My Top Sustainable Sale Picks

Fashion

Something that often comes up when discussing ethical fashion is the price point. Yes, often ethical fashion will cost a little more than your average highstreet store – but those extra pounds mean a huge difference to the people who are making the garments. However, being savvy about your shopping habits means you can shop ethically without breaking the bank.

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A summer bucket list

Uncategorized

I saw on HelloGiggles recently an article entitled The Single Girl’s Totally Doable Summer Bucket List. It made me smile and inspired me to make the most of my summer.  Every year I build such high expectations for the upcoming summer and every year I’m completely disappointed that I didn’t actually do any of things I set out to do. So, although I may not be single I decided to write my very own ‘Totally Doable Summer Bucket List’ – non-single gals can share in the fun too!

  1. Take sailing lessons
  2. Do more walking on the South West Coast Path
  3. Build a sand castle
  4. Take a lot of photos
  5. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise over the beach
  6. Read Moby Dick
  7. Master some Jimmy Fallon style lip-syncing and be as boss as Emma Stone
  8. Learn the rap from Big
  9. Pack an elaborate picnic in a big wicker hamper and trek to middle of nowhere and enjoy with friends
  10. Get dressed up and dance around the house like Kate Bush
  11. Go to an outdoor theatre performance
  12. Play True American – like in New Girl (Yes, I stole this from the original but this has been on my list of things-to-do-that-I’ll-never-get-around-to-doing for a while now, perhaps this is the little push I need! 1.2.3 JFK )

Have you got fun summer plans?

For those of you unfamiliar with Emma Stone’s epic lip syncing skills I’ll leave you with this, enjoy.

{This post was written whilst watching Friends and eating gluten free biscuits}

Falmouth dreaming

Photography, Uncategorized

It’s been almost a month since I decided to leave London and accept a job back in Cornwall. It’s had its ups and downs but yesterday was one of those days that confirms moving back to the homeland was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while.

Yesterday was the last day of the Pendennis Cup, a four day yacht race that takes place around Falmouth Bay and culminates in an amazing Red Arrows display. We decided to take a trip up to Pendennis Castle to have a walk around the castle, watch the sailing from the top of the cliff and lie on the grass and watch the Red Arrows fly overhead.

Red Arrows over Pendennis Castle | Photo: Laura Peta

Red Arrows over Pendennis Castle | Photo: Laura Peta

Falmouth Hardbour | Photo: Laura Peta

Falmouth Hardbour | Photo: Laura Peta

Although the day started off a little cloudy we were treated to some beautiful clear skies, which led to some amazing sunset views.

Yachts in the bay | Photo: Laura Peta

Yachts in the bay | Photo: Laura Peta

Sun setting over Gyllingvase | Photo: Laura Peta

Sun setting over Gyllingvase | Photo: Laura Peta

Cracking sunset | Photo: Laura Peta

Cracking sunset | Photo: Laura Peta

I’m an absolute sucker for a gift shop, and the English Heritage gift shop at Pendennis Castle was no different. I bought the most beautiful blanket (that I’m currently huddled under now despite the warmth of the day) that is made from recycled wool. Wool that has been respun into an environmentally friendly throw perfect for cool evenings, or hot summer picnics. Cool, huh?

Recycled Wool blanket from English Heritage | Photo: Laura Peta

Recycled Wool blanket from English Heritage | Photo: Laura Peta

So although I’ve had to make some big decisions and move a lot of miles, it was definitely worth it.

{This post was written whilst watching How I Met Your Mother and eating Gluten Free Chocolate biscuits}

People Tree’s Perfect Breton Top

Fashion

Breton Striped Inspiration

We all know I love a good Breton stripe. They somehow manage to make even the most lazy of outfit choices seem impecibley polished. They’re also wonderfully versatile (insert noughties Potato Waffle advert here! Sorry) Not only do they look perfect with jeans or tucked into a skirt, they also look pretty great with a clashing pattern; I favour a polka dot or floral and stripe combo myself.

One of the first pieces of clothing I bought when I pledged to create an entirely ethical wardrobe was the Libby Breton Top from People Tree. It’s beautifully soft, and it’s got beautiful contrast piping on the inside of the neck and front pocket.

People Tree's Libby Breton Top | Photo: Laura Peta

People Tree’s Liberty Breton Top | Photo: Laura Peta

The Libby Top is made by Assisi Garments a business based in South India. They provide training and employment for deaf, mute and economically disadvantaged women who are provided with a safe and supportive environment and a fair wage. After a few years of saving the women receive a bonus that, along with their savings, they are able to start a home and often their own tailoring businesses. Assisi Garments also use their profits to support a cancer hospital and an old people’s home in South India.

So not only are you buying the softest, cutest, 100% organic Breton striped tee around, you’re also helping a lot of people who otherwise might not be getting the same opportunities. Pretty great huh?

PS: I’ve just ordered the Libby Breton Top in red, I can’t wait for it to arrive – more on that at a later date!

Key to Freedom Topshop

Key To Freedom at Topshop

Fashion

I can’t believe I have only just seen this beautiful collection from Key To Freedom for Topshop.  These stunning silk pyjama sets not only look and feel amazing they also do amazing things for the people who’ve made them.

The Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) works across West Bengal, India, helping young women and girls who have been victims of domestic abuse, and often been trafficked into the sex trade.  The girls are given homes, cared for and are taught valuable skills.  After The Duke Of York visited India as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and visiting again on a private visit with Sarah, Duchess of York and Princess Eugenie they met with the girls and developed their ideas to get Key To Freedom up and running.   Key To Freedom was set up to support the WIF and to help turn the vulnerable women into self-reliant, empowered women with bright futures ahead of them.

The girls are taught a variety of skills from sewing and tailoring to dyeing and hand block printing, and given their own bank accounts where their wages are deposited, allowing them to be the sole owners of their money and giving them the freedom to spend it how they wish.  Working with designer, Penny McIvor and Topshop they all work together to advise and collaborate with the girls, developing their skills further.   The garments are then sold via Topshop, who amazingly take no profit from the sale, and the profits are passed on to The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust (who still manages Key To Freedom), the funds are then put back into WIF who use the money to rescue more girls and build more homes.

Slip Key to Freedom Topshop

Silk Slip | Photo: Topshop

Key to Freedom Topshop

Silk Cami | Photo: Topshop

Key to Freedom Topshop

Silk Pyjama Bottoms | Photo: Topshop

Silk Kimono Dressing gown Key to Freedom Topshop

Kimono Dressing gown | Photo: Topshop

 

I really want all of these garments but unfortunately for us (which is great news for Key To Freedom and WIF) they are selling fast, and I think the Kimono Dressing Gown may already have sold out. *GASP*  If you want to snap up one of these gorgeous garments and help support the ladies who made them (they’ve signed each piece so you can see who made your pjs) head over to the Topshop site here.

I’m really impressed with Topshop for being a part of this, and I was shocked to read that they take no profit for the garments.  The WIF and Key to Freedom are amazing causes, sex trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and it’s something we need to put an end to.  Fashion is a powerful device and I hope the girls working with Key To Freedom can create more stunning pieces so we can help them become stronger women.  I know Topshop and other retailers have a long way to go before they can call themselves ethical retailers but I am sure change is in the air.  I hope other high street stores take a leaf from Topshop’s book and become a vessel of change for women around the world.   Kudos, Topshop, for a step in the right direction.

 

{This post was written whilst eating Pain Au Chocolat that look like sloths (Told you!)}

Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes?

Articles, Fashion
Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes? | Photo: fashionrevolution.org

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the devastating Rana Plaza collapse killing more than 1100 people.  Since the collapse people are seemingly more aware of the processes that go into the making of their favourite garment, but with the ease and affordability of high street retailers are people willing to do something about it? With Primark (one of the retailers manufacturing at Rana Plaza) reporting profits up 14% on last year and plans to open their first US store this year it would seem not.

Fashion Revolution came up with the “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign to mark the anniversary of the disaster, encouraging people to wear their clothes inside out, photograph themselves and tweet the retailers asking WHO made them.  A fantastic idea that makes people question where their clothes are made, and puts pressure on retailers to react and be more open with their ethical policies.  However, although I do think this idea has merit, I also feel quite sceptical.

With Primark’s profits soaring I feel as though, yes, people are more aware of the production process of a garment but it isn’t altering their shopping patterns.  If people are willing to shop in places such as Primark then what will make them wear their clothes inside out and fight for change?  I just feel that the people who are likely to have worn their clothes inside out are the ones who are already interested in changing the way we make our clothes.  In fact, when looking through the #insideout street style photos on Vogue.co.uk many of the items worn were either vintage or from a variety of ethical brands.

Magazines were quick to report on the Rana Plaza disaster when it first occurred but are keen to be the first to showcase the newest collection from fast fashion brands.  Again, they have been a voice for Fashion Revolution’s campaign for change whilst still advertising brands known to have below standard ethical policies, something I strongly think needs to be addressed.   I believe that if we really want to create lasting change when it comes to fashion we need to look to our fashion magazines to put more emphasis on ethical and sustainable fashion and not to forget the manufacturing process when it comes to a pretty dress with a low price tag.  There are many brands out there fighting their ethical and sustainable corner but getting little recognition in magazines,  we need to stand up for these brands, spread the word and help show people how beautiful ethical fashion can be.

What are your thoughts on Fashion Revolution’s “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign? Did you wear your clothes inside out?

 

{This post was written whilst watching The Sound Of Music (Maria is the ultimate upcycler – curtains into all those outfits!) and eating Champagne truffles!} 

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An Interview With… Alice Weston

An Interview With ..., Photography

I have been a big fan of Alice Weston for a little while now. A talented singer/songwriter from South West England who also knows her way around a camera.  She has an ear for soulful, folk like melodies and an eye for natural portraiture.  After listening to her whilst writing one of my previous posts I knew I had to try and interview her.  Whether it’s listening to her sing or looking through her portfolio each note and image fills me with joy and I really wanted to share her talents with you.

Alice Weston Music

Alice Weston | Photo: Alice Weston

Click here to hear Alice Weston’s Oxygen (Listen and read, it’s a perfect accompaniment!)

 

Hi Alice, to start why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself…
Hello. My name is Alice and I am 20 years old from a small town in the South West [of England]. I’m a horse, music, photography and peanut butter fanatic.

What made you decide to start the blog?
I actually originally had the idea for a YouTube channel (aliceonhertravels) and my intentions were to vlog my travels. This will still be going ahead at some point but due to timings and life I decided that I needed to have this little trip (to France) for myself and to rather than have the pressures of uploading everyday keep a blog. When I started my blog, ideas have expanded and there are some exciting things coming soon.

Your blog is entitled Alice On Her Travels, can we expect more travelling from you? Where’s next?
I am currently in a stage of complete ambivalence and I can’t quite decide where to go next. There’s so much choice but there are definitely some places on the cards. I am currently working, saving and planning.

You recently moved to France for six weeks to learn French, what made you decide to go?
I’d always wanted to travel but I’d had a lot of anxieties about leaving home for the first time. Admittedly, just before I left I was going through a horrendous stage of anxiety which was set off by something very silly but during this time I had a realisation that I couldn’t let this stupid thing rule my life. Nor could I keep going in the direction I was, so, within a week I’d organised my six week adventure and it was literally the best decision that I have made in my life. One of my favourite quotes is that: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear” and this is completely true.

How are your French skills now? Can you say something to us?
My French is…better. Tu es tres mignon. Pamplemousse. Je ne parle pas beaucoup Francais mais j’aime bien Montpellier! I’ve probably even got that wrong, as for Pamplemousse, probably the cutest sounding word in the world!

You’re a singer, songwriter and photographer, where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Music has always been a brilliant outlet for me through the good and the bad and the trials of growing up and being a teenager. If I ever need to vent or something has happened there is sure to be a song about it. I’ve never really been very good at writing but lyrically I can write for days.

As for photography, I just find people really intriguing. To me imperfections are what make people really beautiful which is why I am not a big fan of photoshop. I think all these little quirks and charms are just really incredible. I also love the fact that you can sort of capture a person in one photo and you can get so much across from a simple photograph. lt amazes me that these people can’t see their beauty which really inspires me to try and help them see what I see and so many others do. The people I have met are my inspiration without a doubt and with their support my photography has really grown in the past few months.

How long have you been writing your own songs? Did you teach yourself to play guitar?
I’ve been writing my own songs for as long as I can remember, even before I could play an instrument.  And yes, I taught myself guitar — still very much learning and I’ve recently just started teaching myself piano.

Who are your favourite artists?
Favourite artists…my music taste is pretty broad but these are a favourite few: London Grammar, The Lumineers, Birdy, Matt Corby, BOY, Matthew and the atlas…I have many!

I really love your photography.  You mostly shoot equine and portrait photography, are you inspired by anyone in particular?
As for inspiration for photography there are a few Bryant Eslava, Nessa K, Jack Toohey, Sam Hurd and also a photographer called Emily Hancock.  Also Emilie Layla Lovaine, she’s really inspired me through photography and blogging.

Do you have a favourite camera / editing software you like to use?
Canon 60D I have a few different lenses but I mostly shoot on my 50mm for portraits and if I’m doing certain shoots my other favourite is the 55-250mm. I actually only really use VSCO which I just really love.

What can we expect from Alice On Her Travels in the upcoming months?
I’ve got lots of ideas floating around and it’s just dependent on how much I can save in the summer months. There’s a lot of talk of travel destinations currently it’s just picking one that is the issue. Though I will be blogging about music festivals as I’ve been lucky enough to get press and photography passes which is something I am really ecstatic about! But who knows…just watch this space…

 

Max | Photo: Alice Weston

Max | Photo: Alice Weston

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Kate | Photo: Alice Weston

Ming Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Ming | Photo: Alice Weston

This is the first interview I have done for this blog, hopefully the first of many.  What do you think?
If you want to see more of Alice Weston head over to her VSCO portfolio or listen to her gorgeous voice at soundcloud.com/alicewestonmusic.

{This post was written whilst listening to Alice Weston (obviously) and shockingly not eating anything!}

Dream summer wardrobe moodboard

Dream Summer Wardrobe

Fashion, Uncategorized

“The sun has got his hat on, he’s coming out to play…”

I am loving this sunshine despite the fact it’s still actually quite chilly in the shade and I haven’t yet ventured out without my coat.  Even so this beautiful weather is making me crave hot summer days and long summer evenings on the beach.  As I’m not yet brave enough to get my legs out I have created a little moodboard of dream items to add to my summer wardrobe.

Ethical Summer Wardrobe

I am rather desperate for a pair of sandals and TOMS have got a really beautiful range of sandals this year.  As a company they have come a long way from their roots whilst still staying true to their ethos, for each pair of shoes bought they give a pair to child in need. I love this company for a million reasons and I cannot wait to get my hands feet on a pair of the sandals.

I can’t go wrong with a good skirt and People Tree have some really pretty patterns (they’ve teamed up with Orla Kiely, enough said!) and colours, I will definitely be getting some of these over the next few months!  I know I have mentioned Reformation in quite a few posts over the last few weeks, for which I am sorry (not sorry, I am borderline obsessed with the this company), but they really do have the best selection of dresses I have seen from an ethically minded company.  Although they are a little out of my price range I will continue to stare, and drool, over their delightful range of beautifulness (hey, it’s a “Dream Summer Wardrobe” right?)

I am a real sucker for a floral pattern and a kimono style top (I’m even wearing one now – seriously) they are just perfect for covering up a little when it’s hot without overheating. They also make a pair of skinnies look a little bit more interesting without having to try to too hard (something I live by!).  This Annie Greenabelle kimono is quite possibly one of the most perfect things I have ever clapped eyes on, and I have a feeling I will be wearing it before the month’s out.  The floral sleeveless shirt is by Komodo, an ethical brand I have just stumbled upon. I really love the colours and patterns in this shirt, if their future ranges continue in this theme they will have a very loyal customer in me!
Finally, the beautiful Breton striped top.  As you may know I get weak at the knees at the sight of a classic Breton, and this contrast yoke top from Seasalt sent me into 60s/French Riviera stupor. The ‘saffron’ coloured yolk screams summer, but with it being a cotton knit it’s perfect for Spring or a slightly cooler summer afternoon. I love this top more than words can say and I hope to find it folded neatly in my chest of drawers in the coming weeks!

After all that I am sufficiently summery and desperate to chase the ice cream man down the street.  How are your summer wardrobes shaping up?   What are your favourite  pieces for the season?

{This post was written whilst listening to Francoise Hardy and eating a very juicy mango}