HELLO BONDI

HELLO BONDI

We've found the most beautiful botanical brand to keep your home clean.
August 27, 2018 — THE CURATED
SLOW VS SUSTAINABLE

SLOW VS SUSTAINABLE

These two words are what often come up with ethical fashion these days. Heck, I use these two hashtags daily with our social media. But the question is what exactly is the difference between the two? 

Slow fashion is focusing on consumption. Long lasting items and normally is often in line with a capsule wardrobe. Meaning they produce season-less items that are continually sold. Slow fashion brands normally encourage you to purchase less and to mix and match. 

Sustainable fashion is focusing on the environment. What kind of impact will the production have? These brands are normally marketed using organic materials and small community based ethical production. 

So where do we stand between slow and sustainable? I am a huge believer in staples and investment pieces. But this doesn't mean that I only purchase from 'slow or sustainable' fashion brands. I love to mix long term items with new season finds. Fashion and style is a passion of mine and it makes me feel good. Its just about being savvy and considerate. I put a lot of thought into what I buy and make sure its something I love and will wear. 

For me the Curated is both a slow fashion item because it will last you a decade due to high quality and timeless design. Its sustainable because we do not over produce. We are incredibly efficient in our production, we work with a small family run mill and our cashmere is organic. 

The 'other' dimension that is part of our label is that we are priced honestly. Our mark up to most items is less than 40%. As a business woman and someone who has travelled China I have a very strong connection with rural businesses and in supporting small factories grow to aid local community economies. As a wife and mother I believe women deserve luxury staples that are affordable. 

 

August 22, 2018 — THE CURATED
A CASHMERE COME BACK

A CASHMERE COME BACK

With all the confusion its time to set the record straight. I took a big break from an online store to enjoy the every day joys of motherhood. Yet as time passed I really had this itch. The itch only got worse as I realised that a part of me always wants to run a business. It didn't matter on the size but more having that small little space where I could really test out new boundaries.

After much research and reflections I have worked out how to make cashmere affordable for both a business owner and the end customer. I thought about many of the ups and downs I had experienced but also at the cashmere industry as a whole. One day a random email changed everything. 

So if you have noticed I may have been a little absent on social media its all for good reason. Preparing the new store. I will still post here about sustainable fashion and also about beauty, style and travel tips. 

I can't wait to tell you more and show you more! Thank you for always sticking around :)

Much love and happy monday!

 

 

 

June 25, 2018 — THE CURATED
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

If there was an award for the ultimate wonder woman Janine Di Giovanni would be our pick. An award winning author and foreign correspondent who contributes to The Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and the Guardian. Besides being kick ass at her job Janine is a loving mother living in Paris. So when she emailed me asking if I would consider her as one of our inspiring women I had to pinch myself twice. Read below our little interview with her:

 

When was it that you decided you wanted to be a war and human rights journalist?

I always wanted to be a writer, from the time I could hold a pencil, but I never planned on being a war reporter. I studied Comparative Literture - I imagined I would be a novelist, but I had not really worked out how I would pay the bills doing that...What I did know, from a very early age, is that I wanted to be an independent woman and a free woman - which is not at all the way I was brought up. Women in my family were very conservative and traditional - and it was not always easy to try to forge my own path.  At any rate, I went to Palestine while I was still a graduate student. 

A human rights lawyer, Felicia Langer, took me to a refugee camp near Bethlehem, and I was shocked out of my comfortable little world of academia.... The sheer injustice of how these people were living plunged me into a different life, one I could never imagine.  What mattered to me then, and still does, was fighting injustice and giving a voice to people who do not have a voice.  That trip started a lifetime voyage that went from the Middle East to the Balkans, to Africa and back again to the Middle East, whereI am focused now on Syria and Iraq. 
How was that experience for you being a young female?
If only I could sit down with my 20-something self and say, "You're beautiful! You're great! Wear what you want, live how you want, and stand up straight!"  I think my younger self was seeking something, and as a result I always felt slightly tortured.  There is a wonderful thing about growing older- not that I consider myself old, I still think of myself as a teenager and I certainly act like one! - and that is you feel bien dan sa peau - good in your skin. You know what works for you, emotionally, physically. You know what clothes are best for your body. You stop punishing yourself about parts of yourself you don't like. You learn how to love more, live more, relax more.  Life really is a wonderful process, and as long as you retain curiosity and compassion, you have everything you need. 
Did you have a mentor at the time who could offer you advice?
 
I always wanted a mentor. I never really found one early on, in fact, I found most older women were rather scathing to me - I was too pretty, too young, too ambitious - I suppose I was a real threat. I did find those older women later in life- a wonderful Serbian journalist called Dessa Trevisan, who became something of a mentor. But I really was inspired by what I read about strong women and free women - Martha Gellhorn, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt. the key is to be strong AND smart but still be feminine.
Anyway, that is the balance I prefer. Also my friends who were successful at their jobs, especially those working in a man's world - finance, government, diplomacy, journalism.  I have a dear friend Myriem, a successful banker, who I really respect. She earned her own living her whole life, and has a happy marriage and two beautiful kids. She always said, "I never wanted a man to have to buy my knickers."   I see women shopping with their husbands and I don't get it- buy your own La Perla, it feels so much better! 
What challenges did you face as a modern woman in a changing world?
It still is slightly shocking that there is such a pay gap - SUCH a pay gap!  The sexual harrassment I always just bucked up. I thought - this is the way it is, and we have to deal with it. When I think of some of the things people said to me, or people said about me - if it happened today, they would be slammed with harrassment suits from here to kingdom come. then, you did not do that.  my biggest policy as a working woman in a man's world was never, ever, ever sleep with anyone who is your boss or in a senior position in your company. it will inevitably back fire on you.  keep work and love separate.  peers are one thing, senior figures will come back to haunt you - no one will ever take you or your work or your talent seriously. just say no! 
 
For someone who holds such responsibility as a voice for those living in war torn countries how do you manage to balance this with your own personal life?
I am a pretty balanced person. I think this comes from my ability to create homes and a nest whereever I am. The first thing I do is unpack my things, create a space of my own. I need that to keep myself strong, inside, knowing I am about to do some very tough and disturbing things.
I have a strong support system of friends, family, loved ones. This helps.  It keeps my interior world sane.  I also am very good at self-care. I know what is good for me and what is not. I know that when I am tired, I am sad and emotional. I know that if I drink too much, I get raging hangovers that make me feel awful. I know I feel mentally better when I exercise. So I often go into field assignments already in good shape - rested and healthy. That enables me to tackle some pretty difficult moments.
I also believe in God and I believe in humanity. I believe that essentially people are good and will do the right thing, even in war. Despite all the misery I have seen, and lived through I truly believe that there are good people, extraordinary people who are courageous and noble. These people inspire me, and keep me going in my darkest hours...
But my greatest joy is my son.  It's cliche but my life was pretty empty - despite all my boyfriends, my awards, my lovely flat in London, etc.  until Luca was born, I don't think I ever understood connections and that pure, pure love that you feel for someone.  I had been in love plenty of times - but nothing like this...
He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he gives me a reason to hang on. Life is a different color now, and coming home from a painful assignment, I know I have a kid at home that I have to cook for, do homework with, scold, and bring up right. That keeps me balanced. No time to think about myself or dwell in misery - I have to get up and make him breakfast and walk him to school.  
Janine di Giovanni is an author, award-winning foreign correspondent, and current Middle East editor at Newsweek. She is a regular contributor to The Times, Vanity Fair, Granta, The New York Times, and The Guardian. You can find out more about her here.
    May 15, 2017 — THE WHITE LABEL
    DIANA MELFI

    DIANA MELFI

    I met Diana over eight years ago in a small photography studio. She had just started her career as a photographer and it was obvious from the start that she was talented. As I have followed her career I've also watched her become a mother of two gorgeous little girls and always wondered how does she do it? 

     

    (i) The modern woman has changed in the past century. Do you ever feel that the working woman has even more expectations placed on her now?
    Absolutely!  But for the most of it, I think it’s us women that place these high expectations onto ourselves.  There is an overwhelming feeling that because we are working women, it’s bad to dedicate time for ourselves in other aspects of our life. I absolutely LOVE my job as a photographer so it was an easy choice going back to work but I still had feelings of guilt especially associated with leaving my children.  The reality for me was actually accepting the fact that by having this time to myself doing what I love was not only benefitting my personal growth but becoming a better parent and role model for my children.  We need to accept that it’s ok to do things for ourselves occasionally whether that be work, social life etc.  I feel society is changing and embracing the fact that women and especially mothers, still want to work and balance family life too.  
     
    (ii) How do you manage to find that balance between being a mother, a wife and also achieving your own personal career goals?
    I’m not going to lie, it certainly has its challenges but the best way I balance family and work life is by being super organised and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Making sure I exercise is the best way to clear my mind and give me the energy I need to face my busy lifestyle. I’m also very fortunate to have an amazing husband who has always supported me not only in pursuing my career goals but being a very hands on dad.  Together we make a great team always supporting each other and making positive choices for ourselves and the family.
    @
    (iii) Have you found your fashion change with time, or are there still core principles you have stuck to when it comes to purchasing choices?
    My fashion sense has changed dramatically over time and especially now after having children.  I definitely dress for comfort as I am either running around after my two children or working which is physically quite demanding.  I have to think practically when making purchasing decisions now, taking into account the comfort factor first and of course quality to keep up with my active lifestyle.  
    (iv) Do you have a daily beauty routine and work uniform? If so what is it?
    My daily beauty routine is quite low key.  I use the special cleansing gel and skin smoothing moisturiser by Dermalogica morning and night.  Once a week (when I remember to), I do a charcoal mask by Origins which is brilliant for clearing out pores and leaving your skin glowing.  On set, you’ll usually find me in my Diesel jeans, a Bassike tank, TWL sweater and sneakers.  My sneaker collection is huge and ranges from Converse, Nike, Isabel Marant, Saint Laurant and loads more.
    (v) What women in your life have been your greatest inspiration. What kind of advice have they given you?
    My mother is my greatest inspiration.  She has taught me so many valuable life lessons.  She really was super women being a single mother raising 3 children and working tirelessly to provide for us all.  I seriously don’t know how she did it!  Reflecting back on it now and knowing how hard she worked to support our family, is something I will never forget and forever be grateful for.  Her ambition and strong work ethic is definitely something I’ve always looked up to and implemented in my own family and work life.
     
    (vi) What advice would you give to women out their trying to juggle family and work life?
    Firstly, well done!!!  Juggling family and work life is challenging so know you are doing a fantastic job balancing the two.  As mothers (and I know this from experience), we put so much pressure on ourselves to do EVERYTHING!!  And try and be perfect at it all.  We need to accept that it’s OK to have a family and work at the same time.  There’s no shame in doing something for yourself.  I find my work is one of the things that helps me have that time to myself, doing what I love and allowing my mind to be creative and refocus.  At the end of the day, whatever we do is for our children anyway so enjoy whatever life brings you. 
    Photos: Heidi Wolff @heidiwolffau
    Hair: Daniel Lepore @daniellepore
    BIO
    Diana Melfi is an established freelance photographer based in Adelaide working across Australia and internationally.  Since emerging onto the fashion scene at just 20 years of age, Diana has built an amazing portfolio specialising in both editorial and commercial fashion photography for clients such as Schwarzkopf, Paris Miki, Newscorp, Rundle Mall, David Jones, Auslabels, Paolo Sebastian, Fashionising.com, Trendhunter, Lady Gunn, Fashion Trend, and Culture magazines just to name a few.  Diana has the innate ability to capture the raw and cinematic beauty of her subjects with her exceptional eye for detail, bold lighting and unique composition.  
    To see more of Diana's work click here.
    April 04, 2017 — THE WHITE LABEL

    THE TRUE COST OF CASHMERE

    Cashmere was once a luxury that the average middle class person could not afford. Then suddenly brands like Zara, Uniqlo and H&M were selling cashmere blends. So how did cashmere become accessible? Its very simple. The cashmere market was once dominated by countries such as Italy and Scotland with fibre refinement. Since China produces 60-70% of the worlds supply of cashmere fibres it only made sense they would continue on into refinement and yarn production themselves. Lowering the costs of labour, taxes, shipping and still being able to produce top level yarn. 
    CASHMERE FACTS
    -Cashmere comes from the hair on a Mongolian goat's belly.
    -It takes four years for there to be enough hair on a goat's belly to make one sweater.
    -Cashmere comes in different 'grades' with A being the highest. This is based on the fibre length.
    -Despite being longer in fibre length inner Mongolian cashmere is softer than outer Mongolian. 
    -Cashmere is eight times warmer than wool.
    -Cashmere increases in softness with wear.
    -Cashmere sweaters should last 10 years which is about 200 wears. 
    OUR CASHMERE
    -A grade premium cashmere from Inner Mongolia.
    -Produced in Hebei (spinning province) and spun on Italian yarn machines.
    -Our yarn costs around $200 USD per kilo
    -Our sweaters weigh between 250-350 grams
    Our cashmere is only marked up 100% (if that) in order to make our products accessible to everyone. As we believe that every woman deserves to have the best. 
    Have more questions? Send us an email hello@thewhitelabelproject.com
    
    August 03, 2015 — THE WHITE LABEL