Irish Blogger Conference 2015

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Last weekend I attended the Irish blogger conference in the Radisson in Dublin. It was something I’d been really looking forward to going to, even missing Slane for it! Sorry Hozier, next time…;)

I decided to get dressed up for the occasion and wore my trusty Asos black crochet hem jeans, a floral print top and my black fringed Mango jacket. I accessorised with a tiny gold star chain, black leather rucksack and my new iridescent green/blue Penneys sandals.

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This floral top was such a great bargain, it’s River Island but I picked it up for €5 in a charity shop. It’s a really great shape and fit.

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My jacket is from the new Mango on Henry Street. It’s practically my second home at this stage!

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I was quite nervous but also really keen to see what was in store! The first thing I noticed (besides all the gorgeous glam people everywhere!) was the amazing goodie bag which was under my seat. Ermagerd! It was full of lovely things, make-up, vouchers, skincare and even some edible goodies such as popcorn and a tin of Bewleys coffee.

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The organisers had set up a projector and projected live tweets from the event. They also had organised lots of exciting competitions throughout the day. Among the competitions was a Best Dressed competition and they picked both a male and female audience member who both looked amazing! They also had a charity partner in the form of Teenline (a helpline dedicated to young people in distress) and encouraged us throughout the day to make a donation to Teenline.

Initially I thought that the only speakers would be bloggers but I was delighted to see there was a wide range of speakers from different backgrounds. From fitness experts, social media strategists, designers and even RTE’s vet Pete Wedderburn, it was a great line-up.

My favourite speakers of the day were Alison Canavan and Barbara Scully. Alison who is a prolific Irish fashion models spoke about the importance of taking care of mind and body. She was very candid in speaking about her own difficulties with depression and anxiety and I really admired that.She started her talk by getting us all to do a simple meditation. I was absolutely riveted listening to her as her words really struck a chord with me and the tips she gave us for taking care of ourselves were invaluable. She told us “Depression is a result of lack of expression” which I thought was really profound. Alison imparted a lot of wisdom and you can visit her site here.

Journalist Barbara Scully was another excellent speaker. She was very witty and had the audience in stitches with her funny anecdotes. She reminded us that “the internet is ruled by women and cats” which was met with a great cheer from the largely female audience. She also spoke about the need for more women in journalism and broadcasting and I couldn’t agree more. You can visit Barbara’s site here for more inspiration (and cats!)

I also really enjoyed Darragh Doyle and Timi Ogunyemi ( Picture This) talks and slideshows. Both guys were really witty and interesting.

At the end of the day the host comedian Marcus O’ Laoire talked to a panel of six of Ireland’s well-known bloggers, Nuala Gorham, Joanne Larby, Holly White, Anita White, David Cashman and James Butler. It was really interesting to hear about their different backgrounds and how they’d established themselves. After that there was a Q & A session where members of the audience could ask the panel questions. I thought the best advice came from Joanne Larby (The Makeup Fairy) when she advised the audience never to respond to negative or troll comments online. She reminded us that “brands are watching” online interactions and not to get drawn into arguments.

It was a brilliant event and I’m very glad the organisers Cool Events and the Irish Blogger Association came up with idea. I really enjoyed the whole experience and really commend the organisers on creating such a great event! Here’s to the next one!

PS here’s a sneak peak of what’s featured in my next post…some online shopping goodies and I’ll be giving my opinion on the best online retailers and finding original clothing online.

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Thanks for visiting my blog as always. You can like it on Facebook here for more updates. 🙂

Edel

The Future of the Fashion Industry

This is an article I wrote for The Fair about the future of the fashion industry from a socio-economic perspective.

I also got another writing gig with Music Review Unsigned magazine which I’m more than thrilled about. I interviewed The Depravations, a Galway based band that I accidently became a fan/groupie of and am now their self-appointed publicist. 😉 I’m putting up both articles and their links for you.

With so many successful online stores such as boohoo.com and ASOS.com, the use of social networks by designers to promote their work and rising rents and slow sales on the high street, what will the fashion market be like in 10 years time?

The global recession means the high street fashion industry has slumped considerably due to its high overheads and lack of sales. Many chain stores have cut back, been closed down or had to be rescued from financial difficulties. Disposable fashion is seen as frivolous and wasteful and consumers are looking to get value from their items.

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Stores have tried to compensate with more frequent sales and reductions but to little avail. Meanwhile as the high street flounders the digital market is increasing steadily.

Sites such as boohoo.com and ROMWE.com offer more choice and do not have to deal with the daily expenses of running a store either. Self-employed designers and sellers are using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase their items to a wide audience quickly and with little expense.

The music industry has undergone a collapse and transformation due to the popularity of downloading music and high street chains closing down, will high street fashion be next? It is hard to imagine a world without our favourite clothing stores and obviously clothing can’t be downloaded like music files. But change is coming for the industry.

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New business owners are starting out selling online rather than opening a traditional store. E-tail and e-commerce mean that you don’t need a lot of capital to start up a business.

This means less wealthy people have the same opportunity to start a business and we will see more bespoke items and a greater variety of items available. Naturally the ease of going to a store, trying on an item and having the option to return it easily is still appealing to most customers also.

Ethical demands by customers means businesses are starting to scrutinise their suppliers more and this will hopefully bring positive change to those who work in the factories.

However the slump on the high street could affect workers in a negative way also. The world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion and our natural resources are dwindling.

Ongoing climate change will also affect crop yields and in turn raw materials available. The fashion industry relies heavily on materials such as cotton and uses huge amounts of water. It is a question of when not if it will be forced to radically change its production methods. Currently researchers are trying to develop ways to “grow” clothing using bacterial cellulose.

If companies want to survive the next ten years, they have to think about supply chains, low-impact production and distribution models, and opportunities to use renewable energy.

The demand for online shops means IT professionals and experts are in demand so the IT sector is experiencing growth and will experience more growth. It is difficult to know what technological advances will be available in future but it seems sensible to consider the rise of the “app” and its usefulness.

Most major clothing companies now have an app for smartphones allowing people to access their content wherever they are. Huge profits by online retailers allow them to offer attractive delivery rates, reductions and keep prices down. Boohoo.com is one such store where most items are reasonably cheap and they have seen an explosion in trade.

We can expect further technological advances that will help us determine a good buy, new types of materials developed to cope with demand and more sustainable methods of production and distribution in the next ten years.

Clothing which is easier to wash and care for is also envisaged as it will require less energy to maintain. The advent of “smart clothing” which serves many purposes is already upon us with companies such as Nike inventing a running shoe with a sensor that tracks your run and sends data to your Ipod.

Clothing that monitors physiological well-being and possibly even brain activity will be available to us in the future. It is only a matter of finding ways to implant the technologies into clothing in a way that doesn’t affect comfort.

Just as we have developed clothing to withstand any type of temperatures and climates, the future suggests we will have clothing that works for us in many ways. Smart clothing will probably sell at a high price initially but should become mainstream in the next ten to fifteen years.

Although there is change ongoing and even more ahead, the fashion industry can adapt to survive. We can look forward to an industry that will hopefully serve us in a more ethically conscious manner and still meet the needs of a changing society. We must remember that our buying choices and demand for certain items or production methods can help shape this future.

 Thanks as always for checking  out the blog!

Edel

My latest ventures

I was delighted  when I found out Elena’s interview was published on The Fair’s website and even better The Fair asked me to write for them also! The Fair is a new Irish fashion magazine focusing on ethical fashion and I’m so happy I am featured on their site.
]It’s refreshing to see a new fresh Irish magazine with great contributors and the support for ethical fashion. Fashion is definitely an industry where ethics are often thrown out the window and the emphasis is on mass produced products that only last a season. Pollution, poor labour conditions in clothing factories, low pay for workers across the sector and wastefulness are often not considered.

I was brought up with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra out of need rather than any abiding love for the planet but I try and get the most of items I wear. I try to donate all old clothes to a charity shop or recycling facility as I’m a strong believer in only using what you need. It sickens me when people throw perfectly good items away rather than donating them! I always find when buying a new item, it’s a good idea to think if it will go with at least three other things you already own and that way you’re not buying something you won’t get wear out of.(As your mammy would say!) 😛

I’m currently working on writing submissions for The Fair magazine. I’m beyond thrilled for this opportunity as I’ve done different kinds of writing for years and have always wanted to write professionally. It feels a little bit like Carrie Bradshaw and a little like being back in college! But this time I’m picking the topics. 🙂 The Fair today, Vanity Fair tomorrow..hahaha!

Think Carrie Bradshaw but a lot less money and in Dublin 😉

A bit less this….

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 And a bit more this 😉

Anyway I will be working on my submissions and hopefully not be too constrained by word limits! I will keep you all updated on them in due course. Check out The Fair for some good reading in the meantime. Thanks for checking out my blog!