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

Finisterre and Cornwall Style

Finnisterre clothing

Jumper – Finisterre
Short – upcycled

It’s been a long time since I last posted. Life is so busy and lately we have been spending more and more time by the sea in particular Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. I have found that balancing out work with fitness, walking on the beach and surfing is the best way to stay happy and relaxed. Unfortunately that means I don’t have quite as much time for blogging although I have found Instagram great for capturing the stuff I love and discovering new inspiration and it is also great when I am out and about and on the move.

You can check out my Instagram here.

The above picture was taken a few weeks back when we were having a BBQ on the cliffs over Fistral. There is nothing more relaxing than watching the waves roll in.

Clothes and fashion wise, my new more active and super relaxed life has meant a bit of a change in style. After gym or surfing sessions, I just want to wear warm and cosy clothes and I have found myself gravitating towards jeans, cut-offs vest tops, jumpers and trainers. Whilst I have been committed to sustainable and ethical fashion for a number of years, I now rarely buy new clothes. Instead I try my best to make use of what I already have or find something second hand or vintage. The more time I spend outdoors,the more I feel committed to limiting my impact on the environment.

This jumper was for my birthday but carefully chosen from a lovely Cornish based brand Finnisterre that describe their clothing as functional and sustainable, born for the needs of hard British surfers and made for those that share their love of the sea. It is the perfect cover up to keep cosy!

I have noticed that there are a few sustainable brands based in Cornwall.I I hope to blog about some more of them soon!

What are your favorite things to do and how how does your lifestyle affect your style?

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

Green Friday and Sustainable, Ethical Christmas Shopping

green friday Oxfam dress

Workwear outfit
Dress – Oxfam Online
Boots – Toms
Bag – What Daisy did (upcycled leather)

This year as in previous years I ignored Black Friday in favour of Green Friday which is basically no different to any other Friday.

I have started to think about Christmas shopping but I already know what I want to get so have no interest in tempting myself to buy any more with discounts.

I am trying to scale back Christmas this year buying a lot less. With the presents that I do buy, I am trying to buy ethical, sustainable, minimal packaging and from local small businesses. I want Christmas to be about the experiences more than the presents so I am hoping we can have lots of fun times with family and friends instead of accumalating more stuff that we don’t really need. That said, I couldn’t not buy a little something for my family.

Here are some of the places that I have shopped online for Christmas presents.

  • Seasalt Cornwall – some lovely accessories including scarves and socks
  • Rapanui – organic cotton t shirts and hoodies as well as lots of other surf inspired clothing
  • Ethical Superstore – a fantastic range of home wear, clothing, accessories, food, you name it!
  • Luva Huva – beautiful lingerie and night wear
  • Etsy – so many beautifully handmade items!

I am also venturing out to the Christmas market in Bath in the hope of finding some nice handmade and unique gifts and locally made foods if I can cope with the hoards of people. I will let you know how I get on!

The picture above is my work outfit on Friday. I used to think dressing ethically and sustainably for work was difficult but I have now completely changed my mind. Oxfam online shop is my first port of call for amazing shift dresses. Which means I have been able to top up my work dresses even though I am on the non new clothes for a year challenge.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? where will you be shopping?


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Patagonia – Buying Less and Living More

Patagonia shirt

No new clothes for a year

Shirt – Patagonia
Hat – Ricefield Collective
Vest top – Fairtrade cotton (M&S)
Jeans – Oxfam 
Shoes –  Po-zu (Star Wars™ collection)

I am just back from a lovely week in Cornwall surfing, walking, spending time with the people that  matter most to me and eating and drinking a bit too much. This outfit is super comfy and warm, which just what I needed for the cold but sunny days. The shirt by Patagonia is quite a few years old and I believe was an item that I picked out to review back in 2012 (wow does time fly by!). Patagonia is a brand that I love for being poles apart from so many of the fast fashion brands. Why? because instead of encouraging their customers to buy more clothes, they encourage them to buy less and make them last. Patagonia’s mission: Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. You can read more about it here. With their practical focus on  an outdoor lifestyle, Patagonia clothes are definitely about buying less and living more, something I am trying really hard to stick to.

Taking part in the no new clothes for  a year challenge has been a great way to appreciate the many clothes that I have already got in my wardrobe. Recent news stories have highlighted some major environmental issues of which fast fashion is a contributor. It is a big problem! British shoppers are buying twice as many clothes as they did ten years  ago. Not only is the fashion industry a major source of greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change, landfill sites are filled with unwanted clothes and synthetic fibres from our clothing is washing into the oceans. Buying clothes that are only worn once or twice or even worse never at all seems like craziness especially when these clothes are made from synthetic fibres that will not biodegrade.

But it is so easy to get persuaded that you really need to buy something. In fact, I will have to admit, I haven’t managed to completely stick to the no new clothes challenge this year. I have bought a few new items over the summer. Proof of just how difficult it can be to change old habits. I will be ensuring that these clothes get plenty of wear and I have now renewed my focus again on buying less and living more with a big benefit that I spending less on clothes means I have more money to spend on enjoying myself.

Have the recent news stories about climate change and ocean plastics changed the way you shop?


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Leather Back Pack – Brag Vintage

vintage

Back pack – Brag vintage
Jeans – Oxfam

Shoes – TOMS
Bracelet – Swarovski

I have been lusting after this back pack on Brag vintage for some time and keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t get bough before I had  a reason to buy it. Then along came my birthday and some birthday money as my mother considers me far too fussy to choose pressies for these days! I ordered it straight away making the use of the 15% discount code that I was given when I wrote this post about my NYE dress from Brag Vintage.

I don’t have too much more to say about my fab new backpack accept that I love it, because…

  • I love the style
  • It makes a change from carrying a handback and is super practical especially when walking longer distances.
  • It is leather which is hard wearing
  • It is second hand/vintage which means that by buying it I have had no impact on the environment (accept the delivery and packaging) and I have prevented an unwanted item from going to landfill

I am pretty sure that I am going to use it loads.

In case you fancy anything new (but old) from Brag don’t forget to use my discount code STYLEEYES at checkout!

 With warmest wishes


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Plastic Free – Lush Shampoo and Conditioner Bars and Soap

Lush shampoo bar

In my quest to reduce my usage (and ultimately eliminate) single use packages, I have discovered a way to cut out the plastic bottles that are filled with shampoo, conditoner and shower gel by using solid soap, conditioner and shampoo bars. Lush was the most obvious place to try out first as I am a big fan of their products already, been unable to resist the fragrant smell and enthusiatic staff every time and wander into a shop.

After perusing the Lush website for a bit and reading the reviews for a variety of different solid bar products, I decided to buy the following 3 products as a trial to see if I could be persuaded to make the switch away from single use plastic bottles.

Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar

Big Solid Conditioner

Maypole Soap

I also decided to try out this Sea Spray Hair Mist  It is not exactly plastic free but the bottle is made using plastic with their closed loop scheme. This means that the bottle can be refilled and reused and then returned to Lush to be recycled into a new container.

So what did I think of the Lush products?

Effectiveness 

I was a little worried a about the impact of solid shampoo and conditioner on my hair as it can get pretty dry. I also only brush my hair through when I wash it and have put in conditioner as it gets quite tangly. I was definitely pleasantly surprised with both the shampoo and conditioner bars. Generally my hair seems to feel a lot more managable and sets into more defined curls after using them although this could also be due to the sea spray mist that I have also started using. I am also convinced that the hair colour I use seems to last longer and looks more vibrant since I have started using these products. The soap feels slightly drying in my skin but not enough to bother me. All of the products smelt amazing and left a lasting fragrance in my hair and bathroom.

Number of washes V cost

I found that one of the big advantages of using these products was the amount of time that they lasted. Although quite expensive to buy in the first place, I think the number of washes from them made them comparable with if not cheaper than buying bottled products. I think the shampoo has lasted at lleast 3 months and I wash my hair 2 or 3 times a week. The soap has lasted much much longer than that. There is also a lots less waste as I use a fraction of the amount that I would use with product from a bottle.

Application

Applying the solid shampoo and conditioner is very different to using liquid varieties. It has to be first rubbed through the hands in water. I found the shampoo bar was pretty easily disolved in water allowing the lather to be applied to my hair. The conditioner was a little more time consuming and I had ti be careful not to drag over my hair as I didn’t want to pull out to much. It did take a bit longer to apply the conditioner and I had to be more carefull about brushing through as it was quite as easy as when I usually use conditoner but I think I can live with this. I have been doing a deep conditioning treatment once a month to ensure that my hair stays in really good conditon as I have had put my hair through quite an ordeal lately with the salt water and wind when surfing, diving and walking in Cornwall.

Storage

The storage of the bars was a little more tricky. I my bath room at home, I just keep them in a soap dish but if travelling I have stuck with using traditional bottled products so far. I think that you can buy tins from Lush to keep them in so may give this a go in the future.

Packaging

Unfortunatley due to lack of time, I didn’t have the opportunity to visit a Lush store and instead had to order through the website. I was pretty shocked to recieve the parcel filled with lots of packaging.

I asked about the packaging on the website chat and promptly got the following answer…

The boxes are filled with packing peanuts that are made from potato starch that are 100% compost-able. 🙂

Which is great news! I still think it would be best to pick up my Lush products when able to visit a store as everything has some environmental impact even if it is biodegradable. That said making a special visit to Bath just to buy Lush products would also have its own footprint caused by the travel.

Overall I would defintiely continue to use these products and I am also planning on trying some more styling products to replace a plastic bottled product that I currently use. It could be quite tricky to find a replacement as I have been looking for the perfect styling product for my hair for years and my current option is the best that I can find to keep it under control without looking greasy. I will keep you posted on how I get on!

What are your favourite Lush products? Do you have any other recommendations for a plastic free bathroom?

With warmest wishes


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Charity Shop Dress – Oxfam

Oxfam dress and jacket

Dress – Oxfam
Denim jacket – a clothes swap
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens
Necklace (Fair Trade) – Ethical Superstore

Oxfam dress

With spring finally here and some lovely warm weather, I felt the need to brighten up my wardrobe a little bit. Winter feels like it has been pretty dull nad dark and I was getting a definite craving for some colour. As I am trying to complete a no new clothes challenge during 2018, Oxfam was the perfect solution allowing me to refresh my wardrobe whilst avoiding something new and also recycling something old and providing a charitable donation.

I have probably raved about Oxfam before in the past but never mind I am going to do so again. Shopping online with Oxfam is perfect for someone like myself that wants to reduce their environmental footprint but doesn’t have time to trawl the charity shops. I find the Oxfam website really quick and easy to search and find what I want with lots of different filters to choose from including colour, size and brand. Oxfam also have a returns policy which is great if you are worried about whether an item will fit.

I have also treated myself to a few other items from Oxfam recently incluisng a spotty dress for work and some vest tops to wear with jeans.Generally the challenge is going well and I have managed to stick to it completely up until now. I have however relaxed it a little bit wih regard to birthday presents, it would be a bit awkward and rude not to accept them!

The jacket that I am wearing is one of my favourites and came from a clothes swap through a clothes swap website that I used to run quite a few years ago. The shoes and necklaces were bought a few years ago and I am pleased to say have had lots of wear.

In other news, I have been pretty busy since I last posted. I have taken up a new hobby, surfing and also competed a refresher course for an old hobby, diving. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Cornwall and am loving being outdoors walking, surfing and diving.

I will be posting another update on my single use plastics soon. I have been finding this particularly challenging but have made some really postive steps forward which I can’t wait to share.

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather. Do you feel the need to wear brighter clothes as we move into spring and summer?

With warmest wishes


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