A Sustainable Fashion Trip

This blog post originally appeared on Hannah’s website, www.hannahcastleman.co.uk.

I disappeared on holiday for a few days last week; as much as I love my job it was a it was a much needed escape from work. I couldn’t completely turn my phone off though - I was on a sustainable fashion mission!

I was away for four days and could only bring hand luggage so I decided to pack as sustainably as possible. With the exception of my trainers (a necessity for all of the walking we did - 32 miles and over 80,000 steps in four days) and a t-shirt for the plane every item of clothing I took was vintage, second-hand or sustainable in some way.

Dress:  Monsoon  via fellow  Spitfire Sister   Louisa Revolta  (on long term loan)

Dress: Monsoon via fellow Spitfire Sister Louisa Revolta (on long term loan)

Jeans: recycled denim from  ASOS .  Shirt:  Cheap Monday  via  eBay .

Jeans: recycled denim from ASOS.

Shirt: Cheap Monday via eBay.

We had two days of ridiculously warm weather, a day of torrential rain and a day of cloudy skies, so I was pleased to have packed transitional pieces to wear.

Jeans: Recycled denim from  ASOS   Sweater:  L.L. Bean  via  ASOS Marketplace   Shoes: Nike via  ASOS  (not second hand)

Jeans: Recycled denim from ASOS

Sweater: L.L. Bean via ASOS Marketplace

Shoes: Nike via ASOS (not second hand)

Classic HC brings her own water even when it’s completely tipping it down. We got drenched! L.L. Bean is something I always search for on eBay or ASOS Marketplace, as they are quality pieces and really last a long time.

Dress: Made by my mum  Cardigan: Second hand  Uniqlo

Dress: Made by my mum

Cardigan: Second hand Uniqlo

Cardigan: Second hand  Uniqlo   Headscarf: Birthday present

Cardigan: Second hand Uniqlo

Headscarf: Birthday present

Now that I’m home I have been inspired to do a huge wardrobe clear out. I have nothing against buying new from shops instead of vintage and second-hand but thinking about sustainable fashion has really made me think twice about the pieces I do buy that are brand new.

I would love to organise a sustainable fashion afternoon or evening with The Spitfire Sisters hosting a clothing swap - what do you think? Would you be interested in attending? Comment below to let me know!

Bring & Mix

This blog post originally appeared on Louisa’s website, www.louisarevolta.com

There are many things that I love about my job. One of them is having the chance to explore and discover amazing venues. This weekend I had the opportunity to perform for the guests at Southampton’s secret speakeasy Bring and Mix.

Nestled in the heart of Bedford Place this intimate venue harks back to the days of prohibition and has a wonderful atmosphere with attentive and friendly service and glamorous decor. The venue is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings with the first table at 6.00pm and the final sitting at 9.15pm. Prices range from £19 - £22 per person and this is for a two hour session. As the name suggests, for this experience you bring your favourite spirits and the mixologists create unique and delicious cocktails to suit your taste. It is essential to book in advance and you may have to book ahead by a few weeks but the experience is worth the wait. Your booking confirmation will come with a secret password that you must say as you are greeted at the venue and lead upstairs to a hidden doorway inside a bookcase.

For me it is a wonderful excuse to add new songs to my repertoire and quietly people watch while I lose myself in the music and soak in the atmosphere. I enjoy singing over the hubbub of conversation and the rattling of ice cubes being shaken overhead behind the bar.

When they are not busy being a speakeasy on Friday and Saturdays, Bring and Mix are available for private hire. I first discovered the place when Women Who Do held a speed networking event there. I have also been a customer when hair and makeup stylist Miss Pearl Curl of Pearl’s Pinup Parlour teamed up with Wayne Treasure of Treasure the Moments photography to offer a photography package at Bring and Mix.

Photo by Wayne Treasure, hair and makeup by Pearl’s Pinup Parlour

Photo by Wayne Treasure, hair and makeup by Pearl’s Pinup Parlour

I have also teamed up with Vintage Keys Studio and invaded Bring and Mix with an army of microphones, musicians and cameras to offer singers a chance to record their very own live performance. Here are a couple of examples, one of them sung by the wonderful Andrea Kelso and another swing cover by yours truly.

We will be shortly announcing another date for an opportunity to come and record at Bring and Mix with pianist Steve Christie and the Vintage Keys Studio recording team.