A new season often can mean new clothes or a whole wardrobe revamp to keep up with the latest fashion. Not for me! This year I have committed to buying no new clothes for a year. Which I will have to say has been surprisingly easy, so far. Although I have had some pressies, which I haven’t counted in the challenge.
Now the weather has warmed up a bit (although hopefully it still has a way to go) I have switched around my summer and winter wardrobes. The dress and cardigan are by my favourite ethical fashion brand People Tree and the shoes by Swedish Hasbeens.You may recognise them as they have been featured on the blog before.
I love buying from brands like People Tree because the styles don’t go out of date and the high quality means that they last well. Although they are a little more expensive than some of the budget high street shops, they stay in my wardrobe for years, making them much more economic in cost per wear (and of course they are ethically made which is important to me). Shopping in this way is also much better for the environment as it doesn’t contribute to the mountains of fast fashion that go into landfill after only a few wears.
Buying less clothes means more money for having fun and this summer,we have our usual line up of festivals and camping trips lined up. We have already had weekends away in Weston Super Mare, my favourite place for donkey rides (the children not me!), icecream and walks along the pier. On our latest trip, we unintentionally stumbled upon a Mod and biker weekend, both at the same time, although apparently not intentionally. The campsite and seafront were filled with Scooters and Harley Davidson motorbikes, which of course I had to Instagram.
Here are my tips for buying less:
Always opt for quality over quantity. A well made piece of clothing will feel much nicer to wear.
Keep a note of how much money you are saving by not buying clothes compare to previous months and use the money do something really fun that will enhance you life and make you a happier person e.g. like dinner with friends or a spa day.
When buying new clothes, think at least a 6 months down the line, are you still likely to wearing and enjoying the piece of clothing you are considering. If the answer is no, walk away.
Never allow yourself to go shopping without having a good look in your wardrobe to see what you already have.
Always wait a week before buying something to give you time to consider if you really want it or need it.
Have you ever considered buying less clothes? Do you have any tips to share.
I have just discovered another lovely ethical fashion brand, What Daisy Did that not only creates some pretty amazing bags but also has a great story to tell. the brand was founded by Daisy and Ozric who have spent a number years working at festivals and were shocked by the amount of waste left and the disposal lifestyles of those who left tents, wellies, clothes and camping equipment. The bags are designed to last and made from recycled leather that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Their bags are about slow fashion with timeless styles and a protest against synthetic and disposable fashion.
The bags are made by two brothers in India Pinu and Manish who also source the materials which come from waste scraps and end of rolls from surrounding factories. The leather for the Forest collection is tanned with sunlight and vegetable oil, it is sourced from small scale and commmunity farming in Bangladesh. This is a much healthier alternative both for the environment and those working in the industry.
60 families inclusing both men and women are involved in making the bags, Many were tailors that lost their jobs in the trade shift to China. All of the tailors work from home which is 60km from where the brothers live, they are paid a fair commission making it possible for them to make a living wage within normal working hours but the flexibility that they are offered also allows them to study at universiy or look after children. Three master tailors are also responsbible for creating the templates of the bags twoof which are studing art at university.
Every last scrap of leather is used with any leftovers being sold onto a jewellery company.
Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the carnival collection.
The colours are amazing and I can definitely see these bags looking great at a festival. But who doesn’t need a bit of colour in their life all year round.
Dress- Annie Greenabelle (organic cotton) Leggings – People Tree (organic cotton) Hat – Pachacuti (Fair Trade) Shoes – Clarks Scarf – Shovava (Etsy)
Friday was my birthday and I was extremely lucky to recieve some beautiful presents by ethical fashion brands from my family. Whilst it is always lovely to know that someone cares about me enough to buy me a pressy on my birthday, I enjoy presents even more so knowing that they have been made with respect for people and the planet. This year I have decided to post about my presents in separate posts, to give me the chance to share a little more about each of the brands. First of all is the scarf given to me by Mr S (of course I did give him a little help in choosing!)
The scarf is handpainted and all the way from Australia(via Etsy), which seems like a long way to come but it was quite light to send and was definitely worth it as I really love it.The Shovava shop on Etsy features a range of handpainted scarves most with feather and wings designs on them. I choose my present because of the neutral colours with mint green accents which will be perfect for adding a little interest to my spring and summer wardrobe.
The designer, Roza started the brand to uplift people, even change the way they hold themselves. She says,
If you have wings, how can you be unhappy or act ungracefully?
The designs are inspired by the beauty of nature and the smallest details and aim to give joy. She values craftmanship, the honesty of the imperfect and the experience of creation. I wore my scarf on Friday which was also Fashion Revolution Day to wander around Bath. I was really pleased to discover a shop that has just started to sell organic and bamboo clothing.
Friday 24th April is Fashion Revolution Day. We are 2 years on from the day that the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Rana Plaza. Fashion Revolution Day was created as an annual event to ensure that we don’t forget that day and those that lost their lives. It is also about celebrating all of those that are working towards change in the fashion industry and trying to move towards a more sustainable future.
In preparation for Fashion Revolution Day, this week I have been asking the question to some of the brands that feature in my wardrobe. First up is Marks and Spencers, which I show in the picture above. The Label says ‘Made in India’ but unfortunately I haven’t had an answer to my question on Twitter ‘who made my clothes?’, perhaps I will try writing to see if I can get an answer. The website does explain Marks and Spencers committment to using 50% sustainable cotton (including organic, recycled and fairtrade by 2020) and I know that Marks and Spencers do have some great initiatives such as their Best of British collection but I can’t actually find out anything about the people who make the clothes. Shame as I find M&S clothes great in other ways and they always last well.
Of the other main brands that I wear, I didn’t really need to tweet them to find out who made my clothes as these brands just get it. They are transparent and share the information about who makes their clothes.
People Tree have plenty of information about who made their clothes on both their website and clothing labels. People Tree transform the lives of farmers and artisans in developing countries by working with cooperatives and fairtrade and organic cotton producers. You can find out more about each of the groups on their Who Makes Our Products Page or in the videos like the one shown below.
Another one of my favourite brands Nancy Dee creates beautiful organic cotton jersey clothes. Nancy Dee make their clothes in a factory in the UK and I was pleased to see pictures on their blog of the ladies (and men) whose handiwork creates their lovely clothes.
Do you know who made your clothes? would you joining the revolution and asking your favourites brands #whomadesmyclothes on Twitter. You can find out how to get involved on the Fashion Revolution website www.fashionrevolution.org
I was recently contacted by People Tree to see if I would like to be featured in their Eco Edit magazine and to choose an outfit to wear from the SS15 collection. Of course I jumped at the chance as People Tree are definitely one of my favourite brands with clothes that work well for me and great ethics. Not only are their clothes produced in an ethical and sustainable way, but as a brand they work hard to make a really positive impact on the lives of those in their supply chain. Defintiely a brand that I am always happy to promote and recommend.
I particularly love the Orla Kiely collections at People Tree for their cute retro prints and simple styles. The top that I am wearing features the 50’s inspired birdwatch print. I also picked out the skirt because it is so comfortable to wear and has a flattering ruched panel at the front. The cardigan is a great neutral colour to go with just about anything for those days when the air conditioning at work gets too much. The beaded bag, necklace and bracelet from the People Tree accessories collection were the finishing touches to my outfit choices. The boots are my faithful old Dream in Green boots. You can find out more about the People Tree Orla Kiely collection in the video below.
Have you checked out the People Tree collection for SS15 yet? What did you think? which are your favourite pieces?
Life has been super busy and I am sorry that I haven’t had as much time as usual to blog about ethical fashion. I have been really busy with work (in a good way!), I have just enrolled to do a Diploma in Digital Marketing and campercan season has finally arrived, so this weekend was spent our first trip of the year to WestonSuper Mare.
Although I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like, I have been sticking to my ‘no new clothes for a year’ sustainable fashion challenge. Now three months into the year, I haven’t bought any new clothes. Actually it has been pretty easy, especially as I have been so busy, I don’t have time to think about shopping. The time that I do have I try to use relaxing and spending time with family and friends rather than spending money on stuff I don’t need. So far it is proving to be a win win situation.
As time is ticking on and I have another super busy day tommorrow, I thought I would just share a few Instagrams of my Easter weekend.
We went on a lovely coastal woodland walk – enjoying the best of both worlds, beautiful views of the sea and lots of mud for my daughter to stomp in!
We cruised the seafront from Sand Bay to Weston on the open top bus. A journey which I never tire of on a sunny day.
We took the girls on a donkey ride.
We walked along the beach
I hid eggs and chocolate bunnies around the campsite, the girls found them and scoffed them.
I have discovered my new favourite hairstyle for camping, braids. They stop my hair
getting tangled up in the wind. It was great to also have the chance to wear my Patagonia T shirt which sums up just how I feel with its slogan ‘Live Simply’
I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend and managed to make the most of the fantastic weather. What have you been up to?
Hat – Pachacuti Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags
On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.
It is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.
I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.
Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.
I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!
I am loving the new Braintree clothing collection for spring which features some super flattering tunic style dresses, drapey cardigans, bohemian skirts and slouchy trousers. The unique prints and patterns are inspired by spring blooms, Japanese inspired florals, patchwork and classic stripes. Fabrics include soft organic cotton and bamboo jersey which are both cool and comfortable to wear, sustainable hemp and ethically produced wool. They also use recycled polyester, tencel made from recycled wool and rayon, all more eco friendly alternatives to conventional cotton or synthetic fabrics(made from petro chemicals). Having bought clothes from Braintree clothing in the past, pieces which still now feature in my wardrobe and every day outfits, I can vouch for the beautiful quality of the clothes.
They also have a fab new website design with the Bthoughtful blog full of ideas and tips on style, living and being.
If you are planning a super chilled out and ‘thoughful’ spring and summer (I certainly am), Braintree clothing have the perfect choice of clothes to wear!
Of course life isn’t just about getting out and about, we all need a little down time and Braintree clothing has a lovely new collection called Braintree Be which features super comfy but stylish clothes that you won’t feel ashamed to pop out to the shop in. Perfect for relaxing on the sofa after work or on weekends or a chic choice for a yoga or pilates class. These are just the sort of clothes I love to wear post workout.
Braintree Clothing have kindly offered readers of this blog a lovely 10% of when they use code STYLEEYES10.
What do you think of Braintree Clothing? and how are you planning to chill out and enjoy yourself this summer?
Dress – Nancy Dee
Necklace – People Tree
Shoes – Clarkes
As Sunday was Mother’s Day, I decided to get a bit dressed up in my favourite dress for a bit of Sunday Lunch, cooked by Mr S. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you will know that Nancy Dee is one of my favourite ethical fashion brands, with organic cotton and bamboo jersey pieces which are both comfy and flattering to wear, making it the perfect choice for a day of eating. The necklace is from People Tree a few years ago, I haven’t worn it as much as I could have done, but now I have tried it with this dress and love how it looks, I definitely think I will wear it again soon. It is the shape of a round collar embellished with sparkly beads, just the sort of beautiful, intricate and detailed fashion that People Tree excels at.
I was spoilt with lovely cards and pressies from my girls including the Deliciously Ella cookbook which was definitely on my wish list. I have been making a conscious effort to try and eat more healthily by cutting down (almost cutting out) both alcohol and meat. I have also been cutting my sugar intake by snacking on some of the recipes from the Deliciously Ella blog. The book will make it a little easier to cook the recipes as I don’t have a tablet which I can use to view recipes in the kitchen. I may be imagining it, but since switching to my healthier lifestyle (only 2 or 3 weeks so far), I have definitely felt like I have got more energy.
Unfortunately on Sunday, I blew the healthy eating with not one but two breakfasts, one made by each of them and a ‘few’ glasses of wine. Here are just a few instagrams from my Mother’s Day.
My daughter has been on for a while about making a dress for her tiny teddy. Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect time to get on and do it.
My youngest made me this breakfast with Greek Yoghurt, bananas, almonds and honey. Not only was it delicious but set me up well for the 2 hours of exercise classes I did ij the morning.
Lovely cards from my girls
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to spoil my mum this Mother’s Day as we have to share her around. But I will be making up for it in a few weeks time when I see her.
On checking my Google analytics stats for the blog the other day, I was quite surprised to find that more than half of the visitors to my blog are men. Strange but true, according to Google.I kind of assumed that men weren’t too bothered about ethical clothes, but pleased to see they are. As I haven’t posted about ethical fashion menswear for quite some time, I thought it would be good to give a little update on ethical fashion for men this spring.
This fun shirt by Braintree Clothing is made from sustainable organic cotton (45%) and hemp (55%). Braintree are committed to both people and planet with a comprehensive code of conduct, a commitment to invest in helping their factories to grow with them and investment in sustainable fabrics, thoughtful design and considerate manufacture.
Get 10% off at Braintree Clothing with discount code STYLEEYES10
People Tree have a lovely menswear collection for SS15 including this organic cotton palm tree t shirt. Mr S particularly loves the fit of People Tree t shirts. I love the fact that buying them helps to make a positive difference to the lives of those involved in their manufacture.
Rapanui is a cool brand and award winning eco fashion company making fab organic cotton clothes using renewable energy on the Isle of Wight.
For spring TOMS have some fab men’s sneakers in fresh colours including these striking woven black and white ones. For every pair of TOMS shoes bought, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to someone in need.
Timberland make some very stylish clothes and also have a strong commmitment to creating clothes ethically and sustainably. This polo shirt is a classic piece that will never go out of fashion.
Do you have any favourite ethical fashion menswear brands that you would like to share?