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

Marks and Spencers – Best of British Dress Review


DSCN3282 2 Marks and Spencers   Best of British Dress Review

I decided to treat myself to a new dress from the Marks and Spencers Best of British Collection. I was particularly in love with the swirly print on the dress and its super comfy fit which is so perfect for work. It is also quite cosy for work. I wouldn’t usually wear anything this body con by the 2 layers of fabric and ruching around the stomach make it much more flattering than other body con styles that I have tried in the past. At £59 for a high quality and well made dress, I consider it to be quite good value.

Whilst Marks and Spencers does not spring immediatley to mind when you think about sustainable and ethical clothing, there are a number of factors which mean that their clothes work for me.

Firstly Marks and Spencers clothes alway fit well and last for ages. This dress is incredibly comfy and warm and washes really well. The Best of British Collection is helping to preserve the British manufacturing industry. This dress was made Lee Ann, an ethically and environmentally responsible manufacturer based in Lecietershire. The dress was not only made at their UK factory but the fabric was also knitted, dyed and printed there.

label Marks and Spencers   Best of British Dress Review

Marks and Spencers are also committed to sustainabilityand improving the environmental performance of their operations through plan A.

Marks and Spencers have also recieved the Carbon Trust Triple Award 2014 with its accolades including zero waste to landfill and becoming a zero carbon company. By 2020 Marks and Spencers aim is to be the worlds most sustainable major retailer. The plan includes procuring 50% of cotton from sustainable sources and publishing an annual list of clothing suppliers across the world. They also support local charities through their UK stores and national initiatives like Macmillan coffee mornings, beach cleans for the Marine Conservation Society and Shwopping where they work with Oxfam to reuse and recycle clothes.

The dress is made from Modal, elastane and polyester. Modal is a a cellulose fibre from beech trees. It is a renewable and biodegradable fibre and much better than cotton in terms of the crop yield needed. Beech trees do not require irrigation or pesticides and are grown on marginal, non-agricultural land unlike cotton. The polyester lining of the dress is not ideal environmentally although it does mean that it requires less energy to launder as it dries quickly and doesn’t require ironing.

What do you think of Marks and Spencers? would you consider their clothing to be sustainable?

With warmest wishes

Ps Just to let you know that I bought the dress myself and have not recieved any payment for this review. Although I do sometimes work with M&S and many other retailer through their affiliate programs and this post does contain affiliate links.

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Handmade Christmas Gifts – Etsy

In the first part of my festive series about handmade Christmas gifts, I will be sharing some Etsy finds for anyone looking for something a little different to the mass produced stuff that you see everywhere.

I know it is quite early to be thinking about Christmas but I do like give myself plenty of time so that I kind find the perfect handmade Christmas gifts!

owl and otter 3 Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy
owl and otter 1 Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy


Owl and Otter
are based in Brighton and create cute handmade jewellery from bamboo, a sustainable material which is both renewable and biodegradable

dandelion necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy
There is something magical about Dandelion clocks and I love how Natural Pretty Things has captured that as well as other little pieces of nature like daisies in this hand made and polished resin jewellery.

bow tie Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

collar Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

heart necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

hare cushion Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

Copley & Holdsworth hand make unique clothing, accessories and homeware using recycled leather.

moasico Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

Morganacrea Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

For something a little unusual, I love the recycled inner tube jewellery by Morgana Crea. Not that you would ever guess that is was made from something that would otherwise be waste as it looks so amazing. The jewellery is made in Turin but shipped worldwide.

glitter eye Handmade Christmas Gifts   EtsyThis amazing glitter eye handbag is made by Kirsty at Luna on the Moon in East London.

deer Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

 

panda Handmade Christmas Gifts   EtsyEthical History Museum also have some very cute brooches which would make great little handmade Christmas gifts, secret santa pressies or stocking fillers. 15% of profits go to animal conservation and protection.

lh Handmade Christmas Gifts   Etsy

 

pjs Handmade Christmas Gifts   EtsyLast but most definitely not least is Luva Huva, which contains at least a few items that will be on my list this Christmas. Luva Huva handmake beautiful lingerie and lounge wear from organic cotton, in the UK.

Have you started thinking about Christmas pressies yet?

With warmest wishes

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Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

DSCN3274 3 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

Dress – Nomads
Bamboo leggings
Necklace – Soko
Shoes – Clarks

I was recently contacted by Nomads to see if I would like to try out a piece from their new AW14 collection. The new collection is filled with rich autumn colours, pretty prints and bohemian styles so of course it took me a while to decide. In the end I choose this marmalade cord dress as I loved the relaxed cut for wearing with leggings on weekends or dress down days at work. I also loved that the dress would be great for cosy layering come winter and the marmalade colour makes a great change to the usual wintery blacks and greys that are around at this time of year.

So why do I love Nomads

Nomads fits well with how I like to think about fashion. They have their own very unique signature look which is not dictated by the seasons latest trend making it great for anyone her prefers to do their own thing.The great thing about Nomads collections is that they are timeless, so a great investment that will look as good next season as they did this season.

Nomads clothing is also fair trade

Nomads is a brand that is committed to fair trade fashion. This means that they believe in helping their producers (and themselves) to create a sustainable living in a ‘trade not aid’ approach. They ensure that standards for their clothes comply with fair trade guidelines. Nomads ensure that no children under 16 are involved in making their products, that men and women are given equal pay and opportunities in the work place, they are paid at least the national average or above, they are employed in safe working conditions with regular breaks and holidays. Finally producers are paid in advance to avoid them getting into debt to pay for materials.

Fairtrade fashion at Nomads doesn’t just mean that producers are getting a fair deal though, it also means that they create beautiful clothes as a result of the artisan skills and traditional techniques used by the producers. Patchwork, tie dye, hand applique and block prints from Bagru, a village in India, all feature as part of Nomads collection. Nomads also donate some of their profits to support a charity Tamwed which works to overcome poverty in areas of Southern India.

Nomads are working hard to minimise their impact on the environmental

Almost all of the fibres used by Nomads are natural and they are increasing the number of organic pieces included in their collections as it becomes more readily available to them. They also use azo free and natural dyes which have least impact on the environment. They recycle materials in some garments and use waste fabric to make beautiful bags. They also use biodegradable packaging.

You can see some of the organic cotton pieces from the collection below…

NF23SMAR60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress
Organic Cotton Marmalade Jasmine Print Scarf

WJ27MAR60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

Organic Cotton Marmalade Jasmine Print Cowl Neck DressEF46IRY60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress
Organic Cotton Plain Embroidered Shirt

What do you think of Nomads? What do you love from their AW14 collection?

With warmest wishes

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Timberland UK – 25% Off!

25% Off full price clothes at Timberland Online with discount code FRIENDS25A(valid until 27/10/14  23:59)

I am really pleased to be able to share a fantastic offer for Timberland, a brand that not only has a fantastic range of high quality clothes and shoes suited to both those that love the great outdoors and urban jungle but also that has a strong commitment to sustainabiility, ethics and transparency in its supply chain. Timberland clothes are also made to last, for an investment that should stick around in your wardrobe for many years to come.

waterproof canvas long shell jacket Timberland UK   25% Off!

As a large fashion retailer, I think Timberland is a great example of fashion brands can minimise their impact. For example the waterproof canvas long shell jacket pictured above is made of organic cotton. The fact that Timberland clothes are both sustainable and ethical doesn’t impact on either their style or performance though.

Timberland cherry mountain jacket Timberland UK   25% Off!
If warmth is your number one priority at this time of year,this Timberland Cherry Mountain Jacket is a great pick. It is water repellent and the diamond quilted design not only looks great but will keep you toasty warm with its unique PrimaLoft® insulation. As this jacket is made using recycled plastics, it helps to reduce landfill, lessen energy consumption thereby cutting harmful emmissions.

Timberland Earthkeepers Birchmont Side zip Buckle Timberland UK   25% Off!
The Timberland Earthkeeper shoe range also goes well beyond the traditional yellow boot that the brand is so well known for (although you can still buy these too if you want). THese Timberland Earthkeeper Birchmont side zip buckle boots would work equally well for work, days off and evenings out. They also have anto fatigue technology which will help you to stay on your feet for longer. The Timberland Earthkeepers range uses high performing recycled PET (made from old plastic bottles) to linings, laces, uppers and insulation, to faux shearling and even the backing of faux fur.

You can check out the Timberland website to find out more about how they are pioneering to increase transparency in the supply chain and develop innovative new materials that combine performance with sustainability.

Fix Up Look Sharp

Peach flannel and Denim crop F1.jpg 600x900 Fix Up Look SharpfulsReindeer F1 Fix Up Look Sharp
fulsPurple with purple green stripe F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

 

fulsBlack with Autumnal square F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

fulsSquare print F1 Fix Up Look SharpfulsDenim with grey flannel HH F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

fulsMFix up tshirt F1 Fix Up Look Sharp
I first discovered Fix Up Look Sharp at a fashion show at Bristol Big Green Week a few years back. Fix Up Look Sharp are all about raising money for an incredibly worthwhile charity Clic Sargent. CLIC, as I think it was previously called has helped my family during very difficult times and so is a charity very close to my heart. Charities like CLIC Sargent provide invaluable clinical, practical, financial and emotional support for children with cancer and their families helping them to deal with the shock of the diagnosis but also assisting them in getting the most out of life.You can read more about Charlotte, Fix Up Look Sharp Ambassador, her style and her journey here.

Fix Up Look Sharp have just launched a fab new website featuring their latest collection which takes charity shopping to the next level with fresh styles upcycled from vintage and second hand clothes. The clothes also offer great value with prices starting at £15 for a t shirt. They also have some great accessories including necklace, hairbands and beanie hats.

They had a launch a few weeks ago in Bristol and will be holding a launch party in London this Thursday.It looks fun and well worth a visit if you are nearby.

fuls Fix Up Look Sharp

I hope you are having a good week and not getting too wind swept by this dastardly weather!

With warmest wishes

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