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.

Ethical Fashion Brands to Follow on Instagram

I have been pretty busy lately and whilst I haven’t had as much time for blogging as I would like, I have found Instagram to be really convenient for posting stuff and getting inspired. I have also started to discover some great ethical fashion brands to follow on Instagram and love the stories that they have to tell. Here are just a few of them.

Nomads clothing features some of the inspiration behind their beautiful prints as well as their clothes and a narrative of how they are made.


Patagonia’s feed features interesting photographs from the great outdoors.

Sweet Pea-ton. Have a great weekend everyone, we’ll see ya out there! Photo: @mhansonphoto

A photo posted by Patagonia (@patagonia) on


Veja features photos of life from an interesting angle plus shoes.

REFLECTION Symmetry vs. Asymmetry / Abraxas, Noisy Le grand #veja #vejashoes ?: @vincentdesailly

A photo posted by VEJA – OFFICIAL ACCOUNT (@veja) on


Gather and See is a carefully curated collection of ethical and sustainable clothing. Their feed features pictures of clothes and life.


Madia Matilda is a British brand specialising in luxurious upcycled and sustainable fashion.

Lacey Solutions #madiamatilda #lace #cute #fashion #girl #tshirt #style #grey #madeinBritain #white #casual #outfit #adorable

A photo posted by M a d i a & M a t i l d a (@madiamatilda) on


Ikat Official – I have fallen in love with these shoes and seemly never tire of seeing more pictures of them!


Sessun – the feed for this French sustainable fashion brand features clothes, photo shoots and beautiful stuff.


Luva Huva sell gorgeous ethical lingerie and lounge wear but their feed features lots more than this.


That is just a few of the ethical fashion brands that I follow on Instagram. You can check out my account here to see more.

So here is a bit more of what I have been up to over the last few weeks via Instagram.

Camper van kitty, think she wants to come camping!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Had a little visit today from the kitten next door!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Post work out dinner!

A photo posted by @styleeyes on


I hope you are having a great summer. Do you follow any amazing brands on Instagram that I ought to know about?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Farm Festival 2016

festival fashion

Headress -handmade by Little Wings
Fairtrade cotton top- Marks and Spencers
Shorts – upcycled
Scarf – vintage
Bag – not sure (really old)
Fairtrade Necklace – Made UK

On the weekend we went to the Farm Festival in Bruton. It was a bit of a last minute decision after another festival we were going to was cancelled but I am definitely glad that we did. It was probably one of the most chilled out festivals I have ever been too and the views were stunning.

Whilst there weren’t any big name acts, there was plenty to keep us amused samba bands, an acoustic tent, workshops,a main stage, a soul train and DJs until 4am (if we managed to stay up that late). The campervan field was a minutes walk from the main festival which was great as it made life a lots easier.

Of course I used the opportunity to wear some of my vintage clothes, which with the amount of time spent at work and the gym lately don’t get as much use as I would like. Obviously a festival is also always a good opportunity to wear some glitter and fun stuff like my feather head dress which I bought years ago but still love.

fest

Dress – vintage
Boots – Minnetonka
Feather headress by Little Wings

vintage

Top – vintage
Shorts – upcycled
Boots – as above

Festival headwear #festivalfashion

A photo posted by @styleeyes on

Are you going to any festivals this year or do you have recommendations for good festivals to go to for next year?
With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Charity Shop Outfit and Festival Survival

charity shop outfit

charity shop outfit

DSCN5239 (3)s

Dress – Oxfam
Denim and leather waistcoat – Oxfam
Beaded bag – People Tree
Boots – Minnetonka
Feather necklace and bracelet – presents

Wooden watch – JORD

Last weekend we went into town for food and I decided to wear some of the charity shop outfit that I recently treated myself to from Oxfam. I have been trying to limit the amount of new clothes that I buy but when I got some money for my birthday, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a few charity shop items to refresh my wardrobe. I managed to buy 5 new dresses and a denim waistcoat for under £90. Whilst buying from Oxfam online is not neccasserily quite as cheap as buying from a high street charity shop, it is still significantly cheaper than many fast fashion shops and the quality of the clothes is much better (if you choose carefully). There is also an amazing selection of clothes and the online search facility makes it really quick and easy for me to find what I want by searching by item, size, colour, brand and decade for vintage. Also, I really want to support the vital work that Oxfam do around the world and buying second hand is a more sustainable option than buying new.

The denim waistcoat has leather panels and I love it for layering over lots of different dresses but thought it went well with this white dress for a layered boho look. It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some more wear out of the Minnetonka boots that I got for my birthday. Lady decided to photo bomb, she definitely loves being the centre of attention!

Finally summer has arrived and Glastonbury this weekend signals the beginnng of festival season. I am not sure where I am glad or sorry not to be going to Glastonbury this with the traffic and mud, I think our old campervan, Roberta would definitely find it a challenge. We do have a few other options up our sleeve for the summer though. If you have never been to a festival, I would definitely recommend it, it is a lot of fun and there are so many different options to choose from. You can check out the Festival Survival Guide that I have just written for Oxfam Fashion here.

What are you doing this weekend? Have a lovely time!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Holiday in Calabria, Italy and Buying Less

buying less

Dress – Frank and Faith
Shoes – Geox
Bag – Stella and Dot

Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Calabria, Italy. We stayed at the Club Med Napitia resort which was a totally amazing place. A beautiful beach, flowers everywhere, loads of activities to do including exercise classes, sailing, archery and tennis, shows and dancing every night, really delicious food and drink and really amazing staff that made us feel incredibly welcome. I was really sad to come home!

Of course with so much going on, I didn’t manage to get many outfit photos except the one above. The clutch bag was a birthday present from my friends at work. I had never heard of Stella and Dot but was really pleased to see on their website that they have a very comprehensive social responsibility policy. All of the clothes that I wore apart from the bag, a new bikini and pair of flipflops were clothes that I have had for a number of years and have been featured on this blog multiple times which got me thinking about holidays and buying less.

Every year when I go on holiday there is a strong temptation to buy new clothes. Not sure why the temptation to buy clothes for holiday is so great as the summer in the UK seems to be fairly short and holiday only usually last a week or two. I do usually manage to  rationalise and stop myself from buying lots of clothes for holiday so I thought that I would share a thoughts and ideas on buying less and sustainably for holidays.

  • Pay slightly more for high quality summer clothes that will last for years to come.
  • Avoid very on trend looks that are likely to look ridiculous in a years time.
  • At the end of the summer, wash, iron and carefully pack away summer clothes with moth balls/ repellent to stop them getting eaten.
  • Have a full review of what I have before buying anything new as it is easy to forget when you haven’t worn it for a year.
  • Sustainable fabrics are particularly good for summer as organic cotton and bamboo are breathable and cool to wear.
  • Look out for fair trade accessories also often features intricate embellishments and are great for adding a bit of colour and interest to a summer wardrobe.

What do you think? Do you find yourself buying lots of new clothes for holidays? Do you have any tips to buy less?

Here are a few of my holiday instagrams

13269313_1632296540427339_700151185_n

13266937_1737559673196622_1762264825_n

13259114_993506080741163_1891520801_n

13256835_1598626013798893_1877648815_n

13269373_554268021400509_1012947347_n(1)

13266854_723052041169273_1096771083_n

13267467_1774395076180992_1087386139_n

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

Marks and Spencers dressDress – Marks and Spencers
Earrings – People Tree
Bag – vintage (Oxfam I think)
Shoes – Geox

Not long to go until Fashion Revolution Week and I thought I would get involved by asking Marks and Spencers, #whomademyclothes?

Just before Christmas I won an award at work and got to choose a £50 voucher from a high street shop to recieve. I generally consider Marks and Spencers to be one of the most ethical and sustainable options on the high street and on popping into Bath decided on this dress as it has such a comfy and flattering cut and will work well for both in and out of work for the spring and summer.

I was quite surprised to read on Morale Fibres that M&S had scored just 5 out of 20 in the Ethical Consumer Scorecard. It was explained that the score was largely as a result of the companies wider ethics and sourcing policies and did not apply exclusviely to its clothing. This did however prompt me to think about whether I should be asking more of Marks and Spencers and how ethical their clothing is, so I did a little research.

On the plus side Marks and Spencers have shown themselves to be committed to improving their sustsainability through their Plan A through which they provide detailed information on their website including exactly what they have and haven’t achieved. Amongst the achievements of Plan A so far are:

  • 32% of their cotton coming from better cotton initiative, fair trade, organic or recycled sources.
  • They have trained more than 652,000 workers in general merchandising supply chain since 2010 covering employment rights, health and financial literacy.
  • Global Sourcing Principles now cover a wider range of human rights issues. Launched on Human Rights Day in December 2014, They are now working with their suppliers to help them meet these requirements.
  • They have established a community Global Community Programme to benefit people in the key regions of the world where M&S products are sourced to strengthen the resilience of communities and security of supply by 2020 e.g. 8000 have been trained in Kenya and South Africa for the Emerging Leadership Initiative and the Project Hope Health Programme in Cambodia which has laready benefitted 14,500 workers.

Ethics and sustainability are never going to be a simple matter for such a large retailers with such a complex supply chain and there is no doubt that Marks and Spencers are making some really postive improvements.

My dress  is made in Turkey, so I looked for further information on factories used by Marks and Spencers in Turkey. There isn’t much information available on the M&S website.

I have since read about the use of Syrian refugee children in clothing factories in Turkey. Marks and Spencers have not been implicated in any way or found to be using child labour in their supply chain. But they were asked by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), a non-profit organisation that monitors company ethics, about their Turkish suppliers and their strategies for combating the exploitation of Syrian children and adults. Marks and Spencers didn’t answer this questionaire but you can read their response here.  I feel like I would like to know a bit more.

So I am asking the question, Marks and Spencers #WhoMadeMyClothes?

I will let you know if I get an answer.

FR_week_orange

Fashion Revolution Week is on 18th-24th April and there are lots ways that you can get involved from asking your favourite brand #WhoMadeMyClothes to making your own haulternative video. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know more about who has made you clothes?

You can find out more on the website fashionrevolution.org

FRD_impact_makers_square

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Paguro Upcycle Necklace Review

Paguro Upcycle Feather Necklace

I was recently contacted by Paguro Upcycle a Nottingham based brand selling accessories made from recycled and upcycled materials to see if I would like to review an item from their website. All of their products are made by artisanal producers in Cambodia, Indonesia and the UK with each enterprise aiming to support their local communities by offering fair working conditions and wages, as well as other benefits such as free daycare for their employees’ children.

Of course, I jumped at the chance, to try something out, as they seem to be the perfect mix of ethics, sustainability and style, with unique and individual pieces that are certainly very different to what you would find on the highstreet. What’s not to love?

feather necklace

It didn’t take me long to decide on this feather necklace which is made from recycled inner tube. I already have a clutch bag made from inner tube and I love how it looks. The detailed feather cut from the inner tube makes for a real statement piece which is great for adding interest to a basic outfit like this M&S Fairtrade cotton vest top which I am wearing with some skinny jeans  from Oxfam. I loved the quality of the necklace with a magnetic clasp making it really easy to fasten. I have already worn it a few times. I think it would look really good with a high neck simple white or colour top which would really show it off the detail of the feather.

This necklace is made by Sapu, a creative collective, based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga, comprises a diverse range of talented people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists, most of whom originate from central Java or Australia. They aim to make use of the world’s abundant and unwanted man-made materials, using recycled tyre inner tubes, army tent, plastic bottles and magazines to create something beautiful. By doing so they hope to inspire environmental change by changing attitudes of those that come into contact with their creations. I think this necklace is definitely a conversation starter which is great to get people talking about both sustainability and style.

The Paguro Upcycle website also features fashion accessories by Smarteria, a social enterprise taking inspiration from the streets and markets of Cambodias capital, Phomn Penh. Traditional Cambodian weaving techniques are used by artisans to create bags in elaborate designs using repurposed netting and carrier bags. Smarteria aim to make a positive difference to the lives of their employees through living wages, benefits and progressive working practices.

What do you think? Do you like interesting accessories? If so I would definitely recommend checking out Paguro Upcycle.

Have an amazing weekend!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.