Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: December Edition

Merry Christmas! What a fantastic year it's been, with amazing progress being made towards a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry by brands, designers and customers all over the world.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Coming Soon: THE GREEN SCENE on Oxfam’s Fashion Blog

I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since my last post – December has been an absolutely crazy month and after starting my new job, moving house (again), a lot of German beaurocracy and the last-minute present hunt (read my round up of the best ethical Christmas gift guides here), I’m looking forward to a relaxing two weeks off over the holidays!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: October/November Edition

As I write this month's double edition of Slow Fashion and Sustainability News from my temporary apartment in Berlin, I can't quite believe how much has happened in the last few weeks - I've moved both jobs and countries, said goodbye to a lot of amazing people back in London, and have spent the last few days preparing for my new life here in the city of hipsters, reunification, Currywurst, and of course green fashion!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Top 5 Ethical Christmas Gift Guides

Ana Goes Green's Christmas gift selection
Christmas is now less than a month away, and if you haven't already, it's time to start thinking about gifts for family and friends. But if you consider yourself a conscious consumer, Christmas can be a tricky time of year, dominated by a culture of excess and materialism that demands the giving and receiving of things we don't really like or need!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Customise Your Own Christmas Jumper!

It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating Halloween, but with Christmas less than six weeks away Love Your Clothes' brilliant new "12 Jumpers of Christmas" competition is a great way to start preparing!

Christmas jumpers have become so popular in recent years that every high street retailer now has their own range, and they're certainly cashing in on a lucrative market - research has revealed that over 10 million people in the UK are likely to buy a Christmas jumper this festive season, costing in excess of £300 million. But rather than spending money and adding to the already enormous mound of Christmas junk you'll likely never use again, why not get creative and upcycle your own jumper this Christmas, with the chance to win a Janome 2200xt sewing machine worth £129!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Little Bit of Stella...

You may have read in my last post the exciting news that I'm moving to Berlin at the end of November - something I've always wanted to do ever since spending a year there as a student way back in 2010! I'm usually more of a saver than a spender, and hadn't even celebrated my relatively recent promotion back in May, so with both a new job and a new start in Germany on the horizon I felt the time was right to treat myself to a little present.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Goodbye London, Hallo Berlin!

I have some big news....I'm really excited to say that I am moving to Berlin at the end of November!

It's something I've been considering for the best part of a year, and after talking to my boyfriend we've decided to continue the next chapter of our lives together back in the place where we first met, in 2010 when I was on my year abroad during university. I can't wait to get started in my new job in fashion retail, which is a step up from my current position, and of course begin building my network of all the amazing ethical fashion brands and not-for-profits that are located in the city.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Best Ethical Activewear at the Om Yogashow

Last weekend I visited the Om Yoga Show at London’s Alexandra Palace, which hosted a range of exhibitors, free workshops and paid-for classes, all with the common theme of promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. Although I had expected to see a variety of yoga clothing brands in amongst the rest of the stands, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the vast majority were promoting some kind of ethical values, either through transparent supply chains, by supporting charities, or by using materials such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. So if you’re looking for fashionable activewear that’s both kind to the planet and people, read on for my pick of the best below!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

What is Sustainable Fashion?

Discovering sustainable fashion is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole – whether you were first introduced to the topic via friends, an article, watching The True Cost, or perhaps through a new and innovative brand like Reformation, there’s so much more to learn and discover that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of information at your fingertips. Instead, try asking yourself these three questions to make the process of shopping consciously a lot simpler.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: September edition

I can't believe September's over already - the most important month in the fashion calendar has absolutely flown by, with designers and retailers around the world launching their new season collections and fashion weeks taking place in New York, London, Milan and Paris. It's coming to that time of year when the evenings are getting steadily darker and colder, but at least in the ethical fashion world there's been a lot to celebrate - H&M launched their new recycling campaignHuffington Post dedicated the entire month to ethical fashion, and the Ethical Writers' Coalition chose September to focus on the benefits of shopping second hand - check out my post on the best second hand clothing websites here.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Jigsaw A/W 15 Campaign - "For Life Not Landfill"

Have you seen Jigsaw's new Autumn/Winter 2015 "For Life Not Landfill" campaign yet? Hot on the heels of H&M's Conscious Collection, the new season range reflects the growing trend for a more considered approach to shopping, with key pieces such as coats and cardigans advertised under the headline "The New Collectables".

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Top 10 Second Hand Resale Websites

In a world where we are increasingly aware of the effects of overconsumption and long to streamline our lives and wardrobes, constantly buying new isn't the answer. A new breed of internet start ups think they have the solution - buying, wearing and then re-selling second hand items, which benefits the economy without harming the environment, and also allows you to constantly re-evaluate and curate your own wardrobe with pieces that already have a story. Read on for my picks of the sites doing it best - from designer investment pieces at bargain prices to high street fashion given a new lease of life.

1. Vestaire Collective
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Luxury items for up to 70% off the RRP

The French website calls itself “the leading online marketplace to buy and sell luxury pre-owned fashion”, and with features in Vogue, 3 million users and 1000 vintage treasures added daily, it’s not hard to see why. The in-house authentication service and quality checks eliminate the problems that sometimes occur when buying second hand clothing, and with up to 70% off the original retail price, it’s a great place to find that investment piece you can hand down over generations.

2. Rebelle
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Supporters of “sustainable re-commerce”

The German start-up is one of Europe’s fastest growing online marketplaces for second-hand designer fashion, with over 600 brands on offer from €50 Marc Cain dresses to €5600 Chanel hand bags! All items are inspected for quality and authenticity before being sent on the buyer, and shipping is available to all countries in the EU. Tip: Subscribe to Rebelle’s newsletter with “the latest designer news, hot offers and pieces” and receive a €15 shopping voucher.

3. Vinted (Germany: Kleiderkreisel)
Rating: $-$$
Good for: High street bargains and a thriving community 
A kind of upgraded Ebay, Vinted’s mission is to make “second hand the #1 choice worldwide”, and with 8.5 million users and an item sold every 49 seconds, it’s well on its way! As a site dedicated purely to the resale of clothing and accessories, expect to pay slightly more than Ebay prices, but you also get access to forums and a thriving Vinted community who love nothing better than second hand, clothes swaps and DIYs.

4. Etsy
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Unique finds from individual sellers

What started out in 2005 as a platform for small business owners has quickly grown into a global phenomenon, with almost 22m users and 32m items for sale in Etsy’s “human, authentic and community-centric global and local marketplace”. Find an endless assortment of unique products, including upcycled clothing and accessories and one-of-a-kind furniture made with recyclable materials.

5. Vide Dressing
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Curated lookbooks and an international community

Founded by Meryl Job, former product manager at Chanel, Vide Dressing was the first online vintage store and now stocks over 8000 brands with specific sites for France, the UK, Germany and Italy. The site’s biggest strength is its focus on the “customer community” – whether that’s providing a curated selection of the latest trends or a Pinterest-style part of the site where its 785K members can share their profiles and current listings. Look out for: Margarita Missoni’s exclusive wardrobe sale, with all proceeds going to the children’s charity OAfrica.

6. HEWI London (Hardly Ever Worn It)
Rating: $-$$$
Good for: Designer brands at a price point 
Hardly Ever Worn It is the challenger to Vestaire Collective, with a similar range of high-end designer products across women’s, men’s and kids “from £10 to £10,000”. The website may not be as slick as their biggest competitor’s, but the no-frills design and focus on deals such as “Top Designers Under £500” means that you’ll have no problem finding what you want. Tip: check out the sale tab, where you can find quality designer items for £40 and under.

7. 1st Dibs

Rating: $$$$
Good for: Everything from fine art to furniture and fashion

Not just restricted to pre-owned clothing and accessories, 1st Dibs provides access to “the best selection of rare and beautiful objects from around the world”, with everything from unique vintage furniture to authentic Picasso paintings! If the price points are well out of your range, simply allow yourself to be inspired by what’s on offer and pick up some great DIY ideas.

8. Ebay
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Bargain hunters with time to spare

It would be remiss not to include the ‘original’ online auction house, where items can be listed and sometimes sold for as low as a penny. Over the years, however, both sellers and buyers have become much more savvy, from the influx of mass-produced fast fashion at “Buy It Now” prices to special ‘sniper’ software that ensures your bid is placed at exactly the right time. There are definitely still bargains to be found, though, if you have enough time to spare!

9. Tradesy
Rating: $-$$$
Good for: Wedding dresses and an easy shopping process

Tradesy makes “resale fast, simple and stylish – for buyers and sellers.” The American-based company’s main aim is to make the whole process as quick and easy as possible, whether that’s providing free shipping kits, being able to list your item in under 60 seconds, or through the customer journey, with a wide range of filters including price, colour, condition and availability to make sure you find what you need. Check out: The separate “Wedding” section, which boasts an enormous product range and free shipping on all purchases.

10. Rent the Runway
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Closed-loop consumption

Last but not least, Rent the Runway is a different kind of shopping experience based on subscription rather than purchase. Hot on the heels of other successful sharing services like Airbnb and Uber, American company Rent the Runway allows user to rent out designer clothing for a length of time before they are returned, cleaned and passed onto the next customer, either online or in store. CEO Jennifer Hyman is so confident in the model that she claims, “Within five years, it will become normal for women to have a subscription to fashion, just like you have a subscription to music.”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more inspiration and updates

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Learn How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business!

You've might have already have seen the very exciting news on Twitter that the Ethical Fashion Forum is launching a new free course, How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business, in partnership with online learning platform FutureLearn! The course starts in early 2016 and is lead by the amazing Sarah Ditty, Editor-in-Chief of Source Intelligence magazine and all-round sustainable fashion expert


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Zero Waste Update

Hello! I'm back from holiday after a lovely two weeks away, well rested and ready for the new season with a whole host of exciting topics lined up over the next month. After my break I thought it would be a good time to update on my progress on living a zero waste lifestyle, after posting back in May about Trash is for Tossers' Lauren Singer, who creates so little waste that she is able to fit two year’s worth into a single mason jar! After reading her story I was keen to see what tips and tricks I could adapt into my lifestyle, as although I’m a keen recycler and try to avoid excess plastic wherever possible, there is definitely more I could do to decrease my ‘waste footprint’.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

Slow fashion and sustainability news: August edition

It's that time of month again, and my last post before I jet off for a much needed two weeks of sun, sea and sand! This month has been great for tips about ethical shopping, comment on changing consumer behaviour, and updates on both progress and potentially risky developments in the fashion industry. If you were in Scotland or the Netherlands, you might also have been to Zero Waste Scotland's "Future of Fashion – Love, Lease, Lend" talk on closed-loop production, visited Edinburgh's new sustainable textile workspace, or attended the first Symposium on Sustainable Fashion in Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

An Introduction to Dutch Eco Fashion

Amsterdam, during the Grachtenfestival (canal festival), which runs from 14th-23rd August 2015
The Netherlands is best known for its beautiful canals, rich trading history and the famous Koningsdag (King's Day), but in recent years it has also become one of the most exciting countries at the forefront of sustainability. Recent research by the Erasmus University and Circle Economy has shown that 8.1% of all Dutch jobs (810,000) are currently directly or indirectly contributing to the circular economy, whilst Eco Fashion World has described the Netherlands as "at the forefront of the ethical fashion movement", thanks in part to financial initiatives from the Dutch government and a strong history of innovative design in the country.


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Selfridges' Bright New Things 2015 - Closing Soon!

You perhaps wouldn’t put the words ‘Selfridges’ and ‘sustainability’ together in the same sentence, but recently the luxury department store chain has been making waves in the industry, firstly by banning the sale of plastic water bottles and replacing them with drinking fountains, and more recently in the 2015 edition of their Bright New Things competition, which aims to find and develop future change leaders in the industry.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Free Sustainability Course - Starting Soon!

There's still time to sign up for the University of Bath's FREE course Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals, which starts in a couple of days on the 17th August and lasts for six weeks. Although it's aimed at professionals, the great thing is that there are no special requirements and you do all your learning at home - wherever in the world you're based - for only three hours each week.


Monday, 10 August 2015

The Psychology Behind Fast Fashion: Comment by Der Spiegel magazine

I often find it interesting to compare how other countries approach sustainability, especially when green issues such as renewable energy and recycling are at the forefront of government policy. Even more fascinating is to observe how such countries react when international fast fashion retailers start to expand onto their shores, as Primark has done in places like Germany and the Netherlands over the last few years to great success, despite a higher level of consumer awareness of the ethical and environmental issues surrounding the products' manufacture. So why does the magic combination of overwhelming choice at bargain prices incite shopping madness into even the most knowledgable customers, and what can we do to change our mindset? In a recent article for Germany's Der Spiegel, Eleonora Pauli attempts to find the answers - check out the original article here, or read on for the English version.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

H&M's Fashion Recycling Week - Step in the Right Direction or Marketing Ploy?

An LCF student working on their installation for H&M's Fashion Recycling Week
News broke a couple of days ago that H&M is launching the first nationwide Fashion Recycling Week from 31st August to 6th September 2015 in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, which aims to raise customers' awareness of clothing waste and sustainability both in store and through the Instagram campaign #CloseTheLoop.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: July Edition

This is the second instalment of my monthly series on ethical news and developments in the fashion industry, and it's a big one! Not only was July the month of the Observer Ethical Awards and the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin, but there was also lots of discussion from influential writers around slow fashion (see my post on the topic here), as well as the challenges and successes of legislating for a transparent supply chain. If you missed last month's, you can find my recap on June's slow fashion and sustainability news here.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Quick DIY: Altering an A-line skirt

Vintage Marks and Spencer skirt via Ebay
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a few of the second hand items I'd bought from Ebay over the last month, including a beautiful vintage A-line skirt from Marks and Spencer (back when they still produced in the UK, and vanity sizing wasn't yet a thing - this would now probably be more like a 12-14!). I knew when I bought it that it would probably need taking in slightly, but because it's such a simple shape it's incredibly easy to do, even if you have minimal sewing experience or have never sewn before. Read on for a great example of how a few basic sewing tricks help you easily tailor your clothes, and stop you being put off buying second hand items that aren't a perfect fit in the future.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Topshop Reclaim's New Sustainable Fashion Range

It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about the idea of 'mindful fashion' starting to trickle down into the mainstream fashion press (see my post on Grazia's article here), and then Leandra Medina of the extremely influential Man Repeller weighed in on the debate with "In Defense of Slow Fashion" - a very thought-provoking article in which she implored her readers to "buy less, wear more", and lamented the fact that "fast fashion is starting to feel a lot like fresh produce", even though "clothes don't rot. Our closets are not refrigerators". Now, Topshop has released its take on the trend for a more considered approach to fashion in the form of its recently launched new line, Topshop Reclaim, which claims to do "sustainable fashion with conscience" though ethical fabrics and production cut-offs.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Review: The Ethical Fashion Show, Berlin

Last Friday, along with a whole host of designers, buyers, bloggers and other fashion professionals, I attended the final day of the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin, part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. With "a clear focus on design and sustainability", the Ethical Fashion Show is a fantastic platform for over 150 eco-conscious brands to present their ranges to the international buying community, and also acts as a space for open discussion on some of the hot topics in the fashion industry right now. As well as getting to know lots of exciting new brands, I also managed to catch the final few talks, which included a debate about 'vegan' fashion, as well as presentations by WellMade on improving working conditions (part of the FairWear Foundation) and Fairtrade's new Fairtrade Cotton Standard initiative.  Read on for my analysis of the day's discussions, as well as my top picks of emerging ethical fashion brands.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Second Hand Style #1: My Summer Wardrobe

I've only just got back from attending the final day of the Ethical Fashion Show, but before I review the day's talks and introduce you to some amazing up-and-coming eco fashion brands, I thought I would do a quick update of some secondhand pieces I've recently added to my summer wardrobe, courtesy of many hours spent trawling through Ebay! In the spirit of shopping ethically, I tried to identify the key pieces missing in my wardrobe and only buy classic, quality items that I will keep for many years to come, rather than disposing of when next summer's trends start to emerge.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Travelling to the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin!

I'm so excited to be catching a plane tomorrow evening to Berlin to attend the final day of the Ethical Fashion Show, running alongside Mercedes Benz Fashion Week! There's been so much happening already - check out the show's Facebook page for updates, photos and sneak previews of some of the brands who are exhibiting.


Monday, 6 July 2015

Stop the water while using me! All-natural beauty products that help save water wastage

When I was staying in Berlin a couple of weeks ago at the Bikini Hotel I came across an amazing skincare range I'd not heard of before - Stop The Water While Using Me! Not only does the brand aim to reduce water wastage by encouraging their customers to be aware of how much water they use, they also support initiatives in regions that suffer from drought, such as installing fog collectors in Tanzania though their 'Good Water Projects' scheme. However, what I initially loved about the brand wasn't the company's ethical stance, it was the the feel and quality of their products, which are made from completely natural sources and don't contain any synthetic colourings or aromas, silicon, paraffin or other petroleum-based materials. All the ingredients are also completely biodegradable, and the packing is recyclable and refillable. What's not to love?


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The future of fashion: as seen in Grazia

In my last post I wrote about recent developments in the fashion industry which seemed to show a growing awareness of ethical issues and the need for a solution to the current fast fashion model. In my round up I tended to only feature articles from leading newspapers, respected blogs and other accredited sources, but I thought it was also worth mentioning a feature in Grazia magazine I read a few weeks ago entitled "Your Fashion Future Looks Like This".


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Slow fashion and sustainability news: June edition

There is currently so much being written about sustainability and the slow living movement that it can be hard to maintain an overview of all the articles, posts and tweets on the subject, especially if you are interested in keeping up with industry developments as well as everything going on in the bloggersphere. As I had originally intended this blog to be a commentary on the business side of the fashion industry as well as a space for personal thoughts on style and living a more meaningful life, I thought it would be useful to create a monthly round-up of everything related to green living, ethical fashion and sustainability, so that you don't miss anything and can stay as up to date and informed as possible. Key topics discussed this month include viewing sustainability as an essential business strategy, and the issues surrounding garment labelling.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

25 Hours Bikini Hotel Berlin - An "Urban Jungle"

I got back yesterday from a work trip in Berlin, where I was lucky enough to stay in the 25 Hours Bikini Hotel, an incredible new space designed by Werner Aisslinger, with a 360 degree roof terrace bar with panoramic views of the city and rooms that overlook the Berlin Zoo.


Monday, 22 June 2015

We Are Cow: Recycled, Redesigned and Remade

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week; work has been incredibly busy recently which has meant a lot of exciting travel but unfortunately not a lot of time off, let alone time to write some interesting and thought-provoking blog posts! After being away Monday-Friday in Germany and the Netherlands, I spent the weekend relaxing at home in Derbyshire, which was a lovely break away from the bright lights and break-neck speed of London. It's amazing what a few fields and some fresh air can do! Aside from enjoying the greenery, I also managed to fit in a visit to Nottingham with my boyfriend on Saturday, which was a fantastic real-life example of how the repair/remake/recycle movement is slowly infiltrating the British high street (see my post on the vintage 90s denim trend here).


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Free Sustainability for Professionals Course with Future Learn

If, like me, you'd like to increase your knowledge of sustainability, but haven't yet found a course that is time- or budget-friendly enough, then Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals is for you! The FREE six week course is run by the University of Bath in partnership with Future Learn, a platform owned by the Open University which offers a "diverse selection of courses from 60 leading universities, cultural institutions and businesses around the world, including the British Museum, the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA) and the UK Government."


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Hand-stamped silver date necklace

My personalised handstamped date necklace, pictured on artwork by my sister
I'd always wanted a handstamped necklace, ever since I came across this post by A Beautiful Mess, which had probably been saved in my bookmarks for years until I finally got around to ordering my own version a few weeks ago! I loved the original as it seemed like such a personal and unique way of remembering a date, name or initial, but I wanted something a little smaller and silver which would match my wardrobe, and also tie in with the current minimalist jewellery trend. Of course, an added ethical bonus is that I know exactly who made my necklace, which to me makes it even more special!

Monday, 8 June 2015

The-Acey: "Online Fashion with a Responsible Edge"

The world of ethical fashion can sometimes be a minefield to negotiate, due to a limited number of global retail platforms and minimal marketing power, which often leaves smaller, independent brands fighting for space when competing with the likes of Inditex, H&M and Topshop. Two sites already trying to solve this problem and fill the gap in the online market are Komodo and Fashion Conscience, both of whom provide their customers with an easy-to-shop selection of eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable brands. However, their eagerness to include any and all brands with some kind of green slant means that they lack the sort of ‘curated’ look that has led Asos, Cos, & Other Stories and Zara to such success.


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Upcoming ethical fashion events this summer

This summer there are lots of amazing ethical fashion events taking place, and I thought it would be really useful to have them all in one handy guide. This list isn't by any means exhaustive, just a selection of some of interesting events, exhibitions and talks in the UK and Germany that I've come across, so feel free to add in any additions to the comments below! American readers can check out Eco Cult by Alden Wicker, who posts every month about upcoming ethical fashion events in and around NYC.


Thursday, 4 June 2015

The weekend in pictures: relaxation and inspiration in Berlin

From top left clockwise: view of the television tower (Fernsehturm); graffiti along the Spree river; ice cream at Gendarmenmarkt; 'Unity' in front of the Deutsches Historisches Museum; new ways of thinking about urbanisation and social pressures through the 'megacity' Dhaka; candy floss skies on the journey home.

Last weekend was a chance for me to catch up with my friends and family in Berlin, and it was so good to get away from the stresses of everyday life and spend time in such an exciting, inspirational and yet relaxed city. Although I know it well, having lived there for a year during university, I still love exploring new places and discovering hidden gems, as the city is always evolving.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review: The True Cost - A Revolutionary and Thought-Provoking Documentary

It's not often you watch a film that really makes you stand back and question everything about your life - your place in the world, your values, and your responsibilities as a fellow human being. A film that asks questions no-one else will; that challenges the status quo of established political, economic and social systems; that dares to draw back the curtain on the otherwise hidden side of an enormously powerful global industry. A film that tells a story about "greed and fear, power and poverty", where profit is king and a price can be placed on anything, be that an Indian cotton farmer, a Bangladeshi garment worker or local eco-systems struggling to cope with the effects of man-made change. A film, that at its very core, asks, "What is the true cost of the developed world's constant need for consumption"?

Monday, 25 May 2015

DIY: the vintage 90s denim trend

Clockwise, from top left: Drew Barrymore, Reformation jeans, Topshop shirt via Ebay, Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, Ragged Priest shorts via Vinted

It's not easy for the ethically-conscious consumer to keep up with the demands of fast fashion and it's ever-changing conveyor belt of trends - especially as being 'truly' ethical almost always involves creating your own individual style and making the best of what you already have, rather than buying something new. So it makes a interesting change when a trend comes along that's easy to put a sustainable spin on, as well as one that looks like it's going to stick around for a while in various forms. I'm talking of course about vintage denim, which has seen a boost in popularity since the emergence of the Phoebe Philo-led 'Normcore' look a couple of years ago, and is now a key component of both the 90s grunge and 70s boho trends.


Friday, 22 May 2015

NEW: 'Fast Fashion' exhibition in Hamburg - 20th March-20th September 2015

If you're in Germany any time soon, I would definitely recommend a trip to see 'Fast Fashion: The Dark Side of Fashion', a new exhibition which has recently opened at the Museum for Art and Industry in Hamburg (Das Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) and runs until the 20th September. According to the museum's website, the exhibition "casts a critical glimpse behind the scenes of glamorous fashion" through the differing lenses of consumerism, economic interests and ecological issues. The topics it touches are on diverse, ranging from industry oriented subjects such as wages and profits, to the wider social impact on fashion's 'victims', to current attempts to future-proof the fashion industry through new fibre technologies.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

WHO WHAT WEAR'S 5-Step Guide To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe

The concept of sustainable fashion is finally breaking into the mainstream, if Who What Wear's "5-step Guide To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe" is anything to go by. If the world of ethical and sustainable fashion still seems confusing, the article offers some great bite-sized pieces of advice - here's a summary of the main points below, along with some of my thoughts on each.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Could you live a 'zero waste' lifestyle?

A few days ago I came across an article on Stylist's website about 23-year old New Yorker Lauren Singer, who lives a 'zero waste' lifestyle - to the point where she can fit all the waste she's produced over the last two years into a single mason jar!

Her decision to change her lifestyle was made during her final two years studying for her degree in Environmental Studies at New York University, when she looked in her fridge one night and realised that everything was wrapped in plastic. "I felt like such a hypocrite," she writes on "Everyone thought of me as the sustainability girl, so that meant that I was totally doing my share for the earth, right? Wrong."


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The True Cost preview screening: have you bought your ticket?

Just a heads up that there are still tickets left for the preview screening of The True Cost, a groundbreaking documentary about the consequences of fast fashion, which asks the uncomfortable question "who really pays the price for our clothes?" The documentary follows the fashion trail "from the brightest runways to the darkest slums", and also features interviews with world famous designers and eco-ambassadors including Stella McCartney, Vandana Shiva and Livia Firth.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Make do and mend...

Until I started my job last year and my free time slowly began to slip away, I used to make a lot of my own clothes. One of the things I enjoyed most was going shopping and finding a bargain that just needed a small tweak here or there – maybe the hem shortening, or the sleeves taken off – to make it fit properly and look just that bit different from what everyone else was wearing. The best compliments always came from friends who would ask ‘Where did you get that?’ and then be shocked when I said I made it myself, as if customising a top or skirt was some mysterious form of witchcraft they would never be able to master. 


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Booking my trip to the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin

I'm really excited about travelling to the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin this July (poster above is from the launch), which is a brilliant showcase for ethical fashion brands alongside the main Berlin Fashion Week 2015. Berlin has carved out a reputation as a hub for sustainable style, and this year over 130 brands are exhibiting, including People Tree, Helly Hansen and Komodo as well as a host of emerging new designers. I'm hoping to meet a lot of interesting people and hear about their opinions on the future of ethical fashion, as well as learning about developments in the industry and the ways in which larger companies as well as smaller, independent brands are making a difference.


Friday, 8 May 2015

Shopping ethically - an easy how-to guide

Over the past few weeks I've been discovering more and more fellow eco fashion writers (list to come!). One that really stood out was Sasstainable by Angela Wallace, who started her blog a few years ago after completing an MSc in Environmental Management at the University of London. Rather than just a stream of outfit posts, her blog combines great photography with professional, informed opinions and pieces about emerging eco design talent. One Pinterest post that caught my eye was a simple but effective graphic about how to shop ethically, buying only the things we truly need and buying second hand or sustainably to impact the environment in the smallest way possible.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Where to buy (sustainable) summer sandals

Recently I’ve been finding it really hard to find a pair of fashionable summer sandals that have not only been produced in a fair and ethical way, but also with the environment in mind. Because of the range of manufacturing techniques and different materials that go into producing a pair of shoes (such as leather, PVC, canvas, cotton, polyester, rubber, plastic and often-toxic glues to name a few!), they are much more difficult than clothing to reuse and recycle, and therefore much more likely to end up in landfill at the end of their lifecycle.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Progress after the Rana Plaza disaster? Industry experts weigh in

Last Friday marked two years since the Rana Plaza disaster on 24th April 2013, when an eight-story commercial building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing over 1,100 people and injuring another 2,500. The building housed shops, apartments, and a bank, but was also being used illegally as a makeshift garment factory, where 5,000 workers were producing clothing for many well-known retailers, including Benetton, Bonmarché, El Corte Inglés, Monsoon Accessorise, Mango, Matalan, Primark and Walmart. Since then, retailers, charities and political organisations all around the world have worked with factories and the Bangladesh government to improve safety standard and working conditions for the millions of people involved in the garment industry.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

An Introduction to Ethical Fashion with Lucy Siegle and Livia Firth

A few weeks ago I attended an incredible seminar on ethical fashion led by Lucy Siegle, the Observer's ethical living columnist and published author, including a spontaneous Q&A with Livia Firth, the CEO of Eco-Age, face of the Green Carpet Challenge and wife of British actor Colin Firth.

I had just started to dip my toe into the world of sustainable fashion by reading some articles online, but it was hard to know where to start, as there are so many smaller organisations, consultancies and websites that it is very difficult to get an overview of the most useful places to find information, let alone the key ethical and environmental issues. The seminar seemed like the perfect introduction to such an enormous topic, and Siegle really got to the heart of the main problems currently facing the industry; from the challenges of producing enough virgin fibre (such as cotton), to the common practice of outsourcing to the developing world, unregulated supply chains, and the rapacious consumerism that characterises modern day attitudes to shopping in the developed Western world.

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