Tense Issue 1 - Winter

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Winter Issue

Tense Issue 1 ÂŁ6.50


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15 The Fara Workshop The story behind a different concept of charity shop. 22 The New Way A DIY featuring hand made wear from recycled denim. 44 Bare Being your own kind of beautiful, a way of embracing your imperfections 54 Emeline Nsingu Nkosi Profile Freelance Designer at Mako by Me. 58 Wrap It Up Another approach at styling knitwear. 70 She’s Handsome Unisex is on trend. 78 She Will Be Wearing Fur

How to fake faux fur. 96 What Are You Looking At? Beauty shoot collaboration with London-based photographer Eloy Gambin. 105 Nieves Ruiz Ramos Profile Creative Director at Bibico.

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TENSE WINTER 2014 ISSUE ONE As it is our first issue we are excited to present to you Tense. Tense is a Sustainable Fashion Magazine like you have never seen it before, filled with cool ways to dress sustainably. As a quarterly magazine with each issue been specifically designed around the seasons of the year, starting of with Winter. Each magazine will have Fashion Stories, Our Features, and Interview related to sustainability. Tense will be showing you what it takes to live a sustainable lifestyle, while still managing to maintain a cool stylish wardrobe. This is our first Winter Issue. In this Issue we will be showing you how to rework denim, mix up your old knitwear, discover something you might be hiding in your closet and showing you it is cool to fake it. In each Issue we will have a feature called D.I.Y. This is where we will show you how to revamp an unloved item from last season and make it contemporary. This Winter we will be showing you how to turn denim jackets into bralets and shorts into extra high waist trouser. We also include interviews with freelance designer Emeline Nsingu Nkosi and art director Nieve Ruiz Ramos, not forgetting our exciting interviews with The Fara Workshop. -------Oh brilliant, what we always wanted in the world: another family of preachers telling me why I am going to go to hell for shopping in the high street and that I should rock my grandmothers’ hemp (aka potato sack) skirt everyday. I am certain that this may be along the lines of some of your thoughts when someone brings up the subject ‘ethical fashion’ or ‘sustaininable shopping’. We here at Tense pride ourselves on fashion; high fashion and most importantly the quality of garments. Now its understandable to not care about the life of your garments, you live, you learn and you definitely change your fashion sense. So why shouldn’t you turn your old baggy jeans into a stylish bralet? Within these pages you will find high fashion and beauty. Expression though imagery and style: As a result of this we will not bore you with text and words, but excite you with fashion and photography. Every garment, shoe, make-up product and accessories all come from ethical backgrounds. They are either thrift shop buys, DIY’s or from fashion brands that are ethically aware or are in some way trying to make a sustainable change. Sustainable is the heart of Tense but fashion is the soul. 11 12

b e h i n d

TENSE Rebecca McNelly-Tillford Art Director. Exploring galleries and museums is where you will find me. With a coffee in my left hand and my sketchbook in my right.

Olivia Webb Stylist and Creative Director. Conceptual thinker, rose drinker. always in search of innovative ideas. Never misses an opportunity to style something out of the ordinary. Getting her inspiration from listening to music, translating them into visuals and using them to inspire shoot ideas as well as styling.

Mariam Gomez Photographer and Fashion Director. Carries her camera around 24/7, to capture an image in a split second to inspire her for future shoots for beauty, fashion and editorials. Her life is not complete without Queen B on repeat.

Klaudia Wichtorowska Stylist. Enjoys capturing daily outfit ideas as well as keeping up to date with the newest trends. Magazine hoarder and green tea lover. Experimental with her styling, able to take influence from all sources to create eccentric imagery.

Samparella Chipasha Photographer. Finds inspiration in everything possible. Inspired by paintings and visiting art galleries in her spare time.

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T H E FA R A WO R K S H O P Our mission is to transform clothing and fabrics that have been generously donated to FARA charity shops, incorporating a variety of processes and techniques reworking them into a contemporary hand crafted collection of entirely one off pieces of clothing and accessories designed, made and sold at our store in Angel, Islington. 15 16


Workshop Functioning as a social enterprise and run by a young team of designers and makers, THE FARA WORKSHOP aims to educate people in the importance of sustainable fashion and design through workshops and events held in store. All profits generated by THE FARA WORKSHOP will go to the FARA Charity which is a registered charity in both the UK and Romania.

Text By Rebecca McNelly-Tilford 17 18


What does the Fara Workshop do?

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We are part of a big chain of charity shops that started about a year ago almost today. Fara have 50 shops and it not a very well known charity but obviously we run off donations so the question that started it all was, “How do we make the most of our donations?” That’s why we were created really. So about 2 years ago I came in and it has developed from what they originally wanted which was to re-write the clothes. However, we had so many fabric donations that we had the idea to create a brand for the charity therefore using the fabrics to create our own designs. Very classic and timeless designs, because of the fabrics we get we haven’t got that much control so it is easier for us to make the most of them. We have two half’s to the shop: the first being Re-Worked, which is clothes that have been adapted and changed which might include collars that have been taken off and changed, it might be sleeves that have been taken off and replaced with knitwear… It’s really exciting! We get a lot of cashmere that other shops can’t sell because it has holes in it or is slightly damaged, so what we do is cut panels off them and mix and match different bits of knitwear. It’s good because when the shops can’t sell something we’re here to make a difference. We repair as well, repair holes and anything else that’s wrong. And then we’ve got The Collection which is all the fabrics, they are all one-of designs so

they are really unique. Unless we have enough fabric, because we try to get a bit more of end rolls a lot of people’s waste, which is still very useful and beautiful. We also have a collection with an Italian mill up the road so we have got these beautiful wools for our winter coats and the quality we are getting is really high. Up cycling, so it doesn’t mean that everything is always second hand. A lot of our collection is made from brand new fabrics that would have gone to waste.

Why is having a charity so important to the Fara Workshop? Well the charity was set up about 25 years ago and back in the 80’s there was this massive problem in Romania with the institution, which was when Jane (the founder) realised that there was this problem. So she raised money for it back in the 80’s and then realised when all the other charities from the UK moved out because of all the other catastrophes around the world, actually looked at Romania and thought ‘there is a massive problem here and it needs to be looked after properly’, so Jane has dedicated her whole life really. Martin, who is the directed of the shops, he created the first one on Kings Road, and that was more of a way to get regular money for the charity to start up and now expanded to 50 shops and the integral, it’s so important to make the most of their donations as they’re not a popular charity because its Romania and there’s stigmas against that which there shouldn’t be but there are, and I think this is raising the profile of the charity. Our customers are interested in that, it’s a different customer base we are getting into the shop and they are interested in sustainability, helping and giving back. It’s really interesting how it has raised the charity’s profile. It’s a great way of people wanting to give


have more constraints you can be more creative and I think that is what Grace and I have really found in the process. You become more creative because you have got to challenge what you have. We are also doing a focus on denim at the moment, trying to make dresses out of old jeans and all brand new garments.

What do you only create one off pieces?

us their stuff knowing it will be used rather than other charities that may just rag it, whereas we use everything.

Sometimes we do and sometimes we are able to make a size range. Our unique selling point is one-off pieces so there is never more than three pieces made from one design. It’s not like the high street; in here you can almost guarantee you’ll have a one-off. We have been described as ‘couture with a conscience’, affordable fashion but you’re getting that something a bit special. This does reflect in our price, we do pay our employees fairly and have nice conditions. All the clothes are made here and it is all for the charity so we have to make money for it, all our customers understand that.

Why is using local and up-andcoming creative so important for the Fara Workshop? The older people that we have working for us are very passionate about sustainability and it’s nice getting people fresh from university as well, still passionate and fresh with ideas. We are quite a collaborative team, we are all still fairly new and looking for ways we want to develop and grow. In design at the moment, I am the Coaching Director and we have Grace who is the designer. At the moment that is the way it’s working for us; we all pitch in ideas especially with the re-works. I think it is really good to make the connections around you as well, the universities in London, LCF, St Martins and now UCA are all important to collaborate with.

What is your view on sustainable fashion? I think it is amazing, there is a turning point at the moment, and even big high street brands are getting involved. I think people are thinking more about their clothes now with events that are happening in Bangladesh for example. I think fast fashion is getting a bit out of hand, but we are definitely at a tipping point now with sustainable fashion. Now that it has raised the charity’s profile. It’s a great way of people wanting to give us their stuff knowing it will be used rather than other charities that may just rag it, whereas we use everything.

Why is using old garments over new ones important to the Fara Workshop? There is so much waste going on in the world! In May I think it is actually going to be illegal to dump put waste in landfills. So obviously, that is going to make it harder for charities to get rid of stuff, although nothing goes into landfill from us, we re-use everything. If you 21 22


What changes do you want to see in the fashion industry? Just that people think more about the origin of their clothes, I know not everyone can afford to, but that’s were charity shops can come into it. I think some people are a bit weird about second hand clothing so it’s just getting people to think differently because there are ways to shop cheaply. I sometimes go around the high street shops and look at the prices and think, ‘how is that even possible!’ It’s a weird world of fashion but hopefully it’s changing , I think things like Fara reinvents what charity shops are seen as and we need things like this to keep the industry moving.

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THE NEW WAY D.I.Y Photography Mariam Gomez & Samparella Chipasha | Styling OliviaWebb & Klaudia Wichtorowska | Hair & Make up Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Model Julia K

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Old Jacket turned to Bralet Asos High Waisted Wide leg Jeans

Monkey Bralet worn revise with the back at the front

“Don’t restrict an item of clothing to be worn one way”

Taking a elasticate midi skirt and turning it into a strapless dress

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Denim Skirt turned into a strapless top reversed Asos Denim High Waisted Long Length Skirt

“There is nothing wrong with a bit of double denim�

Asos Denim High Waisted Long Length Skirt as a Top

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“Keeping it Casual”

Denim Jacket turned to scarf Ragged Denim Skirt

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Denim Jacket from Asos Green Room, White Skirt attacted with an old pair of shorts to create an extra high waisted shorts.

“Wearing three colour tones of denim isnt a crime�

Denim Skirt from Reformation

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The New Way

“Wear it with attitude�

Turn a Denim Skirt into a Crop Top by cutting around the pockets and opening the crotch area

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BARE Don’t be afraid to show your imperfections. Photography Samparella Chipasha

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Model: Andy Codrington

Sometimes people go through issues concerning their body, could be accidents, birth marks, stretch marks and more and most of the time it makes you self-insecure. The older you get you start to realise that these issues can be something to embrace and be proud of, it’s what makes you the person you are, its your identity.

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Model: Chloe Insall’jones

Model: Chloe Insall’jones

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Tell us a bit about your work and what it entails?

How do you use ethical/sustainable elements at Mako By Me?

Working predominantly with printed textiles, whilst at university I found it hard to digest that we would be the future of fashion but weren’t taught much on ethical fashion. I started Mako by Me as a way of researching and exploring ethical practices, adamant that it would be possible to find a digital printer that uses GOTS inks and follows ethical practice within their factory. My work as a print designer and an enthusiast of ethical has broaden in the last year. I foremost design and project manage the production of organic cushions, they are made using certified cotton and printed with GOTS approved inks. I have broadened to consulting and found a gap in the market in regards to media; whilst making a fashion documentary on Ethical Fashion, I realised that wide majority of the public had no idea what ethical meant, we had been preaching to the converted. I started making Youtube videos of events and ethical brands alongside personal anecdotal videos explaining what ethical meant.

I try to make sure that the whole supply chain is as clean as possible, from materials, to threads, cushion inserts, printing etc,. It can

What do you find enjoyable about working at Mako By Me?

How do you as an individual feel about sustainable fashion?

Mako by Me is not my primary job at the moment but I enjoy the freedom it gives me in establishing the brands creative identity. I love attending ethical events and meeting interesting individuals that are such an inspiration, I love interviewing them and finding out more about their business and practice.

I found it hard until recently to find attractive sustainable fashion, my issue is that ethical fashion is often associated with drag and boring, brown or washed out printed clothing that aren’t on trend. I do feel however that it is possible to buy classic and sexy key pieces that can outlive the fast-fashion brands. I am excited to see the new brands that are forming and it shows that ethical doesn’t have to be boring - now the most important is to bring it to the “public”.

often cause a lot of relentless researching but it is worth knowing that your business is clean.

What charity would you support and why? I don’t have a charity but I would support Falling Whistles, it’s an inspiring charity focusing on the Congo, I feel close to the Congo because my father grew up there, I felt so at home when I visited as a child, I’ve always felt a close connection.

Are you thinking of branching out in the future? I would love to branch out and see myself doing so in the next 3-5 years, I believe it’s important to be known in your home turf first - especially as we have such a growing ethical movement in London.

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What changes would you like to see in the world of Fashion?

One of the issues is the pressure brands feel having to work extra hard to please shareholders and the boards of directors by increasing profit margins whilst trying to reduce the costs. If they are not willing to increase the cost the customers pay, then it has to give somewhere and this is often along the production line, it trickles down to the factories who are then pressured to cut costs and this is often with the workers since quality of stock cannot be hampered. The change I would like to see is mindfulness for the bigger picture - to widen their perspective, it may be profit numbers but are they worth the long term damage to the planet and its inhabitants? Along the way it will come back to haunt us and that is my worry. I would also like to see one certifying body that can be recognised in high street shops - they would have the logo possibly in the corner of their shop window and the public can easily recognise where they want or don’t want to shop. It could be the star system used in hotels but for fashion. Some high street brands are cleaning up their act and this could help to work out where you would like to shop.

www.makobyme.com Text By Rebecca McNelly-Tilford 57 58


WRAP IT UP Photography Mariam Gomez | Styling Olivia Webb & Klaudia W ichtorowska | Hair Olivia Webb | Make up Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Model Giedre Vazlinskaite

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Throw it over your shoulders to create a bulky heavy double layered jumper.

When it comes to winter, how can you switch it up from the ordinary knitwear? Who says you can’t wear more than one jumper? It adds texture and can give you a brand new item of clothing in seconds without spending an extra penny. Simple way to do this is grabbing two jumpers with similar tones and layering both. Perhaps add a bobble to create pleates and knots. By adding a scarf or snub it can eassily create a large turtle neck jumper along with an extra layer. When it comes to cardigans, aren’t we all bored of wearing them properly? This is the time to wear it different. Think about tying the sleeves, drapping and knotting. This can add length to an outfit aswell as making it fresh and fashionable.

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Triple Layering. Wearing three jumpers to add texture and warmth.

Wrap a jumper around yourself, tie it with a bobble adding more detail to a jumper.

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Creating a large turtle neck into a hood is the easiest way of revamping an old jumper.

Contrasting to colours and textures together can add depth and contrast to an outfit.

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Creating knitted legging by placing your legs inside the sleeve on the garment.

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SHE’S HANDSOME Photography Samparella Chipasha | Styling Olivia Webb & Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Make up Olivia Webb & Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Model Rosalie Mulamba & Kwane Thomas

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Coat & Blazer both Reformation.Head Scarfs both from Blue Q. Dresses both from H&M Conscious Collection

Headscarfs from Blue Q. Dress from H&MConsion Collection. Both Blazers from SLUVI.

Both Headscarfs from Blue Q. White and black shirts H&M consion collection. Black Trousers from Freedom Of Animals.

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Both Headscarf from Blue Q. Black Dresses from Reformation. Blazers From Amour Vert

Both Headscarf from Blue Q. White Blazers from SLUVI. Black Trousers from Reformation

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Photography Mariam Gomez | Styling Olivia Webb & Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Hair & Make Up Becca Mcnelly-Tillford | Model Barbara Rodiles

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Previous image wearing The Ragged Priest shaggy faux fur coat

Luxury comes in various ways. Sophistication and desire comes from the styling and not necessarily from the garment itself. This fashion editorial has been styled uniquely with fake fur and affordable coats and gilets. At Tense we strongly believe styling is the key to a fashionable outfit and fake fur is the strongest representation of this.

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The importance of layering. Wearing faux fur Teddy Texture coat from ASOS over Story of Lola gilet.

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Faux fur patched coat from ASOS.

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Photography Eloy Gambin | Hair & Make Up Klaudia Wichtorowsha | Model Sally Thompson

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WOOL Wool is a naturally anti-microbial fabric, meaning that it inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Additionally, wool is breathable, stain-resistant, and possesses thermal qualities that help maintain body temperature.

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Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have minimal Impact on the environment. The production systems used for organic cotton help replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. In comparison, conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of insecticides and more than 10% of pesticides used in the world.

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HEMP Hemp is a fast-growing renewable resource. Made from a plant, its texture helps create exceptional pieces without adding extra weight. It is breathable and light while still holding structure. Hemp fabric provides all the warmth and softness of natural textiles, but with a superior durability seldom found in other materials.

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‘Sustainable fashion is very convoluted. There have been attempts to improve this but it is still not clear.’ 109 110



What does being a director involve for you at Bibico? Lots and lots and lots of things! Our daily routine is very varied and will change depending on the time of the year. Over the year I only get a chance to spend about 20% of my time actually researching and designing new collections. I have to spend a lot of time planning production and working with our producers to make improvements on garments and sorting out any issues that arise. The rest of my time I do a mix of promoting Bibico, merchandising our new shop in Bath and even packing internet orders when things get busy. On top of that I also l look after my two young daughters!

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Do you work with any charities? Two of the fair trade groups we work with are charitable organisations and are delivering real change to their members and their local communities. It is fantastic to see how they have grown in recent years and have been able to help more women. Have you branched out? Where? Why? Yes. Little by little. This year we opened our first bricks and mortar shop in our home town of Bath which is doing very well. We opened the shop in Bath as we wanted to give bibico and ethically made clothing a space on the high St. We also had a lot of local customers so opening a shop was an obvious step.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Variety. Like any small, growing business owner you have to have the ability to get stuck into lots of different tasks. At times this can be stressful but generally it makes my working life more fulfilling. We also love that we are designing clothes that people love to wear and the people and cooperatives that make our clothes our benefiting both financially and socially from this.

What is your personal view about sustainable fashion? Sustainable fashion is very convoluted. There have been attempts to improve this but it is still not clear. From a consumer point of view I believe when you are shopping and look at a t-shirt that costs ÂŁ1 it is important to think about the person who made it is probably earning wages that they can barely live on. I think you have to ask yourself if you would work way below the minimum wage and how would you feel? While the factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh was a tragedy it has highlighted to the world some of the injustices in that occur in the fashion industry. With greater transparency clearer choices and if factories and retailers are pushed to be more transparent I believe consumers will start to buy from more ethically focussed retailers.

In what relation does Bibico have to the ethical/sustainable concept? When we started Bibico we wanted to ensure that the people who produced our clothes were being treated well and paid a fair price for their work. We could have never felt good about creating and growing a business that was built on taking advantage people. We work with two fair trade cooperatives in India and Nepal. Not only do they provide good safe working conditions and pay fair wages but they also work with women from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. They offer counselling and provide them with the confidence and training to be self-sufficient. As we have grown and expanded our collection we have also worked with good, reputable producers in Europe but our focus has always been to ensure that the people who produce bibico clothes are treated well.

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www. bibico.co.uk Text By Sophie Handcock


Follow Tense Magazine on the social media for daily inspiration on sustainable fashion and lifestyles and an insight into our behind the scenes and more. We love to interact with our audience and make you part of this journey. We are also on the look for sustainable and ethical creatives for collaborations or interviews, so please start a conversation with us online, we would love to know more about you. Follow Tense on Instagram @TenseMagazine Visit our website tensemagazine.tumblr.com 115 116

WHAT IS WINTER? “Obviously Christmas... But when it comes to fashion in winter my favourite thing would have to be knee high boots! Any style and any form, chunky, high heeled, flat, leather or suede, zips and buckles! I can’t go a winter without atleast 10 pairs of knee high boots.” “The thing I love the most about winter is wearing big fluffy oversized coats cos I am such a lover of layering.” “I prefer fashion in winter cos there is so much you can do and make your outfits interesting not like in the summer! Layering knitwear with long sleeved tops and jackets is my life during the cold period! Oh let’s not forget scarves.. Fur scarves, tartan, chunky knitted or snoods. Just love it.” “Definitely all things like textures, leather, suede, felt hats and fur, LOTS OF FUR.” “I always look forward to winter because of the layering of clothes.i’m a lover of knitwear, fur and knee high socks.”

THANK YOU Sophie Hancock for contributing with the writen articles of this issue. Eloy Gambin, freelance photographer based in London, for taking part in the ‘’What Are You Looking At?’’ beauty editorial. Ana Muniz for participating as testshoot model for “She Will Be Wearing Fur” and “The New Way”. Rosalie Mulamba and Kwame Thomas for modeling in the “She’s Handsome” fashion editorial. Giedre Vazalinskaite for modeling in the cover fashion editorial “Wrap it Up”. Chloe Insall-jones and Andy Codrinton for taking part in modeling for “Bare”. Julia K for modeling for the fashion feature ‘’The New Way”. Barbara Rodiles for modeling for “She Will Be Wearing Fur”.

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Leslie Dress

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