In the usual fashion, September 2017 was a month of transition: from moving out of my childhood home and into a new apartment, to the gradual recession of my SS wardrobe, and the beginning of a new semester. Whilst I mourned the loss of summer, September was an opportunity to adjust and prepare for the oncoming season. This month, my AW wardrobe received its first ethical edit, I winter-proofed my cruelty-free beauty regime, and stocked up on autumn essentials like books and playlists. Whilst keeping expenses to a minimum, September introduced new staples to my everyday routines and marked the beginning of several new adventures.
Vintage Gold Case Watch from Yesterday’s Glam.
I first discovered Yesterday’s Glam at this year’s Brooklyn, NY edition of Afropunk. An emerging North Jersey based business, Yesterday’s Glam compiles the best vintage, retro, and pre-loved items into an online shop and pop-up stall. Each piece is carefully hand-picked by founder Shonel Symister and selected for its history, individuality, and flare. Whilst not the most statement accessory in my AW wardrobe, I love this watch for its delicacy and timelessness. It seamlessly transitions from casual day-time wear – like the outfit featured above – to formal evening attire. The best thing about Yesterday’s Glam? Despite being a relatively new company, they offer international shipping!
“Just Trade” Red Brass Studs from Sancho’s Dress.
This year, I’m determined to incorporate more colour into my AW wardrobe. Not only will this make the loss of summer’s warmth and vibrancy a little easier to bear, it means I can match runway-inspired makeup – such as LFW favourite, coloured eyeliner – with everyday outfits. These bold red studs by Just Trade are a signature piece in my (growing) AW colour collection and were purchased from one of my favourite ethical clothing stores. Sancho’s Dress, located on Fore Street, Exeter, is an independent, slow fashion outlet, selling certified sustainable and fair-trade items. From vegan knitwear, to ethical underwear, and beautiful hand-made jewellery, Sancho’s Dress is an oasis for conscious consumers who believe ethics shouldn’t compromise style.
Armed Angels Fashion Journal, Issue #1: AW.
This fashion journal by Armed Angels is possibly the most exciting release from the slow fashion industry this season (and I’m saying that having just preed Reformation’s AW collection). I picked up a copy of the newly released Issue #1 at Sancho’s Dress (for free!) and am still amazed by the content. Not only is it incredibly informative (this edition covers the ethical wool industry), the visuals are breath-taking (just take a look at their Instagram), and the modelling is uncommonly progressive. Whilst I continue to read mainstream fashion magazines, the Armed Angels journal is a refreshing alternative to fast-fashion promotion, and offers an exciting glimpse into the (aspiring) future of fashion.
Kind Natured “Love Curls” Bamboo & Sea Kelp Smoothing Conditioner.
I started wearing my hair natural around the same time that the cruelty of the beauty industry was brought to my attention. Needless to say, both transitions – from processed to natural, mainstream to cruelty-free – were made harder by the concurrence. For a while, I struggled to maintain a balance between a vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle and healthy Afro-Caribbean hair. Without the use of animal-derived products – such as eggs, honey, yoghurt, etc., – my hair’s recovery was stunted and, disheartened, I found myself reaching for the GHDs. Thankfully, brands such as Kind Natured have since solved my natural hair woes. I picked up this curl-friendly conditioner in Boots after reading its “free from sulphates, parabens, and petrochemicals” label. As any natural sister (or bro) will tell you, sulphates and silicones are incredibly damaging to curly hair. Not only do Kind Natured have a “97% natural (ingredients) promise”, the company is dedicated to cruelty-free testing, and offer an impressive range of vegan products. And, if their ethos isn’t enough to convince you, Kind Natured is a far more affordable alternative to other natural haircare brands, such as Shea Moisture.
“R&B” Hair Moisturiser by Lush.
Earlier this month, I braved the odour onslaught at my local Lush to purchase the much-raved-about Veganese. After reading the ingredients list and talking to a lovely advisor, however, I came home with a generous taster pot of the R&B Hair Moisturiser instead. A denser, more oil-based treatment, this leave-in conditioner has been designed with coarse, Afro textures in mind. It left my hair feeling soft, my curls defined, and my scalp protected against the plummeting temperatures. My first Lush visit since going cruelty-free, this moisturiser isn’t just a September favourite, but a new autumn staple.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith.
This book was a housewarming gift from a friend of mine and, despite its mixed reception, I can’t wait for the perfect rainy day to begin it. This will be the second book by Zadie Smith I’ve been lucky enough to read – third if you count her introduction to Their Eyes Were Watching God – and, I have to say, I’m yet to find another author who captures the mundane patterns of human existence quite so… exactly. I’m always looking for new female writers and writers of colour to add to my bookshelf; I’m hoping this will be one of many such reads this autumn/winter.
The Candle 79 Cookbook.
If I had to choose a favourite moment from August’s NYC trip, the purchasing of this cookbook would be up there (no, really). Candle 79 is a deluxe, organic vegan restaurant in the Upper East Side of the City, and is home to the most p-h-e-n-o-m-e-n-a-l vegan crepes. As I sat there savouring each delicious bite, I genuinely considered saving all my money just to fly out and eat there again. Thankfully, co-owner, Joy Pierson, released a sophisticated cookbook in 2011, comprising all of the restaurant’s best tried-and-tested recipes. Their secret to the perfect vegan crepes? Keep a look out for my recreated recipe to find out!
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