Tuesday 18 February 2014

a green getaway : leura

Do you ever feel like switching off?

You know, switching off your phone, your email, your twitter, instagram and facebook feeds?  Well I do, and this past weekend I did just that.

After a hectic start to the year my hubby and I escaped the comfort and charms of our Manly home for a weekend in the Blue Mountains.

My iPhone stayed on 'Do Not Disturb' until Monday morning. Heaven.

It's so easy to have a green getaway when you live in Sydney thanks to the far-reaching public transportation system and myriad of natural beauty spots within a few hours of travel. The MyZone 3 ticket that I use to commute to and from Manly all week covered my entire 2 hour train trip to Leura, so I essentially traveled to the Blue Mountains for free - doesn't get much better than that!

It was a drizzly weekend, but my hubby and I didn't let that get in the way of our exploring. As soon as we dropped our bags at the charming Leura House (claiming to be Leura's oldest guest house), we laced up our hiking boots, put on our raincoats and began our adventure amongst the gumtrees.

Up amongst the clouds! They were moving so quickly, it was surreal.

Down on the valley floor - I loved these cascades.

Lovely Leura Falls.

We walked along the clifftops and down in the valley (my legs are still sore from going down, down, down), enjoying a picnic along the way. It drizzled off and on, and I really enjoyed walking in the sprinkles under the canopy of the forest.

I find that I really need time like this to reconnect with nature - these moments provide many reminders of what I'm fighting for as an environmentalist, but more than that the quiet calm of nature really nourishes my soul.

We also enjoyed delicious seasonal food at the cafes and restaurants in Leura, and even participated in a bit of shopping - always doing my bit for the economy!

A darling hanging succulent by Mister Moss, picked
up at the charming Bespoke & Found

A soy candle scented with Australian essential oils from Moontree -
reminding me of my magical time in Kakadu a few years ago.

It's amazing what a change of scenery can do for a gal!

After one night away, a five hour hike in the forest, one-on-one time with my favourite person, and switching my phone off for two days, I feel like I've been away for a week.

Now, back to work . . .

Sunday 9 February 2014

source brand preview 2014

This really is the year of sustainable fashion, there are so many wonderful up-and-coming labels and sustainable fashion pioneers creating beautiful clothing for all of us.

Earlier this week I participated in a fantastic global event - Source Brand Preview for 2014 run by the Ethical Fashion Forum.

This two-day event was run entirely online, meaning that interested designers, buyers, writers and bloggers from around the globe could witness the latest in sustainable fashion hot off the press, or rather, the sewing table.

The Ethical Fashion Forum is the leading industry body for sustainable fashion. In 2011 they launched Source, the global platform for sustainable fashion that includes an information database, online networking and a business intelligence platform.  Source's members provide excellent examples of how businesses can be financially viable without sacrificing ethics (or style, of course).

Aside from being completely impressed with the logistics of the online Brand Preview, I was thrilled to see the amount of stunning sustainable fashion coming our way this year. Here are a few standouts.

I have these pants! I know Carlie personally and I was so
happy to see her new line of ethical fashion in the Preview.

Recycled silk, hand printed tops and dresses.

Organic cotton, Tencel, patchwork silk.

Gorgeous upcycling - reclaimed fabrics mixed with sustainable materials.

More clever upcycling - this was a men's shirt.

And this was just the tip of the iceberg!

Because of the time difference between here and London I couldn't participate in too many sessions, so make sure to check out the rest of the 160 labels that participated on the Source Brand Preview website.