Story Behind the Brand – The Feather Tree

I have just discovered the most amazing brand whilst following the Ethical Fashion Forum Brand Preview on Twitter. Before I share the lovely story behind the brand, I just wanted to share with you some of the amazing pieces featured on their website many of which are most definitely making their way onto my wishlist!

Maasai 1 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

the feather tree 4 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

Dress Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

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The Feather Tree 1 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather TreeThe Feather Tree 2 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The Feather Tree was set up by Lissa and Bo inspired by their magical world filled with feathers, outrageously quirky prints, quills and skills. The brand is all about hair feathers, colourful handmade jewellery and unique clothing that combines UK trends with a contemporary Kenyan edge. Lissa and Bo saw the beautiful potential in  recycled fabrics brought from Matumba (a Kenyan Market) and traditional Masai beadwork both to create really amazing clothes and jewellery and also a seed of opportunity for people in Kenya on very low incomes. Paid per piece of clothing or jewellery, everyone involved in the manufacture benefits from every single piece sold, allowing them to supplement their incomes and build a better life. Hair feather and feathers used in The Feather Tree jewellery are ethically sourced and then dyed by Lissa and Bo.

Beadwork Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The beaded jewellery at The Feather Tree is made by Dayvid. Lissa’s family met Dayvid and when they asked about the colourful beaded belt that he was wearing, they discovered that he had made it himself. The Feather Tree was a great way to promote the amazing talents and craftmanship of Dayvid and others in Kenya allowing them to get their products to marketplace and the chance for us in the UK to buy these beautiful and unusual pieces.

Our tailor Odayo Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

Odayo is the talented tailor at Feather Tree. He was born and raised in Kisumu on the shores of lake Victoria. He has completed a 4 year course in tailoring but only got the chance to use his talents in a full time role when he was discovered by Lissa’s mum working as a gardener. The money that he has earnt has helped him to build a small house for his family and he hope to be able to continue and pay for his children’s education.

The Matuba Market started in the nineties selling good quality clothing at affordable prices that had not been sold in high streets in Europe. The market is now a thriving industry creating 1000′s of jobs in Kenya and a source of interesting fabrics used in clothes made by the Feather Tree. Locally Kenya sourced Kitenge fabrics are also used to create clothing. Instead of using plastic buttons, The Feather Tree uses coconut buttons and painted beads which are handmade in Kenya in their clothes and jewellery.

You can find out more about The Feather Tree and check out their fantastic designs and hair feathers here:

Have you discovered any amazing brands with a great story to tell lately? If so please share!

With warmest wishes

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What to Wear on a Rare Night Out

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What to wear on a rare night out
Dress – EDUN
Bag – Reclaim Bags
Coat – Vintage (from my Grandma)
Earrings – Bristol Harbourside

Last weekend myself and Mr S went for a rare night out. I haven’t had a night out without children since November as all my plans over Christmas got cancelled for one reason or another, so was really looking forward to it. We went into town for food followed by a few drinks.

I decided to get a bit dressed up as I don’t get that many chances to wear a nice dress. I bought this EDUN dress the year before last for the Ethical Fashion Forum Source awards but haven’t worn it since. If you would like to find out more about EDUN, you can check out the page I have written on here. The neckline was slighly gaping and needed a small dart putting in. In my usual cycle of procrastination, it has taken me over a year to get around to it but I am really glad that I did because it fits perfectly now.

I bought the earrings on a market stall on Bristol harbourside last year when I was there for Bristol Green Week Fare fashion show. I am not really sure whether the earrings were made ethically, I hope so but definitely prefer to support small independent traders than many of the bigger retailers.

What have you been up to lately? do you like to get dressed up for a night out?

With warmest wishes

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Fashion Revolution Day #Insideout #Whomadeyourclothes

Today’s post is all about Fashion Revolution Day. If you haven’t already heard, Fashion Revolution Day is going to be annual event from 24th April this year. It has been organised by key figures from the fashion industry and beyond including industry leaders, press, campaigners, consultants, representatives from charities and campaign organisations and academics, all with one common goal to drive change in the fashion industry to prevent another disaster like that of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and to help raise awareness of the true cost of fashion.

The theme of the first Fashion Revolution Day is ‘who made your clothes?’ with the aim of encouraging us to become more curious about how our clothes are made and who made them. If you would like to get involved or find out more you can:

Checkout the website
Follow Fashion Revolution on Twitter @Fash_Rev

You can also wear an item of clothing inside out, showing its label and share it through instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #insideout and the question ‘who made your clothes?’

I have been taking a look at some of the labels on my own clothes and considering who, where and how they have been made. Here is what I have found out.
015  Fashion Revolution Day #Insideout #Whomadeyourclothes

This label is on a top which I got from a clothes swap. It is originally from the Cacharel Vintage Collection at Uniqlo. It was made in China. Whilst they do rate better than many of the other high street shops in the Ethical Consumer Shopping Guide to the High Street there is a lack of information about how their clothes are manufactured on their website. You can read more in this post on Ethical Nippon.

New Look  Fashion Revolution Day #Insideout #Whomadeyourclothes

This label is from a red New Look dress which I bought from Oxfam. It was made in China. New Look actually come out top of the list in the Ethical Consumer Guide and they do seem to have a fairly comprehensive ethical policy although their score 10/20 would suggest that there is still a fair amount of room for improvement. There is also some more in depth information about them on Labour Behind the Label although it is from 2011 so I guess things may have changed.
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This dress is from the Orla Kiely collection at People Tree and is made in India from organic and fairtrade cotton. People Tree have made a strong commitment to fair trade and ethical manufacture of clothing and they work to create sustainable livelihoods for people in some of the poorest parts of the world. Organic and Fairtrade cotton also means that the farmers receive a fair price and that there is no child labour in the supply chain. There is plenty of information about the co operatives that People Tree work with on their website.

Do you every look at the labels on your clothes and wonder who made them?

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn  Fashion Revolution Day #Insideout #Whomadeyourclothes

Family Heirlooms

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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.

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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

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What to Wear to a Museum? and Looking Forward to 2014

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046 What to Wear to a Museum? and Looking Forward to 2014

What to wear to a museum! 

Hat – Pachacuti
Scarf – Vintage
Jeggings – Oxfam
Top – really old
Ankle Boots – Dream in Green

I have been struggling a little to decide on any new years resolutions for 2014, of course there is the usual new year stuff to be more active, I am upping my gym classes from 3 to 6 per week, eat better, I have invested in a flask to take my homemade soup to work and a slow cooker for healthy meals after work, now I have to just cut out the snacks. I have already committed to buying only ethical fashion for a few years now but will continue to try and buy less.

I have decided rather than making the usual resolutions that I know I probably won’t stick to for very long,I am going to set myself some goals/ things that I would like to do instead. So here goes

For me…

Decide where I want to go next with work. I am currently working full time on a temporary contract and running my business.

Develop my marketing skills. I have been working in marketing for 5 years now, I would love a new qualification which will up date my skills and take them to the next level, plus I love learning.

Take up Spanish again. In 2013, I took up Spanish lessons with the children and really surprised myself about how much I learnt in such a short space of time. Unfortunately we had to give up lessons because of time but I want 2014 to be the year I make time.

Get out and about more. I live quite near to both Bath and Bristol and definitely need to make more of what these amazing city’s have to offer. In 2014 I want lots more visits to museums, theatres, art galleries and even restaurants. For me I want 2014 to be much more about doing stuff than buying stuff.

For my blogs and websites

I honestly think that 2014 could be the year that ethical and sustainable fashion starts to gain some serious traction. There are plenty of ethical fashion events going on and I have noticed a definite interest in ethical fashion amongst many of the fashion blogs lately. I would love for my website and this blog to play a key part in this revolution.

For this blog I want to try and see things in a slightly different way with more interesting photographs, perhaps more detail or different angles and lots more outdoors photographs.

I have already made a good start with my ‘to do list’ by visiting the Bristol Musuem and Art Gallery today with the children. I would thoroughly recommend it and it is free to get in. We also stopped off for Burritos at Las Iguanas on the waterfront, again which I would happily recommend as the food was delicious. In answer to ‘what to wear to a Museum?’, I decided to go for something casual and comfy and fairly plain giving me the chance to wear my favourite vintage paisley pom pom scarf and give my new pachacuti hat its first outing.

What have you been up to so far in 2014?  Do you have any new years resolutions or a to do list?

Here are just a few instagrams from today and the last week!

giant irish deer skeleton What to Wear to a Museum? and Looking Forward to 2014

 A Giant Irish Deer Skeleton 

dinosaur What to Wear to a Museum? and Looking Forward to 2014

A Dinosaur Skeleton
journey to work What to Wear to a Museum? and Looking Forward to 2014
Stuck in traffic on the way to work

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No wonder it takes me so long to write a blog post with lady helping!

With warmest wishes

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Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013

In 2013, I managed to stick to my pledge to wear only ethical and sustainable outfits by wearing clothes that I already had aswell as shopping in charity and vintage shops aswell as some fantastic sustainable and ethical fashion brands. I still think there is plenty of room for improvement as my wardrobes are now truly stuffed with clothes, I really don’t need anything else. The challenge to be more ethical and sustainable with my style for 2014 will focus on making do with what I already have, only replacing clothing when it wears out or by adding no more than one beautiful (keep for ever) piece of clothing to my wardrobe each season plus maybe a few carefully chosen accessories.

Here are some of my favourite outfits from 2013 in no particular order. Loving putting together this post as it reminds me of the clothes that I have hidden away in my wardrobe.

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Necklace – MADE
Faux Fur Gillet – Oxfam

0352 Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013Dress – vintage
bag – vintage from Oxfam

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cardigan – vintage from oxfam
bag – vintage

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Denim jacket -swapped
dress – Skunkfunk
shoes – Swedish Hasbeens
Necklace – Hiro and Wolf

050 a Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013


Dress – Earth Kind Originals
Scarf – Hoss Intropia

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Jacket – Rokit (vintage)
Dress – Johari
Shoes – Dream in Green

016 a Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013

Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
trousers – Nancy Dee
Shoes – Melissa 

Necklace – MADE
floral print mix Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013

Top and skirt – both charity shop117 e Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013

033 e Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013


Dress – SkunkFunk008 Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013


Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Shoes – Clarks

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Dress – Annie Greenabelle 
Shoes – Melissa

ethical outfit 1 Ethical and Sustainable Outfits in 2013

jacket – as above
jeggings – Oxfam
t shirt – A Question Of

2013 has been a very busy year for me. Not only is it the year that I launched my website but also the year that I went back to work full time (although possibly only temporarily). I have also spoken at and attended another Source Summit organised by the Ethical Fashion Forum, a pretty amazing experience.

Well now I have looked back over 2013, I am all ready to begin 2014! I will be welcoming in the new with a fairly quiet get together with friends but will take the opportunity to get a little dressed up. I have lots of exciting things planned for 2014 already, I can’t wait!

What were your favourite outfits of 2013 and what what will you be up to on NYE?

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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.
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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?

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The Weekend Before Christmas

009 The Weekend Before Christmas
Dress – really old (from the high street)
Cardigan – Oxfam Fashion
Shoes- Clarks

Much as I love my job, I couldn’t help feel a sense of excitement and relief when I finished work on Friday for almost 2 weeks. Despite plans for complete relaxation, I haven’t actually managed to sit down once yet but I have had a fun filled weekend going to see santa with my youngest, to the in laws for lunch and to the cinema to to see Frozen (which was fab!).

The dress I wore on Sunday (pictured above) was really old, bought on the high street long before I committed to buying ethically, but I had forgotton how much I loved its fit and secretely quite pleased that I can still manage to fit into it. For me sustainability is as much about making do with what you have already got (something I need to do much more of in 2014) as buying new things that have been made in a sustainable way.

Some of the highlights of the last week on Instagram

sat The Weekend Before Christmas Saturday night in watching Elf, drinking Fruit Broo (as recommended by Laura) and eating gingerbread from Lidl with the girls.

pressy The Weekend Before Christmas
The pressy wrappinging seemed to go on and on but finally now I am ready for Christmas!

I have also recently written a post for – 3 Ethical Fashion Brands to watch for 2014!

How are you spending Christmas this year and what have you been doing to celebrate? I hope you have a fab Christmas and new year!

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Ricefield Collective – Story Behind the Brand

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windschief nobackground 3 of 5 Ricefield Collective   Story Behind the BrandWhen Ricefield Collective contacted me to see if I would like to review one of the beautiful accessories from their collection on the blog, I was delighted to do so but I also felt compelled to share a little about the story behind this brand.

Ricefield Collective is based in a little village nestled in the Ifugao Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site carved in the mountains thousands of years ago in the Phillipines. The landscape was created by communities, a theme which is very much part of the brand. Today they are using the power communities to handknit beautiful accessories. The unique designs are inspired by the landscape and traditions of Ifugao reinterpreted to provide something both beautiful and relevant, even to those who have never visited this part of the world. The designs have also been created by hand in a distinct way that cannot be copied by machine knitting.

Ricefield are using technology to connect their makers and knitters with the rest of the world whilst allowing them to stay in the beautiful place that they call home and preserving their way of life. You can check out the website to meet and find out more about the makers at Ricefield Collective. You can also keep up with them on social media

Here -Pinterest account

Here – Facebook

or here -Twitter

holidayfingerwarmers 1 of 1 31 Ricefield Collective   Story Behind the Brand

They are also innovative in their approach to sustainability. They recycle and repurpose materials where possible and come up with fun solutions to environmental problems like these finger puppets made using left over yarn.

You can find out more from the video made for their Kickstarter campaign.

Ricefield Collective Ricefield Collective   Story Behind the Brand

knit4life 2 Ricefield Collective   Story Behind the BrandHere is a picture of the lovely hat that was sent to me which came in a protective bag with a postcard showing Jolanda who created my hat. It is super cosy and I also love the unusual colour and chunky knit. I can wait for a little chilly weather so that I can have the chance to wear it.

I hope you are having a fab week!

With warmest wishes

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It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like……

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Beaded top – local charity shop
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks

Even yet a another weekend of completely trashed social plans due to the dreaded Noro virus taking its toll on oldest daughter, can’t dampen my Christmas spirit! Well actually I was pretty fed up but now she is all better again, I can’t help feeling just a little excited about Christmas, not least the prospect of a few weeks off work.

Next week we are going to see Father Christmas. I figured this may well be the last year its going to wash so might as well grab the opportunity while I can. We also have lots more exciting Christmas plans so really really hoping that no more illness to ruin things. In the mean time I am making the most of my week left at work by getting in the Christmas spirit and wearing something sparkly each day!

I hope you are enjoying the run up to Christmas and managing to stay germ free. What festive fun have you been having?

Here are just a few of my instagrams from last week

reindeer Its Beginning To Look a Lot Like......

Reindeer in the shopping centre in town. Very cute but boy did they stink!

ice skating Its Beginning To Look a Lot Like......
Ice Skating with Mr S and the children. This was so much fun, I definitely want to go again soon.

wreath Its Beginning To Look a Lot Like......
My Christmas wreath. Mr S though it looked boring and wrapped it in tinsel to try and jazz it up. I went mad but thankfully now have restored it to its rustic perfection.

knit4life1 Its Beginning To Look a Lot Like......
A sneak preview of the lovely handknitted hat that I have just received from Ricefield Collective. I will be blogging more detail about the brand and photos of the hat tommorrow.

With warmest wishes

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