Stylish Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Pollution

Backpack by Timberland Thread

As I mentioned in my last post, I have recently read a few articles that have really concerned me about the levels of plastic usage and pollution and its impact on both the environment and humans. Plastic packaging in particular has an incredibly short useful life most often being used just once, sometimes in the case of plastic bags for just a few minutes before being discarded but it persists in the environment for much longer and is having a catastrophic effect on the environment, particularly marine habitats.

If you would like to find out more, you can watch Plastic Oceans, the film here. It is a documentary which puts the scale of the problem into context, showing how in the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre, researchers found more plastic than plankton!

So I thought I would put together a list of ways that I can help to reduce plastic pollution and thought it was worth sharing for anyone else that shares my concerns and wants to do something about it.

Resuable shopping bags – never go out without them!

I have a reusable shopping bag but the biggest challenge is to ensure that I  always have it with me when I need it! This is one the simplest changes that you can make that will make a huge difference. Just get yourself a reusable bag that folds up small and take it with you in your handbag wherever you go. A backpack also makes a much more comfortable alternative to a plastic bag.

Don’t use drinking straws

Drinking straws aren’t essential, they aren’t even important, so just avoid using them. I the US they use 5 million straws a day. I don’t have the figure for the UK but whatever it is, reducing it will help reduce plastic pollution, another quick and pretty easy win for the environment.

Reusable boxes and bottles for packed lunches and drinks

Making your own lunch and taking your own drinks to work might seem like hard work but it will save you loads of money and allow you to make healthier choices. It will also cut down on the amount of plastic waste that you create. Ethical Superstore have a good range of containers for transporting your lunch in style.

The bathroom cupboard

Tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, face washes and tooth pastes may help to exfoliate and leave you sparkling clean but they are also a big problem for the environment. Look out for ingredients like “polypropylene” or “polyethylene”! Switching from disposable razors to reusable razors will also cut down your plastic usage. If you want to buy beauty products from a brand that actively minimises its packaging, check out Lush, with the added benefit that their products smell amazing!

Plastic fashion

Manmade fabrics are also damaging to the environment. Look out on the labels for polyester, nylon and acrylic, all of which don’t break down and persist in the environment. The are also made using nonrenewable resources (oil) and an energy intensive processes. Natural alternatives such as organic cotton, hemp, silk, wool and tencel are all better alternatives for the environment.Second hand is also a great option as it doesn’t involve use of virgin materials. You can find lots of brandsselling natural and upcycled materials in my ethical fashion brand directory.

However if like me you find that sometimes you need clothes that are easy to wash and dry and don’t need ironing, there are some brands creating clothing from recycled polyester which is also a great alternative.

Timberland has recently teamed up with Thread for a collection of shoes and bags made from recycled bottles.

Patagonia Active Bra

By using PCR fleece and other fabrics made from recycled polyester, Patagonia has saved in excess of 86 million plastic bottles from landfill.

Pol

Polyester raincoat by SkunkFunk

Skunk Funk use recycled polyester in their clothes and use eo packagaing and tagging. Read  more here

M&S use polyester extracted from recycled plastic across their womenswear, lingerie, menswear, childrenswear and homeware ranges. Read more here.

There are probably lots more brands that are doing their bit for the environment by avoiding synthetic fabrics in their fashion, minimising waste and utilising recycled materials.If you know of any or have any tips for reducing plastic pollution, please comment below!

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Fashion Revolution Week

DSCN4980 (3)s

DSCN4974 (4)sDress – Nancy Dee
Jacket – charity shop
Shoes – Dream in Green
Bag – What Daisy Did

Today is the start of Fashion Revolution Week! A time when consumers around the globe ask #whomademyclothes? and a movement of ethical fashion advocates and campaigners come together to raise awareness of unethical practice in the fashion industry and work towards change.

As part of the Ethical Fashion Bloggers, Fashion Revolution round up, I wanted to share this outfit which I think fits particularly well with the principles of sustainable fashion described by Vivienne Westwood as ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.

The jacket is from a local charity shop and the fun print immediatley jumped out at me. It makes a great alternative to a plain black jacket. The dress is from one of my favourite  brands, Nancy Dee and is ethically made in the UK from organic cotton. The shoes are made by Dream in Green, another favourite brand of mine with a great selection of shoes and boots made ethically from vegetable tanned leather. Last but not least, my colourful handbag is ethically made in India by What Daisy Did using upcycled leather. You can read more about the brand in my post here.

Last week I asked #WhoMadeMyClothes? of high street retailer Marks and Spencers here. No answer yet but I will keep you posted and let you know if and when I get answer. As a consumer, it can be difficult to find out and understand exactly what brands are doing to ensure sustainability and ethics in their supply chains which is why transparency is so important. Fashion Revolution have just launched a transparency index in partnership with Ethical Consumer which improving social and environmental standards and how much of that information they share with the public you can download it here.

Fashion Revolution Week

If you like the idea of a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry, there are lots of ways you can get involved. Visit the Fashion Revolution website to find out more.

What will you be wearing for Fashion Revolution Week?

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.

Upcycled Interiors

We are in the process of making a few improvements to our house and so I have been thinking about decor and definitely want to include some upcycled interiors. We are having a bit of a change round of rooms. We are creating a new spare room so that we can have family to stay and instead of sharing a study with Mr S, I am going to be also using the spare room for my study for admin, studying, blogging, sewing and possibly some other creative projects. This means that I will have my own space to decorate as I like so the opportunity to make it look a bit different to the other rooms in the house. I love the idea of using upcycled interiors not only because it is more sustainable than buying new but also because I think they will give the room their own unique character. I am also on the look out for a colourful and comfy chair for the lounge and possibly some decoration for our new eating space (kitchen / diner)

upcycled dresser

I love this upcycled dresser from I Love Retro at Not on the High Street.

original_vintage-1950s-bartolomew-chair-in-chance-velvet

This reburbished 1950’s cocktail chair by Galapagos on Not on the High Street looks stunning and really comfy. The fabric is designed by British designer Parris Wakefield.

vintage mirror

Irish Barn on Etsy has some lovely retro homeware pieces including this lovely vintage mirror.

vintage curtains

Oxfam have a good selection of vintage curtains which you can browse on their website. I love these 1950’s waterlilly curtains!

retro chest of drawers

This mid century chest of drawers from Upcycled Retro on Etsy is a fun way to add a bit of extra storage to a room.

Original Hyatt Dining Table

I love the look of this Hyatt Canning Dining Table from Little Tree Furniture it would be amazing in my new eating area.

Would you consider upcycled interiors?

I hope you are well and enjoying the run up to Christmas! I am looking forward to a lovely relaxing break. What do you have planned over the festive season?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Secondhand Style Update and #GreenFriday

susiebubbleweb

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

Secondhand First Week

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

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

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

What Daisy Did: Story Behind the Brand

what daisy did

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

Daisy

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

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

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

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

what daisy did

what daisy did bags

slouch bag

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

With warmest wishes

An Upcycled Fashion Show

DSCN4054 (2)
Hat – Pachacuti
Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags

On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.

Bristol Fashion Week

upcycled fashion show

 

Upcycled fashionIt is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.

I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.

Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.

I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!

With warmest wishes

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Heart Prints – Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special

If you can’t wear a cute heart print outfit on Valentines Day then when can you wear one? But actually, I think heart prints are pretty classic and easy to wear making them a great find in a charity shop any time of the year. Here are just a few of the lovelies that I have spotted in the Oxfam online shop.

Not only is charity shopping really thrifty with many of these lovely pieces costing less than a tenner but shopping in Oxfam also helps to reduces clothes waste, has much less of an impact on our beautiful world than buying new and helps a very worthwhile charity at the same time, it is just about the ultimate in guilt free shopping! In case you are worried that your order won’t fit or suit you, they also have a 21 day return policy(except wedding dresses or overseas returns), which makes it pretty to easy to shop with them.
Heart print shortsHeart Print Shorts by River Island – Size 12

Heart trousers
Vintage Heart Trousers by Richard Shops – Size 28″

hearts 4Red and Gold Heart Blouse Size 12

heart print top
Black and Red Top by M & S Size 8

blue Blue knee Length Dress by Next – size 14

skater dress
Skater Dress by Tofu Size 8

If none of these pieces take your fancy, why not try updating something that you no longer wear with some DIY upcycling. I love this tutorial for a DIY ripped heart tshirt or this DIY heart on your sleeve projector check out this very cute heart chain stitch for embellishing just about anything.

Hearts, how will you be wearing yours for Valentines Day? on your sleeve perhaps? Whatever you do, have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year

I am perhaps a little late jumping on the band wagon but I have decided to take up the challenge, which has already been taken up by a number of other bloggers, for ‘no new clothes for a year’. I am hoping that it won’t be a particularly tough challenge as I have as many clothes as I need and I love vintage clothes and charity shopping. I am still going to write about ethical fashion brands for the blog but my outfits (and all the clothes that I wear in general) will be clothes that I already have plus the occasional ‘new’ vintage or second hand pieces. It will also be made much easier by the many places to go for tips including:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

If you know of any more no new clothes blogs or posts please let me know in the comments.

I will also be using the ‘No New Clothes for a Year’ challenge to introduce a greater focus on buying less and second hand clothes to this blog and hope to be posting more DIY / upcyced fashion posts to this blog as well as a weekly ‘thrifty Thursday’ feature. I hope to get the challenge off to a good start by having a massive clear out of my wardrobe and sorting out a pile of clothes to mend, alter and upcycle.

My ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge will have a few little get outs though. I will if I need to buy new underwear and fitness clothes as these are not things that I would be happy buying second hand, but for these I will of course try and stick to my usual principles of buying from ethical and sustainable brands. And of course presents don’t count because it would be rude not to accept a pressy but I won’t active encourage anyone to buy me anything new as a present and if asked will suggest second hand or vintage choices.

So there I have done it! I have committed to no new clothes for a year. Are you doing any sustainable or  fashion challenges this year?

With warmest wishes

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#Secondhandfirst Week and an EFB Outfit Challenge

Seconhand first week

Coat- secondhand
Scarf – Oxfam (upcycled with pompom trim)
Jeggings – Oxfam
Top – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Clarks

Next week is #SecondhandFirst week, a event organised by the textile recycling charity TRAID to celebrate all things secondhand while committing to using more of our existing resources, rather than buying new. It will be marked by a week of events, workshops and initiatives between 17th – 23rd November in London.

But even if you don’t live in London, their are tonnes of ways that you can get involved, not least by wearing all or some secondhand clothes for the week and taking the #SecondhandFirst pledge to commit to buying a percentage of your clothes secondhand  and keeping clothes and other resources in circulation for longer by lending, swapping, mending and donating, visiting your local charity shop, running your own clothes swap.

Over at Ethical Fashion Bloggers we are also running a #secondhandfirst outfit challenge to create an outfit containing some or all secondhand clothes. You can see my outfit for the challenge above which features a pair of jeggings from Oxfam, my latest buy, a parka from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and a silk scarf from Oxfam which has been upcycled with a pompom trim. The chair I am sitting on is also made from recycled saris.

I will also be trying to wear as many secondhand pieces next week and will hopefully share them via Twitter and Instagram. Quite a large proportion of my wardrobe already consists of secondhand clothes but from now on, I am commiting to try source more second hand instead of new (when I need to buy something).

Will you be wearing anything secondhand next week? Do you have any great tips for buying secondhand clothes?

With warmest wishes