A few weeks ago it was my birthday so I decided to treat myself to a little trip up to London with my eldest daughter. We met up with Faye my best friend of 27 years for Dim Sum at Ping Pong followed by a wander round the Tate modern. Living a distance apart and both so much going on, I don’t get to see Faye nearly as much as I would like but when I do it is always just like old times again. Getting to a girly day out with my daughter is always a treat too. It was interesting to see the Tate modern although I will have to admit I was pretty puzzled by what is classed as art. It was great to see some of my favourites like Picasso and Monet there though. What can I say, it was an amazing birthday, I hope I don’t have to wait until next year to do it again.
I decided this trip would be the perfect opportunity to wear my lovely hat from Pachacuti, despite Mr S warning me that it was pretty windy out. Just as he warned a sudden gust of wind managed to flip my hat right off my head and much to my daughters amusement, it went rolling off down the street with me in hot pursuit shouting “stop that hat” to a slightly bemused looking passerby. Anyway I managed to catch the hat and I my daughter finally managed to stop laughing. The moral of the story ‘don’t wear you favourite hat on a windy day’ or ‘always listen to what you husband says’ but i’m so not going to do that!
I treated myself to the Ethletic baseball boots form Ethical Superstore with some of my birthday money. They are easily one of the most comfy pairs of shoes that I have ever owned and I know I am going to wear them loads. Ethletic is an ethical fashion shoe brand that make fair trade baseball boots using organic and Fairtrade certified cotton, the rubber soles are FSC certified and sourced responsibly, and the rubber is fairly traded.
Here are just a few instagrams of my birthday
Birthday flowers from Mr S
Flowering tea and pud at Ping Pong (my new favourite things)
A cake sale at work to raise money for upcoming TrekFest in the Brecon Beacons
What have you been up to lately? Have you had any weather related clothing catastophes?
Dress – SkunkFunk Leggings – People Tree Glitter shoes – TOMS (available here) Clutch bag – Junky Styling Earrings – vintage shop
Here is an outfit that I wore for the birthday party of a very good friend a few weeks ago. The dress is by SkunkFunk and I wear it with either tights or leggings depending on the occasion/ temperature. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you will have probably seen me posting about SkunkFunk before. It is definitely one of my favourite sustainable fashion brands. I treated myself to the TOMS shoes for spring as I needed a new pair of casual flats, I hope to write a review about them very soon. The bag was a reward from project that I funded on Kickstarter.
Now spring has finally arrived, I am pretty much flat out keeping up with all of the plans that I have been making throughout the colder months. We have decided to upgrade our camping this year with the addition of a cute little caravan, an Eriba Puck and can’t wait to get out and about and using it.
I have also signed myself up for TrekFest where I will be walking 27 miles across the Brecon Beacons in aid of Naomi House childrens hospice, a charity that has provided a huge amount of support to members of my family. The hospice has recently launched a the Caterpillar appeal to raise the 4 million pounds needed to refurbish the hospice. If you would like to donate, you can do so through my Just Giving page here. I have already begun training with an 11 mile (uphill walk) last weekend. I have been spending quite a bit of time online researching which clothing/ equipment to buy for the trek and which brands are most sustainable. I hope to share my findings soon.
This weekend looks to be busy with lots of fun things planned? What will you be up to and what plans do you have for the spring and summer?
Coat – very old (not sure where it is from) Striped Tunic – Seasalt Cornwall Leggings – People Tree Shoes- Melissa
Last week was half term for the children so we were treated to a week in Bude by my Mother and Father in Law. We had the most amazing house which I think may have been Edwardian and was decorated with some lovely attention to detail. As it was very windy especially on Monday the beautiful bay windows including one in our bedroom and one with window seats in the lounge were perfect for checking out the amazing view of the waves on Crooklets Beach whilst keeping cosy and warm indoors.
We did get out and about despite the weather and even went to the beach one day. On Halloween the children insisted on dressing up all day. I can’t believe I actually went out with the devil horns on but eventually had to take them off before going for a pub lunch (amazing crab sandwiches, washed down with a few lagers) as they were giving me a headache (the horns not the lager!).
Whenever I go to Cornwall, I always see the huge attraction of Seasalt Cornwall clothes. They are so perfectly suited for the wet and windy weather being both relaxed and cosy to wear. I bought the striped tunic in the outfit above about a year ago from Seasalt Cornwall and I wear it loads as the organic cotton that it is made of is so thick, warm and comfortable. This top is still available along with lots of other amazing striped tops from Seasalt Cornwall on style-is.co.uk.
Here are a few more photos and instagrams from last week!
1. Our holiday house in Cornwall 2. An elephant table lamp in the above 3. Our spectacular bedroom in our holiday house 4. Knitted swimwear from years gone by in the museum at Bude 5. A sea view from our bedroom window (my dress by People Tree) 6. Some new cushions to brighten up our old sofa, made in Britain. 7. Halloween fizzy treats 8. Halloween horns!
What have you been up to over the last week? hope you werent too affected by the bad weather.
Who doesn’t love a competition? When I saw that Braintree Clothing, a really amazing brand was running a competition for fashion bloggers, I really had to enter. I discovered Braintree’s latest collection when I received a brochure after the EFF Source Summit last week and instantly fell in love with the relaxed boho collection in dreamy shades for summer.
The picture above was my final choice of outfit for the competition, although it has taken me quite a while and many different combinations to finally make up my mind. The outfit is called Feel Good Fashion (of course) and includes the Dove Tree Cardigan because I love the floaty voile on the lower half, the Dakota May Slacks and Lantana Marika Top because I love the combination of prints and the Shilai Necklace and Bibaka Bangle for a little boho glamour.
If you would like to enter the competition, you can find out more here and if you like the look of Braintree Clothing you can enjoy 10% off when you enter the promotional code BLOGGER10 at the checkout until 21/07/2013.
I hope that you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Jacket – charity shop Pearl Necklace – vintage T shirt – A Question of Longer tshirt (layered underneath) – New Look Leggings – People Tree Shoes – Melissa
It is fantastic to see Independent Fashion Bloggers project for this week is about sustainable style. For such an influential organisation in the blogging community to be encouraging bloggers to post about sustainable fashion is really great and I am sure will help to get lots of people thinking.
Anyway of course I wanted to take part. so here is my entry for
What Does Sustainable Style Mean to Me?
I studied Environmental Life Science at University so have always had an interest in the environment but my interest in sustainable fashion really came about a year or so after I started fashion blogging.
As I immersed myself in a world of fashion and clothes which quickly changed from being just a hobby to a job, I started to buy more clothes just because I was exposed to so many different clothes on a daily basis and I wanted them. It suddenly dawned on me how wasteful it was to keep buying clothes that I really didn’t need and often didn’t even wear that much. I started looking for new ways that I could be creative with my style but without buying too many clothes. As I started to wear more charity shop clothes and explore sustainable fashion brands, I also came across many ethical fashion brands which were making a really positive difference around the world and felt inspired to choose clothes which not only had a minimum impact on the environment but also helped people in many different ways.
Sustainable style for me is about
Looking and feeling good – of course we all want to look good in our clothes but knowing that my clothes have had a positive impact on someone’s life makes me feel good too. My clothes are partly what gives me confidence and allow me to express my identity. Fortunately for me the concept of sustainability fits well with style because I find buying high quality clothes that will last always looks better than fast fashion.
Minimal impact on the environment – I think that buying less clothes that will last is key to sustainable style but I also minimise the impact of my clothing by buying second hand clothes where possible, avoiding dry clean clothes, mending and upcycling, looking for clothes made from sustainable materials including organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and recycled fibres. I also buy clothes that have been locally made and look for companies that have an overall commitment to minimising their environmental impact.
Ethical manufacture – exploitation is not a sustainable practice and for fashion to be sustainable, it should also ensure a sustainable livelihood for those involved in its manufacture.
Whilst many people may regard anything ‘sustainable’ particularly style as a bit boring, I think about it as exactly the opposite. To me sustainable style represents a way of exhibiting my own unique and personal style with quirky and usual vintage and charity shop clothes, luxurious fabrics, high quality and well made clothes, innovative styles, intricate detail (often found on fair trade fashion), bright and bold prints and something a little different from generic ‘fast fashion’, that will make me stand out from the crowd.
Sustainable style means so many things to me – a means of creative expression, a force for change in the world and a way of preserving our world and future, a hobby and also a job.
What does sustainable style mean to you?
With warmest wishes
P.s. If you haven’t already, please enter my sustainable outfit competition for fashion bloggers over on style-is.co.uk. There is a £100 shoe voucher to be won!
One of the most common objections that I hear from people about choosing to shop more sustainably for their clothes is that it would cost more and there isn’t as much choice. In the past this may of been the case but now, I think their is a huge range of choice of ethical and sustainable fashion for all budgets ranging from luxurious designer pieces right through to more affordable fashion. In many ways sustainability and frugality go hand in hand. Here are my tips for greening your style for spring on a budget.
Buy Less, Choose Well
OK, I stole (or borrowed) this one from Vivienne Westwood but it really does sum up the easiest way on how we can become more sustainable, and save money too. Check out what you already have in you wardrobe, what you need or want. I always try and assess any clothes for value before buying by working out how much I am likely to wear them. I think about when I could wear them, what in my wardrobe they would go with and how long they are likely to last in terms of style and quality. I always try and wait a few days before buying to make sure that it is something I really want.
Cash In On Clothes That You Don’t Wear
Spring is the perfect time to have a good clear out of your wardrobe and any clothes that you no longer wear may be worth some money. You can try selling them through ebay a website like musicmagpie.co.uk or bigwardrobe.com or even take them to a clothes agency if you have one nearby. A newly organised wardrobe will also make it easier for you to find something to wear in the mornings and know what you already have to avoid buying more of the same.
Shop for of Sustainable Fashion with Discount Codes and in Sales
If you really can’t afford to buy from a sustainable or ethical fashion brand, you can look out for discount codes for sustainable fashion. The high quality and timeless styles of most of these brands will usually make them a really good investment. As most of the styles won’t go out of fashion, you should easily be able to find something amazing that is relevant for spring in the sales. Here is a quick summary of the sales and discounts at style-is.co.uk at the moment.
Charity shopping has to be one of the most fashionable ways to shop at the moment. It is fun, frugal and eco friendly. The best thing is that you never know what treasure you are going to find and then you can use it to create your own unique outfit. If you don’t have time to trawl the local charity shops, Oxfam Fashion online is a fantastic place to shop. You can search by size, style, colour and brand to find just what you need and there is also a good selection of vintage clothes.
Arrange a Swap Party
If you are really broke arranging a swap party is the perfect way to refresh your wardrobe for spring on a budget. Grab a bottle of wine, some friends with a pile of clothes they no longer want and swap away to your hearts content. The feeling of getting something new from a swap is as good as buying something new and you get a fun evening with your friends into the bargain. If you don’t have enough friends or you are all different sizes, you could try going to an organised swap party, there are lots listed on swishing.org.
If you need something to wear for a one off event, then the simplest option can sometimes be to borrow it. An informal arrangement with friends is great but you can also use the pinkmothballs.com app to help keep track of exactly what you have borrowed from and lent to people. For a special occasion, there is also the option to hire a designer dress from websites like Girl Meets Dress and Wish Want Wear.
Please feel free to add any more ideas you have in the comments below.
Happy Friday, hope you have a lovely weekend.
With warmest wishes
Image – Peacock Dress by Ruby Rocks at Fashion Conscience
I have been blogging about (and wearing) ethical fashion for the last few years and whilst it is some thing that I strongly believe in, I have in the past felt a little on my own amongst not just the fashion blogger community but also often friends and family. Many of the events that I am invited to just don’t seem to relevant to my blog or the clothes that I wear. I have also wondered how seriously people take my blog, perhaps considering me to be slightly eccentric because I have never stepped foot in Primark (well not in the last 20 years anyway) and refuse to buy from Topshop
I am really starting to wonder if there is a sustainable fashion revolution starting to take place. Of course there have always been a hardcore of eco friendly and sustainability enthusiasts, charity shop and vintage addicts and make do and menders, but recently I have noticed not only a growing number of fashion blogs dedicated to sustainable style but also lots of fashion bloggers posting about related topics. Thrifting, swapping, buying less and upcycling, the results of which can be seen on outfit sharing and street style websites, all sit well with sustainability whilst also being very fashionable at the moment as well.
But it’s not just the bloggers that are talking about sustainability and fashion. Today, something happened that I really didn’t expect. H&M hosted a panel at Vogue headquarters about, guess what? ‘sustainability and fashion’. Before you condemn it as an act of green wash to promote their latest Concious Collection, I really did get the impression that H&M are really starting to take it all quite seriously (check out the video above for yourself). Putting aside my concerns over whether fast fashion could ever really be considered sustainable or ethical, I was pleased to see that H&M have dedicated the homepage of their website to promoting the Concious Collection and the live stream of the panel discussion. Definitely a step in the right direction and a high impact way of raising awareness amongst their customers. The panel featured Jasmin Malik Chua of Ecouterre, Bruno Pieters of honest by,Scott Mackinlay Hahn from Loomstate, fashion consultant Julie Gilhart as well as Helena Helmersson, global head of sustainability at H&M; Catarina Midby, head of fashion and sustainability communications at H&M. It was moderated by Simon Collin, the dean at The New School for Design at Parsons.
H & M have also taken the unprecedented (for a fast fashion chain) step of publishing their supplier list. Don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of issues, which have been well explained in Leena Oijala’s post for Ecosalon here. But things are definitely moving in the right direction no?
Over 400, 000 people have supported Greenpeace’s recent campaign’s to detox fashion. It had some really amazing results with brands like Zara and Levi’s committing to clean-up their supply chain and products. People (well some people anyway) are showing that they really care and the brands are starting to listen.
Image from www.fashioningchange.com
I have also seen some fantastic sustainable fashion brands and retailers popping up. Of course my own sustainable fashion website features about 140 innovative ethical and sustainable brands ( I never even realised there were that many!), many of them very affordable. There is also the much talked about Honest By, the worlds first 100% transparent company which launched in January. Brand founder and designer Bruno Pieters also just happens to create some pretty amazing fashion which I would definitely recommend checking out. Both Modavanti and Fashioning Change are also playing a key role in educating and increasing choice and accessibility of ethical and sustainable brands in the US.
And then there are the celebrities who are well known for their ability to influence fashion. Livia Firth and her Green Carpet Challenge has not only glamorised sustainable fashion, something that might have been considered distinctly lacking in glamour in the past but also got us all talking. Such a fantastic way to raise awareness. Dame Vivienne Westwood (pictured above) is an active campaigner for climate change and could not have summed it up better when she advised us to “Buy less, choose well”, a simple but high impact message that is sure to have reached many people.
And in the press, recent fashion weeks saw plenty of coverage of sustainable brands. Diesel recently celebrated their collaboration with ethical fashion brand EDUN by teaming up with Grazia Magazine to host an intimate dinner for bloggers. In the US Adriana Herrera, founder of Fashioning Change, has her own column in the New York times dedicated to ethical fashion. This years Vogue Fest also features a talk entitled ‘Can Fashion Change the World?’ and features Dame Vivienne Westwood, Livia Firth and Katherine Hamnett. I can’t wait!
I realise that fast fashion is still a big issue and that we have a long way to go. Also that there will always be those people that just couldn’t care less. But more than ever before, I think there is a revolution starting to happen.
So what do you think? are things moving in the right direction? do people really care less? or am I just stuck in my happy little ethical fashion bubble? I would love to know your thoughts or experiences.
I hope that you had a lovely Easter. My was fairly relaxed if uneventful filled with walks in the freezing cold, lots of good food, wine and watching films. Never mind that we didn’t go camping as we usually do at Easter, at least we were warm!
I am running another sustainable fashion outfit competition over at style-is.co.uk, with £100 of Spartoo vouchers up for grabs for the winning entry. Spartoo have a fantastic range of eco and ethical shoes including Timberland, Swedish Hasbeens and Dream in Green.
The competition is the perfect opportunity to show off your sustainable style and inspire others at the same time. All you need to do is make an outfit which includes at least one sustainable piece of clothing or accessory (or though more than one is even better). You can make the outfit in real life and take a photograph of yourself wearing it or create it using something like Polyvore. This could be a vintage, second hand thrifted or upcycled piece some thing by your favourite ethical brand. Full details of how to enter the competition can be found here.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to have sustainable style, you may be surprised by some of the amazing ethical brands that you find to create your outfit with. I would love to see your sustainable outfit and hope you will enter the competition.
I think that collaboration is probably the biggest opportunity for ethical and sustainable fashion brands at the moment to get themselves out there and recognised for how amazing they are with the added bonus that the brand they collaborates with get to find out a bit more about sustainable fashion. There is certainly plenty going on with sustainable fashion collaborations at the moment and I wanted to share some of the interesting ones that I have come across.
The newly launched DIESEL + EDUN collection features raw, untreated denim with a reinterpretation of the four-pocket jean of the 1970s popular on the streets of South Africa forming the basis of the collection. It also features Malian textile prints, embroidery details reference traditional Zulu weaving patterns and Kenyan metal work. The collection aims to engage a global audience and create awareness of the creative opportunities in Africa and build sustainable trade with the continent through fashion. Both brands already had programs in Africa DIESEL’s Only The Brave Foundation project in Dioro, Mali and EDUN’s Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI) in Uganda. After touring each others they decided to join forces with DIESEL + EDUN for even greater impact. They also developed the concept of Studio Africa – a Tumblr for a new generation of creative talents from across the continent. The campaign features nine artists in fashion, film, music, literature, and photography; individuals with both talent and a deep commitment to their respective countries and people.
The Pinko for Ethiopia Collection is a collaboration between Italian brand Pinko (obviously!) and Fashion for Development (F4D) , a global awareness project that seeks to nurture economic growth in the third world through the power of fashion. The collection which focuses on ‘awareness and renewal’ features some bold and bright print jumpers some with contrasting sleeves and one which clashes 2 leopard prints. There are also some great shopping bags which I would definitely be proud to be seen out with.
Gucci have now joined up with Livia Firth to launch a new Gucci Green Carpet Challenge Handbag Collection that is produced legally in the Brazilian Amazon and is assured not to contribute to deforestation. You might not have realised it but two thirds of the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is caused by cattle ranching. The collection was a result of Livia introducing Gucci creative director Frida Giannini to the National Wildlife Federation and the Rainforest Alliance, which provides certification to cattle farms based on environmental and social justice criteria, as well as the ethical treatment of cattle. The collection launched at Paris Fashion week with three styles featuring bamboo tassels. Each comes with a Gucci GCC “passport,” which documents the origin and traceability of the bag.
Last but most definitely not least (in fact one of my favourite brands) comes People Tree. They are now old hands at fantastic designer collaborations and for SS13, they have some fantastic printed dresses and tops by both Orla Kieley and Peter Jensen. I can’t quite make up my mind which I like the best but at the moment am swaying towards the Orla Kiely Daisy Hear Dress. Actually I have another People Tree Orla Kiely dress in the same style but a different print. It is super flattering and easy to wear.
What do you think of these collaborations? would they make you more likely to buy ethical/ sustainable fashion?
I hope you had a lovely Valentines Day. Here is new (old) red dress that arrived just in time from Oxfam online. Although I didn’t go out for Valentines Day as we didn’t have a baby sitter, I think it is important to make an effort after nearly 14 years or marriage, hence the red dress, a rare night off work, a bottle of fizz and the meal for two from Waitrose for me and Mr Style Eyes.
For anyone that lives in London that reads the Metro, you may have seen an article with some sustainable style tips in Tuesday’s edition. That is me at the bottom of the page next to Livia Firth! I was really excited to get a mention for my sustainable fashion website style-is.co.uk and really honored to be featured amongst some of sustainable fashions most inspirational people. You can check out the whole e-edition of Metro here, it also features an interesting interview with Bruno Pieters of Honest By on page 32.
Today is the start of London Fashion Week, whilst I can’t actually be there, I am really looking forward to hearing about everything that is going on. It looks like this is going to be a great season for ethical and sustainable fashion. You can read a post that I wrote about Liora Lassalle winning the Estethica Veolia Re-Source Competition.
If you are going to LFW, have fantastic time, if not have an amazing weekend.