Joining the Ethical Fashion Collective


I follow the blogs of Mel Wiggins and The Owl and the Accordion written by Victoria, both are great blogs and have interesting, thoughtful pieces along with show casing various ethical brands and top tips for eBay shopping. Last week I read about an idea that they had come up with together (don’t you love it when you find out your favourite bloggers are friends!), the Ethical Fashion Collective and it immediately intrigued me. Basically it is an idea to save some space online to show off and share information about ethical fashion – this includes vintage/second hand/articles/small brands/big brands – you name it! The idea is to do this on the 1st Friday of each month, and I love it! While I have my own reservations about the phrase ‘ethical fashion’ and prefer ‘ethical style’ I see no need to prescribe that to others and I’m excited to join in. Continue reading “Joining the Ethical Fashion Collective”


My Vintage Sewing Pledge 2016

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that for my birthday I received a sewing machine! I decided to get a Janome CXL301, which is a computerised one – part of me still hankers after an old fashioned basic one, in fact a treadle one would be brilliant but let’s be realistic something that helps me sew button holes is always going to be helpful. It is also the machine I used at my dressmaking class I took B.C. (you know, before Chop πŸ™‚ ), I loved the fact that it has an adjustable speed for the foot pedal and the set up of it was a breeze. Of course the fact I had the lovely Rachel to advise probably helped there. Continue reading “My Vintage Sewing Pledge 2016”

#SecondHandFirst – Taking the TRAID Pledge

I know it is December and I should be posting all festive stuff but I quickly wanted to rewind to November and TRAID’s inaugural 2nd hand first week. TRAID are a brilliant company, or I really like them anyway (you can see the leggings I bought from them last year here). They are London based, they take the clothing that is donated to them and use it as resources whether to sell directly through their shops or turn into new items then they use funds to help with education and to fund projects throughout the world. I also love the fact that they focus on a circular and sustainable approach with the addition of the education element and working to improve conditions for those in the traditional garment industry. As yet I haven’t made it to their shops on my annual pilgrimage to the big smoke. Continue reading “#SecondHandFirst – Taking the TRAID Pledge”

My Edinburgh, Part 2: Godiva’s Christmas Party

Empty mulled wine cup

Last Wednesday night I had my first mulled wine and mince pie of the festive season. Myself and a couple of friends headed along to the boutique Godiva in Edinburgh for their Christmas party. We joined the other happy late-night shoppers for a drink, mince pie and the opportunity to pick up some presents for 15% off. In typical IHR style I had just bought presents from here on the Monday but it was a lovely atmosphere and the staff are so friendly and sweet that it was a nice way to spend an evening window shopping (some heavy hints have been dropped to Mr IHR). Godiva is one of my favorite shops in Edinburgh. I only discovered it a year ago and since then it has become one of the few places I still buy clothes “in the flesh” rather than online. Continue reading “My Edinburgh, Part 2: Godiva’s Christmas Party”

Sustainable Fashion Challenge

Over the past nine days I have been taking part in theΒ 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge‏ created by Summer Edwards of the lovely blog Tortoise & Lady Grey. It has been great fun and I thought I would share some of my thoughts from some of the challenges so far.

So far the challenges have been quite simple. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I more mean simple as the challenges are all ones that you take as little or as much time over. The individual challenges really got you thinking about your relationship with fashion and how you want that relationship to be moving forward.

So here come some reflections from the first eight days of the challenge. On day 1 I rated myself as a 4 on knowledge of sustainable fashion although I always want to learn more.

Reflections on my Relationship to Fashion

I am starting to want to change my vocabularly around fashion, and start to use the word style in place of “fashion”. I think that this is because fashion is something I personally equate with buying, seasons, must-haves and “investment” pieces. With fashion I feel I keep trying to buy one more thing while I feel style is more personal with elements that come from magazines, TV and other media our personality is so much more on show with style than with fashion.

I like to try to plan ahead but I am more of an impulse buyer and I think this can be seen in the amount of patterns that exist in my wardrobe, the majority of which I love, but there is a distinct lack of plain basics.

While I don’t go shopping really at all anymore (I’d rather been on horseback πŸ™‚ ) I still enjoy window shopping online and love blogs that show off the style of others.

If I am being totally honest I think I spend too much on clothing, even though it is now 2nd hand or ethical/sustainable items I think I simply still buy too much and too often. I also often have misplaced ideas as to what is a reasonable thing to spend money on, for example I did find it tough to spend the money on my new riding boots even though they will last for years and be worn at least once a week (hopefully more).

Reflections on the relationship with my current wardrobe

When I open my wardrobe in the morning (this is metaphorically opening as the wardrobe is never closed) I usually have no idea what I am going to wear. Unless I am off to the horse riding but even then working out what to wear on the top half is sometimes a little time consuming.

I often have trouble deciding what to wear and how it will work in practice e.g. if I am cycling to work, running in my lunch break, meeting colleagues or externals or what I am doing after work. I am the type of person who is carrying three different tops and a pair of shoes with them (my bags are like the tardis).

When I look at my wardrobe I still think I am missing items. That if I could just find X or Y then my whole wardrobe would work together and I could stop shopping for a while.

I also like to be able to wear different outfits depending on my mood. I am not someone who has a ‘uniform’ but there probably is an underlying theme to what I like to wear. I particularly like wearing relaxed tops or jumpers with smarter or tighter fitting trousers or skirts and I like prints so I will always have an element of it somewhere in my outfit even if it is just a scarf.

Finally, a particularly apt thought as I try to find an outfit for a wedding this weekend. I sometimes feel I am not very good at having nicer going out clothes or a wedding outfit. I am quite a casual woman at heart and I think that comes through in my clothing choices. I am beginning to worry about what I will wear on Saturday. It might be jeans at this rate πŸ™‚

Some other elements of the challenge

Next up after all the reflecting was a pruning of your existing wardrobe, I do this regularly so there wasn’t actually too much to be given away and there was also only one item with outstanding mending required. I have decided to attempt to alter a top too, I like the colour and stripes on the t-shirt but the sleeves have gone a little baggy at the wrist. I have cut these off and Wunderwebbed it to make the sleeves 3/4 length and due to my love of peter pan collars I plan to add a collar to the top. It might not work but in which case it will be turned into rags. I also sat and mended the small hole in a pair of exercise tights last night, not very well but you have to start somewhere with this stuff and more importantly now these tights can be put back in the exercise wear rotation.

One of the days challenges was to style an item in your wardrobe differently. I chose one of my shirts for work and style it for the weekend. I am definitely going to try this look out.

Outfit using shirt, waistcoat and boots
Couldn’t resist a picture of the new riding boots.

I am now off to try today’s challenge which is all about thinking a little more about budgets eek not sure I want to know how much I spend on clothing! I will post about the challenge again but in the meantime why not come and join me?

20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge

Oh and in case you didn’t see it earlier this week I did a wee interview with the Moral Fibres blog (ace blog, click through and have a look around), apologies for the cheesiest photo in world but that’s the only pose I know πŸ™‚

Your Ethical Style – Stephannie Hay

A Big Fat Zero – February Challenge Completed

February seems to have passed in a blur, from reading a few of the blogs I follow I think most people feel the same way!

Luckily by default I did complete a challenge in February as I bought nothing! Well nothing clothing-wise, which was a revelation in a way as I realised that even on the WWC last year I still bought a lot of stuff (really just rediscovered eBay and then had to ban myself πŸ˜‰ ). I definitely have enough clothing to see me through the days so I think a few self-imposed months without buying anything new definitely does me some good, and of course the bank balance which will help me to achieve some of my other goals for the year!

I also sent off my first email about the Fashion Revolution to the local designers Totty Rocks, unfortunately I haven’t heard anything back yet so I am going to follow up on that this week and do my other item – I have chosen two coats interestingly – not sure why, I guess because at the time I got these I couldn’t see many ethical alternatives that looked like they would cope with weather and be nice enough I would want to wear them. I got my Totty Rocks red mac made to measure in 2011 as a treat for having completed my MSc and I got my Joules wax jacket in 2010 so both are staples in my wardrobe. I will let you know what I hear back, the nice thing about Totty Rocks is that because their shop is in the city I can just pop in and see the lass who actually stitched my coat together πŸ™‚

This month I am going to be taking a look at how to dispose of clothing, namely bras as I have had no idea what to do with them until I went to an express Pilates class!

Fripping Hell! – January Challenge Completed

The first in the A Challenge for Every Month series, remember to check out awesome New York blogger Jesse Anne O atΒ for her version.

I had been planning to look through the fabrics in my wardrobe or try to mend the hems/zips/holes in the clothes that need a little tender care but some how it was coming to the end of the month without me having done any of these things. I blame procrastination πŸ™‚ Continue reading “Fripping Hell! – January Challenge Completed”