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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10 Sustainable Style Life Hacks

life hacks header 10 Sustainable Style Life Hacks
1. Know your wardrobe
Knowing what is in your wardrobe is probably the best way to reduce the amount of clothes that you buy and ensure that you make use of what you already have. Stylebook closet App is just one way to manage your wardrobe on your iphone or ipad. You can add photographs of all of the clothes that you own and then organise them by categorising them, planning future outfits and keeping track of what you have worn. There is even a calender and packing lists. You need never look in your wardrobe and announce “I have nothing to wear” again!

2.Charity shop from your armchair
Charity shopping is probably the best place for finding sustainable fashion. Not only are you making use of something that has already been made adn may otherwise end up in landfill but you are also helping a worthwhile cause. Whilst charity shopping is great fun and a great way to create your own individual look on a budget, it can be a little time consuming. The Oxfam Fashion website gives you the opportunity to quickly search a huge amount of charity shop stock, filtering by colour, style, size and brand. They even have a return policy incase your chosen item doesn’t fit/ suit. For upcycled fashion, you can also armchair shop at Fix Up, Look Sharp (for CLIC Sargent) and TRAIDremade.

3. Get the low down on brands quickly
If you have spotted a lovely dress whilst browsing online but aren’t sure about how sustainable it might, the Ethical Consumer guides are a great place to find out how your favourite fashion store rates for a variety of factors including environment, animals, people, politics and product sustainability. Looking for a brands sustainability or corporate responsibility statement on their website can also be confusing as they may be lacking in detail, generalised, full of jargon or just plain missing altogether. Ethical Consumer makes it easy and straight forward to decide which brands you do and do not want to buy from. You can customise the rating by deciding on how important each of these factors are to you and also compare the scores to other similar retailers.

3. Swap your clothes

Clothes swapping parties are great fun and easy to organise but if the thought of organising one is just too daunting or you just haven’t got around to it, why not ask friends to bring along an unwanted accessory to swap, next time you invite them to dinner. Not only will each guest go home with something to refresh their wardrobe but the stories behind the accessories will also be a great source of conversation over dinner. Websites like Girl Meets Dress and Wish Want Wear have a great selection of designer dresses for hire.

4. Stop buying magazines

Magazines are usually funded by advertising so it is not surprising that their pages are dedicated to telling you what ‘essential items’ or ‘must haves’ you can’t possibly do without for the season ahead and as if that isn’t enough, they usually feature more adverts than content. Blogs feature real people, are free to read, full of great information and don’t use paper and ink, making them a much more sustainable choice than magazines. Rather than encouraging you to keep buying clothes that you don’t really need, there are now many blogs giving inspiration on how to wear charity shop finds and create your own DIY style.

5.Collect sustainable style inspiration

Pinterest and Polyvore are just two platforms that you can use to collect ideas for sustainable style that you see whilst browsing the web. That way when you do need to buy something new, it won’t take you too long to find where you saw that amazing organic cotton dress or fair trade hand crafted accessory. There are also lots of great boards, pinner and Polyvore outfit makers to follow for sustainable style inspiration.

6. Update something old with an interesting accessory
Adding an interesting accessory like a vintage scarf or hand crafted piece of jewellery will add a new lease of life to a basic piece of clothing in your wardrobe which you may have got a little bored of.

7. Borrow something
If you need a one of piece of clothing for a special event but you probably won’t wear it again, cut down on cost, environmental impact and storage space by borrowing something. If you don’t have a friend that can lend you what you need, why not consider hiring? You can pick yourself out a beautiful designer dress that you won’t usually be able to afford.

8. Give your clothes a little TLC
Clothes that are loved and cared for will last longer. There are some really simple things that you can do to prolong the life of your clothes. Invest in good quality hangers to ensure that your clothes stay in shape, use cedar wood balls to keep moths well away from your knitwear, wash dark and colour clothes separately and always read the care labels on your clothes.

9. Shop online

Shopping online is quick, easy and will give you access to many more ethical and sustainable fashion brands than you could find on the high street. If you get to know which styles are likely work best for you, you can also ensure that you get a beautiful piece of clothing that you are likely to wear for many years to come.

10. Shop my store
Ok last but not least (and a completely shameless plug!), you could also check out my ethical fashion store which features a large selection of ethical and sustainable fashion including organic, upcycled, fair trade, vegan and vintage clothes. The search function allows you to quickly find an ethical alternative for whatever you are looking to buy or you can browse the ethical fashion brand directory to discover alternative places to shop.

Do have any extra ideas to add to the list? Please let me know in the comments below.

JORD Wood Watch Review

DSCN3381 21 JORD Wood Watch Review

 

DSCN3356 3 JORD Wood Watch ReviewDSCN3321 21 JORD Wood Watch ReviewI was recently contacted by JORD to see if I would like to check out one of their wooden watches. I lost my last watch in June last year whilst participating in Trekfest in the Brecon Beacons so was more than happy to accept. I was also intrigued by what a wooden watch would be like as it is so different to any other watch I have ever owned.

I chose the Ely maple design. The neutral colours are perfect for wearing with everything from a minimalistic outfit to a more busy mix of prints and colours. The website describes it as ‘understated and effortless’. When the summer arrives I will be wearing my watch with brightly coloured friendship bracelets and for the winter will be teaming it with chunky knits. Pictured above, I am wearing it with my favourite paisley pom pom scarf. I love the unusual look of my new watch, it both stands out from the norm but in a subtle way. It also feels much lighter on my wrist than a similarly chunky style of watch made from metal or plastic making it perfect for everyday wear.

JORD watches are designed to take people back to nature and away from the metal, rubber and plastic that most people wear on their wrist. They are designed using a diverse range of woods from all over the world, combining their colours and grains to create a collection of watches with each being unique. Although I couldn’t completely capture it in the photographs, the watch is handcrafted in a beautiful quality from sustainable materials.

What do you think of wood watches?

If you are in need of a new watch, I would definitely recommend checking out the JORD Wood Watches website as they have great range of styles and colours for men and women.

With warmest wishes

Timberland UK – 25% Off!

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.

waterproof canvas long shell jacket Timberland UK   25% Off!

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.

Timberland cherry mountain jacket Timberland UK   25% Off!
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.

Timberland Earthkeepers Birchmont Side zip Buckle Timberland UK   25% Off!
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.

Fix Up Look Sharp

Peach flannel and Denim crop F1.jpg 600x900 Fix Up Look SharpfulsReindeer F1 Fix Up Look Sharp
fulsPurple with purple green stripe F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

 

fulsBlack with Autumnal square F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

fulsSquare print F1 Fix Up Look SharpfulsDenim with grey flannel HH F1 Fix Up Look Sharp

fulsMFix up tshirt F1 Fix Up Look Sharp
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.

fuls Fix Up Look Sharp

I hope you are having a good week and not getting too wind swept by this dastardly weather!

With warmest wishes

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The People Tree Lulu Moon Print Dress

DSCN3111 4 The People Tree Lulu Moon Print Dress
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

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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 Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
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Timberland
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Topshop
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yoox.com
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Adini Online
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yoox.com
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Adini Online
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Natural Collection
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Marks and Spencer
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Adini Online
 Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses
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yoox.com
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Topshop
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yoox.com
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Adini Online
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Ethical Superstore
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Urban Outfitters
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Natural Collection
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Adini Online
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Braintree Clothing
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Dresses

skunkfunk sustainable sarah dress md wb Ethical Fashion for Autumn   My Top 10 Dresses The latest sustainable and ethical dresses from a range of brands

 
 

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Ethical Fashion Update – September

There are definitely lots of ethical fashion goings on this month with London Fashion Week and Organic Month also with autumn just around the corner (although the weather is still lovely and warm), lots of new ethical fashion collections to check out.

For further information on organic beauty and ethical fashion events for organic September, visit the Soil Association website. You can also check out my store for ideas on where you can buy organic clothes and more information on the benefits of organic clothes.

upstate Ethical Fashion Update   September

There have been  2 new stores that have launched online recently and I am loving. Gather & See is a lovely boutique stocking a range of ethical labels including Beaumont Organic, US label Upstate and New Zealand Label KowTow. I recently bought a top for work by Upstate from there (pictured above) which is handcrafted using traditional techniques and Small Scale Production with zero-waste.

Cadogan bodycon dress Ethical Fashion Update   September

Another store that has come to my attention is Otillie Pop which features some fab printed dresses that are handcrafted in the UK. Each piece is made to last with digital printing so that the prints last wash after  wash and with a 5 year guarantee.

italian wardrobe sale Ethical Fashion Update   September

If you happen to be round and about in London in September you shouldn’t miss this wardrobe sale organised by Veronica Crespi of Rewardrobe and MyBoodyVal, they will be selling a carefully edited selection of their outfits. From Italian labels not available in London to the UK’s finest designer talent, from Scandinavian to Japanese rarities, from vintage to upcycled one-offs and and more from ethical and sustainable brands, 200+ pieces will be availableVeronica and Valentina will greet you in person, and are looking forward to sharing each piece’s story with you. You can find out more on Facebook here.

What are you up to in September? Do you have any ethical, vintage or sustainable fashion events or goings on to share?

With warmest wishes

Ethical Fashion – My Holiday Packing List

236 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
I got back from holiday less than a week ago but after a couple of days back at work it feels like forever ago! This year I thought that I would share with you my favourite sustainable and ethical fashion pieces for taking on holiday with me. In the true spirit of sustainability, I try not to buy new things each year for holiday, after all it is only 2 weeks and I have lots of clothes. I would rather spend my money on a lovely meal at our favourite Italian restaurant where we can watch the sunsetting and the waves crashing over the rocks. I did however treat myself to a dress from Oxfam Fashion by Monsoon, just because I couldn’t resist it and I knew it would be comfy and cool for the lovely hot weather in Tenerife and a pair of flip flops because my old ones had worn out. In the picture above are a few of my summer holiday staples.

Fairtrade cotton vest tops – Marks and Spencers
Marks and Spencers have a small selection of Fairtrade cotton vest tops but they are really versatile and cool for hols. Marks and Spencers are also doing quite well in terms of ethics and sustainability as reported by Ethical Consumer.

Necklaces – Made
Made are an ethical jewellery company creating beautiful jewellery in their workshops in Kenya with a view to harnessing the talent and skills of local artisans, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training.

Cut off Jeans
Not overly inventive, but a great way to extend the life of a piece of clothing. When my jeans started to wear out, instead of throwing them away, I made them into shorts.

Friendship Bracelets
I love wearing friendship bracelets. I got these ones from a website for recycling jewellery.

Hat – Pachacuti
I love Pachacuti hats, not only do they look great and keep the sun off my face but are also helping to preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes by combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

Sunglasses – Colin Lesley Eyewear
These sunglasses are made from a combination of sustainable bamboo and recycled acetate and plastic.

Gandys FlipFlops
I wrote about the story behind the brand for Gandy Flip Flops in my last post.

Sarong
I bought this sarong nearly 20 years ago when I went on a conservation diving expedition to Belize. To me a piece of clothing that last 20 years is pretty sustainable. I love that it also  reminds me of the amazing time I had spending 2 months on a desert island in Belize.

Along with these staples, I also took some of my favourite ethical dresses most of which have been regularly featured on this blog.

096a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Monsoon

102a1 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Oxfam Fashion

192a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Earth Kind Originals

215a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List

Dress – Ruby Rocks

What do you usually pack for hols? which are your holiday staples that you take with you year after year?

With warmest wishes

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