Upstate at Gather&See

P1010849 2 Upstate at Gather&See

Top – Upstate
Jeans – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks

I bought this top from a brand called Upstate at Gather& Sea while back.If you haven’t checked out Gather&See yet, I would definitely recommend it . They stock a number of fresh and interesting sustainable fashion labels from around the world. All of which don’t compromise on either ethics or aesthetics. Upstate is a New York label that creates one of a kind pieces using dye techniques based on Japanese shibori.Each piece is dyed in house and sewn by a skilled husband and wife team in Manhattan.  Upstate only make limited productions to minimize waste and run a quilting program to put our fabric scraps to good use.

Any way,I haven’t been posting as much as I would like to lately as I have been super  busy getting ready for Christmas in hope of a chance to relax a little in the run up and spend time with my family. This year I have been trying to keep it simple in terms of pressies and food but it still seems likeI have been getting ready for ever.Not that I mind, I love Christmas!

How are your Christmas preparations going? do you like to be ready early or do you prefer more of a last minute present dash?

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Make your own wrapping paper Make Your Own Wrapping Paper
This year I have been opting for mainly locally made and handmade Christmas presents. So I thought I would try and make them look extra special by making my own wrapping paper to wrap them in. I also like the idea that by using recycled brown paper as a base I can make a more sustainable alternative than conventional wrapping paper. It was also really fun to do and the children really enjoyed joining in and creating their own wrapping paper designs.

DSCN3458 2 Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

The actual process of creating the wrapping paper was really simple. I just used a rubber stamper and ink pad to stamp on the designs in various different ways. I started off with diagonal lines of penguins but tried lots of other options including rows of penguins with random ones standing on their heads.

penguin stamp Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

I used a very cute hand carved penguin stamp from Skull and Cross Buns, a store on Not on the High Street. They have lots of other options from reindeer to snowflakes and robins. I also got a black in pad but there are lots of other colours to choose from including red, green, silver and gold.

There are also some other great choices of stamps on NOTHS including this pick and mix set of Christmas stamps which could work really well for wrapping paper designs with a mixture of different stamps. I can’t remember where I bough the brown Kraft wrapping paper from but they sell rolls of recycled Kraft paper here.

pressy Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

I also used the stamp to make matching tags for my presents. I bought a pack of Kraft recycled brown gift tags and also some bakers twine for tying around the pressies from the Pulp and Twine shop on Etsy here

Finally fed up with the house getting cluttered up with rubbish plastic, like the sort of toys you find in christmas crackers, I decided to make my own this year. I used the penguin stamp to decorate plain brown blank crackers from Crafty Little Bugs which I can then make up and add my own pressies, perhaps nail varnish or hair clips for the girls and lottery tickets for the adults.

Hope you are having a fab weekend. What have you been doing to get ready for Christmas?

With warmest wishes

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Handmade Christmas Gifts Guide – Pretaportobello

Less than a month to go until Christmas (eek!) so here is the third post in my handmade Christmas gift guide series. This time I am focusing on Pretaportobello a website that I have only just discovered but which has a market place with some unique and individual sellers and a fab vintage section.

crystallized necklace 10600 product 1 Handmade Christmas Gifts Guide   Pretaportobello
One of the first brands that caught my eye was Wolf and Moon, a handcrafted jewellery label created by British artist & designer Hannah Davis. Wolf and Moon jewellery features jewel colours, geometric designs and  a bit of sparkle. All jewellery is made in their Hackney Studio and is also extremely affordable making it great as a stocking filler.

personalised diamond plate necklace 10844 zoom Handmade Christmas Gifts Guide   Pretaportobello
ECW creates minimalist jewellery like this personalised diamond plate necklace which is handmade and gold plated.

handmade peacock eye and turquoise plumage headband 9110 zoom Handmade Christmas Gifts Guide   Pretaportobello
For a really unique and unusual handmade Christmas gift, I love this beautiful headband by Temple of Plume. They also do a range of glamorous turbans.

a symmetric pentleton twister dress tangerine 7975 zoom Handmade Christmas Gifts Guide   Pretaportobello
This eyecatching dress by Vicious boutique would make a great pressy for anyone that loves bright colourful clothes. It is screen printed by hand and made in London using environmentally friendly inks.

How is your Christmas shopping going? Don’t forget to check out my other Handmade Christmas Gift guides for Etsy and Not on the High Street.

Hope you are having a fab week!

With warmest wishes

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20% Off ASOS Green Room

asos africa 20% Off ASOS Green Room
ASOS Africa
reclaimed 20% Off ASOS Green RoomASOS Reclaimed

Tatty Devine 20% Off ASOS Green Room

Tatty Devine

I am delighted to be able to offer a fantastic 20% off ethical and sustainable fashion at ASOS Green Room for Cyber Weekend (or eco friday) CYBERWKND20 (valid 28.11.14 8am GMT – 02.12.14 8am GMT)

The ASOS Green Room features brands like People Tree, EDUN, MADE and Cambridge Satchel Company, TOMS and Tatty Devine. It also features fresh and funky styles by their own eco and ethical labels, ASOS Reclaimed and ASOS Africa.

I also have plenty more great discounts on eco and ethical brands this weekend on my offers page.

Outsider

I was recently contacted by the lovely Noorin of Outsider Fashion to see if I would like to pick out a piece to style from the Outsider website. I immediately accepted as I love the versatile and timeless style of Outsider just as much as I love the philosophy of the brand.

Noorin has also given me a fab offer to share with you! 25% off all orders over £100 with code PARTY until the 30th December.

DSCN3412 2 Outsider
Dress – Outsider
Necklace – People Tree
Bag and boots as before.
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Dress – Outsider
Belt – Handmade
Bag – Junky Styling
Boots – as before

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Dress – Outsider
Necklace – MADE
Jeans – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
DSCN3431 2 Outsider
Scarf – Oxfam (upcycled with pompom trim)
bag from Reclaim Bags (made of rubber from recycled inner tubes)
ankle boots (vegetable tanned leather) – Dream in Green.

I choose the amazing T shirt dress which is easily the most versatile item that I have in my wardrobe. I have styled it in a number of different ways and I am sure that there are many more ways that I will be wearing it in the future. As you can see it can be dressed up for the evening but also works for work and with jeans/ leggings for a more casual look. It is made from the softest organic cotton and bamboo and feels super comfy to wear.

Noorin is passionate about using sustainable fabrics in her designs as opposed to fibres made from oil or cotton grown use large amounts of water and dangerous pesticides. She uses a range of fabrics including organic cotton, Merino wool, hemp silk and bamboo. But she also firmly believes that eco and ethical fashion should look just like any other fashion and should not involve any compromise in terms of style or quality. Her aim to create beautiful garments with a thoughtful approach.

To quote the Outsider Fashion website

Is it possible to run a successful company and still have a heart?

Yes, with determination and strong beliefs anything is possible.

It just takes one OUTSIDER to make a difference.

Outsider clothes are also manufactured ethically with about 50% being created locally in the UK. They also make use of the great skills of people in Macedonia to tailor pieces using silk and wool from Italy, whilst supporting economic growth and democratic modernisation in the area. By manufacturing in India, Outsider also have the opportunity to make a difference in a developing country whilst creating high quality clothing using organic cotton, sourced locally.

Noorin has witnessed the impact of fashion after working for a number bigger brands. She spent several years researching sustainable fabrics and production processes and visiting factories in Pakistan, Cambodia and India before setting up Outsider. In addition to running a her brand which is worn by actresses including Emma Thompson and Elizabeth Moss plus Livia Firth of Ecoage, she also works with students to encourage the next generation of designers to create in a more sustainable and responsible way and is a member of the design group working on WRAP’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan.

What do you think of Outsider? Have you checked out the website yet?

You can also read my interview on the Outsider blog.
With warmest wishes

Handmade Christmas Gifts – Not on the High Street

In the second part of my handmade Christmas gift guides I have chosen some lovely pieces from Not on the High Street, one of my favourite online retailers at the moment. They have so many amazing and unusual gift ideas and quite a few eco friendly options too. I have already bought quite a few of my Christmas pressies from NOTHS!
original silver leaf necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Handmade silver leaf necklace by Sonja Bessant , a self-taught jewellery designer maker from South London who makes high quality, contemporary, handmade jewellery.

original spotty fingerless gloves and hat set Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Hand knitted hats and gloves by Lowie are a lovely colour that will go with everything with cute heart details and pompoms. Lowie are a fashion brand that focuses on handmade accessories with the aim of creating them as ethically as possible, without jeopardising design. Where possible, they use organic or sustainable raw materials.

original hand knitted red wool socks Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Bibico also create some beautiful and ethical hand knitted pieces. These handknitted snowflake print socks are a really cosy treat. They are made from 100% wool under fair trade principles in Nepal.

normal tribal arrowhead necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High StreetThis Tribal Arrow Head Necklace by Lucie Ellen is handcut from plywood in Lucies Garden Studio in East London. Where ever possible she tries to use reclaimed and eco friendly materials in her designs.

normal pussy cats handmade clutch bag Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street

I love siamese cats and this cute bag would definitely be a very welcome Christmas pressy! It is made from boiled wool and unbleached cotton by Sarah Culleton in her home studio in Derbyshire. It is made from boiled wool,unbleached. Her store also features lovely purses and glasses cases which would make lovely stocking fillers.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet or do you prefer to leave it a bit nearer the time?

You can check out my other Handmade Christmas Gift Guide here.

With warmest wishes

Win a JORD Wood Watch

ely 10 front angled noshadow Win a JORD Wood Watch

Today I am teaming up with the fantastic sustainable watch brand JORD with a giveaway to win a gift certificate for the JORD website worth $129 plus free shipping.You can pick out your favourite from the lovely selection of wood watches using the certificate for full or part payment depending on the watch that you want.

JORD watches offer a natural alernative to the plastic and metal materials that most watches are made from. Each piece is unique, handcrafted from sustainable wood.

You can check out the full range here on the website.

The Giveaway closes on Monday 1st December 2014, so don’t delay enter it today!

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#Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

DSCN3441 2 #Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

Coat- secondhand
Scarf – Oxfam (upcycled with pompom trim)
Jeggings – Oxfam
Top – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

Next week is #SecondhandFirst week, a event organised by the textile recycling charity TRAID to celebrate all things secondhand while committing to using more of our existing resources, rather than buying new. It will be marked by a week of events, workshops and initiatives between 17th – 23rd November in London.

But even if you don’t live in London, their are tonnes of ways that you can get involved, not least by wearing all or some secondhand clothes for the week and taking the #SecondhandFirst pledge to commit to buying a percentage of your clothes secondhand  and keeping clothes and other resources in circulation for longer by lending, swapping, mending and donating, visiting your local charity shop, running your own clothes swap.

Over at Ethical Fashion Bloggers we are also running a #secondhandfirst outfit challenge to create an outfit containing some or all secondhand clothes. You can see my outfit for the challenge above which features a pair of jeggings from Oxfam, my latest buy, a parka from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and a silk scarf from Oxfam which has been upcycled with a pompom trim. The chair I am sitting on is also made from recycled saris.

I will also be trying to wear as many secondhand pieces next week and will hopefully share them via Twitter and Instagram. Quite a large proportion of my wardrobe already consists of secondhand clothes but from now on, I am commiting to try source more second hand instead of new (when I need to buy something).

Will you be wearing anything secondhand next week? Do you have any great tips for buying secondhand clothes?

With warmest wishes

JORD Wood Watch Review

DSCN3381 21 JORD Wood Watch Review

 

DSCN3356 3 JORD Wood Watch ReviewDSCN3321 21 JORD Wood Watch ReviewI was recently contacted by JORD to see if I would like to check out one of their wooden watches. I lost my last watch in June last year whilst participating in Trekfest in the Brecon Beacons so was more than happy to accept. I was also intrigued by what a wooden watch would be like as it is so different to any other watch I have ever owned.

I chose the Ely maple design. The neutral colours are perfect for wearing with everything from a minimalistic outfit to a more busy mix of prints and colours. The website describes it as ‘understated and effortless’. When the summer arrives I will be wearing my watch with brightly coloured friendship bracelets and for the winter will be teaming it with chunky knits. Pictured above, I am wearing it with my favourite paisley pom pom scarf. I love the unusual look of my new watch, it both stands out from the norm but in a subtle way. It also feels much lighter on my wrist than a similarly chunky style of watch made from metal or plastic making it perfect for everyday wear.

JORD watches are designed to take people back to nature and away from the metal, rubber and plastic that most people wear on their wrist. They are designed using a diverse range of woods from all over the world, combining their colours and grains to create a collection of watches with each being unique. Although I couldn’t completely capture it in the photographs, the watch is handcrafted in a beautiful quality from sustainable materials.

What do you think of wood watches?

If you are in need of a new watch, I would definitely recommend checking out the JORD Wood Watches website as they have great range of styles and colours for men and women.

With warmest wishes

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair Bath

DSCN3302 3 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair Bath

DSCN3301 21 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair Bath
When the lovely Vicky of Kinky Melon Retro Boutique and Vintage Vixon blog mentioned that she would be at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Bath, I decided to pop along with my daughter to say hi and of course have a browse as it feels like ages since I last went to a vintage fair. I have been reading Vintage Vixon for years and it was great to meet Vicky who was just as stunning in real life as on her blog and equally lovely.

The Kinky Melon stall (pictured with Vicky and Jon above) is crammed full of both men’s and women’s vintage clothes with a focus on reasonable prices. I treated myself to a fab maxi skirt for a tenner and a bag for my daughter for £8 (below).

As you can see from the pictures the Guildhall in Bath is a stunning location for a vintage fair and the fair also definitely lived up to its name of ‘afforadable’ with a great selection of really affordable pieces. I also bought myself a parka jacket  for £25 to keep me going through the winter and into festival season next year and a woollen check scarf. I have seen acrylic versions of these all over the high street but mine cost just £4 and there were baskets of them to choose from!
DSCN3337 21 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair Bath

DSCN3306 2 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair BathDSCN3334 2 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair Bath
DSCN3346 2 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair Bath

DSCN3300 4 Judys Affordable Vintage Fair BathI wore my favourite Pachacuti hat with a vintage paisley pom pom scarf and M&S Fairtrade cotton vest top as the weather was unusually warm for the time of year.

What are you doing this weekend? Hope you have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes