Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe

0061 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
018 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
I love jewellery and can’t help but constantly refresh my collection to allow me to refresh and accessorise my outfits in lots of different ways. I try to buy upcycled, fair trade and sustainable jewellery, but it has always bothered me that buying too much costume or fashion jewellery is wasteful. It seems a real shame that such a lot of the lovely costume jewellery bought in the shops will probably end up in landfill. This is where OrnateMe a fab new website concieved by Paul Tully in response to his concern about the unsustainability of the current fashion industry and the throw away attitude driven by low cost products. He hopes that through the success of his business, he will help high street retailers to adopt more sustainable retailing models.

The idea behind OrnateMe is simple. It provides an easy way for customers to upcycle their old costume jewellery. You just need to put your old jewellery into a prepaid envelope and send it in. For each piece of jewellery that is resaleable, you recieve points which can be used towards a piece of jewellery that you would like to buy on the site. Pieces that are not resellable are upcycled.

The website also has a great selection of recycled jewellery to buy and of course I couldn’t help but have a little browse. I have been on the look out for friendship and boho bracelets to wear with casual clothes for the summer and when I spotted these two picture above, I couldn’t resist getting them. They arrived in an envelope which I can then reuse to send back any of my unwanted jewellery. I just need to make a little time to have a clear out of my jewellery collection and decide what I no longer wear.

What do you think of this idea? Do you have any jewellery to recycle and do you love the idea of getting credits to buy a piece of recycled jewellery?

With warmest wishes

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Story Behind the Brand – The Feather Tree

I have just discovered the most amazing brand whilst following the Ethical Fashion Forum Brand Preview on Twitter. Before I share the lovely story behind the brand, I just wanted to share with you some of the amazing pieces featured on their website many of which are most definitely making their way onto my wishlist!

Maasai 1 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

the feather tree 4 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

Dress Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The Feather Tree 3 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The Feather Tree 1 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather TreeThe Feather Tree 2 Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The Feather Tree was set up by Lissa and Bo inspired by their magical world filled with feathers, outrageously quirky prints, quills and skills. The brand is all about hair feathers, colourful handmade jewellery and unique clothing that combines UK trends with a contemporary Kenyan edge. Lissa and Bo saw the beautiful potential in  recycled fabrics brought from Matumba (a Kenyan Market) and traditional Masai beadwork both to create really amazing clothes and jewellery and also a seed of opportunity for people in Kenya on very low incomes. Paid per piece of clothing or jewellery, everyone involved in the manufacture benefits from every single piece sold, allowing them to supplement their incomes and build a better life. Hair feather and feathers used in The Feather Tree jewellery are ethically sourced and then dyed by Lissa and Bo.


Beadwork Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

The beaded jewellery at The Feather Tree is made by Dayvid. Lissa’s family met Dayvid and when they asked about the colourful beaded belt that he was wearing, they discovered that he had made it himself. The Feather Tree was a great way to promote the amazing talents and craftmanship of Dayvid and others in Kenya allowing them to get their products to marketplace and the chance for us in the UK to buy these beautiful and unusual pieces.

Our tailor Odayo Story Behind the Brand   The Feather Tree

Odayo is the talented tailor at Feather Tree. He was born and raised in Kisumu on the shores of lake Victoria. He has completed a 4 year course in tailoring but only got the chance to use his talents in a full time role when he was discovered by Lissa’s mum working as a gardener. The money that he has earnt has helped him to build a small house for his family and he hope to be able to continue and pay for his children’s education.

The Matuba Market started in the nineties selling good quality clothing at affordable prices that had not been sold in high streets in Europe. The market is now a thriving industry creating 1000′s of jobs in Kenya and a source of interesting fabrics used in clothes made by the Feather Tree. Locally Kenya sourced Kitenge fabrics are also used to create clothing. Instead of using plastic buttons, The Feather Tree uses coconut buttons and painted beads which are handmade in Kenya in their clothes and jewellery.

You can find out more about The Feather Tree and check out their fantastic designs and hair feathers here:

www.thefeathertree.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/TheFeatherTree

https://twitter.com/thefeathertree

Have you discovered any amazing brands with a great story to tell lately? If so please share!

With warmest wishes

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Here Today, Here Tommorrow – Made in Nepal Collection

TopPattern model03 web Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal Collection

 

Fair trade headband Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal CollectionHatBobble Navy model web large Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal Collectionfair trade small hairbow Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal CollectionToday I wanted to share Here Today, Here Tommorrow, a brand whose name sums up just what I think clothes and fashion should be about. This for me is not just about building a sustainable wardrobe (one that will stand the test of time in terms of both style and quality) but also about sustainability for the environment and the livelihoods of those involved in the supply chain. I want it all to be be ‘here today and here tommorrow!’

In keeping with the principles of slow fashion and sustainability, Here Today, Here Tommorrow not only sell their own range of  Fairtrade clothing but also run a variety of workshops including knitting,sewing and natural dying. Here Today, Gone Tommorrow is a collaborative studio shop, where they design, make, mend, showcase, sell and educate, all under the same roof, accessible and visible to all. If you can’t get over to Dalston in North London for a visit, you can also check out the online shop here.

fair trade apron Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal Collection

They have some great fairtrade, handwoven aprons and oven gloves which would definitely bring out the domestic goddess in me (if there is one!).

dress02web2 Here Today, Here Tommorrow   Made in Nepal Collection

They also stock some great pieces by Antiform. Made in Britain from reclaimed fabric.

The brand was set up by four ladies Anna Marie Hesse, Emma Dulcie Rigby, Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Julia Crew and Ines Vicente, each with their own unique experience in a variety of sustainable fashion ventures. They have a holistic approach to sustainability and believe that there is no such thing as one size fits all.

As designers they are concerned by the disposable and throw away nature of fashion, and within society as a whole. They try to address the environmental and social impacts of thoughtless production and consumption. They strive to make high quality, beautiful products that address a range of sustainable and ethical practices, including handmade craftsmanship, locality, durability, recycling, natural dye, organic materials, fair trade, individuality and transparency of production.

Check out this video for more information on the Here Today, Gone Tommorrow, Made in Nepal Colllection.

With warmest wishes


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A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up

023 A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up
Jacket – Upcycled Dressing Gown from Local Vintage Shop
Organic Cotton T Shirt by A Question Of
Jeans/ Jeggings – Oxfam
Boots – high street
Necklace – won in a charity raffle

It feels like a long time since I last posted an outfit post. Life has been pretty busy lately and I have been struggling to find time to eat and sleep never mind blog! Over the last few days my little girl has not been well which means this weekend we have all had to cancel all of our social and festive plans including 2 dinners with friends, a birthday party and a Christmas bazaar. On the plus side perhaps a lazy weekend around the house is just what we all need. I am taking the chance to catch up with a little blogging and reading of my favourites blogs plus sorting out my wardrobe. Can you believe I still haven’t got around to swapping over my summer and winter clothes yet.
061 A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up

My Christmas pressy from Mr S is a lovely Fedora hat by Pachacuti which I chose myself. I thought I ought to try it on to check that it fits and he agreed that perhaps I should just have it now to save him having to wrap it up. I haven’t had the chance to wear it out yet as stuck in the house for the next few days but hopefully will do soon. If you wanted to give someone an amazing Christmas pressy this year, Pachacuti do a great little package of a mini hat with a gift voucher so that they can pick out their own choice from the website but also have something lovely to open on Christmas day. Pachacuti have a great choice of classic Fedora in different colours and sizes but also a range of other styles. Love this idea!

Here are just a few of my festive instagrams from the last few weeks.

fairy A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up
Christmas Tree Fairy
handknitted A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up
Pressies – Handknitted  and Fair Trade Hats by Fair + True
oxfam christmas cards A Fedora and a Christmas Catch Up
Christmas cards from Oxfam

The next 2 weeks and the run up to Christmas look to be super busy with Christmas lunches, parties, school plays and carol concerts as well as the usual christmas preparations. Not that I am not looking forward to it, I love Christmas and all of its sparkliness! Definitely going to be ready for some time off over Christmas though.

What are you are you up to for Christmas, do you have any fun plans?

With warmest wishes

Upcycling – Better the Devil you Sew

I love upcycling or refashioning, whatever you want to call it! I think it is the best way to give old clothes a new lease of life and the perfect opportunity to get creative, make something a bit different to wear and of course, it is so much better for the environment than buying something new. I used to make clothes from scratch but by upcycling, you can often make something amazing in next to no time. If you are still not convinced of the merits of upcycling, perhaps that fact that it is a major trend at the moment might sway you, you can just check out the DIY section on Pinterest for evidence (and inspiration!)

Better the Devil You Sew is a new Collection at Oxfam Brighton made completely by volunteers from damaged clothes that are donated to Oxfam. Check out the video above for ideas and inspiration. It just shows what you can achieve with a few old clothes.

Do you like upcycling? please share your latest project.

BTW- you can check out my latest post for Oxfam Fashion – Our Top Picks for Autumn Winter.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

An Upcycled Lace and Floral Dress

056 An Upcycled Lace and Floral Dress

This months DIY/ upcycling challenge at Ethical Fashion Bloggers had the theme of lace. With no time to go charity shopping, I had to use something that I already had in my wardrobe. This lace top and floral dress were the the perfect candidates. I don’t really wear the lace top much as it is too see through to wear on its own and the dress being strapless had a number of issues for me including the potential for it to end up around my waist but I love the colourful floral print. I definitely feel much more elegant and safer when I wear a high neck.

0572 An Upcycled Lace and Floral Dress

So I decided to combine the dress and the top to make a high necked dress with the added bonus of a fantastic lace/ floral pattern clash slightly inspired by these dresses for AW12 at McQ Alexander McQueen.

0693 An Upcycled Lace and Floral Dress

All if did was try on the dress over the top (which I wore backwards to get the high neck) and pin it in place. The most difficult part was trying to take the dress over without injuring myself on the pins. Then I sewed along the along the existing stitching line with my sewing machine to attach the two together. I then trimmed off some of the excess material on the top underneath.

077 An Upcycled Lace and Floral Dress

This project was super simple which is great as I very quickly lose interest if something takes too long. It was the perfect rainy Sunday afternoon project and still left me time to cook up some comfort food; a great big pot of vegetable soup of lunch in the week, rhubarb crumble for after dinner and scones for my girls who just dont seem to stop eating lately.

I am also entering this post in Ta-dah Tuesday at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend despite the wet and cold weather.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Lovely Links!

Lily Cole Lovely Links!

I have been seeing so many fantastic blog posts over the last few weeks, I have decided to start sharing them with a new feature called Lovely Links. Here is what I love this week.

Summer Rayne Oakes – this model is on a (sustainable) mission - another fantastic interview in the eco fashion series at Urban Times.

When costume becomes street cred - how amazing are these doiley leggings featured on the six items challenge blog?

A New Lease of Life for Tights - who hasn’t got loads of tights stuffed in a draw somewhere. I love this fantastic idea for upcycling them by Ms Castro on a Bike (Fashion Stylist, Lupe Castro).

Interview with Vintage Vixen if you haven’t already done so, you should check out this interview that I did for Oxfam Fashion.

Remade in Leeds – this article on the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Magazine tells you a little more about their shop of the month.

Red Carpet Recycler - it is great to hear that more celebrities are joining Olivia Firth in her Green Carpet Challenge as discussed in this Vogue article.

Tomorrow is the next update on  my progress with the six items challenge. It has been a tough week now looking forward to the weekend. Hope you have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image credit - www.vogue.co.uk

The Wardrobe Clear Out

You might have seen the video I posted in the post Can Ethical Fashion Be Stylish? about a week ago by Ms Wandas featuring Veronica Crespi of Rewardrobe, London’s first Slow Style Consultancy. I really loved Veronica’s advice, particularly where she says

I tell my clients, If they can make their wardrobe look like a boutique and where everything actually fits them, they wouldn’t feel like going out and buying more

As my wardrobe is well overdue a clear out (as you can see from the image below) and I am on a shopping ban, I thought I would give it a go.

Before

0302 The Wardrobe Clear Out

Life has got really busy lately and everything has just got in a big old mess.

After

036 The Wardrobe Clear Out

So when my mother in law offered to look after the children on Saturday, I jumped at the chance to get my wardrobe organised. I got rid of anything that didn’t fit or there was no chance of me wearing, which only amounted to a few things. Then moved all of the out of season clothes and shoes into the wardrobe in my office. I put my more occasional handbags into cotton shopping bags to protect from dust and stored all my handbags in a plastic crate, neatly stacked the shoe boxes full of my less worn shoes at the back and lined up everyday shoes on the shoe rack so that I could actually find both of them when I want to wear them rather than just the one! I also made a to do list of clothes that need repairs or alternations and those that I don’t wear but could upcycle in some way.

Then I did something I thought I would never do, something I had previously considered was only for those suffering from OCD. I sorted my clothes in to colour order, starting from whites and creams, then progressing into beiges, browns, khaki, yellows and blues  then moving into the pinks, reds, bold and bright prints, dark colours and black. I also made sure that everything was hung up with just one item per hanger.

My verdict - it really does work!

Seeing my clothes and shoes laid out like this, makes it really easy to find something to wear each day. Having a clear out and arranging nicely also reminded me of what I have and gave me some inspiration for new outfits. I now really like looking in my wardrobe each morning and picking out something to wear, it does feel a bit like going shopping for something new. I particularly can’t stop looking at the clothes in the bold and bright patterns section.

So far I have managed to keep it super organised all week and have stuck to the colour order. All I need to do is get Mr Style Eyes to put a hook on the side wall of the wardrobe for me to hang my scarf hanger. This will give my clothes a little more space and make picking out  a scarf much easier.

I would definitely recommend giving this a try, especially if you struggle with finding clothes to wear in the morning or are a shopaholic. What do you think, is your wardrobe overdue a clearout?

Have a lovely bank holiday and Jubilee weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

An Upcycled Shirt

041 An Upcycled Shirt

Over the weekend, I had a really good clear out of my wardrobe, but more about that in another post. I tried to clear out or upcycle anything I didn’t wear and this shirt was a prime candidate for upcycling. I bought it in a charity shop because I loved the print so much but it was never quite right for me and I couldn’t find a way to wear it that I liked.

0681 An Upcycled Shirt

Shirt – Charity shop/ upcycled
Skirt – Second hand / upcycled

It suddenly dawned on me that it was the sleeves that were so wrong for  me. This has to be the simplest upcycling project I have ever done. I just loped the sleeves off which took all of about 2 minutes. Not a difficult descision to make when the weather is so lovely and warm and  sometimes I think the simplest things are the best! I have already found a few different ways to wear my new shirt one being the outfit pictured above.

For anyone who loes charity shopping or would like to give it a go. You might be interested to read my latest blog post for Oxfam Fashion in which I interview the fantastic El of A Thrifty Mrs.

I hoping you are having a good week and enjoying this gorgeous sunshine. Fingers crossed it sticks around at least a bit longer.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

This months DIY challenge at Ethical Fashion Bloggers was to create or upcycle a piece of clothing using your local area as inspiration. There is plenty of amazing stuff quite near to where I live but I finally decided to use Stonehenge.

stonehenge Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

Image credit

Incase you didn’t already know, Stone Henge is a world heritage site with some ancient stone creations. Whilst nobody really knows the meaning behind them, they are pretty awe inspiring. I decided to use them as inspiration for a printed design on a denim dress which I bought from the Oxfam Boutique in Bath.

075 Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

0761 Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

I picked up some fabric paints from the bargain bucket in an art shop in Bath (orange and yellow being the only colours left). I borrowed some lego pieces from my daughter to use for the printing.

082 Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

I marked out with French chalk where I wanted the prints to go.

085 Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

I then used the end of the lego to print the Stonehenge shapes and outlined in black fabric paint with a paint brush. The orange paint was far easier to put on than the yellow which just seemed to sink into the fabric.

In hindsight I should have put something between the front and back layers of the dress as a little did sink through but luckily not enough to be too noticable!

So there we have it, my Stone Henge inspired dress! If you fancy joining in with some DIY or Ethical Outfit Challenges then why not join us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers.

Sorry if things have been a little quiet over here on the blogging front lately. It was my birthday this week so I have been far too busy relaxing and indulging myself (more on that soon!)

I hope that you are having a good week!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x