SECOND-HAND SEPTEMBER: HOW TO TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE FAST FASHION GAME

Our Emilie gives us the lowdown on second hand style.
I love fashion. I love looking out for the latest catwalk trends, I can spend hours browsing shopping sites, fashion blogs and Insta feeds, and pinning ideas, I’m interested in fashion history and fashion illustration, and I love spotting people on the street, in films, on TV or wherever whose style inspires me…

 

But, like many of us, I’ve been questioning my fashion habits of late. At least twice a year I get told by the fashion industry that what I’ve been wearing is now totally out of date and I need to be wearing top to toe purple / corduroy / florals, which leads to a mad rush to bring my look bang up to date again with a load of new purchases. Then six months later it all starts again – buy, wear, repeat. Yes, I get a huge buzz from new clothes, but not only is this never ending cycle bad for my bank balance, it’s also really bad for the environment as we’re increasingly aware.

 

I’m not going to use this post to talk about why fast fashion is a bad thing. There’s enough information out there already about the hugely negative impact of the fashion industry, including this Guardian article.

 

Instead I want to talk about Oxfam’s Second Hand September, and how you can take yourself out of the fast fashion cycle and start to look at other ways of getting your hands on some really great clothes that just happen to be recycled. Whether it’s for one month, a whole year (which is what I’m trying) or even forever, why not give up buying new clothes, help break the cycle and make a difference. I’m just a month into my year and still finding my way but here are some of the things I’ve learned so far:

 

 

1. Get to know your local charity shops
Charity shops have become a UK high street fixture and don’t underestimate what you can find there. One fellow Wonderlander recently snapped up a Celine clutch in one on Bristol’s Gloucester Road for just six quid. YES, ACTUAL CELINE. OK, so you’ll probably have to spend time rifling through a lot of stuff before you find something right for you, but there are true gems to be had and it really is worth your time.

 

2. Be patient and flexible
Unlike ‘fast fashion’ sites which instantly present you with hundreds of possible options based on your specific search criteria, secondhand shopping is best approached with patience and an open mind. Have a browse and see what comes up. If you’re in the market for black trousers but a beautiful jumper comes up in your size, snap it up. And don’t immediately discount an item if it isn’t the exact right size or length, just find yourself a good local tailor who can alter items to make them work for you (within reason of course).

 

3. Make chic and mend
What about all the stuff you already have? Once or twice a year I go through all my clothes and do a bit of clear-up. Seasonal stuff gets packed away for next season, stuff I don’t wear anymore goes on eBay or to local charity shops and the other seasonal stuff gets unpacked. That’s when I fall back in love with old favourites all over again, and many of them get a bit of a refurb or update. I’m a big fan of shortening trousers and jeans (DIY for a scuffed hem) and I’m planning to shorten an old A-line denim skirt to knee-length to give it a 1970s vibe for this winter.

 

4. Find your online treasure troves
There is so much amazing secondhand / vintage stuff to be found online if you know where to look. My favourites are eBay, Oxfam, Vestiaire Collective, Beyond Retro and ASOS Marketplace – and that’s just scratching the surface, there are tons of smaller independents selling great things too. Do your research and find out which site and shops work best for you; they can become your go-tos. And don’t be afraid to negotiate with private sellers directly for even better deals.

 

One of Emilie's vintage finds
One of Emilie’s vintage finds

5. Raid your family’s wardrobes (just get their permission first)
You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve found in my mum’s and my gran’s wardrobes. I have a beautifully cut black 1990s sun dress of my mum’s that gets me compliments every time I wear it, ditto an emerald green 1980s pencil skirt of my gran’s that I wear with a t-shirt and trainers. And there’s something very beautiful about keeping an item of clothing in the family. My awesome gran passed away a few years ago and wearing her skirt feels special in a way a new Zara skirt never will.

 

I really hope this inspires you to give Second Hand September a try! All this week the Wonderfam will be posting and sharing their favourite second hand finds and the story behind them for some inspiration, so stay tuned…

 

Emilie


10 Things you probably didn't know about... Emilie

The seriously stylish, Debbie Harry-loving, smiley and super cool ray of sunshine [can a ray of sunshine be cool? YES IT CAN] that is Emilie has been part of the Wonderfam for aaaaages now, so these 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about her are well overdue. Here goes:

 

  1. I speak four languages and am a proud European
  2. I never show my knees
  3. I fall over a lot
  4. I watch A LOT of old black and white films
  5. I like plane food and science lab pipettes
  6. I dislike people whispering on the telly and the colour purple
  7. I miss my days of all night dancing
  8. I love Rita Hayworth and Debbie Harry
  9. I am trying to drink more water and eat less crisps
  10. I have just decided not to buy any new clothes for a year


BRANDS LOVING PRIDE

BRANDS LOVING PRIDE 🏳️‍🌈

 

This Saturday and Sunday the MOST FANTASTIC of celebrations comes to Bristol with Pride weekend. Not only is it a whole lot of fun and fabulosity, Pride holds huge historical and political significance. Of course, we don’t need to remind people that Pride is a global movement fighting for the equal rights of LGBTQ+ people all over the world, with 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the fight for gay rights, with the Stonewall protests in New York.

 

We’ve been chatting in the office and debating whether big brands cashing in on Pride Month is diluting that massively important message.

 

From rainbow bunting at our local Sainsbury’s, LGBT sandwiches in M&S (SOME OF US WERE VERY SHOCKED TO DISCOVER WE WERE IN FACT A LETTUCE AND OMG THE VEGAN FOUND OUT SHE’S A BACON 🥓) to UGG’s ‘Fluff yeah’ pride slippers (no. seriously. what?), it seems anyone who is anyone has produced a rainbow branded product to ‘celebrate’ 🏳️‍🌈this year.

 

 

Pride Month for us at Wonderland means A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN THAT. Our agency is founded with the principles of love and inclusivity, so we think it’s crucial we aren’t losing sight of what we are fighting for.

 

In fact, a little quick-fire ‘what does pride mean to you?’ in the office produced these thoughts from the Wonderfam:

 

“It means my ten year old grows up in a world where love and relationships are about people not gender”

 

As someone that grew up in a tiny town with very traditional views, I always struggled (even when I came out) to express who I was. To be completely honest, I still do. However the first time I went to Pride in London, it was the very first time I felt I could hold hands with my boyfriend and be safe. It also made me realise what a huge, supportive family we have”

 

“Remembering everyone who fought and stood up to allow me to have the privileges that I have today”

 

“FREEDOM”

 

“A show of solidarity and strength, and to tell the haters WE ARE HERE”

 

“A chance for me to sit back and look at the beauty of my LGBTQ+ family, past and present and to remember how far we have come and how far we have to go”

 

*(holds back actual tears)*

 

Basically, it ain’t about rainbow sandwiches and glitter. But do they have a place?

  

Let’s get real here, there are huge financial benefits to large companies getting involved in Pride, especially when it comes to product design and marketing; it’s no secret and in its simplest form, they using Pride as a platform to sell more stuff. Just check out Listerine’s attempt to Pride-ify themselves to see what we mean:

 

 

Visibility for Pride and the LGBTQ+ community is SUPER POSITIVE and regardless of whether or not the presence of Pride products and rainbow highstreets is done with the intention of making more dollar, we’ve found it interesting to see the message up and down our high-streets and in our favourite retailers. It’s great to see the message of Pride in places we wouldn’t normally see it, and (perhaps) to an audience who wouldn’t normally see it. 

 

We hope these visual cues will make people be more curious, to try and better understand the fight for equality, to be better people. We also encourage everyone to look beyond the merchandise and try to understand what it means to be a good ally. 

 

Here are some top tips for brands thinking about getting involved in Pride from Wonderland’s LGBTQ+ community:

 

  • Ensure you have policies in place that truly promote equality and diversity. It’s 2019 and there is no excuse not to have them
  • Seek out opportunities to support the LGBTQ+ community – whether it’s a Pride specific product and service or whether it’s reaching out to a colleague and recognising if and when people need support

 

If you guys need some inspo look at how to execute a brilliant Pride campaign, take a look at this years Hunter Boots and Skittles campaign in 2016 which we went all 😍for.

A final sobering thought: many of these businesses that claim to be supporting Pride Month are still trading in countries where homosexuality is still illegal. Have we got a long way to go? Absolutely.

 

If you are celebrating Pride in Bristol this weekend have a bloody wicked one.


Wonderland Loves...

From Celine Dion to stand up, brewpubs to Bayeux-style tapestries, here’s just a few things that the Wonderfam are loving right now.
THE LEFT HANDED GIANT BREWPUB

Set in Finzel’s Reach – home of Bristol’s most wiggly bridge – Left Handed Giant’s new pub and brewery in one gets our vote for its incredible selection of beers, sick (as in good) pizza from Mission, indoor tree action and what’s probably the best and biggest window hole in the city.

 

NETIL HOUSE, E8

Our new favourite rooftop drinks place in London… just check it out #wearenothipsterspromise

 

CELINE DION’S OUTFITS AT PARIS FASHION WEEK

We KNEW she had the style in her after she wore that back to front white tuxedo number to the Oscars back in ’99. Honest.

 

THE IDLES SINGING DANNY NEDELKO AT GLASTO

“Punk rock band Idles (who are from Bristol) sung pro-immigrant/anti-racism song, Danny Nedelko, at The Park stage at Glastonbury. The guitarist was dancing around his pants. The crowd was going mental. The lead singer Joe Talbot got really emotional and overwhelmed that everyone was singing the lyrics back to him, so his wife (a nurse in the NHS) came on stage to give him a hug to calm him down. A really beautiful moment.” (Ellie M)

 

GAME OF THRONES RECREATED IN A BAYEUX-STYLE TAPESTRY

A 90-metre intricate tapestry depicting the story across all eight seasons and a thing of true handmade beauty. Let’s hope disgruntled fans don’t start a petition to get them to remake the last bit…

 

 

‘FOOD – BIGGER THAN THE PLATE’ EXHIBITION

This hands-on exhibition takes you on a sensory journey all about how how we can get to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future. Insect paté, anyone? On till October.

 

PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE AT BRISTOL COMEDY GARDEN

We got face ache laughing at / with the likes of Sara Pascoe, Rob Delaney and Stewart Lee, but a new comedy find for us was this beaut, Jen Brister. Please be our new best friend, Jen?

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwphWizn3P-/


10 things you probably didn't know about... PADDY

It’s WHOOOOOOP! Time at Wonderland: The inimitable Paddy (that’s Patrick to you) has joined the Wonderfam as a senior consultant.
Alison and Jemma have had the pleasure of working with Paddy in a previous life, and we’re all delighted to welcome his booming laugh, hilarious raving anecdotes, and general all-round funny / creative / positive vibes.
So here’s Paddy’s 10 Things, from hanging with hippos to falling over – enjoy.

 

  1. Ich bin ein Hamburger – I was born in Hamburg, Germany
  2. I love rugby – I used to play a lot, but stopped because raving was more fun
  3. I’ve got a degree in environmental management from UWE
  4. I love watching films – the more random the better
  5. If I wasn’t working in PR, I’d probably be a teacher – I quite like the idea of combining the two some day…
  6. I once came face to face with a hippo while swimming in a lake
  7. I am seriously clumsy, there are a lot of photos where I am literally falling over, I think my daughter has inherited it from me…
  8. My first client in PR was Coca-Cola back in 2001
  9. Aged 11, I went to live with my friend and his family in Sydney Australia for four months (it was amazing!)
  10. I’ve lived in Bristol for the last 13 years, it’s an awesome place to bring up kids


Wonderland wins Carbon Gold

We’ve found our soil-mates! We’re very pleased to tell you that we’re now working with the soil-improving wizards and all round lovely people at Carbon Gold.

 

We’ll be helping to spread the word among gardeners and environmentalists about the incredible products Carbon Gold make – such as fertilizer, soil improver and compost – all containing enriched biochar.

 

Biochar is a type of charcoal that improves the health of soil, which means stronger, healthier and better-growing plants and trees that need less watering (anyone with a jungalow – you need to get some of this, stat).

 

Not only that, biochar “locks away” CO2 from the atmosphere, meaning by using it you’re actually BENEFITTING the environment.

 

What’s not to love?


Time for a meat massage (NO NOT LIKE THAT)

If you like the idea of having your meat massaged (CHEEKAAAAY) just in time for the bank holiday, then you’re in luck!

 

We’ve been firing up BBQ lovers everywhere over the last couple of weeks, working with American pitmaster and barbecue sauce experts Bull’s-Eye to bring the world’s first Meat Massage Joint to the UK.

 

You might have spotted our video doing the rounds on the likes of the Daily Star and TimeOut London (along with a whole host of innuendo – TimeOut we’re looking at you for your ‘want your beef pounded’ puns), and now YOU have the chance to come along.

 

Open from 12-6pm on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th May at London’s Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the meat masters from Bull’s-Eye will be giving away 100 free cuts of meat to visitors on both days, before it’s massaged with some TLC (Tenderizing Loving Care – see what we did there) and smothered in your punchy Bull’s-Eye sauce of choice. TASTY!

 

So, if you fancy giving your meat a mild rub down or even a deep tissue massage this weekend (we promise we’ll stop now), get yourself down to the pop-up, grab some meat from the barbie and join us for some fun in the sun. It’ll be great to meat you. (Sorry – meat puns are rarely well done…)

 

We’ve had a friggin AMAZING time working on the launch with the Bull’s-Eye team over the last few months and we now know everything there is to know about meat. A big shout out as well to our pals at the Persuaders, Rubber Republic, Ruby & White butchers and the team at Mugshot Restaurants for all their help in bringing this idea to life.

 

Now let’s B 👏 B 👏Q!


AWARDS SCHMAWARDS

Why we don’t do awards.

Wonderland don’t enter awards. We never have and probably never will.

 

We’ve been asked about this a LOT in the last few months. Because it’s THAT time of year and some of our campaigns did really well in 2018 (Salad-Cream-maggedon anyone?!).

 

People are pretty curious about why our creative comms agency isn’t interested in chasing the associated fame and fortune that comes with a shiny piece of glass or metal or wood or whatever.

 

So, we thought we’d try to explain.

 

We don’t do great work to win awards. We do it because we love what we do, and we want to do our very best for our client pals.

 

For us, feeling proud and motivated doesn’t come from having awards logos on our website or email signatures or windows. It doesn’t come from a panel of people declaring “yes, you are best” or “yes, your work was better than the other people who entered this year”.

 

Wonderland’s pride comes from being really, really fucking good (which means trying really, really fucking hard) at what we do, producing amazing work, making the people we work with – and for – really happy, and trying our very best not to be a bunch of dicks.

 

We don’t believe that awards define us and how good we are. Our actions do.

 

And here at Wonderland, we have other ways we’d like to spend our precious time than filling in bits of paper which might end up with other people proclaiming our apparent successes.

Things like cuddling our kids, pets, partners, pals, each other.

Working on our charity and helping people who really need it.

Getting stuck into new creative campaigns.

Meeting new and interesting people.

Learning something new.

Dancing on our desks.

Doing our jobs.

Being good.

Being bad.

Being us.

 

 


This Month At Wonderland - April

From eggs to the undead, priests to platters, here are some of our favourite things from April:
Wonderland do Root (Emilie and others):

“To kick the long Easter weekend off in style, Alison and Rich took (almost) all the Wonderfam to Root (restaurant at Wapping Wharf) for lunch on the Thursday. We sat outside, dusted off our sunnies, drank rose and looked back on another month of busy madness at Wonderland. The food was AMAZING! Lots of different platters with all manner of lushness, and something for everyone too – we have a mix of veggies, vegans and meat eaters and were all beautifully catered for. Highly recommended.”

Wonderland vibezzzz (Alison):

“The amazing energy and spirit that everyone brings into work every day.” Awww.

Fleabag (Jamie):

“Possibly the funniest, heart-warming, heart breaking & perfectly acted piece of television I’ve ever seen. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is AMAZING! And I’m in love with a Priest.”

Game of Thrones (Jemma, and pretty much everyone else except Ellie M):

“We’re still yearning for the super sassy dialogue and big-character twists from the earlier seasons and there are plot holes (and plot armour) bigger than an undead giant – but nevertheless we’re LOVING it. Brienne getting knighted, Tormund’s giant-suckling story, Arya’s silent creeping… can’t say too much more because SPOILERS.”

Sugarloaf Mountain (Ellie):

“My favourite moment of the month was when I made the most of the beaaaaautiful sunsheyine on Easter Weekend and went for a walk around the absolutely stunning Sugarloaf Mountain in Abergavenny, where my partner’s family lives. The huffin’ n’ puffin’ was all worth it in the end, when we were greeted by a giant platter of cheese, bread and wine at the Sugarloaf Vineyards. That makes me sound well posh…  I did lie outside the Vineyard in a star shape pouring a bottle of water on my head upon arrival, if that helps?  #keepinitclassy “

 


This photo of Llansantffraed Court is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This tweet (James):

Our awesome chocolate eggs (everyone):

Alison and Rich gave the Wonderfam the prettiest / coolest/ most tasty choccy eggs  EVAR for Easter. Check this beauty out.


Come and get gooey at The Trumans Brewery this weekend

Heinz Creme Egg Mayo, the April-Fool-that-wasn’t from Heinz and Cadbury, has been intriguing journalists for the past week or two, and reactions so far have ranged from the sublime to the disgusted:

 

“I actually really like it” (Daily Mail), “You could definitely sit and eat this just with a spoon” (The Independent), “So many layers of weirdness” (Also The Independent), “much nicer than we expected” (The Sun), “Confusing” (Stylist), and “seriously bad” (Mashable – don’t worry, we won’t take it personally). Even Katie Price got in on the action.

 

Like it or loathe it, it’s been a freakin BLAST to work on this from start to sticky, sweet finish. (Not least because we’ve had a good excuse – like we needed one – to eat a trillion Creme Eggs for “inspiration”.)

 

And now the great British public (well, those who are in or can get to London this weekend) have a chance to try it – for free. Just get yo curious selves down to Ely’s Yard at Truman Brewery on Brick Lane between 11am and 8pm on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April, and between 11-4 on Saturday 13th.

 

If the Wonderland consensus is anything to go by, odds are that you’ll like this inspired Eastery concoction – just promise us you won’t get eggy if you don’t.