Fashion Revolution Week #Whomademyclothes

fashion revolution day
Necklace – People Tree
Dress- SkunkFunk
Leggings – Thought clothing
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Furla

Today marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution Week. 4 years ago, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1138 people and injuring 2500, it became the worlds fourth biggest industrial disaster ever. But Rana Plaza was a big wake up call, any deaths in the name of fashion is devastating but this number of deaths is completely unacceptable. Since that awful day, Fashion Revolution has become a yearly event when a movement of people wanting change come together to raise awareness of the issues associated with the supply chain and to encouraging people to break their habit for buying fast fashion and to seek out more information about the clothes that they are buying. The #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign is a key part of fashion revolution week. It is a simple question that makes us think about the farmers, factory workers and artisans that are involved in making our clothes but more importantly to ask this question to brands, demanding more transparency and accountability.

I actively try to ensure that I buy all of my clothes from ethical and sustainable brands, so today I am going to ask and answer the question, #whomademyclothes?

SkunkFunk
Skunkfunk is one of my favourite ethical and sustainable brands. I think they have struck the perfect balance of fresh and timeless styles combined with great ethics and sustainable fabrics. Their clothes are made in factories in Portugal, China and India. Their website provides some great information about their makers, you can meet them here.

People Tree
When it comes to ethical fashion, People Tree are probably one of the best known brands. Their beautiful clothing makes the most of handbeading and traditional techniques to create beautiful clothing and accessories. People Tree clothing is labelled so you know where it has been made and who it has been made by. Their website also has a dedicated ‘meet the makers‘ page with lots of information about the fairtrade farmers, artisans and producers.

Veja
Veja is a transparent shoe brand that creates some amazing trainers. The trainers are made in Brazil in factories where workers are paid well above the legal minimum wage and where workers rights are well respected. You can find out more about their producers, factories and workers here.

Thought Clothing
Thought Clothing work in partnership with producers to share growth,share the same vision and create more jobs, protect wages, and develop skills as well as businesses. You can read more about their supply chain here.

Are you getting involved in Fashion Revolution Week?

With Warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Stylish Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Pollution

Backpack by Timberland Thread

As I mentioned in my last post, I have recently read a few articles that have really concerned me about the levels of plastic usage and pollution and its impact on both the environment and humans. Plastic packaging in particular has an incredibly short useful life most often being used just once, sometimes in the case of plastic bags for just a few minutes before being discarded but it persists in the environment for much longer and is having a catastrophic effect on the environment, particularly marine habitats.

If you would like to find out more, you can watch Plastic Oceans, the film here. It is a documentary which puts the scale of the problem into context, showing how in the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre, researchers found more plastic than plankton!

So I thought I would put together a list of ways that I can help to reduce plastic pollution and thought it was worth sharing for anyone else that shares my concerns and wants to do something about it.

Resuable shopping bags – never go out without them!

I have a reusable shopping bag but the biggest challenge is to ensure that I  always have it with me when I need it! This is one the simplest changes that you can make that will make a huge difference. Just get yourself a reusable bag that folds up small and take it with you in your handbag wherever you go. A backpack also makes a much more comfortable alternative to a plastic bag.

Don’t use drinking straws

Drinking straws aren’t essential, they aren’t even important, so just avoid using them. I the US they use 5 million straws a day. I don’t have the figure for the UK but whatever it is, reducing it will help reduce plastic pollution, another quick and pretty easy win for the environment.

Reusable boxes and bottles for packed lunches and drinks

Making your own lunch and taking your own drinks to work might seem like hard work but it will save you loads of money and allow you to make healthier choices. It will also cut down on the amount of plastic waste that you create. Ethical Superstore have a good range of containers for transporting your lunch in style.

The bathroom cupboard

Tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, face washes and tooth pastes may help to exfoliate and leave you sparkling clean but they are also a big problem for the environment. Look out for ingredients like “polypropylene” or “polyethylene”! Switching from disposable razors to reusable razors will also cut down your plastic usage. If you want to buy beauty products from a brand that actively minimises its packaging, check out Lush, with the added benefit that their products smell amazing!

Plastic fashion

Manmade fabrics are also damaging to the environment. Look out on the labels for polyester, nylon and acrylic, all of which don’t break down and persist in the environment. The are also made using nonrenewable resources (oil) and an energy intensive processes. Natural alternatives such as organic cotton, hemp, silk, wool and tencel are all better alternatives for the environment.Second hand is also a great option as it doesn’t involve use of virgin materials. You can find lots of brandsselling natural and upcycled materials in my ethical fashion brand directory.

However if like me you find that sometimes you need clothes that are easy to wash and dry and don’t need ironing, there are some brands creating clothing from recycled polyester which is also a great alternative.

Timberland has recently teamed up with Thread for a collection of shoes and bags made from recycled bottles.

Patagonia Active Bra

By using PCR fleece and other fabrics made from recycled polyester, Patagonia has saved in excess of 86 million plastic bottles from landfill.

Pol

Polyester raincoat by SkunkFunk

Skunk Funk use recycled polyester in their clothes and use eo packagaing and tagging. Read  more here

M&S use polyester extracted from recycled plastic across their womenswear, lingerie, menswear, childrenswear and homeware ranges. Read more here.

There are probably lots more brands that are doing their bit for the environment by avoiding synthetic fabrics in their fashion, minimising waste and utilising recycled materials.If you know of any or have any tips for reducing plastic pollution, please comment below!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

The Leopard Dress

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Leopard dress – Johari (a social enterprise in Kenya), I can no longer find the online store but you can read more about this brand here.
Organic cotton leggings – Thought
Shoes – Veja 
Scarf – Oxfam, then upcycled

A few weeks ago, we went out for a weekend walk followed by dinner at the local carvery. I decided to combine comfy shoes by Veja and organic cotton leggings with something bright and colourful to cheer me up. I have had more than enough of dark dull winter clothes and am feeling more than ready for spring.

It makes me happy to make good use of the clothes that I have instead of buying new each season. This leopard dress is 3 or 4 years old and I still love the easy to wear cut, the bright pink colour and the leopard face on it. I have tryed to give it a fresh look by adding the scarf from Oxfam that I upcycled with orange pom pom trim a while back. I love combining pink and orange, the combination definitely reminds me of holidays to tropical destinations!

Whilst buying less is a good way of minimising my impact on the environment, I have recently seen a few articles about plastic pollution that is probably an even bigger environmental issue than fashion.  Whilst I already try and avoid using plastic bags, I am determined to try and cut down on the plastic that I use in other ways. According to Plastic Oceans, we use over 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year.  Half of this we use just once and usually for less than 12 minutes.  8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. I am planning a post about the ways to reduce plastic use, if you have any ideas that I could include, please do get in touch.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine, if you have any. What are your favourite clothes that you have owned for years?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Birdsong Wishlist

I usually try not to make wish lists as they kind of go against my policy of trying to ‘buy less’. However when I came across Birdsong whilst reading Style Bubble this weekend, I just couldn’t help myself. Not only are the clothes and accessories on the site a careful selection of beautiful and unique pieces, they also each have a lovely story to go with them. With slogans on their home page like ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’, and ‘expect more from your wardrobe’, I kind of knew I was going to love everything about this online store!

Whilst there is generally quite a good selection of clothes and retailer out there that can be considered ethical and/or sustainable in some way, there are still some items that I still struggle with namely sports wear and work wear. So I will start with my Birdsong, favourites in these departments.

ethical sports bra

This sports bra is made by US lingerie brand, Naja which empowers single mothers by giving them work and creates amazing and eco friendly undies at the same time. I would defintiely recommend you check out the brands website to see their full awesomeness however the shipping from the US makes buying from them complicated so Birdsong is a better alternative. I spend a lot of time at fitness classes so whilst this bra is a little pricey, I don’t really object to the investment. It goes without saying that a sports bra this amazing should get seen and not hidden away, a good incentive for me to work hard on toning my abs and uncovering the six pack that I am sure is hiding away somewhere ready for the summer months.

Navy jacket

I like to look smart for work but generally feel a bit boring in a conventional suit and don’t really feel like me. I prefer to try and do my own take on smart so am always on the look out for ways to achieve this. This embroidered navy jacket is by a brand called Two Neighbours with the ethos of ‘peace through the eye of a needle’. It is made by women on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, to provide a livelihood, money for fresh water and food for their families.

handknitted jumper

Handknitted clothes are the ultimate in slow fashion, they take time and dedication to make, sadly something I don’t have a lot of at the moment. I love that this jumper is made by Bradbury knitting an organisation which faciliates the creation of lovely woolies by elderley ladies at the Bradbury Centre in Kingston, and the Knit & Natter group in Enfield. This not only gives them a sense of purpose and wellbeing but also helps a worthy cause of their choice each month with revenue being donated to charities.

There are lots of other lovely clothes on the Birdsong website, but in the interests of quality over quantity and not buying lots of clothes that I don’t need, I am keeping my wish list short and sweet.

In case you are interested, I haven’t been paid in anyway or asked to write this post. It is my own opinion and something that I just couldn’t resist sharing!

What do you think of these pieces and the lovely empowering stories behind them?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Holiday in Calabria, Italy and Buying Less

buying less

Dress – Frank and Faith
Shoes – Geox
Bag – Stella and Dot

Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Calabria, Italy. We stayed at the Club Med Napitia resort which was a totally amazing place. A beautiful beach, flowers everywhere, loads of activities to do including exercise classes, sailing, archery and tennis, shows and dancing every night, really delicious food and drink and really amazing staff that made us feel incredibly welcome. I was really sad to come home!

Of course with so much going on, I didn’t manage to get many outfit photos except the one above. The clutch bag was a birthday present from my friends at work. I had never heard of Stella and Dot but was really pleased to see on their website that they have a very comprehensive social responsibility policy. All of the clothes that I wore apart from the bag, a new bikini and pair of flipflops were clothes that I have had for a number of years and have been featured on this blog multiple times which got me thinking about holidays and buying less.

Every year when I go on holiday there is a strong temptation to buy new clothes. Not sure why the temptation to buy clothes for holiday is so great as the summer in the UK seems to be fairly short and holiday only usually last a week or two. I do usually manage to  rationalise and stop myself from buying lots of clothes for holiday so I thought that I would share a thoughts and ideas on buying less and sustainably for holidays.

  • Pay slightly more for high quality summer clothes that will last for years to come.
  • Avoid very on trend looks that are likely to look ridiculous in a years time.
  • At the end of the summer, wash, iron and carefully pack away summer clothes with moth balls/ repellent to stop them getting eaten.
  • Have a full review of what I have before buying anything new as it is easy to forget when you haven’t worn it for a year.
  • Sustainable fabrics are particularly good for summer as organic cotton and bamboo are breathable and cool to wear.
  • Look out for fair trade accessories also often features intricate embellishments and are great for adding a bit of colour and interest to a summer wardrobe.

What do you think? Do you find yourself buying lots of new clothes for holidays? Do you have any tips to buy less?

Here are a few of my holiday instagrams

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With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

susiebubbleweb

Blogger Susie Lau of Style Bubble takes TRAID’s Pledge in support of #Secondhandfirst Week, 23 – 29 Nov

Secondhand First Week

Next week is Secondhand First Week, an annual event orgaised by TRAID celebrated with events and actions that show how second-hand helps to conserve the worlds valuable resources and reduce landfill. See the TRAID website for lots of fun events going on or to see how you can take TRAID’s #Secondhandfirst Pledge to source more of your wardrobe second-hand rather than new.

Christmas Jumpers
Over 300 million pounds is what Love Your Clothes, a campaign by WRAP has estimated will be spent on Christmas jumpers this year. With Christmas jumpers usually only being worn a few times over the festive season upcycling an existing jumper is a far more sustainable option. In order to encourage upcycling of Christmas jumpers this year Love Your Clothes are running a 12 jumpers of Christmas competition with a sewing machine and subscriptions to Reloved and Simply Sewing Magazine up for grabs to the winning entry. You can find out how to enter and tips on upcycling jumpers on the website here.
#GreenFriday
Black Friday just around the corner, but I will be doing my own thing this year with #GreenFriday. Join me by Tweeting your fun and eco friendly alernatives to Black Friday. You can read more in my post why I am shunning black friday in favour of #greenfriday on the Huffington Post.
I hope you are well and staying warm! I am now 2 thirds of the way through my diploma, just one more module left to go before I can get back to regular blogging. See you soon.

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

No New Clothes for a Year – An Update

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Dress – Monsoon
Leggings – People Tree
Bolero – Marks and Spencers

I thought that I would give a quick little update on my no new clothes for a year challenge.You may well recognise the dress that I am wearing in the picture above. It is one of my holiday favourites and I have had it for at least 3 years, possibly even more. I think that one of the benefits of not buying any new clothes for a year is that it really makes me appreciate the clothes that I already. I love this dress too much to only wear it on hols. The other big benefit is obviously the money that I save and the fact that I am being kinder to the planet.

So far I am over half way through and it hasn’t been too bad at all. I have bought a few second hand and vintage pieces and had a few things for my birthday but have been pretty busy so haven’t had much time to think about shopping. If I am honest, I haven’t done the upcycling, mending that I had hoped due to lack of time either.

Maybe once or twice I have almost given in and bought something in the sales from one of my favourite ethical brands. A quick look in my wardobe to see the many clothes that I have has helped me to  resist. I have also resolved to try and lose a bit of weight to make sure that all of the clothes that I have really fit me properly.

Have you ever considered buying less clothes, what do you think would be the most difficult bit for you? Do you have any clothes in your wardrobe that you love but don’t wear enough?

With warmest wishes

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Thrify Thursday – Buying Less

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Dress – Cardigan
Orla Kiely Print Dress
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens

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.

scooter

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.

With warmest wishes

No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year

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:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

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?

With warmest wishes

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A Vintage Dress, a Black Tie Party, Buying Less and Living More!


On the weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to a 40th birthday party of our neighbours. It was a fairly lavish do with a large marquee, champagne, lots of live music, some fantastic singing and even some posh portaloos! The dress code was black tie which was ideal for me as I haven’t had the chance to get properly dressed up in ages. I also love love seeing everyone dressed up in their dickie bows and best dresses.

Rather than buy a new dress (it could be a while before I get to wear it again), I decided to make use of something that I already had in my wardrobe. I got this dress from a vintage fair in Bath a few years ago and have not had nearly enough opportunities to wear it. I have no idea how old it is as the label says ‘Richard shops’. Hopefully I don’t giveaway my age when I say that I remember my mum buying clothes from Richard shops and possibly even bought a few pieces myself back in the day. According to Wikipedia the brand was popular through from the sixties to 1992 when the shops finally closed. My earrings were a present from Mr S to wear on my wedding day 15 years ago and the tights have been in my drawer for at least a few years and got me lots of compliments. The shoes are at least  4 or 5 years old aswell. All in all I was pleased that I managed to put together an outfit for a black tie party without buying anything new. I think I could probably have searched the high street for hours (which I just don’t have time for) and not managed to find an outfit that made me as happy as the old one I wore!

Buy less, live moreThis summer has been pretty amazing so far we have been out and about doing so many fun things and we have lots more planned including holidays, spa days and festivals. As much as I love buying clothes, there really is no point in doing so if you never get out and about to show them off. Hence my new motto, ‘Buy Less, Live More!’. I think doing stuff is so much more fun than buying stuff.

What do your or would you wear to a black tie party? do you have something amazing in your wardrobe that is just waiting for a special occassion?

With warmest wishes

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