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Who knows what Christmas holds?

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Vintage & Sustainable Fashion

Author: Lynda Rowland, Posted: Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 11:30

As we await news of exactly where we can go, who we can see and whether Santa will have to teach his reindeer how to socially-distance, our thoughts turn to what we will wear over the festive season.

Party dresses and evening-wear are not currently flying off the rails, which leaves some retailers with an awful lot of stock to either store, discount heavily or dispose of in other ways.

Larger companies with huge amounts of excess garments are even using Ebay to sell it on. Others sell stock at low prices to companies who then filter it through to discount stores.

All of this means some pretty good bargains out there for any buyers who are prepared  to invest now. Maybe they will wear a glitzy dress at home to brighten up this year’s downsized family Christmas Dinner, or keep it in the wardrobe until next party season when we may finally be allowed out again!

Maybe a safer bet is to carry on enjoying the kind of relaxed dressing that we have primarily worn for the large part of this year.

Embrace seasonal jewellery

If you know that you will probably be catching up with distant friends and family on Zoom or FaceTime, your top half is really all you need to focus on. Perhaps this Christmas is the one when we should embrace seasonal jewellery in an enthusiastic, rather than ironic, way.

I wouldn’t advise squandering your hard-earned cash on garish, dangly, disposable, plastic light-up Christmas tree earrings though. Although they may well be ‘in the best possible taste’, that would not fit our sustainability remit!

Why not source some pretty crystal snowflakes, sparkly silver stars or, if the colours happen to suit you, some semi-precious stone jewellery – maybe garnets or peridots - in festive shades of red and green?

When choosing eco-conscious jewellery look for companies who use recycled materials, have a commitment to ethical practices and have a fair-trade policy in place for their workforce, as well as those who use sustainable packaging.

For this it’s well worth investigating the work of the craftspeople and independent producers on the Etsy.co.uk online marketplace.

In a recent search I spotted a pair of cute polymer clay Santa Claus earrings and some sweet ceramic red robin earrings and brooch pins, all of which are handmade in the UK. There are different things on offer all the time, as these items are generally made in small quantities and that means they are usually highly individual and often unique.

Find something special and help a small independent producer

Take a little time to browse through what’s available and you will find something really special, and also help a small independent producer to continue to build their business during these difficult days.

Another way to do that is by going on to Trouva.com, which is also an online marketplace. This website serves as a platform for small businesses based in the UK and Europe, in order to attract customers to their retail outlets. Most of them have a presence on the high street so, by purchasing from them online during any lockdown periods, you will also be helping them to keep their retail premises ticking over, so we don’t see even more of our local shopping streets being decimated.

Trouva hosts a wide range of sellers, offering goods from lifestyle and homewares to fashion and children’s clothes. It also has an eco- section for those customers wishing to make that a focus of their search. Another website to try is Downyourhighstreet.co.uk which also offers unique goods from independent shops.

So, whether you look online or visit in person whenever we are allowed, please support local and small businesses and craftspeople and help make theirs a merry – if somewhat minimised – Christmas this year.

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