Christmas!

This year we spent Christmas with my family in Cardiff which was lovely. Unfortunately we had to cancel our break between Christmas and new year in a luxury hotel in Port Merion in North Wales because of the terrible weather. I was pretty disappointed to start with but decided to make a best of  a bad situation by having a staycation at home. Yesterday we went out for a yummy Thai meal and today for brunch in Bath followed by crazy golf in the park, I have  a few more plans before returning to work in the new year.
026 Christmas!002 Christmas!
Coat – My Grandma’s
Bag – Reclaim Bags
Dress – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

010 Christmas! Christmas!

Jumper – Seasalt Cornwall
Jeggings – Oxfam Fashion
Scarf – Handknitted in Wales
Boots – Clarks

I was definitely spoilt this year with some lovely Christmas pressies including this clucth made from recycled tyres by Reclaim Bags. I wanted a large clutch that I could use for both daytime and evening and this one which Mr S gave me was perfect. I also had this lovely warm jumper from Seasalt Cornwall from my Mum and Dad. The handknitted scarf, again from my mum and dad, went perfectly with it. I really love that my mum went to a special effort to pick out beautiful and unique handmade accessories from her travels in both the UK and abroad for my Christmas pressies.

This Christmas definitely felt less consumeristic than previous years. I just had a few carefully chosen pressies and I tried to do the same for my friends and family. I have also noticed a lot of people trying to buy less, locally and more unique and special gifts. I have tried to spend more time with the children going iceskating, to the cinema and playing games rather than buying too many pressies (although they certainly had quite a few new things).

What have you been up to over Christmas and what were your favourite pressies?

Eco Living – Early Christmas Shopping!

As I am super busy at the moment I have decided to get started with my Christmas shopping nice and early. I prefer to plan a bit ahead as this gives me the opportunity to have a look around and find something really lovely (as well as ethical and sustainable) for my friends and family.

Here are some of my initial ideas, more to follow soon.

Children

jabari t shirt Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

habari Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!Johari have a great selection of bold and bright Africa inspired t shirts in their Johari Seedlings Collection, some like the one above are designed by children. They are handmade in 100% cotton and proceeds from the sale go to the Johari Foundation which helps vunerable children and young adults in Kenya with social enterprise and development programmes.

fair true fair trade knitted snowflake hat orange grey Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

I am also loving these handknitted bobble hats made by a Fair Trade group in Nepal, part of the WFTO Fair Trade Nepal Group, for Fair + True. They are available from Fashion Conscience which currently has a 10% discount with code AUTUMN10.

Mr S

black jamie fleece jacket cd2f3391fa6e Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!I think this Jamie fleece jacket by People Tree will be great for Mr S for those occasions when he wants to wear smart casual. It is made from Fair trade and organic cotton by a social enterprise in India.

Mum 

tide times poncho Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!I really love this Seasalt Cornwall Tide Times Poncho and I know my mum would too. As she has a birthday quite near Christmas, I could make it a joint pressy. It is made from supersoft lambswool.

Friends

candles Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

These Soya candles by M & J London are a lovely treat for my friends. They are handmade in London using the finest soya wax, essential oils and aroma compounds to create a Lavender, Manuka Honey and Cocoa scented eco-friendly candle. The glass is also recycled. They are available from Ethical Superstore along with lots of other great Christmas gifts including organic chocolate, fair trade jewellery and natural beauty products.

 Sisterfire hose Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!This iphone case is made from recycled fire hose and lined with parachute silk by Elvis and Kresse to protect the screen. It is available fro Fashion Conscience. Again I can make use of the 10% discount code AUTUMN10.

Have you started thinking about or buying Christmas pressies yet?

 

 

 

 

PS

This post is entered in the Blog Hop by Linky Tools at City Girl at Heart.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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What’s Your Style? My style is…


You might have already checked out the video for style-is.co.uk that was created at LFW this autumn to explore individual style and why fashion makes us feel good. I think that in order for style to be sustainable, we need to do our own thing instead of following trends and I hope that this video will help to get everyone thinking about their own individual style.

To help spread the word and get everyone thinking, I have just launched a competition for fashion and style bloggers over at style-is.co.uk. Basically all you have to do is check out the video above then create your own video or post before 15th November (midnight) on your blog answering the following questions

What’s your style?

Why do you love fashion?

Once you have done, add a link to the YouTube video http://youtu.be/p2TFLTyqVDU and www.style-is.co.uk. Our favourite post or video will be picked to choose a pair of TOMS shoes up to the value of £42 (UK blogs only), as featured on Style-is.co.uk. All posts will also be promoted and shared through our social media channels as part of our what’s your style campaign.

You can check out just a few of the styles of TOMS shoes that you can choose from below. This prize will also allow someone in need to benefit from the TOMS one for one initiative where TOMS shoes donate a pair for shoes for every pair sold.

TOM shoes1 Whats Your Style? My style is...

I know my readers have some amazing style? will you share it? I will be posting my what’s my style post soon!

With warmest wishes

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The Price of Ethical Fashion

029 The Price of Ethical Fashion
053 The Price of Ethical Fashion

 

068 The Price of Ethical Fashion
Dress – Orla Keily Collection at People Tree
Cardigan – Oxfam
Boots – Dream in Green
Ring – Really old!

Today’s post features an outfit that I wore on Saturday to pop into town and grab a few essentials with the girls. The cardigan was from Oxfam and cost me under £30. It is by the brand Whistles and still had the £135 label on it. I bought the cardigan not because of the label but because I desparately needed something cosy to wear, because I really loved the colour and the also the chunky knit. I hadn’t realised that it would be brand new with the tag still on and I certainly hadn’t realised that it would have cost so much new. This amazing find prompted me to try and post about how ethical and sustainable fashion doesn’t cost too much and how it was easy to find amazing and affordable sustainable clothing. The post proved more difficult than I thought because I guess so much depends on your definition of affordable and sustainable (it was brand new rather than second hand!)

In research for my post I decided to stop by a certain well known fast fashion retailers website to find a cardigan to use for my price analysis. I won’t name names but you can probably guess who I am taling about. Call me naive (I hardly ever go in clothes shops these days and have not set foot in this particular fast fashion store, at least within the last 10 years) but I was really shocked to discover that you could buy a cardigan for just £12! I am really wondering what a cardigan for £12 will look like. Now I know what people mean when they say ethical fashion is expensive. Comparatively speaking even my bargainous cardigan from Oxfam for under £30 was expensive.

I am afraid I have abandoned my original post idea on the basis that trying to justify the cost of sustainable fashion against fast fashion isn’t going to really work. Beautifully made clothes are always going to be more expensive than fast fashion. I am a firm believer that in most cases you get what you pay for. Even in this times when everyone is feeling the pinch with the rising cost of living, £30 for a cardigan or even £60 for a cardigan doesn’t feel expensive for me for something that you plan to keep and enjoy for many years to come. It is roughly equivalent to a month or two mobile phone contract for a new phone and I rarely see many people these days without the latest model of mobile phone (BTW my phone is quite a few years old as I would rather spend my money on clothes).

I can’t get my head round how a £12 cardigan can possibly be made under ethical conditions and can be valued in a sustainable way.

What do you think? Is ethical fashion expensive or is fast fashion just unrealistically cheap?

With warmest wishes

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Blog Action Day and the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers

HFFB logo 200x200 Blog Action Day and the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers floral dress1 Blog Action Day and the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers
Today is Blog Action Day and I am delighted to be part of the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers crew organised by Esther at Ms Wandas to talk about human rights and to promote ethical fashion and not only show how great it can look but also what a difference it can make.

There is an outfit competition going on at Ms Wanda’s and whilst I can’t actually enter as I am sponsoring with a prize throught style-is.co.uk, I thought I would put together an outfit anyway.

This is another little workwear outfit that have treated myself too. I know I have gone a bit crazy lately but here is why I class this as human friendly…

The dress is by Annie Greenabelle and is made from organic cotton in ethical factories committed to complying to the Ethical Trade Initiative Base Code. Organic cotton has many benefits including being made without the use of child labour or pesticides which are damaging to the health of both people and the eco systems in cotton growing areas. Organic cotton also helps farmers to build a more sustainable livelihood and to free themselves from the poverty cycle associated with pesticide usage.

The cardigan is beautifully soft cashmere and arrived in package of 3 cardigans that I ordered from Oxfam Fashion. I love buying clothes from Oxfam because not only do I get an amazing piece of clothing at a fraction of the price it would be new, I also help to save it from landfill and help an amazing cause at the same time. Oxfam make a huge difference around the world tackling poverty head on with practical measures like schools for children and healthcare. They also provide help to people in desperate conditions with the basics that they need to survive including clean water. Last year Oxfam helped 6.2 million people in 27 humanitarian emergencies.

My shoes are by Clarks and if you are interested, you can read more about their ethics in my last post here.

In the UK Human Rights is something that many of us take for granted. But recent tragedies in the garment industry in Bangladesh serve as a reminder that so many people around the world are struggling to survive without these basic human rights.

You can make a positive difference by choosing clothes that have been made with respect for people!

If you are taking part in Blog Action Day please share your post links in the comments section below. You can also make a difference by signing up to the 1% campaign below.

fashion statement Blog Action Day and the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers
With warmest wishes

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What’s Your Style? Style-is.co.uk visits LFW

Above is a video created by Natalja Safronova for my new YouTube channel. With this video, I hope not only to promote style-is.co.uk but also  to start conversations about fashion and style and why it is important to us. Ultimately I am interested in how we can take fashion and make it our own instead of just following the latest trends.

If you would like to join the conversation about fashion and style, please write your own post or make a video about why you love fashion and what your style is and post the link in the comments section below. You can also embed this video to your blog with the code below.

<iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/p2TFLTyqVDU” frameborder=”0″ width=”960″ height=”720″></iframe>via <a href=”http://www.style-is.co.uk”>Style is… Sustainable Fashion</a>

With warmest wishes

Join the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers for Blog Action Day

HFFB logo Join the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers for Blog Action Day

Last year for Blog Action Day, I was joined by a number of other fashion bloggers in an ethical fashion blogathon which you can find out more about here.

This year the need for more awareness of ethics in the fashion industry has become altogther more apparnet with the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. But the need for ethics in the fashion industry doens’t stop in Bangladesh, enforced child labour is happening in the fashion industry supply chain from the cotton fields of Uzbekistan to the bonded child trafficking labour in India which  you can read more about in my article for the Urban Times here.

This year Esther at Ms Wandas is organising something even bigger and better giving fashion bloggers the chance to get involved in something that could make a really positive difference, by starting a conversation about human friendly fashion. Blog Action Day is on October 16th and it is a great opportunity to use your blog to speak up for why human rights must be a fundamental part of the fashion industry.

It is really easy peasy to join up and get involved. All you need to do is pop over to Ms Wandas and sign up. You can then get your blog listed on the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers page here, download a Blog Action Day Kit which includes bagdes and avatars and a syndicated blog post to add to your blog and social media pages for blog action day. You can also join in the fun by entering the Human Friendly Outfit Competition.

Will you be joining the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers for Blog Action Day?

With warmest wishes

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Introducing Lady!

lady2 Introducing Lady!lady 3 Introducing Lady!

Mr S is wearing – T shirt by Indigreen and recycled silver necklace by LA Jewellery

Just arrived back from a wonderful holiday camping with our campervan at Cotswold Water Park. As soon as we arrived home Mr S dashed off to collect the latest addition to our family, Lady! I haven’t taken too many photos as she is just settling in and very nervous, I didn’t want to scare her with the camera flash but I am sure she will be featuring in plenty of outfit posts in the future. I’ll have to admit I wasn’t really keen on getting another cat but she is such a lovely cat, so cuddly and chatty, I can’t help falling in love with her.

The summer is almost over for me now with just a week left before I dive head first into at least 6 months of working in an office. Here are just a few snaps of my recent break and the last few weeks of summer hols. In case anyone is wondering Cotswold Water Parks is an amazing place to go camping, so much outdoors stuff to do, we had an amazing time.

strawberry pancakes p Introducing Lady!

Campervan Breaky – Strawberry Pancakescampervan trip Introducing Lady!

Hat – Pachacuti, Top – Kuyichi, everything else I am wearing is really old

The quickest way to get around the campsite – Mr S’s BMX!

reeds1 Introducing Lady!
Lots of lovely Lakeside walks

floral print mix Introducing Lady!
A floral print mix up! – Skirt – Oxfam Fashion Sale last year, top – a local charity shop.

Other stuff that I have been busy with over the last few weeks includes this post for Urban Times – Is your love of fashion supporting bonded child labour?

What have you been doing to enjoy the last few weeks of summer?

With warmest wishes

Ethical Workwear

chloe blazer 42c3af5161e1 Ethical Workwear

 

 

ellie meadow dress 7301ccd6dd13 Ethical WorkwearThings are going to changing around here a bit for a while. I am going to be working in the marketing department of a proper office (not my lonely little home office) for at least the next 6 months. This is quite a big change for me as I have been working from home for over 5 years now. Of course I have LOTS of clothes but immediately, I start to think, will any of them really work for working in an office?. Working from home you can pretty much wear what you like but from what I remember working in a office is going require a little more thought!

I have had a quick trawl of my wardrobe and discovered quite a few dresses which I think could work for an office. The one thing that I am sadly lacking in is a smart jacket. I have decided to make the most of the great sales and offers at People Tree this weekend and treat myself to some ethical work wear in the form of a blazer and dress (pictured above) that is reduced in the sale. I will also get free delivery and a £20 voucher.

charity shop jacket Ethical Workwear

I also grabbed a tailored jacket from the local charity shop for £6 although not hundred percent sure if the shoulders are a little on the puffy side and a floral print top for a few pounds which I guess will work well with a pencil skirt I have (another second hand buy).

As I have enough work clothes now and so many non work clothes that I probably won’t be wearing much for the next 6 months, today signals the beginning of a 6 month shopping ban, except for Christmas pressies of course.

If you are every in search of ethical / sustainable work wear or something to wear for an interview, I would also recommend Oxfam Fashion, loads of tailored jackets etc at great prices. Style-is.co.uk also has some great ethical workwear on its shift dresses page.

Do you work in an office? would you opt for ethical work wear?

With warmest wishes

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A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams

Braintree Clothing A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams

Cardigan – Braintree Clothing
Top- Stewart & Brown
Leggings – People Tree
Necklace – Made UK
Shoes – Really old
Bangles – Really old

Just before I went on holiday, I was really pleased to get an email telling me that I was a runner up in the Braintree Clothing Feel Good Fashion Blogger competition. You can check out my entry here. Of course I was really chuffed and immediately picked out this lovely cardigan that was waiting for me on my return.

The last week has been super busy catching up with work and clothes washing and having the children home from school. I am really enjoying our little trips out and about and picnics in the garden, it is actually going to be a bit of shock when they go back to school. Here are a few of my summer instagrams.

waterfall A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams

A beautiful waterfall at a place called Bowood, where I met my sister and cousin last week for a day out. There was also a really dark and scary cave.

lavender A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams
The Lavender in our garden which smells lovely and is covered in bees and butterflies at the moment.

feta and watermelon salad A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams
lunch and a shandy A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams
Mr S and I enjoyed a quiet moment, a shandy and lunch at a nearby pub during the heatwave before the children broke up from school. (Hat by Pachacuti)

cable cars A New Cardigan and Summer Instagrams
Cable cars to the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Summit.

Finally, I just wanted to share with you the latest post that I have written for Style-is.co.uk – High Street Fashion – 51 Sustainable Alternatives.

I hope you are having an amazing summer! What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

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