When Creativity Comes from Within
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Maintaining focus on the new collection whilst writing and reflecting here is more important than documenting my own development regarding understanding digital marketing here I think? You may disagree?

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Creating the ‘We Are Here’ collection was exciting because I was experimenting with my creative expression whilst keeping to the core concept of the brand about the visibility of women of colour.

Coupling the artistic element with my own experiences was cathartic because it is an ongoing internal dialogue for me especially regarding my own identity and perceptions of self.

This design, ‘Where Are you From? You Look Like You’re From…’ Is a direct response to my own experiences growing up and still to this day.

When you have mixed heritage, sometimes it may be obvious what you ethnic background is sometimes not, as is the case for my mum and I.

Most people are intrigued and can sense that we are not ‘fully English’, so it becomes a guessing game of sorts and more fun, particularly for me when the answers vary significantly.

Speaking with other mixed heritage, mostly women, about this they tell very similar stories. Especially if their heritage is of Indian descent, like my mums. They find that the most common guess is Spanish or South American too, which of course is not a problem. But again interesting as we also hear that we do not look typically Indian, whatever that is.

Either way, we are white passing which enables us to live a much more privileged life than many other people of colour. So it is important to maintain perspective on this aspect.

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This design, ‘Where Are you From? You Look Like You’re From…’ Is a direct response to my own experiences growing up and still to this day.

When you have mixed heritage, sometimes it may be obvious what you ethnic background is sometimes not, as is the case for my mum and I.

Most people are intrigued and can sense that we are not ‘fully English’, so it becomes a guessing game of sorts and more fun, particularly for me when the answers vary significantly.

Speaking with other mixed heritage, mostly women, about this they tell very similar stories. Especially if their heritage is of Indian descent, like my mums. They find that the most common guess is Spanish or South American too, which of course is not a problem. But again interesting as we also hear that we do not look typically Indian, whatever that is.

Either way, we are white passing which enables us to live a much more privileged life than many other people of colour. So it is important to maintain perspective on this aspect.

This design ‘What’s Up’ came from a linear drawing of two Indian Model from Vogue India. They were styled in traditional sari’s but had so much sass, they really captured my imagination and I knew I wanted to include them as a design.

I felt they embodied the way in which women are feeling much more empowered with not only their bodies but also their voice. Being unapologetic for their opinions and being authentically them and this is what I want to remember when I wear and look at this t-shirt. I hope others do too.

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Living in a Digital World

I am so torn at the moment between organic growth and trying to solve the mystery of algorithms. 

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An an online e-commerce business I know I need to be savvy when it comes to showcasing my t-shirts. How I make the website user friendly and efficient and how I utilise social media to engage people with my brand ethos.  

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However I discovered today that Instagram have changed their algorithm again so apparently only 10 people or so will see your post. I am not sure if this is true but it feels like another hurdle to master alongside still trying to navigate this digital world.  

So where to invest the energy? My plan this week is to do thorough research into the digital marketing world and come up with a plan as opposed to just being ad-hoc. There are a number of online tutorials I plan to view this week to see if the message is the same so I can be clearer with my ideas and goals.

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I think I may also need to stream line my ‘tone’ so I am attracting the right target audience to my brand. I read a recent post regarding the notion of attracting followers as opposed to chasing them, which really resonated with me and is a path I wish to pursue hence being clear regarding the brand messaging in my posts. Also, I need to find a t-shirt brand that I really like and emulate them to an extent. Which is advice I have received on a few occasions. It is just finding the right one.

But the rebel in me wants to just go with the flow and do whatever. But can a successful entrepreneur be just so?  

Moving Towards a More Sustainable Future

Fashion is a huge contributor to negatively impacting on the environment due to the use of energy, water consumption and landfill, to mention a few. In addition to this, human labour is a major concern with most garments being made abroad due to cheaper costs and questionable working conditions. 

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Whilst creating the designs for the second collection I wanted to find a way of reducing my negative footprint on the environment, not being a contributing factor to poor working conditions for the employees and to create a product in a more sustainable way overall. 

With t-shirts being one of the biggest contributors to global warming due to the production methods I knew I needed to utilise printing on demand to avoid waste whilst finding a company that utilises excellent ethics within the production of the t—shirts themselves both from a labour point of view to the types of inks used. 

Luckily print on demand (PoD) companies are growing thick and fast allowing for me to make an informed choice. Also, when I was conducting some research for PoD companies in East London, one had a showroom where you could see the samples, which was great because I could see different products and the quality from each company. Again allowing me to make an informed choice.

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The t-shirt company I have been won over by is a brand called Continental. The t-shirts that I have selected are called Earth Positive because they are a part of the Fair Wear Foundation, ( https://www.fairwear.org/ ) which is committed to ethical working conditions and hours, contracts that give a fair living wage to the factory workers in India where they also get a percentage from each garment sold. They only use renewable green energy from green and solar power and the cotton is 100% organic. You can read more about them here 

http://www.earthpositive.se/about.html

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In addition, I wanted to find a digital printing company that also had printing methods that are more environmentally friendly, used water based inks and their mailing bags are made from 100% recycled materials. They are based in the UK, which helps reduce the carbon footprint and again, I only print when someone orders a specific garment this reducing waste. So it’s a win win situation.

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The only negative aspect of this printing method, in my opinion, is that I am at the mercy of the PoD company, who have a lead time but depending on the time of year and other print orders, I have to wait for the delivery to come when it is done. Which for some consumers, is not a positive factor as fast fashion (and delivery) are so high on people’s wants and desires these days. But my hope is that people will understand the ethos behind the decisions made with regards to printing methods used and be happy they are contributing to a more positive concept overall. 

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