Turtle Doves: recycled cashmere

Turtle Doves is a British brand that buys woollen items from charity shops and turns them into new products. This is great for so many reasons and their story of success is inspiring. Turtle Doves started very small but now employs over 20 people, including ex-Laura Ashley seamstresses whose jobs disappeared when production was moved to the Far East.

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I suffer really badly with cold hands (cheers Raynaurd’s disease) and a few months ago my Mam surprised me with some Turtle Doves finger-less gloves (rhymes!). Considering they are finger-less they amazingly cure ‘white finger’.

 

Turtle Doves don’t just make finger-less gloves, they do all sorts of top quality, cosy and ethical products. It’s getting colder every day and Christmas is looming closer and closer, Turtle Doves would make a great present and if you join their Friends Club they’ll give you 10% off your next order.

Ethical Men’s Clothing

On Sunday it was International Men’s Day. To show appreciation for my male followers, I thought I’d share some ethical men’s clothing (also ladies… Christmas is coming up… present suggestions for your Dad, Brother, Boyfriend?).

Brothers We Stand

Providing the basic essentials made in a wind-powered factory from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles.

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Ecoalf

Making products out of things like plastic bottles, old coffee grounds and fishing nets.

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Idioma

Have an aim to enhance foreign language learning and cultural awareness through ethical clothing.

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Thought

Contemporary pieces that are effortless to wear and sustainably made. Pieces designed to be love-forever classics.

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Know the Origin

Made from organic and fair-trade cotton, KTO shows full traceability from seed to shop.

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Cock and Bull

Using organic, recycled, reclaimed, locally sourced and Artisan textiles and collections predominantly made in the UK.

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Winter Coats

I suddenly realised earlier this month, when it started to get cold, that I didn’t actually own a winter coat. And so… the hunt began. All I wanted was a plain, black, warm coat. Not much to ask you’d of thought?!

What I found was a great selection of ethically made coats, but they were wayyyyyy out of my price range. Here’s some of my favourites:

 

Lanius – €299,90

 

Jan’n June – €230

 

Langerchen – €279

 

Lowie – £389

As these lovely coats we’re a tad (*cough cough*) too expensive for me, I admitted defeat and looked at high street brands. I had a 20% off Sparks voucher for Marks & Spencers to use and so bit the bullet and bought a coat from there.

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In theory, this coat is exactly what I wanted. Plain, black and warm. It comes in 8 different colours and is a fraction of the cost compared to the coats mentioned earlier (£119, but I got it for £95 with my voucher).

 

M&S aren’t the worst offenders in the fast fashion industry. They have very good policies, are one of the first high street retailers to start being transparent and even have an interactive map on their website where you can find information on their supply chain. But as mentioned in one of my previous posts where I investigated into ‘Who made my clothes?’ for an M&S shirt, there have been some scandals regarding sweatshop conditions, using Syrian refugees for labour and UK worker union issues.

My search for a winter coat has proven that sometimes the ethical choice is much more expensive. But I shan’t feel guilty for this high street purchase. It is not just buying from ethical brands that will encourage fast fashion retailers to become more ethical, it is about buying less and asking brands the question ‘who made my clothes?’ over and over again.

This is a coat I love. It will be taken care of and worn for years to come. Moral of the story; if you cannot buy ethical, buy less, and buy something you love.

Guppyfriend – Microfibres Solution

Plastic is a problem and a lot of the time we think of bottles, bags, packaging. But synthetic clothes (think sports gear, polyester shirts, nylon tights) also cause environmental problems. Every time you wash a piece of synthetic clothing plastic microfibres get into the water stream heading into our rivers and oceans.

The Story of Stuff have developed a brilliant short film on microfibres, definitely check it out! In overview the problem is that there are 1.4million,trillion microfibres in our oceans and rivers which are toxic and are eaten by fish causing them to become sick, which ultimately works it’s way up the food chain to us.

Tonight Blue Planet II is on again, such a great programme. Sadly those amazing creatures are just bobbing around and unconsciously consuming toxic particles caused by us. So what can we do to prevent putting microfibres into our water?

  • Buy clothes made of natural materials
  • Use liquid and less washing detergent
  • Wash less often
  • Use a Guppyfriend!

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Until we completely change our consumption behaviours, the Guppyfriend is a good way to reduce plastic pollution from our clothes. It’s basically a bag you pop synthetic clothes into before putting it into your washing machine, collecting the microfibres. Simple but effective.

Head to STOP! MICRO WASTE, a non-profit organisation in Berlin, to get your very own.

5 Fairtrade Faves

Happy Friday guys!

October is Fairtrade month, so here are five of my Fairtrade favourites:

  1. Bananas – I have at least one banana a day, they couldn’t NOT be top of my list. Always make sure they are organic AND Fairtrade (good for the worker and the environment).e39735728ce807279bf68871862cce30
  2. Jyoti Fair Works – Earlier this year I bought a beautiful skirt from Jyoti who are a German-Indian fair fashion label. Seriously check them out because their designs are great and they do some amazing stuff with their workers and supply-chain.
  3. Divine Chocolate – Not just tasty and Fairtrade, Divine scored really highly with Ethical Consumer magazine on their supply-chain management, company ethos, environmental reporting and animal welfare.Divine - Jenny Botwe_Anidasonyame 750x482
  4. People Tree – I’ve got a few People Tree items in my wardrobe now. They are very reasonably priced and stylish, great for wardrobe essentials.fullsizeoutput_fe0
  5. Honeystreet Handmade – You might remember that I’ve written about these guys before, their body butters are just brilliant. wftd6

Well there they are.

Hope you have a great weekend! xxx

Autumn clean & a challenge

Fashion these days is fast, we are buying and chucking away clothes more than ever. Most clothes that are bought are made unethically, using unsustainable materials, tonnes of water and energy and producing lots of waste. They are cheap and disposable.

I started an ethical transition with my wardrobe last December, and this autumn I’m having another major clear out because I still have way too many clothes that I really do not need.

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In the clean out process I was cut throat, if I couldn’t see myself wearing it at least 30 times it was gone. This is called the 30 wear challenge. The other weekend I dropped four bags off to charity shops and I’m selling some stuff on Depop. I thought I was doing alright at it, until… Labour Behind the Label asked if I would like to join their challenge…

Every year Labour Behind the Label host the six item challenge in Lent which is designed to test our reliance on fast fashion and raise funds to help garment workers. Basically the idea is simple – you select six items of clothing from your wardrobe and pledge to wear only these every day for six weeks. Crikey!

They tell me not to panic and that you can have unlimited access to underwear, accessories, footwear and sportswear. But your main items of clothing – dresses, trousers, tops, skirts, jumpers, shirts or cardigans – must remain the same throughout.

I don’t know if I can do it? Can I really dedicate six weeks to wearing just six items of clothing? So this is where I need your help, I’m down for doing it, but only if some of you will do it with me! So… any takers?!

Taking a break. Getting a balance.

Dear Readers,

It’s been a full week since my last post, and it will be even longer till my next…

I am taking a break from blogging. I do love blogging, I really do. But at the moment I’m struggling to get the right balance. And in all honesty it’s been messing with my head!

Recently I’ve been given extra responsibility at work, I have a very busy social life and I feel I can’t fully enjoy that at the moment with the added pressure of writing blogs. The last thing I want is to not enjoy writing them, so for September I will be hanging up the keyboard and focusing on my friends and family, my work and myself.

Taking a break. Getting a balance.

But do not fear (or be so relieved), I will be back in October! But in the meantime my September step back is starting well, right now I’m on a train heading to London for a weekend with Rob. Next weekend I’m off to walk Hadrian’s Wall for charity. The weekend after that it’s Rob’s birthday. Then finallyyyyyy I’m off on holiday to Dubrovnik for a week.

In the meantime here are some things I was going to talk about through September that I’ve gotten for my holidays. I’ll let you have a sneaky peak at my sustainable buys without my waffle.

Auria London bikini

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Jyoti skirt

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People Tree dress

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Sundried shorts

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Sometimes taking a break is essential. Have a great September yourself, and make sure you get a good balance!

Cya in October!

Ciao Bella’s xxx