Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Say no to new!

Struggling to find a new year's resolution? How about pledging not to buy new clothes for a year?

Our obsession with buying cheap new clothes and throwing them away has fostered a shocking culture of waste.

However, Newbury mother-of-two Victoria Lochhead is at the forefront of a national campaign to challenge customers to say no to new outfits and spend 2014 only buying vintage and second-hand clothes.

Victoria, owner of image consultancy Victoria’s Wardrobe, said the idea behind the campaign is to encourage people to think more carefully about where they spend their money, and about reducing waste.

According to recent figures, thanks to the low prices enjoyed by clothing consumers in the UK, 10,000 items of clothing are sent to landfill every five minutes, adding up to a shocking 1bn tonnes of textiles a year.

Victoria is organising a series of events throughout the year that she hopes will inspire people to turn their backs on fast fashion and to “say no to new”.

She said: “We’re asking people to join us by pledging not to buy new clothes throughout 2014 on our “say no to new” facebook page. The idea is to highlight how much is wasted by our attitudes to fast fashion.

“In my work as an image consultant, I’m regularly asked to help people who are overwhelmed by their wardrobes. I often find the same item in there seven or eight times.

“As well as the cost of buying new clothes, if you buy second hand, from charity shops, eBay and clothes recycling outlets, then you’re more likely to buy good quality pieces.

“People who have 70-80 pairs of shoes are not uncommon and I recently helped a lady who had 16 pairs of identical trousers, some with the tags still attached. Half of a woman’s clothes in her wardrobe don’t suit her, don’t fit or don’t make her feel great. It’s said that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.

There are some exceptions to Victoria’s challenge including underwear and swim wear.

“It’s the rise of fast fashion in recent years that has enabled people to buy something cheaply, wear it once and then throw it away.”
Along with her business partner Jo Marshall, with whom Victoria shares a market stall on Saturdays in Newbury, the pair run revamping workshops to encourage people to make the most of clothes that they might have considered throwing away.
“We like to encourage people to share, swap and revamp,” Victoria continued. “I recently heard about a lady who bought a jacket from a high street store, and the button came off, so instead of sewing another one back on, she threw away the jacket and bought an identical one.
“That kind of behaviour is just not sustainable. If you pay £4 for a top, then you have to consider how much the person who made it got paid and under what conditions.
“My vision is to see a fashion industry in which people waste less and love what they have.”


Sunday, 15 December 2013


West Berkshire business owners can get their 2014 off to the right start thanks to a series of Bigger Brighter Bolder success briefings.

Mindset coaching experts Tracey Miller and George Swift who run BBB from Benham Hill, are inviting people who want to achieve their resolutions to hear more about how to attain their goals and improve their self-belief.

Places cost £25 each and take place from 9.30am to 12pm on Thursday 23rd January, Wednesday 29th January and Wednesday 5th February.

George Swift, said: “This interactive workshop reminds us as business owners what we are really made of and why we deserve our success. Creating the mindset for success is a must for anyone who wants to be more successful in 2014, whether that’s in business or personally. This workshop helps you do just that, discovering what habits you can build on and form to be successful.”

For more information, or to book a place, email tracey@biggerbrighterbolder.co.uk or click onto www.biggerbrighterbolder.co.uk or http://bit.ly/BBBbriefing

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Can the Bowen technique assist boys with dyspraxia? Could you help?

A Newbury-based holistic therapist is looking for young children with motor skills difficulties and dyspraxia to be treated with the Fascia Bowen Therapy as part of her research doctorate.

Melanie Morgan-Jones specialises in the technique which is a gentle alternative treatment using minimal manipulation and frequent pauses for the body to respond. As there is no cure for dyspraxia, Melanie is researching how the Fascia Bowen Technique could help people with the condition who typically have difficulties with movement, coordination, judgment, processing, memory and some other cognitive skills.

Working from the Wellbeing Centre in Pound Street, Melanie now wants to apply her knowledge to her doctoral studies at the University of Bath. Her research question is about the benefits of using a very gentle therapy to help improve motor skills, as well other psychological factors such as self-esteem.

Melanie said: “I’ve been using the Bowen Technique and Fascia Bowen for a number of years locally, including on members of the Berkshire County Blind Society and my patients report that the treatment is hugely beneficial.

“I’m now looking for boys from Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, aged between eight and 11, who have difficulties with motor skills. They would be treated either at school or in a private clinic. The target group is boys who scored at the 15th centile or below on an assessment administered by an Occupational Therapist called MABC-2. They will also be screened for other conditions.

“My supervisors are Dr Chris Ashwin at the University of Bath and Dr Fiona Knott at the University of Reading who are both well-known and respected in the field.”

Participants are asked to be seen for about an hour once a week during the school day in a small private room.

Claire Bushell, Director of the Wellbeing Centre, said: “Melanie is a highly-valued member of our team here and we’re delighted to support her in her innovative project. If you know anyone who fits the bill and might benefit from her free treatment, then please get in touch.”

Anyone who is interested can find out more by emailing Melanie on melmj@btinternet.com or via the Wellbeing Centre at www.newburywellbeing.com


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Buttermilk in the Sun

Buttermilk Confections is often in the sun, being situated in lovely Cornwall, but on Saturday, their new Fudgey Friday subscription service was featured in The Sun newspaper after we sent them this press release!

Thank you The Sun!