The Shift Dress – Thrifty Thursday

shift dress 2 The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday

I wanted to dedicate this weeks thrifty Thursday to the humble shift dress. I have a number of different shift dress and being quite short with out much of waist, the style always works well for me. The shift dress pictured above (the picture was taken in 2011 but I have been wearing the exact same shift dress today) cost me around £10. Not bad for a dress that I wear so regularly. As shift dresses are such a classic style, they are not usually difficult to pick up in  a charity shop.

I find a plain colour is perfect for showing off my favourite accessories including statement necklaces and scarves. I also love a patterned shift for a brighter look for the evening or worn with a jacket for work.

Oxfam Fashion just happen to have a lovely selection of shift dresses at extremely thrifty prices. Here are my faves:

reiss shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Reiss Cream Ivory Shift Dress – Size 12/14

Floral Shift Dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Floral Shift Dress – 12/14

vintage lace shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Handmade Lace Dress (1960s)

vintage betty barclay dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Betty Barclay Shift Dress

debut black dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Black Shift Dress – size 12

navy and white shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Navy and White Shift Dress – Size 12
fluorescent flowery shift The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Fluroescent Floral Shift – Size 12

What do you think of shift dresses? do you wear them?

I hope that you are having a good week? Not long to go until the weekend, I am so ready for it!

With warmest wishes

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

Thrifty Thursday – Vintage Ponchos

DSCN3815 2 Thrifty Thursday   Vintage Ponchos
I have had a real craving for vintage ponchos lately. So much so that I couldn’t help but treat myself to a few from Etsy (One of which is pictured above). There have been lots of blanket capes around this winter but I don’t think that anything you could buy on the high street really competes,to an original vintage poncho. They are usually made from much better quality materials and have unique details that you won’t see in the high street shops as much. I really love the bold colour and pattern on my poncho. They are also really cosy. I am hoping my vintage ponchos will not only be great for this cold winter weather but also on cooler evenings when camping or at festivals.

Here are a few of the other vintage ponchos that I found on Etsy.
Vintage ponchos Thrifty Thursday   Vintage Ponchos

Top right – 70’s Arran Knit Poncho – Gold Canary Vintage (Etsy)

Top left – Vintage Native American Blanket Cape – Black Pagan Vintage (Etsy)

Bottom left – 70’s Fringe Poncho – Crush Vintage Candy (Etsy)

Bottom right –  Blanket Poncho – Shabby Babe Vintage (Etsy)

If there is one place that sells amazing vintage ponchos, it is Etsy. Here are just a few of the lovelies that I have seen. Although many of them come from the US or  abroad so have a higher delivery charge, I still think they are pretty good value for such a gorgeous and wearable piece of history.

For anyone who can knit Etsy also have some pretty amazing vintage poncho knitting patterns and craft supplies.

Do you shop on Etsy? What are your favourite finds?

 

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No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year1 No New Clothes for a Year

I am perhaps a little late jumping on the band wagon but I have decided to take up the challenge, which has already been taken up by a number of other bloggers, for ‘no new clothes for a year’. I am hoping that it won’t be a particularly tough challenge as I have as many clothes as I need and I love vintage clothes and charity shopping. I am still going to write about ethical fashion brands for the blog but my outfits (and all the clothes that I wear in general) will be clothes that I already have plus the occasional ‘new’ vintage or second hand pieces. It will also be made much easier by the many places to go for tips including:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

If you know of any more no new clothes blogs or posts please let me know in the comments.

I will also be using the ‘No New Clothes for a Year’ challenge to introduce a greater focus on buying less and second hand clothes to this blog and hope to be posting more DIY / upcyced fashion posts to this blog as well as a weekly ‘thrifty Thursday’ feature. I hope to get the challenge off to a good start by having a massive clear out of my wardrobe and sorting out a pile of clothes to mend, alter and upcycle.

My ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge will have a few little get outs though. I will if I need to buy new underwear and fitness clothes as these are not things that I would be happy buying second hand, but for these I will of course try and stick to my usual principles of buying from ethical and sustainable brands. And of course presents don’t count because it would be rude not to accept a pressy but I won’t active encourage anyone to buy me anything new as a present and if asked will suggest second hand or vintage choices.

So there I have done it! I have committed to no new clothes for a year. Are you doing any sustainable or  fashion challenges this year?

With warmest wishes

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Everyday Ethical Fashion, Birthday Celebrations and Natural Beauty

DSCN3739 2 Everyday Ethical Fashion, Birthday Celebrations and Natural Beauty

Jacket – Nancy Dee (organic cotton)
Heart Necklace – Tatty Devine
Top – M&S (Fairtrade Cotton)
Jeans – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Shoes – Clarks

Last weekend Mr S, the girls and I headed over to my mum and dad’s house to stay for the night and to go to my sisters 40th birthday party at a nearby venue. It was a fantastic night and it was so lovely to see my big Sister along with Cousins, Aunt, Uncle and Grandma. After dancing all night, it has taken me all week to catch up on my sleep but it was definitely worth it. The outfit pictured above was what I wore before the party. The jacket by Nancy Dee is made from organic cotton jersey making it amazingly comfy to wear and the perfect sort of sustainable and ethical fashion to wear for everyday. I also wear it quite often with a black dress for work. For the party, I wore my People Tree Lulu Moon Print  dress(organic cotton again).

As my sister is only just over a year older than me, it got me starting to think about my 40th next year and what I want to do. I will probably have some sort of party/ celebration for family and friends but would also like to arrange a special trip for the four of us. I have no idea what yet but I think it would be great to experience either some amazing culture or wildlife and scenery. I am not keen on too much noise or hussle and bussle. So far I have been thinking about Iceland or Scandinavia. Please let me know if you have any ideas or have been any where amazing that would you could recommend for a family holiday. I will of course be starting a Pinterest board soon.

This week, I have also been thinking about the beauty products that I use. In 2015 I would like to start using more natural beauty products and will hopefully be sharing some reviews on this blog. Do you have any recommendations for great products or good blog to follow that feature natural beauty and or ethical fashion. Please share in the comments below.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend. I am chilling out this weekend and apart from a few exercise classes and a big pile of washing, I haven’t done very mcuh. Anyway I am off for another cup of tea!

With warmest wishes

Lovely Layers

DSCN3720 2 Lovely Layers
DSCN3723 2 Lovely Layers

Earrings – Bristol harbour market
Cardigan – Nomads
Circular Scarf- Nomads
Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Leggings – People Tree
Shoes – Clarks

It is so cold and windy at the moment, I could quite happily wrap myself in a duvet and not come out again until spring arrives! When it comes to clothes at this time of year, comfort and cosiness are a major priority for me. Being quite short, bulky sweaters can be a bit over powering and make me look even shorter so I often opt for thin layers which are warm but not too bulky. As far as ethical fashion goes, I am pretty lucky, there are plenty of choices for jersey clothes and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, soy and viscose are almost always super comfy and feel great against the skin. Some of my favourite brands for supersoft and sustainable fabrics are being Nancy Dee, Annie Greenabelle, Earth Kind Originals and Seasalt Cornwall.

I recently treated myself to a few new layers with my Christmas money. I was pretty pleased with this outfit as I think it is probably one of the most comfy outfits I have. The dress is Annie Greenabelle and the leggings by People Tree, they are both made from organic cotton, the cardigan and circular scarf are by Nomads Clothing, a fair trade fashion brand.

2015 has been pretty busy so far with lots going on at work and at home. I have applied to do a Diploma in Digital Marketing, which I will begin next month. It should keep me busy!

I have also been busy updating my Ethical Fashion Brand Directory. I thought it would be good to give a little more information about each brand rather than just a list of links as it one is really special in its own way. I am over half way there so should be finished soon.

Other than that, I have been drinking lots of tea, which is definitely one of my favourite activities in this cold weather. Unsually this weekend, I shall be partying.

to kill a mocking bird Lovely Layers
Last night I went to see ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ at the Theatre Royal in Bath, which was fantastic. I read the book for GCSE which was a long time ago now, the play really brought it to life. I would definitely recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

tatty devine 2 Lovely Layers
I also treated myself to a few little goodies from Tatty Devine with the last of my Christmas money.

What have you been up to so far in 2015? and what are your favourite clothes for this time of year?

With warmest wishes

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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

DSCN3666 2 Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

DSCN3670 3 Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015
Dress – SkunkFunk
Necklace – Wolf and Moon
Shoes – Clarks

Yet another year seems to have rushed by, it doesn’t seem like any time ago when I was making plans for 2014. 2014 was an amazing and very busy year. I am looking forward to some exciting times ahead for 2015 with lots more plans and I am determined to fit in even more fun. For New Years Eve,we had a fairly quiet but fun night with some neighbours coming over for dinner cooked by Mr S. I took the opportunity to wear my new Wolf and Moon necklace (a pressy from Mr S) with my SkunkFunk dress (pictured above). We stayed up to watch the fireworks on TV and drink champagne. After this I was more than ready for bed after a day at work.

I had a lovely long lie in today giving me the chance to reflect on 2014 and start to plan for 2014. The highlights of 2014 for me were having a job that I really love but also getting the opportunity to reduce my hours to a little less than full time, allowing me a bit more time for myself and my family. We managed to do lots of travelling in 2014 with holidays to Cyprus and Tenerife as well as numerous trips in the Campervan. I particularly loved Vintage Nostalgia, a small but perfectly formed festival for vintage lovers and Truck Festival, another smallish but charming festival. Trekfest in June when I walked 30 miles across the Brecon Beacons was also amazing and left me longing for an even bigger challenge in 2015. 2014 also ended on a high with the chance to spend Christmas on the beach in Cornwall.

For 2015,I am not really making any new years resolutions but will of course be continuing to be as sustainable and ethical as possible with my style and live a little more healthily. Here are a few of the things that I have planned:-

  • To continue learning Spanish
  • To do a Diploma in Digital Marketing
  • Sailing in Spain
  • Camping in the Isle of Wight
  • Revisiting our favourite festivals and trying out some new ones
  • Cooking lots of new recipes that I have never tried before
  • To visit more art galleries and watch more films
  • Walking lots!
  • To find more time for meeting friends
  • To build an even better blog and Ethical Fashion Bloggers Community

What are you hopes, plans and resolutions for 2015? Did you do anything fun for NYE?

A very Happy New Year, Here’s hoping for an amazing 2015!

With warmest wishes

My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

beach 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

This year we decided to have a less is more kind of Christmas. We scaled down the number of pressies and the amount of food and instead packed up the car and headed to Mawgan Porth in Cornwall for a more eco friendly Christmas and the chance to relax and have some family time.

We stayed….

eco cottage Cornwall My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

At Merlin Farm Eco Cottages – a family run business and beautiful escape just 10 minutes walk from Mawgan Porth Beach and about an hours walk around the headland to Watergate Bay. They were super luxurious, cosy and had everything we needed (including bamboo bath robes) but had also been built and equipped with the aim of minimising their environmental impact (you can read about this on their  website if you are interested). Just outside our gate was a field with horses, chickens, ducks, horses and donkeys which was heaven for my youngest. She even got the chance to feed them on Christmas Eve.The cottages have received countless awards including a Green Tourism Gold Award.

DSCN3547 2 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

We walked…

beach My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas Eve we went for lunch in the local pub followed by a walk on the beach before cosying up by the log burner to watch Elf.

christmas day My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas day, after pressy opening, we cooked, ate and cleared up a traditional Christmas lunch by 2pm before heading for another beach walk.

rainbow My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Boxing day,the weather wasn’t really good enough to walk along the headland Watergate Bay for lunch at the Beach Hut (one of my favourite places to eat watching the waves roll in)as planned so we had to drive, but did manage yet another walk on the beach. Finally the day after boxing day, we attempted that walk along the headline but got scared by the very strong wind and a fast approaching storm and chickened out half way there, taking refuge from the rain and a quick bevvy (or two) in a local pub.

We ate….

DSCN3501 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

I ordered everything we needed from the local Trevilley Farm Shop.I was glad to be supporting a local business and buying food that had been produced locally including meat, eggs, cheeses, cream, cakes, chutney, jam, bread, butter and even ice cream. Our food was delivered to the cottage on the evening that we arrived with the most amazing Cornish pasties, still warm from the oven, which was just what we needed after the journey. The food all tasted amazing and the veg was really fresh.

This year I tried to buy as many hand made, organic and sustainable pressies as possible. Mr S had t shirts from People Tree, my mum, a hand painted scarf and my dad, locally made chilli sauces and chocolate. The children both had electronic pressies but I tried to choose useful presents that would last.  I made my own wrapping paper and Christmas crackers.

I also got some very lovely pressies including

charlottes web My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
A feather bangle by Charlottes Web, a fairtrade brand on Notonthehighstreet.com from my mum and dad.

pressy2 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Body Shop Body mist and a photo album from my girls

pressy 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

and some CDs and a necklace from Mr S by Wolf and Moon, which I featured in my Handmade Christmas gift guide here.

DSCN3652 41 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

I also got a lovely cardigan from Bibico from my sister, M & S PJ’s from my Mother and Father in Law and some money, which I used to treat myself to an organic cotton handyband by Seasalt Cornwall (pictured above with a Seasalt Cornwall jumper, a pressy from last Christmas)  from the beach shop at Watergate bay. It kept my ears toasty warm on our windy walks and can worn in lots of different ways. With the rest of my money, I have treated myself to a few ethical and sustainable pieces of clothing in the sales which I will no doubt be featuring on the blog soon.

I wore…

DSCN3515 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Dress by Annie Greenabelle, Leggings by People Tree
DSCN3544 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Dress by People Tree (Mr S also wearing his new People Tree t shirt)

DSCN3593 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Whilst it was cosy in our cottage, there was a strong sea breeze outside! I was glad of my jacket bought from a vintage fair a few weeks ago and a hat from Ricefield Collective.

So that is it, a very relaxing Christmas in Cornwall! I would definitely do it again. I am now back to work for a few days before New Year. What did you get up to over Christmas? I hope that you had a lovely time!

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