Saturday, 3 January 2015

FASHION | Introducing the 9.2.5 Capsule Collection

Ashma John of The Online Runway modeling one of our 9.2.5 Outfits
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Em and I have been extremely busy working on the new blog, which we hope to have up and running by the end of the month, as well as several independent ventures coupled with our busy work schedules. One of our independent ventures is a 100% Made in Guyana capsule collection, which I thought I would share with you as we keep working away to bring back the Conscience Collective.

A few months back, my friend Ashma--a Caribbean fashion blogger from Guyana--and I engaged in a three hour conversation--she in Guyana and me in London--on how to stimulate the local Guyana fashion market.  For the most part, Guyanese fashion can come across as more whimsical conceptual fashion with nods to local techniques such as tie-dye, batik, and hand-painted designs of African and Indigenous origins rather than wearable fashion that can transcend occasions and time. In doing this, most consumers are isolated from the industry as these designs are not in keeping with what locals actually want and/or need. 

Having worked with local seamstresses in Guyana since returning to the country, Ashma has tapped into talent that many have neglected. As a result, she has used her blog as a tool to promote such local talent, especially when it comes to clothing for the Working Woman.


Why not make a small capsule collection for the woman working 9-5 using some of the most common local and affordable fabrics, with some classic and modern cuts?
The idea was simple and necessary. We would only use local and affordable fabrics commonly used for government and school uniforms, simple yet modern and chic silhouettes, and one of the best, yet least known, seamstresses we could find to present quality clothing for the masses.

The collection, we decided, would be called "9.2.5," consisting of five outfits representing five different work personalities. It will be launched at the end of January with an online lookbook and details on how to order. As a treat for the New Year, we have revealed the first outfit, which we named The Kept Boss. 

For the original post announcing the 9.2.5. Collection and for a description  of the outfit in this post please visit The Online Runway.

PHOTOS by Jay Carter

Friday, 2 May 2014

STYLE | La Vie en Rose...Valentino

I'm not a big fan of pink to be honest. I rarely wear the colour, with the exception of my pink Balenciaga heels which I could easily live in. However, as I was rearranging my closet (as you can tell I didn't get far as I get easily distracted), I found this vintage silk satin Valentino skirt preserved with the matching top in plastic way at the back, and hidden from the light. As I pulled the skirt out, I decided to mix with different shades of pink, to somewhat force me to be a bit more creative with the skirt, and came up with this combination.

I like mixing my conscious pieces with the ones I already owned that might not be so conscious. It is a great compromise between your regular highstreet stores and boutiques that carry ethical clothing and accessories. For example, this top was bought back in 2007 in Miami from Forever21 (I think) and the Balenciaga's were too big for its previous owner, so I bought them second-hand, but brand new (my gain).

All Photos by Kenrick Stevenson

Sunday, 5 January 2014

FASHION | Checks and Balance

checks & balances
AW'13 Collections by Suno; Celine, Emilia Winstead, Stella McCartney | Photos by GoRunway
As its the new year, I can't help but reflect on various aspects of my life, do a bit of housecleaning, and go through the checks and balances. From moving my consultancy firm forward, investments, and of course the blog to getting a Great Dane and what to wear, there are many things that have shaped 2013 and will mold my 2014. 
Today I caught up on my Vogues (I was five months behind). August 2013 was where I started, and ended up fixated on Freja Beha Erichsen's cover feature. Cloaked in Celine's woven laundry-bag check print, I was reminded of how amazing checks are. Having lived in Scotland for years, checks had become special (magical), even finding a tartan that matched my my mother's family's name (they are Armstrongs). From history to culture, checks that looked like the bags sturdy African mothers would transport material culture or a story of a family's lineage all led Autumn/Winter's catwalks. Bold or Subtle, designers like Marc Jacobs, Celine Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, Suna, Emilia Wickstead and Tommy Hilfiger turned to checks for inspiration, and I've noticed.
Thankfully, some of our favourite brands have catered to this trend (way before it returned to the runway) with lovely check pieces that already have me compiling a new wish list, that I am sure will not make Mr P pleased...

checks & balances ii
1. CHINTI & PARKER Polka Square Sweater, £294 | 2. SHEPHERD ENGLAND Handmade Tweed Check Scarf, £140.40  | 3. KELLY WEARSTLER Vaso Cuff, $237 | 4. FAIR+TRUE Sustainable Check Trousers, £63.75 | 5. ADELE DEJAK Red & Green Masai Clutch, $115 | 6. FAIR+TRUE Fairtrade V Skater Dress, £59.99 | 7. ACE&JIG Bomber Jacket, $235 | 8. IVANA HELSINSKI Janice Knitted Dress, $490 | 9. EDUN Check Print Roll Neck Top £176.13 | 10. FAIR+TRUE Fairtrade Gingham Bustier, £56.25 | 11. A PEACE TREATY Ghat Earrings, $132 | 12. MARY MEYER Crazy Jacket, $266

Monday, 30 December 2013

SEASONAL | The Gentlemen's Club: New Year's Eve Picks

New Years Gentlemen II

A SUIT THAT FITS Tailor-made Sustainable Wool Suit, From £289 | EVOCHA The Lloyd White Men shirt, £35 | ASTALI Antique Brass 9mm Bullet Cufflinks, $89 | NO HARM Vegan Loafers with Raised Apron, £129.99 | AGE OF REASON Victory Pocket Square, £35 | SPROUT WATCHES Navy Bamboo Eco-Watch, $75.00 |  COLLARD GREENS Handmade Dots Bow Tie, $55 | JOHN SMEDLEY Merino Wings in Forest Green Scarf, £95 | JOHN SMEDLEY Edury Midnight Socks, £16

We love menswear, especially when its about elegant ethical gentlemanly menswear. Here is some inspiration for our male followers (apparently we have a few, yippee) for the New Year soirees that we're sure many of you will attend. 
We start our list with the essential: A suit! A Suit that Fits believes in paying their employees fairly and having sustainable materials available for their bespoke tailor-made suits. These are the same people from where Mr P gets his suits, which I must say are rather dashing. Another menswear suit that promises sustainability is Marks & Spencer's Black Sustainable Suit, but if you are trying to move beyond a standard black suit, A Suit that Fits offers this option. Add a nice crisp white shirt, a pocket square, and a bow tie to garner a Gatsby-esque feel, along with that every so necessary scarf, and you're good to go.
Enjoy the New Year, and do share with us your ethical options for the New Year.  

Sunday, 29 December 2013

SEASONAL | New Year Investments

HENRY HUNT Limited Edition Morticia Feather Dress, £482 | HENRY HUNT Faux Fur Collar, £52 | NICOLE ROMANO Triangle Geometric Hoop Earrings, $66 | iSANCTUARY Beautiful Green Necklace, $42 | KAYU Handmade Raffia Across-Body Bag, $244 | KELLY WEARSTLER Viktor Cuff, $197.50 | BEYOND SKIN Black Callie Faux Suede Heels, £59 | HENRY HUNT Hannah Sequin Pencil Skirt, £42 | HENRY HUNT The Tallulah Sequin Dress, £178 | THE ORGANIC PHARMACY Organic Glam Jasmine Eau de Parfum, £119.95 | SPROUT WATCHES Corn Resin Watch, $75

Last Year's New Year's post was a collection of ethical dresses, this year I thought it more important to inspire you with these amazing ethical investment pieces that will have heads turning and your soul churning. With Henry Hunt's Made in England statement apparel leading this list we only expect that your New Year's will be just as great as ours. Have a great New Year Everyone!!! 

Friday, 27 December 2013

FASHION | Best of the Sales - People Tree Work Wear

Christmas Sale! People Tree Work Wear

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends, how is it all over already!? Well I'm back in the UK (and about to reunite with Stacy over New Years Eve! Eek!), and apart from the friends, the family and the food, shopping is always high on my agenda. So many of the brands we love to buy are only available online or in stores in the UK and US and coming home is always my chance to stock up ... and unleash my inner spending devil, you know the one. However, this year I'm trying to focus that devil on things I really really need and - I can hear all my colleagues screaming from Trinidad - I really need work wear. But URGH, I hate it. I'm not an office wear kinda gal, I'd rock to work in jeans & a t-shirt everyday if I could. However, some occasions call for appropriate attire and my constantly recycled pair of black cigarette pants with American Apparel white shirt and black blazer are getting old. So, if I have to spend my money on work wear, I'm going to 1, buy it in the sale and, 2, from People Tree. They have the best affordable selection of fitted, smart and a little sexy office appropriate attire; white shirts with sweet details, sexy pencil skirts in robust hand woven fabrics and perfect pencil dresses in subtle prints and colours. Done & done! 

From top to bottom, left to right on my kitsch best-of-the-sale work wear Christmas tree:

Monday, 23 December 2013

SEASONAL | The Slacker's Budget Gift Guide

Ok! Time to be realistic! TWO DAYS LEFT for Christmas, and unless you are going out to do some last minute shopping, there is no chance of you making it in time to get those last minute gifts delivered to your house to be wrapped and then handed over to the giftee. But not to worry, this is why you have The Conscience Collective at hand to guide you through this nightmare. GIFT CARDS! 

Yes, you thought it, but I said it! Gift Cards are an amazing way to save face in case you forgot to buy a gift for your little cousin, who has had his or her little hearts set on receiving a gift from their favourite older cousin (I am not admitting to anything). And, because you have spent almost all of your budget, you're also a little reluctant to spend a lot, so a gift card is an ideal way to show them that you have not forgotten, that you care, and that they now have the power to get the item they really want, and man, are there loads of great gift cards to places that market ethical brands for all to see. 
Therefore, I have created a little gift card guide all for no more than £20/$25. Enjoy and Seasons Greetings!

Gift Vouchers

Sunday, 22 December 2013

SEASONAL | The Conscious Cyclist: His & Her's Gifts

Cycle Chic 2
EVOCHA The Austen Sapphire Shirt, £45 | LIZZIE LOCK MILLINERY Henri Straw Cap, £60 | WEAR PANDA Burgundy Red Jackson Sunglasses, $120 | PATAGONIA Red Nano Puff Vest, $149 | VELECO Organic Cotton Shopper Bag, £5.50 | EARTHLUST Stainless Steel Owl Bottle, £14.55 | GOSSYPIUM Yogawear Double 3/4 Top [White], £35 | VANESSA AUGRIS Vlisco African Print Slim Fit Pants, £127 | NEU AURA Vegan Piper Loafer Style Flat Shoes, £72 | BAMBOOCYCLES UR Racer, £505.49 

Christmas is near approaching, and as the in-laws head out for their morning rides (in the cold), I am left admiring their tenacity. Yesterday morning, I braved the winds, the cold and the mud to play golf for four hours, and now these two are off, helmets in tow, for an hour or so. Good on them.

As you've already guessed, they are part of my inspiration for this post. However, my main motivation came from gift shopping for Mr P (as usual), when I stumbled across Bamboocycles. Coming out of Mexico, these bikes are handmade from sustainable bamboo, with its main purpose being to promote environmental responsibility. And if you don't want to wait for one of these amazing bikes from Mexico, you could join a Bamboo Bicycle Club and build your own, or better yet, for that extra extra special person, you could gift them a chance to build their own.

With so many ethical articles of clothing and recycled paper maps ideal for cycling, I have managed to narrow the list down to the few you see here. The helmet made out of cardboard, designed by Anirudah Surahbi Rao, has blown my mind, and the great organic cotton and locally made clothing is enough to make both the avid cyclist and the recreational rider all the more happy to own two wheels.
The Green Urban CyclistsBAMBOOCYCLES UR Ruta, £222.92 | KNOWELDGE COTTON APPAREL Organic Cotton Oxford Shirt, 94.95 EUR | COMMON PEOPLE Helium Baseball Jacket, £210 | DOWSE Cycling London Guide Map, £4.50 | ANIRUDHA SURABHI RAO Abus Kranium Helmet, £79.99 | WESTWARD LEANING N11.5. Futurism Sunglasses, $180 | TWO THIRDS New Galtza Pant [Tobacco Brown], $45 | PATAGONIA Insulated Torrentshell Jacket, $299.00 | CASTANER Alfonso Boot, $89  

Ride safely folks! Don't forget to wear your helmet and a jacket with reflectors...or bright colours that can be seen at night. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

SEASONAL | Gifts for the Jetsetters!!

the traveller
BANJO & MATILDA Travel Blanket Eye Mask Set, £170 | LSTN HEADPHONES Ebony Wood Troubadours, $150 | WESTWARD LEANING N 10.1. Wintermute Sunglasses, £110 | KNOWLEDGE COTTON APPAREL Brushed Flannel Check Shirt, $165 | NOVACAS Allister Vegan Shoes, $139.95 | TUSTING iSlip Leather iPad Sleeve, £99 | TUSTING Leather Luggage Label in Black Floodlight, £25 | BEST MADE COMPANY The Map Notebook, $20/£12 | MR NN Red Belt, £80 | GREEN PEOPLE Organic Homme 7 Active Fix Repair Serum, £14.50 | WeWOOD Voyage Black Wooden Watch, £99.99

As Emma is preparing to make her way to the UK in two days, and I to Peru, Guyana, Panama, and Trinidad in February, we have both been eying travel-friendly items--either things to travel in or items to wear once we have reached our respective destinations. I've especially been caught up with buying gifts for Mr P for Christmas, which reflect his love for the outdoors, cycling and our future trips abroad. 

For him, I thought of all the things he would love and need to carry in his luggage. From these amazing wooden headphones (Emma has featured this in our Gift Guide) to the perfect notebook for traveling, or Aussie Brand, Banjo & Matlida's amazing travel blanket and eye mask made from naturally and ethically sourced cashmere to make our long travels more comfortable, or this organic cotton Flannel Shirt for the Peruvian Andes, these items will surely make his trip a bit more stylish, cool, and relaxed.

Below, I've thought of things I would want to carry, from Holistic Silk's Made in Britain Eye Masks filled with Lavender for soothing to Caudalie's Thirst Quenching Serum as my skin always gets extremely dry in the planes. At the same time, protecting one's iPad from the elements in Lost Property's recycled leather iSleeve or just enjoying the Tobago sea in this sustainable, fair trade short skirt, and the Guyana nightlife in Dagg & Stacey's pea silk and eco-intelligent polyester dress, will make a woman's trip all the more worth while.


GIANFRANCO FERRE Statement Style Vintage Sunglasses, £150 | DAGG & STACEY Weimar Dress, $255 | CAUDALIE Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, £25.90 | HOLISTIC SILK Limited Edition Eye Mask, £46.00 | VALENTINE GAUTHIER Mirage Aracadia Print Skirt, 190€ | THE VAMOOSE Lapis Lazuli Necklace, £32.00 | PACHACUTI Panama Hat, Various | PRIVATSACHEN Lounge Trousers, $98 | CASTANER B.Dana Sack Bag, 56€ | CASTANER Cecilia Wedges, 52 | LOST PROPERTY OF LONDON Leather iPad Sleeve, £85

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