Trusted Clothes and Keep Real!

The wonderful Canadian non-profit Trusted Clothes are documenting my brand Keep Real’s journey of sustainability and inspiring wellness. So sweet! Please go ahead and check it out.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.06.15

It’s no good promoting mental well-being as a business, if the business doesn’t have the foundations of trying to be the best version of itself either. So we expanded the definition of wellness to include our sustainable souring policy within our supply chain.

Here’s the first blog post I did as the founder. Excitingggg!!! ❤

Challenges of Starting a Sustainable Fashion Brand

Keep Real: behind the scenes

Well, a lot has been going down lately with Keep Real. It’s so so SOOOO exciting, yet I just never blog about it. A lot has happened and is happening, so it’s a real big mush ball of designing, networking, creating and thinking. Definitely a lot of thinking!!

I held the first focus group for Keep Real last week at Huddersfield University (sorry, I didn’t get any photos…boo!) with more turning up than I thought- so that was awesome!! It was a little bit nerve racking, but I asked a lot of questions, discussed all that I wanted to discuss and presented my ideas for the brand. The more I present, the more I’ll feel comfortable doing it. It was great to have a lot of feedback, so that’s what I’ve been working on!Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.06.15

The fit of the garments is so crucial, and that’s what I’ve been struggling with. I know what I definitely want to create for the brand- but it’s about adhering to people’s needs. Unisex just doesn’t cut it, and I want to create the right fit for everyone. However, with the first launch of the new collection- it’s going to be super limited. This launch is about finding out what’s right, what needs changing and adapting.

I’ve been networking with all sorts of wonderful folk; photographers, musicians, bloggers, videographers etc. And continue to do so with a few meet ups next week! So it’s about getting the right people behind Keep Real, who are just as passionate about the brand’s ethos and aims! Also with the hopeful launch of the end of July, I’ve been looking at office spaces too. All in the good time though!

Anyway, back to my drawing boards and all of that jazz. Hope you’re all having an amazing day!

You can follow Keep Real on all social media platforms with @keeprealuk ❤

 

Mental Health is NOT a Fashion Statement

Hello my lovely lil’ cherubs! How has your day been?

I’ve been doing a bit of research recently concerning mental health, and what really got me thinking- is how fashion influences people. We wear pieces that speak to us, they are part of our identity, and make us feel real good.

I see up and coming clothing brands that are quirky, use cool slogans, and rad typography to create powerful images- however, sometimes these brands go too far.

*Please Note* – if you feel this article angers you at all, makes you feel uncomfortable or triggers anything for you, please feel free to scroll through some more positive posts here on kimmykeepreal.com such as Tips & Tricks to Staying Well , or maybe try out a mental wellness app I recommended here. Take care of yourself. There are helplines out there to listen to you too. Such as Rethink and there are helplines listed here on Young Minds.  ❤

I came across a brand called ‘Burger and Friends’ which (to quote their Instagram) are ‘Sardonic shirtsmiths with a new cache of hi-larious wearables’. Looking through their collection of shirts, crops and tees, it looks good man! I can’t argue with some of their clothing, as some make me laugh and speak to a younger generation. But. One shirt, really made me upset. In all honesty, it angered me. A white shirt printed with ‘I put the ‘hot’ in psychotic’ with a lady holding up two skulls to her eyes struck me as a terrible form of hilarity (find the shirt here on their website) You can look at this saying in two ways, however mental health is not a fashion statement. It is never acceptable to portray any form of health problem in fashion.

From the blunders of Halloween, when a terrible costume called ‘Anna-rexia’ was highlighted as an outfit (Find Cosmopolitan’s article about it here), to Urban Outfitters ‘eat less’ shirt that was once available (see Urban Outfitters 14 fashion controversies here), it truly saddens me that some folk are still making garments that use mental health in this way. This is NOT a ‘hi-larious wearable’. It is not teaching the younger generation the importance of mental health awareness, or giving them the correct information on the various mental health problems people face.

What do you think about this?

p.s if this has triggered anything for you at all, please do look after yourself. There are helplines out there right now if you’d like to talk, which I have listed above.

Thanks for your time folks, sending all my love to you- and keep real! x

 

 

 

The Adventure Starts Here!

Tomorrow marks a crucial day for my dreams with Keep Real. This hobbit will be rolling in business plans, meetings and designs before the eventual stroll up to Mordor to conquer all (defeating evil and opening a really cool Store is my aim).

I’m meeting with a Business Advisor to talk business (ahem, clearly) tomorrow and discover what my first steps are. I’m exploding with ideas I haven’t shared, and only sneaked one post in concluding the initial Store ideas IMG_20150208_163728in my blog. For now, that’s how I’m going to keep it- as the ideas and themes I have are long to be made a reality. Plus, I want to do this right and not rush into posting every lil’ detail. Gotta have a bit of mystery surrounding it!

Of course I realise that opening up and running a store successfully will take a few years. Plundering through plans/ permissions/ costs/ premises etc. will take time. But I truly believe that with the determination and mindset I have now to make it come true, nothing really is stopping me at all. Unless my idea sucks of course (which it hopefully doesn’t).

It got me thinking, what drives you? I’ve been so consumed in talking about my dreams, I haven’t asked about yours! So what dreams do you have? What would you love to do? I would LOVE to hear what makes you wonderful folk tick. Please comment if you have any!

Enjoy the rest of your evening ❤

My Dream: The ‘Keep Real’ Store

So, as some of you lovely people may know- I run my own small business I set up last year called ‘Keep Real‘. Providing goods and illustration to all who seek a positive place. At the tail end of 2014, I had the delight of being interviewed by an independent magazine website called ‘Sheffield Unchained’ where they stated very accurately, ‘Kimberley decided to combine interests in design, illustration and mental health with the launch of what she terms a ‘positive illustration and goods movement’, which is less about selling objects and more about promoting meaning and positive messages.’

I couldn’t havIMG_20140405_141826e put it better myself. I want to create a store that people can just hang out at and shop. No rushing in, no rushing out if you don’t want to. You wanna sit and talk to your friends about your day? Do it. You wanna buy a present for a relative, and hang out on the sofas reading a book? Do it.

There aren’t enough places when you’re shopping, to make you feel like you’re welcome to stay as long as it pleases you. ‘If you’re going to stay, you have to buy something’. I don’t want that bullshit for you. Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just DSCN0014to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place. If you’re gonna hang at Keep Real, just throw your loose change into a jar- where it contributes to raising money to Mental Health Charities. Just don’t abuse the freedom (I’m flattered that you wanna stay from 9am til 5pm but really? really?!)

I have so many ideas with Keep Real, creating a positive environment for all you individuals out there. They’ll be sofas, throws and chairs around, where they’ll be loads of books that you can just pick up and read. Artwork on the walls for sale, clothes, accessories, bags, prints and homeware.

Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place.

Who knows what the future holds for it, but after I graduate- that’s where I will make my dreams come true (ultimate corny thing to say, right?). ‘Staying True’ and ‘Keeping Real’ are the traditional sayings that prove a foundation for what I really want to create. It will happen, I just can’t wait to see where it takes me and who follows the journey with me.