Manners London wants to change the Narrative, and they’re here to celebrate all womxn this International Women’s Day.
It sees a collaboration of an extraordinary group of influencers, models, mothers, videographers, dancers, and lovers come together in a new poetic video that captures the true battle women fight daily and more often that not in silence.
Set up by Sally Mansfield who escaped domestic violence when she left her home in Bali to arrive in London with her 5 year old son, a few quid and a bag of pieces that she had created for herself, Manners London was born on a market stall in 2015.
Sally wanted to show the world that you can be a mother and a fighter and build a business from nothing and in turn surround yourself with women and the safety they provided for her and women to heal worldwide.
Since then Sally has been committed to not only growing a brand but an open authentic community for womxn. After being approached to appear on BBC’s Dragon’s Den seeking investment in 2019 , Manners LDN has quickly become a popular, fully inclusive fashion choice for all womxn.
The video will introduce and launch the brand’s new groundbreaking ‘Sisterhood’ print. A collaborative print with @Hixxy, Sallys cousin. This print named “Sisterhood’ represents freedom, with naked unapologetic womxn of all ages, abilities and ethnicities embracing their natural beauty and strength from their body hair to their power poses.
When asked Sally said ‘The background of this is so important, as it feels reflective of my rising out of the ashes, my recovery from domestic violence and male control and the need for community! Together we can rise out of the male gaze, drop our razors, our heels and our bras and live our truth! To bleed and laugh and love with abandon and to walk the streets united and without fear.’
If you love this video and the message and want to support womxn supporting womxn then share and tag @mannerslondon and hashtag #SisterhoodAF .
We grabbed Sally for an intimate chat about her experience and just what might have made a difference to her teenage self..
Looking back now on your life, what was the main thing you struggled with as a teen or adolescent?
My body and my mind. As a teenager I hated my body. Ironically I had a perfect hour glass shape body but at the time I didn’t know how to connect with it. I covered up my bum with a hoody round my waist and swam in huge tshirts to cover it up because I was so self conscious! I had no idea that the mind and body are one, are intrsically connected and that you can’t have comfort in one and not the other.
What would you say is different about growing up now, compared to when you were a teen?
SO much, it seems so bitter sweet. The power of social media is so huge and offers the opportunity to be very harmful or totally empowering depending on how we use it. The joy of being able to see all bodies is such a powerful thing, the flip side of course is that for every body we relate to there are a million airbrushed bodies that make us feel shit. Like all powerful things it must be used with caution! I feel that teens now are so much more aware of the greater picture. Of mental health, of the state of the world but I feel it must be sop overwhelming to know so much and have so much reach and connection so young.
What would you say are the key lessons you have personally learned in the last year or 5 years?
Where do I begin? I feel like I have only awoken from a long scary dream 5 years ago in so many ways. The main lesson I have learnt that love isn’t and should never be scary. I wish this hadn’t taken me most of my life to learn.
I’ve learnt that if a man or partner makes you question your worth or self, they are not the one. I’ve learnt that if you can’t say no, then you can’t say yes (sit with it, this changed my life) I’m learning the power of being present, which is so hard when your life and work is ruled by a phone. I’ve learnt that there is kindness everywhere when you allow yourself to see it.
I’ve learnt how much power and strength we have as women and that we have been conditioned to keep it hidden and that embracing our feminine power is some bad ass shit!
What lessons have you learned to help you conquer your fears?
I am not a person who is particularly ruled by fear. My philosophy has always been one of no regrets. I’d always rather lose everything in the process than wonder what if. Money comes and goes, friends come and go and the fear of losing is often the very thing that takes it from you. Fortune favours the brave right?
What advice would you most like to share with a teenager living in the world today?
Practice every day in seeing the beauty in yourself. That loving yourself is the ultimate act of defiance. That womxn are fucking warriors. That everything you want is within you. To keep rising and lift your sisters up with you every day because no one is free until we all are! Do you do any mantras or morning routines? In my darkest days I would always whisper to myself ‘keep rising’. That no matter what I must rise every day.
Routine has never been my thing but I try to take a moment every morning to meditate and write a few words and take a few breaths before letting the world in. I am also adopting the practice of noiticing. We miss so much. Have you ever really felt the shower on your body? That’s the real shit right there, all around us, just takes you to notice the magic….
I really get that what you have been through in your life has helped mould you into the awesome woman you are today, but what do you think might help women gain greater self confidence earlier on in life?
Limitless possibilities! Confident womxn are the ones we need to lift the rest of us up while we work it out. They are the womxn that open the doors to the rooms we thought we couldn’t exist in. They are the voices that speak for the oppressed and the voiceless. I am so inspired by the generation after mine by their confidence and their fight. I often imagine where I would be now if I had the wisdom they have. They are the ones who will truly fight the fight!
What do women need more of?
Community! Community, community. In order to open all the doors that have been historically closed to us we need to support one another more than ever and lift each other up collectively. Authenticity, unapologetically taking up space, we so need more of this! Ooh and dancing in front of the mirror in your favourite underwear worshipping yourself and your amazing powerful body! That right there is what we need more of. Lashings of self adoration! (and cake)
What do women need less of?
The Patriarchy! Limiting narratives. Shrinking to fit spaces.
What keeps you motivated when life gets hard and throws you a curveball?
My story and my son. Knowing that I have risen from the ashes and there is nothing I can’t overcome. Some days are so hard and life feels so heavy but I look at who I was and who I am now and remind myself I am a bad ass and there is nothing I cant overcome. I raised my son alone after being broken down by domestic violence and am safe and strong and loved and have the most incredible son and a growing business and a life I couldn’t have even dreamt of 5 years ago. When life throws me a curve ball, I write that shit down and look in the mirror and remind myself who I am!
What women inspire you most?
Single mothers. Every single one of them. There are a few famous women that inspire me, but single mammas are my constant inspiration.
Womxn who make a difference AND raise children?!? Thats my shit right there!