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2 Weeks, 4 Festivals!

Hello!

Wow have we been busy here at Karma Gear!

So two weekends ago we set up at Glastonbudget Festival in sunny Leicestershire, and left our lovely helpers in charge as we sped off to the Cotswolds for Lechlade festival to set up yet another stall! We were trying a new set up for Glastonbudget, which took a bit longer than usual (even though it was meant to be easier!) and we didn’t have our banner up either, which considering the windy weather over the weekend was probably a good thing!

 

New Set up!
Felt Display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the stall looked pretty good, though, and the felt table looked lovely and bright in the sunshine! Glastonbudget was good clean silly fun as usual, and we had some lovely customers – although I think we were a little out of the way so didn’t see as many people as we would have liked ūüėČ

Di wearing our new PG1707 Hooded Asymmetrical Pixie Dress in Green, coming to the website soon!
Tom from Lost Transmitters performs on stage at Glastonbudget and proves that our Cotton Festival Trousers can stand up to all your dance moves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of covers bands, original bands, and rides and other entertainment too, Glastonbudget is a great friendly festival with an easy to navigate site and party loving crowd. Lechlade festival was a great little event too, Lechlade itself is so picturesque! I think we had all the weathers, boiling hot on Friday, Thunderstorms on Saturday morning (cue me getting absolutely soaked on an early morning trip to the loo!) Lots of high winds, drizzle, even fog! (though thankfully, no ice or snow!) We also had some unexpected guests on our roof

 

Duck on the roof!

There was some stunning talent at Lechlade, we caught a very young band belting out some incredible covers, check out Insta feed for a peek of their amazing performance. The festival is in a beautiful park right by the river. You can walk into the town in the morning for a delicious brekkie and then get onsite from late morning for music from several stages, a great beer tent with its own stage, comedy tent and lots of workshops for kids too – including yoga, arts & craft, meditation and lots of other treats! Totally family friendly with rides and activities for younger and older kids. They’ve had good lineups this year and in the past, so future events are sure to be great too.

On Bank holiday Monday we were up at the crack of dawn to leg it to Chippenham for the Street Fayre (so, yes, that is three festivals in one weekend!!!) and I think we did a pretty good job with our street market stall

The stall at Chippenham Street Fayre!

Chippenham is a great friendly little town, and the folk festival is organised by a lovely bunch of people who want to keep this great little event going for the local and the folk community. Morris dancers performed throughout the day, but unfortunately this year there was some torrential downpours and so lots of the dancing was called off early. But no matter – we can’t control the weather – and we had a lovely time chatting to the people who had come especially and to local people as they sheltered in our massive stall from the deluge.

And then to this weekend, when we were at Cheltenham Racecourse for 2017’s Wychwood Festival. And what a corker it was too! This festival is a super chilled family friendly affair, and the crowd keep coming back every year – because they know their guaranteed to have a good time! Some fantastic bands on, highlights for us were CC Smugglers (check out their facebook here¬†https://www.facebook.com/ccsmugglers/ ) with their awesome bluesy, folksy, swinging tunes that are guaranteed to cheer up even the grumpiest of festival goer – they’re at lots of festies over the season, we recommend catching them if you can! East Pointers were really good too, really got me grooving in the summer sunshine and we even bought their record to listen to in the van on our travels. The Dhol Foundation were absolutely killing it with their amazing Folk/Indian fusion – they had a harpist along with the Indian drummer, so cool! – and their show was complete with Bangra Dancers and a field full of middle class, middle aged Brits trying to dance Indian style, priceless!

Dhol Foundation at Wychwood 2017
CC Smugglers at Wychwood 2017
CC Smugglers at Wychwood 2017
Smoove & Turrell at Wychwood 2017
A wet and rainy mainstage at Wychwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So all in all and busy couple of weeks, but 4 festivals down and we’re well into the 2017 season now! This weekend it’s Gate to Southwell Folk Festival. We’ve not been before, but we’ve heard good things so we’re looking forward to it.

See you in a field somewhere, Love and Good Karma xxx

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Our Process! – Step 1 Research

Hello!

Our lovely customers often ask how we go about designing our products, so we decided to do a series of blog posts showing you how we approach designing, and how our ideas become the finished products. We are going to show you the process right from start to finish, encompassing design, sample making, production, photography, and, finally, sales!

Step 1 – Research

Before we start with anything else, we do a bit of research! This covers several different areas, and happens in a number of ways. Firstly, we look at our own designs that have sold well in the previous season. We take on board any suggestions from customers and make notes on our products, asking questions like:

notes on possible changes updates to previous styles
  • What did customers like?
  • What did customers dislike?
  • How was the fit?
  • Would other colours work better?
  • What changes could we make to improve the fit / style / overall look?

Secondly, we look at what is on trend right now, and what is predicted to be fashionable in the coming seasons. We take note of what is happening in the fashion world, with a particular focus on colours and shapes. We do look at mainstream designers and the high street, but we obviously are an alternative hippy folk festival fashion brand, so we do stick to our distinctive style only¬†incorporating current fashion elements where it works. By keeping an eye we can create items that will fit in with other items in your wardrobe, although of course we often design items that have very little influence from the mainstream. Often our customers want a type¬†of garment that is fashionable, eg pinafore dress, but want it in a ethical, handmade, hippy style – and that’s what we do!

Finally, we look at what our suppliers have been working on and the fabrics and techniques that are available to us. Of course there are some very old and traditional techniques that we use, but new ones pop up too! Sometimes our suppliers have been working on a new technique, or have an abundance of a certain type of material. In this case, we take samples and look at how we can use them in our designs, or create entirely new designs specifically to use these new materials.

For example, one supplier had  lots of patchwork fabric available. Business had been quiet and our suppliers did not have much work, so instead of leaving their employees with no work or income, the tailors were set about making patchwork from fabric off-cuts and waste fabric that would otherwise have been thrown away. We then designed a range of simple garments using the patchwork, which are eco friendly (as they are made from recycled fabric!) and Socially responsible too (providing continuous employment!)

 

This innovation has created some of our best selling products like our Gheri Pullover Jacket and Zipped Jacket and our Patchwork Harems, Shirts and Trousers.

So research is a really important first step for us. We need to make sure that we design items that our customers will want to buy, but also utilise materials and processes that are available to our suppliers. We learn from the fashion industry and take inspiration from other designers, and also take note of feedback from our customers to update previous lines and create new ones.

Once we’ve done the research we move onto the next step, all of which will be revealed in our next¬†Our Process blog post!

Until then, Love & Good Karma xx