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 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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?
I can’t believe I have only just tried surfing for this first time in April this year. I have always loved water sports including sailing and diving and body boarding but have never tried surfing until then. I am now completely hooked. Not sure I can really explain it but it is completely addictive. I feel so alive when I am surfing and all my worries wash away.
So as I now spend so much of my time at Fistral beach in Cornwall, I thought it was about time I posted about some eco-friendly surf brands. It kind of makes sense that surfers should do their bit for the environment (as should everyone else!). Spending so much time out doors makes you feel more connected and appreciative of the environment and being in the sea regularly, makes you really concerned about water quality. So eco friendly surf brands really make sense but actually it can some times be difficult to find just what you want.
When I am surfing in the UK I obviously need a wetsuit but also swimwear and shorts for the beach in the summer months and warm comfy clothes to wear apres surf in the colder weather.
So here are some of my favourite eco-friendly surf brands…
I love the philosophy of Patagonia which is to create the best products that cause no uneccesary harm and help to solve the enviromental crisis. Their products are all about performance and are made to last. They actively encourage customers to repair and repurpose clothing once it becomes damaged or unused with their ‘worn wear’ initiative, a very different approach to most clothing companies! In fact Patagonia’s Worn Wear tour recently visited Newquay with the offer of fixing and repairing wetsuits no matter what brand they are. For wetsuits the Patagonia Yulex™ full suits are made from a renewable plant based material. They light and stretchy, neoprene free and Fair Trade Certified™. Just check out the video above for more information. They also sell a massive range of other outdoor clothing.
Finisterre is another outdoor brand with sustainability at its heart. It’s ECONYL® swimwear is helping to tackle plastic pollution byplastic pollution in our oceans by taking nylon waste, from carpet offcuts to discarded fishing nets, and turning it into something new and useful. Based in Cornwall, Finisterre and set up specifically for surfers, Finisterre are ideally placed to understand the performance requirements of their customers. Again their philosphy is about creating sustainable high performance products that last. They have an inhouse repair service to maximise the life of their clothes.
I discovered Atlantic Surf Company, a Devon based eco friendly surf brand on Instagram. The brand was started by surfers as an alternative to the mass produced surf clothing that is seen everywhere. Their clothing is screen pulled by hand, using ethically traded clothing and eco-friendly ink, with 20% of their profits going to The Wave Project, a fantastic charity that I regularly see in action on my visits to Newquay.
Rapanui clothing is certified organic and produced using a factory powered by renewable energy in the Isle of Wight. Founded by free diving enthusiasts, the brand has environmental protection very close to its heart and has collaborated with the Marine Conservation Society to help raise funds and awareness. Whilst they aren’t necessarily a ‘surf brand’ Rapanui clothing is well suited for anything outdoors and their tee shirts slogans are all about saving the oceans. I love their surf towels which make for easy and warm changing on the beach.
Swami’s is a brand new discovery for me. A brand that celebrates a lifestyle lived in nature. They strive for sustainability in their products in many different ways from organic cotton to reclaimed materials, vegetable tanning and water based inks. All of which are clearly explained on their website. Their collection features sarongs, bikinis, board shorts, tee shirts and lovely beach blankets, made in the Cotwolds. They are also leading the way in green surf boards with their use of Biofoam, which is as lightweight and as strong as any foam blank on the market. Production results in 36% less global warming emissions compared to standard polyurethane boards. When coupled with a bio-resin and hemp cloth this makes for the greenest of surfboards.
Hangzen is described as swimwear designed for active and eco minded water women. Designed by Emily a surfer and surf instructor from South Devon, the swimwear is created to solve 2 issues that really resonate with me: beautiful swimwear that empowers girls by being comfortable to wear and staying on in the waves and ocean plastic pollution. The ‘surf proof’ collection is made from a sustainable techno-fabric made using a nylon yarn that has been upcycled from ocean plastics such as fishing nets and other post consumer waste plastics. The website shows drawings rather than photos of the bikinis but you can find photos on the Facebook and Instagram pages.
Riz board shorts make amazing board shorts for men from plastic bottles which have been converted into 100% recycled and recyclable fabric. They encourage customers to return old unwanted shorts to be repaired, recycled or rehomed with a 25% for new shorts. They also support the work of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) by partnering with them at beach clean events and directly donate £1 from every pair of our shorts sold to help fund their important ongoing efforts to protect our marine environment. The prints are amazing, just a shame they don’t do a women’s version!
Of course a post about surfing and sustainability wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the charity Surfers Against Sewage. Originally set up to help tackle sewage pollution which was a big problem for surfers, the charity is now also turning its efforts to plastic pollution which is one of the greatest issues facing the marine environment. It uses campaigning, education and beach cleans to make a difference to the coastlines of the UK and beyond. Their online shop features some great eco friendly tshirts and hoodies to help promote their cause as well as eco living items such as bamboo tooth brushes and refillable water bottles to help reduce plastic use.
So that’s it for now. I hope to share more eco-friendly surf brands with you as I discover them and if you know of any, please do share in the comments. Finally I just wanted to share a few photos of my happy place by the sea!
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.
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?
Armed with some money that I have been given for my birthday and an excuse of needing newwork clothes to wear for my new job, I was just about to fail on my no new new clothes for a year challenge!
But…. I managed to pull myself back from the brink of disaster just in time with a quick visit to the Oxfam online shop where I found exactly what I needed for my new job and some more.The problem with clothes shopping is that you can always find a reason to buy something new if that is what you want.I had convinced myself that only new would do if I wanted to look professional in my new job, but who was I kidding! Oxfam has some fantastic second hand clothes, many are almost as good as new. They also have a great search function on the website, making it super quick and easy to find the style, brand and size that I want.
If you think that charity shopping only offers limited styles and you probably won’t find what you want, I challenge you to check out the Oxfam online shop, they have a massive amount of stock.
Floral dress- originally from M&S
I am not sure I will wear this to work. It will probably work better for me for a going out dress! The stitching had come undone a little at the back, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed in about 5 mins with the sewing machine, making it good as new to wear.
This dress is definitely for work. Again it was originally from Marks and Spencers. I am a big M&S fan as the clothes just seem to fit me well and they are also good quality and last for ages.
Finally I invested in 2 new vest tops which are just great for wearing with jeans and a statement necklace or scrarf. The necklaces are from Ethical Super Store and Made UK.
It is only a few weeks to go now until I get back to the coast in Newquay for some surfing followed by starting my new job. Lots to look forward to this summer! What are you looking forward to for summer?
Sneakers or daps as I like to call them have recently become my footwear of choice. They are comfy and practical and a great way to dress down a dress for a casual outfit. My last pair of daps has been quite literally worn to the end having been glued back together 2 or 3 times. So I was pretty excited when Po-Zu got in touch and asked whether I would like to review some from their iconic Star Wars™ collection.
If truth be told, I am not the world’s biggest Star wars fan, although I will have to admit the design does make me feel a bit nostalgic and the arrival of my new daps has inspired me to watch the films with the children perhaps on a rainy afternoon . I do reallly love the line drawing and the detail on these trainers and the black and white colours make them so perfect for wearing with so many of my clothes. I also love the idea of the Star Wars™ designs as something a bit different and unique which won’t go out of fashion as so many other styles do.
Po-Zu are a favourite ethical brand of mine, you may have spotted me wearing my Po-Zu boots that I have had for at least 5 years. Po-Zu are all about transparency, minimising environmental impact and ethical manufacture. These sneakers were hand made in Sri Lanka with organic cotton and fair trade natural soles, helping to improve the lives of the people making them in Southern Sri Lanka.
Shoes have recently become more of a commodity, somehing that people buy cheaply and throw away quickly. The quest for cheaper and faster production has also encouraged the exploitation of vulnerable workers through long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions. Po-Zu are bucking this trend with shoes that are created to last and with comfort (as well as style) in mind at the same time respecting traditonal craft communities.
They also feature a unique coconut fibre foot-mattress that moulds to the shape of your foot. I can vouch for the fact that these really are super comfy as are the boots that I already own making them perfect for me as I walk a lot.
I like to know about where, how and who has made my shoes and Po-Zu makes this information easy to find.You can see more on the video below.
There are also some other pretty cute designs in the Star Wars™ collection. For autumn/ winter I am loving the Rey.
And of course Po-Zu also have a pretty fantastic collection of non Star Wars shoes. These are definitely on my wish list.
What do you think of the Star Wars collection by Po-Zu? Are you a Star Wars fan?
I wanted to share my outfit that I will be wearing for new years eve, a lovely vintage maxi dress kindly sent to me by Brag Vintage. When I was asked whether I would like to pick me something out from their online vintage store or ASOS marketplace store, I loved this dress so much I couldn’t resist it but was worried that it might not fit. I usually find that maxi dresses are far too long and vintage sizing can sometimes be difficult to judge but I was happy and surprised when it turned up to find that it fitted perfectly. The sizing on the website was spot on!
Brag Vintage pride themselves on picking out the best high quality second clothing that has been made to last. They offer it a new lease of life by selling it in their online stores with attention to detail in their listings so that you know exactly what you are buying. They classify vintage pieces as being over 20 years old so you can be sure that anything in their stores pre dates the trend for fast fashions is well made enough to have stood the test of time. They also dye, repair and customise items to extend their useful life. They have a great range which includes denim jackets, jeans, vintage jumpers, cardigans, dresses, customised denim shorts and accessories. I have already spotted a few other lovely things that I may treat myself to with money I have been given for Christmas.
The lovely people at Brag Vintage were kind enough to give me a 15% off discount code to share. Just enter STYLEEYES at checkout!
I was especially pleased to have a ‘new’ old (vintage) dress to wear for New Years Eve as this will mark the start of a ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge for me in 2018. I first completed the ‘no new clothes’ challenge in 2015. You can read about it in my posts:
This challenge definitely changed the way I think about shopping and it has become much more of a only to do when really needed than a pass time for me ever since. I also managed to find some amazing second hand clothes. In the last 2 years since completing this challenge, I have bought a number of hugh quality pieces of clothing from ethical clothing shop. However it is easy to slip back into bad habits over time and I don’t feel there is anything new that I need at the moment so hopefully it won’t even be too much of a challenge. For the occasional treat, I can always buy second hand or vintage. I also have another sustainability challenge/new years resolution planned but more about that in another post.
Are you making any new years resolutions to shop more sustainably in 2018?
Happy New Year, I hope that you have an amazing 2018!
The run up to Christmas is always a busy time socially but this year it is especially so for me with some big family birthday celebrations as well as the usual Christmas parties and gatherings. The perfect opportunity to get a bit dressed up but as usual this year I attempting to buy no new clothes for the party season and instead make do with what I have got!
Last weekend was a black tie birthday party. I deliberated over whether to treat myself a new dress but in the end decided I really didn’t need anything new. I have quite a few party dresses and the sad reality is that they don’t get worn nearly as much as they could. So I opted for this dress bought from a vintage fair in Bath quite a few years ago. It has a lace top with a neutral coloured net lining and a chiffon skirt. Last time I wore it was a tad on the snug side, so I was pleased and relieved to find that it fitted much more comfortably this time allowing a little breathing space after a three course meal and wine. The earrings were also from a vintage shop although looked like they had never been worn as they were in the original packaging.
This weekend has been busy too with a works Christmas meal on Friday and a family birthday lunch at the Celtic Manor on Sunday. For the works night out comfort and warmth always has to be an important consideration as I have to get the train there and back. I also had very little time to get ready after work and didn’t want to miss out on the pre dinner drinks. I opted for a safe option of my navy SkunkFunk dress with thick tights and my TOMS boots, layered with a jersey Nancy Dee jacket and dressed it up a bit with statement necklace by Nomads which you can see here worn with a summery dress.
Today, for the family meal I wore this dress from M&S, again with my trusty Nancy Dee jacket again and a vintage handbag given to me by my Grandma.
So that is it for partying and socialising until next weekend. So far I am making the most of the clothes that I have in my wardrobe and managing not to splash out on anything extra.
What do you have planned for the party season ahead?