Over the past few years, I have been on a bit of a mission to convince Mr S of the merits of ethical fashion. I will have to admit that it has been a bit of an uphill struggle but finally I feel am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He really appreciates good quality in his clothes (a key feature of many ethical clothing brands) and is beginning to insist on them, so I have noticed him starting to take an interest in ethical fahion brands.
I was recently contacted to see if I would like to recieve a shirt from Tobias Clothing to feature on the blog. I was pleased to accept the shirt for Mr S to try out as not only is it a really well made and high quality 100% linen shirt but it is also ethically made. Tobias Clothing donate 10% of the profits from each shirt sold to Akanksha Foundation. The Akanksha Foundation helps to educate underprivileged slum children in Mumbai, such an important way to help them towards a better life and helping to lift them out of poverty.The organisations moto ‘Every child deserves a childhood’. You can find out more about the Ashanka Foundation here.
Mr S’s observations of his Tobias shirt
It is a great fit and is easy to wear. I ordered one size down as recommended for a slimmer fit. I also love the colour and the unique and fun flashes of pattern in the sleeves.
He was also pleased to find that his new Tobias shirt went perfectly with his People Tree jacket for a ‘smart casual’ look, just what he needed to go out to dinner over the Christmas break. The shirt will also be great for when summer arrives (I know it feels like a long way away!) as the linen is super cool to wear.
Tobias also have a great range of 100% cotton shirts with a soft collar for a relaxed look and patterned cuff lining for those that like an indivdual look. You can check them out here What do you think?
With warmest wishes
Top – Upstate
Jeans – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
I bought this top from a brand called Upstate at Gather& Sea while back.If you haven’t checked out Gather&See yet, I would definitely recommend it . They stock a number of fresh and interesting sustainable fashion labels from around the world. All of which don’t compromise on either ethics or aesthetics. Upstate is a New York label that creates one of a kind pieces using dye techniques based on Japanese shibori.Each piece is dyed in house and sewn by a skilled husband and wife team in Manhattan. Upstate only make limited productions to minimize waste and run a quilting program to put our fabric scraps to good use.
Any way,I haven’t been posting as much as I would like to lately as I have been super busy getting ready for Christmas in hope of a chance to relax a little in the run up and spend time with my family. This year I have been trying to keep it simple in terms of pressies and food but it still seems likeI have been getting ready for ever.Not that I mind, I love Christmas!
How are your Christmas preparations going? do you like to be ready early or do you prefer more of a last minute present dash?
I am delighted to be able to offer a fantastic 20% off ethical and sustainable fashion at ASOS Green Room for Cyber Weekend (or eco friday) CYBERWKND20 (valid 28.11.14 8am GMT – 02.12.14 8am GMT)
The ASOS Green Room features brands like People Tree, EDUN, MADE and Cambridge Satchel Company, TOMS and Tatty Devine. It also features fresh and funky styles by their own eco and ethical labels, ASOS Reclaimed and ASOS Africa.
I also have plenty more great discounts on eco and ethical brands this weekend on my offers page.
I decided to treat myself to a new dress from the Marks and Spencers Best of British Collection. I was particularly in love with the swirly print on the dress and its super comfy fit which is so perfect for work. It is also quite cosy for work. I wouldn’t usually wear anything this body con by the 2 layers of fabric and ruching around the stomach make it much more flattering than other body con styles that I have tried in the past. At £59 for a high quality and well made dress, I consider it to be quite good value.
Whilst Marks and Spencers does not spring immediatley to mind when you think about sustainable and ethical clothing, there are a number of factors which mean that their clothes work for me.
Firstly Marks and Spencers clothes alway fit well and last for ages. This dress is incredibly comfy and warm and washes really well. The Best of British Collection is helping to preserve the British manufacturing industry. This dress was made Lee Ann, an ethically and environmentally responsible manufacturer based in Lecietershire. The dress was not only made at their UK factory but the fabric was also knitted, dyed and printed there.
Marks and Spencers are also committed to sustainabilityand improving the environmental performance of their operations through plan A.
Marks and Spencers have also recieved the Carbon Trust Triple Award 2014 with its accolades including zero waste to landfill and becoming a zero carbon company. By 2020 Marks and Spencers aim is to be the worlds most sustainable major retailer. The plan includes procuring 50% of cotton from sustainable sources and publishing an annual list of clothing suppliers across the world. They also support local charities through their UK stores and national initiatives like Macmillan coffee mornings, beach cleans for the Marine Conservation Society and Shwopping where they work with Oxfam to reuse and recycle clothes.
The dress is made from Modal, elastane and polyester. Modal is a a cellulose fibre from beech trees. It is a renewable and biodegradable fibre and much better than cotton in terms of the crop yield needed. Beech trees do not require irrigation or pesticides and are grown on marginal, non-agricultural land unlike cotton. The polyester lining of the dress is not ideal environmentally although it does mean that it requires less energy to launder as it dries quickly and doesn’t require ironing.
What do you think of Marks and Spencers? would you consider their clothing to be sustainable?
With warmest wishes
Ps Just to let you know that I bought the dress myself and have not recieved any payment for this review. Although I do sometimes work with M&S and many other retailer through their affiliate programs and this post does contain affiliate links.
25% Off full price clothes at Timberland Online with discount code FRIENDS25A(valid until 27/10/14 23:59)
I am really pleased to be able to share a fantastic offer for Timberland, a brand that not only has a fantastic range of high quality clothes and shoes suited to both those that love the great outdoors and urban jungle but also that has a strong commitment to sustainabiility, ethics and transparency in its supply chain. Timberland clothes are also made to last, for an investment that should stick around in your wardrobe for many years to come.
As a large fashion retailer, I think Timberland is a great example of fashion brands can minimise their impact. For example the waterproof canvas long shell jacket pictured above is made of organic cotton. The fact that Timberland clothes are both sustainable and ethical doesn’t impact on either their style or performance though.
If warmth is your number one priority at this time of year,this Timberland Cherry Mountain Jacket is a great pick. It is water repellent and the diamond quilted design not only looks great but will keep you toasty warm with its unique PrimaLoft® insulation. As this jacket is made using recycled plastics, it helps to reduce landfill, lessen energy consumption thereby cutting harmful emmissions.
The Timberland Earthkeeper shoe range also goes well beyond the traditional yellow boot that the brand is so well known for (although you can still buy these too if you want). THese Timberland Earthkeeper Birchmont side zip buckle boots would work equally well for work, days off and evenings out. They also have anto fatigue technology which will help you to stay on your feet for longer. The Timberland Earthkeepers range uses high performing recycled PET (made from old plastic bottles) to linings, laces, uppers and insulation, to faux shearling and even the backing of faux fur.
You can check out the Timberland website to find out more about how they are pioneering to increase transparency in the supply chain and develop innovative new materials that combine performance with sustainability.
I first discovered Fix Up Look Sharp at a fashion show at Bristol Big Green Week a few years back. Fix Up Look Sharp are all about raising money for an incredibly worthwhile charity Clic Sargent. CLIC, as I think it was previously called has helped my family during very difficult times and so is a charity very close to my heart. Charities like CLIC Sargent provide invaluable clinical, practical, financial and emotional support for children with cancer and their families helping them to deal with the shock of the diagnosis but also assisting them in getting the most out of life.You can read more about Charlotte, Fix Up Look Sharp Ambassador, her style and her journey here.
Fix Up Look Sharp have just launched a fab new website featuring their latest collection which takes charity shopping to the next level with fresh styles upcycled from vintage and second hand clothes. The clothes also offer great value with prices starting at £15 for a t shirt. They also have some great accessories including necklace, hairbands and beanie hats.
They had a launch a few weeks ago in Bristol and will be holding a launch party in London this Thursday.It looks fun and well worth a visit if you are nearby.
I hope you are having a good week and not getting too wind swept by this dastardly weather!
With warmest wishes
This October, I am delighted to be teaming up with Bibico to offer one very lucky reader the chance to win £100 to spend at Bibico.
Bibico is a brand that is not only known for its beautiful clothes and simple, natural signature style but also for its honest approach to creating ethical fashion. Spanish designer, Nieves Ruiz Ramos set up the brand after working in the fashion industry for 10 years and wanting to create an alternative to fast fashion, an alternative that could be worn and enjoyed again and again.
Bibico’s clothes are stitched, woven and knitted in fair trade co operatives using natural materials. The collection is made extra special by the fact that pieces have been hand made or hand embroidered with a little bit of heart. Bibico clothing is created for everyday wear with uncomplicated styles and unique details highlighting the brand philosophy that ‘less is more’.
The Autumn / Winter Collection at Bibico features:
Fair trade clothing made by two women’s cooperatives that are both fair trade certified by the WFTO. The cooperatives provide women with training, education and work, empowering them to move themselves and their children forward and out of the world of poverty.
Hand made pieces – Bibico knitwear is hand knitted in the hills of Nepal by groups of women who are members of a fair trade cooperative. Most of the knitting is done from home which means they don’t have to travel to the cities and can stay close to their families.
All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize is to complete as many entries as you would like using the Rafflecopter below. The closing date is 31st October. Good Luck!
(Sorry this giveaway is only open to readers in the UK)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Shawl – Traidcraft
Hat – Pachacuti
Jeans – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Fairtrade cotton vest top – M&S
Shoes – TOMS
Quite a few years ago I stopped shopping on the high street. I now do most of my clothes shopping online as it not only allows me access to a much greater choice of ethical and sustainable clothes but it also allows me to find different clothes that are a little bit more unique and individual than you can often find on the high street. I don’t really follow trends any more but lovely finding really lovely pieces of clothing often in places I may not expect to find them.
Traidcraft was one of those places that I knew about but had never really considered buying clothes from. Traidcraft is a fairtrade organisation which I knew about for their coffee, delicious chocolate and gifts but I was surprised to find out that they actually sell quite a few clothes and accessories too. I was recently contacted to ask if I would like to recieve a piece from the website and was instantly drawn to this lovely paisley shawl. I have already had several compliments when I have worn it. I really love that I can find out exactly how and where it was made.
It was handwoven in India by Manjeen Handicrafts is an organisation with a vision to promote an alternative trade system in the form of Fair Trade at grassroot levels to bring structural changes in the contemporary mode of trade, and increase the choice among the marganilsed artisans and their families for an improved quality of life, to help educate their children.
The Traidcraft website also has some other great pieces from hand knitted and alpaca jumpers to organic cotton pieces, colourful bags, leather bags and bamboo socks. They also have some really unique handmade gifts if you are looking for nice Christmas pressies. I know the words ‘fairtrade’ don’t always make you think of something fashionable and stylish but I am not going to let such preconceptions get in the way of finding beautifully made and unique pieces of clothing.
What do you think? Do you love finding unique and individual pieces to wear? Doesn’t it make it even more satisfying to buy something that has been created with respect for people and the planet.
With warmest wishes
Pants are something that we all wear everyday or at least most of us wear most days, no? Yet do we ever stop to think where our pants come from and how they are made? They may be just smalls, but actually they can make a big difference.
This is where ethical underwear brand Pants to Poverty comes in. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s call to a generation to rise up and to make poverty history back in 2005, Pants to Poverty create fun, fairtrade and organic cotton pants. The brand now supports and creates a sustainable livelihood for over 5000 farmers in India proving that they really do have power in their pants.
Pants to Poverty have some pantastic plans ahead for 2015. They will be moving to India to ensure that they their ‘cotton to bottom’ process is aligned with the cycles of the farmers. The team at Pants to Poverty will be learning about the process at each stage of the supply chain, living with the realities of life for the communities that they partner with and strengthening their relationships with the people who make their pants. Next there will be new collections designed with the people who make them.
In the meantime Pants to Poverty will be continuing to stock up on pants ready for Christmas. I am loving the idea of such a fun and useful gift that also says ‘Pants to Poverty’. If you would like to treat your friends or family, just don’t leave it too late as they are selling fast.
Get a pantabulous 15% off at Pants to Poverty with my discount code ETHICALFASHIONBLOG
Pants to Poverty will also be posting a series of vlogs on their site documenting their trip to India and bringing you a piece of the magic that they will be creating.
What do you think? would you like to make a big difference with your smalls?
Ok that’s it, no more pant puns, I promise!
With warmest wishes
Dress – People Tree
Shoes – Dream in Green
Necklace – Vintage
Ok so you probably know that I am a mahusive fan of People Tree! Well imagine my delight when they asked me to pick out a piece from their latest collection to try out. It took me a while to decide (bit like a child in a sweetie shop) but I finally managed to settle on the Lulu moon print dress.
I loved the flattering style and lovely print on the dress and knew it would work for work which is the time when I have the most of those got nothing to wear days. I also love the colour which is great as an equally slimming alternative to black. It fitted perfectly and is probably one of my favourite dresses in my wardrobe.
Do you want to know a little more about the dress?
It is made from organic cotton which ensures a better deal for the farmers and a crop grown without the use of pesticides which are damaging to the environment and to the health of humans.
The dress was made by a social enterprise called Creative Hands which works with disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai, India giving them a sustainable livelihood and helping to empower them. The mission of Creative Handicrafts is to build sustainable communities where respect for people is held high and there is no differentiation based on caste, gender or religion. Hundreds of women who have learnt skills with Creative Hands have either started their own businesses or continued to work within Creative Hands co operatives with benefits including creches and daycare for their children.
If you haven’t already checked out the People Tree Autumn Winter collection, it is definitely worth a peep with some lovely prints as well as work wear and even lounge wear and PJs.
People Tree have kindly offered me a discount code to share with my readers just enter HEATH10 at checkout for 10% off.
I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend doing not too much at all. What will you be doing this weekend? Hope that you have a lovely time.
With warmest wishes