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Can You Stay on Top of Trends as a Conscious Consumer?

By September 18, 2017 Ethical

Let’s take a breather on the Lost Shapes x TDP content, shall we? For this post, you could say the alternative title would be – How I’ve Lost Touch with Trends and What Goes on at Fashion Week…

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends


WHAT I WORE: Navy Livia Jumpsuit (People Tree)* // Printed Jacket €5.00 (Charity Shop) // Clarabella Handbag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Topshop – old) // Pink Flatform Sandals (New Look – old)*


A couple of years ago, perhaps even only last year, you would have seen me live streaming London Fashion Week and scribbling notes down as each dress came down the catwalk; I used to print out the show schedule even though I wasn’t attending and I’d get in touch with PRs just in case I was nearby when September and February rolled around. I was drawn in by the drama and excitement of it all and I couldn’t wait to spot fellow bloggers sat on the ‘FROW’ of Topshop Unique.

Fast-forward to now, if you asked me what the latest trends were, I’d panic and stare at you with wide eyes and hesitantly give a good guess… “The eighties?”, I might say, perhaps I’d even follow it up with a mumbled, “Ruffles?”, but I’d never be quite sure because the last time I really paid attention to the going-on’s of the catwalks and the seasonal trends that trickle down from that, was the last time I shopped with a fast-fashion brand.

I suppose at first I wanted to realise why is this; what made me lose interest? As a designer (2 co-branded collections under my belt, thank you very much), when you research for collections, you often look at what other designers are working on – you look at trends and how past eras and styles are being channelled through into more up-to-date times.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

It’s all part of the research and it’s why it wouldn’t have been an absurd guess for me to have said “The eighties” when we went through a whole period of reigniting the decade before that, for a good few years. As someone who can admit that non-ethical or sustainably focused clothes can still be appealing to me (aesthetically, that is), I find it hard to say the reasoning behind my sudden disinterest in these trends is completely and solely a moral one, if I’m still being drawn in by the news that ASHISH are collaborating with River Island.

However, it is true that I’ve unfollowed a handful of my former high-street loves on social media and I’ve probably drowned out a number of luxury designers that I’m influenced by, by connecting with more positive and sustainably focused ones. But, why would that mean I’m now completely out of the loop?

If you’re already a conscious consumer and you’ve researched these sort of things, the answer might be fairly unsurprising – maybe supporting ethical fashion just doesn’t allow for acknowledging trends and the major fashion months every season? It’s commonly said that trends and conscious consumerism don’t play well hand-in-hand; in fact, avoiding them is one of my tips in my list of 10 simple ways to ‘keep on asking’.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

If we want to steer the fashion industry into a more positive direction, slowing down trends and how we shop would make a huge difference because the rate at which we produce, consume and throw-away new styles and ideas is simply unsustainable. So, it’s no wonder that trend focused ethical brands aren’t really a ‘thing’ and it’s no wonder my grasp on it all, has slipped. Ethical brands that I admire don’t even tend to talk about trends on social media and collections don’t always get released at seasonal times for the likes of “S/S” and “A/W”.

I opened up this conversation in the #EthicalHour Facebook group and had some brilliant responses, a lot of them reiterating the fact that shopping for fashion consciously is more about long-lasting purchases and shapes and fabrics you know will last years on end.

When I (and others) talk about conscious consumerism, we’re not talking about the idea of not shopping at all (I really don’t expect anyone to wear the same clothes for their whole entire life, even if these Sardinian women have other ideas), we’re simply talking about slowing down – slow fashion, is perhaps a more useful term to use in this scenario, and releasing major collections for every season, doesn’t really add up.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

But there are ways around this – if you want to shop a trend ethically, you might find that brands designs overlap with current styles even if it isn’t purposefully. And you can scour your local charity and second-hand shops to find pieces which will match up perfectly, anyway. Trends come in cycles; everything is re-used, just not necessarily in the way we want it to be.

So, it is possible to stay on trend, it might just become less of a priority to you once you start to change your shopping habits and you might find, like me, you’ll lose touch with how fashions and trends change altogether. That might sound a bit alarming but in one way, it makes style a lot more fun to play with – who needs trends when you can dress to look different to everyone else whilst being ethical? Not me!

Do you think it’s possible to shop with trends and ethics in mind? Let’s discuss it in the comments…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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10 Simple Ways to Keep on Asking

By September 14, 2017 Ethical, Shop

In celebration of the launch of Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh last week, I thought I would explore the meanings behind each design and turn them in to helpful articles for you to use and put into practice. First up is my Keep on Asking design. You may have heard me suggest these ideas in many blog posts before but that’s just how important I think they are. Here are 10 simple ways to keep on asking…

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts


~ SHOP LOST SHAPES X TOLLY DOLLY POSH ~
Featured: Keep on Asking


1. Use your voice on social media…

Although I understand that “clicktivism” isn’t always the most powerful tool, especially when it’s thrown in amongst content that is quite the opposite, if you have a platform, I definitely advise using it. Even if you’re not necessarily a blogger or don’t specifically use social media to reach a specific audience, just one click might inspire one person to follow in your ethical and conscious footsteps.

2. …and your voice in real life…

As I said, empowering and inspiring on social media isn’t always the answer, so get out there and talk to people you know about these issues in real life. Even if just means casually dropping in a question or thought about ethical fashion whilst you’re shopping with a friend, it’s the same principle – it may just cause a chain reaction. Ask your friend or family member if they’ve ever thought about where their clothes come from or how something can be priced so cheaply.

3. Ask yourself questions…

It’s all well and good subtly dropping these questions and concerns into a conversation but if we’re not repeatedly asking ourselves these questions, then how can we become more conscious? Ask yourself if the action you’re taking is the best one – could I recycle this shirt differently? Do I really know where my dress came from? Is the label telling me enough?

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts

4. Join in with #WhoMadeMyClothes…

I’ve encouraged this enough and it was one of the main inspirations behind the slogan t-shirt in my collaboration. Every year, Fashion Revolution asks consumers and customers to ask brands who made their clothes to push for transparency and challenge what we know of the fashion industry.

5. Take longer to decide before buying…

Use my helpful guide on how to know if you’ll actually wear what you’re buying if you want to work out easier ways to decide on your purchases beforehand. This can really help us all become more sustainable.

6. Write a letter to brands you love…

Using Fashion Revolution’s helpful guides, write a letter or a post card to a brand that you love. Admittedly I have yet to do this, so perhaps I’ll report back in the near future when I give it a shot myself. Writing a letter could bury a seed into the mind of someone has more power than somebody reading a brand’s social media feeds and really shows you’re willing to put in the effort for something you feel strongly about.

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts

7. Look for warning signs…

Are you being greenwashed? Do you even know what greenwashing means? Learning how to identify signs of a product or brand not being quite as eco-friendly or ethical as it seems can help us avoid buying into the idea of sustainability and ethics being a trend. I spoke about greenwashing here and I hope it helps you keep your eyes peeled.

8. Question price…

…because your t-shirt shouldn’t cost less than your trip to Starbucks. Price doesn’t mean everything; just because an item is more expensive doesn’t mean it is immediately more ethical. In my opinion, you shouldn’t trust any brand that is selling at absurdly low prices (I’m talking about the likes of Primark and H&M) because it’s obvious they are cutting corners. At the same time, research brands that charge more so you know what you’re really paying for and investing in.

9. See if you can find an alternative…

If you know what you’re buying isn’t necessarily ethical, perhaps hold up on purchasing and see if you can find an ethical alternative or even a second-hand one. This ties in with taking longer to decide before buying but is especially important if you’re either investing in a product or re-purchasing an essential wardrobe item that you might benefit investing in, anyway. Quality lasts, folks!

10. Don’t take anything at face value…

This final step is really the whole idea of asking questions and pushing for transparency. We need to know as much as possible in order to make conscious and considered decisions that will not only help us but other people and the planet. Ask questions, even if they seem simple and easy to answer – they should be if they’re not already.


  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh Ethical T-Shirt Collection

By September 7, 2017 Ethical, Shop


~ LOST SHAPES X TOLLY DOLLY POSH ~
Shop the ethical t-shirts collection


I’m so excited to announce that I have officially launched my own ethical and sustainable t-shirts with Lost Shapes! For a large portion of this year, I’ve been working closely with Lost Shapes to bring you something that we’re both incredibly proud to be sharing with you all. A lot of projects like this often don’t seem like much on the surface but I can tell you now that a lot of love and hard work went into making these t-shirts possible, so I hope you appreciate them as much as we do!

In case you aren’t aware, Lost Shapes are an independent clothing brand from back home in the UK. The wonderful owner, Anna, has built her brand upon ethical and sustainable values to go along side her traditionally hand-printed designs. You might recognise Lost Shapes from my ethical directory.

I couldn’t release my first sustainable pieces without making them all about what I believe in. In this post, not only can you scroll through and get a taste of the lookbook, you can also find out the inspirations behind each piece and why they ended up looking like they do.

However, if you’re ready to shop already, click the link above. I can’t wait to see you all wearing your Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh pieces!

Make sure to tweet @TollyDollyPosh and @LostShapes with the hashtag #LSxTDP so we can see how you style them.


~ MANY QUESTIONS T-SHIRT ~
100% Organic Cotton with 90% Reduced Carbon Footprint


This design is inspired quite simply by the idea of questioning the supply chains across the fashion industry. It’s a bold inspiration which might not come across to just anyone but it started to be put across from the very first pages of my sketchbook. The question marks are linked like a chain and if you look very closely, the colours cross over each other with slight transparency – that of course was very intentional.

As the name suggests, there are so many questions that need answering when it comes to our clothes, so this is like wearing all of them on a t-shirt which supports answering them. The racer style makes it all the more striking and looks rather good against the backdrop of the lookbook (it’s a Keith Haring mural, open and on display in Pisa, Italy).

I styled both t-shirts with a denim skirt (second-hand, of course), as there are definite yet subtle 80s vibes in each design. Although the bright pink and orange may seem rather summery, there’s no reason these t-shirts can’t be worn throughout the colder seasons. I’m ready and set to pair this design with a biker jacket.

 


~ KEEP ON ASKING T-SHIRT ~
Fair Trade 100% Organic Cotton with workers premium


The other t-shirt in my little collection took a while longer to perfect (well, both of them did – a lot of time goes into making colours perfect when they’re being hand-printed), simply because slogans of course have a lot to shout about.

We want these t-shirts to be open for everyone to wear (man or woman, they’re unisex!), hence why the ‘Many Questions’ design is a symbolic pattern and hence why the phrase ‘Keep on Asking’ hopefully, applies to a lot of other things.

Of course, the ‘Keep on Asking’ I’m referring to within my designs, is the idea of asking those who are in charge and capable of real change, to answer questions. This stems back to great initiatives like Fashion Revolution and #WhoMadeMyClothes, as well as just conscious consumerism in general. In order to become more transparent, we need questions to be answered. Once again, the transparent layering is intentional and I’m really happy with the outcome, especially with the 80s style, bubble font.

I’ve already worn this t-shirt a dozen ways with different skirts and bottoms (it may or may not be my favourite design of the two, with the Fair Trade cotton being the cherry on top) and I think the versatility definitely comes down to the shirt being grey.


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY T-SHIRTS? ~
Every Lost Shapes item is sourced sustainably before being hand-printed by Anna Brindle, the creator of Lost Shapes, with each design in the collaboration designed lovingly by Tolly Dolly Posh.


I’m really proud to have worked with Anna on this little collection. It took a lot of back and forth work but I believe the overall outcome was most definitely worth it. I really hope to see some of you wearing them in the near future, or at least to hear you have them on your wishlist! All the important links can be found belowhappy Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh shopping!


FOLLOW LOST SHAPES:
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

DOWNLOAD:
Press Release // Lookbook


Special thanks to Kayleigh Adams Photography for capturing the t-shirts in all of their glory. Follow Kayleigh on Instagram for more photography and visit her website if you’re interested in using her for your own project. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How Teens Can Grow out of Clothes Sustainably

By August 30, 2017 Ethical

I like to say that I do a fairly reasonable job at keeping my content appropriate for all ages but seeing as I am still within the teenage age bracket, from time to time, I think it’s helpful to reach out to my fellow young audience. Today I’m talking about growing out of clothes sustainably because there comes a point where that jumper just isn’t going to fit anymore.

Growing out of Clothes Sustainably - Teen Fashion Advice

I’d like to say that I’m a great example of growing out of clothes sustainably but I understand that has a lot to do with the fact that I’m on the slim size and I can easily squeeze into clothes which I’ve had since I was about 10 years old. For example, within the past year, I’ve only just gotten around to buying new camisoles and vests because elastic stretches and there was just no need to waste any money when they were still fitting me perfectly.

However, this, of course, isn’t the case for everyone especially when you’re going through growth spurts and changes faster than I can spit out the phrase ‘ethical and sustainable fashion’. I’ve had a good think though (thank me later) and I’ve tried to narrow down some ideas on how you can avoid putting all of your old clothes into a bin bag and throwing them away without much thought. Perhaps these ideas might even work for all ages, after all…

Growing out of Clothes Sustainably - Teen Fashion Advice

Shop with your future-self in mind…

If you’re thinking about replacing or buying new (which doesn’t necessarily have to be new, remember; second-hand shopping is your friend!), think about your future self and whether what you’re buying will last in your wardrobe for a considerable amount of time. This post from my archives might be useful.

Of course, we will all grow out of styles and clothes at certain points during our lives. I can’t say what I wear now will be anything like what I’ll wear in say, five or ten years’ time, but it’s important to think about what could last rather than not thinking about it at all. This works for both style and size.

It can be done by avoiding trends or novelty clothing (slogan tees which perhaps won’t be relevant a few years down the line) and buying colours and prints which you know will continue to match and create a base for your wardrobe (stripes are a great example). Of course, your style might not change much at all if you’ve hit the nail on the head and are comfortable with what you wear, but it’s always good to leave room for changing and evolving. This is especially important if you’re in your later teens and what you wear now, is more than certainly going to travel around with you when you leave home!

Growing out of Clothes Sustainably - Teen Fashion Advice

Switch up how you wear your clothes…

This sounds odd but I’ve kept so many of my clothes for three times as long as they should have been kept by simply wearing or layering them differently. A piece I once wore as a dress has now become a top with three-quarter length sleeves and my denim jacket has become a cropped sleeveless vest with a snip of some scissors.

Think about how else you could style what’s in your wardrobe before deciding to put it to rest. You may even be able to save a piece which used to be your favourite. As I mentioned with my denim jacket, this can, of course, involve upcycling and revamping.

Sell or swap, rather than donate…

If you have clothes which unfortunately cannot be worn or upcycled any longer, why not think about selling them? Not only can you earn yourself some pocket money, you can also engage in second-hand selling. You can also swap clothes with you friends too! Take a browse through each other’s wardrobes or find a local clothes swap to take part in. If you’re interested in learning why donating clothes to charity might not be the best option if you’re wanting to let old clothes go, read my post all about it here

Growing out of Clothes Sustainably - Teen Fashion Advice

Go a size up…

Finally, if you have to replace or go shopping, go a size up if you’re really growing out of things. It ties into switching up how you wear different pieces because you can just start out by wearing clothes oversized or with belts and accessories to make you feel more fitted. This might be extra useful to remember when you next go shoe shopping, especially.

Sadly, I grew out of my first pair of second-hand Dr Martens after a year. I have, however, kept them in storage to one day pass down. That’s another idea, even if it sounds a little over board.

Have any other tips and tricks to grow out of clothes sustainably? Leave suggestions in the comments!


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper with… Lauren McCrostie

By August 25, 2017 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. 


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

Lauren is a 21-year-old freckle faced actress from London with a bursting passion for the environment. Interested in all realms of the topic, she is actively engaged in promoting ethical and sustainable initiatives and championing organisations who are doing good.  Lauren is also obsessed with recycling.
Lauren’s acting working includes Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (as Olive) and The Falling (as Gwen).

TWITTER // INSTAGRAM


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


A while ago I had the opportunity to Skype with Lauren McCrostie (who you may have seen on the big screen last year, with her role as Olive in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) after we connected on Twitter quite some time ago. Although I connect with dozens upon dozens of like minded people, a lot of them are usually directly within the fashion industry so when I get talking with someone who isn’t necessarily within that field, it’s always rather interesting.

Of course, I had to take the opportunity to ask Lauren to answer some questions for my Pen to Paper series because what she had to say was definitely worthy of sharing with the rest of you. It’s always good to see if peoples thoughts align with yours when they’re coming in at it from a different angle.


So much! The waste in the film industry is colossal but there are some amazing organisations working on improving this for us all, like Adgreen, EarthAngels and The Costume Directory team. We have become such a disposable culture and this has sadly infiltrated into almost every sector.

How does all of this fit into your experience as an actress?


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


People have this idea of that ‘eco’, ‘sustainable’ brands are dull + shapeless but this is so outdated. There are countless stylish brands offering a diverse range of beautiful + well-crafted pieces. Many coveted by huge mainstream stars (a la Rihanna in Reformation!).

What do you think stops the everyday consumer from shopping with ethical brands?


Being an actress, Lauren has wonderfully gathered a following on her social media platforms and I have to say, I’m really thankful for how she uses that audience. As if Lauren was Rihanna, Lauren holds up ethical brands highly and proudly, which I think we need more of. There’s a common argument that we need to praise fast-fashion brands that are starting to implement sustainable ideas, which is, of course, true to a certain extent, but I believe we need to focus on those who are doing good, just as equally and if not, more so.

And if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, Lauren’s your go-to gal, as well. And for recycling. She’s got it all covered and she’s utilising the opportunity she has to share it all with a wide range of people.

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


The fact that this is becoming more of a topic in mainstream conversation is really positive! It should be sung + celebrated! We must grow a greater sense of consciousness of our power as consumers + the impact we have on our environment. This should feel empowering and exciting! We have the ability to change things! To build a better future!

What's some progress you've seen that you believe needs highlighting?


I hands down agree with Lauren that making change and following a path of having ethics in mind can feel downright empowering. I feel as if it should feel even more empowering to a younger generation (myself and Lauren included – she’s 21 and already a superstar!), which is why I’m always trying to be as positive and as inspiring as I can be across my platforms.


I would love to support this movement more by raising more awareness + educating the mass the TRUE COST fashion has. We can no longer claim to be victims of ignorance. We have the responsibility as to allow ourselves to be educated. Equally, I think it is important to stay focused on creating lasting change, regardless of scope.

What's your next goal within sustainability etc?


Even if all this post does is inspire you to click the follow button on Lauren’s Instagram, I’ll be happy. I’m excited to see what she’s planning for the future and how she can use her platform to continue pushing for changes.

How would you answer these questions? Let me know in the comments!


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What Do Logos and Labels Say About You?

By August 20, 2017 Ethical

A seed of a thought was planted in my mind a while ago when I read To Die For by Lucy Siegle (click the link for my review). One part of wearing ethical and sustainable clothes, is sending out a message about what you stand for, and Lucy touches on this in her book. But mixing this idea with logos makes it all the more important to pay attention to. Why? Let’s discuss…

ethical fashion advice - should we wear fast-fashion logos?

I might seem a little drastic to jump to the idea of thinking of our subconscious but with the idea of sustainability slowly trickling down to the everyday shopper (even if it’s through the rather controversial and possibly green-washed campaigns by the likes of H&M), what messages people are fed, even when they’re not purposefully thinking about it, all play a role in what happens next.

The idea in Lucy’s book that really stood out to me, was the idea of wearing faux-fur. Any kind of vegan material is suspicious to me (can we really say plastic alternatives to leathers are sustainable? I think not) but there are obviously many reasons why people avoid buying real fur.

The question was – by wearing any kind of fur, fake or vintage, aren’t we still showing the world that we appreciate and see fur as something wearable? That got the ball rolling for me, and it’s brought me back around to logos and labels, as the title of this post suggests.

ethical fashion advice - should we wear fast-fashion logos?

If we’re wearing a visible logo, how does this affect how people view our ethical views? Again, admittedly that sounds drastic to think about but as somebody who owns a pair of Nike trainers, yet stands by going against sweatshops, what does that say about me, when someone looks at my feet?

You might be thinking – does anybody really pay that much attention? Probably not. In fact, people are more likely to pay more attention to what you’re wearing on Instagram to what you’re wearing in real life (the same question still applies though), so perhaps the idea is more of a moral one.

Is it right to wear a Prada logo even when the shirt was bought second-hand? That’s my most recent query, after picking one up from a charity shop. Luxury doesn’t automatically mean ethical, after all, and nobody in passing will necessarily know I re-used an item which would have otherwise had been wasted.

Taking the question about faux-fur and adapting it a little; by wearing a label attached to an unethical brand, new or vintage, aren’t we still showing the world that we in some way appreciate and see fast-fashion as something to be worn and supported?

Visibility to me, is what I think is important. Bold, glaring logos which are immediately recognisable will say something to people in passing (or on social media), no matter how subconscious the connection is.

This doesn’t mean to say I think we should all be throwing out anything we own which is branded (never throw out clothes just because what you own isn’t ethical – keep them for longer), but it is to say I think we should shop more consciously with what message we’re putting out there in mind, especially when the message is easy to recognise and judge. Yeah, I’m saying – avoid that Gucci style Topshop-logo splashed t-shirt that’s apparently currently on sale (or you know, Topshop in general.)

“What about non-visible logos?” I hear you cry – well, as I just said, do not fear if your wardrobe is packed with them already (and by that I mean, Primark or other fast-fashion labels, like I myself still own), as it’s better to prolong their life in your wardrobe than rid of them completely. Also, as I’ve been asked this in the past and also rather recently, yes, it’s okay to shop second-hand even if what you’re buying was originally made or sourced unethically. Your money isn’t going directly into the hands of the industry, so you’re safe to shop fast-fashion in the second-hand world.

Have you ever thought about what logos you’re wearing say about you? Let me know in the comments!

ethical fashion blog - lost shapes x tolly dolly posh


SPEAKING OF LOGOS…

…you’ll soon be able to wear mine on the back of your t-shirt! And yes, it will be ethical. I’ve finally announced my upcoming collection with Lost Shapes which will be available to buy on September 7th, 2017. YAY!


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Testing My Comfort Zones with Mayamiko*

By August 9, 2017 My Style

It isn’t easy to take photos in 40-degree heat (104 for you Fahrenheit users) so when the sun started to set yesterday, with the temperature a few degrees lower, I jumped at the chance to show off my new Mayamiko two-piece which has been pushing me out of my comfort zone…

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did


WHAT I WORE: Dandy Garden Bralet £19.00 (Mayamiko)* // Dandy Garden Shorts £30.00 (Mayamiko)* // White Cover-up (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Leather Handbag (What Daisy Did)* // Suede Flats (Accessorize – old) // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Charity Shop) 


I’m the sort of person who likes to push people into the direction of confidence and feeling good about themselves. It’s one thing that really crushes me in this time of plastering social media platforms with Snapchat filter covered selfies and tweets about how down we feel but that doesn’t mean I find everything easy myself. In fact, rather honestly, I would probably say in the past year I’ve been the most self-conscious I’ve ever been in certain areas. I’ve never been super confident of showing off too much of my skin, mainly because it reveals the boniness my fast metabolism doesn’t want to hide. So when two gorgeous pieces from Mayamiko slipped through the post, it’s safe to say I was a little afraid of seeing a bralet and a pair of high-waisted shorts in the package. 

The bralet I immediately thought would look great paired on top of a clean white t-shirt, solving my self-conscious dilemma straight away but I decided to try it on without just in case, and somehow, it fit like a glove. The nerves didn’t fade when I stepped outside but when I realised I could accessorize and still distract (in my head), in some way, I actually ended up enjoying the outfit, even if I did wear it with trousers at first.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY TWO PIECE? ~
The two-piece was cut by Charity and sewn by Enala, just outside of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Both women graduated from Mayamiko’s Trust, to become professional pattern cutters and tailors. You can read more about Mayamiko’s charity here. 


Not only is it great to break through a barrier causing you to shy away from certain fashionable styles, it’s even better when you know exactly where those clothes are coming from. Mayamiko were in my ethical directory before I got my hands on their beautiful clothes, so I can assure you I’m a big fan.

Not only are Mayamiko transparent and open about how they go about their business, they also provide support and opportunities to local communities in Malawi, where their pieces are produced. Each piece is only one of around 10-15 made and fabrics are mostly handmade, meaning there’s not one the same due to imperfections which aren’t really imperfections at all.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

I styled up the two-piece with a white cover-up I bought at a jumble sale last year;  I believe it was originally a night gown of sorts (?!) but I cut the ribbon ties and now adore its frills and sleeves. It also adds texture to what would be a pretty simple outfit without it.

I’m also still carrying around my What Daisy Did bag which matches my old suede flats so perfectly it’s quite unbelievable, as well as tying in the lenses of my new killer sunnies with the side panel of blue. For someone who was recently given a pair of Rayban’s, you know I love this €4 vintage pair when I haven’t stopped wearing them. I’d been looking for a pair which had a slightly more striking shape than my average round ones and I couldn’t be happier I found these!

Oh, and my choker is never coming off either. It really helped with those jittery nerves of wearing something new…


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Relax, I Am Not the Ethical Police

By August 5, 2017 Ethical

The title of this post may sound familiar if you follow my Facebook page (you can do so by clicking here) as a while ago I brought up the matter in response to several messages I’d had from friends, family and people I knew online. Most of the messages had a similar theme – they were apologies for shopping fast-fashion.

Ethical Fashion Advice - Relax, I'm Not The Ethical Police

However, I’m putting it out there – I’m not the ethical police. Nor is anyone else who is an advocate for ethics and sustainability and moving the industry (and world) in a more positive direction. I’ve never come across anyone who has pointed out somebody’s wrong doings within this realm (unless it’s been pointed in the direction of a major brand or company as a whole) and I wouldn’t even necessarily jump to saying they’re ‘wrong doings’.

Of course, whatever I put out there into the world with promoting this new way of thinking – technically it’s not that new but awareness is still growing – in terms of conscious consumerism and how we wear our clothes, I do it all with the intent of trying to inspire others to do the same. It’s my goal.

I want you to listen to what I have to say and hopefully, in some respect, take it to heart. I believe we should be changing our ways. This isn’t something we can just sit back and ignore anymore. We have a duty, especially within my generation of younger people (it’s our future, folks), to make changes.

So yes, I will celebrate people who start to implement these ideas and changes because I understand that at first, it can seem daunting, as if you need to change everything you know in life in order to be conscious (I’m not over exaggerating here – I have seen people expressing how impossible it seems).

Ethical Fashion Advice - Relax, I'm Not The Ethical Police

But, will I ever call you out for going against all of this? No. Should you feel guilty about it? No. Why? Well… because four years ago I was cheering on the fact that Primark was stocked on ASOS and I wasn’t batting an eyelid to what brands sent me in the post to feature on my blog.

It takes time to adjust and it takes time to learn. I don’t want anyone to come to me feeling guilty or down because I’m no perfect example of anything, I’m just attempting to shine a light on the darkness of this industry. In fact, I may even give you a proud pat on the head if you ever confess to fast-fashion purchases because it shows how aware you are (although please refrain from doing so, as this post suggests). Having your eyes open and being honest with yourself is key in becoming more conscious and thoughtful in the way you live and shop, whether that be in fashion or elsewhere.

This post is simply to say – you can take a step back and relax if all of this ethical and sustainable jargon and information is getting you down in the dumps, or if you slipped up and indulged on something which doesn’t have a clear label on it. I want my blog to be a space where we’re not focusing on doing wrong; we’re focusing on doing better.

If you want some tips on how to do just that rather than worrying yourself into ethically-induced anxiety, then click some of the links below. They might be handy for if you’re new around here, too!

~ HANDY ETHICAL ADVICE ~


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

By July 21, 2017 Ethical

I’ve decided within my (hopefully) helpful ethical content, I need to inject some honesty. As much as I want everyone to convert to the way of conscious shopping, I understand it isn’t always easy at first which is why I’ve decided to list out my honest ethical wardrobe priorities in order of what I shop for most consciously…

ethical wardrobe priorities - tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blog

1. Tops

Tops (t-shirts, blouses, sweaters etc) are what take up the majority of my wardrobe and what I wear most. Unless it’s the summer, I’m not a huge dress person so, my outfits are generally made up of two key pieces rather than the one, meaning I have more choice in variation.

Although my shopping habits have dramatically changed since becoming a conscious consumer (no more ASOS splurges or random Primark hauls around here!), I definitely purchase more tops than anything else which means I’m more aware of what ethics are behind them. I’ll either shop second-hand or look through some staple choices by brands like People Tree.

2. Skirts

Over the past few years, I’ve become more of a skirt wearer which makes sense with what I’ve already explained about the top half of my outfits. Depending on my mood and the time of the year, I’m also a shorts person but I don’t invest in them very often at all. When it comes to buying skirts, I think the fabric is really important to take into account. It really makes a difference in terms of shape and style and of course, sustainability.

3. Dresses

As much as I don’t wear them too often, I’m not opposed to adding more to my wardrobe. I tend to steer clear of trend-led dresses (which is rather easy when second-hand shopping and ethical brands don’t tend to lead you down that route) and focus on dresses which I know will last me in terms of style and versatility. I also always think about layering as I’m not one to shy away from making use of summer dresses in winter by adding on a jumper underneath or a blouse on top.

4. Jackets

I would say dresses and jackets are almost of equal of priority but as with items like shorts, I’m not buying jackets on the regular (or any clothing for that matter) which means they’re slightly lower on my scale. Due to the fact that jackets are a form of outwear, considering longevity and practicality is a major factor when it comes to buying new because you want to know it will actually do its job rather than just look pretty. However currently, I would say 85-90% of the jackets I own are second-hand or have been in my wardrobe for years now.

5. Trousers (& Shorts)

I believe trousers are a really interchangeable item, meaning once again, I don’t buy them often. In fact, my collection is rather limited. I am guilty of buying fast-fashion denim not too long ago (within the past year) but due to the fact that I won’t be buying any more anytime soon, I think it’s something I can let myself off with. Jeans will last but they’re also truly unsustainable to produce so this part of my wardrobe is what I want to learn more about. I have my eye on you Mud Jeans!

ethical wardrobe priorities - what daisy did

6. Handbags

After receiving my What Daisy Did bag and becoming truly obsessed with my Paguro recycled rubber number, I’ve realised that handbags are a lot easier to buy ethically than you’d think hence why they’ve moved up a little in my rankings. It’s only in the past three or four years that I’ve actually started wearing a bag every day but now I’ve had time to truly understand their sustainable value, I’m definitely thinking about them more when that new-purchase feeling starts tickling at my skin.

7. Shoes

It might seem surprising that footwear is in the bottom half of my priority list but I have to be honest and explain my reasonings behind that. Firstly and simply, as with the rest of this list, I’m not buying them often.

Secondly, a lot of the shoes in my wardrobe have been gifted to me across the duration of my blog meaning I haven’t needed to splash out personally and thirdly, speaking of splashing out, I currently can’t afford any of the more sustainable options on the market. That’s the truth, which means when it comes to shoes I’m not always thinking about ethics and sustainability first. I do, however, like most people, wear shoes every day which means I’m always putting them to good use.

8. Coats

I own two coats. One rain coat and one large, second-hand faux fur option. I don’t plan on adding to this very small collection anytime soon, so the reasoning behind #8 is rather self-explanatory.

9. Jewellery

I’ve never thought of jewellery in an ethical and sustainable sense but recently more and more brands focused on just that have opened my eyes to it being an option. I absolutely adore Tribe of Lambs and I was rather close to hitting the checkout button on their site recently, so, I may have been converted to shop more consciously when it comes to my very rare jewellery shopping urges.

10. Underwear

We all wear it, so it has to be included! As I’m admittedly still at that stage of buying rather unflattering and not at all glamorous underwear, it really just isn’t that important to me although I know there are great ethical options (just take a look at my directory, for examples!).

Again, the infrequency of my underwear shopping is the main reason for this, combined with the fact that I’m still shopping in Marks & Spencer kids. You heard it here first, folks! I may be ethically aware but my underwear hasn’t quite got the message just yet. I promise I’ll work on it. (Was this TMI? Probably but I’m trying to be as honest as I can be.)

What are your ethical priorities? How are you being a conscious consumer? List it all out in the comments!


If you want to keep up-to-date with me whilst I lose all writing and creative motivation to the sun and summer fun (hello seeing Arcade Fire live!), make sure you follow me on Instagram and check in on my Instagram Story every now and then…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper with… Eleanor Amari of Remake

By July 10, 2017 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. 


Eleanor Amari - Remake Our World

Remake is a platform dedicated to building a conscious consumer movement, using its voice to improve and shape the lives of those who make our clothes.  Eleanor Amari is the content manager at RemakeShe pushes forward the depth, breadth and visual identity of Remake’s video and social content. She’s focused on telling engaging stories that humanise the fashion supply chain.
Remake has worked with the likes of Parsons to show three fashion design students how their clothes are made, directly in Cambodia.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // TDP STORY


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


Next up in my Pen to Paper series, I want to re-introduce you to the movement of Remake, or Remake Our World. I say re-introduce as I’ve mentioned their work on my blog before, more specifically in my post about ethical fashion education. I had the opportunity to ask one of their team members, Eleanor Amari, some questions about what they’ve learned since the beginning and how she thinks we can play our part.


 Ethical fashion has a bad reputation (“it’s a hemp sack” “it’s too expensive/over priced”), on a broken foundation (Retail has failed us. We expect fast & cheap only because we are used to it).

What do you think stops the everyday consumer from shopping with ethical brands?


I believe I first discovered Remake via Ayesha Barenblat’s TED talk (which I seem to no longer be able to find). Ayesha is the founder of Remake and her message is simple but powerful. It’s always good to raise up those with a similar mindset so if you enjoy reading my blog, you’ll probably find her work equally as interesting.

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


Remake began because… Fast Fashion is OUT! High volume @ low cost ⟹ Ongoing human rights abuses behind our clothes. Slow fashion is IN! It’s a win-win: looking good while doing good is possible, and what we want. 

Why and how did Remake begin?


One of my favourite Remake features is their #humansoffashion series (which I am honoured to have been a part of over on Remake’s blog) which mainly lives its life on Instagram. It’s simple yet powerful, focusing on different opinions on fashion from different women (and men) all around the world.


Across the world, ladies want to look good while doing good ❤❤❤ ↬ We want your stories! We’re all #humansoffashion, share your story with us to grow the movement: info@remake.world

On Instagram, you have your #humansoffashion series - what has been the most surprising answer to your questions?


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Embedded within this post is Remake’s short film, Made in Cambodia which, for ten minutes, should be mandatory viewing material. Remake took three students from Parsons School of Design in New York, to Cambodia where they met some of the garment workers behind our clothes. It’s eye opening and closes that gap and disconnect we often find ourselves dealing with when trying to share the hard truths of the industry. I think it’s really important the lovely ladies who were a part of it, were of a younger generation. We need more young people behind these sorts of campaigns in order to start changing our future.


Char Wong. Despite her burdens (she works in some of the world’s worst factories) she still hopes & dreams for a better future. She speaks up for her rights. As fellow ladies, we can support her fight by voting for brands who support their makers. Meet Char Wong on remake.world

What is one of the most eye-opening and inspiring stories you've learned from a maker or 'invisible woman'?

 Say NO to fast fashion. A whole new fashion world will open to you from there!


Thanks so much to Eleanor for answering these questions and for doing your part in pushing the industry in a more positive direction. If you’re interested, read what I had to say on their blog here.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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