9 Ethical Fashion Brands You Need To Know

Fashion

It’s been almost 18 months since I set out on my quest to only shop from brands that have strong ethical and sustainable values. Having decided that I was having no more to do with stores that advocate fast fashion, I suddenly became very aware I had no idea where I was supposed to buy clothes from. Here’s a short guide to nine of my favourite brands that are taking huge strides in the world of ethical and sustainable fashion.

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!

Birthdays at Bedruthan Steps

Fashion

DSCF3354

Dress: Enjoy
Bag: {Think} Boutique

It was my dad’s birthday at the weekend and to celebrate we jumped in the car and went wherever the mood took him. The birthday mood took us to Bedruthan Steps – which is quite literally one of the most beautiful places in Cornwall, the world.

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!

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}

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.

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

Fashion

We all know fashion comes with a price, but what come across as a good deal for us doesn’t always mean a good deal for those who have put the garment together. It’s something I’ve been concerned with for a while but I have found it difficult to find some good eco items.

Starting this journey I was struck at how tricky it was to find fun, affordable fashion that has little impact on our world. A few of the blogs I’ve come across that specialise in eco fashion I’ve found to sometimes come across a little preachy. Whilst it’s great to highlight the social and environmental impacts fast fashion can have, what I wanted from these blogs was the chance to find companies who are respecting communities and combating environmental damages. This is what I hope to achieve with my blog.

Now, I’m not saying I am an expert, and I know it won’t always be easy and I’ll cave and buy high street purchases, but by thinking more about my fashion choices and incorporating more and more sustainable items to my wardrobe, as well as making some of my own, I hope I can start making a difference.

My first foray into eco fashion bought me to People Tree, a beautiful brand that respects people and the planet. They are recognized as pioneers in Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable fashion, and for over twenty years have partnered with artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco fashion. They stand up against exploitation, family separation, slum cities and pollution (things that make fast fashion successful). They are there at every step of the production process, from the farm to final product, ensuring Fair Trade and eco friendly actions at each stage.

Here’s a peak at what People Tree have to offer for Spring. (I cannot wait for the Orla Kiely dresses to arrive!)

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

People Tree SS14 Lookbook

IMAGE – People Tree: SS14 Lookbook

Doesn’t it make you want to pack a little bag and head off on a beach hut holiday. I cannot wait for spring to arrive.

Are you picky about where you shop? Have you ever bought anything from People Tree? Can you recommend any sustainable brands? I’d love to hear what you have to say on the issue.

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