SkunkFunk Again!

skunkfunk dress

Dress – SkunkFunk
Scarf – SkunkFunk
Leggings – People Tree
Trainers – Veja

SkunkFunk dresses seem to be becoming pretty much a wardrobe staple lately. I can’t lie,I love the brand, the style of clothes just seem to work for me. This navy dress was one of my latest purchases. The style works for so may situations including work, casual or nights out.Despite it being summer, I layered up the dress with leggings as it was a bit cold to go bare legged. The scarf is also from SkunkFunk and the floral trainers from veja, both were treats bought with my birthday money back on April.

For those that used to follow this blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much lately, so here come the excuses…

Work- manic
Children’s social lives – crazy
8 excercise classes a week – exhausting but fun
Charity/ voluntary commitments – full on
Time for blogging – nil

As ever life is a juggling act, that is the way I like it to be! But I am hoping that over the coming months, I will be able to find time to post a bit more often and spend a little bit of time finding out more about the latest ethical and sustainable fashion.

I have a bit of holiday booked this week and I will be dedicating my time to a bit of a clear out of the vast amount of clothing and shoes that I have been hoarding. It must be nearly 5 years since I stopped running my own business from home and much of the clothing I used to wear doesn’t really work for me any more as I spend most of my time in office clothes and gym kit. I will be holding onto my really favourite pieces of vintage but I thought it would be good to redonate any items to charity that just aren’t getting worn.

Do you hoard clothes or gte rid of anything you don’t wear immediately? I like to try and strike a balance between making good use and getting the most wear out of the clothes I buy, be they new from ethical and sustainable brands or second hand. But I think there comes a time when life needs simplifying a little and clothes that are not been worn to be released so that someone else can wear and enjoy them.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend!

With Warmest wishes


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Fashion Revolution Week #Whomademyclothes

fashion revolution day
Necklace – People Tree
Dress- SkunkFunk
Leggings – Thought clothing
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Furla

Today marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution Week. 4 years ago, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1138 people and injuring 2500, it became the worlds fourth biggest industrial disaster ever. But Rana Plaza was a big wake up call, any deaths in the name of fashion is devastating but this number of deaths is completely unacceptable. Since that awful day, Fashion Revolution has become a yearly event when a movement of people wanting change come together to raise awareness of the issues associated with the supply chain and to encouraging people to break their habit for buying fast fashion and to seek out more information about the clothes that they are buying. The #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign is a key part of fashion revolution week. It is a simple question that makes us think about the farmers, factory workers and artisans that are involved in making our clothes but more importantly to ask this question to brands, demanding more transparency and accountability.

I actively try to ensure that I buy all of my clothes from ethical and sustainable brands, so today I am going to ask and answer the question, #whomademyclothes?

SkunkFunk
Skunkfunk is one of my favourite ethical and sustainable brands. I think they have struck the perfect balance of fresh and timeless styles combined with great ethics and sustainable fabrics. Their clothes are made in factories in Portugal, China and India. Their website provides some great information about their makers, you can meet them here.

People Tree
When it comes to ethical fashion, People Tree are probably one of the best known brands. Their beautiful clothing makes the most of handbeading and traditional techniques to create beautiful clothing and accessories. People Tree clothing is labelled so you know where it has been made and who it has been made by. Their website also has a dedicated ‘meet the makers‘ page with lots of information about the fairtrade farmers, artisans and producers.

Veja
Veja is a transparent shoe brand that creates some amazing trainers. The trainers are made in Brazil in factories where workers are paid well above the legal minimum wage and where workers rights are well respected. You can find out more about their producers, factories and workers here.

Thought Clothing
Thought Clothing work in partnership with producers to share growth,share the same vision and create more jobs, protect wages, and develop skills as well as businesses. You can read more about their supply chain here.

Are you getting involved in Fashion Revolution Week?

With Warmest wishes


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Bibico Dress

Bibibo dress

Dress – Bibico
Necklace – Nomads
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens

Today marked a big milestone in 2017. First day of the year without tights! This was brought on by the arrival of this beautiful dress, a gift from Bibico, one of my favourite sustainable and ethical brands, not to mention the beautiful sunshine we have been having.

Bibico is very local to me and is based in Bath. It is a slow fashion brand with an emphasis on timeless styles, ethically made from sustainable fabrics. This dress is part of the latest collection which features some simple flattering dresses and tops in organic cotton, denim and linen with fresh stripes, checks and this lovely botanical print complemented by light weight cotton and wool knitwear for those cooler days. What I love about this collection is that it is modern but also the sort of clothing to love and keep in your wardrobe for many years to come. These pieces won’t ever go out of fashion!

Here are a few other pieces from the collection that I love

Denim dress

Bibico Khaki Linen Dress

Bibico Easy Jumper

Bibico Angie Pleated Tunic

You can check out the full collection from Bibico here.

I hope that you have had a lovely weekend. How have you been making the most of the lovely weather?


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Wool and the Gang

I was recently contacted by Wool and the Gang to see if I would like to try out one of their kits. I have to admit, I have never actually knitted before, well not since I was about 7 and that was probably with a fair amount of help from my Grandma, who was an expert knitter.

But I was interested by the sustainable approach of this brand, that advocates fashion that is #MadeUnique by a community of knitters around the world, the complete opposite to the usual mass produced fashion that is sold all over the high street. Wool and the Gang is very much about slow fashion. A hand knitted piece of clothing can’t be rushed but needs to be crafted with care. Wool and the Gang hopes to bring back knitting as a means of production for generations to come. Their real wool is an eco friendly material as it is natural and biodegradable and they also work with fashion factories to repurpose their waste into yarn and reduce landfill.

When I look at their collection of stylish but timeless patterns and chunky yarns, I can completely accept that knitting is not just for Grannies. It is for anyone. Wool and the Gang refer to their knitters as Gangstas and recognise the benefits of knitting as going beyond just fashion. They declare that knitting is the new yoga redeucing stress and anxiety, increasing creativity and memory. Knitting can even be really sociable with a ‘gang culture’ of knitting parties around the world and a online movement sharing their knits on social media. For those that just haven’t got the time or incination to knit their own clothes, there is also the opportunity for them to support other Gangstas by buying their handmade pieces.

A little pressie from @woolandthegang ! Should keep me busy for a bit #slowfashion #madeunique

A post shared by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

Anyway, after much deliberation and browsing of the website, I decided to choose the Calvin top, a crochet top to make using 100% upcycled Billie Jean yarn. I have never crocheted before but the website informed me that this project was an ‘easy’ level. I am also reassured to see that the website has a number of video tutorials to help me get the hang of it.

I can’t wait to get started and look forward to sharing my finished top. Have you ever knitted or crocheted anything? or would you like to give it a go?

Getting started #woolandthegang

A post shared by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

You can check out the Wool and the Gang Website here

With warmest wishes


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Stylish Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Pollution

Backpack by Timberland Thread

As I mentioned in my last post, I have recently read a few articles that have really concerned me about the levels of plastic usage and pollution and its impact on both the environment and humans. Plastic packaging in particular has an incredibly short useful life most often being used just once, sometimes in the case of plastic bags for just a few minutes before being discarded but it persists in the environment for much longer and is having a catastrophic effect on the environment, particularly marine habitats.

If you would like to find out more, you can watch Plastic Oceans, the film here. It is a documentary which puts the scale of the problem into context, showing how in the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre, researchers found more plastic than plankton!

So I thought I would put together a list of ways that I can help to reduce plastic pollution and thought it was worth sharing for anyone else that shares my concerns and wants to do something about it.

Resuable shopping bags – never go out without them!

I have a reusable shopping bag but the biggest challenge is to ensure that I  always have it with me when I need it! This is one the simplest changes that you can make that will make a huge difference. Just get yourself a reusable bag that folds up small and take it with you in your handbag wherever you go. A backpack also makes a much more comfortable alternative to a plastic bag.

Don’t use drinking straws

Drinking straws aren’t essential, they aren’t even important, so just avoid using them. I the US they use 5 million straws a day. I don’t have the figure for the UK but whatever it is, reducing it will help reduce plastic pollution, another quick and pretty easy win for the environment.

Reusable boxes and bottles for packed lunches and drinks

Making your own lunch and taking your own drinks to work might seem like hard work but it will save you loads of money and allow you to make healthier choices. It will also cut down on the amount of plastic waste that you create. Ethical Superstore have a good range of containers for transporting your lunch in style.

The bathroom cupboard

Tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, face washes and tooth pastes may help to exfoliate and leave you sparkling clean but they are also a big problem for the environment. Look out for ingredients like “polypropylene” or “polyethylene”! Switching from disposable razors to reusable razors will also cut down your plastic usage. If you want to buy beauty products from a brand that actively minimises its packaging, check out Lush, with the added benefit that their products smell amazing!

Plastic fashion

Manmade fabrics are also damaging to the environment. Look out on the labels for polyester, nylon and acrylic, all of which don’t break down and persist in the environment. The are also made using nonrenewable resources (oil) and an energy intensive processes. Natural alternatives such as organic cotton, hemp, silk, wool and tencel are all better alternatives for the environment.Second hand is also a great option as it doesn’t involve use of virgin materials. You can find lots of brandsselling natural and upcycled materials in my ethical fashion brand directory.

However if like me you find that sometimes you need clothes that are easy to wash and dry and don’t need ironing, there are some brands creating clothing from recycled polyester which is also a great alternative.

Timberland has recently teamed up with Thread for a collection of shoes and bags made from recycled bottles.

Patagonia Active Bra

By using PCR fleece and other fabrics made from recycled polyester, Patagonia has saved in excess of 86 million plastic bottles from landfill.

Pol

Polyester raincoat by SkunkFunk

Skunk Funk use recycled polyester in their clothes and use eo packagaing and tagging. Read  more here

M&S use polyester extracted from recycled plastic across their womenswear, lingerie, menswear, childrenswear and homeware ranges. Read more here.

There are probably lots more brands that are doing their bit for the environment by avoiding synthetic fabrics in their fashion, minimising waste and utilising recycled materials.If you know of any or have any tips for reducing plastic pollution, please comment below!

With warmest wishes


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The Leopard Dress

DSCN5757 (3)

Leopard dress – Johari (a social enterprise in Kenya), I can no longer find the online store but you can read more about this brand here.
Organic cotton leggings – Thought
Shoes – Veja 
Scarf – Oxfam, then upcycled

A few weeks ago, we went out for a weekend walk followed by dinner at the local carvery. I decided to combine comfy shoes by Veja and organic cotton leggings with something bright and colourful to cheer me up. I have had more than enough of dark dull winter clothes and am feeling more than ready for spring.

It makes me happy to make good use of the clothes that I have instead of buying new each season. This leopard dress is 3 or 4 years old and I still love the easy to wear cut, the bright pink colour and the leopard face on it. I have tryed to give it a fresh look by adding the scarf from Oxfam that I upcycled with orange pom pom trim a while back. I love combining pink and orange, the combination definitely reminds me of holidays to tropical destinations!

Whilst buying less is a good way of minimising my impact on the environment, I have recently seen a few articles about plastic pollution that is probably an even bigger environmental issue than fashion.  Whilst I already try and avoid using plastic bags, I am determined to try and cut down on the plastic that I use in other ways. According to Plastic Oceans, we use over 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year.  Half of this we use just once and usually for less than 12 minutes.  8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. I am planning a post about the ways to reduce plastic use, if you have any ideas that I could include, please do get in touch.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine, if you have any. What are your favourite clothes that you have owned for years?

With warmest wishes


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Birdsong Wishlist

I usually try not to make wish lists as they kind of go against my policy of trying to ‘buy less’. However when I came across Birdsong whilst reading Style Bubble this weekend, I just couldn’t help myself. Not only are the clothes and accessories on the site a careful selection of beautiful and unique pieces, they also each have a lovely story to go with them. With slogans on their home page like ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’, and ‘expect more from your wardrobe’, I kind of knew I was going to love everything about this online store!

Whilst there is generally quite a good selection of clothes and retailer out there that can be considered ethical and/or sustainable in some way, there are still some items that I still struggle with namely sports wear and work wear. So I will start with my Birdsong, favourites in these departments.

ethical sports bra

This sports bra is made by US lingerie brand, Naja which empowers single mothers by giving them work and creates amazing and eco friendly undies at the same time. I would defintiely recommend you check out the brands website to see their full awesomeness however the shipping from the US makes buying from them complicated so Birdsong is a better alternative. I spend a lot of time at fitness classes so whilst this bra is a little pricey, I don’t really object to the investment. It goes without saying that a sports bra this amazing should get seen and not hidden away, a good incentive for me to work hard on toning my abs and uncovering the six pack that I am sure is hiding away somewhere ready for the summer months.

Navy jacket

I like to look smart for work but generally feel a bit boring in a conventional suit and don’t really feel like me. I prefer to try and do my own take on smart so am always on the look out for ways to achieve this. This embroidered navy jacket is by a brand called Two Neighbours with the ethos of ‘peace through the eye of a needle’. It is made by women on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, to provide a livelihood, money for fresh water and food for their families.

handknitted jumper

Handknitted clothes are the ultimate in slow fashion, they take time and dedication to make, sadly something I don’t have a lot of at the moment. I love that this jumper is made by Bradbury knitting an organisation which faciliates the creation of lovely woolies by elderley ladies at the Bradbury Centre in Kingston, and the Knit & Natter group in Enfield. This not only gives them a sense of purpose and wellbeing but also helps a worthy cause of their choice each month with revenue being donated to charities.

There are lots of other lovely clothes on the Birdsong website, but in the interests of quality over quantity and not buying lots of clothes that I don’t need, I am keeping my wish list short and sweet.

In case you are interested, I haven’t been paid in anyway or asked to write this post. It is my own opinion and something that I just couldn’t resist sharing!

What do you think of these pieces and the lovely empowering stories behind them?

With warmest wishes


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Nomads

DSCN5719 (5)

Poncho – Nomads
Leggings – People Tree
Boots – TOMS

A few weeks ago, we took my parents in law out for their Christmas pressy which was dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I wore the outfit pictured above. The poncho is really soft and cosy so perfect for relaxing on a chilly weekend. It also happens to be my favourite colour so makes me super happy! It was a Christmas present from my mum and dad.

I have posted about Nomads clothing before but I thought they were definitely worth another mention. They are a fair trade clothing brand that uses artisanal techniques and sustainable fabrics to make individual designs.

I got to wear my poncho again for a little trip to Cardiff. We had a bit of a wander round, went to the Cinema to see T2 Trainspotting and then for dinner at Zizzi. This morning, we had a really relaxed breakfast at Cafe Rouge followed by a bracing walk around Bute Park and then out for a Sunday lunch with my parents.

What have you been up to the last few weeks. With the cold weather are you staying cosy inside or wrapping up warm and getting outdoors?

With warmest wishes


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Uncommon Goods

dreamcatcher wall clock

Sponsored post

I have quite a few birthdays coming up in January and February so have been on the look out for some lovely and also ethical birthday gifts to give to my friends. I was interested to get an email from Uncommon Goods, an interesting online retailer with a mission to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision that they make. They continue to strive to become more socially responsible, environmentally friendly and an ever more rewarding place to work by treating individuals with dignity and respect, paying a fair wage and selling products made from handmade, organic and recycled materials.Here are just a few of the lovely gifts for women that I found and that I know my friends and family would love to recieve.

The unusual dreamcatcher wall clock shown above features in the ethical home decor section alongside some other really lovely pieces including pretty tea light holders, animal bookends and fun lights and nightlights.

latitude and longitude necklace

This simple but pretty necklace is handmade of silver in Washington. I love that you can have it personalised to feature the actual longitude and latitude of somewhere special in the world.

wooden martini glasses

These wooden glasses are definitely a really usuual way to serve a martini. They are handcrafted in Colarado from richly grained walnut. Whilst a wooden glass might not be the most obvious thing to drink from, the wood is actually a better insulator than glass, so they will keep your cocktail cooler for longer as well as looking amazing.

upcycled cotton sari robe

I love bright prints and vibrant colours of this upcycled cotton sari robe. It has been handmade in India by Rags to Riches, a cooperative of artisans in a village outside of Rajasthan, India.

Do any of the unusual gifts at Uncommon Goods look like something your friends and family would like to receive?

With warmest wishes


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5 Ethical Fashion Brands to Check out in 2017

ethical brands for 2017
I am wearing:
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree 
Shoes – TOMS
Necklace – MADE at ASOS
Jacket – vintage upcycled

All items listed have ethical and/ or sustainable credentials (some links are affiliate)!

Happy New Year!

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the year ahead. I had a lovely Christmas break, starting with a busy Christmas lunch at my house for 9 and ending with a really relaxing break in Newquay for New Year. I thought I would start off the new year with a little round up of some of my favourite brands at the moment. If you are making it your new years resolution to shop more ethically, I have personally bought and worn clothes from the brands over the last few years and really love them for their design and quality as well as their commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

Braintree Clothing

Braintree is a slow fashion brand making clothes thoughtfully and ethically whilst minimalising their impact on the environment. They use soft and comfortable sustainable fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and make clothes to last. Their mantra, Wear m, love me, mend me, pass me on. I am a big fan of the leggings at Braintree as well as their lovely prints and cosy colourful socks.

Earth Kind Originals

Based in Cornwall, EKO have some lovely simple and flattering styles which are perfect for relaxing in on the weekend. I have 2 different organic cotton dresses from EKO which I wear all the time because they are so lovely to wear.

Nomads

Nomads clothes feature beautiful intricate designs, prints and embroidery which are a result of their policy for creating ethical fashion using traditional and artisan handmade techniques. The necklace from Nomads pictured above was a Christmas present from my mum and just one of the lovely items that I own from this brand.

TOMS shoes

I have struggled to find a stylish, hardwearing and affordable pair of boots for work recently. TOMS saved the day though when I found the perfect pair. They have now diversified from their original range of Alpargatas and stock a wide range of footwear including trainers and sandals. TOMS are dedicated to improving lives with each purchase helping to provide shoes, sight, water and safer birth services to people in need around the world.

What brands are you loving for 2017?

With warmest wishes


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