Sustainable Spring Style on a Budget

One of the most common objections that I hear from people about choosing to shop more sustainably for their clothes is that it would cost more and there isn’t as much choice. In the past this may of been the case but now, I think their is a huge range of choice of ethical and sustainable fashion for all budgets ranging from luxurious designer pieces right through to more affordable fashion. In many ways sustainability and frugality go hand in hand. Here are my tips for greening your style for spring on a budget.

Buy Less, Choose Well

OK, I stole (or borrowed) this one from Vivienne Westwood but it really does sum up the easiest way on how we can become more sustainable, and save money too. Check out what you already have in you wardrobe, what you need or want. I always try and assess any clothes for value before buying by working out how much I am likely to wear them. I think about when I could wear them, what in my wardrobe they would go with and how long they are likely to last in terms of style and quality. I always try and wait a few days before buying to make sure that it is something I really want.

Cash In On Clothes That You Don’t Wear

Spring is the perfect time to have a good clear out of your wardrobe and any clothes that you no longer wear may be worth some money. You can try selling them through ebay a website like musicmagpie.co.uk or bigwardrobe.com or even take them to a clothes agency if you have one nearby. A newly organised wardrobe will also make it easier for you to find something to wear in the mornings and know what you already have to avoid buying more of the same.

Shop for of Sustainable Fashion with Discount Codes and in Sales 

If you really can’t afford to buy from a sustainable or ethical fashion brand, you can look out for discount codes for sustainable fashion. The high quality and timeless styles of most of these brands will usually make them a really good investment. As most of the styles won’t go out of fashion, you should easily be able to find something amazing that is relevant for spring in the sales. Here is a quick summary of the sales and discounts at style-is.co.uk at the moment.

15% off at People Tree until 21st April
15% off at Fashion Conscience until 30th April including Ruby Rocks, Komodo, SkunkFunk & Melie Bianco (vegan handbags)
15% off sustainable brands at Surfdome including Patagonia, Seasalt Cornwall, Monkee Genes, Rapanui and Seasalt Cornwall
Up to 20% off sustainable shoes at Spartoo including Timberland, Dream in Green and Swedish Hasbeens
£5 off sustainable fashion at Zalando when you spend over £50 including Komodo, People Tree, Kuyichi and Patagonia
8% vintage and ethical brands at Rock My Vintage – Including Nancy Dee, Lowie and Tatty Devine
People Tree Sale
Timberland Sale
Seasalt Cornwall Sale

Check out a Charity Shop

Charity shopping has to be one of the most fashionable ways to shop at the moment. It is fun, frugal and eco friendly. The best thing is that you never know what treasure you are going to find and then you can use it to create your own unique outfit. If you don’t have time to trawl the local charity shops, Oxfam Fashion online is a fantastic place to shop. You can search by size, style, colour and brand to find just what you need and there is also a good selection of vintage clothes.

Arrange a Swap Party

If you are really broke arranging a swap party is the perfect way to refresh your wardrobe for spring on a budget. Grab a bottle of wine, some friends with a pile of clothes they no longer want and swap away to your hearts content. The feeling of getting something new from a swap is as good as buying something new and you get a fun evening with your friends into the bargain. If you don’t have enough friends or you are all different sizes, you could try going to an organised swap party, there are lots listed on swishing.org.

Borrow it

If you need something to wear for a one off event, then the simplest option can sometimes be to borrow it. An informal arrangement with friends is great but you can also use the pinkmothballs.com app to help keep track of exactly what you have borrowed from and lent to people. For a special occasion, there is also the option to hire a designer dress from websites like Girl Meets Dress and  Wish Want Wear.

Please feel free to add any more ideas you have in the comments below.

Happy Friday, hope you have a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image – Peacock Dress by Ruby Rocks at Fashion Conscience

Leopard Print Dress and When Enough is Enough

Dress – Rokit Vintage
Shoes and Belt – High street shops (have had them for ages!)

What a wonderful surprise to get sunshine this weekend, the cold and miserable weather has made me feel quite fed up. The bright weather has even made us feel confident enough to book our first camping trip of the year, I can’t wait! Today I even braved the outdoors to take an outfit picture outdoors. Whilst natural light is supposed to be superior to artificial light for photographs, I can never seem to get the camera  settings right for outside photographs. I am hoping to do some street style photographs for Bath in Fashion so hoping to work it out before then. Any tips greatly received.

Anyway today I am wearing a leopard print dress which I treated myself to from Rokit Vintage online store (as if I needed any more dresses!) I also got a woollen biker style jacket which I will no doubt be featuring in an outfit soon.

Looking at my wardrobe, it is pretty full now, I don’t really need to buy anything new except trousers which I have major problems buying and so have a complete lack of. I will have to admit there are some pretty amazing sustainable clothes around for spring and I am super tempted especially by the bright prints. The problem is that even buying sustainable fashion is not as sustainable as buying nothing. Perhaps I will treat myself to a few bits if I get money for my birthday but otherwise I think I need to seriously concentrate on enjoying the many clothes that I have instead of buying more!  I also need a good sort out of my wardrobe but not sure I am feeling confident enough about the weather to put away any winter woollies.

When do you decide that enough is enough with your clothes? or do you think that you can never have enough clothes?

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Sparkly Vintage

Cardigan – Oxfam Fashion
Dress and shoes – (originally from the high street, now 3 or 4 years old)
Leggings – People Tree
Clutch bag – local vintage shop

The outfit in today’s post was one that I wore on Saturday night for a meal out in town. The black dress is a real staple that I have had in my wardrobe for years. These days I feel much happier wearing it with leggings as it is so short but I find it works equally well for daytime and night time. As much as I live prints and bright colours, I will have to admit that you just can’t beat a black dress for versatility and it is ideal for those days when I don’t have ages to mess around deciding what to wear.

The sparkly cardigan was from the Williams Vintage selection at Oxfam Fashion. You can’t see that well from the photo but I am wearing double sparkle with a beaded collar necklace from People Tree, I promise that it sparkles so much more in real life!

Things have been pretty hectic over the last week or two and I haven’t been able to get round to visiting all my favourite blogs. Hoping for a little time to relax with a glass of wine tommorrow and catch up with everything that is going.

I have recently fallen in love with the brand SkunkFunk which features on style-is.co.uk and has some amazing sustainable fashion in particular the dresses which I have been lusting over on a daily basis. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was asked by a retailer to review a piece of sustainable fashion. Of course I choose a SkunkFunk dress which arrived today. It was even better than I expected, can’t wait to share very soon!

I hope you are having a fantastic week. Have you discovered any amazing sustainable fashion brands lately? if so please do share.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

 

Mother’s Day and a Vintage Dress

I had a lovely Mother’s Day which started with a very rare chance for a lie in followed by card and cuddles from my girls (the best bit of all), breakfast in bed and then the chance to work on a little sewing project that I have been meaning to do for a very a long time.

I got the dress at Vintage Fashion Fair London probably about a year ago (in case you are interested, they happen to have a fair on this weekend and there are free tickets available on their website here). It is made from a lovely lace material and has been beautiful constructed with the seams finished, a complete contrast to some of the clothing that you can buy on the high street these day. As much as I loved the dress, it was made for someone with a long body, I have a very short body! The waist fell on my hips making me look quite strange. I decided the best option was to take out about 2 inches of fabric under the bust turning it into an empire line and raising the waist into its correct place.

The problem and part of the reason for the length procrastination was the zip. I assumed I would have to remove it completely in order to make the alternation and then replace with a new zip. I was a little under confident in my ability to sew in a zip from scratch even though I did do it many years ago a sewing class. Anyway to cut a long story short, I posted on the Good Wardrobe (a fantastic resource) to get some advice and low and behold discovered there was no need to remove the zip just unpick it a bit. You can check out the advice I got here. Whole project completed in just over an hour leaving time to cook dinner (a homemade chicken pie) with the girls and enjoy a glass of wine or two with Mr S.

I hope you had a lovely weekend. For now its back to reality, work, snow and freezing cold weather.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Goodbye Dragon, Hello Snake

This time last year when we welcomed in the Chinese year of the dragon, I decided that I ought to get on with a little project that I had been planning to turn a vintage dressing gown with a Chinese dragon design into a jacket. I bought the dressing gown a while before in a local vintage shop and it was one of those projects that I had kind of been meaning to do but never got round to. Of course being the procrastinator that I am, I fully intended to do it sometime during the year of the dragon but this weekend, it suddenly dawned on me that we were suddenly about to say goodbye the year of the dragon and if I didn’t get on and do it now, it would probably be the next year of the dragon before I finally got round to it. So I  kicked myself into action.

kimono jacket

This is the finished project. I have treated myself to little red dress on order from Oxfam which I am hoping will go perfectly with it.

This is what I started out with a vintage 70’s dressing gown in a shiny satin Chinese/ dragon design fabric that I couldn’t resist. I just shortened it and repaired a few of the seams that were coming loose. I may also add a button. I had so much fabric left that I am going to turn it into a skirt, hopefully it won’t take me a whole year to get round it this time.

I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was pretty mundane, mostly working and cleaning the house and some yummy Chinese food of course. I am getting pretty sick of this cold wet weather and with a whole week of children home for half term, I am really hoping it doesn’t carry on all week. Still could be worse, could be snow!

Happy Chinese New Year and roll on spring!

With warmest wishes

Ceri

African Prints Mix Up!


Jacket – Second hand (from mum)
Top – by YouMeWe at Sapellé
Trousers – ASOS Africa
Shoes – Dream in Green
Vintage Bag – Local Charity Shop
Necklace – a Christmas pressy from my mum
Ring – Made UK

Admittedly, it is not really the weather for this outfit a great big woolley jumper would probably be much more practical but I have never been much of a fan of winter clothes and I was desperate to try out the top that I got for just £16.50 in the Sapellé sale. I thought if I added a jacket, then I could perhaps get away with it when the weather warms up a little.

This outfit is my entry for this months Freestyle challenge over at Ethical Fashion Bloggers. I also thought that I would enter it in the Observer Ethical Awards. Much to my excitement, they have introduced a ‘Well Dressed’ award sponsored by Eco Age and Fru-Gal Challenge, if you have some sustainably stylish pieces in your wardrobe, why not enter? you can find out more here.

For those that want to share their sustainable style or ethical fashion brands that want to share their story or latest collection, plus anyone else with an interest in sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry, I will be arranging a Twitter party on the last Friday of each month (starting this Friday). Please join me for #FGFF (Feel Good Fashion Friday)

I hope that you have had a good start to the week despite the snow and cold weather.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

Happy Christmas

Despite being far more organised than usual this year, Christmas seems to have sneaked up on me and as usual I am not really ready, hence my very last minute posting of this Christmas outfit for the Ethical Fashion Bloggers Christmas outfit challenge. You can check out outfits over at www.ethicalfashionbloggers.com.

The vintage dress has been in my wardrobe for a while, I got it from a local charity shop. It was a little bit too long so I decided instead of just shortening it to gather up some sections of the skirt to make it shorter and give it a little more shape. The shoes were given to me by a friend.

Wishing everyone a very very Happy Christmas and looking forward to seeing you in 2013!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ethical Outfit Competition

To celebrate the launch of my new website www.style-is.co.uk (a kind of search engine for sustainable style), I am hold an ethical outfit competition for fashion bloggers with some fantastic prizes.

The prizes

£100 of Spartoo Vouchers

Timberland EK Bethel Buckle Mid Lace Boot

Spartoo has a fantastic range of eco friendly and vegan shoes including brands like Timberland Earthkeeper, Dream in Green, El Naturalista and Think on which the lucky winner can spend their voucher.

Skunkfunk Handbag

Skunkfunk-LATELY-172328_350_A

This colourful and eye catching bag by eco brand Skunkfunk is made from recycled PU. It is a neat, convenient and stylish way of carrying life’s essentials whilst making a style statement. It is 26cm x 29cm x2cm.

2 X £10 Voucher for Rock My Vintage

Tatty Devine Crown Necklace

We are also giving 2 lucky winner a £10 gift voucher for Rock My Vintage. This fantastic online store has a great vintage dresses,handbags and jewellery and also stocks a number of ethical/ sustainable brands including Tatty DevineNancy Dee and Lowie.

Full details of how to enter this competition for UK fashion bloggers on Style is…

South West Bloggers Christmas Party

On Sunday I went to the South West Bloggers Christmas party organised by Gina of Bristol Fashionista, Hayley of Ceriselle and Lyzi of Being Little in aid of Macmillan Cancer. The party was held at the Birdcage in Bristol which is just about the most perfect place for a fashion bloggers party, a kind of cross between a cafe and a vintage shop with live music, delicious cake and even a vintage teacup filled with champagne.

As always at these events I arrived feeling a little shy when I first arrived, not really knowing anyone, but Gina gave such a warm welcome and immediatley introduced me to some very lovely bloggers, so I soon settled in for plenty of chatting and drinking tea.

I was really excited to see the Christnmas tree with piles of presents underneath. We each got to choose one of the presents which had been carefully wrapped by Hayley (pictured above) and our hosts.

We also had a quiz hosted by Gina which was a great  way to get to know some of the others.

I was lucky enough to be on the winning team with Maria of Frills and Spills, Sarah of a Million Dresses and Selina of Flying Saucer. I will have to admit though, I didn’t really make much of a contribution to our winning. Maria most definitely was our secret weapon, knowing the answer to almost every single question.

It was great to meet Selina (whose blog I have followed for years) and chat about Motel Rocks, where she works and where coincidentally the upcycled dress that I was wearing had originally come from.
It was also lovely to meet Laura of A Daisy Chain Dream, a blog that I have followed for ages.

I also met Sophie of Sophie Across the Universe and  Becca of Taz and Bear

Finally I had to dash but also got a lovely goody bag with a pretty vintage scarf that I will most definitely be wearing. The perfect finishing touch to a perfect party!

In my pressy I got some lovely glittery nail varnish and nail wraps from @UrbanistaUK!

I also won a voucher from Crown & Glory in the quiz, I am still deliberating on whether to treat myself to a Whole Lotta Rosie Headband or a Flutterby Baby Fascinator.

Not long to go until Christmas now, I am feeling unusually well prepared this year. I hope you are having a good week and are ready for the festivities.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

The Good Wardrobe

The Good Wardrobe

I am delighted to see so many new initiatives springing up which can help us to not only be more sustainable with our clothing but also look super stylish at the same time.

The Good Wardrobe is a fantastic new website founded by Zoe Robinson, founder of Think Style, style consultancy that assists clients in dressing more sustainably without compromising on style.

It is a community site which allows you to share your style, find out about where to buy ethical fashion and access services that prolong the life of your wardrobe and connect with like minded individuals. You can ask for advice, give advice and rate and review shops. If you get thanked for nay of the questions that you answer, you will get tokens which you can use to donate to one of the sites chosen charities.

You can also find out more about the Sew it Forward Campaign. The idea is to slow consumption by encouraging people to share or learn sewing skills. If you live in London, you can pledge your skills to help someone learn a new skill. I really love the idea of their gift voucher as an alternative to  expensive, sometimes un-wanted and wasteful presents at Christmas. You can download it from the website (link above) and then fill it in with the skill that you can teach them and that will help them to prolong the life of their clothes and save money.

I have already posted a few questions and answers on the forum and am feeling motivated to get on and sort out some of those unworn items of clothing in my wardrobe. Is anyone else joining?

I hope you are having a good week . Christmas is creeping up on me far too quick, I haven’t even written my Christmas cards yet and about to be swept up into a whirlwind of Christmas plays and carol concerts (for the children) and parties (for me). Not complaining though, I have a horrendous cough that seems to be going on for weeks and I definitely think plenty of mulled wine would do me some good! Do you have any fun Christmassy stuff going on?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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