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Lost Trades

Can you whittle a spoon, mend a shoe or string a banjo? Chances are that in the little Victorian town of Kyneton, there’s at least one person who has mastered each of these time-honoured skills. An ode to craftsmanship, patience and practice, the town’s annual Lost Trades Fair is a chance for visitors to celebrate the tools, traditions and trade secrets tied-up with Kyneton’s thriving manual crafts industry. Dozens of the region’s most talented artisans will once again come together this weekend to demonstrate 85 gone-but-not-forgotten trades, from blacksmithing to coopering, making it a great opportunity to meet the makers, hear their stories and learn a thing or two yourself. At this year’s Fair you’ll even find some of the hand-makers, trash transformers and treasure seekers featured in our newly released Autumn Issue 25, including locals Junked, Rundell and Rundell, and more. Hosted on March 7 and 8 at Kyneton Racecourse (around one hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD), you can purchase tickets online now to avoid queues at the gate.

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It’s the time of year when folk aficionados get ready to let their hair down at the annual National Folk Festival in Canberra, running 2-6 April at beautiful Exhibition Park. And despite the excellent line-up of acoustic, folk, blues, roots, world and country music, including over 180 acts from Australia and more than 23 acts from overseas (like folksy luminaries Bob Fox, The Outside Track and All Our Exes Live in Texas), there’s more to the Nat Folk Fest than its sweet tunes! For its 49th year, there’s an emphasis on getting in touch with your crafty side, with workshops and classes on bookbinding, wood crafting, screen printing, leatherwork, batik dyeing and more. The festival also has continuous projects that link audiences through the years, such as a rag rug started in 2010, a quilt started in 2011 and a woven CD installation that’s kicking off this year – with the creativity culminating in the gorgeous parade that will be winding its way through festival village and lighting up the night sky on Sunday. And there’s plenty on the cultural menu for young and older folks alike, with interactive highlights including puppet shows, poetry slams, dance classes, street choirs and an ‘Animals of the Dreaming’ Aboriginal Zoo experience with the travelling Taronga Zoomobile. If that all sounds right up your street, we have two season tickets (valued at $690) to this year’s National Folk Festival to give away! To be in with a chance to win, leave a comment below telling us which act you’d most like to see there. {Entries close 5pm AEST Friday 6 March, 2015}.



Social Studio

Collingwood’s The Social Studio has long been Melbourne’s mecca for multiculturalism, providing creative workspaces and training in fashion and hospitality for new migrants and refugees. With their own fashion label, on-site cafe and courses accredited by RMIT, it might be difficult to put all The Social Studio’s good work into words, but that’s exactly what a dedicated team of volunteers have been doing for the past year, collating the enterprise’s first print publication. The Social Studio: Fashion, Food, Art & Community is a 250-page celebration of the foodies, fashionistas, artists, musicians and makers who make Melbourne the culturally vibrant city it is today. The book, compiled of artworks, portraits, interviews and a look-back at The Social Studio’s evolution, is set to launch at the Immigration Museum before a limited run of 1,000 copies are sold Australia-wide. To do it, The Social Studio need your support – get behind their Pozible campaign before time runs out and you’ll be rewarded with some great prizes, including vouchers to spend at their retail store, exclusive workshop offers and a private dining experience at The Cutting Table. Here’s your chance to own a colourful piece of Social Studio history!

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Calling all Brisbane-based foodies and green thumbs! Don’t miss Food Connect’s Real Food Street Party happening tomorrow (Friday 27 Feb) from 3.30pm at the Food Connect Homestead on Commerce Street, Salisbury – celebrating their 10th year of connecting local farmers to consumers and supporting the paddock-to-plate movement. The event’s highly anticipated main speaker is Joel Salatin – the internationally renowned third generation farmer, best-selling author and passionate advocate for sustainable farming methods – with his talk on ‘The 10 Truths of Our Food System’, as well as a Q&A session between him and Australian gardening guru Costa Georgiadis (tickets available here). And out on the street there’s plenty of free activities for the whole family, including live music, delicious food from local favourites like Sprout Artisan Bakery, YummBox, Buchi Kombucha, Wicked Juices and GG Gourmet (made using fresh produce from Food Connect farmers), alongside community conversations, workshops from local changemakers (on community gardening, self sufficiency, re-inhabiting place, and more), circus performances, visual art and apple bobbing. Head down, fill your belly and mind, and help support a fairer food future!

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Fairtrade Good Egg

Hunting down Fairtrade Certified Easter goodies can be quite a challenge, especially when many of the specialty products and Easter releases that graced supermarket shelves in 2014 are no longer available. This year, Fairtrade Australia have responded with a new campaign that eggs on the big retailers to double their selection of Fairtrade Certified offerings come Easter 2016. The good egg movement is fronted by Ghanian cocoa farmer Mary Appiah, who will also be speaking at a range of events around the country in the lead-up to Easter. Every online signature collected on Mary’s behalf before March 27 is a vote for fair cocoa prices and ethical trading, putting pressure on Coles and Woolworths to support small Australian brands who do the right thing.

While the wait for Fairtrade chocolate to crack the Easter market continues, in the meantime you can access an up-to-date directory of Easter retailers on the Fairtrade Australia website (a list to which Tribes & Nations can be added), as well as a full inventory of chocolate products made with fairly traded cocoa that are available to purchase in Australia year round.

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If you’re in need of nourishing, get yourself along to Melbourne’s Nourish Affair this Sunday 1 March at The White House in St Kilda for some serious empowerment, education and inspiration! The goodness gurus at Nourish Melbourne have gathered a select group of holistic health and lifestyle experts for a full day of seminars about mindfulness, fertility, healthy eating and more. You’ll also have the chance to chat one-on-one with the experts, enjoy delicious refreshments from a selection of Melbourne’s healthiest food stores cafes and get your hands on a nourishing goodie bag.

We’ve got two double passes worth $78 each to give away to our lovely readers! All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post explaining why you’d love to attend The Nourish Affair. Winners will be drawn by 4pm this Thursday 26 February. Good luck!




February 22nd marks the 87th installment of the Oscars, and with awards season comes a spotlight on one of Hollywood’s best-loved eco-fashion initiatives, Red Carpet Green Dress. Founded by Suzy Amis Cameron (actress, model and wife of director James Cameron) to honour ethical manufacture, zero-waste methods and recycled fabrics, RCGD pairs up-and-coming designers with industry old-hands to create innovative, thought-provoking garments for LA’s night of nights. Now in its sixth year, RCGD has announced that 2015′s red carpet will feature a gown and tuxedo worn by Gina Rodriguez and Jake McDorman respectively, made by Parisian student designers Manon Gabard and Tingting Chen. But there’s another reason to keep an eye out for this year’s winning designs – if Gabard and Chen’s creations happen to catch your eye, similar garments could soon be available to purchase online through Red Carpet’s new retail collaboration. For the first time in the competition’s history, a capsule collection of six dresses will launch through LA-based label Reformation, each inspired by the winning RCGD designs of previous years. Made from sustainable viscose fabrics using one-knit technology, the dresses are cut and sewn in downtown Los Angeles, with 25% of proceeds going to Cameron’s non-profit organisation, MUSE School CA. A winning combination of glitz, glam and green in ready-to-wear form – no red carpet required.

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A Thousand Fibres

Who said arts and crafts are only for school holidays! Southeast Queensland is home to a colourful community of handmakers and fibre artists who practice year round, and on February 27, many of them will be out in full force for the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists‘ annual celebration of local makers. Fibre Fest 2015 will showcase the very best of the State’s textile makers, exhibiting and selling all kinds of handmade goods – from felting to weaving to embroidery – at Brisbane’s Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens. If you’re after a hands-on experience, the State Library of Queensland‘s latest program of adult workshops, A Thousand Fibres, is now in full swing, with monthly meet-ups at SLQ’s dedicated indigenous space, kuril dhagun. Bookings are still open for the final sessions of the series, including brooch making with Sonja Carmichael (March 7), jewellery making with Delvene Cockatoo-Collins (April 11) and weaving with Chantal Cook (May 9). All workshops are led by artisans from Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities and make clever use of upcycled materials, provided by our waste-warrior friends at Reverse Garbage Queensland. Head to the SLQ website to book your workshop ticket or visit the Fibre Fest page for more information about next Friday’s free event. Weave on!

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Sweatshop Sweatshop

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a Cambodian garment worker looks like? Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion, an online miniseries produced by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten in November 2014, aims to reveal just that by sending three fashion-savvy Norwegians to the other side of the world for an experience they’ll never forget. Five short episodes track Anniken, Frida and Ludvig, along with their Cambodian counterpart, a young factory worker named Sokty, as they step into the shoes of a Phnom Penh garment worker in an attempt to alter their perspectives on fast fashion. {continue reading…}

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Forget the imported roses and hastily scribbled cards destined for the bin – we’ve chosen a few sweet, stylish and unusual gifts that have been designed and made with passion, so you can float someone’s boat this Valentine’s Day! Will you be ours?

1) River Glass Necklace (handmade in Sydney from vegetable tanned leather and recycled coke bottle glass beads), $49, from Eva Cassis, an Australian artisan jeweller and clothing designer creating beautiful products from recycled materials and natural fibres. See below for details of how to win! 

2) Happy Valentine’s Day Chocolate Gift Pack (including coconut & goji, sour cherry & vanilla, mint and rose flavours), $29.90, from Pana Chocolate, who make their raw, organic and vegan chocolate by hand in Melbourne.

3) Jar of Hearts Candle (fair trade, made in Thailand), $6.95, from Oxfam Shop – where you’ll also find a selection of fair trade homewares, jewellery, kitchenware, fashion, books and toys from around the globe.

4) Bamboo Underwear Gift Set (two pairs of boxer trunks made from 95% bamboo), $59, from Bamboo Village, an online store featuring a great range of sustainable bamboo clothing, homewares, gifts and more.

5) Whiskey Barrel Cuff Links (handmade in Dublin from reclaimed Irish oak barrels), $49, from Upcycle Studio, an online store that sells an inspiring range of stylish recycled, repurposed and sustainable apparel, homewares and gifts.

6) Wild Flower Lingerie Set (made ethically from 100% cotton), $124, from Madonna Bain, an Australian purveyor of pretty pants, beautiful bralettes and splendid sleepwear.

7) Love and Happiness pillowcases (screen printed in Melbourne using non-toxic inks), $35 each, from Feliz, who create bright, beautiful, ethically made homewares that’ll brighten up any living space.

8) Vanilla Summer fragrance by LaVanila (made without parabens, sulphates or synthetic dyes and fragrances), $79.95, from Beautiful Because, an Australian online store selling a range of natural bath, beauty and skincare goodies from brands including Inika, La Mav and Vanessa Megan. See below for details of how to win! 

To be in with a chance to WIN the gorgeous Eva Cassis River Glass Necklace or the sultry Vanilla Summer fragrance from Beautiful Because, leave a comment below telling us which of the two you’d like and what you’ll be doing to spread the love this weekend. {Entries close 5pm AEST Friday 13 February, 2015}. And feel free to tag your significant other in our Facebook post telling them which of the above you’d love to receive this Valentine’s Day… hint, hint!


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