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Profession / role:
Company / organisation:
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My primary role in relation to fashion is:
Designer, Buyer, Retailer, Manufacturer
I am looking to discover or buy
A guerilla on Hampstead Heath, free services such as web design and photography, buyers of cartons of goods at high prices but with low expectations of availability and organisation
About me / About business or organisation:
Shopkeepers in this trade have to tick other boxes: I used to make the belts before my mum started doing it, so that's "manufacturer", and there's the constant job of choosing new combinations of use for the old footwear machinery and patterns without taking too much of the factory's time. I suppose that's "designer". And European or fairtrade vegan shoes aren't cheap or available in many wholesale catalogues, so tracking-down sources and materials counts as "buyer". Walking to the post office or emailing a warehouse probably counts as "supplier". As for "model", "consultant", "photographer", or "better web site designer" & "better organised", I can only wish.
Career history / Company history:
In the 1980s there were no good jobs for a college leaver and the first half of my career was spent in fringe social work such as working shifts in nightshelters or working for dodgy social work quangos. Another thing about the 1980s, other than bitterness about an exchange rate policy that closed so many factories and punk rock, was that being Vegan was a new trendy thing that seemed about to take over the world. As it happens, environmental concerns more common than an interest in animal cruelty now, but the two overlap. A report called "livestock's long shadow" for the UN sums up in the first few paragraphs how the animal industry takes-up too much of the planets resources in pollution, gas emissions, and land waste.

My second career of selling vegan shoes at was a way of getting out of social work into a business I knew nothing about, pretty much as people used to tunnel out of Colditz. It started in a small way back in 1998, just as the internet was starting, which explains the name: was expected to be as much a phone line as the first vegan shoe shop online and still has a little-used 0800 number to prove it.

The business is recession-proof to a fault; if there were no orders for a year it could still survive with nearly all the jobs done free and in-house.

The business has a different emphasis to fair trade as well. It's common to see newspaper articals that treat fair trade as a good way of helping people in the poorest, least organised countries compete with Chinese shoe imports. Most of the specialised environmental or ethical shoe companies now have statements on their web sites that they would like to buy more of their shoes closer to home, and that this is difficult to do but commentators have not always caught-up.

I still think that fair trade is fair on UK factories and that that unfair trade is not; tries to buy from countries with courts votes and a welfare state which all add to the costs of shoe making but are more important than what colour the shoes are or how often the styles change. It's important in a recession too; shoes from countries with good government or fairtrade shoes allow the money to trickle down and around, rather than going to the swiss bank account of a Chinese official.

Illness has prevented a quick development of (a virus in 2002 that damaged short-term memory - now slowly recovering) but little by little it is getting organised. Achievements along the way have been the Bouncing Boot, made in the UK with an extra bouncy sole that moulds to the shape of your feet, the XCap with an external steel toe cap which has been featured in films, and a huge-range of slow-selling footwear such as UK-made slippers or slippers for funny-shaped feet, wellies in the shape of riding boots or French canvas shoes which don't make the fashion reviews but serve a market.'s Blog

how nylon stockings are made in UK working conditions - without boiling-up live silk worms

Posted on April 3, 2010 at 12:00 0 Comments

There's been some discussion on the forum about where to buy products made in good working conditions in the UK.

I don't buy or sell nylon stockings (you might want to comment if you know anything about the market) but came across this rather wonderful explanation. The company is advertised as a business for sale but it might suit ethical fashionistas as a flexible supplier with UK working conditions for the staff, sustaining a done-for UK economy and avoiding the boiling of live… Continue

Agreement for funding relative to creative sector support - designer fashion - £4.2m

Posted on December 3, 2009 at 9:42 0 Comments

British Fashion Council have not published their reports to the London Development Agency before, but a request under the Freedom of Information Act now puts them on-line. Previous responses have sketched the terms of contract between government and the British Fashion Council.

"Question by Darren Johnson

Would you… Continue

Manchester Wallet Manufacturer JJ Blackledge for sale

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 12:00 1 Comment :

The deadline may have passed in theory, but anyone looking for assets or a going concern wallet manufacturing business in Manchester could still contact Charles Tayor auctioneers as the auction for individual machines is at the end of November - presumably they're kept together till then. The factory ran until 16th October… Continue

Subsidised out-sourcing: London Assembly members question Boris

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 9:30 7 Comments

China prices can be cheaper than other low-wage economies. Quotations are often for large quantities, the Chinese government has no pension, healthcare or democracy costs, and governments east and west have manipulated the exchange rate, but another surprising reason is that the UK taxpayer subsidises introductions and training, and hectors fashion designers to use China specifically. The money is paid from funds paid in London to reduce disparities in the Labour… Continue

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At 11:30 on May 11, 2016, mark ribau fernandes evans said…

Private Label manufacturing
Australian Owned Portuguese luxury individually hand crafted men,woman & children shoes
Proudly Made In Portugal & Exported From Portugal 
Also Available sneakers,loafers,sandals,pumps,wedding footwear,etc
For designers we can develop your amazing ideas to the exact footwear your wanting.
and create your own unique label.
Your success is our success.
Development Process,
Concept-Design-Prototyping-Quality control-Production.
Available is a huge variety of materials and technical know how,which allows your imagination
to open a large range of possibilities that makes any ideas materialize.


At 16:05 on February 8, 2011, Jenna said…

Hello dear i saw your profile here in this site so i feel like contacting you for a relationship so if you think it’s cool you can reply me with my email ’'’'bye hopping to hear from you soonest.
At 15:35 on August 9, 2010, Laricea Ioana Roman said…

My name is Laricea Ioana Roman and I am a student at Kingston University, London (KU ID 0942659). I am doing a Master in Marketing, Advertising and Communications and at the moment I am writing my Dissertation. My topic is related to ethical clothing, more specifically, I am investigating how personal values influence customers' decision to buy ethical clothing. In order to come up with some answers for my topic, I need some opinions from people who actually bought ethical clothes.

This is the reason why I am kindly asking you to help me and fill in my questionnaire. It will take you no more than 10 minutes and you can win three books and £30 vouchers!

Thank you for your consideration,

Laricea Ioana Roman
At 20:44 on December 7, 2009, Butool Jamal said…
Just wanted to thank you for replying to my BlogPost looking for Speakers at Uni. We're planning on organising something some time next year, possibly in March so if its ok I might ask again to see if your interested!
Thanks so much!
At 21:40 on June 21, 2009, jacqueline said…
thanks for your info
every little bit helps and is appreciated...we all have to help each other!


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