dagger, alongside co-star Aubrey Joseph, the 20-year old, Mississippi-bred talent is very quickly establishing herself as an on-screen force with the talent and fortitude to portray characters substantially more complex than audiences have previously seen from her.

In addition to her new show, Holt has been working daily on writing and recording her brand of music, which she describes as pop that pays homage to her soulful, Southern roots. The success of her recent single, ‘Generous’, which gained one million views in just five days after its release in late 2017, should serve as teaser to fans of what to expect.

Holt recently took the time to talk with FAULT about the new show and her unguarded approach to her career and to life.

FAULT: Can you remember the very first performance you ever put on for an audience?
Olivia Holt: It was an audience of four as a kid: my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. That lasted for a very long time until they were totally over me forcing them to sit down and watch me perform. But, I’d say for like a legit audience the first thing I ever did was ‘Annie,’ I think. I played an orphan and I loved every second of it.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

How did you prepare for the role of Tandy?
Olivia Holt: Tandy has a lot of layers. She’s not just one note. She is a cynical human being. A lot has happened to her and she experienced something very traumatic as a child and is sort of living in survival mode and with that a comes lot of responsibility. She’s sort of the parent in her mother-daughter relationship. She’s having to take care of everything and everyone around her and I think that’s a lot for a teenager to deal with. So she have a lot on her plate.

I would remember being a physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of some of the days just because of some of the stuff that Tandy is dealing with, whether that be her relationship with her mother, or addiction, or sexual assault. So, preparing was not an easy thing, and I think I’m still preparing. But, I think she was learning and so I was learning too. We were sort of finding where we fit in our lives. That was that was an interesting journey to go on.

How was it like working with your co-star Aubrey Joseph?
Olivia Holt: He is a gem of a human being. He is just so down to earth, talented — a great scene partner but an even better friend and I feel so grateful to work with somebody who has this insane work ethic and who is genuinely nice and so passionate, not just about his character but  about the story that his character and my character share. I just think we have an awesome, special connection and the fact that both of us get to tell that story is so surreal, and I think we’re both forever grateful for it. But, I love working with him.

What can we expect from you musically later this year?
Holt: I’ve been in the studio almost every single day writing and recording this year. I actually feel like I’ve been able to prioritize music rather than bouncing around and trying to balance both acting and music. This year has really been focused on honing in on the music and making sure that I’m involved in putting in the work to find my sound and, lyrically, what I want to do. And, it’s been an incredible journey just exploring all of that. I have a few things coming up this year that I’m really excited for people to hear.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

How would you describe your overall sound and what are some of your influences, musically?
Holt: I’m making pop records but I grew up in the South so I’m very drawn to organic instruments. So there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of alternative — it’s artistic and cool and it just really showcases my energy and my personality and the way I talk. They are all stories coming from my real life experiences or things that I want to experience. So it’s all very personal and vulnerable and that’s my creative outlet for my specific headspace, in hopes that people are going to be able to relate and feel things when they hear my music.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

What is your FAULT?
Olivia Holt: Acting and music are my creative outlets. It’s a way for me to escape and a way for me to be vulnerable and have that space to connect with people. But I want the projects that I work on and the music that I make to move people and make them feel alive and to keep curious and to thrive and to live so fiercely… I want to change people for the better and I want them to live a fulfilled life and hopefully I can do that through what I love to do. I want to create an environment for people to feel wanted and loved. I think that’s my fault.

~

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

Lifestyle Changes to Make to Carry on the Green Fashion Movement

The green movement is permeating throughout society, with governments, companies, and consumers alike jumping on the bandwagon. Leading this is the fashion industry, though, as the second most polluting industry in the world, it still has a long way to go before it can finally claim to be a sustainable enterprise. With the recent spotlight on sustainable brands, and with top fast fashion companies starting their own sustainable or organic lines, however, things seem to be moving in the right direction. As consumers, we need to keep pushing our favourite brands to adopt more sustainable and ethical business models, so that soon every fashion week will be sustainable, like Helsinki’s last fashion week was.

Encouraging our favourite brands to become greener isn’t, however, the only step we can and should take. We all need to work together to lower our carbon footprint and to leave less waste behind. To further your ethical fashion interest, try making these key lifestyle changes to help the world become a better place.

Digitise Your Hobbies

Electronics might produce a waste themselves, but they can also help us minimise our everyday lives and make everything we do faster, easier and better. That’s why the first step to becoming greener today should be to try to digitise as many of your hobbies as you can. Instead of buying lottery tickets, go to www.unibet.co.uk. Instead of buying a new book, buy an eBook, and so on. Think of how much less waste and space we are producing just because our movies and series can be watched on an entirely digital format? The more digital you can make your life, the less waste you will produce. Just remember to take care of your electronics to extend their life, and only upgrade when your old machines are failing.

Support Zero-Waste, Sustainable, and Organic Brands

All of the plastic we have ever produced still exists today, and will likely continue to exist until long after even our grandchildren die, unless we find some better way to deal with it. This plastic obsession (especially single-use plastics) has resulted in microplastics to be found in nearly every water sample. While projects exist around the world to help clean up the plastic pandemic, the problem won’t stop until we kick this plastic habit entirely. That is why you should try to support zero-waste and sustainable brands as much as possible. You can get everything, from clothes to shampoo, without plastic packaging; you just need to find brands you like in your area.

Reduce Your Consumption

There are two main stages to reducing our waste: One, to buy and support brands that value the planet and their impact. The second is to reduce our consumption. Buy less, choose well and make it last.

Learn How to Repair

Finally, learn how to repair objects. If you do not know or are not comfortable with mending your clothes, take a class. Learn how to create, work with your hands, and extend the life of all the things you own. Not only will you save a lot of money over time, but your home will be less cluttered, and you might just find that you value the things you own that much more.

There are so many ways to be more green, and most of them will help you save money and reconnect with nature at the same time. Be mindful and feel more fulfilled.

What You Need to Know if You Want to Start a Fashion Business

The fashion industry is notoriously difficult to crack. Designers and fashion stores come and go. Some are more successful than others and go the distance, but many fashion startups fail. But, what’s good to know is that this is an industry you can get a foothold in. Creativity is purely optional, and you don’t need to be a designer to achieve success. Here is some helpful guidance if you want to start your own fashion business.

Choosing the Right Startup Idea

There are many different ways to enter the fashion industry and most of them don’t require creativity. Of course, if you have a flair for design and you want to be the next Alexander McQueen, a fashion degree is a good place to start. But if your interest is purely making money, you will find more success in opening a store.
The internet has made it incredibly easy to go into retail, fashion or otherwise. It’s very easy to buy a domain and create an online store. Content Management Platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, and Magento are all geared to e-commerce and you don’t need to be an experienced coder to build an online store.
However, until you have a recognisable brand, your best bet is to start selling on eBay, Etsy, or a similar online platform. Sites like these are perfect for fashion startups. It costs nothing to create listings and until you actually sell something, you won’t pay any fees.
Choose a niche within the fashion industry. For example, if you are interested in accessories, buy some belts, ties, hats, etc., and start listing them. Men’s fashion is a good place to start, but there is no reason why you can’t target women’s fashion too. Women’s fashion is a much bigger market, but it’s also saturated with sellers. Your best chance of success is to find an underserved niche and make it your own.
There is a big market for second-hand goods, especially fashion items. Used designer goods always sell well online. If you know your designers and can source some good quality designer goods, there is money to be made.

Funding a Startup

There are many ways to fund a startup. The most obvious – and cheapest – one is to use your own savings. If you don’t have any spare cash, ask family and friends to help out. You probably won’t need a huge sum of money, to begin with, unless you are jumping in feet first and plan on opening a retail unit on the high street. If this is the case, or you need to invest in more expensive stock, consider taking out a business loan or using a credit card.
Don’t worry too much if your credit rating is less than stellar. There are loan companies who specialise in bad credit loans. Look for a specialist bad credit loan provider with good reviews and fill out an application form. Online loan companies are often more competitive than high street banks and building societies.

Buying Stock

For new items, the best place to source stock is overseas, specifically China. Thanks to sites like Alibaba, you can chat with suppliers and order samples from your armchair. Start small until you know there is a market for your goods. Expect to pay higher prices for items until you can place larger orders. Always check samples before you place an order and remember to factor in shipping costs/taxes when ordering stock from overseas.

Dropshipping

If you don’t have space to store stock, look at Dropshipping. The dropshipping model has become popular in recent years. It’s very simple. You act as the middleman between the supplier and the customer. When the customer places an order on your site, you order direct from the supplier and arrange for the goods to be shipped straight to the customer. The difference between the price the customer pays and the price you pay the supplier is your gross profit. Deduct any cost and you are left with the net profit.

Marketing

It takes time to build a brand, so you will need to do some marketing to find customers. Working via a site like eBay is easy, as the site takes care of all the SEO for you. As long as you set your prices at the optimum level, use the right keywords, and provide good customer service, you are good to go. Once you leave these sites behind, you need to put more effort in.
Start with social media. Create a social media presence and try selling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. PPC ads are also effective, as well as economical. If you want your fashion website to be more visible, hire an expert to plan an online marketing campaign, but for a high street store, more traditional marketing methods still apply.

If you have a burning desire to be an entrepreneur, fashion is a fun business to get into, so give it a try!