Wow, I have just logged in to my blog to see that my last post was about Royal Ascot, which is kind of apt as it's something that's been playing on my mind a lot lately, mainly because of some pretty huge life changes in terms of my philosophy.
Towards the middle of last year me and my husband made the decision to go vegan. I had been vegan once before, briefly, when I was about fourteen but this quickly lapsed back to ovo-vegetarian and then to pescatarian (don't let anyone who eats fish tell you they're veggie - fish are animals too!). I don't know what triggered it aside from the fact that we had watched a few documentaries together as we were trying to educate ourselves more about where our food comes from. We watched Forks Over Knives, Food Matters and last by no means least, Earthlings (although I had to switch Earthlings off as it was too upsetting for me). I think a couple of these are available on Netflix at the moment if anyone is interested in watching them.
So, my whole diet has changed by becoming vegan (which means no animal products whatsoever) and obviously, being a milliner, this means my way of working has had to change too. And, I believe, rightly so. I had no idea how much suffering is caused by the feather industry and had even tried to kid myself into thinking there are such things as 'humane, ethically sourced' feathers. I discovered that all feather extraction results in the pain and suffering of all birds involved. Birds are often plucked for their feathers whilst still alive and spend their lives with weeping sores on their skin and infections but sadly birds are often killed for their feathers. It is unfortunately a booming industry and one that I no longer wish to be part of. Obviously I still want to make hats, but I will absolutely not use feathers in any new designs & once my old supply has run out (I have a few peacock feathers and feather decorations in the form of faux birds) that will be it.
This brings me to Royal Ascot, an event that all milliners covet and wish to be part of. This would have been me too this time last year. I even had a hat in the Daily Mail! Now I absolutely cannot support this event or any event that involves horse racing. Some may think this is millinery suicide but I couldn't give a hoot - my priorities are the integrity of my business as one that does not give a name to the cruelty that goes on in the world of racing. I don't want to go into detail here as I like to try and keep things light, but if you are interested in what happens please look at Animal Aid's website or just do a quick Google search. The statistics are so sad.
I am doing what I feel is right for my business and I do, hand on heart, know it's the right direction to go in. I want my beliefs to be completely inline with how I live my life & conduct myself and this is a huge step for my business, but undoubtedly the right one. I hope I get your support!