12 August 2007


Coggles was shocked but not surprised to read that one of Britain’s richest men is profiting from Asian workers paid less than £3 to £4 a day to make clothes for his latest Kate Moss range for Topshop as reported by the Sunday Times.

Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, which are owned by Sir Philip Green's firm Arcadia Group, employ hundreds of Sri Lankans, Indians and Bangladeshis who work 12 hours a day, six days a week.

A worker at Star Knitwear, which makes T-shirts for the Topshop Kate Moss range, said they were paid £112 a month - equivalent to about 40p an hour. The T-shirts are sold in Topshop for £12. You have to assume therefore that as you walk home from the shops smug in the fact that the clothes that you bagged that were so cheap and therefore ‘throw-away’, someone somewhere on this planet is paying for that garment with their freedom with pure slave trade pay and conditions.

There is growing concern at Coggles and within the UK fashion industry over the use of Third World labour. Jane Shepherdson, who resigned from Topshop as brand director last year, said consumers cannot keep buying cheap clothes and “not ask where they come from”.

An investigation by War on Want (www.waronwant.org) revealed recently that some of Britain's other best-known high street brands are selling "cheap chic" clothes at the expense of workers in Bangladesh despite pledges to protect basic labour rights, War on Want says bargains in Britain, such as jeans for £3 and cocktail dresses for £6, are possible only because retailers wrench lower prices from suppliers in Bangladesh who get clothes stitched at the lowest possible cost.

War on Want says that although Primark, Asda and Tesco have stated publicly they will limit the working week and pay a "living wage" overseas, these commitments are flouted in their suppliers' factories. Geoff Lancaster, head of public relations at Primark, said the company had been involved in trying to raise standards in Bangladesh and would investigate. It denied it was cutting costs so British shoppers benefited from cheap prices.

If you could see the conditions of the person who made your £3 tshirt or jeans which you wore once and threw away, and then had to watch them make that garment 12 hours a day, six days a week you my change your shopping habits. On this island we care about animal cruelty and environmental issues but don’t really give a s**t about our fellow human being.

It’s a basic fact that if you buy ridiculously cheap priced clothes you are abusing the planets resources and it’s inhabitants, change now, sorry rant over! - Mark Bage

8 August 2007


Coggles recommends seeing the face-off between two giants of pop art. Banksy Vs Warhol is a new exhibition at The Hospital gallery and club in Covent Garden, London with more than 40 works on display, which pits the genius of the late American Andy Warhol against Britain's contemporary iconoclast, graffiti artist Banksy. Anyone who has ever wandered among the pretentiously hip Shoreditch, Hoxton or Bricklane areas of London will have inadvertently seen Banksy’s handy work. Warhol is defending his title, but Banksy makes for a formidable challenger as he has received maximum exposure since 2000.

The exhibition showcases work, which demonstrates how Banksy was influenced and inspired by Warhol. This includes portraits of Kate Moss that echo Warhol's iconic pictures of Marilyn Monroe from more than 40 years ago. Banksy also created a version of Warhol's soup paintings replacing the Cambell's images with that of Tesco's own-brand soup as a homage to Warhol. Banksy Vs Warhol is the first side by side exhibition anywhere by the world’s two hottest artists. To see more of Banksy's work che-che-checkout his latest offerings at http://www.banksy.co.uk/

Campbell’s or Tesco? Grace Kelly, Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill, Mick Jagger, Queen Elizabeth, The Beatles, Smiley Man police statue, Andy Warhol himself and others make for a potent cocktail of celebrity, satire and voyeurism. Opposing pictures are explosive for their contrast, even of the same subject. However, there is at least one difference between the two: whereas Warhol was at the hub of New York society, Bristol-born Banksy likes to keep a low profile.

Banksy Vs Warhol at The Gallery at The Hospital, Endell Street, London WC2. Admission is free

1 August 2007


I agree that most celebrity collections are just a mixture of vanity and bad marketing ideas but in this case the subtle design and sheer quality really do shine through when you wear the garments. I was expecting a typical jeans and t-shirt collection but the sisters have really created an exceptional debut fashion collection.

Sienna Miller was born in New York City in 1981. She moved to England as a child. Prior to her professional acting career, Sienna worked as a photographic model. Following her appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2004, she was credited by many with having popularised the fashion style of boho-chic in Britain. Sienna also posed for Vanity Fair magazine's 2006 Hollywood Issue topless and smoking a cigarette.

Sienna appeared in supporting roles in the 2004 remake of the 1966 movie Alfie as well as in Layer Cake (2004). She played the female lead opposite Heath Ledger in the period drama, Casanova (2005). She also stared in Factory Girl (2006), a film about 1960s socialite and Andy Warhol's muse Edie Sedgwick. Although the film has been deemed controversial, her performance has received acclaim. Sienna’s relationship with Jude Law has been frequently featured in the entertainment press so I’ll not dwell on it here.

Twenty8Twelve, gets its name from Sienna Miller's date of birth. Sienna has designed the label's first range along with her sister Savannah Miller who is a Central St. Martins graduated fashion designer. The new label is skinny jeans, bib front t-shirts and mini tux jackets. References from 70's New York and Dickensian suits are brought to life by Sienna's instinctive sense of style and Savannah's Central St Martin's reputation. Twenty8Twelve isn't just fashion it is beautifully made clothes.

The Twenty8Twelve collection is now available from coggles.com