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How to Use Instagram for Sustainable Inspiration

By February 23, 2018 Ethical

As much as algorithms seem to be driving a lot of the Instagram community up the wall recently – yes, we all know, it was a far better place when posts appeared chronologically – for me personally, it’s actually fast becoming one of my favourite platforms for a multitude of reasons. So today, to mix things up from my usual content, I thought I would share some ways to enjoy ‘IG’ as much as I am as well as a few recommendations of who you should be following…

Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow

Your vibe attracts your tribe…

Especially when you’re introducing yourself to sustainability and ethics, you can become bogged down in the nitty-gritty of it all and often what you really need is a nice, healthy dosage of positivity! 

Following individuals on Instagram who spread positive messages about good work being done is a quick and easy way of educating yourself without feeling like the world is facing impending doom. 

@unwrinkling (also known as Whitney Bauck) is one of my favourite Instagram users. Her day job is focusing on sustainability with her journalistic work so she merges the two, highlighting new initiatives and innovations whilst still being relatable and sharing imagery which would be fit on any other Insta-page. She introduced me to G-STAR RAW’s latest work and for that, I am very grateful.

@storiesbehindthings is an account run by Jemma and Ella who focus mainly on vintage fashion and opening up discussions with their followers about different sustainable and ethical topics. If you’re into perfectly coordinated themes and being introduced to new brands; definitely give them a follow.

@celinecelines (Céline Semaan) is the founder of The Slow Factory and is one inspiring woman. Not only does she head-up The Slow Factory #FashionActivism brand, she is also a sustainable advocate all round, being an ambassador for the Global Fashion Exchange and founding The Library. She’s a joy to follow and you all need to learn more about her.

Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to FollowLearn more about where your clothes come from…

In my opinion, you can trust a brand when they’re openly transparent and by that I mean, more than just sharing their list of suppliers on an interactive map.

A lot of ethically focused brands will share behind the scenes information and stories about where their clothes come from and how they were made, especially on social media. Even if you haven’t ever bought from the brand, it’s one way to understand how what you wear, becomes just that. You end up getting the answer to “Who made my clothes?” before you’ve even asked it. 

@knowtheorigin‘s Instagram is a great example of this. They often share information about their travels to their garment factories as well as videos and photos to go alongside it. Know The Origin was essentially built around the idea of transparency so they’re a good place to start if you want to follow a t-shirt from factory to finished product.

@po_zu will forever be a favourite in my mind especially if you like behind the scenes of the photoshoot variety.

Don’t forget, if you want to discover more ethical brands (even if you just want to browse their Instagram feed), my brand directory is a great place to start.



Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow - @tollydollyposhSaving and GIFing…

Other than following, you can also use Instagram in a variety of other ways to gain inspiration and spread the ethical message further than just your own mobile device.

Saving photos to your Saved Collections can help you decipher the sorts of styles and outfits you’re into. This allows you to work out what looks you’re still appreciating after you’ve double-tapped to give a post a like and scrolled on.

This will help the next time you’re in the mood for shopping or the next time you’re on the hunt for something new, as you’ll be able to work out more easily what might last for a long time in your wardrobe. To save a post (without anyone knowing, don’t worry) click the bookmark flag under a picture.

Making use of Instagram’s new GIPHY GIF feature is something I would advise too. Was this just an excuse to plug my stickers again? I hear you cry? Possibly, possibly. Searching terms such as ‘ethical fashion’ or ‘@tollydollyposh‘ when you’re picking something out for your next Instagram Story, is always a good call.

I can also now announce that I’ve designed a few GIFs for the wonderful @fash_rev, some of which you can see above. I’ll also be releasing a few more in the lead up to Fashion Revolution Week in April, so watch out.

Make sure to give me a follow @tollydollyposh, if you haven’t already.

How do you use Instagram for sustainable inspiration? Who should I be following? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Plus-Size Ethical Fashion, Privilege & Shopping Better | Q&A

By February 16, 2018 Ethical

A while ago, I answered some of your questions about ethical fashion in a simple, almost Agony Aunt style post. It went down well, so I’m back, helping simplify and break down some of your concerns and quandaries based around the idea of ethical and sustainable fashion. Hit it!

Plus Size Ethical Fashion and Discussing If Sustainability Is a Privilege

WHAT I WORE: Floral Blouse (ASOS Africa – old) // Floral Trousers (ASOS Africa – old) // Keep On Asking Sweatshirt (Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh) // Sleeveless Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale & DIY) // Sunglasses (Unknown)

How can I find body inclusive, plus-size, ethical fashion on a budget?

Firstly in answer to your question, I want to apologise for the fact that I don’t tend to cover plus-size fashion. This is simply because I’m personally not plus-size so for my own style, it’s not something that I need to focus on. However, I understand how important it is to be inclusive and appreciate all body shapes and sizes.

Admittedly, ethical fashion brands do seem to be rather size exclusive, although they can be far more diverse in other areas compared to fast-fashion or unethically focused brands.

My knowledge of ethical plus-size brands is small so I took a brief moment to do some research and the first brands I came across were all fairly highly priced.

It led me to an article by EcoCult which in the end, also came to the same conclusion, explaining part of the problem to be that due to ethical and sustainable brands usually being on the smaller scale of business, it creates an added cost to produce plus-sizes (new patterns need designing) which in turn puts the price up for customers.

This is ultimately a little unfair – nobody should be paying more for fairly made clothes simply because of their size – so, if you’re struggling to find good examples, don’t be too hard on yourself.

As always, a really good option for finding new (to you) clothes is going second-hand shopping, whether that’s online (eBay, Depop, Oxfam* etc) or offline (charity and thrift shops, garage sales and car boot sales etc).

However, depending on your size, some of my favourite brands like People Tree do go up to sizes like UK 16. I think it’s just the case of spending your time researching and working out what’s best for you.

(I know there are issues surrounding Oxfam right now but I use them as an example as they have a great online charity shop and I appreciate the work they are doing in making second-hand shopping more appealing.)

Plus Size Ethical Fashion and Discussing If Sustainability Is a Privilege

How do I get into the habit of paying attention to the kinds of clothes I buy?

This is an interesting question because for me, once I became educated about the ethical issues around fast-fashion or the issues around sustainability when it comes to our clothes, I started to watch out for what I was buying almost instantaneously. The fact that you’re even asking the question makes me believe you’re on the right path already.

You can almost go at it by using the rules of writing (the 5 W’s and 1 H). Ask yourself 6 simple questions…

  • Who made it?
  • What’s it made of? (Try and stick to natural fabrics like cotton, if you can)
  • Where was it made? (Can you find information about the supplier? ‘Made in’ labels don’t mean much)
  • When will you wear it? (Can you see yourself wearing it 30 times or more?)
  • Why are you buying it? (Is it an impulse purchase?)
  • How could you find an alternative? (Is it something you know would be readily available second-hand?)

You might only ask yourself one or two of these questions at a time, and some of them might never apply but having them in the back of your mind, especially when shopping on the high-street or from a brand which has an unclear ethical stance, can help you make much more considered choices. Remember, it will always be about shopping less when you can’t shop better.

What are some independent ethical brands?

Have you taken a look at my ethical directory, yet? It’s full of them! Some of my favourite true indie brands are Lucy & Yak (they do wonderful corduroy dungarees), Lost Shapes (did you know I designed the sweatshirt in this post for them?), Vintage Style Me (all handmade in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) and What Daisy Did (they use scrap post-production leather to make their dreamy handbags).

Plus Size Ethical Fashion and Discussing If Sustainability Is a Privilege

Is sustainable living, a matter of privilege? 

This is a topic which has been floating around the sustainable-sphere rather a lot lately, mainly due to some recent controversy around a statement made by a well known, waste-free brand.

I’m going to lay out my current thoughts plain and simple. They’re open to evolution, criticism and hopefully mutual-understanding. For me, I don’t see thinking sustainably as being a privilege but the physical action of, for example, using and buying less single-use plastic or supporting ethical fashion brands, as yes, a privilege that not everyone has the ability of participating in.

I’m being very selective in my choice of wording here as I don’t want to imply that thinking sustainably isn’t a privilege for everyone. If I were to say everyone, I would really be suggesting the target-audience of my blog and anyone who stumbles across my share of the web in the future.

So, to explain my thoughts more accurately, let’s use you and me as an example. Just you and me, the singular person reading this text. I believe you are capable of thinking sustainably.

Plus Size Ethical Fashion and Discussing If Sustainability Is a Privilege

Whether you are like me, a teen, with very little money in the bank or whether you are a mother of two young children, I know that you have the capability of changing your mindset (at this point really, my blog may as well be renamed Tolly Dolly Mindset for the number of times I come back to that word).

Here, I am not implying that you physically have the capability of adapting your life to this mindset – I can’t know whether that is true or not, there are far too many variables -, simply, I believe you have the good-heart of somebody who knows the world needs to make significant changes to become a healthier and better place.

With that good-heart comes the ability to walk down a supermarket aisle and understand where we’re – humans; the system – going wrong. With this new found (or hopefully, years old) mindset, you’ll see plastic as something to be wary of and perhaps you’ll take time to really treasure whatever new dress you next buy.

That, I cannot see as a privilege. Perhaps time and education have to come beforehand and maybe that’s where my conclusion fails at the wayside; I’m again, happy to be proven wrong.

Anyone who jumps to the idea and exclaims that there is nothing getting in the way of anyone implementing sustainable and ethical practices is simply well, ignorant. As I recently tweeted, it’s vital to never assume that everyone has the ability to take actions and to understand that really, there are much bigger issues at hand.

As much as I hate to admit it, individual change and consumerism are only a minuscule part of the problem. 

Do you have any questions for me to answer next time? Leave them in a comment below or click here to fill out the Q&A form.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Incorrect Sizing & Upycling (+ Instagram Stickers!)

By February 6, 2018 My Style

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you what I’m wearing around here so let’s start off February with some rather Valentines-appropriate colours and a little talk about upcycling and what to do when nothing second-hand is your size (at least, not in the way you thought)…

 I also have something exciting to announce! I’m now a verified GIPHY artist which means… you can now use my very own ethical and sustainable GIFs on things like Instagram Stories! Take a look at some examples in this post and on my profile, here.  

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

WHAT I WORE: Red Blouse (Charity Shop) // Embroidered Denim Dress (Upcycled + Jumble Sale) // Leather Backpack (Upcycled + Charity Shop) // Tights (Old) // Floral Wanderlust Boots (Dr Martens)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)*

I’ve been embracing red recently. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s what I should call ‘my colour’ as I’m not entirely used to wearing it yet but there’s always fun in experimenting. I was actually making it my mission to add more of the colour to my wardrobe so it was delightful to find this old Marks & Spencer’s number in a charity shop towards the end of last year.

If you read my post on my ethical and sustainable fashion journey (where I admit it’s taken me three years to get to where I am, currently), you’ll know that I’m also making it my mission to pay attention to what fabrics are in my wardrobe because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our clothes don’t just affect the world we live in whilst they’re being made – they can also have negative effects on the world we live whilst we wear and wash them.

Thankfully, whilst I was in the charity shop changing room, I did a quick Google search to understand what fabric this blouse is made of…

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

To my surprise, it’s made of Cupro which is a biodegradable fabric made of waste cotton fibres. I was satisfied! This blouse isn’t any old Marks & Spencer’s blouse though as it comes from their old St Michael’s range which came to end in 2000 (the year I was born, which means this blouse is at least 18 years old), which has me wondering; do they still use this sustainable fabric? Or have times changed?

It’s also wrongly sized for me, it hangs off of me baggily and the sleeves are long enough for me to pull over my hands but that’s one piece of advice I will always give to people shopping second-hand (or even just newly); sizes aren’t essential to pay attention to unless you want something form fitting or trousers that don’t fall down. 

I have a floral blouse that’s a UK Size 16 and it’s perfect for layering and now I have this red number too, which sits on me loosely and creates a deep-V, which one day I may just be brave enough to wear with an intricate bralette. Try things on and see how you can make it work, regardless of the number on the label.

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

I’m not here just to talk about that though, I also want to discuss my denim dress. It’s not a new item of clothing to my blog – I actually wore it when I first received these very same Dr Martens – but it looks a little different than before.

Recently, I finally decided to get my sewing machine out and make it more wearable. Before I upcycled it, I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time as the apron-style strap weighed down on my neck so quite honestly, it’s stayed in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. 

It didn’t take much for it to become something I now want to treasure (think about this before you decided to pass on an item of clothing). I used some denim scraps from my embroidered blouse to create two straps that cross-over at the back of the dress and it now sits perfectly on my shoulders; no back pain, at last!

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Search “@tollydollyposh” on Instagram Stories GIF selection to use stickers like these wherever you like!

Speaking of embroidery, another reason to treasure this dress is because I’ve decided to embark on a new project – The Embroidery Dress project, in which I plan to completely cover the whole surface of the dress in embroidery as I learn new techniques and improve with my hand stitching.

I can already see where I’m getting more confident and so far I’m pleased with the result even if it doesn’t make much sense to anybody else catching a glimpse of it. If you want to follow the progress, I make sure to update you all with what I add, on my Instagram Story and you are more than welcome to send suggestions.

The numbered shape is a Community-inspired cootie catcher (my favourite show, you should know that by now), the paint droplets are something I plan to do more of once the rest of the dress starts to take shape and the other two pieces are pretty self-explanatory; the boot of Italy and the Many Questions pattern from my ethical t-shirt collection.

I also did a spot of upcycling on my mini backpack which I received for Christmas (because yes, receiving and giving second-hand gifts is perfectly acceptable). The leather bag had a small stain where you will now find a cluster of flowers, which was originally a piece of a broken necklace. Clever, huh?

What have you been wearing recently? What should I add to my embroidery dress, next? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What’s the Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion?

By January 31, 2018 Ethical

This blog post is extremely overdue. I understand that for those who are new to the concept of ethics and sustainability, understanding the differences between the two terms can be difficult – there’s even the question as to whether there even is a difference. Although this dilemma can be subjective, here’s how I define the two…

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Related Terms: Fairtrade, Fair Fashion, Cruelty-Free

1. relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.
Synonyms: moral

1. moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Synonyms: moral code, morals, morality, moral stand, moral principles, moral values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals


Ethical fashion is fashion that takes into account the morals of manufacturing. Ethical fashion is generally fashion and clothing produced with the whole production line and supply chain in mind, from cotton pickers to those who seal up, package and deliver. The belief that all workers and those affected by the production of garments should be treated equally and fairly, is the common mindset behind most ethical fashion brands.

The providing of a safe working condition, a living wage and a kind and non-abusive work environment are the usual priorities of those producing ethical alternatives to the likes of fast-fashion.

Ethical fashion avoids the use of forced, slave and child labour throughout the manufacturing process and organisations like Fairtrade International are able to help brands and companies to label and guarantee that safe and ethical practices are being put into place. Often brands don’t just ensure ethical practices but they also support and improve the livelihood of the workers they employ, especially those of which are in developing countries.

Ethical fashion can also be a term to cover cruelty-free and vegan practices, meaning that no animals are harmed or used as part of the production of clothing. An example of a vegan fabric is Peace Silk; Peace Silk is produced from moth cocoons after the moths have emerged and flown away, therefore it does not disturb or kill the moths in order to be woven into fabric.

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Related Terms: Slow Fashion, Eco Fashion, Eco-friendly, Green Fashion, Organic, Recycled, Upcycled, Second-hand, Vintage

1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
2. able to be upheld or defended.
Synonyms: viable, unceasing, imperishable, renewable, unending

1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
2. avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.


Sustainable fashion is fashion and clothing produced to last and with the environmental costs of production, in mind. Seeing as fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, sustainable fashion aims to cut down on pollution and the negative consequences fashion production has on the earth.

Not only does sustainable fashion recognise things like pollution (whether that be into the water systems, the atmosphere or the ecosystem), it also recognises the dangers of the fast-fashion business model. Sustainable fashion brands often provide less choice, choosing to focus on quality rather than quantity, making the supply chain as eco-friendly as possible. This is also known as ‘slow fashion’.

Sustainable fashion brands often use organic fabrics, avoiding the use of pesticides and synthetic materials which have a damaging effect on the environment (as well as those who live nearby to farms and factories). Organic and natural fabrics (like cotton or bamboo) are biodegradable, which means they won’t cause as much as an issue when it comes to disposing of them.

Second-hand and vintage clothing is also considered to be a part of sustainable fashion as it is a form of recycling, meaning the consumer isn’t supporting the production of new clothing.

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Often both terms get combined – ethical and sustainable fashion – simply because both go hand and hand. Although certain brands often focus on one or the other more prominently, most of the time you will find that those who believe in ethics also believe in sustainability and vice versa. 

There are certain things to be aware of though, like greenwashing, for example. These terms shouldn’t be thrown around lightly for the sake of it. I wrote all about greenwashing here, so for a more in-depth look at the issue, go and take a read. However, the main takeaway is that with ethical and sustainable brands, for the most part, they will fly the ethical or sustainable flag proudly.

One way I differentiate a brand from being ethically or sustainably focused as to not, is by taking note of how openly they discuss the issues at hand. If for the most part, ethics or sustainability doesn’t seem to be their main priority, you can use that to make your decision as to whether to support them or not.

Clothing featured: Mayamiko (ethical), People Tree (ethical/sustainable), vintage Skirt (sustainable) and upcycled DIY jacket (sustainable).

Has cleared things up for you? Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper with… FUTURE GARBAGE

By January 26, 2018 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a feature on TDP which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

FUTURE GARBAGE is a part fashion, part art project created by David Olson. David is originally from Los Angeles, California but moved to Stockholm, Sweden five years ago where he now works in marketing. 
FUTURE GARBAGE started in 2017 in response to H&M’s unethical fast-fashion practices. The first collection is available now with pieces starting from $5,000.


Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE


FUTURE GARBAGE created by David Olson was not something I was expecting to be so enthralled by. Often the essence of projects like these (it is essentially a project after all – perhaps a digital art installation more than anything else) don’t quite catch my attention or are simply too nuanced, leaving me feeling a little detached from the art I’m supposed to connect with.

It’s either my bias towards issues like this – the topic of fast-fashion and consumerism – or it’s the fact that David hit the nail on the head, creating something that is unique yet ultimately relatable for all who are interested in fashion and how it’s served to us in Western society.

As soon as I heard the words ‘future garbage by FUTURE GARBAGE’ spoken in a voice-over which felt eerily realistic and similar to those of chic, high-end campaigns; I was sold.

The concept is simple – what’s trendy today is trash tomorrow. We live in a world where what we’re sold will become future garbage, and I (quite obviously) agree with David that now is the time we need to change that.

We’ve known about sweatshops & 3rd-world exploitation for decades, but fast-fashion has taken them to a whole new level. And even though the internet has helped us to be better informed about the true price of our consumption, social media keeps us shopping because we feel increased pressure for our virtual personas to constantly stay “trendy”.

With future garbage, I wanted to hijack the tools of the industry to criticize its exploitative practices – whether its the exploitation of poverty in the third-world or the exploitation of our vanity/egos in the 1st-world.

Why does it feel like now is the right time to explore the issues of fast-fashion?

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

As disturbed and confused as I am by contemporary fashion & consumerism 🙂

How do you hope people come away feeling after experiencing FUTURE GARBAGE?

One thing that you’ll notice when browsing the FUTURE GARBAGE site and perusing the collection is that the prices for each garment seem to be absurdly overpriced. I knew straight away that this wasn’t a literal price tag; this was a statement about what we expect from our clothes in a world where brands like H&M exist.

In my communications with David, he explained it as a commentary on fast-fashion. Prices may be low but there is still a high-profit margin due to the fact that wages along the supply chain are extremely low.

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

However, David (in his own words) is a “westerner” who has a different “standard of life” than people in third world countries making sweatshop wages.

The price, therefore, reflects that. David asked himself how much profit – he, a middle-class westerner – should be making if “a shirt made by someone who earns $2/day costs $10”. What does that price look like for him? Roughly $10,000 for a denim jacket. Shocked? Well, that’s the point too. How much are you really willing to pay for something in a world where we’re so accustomed to low prices?

Any $$$ that I make with FG I plan to re-invest in the project. I’m not a CEO or politician or even an “influencer” so it’s not really possible for me to initiate any real change. So the best I can do is try to share my ideas and encourage others to reflect on the issues that concern me, in hopes that more people will start to demand real change. Of course, we have a long way to go, but I plan to contribute in whatever ways that I can. And there’s still a shitload more future garbage to be made 🙂

Although the $10,000 price tag is more of a statement than anything else - what would you do with the money if somebody decided to buy an item?

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

Any way they want!!! The problem isn’t in how to introduce these practices, but rather whether they’re willing to make a sacrifice in order to help others. The most difficult part of making a “difference” is being okay with something DIFFERENT (such as, being less rich). Change itself is not hard to do. It’s being willing to accept change (TRUE CHANGE! not just superficial ones) that’s the tricky part…

How do you think brands or celebrities should go about introducing ethics and sustainability into the mainstream?

David hasn’t just covered the usual aspects of ethics and sustainability though, he’s also covered the issues surrounding diversity and feminism which is refreshing (although it shouldn’t be; these things are vital and should be factored in no matter what).

One of my favourite pieces of FUTURE GARBAGE ‘propaganda’ involves David touching upon the hypocrisy that can be found with the likes of Beyonce – if girls run the world and if her Ivy Park collection is supposed to empower women, how come the female workers who produce her sportswear, are suffering? 

Interview with David Olson of FUTURE GARBAGE

One of the other short films created for ‘future garbage by FUTURE GARBAGE’ centres around David himself, dressed up as a woman. The voice-over says, “Look, everyone, it’s a transgender model. Or maybe a drag-queen. We’re not really sure, I don’t think we ever asked.”, highlighting the fact that the fast-fashion industry is not only ignorant to just garment workers; it’s even ignorant to understanding those who they choose to dress.

If ethics are to do with morals – then when we talk about ethical fashion it has to mean more than just a vague statement or policy here and there. It needs to mean complete change overall and it needs to happen now. Or yesterday. Definitely, yesterday. 

What do you think of FUTURE GARBAGE? How much are you willing to pay for a piece from the collection? Let’s discuss in the comments. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Illustrated Wishlist: Poetry, Pottery & Po-Zu

By January 21, 2018 Wishlist

My illustrated posts seem to go down well around here so to mix things up a bit and fully embrace what I recently had to say about wishlists (they’re not just for Christmas), I’ve put together an illustrated version to showcase some items I’ve had my eye on for a while…

 Items marked with  are from brands included in my ethical directory.

Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Po-Zu Sneakers 

If you read my post on my ethical wardrobe priorities, then you’ll be of the understanding that shoes aren’t high up on my list. This is mainly because I don’t buy new shoes very often – the last pair I purchased was a second-hand pair of Dr Martens – but that doesn’t mean I’m never in need of new ones or that I never have the urge to fill a gap in my collection.

A gap that currently needs filling is in the shape of a pair of shoes that go with everything and that are suitable for every season. The closest I have to that is a pair of white platforms but they’re not necessarily the comfiest option for long distance walking. This is where Po-Zu comes in; Po-Zu is a brand that offers ethically made shoes using sustainable practices and materials and I’ve had my eye on this pair of trainers (or sneakers), for a while now.

Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Wait by Wilson Oryema

Truth to be told, I don’t know a whole lot about this book but when Tamsin Blanchard shared a picture of it, I was instantly intrigued. Wilson Oryema is a fashion model who has written and published ‘Wait’, a book of poetry and short stories centred around the topic of contemporary consumption. 

Coeval describes it as a “witty moral code for our ever consuming, ever impatient society” and with that, I know I need to get my paws on it.

Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Tribe of Lambs Ring

This isn’t the first time I’ve included a Tribe of Lambs ring in a post related to wishlists and it most certainly won’t be the last. If anyone who knows me hasn’t taken the hint yet… I would really love to stack one of these rings upon my fingers.

Tribe of Lambs are a brand featured in my ethical directory. They produce all of their stunning jewellery ethically in India and use the profits to give back, supporting HIV positive children in local communities. So far, they’ve helped over 500 children and by purchasing a ring, you can help that number grow.

Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Georganics Bamboo Toothbrush

One of the least glamorous items on my wishlist is in fact, a toothbrush. There comes a point in every toothbrush’s life when it must be retired; the bristles are too spread out and it simply isn’t doing a good enough job according to your dentist’s standards. Fortunately, we have brands like Georganics to provide us with a biodegradable version which won’t leave you feeling guilty when you need to replace it with a new one.

The next time my teeth are in need of a new friend, I won’t be going straight to the supermarket to pick up a plastic one which will most probably end up on landfill, I’ll be ordering one of these instead. (And maybe an Albatross razor whilst I’m at it – because hair removal is something to be conscious of, too.)

Remember, wishlists are great for understanding what you truly need rather than what you think you’d fancy on a whim. Compile them gradually and infrequently to make more considered and conscious purchases and when you’ve finally mulled it over, enjoy making a quality investment you know you’ll end loving for more than a few days.

What’s on your ethical wishlist? Share some of your latest findings in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Calling out Hypocrisy Won’t Get Us Anywhere

By January 15, 2018 DIY & Lifestyle, Ethical

🎆🎉 Longtime no-write, huh? Happy New Year to all, even if it’s a little late to celebrate. 🎆🎉

Recently, I saw a tweet which was in regards to a cutting down on single-use plastics. The tweeter was on a flight when she used her Ecoffee cup (a reusable and biodegradable bamboo coffee cup that you can use in replace of throw-away options given out in public) and she wanted to praise the airline for allowing her to do so. However, the point that she was on a plane was highlighted and that became the major issue and talking point.

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

My initial thought was that I could relate. For Christmas, I received an identical Ecoffee cup and I was undeniably excited about the prospect that I could now take it with me and be an example to others when I go to buy my next hot chocolate (I don’t drink coffee, ironically).

In fact, I even contemplated keeping it in my hand luggage when I, myself, took a flight after Christmas because I knew I would be faced with the same issue once I’d boarded the plane. I wanted an overly-priced cup of tea after a long day of travelling but do I really need to receive a cup with a plastic lid on it, in order to enjoy it? (As well another plastic cup I was given to keep my plastic milk sachets in – @Ryanair; what’s that all about?)

I didn’t use my cup mainly because I’m unsure of the regulations regarding them with the airlines I use (they still count as a liquid container over 100ml, right?) but the thought was still there, nagging at me.

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

It seems that 2018 finds us in a, fortunately, very conscious and understanding time when it comes to our relationship with plastic. It’s still a major issue and once you open your eyes and walk around a supermarket, the idea of plastic ever going anyway anytime soon seems like an impossible feat.

Although Scotland may have just banned the use of plastic cotton buds (Q-Tips) and although the UK has now abolished the usage of microbeads, we still have Marks & Spencer selling slices of cauliflower as ‘Cauliflower Steaks’ boxed in, you guessed it, more plastic – it’s my understanding these ‘steaks’ are to be removed from stores but the point still stands.

More and more of us are starting to realise how toxic and unhealthy our relationship is with plastic and more and more of us are at least, attempting to make changes. Yet, according to the experts who responded to the tweet I used as an example – what good is a reusable coffee cup doing if you’re still using and drinking from it on a plane?

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

Their point is valid and I agree with the argument from a certain perspective but following on from that, I could respond with another question – what good is pointing out the hypocrisy in front of you, if at least something is being done? In this instance, it’s safe to say that air travel isn’t about to be eradicated.

Anyone in their right mind would prefer if it flying was a more eco-friendly form of getting from A to B but often, travelling in the sky is the only realistic option. (May I also remind you that the fashion industry is more polluting than the whole of aviation put together.) So, if we as travellers can then try and make our experience on board more sustainable, why not?

I later discovered that the tweeter was in the field of plastics and its effects on the environment and that those responding to her were likely criticising the irony of the fact she was using this mode of transport to do a job to fix issues that are caused by it… but this isn’t the only place I’ve seen hypocrisy being called out. It’s everywhere and I even have personal experience.

Especially when it comes to being an ‘influencer’ or somebody with an audience that now expects me to approach and tackle these sorts of topics, it can be extremely difficult to be open and honest when it comes to my own hypocrisies.

What am I doing which goes against another? What am I saying yet not doing simultaneously?

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

There are lots of things I could list and I’m unashamed to share some of them…

😱 I talk about leading a life that is as sustainable as it can be yet I’m nowhere near living a plastic or waste-free lifestyle.

🤐 I understand the disastrous effects of fast-fashion on the environment yet I continue to eat meat which also pollutes the world we live in (and in the past, I’ve had followers feel comfortable enough to point that out directly, after posting a picture of a Five Guys meal on my social media – I’d just been through an extremely traumatic time in my life and the last thing I’d had on my mind was the environmental cost of what I was eating).

😥 I have a reusable coffee cup yet I continue to use single-use sanitary products as a period-having person. 

But we achieve nothing when these hypocrisies are pointed out. There’s enough guilt put upon individuals already when it comes to tackling the issues at hand.

We’re essentially in a time where we need to reverse a lot of the processes we’ve come to normalise – fast-fashion, plastic production, pollution caused by transportation, meat and animal produce – yet we also need to live our lives and get through each day as it comes. We can advocate and get behind as many issues as we like yet it’s almost impossible to be a perfect image for each and every one.

After taking a social media break for personal reasons at the end of 2017, I realised how much social media emphasises this and how we’re continually reminded of what we are and aren’t doing to aid the fight against what is, technically, killing our planet.

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

If we weren’t on social media, we wouldn’t be consuming endless stories about the detriment of our world and ways to fix it or how the ways we’re trying to fix it, just aren’t enough. I felt that relief of guilt when I was disconnected from it all but it doesn’t mean it was completely forgotten. I saw it with my own eyes and I was able to understand what I personally could realistically try to change in my life.

I wasn’t constantly being told what I could be doing better and that pressure of doing so is what will, in turn, scare many people away from actually trying.

Praising one person for making one change, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, can lead to another person making the same, who also might be adapting to other causes elsewhere. It’s a domino effect and pointing out that there’s a domino we’ve missed leading in a different direction, stops us from completing the journey we’re already on.

However, it would seem ignorant of me to not point out that this is a very rose-tinted-glasses way of looking at things. I’m able to discuss this and believe that small actions lead to bigger things because I’m relying on an element of hope.

Fighting Against Single-Use Plastic and Hoping for a Better Future

Essentially, as a millennial or a teen from Generation Z (or whatever other buzz word or phrase you want to use), I have to. My generation is the rose-tinted-glass for past generations; I am the hope for others but that doesn’t mean I don’t need hope for myself.

Hope is the pair of rose-tinted glasses we all need. It’s a comfort blanket (or sleeping bag, for the purpose of the analogy I’m about to use) and it protects us from insanity and giving up before we’ve even started. It shields us away from the mountain of fears that I, and I suspect, we all have.

All of these issues in regards to the earth we live on, have created a mountain of fears of colossal size and hope provides the ropes and the hiking gear so that we can reach the peak or the sleeping bag that keeps us warm at night. Without it, most of us would be lost at base camp.

So, let’s not be too harsh on ourselves when we accomplish reaching the peak of all the smaller, less dauntingly sized mountains, first.

How do you feel about hypocrisy when it comes to fighting the good fight? Do you feel the same pressures in your own life? Let’s discuss in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Favourite Blog Posts of 2017…

By December 29, 2017 General

2017 was a weird but wonderful and I’m here to send it off. For those of you who have perhaps only recently discovered my blog or just want a quick refresher, I’m here to highlight some of my favourite posts from the past year, as well as get to know what your favourite blog posts were too! As always, thank you so much for sticking with me, following me and leaving thoughtful and considered comments. Here’s to another… 🥂

5 Things to Expect When You Become an Ethical Blogger

One of the biggest changes on my blog this year was starting to publish solely ethically focused fashion posts. This change hasn’t been easy so I compiled a list of things to expect if you decide to make a similar transition. The list covers a change in income, attracting the right audience and realising you can’t do everything!

☼ Why Having Fewer Clothes Doesn’t Mean Your Wardrobe Is Sustainable

This post received an interesting and thought-provoking response. It took a bit of work and research to compile but I’m glad I discussed this way of looking at things. Although of course, I highly recommend taking a proper read of it, in conclusion, I decided your wardrobe can only really be sustainable if you value what you put into it as much as what you take out

★ My Style: Recycled & DIY Denim*

This post has to be one of my best outfit and fashion shoots, yet! There’s not much to say about this one but if you want to know the sorts of styles I was wearing and channelling this year, then this is a great example. I can’t wait to bring this outfit back out in the spring.

▷ My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

Want to know what I honestly buy ethically? This post explains all, including the reasons as to why shoes and underwear are so low down on my list. I’d love to know what your ethical priorities are, no matter where you are on your ethical journey. Why not leave a comment whilst you’re there?

✤ How Teens Can Grow out of Clothes Sustainably

Parents seemed to enjoy this post as their children are always growing out and in need of new clothes, causing a great dilemma when it comes to ethical and sustainable morals. As someone who has first-hand experience in this, I shared some advice and tips on how to do it all as sustainably as you can, including shopping for your future self and sizing-up.

→ The Answers to Your Many Questions

Published not too long ago, I answered some queries my readers had in my ethical fashion survey. The format of this post and almost agony-aunt style of answering was useful to some of you and if there is a demand for more just like this, then I’ll be sure to provide for you in 2018! Just make sure to get those questions sent in.

What was your favourite blog post this year? What would you like to see more of?

Happy New Year! 🎉 See you in 2018, folks!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Illustrated My Style: 2017 Outfits

By December 23, 2017 My Style

Some blog posts are too good not to attempt again so as part of my end-of-year content, I’m back with another illustrated round-up of my annual outfits. You can take a gander at my 2016 selection if you’re in need of even more sartorial inspiration…

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations


This blouse was most definitely a most-warn item for me during the warmer months; it was perfect with skirts or trousers and made for a great layering piece in the early autumn. However, I wouldn’t have worn it as much if it hadn’t had been for my Yours Again recycled denim chokers which tied it all together.

The lesson from this outfit? Sometimes the clothes we um-and-ah over can become the clothes we most adore. Although, of course, I am an advocate for my considered shopping choices, sometimes it’s nice to take a risk, especially when what you’re buying is secondhand.

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations


My pink cashmere jumper may now be a beret but that doesn’t stop me from looking back on this outfit fondly and appreciating the amount of wear I got out of this People Tree jumpsuit.

I do understand that People Tree’s prices aren’t accessible to everyone at all times but wearing it made me realise how much of a luxurious investment their pieces are and I had quite a few compliments on it, too!

I couldn’t look back on this year without highlighting an outfit which included my very own ethical t-shirts, could I? I styled up my Lost Shapes collaborative tees very simply for the lookbook but since wearing them over the course of the past few months, I’ve managed to discover lots of different ways of doing so…

You can also now pick up a Limited Edition “Keep on Asking” sweatshirt – it might not be around for long so I’d take a look at it now before it’s too late!

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations


An outfit that you – my readers – seemed to love just as much as me, involved this two-piece from Mayamiko. Sadly, those killer blue lens sunglasses are no more (why did I have to stand on them?) but I’m glad I was able to capture them in all their glory and immortalise them in some way.

Since the hot days have faded, I’ve worn the crop-top underneath my navy satin suit and am now longing to wear it all over again

Which is your favourite? What have you been wearing this year? Let me know in the comments!

Happy holidays… 🎁❄️

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My 2017 Ethical Fashion Education | Books, Magazines & More

By December 19, 2017 Ethical

It can be challenging to know where to look when it comes to educating yourself on ethical fashion or becoming a conscious consumer, so, to take some of the hard work away from you, I’ve compiled a list (just like last year) of what I found helpful and educational during 2017. Below, you will find books, websites and even an industry report, which I believe will be worth your time in taking a look at…

→ Clothing Poverty by Andrew Brooks

I actually never wrote the review of this book as I had promised as I believe I may need a second read of it. It’s a little harder to digest than other books I’ve read on ethical topics and admittedly, there were certain parts of it which I disagreed with and/or I would have tackled from a different angle but that’s all part of educating ourselves; it’s important to look at things from different perspectives even if it means feeling uncomfortable or in disagreement.

I wouldn’t recommend Clothing Poverty if you haven’t read any other books on ethical topics as it may throw you in right at the deep end. However, for those of you who have already started to explore ethics and sustainability, I’d add this to your ‘To Read’ list.

☼ Ethical Consumer Magazine

This year I was kindly set up with a subscription for Ethical Consumer magazine which essentially helps consumers make more ethical decisions when shopping. I’d used their directory before becoming a member but it can be frustrating when you can’t get hold of all the information you need, so, it’s been relieving being able to dig up more than I’d been able to.

Not only can you work out what brands are excelling in different areas, you can also read their actual online publication, which covers all sorts of subjects and is full of facts and data to feed your knowledge with.

★ Ellen MacArthur Foundation – A New Textiles Economy

Fairly recently, Ellen MacArthur and Stella McCartney partnered up to launch their new report – A New Textiles Economy – which explains the current model of the fashion industry and how it can change and evolve into a circular model, to decrease the amount of waste that is currently produced through manufacturing and the ways that consumers currently dispose of unwanted clothes.

Although perhaps better reading for industry insiders, the report is thought-provoking (so far; I have yet to complete it) and is a great way of introducing yourself to the idea of cradle-to-cradle manufacturing or circular design. I know that in the next year, I want to learn even more.

▷ A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison (Review)

If you missed out on my review of this fictional book, then you won’t know how highly I rate it. Unlike Clothing Poverty, I believe this is a great starter book to lead you towards a more empathetic experience of fashion.

I won’t say too much here so either click on through to my review or click on through to the checkout. You won’t regret it!

✤ Fashion Revolution Fanzine – Loved Clothes Last

I may be biased here as two pieces of my work can be found within the recycled paper pages but Fashion Revolution’s fanzine never seizes to amaze me. Not only is it informative and full of its own wonderful resources, it’s also incredibly inspiring and is a great way to refuel yourself with the hope that change can and will happen.

I’m extremely honoured and proud to be part of the FR community and I will appreciate you picking up a copy as much as their team, will.

→ Ethical Revolution Video Directory

Although I’ve always been aware of Ethical Revolution, they recently introduced me to their video directory which is a great place to find new documentaries and educational clips to watch!

So far, I’ve watched the BBC mockumentary, ‘Carnage‘, which explores what the world would be like if we all changed our eating habits and became vegans (not fashion related but it fits into sustainable issues). If you prefer watching to reading, take a look!

Plus, Ethical Revolution has an exclusive discount code for Lost Shapes, which you can apply to the whole Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh collection.

What have you been reading and watching in 2017? What have you learned? Share your recommendations and findings in the comments below…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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