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Build a capsule wardrobe for autumn

Emma Gibbs explains how easy minimalist style can be with just six key pieces

It’s the perennial complaint of women everywhere – ‘I have nothing to wear!’ This refrain is heard from bedrooms all around the world, despite the fact that most wardrobes are groaning under the weight of countless fast fashion purchases. Thanks, in large, to the rise in social media, the rate of fast fashion has accelerated in recent years, with many fashion-conscious devotees wearing an outfit only once before discarding it. This throwaway culture (exacerbated by the incredibly cheap cost of some items; dresses for as little as £3.75, for example) sees an estimated £140 million worth of clothing disposed to landfill every year.

Thankfully, a fast fashion backlash appears to be gathering force. A growing awareness of how the fashion industry contributes to the world’s plastic pollution problem (microplastics from synthetic fibres make their way from our washing machines to our waterways and oceans), and the detrimental effect massproduced clothing has on the environment, has prompted many to trim down their closets and create a capsule wardrobe. Originally favoured by pared-back minimalists, the capsule wardrobe is made up of a few good quality and timeless fashion pieces, that aren’t dictated by passing trends and are free from man-made fabrics such as nylon, acrylic and polyester.

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About Be Kind

Hello, Most women can remember their first period. Maybe you were lucky enough to have someone comfort and reassure you during yours, or maybe you worked things out for yourself. Either way, for a lot of women, from that first period onwards, it’s a monthly event that is shrouded in shame. A hush-hush secret between friends, a missed PE lesson, a surreptitious tampon passed underhand from a colleague, a sanitary pad shoved up a sleeve, a handbag conspicuously carried to the bathroom – for something perfectly natural, experienced by 50 per cent of the population, why the stigma? We spoke to the brilliant illustrator Hazel Mead (p20) about period shame and how, with her clever drawings, she is breaking taboos and opening up the conversation. Her pieces challenge misconceptions around real topics – like feminism, sex and periods – and she is a passionate campaigner against period poverty. Like Hazel, it’s about bloody time we put an end to the humiliation and mystique around our periods, and liberated ourselves by talking about them honestly and openly. Aside from the emotional impact of periods, they create some shocking environmental damage, too. While we’re all trying our best to use our keep cups and Tupperware, we need to consider the footprint of our sanitary products. Each pad used is the equivalent of four plastic carrier bags – a female uses on average 11,000 throwaway period products in a lifetime, so, if these are all pads, that’s equal to 44,000 carrier bags. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives which are better for the planet and your pocket, too – find out more on p80. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor