Ethical Fashion Brands to Follow on Instagram

I have been pretty busy lately and whilst I haven’t had as much time for blogging as I would like, I have found Instagram to be really convenient for posting stuff and getting inspired. I have also started to discover some great ethical fashion brands to follow on Instagram and love the stories that they have to tell. Here are just a few of them.

Nomads clothing features some of the inspiration behind their beautiful prints as well as their clothes and a narrative of how they are made.


Patagonia’s feed features interesting photographs from the great outdoors.

Sweet Pea-ton. Have a great weekend everyone, we’ll see ya out there! Photo: @mhansonphoto

A photo posted by Patagonia (@patagonia) on


Veja features photos of life from an interesting angle plus shoes.

REFLECTION Symmetry vs. Asymmetry / Abraxas, Noisy Le grand #veja #vejashoes ūüďł: @vincentdesailly

A photo posted by VEJA – OFFICIAL ACCOUNT (@veja) on


Gather and See is a carefully curated collection of ethical and sustainable clothing. Their feed features pictures of clothes and life.


Madia Matilda is a British brand specialising in luxurious upcycled and sustainable fashion.

Lacey Solutions #madiamatilda #lace #cute #fashion #girl #tshirt #style #grey #madeinBritain #white #casual #outfit #adorable

A photo posted by M a d i a & M a t i l d a (@madiamatilda) on


Ikat Official – I have fallen in love with these shoes and seemly never tire of seeing more pictures of them!


Sessun – the feed for this French sustainable fashion brand features clothes, photo shoots and beautiful stuff.


Luva Huva sell gorgeous ethical lingerie and lounge wear but their feed features lots more than this.


That is just a few of the ethical fashion brands that I follow on Instagram. You can check out my account here to see more.

So here is a bit more of what I have been up to over the last few weeks via Instagram.

Camper van kitty, think she wants to come camping!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Had a little visit today from the kitten next door!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Post work out dinner!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on


I hope you are having a great summer. Do you follow any amazing brands on Instagram that I ought to know about?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Farm Festival 2016

festival fashion

Headress -handmade by Little Wings
Fairtrade cotton top- Marks and Spencers
Shorts – upcycled
Scarf – vintage
Bag Рnot sure (really old)
Fairtrade Necklace – Made UK

On the weekend we went to the Farm Festival in Bruton. It was a bit of a last minute decision after another festival we were going to was cancelled but I am definitely glad that we did. It was probably one of the most chilled out festivals I have ever been too and the views were stunning.

Whilst there weren’t any big name acts, there was plenty to keep us amused samba bands, an acoustic tent, workshops,a main stage, a soul train and DJs until 4am (if we managed to stay up that late). The campervan field was a minutes walk from the main festival which was great as it made life a lots easier.

Of course I used the opportunity to wear some of my vintage clothes, which with the amount of time spent at work and the gym lately don’t get as much use as I would like. Obviously a festival is also always a good opportunity to wear some glitter and fun stuff like my feather head dress which I bought years ago but still love.

fest

Dress – vintage
Boots – Minnetonka
Feather headress by Little Wings

vintage

Top – vintage
Shorts – upcycled
Boots – as above

Festival headwear #festivalfashion

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Are you going to any festivals this year or do you have recommendations for good festivals to go to for next year?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

9 Things to Do This Summer

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Dress – Oxfam
Shoes – Geox
Bag (made from recycled rubber inner tubes) – Reclaim
Bracelets  Рpresents

It’s been a while since I posted. Apart from being really busy at work and feeling pretty exhausted by the time I get home, I seem to have been obsessed by watching the news, something that I don’t usually watch much. Any how I wanted to share another one of my charity shop outfits, purchased during my recent Oxfam spree.

Inspired by Hazel’s post here and also by turning 40 this year and feeling the need to live life to the full now, I have decided to share a little list of 10 things to do this summer. Summer is most definitely my favourite season and one where I typically try and cram in as much as possible, making the most of the warm weather with camper van trips, festivals, summer holidays, very long walks and other such challenges. This year is no different but I plan to add in some extra things!

  1. Go to Ibiza (already booked!) yes, for our family summer holiday this year, we will be making our first ever trip to Ibiza. I can’t wait for some sun, sea and sand.
  2. Go sailing in Devon (already booked) I used to spend a lot of time sailing with my parents when I was a child but not living by the sea and having so much going on, I haven’t had much chance to go sailing over the last 15 years.
  3. Go to a festival (already booked) this year we decided to opt for a smaller festival. As much as I love a big festival, the tickets can be expensive and the really large crowds of people slightly terrify me. So for this year we are trying a smaller festival that I hope will be a bit more chilled out.
  4. Go for a picnic Рthis one is fairly simple.  A picnic is just a great way to soak up some sunshine (when we finally get some) and spend some quality time with the children.
  5. Eat chips on the beach – there is definitely something different about eating chips on the beach. I will be doing this on my next trip to Weston Super Mare most likely followed by donkey rides and icecream for the children.
  6. Go to an art gallery in Bath – this one has been on my to do list for so long. Bath is only 25 minutes down the read but for some reasons I have just never managed to get my act together and do this.
  7. Read a book – another simple thing but one that I never really get time for except on my summer hols. Any suggestions of a good book to read are very welcome.
  8. Bake a cake for the work cake bake – we regularly bake cakes at work to raise money for local charities. This summer I plan to try and create something spectacular (well more spectacular than my usual victoria sponge anyway)
  9. Spa Day – for my birthday I got a voucher for a day at the Bath Spa. This will be the perfect way to chill out at the end of a very busy summer.

Amongst all of this, I also want to make time for some blogging and catching up with my favourite blogs. What are your plans for the summer?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Charity Shop Outfit and Festival Survival

charity shop outfit

charity shop outfit

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Dress – Oxfam
Denim and leather waistcoat – Oxfam
Beaded bag – People Tree
Boots – Minnetonka
Feather necklace and bracelet –¬†presents

Wooden watch – JORD

Last weekend we went into town for food and I decided to wear some of the charity shop outfit¬†that I recently treated myself to from Oxfam. I have been trying to limit the amount of new clothes that I buy but when I got some money for my birthday, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a few charity shop items to refresh my wardrobe. I managed to buy 5 new dresses and a denim waistcoat for under ¬£90. Whilst buying from Oxfam online is not neccasserily quite as cheap as buying from a high street charity shop, it is still significantly cheaper than many fast fashion shops and the quality of the clothes is much better (if you choose carefully). There is also an amazing selection of clothes¬†and the online search facility makes it really quick and easy for me to find what I want by searching by item, size, colour, brand and decade for vintage. Also, I really want to support the vital work that Oxfam do around the world and buying second hand is a more sustainable option than buying new.

The denim waistcoat has leather panels and I love it for layering over lots of different dresses but thought it went well with this white dress for a layered boho look. It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some more wear out of the Minnetonka boots that I got for my birthday. Lady decided to photo bomb, she definitely loves being the centre of attention!

Finally summer has arrived and Glastonbury this weekend signals the beginnng of festival season. I am not sure where I am glad or sorry not to be going to Glastonbury this with the traffic and mud, I think our old campervan, Roberta would definitely find it a challenge. We do have a few other options up our sleeve for the summer though. If you have never been to a festival, I would definitely recommend it, it is a lot of fun and there are so many different options to choose from. You can check out the Festival Survival Guide that I have just written for Oxfam Fashion here.

What are you doing this weekend? Have a lovely time!

With warmest wishes


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Holiday in Calabria, Italy and Buying Less

buying less

Dress – Frank and Faith
Shoes – Geox
Bag – Stella and Dot

Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Calabria, Italy. We stayed at the Club Med Napitia resort which was a totally amazing place. A beautiful beach, flowers everywhere, loads of activities to do including exercise classes, sailing, archery and tennis, shows and dancing every night, really delicious food and drink and really amazing staff that made us feel incredibly welcome. I was really sad to come home!

Of course with so much going on, I didn’t manage to get many outfit photos except the one above. The clutch bag was a birthday present from my friends at work. I had never heard of Stella and Dot but was really pleased to see on their website that they have a very comprehensive social responsibility policy. All¬†of the clothes that I wore apart from the bag, a new bikini and pair of flipflops were clothes that I have had for a number of years and have been featured on this blog multiple times which got me thinking about holidays and buying less.

Every year when I go on holiday there is a strong temptation to buy new clothes. Not sure why the temptation to buy clothes for holiday is so great as the summer in the UK seems to be fairly short and holiday only usually last a week or two. I do usually manage to  rationalise and stop myself from buying lots of clothes for holiday so I thought that I would share a thoughts and ideas on buying less and sustainably for holidays.

  • Pay slightly more for high quality summer clothes that will last for years to come.
  • Avoid very on trend looks that are likely to look ridiculous in a years time.
  • At the end of the summer, wash, iron and carefully pack away summer clothes with moth balls/ repellent to stop them getting eaten.
  • Have a full review of what I have before buying anything new as it is easy to forget when you haven’t worn it for a year.
  • Sustainable fabrics are particularly good for summer as organic cotton and bamboo are breathable and cool to wear.
  • Look out for fair trade accessories¬†also often features intricate embellishments and are great for adding a bit of colour and interest to a summer wardrobe.

What do you think? Do you find yourself buying lots of new clothes for holidays? Do you have any tips to buy less?

Here are a few of my holiday instagrams

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With warmest wishes


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A Woodstock Party

Woodstock Party Outfit

Vintage dress – Etsy
Boots – Minnetonka
Watch – Jord

Last weekend I had a Woodstock themed party (a belated 40th birthday celebration).I took the opportunity to invest in a vintage dress, that I know I will wear again lots in the future, to wear with my Minnetonka boots that Mr S bought for my birthday.

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The invites described the dress code as sixties, hippy and festival inspired giving guests the opportunity to dress up as much or as little as they liked. It was great to see the colourful  and creative outfits that everyone came up with. Here is me with my sister.

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My birthday was in April but I decided to wait until May for my party in the hope that the weather would be better. I was so glad that I did, despite a few showers in the afternoon, the weather was amazing! Which is great as a key part of my Woodstock party plans, involved decorating the garden. I had been planning for quite a few months checking out Pinterest for ways to try and create my own mini Woodstock in the back garden. This floral CND sign was made by my daughter using a cardboard template that she cut out covered with tissue paper flowers that she made.

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We put up a small marquee/ tent in the garden and hung printed sheets which I bought from Amazon. These sheets will be reused for picnic blankets when we go campervanning.

Woodstock party

I created a meditation area using a printed sheet and old campervan cushions with a sign drawn by the children on an old chalk board.

Woodstock Party

I invested in some some love crocheted blankets to cover our old plastic chairs and for guests to wrap up in later in the evening if it got cold. After the party, these will also be moved to the campervan ready for chilly summer evenings camping and festivals.

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I ordered some reproduction Woodstock posters from Amazon to pin to the fence. For music, I found a local (Bristol) singer/ acoustic guitar player to play music from the sixties and seventies. He was amazing and really gave the party a great atmosphere with guests (including me) dancing and playing the tambourine. I also put together a Spotify playlist with lots of Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Kinks, which was fun to make.

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The Wooden hand furniture was a birthday pressy for Mr S bought at a festival last year. The garden was also decorated with numerous fairy lights, lanterns and candles which looked amazing once it got dark. Unfortunately I didn’t really manage to capture this on camera.

sign for woodstock party

I ordered this sign from Amazon. It is now a permanenet fixture on our garden fence.

sweets

For food we had a BBQ followed by salt caramel profiteroles, strawberries and mini cupcakes. I also put out some retro sweets incase anyone got a sugar craving later on.

Wo

I had an amazing night! Probably drunk too much and unfortunately the time seemed to fly by too quickly. I have lots of lovely photos and happy memories though.

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Mr S bought me this forty sign  for my birthday for everyone to sign.

Admitedly the clear up operation was fairly extensive but we managed to get cleared up by lunch time Sunday, just before the next group of friends and family arrived for another BBQ to make sure we used up all of the leftover food. I won’t lie, it has been a tough week at work, after such a busy and fun weekend.

I hope that you have been enjoying the amazing weather.  What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

The Big Four Oh

DSCN4981 (3)Hat – 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.

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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

Tea and pastries for my birthday

veja daps

My Veja daps, they are so comfy

Bristol magazine

My interview about ethical fashion in Bristol Magazine.

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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

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DSCN4974 (4)sDress – 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.

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?

Marks and Spencers dressDress – 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.

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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

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With warmest wishes


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Minnetonka Mocassins – Story Behind the Brand

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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.