Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

DSCN4817 2 Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

Organic cotton dress – Earth Kind Originals
Necklace – Tatty Devine
Vegetable dyed leather boots – Dream in Green
Bag – Reclaim

I hope that you have had a lovely Christmas!

I definitely feel realy spoilt this year. Not only did I receive lots of lovely pressies from family and friends but I was also invited to Christmas lunch at my mother and fathers in laws. This meant that instead of spending all day in the kitchen cooking, I got time to play with the children and spend Christmas eve cuddled up on the sofa with a glass of bucks fizz and a pile of children and a cat watching a Santa Claws (a laughably bad Christmas film). As I was working on Christmas eve it really took the pressure off not to have to worry about shopping and food prep. We even managed to get out for a walk on Christmas morning before lunch.

My family know that I am just a little bit fussy when it comes to clothes so always ask for present ideas in advance. This means I usually get lovely pressies made by ethical brands that I know I will get lots of wear from. Mr S treated me to this embroidered boho dress from Nomads clothing , a white gold bangle (which was a lovely surprise) and some eco make up brushes. My mum and dad got me the organic cotton dress that I am wearing above from EKO, a sustainable fashion brand based in Cornwall. The clothes are lovely and comfortable to wear, making the dress perfect for Christmas day when I knew I was likely to be eating more turkey, pudding and chocs than I really should. I am planning to wear it again for New Years eve.

I also got this pair of supremely comfortable trousers from Outsider Fashion. They are ethically made from eco Tencel and organic merino wool. I can’t wait to wear them on New Years Day for a great big brunch with the family to welcome in the new year followed a nice long walk before snuggling up to watch a film of two.

I have had  a lovely relaxing break and had the opportunity to spend some lovely time with family and friends. I am really looking forward to New Year and the last few days of my break before its back to work.

How have you spent Christmas this year and do you have anything fun planned for New Years Eve?

I will finish up by sharing a few of my Christmas instagrams.

cat in tree Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

A very naughty cat climbing in the Christmas tree!

gingerbread house Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

A gingerbread house made by the children.

hot chocolate Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

Hot chocolate – one of my favourite things about this time of year.

dress labels Ethical Fashion Brands for Christmas

I have to admit to being just a little bit geeky about reading the labels on clothes.

With warmest wishes

Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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The Weekend Before Christmas

DSCN4785 2 The Weekend Before Christmas

Nearly there! Christmas is less than a week away but this year I have been struggling to feel properly Christmassy, perhaps because of the unseasonaly warm weather. That is until this weekend when I recieved a festive package from White Stuff with a lovely tunic and some Christmas goodies which definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. The Ho Ho Ho bunting is probably my favourite Christmas decoration ever and definitely beats a bit of old tinsel, although we have plenty of that too.

DSCN4801 4 The Weekend Before Christmas

White Stuff clothing are made from high quality ethically sourced materials. They are also members of the ethical trade initiative. White Stuff also donate 1% of their profits to local charities as well as time and material support. I know I will be getting lots of wear out this tunic.

tree The Weekend Before Christmas

It is a family tradition for us to get a new Christmas decoration for both of the girls for the tree each year. Over the years we have built up quite a collection of Christmas decorations which are also contributed to by grandmas, friends and teachers at school aswell as some homemade ones. The children usually decorate the Christmas tree with the help of Mr S to untangle the fairy lights. I don’t like a Christmas tree to look too neat and tidy, I much prefer a really busy mish mash of colour and different decorations which is quite lucky as that is how it always turns out. The branches of our tree are practically creaking under the strain of all the decorations!

DSCN4807 2 The Weekend Before Christmas

DSCN4810 2 The Weekend Before Christmas

These lovely little fellas from White Stuff are the perfect addition to our ‘interesting’ Christmas tree. I am particularly in love with the mouse in his cute little scarf.

Do you like lots of decorations on your Christmas tree or do you have more of a minimalist aproach?

I have had a lovely post Christmas weekend, spending time with family and friends. What have you been up to the weekend before Christmas?


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Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

bag Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

I have been admiring the amazing carnival collection ethical leather bags by What Daisy Did for a while (since I wrote this Story Behind the brand post in fact). So when Daisy contacted me to see if I would like to pick one out to review I jumped at the chance. Not only are the bags vibrant and colourful but also ethical and upcycled making them them the perfect treat for me during my year of no new clothes.

I picked out the Lucy bag was just the right size big enough room for my essentials but small enough to carry around and pop under my desk at work. I loved the structured feel to it which meant it keep everything neat and there was no chance of anything falling out.

What I loved most about the bag was the mixture of colours which has got me plenty of compliments already and is great for adding a bit of interest when I have opted to play it safe in a boring black or neutral outfit. Each bag is unique in both colour and finish but when you are ordering you can ask for a photo of the available options so that you can pick out the exact one that you would like. The bag is lovely quality and is made from upcycled leather pieces with great attention to detail, it even has a cute hedgehog keyring with it, which I have attached to the strap.

The bags are made in India providing an income for about 60 families many of which lost their jobs with the trade shift to China. Tailors are paid a fair commission with a living wage possible withing normal working hours. Flexible working from home with tools, machinery and electricity provided allows workers to fit their work around other commitments such as parenting and university. The bags are made from locally sourced offcuts of leather and lined with end if roll deadstock cotton that would otherwise be wasted.

DSCN4777 2 Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

DSCN4771 3 Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

Upcycled ethical leather bag – What Daisy Did
Organic cotton dress -Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton jacket – Nancy Dee
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree Clothing
Vegetable tanned leather boots – Dream in Green
Necklace (fair trade) – Made UK

What Daisy Did have a great selection of styles including satchels, backbacks, holdalls, laptop bags and weekend bags in both the colourful Carnival collection and the more neutral colours of the Forest Collection which are handmade from naturally tanned goats leather. The are also surprisingly affordable!

You can see the collections and learn more about the story (and ethics) of the brand on the website here: www.whatdaisydid.com

With warmest wishes


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Upcycled Interiors

We are in the process of making a few improvements to our house and so I have been thinking about decor and definitely want to include some upcycled interiors. We are having a bit of a change round of rooms. We are creating a new spare room so that we can have family to stay and instead of sharing a study with Mr S, I am going to be also using the spare room for my study for admin, studying, blogging, sewing and possibly some other creative projects. This means that I will have my own space to decorate as I like so the opportunity to make it look a bit different to the other rooms in the house. I love the idea of using upcycled interiors not only because it is more sustainable than buying new but also because I think they will give the room their own unique character. I am also on the look out for a colourful and comfy chair for the lounge and possibly some decoration for our new eating space (kitchen / diner)

original upcycled dresser Upcycled Interiors

I love this upcycled dresser from I Love Retro at Not on the High Street.

original vintage 1950s bartolomew chair in chance velvet Upcycled Interiors

This reburbished 1950’s cocktail chair by Galapagos on Not on the High Street looks stunning and really comfy. The fabric is designed by British designer Parris Wakefield.

mirror Upcycled Interiors

Irish Barn on Etsy has some lovely retro homeware pieces including this lovely vintage mirror.

hd 100594917 01 Upcycled Interiors

Oxfam have a good selection of vintage curtains which you can browse on their website. I love these 1950’s waterlilly curtains!

chest of drawers Upcycled Interiors

This mid century chest of drawers from Upcycled Retro on Etsy is a fun way to add a bit of extra storage to a room.

original hyatt canning dining table Upcycled Interiors

I love the look of this Hyatt Canning Dining Table from Little Tree Furniture it would be amazing in my new eating area.

Would you consider upcycled interiors?

I hope you are well and enjoying the run up to Christmas! I am looking forward to a lovely relaxing break. What do you have planned over the festive season?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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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.
#GreenFriday
Black Friday just around the corner, but I will be doing my own thing this year with #GreenFriday. Join me by Tweeting your fun and eco friendly alernatives to Black Friday. You can read more in my post why I am shunning black friday in favour of #greenfriday on the Huffington Post.
I hope you are well and staying warm! I am now 2 thirds of the way through my diploma, just one more module left to go before I can get back to regular blogging. See you soon.

With warmest wishes


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Seasonal Food – Autumn Eating

DSCN4688 2 Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

I have been waiting to post this post about seasonal eating and autumn food for some time. Now that I have finally finished for the exam assignment of my course, I have a little breathing space and time to catch up. I wanted to post about seasonal food, not only because I love autumn food, but because it makes sense to buy food that is in season rather than flown across the world, at great expense to the environment. So here are just a few of the seasonal autumn treats that I have been cooking up.

DSCN4702 2 Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

Apple and Blackberry Compote

At this time of year, I can usually manage to aquire some cooking apples and blackberries for nothing. I decided to add a taste of autumn to my breakfasts ny cooking them up into an apple and blackberry compote which I could then layer with greek yoghurt and top with a seed sprinkle or mix with porridge. This is super easy to make by peeling apples before cooking in a pan with blackberries and a little maple syrup and water.

DSCN4677 2 Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

Macaroni Cheese

I love kale and it is perfect for adding a bit of veggie goodness to a warming dish of macaroni cheese. My children love eating veggies anyway but adding them to something like this means they eat even more of them. I didn’t really use a recipe. I just made a white sauce with milk a little oil and flour, then  adding a few teaspoons of djion mustard, cheese and steamed kale and cooked macaroni, topped with a little more cheese and baked in the oven.

DSCN4675 2 Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

Leek and Potato Soup

I always look forward to autumn for cooking up some warming leek and potato soup. It is the one thing that can be guarenteed to help when I want to lose a bit of weight as it is so healthy and satisfying. This year I have discovered an amazing new addition to my soup, green lentils, which makes it even more filling. I just wash chop and fry lots of leeks, then add vegetable stock potatoe and a bag of washed green lentils and boil it up for about half an hour. Once it is cool I blend it a bit and then keep it in the fridge. I make enough for the week and keep it in the fridge heating it up with a few drops of worcestershire sauce and take it to work in a thermos for lunch.

For a list of which foods are in season in Novemember and other months, check out Eat the Seasons Website.

I couldn’t post about sustainability and food this week without a mention of Hugh’s War on Waste programme this week. If you didn’t see it, you can check it out here. I was really shocked to hear that a third of the food in the UK never gets eaten, disgusting when there are so many hungry people in the world. But I was also pleased to see that this issue is getting so much attention through this programme and hope that it helps to change attitudes. I have definitely made it a priority to make sure that no food gets wasted in my house. This week I will be using up leftover veggies with a sweet potato, spinach and red onion soup, perhaps spiced up with a little curry powder for next weeks lunches. Do you had any good ideas for making use of leftover food to share? I am also trying to make the effort to try out an organic veg box as an alternative to supermarket shopping.

Look out for next Mondays episode of War on Waste which looks at clothes!

Finally here are a few of my autumn instagrams.

pumpkin Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

My daughter carved this Tinkerbell pumpkin with a drill!

autumn leaves Seasonal Food   Autumn EatingI couldn’t resist an autumn leaves picture. Shoes are Dream in Green and the dress by People Tree.

charity shop cardigan Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

I treated myself to a cosy new charity shop cardigan which cost me just a fiver from Oxfam and was perfect for dress down Friday at work.

food Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

Yet more food! Avocado and mushrooms on toast, the perfect way to fuel up before a 3 hour body combat session.

matcha green tea Seasonal Food   Autumn Eating

Matcha green tea is the latest addition to my healthy eating plan. I have been enjoying it with apple juice and lime. Does anyone have any other good ways to drink/ prepare it?

Are you on Instagram? you can follow my Instagram account here or leave you link in the comments so that I can follow you.

I hope that you are havng a lovely autumn!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

DSCN4639 2 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

Last weekend, I managed to find time for my bi annual wardrobe edit. I usually swap spring / summer and autumn/ winter clothes around at the beginning of the season. This is a really good opportunity for me to have a much needed clear up and clear out as well as reminded myself exactly what I have. I was pleased to find that I have plenty of clothes for the season ahead, so no need to buy anything new. Although my autumn winter wardrobe is no where as colourful as my spring summer wardrobe, I do love that it is full of lovely soft layers with lots of opportunities to add a bit of colour and interest by accessorising with cosy scarves. Over the last few weeks, autumn has definitely arrived, here are some of the outfits that I wore to work last week, all from my existing wardrobe and sustainable fashion.

DSCN4642 2 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe EditDress – Marks and Spencers (Made in Britain)
Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in Britain)
Ankle boots – Made in Green (vegetable tanned leather)

The office can be particularly cold on a monday at this time of year so I chose to layer 2 supersoft fabrics for a really cosy and comfy outfit.

DSCN4647 3 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

 Dress and cardigan – Oxfam Fashion
Necklace – Made UK (ethical brand)
Boots – as above

Over the years, I have found Oxfam’s online shop to be a great source of work dresses and knitwear. I am always amazed at the lovely clothes that people have given away because they no longer want them. I would always prefer to buy a higher quality brand second hand than cheap, badly made  fast fashion that falls apart after a few washes.
DSCN4648 3 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

Cardigan – as above
Top – Sara C (bamboo, Made in Britain)
Trousers – M & S
Shoes – Clarks

Sara C has some amazing printed tops, which I think are great for adding a bit of colour and pattern to a dreary work outfit. I bought this one in the sale a few years ago.

DSCN4661 2 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in the UK)
Dress – SkunkFunk (organic cotton)
Shoes – as above
Satchel – Scaramanga (ethically made)

On Thursday, I had to go to London for a seminar. Whilst travelling, I always want to wear something comfy. I like to wear this Nancy Dee organic cotton jersey jacket as an alternative to a suit jacket as it is much easier to layer under a jacket. The satchel makes it easy to carry notepad etc.

DSCN4666 2 My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe EditDress – Annie Greenabelle (organic cotton)
Leggings – People Tree
Scarf and cardigan – Nomads
Shoes – as above

Friday is usually a dress down day at work and this outfit is pretty much a staple for me on a friday, the organic cotton jersey is just so comfy to wear.

Here are just a few ideas I have had about being just a little more sustainable this autumn.

  • A seasonal wardrobe clearout is the best way to properly assess what you have and haven’t got and the best way to see if you really need to buy anything new and if so exactly where the gaps in your wardrobe are.
  • When in need of a few extra cosy layers for the colder weather, charity shops are a great place to start. You can often bag a high quality knit or even some cashmere at a fraction of the price it would cost new.
  • With the new charge for plastic bags, I have definitely been inspired to seek out more stylish alternatives for carrying my shopping, hoping that I will never have to use a plastic bag again.
  • Autumn is  a great time of year for cooking up wholesome hearty meals. I am going to try and source much more of the food for my family locally and also stick to more seasonal foods, starting by ordering an organic veg box. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Will you be making any changes for a more sustainable wardrobe or life this autumn?

With warmest wishes

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Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

DSCN4445 2 Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in ValenciaDress – People Tree
Shoes – Veja

It feels like a long time since I have been able to post and I have really missed blogging! Apart from holidays sailing with my family in Valencia and camperanning with Mr D and the girls in Devon in August, I have been super busy at work, launching a new blog and also doing a CIM diploma in digital marketing in the evenings. I am now nearly a third of the way through my diploma and whilst it is super interesting and I have learned a huge amount, I can’t wait to get back to blogging adn relaxing a bit in the evenings.

The dress picture above was one that I bought from People Tree a year or so ago but could never quite get on with the sleeves. As I didn’t have many casual dresses for my sailing holiday, instead of buying something new, I decided to take the sleeves off. I am really glad I did, the dress feels like a better style for me now. Valencia is an amazing place and lovely and hot in august, with sleeves, this dress would have been too warm. Of course I didn’t actually wear this dress for sailing, I wore a much more practical shorts and t shirts for that but the dress was perfect for sitting out on deck in harbour or going out for a meal. Here are a few Instagrams of my summer.

iow Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Drinking cocktails in the Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Valencia Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Beautiful Valencia

devon Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

Camping in Devon

woolacombe devon Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Woolacombe Devon

I am really pleased to have started writing for Huffington Post, my first post is about the no new clothes for a year challenge, you can check it our here. I am hoping I am going to be able to write some more posts about sustainable fashion too.

Whilst we are already in October, it has been lovely to have a little bit more sunshine, I have been trying to pop out at lunch time every day to enjoy it. How have you been enjoying this lovely weather?

I am looking forward to a little bit of time off this weekend and the chance to catch up with my favourite blogs.

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

Festival Fashion

DSCN4305 2 Festival Fashion

Top – Braintree clothing
Scarf – Braintree clothing
Shorts – high street
Handbag – Owen Barry
Shoes – ethletic

I am not really a big fan of the term ‘festival fashion’ which implies that there is a whole category of fashion dedicated to that once or twice occasion of attending a  festival. On the other hand, I am a big fan of many of the features associated with festivals including hats, fringing and quirky styles and am quite happy to wear my kind of own version of festival fashion all summer long.

This year we have been to Truck Festival in Oxfordshire, a smaller boutique festival that seemed to have grown massively since last year. We saw Basement Jaxx, who I love and Clean Bandit amongst others but for me going to festivals is about having a good time and soaking up the atmosphere than pushing my way to the front to see the main acts, which I can’t really be bothered with. With also went to V-Dub Island which is a festival for those with a love of VW cars and campervans but also featured some really good music and some vintage stalls. Whilst the weather for Truck festival was amazing, at V-Dub Island, we found ourselves knee deep in mud and on the Sunday decided to leave a day early for another campsite on the Isle of Wight for  fear of getting campervan and caravan stuck in the mud.

DSCN4339 2 Festival Fashion

Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Leggings – People Tree
Scarf – really old (from the high street)
Jacket – vintage

The wind and wet wreaked havoc with my  hair but we weren’t going to let it get us down, there was nothing to do but head for the pub. A delicious meal and a few beers later and  the world felt like a much happier place. The sun did come out though and we ventured to the local monkey sanctuary the next morning followed by an afternoon and evening in Ryde. We had a delicious meal at the Three Buoys in Ryde with pre dinner cocktails sat out on the balcony.

Unfortunately I haven’t had much time for posting over the summer with festivals and the assignment that I have been working for my CIM Diploma. I hope to have the final copy finished today, which will be a relief as I am now a third of the way through the course. Looking forward to catching up on my favourite blogs very soon.

What have you been up to over the summer? Have you been to any festivals?

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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