Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

susiebubbleweb Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

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.

IMG 0455 Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

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.
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

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No New Clothes for a Year – An Update

DSCN4281 2 No New Clothes for a Year   An Update

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

DSCN4104 2 Thrify Thursday   Buying Less
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 Thrify Thursday   Buying Less

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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 Year1 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!

040a 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 more A Vintage Dress, a Black Tie Party, Buying Less and Living More!This 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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Gregory Freia Backpack Review

gregory freia 30 backpack for women in ink blackp5477f 011500.3 1 Gregory Freia Backpack Review

In my last post, I blogged about my adventures at Trekfest, (32 miles across the Brecon Beacons in just under 13 hours) ,but I also wanted to post about the kit that I needed to get, which turned out it be a whole mini challenge in itself.

The kitlist for Trekfest was fairly extensive but luckily I managed to borrow or make use of stuff that I already had. One of the things that I did have to buy was a 30 litre backpack to carry waterproofs, emergency supplies, drinks etc. I wanted to share with you a little review of the backpack that I chose. I did a fair amount of research trying to find just the right backpack as I wanted one with a waist and chest strap but also one that was ethically made and not to expensive.

The Ethical Consumer backpack guide was a really useful resource and I decided to go for the Gregory Freia Backpack, a brand which was ranked third highest in the guide for a combination of its resposibility towards animals, people, environment, politics and product sustainability. I managed to find one in the sale at Blacks reduced from £85 to £30.

It was in my opinion great value for money. It had a chest and waist strap and sat quite comfortably on my back for the duration of the 32 mile walk/climb. It also allowed the air to circulate around my back which was quite important on such a warm and muggy day. It had 2 pockets in the top with a handy clip for my car keys and 2 mesh pockets in the side for easily accessible drinks etc. Only after I got back from my trek did I realise that there is also a big pocket on the back of the backpack which would have been ideal for my map. For me the Gregroy Freia Backpack strikes just the right balance between having enough places for storage and not having too many which would have lead me to forgetting where I had put everything. It also had space for a hydration pack and places to clip walking poles.

Do you consider the ethics/ sustainability of everything you buy? how do you choose which brands to buy from?

With warmest wishes

Ethical Workwear

014 Ethical Workwear
Dress – People Tree
Jacket – People Tree
Shoes – Dream in Green

When I started working in an office in September, instead of running my own business from home, I did wonder how difficult it would be to keep up with my policy of only buying ethical and sustainable clothing. I needn’t have worried as People Tree have a great selection of work friendly ethical clothing. I treated myself to a new dress and jacket (pictured above) but also managed to make use of some of the clothes that I already have and found a few pieces in charity shops. Actually it has been much easier than I though. In our office we wear a kind of smart casual dress, so I don’t have to wear a suit but prefer to wear a dress and jacket or cardigan if it is really cold. I am actually really enjoying the chance to get dressed up for work every day but finding I have much less opportunity to be creative with what I wear than before. Some of my slightly more quirky accessories or outfits are having to wait until the weekends before they get worn. Do you find you tend to dress more conservatively for work?

Anyway, that’s enough about work as it is Friday and I am more than ready for the weekend. After lots of socialising last weekend, I am ready for a super relaxed and chilled out weekend with the family. I will be eating tapas, drinking wine, then working it all off with an exercise class or two. What are you up to this weekend?

In case you fancied a little weekend reading….

This week I have posted on Triple Pundit about why I think sustainable fashion has to be about individual style and was featured in a post – Ethical Fashion – 15 People and Organisations Leading the Way in 2014. You can also read my post on fashion and food for Fairtrade fortnight over on with some great offers for chocolate lovers.

With warmest wishes

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Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe

0061 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
018 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
I love jewellery and can’t help but constantly refresh my collection to allow me to refresh and accessorise my outfits in lots of different ways. I try to buy upcycled, fair trade and sustainable jewellery, but it has always bothered me that buying too much costume or fashion jewellery is wasteful. It seems a real shame that such a lot of the lovely costume jewellery bought in the shops will probably end up in landfill. This is where OrnateMe a fab new website concieved by Paul Tully in response to his concern about the unsustainability of the current fashion industry and the throw away attitude driven by low cost products. He hopes that through the success of his business, he will help high street retailers to adopt more sustainable retailing models.

The idea behind OrnateMe is simple. It provides an easy way for customers to upcycle their old costume jewellery. You just need to put your old jewellery into a prepaid envelope and send it in. For each piece of jewellery that is resaleable, you recieve points which can be used towards a piece of jewellery that you would like to buy on the site. Pieces that are not resellable are upcycled.

The website also has a great selection of recycled jewellery to buy and of course I couldn’t help but have a little browse. I have been on the look out for friendship and boho bracelets to wear with casual clothes for the summer and when I spotted these two picture above, I couldn’t resist getting them. They arrived in an envelope which I can then reuse to send back any of my unwanted jewellery. I just need to make a little time to have a clear out of my jewellery collection and decide what I no longer wear.

What do you think of this idea? Do you have any jewellery to recycle and do you love the idea of getting credits to buy a piece of recycled jewellery?

With warmest wishes

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Family Heirlooms

059 Family Heirlooms
small Family Heirloomscup Family HeirloomsA Family Heirloom: A family possession handed down from generation to generation.

I love the idea of family heirlooms which go against the whole idea of a throwaway society and mass consumerism. Last weekend I had a tea party with a beautiful tea set that I was given recently, after my Grandma had to move out of her home. I couldn’t bear to see something so beautiful that my Grandma had looked after for so many years go to a charity shop. I hope that I will look after this tea set as well as my Grandma and eventually pass it on to my children or perhaps even grandchildren. I also have a gingham table cloth and jelly mould which I am already making good use of as my girls love jelly (as do I). With money that I was given for Christmas I have also invested in a new teapot from that sort of matches/ mismatches the tea set.

I have so many happy memories of holiday by the seaside in West Wales with my Grandma and Grandpa,fresh bread and Welsh cakes baked by my Grandma and lots of ice cream, this tea set is a great reminder.

026 Family Heirlooms
I was also given this lovely fur coat which is so comforting, warm and cosy. Family heirlooms and clothes that have been given to me by family give me so much more enjoyment than buying new!

Do you have any family heirlooms or clothes given to you by family that you really treasure? Is old better than new for you?

With warmest wishes


This year we spent Christmas with my family in Cardiff which was lovely. Unfortunately we had to cancel our break between Christmas and new year in a luxury hotel in Port Merion in North Wales because of the terrible weather. I was pretty disappointed to start with but decided to make a best of  a bad situation by having a staycation at home. Yesterday we went out for a yummy Thai meal and today for brunch in Bath followed by crazy golf in the park, I have  a few more plans before returning to work in the new year.
026 Christmas!002 Christmas!
Coat – My Grandma’s
Bag – Reclaim Bags
Dress – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

010 Christmas! Christmas!

Jumper – Seasalt Cornwall
Jeggings – Oxfam Fashion
Scarf – Handknitted in Wales
Boots – Clarks

I was definitely spoilt this year with some lovely Christmas pressies including this clucth made from recycled tyres by Reclaim Bags. I wanted a large clutch that I could use for both daytime and evening and this one which Mr S gave me was perfect. I also had this lovely warm jumper from Seasalt Cornwall from my Mum and Dad. The handknitted scarf, again from my mum and dad, went perfectly with it. I really love that my mum went to a special effort to pick out beautiful and unique handmade accessories from her travels in both the UK and abroad for my Christmas pressies.

This Christmas definitely felt less consumeristic than previous years. I just had a few carefully chosen pressies and I tried to do the same for my friends and family. I have also noticed a lot of people trying to buy less, locally and more unique and special gifts. I have tried to spend more time with the children going iceskating, to the cinema and playing games rather than buying too many pressies (although they certainly had quite a few new things).

What have you been up to over Christmas and what were your favourite pressies?