Kenco Millicano have spoken to over a thousand women across the UK to find out what they’re loving right now and what the hottest trends are. One of the defining trends of 2011 was the ‘retro recession’ with people trying to be much more cost conscious
They have recruited four taste-setters to help with the project – real women from across the country to tell us about what’s on trend in their area at the moment and comment on the report. One of the taste-setters, Barbara, has given us a recipe for her Frugal Fruit Cake and if you scroll down to the bottom of the blogpost, you'll can try it out for yourselves.
The defining trends of 2011 : A look at the stories that are shaping the year
The slow wardrobe
Is this the end of the road for the ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ phenomenon? It appears so. As landfills are piling up, our flirtation with disposable fashion is waning. Instead we’re looking for longer-lasting quality pieces.
Anne, our taste-setter from Manchester, tells us about the most treasured item in her wardrobe; a timeless leather Gerard Darel handbag.“That and my daughter’s hugs make me happy”.
Taste-setter Barbara adds“my Auntie’s long beads from the 60s/70s hippie era are completely fabulous and turn a simple outfit into a fashion statement.”
Not only do we want product that’s ethical and sustainable, we want product that’ssensibly priced and better. We’re making a difference by choosing environmentally sound alternatives, like H&M’s Conscious Collection. Ann-Sofie Johansson, Head of Design, says“it’s not just about organic cotton anymore, the possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco smarter materials are huge right now.”
When Emma Watson teamed up with Alberta Ferretti for the Pure Threads capsule fashion collection it sent a signal to the world that 2011 is the year of fair trade fashion.
Our taste-setter Jo tells us“I always look into what chemicals there are in cosmetics and I’m getting more and more into eco skincare by the day”.
75% buy products that are ethically produced or sourced, some or all of the time.
The Good Life phenomenon
In our pursuit of simple pleasures, the great outdoors is king. Many women we spoke to revealed their garden as a key source of pleasure. Urban rooftop and community gardening are two burgeoning trends. Equally, the demand for allotments continues to rise.
Garden designer Jilly Welch tells us“I predict the end of the purely pretty mixed herbaceous border. Much more fun to show guests a raised-from-seed frilly lettuce or a flowering courgette nestling between the delphiniums. They look fab and the taste even better.”
Taste-setter Zoe says“my garden is only small but I love going to the garden centre, then sitting back and enjoying the finished product”.
47% currently grow their own herbs and vegetables and 90% would like to eat home-grown veg in 2012.
A wobbly economy, uncertain pensions and wage freezes have prompted a return to thrift and the values of yesteryear. A recurring theme among the women we spoke to was the importance of new and meaningful experiences over the zeros on a price tag.
Clinical Psychologist Dr Mark Grixti says“the ever increasing expectation that wealth and possessions lead to health and happiness is seriously flawed. Time and time again in therapy it is apparent that the most essential and meaningful things are those born out of love and compassion.”
Our London taste-setter Josephine tells us:“right now I'm loving a gorgeous bracelet my sister Elly made me for my birthday using a simple silver chain and blue ribbon, it's so chic-on-a-shoestring!”
Barbara adds : “My mother’s Frugal Fruit Cake recipe (see below) is the most delicious fruit cake and doesn’t stretch the budget too much!”
92% of you are now more cost-conscious when choosing to eat out.
2011 is the year that the group buying phenomenon transformed the retail landscape. With the advent of flash coupons, member sales and daily deals popping up in our inboxes, we’ve become a nation of committed bargain hunters.
Sue, our taste-setter from Dorset, loves her girls’ nights at the cinema with discount vouchers.“We eat a delicious meal and see a recent release film, all at two for the price of one.”
Now, as promised, here's that recipe for Frugal Fruit Cake :
150 ml (¼ pt water)
100 g (4 oz) sultanas
125 g (5 oz) caster sugar
113 g (¼ lb) butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150 g (6 oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
First grease and line a 1 lb loaf tin, then grease the paper.
Take a large, thick based saucepan and put in the water, sugar, sultanas, butter and bicarbonate of soda. Place pan on a medium heat, stir ingredients together and bring to the boil, then boil for 10 minutes exactly, but don’t go away – if the temperature isn’t controlled it may boil over.
When the 10 minutes is up remove pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool. Then add the beaten egg, and the flour and baking powder, sifted together. Mix well then place in prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for approx 1½ hours.
This dark and sticky cake is a family favourite and gets even better if kept for a few days.
Other blogposts you may be interested in :