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International Day of Sign Languages

A white poster with 3 pictures showing the letters B, S and L written in British Sign Language. Above the pictures there is text that reads: Internation Day of Sign Languages. Our Stories. Underneath the pictures is Mauda's website link:

What a busy week! We finished our latest collection, managed to get product photography sorted and we’re currently working on the final details before uploading everything to Our Collection. So, watch this space. We’ll be taking a small break from next week to recharge as well as work on a few other things to expand our range. Exciting times and very timely as well. After the fabulous Mat Gala designs, it was time for London Fashion Week (LFW) to treat us with another feast of creativity. In case you missed it, this year LFW had an entire wheelchair collection brought to us by Faduma’s Fellowship. It’s great to see inclusion materialising across the industry. And on the topic of inclusion, tomorrow is International Day of Sign Languages!

Earlier this year, along with my first steps into braille, I started learning sign language. Obviously online due to lockdown and eventually work took over, so I really only learned the basic of the basics. However, I’m keen to learn and now have a weekly schedule to resume the sign language classes. And to spark your interest as well, this week’s blog is about the International Day of Sign Languages.

What is Sign Language?

Although structurally distinct from spoken languages, sign languages are natural languages and these differ from country to country. However, there is an international sign language, used by deaf people in an international context, for instance for work meetings or simply when touring different locations. This is less complex version of sign language to facilitate communication.

Why an International Day of Sign Languages?

The World Federation of the Deaf estimates there are over 70 million deaf people worldwide and more than 300 different sign languages. The International Day of Sign Languages was established in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The 23rd September celebrates the date when the World Federation of the Deaf was established in 1951.  Thought going through my mind now: Why aren’t sign languages part of the language offering in school curriculums?

The Theme

The International Day of Sign Languages theme for 2021 is “We Sign For Human Rights,” to remind us how both deaf and hearing people can work together to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.

Where to learn Sign Language

There is plenty of online content to learn British Sign Language (BSL). The book British Sign Language for Dummies is ideal for starters. I started some basics with videos on YouTube by Commanding Hands – very easy to follow for anyone just starting! Adaptista is running Sign Language Fridays on LinkedIn where they share the American and British Sign Language for a different word each week. Check them out, the videos are great! If you’re looking for a course, then the now has a plan where you pay what you can. The University of Edinburgh currently has a BSL online course starting from the 4th / 5th October – worth checking (I’ve already signed up by the way)!

I don’t know about you, but I do think that just like foreign languages are part of the curriculum, so should the national sign language be. It’s relevant that we know how to communicate in our own language in whatever form that takes. Otherwise, how can we say we are truly inclusive? Are you convinced yet? If not, I’ll be writing about my experience anyway, so hopefully I’ll spark an interest soon. Enjoy your week!

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How to support independent designers

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After the weirdest of times we’ve been through, nothing screams “we’re ready to move on” more than the Met Gala this week. Political & social messages, men’s flamboyant fashion (Louis XIII step aside), and an array of the most extravagant interpretations of what it’s like “In America”. We’ve survived a pandemic. It’s time to resume life and live it to the fullest! Starting today! And since the Met Gala is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute annual fundraising, what better opportunity to write about how to support independent designers? Keep reading if you want to find out more.

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How to feel confident in your own clothes?

A poster with a white background. Above the text "How to feel confident in your own clothes". In the middle there are three images overlaying each other: one is a blue skirt, another is a blue dress lying flat on a white table and the last one is a partial shot of a beige and blue floral top. To the right a blue box contains the text: "Our Stories.".

When you feel good about yourself, you project the best version of you to the world. Fashion is a means to express our individuality and it certainly influences how confident we feel about ourselves. Don’t think so? Remember Princess Diana’s “Revenge Dress”? There’s a reason it was a dress and not random jogging bottoms. So, given we’re still in a journey out of the recent draconian period in history we lived in, this week’s blog is all about how to feel confident in your own clothes. If fashion can help boost our confidence, then we may as well make the most of it!

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My top 5 accessories to transform an outfit

My Top 5 Accessories To Transform An Outfit

No wardrobe will be complete without accessories. They can add “life” to a monochromatic and otherwise plain outfit or even help enhance the wearer’s beauty. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of accessories, which is why in this week’s blog I’ll share my top 5 accessories to transform an outfit.

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Back to work wardrobe

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Holiday season is ending, children are back to school and several companies are welcoming their co-workers into the office from September. After such a long time interacting with colleagues and management via Zoom calls in the comfort of your jogging bottoms, this may be a good time to start planning your back to work wardrobe.

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7 tips to help you decide before you buy clothing

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Have you ever bought something that looked great on the mannequin, seemed to look fine on you in the shop, was your size, but you put it on at home and it doesn’t feel right? I’m sure this isn’t an unfamiliar scenario. Online shopping is great for availability and reach, but if we can end with an unflattering item of clothing bought in person, things can get a bit more complicated with items we haven’t ever seen before. So, in this week’s blog post we share 7 tips to help you decide before you buy.

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10 items to pack for a weekend away

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The holiday season is here and we can finally make travel plans. However, with countries moving from green, to amber or red all the time you may be considering shorter breaks. If you’re thinking of a weekend away somewhere (maybe in Edinburgh while the festival is on) keep reading. In this week’s blog post we share the 10 items to pack for a weekend away. Continue reading 10 items to pack for a weekend away

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Get Festival Ready

Did you know the Edinburgh International Festival as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are back this Summer? That’s right! Obviously with some Covid safety measures, but it’s definitely happening this year. Which means, between Aug 7th and 29th there will be plenty to see and do in Edinburgh. So, check what’s on and get festival ready with our tips. Continue reading Get Festival Ready

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Half Year Review

Another week of incredible sun and warmth! It’s lasting more than usual, so let’s enjoy it while it’s here. If you read last week’s blog you already know that this week Mauda turns 6 months. In fact – the anniversary is today, hence why the blog is a bit earlier. I can’t believe how quickly time went by and how much has happened, even though most times I feel like I haven’t done everything I needed to do. A half year review is therefore a good exercise to reflect back on what happened. Given you’ve been supporting us for this long (thank you!) we want to share our half-year review with you. Here goes. Continue reading Half Year Review

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What to do with clothes you no longer wear

What a difference good weather makes! Everyone’s out enjoying the sunshine and we’re starting to see more people planning holidays abroad. And if you’re looking for some guidance or tips on accessible travel check out Elvy’s Blog. I know it’s wishful thinking given that countries are moving across the green, amber and red lists at the speed of light. But hey… we need to make the most of what we have while we have it. Next week is due to bring back the bad weather, so if you’re around and intending to be indoors when the thunder hits, why not consider what to do with clothes you no longer wear? In this week’s blog we share a few suggestions to get you started. Continue reading What to do with clothes you no longer wear