An Upcycled Fashion Show

DSCN4054 2 An Upcycled Fashion Show
Hat – Pachacuti
Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags

On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.

DSCN4064 s An Upcycled Fashion Show

DSCN4062 s An Upcycled Fashion Show

 

DSCN4070 s An Upcycled Fashion ShowIt is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.

I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.

Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.

I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!

With warmest wishes

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Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful Spring


the braintree clothing thoughtful10 challenge Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful Spring

I am loving the new Braintree clothing collection for spring which features some super flattering tunic style dresses, drapey cardigans, bohemian skirts and slouchy trousers. The unique prints and patterns are inspired by spring blooms, Japanese inspired florals, patchwork and classic stripes. Fabrics include soft organic cotton and bamboo jersey which are both cool and comfortable to wear, sustainable hemp and ethically produced wool. They also use recycled polyester, tencel made from recycled wool and rayon, all more eco friendly alternatives to conventional cotton or synthetic fabrics(made from petro chemicals). Having bought clothes from Braintree clothing in the past, pieces which still now feature in my wardrobe and every day outfits, I can vouch for the beautiful quality of the clothes.

They also have a fab new website design with the Bthoughtful blog full of ideas and tips on style, living and being.

If you are planning a super chilled out and ‘thoughful’ spring and summer (I certainly am), Braintree clothing have the perfect choice of clothes to wear!

Rhona Rae Spotted Skirt Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful SpringThe Rhona Rae Spotted Skirt – For sitting in a sidewalk cafe, watching the world go by, drinking cappacino and catching up with friends.
rosa brook floral dress Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful Spring
Rosa Brook Floral Dress – for summer festivals!

Esmay Bea Paisley Dress Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful SpringEsmay Bea Paisley Dress -For a pub lunch with the family in a pretty little country pub.

Paris Stripe Tunic Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful SpringParis Stripe Tunic – For walks by the seaside with plenty of fresh air and an icecream.

Zinnia Plaid check skirt Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful SpringZinnia Plaid Check Skirt – For picnics in the park on a lazy afternoon.daska Braintree Clothing for a Thoughtful Spring

Of course life isn’t just about getting out and about, we all need a little down time and Braintree clothing has a lovely new collection called Braintree Be which features  super comfy but stylish clothes that you won’t feel ashamed to pop out to the shop in. Perfect for relaxing on the sofa after work or on weekends or a chic choice for a yoga or pilates class. These are just the sort of clothes I love to wear post workout.

Braintree Clothing have kindly offered readers of this blog a lovely 10% of when they use code STYLEEYES10.

What do you think of Braintree Clothing? and how are you planning to chill out and enjoy yourself this summer?

With warmest wishes

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Thrifty Thursday – Upcycled Hair Accessories

upcycledtie Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
For today’s Thrify Thursday post, I decided to share an idea I have for upcycling an old tie. It is super easy and only takes a minute so I have decided to create my first ever YouTube video to show how I did it. Whilst I have enjoyed making this video, I am not sure it will be a regular thing, in fact this may well be a one off!

Whilst I love wearing scarfs in my my hair, they can be a little bit flimsy and slip out of place. I find that a tie makes a much better hair accessory as it stays in place better. I also love the variety of bold patterns, rich colours and glossy silk fabrics ties are made from.

It was pretty easy to make. As you can see from the video, you just pull the tie under your hair and tie at the top. Then tie in a bow and loop the loose end back through the centre of the bow once or twice. It took me a few attempts to work out exactly where to tie it to get the right size bow. You can make the bow bigger or smaller depending on how flamboyant you would like to be.

DSCN3998 31 Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
Dress – Ousider
Necklace – Made UK
Tie – Oxfam

And here is the finished look (which I accidently edited out of the end of the video).

This probably has to be one of the thriftiest posts that I have ever done as it costs nothing to borrow a tie out of your mans wardrobe, if you can get away with it. Mr S wouldn’t let me near his ties but I did happen to have a few lovely silk ties which I bought from Oxfam to make silk dyed Easter eggs. When they arrived, I loved the patterns so much that I decided they were too good to chop up and dye eggs with so I am keeping them to put in my hair instead. They also make lovely belts to wear with dresses.

Oxfam have a fabulous selection of silk ties including vintage and designers ones. I am lusting after all of the Liberty prints ties in their online shop!

I hope you are having a lovely week, mine has been pretty tiring so far. I can’t wait for the weekend.

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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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