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Royal Bath & West Show

In June, Graham, Matt, Catriona, and I headed down to Royal Bath and West for our first show of the year. We packed the vans and set off on the Wednesday, arriving in good spirits despite Matt’s detour through Bristol at rush hour – something we reminded him of all week. The coffee machine and fridge were plugged in to chill the champagne, ready for what would be an early start in the morning and the return of a VVS tour staple: champagne for breakfast. It turned out that we’d actually stolen our neighbours electrical hook up and had not in fact booked any for the week – a reminder to check the tick list for every show. Every day...

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South Africa we are coming for you...

It’s been a difficult journey for small businesses recently, and here at Van Velze & Smith we have certainly felt the effects of it. However, it has undoubtably proven to me again that being out of your comfort zone is a great thing. It is the time when you are most creative; a time when you are the very best at problem solving; and a time that reminds me of why I moved to England: to be uncomfortable. To grow. Growing our brand has never been an easy feat: we learn as we go, and we have to trust our initiatives. This is my first experience of running a business, and my mistakes have not been enjoyable by any means,...

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Leather boots “Bang for your buck”?

So, you are all decked up for the weekend party with a nice, impressive outfit and a statement accessory complementing your entire look. However, you decimated an incredibly well-styled ensemble by pulling out knock off shoes from the wardrobe.   We have all been guilty of splurging on clothes and skimping out on luxurious footwear. While clothes create the majority of your look, shoes can make or break an outfit and sometimes an entire deal. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” rings true time and time again.   While expensive boots make you feel a pinch in the wallet, they are worth every penny spent in the long run.   Most people in their 20s and 30s...

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Fast Fashion?

When you walk into a fast fashion retail store, you will notice, that each month they have tonnes of new pieces added to their collection. New products hit store shelves every couple of days. Though the processing time is a mere number of weeks, you never stop to wonder all the damage it might have done along the way.   Fashion production makes up 10% of the global carbon emissions and 85% of the textiles go into dumpsters, rivers and the ocean every year. As fast fashion becomes more accessible and affordable, who needs to wear the same piece of clothing again? Right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong.   If we were to become mindful of our contributions to this waste,...

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