Shopping My Wardrobe

30 plus wears

Vintage poncho – Etsy
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Thought clothing

I often post about new pieces of ethical or sustaianble clothing that I have bought but the most important part of my drive to be more sustainable with what I wear is shopping my wardrobe. Ok ‘shopping my wardrobe’ is just another way of saying not buying anything at all or just wearing what I already have in my wardrobe! But I thought it might be a bit more an attention grabbing title for the post and of course a hastag on instagram.

We are facing unprecendented threats to our environment and possibly life as we know it brought about by environmental degradaation which are largely driven by consumerism.Climate change and plastic oceans are just two of the big issues that we need to address as a worldwide and as individuals. Just last week, Lucy Siegle reported in the Guardian on how, if unchecked,the fashion industry could account for 25% of carbon production globally by 2050. UK consumers sent 300,000 tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.

And yet, governement minsters have recently decided to reject propsals by a cross party environmental audit committee which included a1p levy on fast fashion and mandatory environmental targets for fashion retailers with a turnover of 36m.

We can still take hope from countries such as Denmark, which has recently cancelled Stockholm fashion week to investigate more sustainable options. And as individuals we can continue to do everything in our power (no matter how small) to limit our consumption.

Our greatest weapon against fast fashion is to shop your wardobe which is summed up so perfectly with Vivienne Westwoods phrase:

  • Buy less
  • Choose well
  • Make it last

Whilst I do very occasionally make a mistake and buy the wrong thing that doesn’t get worn very much, almost all of my clothes have been in my wardrobe for a number of years and have been worn multiple times. I have found the ‘no new clothes’ challenge that I am taking part in again this year is a great way of focussing my mind on not buying new clothes and enjoying what I already have.

The dress and leggings picture above for example have been worn at least 30 times, probably much more. I don’t feel this should be a big deal and something that needs talking about. It should just be the way it is. But whilst there is still a culture of fast fashion and clothes just bought for a few wears before being discarded, we need to keep talking about it.

In other news I am taking part in Plastic free July. I won’t lie it is not going to well so far. I am trying to find more plastic free alternatives to my usual products but there often just isn’t the choice. I am also tweet my ideas and suggestions to brands and supermarkets. Not so sure that they will take notice but its got to be worth a try. Where there are other options like the local fruit and veg stall in the market, I am taking my custom there.

How is your July going? are you taking any steps to reduce your plastic use or buy less clothes?

With warmest wishes

Single Use Plastic Free – 13 Simple Swaps

tea and cake

 

David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series really brought the issue of ocean plastic and single use plastics out into the open last year. Since then I have since other various shocking articles, documentaries and photos highlighting the issue in a way that makes it impossible to ignore. This time last year I pledged to try and cut out my consumption of single use plastic altogether.

I won’t lie, it actually turned out to be even more challenging than I could ever have expected. So many of the foods and products that we consume in our everyday lives are made of or packaged in plastic. Some can be recycled but a lot cannot. I am also suspicious that much of the plastic that we think gets recycled in reality may not.

Cutting out single use plastics can seem pretty daunting. I am just taking it one step at a time, trying to make simple swaps starting with those that will have the biggest impact. Whilst I am still quite a long way from being single use plastic  free, I think I have made quite a substantial reduction in our plastic waste. Here are my top simple single use plastic free swaps that I have introduced over the last year.

plastic free chilly's bottle

1. Refillable water bottle

This is possibly one of the easiest swaps and most effective swaps to make. A bottle of water or two a day adds up to a lot of single use plastic and quite abit of money too. Tap water is free and it really isn’t too much effort to fill it up from the tap. As I discovered on my recent travels to Copenhagen, even when trvelling, it is not difficult to find refill points at airports to avoid buying plastic bottles.

2. Reusable shopping bag

Another super simple swap that makes a big difference is a reusable shopping bag. The key to making this swap is getting in to the habit of keeping a few reusable bags in your car and handbag for those unexpected pops into the shops.

 

3. Packed lunch in reusable container

Another huge and potential daily source of single use plastic packaging is the packaging on shop bought sandwiches and ready made lunches. I prefer to make my own combining fresh salads, roast veg, cheese, nuts and a dressing for a lunch that I really look forwad to and helps get me through the afternoon. I have invested in this Slice of Green tin from Ethical Superstore which has a smaller container inside. Don’t forget to take your own knife and fork to avoid using plastic ones!

local market veg

4. Local market veg

Another big win for me has been buying my fruiy and veg from the local market. Almost all of it is naked with no plastic packaging and can be tipped straight into my reusable shopping bag. This has also been another big win on the budget point of view and costs significantly less and tastes better than supermarket veg. If you don’t have a local market, a farm shop or green grocer is a good option or possible an organic fruit and veg box scheme.
5. Soap and shampoo bars

The bathroom is another huge source of single use plastics in our house especially with so much long hair that needs washing. Liquid soaps and shampoos are almost always in a plastic bottle and it is easy to use too mcuh of them. Switching to a simple bar of soap instead of shower gels and shampoo bars for our hair has worked well in reducing our plastic waste. At the moment I am using a Lush shampoo bar which I find really good and Simple soap. We haven’t yet found a conditioner bar that works for our curly and often tangled but continue to search for a good alternative.

homemade bread

6. Homemade bread

I started off by buying fresh bread from the market in a paper bag each week but found that it didn’t last all week and worked out quite expensive. Instead we have now invested in a small breadmaker which makes just enough for one day and is super easy so we can wake up to the smell of fresh plastic free bread every morning, which makes me super happy.

homemade cheesecake

7. Homemade cakes and biscuits

Another big source of plastic waste is snacks. Cakes, biscuits and chocolate is all wrapped in some sort of plastic or film. We all love homemade cakes and bisuits much better than shop bought and all or most of the ingredients can be bought in non plastic wrapping e.g. flour, sugar, eggs, butter, chocolate. Our favourites are banana bread, chocolate brownies and victoria sponge with jam but not cream! Homemade cookies are also great for childrens lunch boxes.

homemade yoghurt

8. Homemade yoghurt

Many yogurt pots from shop bought yoghurts are made from polystyrene so not accepted by most household recycling schemes. Shop bought fruit yoghurts are also usually packed with sugar. I have invested in a yoghurt maker which makes it really easy to make lovely homemade yoghurt which can be combined with fruit puree, nuts and granola for a tasty breakfast, desert or snack.

9. Homemade soup

Soup is  a lunchtime favourite for me especially in the winter. I often take it to work in a flask for a quick and easy lunch. Making my own vegetable soups is a great way to use up any left over veg as well and means I don’t need to buy plastic pots of ready made soup. This swap is another win for a budget friendly, highly nutritious choice that also saves some pennies.

10. Paper cotton buds

This one doesn’t really need much explanation! Plastic cotton buds can easily be swapped for a paper alternative.

11. Freezer and convenience food

Whilst cooking as much food as possible from scatch generally is the best way to support a single us plastic free lifestyle, my life is busy and there are times when I need to resort to covenience food. Most convience food is plastic wrapped but I have found sound options which are packaged in non plastic options including fish fingers, frozen veggie burgers, falafels etc and potato waffles.  Eggs are also available in cardboard and great for quick meals.

12. Pasta in cardboard

Barilla pasta is available in a plastic box and has only a small film window. This can always be combined with a homemade pasta sauce or even ready made jars of pasta sauce for a superquick meal when I am in a rush.

13. Amazon and mail order

Whilst shopping from Amazon and other mail order companies has become a huge part of our lives due to its convenience, almost every single small item that you buy will arrive wrapped in plastic. I am trying to avoid this where possible by buying from a local shop.

14. Supermarket deliveries for popping to the shop

I am trying to reduce my relaince on a weekly supermarket shopping delivery. Mainly because despite my selection of ‘no plastic bags’ they still insist on packaging certain items including meat and substitutes in plastic bags. There really is non need for this as they are all stored in the same fridge without a plastic bag. Hopefully they will get their act together soon so I can return to the convenience of my weekly shopping delivery!

Have you made any swaps to avoid single use plastics? I would love to know how you are getting on or any ideas that you have!

With warmest wishes

Eco-Friendly Surf Brands

eco friendly surf brands

I can’t believe I have only just tried surfing for this first time in April this year. I have always loved water sports including sailing and diving and body boarding but have never tried surfing until then. I am now completely hooked. Not sure I can really explain it but it is completely addictive. I feel so alive when I am surfing and all my worries wash away.

So as I now spend so much of my time at Fistral beach in Cornwall, I thought it was about time I posted about some eco-friendly surf brands. It kind of makes sense that surfers should do their bit for the environment (as should everyone else!). Spending so much time out doors makes you feel more connected and appreciative of the environment and being in the sea regularly, makes you really concerned about water quality. So eco friendly surf brands really make sense but actually it can some times be difficult to find just what you want.

When I am surfing in the UK I obviously need a wetsuit but also swimwear and shorts for the beach in the summer months and warm comfy clothes to wear apres surf in the colder weather.

So here are some of my favourite eco-friendly surf brands…

Patagonia

I love the philosophy of Patagonia which is to create the best products that cause no uneccesary harm and help to solve the enviromental crisis. Their products are all about performance and are made to last. They actively encourage customers to repair and repurpose clothing once it becomes damaged or unused with their ‘worn wear’ initiative, a very different approach to most clothing companies! In fact Patagonia’s Worn Wear tour recently visited Newquay with the offer of fixing and repairing wetsuits no matter what brand they are. For wetsuits the Patagonia Yulex™ full suits are made from a renewable plant based material. They light and stretchy, neoprene free and Fair Trade Certified™. Just check out the video above for more information. They also sell a massive range of other outdoor clothing.

Finisterre

Finisterre is another outdoor brand with sustainability at its heart. It’s ECONYL® swimwear is helping to tackle plastic pollution byplastic pollution in our oceans by taking nylon waste, from carpet offcuts to discarded fishing nets, and turning it into something new and useful. Based in Cornwall, Finisterre and set up specifically for surfers, Finisterre are ideally placed to understand the performance requirements of their customers. Again their philosphy is about  creating sustainable high performance products that last. They have an inhouse repair service to maximise the life of their clothes.

At

Atlantic Surf Company

I discovered Atlantic Surf Company, a Devon based eco friendly surf brand on Instagram. The brand was started by surfers as an alternative to the mass produced surf clothing that is seen everywhere. Their clothing is screen pulled by hand, using ethically traded clothing and eco-friendly ink, with 20% of their profits going to The Wave Project, a fantastic charity that I regularly see in action on my visits to Newquay.

Rapanui towel

Rapanui

Rapanui clothing is certified organic and produced using a factory powered by renewable energy in the Isle of Wight. Founded by free diving enthusiasts, the brand has environmental protection very close to its heart and has collaborated with the Marine Conservation Society to help raise funds and awareness. Whilst they aren’t necessarily a ‘surf brand’ Rapanui clothing is well suited for anything outdoors and their tee shirts slogans are all about saving the oceans. I love their surf towels which make for easy and warm changing on the beach.

Swami’s

Swami’s is a brand new discovery for me. A brand that celebrates a lifestyle lived in nature. They strive for sustainability in their products in many different ways from organic cotton to reclaimed materials, vegetable tanning and water based inks. All of which are clearly explained on their website. Their collection features sarongs, bikinis, board shorts, tee shirts and lovely beach blankets, made in the Cotwolds. They are also leading the way in green surf boards with their use of Biofoam, which is as lightweight and as strong as any foam blank on the market. Production results in 36% less global warming emissions compared to standard polyurethane boards. When coupled with a bio-resin and hemp cloth this makes for the greenest of surfboards.

hangzen swimwear

Hangzen

Hangzen is described as swimwear designed for active and eco minded water women. Designed by Emily a surfer and surf instructor from South Devon, the swimwear is created to solve 2 issues that really resonate with me: beautiful swimwear that empowers girls by being comfortable to wear and staying on in the waves and ocean plastic pollution. The ‘surf proof’ collection is made from a sustainable techno-fabric made using a nylon yarn that has been upcycled from ocean plastics such as fishing nets and other post consumer waste plastics. The website shows drawings rather than photos of the bikinis but you can find photos on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Riz board shorts

Riz Board Shorts

Riz board shorts make amazing board shorts for men from plastic bottles which have been converted into 100% recycled and recyclable fabric. They encourage customers to return old unwanted shorts to be repaired, recycled or rehomed with a 25% for new shorts. They also support the work of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) by partnering with them at beach clean events and directly donate £1 from every pair of our shorts sold to help fund their important ongoing efforts to protect our marine environment. The prints are amazing, just a shame they don’t do a women’s version!

surfers against sewage

Surfers Against Sewage

Of course a post about surfing and sustainability wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the charity Surfers Against Sewage. Originally set up to help tackle sewage pollution which was a big problem for surfers, the charity is now also turning its efforts to plastic pollution which is one of the greatest issues facing the marine environment. It uses campaigning, education and beach cleans to make a difference to the coastlines of the UK and beyond. Their online shop features some great eco friendly tshirts and hoodies to help promote their cause as well as eco living items such as bamboo tooth brushes and refillable water bottles to help reduce plastic use.

So that’s it for now. I hope to share more eco-friendly surf brands with you as I discover them and if you know of any, please do share in the comments. Finally I just wanted to share a few photos of my happy place by the sea!

 

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Was going to go surfing and then I had wine

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Sunset bbq #fistral #newquay

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Clean Up Coffee

Clean up coffee

Clean up coffee is a campaign for recyclable coffee cups.

To celebrate the campaign and help spread the word Percol have sent me some lovely coffee related gifts which could well help me in reducing my waste.

By far my favourite out of the package was the protein iced coffee which was perfect for getting me through a 3 hour fitness session on a Sunday morning, I was genuinly surprised by how good it tasted. I would usually steer well clear of individually portioned drinks where possible because of the packaging and waste.I was pleased to learn that this packaging is fully recyclable as paper and 30% more ecofriendly to produce than aluminium cans so great for an occasional pick me up when you are on the go. It would be great if this packaging caught on for other drinks as it is also a better alternative to plastic bottles. The coffee is also organic and Fairtrade.

I virtually never buy coffee in disposable cups and for work, car and gym I always make use of a reusable coffee cup so the plastic reusable cup was definitely useful. In my quest to reduce my plastic use, gaining new plastic items does seem a little oxymoronic but on the other hand when you look at the alternative (lots of disposable coffee cup waste) it is defintiely a better option.

Coffee capsules or pods have always really bothered me. They seem to create such a lot of plastic waste for just a single cup of coffee. These plant based coffee pods offer a great alternative but as I don’t have a coffee machine, I wasn’t able to try them out.

Whilst Percol haven’t quite found the perfect zero impact packaging for their products, they are definitely taking steps in the right direction and giving consumers more options when it comes to low waste/ recyclable packaging. Their coffee is Fairtrade and they support a number of initiatives including Fairtrade Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance and the Soil Association. They are also part of Next Generation Coffee project, which helps the new generation of farmers see a positive future in coffee growing, by providing education about climate change, and offering training in growing techniques and sustainability.

If you would like to sign the Clean up Coffee petition you can do so here. The petition asks for big brands like Starbucks, Costa and Nero to be forced to clean up their act with legislative change to enforce the use of eco alternatives by 2020 and introduce recyclable alternatives, as sustainable solutions already exist!

What do you think? why shouldn’t coffee cups be reusable or recyclable?


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Single Use Plastic – An Update

plastic free

Dress and Scarf – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Po-Zu

Backpack – Brag Vintage

At the begining of the year I pledged to try and stop using single use plastics! Now 7 months into 2018, I thought it was time for a little update.

I knew when I pledged to give up single use plastics, I was possibly setting myself up to fail but I had completely underestimated how difficult it would be. Everything is wrapped in plastic  from fruit and veg to meat, shampoo, toiletries and pretty much just about everything that you could possibly buy. Moving away buying items wrapped in plastics has required a monumental change in the way that I shop.

Previously, all of my food for the week was bought online at a well known supermarket and delivered. Visiting a supermarket to shop each week is one of those activities that I consider life too short to waste doing. However the well known supermarket make it near on impossible to reduce plastic use. Even if I try and by individual pieces of fruit, guess what they put it in a plastic bag. If I buy meat already packaged in plastic, guess what they insist in packing it in another plastic bag. Disgusting!

I spent quite a bit of time at the beginning of the year looking for alternatives to my weekly supermarket delivery. The first and most successful has been the local market on a saturday which I have carried on with. I actually really enjoy going down there and feel pretty pleased with myself for the ridiculous amount of lovely fresh fruit and veg that I buy for £12-£15. The meat has been a bit more tricky. I have heard that Morrisons will put items from the meat counter into reusable boxes but truthfully, I just don’t have time to go right across town to buy meat on a weekend. I do sometimes manage to get boxes refilled from a meat van at the local market but the choice of unwrapped meat is often pretty limited. I have also tried to cut back a little on the meat we eat which helps a bit.

About a month ago I moved to a new job and started working full time which means that I have less time and do sometimes find myself falling into the convenience trap, just because I don’t have time for anything else. Once I am back from summer holidays and we start to get back into routine again, I plan to start a renewed effort to reduce plastic use with homemade snacks rather than shop bought and cooking as much as possible from scratch again.

plastic free chilly's bottle

I have however continued with making lunch in reusable containers and a reusable water bottle for work and the gym (as I always have). I find the reusable plastic bottles don’t last that well and often start leaking so decided to invest in a Chilly bottle with the added benefit of keeping my water ice cold which has definitely been a benefit over the summer months. Although fairly pricey, I would definitely recommend.

I am afraid to see after a few months of using solid shampoos and conditioners, I have reverted back to  my old shampoo and coonditioner in a bottle. Whilst the solid ones seemed ok to start with, I think they did possibly affect the condition of my hair after using them for a while. If you have found any good options for plastic free hair care, please do share.

Newquay Beach

Despite some of the set backs, I am continuing to persevere. I have also taken part in some beach cleans in Newquay with my daughter. This is a great way to get involved and encourage a responsible attitude to rubbish!

I am going to continue to research and work towards single use plastic alternatives and hope publish a full list/guide to reducing plastic here before the end of the year. I also think that encouraging brands to take a more sustainable approach to packaging via social media particularly Twitter. There are also a few organisations which are great for info on going plastic free:

Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coast Lines

Friends of the Earth

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Plastic Free July

Less Plastic

If you have any great tips to share in the comments, I would love to know!

With warmest wishes


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Weekday – Ethical Fashion

weekday

Jacket – M&S via Oxfam (Secondhand)
Tops – One Boutique (Made in the UK)
Jeans – Weekday (Organic cotton) via ASOS
Shoes – Clarks

I got this pair of black jeans by Weekday for my birthday a while back. Weekday is a fresh modern brand with some eyecatching but wearable pieces combined with some great basics including jeans in a range of colours fits and styles. I have never owned a pair of high waisted jeans before but was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and flattering they are. The prices are also surprisingly affordable and their ethics seem to be pretty good.

Weekday have a comprehensive sustainable commitment which goes beyond compliance with human rights and sets out aspirations in terms of working conditions, working enviroments and sustainability. They place an emphasis on partnering with suppliers on a journey of continous improvement towards fair and sustainable production. My jeans are made from organic cotton. Weekday are constantly looking for sustainable materials to use in their clothing and are aiming for all cotton in their range to come from recycled or sustainable sources by 2020.

Having fully read Weekday’s environmental and sustainable policies, I think they are generally a great brand to invest in for the ocassional piece of clothing when second hand is not available. However, I think it is worth mentioning that they are owned by H&M. I am not sure if this is a pro or a con. On the one hand, the fast fashion model of business operated by H&M goes against all of my values. But…their investment in trying to create large scale sustainable choices for the consumer can’t be an altogether bad thing? While second hand is always the best option, it would be unrealistic to think that we can change the buying habits of the masses completely at this time, so any thing that makes a difference goes someway to helping towards the massive issue of  unethically manufactured and unsustainable fashion.

I would be really interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below?

With warmest wishes


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P.s This post does contain affiliate links. You can read more about my advertising policy here.

Sunday Brunch Outfit

Sunday Brunch Outfit

Dress – Nancy Dee
Boots – TOMS

Last Sunday, me and Mr S had a rare opportunity for some time together so we popped into town for some Sunday brunch accompanies by a bottle of prosecco. I wore the new dress that I got for Christmas and my last new piece of clothing before starting on the no new clothes for a year challenge. Nancy Dee is one of my favourite ethical retailers, ticking all of the boxes of comfortable, flattering, timeless styles, ethically made in the UK, minimal waste and made from sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and modal. Although a bit higher price than some of the high street retailers, I look at Nancy Dee pieces as a great investment. I already have quite a few dresses and organic cotton jersey jackets that I wear all the time.

The No New Clothes for a Year Challenge Update

This time around (I did the challenge a few years back), I am hoping the challenge is going to be fairly straight forward. I think my clothes buying habits have really changed over the last 5 – 10 years. When I do buy new clothes I spend a bit more and go for items that will last in terms of quality and style. I think this has paid off as I now don’t often need to buy new clothes, my wardrobe is packedwith clothes that I never want to throw away. If I do need something, I usually find it is quite easy to find work wear or perhaps a new party dress as a treat from Oxfam online. I also treat myself to the ocassional vintage piece when I am looking for something a bit different.

Oxfam online  has become a real go to for me. As much as I love trawling the charity shops, these days, I am at work all week and just don’t have the time to get into town on the weekends. It offers a massive selection of clothes and you can quickly zone in on exactly what you are looking for using filters which include size, colour and brand. My daughter even managed to find a tweed jacket to create her Doctor Who, World Book Day outfit instead of opting for the fast fashion fancy dress alternative. Didn’t know Doctor who was a book? no me neither!

No Single Use Plastics Update

I will be honest I have had good weeks and bad weeks so far with this challenge. It has taken quite a bit of time researching to try and find usable alternatives to plastic covered products. I ams till very much focussing on food at the moment as I still have so much more to do with this. I am finding some of the changes that I am making e.g. making soup, cakes and visiting different shops really time consuming and sometimes I just haven’t had the time and have had to resort to a piece of plastic packed brocolli or ready made cakes and biscuits for the children.

I have however made one fantastic discovery, the local market on a Saturday morning. There is a fruit and vegtable stall which sells bowls of fruit and veg for a pound each. This works out pretty cheap compare to what I pay in the supermarket and the friendly chap that runs the satll is more than happy tipping the bowls straight into my reusable bag making it a lot quicking than buying individual fruit items in a supermarket. There is also a stall selling fresh bread which they will put in a paper bag for me.

How is 2018 going for you so far? have you taken on any challenges?

With warmest wishes


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Cutting Out Single Use Plastics for 2018

no new clothes for a year

Dress – SkunkFunk
Jacket – Rokit Vintage
Leggings – Thought Clothing
Necklace – People Tree
Trainers – Veja

There has been lots in the news recently about the environmental damage caused by single use plastics especially pollution of the oceans. The final episode of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 showed shocking scenes of the havoc wreaked to sealife and he has since stressed the threat to our oceans from plastics, explaining that it is putting the whole of himanity at risk.

I don’t usually bother with new year resolutions much but this year I was determined to do something to help reduce the amount of plastics that we throw away each week. I was further encouraged with this mission after seeing the pile of rubbish that we created over the Christmas break, much of it being from food.

So on January 1st, I started the new year with a plan in addition to the No New Clothes for a Year challenge again to stop using and throwing away single use plastics. I had no idea how I was going to do this but in the same way that changing to only wearing ethical and sustainable clothing, I knew it was going to take a bit of thought, online research and trial and error.

So nearly 2 weeks in and I have spent quite a bit of time thinking, researching and trialling different options.I havemainly concentrated on food to start with as I thought that this is the area where I could make the most difference.

The bad news: I don’t think it is possible for us to go completely single use plastic free. Not without being almost self sufficient. The busy lifestyle that we lead would make this very difficult.

The good news: We have already made some massive reductions in the amount of non recyclable plastic waste that we are creating.

The wins

There are some really positive changes that we have made:

  • Swapping shop bought sweet treats, biscuits and cakes for homemade options The main ingredients for these are available in paper or cardboard packaging (flour, sugar, butter eggs). It does take a bit more time but the children enjoy making them, they are much tastier than shop bought and possibly even a bit healthier.
  • Swapping ready made soup for homemade soup. In colder weather I eat soup most days for lunch and often for dinner. I tended to buy the plastic containers or cartons of readymade soup. This year I have got back to making my own soups which are also really healthy. My favourites: Leek and potatoe and Celariac and apple.
  • Buying in bulk. It’s pretty obvious really but if you buy food (or anything in bigger packs) there is less packaging. In particular, I have started buying big paper sacks of potatoes from the local farm shop rather than small plastic bags from the local super market. It also works out cheaper this way.
  • Opting for card/paper over plastic – for some products, it is possible to buy options packaged in paper and  card rather than plastic for example eggs, pasta, rice, mushrooms, puy lentils, icecream and fresh bread (instead of sliced)
  • Buying fruit and vegetables separately without plastic bags. The local farm shop and Morrisons have both proved good places to buy some fruit and veg not in plastic packaging including apples, carrots, bananas, kiwi, brocolli, peppers and tomatoes etc without plastic. I have also have also trialled an organic veg scheme with mixed sucess as some items were still in plastic bags.
  • Frozen items There are quite a few frozen items available in cardboard boxes rather than plastic. Particulary vegetarian and fish which I eat quite a lot of.
  • Reusable shopping bags I have been using my bag for life for some time but I am now being extra carefully to make sure that I always have it with me when shopping.
  • Packed lunches – not really any change here but I have always recycled plastic containers for pack lunches and filled reusable bottles with water to avoid buying packaged sandwiches and drinks. With the obvious benefits of saving money and being more healthy too.

The more tricky bits

  • Certain veg can be difficult buy plastic free. In particular cucumber, spinach, kale and lettuce. I have not completely gievn up on the idea of organic veg boxes and may try again to see if I can get a more plastic free option.
  • Meat– I have actually found it impossible to buy fresh meat plastic free. I have tried supermarkets, organic deliveries and the farm shop. All are wrapped in plastic. The local farm shop did however say that it should be ok to bring my own reusable plastic containers for them to put meat from the counter into. I hope to be able to try this out soon. In the mean time, I am buying meat in bulk to minimise packaging e.g. if I roast a whole chicken and slice for children’s sandwiches, there is much less packaging than individual packs of sliced meat.
  • Petrol- previously I have ordered all of my food in one supermarket delivery from one place. Trying to go plastic free has meant a lot more mixing and matching which ultimately means more driving around and more petrol and time.I hope to try and minimise this when possible by careful planning, bulk buying and popping into relevant shops when I am nearby.

I will update again soon with my progress on reducing single use plastics also on my no new clothes challenge in 2018.

Do you have any new years resolutions for 2018? If you are trying to reduce or cut out plastic, I would love to know how you are getting on and any tips or ideas!

With warmest wishes


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NYE 2017 – Brag Vintage

vintage dress

I wanted to share my outfit that I will be wearing for new years eve, a lovely vintage maxi dress kindly sent to me by Brag Vintage. When I was asked whether I would like to pick me something out from their online vintage store or ASOS marketplace store, I loved this dress so much I couldn’t resist it but was worried that it might not fit. I usually find that maxi dresses are far too long and vintage sizing can sometimes be difficult to judge but I was happy and surprised when it turned up to find that it fitted perfectly. The sizing on the website was spot on!

Brag Vintage pride themselves on picking out the best high quality second clothing that has been made to last. They offer it a new lease of life by selling it in their online stores with attention to detail in their listings so that you know exactly what you are buying. They classify vintage pieces as being over 20 years old so you can be sure that anything in their stores pre dates the trend for fast fashions is well made enough to have stood the test of time. They also dye, repair and customise items to extend their useful life. They have a great range which includes denim jackets, jeans, vintage jumpers, cardigans, dresses, customised denim shorts and accessories. I have already spotted a few other lovely things that I may treat myself to with money I have been given for Christmas.

The lovely people at Brag Vintage were kind enough to give me a 15% off discount code to share. Just enter  STYLEEYES at checkout!

I was especially pleased to have a ‘new’ old (vintage) dress to wear for New Years Eve as this will mark the start of a ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge for me in 2018. I  first completed the ‘no new clothes’ challenge in 2015. You can read about it in my posts:

No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year – an Update

This challenge definitely changed the way I think about shopping and it has become much more of a only to do when really needed than a pass time for me ever since. I also managed to find some amazing second hand clothes. In the last 2 years since completing this challenge, I have bought a number of hugh quality pieces of clothing from ethical clothing shop. However it is easy to slip back into bad habits over time and I don’t feel there is anything new that I need at the moment so hopefully it won’t even be too much of a  challenge. For the occasional treat, I can always buy second hand or vintage. I also have another sustainability challenge/new years resolution planned but more about that in another post.

Are you making  any new years resolutions to shop more sustainably in 2018?

Happy New Year, I hope that you have an amazing 2018!

With warmest wishes


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No New Clothes – Family Celebrations and Christmas Parties

vintage dress

The run up to Christmas is always a busy time socially but this year it is especially so for me with some big family birthday celebrations as well as the usual Christmas parties and gatherings. The perfect opportunity to get a bit dressed up but as usual this year I attempting to buy no new clothes for the party season and instead make do with what I have got!

Last weekend was a black tie birthday party. I deliberated over whether to treat myself a new dress but in the end decided I really didn’t need anything new. I have quite a few party dresses and the sad reality is that they don’t get worn nearly as much as they could. So I opted for this dress bought from a vintage fair in Bath quite a few years ago. It has a lace top with a neutral coloured net lining and a chiffon skirt. Last time I wore it was a tad on the snug side, so I was pleased and relieved to find that it fitted much more comfortably this time allowing a little breathing space after a three course meal and wine. The earrings were also from a vintage shop although looked like they had never been worn as they were in the original packaging.

This weekend has been busy too with a works Christmas meal on Friday and a family birthday lunch at the Celtic Manor on Sunday. For the works night out comfort and warmth always has to be an important consideration as I have to get the train there and back. I also had very little time to get ready after work and didn’t want to miss out on the pre dinner drinks. I opted for a safe option of my navy SkunkFunk dress with thick tights and my TOMS boots, layered with a jersey Nancy Dee jacket and dressed it up a bit with statement necklace by Nomads which you can see here worn with a summery dress.

Today, for the family meal I wore this dress from M&S, again with my trusty Nancy Dee jacket again and a vintage handbag given to me by my Grandma.

So that is it for partying and socialising until next weekend. So far I am making the most of the clothes that I have in my wardrobe and managing not to splash out on anything extra.

What do you have planned for the party season ahead?

With warmest wishes


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