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.

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Dress – Outsider
Necklace – People Tree
Bag and boots as before.
DSCN3426 3 Outsider
Dress – Outsider
Belt – Handmade
Bag – Junky Styling
Boots – as before

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Dress – Outsider
Necklace – MADE
Jeans – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
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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

#Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

DSCN3441 2 #Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

Coat- secondhand
Scarf – Oxfam (upcycled with pompom trim)
Jeggings – Oxfam
Top – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

Next week is #SecondhandFirst week, a event organised by the textile recycling charity TRAID to celebrate all things secondhand while committing to using more of our existing resources, rather than buying new. It will be marked by a week of events, workshops and initiatives between 17th – 23rd November in London.

But even if you don’t live in London, their are tonnes of ways that you can get involved, not least by wearing all or some secondhand clothes for the week and taking the #SecondhandFirst pledge to commit to buying a percentage of your clothes secondhand  and keeping clothes and other resources in circulation for longer by lending, swapping, mending and donating, visiting your local charity shop, running your own clothes swap.

Over at Ethical Fashion Bloggers we are also running a #secondhandfirst outfit challenge to create an outfit containing some or all secondhand clothes. You can see my outfit for the challenge above which features a pair of jeggings from Oxfam, my latest buy, a parka from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and a silk scarf from Oxfam which has been upcycled with a pompom trim. The chair I am sitting on is also made from recycled saris.

I will also be trying to wear as many secondhand pieces next week and will hopefully share them via Twitter and Instagram. Quite a large proportion of my wardrobe already consists of secondhand clothes but from now on, I am commiting to try source more second hand instead of new (when I need to buy something).

Will you be wearing anything secondhand next week? Do you have any great tips for buying secondhand clothes?

With warmest wishes

Marks and Spencers – Best of British Dress Review


DSCN3282 2 Marks and Spencers   Best of British Dress Review

I decided to treat myself to a new dress from the Marks and Spencers Best of British Collection. I was particularly in love with the swirly print on the dress and its super comfy fit which is so perfect for work. It is also quite cosy for work. I wouldn’t usually wear anything this body con by the 2 layers of fabric and ruching around the stomach make it much more flattering than other body con styles that I have tried in the past. At £59 for a high quality and well made dress, I consider it to be quite good value.

Whilst Marks and Spencers does not spring immediatley to mind when you think about sustainable and ethical clothing, there are a number of factors which mean that their clothes work for me.

Firstly Marks and Spencers clothes alway fit well and last for ages. This dress is incredibly comfy and warm and washes really well. The Best of British Collection is helping to preserve the British manufacturing industry. This dress was made Lee Ann, an ethically and environmentally responsible manufacturer based in Lecietershire. The dress was not only made at their UK factory but the fabric was also knitted, dyed and printed there.

label Marks and Spencers   Best of British Dress Review

Marks and Spencers are also committed to sustainabilityand improving the environmental performance of their operations through plan A.

Marks and Spencers have also recieved the Carbon Trust Triple Award 2014 with its accolades including zero waste to landfill and becoming a zero carbon company. By 2020 Marks and Spencers aim is to be the worlds most sustainable major retailer. The plan includes procuring 50% of cotton from sustainable sources and publishing an annual list of clothing suppliers across the world. They also support local charities through their UK stores and national initiatives like Macmillan coffee mornings, beach cleans for the Marine Conservation Society and Shwopping where they work with Oxfam to reuse and recycle clothes.

The dress is made from Modal, elastane and polyester. Modal is a a cellulose fibre from beech trees. It is a renewable and biodegradable fibre and much better than cotton in terms of the crop yield needed. Beech trees do not require irrigation or pesticides and are grown on marginal, non-agricultural land unlike cotton. The polyester lining of the dress is not ideal environmentally although it does mean that it requires less energy to launder as it dries quickly and doesn’t require ironing.

What do you think of Marks and Spencers? would you consider their clothing to be sustainable?

With warmest wishes

Ps Just to let you know that I bought the dress myself and have not recieved any payment for this review. Although I do sometimes work with M&S and many other retailer through their affiliate programs and this post does contain affiliate links.

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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