The Brigitte Dress and the Charity Shop Fabric

Fashion, Sewing

Brigitte Pattern Dress, Fabric TRAID, People Tree necklace

Dress: Handmade (fabric from TRAID)
Bag: {Think} Boutique
Bracelet: People Tree
Necklace: People Tree

I’ve only gone and made myself a dress which is actually 100%, totally wearable! HOORAH! Everything I’ve made up until now has always had something just not quite right about the fit, but this time, THIS TIME, it fits perfectly and I am beyond excited – hence the weird pose below!

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!

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!} 

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Be a mega babe, get married in Reformation

Fashion

“It’s a power move to have smoking hot bridesmaids, trust us, it says I’m such a babe that I’m really not worried about anyone out shining me” – The Reformation

 

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, Spring is here and Wedding season is looming. What perfect timing it is for The Reformation, an LA based sustainable clothing label, to launch their first bridal collection, and a stunning one at that.

The label was launched by Yael Aflalo to combat the growing disparity between people and the environment, and the fashion industry. She wanted to create a brand with a conscience, a brand where “you can change the world without changing your style”. All clothing is made either from viscose, woven in a mill free of toxic substances and dyes, or deadstock material, leftovers from fashion houses who’ve over ordered, which is then turned into their fabulous garments in their own downtown LA factory.

The wedding collection, with the rather wonderful subheading of “f*ck, you’re getting married” features a beautiful array of flowing fabrics, spaghetti straps, cap sleeves, plunging V-necks and scooped backs. Soft, draping dresses, and short, flouncing frocks in a range of colours and floral patterns. It really has everything you need for a Romantic, ethereal wedding party.

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Rformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Citrine Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Ambrosia Dress | Photo: The Reformation

Ambrosia Dress | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

The Reformation Bridal Collection | Photo: The Reformation

I absolutely adore these shots, not only do they show off the dresses perfectly but also evoke a sense of romance and fun, just what you need on your big day.

Whether you’re a #REFBRIDE or #BABESMAID whichever outfit you opt for chances are you won’t be disappointed. After all, as The Reformation say, “why wouldn’t you want to look like a mega babe on your wedding day?”

{This post was written whilst listening to The Pixies and eating shortbread}

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

H&M’s Conscious Exclusive Collection 2014

Fashion, Uncategorized

H&M have revealed their third Conscious Exclusive Collection, and boy is it stunning! A romantic collection of bolero jackets, lace dresses, and tiered maxi dresses, brocade embellishments and ruffles and organic leather, H&M are proving that sustainable fashion can be gorgeous.

A long standing advocate of fast fashion, something that usually undermines the concept of sustainability, H&M are striding forward in an attempt to become the first entirely sustainable fast fashion brand. “Our vision is that all our operations should be run in a waythat is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.” And although they still have a long way to go they are certainly making great waves that should be applauded. Aside from having a few basic sustainable items; tops, blouses and underwear etc, all year round they have, over the last few years, also released a whole Conscious Exclusive Collection, proving you don’t have to skimp on the beauty to dress ethically.

Released on April 10th H&M’s third Conscious Exclusive Collection will be available online and in 150 stores worldwide. I for one cannot wait. Here’s a little peak at the lookbook.

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Dress: £129.99; Shoulder piece: £79.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Gown: £99.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Top: £39.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Shoulder piece: £79.99; Top: £34.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Top: £29.99; Trousers: £69.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Dress: £39.99; Shoes: £79.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Top: £34.99; Trousers: £69.99 | Photo : H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Gown: £299.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Jacket: £59.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Dress: £99.99; Bag: £39.99| Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Turban: £12.99; Top: £34.99; Trousers: £29.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Trousers: £29.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Dress: £149.99; Turban: £12.99; Shoes: £79.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Top: £29.99; Trousers: £69.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Shirt: £29.99; Shorts: £29.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Jacket: £199.99; Jumpsuit: £39.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Jacket: £199.99; Jumpsuit: £39.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Shirt: £24.99; Trousers: £69.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Dress: £79.99 | Photo: H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

Tunic: £39.99; Belt: £29.99; Shorts: £34.99 | Photo: H&M

I am in love with the white tiered gown, don’t you think it would make a beautiful wedding dress? Alas, as I have no where to wear this beautiful garment I will have to content myself by staring at it in pictures.  Although I would rather like the gowns and the beautiful white lace dresses, I know how mucky I am, so I have compiled a little selection of the very wearable items that will be making their way into my shopping basket. (I may be a little optimistic in terms of money here, but hey hoe, they will be getting a closer inspection at the very least!!)

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Spring 2014

My H&M Conscious Exclusive Picks

I adore this collection, and hope H&M can start to create more Conscious Exclusive Collections that are available throughout different times of the year, rather than that yearly Spring Collection.

What do you think of H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive Collection? Will you be hitting the shops on April 10th?

#100happydays round up

ramblings, Uncategorized

I realised I have been a little slack at keeping y’all posted on my #100happydays challenge.  I am loving doing this challenge and have noticed a difference in how I relish those little moments of happiness.  Last week I had the flu and even though every part of me ached and there was more liquid coming out of my face than ever before there were still the odd moments of happiness; staying in my pyjamas all day, or a mug of hot honey and fresh lemon, noticing these little moments have made having the flu a little bit more bearable.

Day 38 - Winter Olympic History, Day 39 - Fabric, Day 40 - Macaroons, Day 41 - the chap, Day 42, ALL the cinema food, Day 43 - soap, day 44 - baking cookies, Day 45 - Glossybox, Day 46 - People Tree deliveries, Day 47 - pyjamas, Day 48 - strawberry tarts, day 49 - hot honey and lemon, Day 50, The chap and our home

Day 38 – Winter Olympic History, Day 39 – Fabric, Day 40 – Macaroons, Day 41 – the chap, Day 42, ALL the cinema food, Day 43 – soap, day 44 – baking cookies, Day 45 – Glossybox, Day 46 – People Tree deliveries, Day 47 – pyjamas, Day 48 – strawberry tarts, day 49 – hot honey and lemon, Day 50, The chap and our home

DAY 38: I sat and watched history being made – women competing in the ski jump at the Sochi Winter Olympics.  It’s hard to believe that even in this day and age there are still so many things women aren’t able to achieve.

DAY 39: I LOVE FABRIC SHOPS!  This is a snapshot of my fabric haul: some pink organic cotton, two fat quarters and a whole bunch of Liberty hearts.  My mum has just got a Kindle so I made her a fabric Kindle holder with the patterned fabrics and used two of the hearts as fasteners, and I made myself a smock style top from the cotton. I had a very productive and fun few days.

DAY 40: The chap and I went to Paul’s as a little treat to ourselves, they do the most divine hot chocolate.  I got tempted by the macaroons, and I had almost finished eating it when I remembered I needed to photograph that little mound of heaven. So day 40’s picture is the remaining mouthful and a whole bunch of crumbs!

DAY 41: Goofing around the chap.  I love his little face and how he reminds me not to take life too seriously.

DAY 42: A rather enormous and completely misjudged cinema feast.  Note to self: When the cinema folk ask if you want to ‘go large’ for an extra £1, say NO, always a NO.  The drink was so big I had to use two hands!

DAY 43: My friend and I went for a chat after work, this chat ended with a massive walk home from central London collecting free soap samples on the way.  It smells (and looks) like Turkish Delight. 

DAY 44: Baking.  Who needs four individual cookies when you can have one ENORMOUS cookie.  These bad boys spread much more than I first thought!

DAY 45: Coming home to a Glossybox will always put a smile on my face!

DAY 46: My new People Tree dress. I know I have mentioned this little arrival in a previous post  (this is how far behind I am with this post!) but I was so excited to start my ethical wardrobe with this gorgeous gingham dress, this had to be snapped for day 46.

DAY 47: Pyjamas.  I love absolutely EVERYTHING about pyjamas, but never are they more comfortable than when you’re coming down with the flu.  Perfectly soft, perfectly warm, and perfect for slobbing about in.  psst…little secret, these are my boyfriends pjs – you can tell because they reach my ankles! Curse of having long legs.

DAY 48: Fruit tarts.  I think my obsession with fruit tarts started on the ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff when I was about 5 years old.  The fruit always looks fresh and juicy and the colours are so vibrant and exciting I can’t resist buying them when I see them.

DAY 49: The silver lining of having the flu – hot honey and lemon.

DAY 50: The chap and our little home.  I was feeling rubbish from the flu and having to work all day, but coming home to our little flat with the chap sitting there made me feel a little better. 🙂 A cheesy one but he’s pretty grand.

Can you believe I am half way through this challenge already? It’s gone by so quickly.  How’s everyone else finding it? Are you still sticking with it?

Until next time. ❤

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS, my pyjamas have arrived

Fashion

As many of you probably already know I have a small (read enormous) obsession with pyjamas. I love them; matching sets, pockets, elaborate piping, flannel, cotton, shorts, plaid, stripes, monkey faces, you name it a version of these pyjamas have passed through my pyjama drawer at least once. So imagine my insane excitement when I spotted ALAS (All Light All Shadow, an Australian sleepwear company) on the ASOS Green Room. *cue a whole lot of girly squeals.*

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS have created a brand that is socially and ecologically responsible. Their sleepwear is made from organic cotton, grown, spun, woven and dyed in India. They ensure the cotton is grown without using dangerous chemicals, pesticides and dyed without using harmful AZOs and formaldehyde. They also ensure all their packaging, swing tags and business cards are recycled and recyclable, which means their pjs are packaged in the most amazing way.

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

Yup, that’s a little box. My pyjamas arrived this morning neatly folded in this little cardboard box, with phases of the moon cut out on the top.  Cute, no?  Aside from the amazing packaging, the pjs aren’t so bad either, in fact they’re actually flipping great!  They’re “inspired by the astronomer Kepler and his exploration of the harmonic geometry of the universe”, the blue and white geometric shapes make for the most perfect of all pyjama patterns.

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS are my new favourite sleepwear brand. They state that “we wander the globe, picking up pieces of inspiration from under stones on beaches, constellations in the sky and patterns in nature”, this sentiment can be seen in the patterns of the products as well as the company’s principles.  I’m looking forward to their next collection already!

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

ALAS: All Light All Shadow | Photo: Laura Peta

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

Olga Kurylenko and Kellan Lutz rock sustainable glam on the 2014 Oscars Red Carpet

Fashion

We all love the Academy Awards, the hype behind Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Roles etc, the glitz and the glamour of the ceremony, and Ellen DeGeneres dressing up as Glenda the Good Witch, but my highlight was, no not Jennifer Lawrence tripping over on the red carpet (although that is up there, along with the pizza delivery, there’s something really grand about seeing Brad Pit tucking into a piece of pizza.)  No, my absolutely highlight was seeing Olga Kurylenko and Kellan Lutz stolling down the red carpet in gorgeous sustainable attire.

French actress and model, Olga Kurylenko, best known for playing Bond girl Camille Montes, and Twilight star Kellan Lutz graced the 2014 Oscar’s red carpet in Red Carpet Green Dress’ winning designs.

In 2009 Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of writer and director James Cameron, founded Red Carpet Green Dress, as a reaction to her accompanying her husband on the award ceremony rounds for environmentally aware film, Avatar.  An internationally recognised design competition that challenges designers to create an entirely sustainable gown, with the winning design being worn on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

Suzy Cameron and her sister founded MUSE School CA in 2006 with the aim of “empowering children to realize their full potential through academic excellence, personal responsibility, compassionate relations, global consciousness and environmental awareness”. The funds raised from the Red Carpet Green Dress go towards scholarships to MUSE School CA and Global MUSE (a network of sister schools modelled on the same principles.)

There is a strict design criteria for the Red Carpet Green Dress contest including using fabric from a sustainable source, organic cotton, bamboo or soy for example, harvested with as little impact on the environment as possible.  The chemical composition of the materials that go in to making the products must be considered, as well as paying strict attention to the amount of water used, and ensuring fair labour practises are in place throughout the manufacturing process.

This year’s winner was Alice Elia, a student of ESMOD in Paris.  Olga Kurylenko declared it “a privilege … to wear Alice’s gorgeous design on the red carpet” adding “it’s a great honor to have been asked.”  Her gorgeous dress is made from 100% silk and coloured with flowers, sounds pretty Romantic, no?

http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/3064109/olga-kurylenko-wears-eco-fashion-on-oscars-2014-red-carpet-02/

Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko shows sustainable fashion can be glamourous | Photo : http://www.justjared.com

To mark the 5th anniversary of Red Carpet Green Dress a menswear category was added to the competition.  The winning Tuxedo was designed by Jomnarn Dul from H Brothers (one of New Zealand’s most iconic menswear brands).  This isn’t the first time she has worked in the realm of eco fashion, with H Brothers collaborating with EKOCYCLE, a partnership between Will.I.Am and The Coca-Cola Company.  Kellan Lutz was the actor chosen to sport this amazing tux.  The trousers are 100% hemp, with the jacket being made with a mix of silk and recycled plastic bottles.

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

Kellan Lutz in a sustainable tuxedo|Photo: Kyle Rover/Startraks

In all their red carpet interviews I found, they have both been asked about their sustainable choices.  It’s a really great way of getting the notion of sustainable fashion out there, but most of all showing that just because something is sustainable, or made from recycled items doesn’t make it any less glamorous
Red Carpet Green Dress is an amazing competition, I can’t wait to see next years designs.  What do you think of their outfits?

People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

The Search For An Ethical Summer Wardrobe Begins

Fashion

I have started my quest for an ethical wardrobe, and after a little research I went a little shopping crazy. I possibly spent a little too much in one go, but I was pretty restrained considering the amount of loveliness I came across!!

I started my search at People Tree, pioneers in Fair Trade fashion. They have a beautiful array of clothes, and their dresses are just perfect. First in the basket was this delicious Black Gingham Ruffle Dress. It fits snugly through the bodice and flares gently through the skirt. There’s red stitching on the straps which adds a beautiful bit of detail and colour, I can’t help but feel a little like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, all I need is a little dog and wicker basket! I absolutely love everything about this dress, there’s even the added bonus of pockets, POCKETS!! If you know me at all you’ll know I love a dress with pockets.

 People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

People Tree: Black Gingham Ruffle Dress | Photo: Laura Peta

I also had a little look at what accessories People Tree had to offer and this beautiful charm cord bracelet caught my eye. This little hand made bracelet is produced in Bombolulu workshops in Kenya. The sale of this product goes towards People Tree’s Wheelchair Campaign and for every 100 pieces of Bombolulu Jewellery People Tree sell they donate a wheelchair to a disabled child in Kenya. Amazing, no? It’s nice to see the artisans making products that in time come back to help their own communities. Plus, the bracelet is absolutely gorgeous, always a bonus!!

People Tree Silver Heart Charm Cord Bracelet

People Tree: Silver Heart Charm Cord Bracelet | Photo : Laura Peta

I also found {Think} Boutique, a Glaswegian boutique launched in 2010. They strive to ensure all their products are from Fair Trade, organic, sustainable, up-cycled or locally produced sources, with many of their products being made here in the UK. My new saddle bag is made using environmentally friendly leather and dyes.  It’s quite a bright tan, sort of a rust colour, but it’s going to look amazing in the summer (it goes really well with my new dress – one summer outfit ready to go!). It also came wrapped up in tissue paper with a bow around it, all in a pretty cardboard box.  There was even a hand written note addressed to me personally thanking me for the purchase and advising that the product is “perfect to fit all the essentials!”.  It’s a simple but really effective way of making me, and each of their customers, feel truly appreciated.  Thank you, {Think} Boutique.

{Think} Boutique: My Green Bag | Photo: Laura Peta

{Think} Boutique: My Green Bag | Photo: Laura Peta

So there we have it, my first haul of ethical goodies, I just need Summer to hurry itself along so I can flounce around in my new gingham dress! Have you bought any sustainable items of clothing recently? I am intrigued to hear where you shop.