Author Archives: ambermeghani

How the fashion industry has assisted during the pandemic

The outbreak of the coronavirus is still lingering in the air. With the NHS on the frontline across the UK, there has been a drop in stock for medical garments.

We had begun this crisis in an ‘act-fast’ movement, whereby panic shopping was at its peak. The government have put in place various restrictions on buying goods that have now flat-lined. However, the shortage of supplies for precautious gear has seen to come as a demand, especially now that we are advised to use PPE (personal protective equipment); such as masks.

As the pandemic has caused most stores to close, this has affected the distribution for supplies. Although there are many online distributors still operating; receiving stock will be delayed or even cancelled due to less transfers depending on the departure location. This has taken a toll on the NHS, whereby there is a lack of scrubs and protective gear to ensure that they are equipped sufficiently.

It goes without notice that the fashion industry has adapted to this health crisis. Throughout this period, there have been fabric suppliers donating materials to make scrubs and masks for the NHS, along with the help of fashion students.

Interview with a Fabric Retailer – The Director of Classic Textiles UK Ltd, Aniza Meghani

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

How have you been able to adapt to this recent pandemic?

Have you had customers approach you for help?

The Director of Classic Textiles explains that the Queens dressmaker, Stuart Parvin has been in contact with her for fabrics, to ensure scrubs and masks are made for the NHS.

Do you believe the lockdown has effected your business?

She explains that the store is open only for an hour for booked-in clientele, who wish to help the NHS during this pandemic.

After the lockdown is lifted are you going to take any further precautions when opening?

The help of online presence through retail

The fashion market have been able to make a statement even in lockdown. While their online presence still stands, they are pushing their creativity to build a foundation for the NHS and for charities across the UK; to give back to the community.

  • Pretty Little Thing: The PLT crew have designed T-shirts to support the NHS with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the heroes.
  • Trapstar London: The well-known brand are using their creativity to help out during this health crisis, by designing garments for their ‘Charity Collection’. All proceedings will be donated to support London based charities and key workers.
  • Boohoo: The online retailer have developed attire with the symbolic rainbow print to spread love and faith during the pandemic. All profits will go to the NHS Trusts.
  • Asos: Known for their ‘Asos Supports’ community, the British retailer have designed unisex charity T-shirts and hoodies in support for frontline heroes. 100% of sales from this collection will be donated to charities that are supporting local NHS trusts.

What about Europe?

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  • Intidex: The textiles manufacturer commonly associated with Zara has produced medical garments for Spain.
  • Prada: In Milan, the co-CEOs and chairman of Prada have assisted three hospitals by donating intensive care and resuscitation units.
  • H&M: The Swedish retailer known for its fast-fashion market, have helped the EU through sharing purchasing operations and logistics to provide supplies via donation. As some retailers have cancelled orders for manufactured products, H&M is the first retailer to agree to pay its suppliers for cancellation according to just-style.

Featured Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

How Covid-19 affects mental health during lockdown

Having been in lockdown for just over a month in the UK has had an effect on our health.

Being quarantined at home gives many positive traits such as time to relax and focus on ourselves. However, all this free time can start to affect one’s mental well-being no matter the age.

For some individuals, quarantine is an opportunity to bring families closer, however, for some living alone can be a challenge. Having that form of interaction and knowing that there is someone physically there, gives a sense of relief.

For those isolating alone the only form of communication is through social media or a stroll to your local grocery store.

What about the elderly?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government have regulated that people over the age of 65 are at high risk of illness from the Coronavirus and are advised to seek isolation through this lockdown.

As the elderly are at most vulnerable due to this outbreak, staying indoors means no contact with family, friends and neighbours. This can gradually develop mental health issues such as depression and anxiousness.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

Interviewing Winifred Curtis, aged 89 on living alone in lockdown.

How does it feel to isolate alone?

How can isolation differ for someone who is used to living alone?

Curtis explains, that being elderly and living alone during lockdown can be tough at times, as there is no one to communicate with. Although people are just a call away, she misses psychical interaction. This pandemic has had an increasing effect on her day to day life. As she is used to living alone, she feels restricted. She exclaims that the only form of communication is through her TV.

Stay Connected

Communication is a key in surviving the lockdown. Staying connected with your loved ones will make a drastic change to their day, especially for people isolating alone. For the majority, a little phone call goes a long way. If you feel low, stressed or anxious reach out to a friend, in times like this support is needed.

Helplines

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If you are in a need to speak to someone who is not aware of your mental well-being the use of helplines and listening services are a good way to communicate your feelings.

Samaritans – Support for distress and despair.

Call 116 123 or email jo@samartains.org


https://www.samaritans.org/

The Mix – Support for under 25s.

Call 0808 808 4994


https://www.themix.org.uk/

Anxiety UK – Support for individuals that are diagnosed with anxiety.

Call 03444 775 774

www.anxietyuk.org.uk

SANE – Emotional support, guidance and information for people affected by mental illness.

Call 0300 304 7000

www.sane.org.uk/support

Our mental health is important.

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Safety precaution or fashion accessory?

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The recent Coronavirus outbreak has had its time in the public eye, while individuals try to remain precautious and positive. The real demand has sprung from the high request of products such as face masks, hand gel and even toilet paper.

The awareness has been spread over the media as to what necessities are needed to stay fit in this health crisis, but one outcome that has taken a toll concerning the fashion industry is the popularity of face masks.

It can be certain that fashion industry strives upon social trends. At present, the majority of individuals globally are wearing masks; triggering the fashion industry to take part, whether it be for health reasons or to push a fashion trend.

Fashion accessory

Due to the virus, face masks have been sold out in the majority of places. But why not pay a little extra to get a luxury face mask? The mask with many meanings was once developed for streetwear fashion, some of which are still being produced today; from companies such as Bape and Off-White. Hypebeast brands such as the duo, live off online resellers such as StockX and are seen to double or even triple the cost of this accessory.

This product is seen to be the most on-trend piece at the moment and have been worn by A-listers over the past couple weeks. At the Grammy Awards, artist Billie Eilish was dressed head to toe in Gucci with a personalised face mask. Although promoting safety measures, there is a difference between a ‘surgical’ and ‘fashion’ face mask.

At present, people are buying or even making homemade masks as there is a lack of precautious masks out there to cater to such a diverse audience. This can be misled by what can be interpreted as a precautious mask and a fashion accessory. 

This pandemic has caused the United Kingdom to act and think fast, leaving the majority of the community without essentials to protect themselves from this crisis.

What are the different forms of masks? – Interview with a General Practitioner

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An insight to the different types of face masks from Dr. Sikander Ladha a General Practitioner from Cheshire.

Surgical masks

These masks are used to protect others from oneself and does not prevent one from catching any germs.

FFP3 masks

Used in hospital settings, it has a filter mainly used in intensive care to protect yourself from any form of contamination.

Homemade/DIY masks

Ineffective, will allow droplets to seep through the fabric. The mask will not prevent germs being caught if an individual coughs or sneezes near you. One can also breath out germs through the fabric used from the homemade masks.

Fashion masks

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A form of accessory used in streetwear. This can be used multiple times and rewashed. If not washed regularly, it can cause a spread of germs. Although It may look appealing to the eye, the most important aspect at present is safety.

The fashion sector will likely combine surgical and fashion masks in due time. Although being in a global pandemic, the fashion sector has not failed to deliver the means of safety precautions on-trend. Additionally, it can be understood that face masks are a fashion accessory.

Cannabis across borders

The use of cannabis has always been a great concern across the globe. There has been a vast majority of countries against the recreational use of cannabis. However, some have legalised it with restrictions to monitor its use; others have legalised it for medicinal purposes.

United Kingdom

  • Medical Purposes: Legal
  • Recreational: Illegal

Although cannabis can be viewed as an issue to some, others view it as an advantage of its medical purpose. According to the NHS, the use of cannabis (also known as marijuana) can be used for medical issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, fibromyalgia and many more. Only General Practitioners who are on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council are granted access to prescribe this product. For more information concerning medicinal cannabis visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/cannabis-the-facts/

The legalisation of medical marijuana was set in 2018 by the UK government.

In the United Kingdom, cannabis is classified as a Class B drug, whereby if in possession of the substance the individual can be sentenced up to five years in prison. If caught dealing, the individual can receive a sentence up to 15 years or an initial fine. It can be viewed that the majority of possession of drugs found on an individual is from ‘stop and searches’ by the police. The police have the right to stop any individual under reasonable suspicion that they might take part in illegal activities.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in the UK. The product should not hold any controlled compounds. There should be no trace of THC and CBN levels in any product wishing to be legalised by the UK. It is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. For more information visit https://www.theextract.co.uk/is-cbd-legal-uk/.

Cannabis is the most commonly seized Class B drug, with 94% of all Class B seizures involving this substance in 2018/19.

Seizures of drugs England and Wales Financial Year Ending 2019 second edition – Home Office

According to the NHS, 10% of regular users of cannabis become more dependant on it. The more dependant an individual is on any form of the drug, the more chances are they could end up homeless due to these circumstances, this could also affect one’s mental health. Initially, the risk of using is higher when you start at a young age.

Canada legalised weed in 2018 – should Britain do it? | Newsbeat Documentaries

At present, there are many European countries looking to alter their laws on the use of marijuana.

Netherlands

Photographer: Paul Stafford for www.travelmag.com
  • Medical Purposes: Legal
  • Recreational: Decriminalised

Although being a popular hotspot for the use of cannabis, it is illegal. The use of recreational cannabis is tolerated in the Netherlands, only if bought in licensed shops; they can be found in most coffee shops. To purchase marijuana in the Netherlands, you must be 18 or over to do so. Additionally, an individual is only granted access up to five grams of the substance. The government have recognised that it is impossible to stop individuals from buying and using. Therefore with restrictions, the authorities can centre the attention on larger criminal activities such as someone who supplies and profits from marijuana. Ultimately, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the Netherlands.

France

  • Medical Purposes: Illegal
  • Recreational: Illegal

The laws in France are viewed as conservative when concerning cannabis. The French law distinguishes that if an individual supplies or is in the possession of cannabis they can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison with additional fines. France can be viewed as one of the stricter countries when it comes to marijuana. With the majority of their neighbour countries legalising medicinal marijuana, France however, is still against the use of both medical and recreational use.

For more information about France’s cannabis laws https://straininsider.com/legal-situation-cannabis-france/

Canada

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The first country to legalise cannabis completely was Uruguay, followed by Canada in 2018. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minster believed that legalising cannabis trade would help regulate its use and shift coinage out of the criminal domain.

United States

The use of cannabis is legal in 11 states. To purchase, an individual has to be over the age of 21. However, the use of marijuana can be used medically in 33 states.

California: Medicinal use in California became legal in 1996. However, the recreational use became legalised in January, 2018.

New York: In ‘The Big Apple’, the possession of marijuana was decriminalised for recreational purposes if the individual held up to two ounces as of 2019. At present, if in possession of the substance a fine could be given between $50-$200 according to The Cannigma. The use of medical marijuana was approved in 2014.

For more information concerning the legalisation of Cannabis across the states visit https://cannigma.com/us-regulation/cannabis-in-the-united-states/

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Although some countries are open to the use of marijuana. It can be seen that the substance can open new gateways for the governments across the globe to control and even minimise criminal activities if monitored.

COVID-19 effect on university students

The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has led universities across the UK to close. Face to face teaching will no longer be available as of this pandemic.

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To resolve educational issues, the development of online classes have been made available. Students are asked to follow online classes as if they were in person.

There has been concerns raised due to this recent change, as students from across the globe who attend university in the UK on a sponsored Tier 4 Visa, are either on the verge of finding new housing due to campus evacuation or moving back to their homeland as of the virus. This will be difficult for students abroad due to the time difference.

There are approximately 485,645 international students studying in the UK as of mid-2019.

Higher Education Statistics Agency

It can be certain that the shift from face to face teaching and online has brought attention to not only international students, but also to students who do not have the facilities at home to take part in online lectures.

Students that rely on university facilities such as the computers and the library will find it hard to adapt to the present situation without these resources. It could affect their chances of getting a good grade.

As the end of the semester is approaching and coursework is at its peak, third-year students are on the path to graduate. At present, there is uncertainty of whether or not graduation will take place.

It can be seen that students have taken their thoughts to social media based on the recent pandemic.

Student Tweet on Coronavirus
Virtual Graduation Meme

It is unknown when the pandemic will end. The public are advised to remain inside and in due time the virus will clear.

Amber Meghani