5 facts to make you re-think your desire for denim

slow jeans 5 facts to make you re think your desire for denim

Jeans have enjoyed a long and varied history. Today they are considered casual attire and the skinny and ripped trend seems to dominate the catwalk. However, once upon a time, durable denims were the staple choice of workmen across the western world.

Jean companies today strive to replicate this ‘authentic’ look. The process of pre-fading, dyeing and even tearing denim has destroyed the enduring quality of jeans.

We reveal five alarming facts about the Jean industry:

1. Deadly Denim

Ever wondered how your Jeans get their pre-worn look? Sand particles are used to blast jeans with a jet of air. Campaigners brought our attention to this deadly practice which can cause lung silicosis, if workers fail to receive adequate safety measures.

Since the campaign, many high street retailers have banned sandblasting in their production cycle. These include M&S, Arcadia, Primark, New Look, H&M and Calvin Klein.

2. Alarming Water consumption

It takes around 11,000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans. The production process includes growing cotton and wet processing such as dyeing, treating and washing the fabric which all proves thirsty work.

Levi’s, the pioneers of the pre-faded blue design, have reacted to criticism and launched Water

3. The Problem with Cotton

As discussed above, cotton requires a lot of water to grow. However, the problem with cotton is not restricted just to the issue of water consumption. Only 2.4% of agriculture land is planted with cotton. However, it accounts for 11% of global pesticide sales. These pesticides which are used to kill cotton pests can also seriously damage farmers who come into contact with them. Ethical Fashion Forum (http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/pesticides) states that between 1 and 3% of agriculture farmers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning. This figure translates into between 25 million and 77 million farmers worldwide. Symptoms of the poisoning range from vomiting to death.

These appalling figures highlight the necessity of naturally grown cotton. Unfortunately, the sale of fair trade cotton dropped by 38% in 2015. Ethical Consumer’s research into Jean retailers confirms this decline as none of the brands in our shopping guide (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing/jeans.aspx) use fair trade cotton to produce their jeans.

While fair trade cotton currently appears to be in decline, the growth in use of GM and toxic-free organic cotton keeps us optimistic. For example, Jean brand, Nudie have achieved its target to use 100% organic cotton in its denim.

4. Lagging behind

Our recent research into Jean retailers (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing/jeans.aspx) confirms that Guess and Diesel, two of the most popular Jean companies, have received shockingly low results in our ethical shopping guide.

Many clothing companies have accepted new initiatives to improve supply chains and have committed to the use of more sustainable materials. However, both Guess and Diesel have kept quiet about supporting new efforts to make a fairer fashion industry that respects its workers and the environment.

5. Overseas production

Clothing production in the UK plummeted in the 1990s as financially focused companies outsourced production overseas to sweatshops with low wages and poor working conditions.

Prior to this transition, Cardigan in Wales, was recognised as a leading Jeans manufacturer. Dewhirst produced Jeans for a number of companies such as M&S. However, when M&S jumped on the immoral bandwagon and moved production to Morocco, the factory was left derelict.

We welcome an exciting new brand, Hiut Jeans, which has brought Jeans production back to Britain and specifically back to Cardigan. This company, which ranks in our top 5 ethical Jean retailers, uses organic cotton and prides itself to ‘make the best jeans we can and not the most jeans we can.”

These 5 facts reveal that some of the most recognised Jean retailers on the high street are failing their workers, consumers and the planet.

For ways in which you can prolong the life of your favourite pair of jeans, head to the Ethical Consumer website for our piece on ‘Slow Jeans’.

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/fashionindustry/slowjeans.aspx

This post was written by Georgina Rawes of Ethical Consumer magazine

Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

bag Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

I have been admiring the amazing carnival collection ethical leather bags by What Daisy Did for a while (since I wrote this Story Behind the brand post in fact). So when Daisy contacted me to see if I would like to pick one out to review I jumped at the chance. Not only are the bags vibrant and colourful but also ethical and upcycled making them them the perfect treat for me during my year of no new clothes.

I picked out the Lucy bag was just the right size big enough room for my essentials but small enough to carry around and pop under my desk at work. I loved the structured feel to it which meant it keep everything neat and there was no chance of anything falling out.

What I loved most about the bag was the mixture of colours which has got me plenty of compliments already and is great for adding a bit of interest when I have opted to play it safe in a boring black or neutral outfit. Each bag is unique in both colour and finish but when you are ordering you can ask for a photo of the available options so that you can pick out the exact one that you would like. The bag is lovely quality and is made from upcycled leather pieces with great attention to detail, it even has a cute hedgehog keyring with it, which I have attached to the strap.

The bags are made in India providing an income for about 60 families many of which lost their jobs with the trade shift to China. Tailors are paid a fair commission with a living wage possible withing normal working hours. Flexible working from home with tools, machinery and electricity provided allows workers to fit their work around other commitments such as parenting and university. The bags are made from locally sourced offcuts of leather and lined with end if roll deadstock cotton that would otherwise be wasted.

DSCN4777 2 Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

DSCN4771 3 Ethical Leather Bag Review: What Daisy Did

Upcycled ethical leather bag – What Daisy Did
Organic cotton dress -Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton jacket – Nancy Dee
Organic cotton leggings – Braintree Clothing
Vegetable tanned leather boots – Dream in Green
Necklace (fair trade) – Made UK

What Daisy Did have a great selection of styles including satchels, backbacks, holdalls, laptop bags and weekend bags in both the colourful Carnival collection and the more neutral colours of the Forest Collection which are handmade from naturally tanned goats leather. The are also surprisingly affordable!

You can see the collections and learn more about the story (and ethics) of the brand on the website here: www.whatdaisydid.com

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

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Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

susiebubbleweb Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

Blogger Susie Lau of Style Bubble takes TRAID’s Pledge in support of #Secondhandfirst Week, 23 – 29 Nov

Secondhand First Week

Next week is Secondhand First Week, an annual event orgaised by TRAID celebrated with events and actions that show how second-hand helps to conserve the worlds valuable resources and reduce landfill. See the TRAID website for lots of fun events going on or to see how you can take TRAID’s #Secondhandfirst Pledge to source more of your wardrobe second-hand rather than new.

IMG 0455 Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

Christmas Jumpers
Over 300 million pounds is what Love Your Clothes, a campaign by WRAP has estimated will be spent on Christmas jumpers this year. With Christmas jumpers usually only being worn a few times over the festive season upcycling an existing jumper is a far more sustainable option. In order to encourage upcycling of Christmas jumpers this year Love Your Clothes are running a 12 jumpers of Christmas competition with a sewing machine and subscriptions to Reloved and Simply Sewing Magazine up for grabs to the winning entry. You can find out how to enter and tips on upcycling jumpers on the website here.
#GreenFriday
Black Friday just around the corner, but I will be doing my own thing this year with #GreenFriday. Join me by Tweeting your fun and eco friendly alernatives to Black Friday. You can read more in my post why I am shunning black friday in favour of #greenfriday on the Huffington Post.
I hope you are well and staying warm! I am now 2 thirds of the way through my diploma, just one more module left to go before I can get back to regular blogging. See you soon.

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

DSCN4445 2 Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in ValenciaDress – People Tree
Shoes – Veja

It feels like a long time since I have been able to post and I have really missed blogging! Apart from holidays sailing with my family in Valencia and camperanning with Mr D and the girls in Devon in August, I have been super busy at work, launching a new blog and also doing a CIM diploma in digital marketing in the evenings. I am now nearly a third of the way through my diploma and whilst it is super interesting and I have learned a huge amount, I can’t wait to get back to blogging adn relaxing a bit in the evenings.

The dress picture above was one that I bought from People Tree a year or so ago but could never quite get on with the sleeves. As I didn’t have many casual dresses for my sailing holiday, instead of buying something new, I decided to take the sleeves off. I am really glad I did, the dress feels like a better style for me now. Valencia is an amazing place and lovely and hot in august, with sleeves, this dress would have been too warm. Of course I didn’t actually wear this dress for sailing, I wore a much more practical shorts and t shirts for that but the dress was perfect for sitting out on deck in harbour or going out for a meal. Here are a few Instagrams of my summer.

iow Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Drinking cocktails in the Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Valencia Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Beautiful Valencia

devon Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

Camping in Devon

woolacombe devon Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

 

Woolacombe Devon

I am really pleased to have started writing for Huffington Post, my first post is about the no new clothes for a year challenge, you can check it our here. I am hoping I am going to be able to write some more posts about sustainable fashion too.

Whilst we are already in October, it has been lovely to have a little bit more sunshine, I have been trying to pop out at lunch time every day to enjoy it. How have you been enjoying this lovely weather?

I am looking forward to a little bit of time off this weekend and the chance to catch up with my favourite blogs.

With warmest wishes

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No New Clothes for a Year – An Update

DSCN4281 2 No New Clothes for a Year   An Update

Dress – Monsoon
Leggings – People Tree
Bolero – Marks and Spencers

I thought that I would give a quick little update on my no new clothes for a year challenge.You may well recognise the dress that I am wearing in the picture above. It is one of my holiday favourites and I have had it for at least 3 years, possibly even more. I think that one of the benefits of not buying any new clothes for a year is that it really makes me appreciate the clothes that I already. I love this dress too much to only wear it on hols. The other big benefit is obviously the money that I save and the fact that I am being kinder to the planet.

So far I am over half way through and it hasn’t been too bad at all. I have bought a few second hand and vintage pieces and had a few things for my birthday but have been pretty busy so haven’t had much time to think about shopping. If I am honest, I haven’t done the upcycling, mending that I had hoped due to lack of time either.

Maybe once or twice I have almost given in and bought something in the sales from one of my favourite ethical brands. A quick look in my wardobe to see the many clothes that I have has helped me to  resist. I have also resolved to try and lose a bit of weight to make sure that all of the clothes that I have really fit me properly.

Have you ever considered buying less clothes, what do you think would be the most difficult bit for you? Do you have any clothes in your wardrobe that you love but don’t wear enough?

With warmest wishes

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People Tree Sale and an Extra 10% Off

It’s that time of the year again! The People Tree sale is not only the chance to grab yourself a lovely bargain and piece of clothing that will look amazing for many years to come but also a good opportunity to support an ethical brand that (in contrast to many fashion brands) is making a really postive to the lives of People around the world.

This year People Tree have been kind enough to give me a discount code for an additional 10% off sale items for all of my lovely readers.

Just enter CERISALE10 at checkout.

The People Tree sale helps to generate the resources needed to place the orders for next year. Allowing the Fair Trade artisans working on the next seasons collections to be paid.

Here are my favourites in the People Tree sale:

tabitha colour block dress 65e5f586562e People Tree  Sale and an Extra 10% Off

The Tabitha colour block dress looks like a really flattering and easy to wear piece which would work well for either work, casual or with a statement necklace for the evening.

becca broderie dress in eco white 9dcfa864a04d People Tree  Sale and an Extra 10% Off

I love the freshness of this Becca Broiderie white dress with the pretty detailing. Being 100% cotton makes it lovely and cool for the warmer weather. It is also available in black.

palm tree tee in beige 3f40104bf1ba People Tree  Sale and an Extra 10% Off

The bold design on this organic cotton Palm Tree tee shirt reminds me of sunshine. It is perfect for wearing with jeans or shorts on holiday.

madeleine dress in black b461ecebc4e7 People Tree  Sale and an Extra 10% Off

 

This Madeleine dress is super glamourous with the high split. I would wear it for evenings out on holiday or at home.

Have you spotted anything that you love in the People Tree sale?

I was really pleased to be featured in the bloggers do summer feature in the People Tree Eco Edit online magazine. You can check it out here.

I hope that you are having a good summer?

With warmest wishes

The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies

DSCN4182 a The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies
DSCN4184 a The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies

Cardigan – People Tree
Top – Braintree Hemp
Jeans – Oxfam
Necklace – Ayala Bar
Shoes – Ethletic

It’s been a while! actually almost a month since I last posted. Things have been crazy here (but fun!) camping trips, childrens birthdays, the launch of a project that I have been working on for ages at work and lots of assignment deadlines for the course that I am doing, the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. I just haven’t managed to find a minute of time although I have been desperate to share the beautiful birthday presents that I was given back in April.

The tassel bag is by a brand called Owen Barry which is based just down the road from me in Street, Somerset. The company has been established since 1948 and still manufactures everything in the UK in the same West Country factory using skins from sustainably sourcesd skins from Britain and Europe. The bags are handcut and stitched from leather or suede that has been tanned in rigorously controlled tanneries with all effluents disposed of in environmentally friendly ways. Interestingly and rather topically for today (being the first day of the Glastonbury Festival), the brand have teamed up with Emily Eavis, daughter of Michael and organiser of the worlds most famous festival to design a bag that is ethically sourced as well as being both mummy and festival friendly. A proportion of the profit from the sales of this bag will go to preserve Glastonbury Abbey. You can check out the full festival range including the TNG collaboration with Emily here.

ayal bar The Tassel Bag and Other Sustainable Birthday Goodies

The necklace which was also a pressy is by Israeli Artisan designer Ayala Bar. Her jewellery is handcrafted and influenced by the beautiful and unusal materials that she works with as well as her cultural background in Afghanistan. If you like colourful and unusual jewellery, I would definite recommend checking out her website www.ayalabar.com.

Finally I recieved a bamboo top by Braintree Clothing, one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. Not only are their clothes beautifully laid back and so comfortable to wear but they also wash and last well. They are made from sustainable fabrics like hemp and bamboo.

What have you been choosing to wear in this glorious weather, now summer has finally arrived?

With warmest wishes

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What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

wdd1 What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

I have just discovered another lovely ethical fashion brand, What Daisy Did that not only creates some pretty amazing bags but also has a great story to tell. the brand was founded by Daisy and Ozric who have spent a number years working at festivals and were shocked by the amount of waste left and the disposal lifestyles of those who left tents, wellies, clothes and camping equipment. The bags are designed to last and made from recycled leather that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Their bags are about slow fashion with timeless styles and a protest against synthetic and disposable fashion.

Daisy What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

The bags are made by two brothers in India Pinu and Manish who also source the materials which come from waste scraps and end of rolls from surrounding factories. The leather for the Forest collection is tanned with sunlight and vegetable oil, it is sourced from small scale and commmunity farming in Bangladesh. This is a much healthier alternative both for the environment and those working in the industry.

60 families inclusing both men and women are involved in making the bags, Many were tailors that lost their jobs in the trade shift to China. All of the tailors work from home which is 60km from where the brothers live, they are paid a fair commission making it possible for them to make a living wage within normal working hours but the flexibility that they are offered also allows them to study at universiy or look after children. Three master tailors are also responsbible for creating the templates of the bags twoof which are  studing art at university.

Every last scrap of leather is used with any leftovers being sold onto a jewellery company.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the carnival collection.

 What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

 What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

 What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

The colours are amazing and I can definitely see these bags looking great at a festival. But who doesn’t need a bit of colour in their  life all year round.

With warmest wishes

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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