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I love buying from brands like People Tree because the styles don’t go out of date and the high quality means that they last well.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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Tatty Devine heart necklace
As soon as I sit down for a second, the cat jumps straight on my lap.
Red roses from Mr S.
A very yummy Valentines cake made by the girls.
I hope that you had a fab weekend, whatever you did.
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.
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.
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:
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?