WFH – stay safe + keep positive
We appreciate that these unprecedented times are daunting to navigate, and working from home feels really strange. The Frontier team have been working from home for nearly 2 weeks & its slowly beginning to feel the new normal but we all feel the difficulty adjusting to our new way of life.
1. Keep Connected
Keeping in constant communication with one another is so important. Working from home is a drastic change for us as – usually – we’re always in conversation in the office, or on the phone to merchandisers, so sitting in front of a computer all day can feel rather lonely.
Daily conference calls set us up for the day and update one another on projects. In addition to this, we have a WhatsApp group chat for all those little questions.
We are staying social too so keep up with us @frontierfm on instagram & twitter
It’s really important to keep everyone motivated during this strange time, and checking in with work colleagues should be at the top of your list.
2. Plastic – Free Tuesday
Having recently introduced Plastic-Free Tuesday to do our bit in helping reduce unnecessary single-use plastic consumption. We had found that bringing in a home-made lunch seemed to be the answer – and it’s usually a lot healthier, and yummier! If we were not able to abide by these rules, we faced a fine of £1 per piece of single-use plastic and this money will go towards a charity of our choice. So, how do we continue this at home?
Thankfully, working from home means we’re eating a lot less shop bought sandwiches and pasta pots and more homemade lunches, however, food waste is now a huge issue. Along with everyone stock-piling food comes food waste.
It has been estimated that Britain has hoarded £1bn worth of food over the past fortnight and it’s shocking to think of the consequences of this. Therefore, we have pledged to make every brown banana into banana bread and every softening vegetable into soup!
3. Health & Wellbeing
Waking up before work and taking the dog for a walk has gone out the window along with going to the gym after work, so we’re needing to find a new quick and easy way to stay healthy throughout the day.
Although it may be hard to begin with, mimicking your usual daily routine is the best way to stay healthy – emotionally and physically. No longer having that daily commute to and from work means you can take extra care of yourself – take the time to pamper yourself in the morning, make a yummy, nutritious breakfast instead of grabbing toast as you head out the door and throw in a bit of exercise!
Meanwhile we are all looking forward to the time when we can all get back into the life that we all know & we counting down the days until this is all over.
Stay safe + keep positive
The Covid crisis has increased the UKs single-use plastic consumption exponentially. Whilst most of this rise can be attributed to face masks, plastic gloves and sanitizer bottles, the war on food packaging is long-standing and still just as imperative.
Throughout the Covid crisis advice was given to wash any fruits and vegetables packaged or not, however, this has brought to attention the fact that despite appearing as the more sanitary option, Covid can live on Polypropylene for up to three days. Consequently, the obvious answer would be to ban all plastic packaging, however, whilst there is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm by retailers, a balance has to be struck between the war on plastic and the war on food waste. For example, the shrink-wrap on a cucumber can increase its shelf life by up to six days- reducing food waste.
Whilst mainstream shows like ‘War on Plastic’ do a fantastic job at highlighting plastic misuse to the everyday public, we must all respond in kind by demanding more from suppliers and producers. A pioneering campaign called #OurPlasticFeedback has already made waves in securing commitments from top grocery retailers to alter their plastic usage. Tesco plans to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic from UK stores by 2020- in part by introducing a re-usable container scheme, whereby customers are encouraged to buy items that can be returned, professionally cleaned and re-filled to prevent reliance on single-use plastic.
It’s a sad fact that almost half of all plastic is produced for single-use items which will go on to have a lifespan outlasting us all- but will have a devastating impact on the lifespan of our natural plant.
-Buy loose fruit and vegetables
-Take reusable Tupperware containers to the supermarket and buy meat/ fish/ dairy from the counter
-Invest in a reusable coffee flask
-REFUSE plastic straws
-Buy reusable beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling film
-Be prepared to go without! Shake off the lifestyle expectation that everything is available year-round, let’s go back to a seasonal produce schedule and consequently reduce the carbon emissions transporting food across the world creates.
How many of us have ignored the yellow-topped broccoli we catch glimpses of each time we’re searching for something ‘sweeter’ in the fridge? Have your potatoes sprouted roots so long they become a tripping hazard? We’re all guilty of chucking out less than perfect food to make room for the new supermarket shop.
But how would you spend £700? On a new handbag? An all-inclusive holiday? How about on food to throw straight in the bin? If you’re part of the average family in the UK you probably do spend around £700 on food that you eventually throw away over a year, contributing to the 4.5 million tonnes of food the UK wastes each annually.
Whilst total food waste in the UK has fallen by 7% per person since 2017, we still have a long way to go before we can successfully reach the UN international target to halve food waste as a nation by 2030. A seemingly ambitious target considering the retail and restaurant sector have seen an increase in usable food wastage of 6% and 7% respectively since 2017.
When nearly a billion people around the world go hungry every day it is perhaps the greatest sign of our privilege to have food to waste.
Several pioneering companies have worked to address the surplus food on the market, such as Oddbox, who ‘rescue’ peculiar-looking fruit and vegetables directly from farmers and send boxes of fresh veg directly to front doors (overnight to minimise transport emissions). Too Good To Go have had success with their free app which allows you to purchase unsold food from top eateries at the end of service, to prevent it from being thrown away.
Whilst some supermarkets are working at avoiding surplus food wastage (think Morrison’s ‘Wonky’ range and Waitrose’s ‘Less Than Perfect’ range) consumers need to show support for these alternative fruit and veg options – cheaper, but often no less distinguishable than their pedigree relations.
This week marks the culmination of the Great British Clean (11-27 September). The clean week was rescheduled due to Covid, and like nearly everything, Covid has left its mark on the litter most commonly found; facemasks.
Whilst the convenience of daily life is already threatened by over use of plastic and non biodegradable materials, the increase of safety measures taken to protect from Covid transmissions: disposable face masks, surgical gloves and hand sanitizer has a detrimental impact on nature if disposed of improperly. Consequently these lightweight masks can end up blowing from landfills to our water sources.
As much as 13 million tonnes of plastic infiltrates oceans annually, France alone has ordered 2 billion disposable face masks. The threat of this growing demand for masks that have a lifespan of 450 years, and the longevity of face-covering measures likely to remain enforced presents a likely rise in ocean pollution.
Whilst the primary concern for the health of the nation insists on us all continuing to wear face protection in public, the Great British Clean serves to highlight to us all the importance of remaining vigilant in conserving the natural and open spaces we all so heavily relied on and enjoyed during the lockdown period.
There are still 4 days left to officially pledge your time to a litter pick. But unofficially, good practices gained should be carried on long past the end of the campaign. Here in the office we have pledged to do a monthly litter pick around the business village we work from and personally pledge to pick up any litter we see out and about on dog walks.
Buck the trend- leave something better than when you found it. Sign up at the link below.
As fashion week moves online we ask the question; are we getting back to what matters- the clothes themselves? At the culmination of London’s first ever virtual Fashion Week, we look over the impact moving online has had on designer showcases and the wider implications this might have on the retail industry.
When the British Fashion Council announced plans to adhere to social distancing guidelines by moving fashion week online and making the event gender-neutral – the reaction was mixed. The primary question was whether the ‘Big Brands’ would subscribe to this alternative showcase? How much would brands invest in the production of their virtual fashion shows? Surely nothing could beat Chanel under Lagerfeld’s outrageous visual staging of previous years?
Whilst the BFC argued for the inclusivity of the event and indeed for the first time in Fashion Week history members of the public would be able to virtually attend thus expanding the audience designers could appeal to. But in a new world whereby Instagram influencer’s have steadily risen from back-row ‘Z-listers’ to front row stars, in thanks to their loyal followings of millions, the question remained if brands would feel their exposure was limited without influencer’s to promote their attendance at the show in real-time.
Chiara Ferragni boasts 21.1 million followers on Instagram and had not one, but two Haute Couture wedding dresses made for her nuptials- an exclusive boast usually reserved for the most superior celebrities.
Was the transition to inclusive, open-access fashion via virtual streaming an unwelcome direction for designers, who rely on the ‘exclusivity’ of their clients (and their bank accounts) to make their designs, coveted?
Over the week each day was divided into three sessions with specific time slots for each event- a bonus for reduced carbon emissions as there becomes no need to travel across town or fly around Europe to make the next show.
A further step towards inclusivity is the abandonment of gender divisions with combined shows. Whilst this is a reflection on the increasing focus on divisive gender-labels it also answers the call of fashion houses to slow the pace of fashion- as social media has made every day and every street a runway opportunity and the pressure to churn out three shows a year becomes unsustainable.
Regardless of the issues surrounding the fashion industry, what impact will this have on the wider retail consumer industry? With the British High Street already struggling to compete with online retailers and the threat of a second wave and subsequent lockdown a more pressing matter for much of the public, London Fashion Week should not be dismissed as a frivolity in troubling times. With £61 billion spent on clothing in 2019, the trickle-down effect is needed to inject the consumer retail market with some much-needed inspiration.
In a refreshing juxtaposition to the contrived/ fake narrative social media so often presents, virtual fashion shows seems to have inspired big-name designers to revert to natural and organic settings. Will this also serve to level the playing field for emerging designers, as the ‘front row’ becomes the ‘front sofa’ alleviating the pressure of big name guest attendees.
How will fashion influencer’s fair working from home- will attendee outfits remain catwalk-chic, or cat-hair-eek? Will this be a trend setting format? Or for those usually on the fashion front rows does nothing compare to the buzz of a collection showcase?
Certain designers themselves seem to be embracing the new set of challenging circumstances, in the words of Erdem Moraligolu “We had to be agile. You either adapt or you don’t do it.” When his usual fabric suppliers and manufacturers closed due to the virus, he sourced new UK suppliers.
While Erdem, Burberry and Paria Farzaneh have opted to showcase their designs in forests, one can assume the implication is the adaptability fashion, retail and indeed the world have had to readily accept in an unprecedented climate.
In keeping with the simple, classic silhouettes Emilia Wickstead is favoured for she mimics Molly Goddards’ brighter and more exaggerated collection. The showcase allows the clothes to give their desired impact without relying on background setting, as such echoing the simplicity lockdown brought to everyday life.
In times of confusion, inspiration can be the brightest guiding light. Victoria Beckham, Halpern Studio and Christopher Kane’s collections reflect the ideal that life is art, and can resultantly be just as messy.
Whilst a lot of questions are unanswered about the success of Virtual London Fashion Week, undoubtedly a move towards gender and class inclusivity can be nothing but a good thing. Did you watch any shows? How do you feel about life ‘moving online’?
Join the conversation and let us know.