Crazy Yellow Print Dress

yellow dress Crazy Yellow Print Dress
076 Crazy Yellow Print Dress103 Crazy Yellow Print Dress082 Crazy Yellow Print Dress134 Crazy Yellow Print Dress087 2 Crazy Yellow Print Dress

Dress – Oxfam Online
Necklace – People Tree
Jacket – Swapped on Posh-swaps.com
Belt – Swapped at Swap in the City
Boots – Dream in Green

The slightest whiff of spring weather and  get the urge to wear the brightest and craziest prints I can find!

Today I decided to venture outside to take my photos and try some different settings on my camera. I got varying results but overall you can clearly see that the outside photos with natural light have turned out better. I was trying to achieve the kind of unfocused background but it didn’t quite work as well as I hoped perhaps partly because I was limited in how far I could get from the camera because I don’t have a tripod so was limited to where I could rest the camera and didn’t want to get my feet muddy by going on the grass. Will have to try again on a drier day!

In case you are interested, I recently wrote a post on Oxfam Fashion, My Top Ten Charity Shopping Tips, probably pretty obvious stuff for any seasoned charity shoppers, but maybe useful for those who don’t buy from charity shops and would like to give it a go. I promise you, it is great fun and you can find some amazing stuff!

I have also launched a new ethical fashion blog shop featuring some of my favourite brands. I would love to know what you think.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

 

Happy Valentines Day – A Floral Bouquet Skirt

 

floral outfit 2 Happy Valentines Day   A Floral Bouquet Skirt

Top – (very old) Debenhams
Skirt – Oxfam online sale
Boots – Dream in Green
Bag – local charity shop

Happy Valentine’s day however you are choosing to celebrate or not to celebrate.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr Style Eyes and I are not doing anything this year. Any way, for todays post, I decided to feature the outfit that I wore to the Oxfam Fashion Bloggers meet at the weekend as I kind of look like a bunch of flowers or as Mr Style Eyes describes my outfit, like something from the Darling Buds of May. I am taking that as a compliment!

I bought the skirt in the sale after Christmas at the Oxfam online shop for a bargainous £3, that floral print was just too much for me to resist. In hind sight perhaps, the skirt could do with shortening a little. It did keep getting caught up as I was walking. Another one to add to the spring to do list!

Hope you have a lovely day

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Oxfam Fashion Blogger’s Meet Up

Yesterday was the Oxfam Fashion blogger’s meet, a fantastic opportunity for me to the other the others who blog for Oxfam Fashion, find out some more about Oxfam Fashion and talking ethical fashion, blogging and social media.

015 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

022 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

 020 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up016 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

We met at the showrooms of Foundation PR which was crammed with rails of amazing ethical fashion, definitely a feast for the eyes. My lovely fellow bloggers and the team at Oxfam included Kathryn of Kat Got the Cream, Jen of Little BirdEmma Waight, Sadie of Sadies Wardrobe, Rupy Kaur, Emily of Erose and Hattie of Inside the Mind of a Disco Ball Thea, Caroline and Belle. It was great to meet everyone and have a chat over lunch. I was truly inspired by how passionate everyone was about ethical fashion, recycling and Oxfam. We had some realy interesting conversations about why people buy do and don’t buy ethical and charity shop fashion, some food for thought and perhaps a few ideas for blog posts there. I would definitely recommend checking out their blogs and posts.

I wanted to share with you a little that I learnt about Oxfam Fashion as even though I work for them as a volunteer, I never even realised all of this!

 Oxfam will be at London Fashion Week

oxfamfashion lookbook Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

Image from Oxfam Fashion SS12 look book. Photographer: Chris Mosey

Well sort of! Oxfam Fashion will be at The Good Fashion Show on Saturday, the biggest off schedule event during LFW. They will be hosting a pop-up boutique selling a range of winter (the cold is not over yet) and spring clothing, including accessories and handbags. They will also be featuring 5 of the outfits from their recent lookbook in the catwalk show.

Oxfam have some great resources for Upcyclers

023 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

Oxfam actively promote reuse of clothing and one way that we can do that is by upcycling or customising a charity shop piece to make it individual and unique. Last June Oxfam launched their first DIY Boutique in Camden, which is a bespoke fashion destination which inspires individuality and clothing customisation . They also have a DIY collection, designed by stylist Mrs Jones and have some great DIY tutorials on their website as well as some cards which I believe will be in the shops. They have some great craft supplies including pieces which can be used to embellish clothing, buttons and craft kits which are availble online and from the shops. Check out the Oxfam Fashion DIY pages for more information.

Virtually Nothing Gets Wasted at Oxfam

 At Oxfam, even the clothing that doesn’t get sold at the shops does not go to landfill. Everything that is not sold goes to Wastesaver, Oxfam’s own clothing recycling plant which also maximises the revenue from clothing that has been donate. The clothes are sorted by specialist who pick out the different types of clothes which are then sent to different high street shops (sometimes more specialist or boutiques), sold through the online shop or Oxfam Festival Shop or go to designers who work with recycled garments. Anything that cannot be used in the UK will go abroad to markets in  Europe, Africa or Asia or Oxfam’s social enterprise projects. Finally the lowest grades will be used for industrial use like car sound proofing or matress stuffing.

A big thanks to the team at Oxfam Fashion for a lovely day! You can check out Oxfam Fashion blog and online shop here.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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Paisley Love

 

002 21 Paisley Love

scarf Paisley Love

Scarf – Oxfam
Top – second hand from a friend
Skirt – Gringo
Necklace – Swarvoski Crystallized

I love most patterns and prints but paisley is one that I have had a long standing love for. It was definitely a favourite during my teenage years. I was pleased to see that paisley is on trend for SS12 (not that I wouldn’t wear it either way) but current trends often inspire me to wear something that I already have in my wardrobe. I loved the paisley prints at Jil Sander, Emilio Pucci, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Paul & Joe but they are all way out of my price range (and I only buy ethical!)

The great thing about paisley though is that it has been around for years making it prime for hunting out in charity shops. Paisley is the term used to describe the twisted teardrop pattern that is Iranian and Indian in origin. The patterned fabric also has associations with the summer of Love in 1967 when it became associated with the psychedelic style of the hippie movement and there was an increased interest in Indian spirituality in the West.

The skirt I am wearing isn’t actually paisley but reminds me of it. The scarf is. Here are some more great Paisley pieces that I found on Oxfam.

oscar b jacket Paisley Love

Oscar B Paisley Jacket

tom wolfe paisley top Paisley Love

Paisley Pattern Silk Top

paisley top Paisley Love

Paisley Viscose Next Top

blue paisley dress Paisley Love

Handmade Blue Paisley Dress

boden dress Paisley Love

Boden Paisley Dress

There are loads more amazing paisley pieces on Oxfam   here. Will you be wearing Paisley this spring?

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I have just got on PInterest so will be spending the weekend pinning  away like a crazy women. If you are on PInterest, please let me know so that I can follow you.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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Charity Shop Outfit and a Night Out in Cardiff

009 Charity Shop Outfit and a Night Out in Cardiff

Top, cardigan and handbag – charity shops
Organic cotton jeans – M&S
Ring – a high street retailer
Shoes – Dream in Green

On the weekend, I went to Cardiff for a night out with my sister.I took the opportunity to get dressed up and wore an outfit that I have been wanting to wear out for ages, a pencil skirt and bustier top from a second hand shop and jumble sale. I also did my hair in rollers for a kind of fifties style. I did of course take photographs, but annoyingly they seem to have disappeared somewhere between the camera and laptop! Perhaps I will have to do a rerun of the whole night again, which involved a show bar , several jugs of cocktails and plenty of dancing to the likes of Diana Ross, just so I can get some outfit photos.

So instead today I am posting an outfit that I wore last week featuring some of my charity shop finds. Nothing special but plenty of bright colours to cheer up a cold dull day.  I have been dying to make an outfit with my new bright yellow handbag! 

I am currently reading the book, To Die For by Lucy Siegle. I have only got a chapter or two in but I am already finding it hugely thought provoking and eye opening, even though I spend most of my time working time reading and writing about ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. Franca at Oranges and Apples has written a great review of the book. Have you read it yet, what do you think of it? or are you planning on reading it? I a considering offering it as a giveaway on the blog once I have finished reading it.

I hope that you are having a fantastic week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ethical Outfit Challenge – Winter Warmers

ethical outfit ww1 Ethical Outfit Challenge   Winter Warmers

Jumper – given to me by a friend who was having a clear out
Vintage dress – Marthas Closet
Faux fur jacket – local Oxfam shop
Shoes – Dream in Green
Vintage Necklace/ locket – a present
Handmade bangle – a christmas present from my mum

This months ethical outfit challenge on Ethical Fashion Bloggers is on the theme of winter warmers. I will have to admit, I have been struggling a little lately in the cold weather with what to wear.

I work from home and tend to get really cold sat at the computer all day so to avoid having to turn up the heating extra high, I tend to wear really thick cardigans. Being really short I tend to get swamped by big knitwear and look a bit silly apart from when I wear leggings. I also struggle with motivating myself to wear something nice as when I go outside, I only throw a big coat over the top anyway. I am afraid I have definitely fallen into the trap of comfort dressing over the last few weeks so this challenge was the perfect opportunity to kick myself into action and make a bit of an effort.

Layering seems to be the perfect option as it allows me to wear one of my favourite vintage floral dresses (I have been suffering from severe floral withdrawal symptoms) but still keep cosy and warm by layering up with a jumper, tights and faux fur jacket. And, I am pleased to say that the whole outfit is ethical/sustainable except the tights. I have in the past struggled with finding ethical tights in the past, but there are more options becoming available so next time I need to replace them perhaps I will be able to find something suitable. Actually I have been thinking about running a series on where to buy affordable ethical fashion staples like tights and leggings. Do you think this is something that might be of interest to you?

If you are interested in joining us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers and having a go at one of our ethical outfit challenges, you can find out more here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

What do you think about charity shop pricing?

charity shop 4 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Laura Ashley cord shift dress bought in local charity shop for £6.50

charity shop 1 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Retro handbag bought in local charity shop for £3.99

charity shop 3 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Faux fur coat bought in local charity shop for about £15

charity shop 2 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Charity shop haul including French Connection and linea dress and Coast cardigan for £21

I would definitely class myself as something of a charity shop addict. I find it very difficult to pass one by without popping in to see if I can find myself a bargain. Lately I have also discovered online charity shopping which has put even more temptation in my way, now I can even charity shop from my desk when I am supposed to be working!

I have noticed quite a few fashion bloggers who also love charity shopping, actually there are loads of us. It is a fantastic way to constantly refresh your wardrobe and find unique and individual pieces to style whilst helping a good cause and without having much of an impact on the environment or spending too much money, what’s not to love?

But there has been a bit of an ongoing debate as to the pricing of charity shops and whether they are getting too expensive. Following the Mary Queen of Charity Shops series a few years back, Gemma at Retro Chic wrote an interesting post summing up some  of the changes that were going on back then. Since then I think things have moved on significantly, prices are definitely on the up and I am struggling to get much change from a tenner when buying something from my local charity shops recently. You can check out one of the  previous debates on the subject at Vintage Brighton.

I thought it was about time I added my two peneth to the subject of pricing in charity shops and would also love to know what you think too.

In some ways I am glad that the prices in charity shops has gone up and can definitely see justification for why even though it is costing me more money. This is why…

 Although a charity shops are run with very little financial cost (compared to conventional retailers) because they sell donated items and rely on the goodwill of volunteers, these things are not without value. They are given to people wanting to help the charity not give shoppers something for nothing. I regularly donate clothing to charity shops but would not feel happy about donating good stuff if I knew they were going to sell it at ridiculously low prices.

The increased prices of charity shops has caused me pause and think slightly more about what I buy in instead of filling my arms with loads of stuff that I will never end up wearing. As I said before charity shop clothing has a value and should be priced accordingly to encourage recycling and avoid it being wasted. There is also often a perception that because something costs more, it is more desirable. Can charity shops be blamed for hiking their prices to make their products more sought after, luxury brands have being doing for years ?

Charity shops must be governed to a certain extent by supply and demand. It seems like there is quite a lot of demand for quality second hand clothing at the moment, particularly with the current economic climate. With so much poor quality fast fashion around the supply of good quality charity shop pieces must be getting more difficult. Charities seem to be investing in more innovative ways of getting donations including bag collections and schemes with retailers. This is all great news as it keeps the shops stocked with goodies for us to buy but also must increase costs which will need to be passed on.

On the other hand I can see that for those that have very little money and have relied on charity shops as a low cost option, this price increases make life more difficult. Not sure I really know the answer to this but many charity shops have some lower cost alternatives and some shops clearly have higher prices than others so if you want a bargain, it is worth shopping around.

There are also  plenty of times when I have seen charity shop pieces that have been ridiculously overpriced. £30 for a Next dress which would probably not have cost much more than £40 or £50 when new, seems a bit much! But we have to bear in mind that those that price items are volunteers and not neccesarily experts so might not always get it right and some times when they get it wrong it could work in our favour.

My personal opinion is that on the whole most charity shops are asking a fair price for most of the items that they are selling. Some of the cheaper fast fashion pieces are disproportionately priced considering how much they cost new but as I rarely look to buy this sort of clothing from charity shops, it doesn’t really bother me. But I do think that if prices continue rise to much above what they are now, I would have to consider very carefully whether to shop in charity shops anymore. Whilst I want to support charities, if I can buy second hand much cheaper on Ebay or elsewhere then I may have to do so.

So over to you, what do you think, are the charity shops pricing themselves out of the market or asking a fair price?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Ethical Outfit Competition – The Winners!

I have been absolutely amazed by the response to my ethical outfit competition. Not only did we have some amazing outfits but it was also great to see how much discussion there was about ethical outfits and sustainable fashion along the way. I really didn’t realise quite how many bloggers were already wearing ethical and sustainable fashion in their own unique way and it is also great to see those who aren’t making a special effort for the competition. A massive thank you to all those who have entered. It has been so difficult to pick just 8 winners and I wish I could have given prizes to everyone.

There are 8 prizes which I have listed at the bottom of the post and the winners each get to choose their prize with the first choosing first followed by each subsequent winner. I will be contacting you all individually in turn so it may take a little time, don’t worry if I don’t get in touch today, I will be in touch asap and I haven’t forgotton you!

1. Vicky of #GollyGosh - I loved the thrifted jacket and the way Vicky has styled blouse and DIY cutoffs.

Gollygosh Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

2. Second prize goes to Vintage Passions Just Like Mine- Such a bold and colourful outfit, I am definitely inspired by the leopard skin/ floral pattern mix.

  Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

3. Sophie of Story of My Life - A very pretty orange dress (secondhand from ebay) and the vintage handbag and scarf are the perfect finishing touch to the outfit.

 Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

4. Franca of Oranges and Apples – an amazing effort with a 100% thrifted outfit including shoes! I love the skirt and the pretty accessories.

oranges and apples Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

5. Rachel of Cold Knees - another completely thrifted outfit. I love the jumper for adding a bit of sparkle to a cold winters day.

coldknees Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

6. Nicole of nicoleymoo.blogspot.com -  I am a big fan of thrifted pencil skirts and this one looks fabulous on Nicole.

7. Vix of Vintage Vixen – another 100% vintage and thrifted outfit, The skirt is so beautiful and unique and the Vix has some fabulous accessories. Even her make up is second hand and nail varnish cruelty free!

 Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners!

8. Cait of Sailing to Nowhere - if you read my blog, you will know I am partial to a bit of floral print. This dress is so pretty and I love the way that Cait has shortened it so it is just right and contrasted it with a neutral coat – all thrifted!

DSC04082 Ethical Outfit Competition   The Winners! 

If you would like to see further photographs and close ups of accessories for each of the outfits, I would definitely recommend that you follow the links to each of the blogs.

The Prizes

£100 of Spartoo Vouchers

£50 People Tree Vouchers

Lilygrace Originals Earrings

£50 voucher for Daisy Hill (when you spend £100)

A pair of Simple Shoes

3 X Posh Swaps goody bags

Please check out the original competition post here for further details of each of the prizes and the competition sponsors.Once again a massive thank you to all those that have entered and helped to promote this competition and the companies that have donated such fabulous prizes.

Tomorrow, I will be launching a new series for December – 30 Days of Ethical Fashion, I will be showcasing a different ethical or sustainable fashion brand every day in December except for Christmas day when I will be far too busy opening pressies and eating turkey.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

 

Tuesday Treats – Ethical Knitwear

Yesterday it was so cold I had to give in and put the heating on. I usually try and last as long as possible by layering as many knits as I can. Mr Style Eyes likes to have a good laugh at me wrapped up in my scruffy old Grandad cardigan and has suggested perhaps I ought to get something a little more stylish. So here are just a few of the most stylish pieces of ethical knitwear that I have spotted recently that also look like they would keep me extra toasty warm.

gringo fair trade shaggy wool cardigan coat ethical fashion 1 Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

 Fair Trade Shaggy Cardigan Coat by Gringo

komodo fair trade pixel dress black cream knit wool ethical fashion 1 Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

 Pixel Fairtrade Wool Stripe Dress by Komodo

viridis luxe bamboo cashmere silk drape front sweater top knit sustainable blue Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

Bamboo Cashmere Silk Drape Front Sweater by Viridis Luxe

 

241481 ian snow patterned cardigan Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

Fair Trade Multi Coloured Grandad Style Cardigan By  Natural Collection

rekindle jumper Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

Rekindle Jumper by Seasalt

preview 1cc0d9b7f989475abe603eb061d0483e Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

Monsoon Vanilla Soft Lambswool Blended Knitted Jumper at Oxfam

flower cardi Tuesday Treats   Ethical Knitwear

People Tree also have some amazing Fair Trade knitwear like this pretty flower cardigan with up to 40% off knitwear until midnight Friday.

What do you think? do you like any of these ethical knitwear pieces?

Tommorrow I will be announcing the winners of my ethical outfit competition – I have some very tough decisions choosing the winners.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Ethical Fashion Updates and a Sparkly Vintage Maxi Dress

0041 Ethical Fashion Updates and a Sparkly Vintage Maxi Dress0111 Ethical Fashion Updates and a Sparkly Vintage Maxi Dress

I keep hearing about new ethical and sustainable fashion developments, collections and labels and I wanted to share them with you. There seems to be so much happening with ethical fashion at the moment, it is difficult to keep up so if you like this kind of post (?), I might make Friday a regular spot for a quick catch up.

Firstly, if you haven’t already done so, you can still enter my ethical outfit competition (closes Monday). There are some great prizes including £100 of shoe vouchers. All you need to do is put together an outfit including at least one ethical piece which could include anything vintage, second hand or upcycled as well as by an ethical brand. You can find out more details of prizes and how to enter here.

It really is now cool to be eco fabulous. The latest designer to get in on the act (in case you haven’t heard) is Manolo Blahnik. His first foray into the world of sustainable shoes with Marcia Patmos will be a collection made from discarded tilapia skins(I think that’s a fish, isn’t it? and a by product of the food industry), cork and raffia. The 2 styles  a double strap, open-toe flat and a strappy, high-heeled sandal will be available in electric blue, black, nude and yellow and will be available from Manolo Blahnik stores in the spring.

Also from the Spring, we will be seeing more eco fashion on the high street in the form of sustainable fashion brand Seasalt at John Lewis. The collection, which is inspired by spired by the artists and potters of St. Ives and exclusively designed for John Lewis, will be available in the Spring. If you can’t wait until then, you can always pop over to the Seasalt website for some of their signature west Country style in sustainable textiles including organic cotton and bamboo. They have some great knitwear and accessories which would make lovely Christmas pressies.

Henrietta Ludgate, eco designer and favourite of Livia Firth has just opened a new shop which will also double as her London studio. Her collections which are shown at the LFW Estethica exhibition are architectural and minimal but with a vibrant palette. Henrietta who is Scottish, commits aims to showcase  Scottish craftsmanship. She also helps to provide skills, training and employment for local communities and uses fabrics that are upcycled from British fabric mills. She will also be running fashion Illustration  and  ’How to make a dress in a day.’courses and offering customised clothes with personalised linings with inscriptions. The shop is at Whitleley’s in London’s Queensway. If you do stop by I would love to know what you think. You can also buy Henrietta Ludgate from Yoox.

I have always loved the designs by sustainable fashion label Tara Starlet and was really interested to hear that they have now launched a lingerie collection. I was disappointed to miss out on the launch party last night which sounded like great fun, but think the collection is great, definitely one for the Christmas list!

The photograph above shows my latest charity shop find a sparkly seventies maxi dress. I deliberately haven’t shortened it because as much as I love it, my wardrobe is just getting too full and I have decided to use it as the first piece for a vintage fashion online store that I have decided to open. I am not really sure where I am going to sell yet but am considering ASOS marketplace. I would be really grateful any tips or advice from those with experience of selling vintage.

I have a fun packed weekend with the family planned, are you doing anything fun?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X