It feels like a long time since I have been able to post and I have really missed blogging! Apart from holidays sailing with my family in Valencia and camperanning with Mr D and the girls in Devon in August, I have been super busy at work, launching a new blog and also doing a CIM diploma in digital marketing in the evenings. I am now nearly a third of the way through my diploma and whilst it is super interesting and I have learned a huge amount, I can’t wait to get back to blogging adn relaxing a bit in the evenings.
The dress picture above was one that I bought from People Tree a year or so ago but could never quite get on with the sleeves. As I didn’t have many casual dresses for my sailing holiday, instead of buying something new, I decided to take the sleeves off. I am really glad I did, the dress feels like a better style for me now. Valencia is an amazing place and lovely and hot in august, with sleeves, this dress would have been too warm. Of course I didn’t actually wear this dress for sailing, I wore a much more practical shorts and t shirts for that but the dress was perfect for sitting out on deck in harbour or going out for a meal. Here are a few Instagrams of my summer.
Drinking cocktails in the Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Camping in Devon
I am really pleased to have started writing for Huffington Post, my first post is about the no new clothes for a year challenge, you can check it our here. I am hoping I am going to be able to write some more posts about sustainable fashion too.
Whilst we are already in October, it has been lovely to have a little bit more sunshine, I have been trying to pop out at lunch time every day to enjoy it. How have you been enjoying this lovely weather?
I am looking forward to a little bit of time off this weekend and the chance to catch up with my favourite blogs.
Top – Braintree clothing
Scarf – Braintree clothing
Shorts – high street
Handbag – Owen Barry
Shoes – ethletic
I am not really a big fan of the term ‘festival fashion’ which implies that there is a whole category of fashion dedicated to that once or twice occasion of attending a festival. On the other hand, I am a big fan of many of the features associated with festivals including hats, fringing and quirky styles and am quite happy to wear my kind of own version of festival fashion all summer long.
This year we have been to Truck Festival in Oxfordshire, a smaller boutique festival that seemed to have grown massively since last year. We saw Basement Jaxx, who I love and Clean Bandit amongst others but for me going to festivals is about having a good time and soaking up the atmosphere than pushing my way to the front to see the main acts, which I can’t really be bothered with. With also went to V-Dub Island which is a festival for those with a love of VW cars and campervans but also featured some really good music and some vintage stalls. Whilst the weather for Truck festival was amazing, at V-Dub Island, we found ourselves knee deep in mud and on the Sunday decided to leave a day early for another campsite on the Isle of Wight for fear of getting campervan and caravan stuck in the mud.
Dress – Annie Greenabelle Leggings – People Tree Scarf – really old (from the high street) Jacket – vintage
The wind and wet wreaked havoc with my hair but we weren’t going to let it get us down, there was nothing to do but head for the pub. A delicious meal and a few beers later and the world felt like a much happier place. The sun did come out though and we ventured to the local monkey sanctuary the next morning followed by an afternoon and evening in Ryde. We had a delicious meal at the Three Buoys in Ryde with pre dinner cocktails sat out on the balcony.
Unfortunately I haven’t had much time for posting over the summer with festivals and the assignment that I have been working for my CIM Diploma. I hope to have the final copy finished today, which will be a relief as I am now a third of the way through the course. Looking forward to catching up on my favourite blogs very soon.
What have you been up to over the summer? Have you been to any festivals?
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?
Last weekend, we headed over to Vintage Nostalgia in Stockton. We went to the festival last year and really enjoyed it and this year was great too. It seemed to have grown a bit since last year but still had the same relaxed and friendly vibe. I looking at the old cars, listening to the music and browsing the vintage fashion and homeware stalls. Most of all though, I love getting dressed up and checking out all the amazing outfits that everyone wears. Although it is not compulsory to get dressed up and not everyone does, there are some pretty good opportunities for people (and vintage style) watching.
As with any event of this kind, the weather can make or break it. As much as I love wearing a ladylike fifties dress, after getting soaking wet in the rain (camping) on Friday, I just couldn’t get warm. I opted for a seventies vintage poncho (which I treated myself to from Etsy a few months back), worn with my trusty modern day (via Oxfam) jeggings. In the evening I swapped the poncho for another warmer knitted version (again seventies).
On Saturday, the sun came out and I braved it and wore a vintage dress which I have had for quite a few years (fifties or maybe sixties I think!). I added a red belt from a clothes swap a few years ago, a vintage yellow bag that I picked up in a charity shop a few years back and my Nancy Dee jacket for a little extra warmth. Unfortuntely muddy fields and heels don’t really go, so I wore my Ethletic shoes. The outfit felt perfect for sitting in the sunshine sipping pimms!
Unfortuntely, the lovely weather didn’t last and by 6pm, a very cold wind forced me to revert back to jeans and a hoody layered with just about everything that I could find to wear in the campervan. I love the style of the fifties but I don’t know how they coped with the this kind of weather in the summer! I was sorry I didn’t bring my faux fur coat to keep me warm, although it wouldn’t have been much good in the rain.
We had a lovely weekend, but not sure I have been so pleased to get back to my nice warm bed!
What did you get up to at the weekend? Did you manage to enjoy the little bit of sunshine?
A new season often can mean new clothes or a whole wardrobe revamp to keep up with the latest fashion. Not for me! This year I have committed to buying no new clothes for a year. Which I will have to say has been surprisingly easy, so far. Although I have had some pressies, which I haven’t counted in the challenge.
Now the weather has warmed up a bit (although hopefully it still has a way to go) I have switched around my summer and winter wardrobes. The dress and cardigan are by my favourite ethical fashion brand People Tree and the shoes by Swedish Hasbeens.You may recognise them as they have been featured on the blog before.
I love buying from brands like People Tree because the styles don’t go out of date and the high quality means that they last well. Although they are a little more expensive than some of the budget high street shops, they stay in my wardrobe for years, making them much more economic in cost per wear (and of course they are ethically made which is important to me). Shopping in this way is also much better for the environment as it doesn’t contribute to the mountains of fast fashion that go into landfill after only a few wears.
Buying less clothes means more money for having fun and this summer,we have our usual line up of festivals and camping trips lined up. We have already had weekends away in Weston Super Mare, my favourite place for donkey rides (the children not me!), icecream and walks along the pier. On our latest trip, we unintentionally stumbled upon a Mod and biker weekend, both at the same time, although apparently not intentionally. The campsite and seafront were filled with Scooters and Harley Davidson motorbikes, which of course I had to Instagram.
Here are my tips for buying less:
Always opt for quality over quantity. A well made piece of clothing will feel much nicer to wear.
Keep a note of how much money you are saving by not buying clothes compare to previous months and use the money do something really fun that will enhance you life and make you a happier person e.g. like dinner with friends or a spa day.
When buying new clothes, think at least a 6 months down the line, are you still likely to wearing and enjoying the piece of clothing you are considering. If the answer is no, walk away.
Never allow yourself to go shopping without having a good look in your wardrobe to see what you already have.
Always wait a week before buying something to give you time to consider if you really want it or need it.
Have you ever considered buying less clothes? Do you have any tips to share.
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
Hat – Pachacuti Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags
On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.
It is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.
I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.
Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.
I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!
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.
For today’s Thrify Thursday post, I decided to share an idea I have for upcycling an old tie. It is super easy and only takes a minute so I have decided to create my first ever YouTube video to show how I did it. Whilst I have enjoyed making this video, I am not sure it will be a regular thing, in fact this may well be a one off!
Whilst I love wearing scarfs in my my hair, they can be a little bit flimsy and slip out of place. I find that a tie makes a much better hair accessory as it stays in place better. I also love the variety of bold patterns, rich colours and glossy silk fabrics ties are made from.
It was pretty easy to make. As you can see from the video, you just pull the tie under your hair and tie at the top. Then tie in a bow and loop the loose end back through the centre of the bow once or twice. It took me a few attempts to work out exactly where to tie it to get the right size bow. You can make the bow bigger or smaller depending on how flamboyant you would like to be.
And here is the finished look (which I accidently edited out of the end of the video).
This probably has to be one of the thriftiest posts that I have ever done as it costs nothing to borrow a tie out of your mans wardrobe, if you can get away with it. Mr S wouldn’t let me near his ties but I did happen to have a few lovely silk ties which I bought from Oxfam to make silk dyed Easter eggs. When they arrived, I loved the patterns so much that I decided they were too good to chop up and dye eggs with so I am keeping them to put in my hair instead. They also make lovely belts to wear with dresses.
Oxfam have a fabulous selection of silk ties including vintage and designers ones. I am lusting after all of the Liberty prints ties in their online shop!
I hope you are having a lovely week, mine has been pretty tiring so far. I can’t wait for the weekend.