No New Clothes – Family Celebrations and Christmas Parties

vintage dress

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?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Dress by SkunkFunk – Crete 2017

Dress – SkunkFunk
Leather belt – Handmade
Shoes – Clarkes
Bag – a gift

We decided to grab the chance for a last bit of sunshine and warmth with a trip to Crete before autumn arrives. It was the perfect opportunity for me to wear my new SkunkFunk dress which I bought earlier in the year but haven’t had much opportunity to wear with the UK weather and the practicalities of our camping holidays in Cornwall.

If you visit my blog regularly, you will no doubt be aware of SkunkFunk which is one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. When you find a brand that just works for your style, shape, size and ethics, it kind of makes sense that you keep going back. I love that the SkunkFunk collections are always feature some interesting styles, colour combinations and prints as well as some great fitting, flattering basics. For this dress it was the neckline that I loved. The dress was a little bit too full for someone of my height but I soon fixed this with this lovely handmade leather obi belt that I have had for ages, which is always perfect for giving a bit of shape to fuller dresses. I am also a big fan of monochrome as it is so easy to accessorise.

I had a lovely time in Crete, swimming, snorkelling, reading, eating and drinking far too much and enjoying some precious family time. Since arriving home, I have been really struggling to get back into the swing of things and keep warm. I have been digging out my warm boots, jumpers, hats and scarves. Look out for more cosy and warm outfit posts coming soon. Autumn always seems to inpsire me to getting cooking on a Sunday afternoon and today I will be making a big batch of celeriac and apple soup and apple cake to see me through the week.

What have you been doing lately? What are your favoruite things about Autumn?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Veja Trainers

Dress – SkunkFunk
Necklace -Ethical Superstore
Trainers – Veja

I have had these Veja trainers since my birthday back in April but I haven’t really had the chance to show them off properly. The dress and necklace were also birthday treats and have become wardrobe staples over the summer months.

I was instantly obsessed with these floral trainers the moment that I say them. Over the last 5 years, my lifestyle has changed significantly, moving from running my own business at home to working in an office and also spending a growing amount of time at exercise classes. Trainers and daps (as we call them here in the West Country) have become my footwear of choice for those rare occasions when I am not wearing workwear or gym wear. They just seem to suit my active lifestyle. Apart from a low wedge for work, I don’t often wear heels these days. I really like the fact that these Veja trainers make a bit more of a statement than a plain old trainer, making them perfect for adding a bit of interest to this plain navy dress.

Plus I am loving Veja for their transparency and commitment to sustainability…

  • Veja trainers are made from Organic Cotton. Veja buys cotton from 320 families who live from organic farming, respecting fair trade rules, allowing them to a sustainable livelihood and helping to protect this fragile environment.
  • The soles of Veja trainers include rubber which comes from wild rubber trees in the Amazon. Rubber tappers live in the forest and harvest the rubber before turning it into rubber sheets using a process called  FDL which does not require any industrial intermediary processes but allows the them to make a higher income. The growth in the use of synthetic rubber since the sixties has  resulted in landowners turning to less sustainable land uses including cattle farming and wood extraction both of which require land clearance. Use of natural rubber results in a much more sustainable management of the land.
  • Veja trainers cost more to make than conventional  trainers because of their commitment to ethical manufacture and the environment. But they still manage to keep their prices competitive by not spending any money on advertising.
  • Veja also work hard to ensure that workers in their factories are treated ethically and paid a fair wage and that they minimise the impact of their packaging and transportation.

Despite all of these things, they are first to admit that they are not perfect. There are a number of the components used in their trainers that are not 100% sustainable. Their trainers are also not recycled. But in my opinion, they are making a great start and leading the way for other brands, definitely worth supporting, when I need a new pair of trainers.

Have you come across the Veja brand before? What do you think?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Eco Undies, Swim and Fitness Wear!

One of my favourite eco fashion discoveries of late is ColiCo on Etsy! If you want to treat yourself to some new underwear that is beautifully and ethically handmade in Portugal, I really recommend this store. There is a massive selection of lovely designs to suit all different shapes, sizes and tastes. You can even pick from an array of different patterned fabrics to have your choice made to order.

I also really love the ColieCo swimwear and fitness wear with a range of different bikini styles, swimming costumes and crop top/bras, again made to order in your choice of fabrics. If you aren’t a standard size (let’s face it, who is?) you can order different size tops and bottoms. I wasn’t quite sure on sizing so emailed the owner Nicole for some help which resulted in a perfectly fitting bikini for my hols in May. I chose the palm tree print in the style pictured below.

I also treated myself to some other pieces from the ColieCo store back in April and was really pleased with the quality of both the fabrics and manufacture. This Porto cut out sports bra (pictured below) was one of my purchases. It is perfect for wearing with leggings for super sweaty summer workouts, when it is really hot, particularly on hols. They even do a pair of leggings in the same fabric, if you like to coordinate your whole workout outfit.

It is made from RPET recycled polyester fabric which helps to minimise its environmental impact. Not only does it make a really nice difference to wear a unique style and print instead of the usual sportwear brands that I so many people wearing. I also feel much happier knowing where and how it has been made. In making items to order ColieCo’s production processes focus on minimising waste and saving energy.

Next on my wishlist is the Layla sport bra (below)

Layla sports bra

I would definitely recommend checking out the store as there are so many lovely styles, colours and patterns!

This post does contain affiliate links however all items bought from this store and reviewed /mentioned in this post were bought by myself and this post contains my honest opinion. You can read more about my affiliate links here.

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Fashion Revolution Week #Whomademyclothes

fashion revolution day
Necklace – People Tree
Dress- SkunkFunk
Leggings – Thought clothing
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Furla

Today marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution Week. 4 years ago, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1138 people and injuring 2500, it became the worlds fourth biggest industrial disaster ever. But Rana Plaza was a big wake up call, any deaths in the name of fashion is devastating but this number of deaths is completely unacceptable. Since that awful day, Fashion Revolution has become a yearly event when a movement of people wanting change come together to raise awareness of the issues associated with the supply chain and to encouraging people to break their habit for buying fast fashion and to seek out more information about the clothes that they are buying. The #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign is a key part of fashion revolution week. It is a simple question that makes us think about the farmers, factory workers and artisans that are involved in making our clothes but more importantly to ask this question to brands, demanding more transparency and accountability.

I actively try to ensure that I buy all of my clothes from ethical and sustainable brands, so today I am going to ask and answer the question, #whomademyclothes?

SkunkFunk
Skunkfunk is one of my favourite ethical and sustainable brands. I think they have struck the perfect balance of fresh and timeless styles combined with great ethics and sustainable fabrics. Their clothes are made in factories in Portugal, China and India. Their website provides some great information about their makers, you can meet them here.

People Tree
When it comes to ethical fashion, People Tree are probably one of the best known brands. Their beautiful clothing makes the most of handbeading and traditional techniques to create beautiful clothing and accessories. People Tree clothing is labelled so you know where it has been made and who it has been made by. Their website also has a dedicated ‘meet the makers‘ page with lots of information about the fairtrade farmers, artisans and producers.

Veja
Veja is a transparent shoe brand that creates some amazing trainers. The trainers are made in Brazil in factories where workers are paid well above the legal minimum wage and where workers rights are well respected. You can find out more about their producers, factories and workers here.

Thought Clothing
Thought Clothing work in partnership with producers to share growth,share the same vision and create more jobs, protect wages, and develop skills as well as businesses. You can read more about their supply chain here.

Are you getting involved in Fashion Revolution Week?

With Warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Bibico Dress

Bibibo dress

Dress – Bibico
Necklace – Nomads
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens

Today marked a big milestone in 2017. First day of the year without tights! This was brought on by the arrival of this beautiful dress, a gift from Bibico, one of my favourite sustainable and ethical brands, not to mention the beautiful sunshine we have been having.

Bibico is very local to me and is based in Bath. It is a slow fashion brand with an emphasis on timeless styles, ethically made from sustainable fabrics. This dress is part of the latest collection which features some simple flattering dresses and tops in organic cotton, denim and linen with fresh stripes, checks and this lovely botanical print complemented by light weight cotton and wool knitwear for those cooler days. What I love about this collection is that it is modern but also the sort of clothing to love and keep in your wardrobe for many years to come. These pieces won’t ever go out of fashion!

Here are a few other pieces from the collection that I love

Denim dress

Bibico Khaki Linen Dress

Bibico Easy Jumper

Bibico Angie Pleated Tunic

You can check out the full collection from Bibico here.

I hope that you have had a lovely weekend. How have you been making the most of the lovely weather?


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Wool and the Gang

I was recently contacted by Wool and the Gang to see if I would like to try out one of their kits. I have to admit, I have never actually knitted before, well not since I was about 7 and that was probably with a fair amount of help from my Grandma, who was an expert knitter.

But I was interested by the sustainable approach of this brand, that advocates fashion that is #MadeUnique by a community of knitters around the world, the complete opposite to the usual mass produced fashion that is sold all over the high street. Wool and the Gang is very much about slow fashion. A hand knitted piece of clothing can’t be rushed but needs to be crafted with care. Wool and the Gang hopes to bring back knitting as a means of production for generations to come. Their real wool is an eco friendly material as it is natural and biodegradable and they also work with fashion factories to repurpose their waste into yarn and reduce landfill.

When I look at their collection of stylish but timeless patterns and chunky yarns, I can completely accept that knitting is not just for Grannies. It is for anyone. Wool and the Gang refer to their knitters as Gangstas and recognise the benefits of knitting as going beyond just fashion. They declare that knitting is the new yoga redeucing stress and anxiety, increasing creativity and memory. Knitting can even be really sociable with a ‘gang culture’ of knitting parties around the world and a online movement sharing their knits on social media. For those that just haven’t got the time or incination to knit their own clothes, there is also the opportunity for them to support other Gangstas by buying their handmade pieces.

A little pressie from @woolandthegang ! Should keep me busy for a bit #slowfashion #madeunique

A post shared by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

Anyway, after much deliberation and browsing of the website, I decided to choose the Calvin top, a crochet top to make using 100% upcycled Billie Jean yarn. I have never crocheted before but the website informed me that this project was an ‘easy’ level. I am also reassured to see that the website has a number of video tutorials to help me get the hang of it.

I can’t wait to get started and look forward to sharing my finished top. Have you ever knitted or crocheted anything? or would you like to give it a go?

Getting started #woolandthegang

A post shared by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

You can check out the Wool and the Gang Website here

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

5 Ethical Fashion Brands to Check out in 2017

ethical brands for 2017
I am wearing:
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree 
Shoes – TOMS
Necklace – MADE at ASOS
Jacket – vintage upcycled

All items listed have ethical and/ or sustainable credentials (some links are affiliate)!

Happy New Year!

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the year ahead. I had a lovely Christmas break, starting with a busy Christmas lunch at my house for 9 and ending with a really relaxing break in Newquay for New Year. I thought I would start off the new year with a little round up of some of my favourite brands at the moment. If you are making it your new years resolution to shop more ethically, I have personally bought and worn clothes from the brands over the last few years and really love them for their design and quality as well as their commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

Braintree Clothing

Braintree is a slow fashion brand making clothes thoughtfully and ethically whilst minimalising their impact on the environment. They use soft and comfortable sustainable fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and make clothes to last. Their mantra, Wear m, love me, mend me, pass me on. I am a big fan of the leggings at Braintree as well as their lovely prints and cosy colourful socks.

Earth Kind Originals

Based in Cornwall, EKO have some lovely simple and flattering styles which are perfect for relaxing in on the weekend. I have 2 different organic cotton dresses from EKO which I wear all the time because they are so lovely to wear.

Nomads

Nomads clothes feature beautiful intricate designs, prints and embroidery which are a result of their policy for creating ethical fashion using traditional and artisan handmade techniques. The necklace from Nomads pictured above was a Christmas present from my mum and just one of the lovely items that I own from this brand.

TOMS shoes

I have struggled to find a stylish, hardwearing and affordable pair of boots for work recently. TOMS saved the day though when I found the perfect pair. They have now diversified from their original range of Alpargatas and stock a wide range of footwear including trainers and sandals. TOMS are dedicated to improving lives with each purchase helping to provide shoes, sight, water and safer birth services to people in need around the world.

What brands are you loving for 2017?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Dress Down Friday

Nomads dress
Everbody loves Friday, don’t they? Not least because it is almost the weekend,but at my work, it is also a day when dress code is a little more relaxed. This week my usual Friday wear of jeans were in the wash so I decided to opt for this dress from Nomads that I I got for Christmas last year and have been looking for an opportunity to wear as soon as the weather started turning autumnal.

Nomads is definitely one of my favourite ethical clothing brands at the moment. Their fair trade clothing is made using sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and decorated using artisan techniques such as traditonal embroidery and hand crafted features including blockprinting and tie dying. The collections have a bohemian feel to them but also feature smarter and more classic knitwear pieces including fitted cardigans and ponchos.Their knitted poncho will definitely be going on my Christmas list as it can be worn in 6 different ways making it amazingly versatile.

During the children’s October half term we went to Dartmouth for a few days with my in laws. It was lovely to have a break and Dartmouth is such a pretty little town. We took a boat trip down the estaury, the girls went crabbing off the harbour wall and we ate the most amaing fish and chips at Rockfish. I would defintiely recommend Dartmouth and Rockfish for a lovely little break.

Other than that Autumn so far has involved lots of cosying up in the house. Work is super busy and the children’s social calendars packed and after upping my exercise regime to 9 classes a week, I don’t have a lot of energy for much else. I am kind of happy with this and the darker evenings have provided the perfect opportunity to do some cooking and catch on TV which I rarely get  the opportunity to watch in the summer. December already looks like it is going to be a super busy month with both work and Christmas socialising so I am making the most of lots of rest while I can!

Pottery painting. A good way to destress on Friday afternoon!

A photo posted by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

Dartmouth

A photo posted by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

A photo posted by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

Amazing fish and chips at Rockfish Dartmouth

A photo posted by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

In desparate need of a lazy weekend! Have treated myself to the organic cotton and wool socks by @btreeclothing

A photo posted by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on


What have you been up to this autumn?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

A Trip to Madrid for our 17th Wedding Anniversary

photo

It’s been a while! The end of the summer is usually super busy for me, trying to cram as much in as possible while the weather is still good. This year has been no different and in the space of a month,I have been super lucky to have had 12 days in Ibiza, a long weekend in Madrid and a walking weekend with the girls in the Gower in Wales. This hasn’t left much time at all for blogging but now as colder autumn weather arrives, I am ready to snuggle up in the house with a cup of tea and do some catching up.

I decided to declare my trip to Ibiza an outfit post free zone. I was so busy enjoying time with the family and sitting on the beach. But I did manage to take a few photos on Madrid. Mr S and I went to Madrid to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has gone so quick!

dscn5528-2

Dress – upcycled see here
Trainers – Veja (fair trade)
Socks – Braintree clothing (organic)
Bag – Accessorize

dscn5557-2

Dress – Komodo (fair trade)
Shoes and bag – as above
Necklace – Made UK (fair trade)

We stayed right in the centre of Madrid in the lovely Hotel Paseo Del Arte hotel that was a few minuted walk from the art galleries. All of Madrid was accessible on foot and we pretty much walked all of the city over the three days including the royal palace, the massive El Rastro flea market on Sunday morning and El Retiro park . I won’t lie though, we did spend quite a bit of time sat eating tapas, drinking beer and watching the world go by.

dscn5522-2

Dress –  SkunkFunk (sustainable brand)
Bag – a birthday pressy
Shoes – Geox

dscn5553-2

Dress – EDUN (a label working to build long term sustainable growth in Africa)
Necklace – a birthday pressy
Bag  – Reclaim (made from recycled rubber inner tubes)Shoes – as above

I managed to go round one of three main art galleries which was amazing. Perhaps we will go back in the future so I can check out the rest.

I hope that you have had a good summer? what have you been up to?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.