Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

fr Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

Friday 24th April is Fashion Revolution Day. We are 2 years on from the day that the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Rana Plaza. Fashion Revolution Day was created as an annual event to ensure that we don’t forget that day and those that lost their lives. It is also about celebrating all of those that are working towards change in the fashion industry and trying to move towards a more sustainable future.

fr2 Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

In preparation for Fashion Revolution Day, this week I have been asking the question to some of the brands that feature in my wardrobe. First up is Marks and Spencers, which I show in the picture above. The Label says ‘Made in India’ but unfortunately I haven’t had an answer to my question on Twitter ‘who made my clothes?’, perhaps I will try writing to see if I can get an answer. The website does explain Marks and Spencers committment to using 50% sustainable cotton (including organic, recycled and fairtrade by 2020) and I know that Marks and Spencers do have some great initiatives such as their Best of British collection but I can’t actually find out anything about the people who make the clothes. Shame as I find M&S clothes great in other ways and they always last well.

Of the other main brands that I wear, I didn’t really need to tweet them to find out who made my clothes as these brands just get it. They are transparent and share the information about who makes their clothes.

People Tree

pt Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

People Tree have plenty of information about who made their clothes on both their website and clothing labels. People Tree transform the lives of farmers and artisans in developing countries by working with cooperatives and fairtrade and organic cotton producers. You can find out more about each of the groups on their Who Makes Our Products Page or in the videos  like the one shown below.

Nancy Dee

nd Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

Another one of my favourite brands Nancy Dee creates beautiful organic cotton jersey clothes. Nancy Dee make their clothes in a factory in the UK and I was pleased to see pictures on their blog of the ladies (and men) whose handiwork creates their lovely clothes.

tumblr nn3sw1886T1uoky55o2 400 Who Made My Clothes? Fashion Revolution Day

Do you know who made your clothes? would you joining the revolution and asking your favourites brands #whomadesmyclothes on Twitter. You can find out how to get involved on the Fashion Revolution website www.fashionrevolution.org

With warmest wishes

Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 is from 23rd February to 8th March. It celebrates and promotes Fairtrade products including coffee, sugar, cocoa, tea, bananas and cotton and the positive impact that buying them can have on the lives of the farmers growing them. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. The Fairtrade mark is a guarantee for shoppers that the products have been produced in accordance with social, economic and environmental standards set out by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International .

Whilst you can buy clothes made from (certified) Fairtrade cotton, the Fairtrade mark is only used to certify commodities rather than manufactured products like clothes. The term ‘Fair Trade Fashion’ is used to describe clothing that has been manufactured in accordance with fair trade principles. Fair trade fashion is often handmade in developing countries and involves a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect placing importance on the rights of marginalized producers and workers. Yup it is pretty confusing but both certified Fairtrade cotton clothing and fair trade fashion are both good options if you are looking for beautiful clothes that make a positive difference to peoples lives. Here are some of my favourite places to buy them:

martha embroidered dress in grey dc2cc077a38d Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

People Tree – the pioneer of ethical fashion, creating amazing clothes made in co operatives around the world with organic and fairtrade cotton.

pachacuti Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Pachacuti – Amazing panama hats which preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes through combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

bibico Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Bibico – beautiful clothes handmade by fair trade groups in India and Nepal.

sessun jacket Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Sessun – a sustainable fashion brand that uses organic and fairtrade cotton wherever possible.

adini dress Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Adini – a very affordable ethical fashion brand with its factories being certified by Sedex.

nomads shirt Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Nomads – Beautiful hand made clothing  that comply with a comprehensive Fair Trade policy. Nomads is recognised by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops.

Have you ever shopped with any of these brands? If so, what do you think?

Have a amazing week!

With warmest wishes

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Ethical Fashion in the Sales

I always think the sales is a great time to try a new ethical fashion brand. With reduced prices and most ethical fashion brands having their own signature styles that don’t really go out of fashion, you can often bag yourself a great investment piece that will stay in your wardrobe for many years to come. In the past I have been a little too quick to grab bargains just because they were reduced rather than because it was something I really needed or wanted. I now tend to avoid the post Christmas rush to grab a bargain in the sales, instead allowing myself a little more time to carefully consider what I am buying. Here are my favourite ethical fashion finds in the sales

sessun Ethical Fashion in the Sales
First up the Altia Marl Jersey dress by Sessun at ASOS. Sessun is the label of French designer  Emma François. She is known for both her feminine but functional aesthetic with simple silhouettes highlighted with unique detailing and her ethical stance. Wherever possible Sessun clothing is made from organic fibres and Fairtrade crops. This 100% cotton dress is reduced from £90 to just £40!

reclaimed2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
The ASOS Reclaimed collection features vintage, deadstock and reworked pieces, that have been sourced from around the world. I love the versatility of this A Line Denim Pinafore which has been reduced from £90 to £40.

lulu moon print dress cb75f18b3a16 Ethical Fashion in the SalesI already have this Lulu moon print dress by People Tree and it is probbaly one of my favourite dresses. It is made from organic cotton by a social enterprise working to empower disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai, India. It has been reduced from £105 to £52.50. Shopping ethical fashion in the sale at People Tree helps them to generate the resources to place orders for future seasons ensuring a brighter future for the artisans and producer groups involved.

spring lilly cardi wst1888 apple front2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
This apple coloured Spring Lilly cardigan by Braintree Clothing is made from soft organic cotton and adorned with pretty crochet flowers. It is perfect for layering over dresses when spring arrives.

Shakespeare008 3 1024x1024 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
For the fellas, there are also some bargains to be had with this lovely linen shirt at ethical menswear brand Arthur&Henry reduced from £79 to £60. Arthur&Henry shirts are top quality and ethically made from high quality organic and fairtrade cotton.

Zalando dress Ethical Fashion in the Sales

SkunkFunk is another of my favourite ethical fashion brands and this lovely Zora dress (which by the way I would happily wear for work or a night out) is reduced from £105 to £55. SkunkFunk make clothes that last beyond the latest fashion trend and are also made from sustainable fabrics.

Did you buy anything new in the sales? Do you have a strategy for sales shopping? I hope you are having an amazing 2015 so far!

With warmest wishes

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Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

DSCN3274 3 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

Dress – Nomads
Bamboo leggings
Necklace – Soko
Shoes – Clarks

I was recently contacted by Nomads to see if I would like to try out a piece from their new AW14 collection. The new collection is filled with rich autumn colours, pretty prints and bohemian styles so of course it took me a while to decide. In the end I choose this marmalade cord dress as I loved the relaxed cut for wearing with leggings on weekends or dress down days at work. I also loved that the dress would be great for cosy layering come winter and the marmalade colour makes a great change to the usual wintery blacks and greys that are around at this time of year.

So why do I love Nomads

Nomads fits well with how I like to think about fashion. They have their own very unique signature look which is not dictated by the seasons latest trend making it great for anyone her prefers to do their own thing.The great thing about Nomads collections is that they are timeless, so a great investment that will look as good next season as they did this season.

Nomads clothing is also fair trade

Nomads is a brand that is committed to fair trade fashion. This means that they believe in helping their producers (and themselves) to create a sustainable living in a ‘trade not aid’ approach. They ensure that standards for their clothes comply with fair trade guidelines. Nomads ensure that no children under 16 are involved in making their products, that men and women are given equal pay and opportunities in the work place, they are paid at least the national average or above, they are employed in safe working conditions with regular breaks and holidays. Finally producers are paid in advance to avoid them getting into debt to pay for materials.

Fairtrade fashion at Nomads doesn’t just mean that producers are getting a fair deal though, it also means that they create beautiful clothes as a result of the artisan skills and traditional techniques used by the producers. Patchwork, tie dye, hand applique and block prints from Bagru, a village in India, all feature as part of Nomads collection. Nomads also donate some of their profits to support a charity Tamwed which works to overcome poverty in areas of Southern India.

Nomads are working hard to minimise their impact on the environmental

Almost all of the fibres used by Nomads are natural and they are increasing the number of organic pieces included in their collections as it becomes more readily available to them. They also use azo free and natural dyes which have least impact on the environment. They recycle materials in some garments and use waste fabric to make beautiful bags. They also use biodegradable packaging.

You can see some of the organic cotton pieces from the collection below…

NF23SMAR60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress
Organic Cotton Marmalade Jasmine Print Scarf

WJ27MAR60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress

Organic Cotton Marmalade Jasmine Print Cowl Neck DressEF46IRY60 Nomads Marmalade Cord Dress
Organic Cotton Plain Embroidered Shirt

What do you think of Nomads? What do you love from their AW14 collection?

With warmest wishes

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Ethical Fashion for Autumn – My Top 10 Dresses

Whilst the weather is unusually warm for this time of year, autumn is not far away, so for me it is time to dust off my trusty black opaques and ankle boots. Here are my top 10 picks of dresses that are the perfect combo of autumn style and ethical fashion. You can also check out my store for a great selection of sustainable and ethical fashion dresses.

sofia tree print dress e5000c06cb10 Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
People Tree Sofia Tree Print Dress

People Tree are definitely one of my favourite places to buy ethical fashion and this autumn, they have some great styles and lovely prints. If you don’t already know about People Tree, their clothes are fair trade so everyone in the supply chain gets treated with respect and has the opportunity for a sustainable livelihood.

Seasalt Esmerelda dress Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
Seasalt Cornwall Esmerelda Dress

Seasalt Cornwall create beautiful clothes with some fun unique prints. I love the colours and flattering style of this dress and even better that they are a socially responsible business making about 60% of their cotton products from organic cotton.
zora dress Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
SkunkFunk Zora Dress

Skunk Funk is another of my favourite brands, they always seem to come up with unique designs that I love like this unusual dress. Skunkfunk are committed to sustainability using organic cotton and recycled polyester as well as tencel and modal in their clothes.

annie Greenabelle dress Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
Annie Greenabelle Floral Panel Carey Party Dress

Annie Greenabelle create cute feminine dresses and whilst this dress is called a party dress, I would probably wear it for daytime too. Annie Greenabelle clothes are ethically made with a some of their clothes being made from organic cotton and some being made in Britain.
 Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
Nancy Dee Lana Stripe Dress

Nancy Dee specialise in fluid styles made from organic cotton jersey which not only looks great but is also super comfy to wear. I love the simplicity of this dress. Nancy Dee are also an ethical fashion brand making all of their clothes in the UK.
wwt2011 carly check dress close Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
Braintree Clothing Carly Check Dress

Braintree Clothing is another pioneering ethical fashion brand that makes clothes that don’t cost the earth. This dress is made from organic cotton and hemp which is a better alternative for the environment and farmers than conventional cotton.

asos reclaimed Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
ASOS Reclaimed Drop Waist Smock Dress

The ASOS reclaimed is a great place to look if you want fresh styles with minimim environmental impact. The collection is made from deadstock and one of a kind vintage pieces. This smock dress looks lovely and comfy to wear.

velvet dress Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
Urban Renewal Black Velvet Baby Doll Dress

This velvet baby doll dress definitely has a bit of a grungey feel to it. It is made from original vintage velvet so has less of an environmental impact than clothing that is made from new.

asos africa Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses

ASOS Africa Print Dress with Sheer Inserts

I am loving the fab print on this dress by ASOS Africa. Also loving that it has been ethically made in Africa.
LAVINIA MLC4040 AW14 BLACK1 Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses

Adini – Milanese Lace Dress

Last but not least, this lovely lace dress would be perfect for all sorts of parties and nights out for the season ahead. Adini are commited to both fair trade and protection of the environment.

Gorgeous as these dresses are, for now I am resisting buying anything new as I have quite a lots of clothes and don’t really need anything at the moment.

If you are in need of something gorgeous to wear this autumn, why not opt for something ethical and sustainable? there is definitely lots out there to choose from.

Which are your favourite ethical brands?

With warmest wishes


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Story Behind the Brand – The Nakate Project

nakate project 3 Story Behind the Brand   The Nakate Projectnyota white Story Behind the Brand   The Nakate Projecttata Story Behind the Brand   The Nakate Projectblack necklace Story Behind the Brand   The Nakate ProjectThe Nakate Project was founded by Shanley Knox on returning to California after living in Uganda. The brand brings the beautiful work of East African artisans to high fashion with accessories for adventurous bold women (just like those who have made them).

Shanley was inspired by the stories her father told about objects collected when travelling and she began to collect her own wearable pieces from her travels, each one was imbued with memories and stories from the locations that she has visited. She used these accessories to introduce these stories and memories into her daily life.

‘Nakate’, the name of the project is associated with a memory that is particularly poignant for Shanley. Nakate was a nine year old girl that she met in a Ugandan village called Kakooge. She lived with her aunt,  a local prostitute after losing both her mother and father to Aids. It was Shanley’s desire to connect Nakate to the role models in her own society that lead to the Nakate Project and its business model of connecting African talent to women in remote villages to nourish artistic growth and development.  The Nakate project was launched after Shanley’s 21st birthday in collaboration with celebrity stylist Antonio Esteban and individual artisans in Uganda.

She hopes that each of the pieces of jewellery will act as a reminder to the wearer to express the adventurous, bold woman that lives in each of them and to use the unique aesthetic of the jewellery to celebrate a part of the world that teaches us to live more deeply!

The Nakate Project also works to create artisans in rural areas of Uganda that we see as previously untapped or undervalued. They help in providing income for women that are struggling to support themselves and, for many of them, the families that are relying on their income. The project also adheres to fair trade principles and environmentally friendly practices including maximizing the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources, buying locally where possible and encouraging our artisans to work in environments of their choosing – which are often in the open air.

This post is the first part of my new series Story Behind the Brand where I share with you the inspiring stories behind some amazing ethical fashion brands.

What do you think? do you love this story? I know I could definitely do with a little reminder to be adventurous and bold and live more deeply sometimes.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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NV London Calcutta – Bags of Style!

Timothy Brn Detail MED1 NV London Calcutta   Bags of Style!

I am delighted to have the chance to post about another amazing stylish and ethical accessory brand NV London Calcutta for the Ethical Fashion Blogathon. Naomi of NV London Calcutta also has a strong connection with Naomi House (yes the clue is in the name!), the charity that we are raising money for as part of this blogathon.

NV London Calcutta is a future friendly, award-winning, ethical accessories company dedicated to bridging the gap between high fashion and traditional ethical offerings. NV Calcutta utilises a sustainable business model and works works to promote an approach which creates jobs and empowers the producers.

They are a brand that have definitely not lost sight of the fact that in order to change lives, their product must be elegant, chic and desirable and that they certainly are! The brand utilises  age-old Indian craftsmanship and artisan skills and in return provides support and champions marginalised producer groups ensuring a fair wage and a healthy, happy working environment.

Each design is not only unique but also has an interesting story behind it making it the perfect choice for anyone who does not want to compromise on either style or ethics.

leather bag NV London Calcutta   Bags of Style!

I have been on the lookout for a stylish and ethical laptop bag for some time. This one looks great and could be used on those days when I don’t have a laptop with me.

yoga detail1 NV London Calcutta   Bags of Style!

I have also been on the look out for an ethical yoga bag that will fit a mat in and this one has a fantastic design on it. It is made from canvas and will also fit shoes, accessories, towel and trainers – perfect!

Leona Blk 180dpi 650 x 650  NV London Calcutta   Bags of Style!

NV London Calcutta also have a fantastic range of silk scarves. My favourite is this zebra print scarf which is handspun using finest quality silks from cocoons that the whole village is involved in creating.

Please check out the full range of ethical accessories at www.nvlondoncalcutta.co.uk.
ethicalfashionblogathon NV London Calcutta   Bags of Style!

 

Johari – Fashion for the Future

Johari is a fashion label with a simple Philosophy. They believe that fashion should be ethical, stylish and beautiful. Their name ‘Johari’ means something precious’ in Swahili and I think this is not only a great way of describing how we should think of our clothes but also the future of those making the clothes we wear. Each piece of Johari clothing is made in Kenya  handmade in Kenya by Social Enterprise Johari Designs helping to empower vulnerable young adults to build a living for themselves and their families. 100% of the profit made by Johari goes to the Johari Foundation’s Miale programmes which provide education, vocational, social and basic needs for children and young adults in Kenya.

Supporting such a good cause is not difficult when it involves treating yourself to something as beautiful as the Tafriji dress (pictured above). Definitely something a little different to the clothes that you will find on the high street with its pink chiffon layer and leopards face!

Habari girls t shirt Johari   Fashion for the Future

For children, there is also the Johari Seedlings collection, bright bold t shirts that children with love to wear. Also great if you are struggling for Christmas pressy ideas for teenagers (with sizes up to 16). I love this Habari t shirt which features an abstract lion and was the winning design in the  2012 Seedlings Design Competition.

oval necklace Johari   Fashion for the Future

I would also definitely recommend checking out the Johari website for some stunning statement jewellery. My favourite piece is probably this Sunray necklace, made of brass sourced within Kenya, every piece is carefully handmade. The perfect addition to a strapless dress or low cut top. It could also be worn over a high neck top for a contemporary daytime look.

Please check out the full range of clothing, jewellery and home products as well as finding out about the brilliant work that Johari are doing on www.johari.co.uk.

ethicalfashionblogathon Johari   Fashion for the Future

My Favourite Pieces from Purity Style

If you haven’t already checked out Purity Style, I would definitely recommend that you do. Purity Style is an organic and fair trade clothing boutique based in Farnham, Surrey. Their website features a fantastic selection of incredibly stylish clothing for both women and children. I love that the clothes on the site are not only sustainable and ethical but also really affordable and wearable. Purity Style stocks clothes by all of my favourite ethical brands including People Tree and Komodo but also a few more slightly under the radar brands which are well worth checking out. The site also has some really good sales so even if you are shopping on a tight budget, you shouldn’t have to much trouble finding something lovely.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from Purity Style.

 

nomads Jaipur Tunic Dress red jpg 2 My Favourite Pieces from Purity Style
Super flattering with clever pin tuck detail and made from a soft cotton jersey, I would wear this dress by Nomads either with opaque tights or leggings or as a tunic with a pair of skinny jeans. Definitely a great way to brighten up a dark winters day!

seasalt Hydranga Print Seaside Mac jpg 2 My Favourite Pieces from Purity Style

This Hydrangea Mac by Seasalt Cornwall is another fantastic way to brighten up a wet and windy autumn day. Its cheerful print on pu coated organic cotton will ensure that the rain won’t get you down or get you wet!

denim shirt My Favourite Pieces from Purity Style

I have been on the look out for the perfect denim shirt for a while. This classic denim shirt by L’Herbe Rouge is not only fair trade but also made from sustainable and soft Tencel. It is a great wardrobe addition that can be worn all year round.

You can check out the full range of fashion at www.puritystyle.com
ethicalfashionblogathon My Favourite Pieces from Purity Style

 

Beaded Collar Necklace

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The autumn winter 2012 collection at People Tree is fantastic. The one item that really stood out for me the most was this beautiful beaded collar necklace available in both cream and black. If I was going to treat myself to just one item to update my wardrobe for the season ahead I think it would have to be this. I think my preference would be for the cream which could be worn to transform the look of so many different pieces of clothing from tops and jumpers to dresses. What do you think of the lastest collection at People Tree?

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

ps this post contains affililate links

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