Paguro Upcycle Necklace Review

Paguro Upcycle Feather Necklace

I was recently contacted by Paguro Upcycle a Nottingham based brand selling accessories made from recycled and upcycled materials to see if I would like to review an item from their website. All of their products are made by artisanal producers in Cambodia, Indonesia and the UK with each enterprise aiming to support their local communities by offering fair working conditions and wages, as well as other benefits such as free daycare for their employees’ children.

Of course, I jumped at the chance, to try something out, as they seem to be the perfect mix of ethics, sustainability and style, with unique and individual pieces that are certainly very different to what you would find on the highstreet. What’s not to love?

feather necklace

It didn’t take me long to decide on this feather necklace which is made from recycled inner tube. I already have a clutch bag made from inner tube and I love how it looks. The detailed feather cut from the inner tube makes for a real statement piece which is great for adding interest to a basic outfit like this M&S Fairtrade cotton vest top which I am wearing with some skinny jeans  from Oxfam. I loved the quality of the necklace with a magnetic clasp making it really easy to fasten. I have already worn it a few times. I think it would look really good with a high neck simple white or colour top which would really show it off the detail of the feather.

This necklace is made by Sapu, a creative collective, based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga, comprises a diverse range of talented people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists, most of whom originate from central Java or Australia. They aim to make use of the world’s abundant and unwanted man-made materials, using recycled tyre inner tubes, army tent, plastic bottles and magazines to create something beautiful. By doing so they hope to inspire environmental change by changing attitudes of those that come into contact with their creations. I think this necklace is definitely a conversation starter which is great to get people talking about both sustainability and style.

The Paguro Upcycle website also features fashion accessories by Smarteria, a social enterprise taking inspiration from the streets and markets of Cambodias capital, Phomn Penh. Traditional Cambodian weaving techniques are used by artisans to create bags in elaborate designs using repurposed netting and carrier bags. Smarteria aim to make a positive difference to the lives of their employees through living wages, benefits and progressive working practices.

What do you think? Do you like interesting accessories? If so I would definitely recommend checking out Paguro Upcycle.

Have an amazing weekend!

With warmest wishes


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Charity Shop Treasures

charity shopping

Vintage dress – Oxfam Fashion (online)
Bangle – Oxfam Bath
Necklace – Made UK

Cowboy boots (at least 15 years old) – high street
Bag (at least 10 years old) – Accessorize

I was recently contacted by Safe Store to see if I would like to take part in a campaign focusing on charity shop treasures. The best bit, I get to do a little charity shopping,one of my favourite activities, and then share my outfit. Safe Store supports Scope which is their charity of the year but as I don’t have a Scope Charity shop in my home town, they were also happy to support other charities by treating me to an outfit from another charity shop. Scope is a fantastic charity who work with disabled individuals and their families, providing support, advice, short breaks and much more, I hope to check out one of their stores in a nearby town soon. They have 232 stores across the UK, if you would like to find the nearest, you can do so here.

Due to my usual lack of time, I chose to go online to Oxfam Fashion (the online shop) as I know that I can always find something amazing there and it is super quick and easy to search by size, brand, colour and decade for vintage. I decided to check out the vintage seventies section and couldn’t resist this dress. The cowboy boots have been in my wardrobe for years. I went off them  for a while but in true hoarder style, I couldn’t part with them, which is a  good thing as I have fallen in love with them again. I think they are going to get a lot more wear this summer.

You can follow Safe Store on Twitter to keep up with the Charity Shop Treasure campaign here.

I hope that you are having a lovely and relaxing Easter weekend and eating lots of Easter eggs.

With warmest wishes


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Vintage Fashion – Seventies Style

Oxfam Decades of Styleseventies maxi dress

Vintage dress – ebay
Vintage jacket – Rockit Vintage
Shoes – high street

I haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear my vintage clothes lately as I only seem to go out to work and exercise classes. But I have finally finished my CIM diploma in digital marketing and the building work and constant tidying of the house that it caused is also finished. I am hoping to start getting out and about a bit more in the spring giving me the chance to wear my vintage clothes again. I already have a few trips planned to vintage fairs as well as a weekend away.

I am also organising a birthday party for my 40th with a Woodstock theme so have been thinking about sixties/ seventies style and what to wear. I decided to try this vintage seventies dress on again although I don’t think it is my final choice of outfit. I think I will opt for something slightly more hippyish. I am also entering the Oxfam Fashion decades of vintage fashion and style competition.

I want to decorate the garden like a festival so will be spending the next few months scouring amazon and charity shops for the things I need. As it can get a little cold in the evening and I wanted to cover up the plastic chairs in the garden, I have invested in some crochet / knitted blankets from Oxfam. I have been obsessed with these blankets for a while and finally have an excuse to buy some. With Oxfam doing such great work, I am also always pleased to buy from them. After the party,they will also be great for the campervan and wrapping up on a cold evening. If you have any other ideas for a Woodstock themed party, please leave a comment below.

So now I have finally got my life back, I hope to be doing at lot more blogging as well as getting back up to date with Ethical Fashion Bloggers. Apologies to anyone who has emailed and I haven’t replied but I will do very soon.

Here are a few of my recent instagrams.

lady 5

Lady is looking fairly unimpressed by the building works!

extension

Finally the new extension is finished

mothers day

Mother’s Day treats

What have you been up to lately and what plans do you have for the spring?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

A Crop Top!

One Boutique

crop top One Boutique

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to stye some pieces by One Boutique. Their clothes are ethically made in the UK using the opposite of a mass production model with each piece being overseen by one person ensuring a high quality piece of clothing. The pieces are made to last for years with creative cutting and a clean aesthetic.

I can’t help loving the style of this brand so couldn’t wait to pick out some pieces to style. I chose this black crop top to layer with the black mesh top. It is definitely much more edgy than the clothes I usually wear and at very nearly forty, I was a little doubtful that I could pull off a crop top but the mesh layer makes it feel slightly less daring so I am going to give it a try (midlife crisis here I come!). It’s also a great incentive to keep up the effort in my gym classes. I decided to wear it with some printed trousers by Nancy Dee but would just as happily wear them with a pair of skinny jeans or black trousers. The mesh top could also be layered over a simple little black dress giving it a new look, so definitely gets top marks for versatility.  I resisted the urge to add jewellery to keep the look quite simple, I will have to admit this was quite difficult as I am something of an accessories addict.

In other news, I haven’t been blogging much so far in 2016, mainly because I am in the final stages of exam for a CIM Diploma in digital marketing. We have also been having building work on our house so things have been a bit disorganised. Thankfully with both nearly complete, I will be able to get back to it soon.

I hope that you are having a fab February, What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

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Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

Earth Kind Originals Dress

Organic cotton dress – Earth Kind Originals
Necklace – Tatty Devine
Vegetable dyed leather boots – Dream in Green
Bag – Reclaim

I hope that you have had a lovely Christmas!

I definitely feel realy spoilt this year. Not only did I receive lots of lovely pressies from family and friends but I was also invited to Christmas lunch at my mother and fathers in laws. This meant that instead of spending all day in the kitchen cooking, I got time to play with the children and spend Christmas eve cuddled up on the sofa with a glass of bucks fizz and a pile of children and a cat watching a Santa Claws (a laughably bad Christmas film). As I was working on Christmas eve it really took the pressure off not to have to worry about shopping and food prep. We even managed to get out for a walk on Christmas morning before lunch.

My family know that I am just a little bit fussy when it comes to clothes so always ask for present ideas in advance. This means I usually get lovely pressies made by ethical brands that I know I will get lots of wear from. Mr S treated me to this embroidered boho dress from Nomads clothing , a white gold bangle (which was a lovely surprise) and some eco make up brushes. My mum and dad got me the organic cotton dress that I am wearing above from EKO, a sustainable fashion brand based in Cornwall. The clothes are lovely and comfortable to wear, making the dress perfect for Christmas day when I knew I was likely to be eating more turkey, pudding and chocs than I really should. I am planning to wear it again for New Years eve.

I also got this pair of supremely comfortable trousers from Outsider Fashion. They are ethically made from eco Tencel and organic merino wool. I can’t wait to wear them on New Years Day for a great big brunch with the family to welcome in the new year followed a nice long walk before snuggling up to watch a film of two.

I have had  a lovely relaxing break and had the opportunity to spend some lovely time with family and friends. I am really looking forward to New Year and the last few days of my break before its back to work.

How have you spent Christmas this year and do you have anything fun planned for New Years Eve?

I will finish up by sharing a few of my Christmas instagrams.

cat in tree

A very naughty cat climbing in the Christmas tree!

gingerbread house

A gingerbread house made by the children.

hot chocolate

Hot chocolate – one of my favourite things about this time of year.

dress labels

I have to admit to being just a little bit geeky about reading the labels on clothes.

With warmest wishes

Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

upcycled leather bag

I have been admiring the amazing carnival collection ethical leather bags by What Daisy Did for a while (since I wrote this Story Behind the brand post in fact). So when Daisy contacted me to see if I would like to pick one out to review I jumped at the chance. Not only are the bags vibrant and colourful but also ethical and upcycled making them them the perfect treat for me during my year of no new clothes.

I picked out the Lucy bag was just the right size big enough room for my essentials but small enough to carry around and pop under my desk at work. I loved the structured feel to it which meant it keep everything neat and there was no chance of anything falling out.

What I loved most about the bag was the mixture of colours which has got me plenty of compliments already and is great for adding a bit of interest when I have opted to play it safe in a boring black or neutral outfit. Each bag is unique in both colour and finish but when you are ordering you can ask for a photo of the available options so that you can pick out the exact one that you would like. The bag is lovely quality and is made from upcycled leather pieces with great attention to detail, it even has a cute hedgehog keyring with it, which I have attached to the strap.

The bags are made in India providing an income for about 60 families many of which lost their jobs with the trade shift to China. Tailors are paid a fair commission with a living wage possible withing normal working hours. Flexible working from home with tools, machinery and electricity provided allows workers to fit their work around other commitments such as parenting and university. The bags are made from locally sourced offcuts of leather and lined with end if roll deadstock cotton that would otherwise be wasted.

ethical leather bag review

what daisy did leather bag

Upcycled ethical leather bag – What Daisy Did
Organic cotton dress -Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton jacket – Nancy Dee
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree Clothing
Vegetable tanned leather boots – Dream in Green
Necklace (fair trade) – Made UK

What Daisy Did have a great selection of styles including satchels, backbacks, holdalls, laptop bags and weekend bags in both the colourful Carnival collection and the more neutral colours of the Forest Collection which are handmade from naturally tanned goats leather. The are also surprisingly affordable!

You can see the collections and learn more about the story (and ethics) of the brand on the website here: www.whatdaisydid.com

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

autumn wardrobe edit

Last weekend, I managed to find time for my bi annual wardrobe edit. I usually swap spring / summer and autumn/ winter clothes around at the beginning of the season. This is a really good opportunity for me to have a much needed clear up and clear out as well as reminded myself exactly what I have. I was pleased to find that I have plenty of clothes for the season ahead, so no need to buy anything new. Although my autumn winter wardrobe is no where as colourful as my spring summer wardrobe, I do love that it is full of lovely soft layers with lots of opportunities to add a bit of colour and interest by accessorising with cosy scarves. Over the last few weeks, autumn has definitely arrived, here are some of the outfits that I wore to work last week, all from my existing wardrobe and sustainable fashion.

ethical fashion winter wardrobe editDress – Marks and Spencers (Made in Britain)
Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in Britain)
Ankle boots – Made in Green (vegetable tanned leather)

The office can be particularly cold on a monday at this time of year so I chose to layer 2 supersoft fabrics for a really cosy and comfy outfit.

oxfam outfit

 Dress and cardigan – Oxfam Fashion
Necklace – Made UK (ethical brand)
Boots – as above

Over the years, I have found Oxfam’s online shop to be a great source of work dresses and knitwear. I am always amazed at the lovely clothes that people have given away because they no longer want them. I would always prefer to buy a higher quality brand second hand than cheap, badly made  fast fashion that falls apart after a few washes.
ethical fashion autumn

Cardigan – as above
Top – Sara C (bamboo, Made in Britain)
Trousers – M & S
Shoes – Clarks

Sara C has some amazing printed tops, which I think are great for adding a bit of colour and pattern to a dreary work outfit. I bought this one in the sale a few years ago.

nancy dee jacket

Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in the UK)
Dress – SkunkFunk (organic cotton)
Shoes – as above
Satchel – Scaramanga (ethically made)

On Thursday, I had to go to London for a seminar. Whilst travelling, I always want to wear something comfy. I like to wear this Nancy Dee organic cotton jersey jacket as an alternative to a suit jacket as it is much easier to layer under a jacket. The satchel makes it easy to carry notepad etc.

DSCN4666 (2)Dress – Annie Greenabelle (organic cotton)
Leggings – People Tree
Scarf and cardigan – Nomads
Shoes – as above

Friday is usually a dress down day at work and this outfit is pretty much a staple for me on a friday, the organic cotton jersey is just so comfy to wear.

Here are just a few ideas I have had about being just a little more sustainable this autumn.

  • A seasonal wardrobe clearout is the best way to properly assess what you have and haven’t got and the best way to see if you really need to buy anything new and if so exactly where the gaps in your wardrobe are.
  • When in need of a few extra cosy layers for the colder weather, charity shops are a great place to start. You can often bag a high quality knit or even some cashmere at a fraction of the price it would cost new.
  • With the new charge for plastic bags, I have definitely been inspired to seek out more stylish alternatives for carrying my shopping, hoping that I will never have to use a plastic bag again.
  • Autumn is  a great time of year for cooking up wholesome hearty meals. I am going to try and source much more of the food for my family locally and also stick to more seasonal foods, starting by ordering an organic veg box. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Will you be making any changes for a more sustainable wardrobe or life this autumn?

With warmest wishes

Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

DSCN4445 (2)Dress – People Tree
Shoes – Veja

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.

iow

 

Drinking cocktails in the Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Valencia

 

Beautiful Valencia

devon

Camping in Devon

woolacombe devon

 

Woolacombe 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.

With warmest wishes

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Festival Fashion

festival fashiion - ethical brands

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.

sustainable fashion IOW

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?

With warmest wishes

The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies

DSCN4182 a
DSCN4184 a

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.

Ayala Bar Necklace

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?

With warmest wishes

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