I am gearing up for Organic September! I am ready to dive into the challenge of going organic for a month. Having said that I try to buy organic as often as I can, but I think actively trying to increase the amount of organic produce in your shopping basket is a brilliant exercise, which can lead you to find new products.

The Soil Association is also gearing up for organic September and can offer a ton of brilliant information about why we should all go organic. Head over to their website to see what they are planning for the coming month. I have signed up to their Organic September pledge and so can you!

Wow, looks like I’ve had a very long blog free holiday (April!). It’s been a busy, busy few months! I’ve started working with an amazing company called amoosi, who create the loveliest leather bags from reclaimed leather. I will give you a full update with pictures and more very soon. We’re working on a new collection at the moment, so will have loads to share with you soon.
Apart from that my better half (at least when it comes to gardening and cooking) and I have also bought a house! Yikes… There has been DIY mania in our new household and it is far from over. I’m currently playing with chalkboard paint and jars. Trying to make them look a bit like these. I’m not sure whether mine will look as good, but I will snap some pictures of the final results.

This is a very short update, but I ensure you that more posts will soon follow featuring things such as cats with parrot syndrome (my cat thinks she’s a parrot and she likes to sit on my shoulder while I paint), diy, diy and more diy, amoosi and, of course, organic September!

Would you like my old and worn out bra? No? What if it was made in the UK? Still a no?

I’ve always found second hand underwear at car-boot sales rather cringe worthy. I love second hand clothes, but I wouldn’t want to wear anyone’s second hand delicates. This is how many of us think and therefore many of us, when it comes to it, chuck our own old bras in the bin, rather than giving them to the local charity shop. In fact, your charity shop does want your old bra. At least if your local charity shop is an Oxfam. The UK fav charity organisation has set up a scheme called Frip Ethique , where people in Senegal sell second hand, preferably UK made, bras.  Good bras are a luxury in Senegal and buy enabling people to buy batches of bras from the scheme and sell them on for a higher profit.

Senegal was apparently chosen to kick-start the Frip Ethique scheme as the country seldom receives imported clothing form the UK.

Go to the Oxfam fashion blog to read the story so far. There is also a twitter feed for the bra hunt at #Oxfambra

Here Oxfam is promoting the bra scheme at Spitafields in London

The first week of Fair Trade fortnight is over, but whohoo, there’s almost one entire week to go! I have set myself a Fair Trade fortnight challenge to only wear Fair Trade, organic, recycled and second hand clothing for these two weeks. This is something I try to do regardless, but I still have the odd high-street piece. Besides, it’s a perfect way to show off some of my ethical wardrobe.

A year and a half ago (jeez time flies) I was interning for People Tree and we were set the exact same challenge. I loved it. There were so many lovely sustainable fashion pieces worn by people in the office. I was the annoying person running around with a camera persuading even the shy, camera-phobic people to have their picture taken. All the images of offices staff and customers sending in their photos were put on the PT blog.

Here are my sustainable outfits from the first week of Fair Trade fortnight 2012.

Monday:

Very second hand...The hat is from 'Beyond Vintage' and the bag is a second hand 'Coach' bag. Can't quite remember where I found the coat, but my guts say Brick Lane market (surprise, surprise). The scarf is from a BBC costume sale which was absolutely amazing (filled a bag full of lovely hats and a few other goodies).

A bit more second hand and some lovely hat hair. The cardy is another 'Beyond Retro' piece. The top and the long necklace are some of my cherished 'People Tree' items. The small necklace used to be my mums and the bottoms are... well... a sign that I need to stock up on sustainable trousers.

Tuesday:

In the mood for Fair Trade. Ahem, also in the mood for 'People Tree'. My skirt, top and necklace are all from PT (and as far as I know their from three different producer groups). The scarf is one of my first second hand purchases and has stayed with me for quite a while. The slippers are not really a part of the outfit (surprisingly enough).

Wednesday:

I feel quite 80's, a bit glam (or shiny) and a tiny bit bling Goth in this dress. Doesn't sound like a very positive description, but I love this piece.

Thursday/Friday

This is me looking businessy... not sure I would be allowed to work in finance dressed like this, but I think I've done a fairly good job. The trousers were bought from a vintage kilo sale, the top is once again PT and the belt I got for free as it was going to be binned. There are a pair of earrings that are not too visible, but if you got keen eyes they are from a car boot sale.

Saturday: Nowadays Saturdays are usually spent house hunting so I completely forgot about taking a picture. It wasn’t too interesting anyway; Fair Trade sporty (a bit like the Sunday picture).

Sunday:

Mmmm, Sunday lazy... I usually dress more up on the weekend than during the week, but once in a while just loafing around in really comfy clothes can be lovely. The cardy and socks are once again People Tree, but the top is Asos (Fair trade and organic). The necklace is one of my DIY's

More Fair Trade, organic and vintage fashion to come…

London’s been the capital of fashion for the past week and that includes gorgeous displays of ethical fashion.  As London Fashion Week would not be complete without it I popped by London House to see what The Good Fashion Show had to offer. I was very happy about the convenient location, right next to Kings Cross station, making my journey last Saturday a breeze.

The exhibition rooms were filled with both familiar and less familiar ethical brands, such as People Tree, In Bloom, Turtle Doves, Style With Heart and Oxfam Fashion. It was great to see such diversity in brands and approach to ethical fashion. Organic, Fair Trade, recycled and up-cycled fashion were all represented. Another event which clearly emphasised the diversity of ethical fashion was the discussion of the ethical fashion industry and its future by keynote speakers Lucy Shea (CEO Futerra), Professor Frances Corner (London College of Fashion), Lord Anthony Young (Vice-Chair of the Ethical Trading Initiative) and Professor Daniele Archibugi (Birkbeck, University of London, CNR , Rome).

Other bloggers have covered some of the amazing products that were present at London House last Saturday, but I haven’t come across too many posts and articles about some of the wonderful keynote speakers and discussions which took place. Which is why this is exactly what I want to focus on.

I was extremely excited to be allowed to hear some of these great industry experts speak. As panel discussions go they did not always agree, but the main point was agreed upon; think about what you’re buying.

Futerra’s CEO Lucy Shea was promoting swishing as a part of the solution to fast fashion. As a firm believer in the practice she’s decided to only swish and not shop for an entire year! For those who do not know what swishing is, it is clothes swapping (swishing parties can be so much fun). Her communications agency is ‘running’ a swishing week in September.

Lord Anthony Young was talking about initiatives to prevent producer exploitation, and child labour in particular. The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) are working with local NGO’s to combat these issues.  This could prove to be an efficient way of protecting workers in developing countries as governmental legislation is often futile. The question of government regulations was raised in the audience with a desire for the British government to tighten its legislations. Unfortunately the fragmented supply chains in the fashion industry make any such action difficult. Legislation is not easily transmitted over country borders and governments in developing countries often lack the resources to ensure that these are upheld.

The overall discussion was a positive one with belief in the ethical fashion movement continuing to claim more and more ground to stand on. Hopefully next years’ Good Fashion Show will reflect this.

Another valentines’ day is over and the world of fashion is standing on the doorstep ready to wow us with its creations.

I am still trying to put together my diary for LFW. Unfotunately I wasn’t able to make it to the ‘Pure’ exhibition, but there’s always next year. The Good Fashion Show is definitely on top of my list, but as I’m currently a fairly broke little treehugger I’m hoping that I’m eligible for the trade or press pass.

Clerkenwell Vintage Fair is also on at the weekend and I’m a sucker for vintage. There will be goodies going back as far as the 1800. Don’t think I’ll indulge in too much, but there will definitely be a lot of vintage eye candy.

I will definitely get my camera ready and try to get some good shots of all the delicious fashion heading our way!

Once in a while I come across something that makes me seriously wonder about the exact amount of clothes in my wardrobe. We have all been guilty of finding a pair of trousers or an old dress at the back of the closet which hasn’t seen the light of day in months, maybe years. Once I start thinking about stuff like this I feel my lovely green colour slowly turning mucky brown as the guilt starts creeping in. I don’t want to be so obsessed with stuff that I have absolutely no overview of how much of it I actually own.

However, I think I fall in to a group which is the lesser of two evils here (I think). Many people hoard fashion when its on sale, but never even use half of it. They don’t even remove the labels! I have friends who live by this shopping code of conduct (you know who you are… but I still love you). I fall in to a slightly different category. I can do my fair share of hoarding, but only at vintage kilo sales (which are designed for hoarding), but my problem lies in that I never throw anything away. I keep thinking that I might like that pink frilly top again in 10 years time (unless the moths get to it first). Even if something is broken I stick to my guns and convince myself that I can fix it or just make it into something else cool or useful. All of this is true, I could, but I probably won’t (maybe a year or so later) because I never seem to find the time. The few times I do leap into extensive action regarding the state of my wardrobe is when I come across inspiring pieces such as this article in the Ecology (it’s a bit like my spring cleaning). Safia Minney (Founder of People Tree), Amisha Ghadiali (Founder of think tank Think Act Vote and ethical jewellery label amisha.elegance.rebellion) and Debra Lestrade (CEO of style website, Style-to-you.com) gives advice on how to keep your wardrobe ‘green’. Hopefully you will find it as inspiring as me.

Hmm, setting up a blog and then ignoring it for 8 months is not the best start. But hey, I’m sure that happens a lot. However, what I’m really going to write about today is my new obsession with retrofitting houses. It is a very recent obsession of mine so please forgive my ignorance on the topic. The reason for my newly discovered interest in retrofitting, apart from the fact that I work in the interior design industry (as a marketer) is that I have started house hunting! I find this in itself extremely exciting, but my tree hugging brain cells wanted to take part too. Therefore I have started trawling the internet for websites on renovating and retrofitting British homes. Anayway, this was just a quick note to vent my excitement about my new adventure and I am sure there will be plenty more posts about anything imaginable to do with renovating houses!

I was browsing youtube to see if I could find anything interesting and came across this really cute video about recycling. “Love Story in Milk”. Yes, it is actually a story about two plastic milk bottles falling in love, sounds cheesy, but really cool. Never knew I could have sympathy with a plastic bottle. Anyways, a very short post, but thought this should be shared.

When blogging, having internet is very crucial… One could say my newly started blog has suffered slightly due to just that. I recently moved into a new flat. It’s lovely with wooden floors and a tiny jungle of plants outside. Already on the third day in the new pad, virgin came to install internet and everything was jolly good. Or so I thought… My temperamental old rock of a computer didn’t want to connect to the wireless. My bf’s mac was connecting just fine so I concluded that my computer was playing up (and that I wanted a mac). What’s wrong with it, I still don’t know, but it means that I have to plug in a cable that is so short that I have to squeeze as far as possible into the corner of the sofa, have the computer on my lap and sit very still… annoying.

On a different note I have still been busy doing some DIY. Lately Iv’ve been hooked on polymer clay. It’s so much fun! Equipped with youtoube tutorials and cake cutters you can make almost anything! This tutorial shows how to make pretty roses :

Here are some of the week’s products:

Cute clip-on earrings

I used a mini heart shaped cutter for these.

More cake cutting (also used my beloved pasta machine)

More roses

If you’re a polymer clay fanatic I’m sure you already have one, but a pasta machine is your best friend when working with  polymer clay. You can make a lot without it as well, but it opens so many new doors. You can make big sheets and go cracy with cake cutters (as you can see I did just that) and it makes it much easier to blend colours.

The collected work of the week

Well, hopefully you like what you see and maybe I’ve inspired one or two people to get their hands on some polymer clay! You can buy polymer clay in most craft shops, but if you are buying big bulks it will be cheaper to buy online.

So long…

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