Camping and Camp Bestival

I have been a little absent from blogging for the last couple of weeks. On Wednesday 25th July, I was in London for the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Summit – The Tipping Point. It was a hugely interesting event and I met and heard from so many inspiring people. I hope to be able to blog  and share some more about this soon once the videos and notes have been published.

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130 Camping and Camp Bestival

I was then off in our old camper van at 8am the next morning and on our way to Camp Bestival in Lulworth Castle Dorset with some fantastic music including Rolf Harris (my personal favourite), Happy Mondays and Rizzle Kicks and lots of other entertainment.

After wearing only 6 items of clothing for the Six Items Challenge in July, I decided to have a go at packing lightly with just four outfits for a whole 8 day camping. I soon realised that this was a mistake as my choice of outfits didn’t really seem to work for the huge differences in temperature between day and evening. But never mind, I survived! I didn’t take to many outfit photos as I was suffering from uncontrolably frizzy and dusty hair most of  the time and I didn’t take my camera remote so had to rely on the blurry efforts of the children and Mr Style Eyes. 187 Camping and Camp BestivalThe picture above features my trusty green camping parka and zebra jumper from a charity shop. I never buy new clothes for holidays any more as it seems like a waste to buy new things just for a week or two of holidays. I try and make the clothes that I already have work for me. You can find a great selection of jumpers on www.style-is.co.uk.

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This is me on a particularly hot and sunny day wearing hat by Pachacuti and top by Kuyichi.

We then went on to a fantastic campsite near Weymouth and although we didn’t have tickets to see any of the sailing events for the Olympics we had a fantastic time on the beach, having a go at sailing and lots of other sports. If anyone has any time off over the next week or so I would definitely recommend a trip to Weymouth, there is so much going on and surprisingly, not that many people there so plenty of vacancies in hotels and B & B’s and campsites.

I hope you are having a lovely summer and have been enjoying the fantastic weather. Despite having a fantastic time on my hols I am glad to be back to my comfy bed, own bathroom and hot shower. I can’t wait to catch up on reading my favourite blogs over the next few days.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Six Items Challenge – Week 3

Third week of the six items challenge and I will have to say I am getting pretty bored with my choice of clothes. Every morning when I open  my wardrobe I am confronted by a rail of clothes that I can’t wear. Still not too much longer now and this week my new hat has arrived from Pachacuti ready for hols so I have been using it to add a bit of interest to my outfits.

I haven’t posted every single outfit this week as a few have been a little bit repetitive and I have had some fairly severe bad hair days.

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My neckscarf/ accessory is from Round London.

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This bag is from Oxfam Fashion – one of my favourite places to shop!

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This neckalce is from ethical jewellery brand Made UK Everyone says the tights make me look like I have tattoos on my legs. I love this look but could never committ to having just one design on my legs. I would so change my mind.

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This obi belt was handmade and is great for giving loose fitting clothes a bit of shape.hat Six Items Challenge   Week 3

And here is my new hat!

Ands so on to the last week of the challenge. I am so pleased the sun has finally come out and really enjoying having dinner in the garden every evening.

Next week I am speaking on the visibility panel for the Ethical Fashion Forum Tipping Point Summit, it will bring together leading pioneers in fashion and sustainability from all over the world and across the entire supply chain to network, share ideas, learn from best practice, and collaborate. I can’t wait! Hope you have an amazing week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

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Six Items Challenge – Week 2

So here I am at the end of week 2 of the six items challenge. It has been a pretty busy week and I haven’t had the chance to spend much time thinking about what I wear and how to accessorise my chosen items in order to create a different outfit each day. I did manage to do something slightly different each day except one when I resorted to the easy outfit which I wore last week of just my ASOS printed trousers and t shirt. I also got the opportunity to wear some accessories that I have recently treated myself to a pair of earrings featuring Josephine Baker and a scarf from Accessorise.

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This is my scarf  by Accessorise and my first ever attempt at wearing neon

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I got this scarf from Oxfam Online and the necklace is by ethical jewellery brand Made UK. 0631 Six Items Challenge   Week 2

This beaded necklace is from People Tree and it is those black ballet pumps by sustainable shoe brand Melissa, perfect for the rain as they are plastic!

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Thursday was a bit of an opt out on the accessories front but I am wearing shoe boots my my favourite ethical shoe brand Dream in Green.

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This was the outfit I wore to my cousins birthday party on Saturday. I picked the scarf up in the week from a charity shop. The earrings are handmade using vintage bits by Lilygrace Originals.

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Another simple outfit  - I definitely need more colour  next week.

charity shop finds Six Items Challenge   Week 2

Apart from doing the  challenge this week I have also managed to get some goodies from a quick dash into a charity shop in Bath (inc the scarf I am wearing above). Too bad I won’t get to wear the green lace dress and angorra jumper yet.

I also went to London for the fabulous ’How to be an Eco Warrioress’ event organised by Bi.itch Online. I will be blogging about it more on www.ethicalfashionbloggers.com.

I hope you are having a good start to the week. What have you been up to lately?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

Lovely Links!

Lily Cole Lovely Links!

I have been seeing so many fantastic blog posts over the last few weeks, I have decided to start sharing them with a new feature called Lovely Links. Here is what I love this week.

Summer Rayne Oakes – this model is on a (sustainable) mission - another fantastic interview in the eco fashion series at Urban Times.

When costume becomes street cred - how amazing are these doiley leggings featured on the six items challenge blog?

A New Lease of Life for Tights - who hasn’t got loads of tights stuffed in a draw somewhere. I love this fantastic idea for upcycling them by Ms Castro on a Bike (Fashion Stylist, Lupe Castro).

Interview with Vintage Vixen if you haven’t already done so, you should check out this interview that I did for Oxfam Fashion.

Remade in Leeds – this article on the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Magazine tells you a little more about their shop of the month.

Red Carpet Recycler - it is great to hear that more celebrities are joining Olivia Firth in her Green Carpet Challenge as discussed in this Vogue article.

Tomorrow is the next update on  my progress with the six items challenge. It has been a tough week now looking forward to the weekend. Hope you have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image credit - www.vogue.co.uk

Monsoon Dresses – Up to 25% Off

Monsoon dresses are the perfect choice for a wedding or special occasion this summer or even for a holiday. They currently have a great promotion with up to 25% off occasion wear and up to 30 % off holiday wear. Here are my top five picks of Monsoon dresses.

koscian wrap dress1 Monsoon Dresses   Up to 25% Off

Koscian Wrap Dress 

aztec print dress Monsoon Dresses   Up to 25% Off

Aztec Print Dress

Essouira Dress Monsoon Dresses   Up to 25% Off

Essouira Dress

yellow claire dress Monsoon Dresses   Up to 25% Off

Yellow Claire Dress

sweet William Dress1 Monsoon Dresses   Up to 25% Off

Sweet William Dress

I hope that you are having a good week. Things have been pretty busy over at Style Eyes Towers. My new Ethical Fashion project is just about to get underway and I can’t wait to share more about it soon.

Please don’t forget to check out my Ethical Outfit Competition which has some fantastic prizes!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Five Tips for Great Tunics

Looking for new tunics? This great, affordable, versatile style is a must for every woman’s wardrobe. Easy to match with jeans, skirts, shorts and work trousers, the tunic is a must-have piece of clothing and gives you real choice when you come to decide what to wear every morning.

With so many different styles to choose from, how will you know what to buy? You don’t want to waste money on the wrong tunic – even when they are so affordable – so you need to make sure you know what you’re looking for. Here are five great tips for buying the perfect tunic.

Cut – look for a cut that’s flattering. Tunics are more flattering than many other tops because of their generous cut, but you want to make sure that the one you choose fits in all the right places and hangs properly everywhere else. Check for length too – depending on your height, longer tunics can be more flattering than short ones.

Price – set a budget and stick to it. If you don’t have much to spend, check out online discounts and sale prices – you can get some fantastic bargains if you’re prepared to wait for the right deal.

Fabric – buy the best fabric you can afford. Whether this is 100% linen or cotton, or a fabric blend, good fabric is more durable, more comfortable and looks better. Good retailers know this, so you’ll only find good quality fabric in their tunics.

Manufacture – a good tunic needs to be well made as well as well designed. Good quality stitching will create strong streams that will last for years and will wash without deteriorating. Poor quality sewing results in holes and tears, so make sure you’re happy with the quality.

Design detail – often, it’s the finishing touches that make the most difference. Look for details like buttons, sleeve ties, pockets, embellishments and embroidery. All of these can turn the most simple of tunics into something special – giving you great value for money and a top that will look great anywhere.

Tunics are an essential wardrobe item, so it makes sense to take your time and buy the ones that are going to help you look fantastic. You can do this without breaking the bank and without taking hours to find the right thing – check out the quality on the high street and buy online, or look for deals from recognised brands that you know are reliable. Above all, enjoy mixing and matching your new tunic with everything else in your wardrobe – Try matching up a gorgeous ladies denim jacket!

11 Five Tips for Great Tunics

Choosing Stylish Summer Shoes that won’t Cost the Earth!

Summer has just begun, which means
that women have already started wearing their favourite tank tops and
sundresses. Because it is difficult to wear fashionable jackets and layers in
the summer heat it is important to find other ways to look sharp. This becomes
even more challenging when summer footwear is taken into consideration. Flip
flops and other kinds of sandals are comfortable and convenient but they are
not conducive to fashion.

One way to maintain a sense of style without piling on the clothes is to focus
on footwear. Ladies’ shoes have a way of making the wearer look more
fashionable even if her outfit was hastily thrown together. Wearing sandals
with a short summer dress can look sloppy and inappropriate for social events.
A pair of ballet flats solves that problem. They are only slightly more
structured than flip flops are but they provide just enough coverage to make
the whole ensemble look carefully planned. A strong black shoe contrasts nicely
with a lightweight dress. Wedge sandals are also feminine and structured. They wear very well at informal daytime events. They afford the leg-slimming benefits of pumps without appearing too dark or formal for summer.

If one prefers to wear short shorts in the summer there are other options for
warm-weather footwear. Cowboy boots look great with denim shorts. Girls who
wear boots with cut-offs are playing with masculine associations. The boots
balance out the long expanse of skin and keep the torso from looking
disproportionately short. When worn with a simple sleeveless top, the boots
constitute the style element of the entire outfit. It is a bold image to
create, especially in the summer. Grecian sandals also look good with shorts.
These sandals are statement-makers and they need to be worn with garments that
will not compete with them for attention. As with the boots, Grecian sandals
look best when the accompanying outfit is not noteworthy in itself.

Many women who are not comfortable wearing shorts opt for Capri pants. Capris
do not leave very much of the leg uncovered so the shoes must not extend above
the ankle. As with sundresses, ballet flats are a good option when worn with
capris. The few inches of skin that show between the tops of the feet and the
bottom hem of the pants elongate the leg. Lightly constructed heels further
stretch the silhouette and tie the outfit together. Simple sandals are
acceptable with Capri pants if the shirt is properly tailored.

The onslaught of summer heat is not an excuse to dress sloppily. It is an
opportunity to prove how much style one can wring out of a few key items. Shoes
are essential components of summer style.

 

An Upcycled Shirt

041 An Upcycled Shirt

Over the weekend, I had a really good clear out of my wardrobe, but more about that in another post. I tried to clear out or upcycle anything I didn’t wear and this shirt was a prime candidate for upcycling. I bought it in a charity shop because I loved the print so much but it was never quite right for me and I couldn’t find a way to wear it that I liked.

0681 An Upcycled Shirt

Shirt – Charity shop/ upcycled
Skirt – Second hand / upcycled

It suddenly dawned on me that it was the sleeves that were so wrong for  me. This has to be the simplest upcycling project I have ever done. I just loped the sleeves off which took all of about 2 minutes. Not a difficult descision to make when the weather is so lovely and warm and  sometimes I think the simplest things are the best! I have already found a few different ways to wear my new shirt one being the outfit pictured above.

For anyone who loes charity shopping or would like to give it a go. You might be interested to read my latest blog post for Oxfam Fashion in which I interview the fantastic El of A Thrifty Mrs.

I hoping you are having a good week and enjoying this gorgeous sunshine. Fingers crossed it sticks around at least a bit longer.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Dr Martens – A Brand With History

dr martens1 Dr Martens   A Brand With History

Dress – Vintage
Leggings – People Tree
Dr Martens – Cloggs

I was recently contacted by Cloggs and asked if I would like to review a pair of Dr Marten boots. I have been considering buying some for a while as I used to wear them many years ago and they were super comfy, hard wearing and would be ideal for camping. I was sent a patent pair which I wore on a camping trip at the weekend (although the photograph was taken in at home before we left).

Back in the day I used to wear my DM’s with tassel skirts during my gothic stage, floral dresses and black tights in my grungey stage and with just about everything as a student. This weekend I couldn’t resist trying to sort of recreate this look with a vintage floral dress and leggings.

Dr Martens have a big historical connection for me but for Mr Style Eyes mean something different (I would at this point like to say that he is a bit older than me). When he saw them he immediately mentioned Mods and Skinheads as being the reason why his mother would not let him have a pair, parent eh!

The Dr Marten brand has now been around for over 50 years and in that time has clad the feet of many from punks to policemen, skinheads to socialists. Interestingly, the shoe was designed by Klaus Märtens a German Army Doctor to cushion and protect his ankle after a skiing accident. They didn’t become fashionable though until they were worm buy Pete Townshend, song writer and guitarist with The Who. Ever since they have been adopted not only by factory and other manual workers but also by a range of sub cultures who made them part of their uniform. In case you are interested, there is a book on the very subject Dr Martens – The Story of an Icon.

Dr Marten’s is not neccaserily a brand that you would consider as ethical but they do have a strong ethical policy and supplier code of conduct with which they aim to not only ensure the highest possible standards of business behaviour but work with suppliers exceed these standards. You can check out their code of conduct here.

When I asked about the ethics of the brand I was also informed.

We have recently started to stock a Dr Martens Vegan collection which offers Dr Martens two most iconic styles the 8 eye boot and the 3 eye shoe to the vegan customer. Due to recent technical advances it is now possible for the manufacturing process and materials used to be acutely vegan friendly. Dr Martens have symbolised their excitement for the vegan collection by creating a new sock logo. One of our favourites in the vegan collection is the popular 1460 boot in Cherry Red which features air cushioned soles and Felix rub-off none leather uppers.

For me what is great about this brand is that they are extremely well made and so will last for ages. They are the ultimate festival foot wear but also great for when you have a long way to walk and have to ditch the heels. Although Dr Martens are kind of on trend at the moment, they are also a bit of an anti fashion statement because they don’t really ever go out of fashion. This in itself kind of makes them a sustainable choice of footwear.

Have you ever owned a pair of Dr Martens? How did you wear yours?

I will leave you with just a few instagrams from my camping at the weekend.

i1 Dr Martens   A Brand With History

i2 Dr Martens   A Brand With History

i3 Dr Martens   A Brand With History

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Made In Britain

025 Made In Britain

018 Made In Britain

I have been really enjoying watching Mary Portas’s TV programme ‘The Bottom Line’ but also love the way that it has renewed the focus on clothing being Made in Britain. The funny thing is that I often go out of my way to buy Fairtrade and ethical clothing made abroad in countries like Africa or India so buying Made in Britain is the complete opposite. But I also think that it is important to support our own economy and help those in this country that are struggling to find a job and as the clothing industry is so huge their is probably room for both.

That said, I don’t neccaserily think that just because something is ‘Made in Britain’, it is ethical. For example, it may be made using cotton that is picked by children in Uzbekistan and grown using environmentally damaging pesticides. There are however some key benefits that I can see in buying clothes made in Britain, which include:

Supporting the British economy and providing jobs for those in Britain.
Preserving specialist skills for clothing manufacture in Britain.
Quality, British products are known for their high quality and workmanship.
Strict UK and EU working regulations ensure high standards in British factories and give greater confidence in that workers  have been treated well.
Cutting down on transportation and therefore carbon footprint of clothing.

I am not going to write any more about Mary Portas and her Kinky Knickers as I think most people will already have watched the programme. If you haven’t, you can find out more here. Instead I wanted to share some fantastic brands that are both ‘Made in Britain’, ethical and probably most importantly when it comes to fashion, look great!

The dress that I wearing in the pictures above is by Nancy Dee, an ethical and sustainable fashion brand that manufactures all if its clothing in the UK using a variety of sustainable materials including organic cotton, Bamboo, soya bean and modal. It is definitely one of my favourite dresses. It is beautifully made, unique and individal with only limited runs of designs using their own specially made fabrics (I have not seen anyone else out and about wearing my flamingo print dress), washes well and is really comfortable to wear. I also love the flattering cut. If you like the sound of Nancy Dee, please check out there website here which has a fantastic sale at the moment, including the Flamingo dress that I am wearing.

who made your pants1 Made In Britain

Who Made Your Pants a campaigning ethical underwear brand based in Southampton. Their pants are designed to sit flat under clothes, have no VPL, and be comfortable and all day fabulous. I saw a selection of them at the Good Fashion Show and I can vouch for the fact that they are beautifully made. They use fabric sold on by big underwear companies at the end of season and stop them ending up as landfill and they employ refugees from war torn countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sudan in a woman only environment where they can feel safe, learn new skills and provide themselves with an income.organic slim 2 large Made In Britain

Another exciting ‘Made in Britain’ brand that has caught my eye recently is Hiut Denim. A brand that is all about reviving the jeans industry is a small Welsh town called Cardigan. I  spent many childhood holidays in Cardigan which is a seaside town in West Wales and also where my Grandparents lived and my Father grew up. My Grandfather was the Principle of the local technical college. Sadly over the years many young people have been forced to move away for Cardigan due to lack of job opportunities and the closure of the local jeans factory which employed 400 people and made 35,000 pairs of jeans a week in part contributed to this.

Hiut denim is bringing employment back to the area and allowing the people of Cardigan to do what they do best. It seems to be focussing on simplicty with just a few styles of jeans (at the moment) made incredibly well using the expertise from the people who were originally employed in the factory and high quality denim including organic and selvedge denim.

The brand is also trying to move away from the idea that clothing is a throw away commodity, instead making jeans that will be valued and treasured. They are the first ever company to make jeans with a history tag. Customers can register their jeans unique number with the HIstorytag website and then upload memories (or where you went, what you did). If the jeans are every passed on or donated to a charity shop, these memories will go with them.

I know there are many more amazing ethical ‘Made in Britain’ brands, many of which I hope to share with you soon. I will continue to support Fairtrade and brands which are working to alleviate poverty in other countries but I also love the idea of buying more locally and supporting people a little closer to home. As I don’t buy any fast fashion clothes manufactured in sweatshops, I definitely think it is possible for me to do both and as a result build a very stylish wardrobe packed with beautiful high quality clothes.

What do you think?

With warmest wishes

Ceri