Cardigan – People Tree Top – Braintree Hemp Jeans – Oxfam Necklace – Ayala Bar Shoes – Ethletic
It’s been a while! actually almost a month since I last posted. Things have been crazy here (but fun!) camping trips, childrens birthdays, the launch of a project that I have been working on for ages at work and lots of assignment deadlines for the course that I am doing, the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. I just haven’t managed to find a minute of time although I have been desperate to share the beautiful birthday presents that I was given back in April.
The tassel bag is by a brand called Owen Barry which is based just down the road from me in Street, Somerset. The company has been established since 1948 and still manufactures everything in the UK in the same West Country factory using skins from sustainably sourcesd skins from Britain and Europe. The bags are handcut and stitched from leather or suede that has been tanned in rigorously controlled tanneries with all effluents disposed of in environmentally friendly ways. Interestingly and rather topically for today (being the first day of the Glastonbury Festival), the brand have teamed up with Emily Eavis, daughter of Michael and organiser of the worlds most famous festival to design a bag that is ethically sourced as well as being both mummy and festival friendly. A proportion of the profit from the sales of this bag will go to preserve Glastonbury Abbey. You can check out the full festival range including the TNG collaboration with Emily here.
The necklace which was also a pressy is by Israeli Artisan designer Ayala Bar. Her jewellery is handcrafted and influenced by the beautiful and unusal materials that she works with as well as her cultural background in Afghanistan. If you like colourful and unusual jewellery, I would definite recommend checking out her website www.ayalabar.com.
Finally I recieved a bamboo top by Braintree Clothing, one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. Not only are their clothes beautifully laid back and so comfortable to wear but they also wash and last well. They are made from sustainable fabrics like hemp and bamboo.
What have you been choosing to wear in this glorious weather, now summer has finally arrived?
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?
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.
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:
People Tree – the pioneer of ethical fashion, creating amazing clothes made in co operatives around the world with organic and fairtrade cotton.
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 – beautiful clothes handmade by fair trade groups in India and Nepal.
Sessun – a sustainable fashion brand that uses organic and fairtrade cotton wherever possible.
Adini – a very affordable ethical fashion brand with its factories being certified by Sedex.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Tatty Devine heart necklace
As soon as I sit down for a second, the cat jumps straight on my lap.
Red roses from Mr S.
A very yummy Valentines cake made by the girls.
I hope that you had a fab weekend, whatever you did.
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
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!
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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!