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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SisterThis 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?
This post is entered in the Blog Hop by Linky Tools at City Girl at Heart.
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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.
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
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
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.
With warmest wishes
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
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
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.
Campervan Breaky – Strawberry Pancakes
Hat – Pachacuti, Top – Kuyichi, everything else I am wearing is really old
The quickest way to get around the campsite – Mr S’s BMX!
Lots of lovely Lakeside walks
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
Things 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.
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
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.
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.
The Lavender in our garden which smells lovely and is covered in bees and butterflies at the moment.
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 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
I love the idea of crowd funding. Not only does it enable creative businesses to get funding for exciting projects by new talents, that might not otherwise be able to happen, it also allows us as consumers to get involved beyond just buying a product from brands that we love. It gives us a chance to be involved right from the beginning and play an important part in making the project happen. For ethical fashion brands crowd funding is great because it allows you to support something that you really believe in. I have noticed lots of exciting crowd funding projects for ethical fashion lately and wanted to share them with you.
Operation Wardrobe – Transforming Your Wardrobe Stitch by Stitch
This project has only 2 days to go and it is very close to its target. This campaign is on the new Crowd Funding platform dedicated entirely to fashion AudaCity of Fashion. The project by Junky Styling is to launch a capsule collection using upcycled suits at East to East, a new space opening its doors this autumn in Shoreditch’s Fashion Street. It has some fantastic rewards including a one of a kind clutch bag for a pledge of £20 I think it would make a lovely Christmas pressy.
Emi&Eve Recycle Ammunition into Beautiful Accessories
Turning something that is made to kill and harm people into something beautiful and fashionable may seem like a strange idea but that is exactly what this project is about and the end product is something pretty amazing. This Project is hosted by Emi and Eve on Indiegogo. The bags are made by disadvantaged artisans and disabled home workers and disadvantaged women in China, some of whom are disabled. The perks for this project include pendants, bracelets and clutch bags which would again make amazing Christmas pressies.
Antithesis – Modular Accessories Collection
Antithesis is a slow fashion label which creates transeasonal, multi functional clothes that can be worn in lots of different ways whether it be reversible, transformable or modular. They advocate quality over quantity. Their latest crowd funding project is hosted on Kickstarter and is a series of modular accessories (sleeves, waistbands, attachments) to go alongside our existing pieces. They want to encourage our customers to update their wardrobe without having to buy whole new garments. A pledge of £35 will get you a bamboo jersey t shirt for a man in your life (again I am thinking Christmas pressies).
Help IX Apparel Pop Up
IX Apparel is a London brand using high end fabrics and designs that are all sourced and made here in the UK. This project which is hosted on Sponsume is to fund a pop up shop which includes making at least 2 weeks of stock and designing and promoting the shop. For a £20 pledge you’ll land yourself an IX Apparel sticker pack, a t-shirt of your choice and a special mention on their Facebook & Instagram pages.
What do you think of crowd funding? would you support any of these crowd funding campaigns? Actually I am considering launching a crowd funding campaign of my own with some great rewards especially for fashion bloggers, hopefully will be able to reveal more soon.
With warmest wishes