Sustainable and Ethical Swimwear

With a surf holiday coming up soon and my old swimwear pretty much worn out from repeated wear and exposure to chlorine, saltwater and lots of sunshine, I have decided to invest in some new sustainable and ethical swimwear.

In the past I have found it quite difficult to find sustainable and ethical swimwear but lately I have been quite surprised by the number of sustaianble and ethical swimwear options particularly those which upcycle plastic nets that have been found in the oceans. Econyl in particular seems to be growing in popularity for swimwear. If you would like to find out more about this innovative and sustainable fabric, you can do so here.

Fourth Element

Fourth element is my latest discovery and I liked the brand so much that I have invested in 2 new bikinis from Fourth Element for my holiday. Apart from their swimwear being made from 78% recycled materials including post consumer waste like plastic bottles and fishing nets recovered from the oceans, it has also been designed with scuba divers in mind making it comfortable and practical fro wearing under a wetsuit. Perfect for surfing! The packaging is also compostable.

Ruby Moon ethical swimwear

Ruby Moon

Ruby Moon are a Brighton based Eco swimwear brand with a small but lovely collection of multi tasking pieces as part of their GymToSwim® collection. I love this idea for getting the most out of your clothing. The sports fit is also comfy and practical. Sustainability wise, their swimwear is again made from fabric created using reclaimed fishing nets and plastic waste.

Finnesterre eco swimwear

Finnesterre

I have posted about Finnesterre in a previous post about ethical surfwear. They have a small but well designed collection of swimwear and wetsuits. Again created from sustainable fabric made from plastic waste. They also donate 10% of profits from their True North swimwear collection to Surfers Against Sewage.

Colieco bikini

Colie eco

Colie Eco are predominantly a lingerie brand but also make beautiful handmade swimwear. I already have a bikini by Colie eco and can definitely vouch for the quality of their product. Each piece is handmade to order in a homebased studio in Portugal and each style is available in a choice of fabrics for a bright and individual style on the beach.

Zoggs

Just today, I also noticed a display of Zoggs Ecolast swimwear which is also made from  from recycled plastics that is made to last a lifetime.This swimwear looks particularly good for those that swim in a swimming pool regularly.

 

Have you seen any other sustainable or ethical swimwear brands that you love? If so i’d love to hear about them!

With warmest wishes

p.s this post contains some affiliate links

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

nye charity shop outfit

New Years Eve Oufit

Dress – Oxfam
Necklace – Sourced by Oxfam
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Reclaim

It has been lovely to have a whole 10 days off work over the Christmas break allowing time to recharge the batteries, reflect on 2018 and make plans for 2019. We spent Christmas in Cornwall walking, surfing, eating and drinking way too much and spending time with family. For New Years Eve this year, we are opting for a quiet night with a few drinks in town.

Looking back at 2018

2018 has been another super busy year. I am slowly learning that, that is the way I like it and that list of stuff that just never gets done because I don’t have time, probably just isn’t that important. I think I am perfecting the skill of juggling and prioritising the important stuff so who cares about the rest.

2018 was the year that I learned to surf and swapped foreign holidays for Cornwall, that I took the plunge and left a job that I loved to try something else with full time job, instead of waiting it out for the almost certain prospect of redundancy (so glad that I did!)

Plastic free

2018 was also very much about the environment for me. David Attenborough has helped to bring the issue of plastic pollution into the mainstream and at the beginning of 2018 with publicity around his Blue Planet 2 series I started to work towards becoming single use plastic free. I am not sure I realised how difficult it would be. Looking back over the year, I have made some really positive changes to our life (you can read my latest update here) but we still have a long way to go. Looking at the large amount of waste created over Christmas (albeit much less than previous years) has renewed my motivation to keep making small changes which all add up to a big difference. I will be sharing more of these soon.

No new clothes for a year

Another big environmental issue that has also been highlighted in 2018 was fast fashion with Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets presneting the issue in a fresh and compelling way. Whilst I have not bought fast fashion for many years now, in 2018 I took part in the ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge to further reduce my consumption and help to show that it is possible to live quite happily without buying new clothes. In complete honesty, I didn’t quite manage the challenge this time. I did invest in a few new clothes by ethical and sustainable brands including shoes and fitness clothing that whilst not completely essential will be worn continually. Despite this I think the challenge has really helped me to carefully consider and reduce my consumption of clothes this year. For 2019, I have decided to keep a clothes log of any new clothes bought including the reasons and ethical credentials. I hope that this will help me to be more mindful of my purchases.

Plans for 2019

My big focuses for 2019 will be quality time with family and friends, living in the moment, improving my surfing, continuing to reduce the impact of my clothing on the environment and reduce our single use plastic consumption, whilst hopefully inspiring others to the same with this blog and social media.

Happy new year! What are your highlights of 2018 and plans for 2019?

With warmest wishes

Sustainable Fitness Clothing

ethical fitness wear

Top and leggings – Teeki
Trainers – Veja

This post is a collaboration with The Sports Edit.

The search for sustainable fitness clothing

I have been wanting to write a post about sustainable fitness clothing for quite a while! The truth is I have put it off because I have struggled to find any fitness clothes that really work for me and tick the ethical an sustainable boxes. Fitness and workouts are a really important part of my life. On an average week I do between 8 and 10 classes including a combination of Body combat, my favourite along with Grit, Body Pump and body balance. If I had time to do more I definitely would!

I spend a lot of time in fitness wear and I really need high peformance clothing that washes and dries quickly, is flattering, comfortable and easy to wear leaving me confident to get on with my routine. Typically lycra and polyester are perfect for fitness clothing but not so great for the environment.

recycled plastic yoga wear

An exciting collaboration

So I was really excited to be asked by The Sports Edit to collaborate with them to share my thoughts on some of the ethical and sustainable brands that they stock. Teeki is just what I have been looking for as it combines high performance and a flattering style with sustainability and ethics. Teeki yoga wear is handmade from recycled plastic bottles in the US. Whilst Teeki is described as a yoga brand, I am pretty sure that I won’t just be keeping this top and trousers just for yoga, I think they could work well for other classes too. I love that Teeki has helped to get me out of a style rut with my fitness clothing which has resulted in me wearing black all of the time. They have a fantastic selection of fun pattered leggings and shorts.

Plastic in the ocean

Plastic in the environment and the ocean is a big thing. Plasticoceans.org have some pretty shocking facts. Over 500 million plastic bottles are used every year. Many of which will end up in our oceans. But its not just bottles and plastic bags that are an issue, its clothing too. With fast disposable fashion made from synthetic materials such as polyester, there is a growing amount of clothing waste containing particles which can also be washed into waterways, rivers and eventually the sea.  Sir David Attenborough told us during Blue Planet 2 that “we dump eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea every year”. It’s choking our seas, killing and harming marine life.

As you will know if you regularly visit my blog, I am attempting to drastically reduce my use of single use plastics if not completely stop using them. It makes sense that if I really have to buy clothing that is made from synthetic fabrics, that I choose an option not made from virgin fabrics. This helps to find a use for old single use plastics such as plastic bottles helping to prevent it finding its way into landfil and oceans. Whilst I am well aware that buying nothing is usually the most ecofriendly choice, there are times when this isn’t always an option or at least would be very impractical.

ethical fitness clothing

Ethical Sports Shoes

Veja are most defintely one of my favourite brands of trainer. The styles are practical and comfortable but also super stylish. The two pairs that I already own are by far the most worn shoes in my wardrobe. I was excited to be able to try out this amazing gold pair which are not only great for the journey to and from yoga classes but also for a night (I really can’t do heels very often these days!). Veja are an environmentally responsible and transparent brand that use a variety of ecologically friendly materials  in their trainers including wild fairtrade rubber from the Amazonian Rain Forest and organic cotton and leather tanned with non toxic methods. The great thing about getting your Veja trainers from The Sports Edit is that they are UK based you can avoid the hassle and difficult of international shipping that you would get with buying direct.

Reusable water bottles

A final but very important accessoryfor every single work out that I do is my reusable water bottle. I keep this in my kitbag permanently and refill as needed to avoid buying plastic bottles of water. Keeping hydrated is really important for workouts and I prefer to use a water bottle that is free of nasty plastic chemicals and keeps my water cool helping me to keep cool. S’Well are a great brand (also stocked at The Sports Edit). They are light weight and made of stainless steel, available in some very stylish designs and also BPA free. You can check out the full range here.

Reasons to train

Finally I just wanted share with you some of the reasons I love fitness and excercise classes so much.

  • Happiness – I can’t explain it but I always feel happy after a class
  • Energy – if I have to miss out on classes, I don’t feel as energised
  • Confidence – I feel much stronger and more confident when I have been training
  • Friends – I have made so many friends through my fitness classes

Losing weight or becoming thinner has never been one of my exercise goals. I definitely take part for enjoyment and don’t see it as a chore in anyway.

I would definitely recommend giving them a go! Do you do any fitness classes? Have you ever considered planet friendly fitness wear instead of the obvious big name fitness brands? I ‘d love to know your thoughts!

With warmest wishes

Patagonia – Buying Less and Living More

Patagonia shirt

No new clothes for a year

Shirt – Patagonia
Hat – Ricefield Collective
Vest top – Fairtrade cotton (M&S)
Jeans – Oxfam 
Shoes –  Po-zu (Star Wars™ collection)

I am just back from a lovely week in Cornwall surfing, walking, spending time with the people that  matter most to me and eating and drinking a bit too much. This outfit is super comfy and warm, which just what I needed for the cold but sunny days. The shirt by Patagonia is quite a few years old and I believe was an item that I picked out to review back in 2012 (wow does time fly by!). Patagonia is a brand that I love for being poles apart from so many of the fast fashion brands. Why? because instead of encouraging their customers to buy more clothes, they encourage them to buy less and make them last. Patagonia’s mission: Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. You can read more about it here. With their practical focus on  an outdoor lifestyle, Patagonia clothes are definitely about buying less and living more, something I am trying really hard to stick to.

Taking part in the no new clothes for  a year challenge has been a great way to appreciate the many clothes that I have already got in my wardrobe. Recent news stories have highlighted some major environmental issues of which fast fashion is a contributor. It is a big problem! British shoppers are buying twice as many clothes as they did ten years  ago. Not only is the fashion industry a major source of greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change, landfill sites are filled with unwanted clothes and synthetic fibres from our clothing is washing into the oceans. Buying clothes that are only worn once or twice or even worse never at all seems like craziness especially when these clothes are made from synthetic fibres that will not biodegrade.

But it is so easy to get persuaded that you really need to buy something. In fact, I will have to admit, I haven’t managed to completely stick to the no new clothes challenge this year. I have bought a few new items over the summer. Proof of just how difficult it can be to change old habits. I will be ensuring that these clothes get plenty of wear and I have now renewed my focus again on buying less and living more with a big benefit that I spending less on clothes means I have more money to spend on enjoying myself.

Have the recent news stories about climate change and ocean plastics changed the way you shop?


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Sourced by Oxfam

Sourced by Oxfam
Tropical Leaf Necklace – Oxfam online
Dress – People Tree

I was recently sent this lovely necklace by Oxfam. I am a big fan of the Oxfam online shop for buying second hand clothing as you will have probbaly guessed from my previous #foundinOxfam posts but didn’t realise what a great selection of ethically made accessories they also sell in their ‘Sourced by Oxfam‘ section. I really liked the design of this necklace which is a collaboration with jewellery brand Lima Lima. Each piece of jewellery in the collection is handmade in Bristol, using real brass and a sterling silver plated chain.

The founder of Lima Lima is Rhi, a strong supporter of the slow fashion movement. She applies this ethos to her work carefully hand crafting each piece by hand using locally sourced and recycled materials wherever possible, and designs her pieces with longevity in mind. The ‘Sourced by Oxfam’ Collection also features tropical leaf bracelets and earrings aswell as a range of other beautifully handcrafted pieces of jewellery and accessories.

To celebrate world Friendship Day yesterday, Oxfam also have a lovely discount code which is valid until 3pm tommorrow! Details are below

20% OFF for you and your bestie
Share the love with code: FRIENDS20

30th July – 3pm 1st August 2018.
This offer is only valid for orders placed online.
Only valid for items priced £2.99-£200.
This offer excludes Bridal and Unwrapped items.
Oxfam reserves the right to end this promotion at any time.
Offer available subject to availability.

With warmest wishes


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Weekday – Ethical Fashion

weekday

Jacket – M&S via Oxfam (Secondhand)
Tops – One Boutique (Made in the UK)
Jeans – Weekday (Organic cotton) via ASOS
Shoes – Clarks

I got this pair of black jeans by Weekday for my birthday a while back. Weekday is a fresh modern brand with some eyecatching but wearable pieces combined with some great basics including jeans in a range of colours fits and styles. I have never owned a pair of high waisted jeans before but was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and flattering they are. The prices are also surprisingly affordable and their ethics seem to be pretty good.

Weekday have a comprehensive sustainable commitment which goes beyond compliance with human rights and sets out aspirations in terms of working conditions, working enviroments and sustainability. They place an emphasis on partnering with suppliers on a journey of continous improvement towards fair and sustainable production. My jeans are made from organic cotton. Weekday are constantly looking for sustainable materials to use in their clothing and are aiming for all cotton in their range to come from recycled or sustainable sources by 2020.

Having fully read Weekday’s environmental and sustainable policies, I think they are generally a great brand to invest in for the ocassional piece of clothing when second hand is not available. However, I think it is worth mentioning that they are owned by H&M. I am not sure if this is a pro or a con. On the one hand, the fast fashion model of business operated by H&M goes against all of my values. But…their investment in trying to create large scale sustainable choices for the consumer can’t be an altogether bad thing? While second hand is always the best option, it would be unrealistic to think that we can change the buying habits of the masses completely at this time, so any thing that makes a difference goes someway to helping towards the massive issue of  unethically manufactured and unsustainable fashion.

I would be really interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below?

With warmest wishes


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P.s This post does contain affiliate links. You can read more about my advertising policy here.

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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