Fashion Revolution Week: 10 ethical brands

Ideally the most sustainable way to chop and change your wardrobe is to not buy brand new.fullsizeoutput_14e8But sometimes you just can’t find what you need raking round vintage shops or scrolling through second hand websites. If you do need to buy brand new, then make sure it’s from an ethical source. Somewhere that looks into their materials, their production process and their supply chain. Somewhere that ensures they are minimising their impact on our planet and treating their people fairly.

In celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, here are 10 of my favourite ethical brands…

Enchanted Rebels – Quirky simple pieces made from organic cotton. I have their lovely Annie top which goes perfect with a high waisted skirt or vintage denim shorts, I also have my eye on their Marilyn Kimono which will be spot on for my travels. fullsizeoutput_14ebfullsizeoutput_14edLara Intimates – In February I was lucky enough to visit Lara Intimates for a fitting. Hidden away above a pub in Soho are a handful of seamstresses that make the most comfy and flattering bras I’ve ever seen or worn. Every garment is made from reclaimed material and they come in sizes that fit all, even my own narrow back / big bust combo! Below is what I bought, the Clio, the Crop and some high waisted briefs. And for all you new Mams out there, they now do lovely nursing bras.

Fridays Project – A Spanish brand hosting collections made out of natural, organic and recycled fabrics. They have the ethos that it’s not necessary to have lots of clothes to create different outfits, so they make high-quality garments that are built to last and that can be mixed and matched. I’ve just ordered this cardigan, a staple for my travels, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!natural-cotton-tricot-cardiganKnow the Origin – KTO is run by Charlotte, who was studying at London College of Fashion at the time of the Rana Plaza disaster. She spent her dissertation year in supply chains around Bangladesh and India trying to understand how she had no idea where her clothes came from. She then decided to do something about it and created KTO that can trace it’s garments from seed to shop.

Mayamiko – A really cool collection ethically made in Malawi. I’m going to a couple of weddings this summer, so I’ve treated myself to a jazzy African print jumpsuit from Mayamiko. It’s made from surplus ethically sourced cotton fabric for a zero waste design that I personally love. It’s bright, bold and made well.

Jan n June – Started by two friends, Anna and Jula in Hamburg. All clothes are produced in Wroclaw, Poland in the Ciborski family-owned factory from sustainable materials such as organic or recycled cotton, recycled polyester and tencel. The clothes are minimalistic, very simple and cool.CULOTTE-TULIPA-RECYCLED-PESMonkee Genes – Organic and ethically made jeans. Doing both men and women’s wear ranging from skinny, to flare, to skate. The company’s catch phrase is – “No Blood, No Sweat, No Tears.”

Wynad – With a mission of gender equality through sustainable fashion. The business began as a collaboration with rural development charity TGG Foundation who are based in the district of Wayanad, India. TGG operates a stitching workshop in the area known as the “women empowerment centre”, providing jobs, fair pay and training to women and young girls in the local community. For every single sale of Wynad clothing 10% will go directly to TGG Foundation to support the growth of the Women Empowerment Centre in Wayanad.

Birdsong – At Birdsong they connect women, from worker to wearer. They work under the promise of no sweatshop and no photoshop (the devil!) and work solely with women’s groups and charities in order to produce their clothing. All women they work with are paid a London living wage.

Thinking Mu – Using organic, Fairtrade and recycled materials, Thinking Mu hand print and stitch all their garments in India. Their website gives the buyer – us, you – a call to action to close the loop. We can buy less and buy better, wash less and cooler, dry clothes naturally and recycle and upcycle clothes. All these simple changes will drive an improved fashion industry.

So there you have it, 10 of my favourite ethical brands. I’m always on the look out for more, so if you have any you’d like to share with me, please get in touch!

Ciao x

What’s occurring this Fashion Revolution week?

Next week marks the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster that killed 1,138 people, it’s also the start of Fashion Revolution week.4470476672_IMG_1559.JPGThroughout the week I’ll be posting a few blogs…

  • I’ll be asking brands #whomademyclothes to demand greater transparency in their supply chains. Check out my posts from last year to see what I found when I delved into Marks & Spencers and Fred Perry.
  • I’ll be sharing my fashion ‘love story’. Again, check out last year’s which was a beautiful vintage dress stolen from a friend.
  • Finally I’ll be making a list of my favourite ethical brands. Brands which if I wasn’t saving money or actually needing new clothes at the moment I’d definitely be buying from.

But to start the week off, I thought I’d share with you what’s going on this Fashion Revolution week…fullsizeoutput_14e7Every Monday 8-9pm it is Ethical Hour over on Twitter. #Ethicalhour for me provides a platform that supports, shares and motivates me to continue what I’m doing. A couple of weeks ago Sian at Ethical Hour arranged a meet up in Birmingham, it was a great chance to meet the people I speak to on a weekly basis in person and discuss the things we feel passionate about. This Fashion Revolution week is no different, at 8pm on Monday Ethical Hour will be hosting a Twitter chat around ethical fashion.

On Tuesday I’ll be taking part in the Going Green in 2018 summit. This online event hosts speakers from the Ethical Brand Directory, Pebble Magazine, Ethical Hour, Green Story and Earth Changers who will all be sharing tips on how to go green with fashion, tourism and life in general.

If you live in the Exeter area Wow Sancho will be hosting events all week long (check them out on Facebook). If like me you’re not in that area, still check out their online shop, they have some beautiful pieces hand selected from ethical brands.Screen_Shot_2018-04-04_at_12.50.18_1024x1024Finally on Saturday Enchanted Rebels will be hosting several Facebook live discussions with ethical bloggers on topics such as ‘greenwashing’, ‘women saving the world’ and ‘dressing ethically’. Having web-chatted myself with Lianne from Enchanted Rebels, it’s bound to be worth joining in, just head over to Facebook to take part.

I love clothes and how they can make you feel, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of people or our planet. Fashion Revolution is now a huge global movement that calls for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. It’s a great way for people to be educated on the problems in this industry and what they can do to help. 4470476672_IMG_1560What will you be doing this Fashion Revolution week? I’d love to know!

Ciao x

Zero Waste Wonders

You’ve all heard me harping on and on about plastic pollution and it seems some of our efforts to reduce the amount of plastic we use are finally paying off!

A recent study by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) has found that the number of plastic bags on the seabeds surrounding the UK have reduced significantly. However the study also found that despite the reduction in carrier bags, the overall amount of deep-sea litter remained the same due to an increase in other plastic items.

Clearly we still have a long way to go in reducing the negative impacts of our plastic consumption, so to help, here are four of my favourite plastic preventing products:fullsizeoutput_14d8

Stojo pocket cup – This collapsible pocket cup (which was sold to me primarily for the name ‘pocket cup’… cheers Bob Fossil) is perfect when you’re on the go but don’t want to carry around a normal reusable cup. It’s made from recycled materials, is BPA free and microwave and dishwasher friendly. Here it is at Tamworth Station where the coffee shop were more than happy to pop their finest cup of Yorkshire, once drunk, you just collapse and it fits nicely in your bag without any leakage.

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Bambaw straws – More and more restaurants, bars and cafes now refuse to use plastic straws. I was out in Liverpool the other week and was over the moon to be given a paper straw with my G&T in The Cavern. These bamboo straws are biodegradable and reusable. They come with a cleaning brush and pouch to help them stay clean and last longer.fullsizeoutput_14d9

Arket packable tote bag – Made from used plastic bottles and recycled polyester yarn, this packable tote bag is good as a bag itself or to just carry round in your handbag to use when out shopping, helping you say no to carrier bags.

Lush solid shampoo – I was a little apprehensive using a solid shampoo, but after reading lots of reviews I decided to take the leap. Lush have lots to choose from and provide tins to keep them in top condition. When picking out my solid shampoo I went for the Karma Komba because it just smells so good. After a few months of using it, I can also vouch that it does thoroughly clean your hair and keeps it in good condition. It also will last absolutely ages and will be perfect for my travels.Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 17.37.26

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to reduce your plastic consumption. Please drop a comment below with any hints and tips!

Have a lovely Sunday evening and I’ll be back next week with some Fashion Revolution prep!

Ciao x

Where did March go?

I can’t believe it has been a whole month since my last post. I really don’t understand where March went and I really really can’t comprehend that it is already April, which means that it is only 4 months and 27 days until I go travelling (not that I’m counting or anything…)!

A few weeks ago I moved out of my flat and in with my parents. I used the whole moving out process as a good kick up the bum to get rid of those material things I don’t need. In other words, a proper Spring clean.fullsizeoutput_14bbI had two whole bookcases full of books that I’d read and was probably never going to read again. It was an emotional process of sorting through them and then donating to the different charity shops on Ashby high-street. Some of the books I’d read as a child (Jacqueline Wilson), some had gotten me through Uni (Irvine Welsh) and some were just pure classics (Little Women, Schindler’s List, 1984). But I now own a Kindle and don’t have space to hoard. So I plucked up the courage and got rid!fullsizeoutput_14c3The majority of furniture in the flat was already second hand, but it was still in decent condition. Gumtree and eBay therefore became my saviour. Not only did it mean I didn’t have to do lots of heavy lifting on moving day but it meant getting a few quid for things I no longer needed and that the furniture was going to a new home instead of being sent to landfill. It’s ridiculous how much perfectly good furniture get’s binned every year.

When I eventually have my own place and need to furnish and decorate, this will be something I think about. There are so many charity shops, websites and auction houses offering beautiful preloved furniture for just a fraction of the cost. Even if it isn’t in great condition, a sand down, lick of paint or reupholstering can work wonders. fullsizeoutput_14c5Finally, moving into my parents I knew me and Rob had only a single wardrobe to share. Despite having gotten rid of a load of clothes in 2017 I still had dresses, shoes and jackets I hadn’t worn in ages and that would be of no use to me on my travels. I made a Depop account and managed to find my clothes and shoes another owner and lease of life.0831c791e696980a37e1e0836f5ad94dOver the years I’d managed to accumulate so much stuff, the majority of which had no use what-so-ever. Even since trying to live more consciously I had still bought material things unnecessarily. But since this big Spring clean and knowing that come September all I will have is a 60 litre rucksack with my worldly items in, I really don’t think I’ll ever get into that position again.

As it’s now starting to get more Spring-like (no more snow please!), why don’t you have a good Spring clean yourself? It really is quite liberating.

 

IWD – volume 3

Happy International Women’s Day!!!!

IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s also a day to do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women. Here is my final blog post in my IWD series with my #pressforprogress.

VOLUME 3

As mentioned in my previous post, last year on IWD I made a #beboldforchange pledge to buy from women owned businesses and companies that support women.

This year…

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I will press for progress and challenge stereotypes and bias.

Basically I will:

  • question assumptions about women – “she needs a man in her life”… erm no, why?
  • challenge statements that limit women – if I hear “oh she can’t do that, she’s a girl” one more time… grrr!
  • use inclusive language – not just for gender, but disabilities, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

So if you’re going to gender stereotype around me… watch out!

Hope you all have a lovely IWD!

Ciao, Anna x

IWD – volume 2

This post was supposed to be Volume 3 (coming up on Thursday)… but seeing as Lauren Laverne’s focusing her Radio 6 show this week on women in music for International Women’s Day (IWD), I thought I’d get in early before she steals my IWD Playlist thunder.

VOLUME 2

The Brits, Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA’s – they’re all full of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns. Not just because of sexual harassment but because of misrepresentation, lack of opportunity and lack of recognition.

Unsurprisingly these figures mirror most industries, which is just shocking considering half of the world’s population is female. Undoubtedly the showbiz industry get’s a lot of media coverage on the feminism topic and whilst sometimes this is frustrating, it has started opening up conversations in ‘normal’ workplaces.

Just like my last post where I declared my support of women owned businesses and companies that support women, in this post I will show my support for women in music, books and TV/film.

IWD Playlist

Found here on Spotify – go on give it a listen! 1 hour 15 minutes of pure #girlpower.

IWD Reading-list

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge – A book about frustration around race as well as feminism. Very intelligently written, one to concentrate over. But I learnt A LOT reading it.
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women – Elena Favilli – I’m not even a child and love this bedtime story book about the lives of women from the past and the present. It’s also beautifully illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
  • Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body – Sara Pascoe – A combination of Sara’s autobiography and evolutionary science facts, resulting in a very a funny insight into the way modern women work both mentally and physically. A one I’d recommend men reading more than women, you might just learn something lads!
  • How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran – An insecure teenage girl growing up in the 90’s. Very unoriginal I hear you say? Not likely. Caitlin Moran is ridiculously funny and puts a great spin on the trials and tribulations of growing up, being poor, being a woman and finding one’s identity as a person.
  • Everywomen: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth – Jess Phillips – Just started reading this one on Sunday, but love Jess Phillips (Labour MP) anyways, so already know it’s going to be a winner.

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IWD Watch-list

  • She’s Gotta Have It – Netflix – A remake of the 80’s Spike Lee film. Nola Darling, lives in Brooklyn juggling three boyfriends, a job, her art and her friends. The soundtrack is top.
  • Young & Promising – 4od – Or Unge Lovende as it is called in Norway where the third series has just come out. I’m currently waiting patiently for it to arrive on 4od.  It’s kind of a Scandinavian version of Sex and the City, but more real and with beer not Cosmo’s.
  • Ladybird – out now – Written and directed by Greta Gerwig (a woman!) about a troubled teenage girl with a controlling mother. I’ve not yet seen it, but a trip to the pictures is on the cards this weekend. It’s meant to be hilarious.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Purely for when Hermione punches Draco.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Not even ashamed, purely for the scene where Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix are duelling.

Enjoy!

P.s You can’t get rid of me this week, I’ll be back on Thursday with my #pressforprogress. In the meantime, head over to the International Women’s Day website to make your own pledge!

P.p.s Pledges aren’t just for women!!!

IWD – volume 1

On Thursday 8th March it is International Women’s Day (IWD) and tomorrow is the March 4 Women in London. As I can no longer make the March (cheers Beast from the East…) I’ve decided to pay homage through a series of blog posts.

VOLUME 1

Last year on IWD I made a #beboldforchange pledge to buy from women owned businesses and companies that support women. And over the year, I did just that. Here are three of my favourites:

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Brought to my attention by my good friend Chloe, Everything Sweet Threads is a couple owned business inspired through attending the Women’s March in 2017 and wanting to give their daughter exactly the same opportunities as if she had been a son. They sell stupidly cool t-shirts for adults, children and babies. They are printed in Manchester and 10% from every sale goes to the Pankhurst Trust and Manchester Women’s Aid, I just couldn’t resist getting myself one!

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about menstrual cups. They’re the new fad, and so they should be for many many reasons. They’re better for the environment, better for your health and much more convenient. Mooncup are one of the more popular menstrual cup companies and also where I purchased mine. They are owned by women, used by women and support many charities such as ‘Mobilise a Midwife’ helping midwives to reach mothers in Uganda, ‘Rowley Project’ supplying Mooncup’s to young women in Kenya and as a business they do annual beach cleans.

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Finally, Jyoti Fair Works who are an absolute favourite of mine! I’ve mentioned them on the blog before, they are a German-Indian fair fashion label that employs socially disadvantaged women as seamstresses in Chittapur, South India. Jyoti are a non-profit enterprise, meaning 100% of their profit goes back into their workshop in India providing the women permanent employment, opportunities for training, health checks, and a fair salary.

Do you have a favourite women ran / supporting business? How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day?

I’d love to hear from you!

Ciao, Anna x

P.s coming up over the next few days:

  • VOLUME 2 – IWD playlist, reading-list and watch-list
  • VOLUME 3 – my #pressforprogress