Today I wanted to post about Minnetonka Mocassins, an American brand that I have been interested in for some time. The brand has been around since 1946 but has become popular in the last decade as the festival footwear choice of celebs.
Minnetonka shoes are beautifully handcrafted and if looked after, they should last well, growing more comfortable with wear.The website provides some tips on how to care for your Minnetonka shoes or boots to ensure that they last for a long time. Most of the shoes and boots are made in a factory in Minnetonka’s own factory in the Dominican Republic using materials from the US.
Through the Mocs with Meaning initiative, Minnetonka have partnered with Me to We to help empower mamas in Kenya. Each pair of Mocs with Meaning shoes are hand beaded by Mama in Kenya, providing her with a sustainable income and an opportunity to support her family. Minnetonka also provided a $10,000 donation to build the ME to WE Empowerment Centre in Kenya providing a safe place for the women to work. Financial literacy training is also provided to help with overcoming economic challenges. The Me to We website states that 80+ mamas are employed full time in Kenya as part of this initiative. Each pair of ‘Mocs with Meaning’ shoes has a unique code that can be tracked with trackyourimpact.com so that customers can see the positive impact that their purchase is making.
Minnetonka have also donated to Free the Children with funds being used to build a rain catchment system to provide clean water in Haiti and to build a school room in the Marialapa community.
There are lots of reasons I love the Minnetonka brand, however they are made from animal skins so for someone who is vegan and does not want to wear leather/ suede shoes, they would not represent an ethical choice.
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.
For Christmas my daughter bought me the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist. Whilst I used to shop at the Body Shop quite a bit in my teenage years, I would never have thought to buy this product myself. I was however really impressed by both the body mist and the Body Shop’s commitment to fair and ethical trade and reducing their environmental impact so I thought I would share a little review. As part of my ongoing commitment to buying more natural and ethical skin and beauty products, I am also going to running a regular natural beauty feature reviewing the products that I try out and adding natural beauty section to my ethical fashion store.
The product had a really lovely subtle but refreshing zesty smell which was very natural and smelt just like grapefruit. I found the mist perfect to use for when I am doing a 2 hours of workouts and want to smell fresh but a strong perfume is too much (both price and strength of scent). The scent lasts quite well perhaps 4 -5 hours, it doesn’t last as long as perfume but is great for a quick refresh. I can imagine it would be particular good for the warm weather and is likely to form part of my festival essentials kit.
The bottle has a spray applicator which I much prefer to the aerosol used in many body sprays which tends to get right up my nose and make me cough and feel chesty.
I decided to review just how natural, healthy and ethical the ingredients in the body spray are. Luckily the Body Shop list full ingredients on both the Pink Grapefruit body Mist itself and on their website. There is also more information on the website about the community fair trade products used by the Body Shop including alcohol which is used in the fragrance products. This information can also be assessed by a QR code on the bottle.
The ingredients list is fairly short and I can’t see any known nasties in there, however I am not sure how suitable it would be if you happen to have sensitive skin. The Body Shop perfume products are made from organic alcohol from Ecuador. The alcohol is made from sugar cane that has been organically grown, cut by hand, ground to extract the juice, fermented for 24 hours and then heated over a fire to distil. The Body Shop works with CADO, a co-operative of over 200 smallholder family farmers to produce its organic alcohol in Ecuador, helping to preserve biodiversity in the area and to provide a sustainable livelihood for the farmers.
The Body Shop is also against animal testing, minimises packaging, works to promote positive esteem through their advertising and marketing campaigns and campaigns to stop human trafficking, domestic violence and other important issues.
What do you think of Body Shop products? Do you consider them to be eco friendly and ethical. I would be really interested to hear your thoughts?
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
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!
On the weekend, we went to Truck Festival. It was the first time that we had been but it came highly recommended by some friends. We had a fantastic time and the pretty dramatic weather conditions didn’t spoil it one bit. On Friday night we had loads of rain but as we were tucked up in bed by that point, it didn’t bother us much except for the odd drip through the slightly leaky campervan roof.
On saturday, we saw Dodgy on the main stage (remember them, staying out for the summer!). The sky turned black and the wind suddenly picked up. Luckily the storm passed us by but not before I got the chance to take some pictures of the dramatic skies.
Once the skies had cleared and after much nagging by my daughter, I managed to put aside my fear of heights and for a ride on the ferris wheel. I will have to admit the views were pretty amazing even though I was terrified.
We chilled out with cocktails and watched the sunset and then headed over to check out Roots Manuva on the market stage. Finally I treated myself to a Truckers curry from the foodstall. It was amazing lentil dahl, chappatti and 2 freshly cooked onion bhajis for a fiver!
Overall I was pretty impressed with Truck Festival. It was really chilled out and whilst I hadn’t heard of many of the bands playing, I enjoyed listening to the music anyway. All of the food stalls were run by local charities organisations like Rotary so not only was the food great value but buying the food also meant you were helping a good cause. The festival was quite small and the campervan field wasn’t too packed giving us plenty of space. The tickets are pretty reasonabley priced too. Dare I say it, we had a trucking good time!
I love a festival as it gives me the chance to wear some of my more unusual clothes that I don’t often get the chance to wear at home. I treated myself to a necklace from ethical brand Made UK in the ASOS sale which I wore with a fairtrade cotton vest top from good old M & S with some cut off jeans. Actually I don’t want to keep this just for festivals though, I wonder whether it is possible to get away with neon for work!
Anyway we are home and back to work feeling pretty tired after such a busy weekend. Roll on next weekend!
What have you been up to? Have you been to any good festivals this year?