Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

susiebubbleweb Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

Blogger Susie Lau of Style Bubble takes TRAID’s Pledge in support of #Secondhandfirst Week, 23 – 29 Nov

Secondhand First Week

Next week is Secondhand First Week, an annual event orgaised by TRAID celebrated with events and actions that show how second-hand helps to conserve the worlds valuable resources and reduce landfill. See the TRAID website for lots of fun events going on or to see how you can take TRAID’s #Secondhandfirst Pledge to source more of your wardrobe second-hand rather than new.

IMG 0455 Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

Christmas Jumpers
Over 300 million pounds is what Love Your Clothes, a campaign by WRAP has estimated will be spent on Christmas jumpers this year. With Christmas jumpers usually only being worn a few times over the festive season upcycling an existing jumper is a far more sustainable option. In order to encourage upcycling of Christmas jumpers this year Love Your Clothes are running a 12 jumpers of Christmas competition with a sewing machine and subscriptions to Reloved and Simply Sewing Magazine up for grabs to the winning entry. You can find out how to enter and tips on upcycling jumpers on the website here.
Black Friday just around the corner, but I will be doing my own thing this year with #GreenFriday. Join me by Tweeting your fun and eco friendly alernatives to Black Friday. You can read more in my post why I am shunning black friday in favour of #greenfriday on the Huffington Post.
I hope you are well and staying warm! I am now 2 thirds of the way through my diploma, just one more module left to go before I can get back to regular blogging. See you soon.

With warmest wishes

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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

Thrifty Thursday – Upcycled Hair Accessories

upcycledtie Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
For today’s Thrify Thursday post, I decided to share an idea I have for upcycling an old tie. It is super easy and only takes a minute so I have decided to create my first ever YouTube video to show how I did it. Whilst I have enjoyed making this video, I am not sure it will be a regular thing, in fact this may well be a one off!

Whilst I love wearing scarfs in my my hair, they can be a little bit flimsy and slip out of place. I find that a tie makes a much better hair accessory as it stays in place better. I also love the variety of bold patterns, rich colours and glossy silk fabrics ties are made from.

It was pretty easy to make. As you can see from the video, you just pull the tie under your hair and tie at the top. Then tie in a bow and loop the loose end back through the centre of the bow once or twice. It took me a few attempts to work out exactly where to tie it to get the right size bow. You can make the bow bigger or smaller depending on how flamboyant you would like to be.

DSCN3998 31 Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
Dress – Ousider
Necklace – Made UK
Tie – Oxfam

And here is the finished look (which I accidently edited out of the end of the video).

This probably has to be one of the thriftiest posts that I have ever done as it costs nothing to borrow a tie out of your mans wardrobe, if you can get away with it. Mr S wouldn’t let me near his ties but I did happen to have a few lovely silk ties which I bought from Oxfam to make silk dyed Easter eggs. When they arrived, I loved the patterns so much that I decided they were too good to chop up and dye eggs with so I am keeping them to put in my hair instead. They also make lovely belts to wear with dresses.

Oxfam have a fabulous selection of silk ties including vintage and designers ones. I am lusting after all of the Liberty prints ties in their online shop!

I hope you are having a lovely week, mine has been pretty tiring so far. I can’t wait for the weekend.

With warmest wishes

The Shift Dress – Thrifty Thursday

shift dress 2 The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday

I wanted to dedicate this weeks thrifty Thursday to the humble shift dress. I have a number of different shift dress and being quite short with out much of waist, the style always works well for me. The shift dress pictured above (the picture was taken in 2011 but I have been wearing the exact same shift dress today) cost me around £10. Not bad for a dress that I wear so regularly. As shift dresses are such a classic style, they are not usually difficult to pick up in  a charity shop.

I find a plain colour is perfect for showing off my favourite accessories including statement necklaces and scarves. I also love a patterned shift for a brighter look for the evening or worn with a jacket for work.

Oxfam Fashion just happen to have a lovely selection of shift dresses at extremely thrifty prices. Here are my faves:

reiss shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Reiss Cream Ivory Shift Dress – Size 12/14

Floral Shift Dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Floral Shift Dress – 12/14

vintage lace shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Handmade Lace Dress (1960s)

vintage betty barclay dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Betty Barclay Shift Dress

debut black dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Black Shift Dress – size 12

navy and white shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Navy and White Shift Dress – Size 12
fluorescent flowery shift The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Fluroescent Floral Shift – Size 12

What do you think of shift dresses? do you wear them?

I hope that you are having a good week? Not long to go until the weekend, I am so ready for it!

With warmest wishes

No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year1 No New Clothes for a Year

I am perhaps a little late jumping on the band wagon but I have decided to take up the challenge, which has already been taken up by a number of other bloggers, for ‘no new clothes for a year’. I am hoping that it won’t be a particularly tough challenge as I have as many clothes as I need and I love vintage clothes and charity shopping. I am still going to write about ethical fashion brands for the blog but my outfits (and all the clothes that I wear in general) will be clothes that I already have plus the occasional ‘new’ vintage or second hand pieces. It will also be made much easier by the many places to go for tips including:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

If you know of any more no new clothes blogs or posts please let me know in the comments.

I will also be using the ‘No New Clothes for a Year’ challenge to introduce a greater focus on buying less and second hand clothes to this blog and hope to be posting more DIY / upcyced fashion posts to this blog as well as a weekly ‘thrifty Thursday’ feature. I hope to get the challenge off to a good start by having a massive clear out of my wardrobe and sorting out a pile of clothes to mend, alter and upcycle.

My ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge will have a few little get outs though. I will if I need to buy new underwear and fitness clothes as these are not things that I would be happy buying second hand, but for these I will of course try and stick to my usual principles of buying from ethical and sustainable brands. And of course presents don’t count because it would be rude not to accept a pressy but I won’t active encourage anyone to buy me anything new as a present and if asked will suggest second hand or vintage choices.

So there I have done it! I have committed to no new clothes for a year. Are you doing any sustainable or  fashion challenges this year?

With warmest wishes

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#Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

DSCN3441 2 #Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

Coat- secondhand
Scarf – Oxfam (upcycled with pompom trim)
Jeggings – Oxfam
Top – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

Next week is #SecondhandFirst week, a event organised by the textile recycling charity TRAID to celebrate all things secondhand while committing to using more of our existing resources, rather than buying new. It will be marked by a week of events, workshops and initiatives between 17th – 23rd November in London.

But even if you don’t live in London, their are tonnes of ways that you can get involved, not least by wearing all or some secondhand clothes for the week and taking the #SecondhandFirst pledge to commit to buying a percentage of your clothes secondhand  and keeping clothes and other resources in circulation for longer by lending, swapping, mending and donating, visiting your local charity shop, running your own clothes swap.

Over at Ethical Fashion Bloggers we are also running a #secondhandfirst outfit challenge to create an outfit containing some or all secondhand clothes. You can see my outfit for the challenge above which features a pair of jeggings from Oxfam, my latest buy, a parka from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and a silk scarf from Oxfam which has been upcycled with a pompom trim. The chair I am sitting on is also made from recycled saris.

I will also be trying to wear as many secondhand pieces next week and will hopefully share them via Twitter and Instagram. Quite a large proportion of my wardrobe already consists of secondhand clothes but from now on, I am commiting to try source more second hand instead of new (when I need to buy something).

Will you be wearing anything secondhand next week? Do you have any great tips for buying secondhand clothes?

With warmest wishes

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.
039  Fashion Revolution Day #Insideout #Whomadeyourclothes
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

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Family Heirlooms

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

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

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

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

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

With warmest wishes

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like……

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

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

Christmas Party Dress

Christmas party dress Christmas Party Dress
This week is Christmas Party dress week for the Oxfam Fashion Bloggers so I thought I would share a little red dress that I treated myself to from Oxfam last year. I love red any time of the year but never more so than Christmas. Although it seems quite early to be posting about party dresses, Christmas definitely starts early in Style Eyes towers. Despite my protests Mr S insisted on playing the Chrismas CD on the weekend and he is threatening to put the Christmas tree up next weekend. With snow forecast for the end of the week, I can’t help feeling a little festive but not quite sure I am ready for decorations yet. The party season starts for me in jutst 2 weeks though and no doubt Christmas will be here before we know it.

Have you started thinking about Christmas parties and outfits yet? Oxfam has an amazing selection at great prices leaving you with money left over to get out there and enjoy yourself with a glass of fizz or two. They even have free returns with 21 days. Here are just a few of the party dresses that I have spotted you can find lots more on the party dress page.

jaeger Christmas Party Dress

gold sequin Christmas Party Dress

sequin aztec Christmas Party Dress

The Typhoon in the Philippines has affected over 10 million people and is just one emergency where Oxfam’s help is desperately needed. By shopping the Oxfam Fashion website, you can help Oxfam to provide water and sanitation in the Philippines and for other emergencies around the world. 

Would you consider shopping for a party dress at Oxfam?

With warmest wishes

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