We are very happy this month to feature the lovely Jan Shankar, creater and editor of Amia Online, a positively different online monthly magazine for forward-thinking women.
Here she is sporting our Merino wool polo neck in grape, one of our favourite pieces for staying cosy during the colder months. We took the opportunity to have an inspiring Q&A with Jan -
1. How long have you been writing?
"I have been writing for as long as I can remember - ever since I was very young I have created stories and poems about all kinds of things. I love telling other people’s stories and have a passion for keeping the art of story-telling alive in this technological age."
2. What inspired you to create Amia?"
I was inspired to create Amia (www.amiaonline.co.uk) when my mum died a few years ago. It made me focus on how many stories that women of all ages and from all backgrounds have to share with each other. So Amia was born out of a desire to create a monthly online magazine that could reach women everywhere with positive “can do” stories. Stories that would celebrate rather than criticise and stories that would inspire people to learn new things and share ideas. Stories about everyday women doing great things."
3. What inspired your ethical/eco approach to fashion/style?"
Lots of different things. I think the main driver was (and still is) thinking about the price paid (in injuries, low wages, poor treatment) by people making “fashionable” clothes around the world. I remember listening to a radio programme about 10 years ago where they asked everyone listening to take a look at the labels on the clothes they were wearing and to ask themselves how much they knew about the conditions those clothes had been made in. It really emphasised the fact that so many people have no idea about the story behind their wardrobes. It sparked a quest for me to find the most ethical designers/retailers and to support those as much as possible. I am passionate about fairness and that also applies to anyone who makes something I purchase - I need to know they have been fairly treated and not trodden on in the process."
4. What are your top tips for eco-fashionistas?
"Check Twitter out regularly. That’s where I have found my very favourite sustainable designers - including the lovely Outsider! It’s a great feeling when you track down a designer who has an ethical approach and produces lovely clothes and it’s great to share those discoveries with friends.
Ask a friend to look at the current items in your wardrobe and suggest new ways to assemble outfits. You’ll be amazed at the ideas other people have and these ideas can add a new lease of life to items you may have got a little tired of. It’s also great fun!
If you don’t absolutely love the item you are tempted to buy, don’t buy it! Feeling “OK” about it is not enough as you’ll be much more likely to tire of it quickly. The items I have loved from the start are the ones I still love several years later!"
Thanks for the sharing your story and tips Jan!
Remember until the end of January you can enjoy 25% off all orders over £100 online with code HAPPY2015.
Outsider - The Home of Ethical Fashion