Our Alternative 2015 Resolutions

The start of a new year signals the turning over of a new leaf for most, and new year's resolutions are always top of everyone's list when January comes around. Here at Emma J Shipley we've grown tired of the same clichéd resolutions - loose weight, drink less, be a better person - so we've decided to give our twist on five well-worn new year's goals to make them just a little bit more interesting and (most importantly) achievable. Avoid February disappointment and join us in our quest to start 2015 differently...


We can think of a million things more fun than juice diets and staying off the booze, and fashion has to be one of them. Forget detoxing your body and try detoxing your wardrobe instead. It's easy - steer clear of the tail end of the January sales and invest the money you saved into new season staples you know you'll wear forever. A spring wardrobe clean is essential - it's the season for being ruthless and there's no room in your new (and slimmer) wardrobe for pieces you're just never going to wear. Our tip is to save for things that will be cherished and that you love, instead of relying on fast fashion for an instant wardrobe hit.

Pick flats over heels and rucksacks rather than tote bags for easy wearing pieces in 2015. We love footwear brand Purified's take on modern classics - think contemporary shapes with artisanal techniques - and they are ideal wet weather shoes for seeing through the rainy months. A rucksack favourite of ours has to be The Row, and this roomy black leather offering is the perfect example in paired back dressing - just the ticket for your new detoxed wardrobe...

Purified Footwear
The Row leather rucksack


Far from pounding the streets in your running gear for 2015, we believe much more in exercising your mind as opposed to your body this year. Soak up the very best culture on offer, engage in interesting talks and workshops and read as much and as often as you can. Our lives and minds are taken over by technology and 2015 is the year of taking it back to basics and developing new interests.

This January we recommend as visit to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood exhibition which closes on 18th January. The showcase contains a vast selection of vintage knitwear from the 20th century and inspirational pieces from Comme des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood and Julien MacDonald and is a great sartorial history of knitted fashion across the decades.

Fashion and Textile Museum Chanel to Westwood Knitwear

Get your thinking cap on by grabbing a ticket to Grayson Perry's discussion 'Who Are You?' at the National Portrait Gallery on 22nd January. Here the artist will be giving a talk on the theme of identity and will be joined by writer Julian Baggini and social anthropologist Kate Fox. If you're looking to exercise your mind this January then we reckon this might to ideal opportunity...

Grayson Perry National Portrait Gallery Talk Who Are You

And finally, Daniel Kahneman's book 'Thinking Fast and Slow' will do more than exercise your mind (though it will do that too) - in fact it examines the way in which our mind works and how we make decisions. And if the new year isn't the right time to do that then when is?


In 2014, the Emma J Shipley team travelled far and wide in search of inspiration - our journey took us to Japan, Venice and The Scottish Highlands to name but a few. Although inspiration can be found anywhere (our most recent collection references Grimm Tales and Aesop's Fables) the opportunity to travel further is one that we have embraced and continue to do so. In Venice, Emma was inspired by the traditional weaving mill she discovered, complete with looms and original patterns dating back to the 16th century. And despite the rainy weather, Scotland played host to hundreds of species of animals that no doubt will show their faces in upcoming collections...

Emma J Shipley Scottish Highlands Travel

The chance to travel and plan big adventures is one that almost everyone has on their bucket lists and resolutions, however let 2015 be the year where inspiration is found in the far reaches of the world. The EJS team are already dreaming of a tropical escape to Madagascar to perhaps inspire a future collection. Watch this space...

Emma J Shipley Madagascar Travel


In our fast-paced lives it's only natural that individuals feel the need to take a break and feel more in touch with our surroundings. However the opportunity to enjoy vast open spaces and the best that nature has to offer isn't always easy when you live in a city.

Or so you thought. Rather than getting in touch with nature this year, why not embrace the city's finest wildlife spots, parks and nature reserves rather than venturing far and wide to enjoy the outdoors. In London, we recommend Victoria Park in East London for long walks and boat trips (especially in springtime). Head to Highgate Wood in North London to try and spot the ubiquitous grey squirrel or cross the river south to Brockwell Park and brave it's famous outdoor lido for a winter wake up...

Highgate Wood North London


Tidy workplace, tidy mind. This will be the thinking for plenty of new years resolution-ers this January. Instead of focusing on completely clearing your desk or workplace (it will only be full again by February...) we suggest switching things around a little. If, like us, you're lucky enough to have your own workplace or studio, do what we did on our first day back and have a complete reshuffle. You just might find that facing the window as opposed to the wall might entirely alter your work productivity, and if you've been meaning to get that extra filing cabinet, then get it!

Otherwise a simple desk reorganise, potted plants and new stationary (this always helps) are sure fire winners. We adore Leuchtturm's brightly coloured notebooks and Japanese stationary brand favourite Delfonics equips their folders and files with inspirational quotes to keep you motivated. Happy working!