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Lockdown Leads to Local Luxury Sustainable Business Now It’s Mine

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Lockdown Leads to Local Luxury Sustainable Business Now It’s Mine

Hertfordshire Mother and Daughter Bernie and Rosie Montague decided to capitalise on Rosie’s expertise as an experienced handbag specialist and authenticator to create a local sustainable fashion business.  After leaving a prestigious auction house in London, it seemed the right time to create a business and pursue her passion for handbags and accessories.

Now It’s Mine is an exciting new venture established in lockdown. Their philosophy is `Resale not Retail’. It encapsulates their commitment to sustainability by rejecting fast fashion. Not only can people buy the likes of Classic Chanel flap bags and Louis Vuitton monogram classics, people can also consign their preloved designer handbags and accessories AND in the coming weeks there will be a rental service where you can rent any of the beautiful items on the website from 1 day upwards.

Ethical Fashion is the Now It’s Mine Model

Fashion represents 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It’s incredible but many items are disposed of within a year of purchase, and with the Instagram culture may only be worn once. Wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer reduces our carbon footprint by 30%. It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a T-shirt, enough for one person to drink for 900 days. The Luxury second-hand market is worth £19bn and is set to grow to £40bn by 2023.

They are currently selling via the website and through Instagram and Facebook. Now It’s Mine will also be launching pop-up shops in St Albans and surrounding areas.

Whilst the website allows them to distribute throughout the UK, they are very much a local St Albans and Hertfordshire business. Now It’s Mine is looking to build a network of luxury fashion lovers who understand the importance of the circular economy.

100% authentic preloved luxury designer bags and accessories

With a plethora of websites selling luxury designer items the risk of buying a ‘Super Fake’ has never been greater. Now It’s Mine offers a solution by guaranteeing to sell only 100% authentic goods.  This is demonstrated in their commitment to provide a multilayer formal authentication process and a money-back guarantee.

Visit the website, follow them on Instagram, their Facebook page, and Facebook group.  Sign up for their newsletter to hear about the upcoming local pop-up shops and handbag rental service.

`It just makes sense’ said Rosie `we must all be more committed to sustainability. Fast fashion has got out of hand and the quality of the handbags and accessories that we are selling lend themselves to be recycled rather than discarded, by nature they have longevity – they are timeless’

Now It’s Mine can be found at 116 Old London Road, St Albans AL1 1PU

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Layoners review: On trend sunglasses for all occasion

Lee Hall

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Layoners Sunglasses Review

Sunglasses are a fashion essential for both men and women. But like many accessories, they are often overpriced. Fashion houses for many years have used sunglasses as a way to add profitable lines to their portfolio. Times have changed and there are a number of good quality, low priced sunglasses brands that do not compromise on style.

Layoners are a European brand based in Slovenia with a wide range of sunglasses for both men and women. Prices range from £30 up to £90 across all the collections. It’s clear to see that many of their designs are inspired by the classic Wayfarer and aviator styles but they also have many unique sunglasses in their collections.

Layoners for Men

The men’s offering consists of seven unique collections:

  • Alameda
  • Avalon
  • Averill
  • Color
  • Tropic
  • Wooden
  • Windy

Layoners for Women

The women’s offering consists of seven unique collections:

  • Aviator
  • Alameda
  • Color
  • Chic
  • Mago
  • Uma
  • Unique

Tequila_Sunrise_sunglasses

Layoners Review

Style: We reviewed two different styles from the Layers collection – Tequila Sunrise (Womens) and Alcatraz Dark (Mens).

Tequila Sunrise is an oversized aviator featuring a stunning two-toned mirror effect. The golden yellow frame on the Tequila Sunrise complements the two-tone resulting in an extremely stylish look for all face shapes.
The Alcatraz Dark is my personal favourite of the collection. The detailing on the unique wooden frame obviously has obviously pushed the price up but these vintage-inspired sunglasses offer amazing value at £55.

Value for money: With an average cost of about £35, Layoners are much cheaper than designer brands that tend to start at the £200 mark. Layoners sunglasses offer great value for money given their entire range is on-trend and very stylish.

Layoners offer an easy 30 day returns from the delivery date. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return or exchange the goods within 30 days after receiving the goods. If you are looking at this price range, chances are your purchase will be to match a particular outfit. You could buy three and still spend less than £100.

UV Protection: All sunglasses sold within the UK (and EU) should have a CE marked on them – typically on one of the arms. This indicates that it complies with EU standards and will block out 95% of all UV rays below 380 nanometres (the scale on which light is measured). Layoners sunglasses also offer extra durability and glare reduction across their entire range.

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Monsoon Accessorize announces closures in Hitchin & St Albans

Lee Hall

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Monsoon Accessorize, the business behind popular High Street fashion retailers Monsoon and Accessorize have announced they are closing 35 stores across the UK with 3 in The Three Counties

Monsoon Accessorize have announced they are closing 35 stores across the UK. Monsoon Accessorize are the business arm behind popular High Street fashion retailers Monsoon and Accessorize. Of the 35 stores set for closure, two are located in the Three Counties. Monsoon in Hitchin is set to close and Monsoon in The Maltings, St Albans will also close.

A deal has been agreed to save the majority of the Monsoon Accessorize outlets. There are currently around 220 stores across the UK. Monsoon Accessorize founder Peter Simon has bought the struggling business out of administration, in a move which aims to save both brands but cuts 545 jobs in the process.

The deal will transfer around 450 jobs to Adena Brands, owned by Mr Simon, which has promised to inject £15 million into the business to allow the remaining stores to stay open.

Monsoon SS20 range

Having launched the Monsoon SS20 range earlier in the year, fans of the retailer in the affected area will need to either purchase the SS20 range online or at one of the remaining local stores. These include Watford’s Intu, Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City, Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage,  Hale Leys Shopping Centre in Aylesbury and Moonson in Hemel Hempstead.

Monsoon Accessorize SS20 range

Monsoon Accessorize SS20 range

Moving in an exciting direction and changing the script for how clothes are made and worn, this season Monsoon continues to create pieces that can be re-worn and recycled. Moonsoon have done this while staying true to their heritage and tapping into key trends.

With consumers becoming more conscious of sustainable fashion, Monsoon aims to make better efforts to create new and current pieces. The goal is to not only be fashionable but also eco-friendly using sustainable materials such as Lenzing,  Ecovero, recycled polyester and organic cotton. 

Over 50% of Monsoon clothing has been made sustainable for ss20. In addition, Monsoon has pledged to be over 90% sustainable by 2023. The ‘clothes for life’ recycling initiative will also continue to be a part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to looking after the planet. Picnic checks, broderie anglaise and dreamy tie-dyes, along with delicate chiffons and summer sequins bring a fun yet fresh approach to the season. Florals are plentiful and have been manipulated into bold geometrics, tropical blooms as well as the classic ditsy, adding diversity to the collection.

Full list of stores expected to close permanently include:

  1. Basildon
  2. Bexleyheath
  3. Burton-on-Trent
  4. Camberley
  5. Canterbury
  6. Carlisle
  7. Chelmsford
  8. Cork
  9. Patrick Street A, Republic of Ireland
  10. Cork
  11. Patrick Street B, Republic of Ireland
  12. Crawley
  13. Derby
  14. Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  15. Hereford
  16. Hitchin 
  17. Huddersfield
  18. Kilkenny
  19. Lancaster
  20. Lincoln
  21. Liverpool Airport
  22. Maidenhead
  23. Maidston
  24. Middlesbrough
  25. Newark
  26. Newtownabbey
  27. Northampton
  28. Southend
  29. St Albans
  30. Staines
  31. Sutton Coldfield
  32. Taunton
  33. Telford
  34. Trowbridg
  35. Truro
  36. Tunbridge Wells
  37. York Davygate

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Chance to be in the virtual ‘FROW’ as models turn living rooms into catwalks

Lee Hall

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Chloe James Lifestyle - St Alban's Fashion Show

Chloe James Lifestyle, a popular fashion, gift and homeware boutique in the centre of St Albans has not let the coronavirus stop it throwing its hugely popular bi-annual fashion show.

A glamourous catwalk event had been planned for Saturday 2 May in the city’s 11th century St Albans Cathedral – which has the longest nave in Europe – to celebrate the boutique’s 10th birthday this year, Donna Nichol, the store’s owner, was determined that the show would go on. So she has mobilised her usual models, styled them with garments from her new collection, and given them instructions to create catwalks in their homes and send the results to her.

Donna Nichol of Chloe James Lifestyle

Donna Nichol of Chloe James Lifestyle

Donna Nichol will be posting the show in its entirety this week sometime and is urging the fashionistas of St Albans to grab a glass of Prosecco and enjoy a bit of fashion from their front rooms. The store had already announced that 10% of all its sales are being donated to the NHS.

Donna said: “We had planned a huge event at the Cathedral as a way of saying thank you to our loyal customers as our fashion shows held at local restaurants are usually sold out within the hour of tickets going on sale – so we wanted to be able to accommodate everyone.

We have rescheduled this Cathedral Catwalk event to October, but in the meantime, I wanted to put on a summer fashion show as usual, so I enlisted the help of my models and am excited to be able to give people just a mini-fashion fix right now. We’ll be posting the video on our social media this week, so grab your glass of bubbly and sunglasses and be on the virtual FROW!”



Mandy McNeil, co-chair of the St Albans BID (Business Improvement District), which is also the St Albans DMO (Destination Management Office) says: “This is fantastic, and shows how inventive and resourceful our independent retailers are in St Albans. The BID marketing team have been shouting out locally and nationally that St Albans Independent businesses have not disappeared, they’ve just gone online.

We created a virtual Destination St Albans, which is engaging, inspiring, and unique, which mirrors the vibrancy of our physical shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and cultural attractions.

“I would encourage people to check out the enjoystalbans.com website for all the details about how you can still enjoy the city from your homes: ordering in food, drink, fashion and homeware; watching music and entertainment.”

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