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 At least twice a year I get told by the fashion industry that what I’ve been wearing is now totally out of date and I need to be wearing top to toe purple / corduroy / florals, which leads to a mad rush to bring my look bang up to date again with a load of new purchases.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.


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!


Thinking of moving to Bristol and work in PR? Read this...

Our “cool, classy and supremely creative” city beat off stiff competition to top the list of the Sunday Times Best Places to Live in 2017. See, it isn’t just us that thinks Bristol is super awesome. They handed Bristol their top accolade earlier this year. Have a little read of what they say about our home city. OK, so hopefully you’re now thinking you might like to move to Bristol. There are Georgian houses a-plenty for you to live in. Hot air balloon flights over the city most mornings and


10 things you probably didn’t know about me: Rich

The third instalment of our hugely popular feature (according to Google Analytics) sees Rich under the spotlight…
OK, I’m gonna rename this ‘Ten things you didn’t need to / want to know about me’. Here we go…
ONE
I have a ‘Basic food hygiene certificate’ meaning I could single-handedly set up ‘Wonderland The Food Service Enterprise’ if we ever felt like it. Which we don’t.
TWO
I also have a speed boat licence. I got this at University so I could drive the safety boat for the sailing club (which I thought was going to be a good opportunity to meet girls, turns out the sailing club was 90% boys #fail).
THREE
I once had a kick about with Brian Robson (ask your dad) at Singapore airport.
FOUR * If my mum is reading this, please skip to point 5 *
I’ve nearly died three times:
  • On my gap yah I learnt to scuba dive in Thailand. We went diving in New Zealand a few months later from a friend’s boat. Turns out a basic course on ‘how to dive’ doesn’t make you Jack Cousteau or give you the skills to dive on your own (I haven’t been scuba diving since)
  • Nearly got run over by a police van in Plymouth city centre having just vaulted the central reservation and landed on my chin (have the scar to prove it)
  • On said gap yah, I was nearly run over by a speed boat whilst chasing after a turtle, whilst snorkelling in Malaysia (yes, it was the most middle class gap yah ever)
FIVE
I would much prefer it if the world was 100% symmetrical.
SIX
SLXLM
I’m really good at fishing. I once met four times fishing world champ Bob Nudd at the NEC at a fishing expo (c’mon, I grew up in Somerset, what else was I supposed to do to pass the time?).
SEVEN
I’m constantly ridiculed about my CD collection. It’s fair to say I’m stuck in the 90s. I recently sold my CD collection. It was so bad that even Music Magpie refused to take half of them.
EIGHT
I have no tonsils (= the second most painful experience of my life).
NINE 
I once had the most pointless summer job EVER.  Working in a potato factory (remember, I grew up in Somerset, yay) I was tasked with taking potatoes out of a giant sack, only for them to be put into another giant sack of the same size but a different label. Good times, good times.
TEN
The first single I ever bought was ‘Every Loser Wins’ by Nick Berry.  I like to think Nick was right.


10 things you didn't know about... Ellie

 Ellie is our very own Welsh Wonder. Given it’s her birthday tomorrow, and she’s currently on holiday somewhere a lot hotter and more exotic than it is here, it seems like a good time to distract us all from how envious we are with ten things you (probably) don’t know about her…

1. I lived in Sicily as part of my degree. As the world’s biggest pasta and pizza fan, this was right up my strada as I ate it to my heart’s content (although probably not great for the ol’ heart admittedly).

2. I can speak French and Italian. I’m a tad rusty now after graduating with a degree in it in 2012 but Me la cavo / Je me débrouille. (I get by). (What a pretentious dick, right?)

3. On my 8th year at Glastonbury Festival, I finally found out how to get into the infamous Rabbit Hole, which resulted in me and two friends playing tea party games with three Alice in Wonderland characters, shotting carrot tequila, being dressed up in ball gowns (which we were allowed to keep, meaning it ending up covered in mud) and performing an unrehearsed dance on a teeny stage for the Rabbit Hole bar punters.

4. After I graduated, I went travelling around South America, which included a stay with a family on Puno’s Lake Titicaca. Safe to say this was one of the most surreal nights of my life. I was absolutely knackered so settled down for a nap (more on this later) in our hut, but before I knew it I was being dressed in traditional Peruvian clothing and dragged to a town hall where we performed an unrehearsed dance for the locals (why does this keep happening to me?). Genuinely still not sure if it was a dream.

5. ** SHIT HOT CLAIM TO FAME ALERT TO RIVAL ALISON NEARLY BEING IN A BON JOVI VIDEO **I once met Pauline Quirke from Birds of a Feather when I was about 9 as she was doing some filming on the road next to my house – I was too nervous to get her autograph so my (mouthy) friend got it for me. She got my name wrong in the autograph. I didn’t even particularly know or like her, so I don’t know why I was so nervous. 15 years later I met Linda Robson at a work event. So basically, I KNOW ALL OF BIRDS OF FEATHER CAST, OKAY?

6. I’ve had a drink in what was once David Bowie’s favourite bar in Berlin

7. I’m a member of the Female Empowerment Network in Bristol – you should join, it’s amazing

8.I was once in Luke Pritchard from The Kooks’ Top 5 on Myspace. Myspace Gen will understand the significance of this.

9. Alex Turner is my god. My ideal way of winding down is watching Alex Turner interviews on YouTube. He is just so fucking funny. And hot AF, obvs, but that goes without saying.

10. I am the queen of naps. Lay me down anywhere and I can sleep there.


Say 'holla' to our newest member of the team, Jemma Martin!

We recently put out a job ad for a senior consumer PR bod. Thing is, we couldn’t find one we liked. So, we recruited this person instead.JOKES.Having met a few different people from different backgrounds over the last few weeks, we realised that what we wanted was very rare indeed. We were looking for someone with a super-diverse skill set. Someone who would bring a shed load of creative, mad-as-a-box-of-frogs thinking as well as off-the-scale strategic know-how. And because of our culture, we