I think the reason I have had such a love affair with vintage clothes is that I love a story. I like to imagine what the person who wore the clothes before me may have done in them, what they may have seen or experienced. I don't mind if they are a bit rough around the edges because it proves they have been truly lived in and enjoyed. I also like the idea that I can carry on the life of those clothes and give them a new and different lease.
When it comes to new clothes I'll fall them a bit more if I can find out about how they were made, how the designer came up with the designs or the thought processes that's gone into the print or fabric. High street clothes are fab for us lot on a limited budget, but they can lack a bit of soul. I think that's why I love brands like Gandy's. It's more than style and aesthetic, it's got a history, a tale and whole lotta soul.
Their story is a tragic one. But from their loss a fantastic concept was formed, one which helps others in the world dealing with the universal emotion of grief.
Their story has been told so well on their site I'll let them explain
The unique history of Gandys begins with a trip halfway around the world where the Forkan family sold everything they had to explore and volunteer around the world together. In 2001 Kevin and Sandra Forkan removed their four children out of their structured school system in England and enrolled them in what they believed was the best form of education; the university of life.
With their life’s contents secured in each of their backpacks, the family then embarked on a trip around the world that included travelling as well as volunteering with local charities in India, too. Between swimming the Indian Ocean and hiking the nearby mountains - they travelled with sketchbooks at the ready and Rob and Paul absorbed their travel experiences through visualising products that they as travellers needed but couldn’t find.
However on Boxing Day 2004, Rob and Paul’s lives were forever impacted when they tragically lost their parents in the devastating Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka.
Rob and Paul’s parents instilled in them a keen interest in travelling and adventure and intended to raise all four children with the powerful understanding of the world that only travelling can impart. This awakened in them the burning desire to create something unique in honour of their adventurous parents.
Rob and Paul founded Gandys in order to support their Orphans for Orphans foundation by donating 10% of their profits to helping underprivileged children that are affected by the Tsunami.
The brothers began their mission with the objective to open a kids campus and their dreams came to life when they opened their first Orphans for Orphans children home in Sri Lanka on the 10 year anniversary of the Tsunami.
Their story has touched many people’s hearts and has even attracted the attention of the Royal’s where they were invited to Buckingham palace for the launch of the Queen’s young Leaders program where they shared their journey with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Gandys has thereafter proved to be an effective platform for Rob and Paul to use in order to bring to life their mission of helping underprivileged children and to creatively express their experiences of travelling the world.
Imprinted into each of their designs is a myriad of their travel experiences combined together to express their unique upbringing and adventurous nature.
I'm not as conscious or ethical as I'd like to be when it comes to my shopping habits, but I am working on it. As you will see from previous blogs I have been hunting out more vegan, natural and cruelty free make up and beauty brands and I do try my best to recycle things and pass on a lot of my clothes to charity. As I said before, there is always more that I could be doing though.
Readers my blog will know I often feature smaller or independant businesses, as I think it's important we support those gutsy creators who have taken the scary plunge into doing something themselves. A few years ago I did a bungee and a skydive for charity, but I have a constant nagging in my heart that there is more content of this nature that I should be creating and also covering on this little site of mine.
When you're a fashion blogger it can be hard to keep your priorities in check. Of course it's a natural part of our job as fashion/ beauty bloggers to be obsessed with the surface, with visuals, and the shell. That said, there's nothing stopping us from featuring fashion and beauty brands that are spurred by a greater goal, or punctuating our week of slightly vacuous posts with some that speak of more than just looks.
In reporting on brands like Gandy's you aren't forgoing style though. Even though you are doing some good when making a purchase, you are in no way sacrificing anything in the fashion stakes. Their bags are as cool as they are practical, and they have a product to meet any of your travel needs. There are duffels, totes, satchels and backpacks, as well as this extremely roomy shoulder strap bag that I took on this weeks fleeting trip to Mallorca.
If you're looking for backpack for festival season, their Voyager backpacks look awesome in khaki, beige and navy.
They also have a huge array of flips flops. I chose some fairly neutral silver ones that will go with everything, but there are some really lovely print ones inspired by travel and well-being. So if you are like jazzier flip flops why not go for one of their aztec, dreamcatcher or Mandala print ones.
This bag has become my new travel/beach staple. I used it as my airport carry on as well as my beach bag and it was perfect size for both with a strap thick enough for it to be comfortable on the shoulder. It also has some handy pockets in and outside to stash away valuables and travel documents.
As well as the bags and flip flops, the brand has some other travel and holiday pieces like their men's swim shorts and some awesome circular towels (which are one my ever growing wish list).
I think I feel a particular affinity with this brand because of our mutual love of travel. I am at my happiest when I'm exploring new destinations and cultures, and I truly believe it's the most fulfilling and enriching thing we can do in our short lives. I don't know where I'll be heading next, nothing is on the cards, but rest assured I'll be taking my Gandy bag and flip flops...and my camera of course.