The Big Four Oh

DSCN4981 3 The Big Four OhHat – Pachacuti
Dress – Komodo
Leggings – Braintree
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Owen Barry
Necklace and bracelet – present

On Sunday it was my 40th birthday! Whilst many like to pretend that a big birthday is not happening and try to keep it as low key as possible, I like to do the opposite and drag the celebrations on for as long as I possibly can. This year I am celebrating in lots of different ways. On Sunday, my daughter and I met with my friend and her daughter for tea and cake at the lovely Bea’s vintage tea rooms  in Bath. We then went for a wander around the vintage fair before meeting with Mr S and my other daughter for dinner at Jamies Italian. I also have a party and holiday planned and a weekend away with friends later in the year.

DSCN4981 2 The Big Four Oh

Mr S bought me to the Laughing Buddha Statue which you can see in the garden behind me and also some Minnetonka tasselled boots. I had lots of other lovely presents including the coin necklace I am wearing in this outfit. The other items featured in my outfit are all at least a year old, you may recognise  them from previous blog posts. I am trying not  too buy too much as I already have lots of clothes.

My birthday also just happens to coincide with Fashion Revolution and I have been busy following all that has been happening on social media over the last week. It is great to see so many people showing an interest in ethical fashion and working towards a more ethical fashion industry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a response to my post and tweets asking Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes? Next time I need some new clothes, I will be  thining very carefully about where I buy them. In terms of sustainability, second hand definitely seems like the best option and for ethical, brands like People Tree, Nancy Dee and Komodo are pretty amazing with some really lovely clothes. I also feel a lot more comfortable with the transparency of these brands.

Here are a few of my Instagrams from the last week.

tea and cake The Big Four Oh

Tea and pastries for my birthday

veja daps The Big Four Oh

My Veja daps, they are so comfy

Bristol magazine The Big Four Oh

My interview about ethical fashion in Bristol Magazine.

breakfast de The Big Four Oh

The perfect garden fry up, my favourite breakfast from the new Deliciously Ella cookbook.

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Fashion Revolution Week

DSCN4980 3s Fashion Revolution Week

DSCN4974 4s Fashion Revolution WeekDress – Nancy Dee
Jacket – charity shop
Shoes – Dream in Green
Bag – What Daisy Did

Today is the start of Fashion Revolution Week! A time when consumers around the globe ask #whomademyclothes? and a movement of ethical fashion advocates and campaigners come together to raise awareness of unethical practice in the fashion industry and work towards change.

As part of the Ethical Fashion Bloggers, Fashion Revolution round up, I wanted to share this outfit which I think fits particularly well with the principles of sustainable fashion described by Vivienne Westwood as ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.

The jacket is from a local charity shop and the fun print immediatley jumped out at me. It makes a great alternative to a plain black jacket. The dress is from one of my favourite  brands, Nancy Dee and is ethically made in the UK from organic cotton. The shoes are made by Dream in Green, another favourite brand of mine with a great selection of shoes and boots made ethically from vegetable tanned leather. Last but not least, my colourful handbag is ethically made in India by What Daisy Did using upcycled leather. You can read more about the brand in my post here.

Last week I asked #WhoMadeMyClothes? of high street retailer Marks and Spencers here. No answer yet but I will keep you posted and let you know if and when I get answer. As a consumer, it can be difficult to find out and understand exactly what brands are doing to ensure sustainability and ethics in their supply chains which is why transparency is so important. Fashion Revolution have just launched a transparency index in partnership with Ethical Consumer which improving social and environmental standards and how much of that information they share with the public you can download it here.

FRD poster landscape red closeup Fashion Revolution Week

If you like the idea of a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry, there are lots of ways you can get involved. Visit the Fashion Revolution website to find out more.

What will you be wearing for Fashion Revolution Week?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

DSCN4934 3 Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?Dress – Marks and Spencers
Earrings – People Tree
Bag – vintage (Oxfam I think)
Shoes – Geox

Not long to go until Fashion Revolution Week and I thought I would get involved by asking Marks and Spencers, #whomademyclothes?

Just before Christmas I won an award at work and got to choose a £50 voucher from a high street shop to recieve. I generally consider Marks and Spencers to be one of the most ethical and sustainable options on the high street and on popping into Bath decided on this dress as it has such a comfy and flattering cut and will work well for both in and out of work for the spring and summer.

I was quite surprised to read on Morale Fibres that M&S had scored just 5 out of 20 in the Ethical Consumer Scorecard. It was explained that the score was largely as a result of the companies wider ethics and sourcing policies and did not apply exclusviely to its clothing. This did however prompt me to think about whether I should be asking more of Marks and Spencers and how ethical their clothing is, so I did a little research.

On the plus side Marks and Spencers have shown themselves to be committed to improving their sustsainability through their Plan A through which they provide detailed information on their website including exactly what they have and haven’t achieved. Amongst the achievements of Plan A so far are:

  • 32% of their cotton coming from better cotton initiative, fair trade, organic or recycled sources.
  • They have trained more than 652,000 workers in general merchandising supply chain since 2010 covering employment rights, health and financial literacy.
  • Global Sourcing Principles now cover a wider range of human rights issues. Launched on Human Rights Day in December 2014, They are now working with their suppliers to help them meet these requirements.
  • They have established a community Global Community Programme to benefit people in the key regions of the world where M&S products are sourced to strengthen the resilience of communities and security of supply by 2020 e.g. 8000 have been trained in Kenya and South Africa for the Emerging Leadership Initiative and the Project Hope Health Programme in Cambodia which has laready benefitted 14,500 workers.

Ethics and sustainability are never going to be a simple matter for such a large retailers with such a complex supply chain and there is no doubt that Marks and Spencers are making some really postive improvements.

My dress  is made in Turkey, so I looked for further information on factories used by Marks and Spencers in Turkey. There isn’t much information available on the M&S website.

I have since read about the use of Syrian refugee children in clothing factories in Turkey. Marks and Spencers have not been implicated in any way or found to be using child labour in their supply chain. But they were asked by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), a non-profit organisation that monitors company ethics, about their Turkish suppliers and their strategies for combating the exploitation of Syrian children and adults. Marks and Spencers didn’t answer this questionaire but you can read their response here.  I feel like I would like to know a bit more.

So I am asking the question, Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

I will let you know if I get an answer.

FR week orange Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

Fashion Revolution Week is on 18th-24th April and there are lots ways that you can get involved from asking your favourite brand #WhoMadeMyClothes to making your own haulternative video. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know more about who has made you clothes?

You can find out more on the website fashionrevolution.org

FRD impact makers square Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Minnetonka Mocassins – Story Behind the Brand

maasai Minnetonka Mocassins   Story Behind the Brand

Today I wanted to post about Minnetonka Mocassins, an American brand that I have been interested in for some time. The brand has been around since 1946 but has become popular in the last decade as the festival footwear choice of celebs.

Minnetonka shoes are beautifully handcrafted and if looked after, they should last well, growing more comfortable with wear.The website provides some tips on how to care for your Minnetonka shoes or boots to ensure that they last for a long time. Most of the shoes and boots are made in a factory in Minnetonka’s own factory in the Dominican Republic using materials from the US.

Through the Mocs with Meaning initiative, Minnetonka have partnered with Me to We to help empower mamas in Kenya. Each pair of Mocs with Meaning shoes are hand beaded by  Mama in Kenya, providing her with a sustainable income and an opportunity to support her family. Minnetonka also provided a $10,000 donation to build the ME to WE Empowerment Centre in Kenya providing a safe place for the women to work. Financial literacy training is also provided to help with overcoming economic challenges. The Me to We website states that 80+ mamas are employed full time in Kenya as part of this initiative. Each pair of ‘Mocs with Meaning’ shoes has a unique code that can be tracked with trackyourimpact.com so that customers can see the positive impact that their purchase is making.

Minnetonka have also donated to Free the Children with funds being used to build a rain catchment system to provide clean water in Haiti and to build a school room in the Marialapa community.

On balance…

There are lots of reasons I love the Minnetonka brand, however they are made from animal skins so for someone who is vegan and does not want to wear leather/ suede shoes, they would not represent an ethical choice.

What do you think of Minnetonka Mocassins?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Paguro Upcycle Necklace Review

DSCN4944 3 Paguro Upcycle Necklace Review

I was recently contacted by Paguro Upcycle a Nottingham based brand selling accessories made from recycled and upcycled materials to see if I would like to review an item from their website. All of their products are made by artisanal producers in Cambodia, Indonesia and the UK with each enterprise aiming to support their local communities by offering fair working conditions and wages, as well as other benefits such as free daycare for their employees’ children.

Of course, I jumped at the chance, to try something out, as they seem to be the perfect mix of ethics, sustainability and style, with unique and individual pieces that are certainly very different to what you would find on the highstreet. What’s not to love?

feather necklace Paguro Upcycle Necklace Review

It didn’t take me long to decide on this feather necklace which is made from recycled inner tube. I already have a clutch bag made from inner tube and I love how it looks. The detailed feather cut from the inner tube makes for a real statement piece which is great for adding interest to a basic outfit like this M&S Fairtrade cotton vest top which I am wearing with some skinny jeans  from Oxfam. I loved the quality of the necklace with a magnetic clasp making it really easy to fasten. I have already worn it a few times. I think it would look really good with a high neck simple white or colour top which would really show it off the detail of the feather.

This necklace is made by Sapu, a creative collective, based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga, comprises a diverse range of talented people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists, most of whom originate from central Java or Australia. They aim to make use of the world’s abundant and unwanted man-made materials, using recycled tyre inner tubes, army tent, plastic bottles and magazines to create something beautiful. By doing so they hope to inspire environmental change by changing attitudes of those that come into contact with their creations. I think this necklace is definitely a conversation starter which is great to get people talking about both sustainability and style.

The Paguro Upcycle website also features fashion accessories by Smarteria, a social enterprise taking inspiration from the streets and markets of Cambodias capital, Phomn Penh. Traditional Cambodian weaving techniques are used by artisans to create bags in elaborate designs using repurposed netting and carrier bags. Smarteria aim to make a positive difference to the lives of their employees through living wages, benefits and progressive working practices.

What do you think? Do you like interesting accessories? If so I would definitely recommend checking out Paguro Upcycle.

Have an amazing weekend!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Charity Shop Treasures

DSCN4923 2 Charity Shop Treasures

Vintage dress – Oxfam Fashion (online)
Bangle – Oxfam Bath
Necklace – Made UK

Cowboy boots (at least 15 years old) – high street
Bag (at least 10 years old) – Accessorize

I was recently contacted by Safe Store to see if I would like to take part in a campaign focusing on charity shop treasures. The best bit, I get to do a little charity shopping,one of my favourite activities, and then share my outfit. Safe Store supports Scope which is their charity of the year but as I don’t have a Scope Charity shop in my home town, they were also happy to support other charities by treating me to an outfit from another charity shop. Scope is a fantastic charity who work with disabled individuals and their families, providing support, advice, short breaks and much more, I hope to check out one of their stores in a nearby town soon. They have 232 stores across the UK, if you would like to find the nearest, you can do so here.

Due to my usual lack of time, I chose to go online to Oxfam Fashion (the online shop) as I know that I can always find something amazing there and it is super quick and easy to search by size, brand, colour and decade for vintage. I decided to check out the vintage seventies section and couldn’t resist this dress. The cowboy boots have been in my wardrobe for years. I went off them  for a while but in true hoarder style, I couldn’t part with them, which is a  good thing as I have fallen in love with them again. I think they are going to get a lot more wear this summer.

You can follow Safe Store on Twitter to keep up with the Charity Shop Treasure campaign here.

I hope that you are having a lovely and relaxing Easter weekend and eating lots of Easter eggs.

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Vintage Fashion – Seventies Style

DSCN4916 3 Vintage Fashion   Seventies StyleDSCN4914 4 Vintage Fashion   Seventies Style

Vintage dress – ebay
Vintage jacket – Rockit Vintage
Shoes – high street

I haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear my vintage clothes lately as I only seem to go out to work and exercise classes. But I have finally finished my CIM diploma in digital marketing and the building work and constant tidying of the house that it caused is also finished. I am hoping to start getting out and about a bit more in the spring giving me the chance to wear my vintage clothes again. I already have a few trips planned to vintage fairs as well as a weekend away.

I am also organising a birthday party for my 40th with a Woodstock theme so have been thinking about sixties/ seventies style and what to wear. I decided to try this vintage seventies dress on again although I don’t think it is my final choice of outfit. I think I will opt for something slightly more hippyish. I am also entering the Oxfam Fashion decades of vintage fashion and style competition.

I want to decorate the garden like a festival so will be spending the next few months scouring amazon and charity shops for the things I need. As it can get a little cold in the evening and I wanted to cover up the plastic chairs in the garden, I have invested in some crochet / knitted blankets from Oxfam. I have been obsessed with these blankets for a while and finally have an excuse to buy some. With Oxfam doing such great work, I am also always pleased to buy from them. After the party,they will also be great for the campervan and wrapping up on a cold evening. If you have any other ideas for a Woodstock themed party, please leave a comment below.

So now I have finally got my life back, I hope to be doing at lot more blogging as well as getting back up to date with Ethical Fashion Bloggers. Apologies to anyone who has emailed and I haven’t replied but I will do very soon.

Here are a few of my recent instagrams.

lady 5 Vintage Fashion   Seventies Style

Lady is looking fairly unimpressed by the building works!

extension Vintage Fashion   Seventies Style

Finally the new extension is finished

mothers day Vintage Fashion   Seventies Style

Mother’s Day treats

What have you been up to lately and what plans do you have for the spring?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

A Crop Top!

DSCN4908s A Crop Top!

DSCN4902 3s A Crop Top!

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to stye some pieces by One Boutique. Their clothes are ethically made in the UK using the opposite of a mass production model with each piece being overseen by one person ensuring a high quality piece of clothing. The pieces are made to last for years with creative cutting and a clean aesthetic.

I can’t help loving the style of this brand so couldn’t wait to pick out some pieces to style. I chose this black crop top to layer with the black mesh top. It is definitely much more edgy than the clothes I usually wear and at very nearly forty, I was a little doubtful that I could pull off a crop top but the mesh layer makes it feel slightly less daring so I am going to give it a try (midlife crisis here I come!). It’s also a great incentive to keep up the effort in my gym classes. I decided to wear it with some printed trousers by Nancy Dee but would just as happily wear them with a pair of skinny jeans or black trousers. The mesh top could also be layered over a simple little black dress giving it a new look, so definitely gets top marks for versatility.  I resisted the urge to add jewellery to keep the look quite simple, I will have to admit this was quite difficult as I am something of an accessories addict.

In other news, I haven’t been blogging much so far in 2016, mainly because I am in the final stages of exam for a CIM Diploma in digital marketing. We have also been having building work on our house so things have been a bit disorganised. Thankfully with both nearly complete, I will be able to get back to it soon.

I hope that you are having a fab February, What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

5 Facts to Make you Re-think your Desire for Denim

slow jeans 5 Facts to Make you Re think your Desire for Denim

Jeans have enjoyed a long and varied history. Today they are considered casual attire and the skinny and ripped trend seems to dominate the catwalk. However, once upon a time, durable denims were the staple choice of workmen across the western world.

Jean companies today strive to replicate this ‘authentic’ look. The process of pre-fading, dyeing and even tearing denim has destroyed the enduring quality of jeans.

We reveal five alarming facts about the Jean industry:

1. Deadly Denim

Ever wondered how your Jeans get their pre-worn look? Sand particles are used to blast jeans with a jet of air. Campaigners brought our attention to this deadly practice which can cause lung silicosis, if workers fail to receive adequate safety measures.

Since the campaign, many high street retailers have banned sandblasting in their production cycle. These include M&S, Arcadia, Primark, New Look, H&M and Calvin Klein.

2. Alarming Water consumption

It takes around 11,000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans. The production process includes growing cotton and wet processing such as dyeing, treating and washing the fabric which all proves thirsty work.

Levi’s, the pioneers of the pre-faded blue design, have reacted to criticism and launched Water

3. The Problem with Cotton

As discussed above, cotton requires a lot of water to grow. However, the problem with cotton is not restricted just to the issue of water consumption. Only 2.4% of agriculture land is planted with cotton. However, it accounts for 11% of global pesticide sales. These pesticides which are used to kill cotton pests can also seriously damage farmers who come into contact with them. Ethical Fashion Forum (http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/pesticides) states that between 1 and 3% of agriculture farmers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning. This figure translates into between 25 million and 77 million farmers worldwide. Symptoms of the poisoning range from vomiting to death.

These appalling figures highlight the necessity of naturally grown cotton. Unfortunately, the sale of fair trade cotton dropped by 38% in 2015. Ethical Consumer’s research into Jean retailers confirms this decline as none of the brands in our shopping guide (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing/jeans.aspx) use fair trade cotton to produce their jeans.

While fair trade cotton currently appears to be in decline, the growth in use of GM and toxic-free organic cotton keeps us optimistic. For example, Jean brand, Nudie have achieved its target to use 100% organic cotton in its denim.

4. Lagging behind

Our recent research into Jean retailers (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing/jeans.aspx) confirms that Guess and Diesel, two of the most popular Jean companies, have received shockingly low results in our ethical shopping guide.

Many clothing companies have accepted new initiatives to improve supply chains and have committed to the use of more sustainable materials. However, both Guess and Diesel have kept quiet about supporting new efforts to make a fairer fashion industry that respects its workers and the environment.

5. Overseas production

Clothing production in the UK plummeted in the 1990s as financially focused companies outsourced production overseas to sweatshops with low wages and poor working conditions.

Prior to this transition, Cardigan in Wales, was recognised as a leading Jeans manufacturer. Dewhirst produced Jeans for a number of companies such as M&S. However, when M&S jumped on the immoral bandwagon and moved production to Morocco, the factory was left derelict.

We welcome an exciting new brand, Hiut Jeans, which has brought Jeans production back to Britain and specifically back to Cardigan. This company, which ranks in our top 5 ethical Jean retailers, uses organic cotton and prides itself to ‘make the best jeans we can and not the most jeans we can.”

These 5 facts reveal that some of the most recognised Jean retailers on the high street are failing their workers, consumers and the planet.

For ways in which you can prolong the life of your favourite pair of jeans, head to the Ethical Consumer website for our piece on ‘Slow Jeans’.

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/fashionindustry/slowjeans.aspx

This post was written by Georgina Rawes of Ethical Consumer magazine

New Year in Watergate Bay

New year now feels like a distant memory but life has been pretty crazy, hence why I am only just getting round to posting about it now!

For new year, we went to Watergate Bay which was amazing apart from getting a very bad cold which meant I didn’t feel like doing very much. Fortunately I managed a few walks along an incredibly wind swept beach and New Years Eve at the Beach Hut. We had a lovely evening but I was far too exhausted to stay out until midnight. We had the most amazing views over Watergate bay and when we weren’t snuggled up watching films, we could sit by the window and watch the massive waves roll in over the beach.

DSCN4851 3 New Year in Watergate BayDress – Nomads
Boots – Dream in Green

The dress and the trousers were both Christmas pressies, this is the first chance I have had to wear them. Unfortunately with the light not being great and my camera failing, you can’t see the beautiful embroidery on the dress. It is made by Nomads, a brand which I love for its beautiful prints and handcrafted clothes and its committment to fair trade.

DSCN4860 4 New Year in Watergate Bay

Scarf – Marks and Spencers
Vest top (fairtrade cotton) – Marks and Spencers
Trousers – Outsider

The trousers are amazingly comfortable to wear and perfect for lazing around the house, but are also smart enough to pop out in or if friends unexpectedly drop in. They are from a lovely ethical and sustainable brand, Outsider.

As January so far has been a whirlwind or assignments and exams for my diploma, I haven’t had a chance to think too much about plans and resolutions for the new year. I will be really glad when it is finished now and I can go back to relaxing and blogging in the evenings after work!

Did you make any plans or resolutions for 2016?

With warmest wishes

Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.