Sunday Brunch Outfit

Sunday Brunch Outfit

Dress – Nancy Dee
Boots – TOMS

Last Sunday, me and Mr S had a rare opportunity for some time together so we popped into town for some Sunday brunch accompanies by a bottle of prosecco. I wore the new dress that I got for Christmas and my last new piece of clothing before starting on the no new clothes for a year challenge. Nancy Dee is one of my favourite ethical retailers, ticking all of the boxes of comfortable, flattering, timeless styles, ethically made in the UK, minimal waste and made from sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and modal. Although a bit higher price than some of the high street retailers, I look at Nancy Dee pieces as a great investment. I already have quite a few dresses and organic cotton jersey jackets that I wear all the time.

The No New Clothes for a Year Challenge Update

This time around (I did the challenge a few years back), I am hoping the challenge is going to be fairly straight forward. I think my clothes buying habits have really changed over the last 5 – 10 years. When I do buy new clothes I spend a bit more and go for items that will last in terms of quality and style. I think this has paid off as I now don’t often need to buy new clothes, my wardrobe is packedwith clothes that I never want to throw away. If I do need something, I usually find it is quite easy to find work wear or perhaps a new party dress as a treat from Oxfam online. I also treat myself to the ocassional vintage piece when I am looking for something a bit different.

Oxfam online  has become a real go to for me. As much as I love trawling the charity shops, these days, I am at work all week and just don’t have the time to get into town on the weekends. It offers a massive selection of clothes and you can quickly zone in on exactly what you are looking for using filters which include size, colour and brand. My daughter even managed to find a tweed jacket to create her Doctor Who, World Book Day outfit instead of opting for the fast fashion fancy dress alternative. Didn’t know Doctor who was a book? no me neither!

No Single Use Plastics Update

I will be honest I have had good weeks and bad weeks so far with this challenge. It has taken quite a bit of time researching to try and find usable alternatives to plastic covered products. I ams till very much focussing on food at the moment as I still have so much more to do with this. I am finding some of the changes that I am making e.g. making soup, cakes and visiting different shops really time consuming and sometimes I just haven’t had the time and have had to resort to a piece of plastic packed brocolli or ready made cakes and biscuits for the children.

I have however made one fantastic discovery, the local market on a Saturday morning. There is a fruit and vegtable stall which sells bowls of fruit and veg for a pound each. This works out pretty cheap compare to what I pay in the supermarket and the friendly chap that runs the satll is more than happy tipping the bowls straight into my reusable bag making it a lot quicking than buying individual fruit items in a supermarket. There is also a stall selling fresh bread which they will put in a paper bag for me.

How is 2018 going for you so far? have you taken on any challenges?

With warmest wishes


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Dress by SkunkFunk – Crete 2017

Dress – SkunkFunk
Leather belt – Handmade
Shoes – Clarkes
Bag – a gift

We decided to grab the chance for a last bit of sunshine and warmth with a trip to Crete before autumn arrives. It was the perfect opportunity for me to wear my new SkunkFunk dress which I bought earlier in the year but haven’t had much opportunity to wear with the UK weather and the practicalities of our camping holidays in Cornwall.

If you visit my blog regularly, you will no doubt be aware of SkunkFunk which is one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. When you find a brand that just works for your style, shape, size and ethics, it kind of makes sense that you keep going back. I love that the SkunkFunk collections are always feature some interesting styles, colour combinations and prints as well as some great fitting, flattering basics. For this dress it was the neckline that I loved. The dress was a little bit too full for someone of my height but I soon fixed this with this lovely handmade leather obi belt that I have had for ages, which is always perfect for giving a bit of shape to fuller dresses. I am also a big fan of monochrome as it is so easy to accessorise.

I had a lovely time in Crete, swimming, snorkelling, reading, eating and drinking far too much and enjoying some precious family time. Since arriving home, I have been really struggling to get back into the swing of things and keep warm. I have been digging out my warm boots, jumpers, hats and scarves. Look out for more cosy and warm outfit posts coming soon. Autumn always seems to inpsire me to getting cooking on a Sunday afternoon and today I will be making a big batch of celeriac and apple soup and apple cake to see me through the week.

What have you been doing lately? What are your favoruite things about Autumn?

With warmest wishes


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Eco Undies, Swim and Fitness Wear!

One of my favourite eco fashion discoveries of late is ColiCo on Etsy! If you want to treat yourself to some new underwear that is beautifully and ethically handmade in Portugal, I really recommend this store. There is a massive selection of lovely designs to suit all different shapes, sizes and tastes. You can even pick from an array of different patterned fabrics to have your choice made to order.

I also really love the ColieCo swimwear and fitness wear with a range of different bikini styles, swimming costumes and crop top/bras, again made to order in your choice of fabrics. If you aren’t a standard size (let’s face it, who is?) you can order different size tops and bottoms. I wasn’t quite sure on sizing so emailed the owner Nicole for some help which resulted in a perfectly fitting bikini for my hols in May. I chose the palm tree print in the style pictured below.

I also treated myself to some other pieces from the ColieCo store back in April and was really pleased with the quality of both the fabrics and manufacture. This Porto cut out sports bra (pictured below) was one of my purchases. It is perfect for wearing with leggings for super sweaty summer workouts, when it is really hot, particularly on hols. They even do a pair of leggings in the same fabric, if you like to coordinate your whole workout outfit.

It is made from RPET recycled polyester fabric which helps to minimise its environmental impact. Not only does it make a really nice difference to wear a unique style and print instead of the usual sportwear brands that I so many people wearing. I also feel much happier knowing where and how it has been made. In making items to order ColieCo’s production processes focus on minimising waste and saving energy.

Next on my wishlist is the Layla sport bra (below)

Layla sports bra

I would definitely recommend checking out the store as there are so many lovely styles, colours and patterns!

This post does contain affiliate links however all items bought from this store and reviewed /mentioned in this post were bought by myself and this post contains my honest opinion. You can read more about my affiliate links here.

With warmest wishes


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SkunkFunk Again!

skunkfunk dress

Dress – SkunkFunk
Scarf – SkunkFunk
Leggings – People Tree
Trainers – Veja

SkunkFunk dresses seem to be becoming pretty much a wardrobe staple lately. I can’t lie,I love the brand, the style of clothes just seem to work for me. This navy dress was one of my latest purchases. The style works for so may situations including work, casual or nights out.Despite it being summer, I layered up the dress with leggings as it was a bit cold to go bare legged. The scarf is also from SkunkFunk and the floral trainers from veja, both were treats bought with my birthday money back on April.

For those that used to follow this blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much lately, so here come the excuses…

Work- manic
Children’s social lives – crazy
8 excercise classes a week – exhausting but fun
Charity/ voluntary commitments – full on
Time for blogging – nil

As ever life is a juggling act, that is the way I like it to be! But I am hoping that over the coming months, I will be able to find time to post a bit more often and spend a little bit of time finding out more about the latest ethical and sustainable fashion.

I have a bit of holiday booked this week and I will be dedicating my time to a bit of a clear out of the vast amount of clothing and shoes that I have been hoarding. It must be nearly 5 years since I stopped running my own business from home and much of the clothing I used to wear doesn’t really work for me any more as I spend most of my time in office clothes and gym kit. I will be holding onto my really favourite pieces of vintage but I thought it would be good to redonate any items to charity that just aren’t getting worn.

Do you hoard clothes or gte rid of anything you don’t wear immediately? I like to try and strike a balance between making good use and getting the most wear out of the clothes I buy, be they new from ethical and sustainable brands or second hand. But I think there comes a time when life needs simplifying a little and clothes that are not been worn to be released so that someone else can wear and enjoy them.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend!

With Warmest wishes


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Bibico Dress

Bibibo dress

Dress – Bibico
Necklace – Nomads
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens

Today marked a big milestone in 2017. First day of the year without tights! This was brought on by the arrival of this beautiful dress, a gift from Bibico, one of my favourite sustainable and ethical brands, not to mention the beautiful sunshine we have been having.

Bibico is very local to me and is based in Bath. It is a slow fashion brand with an emphasis on timeless styles, ethically made from sustainable fabrics. This dress is part of the latest collection which features some simple flattering dresses and tops in organic cotton, denim and linen with fresh stripes, checks and this lovely botanical print complemented by light weight cotton and wool knitwear for those cooler days. What I love about this collection is that it is modern but also the sort of clothing to love and keep in your wardrobe for many years to come. These pieces won’t ever go out of fashion!

Here are a few other pieces from the collection that I love

Denim dress

Bibico Khaki Linen Dress

Bibico Easy Jumper

Bibico Angie Pleated Tunic

You can check out the full collection from Bibico here.

I hope that you have had a lovely weekend. How have you been making the most of the lovely weather?


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The Leopard Dress

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Leopard dress – Johari (a social enterprise in Kenya), I can no longer find the online store but you can read more about this brand here.
Organic cotton leggings – Thought
Shoes – Veja 
Scarf – Oxfam, then upcycled

A few weeks ago, we went out for a weekend walk followed by dinner at the local carvery. I decided to combine comfy shoes by Veja and organic cotton leggings with something bright and colourful to cheer me up. I have had more than enough of dark dull winter clothes and am feeling more than ready for spring.

It makes me happy to make good use of the clothes that I have instead of buying new each season. This leopard dress is 3 or 4 years old and I still love the easy to wear cut, the bright pink colour and the leopard face on it. I have tryed to give it a fresh look by adding the scarf from Oxfam that I upcycled with orange pom pom trim a while back. I love combining pink and orange, the combination definitely reminds me of holidays to tropical destinations!

Whilst buying less is a good way of minimising my impact on the environment, I have recently seen a few articles about plastic pollution that is probably an even bigger environmental issue than fashion.  Whilst I already try and avoid using plastic bags, I am determined to try and cut down on the plastic that I use in other ways. According to Plastic Oceans, we use over 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year.  Half of this we use just once and usually for less than 12 minutes.  8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. I am planning a post about the ways to reduce plastic use, if you have any ideas that I could include, please do get in touch.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine, if you have any. What are your favourite clothes that you have owned for years?

With warmest wishes


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Birdsong Wishlist

I usually try not to make wish lists as they kind of go against my policy of trying to ‘buy less’. However when I came across Birdsong whilst reading Style Bubble this weekend, I just couldn’t help myself. Not only are the clothes and accessories on the site a careful selection of beautiful and unique pieces, they also each have a lovely story to go with them. With slogans on their home page like ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’, and ‘expect more from your wardrobe’, I kind of knew I was going to love everything about this online store!

Whilst there is generally quite a good selection of clothes and retailer out there that can be considered ethical and/or sustainable in some way, there are still some items that I still struggle with namely sports wear and work wear. So I will start with my Birdsong, favourites in these departments.

ethical sports bra

This sports bra is made by US lingerie brand, Naja which empowers single mothers by giving them work and creates amazing and eco friendly undies at the same time. I would defintiely recommend you check out the brands website to see their full awesomeness however the shipping from the US makes buying from them complicated so Birdsong is a better alternative. I spend a lot of time at fitness classes so whilst this bra is a little pricey, I don’t really object to the investment. It goes without saying that a sports bra this amazing should get seen and not hidden away, a good incentive for me to work hard on toning my abs and uncovering the six pack that I am sure is hiding away somewhere ready for the summer months.

Navy jacket

I like to look smart for work but generally feel a bit boring in a conventional suit and don’t really feel like me. I prefer to try and do my own take on smart so am always on the look out for ways to achieve this. This embroidered navy jacket is by a brand called Two Neighbours with the ethos of ‘peace through the eye of a needle’. It is made by women on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, to provide a livelihood, money for fresh water and food for their families.

handknitted jumper

Handknitted clothes are the ultimate in slow fashion, they take time and dedication to make, sadly something I don’t have a lot of at the moment. I love that this jumper is made by Bradbury knitting an organisation which faciliates the creation of lovely woolies by elderley ladies at the Bradbury Centre in Kingston, and the Knit & Natter group in Enfield. This not only gives them a sense of purpose and wellbeing but also helps a worthy cause of their choice each month with revenue being donated to charities.

There are lots of other lovely clothes on the Birdsong website, but in the interests of quality over quantity and not buying lots of clothes that I don’t need, I am keeping my wish list short and sweet.

In case you are interested, I haven’t been paid in anyway or asked to write this post. It is my own opinion and something that I just couldn’t resist sharing!

What do you think of these pieces and the lovely empowering stories behind them?

With warmest wishes


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Nomads

DSCN5719 (5)

Poncho – Nomads
Leggings – People Tree
Boots – TOMS

A few weeks ago, we took my parents in law out for their Christmas pressy which was dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I wore the outfit pictured above. The poncho is really soft and cosy so perfect for relaxing on a chilly weekend. It also happens to be my favourite colour so makes me super happy! It was a Christmas present from my mum and dad.

I have posted about Nomads clothing before but I thought they were definitely worth another mention. They are a fair trade clothing brand that uses artisanal techniques and sustainable fabrics to make individual designs.

I got to wear my poncho again for a little trip to Cardiff. We had a bit of a wander round, went to the Cinema to see T2 Trainspotting and then for dinner at Zizzi. This morning, we had a really relaxed breakfast at Cafe Rouge followed by a bracing walk around Bute Park and then out for a Sunday lunch with my parents.

What have you been up to the last few weeks. With the cold weather are you staying cosy inside or wrapping up warm and getting outdoors?

With warmest wishes


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Uncommon Goods

dreamcatcher wall clock

Sponsored post

I have quite a few birthdays coming up in January and February so have been on the look out for some lovely and also ethical birthday gifts to give to my friends. I was interested to get an email from Uncommon Goods, an interesting online retailer with a mission to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision that they make. They continue to strive to become more socially responsible, environmentally friendly and an ever more rewarding place to work by treating individuals with dignity and respect, paying a fair wage and selling products made from handmade, organic and recycled materials.Here are just a few of the lovely gifts for women that I found and that I know my friends and family would love to recieve.

The unusual dreamcatcher wall clock shown above features in the ethical home decor section alongside some other really lovely pieces including pretty tea light holders, animal bookends and fun lights and nightlights.

latitude and longitude necklace

This simple but pretty necklace is handmade of silver in Washington. I love that you can have it personalised to feature the actual longitude and latitude of somewhere special in the world.

wooden martini glasses

These wooden glasses are definitely a really usuual way to serve a martini. They are handcrafted in Colarado from richly grained walnut. Whilst a wooden glass might not be the most obvious thing to drink from, the wood is actually a better insulator than glass, so they will keep your cocktail cooler for longer as well as looking amazing.

upcycled cotton sari robe

I love bright prints and vibrant colours of this upcycled cotton sari robe. It has been handmade in India by Rags to Riches, a cooperative of artisans in a village outside of Rajasthan, India.

Do any of the unusual gifts at Uncommon Goods look like something your friends and family would like to receive?

With warmest wishes


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5 Ethical Fashion Brands to Check out in 2017

ethical brands for 2017
I am wearing:
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree 
Shoes – TOMS
Necklace – MADE at ASOS
Jacket – vintage upcycled

All items listed have ethical and/ or sustainable credentials (some links are affiliate)!

Happy New Year!

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the year ahead. I had a lovely Christmas break, starting with a busy Christmas lunch at my house for 9 and ending with a really relaxing break in Newquay for New Year. I thought I would start off the new year with a little round up of some of my favourite brands at the moment. If you are making it your new years resolution to shop more ethically, I have personally bought and worn clothes from the brands over the last few years and really love them for their design and quality as well as their commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

Braintree Clothing

Braintree is a slow fashion brand making clothes thoughtfully and ethically whilst minimalising their impact on the environment. They use soft and comfortable sustainable fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and make clothes to last. Their mantra, Wear m, love me, mend me, pass me on. I am a big fan of the leggings at Braintree as well as their lovely prints and cosy colourful socks.

Earth Kind Originals

Based in Cornwall, EKO have some lovely simple and flattering styles which are perfect for relaxing in on the weekend. I have 2 different organic cotton dresses from EKO which I wear all the time because they are so lovely to wear.

Nomads

Nomads clothes feature beautiful intricate designs, prints and embroidery which are a result of their policy for creating ethical fashion using traditional and artisan handmade techniques. The necklace from Nomads pictured above was a Christmas present from my mum and just one of the lovely items that I own from this brand.

TOMS shoes

I have struggled to find a stylish, hardwearing and affordable pair of boots for work recently. TOMS saved the day though when I found the perfect pair. They have now diversified from their original range of Alpargatas and stock a wide range of footwear including trainers and sandals. TOMS are dedicated to improving lives with each purchase helping to provide shoes, sight, water and safer birth services to people in need around the world.

What brands are you loving for 2017?

With warmest wishes


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