Vintage Denim Jacket

vinatge denim jacket

Jacket – Married to the Sea (Newquay)
Trousers – Nomads
Organic cotton top – People Tree
Shoes – Toms
Bag – Owen Barry

This picture was taken in Newquay back in May when the rest of the UK was bathing in amazing sunshine but all we got was sea mist!

Its not all bad though, I got the chance to wear my new old vintage denim jacket that my girls treated me to for my birthday from Married to the Sea in Newquay. I think denim is something that definitely gets better with age and so a great option for me on my no new clothes for a year challenge. What I really love about this denim jacket is that the denim has become really soft unlike another denim jacket that I have which is a bit like cardboard. The fake fur interior also makes it really cosy for cooler days and I love the washed out look. If you are ever in Newquay town centre, I would definitely recommend checking out Married to the Sea for a small but carefully chosen selection of vintage denim. I also recently got my daughter some dungarees for her birthday.

The bag was handmade in Somerset by Owen Barry and I treated myself to it a few years back for my birthday. Up until now I haven’t used it much and have kind of kept it for best. But I have decided, it isn’t worth keeping things for best, If you have them, you might as well/wear use them otherwise what is the point in having them. It has now become a key part of my spring and summer outfits.

surfing newquay

In other news I haven’t been blogging so much lately as I have been mainly working and surfing whenever I can. Here is a picture from a weekend I went on with Women and Waves back in May. I have just about mastered standing up after 2 years of trying to learn, but still lots of practice needed! Surfing is pretty addictive and I can’t really explain the feeling of bobbing about in the sea and catching a wave. If you fancied giving surfing a go, I would definitely recommend Women and Waves. I had such fun and it was great to surf with such a supportive group of women to give my confidence a boost.
I have made a bit more progress on plastic free July since my last post. I have switched to having milk delivered in a glass bottle and also to using an eco egg for my laundry instead of detergent. I’ll let you know how I get on!

I hope you are enjoying the summer. What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

Shopping My Wardrobe

30 plus wears

Vintage poncho – Etsy
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Thought clothing

I often post about new pieces of ethical or sustaianble clothing that I have bought but the most important part of my drive to be more sustainable with what I wear is shopping my wardrobe. Ok ‘shopping my wardrobe’ is just another way of saying not buying anything at all or just wearing what I already have in my wardrobe! But I thought it might be a bit more an attention grabbing title for the post and of course a hastag on instagram.

We are facing unprecendented threats to our environment and possibly life as we know it brought about by environmental degradaation which are largely driven by consumerism.Climate change and plastic oceans are just two of the big issues that we need to address as a worldwide and as individuals. Just last week, Lucy Siegle reported in the Guardian on how, if unchecked,the fashion industry could account for 25% of carbon production globally by 2050. UK consumers sent 300,000 tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.

And yet, governement minsters have recently decided to reject propsals by a cross party environmental audit committee which included a1p levy on fast fashion and mandatory environmental targets for fashion retailers with a turnover of 36m.

We can still take hope from countries such as Denmark, which has recently cancelled Stockholm fashion week to investigate more sustainable options. And as individuals we can continue to do everything in our power (no matter how small) to limit our consumption.

Our greatest weapon against fast fashion is to shop your wardobe which is summed up so perfectly with Vivienne Westwoods phrase:

  • Buy less
  • Choose well
  • Make it last

Whilst I do very occasionally make a mistake and buy the wrong thing that doesn’t get worn very much, almost all of my clothes have been in my wardrobe for a number of years and have been worn multiple times. I have found the ‘no new clothes’ challenge that I am taking part in again this year is a great way of focussing my mind on not buying new clothes and enjoying what I already have.

The dress and leggings picture above for example have been worn at least 30 times, probably much more. I don’t feel this should be a big deal and something that needs talking about. It should just be the way it is. But whilst there is still a culture of fast fashion and clothes just bought for a few wears before being discarded, we need to keep talking about it.

In other news I am taking part in Plastic free July. I won’t lie it is not going to well so far. I am trying to find more plastic free alternatives to my usual products but there often just isn’t the choice. I am also tweet my ideas and suggestions to brands and supermarkets. Not so sure that they will take notice but its got to be worth a try. Where there are other options like the local fruit and veg stall in the market, I am taking my custom there.

How is your July going? are you taking any steps to reduce your plastic use or buy less clothes?

With warmest wishes

Single Use Plastic Free – 13 Simple Swaps

tea and cake

 

David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series really brought the issue of ocean plastic and single use plastics out into the open last year. Since then I have since other various shocking articles, documentaries and photos highlighting the issue in a way that makes it impossible to ignore. This time last year I pledged to try and cut out my consumption of single use plastic altogether.

I won’t lie, it actually turned out to be even more challenging than I could ever have expected. So many of the foods and products that we consume in our everyday lives are made of or packaged in plastic. Some can be recycled but a lot cannot. I am also suspicious that much of the plastic that we think gets recycled in reality may not.

Cutting out single use plastics can seem pretty daunting. I am just taking it one step at a time, trying to make simple swaps starting with those that will have the biggest impact. Whilst I am still quite a long way from being single use plastic  free, I think I have made quite a substantial reduction in our plastic waste. Here are my top simple single use plastic free swaps that I have introduced over the last year.

plastic free chilly's bottle

1. Refillable water bottle

This is possibly one of the easiest swaps and most effective swaps to make. A bottle of water or two a day adds up to a lot of single use plastic and quite abit of money too. Tap water is free and it really isn’t too much effort to fill it up from the tap. As I discovered on my recent travels to Copenhagen, even when trvelling, it is not difficult to find refill points at airports to avoid buying plastic bottles.

2. Reusable shopping bag

Another super simple swap that makes a big difference is a reusable shopping bag. The key to making this swap is getting in to the habit of keeping a few reusable bags in your car and handbag for those unexpected pops into the shops.

 

3. Packed lunch in reusable container

Another huge and potential daily source of single use plastic packaging is the packaging on shop bought sandwiches and ready made lunches. I prefer to make my own combining fresh salads, roast veg, cheese, nuts and a dressing for a lunch that I really look forwad to and helps get me through the afternoon. I have invested in this Slice of Green tin from Ethical Superstore which has a smaller container inside. Don’t forget to take your own knife and fork to avoid using plastic ones!

local market veg

4. Local market veg

Another big win for me has been buying my fruiy and veg from the local market. Almost all of it is naked with no plastic packaging and can be tipped straight into my reusable shopping bag. This has also been another big win on the budget point of view and costs significantly less and tastes better than supermarket veg. If you don’t have a local market, a farm shop or green grocer is a good option or possible an organic fruit and veg box scheme.
5. Soap and shampoo bars

The bathroom is another huge source of single use plastics in our house especially with so much long hair that needs washing. Liquid soaps and shampoos are almost always in a plastic bottle and it is easy to use too mcuh of them. Switching to a simple bar of soap instead of shower gels and shampoo bars for our hair has worked well in reducing our plastic waste. At the moment I am using a Lush shampoo bar which I find really good and Simple soap. We haven’t yet found a conditioner bar that works for our curly and often tangled but continue to search for a good alternative.

homemade bread

6. Homemade bread

I started off by buying fresh bread from the market in a paper bag each week but found that it didn’t last all week and worked out quite expensive. Instead we have now invested in a small breadmaker which makes just enough for one day and is super easy so we can wake up to the smell of fresh plastic free bread every morning, which makes me super happy.

homemade cheesecake

7. Homemade cakes and biscuits

Another big source of plastic waste is snacks. Cakes, biscuits and chocolate is all wrapped in some sort of plastic or film. We all love homemade cakes and bisuits much better than shop bought and all or most of the ingredients can be bought in non plastic wrapping e.g. flour, sugar, eggs, butter, chocolate. Our favourites are banana bread, chocolate brownies and victoria sponge with jam but not cream! Homemade cookies are also great for childrens lunch boxes.

homemade yoghurt

8. Homemade yoghurt

Many yogurt pots from shop bought yoghurts are made from polystyrene so not accepted by most household recycling schemes. Shop bought fruit yoghurts are also usually packed with sugar. I have invested in a yoghurt maker which makes it really easy to make lovely homemade yoghurt which can be combined with fruit puree, nuts and granola for a tasty breakfast, desert or snack.

9. Homemade soup

Soup is  a lunchtime favourite for me especially in the winter. I often take it to work in a flask for a quick and easy lunch. Making my own vegetable soups is a great way to use up any left over veg as well and means I don’t need to buy plastic pots of ready made soup. This swap is another win for a budget friendly, highly nutritious choice that also saves some pennies.

10. Paper cotton buds

This one doesn’t really need much explanation! Plastic cotton buds can easily be swapped for a paper alternative.

11. Freezer and convenience food

Whilst cooking as much food as possible from scatch generally is the best way to support a single us plastic free lifestyle, my life is busy and there are times when I need to resort to covenience food. Most convience food is plastic wrapped but I have found sound options which are packaged in non plastic options including fish fingers, frozen veggie burgers, falafels etc and potato waffles.  Eggs are also available in cardboard and great for quick meals.

12. Pasta in cardboard

Barilla pasta is available in a plastic box and has only a small film window. This can always be combined with a homemade pasta sauce or even ready made jars of pasta sauce for a superquick meal when I am in a rush.

13. Amazon and mail order

Whilst shopping from Amazon and other mail order companies has become a huge part of our lives due to its convenience, almost every single small item that you buy will arrive wrapped in plastic. I am trying to avoid this where possible by buying from a local shop.

14. Supermarket deliveries for popping to the shop

I am trying to reduce my relaince on a weekly supermarket shopping delivery. Mainly because despite my selection of ‘no plastic bags’ they still insist on packaging certain items including meat and substitutes in plastic bags. There really is non need for this as they are all stored in the same fridge without a plastic bag. Hopefully they will get their act together soon so I can return to the convenience of my weekly shopping delivery!

Have you made any swaps to avoid single use plastics? I would love to know how you are getting on or any ideas that you have!

With warmest wishes

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

nye charity shop outfit

New Years Eve Oufit

Dress – Oxfam
Necklace – Sourced by Oxfam
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Reclaim

It has been lovely to have a whole 10 days off work over the Christmas break allowing time to recharge the batteries, reflect on 2018 and make plans for 2019. We spent Christmas in Cornwall walking, surfing, eating and drinking way too much and spending time with family. For New Years Eve this year, we are opting for a quiet night with a few drinks in town.

Looking back at 2018

2018 has been another super busy year. I am slowly learning that, that is the way I like it and that list of stuff that just never gets done because I don’t have time, probably just isn’t that important. I think I am perfecting the skill of juggling and prioritising the important stuff so who cares about the rest.

2018 was the year that I learned to surf and swapped foreign holidays for Cornwall, that I took the plunge and left a job that I loved to try something else with full time job, instead of waiting it out for the almost certain prospect of redundancy (so glad that I did!)

Plastic free

2018 was also very much about the environment for me. David Attenborough has helped to bring the issue of plastic pollution into the mainstream and at the beginning of 2018 with publicity around his Blue Planet 2 series I started to work towards becoming single use plastic free. I am not sure I realised how difficult it would be. Looking back over the year, I have made some really positive changes to our life (you can read my latest update here) but we still have a long way to go. Looking at the large amount of waste created over Christmas (albeit much less than previous years) has renewed my motivation to keep making small changes which all add up to a big difference. I will be sharing more of these soon.

No new clothes for a year

Another big environmental issue that has also been highlighted in 2018 was fast fashion with Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets presneting the issue in a fresh and compelling way. Whilst I have not bought fast fashion for many years now, in 2018 I took part in the ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge to further reduce my consumption and help to show that it is possible to live quite happily without buying new clothes. In complete honesty, I didn’t quite manage the challenge this time. I did invest in a few new clothes by ethical and sustainable brands including shoes and fitness clothing that whilst not completely essential will be worn continually. Despite this I think the challenge has really helped me to carefully consider and reduce my consumption of clothes this year. For 2019, I have decided to keep a clothes log of any new clothes bought including the reasons and ethical credentials. I hope that this will help me to be more mindful of my purchases.

Plans for 2019

My big focuses for 2019 will be quality time with family and friends, living in the moment, improving my surfing, continuing to reduce the impact of my clothing on the environment and reduce our single use plastic consumption, whilst hopefully inspiring others to the same with this blog and social media.

Happy new year! What are your highlights of 2018 and plans for 2019?

With warmest wishes