Holiday in Calabria, Italy and Buying Less

buying less

Dress – Frank and Faith
Shoes – Geox
Bag – Stella and Dot

Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Calabria, Italy. We stayed at the Club Med Napitia resort which was a totally amazing place. A beautiful beach, flowers everywhere, loads of activities to do including exercise classes, sailing, archery and tennis, shows and dancing every night, really delicious food and drink and really amazing staff that made us feel incredibly welcome. I was really sad to come home!

Of course with so much going on, I didn’t manage to get many outfit photos except the one above. The clutch bag was a birthday present from my friends at work. I had never heard of Stella and Dot but was really pleased to see on their website that they have a very comprehensive social responsibility policy. All of the clothes that I wore apart from the bag, a new bikini and pair of flipflops were clothes that I have had for a number of years and have been featured on this blog multiple times which got me thinking about holidays and buying less.

Every year when I go on holiday there is a strong temptation to buy new clothes. Not sure why the temptation to buy clothes for holiday is so great as the summer in the UK seems to be fairly short and holiday only usually last a week or two. I do usually manage to  rationalise and stop myself from buying lots of clothes for holiday so I thought that I would share a thoughts and ideas on buying less and sustainably for holidays.

  • Pay slightly more for high quality summer clothes that will last for years to come.
  • Avoid very on trend looks that are likely to look ridiculous in a years time.
  • At the end of the summer, wash, iron and carefully pack away summer clothes with moth balls/ repellent to stop them getting eaten.
  • Have a full review of what I have before buying anything new as it is easy to forget when you haven’t worn it for a year.
  • Sustainable fabrics are particularly good for summer as organic cotton and bamboo are breathable and cool to wear.
  • Look out for fair trade accessories also often features intricate embellishments and are great for adding a bit of colour and interest to a summer wardrobe.

What do you think? Do you find yourself buying lots of new clothes for holidays? Do you have any tips to buy less?

Here are a few of my holiday instagrams

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With warmest wishes


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The Big Four Oh

DSCN4981 (3)Hat – Pachacuti
Dress – Komodo
Leggings – Braintree
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Owen Barry
Necklace and bracelet – present

On Sunday it was my 40th birthday! Whilst many like to pretend that a big birthday is not happening and try to keep it as low key as possible, I like to do the opposite and drag the celebrations on for as long as I possibly can. This year I am celebrating in lots of different ways. On Sunday, my daughter and I met with my friend and her daughter for tea and cake at the lovely Bea’s vintage tea rooms  in Bath. We then went for a wander around the vintage fair before meeting with Mr S and my other daughter for dinner at Jamies Italian. I also have a party and holiday planned and a weekend away with friends later in the year.

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Mr S bought me to the Laughing Buddha Statue which you can see in the garden behind me and also some Minnetonka tasselled boots. I had lots of other lovely presents including the coin necklace I am wearing in this outfit. The other items featured in my outfit are all at least a year old, you may recognise  them from previous blog posts. I am trying not  too buy too much as I already have lots of clothes.

My birthday also just happens to coincide with Fashion Revolution and I have been busy following all that has been happening on social media over the last week. It is great to see so many people showing an interest in ethical fashion and working towards a more ethical fashion industry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a response to my post and tweets asking Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes? Next time I need some new clothes, I will be  thining very carefully about where I buy them. In terms of sustainability, second hand definitely seems like the best option and for ethical, brands like People Tree, Nancy Dee and Komodo are pretty amazing with some really lovely clothes. I also feel a lot more comfortable with the transparency of these brands.

Here are a few of my Instagrams from the last week.

tea and cake

Tea and pastries for my birthday

veja daps

My Veja daps, they are so comfy

Bristol magazine

My interview about ethical fashion in Bristol Magazine.

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The perfect garden fry up, my favourite breakfast from the new Deliciously Ella cookbook.

With warmest wishes


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A Crop Top!

One Boutique

crop top One Boutique

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to stye some pieces by One Boutique. Their clothes are ethically made in the UK using the opposite of a mass production model with each piece being overseen by one person ensuring a high quality piece of clothing. The pieces are made to last for years with creative cutting and a clean aesthetic.

I can’t help loving the style of this brand so couldn’t wait to pick out some pieces to style. I chose this black crop top to layer with the black mesh top. It is definitely much more edgy than the clothes I usually wear and at very nearly forty, I was a little doubtful that I could pull off a crop top but the mesh layer makes it feel slightly less daring so I am going to give it a try (midlife crisis here I come!). It’s also a great incentive to keep up the effort in my gym classes. I decided to wear it with some printed trousers by Nancy Dee but would just as happily wear them with a pair of skinny jeans or black trousers. The mesh top could also be layered over a simple little black dress giving it a new look, so definitely gets top marks for versatility.  I resisted the urge to add jewellery to keep the look quite simple, I will have to admit this was quite difficult as I am something of an accessories addict.

In other news, I haven’t been blogging much so far in 2016, mainly because I am in the final stages of exam for a CIM Diploma in digital marketing. We have also been having building work on our house so things have been a bit disorganised. Thankfully with both nearly complete, I will be able to get back to it soon.

I hope that you are having a fab February, What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

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New Year in Watergate Bay

New year now feels like a distant memory but life has been pretty crazy, hence why I am only just getting round to posting about it now!

For new year, we went to Watergate Bay which was amazing apart from getting a very bad cold which meant I didn’t feel like doing very much. Fortunately I managed a few walks along an incredibly wind swept beach and New Years Eve at the Beach Hut. We had a lovely evening but I was far too exhausted to stay out until midnight. We had the most amazing views over Watergate bay and when we weren’t snuggled up watching films, we could sit by the window and watch the massive waves roll in over the beach.

Nomads clothing dressDress – Nomads
Boots – Dream in Green

The dress and the trousers were both Christmas pressies, this is the first chance I have had to wear them. Unfortunately with the light not being great and my camera failing, you can’t see the beautiful embroidery on the dress. It is made by Nomads, a brand which I love for its beautiful prints and handcrafted clothes and its committment to fair trade.

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Scarf – Marks and Spencers
Vest top (fairtrade cotton) – Marks and Spencers
Trousers – Outsider

The trousers are amazingly comfortable to wear and perfect for lazing around the house, but are also smart enough to pop out in or if friends unexpectedly drop in. They are from a lovely ethical and sustainable brand, Outsider.

As January so far has been a whirlwind or assignments and exams for my diploma, I haven’t had a chance to think too much about plans and resolutions for the new year. I will be really glad when it is finished now and I can go back to relaxing and blogging in the evenings after work!

Did you make any plans or resolutions for 2016?

With warmest wishes

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The Weekend Before Christmas

festive bunting

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

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

tree

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

whitestuff christmas

Whitestuff decorations

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

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

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


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Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

upcycled leather bag

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

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

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

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

ethical leather bag review

what daisy did leather bag

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

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

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

With warmest wishes


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My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

autumn 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.

ethical fashion winter 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.

oxfam outfit

 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.
ethical fashion autumn

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.

nancy dee jacket

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)Dress – 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

People Tree Sale and an Extra 10% Off

It’s that time of the year again! The People Tree sale is not only the chance to grab yourself a lovely bargain and piece of clothing that will look amazing for many years to come but also a good opportunity to support an ethical brand that (in contrast to many fashion brands) is making a really postive to the lives of People around the world.

This year People Tree have been kind enough to give me a discount code for an additional 10% off sale items for all of my lovely readers.

Just enter CERISALE10 at checkout.

The People Tree sale helps to generate the resources needed to place the orders for next year. Allowing the Fair Trade artisans working on the next seasons collections to be paid.

Here are my favourites in the People Tree sale:

People Tree Sale

The Tabitha colour block dress looks like a really flattering and easy to wear piece which would work well for either work, casual or with a statement necklace for the evening.

Becca Broiderie dress

I love the freshness of this Becca Broiderie white dress with the pretty detailing. Being 100% cotton makes it lovely and cool for the warmer weather. It is also available in black.

Palm Tree Tee

The bold design on this organic cotton Palm Tree tee shirt reminds me of sunshine. It is perfect for wearing with jeans or shorts on holiday.

Madeleine Dress

 

This Madeleine dress is super glamourous with the high split. I would wear it for evenings out on holiday or at home.

Have you spotted anything that you love in the People Tree sale?

I was really pleased to be featured in the bloggers do summer feature in the People Tree Eco Edit online magazine. You can check it out here.

I hope that you are having a good summer?

With warmest wishes

The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies

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Cardigan – People Tree
Top – Braintree Hemp
Jeans – Oxfam
Necklace – Ayala Bar
Shoes – Ethletic

It’s been a while! actually almost a month since I last posted. Things have been crazy here (but fun!) camping trips, childrens birthdays, the launch of a project that I have been working on for ages at work and lots of assignment deadlines for the course that I am doing, the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. I just haven’t managed to find a minute of time although I have been desperate to share the beautiful birthday presents that I was given back in April.

The tassel bag is by a brand called Owen Barry which is based just down the road from me in Street, Somerset. The company has been established since 1948 and still manufactures everything in the UK in the same West Country factory using skins from sustainably sourcesd skins from Britain and Europe. The bags are handcut and stitched from leather or suede that has been tanned in rigorously controlled tanneries with all effluents disposed of in environmentally friendly ways. Interestingly and rather topically for today (being the first day of the Glastonbury Festival), the brand have teamed up with Emily Eavis, daughter of Michael and organiser of the worlds most famous festival to design a bag that is ethically sourced as well as being both mummy and festival friendly. A proportion of the profit from the sales of this bag will go to preserve Glastonbury Abbey. You can check out the full festival range including the TNG collaboration with Emily here.

Ayala Bar Necklace

The necklace which was also a pressy is by Israeli Artisan designer Ayala Bar. Her jewellery is handcrafted and influenced by the beautiful and unusal materials that she works with as well as her cultural background in Afghanistan. If you like colourful and unusual jewellery, I would definite recommend checking out her website www.ayalabar.com.

Finally I recieved a bamboo top by Braintree Clothing, one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. Not only are their clothes beautifully laid back and so comfortable to wear but they also wash and last well. They are made from sustainable fabrics like hemp and bamboo.

What have you been choosing to wear in this glorious weather, now summer has finally arrived?

With warmest wishes

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What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

what daisy did

I have just discovered another lovely ethical fashion brand, What Daisy Did that not only creates some pretty amazing bags but also has a great story to tell. the brand was founded by Daisy and Ozric who have spent a number years working at festivals and were shocked by the amount of waste left and the disposal lifestyles of those who left tents, wellies, clothes and camping equipment. The bags are designed to last and made from recycled leather that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Their bags are about slow fashion with timeless styles and a protest against synthetic and disposable fashion.

Daisy

The bags are made by two brothers in India Pinu and Manish who also source the materials which come from waste scraps and end of rolls from surrounding factories. The leather for the Forest collection is tanned with sunlight and vegetable oil, it is sourced from small scale and commmunity farming in Bangladesh. This is a much healthier alternative both for the environment and those working in the industry.

60 families inclusing both men and women are involved in making the bags, Many were tailors that lost their jobs in the trade shift to China. All of the tailors work from home which is 60km from where the brothers live, they are paid a fair commission making it possible for them to make a living wage within normal working hours but the flexibility that they are offered also allows them to study at universiy or look after children. Three master tailors are also responsbible for creating the templates of the bags twoof which are  studing art at university.

Every last scrap of leather is used with any leftovers being sold onto a jewellery company.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the carnival collection.

what daisy did

what daisy did bags

slouch bag

The colours are amazing and I can definitely see these bags looking great at a festival. But who doesn’t need a bit of colour in their  life all year round.

With warmest wishes