Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 is from 23rd February to 8th March. It celebrates and promotes Fairtrade products including coffee, sugar, cocoa, tea, bananas and cotton and the positive impact that buying them can have on the lives of the farmers growing them. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. The Fairtrade mark is a guarantee for shoppers that the products have been produced in accordance with social, economic and environmental standards set out by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International .

Whilst you can buy clothes made from (certified) Fairtrade cotton, the Fairtrade mark is only used to certify commodities rather than manufactured products like clothes. The term ‘Fair Trade Fashion’ is used to describe clothing that has been manufactured in accordance with fair trade principles. Fair trade fashion is often handmade in developing countries and involves a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect placing importance on the rights of marginalized producers and workers. Yup it is pretty confusing but both certified Fairtrade cotton clothing and fair trade fashion are both good options if you are looking for beautiful clothes that make a positive difference to peoples lives. Here are some of my favourite places to buy them:

martha embroidered dress in grey dc2cc077a38d Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

People Tree – the pioneer of ethical fashion, creating amazing clothes made in co operatives around the world with organic and fairtrade cotton.

pachacuti Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Pachacuti – Amazing panama hats which preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes through combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

bibico Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Bibico – beautiful clothes handmade by fair trade groups in India and Nepal.

sessun jacket Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Sessun – a sustainable fashion brand that uses organic and fairtrade cotton wherever possible.

adini dress Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Adini – a very affordable ethical fashion brand with its factories being certified by Sedex.

nomads shirt Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Nomads – Beautiful hand made clothing  that comply with a comprehensive Fair Trade policy. Nomads is recognised by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops.

Have you ever shopped with any of these brands? If so, what do you think?

Have a amazing week!

With warmest wishes

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Nancy Dee For Valetines Day


DSCN3900 2 Nancy Dee For Valetines Day

For Valentines Day myself and Mr S went into Bath for Tapas. My outfit features a dress and jacket by Nancy Dee, one of my favourite ethical brands at the moment. Nancy Dee makes all of their clothes in the UK from beautiful soft, comfy and cosy organic cotton jersey fabric. It is a real joy to wear. I couldn’t help accessorising my outfit with my glitter heart necklace by another ‘Made in Britain’ fashion brand, Tatty Devine. If I can’t wear a heart necklace on Valentines Day then when can I wear it!

The boots are my faithful Dream in Green boots which are made from vegetable tanned leather. This is a more eco friendly alternative than conventionally tanned leather. I love these boots as they go with just about anything and the wedge heel means that they add a bit of height but  are still really easy to walk in.

It was lovely to have a bit of time to ourselves for once as life can get so crazy busy with work and the children’s busy schedule of homework, clubs and socialising. On Saturday I also did my first training walk in preparation for a 30 mile walk across the Brecon Beacons. It was amazing to get out in the fresh air early in the moring and the perfect opportunity to catch up with my 2 friends who I haven’t seen since Christmas. As usual the weekend has just flown by and I can’t believe that it is back to work tommorrow.

I will finish by sharing a few Instagrams from the last week.

poncho Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
I love dream catchers and was delighted to get this very cute mini one along with the seventies poncho that I ordered from LA based, Desert Cat Vintage on Etsy.
huevos ranchos Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
This is probably one of my favourite breakfasts ever. Huevos Rancheros.It is basically egg poached in a salsa (tomatoes, onions, chillis and peppers), served on warm tortilla with grated cheese and avocado.Jamie Oliver has a recipe for it here.
bento Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
My daughter loves having Bento lunch boxes or ‘themed lunch’ as she calls it. I don’t have time to make it every morning but this week I managed to make a Valentines themed lunch with teddy sandwishes and heart shaped veg.
td Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
My Tatty Devine heart necklace
lady1 Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
As soon as I sit down for a second, the cat jumps straight on my lap.

flowers Nancy Dee For Valetines Day

Red roses from Mr S.
cake Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
A very yummy Valentines cake made by the girls.

I hope that you had a fab weekend, whatever you did.

With warmest wishes

Ethical Fashion in the Sales

I always think the sales is a great time to try a new ethical fashion brand. With reduced prices and most ethical fashion brands having their own signature styles that don’t really go out of fashion, you can often bag yourself a great investment piece that will stay in your wardrobe for many years to come. In the past I have been a little too quick to grab bargains just because they were reduced rather than because it was something I really needed or wanted. I now tend to avoid the post Christmas rush to grab a bargain in the sales, instead allowing myself a little more time to carefully consider what I am buying. Here are my favourite ethical fashion finds in the sales

sessun Ethical Fashion in the Sales
First up the Altia Marl Jersey dress by Sessun at ASOS. Sessun is the label of French designer  Emma François. She is known for both her feminine but functional aesthetic with simple silhouettes highlighted with unique detailing and her ethical stance. Wherever possible Sessun clothing is made from organic fibres and Fairtrade crops. This 100% cotton dress is reduced from £90 to just £40!

reclaimed2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
The ASOS Reclaimed collection features vintage, deadstock and reworked pieces, that have been sourced from around the world. I love the versatility of this A Line Denim Pinafore which has been reduced from £90 to £40.

lulu moon print dress cb75f18b3a16 Ethical Fashion in the SalesI already have this Lulu moon print dress by People Tree and it is probbaly one of my favourite dresses. It is made from organic cotton by a social enterprise working to empower disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai, India. It has been reduced from £105 to £52.50. Shopping ethical fashion in the sale at People Tree helps them to generate the resources to place orders for future seasons ensuring a brighter future for the artisans and producer groups involved.

spring lilly cardi wst1888 apple front2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
This apple coloured Spring Lilly cardigan by Braintree Clothing is made from soft organic cotton and adorned with pretty crochet flowers. It is perfect for layering over dresses when spring arrives.

Shakespeare008 3 1024x1024 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
For the fellas, there are also some bargains to be had with this lovely linen shirt at ethical menswear brand Arthur&Henry reduced from £79 to £60. Arthur&Henry shirts are top quality and ethically made from high quality organic and fairtrade cotton.

Zalando dress Ethical Fashion in the Sales

SkunkFunk is another of my favourite ethical fashion brands and this lovely Zora dress (which by the way I would happily wear for work or a night out) is reduced from £105 to £55. SkunkFunk make clothes that last beyond the latest fashion trend and are also made from sustainable fabrics.

Did you buy anything new in the sales? Do you have a strategy for sales shopping? I hope you are having an amazing 2015 so far!

With warmest wishes

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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?

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.
DSCN3426 3 Outsider
Dress – Outsider
Belt – Handmade
Bag – Junky Styling
Boots – as before

DSCN3437 2 Outsider
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

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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Win £100 of Bibico Clothes

£100 Win £100 of Bibico Clothes

This October, I am delighted to be teaming up with Bibico to offer one very lucky reader the chance to win £100 to spend at Bibico.

Bibico is a brand that is not only known for its beautiful clothes and simple, natural signature style but also for its honest approach to creating ethical fashion. Spanish designer, Nieves Ruiz Ramos set up the brand after working in the fashion industry for 10 years and wanting to create an alternative to fast fashion, an alternative that could be worn and enjoyed again and again.

Bibico’s clothes are stitched, woven and knitted in fair trade co operatives using natural materials. The collection is made extra special by the fact that pieces have been hand made or hand embroidered with a little bit of heart. Bibico clothing is created for everyday wear with uncomplicated styles and unique details highlighting the brand philosophy that ‘less is more’.

The Autumn / Winter Collection at Bibico features:

Fair trade clothing made by two women’s cooperatives that are both fair trade certified by the WFTO. The cooperatives provide women with training, education and work, empowering them to move themselves and their children forward and out of the world of poverty.

Hand made pieces – Bibico knitwear is hand knitted in the hills of Nepal by groups of women who are members of a fair trade cooperative. Most of the knitting is done from home which means they don’t have to travel to the cities and can stay close to their families.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize is to complete as many entries as you would like using the Rafflecopter below. The closing date is 31st October. Good Luck!

(Sorry this giveaway is only open to readers in the UK)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Traidcraft Paisley Shawl

DSCN3113 3 Traidcraft Paisley Shawl

Shawl – Traidcraft
Hat – Pachacuti

Necklace -Made
Jeans – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Fairtrade cotton vest top – M&S
Shoes – TOMS

Quite a few years ago I stopped shopping on the high street. I now do most of my clothes shopping online as it not only allows me access to a much greater  choice of ethical and sustainable clothes but it also allows me to find different clothes that are a little bit more unique and individual than you can often find on the high street. I don’t really follow trends any more but lovely finding really lovely pieces of clothing often in places I may not expect to find them.

Traidcraft was one of those places that I knew about but had never really considered buying clothes from. Traidcraft is a fairtrade organisation which I knew about for their coffee, delicious chocolate and gifts but I was surprised to find out that they actually sell quite a few clothes and accessories too. I was recently contacted to ask if I would like to recieve a piece from the website and was instantly drawn to this lovely paisley shawl. I have already had several compliments when I have worn it. I really love that I can find out exactly how and where it was made.

It was handwoven in India by Manjeen Handicrafts is an organisation with a vision to promote an alternative trade system in the form of Fair Trade at grassroot levels to bring structural changes in the contemporary mode of trade, and increase the choice among the marganilsed artisans and their families for an improved quality of life, to help educate their children.

The Traidcraft website also has some other great pieces from hand knitted and alpaca jumpers to organic cotton pieces, colourful bags, leather bags and bamboo socks. They also have some really unique handmade gifts if you are looking for nice Christmas pressies. I know the words ‘fairtrade’ don’t always make you think of something fashionable and stylish but I am not going to let such preconceptions get in the way of finding beautifully made and unique pieces of clothing.

What do you think? Do you love finding unique and individual pieces to wear? Doesn’t it make it even more satisfying to buy something that has been created with respect for people and the planet.

With warmest wishes