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

The People Tree Lulu Moon Print Dress

DSCN3111 4 The People Tree Lulu Moon Print Dress
Dress – People Tree
Shoes – Dream in Green
Necklace – Vintage

Ok so you probably know that I am a mahusive fan of People Tree! Well imagine my delight when they asked me to pick out a piece from their latest collection to try out. It took me a while to decide (bit like a child in a sweetie shop) but I finally managed to settle on the Lulu moon print dress.

I loved the flattering style and lovely print on the dress and knew it would work for work which is the time when I have the most of those got nothing to wear days. I also love the colour which is great as an equally slimming alternative to black.  It fitted perfectly and is probably one of my favourite dresses in my wardrobe.

Do you want to know a little more about the dress?

It is made from organic cotton which ensures a better deal for the farmers and a crop grown without the use of pesticides which are damaging to the environment and to the health of humans.

The dress was made by a social enterprise called Creative Hands which works with disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai, India giving them a sustainable livelihood and helping to empower them. The mission of Creative Handicrafts is to build sustainable communities where respect for people is held high and there is no differentiation based on caste, gender or religion. Hundreds of women who have learnt skills with Creative Hands have either started their own businesses or continued to work within Creative Hands co operatives with benefits including creches and daycare for their children.

If you haven’t already checked out the People Tree Autumn Winter collection, it is definitely worth a peep with some lovely prints as well as work wear and even lounge wear and PJs.

People Tree have kindly offered me a discount code to share with my readers just enter HEATH10 at checkout for 10% off.

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend doing not too much at all. What will you be doing this weekend? Hope that you have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!

DSCN3054 2 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!
Dress – Ruby Rocks
Leggings – People Tree
Jacket – M&S
Shoes – Melissa

Yesterday we went for a family lunch at a nearby Georgian Manor house. It was the perfect preparation for the new season of Downton Abbey (definitely something to cheer me up despite it being the end of the summer). Actually when I went wandering around the corridors to find the toilets, I found a row of servants bells just like in Downton Abbey! After lunch we just about had time for a wander around the beautifully kept gardens.

Despite the slightly cooler weather,I decided to get what will probably be the last wear of the year out of one of my favourite dresses by ethical brand Ruby Rocks. I love the bright tropical print beats plain old black for me any day! I added leggings and a bolero/ jacket to add a little warmth and cover up the open back.

h1 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!

 

h2 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!h3 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!The weekend before, Mr S and I celebrated 15 years of marriage with a spa break at Charlton House in Somerset. I didn’t take any photos of my outfits as I was far too busy lounging around the spa in bath robes. It was an amazing place with delicious food, incredibly helpful staff and yet more interesting history.The hotel was previously owned by Mulberry owner Roger Saul. The decor inside was lovely and our room had a mezzanine with the bathroom upstairs. I would definitely recommend a trip if you are feeling in need of time to relax and be pampered.

ch1 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!

 

ch2 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!ch3 That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!
Apart from swanning around beautiful country houses and hotels, I have also been busy picking blackberries. I just can’t get enough of free food.My freezer is stuffed full but I prefer to eat them fresh if possible. I also made my own version of the blackberry tart in my Jamie Oliver Italian cookbook (I used ready vanilla flavoured quark instead of marscapone).

blackberries That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!
blackberry tart That Ruby Rocks Dress Again!
Are you feeling sad that the summer is coming to an end? or are you looking forward to an autumn of cooking up comfort food, cosying up to watch Downton Abbey?

With warmest wishes

Pin It

Ethical Fashion – My Holiday Packing List

236 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
I got back from holiday less than a week ago but after a couple of days back at work it feels like forever ago! This year I thought that I would share with you my favourite sustainable and ethical fashion pieces for taking on holiday with me. In the true spirit of sustainability, I try not to buy new things each year for holiday, after all it is only 2 weeks and I have lots of clothes. I would rather spend my money on a lovely meal at our favourite Italian restaurant where we can watch the sunsetting and the waves crashing over the rocks. I did however treat myself to a dress from Oxfam Fashion by Monsoon, just because I couldn’t resist it and I knew it would be comfy and cool for the lovely hot weather in Tenerife and a pair of flip flops because my old ones had worn out. In the picture above are a few of my summer holiday staples.

Fairtrade cotton vest tops – Marks and Spencers
Marks and Spencers have a small selection of Fairtrade cotton vest tops but they are really versatile and cool for hols. Marks and Spencers are also doing quite well in terms of ethics and sustainability as reported by Ethical Consumer.

Necklaces – Made
Made are an ethical jewellery company creating beautiful jewellery in their workshops in Kenya with a view to harnessing the talent and skills of local artisans, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training.

Cut off Jeans
Not overly inventive, but a great way to extend the life of a piece of clothing. When my jeans started to wear out, instead of throwing them away, I made them into shorts.

Friendship Bracelets
I love wearing friendship bracelets. I got these ones from a website for recycling jewellery.

Hat – Pachacuti
I love Pachacuti hats, not only do they look great and keep the sun off my face but are also helping to preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes by combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

Sunglasses – Colin Lesley Eyewear
These sunglasses are made from a combination of sustainable bamboo and recycled acetate and plastic.

Gandys FlipFlops
I wrote about the story behind the brand for Gandy Flip Flops in my last post.

Sarong
I bought this sarong nearly 20 years ago when I went on a conservation diving expedition to Belize. To me a piece of clothing that last 20 years is pretty sustainable. I love that it also  reminds me of the amazing time I had spending 2 months on a desert island in Belize.

Along with these staples, I also took some of my favourite ethical dresses most of which have been regularly featured on this blog.

096a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Monsoon

102a1 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Oxfam Fashion

192a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Earth Kind Originals

215a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List

Dress – Ruby Rocks

What do you usually pack for hols? which are your holiday staples that you take with you year after year?

With warmest wishes

Pin It

Ethical Workwear – Summer

042 Ethical Workwear   Summer
Dress and Scarf – Braintree Clothing

I hope you are enjoying the summer! I am loving the gorgeous weather everything just seems to much happier. The warm weather can throw up a few challenges in finding ethical workwear though. The office can get quite warm despite the air conditioning and so I like to wear sleeveless dresses but also want to look reasonably smart and would feel uncomfortable in anything too skimpy.

I invested in this dress a few months back and it fits the bill perfectly as it is really lightweight and cool but also below the knee. I ordered a size up than I usually might wear for a really comfy loose fit. The dress is by Braintree Clothing, a brand which I love for their ability to create relaxed but pretty clothes with just a hint of boho. The SS14 collection features some of my favourite colours in soft comfy separates and unique prints. I love that the style of the dress will not really date so I will be able to wear it year after year on hot summer days in the office. If you are looking for affordable clothes that are ethical and sustainable, I would definitely recommend checking them out. The clothes are ethically made from hemp, bamboo and organic cotton, all of which feel great against the skin especially in hot weather.

Which are your favourite ethical brands for summer?

Things have been pretty busy lately, but I have managed to steal a bit of time to work on creating a new store for my blog which you can check out here. The store contains a large selection of ethically and sustainably made clothes including vintage, upcycled, organic, fair trade and vegan. I am hoping to make shopping a little easier for anyone who loves fashion but does not want to compromise on ethics. There are plenty of amazing brands out there but sometimes it can be a little difficult to know where to look. The store is a work in progress so I hope to continue developing and improving it. I would love to know what you think.

With warmest wishes

Pin It

Truck Festival

010a Truck Festival
Crochet Waistcoat – Marks and Spencers
Dress – Komodo
Baseball Boots – Ethletic

32a Truck Festival
Headdress – Little Wings
Dress – Skunk
Funk

On the weekend, we went to Truck Festival. It was the first time that we had been but it came highly recommended by some friends. We had a fantastic time and the pretty dramatic weather conditions didn’t spoil it one bit. On Friday night we had loads of rain but as we were tucked up in bed by that point, it didn’t bother us much except for the odd drip through the slightly leaky campervan roof.

i1 Truck Festival
On saturday, we saw Dodgy on the main stage (remember them, staying out for the summer!). The sky turned black and the wind suddenly picked up. Luckily the storm passed us by but not before I got the chance to take some pictures of the dramatic skies.
i4 Truck Festival
Once the skies had cleared and after much nagging by my daughter, I managed to put aside my fear of heights and for a ride on the ferris wheel. I will have to admit the views were pretty amazing even though I was terrified.

i3 Truck Festival
We chilled out with cocktails and watched the sunset and then headed over to check out Roots Manuva on the market stage. Finally I treated myself to a Truckers curry from the foodstall. It was amazing lentil dahl, chappatti and 2 freshly cooked onion bhajis for a fiver!

Overall I was pretty impressed with Truck Festival. It was really chilled out and whilst I hadn’t heard of many of the bands playing, I enjoyed listening to the music anyway. All of the food stalls were run by local charities organisations like Rotary so not only was the food great value but buying the food also meant you were helping a good cause. The festival was quite small and the campervan field wasn’t too packed giving us plenty of space. The tickets are pretty reasonabley priced too. Dare I say it, we had a trucking good time!

i6 Truck Festival
I love a festival as it gives me the chance to wear some of my more unusual clothes that I don’t often get the chance to wear at home. I treated myself to a necklace from ethical brand Made UK in the ASOS sale which I wore with a fairtrade cotton vest top from good old M & S with some cut off jeans. Actually I don’t want to keep this just for festivals though, I wonder whether it is possible to get away with neon for work!
i5 Truck Festival

Anyway we are home and back to work feeling pretty tired after such a busy weekend. Roll on next weekend!

What have you been up to? Have you been to any good festivals this year?

With warmest wishes

Pin It

A People Tree Dress for Work

001 A People Tree Dress for Work
I have blogged before about how I love People Tree dresses for work and the Evette Green Tree Dress (which also features in my new blog store!) is one which I am definitely getting plenty of wear out of this year. I bought it a month or so ago when I found that the temperature in the office was getting too much for me and I just needed something cool and comfy to wear that also looks quite smart. I love the print, I love the length and I love the collar, but most of all I love the fact that it is made from jersey so is lovely to wear. Comfort has to be my one of my main priorities these days or life just becomes to hard work and I end up a flustered mess.

I have had the shoes for about 10 years, they were from a high street shop that I would never step foot in these days as the quality is so bad and the ethics questionable but actually these have lasted me pretty well and it would certainly be wasteful to throwout a perfectly good pair of shoes.

The last few weeks have been relatively quiet, although I still don’t feel like I have had time to do anything much. I have been trying my best to get organised ready for phase 2 of my busiest summer ever!

I hope that you are having a fabulous summer. What are your favourite outfits for the warmer weather?

If you have been posting about any festivals,I would love to read about them. Also I am in desparate need of outfit inspiration, please link in the comments section so that I can check out your posts and outfits.

With warmest wishes

Vintage Nostalgia

079 Vintage Nostalgia051 Vintage Nostalgia071 Vintage Nostalgia059 Vintage Nostalgia068 Vintage Nostalgia
vn7 Vintage Nostalgiavn6 Vintage Nostalgia

vn4 Vintage Nostalgiavn5 Vintage Nostalgiavn3 Vintage Nostalgia

vn1 Vintage Nostalgiavn2 Vintage Nostalgia
Finally I have found time to post some photos of a Vintage Nostalgia that I went to back in May. Vintage Nostalgia is small but rapidly growing vintage event, show, festival, what ever you want to call it, held in Stockton in Wiltshire. This year was the first time that I had been to Vintage Nostalgia and I was definitely really pleasantly surprised. The sun shined, there was a fantastic selection of vintage cars, campervans and caravans. Most people had made a huge effort to get dressed up for the event but for those that didn’t want to, that was fine absolutely too. I could have just sat and watched the amazing outfits for hours, with a glass of pimms in hand of course. There was also some great entertainment for the children, dance lessons and enough vintage clothes and homeware stalls to keep me busy all weekend. The event was well organised with plenty of camping space, just enough toilets and a really friendly atmospere.

I took full opportunity to wear some of my vintage dresses and only wished it had lasted a little longer giving me the chance to wear some more of my dresses. For next year I would definitely try and get down a little earlier to allow me to enjoy more of the Friday evening.

Have you been to any other vintage events/ festivals, I would love to hear which ones are best?

With warmest wishes

Pin It

Gusti Leather Bag Review

085a Gusti Leather Bag Review
086a Gusti Leather Bag Review

091a Gusti Leather Bag Review

 

Bag – Gusti Leather
Jacket – Nancy Dee
Dress – SkunkFunk
Boots – Dream in Green

I was recently contacted by Gusti Leather (www.gusti-leather.co.uk) to see if I would like to review one of their beautiful leather bags. Of course I jumped at the chance, especially as I could do with a new handbag for work, my satchel is great for the winter but a little too chunky for summer clothes and the strap has begun to fall apart on another bag that I have had for many years. I picked out the H2 Katy shoulder Tote bag, which is the perfect size for my work essentials including purse, phone, make up bag and diary. The bag is open at the top making it really easy to reach in and grab what I need but also has 2 zipped sections for a little added security for my keys and phone. They also have a lovely selection of satchels, backpacks and luggage on the Gusti Leather website.

My bag turned up with a pot of natural coloured polish and a bag to keep in perfect condition. As you can see from the photographs, it is beautifully made with lovely natural looking leather and a luxury lining. The bag smells a little but it isn’t unpleasant, one of the children described it as being like play dough.

Gusti Leather aims to create unique ad stylish leather products using natural production and fair, controlled working conditions. The natural production method is what gives the bags their vintage style. The bag that I chose is from the Gusti Leder Natur collection which used leather that is vegetable tanned using natural elements of Babool tree bark and oil dyed using saffron, indigo and poppy. This cuts out on the dangerous chemicals usually used during in the tanning process which can be hazardous to both the people living and working near tanneries and the environment. The leather using in Gusti Leather products is also sourced from free range animals and their sustainable production method ensures that all of the animal (bred for meat) are used cutting out waste.

In order to ensure that bags are made in fair conditions and without the use of child labour, the producers used by Gusti Leather in Morocco, India and Italy are small, family-run businesses with which they have formed long term working relationships to ensure that their workers can live comfortably.

What do you think of Gusti Leather?

With warmest wishes

Pin It

Camping, Van West and a Mud Fest!

Jeggings – Oxfam Fashion
Happy T Shirt – People Tree
Shoes – Ethletic
Scarf – Everybody Warm

The last bank holiday weekend, we managed to get out and about with our first camping trip of the year. We only went just down the road to Bath to try out the campervan and caravan together, but we always feel like we could be a million miles away when we go camping. We spent an afternoon at Victoria Park and then on the Sunday went for a wander round Bath and followed by tapas.

The following weekend we went to our first festival of the year, Vanwest, A VW festival in Brean, Somerset. All credit to the organisers and stallholders it was a fab event as usual despite the appalling weather. It was such a shame to see so many people with broken tents or awnings and eventually due to the torrential rain and high winds on Saturday night many people, us included, packed up and went home on the Sunday morning. We then spend an hour hosing the mud off everything. The theme for Van West was super heroes and we certainly felt like superheroes camping in that weather although we were reletaively snug in our campervan/ caravan combo so no where near as superhero as those staying in tents. There were some fabulous superhero costumes unfortunately I was too busy drinking and my beer and listening to the music to take many photos but there are a few instagrams below.

Anyway here’s hoping for some more fab festivals and camping this summer minus the mud, rain and wind.

vanwest Camping, Van West and a Mud Fest!

 

 

vw1 Camping, Van West and a Mud Fest!vw2 Camping, Van West and a Mud Fest!vw3 Camping, Van West and a Mud Fest!
Do you have any fun plans for this bank holiday?

Pin It