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Pen to Paper Interview with… Natalie Grillon of Project JUST

By May 22, 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. 


Natalie Grillon - Project Just

Project JUST is building a community to help consumers change the way they shop for clothing. The online platform features a brand wiki where shoppers can search a brand and access profiles researched by ethical, social, and environmental factors and a Seal of Approval, awarded to the best brands in the industry. Project JUST also publishes a series of fashion-focused content including shopper profiles, supply chain investigations, garment worker profiles, city shopping guides and styling posts to help shoppers put their values into action.

Project JUST has been featured on Refinery 29, Cosmopolitan, Take Part & ELLE.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // #IAMJUST


project just co-founder natalie grillon interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


I believe I discovered Project JUST last year when researching ethical directories. It was when I’d just started to really delve into the world of brands dedicated to ethics and sustainability. There are a handful of excellent resources out there, it just takes a bit of digging but none of them were quite what I was looking for, especially as somebody who is attracted to simple, eye-catching websites and easy to browse platforms. I was rather relieved when Project JUST came up on my browser because it ticks all of those boxes and isn’t just a directory. It really is a resource.

As with many recent ethical fashion related initiatives, Project JUST started after the Rana Plaza collapse of spring 2013 and has now grown into a well-respected platform which connects consumers with stories behind the brands they shop from, and not just ones which are typically known to be ethical. If you want to learn more about the Primark’s and ASOS’s of the world, Project JUST is a great place to start for clear and concise information.


Not enough space! My handwriting is BIG. Started in 2013 to help consumers learn the stories behind their clothes, launched site in Dec 2015.

Why and how did Project JUST begin?


project just co-founder natalie grillon interview

project just co-founder natalie grillon interview


How automatic many of our behaviours are – it’s a journey to empower a consumer to change the way they shop – it doesn’t happen overnight.

What's the most eye-opening thing you've learned since launching?


Listening to Natalie and other co-founder, Shahd AlShehail, discuss Project JUST on Kestrel Jenkin’s Conscious Chatter podcast was rather insightful and as I’ve said before, I would highly recommend giving Kestrel’s podcast a listen and not just for that episode alone.

Not only does Project JUST list out pros and cons for different brands, it also has a great “slang” dictionary for those of you wanting to scrap up on your ethical and sustainable lingo.


Price and sometimes design. Consumers need to have a product that matches style, size, price and then sustainability.

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


project just co-founder natalie grillon interview

project just co-founder natalie grillon interview


If you must buy, buy vintage or quality (and wash your clothes less ) 

What is one thing we can all be doing to become better consumers?


As I often tend to reiterate around here, small steps lead to greater things which I believe comes through in Natalie’s answers. Being conscious and educating yourself is putting yourself on the right path to learning more about the stories behind your clothes. We wear them every day, don’t we?

As the site is also a bit of a community, I recently took part in the #IAMJUST interview series which is a bit like Pen to Paper. Head over to read through my own handwritten answers and discover Project JUST for yourself!

(I was kindly gifted a free annual membership to Project JUST’s directory, however, this interview had been set-up in advance and all opinions are my own!) 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Turning Seventeen…

By May 19, 2017 General

It’s tradition on my blog to do a little celebratory post when the number in all of my social media bios changes so here we are again; another year! This time around I’m turning seventeen, making me a whole six years older than I was when I started writing. I wanted to shoot a more creative set of photos in honour of my birthday (I quite like them, if I do say so myself) and catch-up with you all…

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


WHAT I WORE: Dress (Jumble Sale) // Tattoos (DIY) // Rings (Unknown & Gemporia*) // Glitter (Claire’s)*


Being my age is rather odd, I’ve realised. I think growing up with older siblings confused my young mind because what I saw in them at my age, isn’t what I see in myself. My family will probably read this and be shouting ‘obviously’ at the screen because I’m my own individual but I suppose what I mean is, I don’t feel how seventeen seemed to me then. I used to think being in your late teens made you a super mature young adult who worked hard and played hard but upon turning seventeen myself, I’ve realised that perhaps comes down to how little I could do, being so much younger.

Being seventeen means you can do an awful lot but it also means you can do an awful little. Or maybe that’s just me. I’m pretty sure I’m actually seventeen going on seventy in my head. I like eating cheese and honey on its own and drinking cups of tea at all times of the day and I have a jacket that reminds everyone of my grandma. I’m excited by the idea of getting older. I think I was listening to a podcast recently that really struck a chord with me and has made me relax over how much I’ve achieved. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact source of this inspiration but it roughly went through the idea of peaking at a later age. And I suppose; I don’t want to peak now! I want to peak when I’m older so that I’m not sat around thinking; now what?

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

For someone growing up online and being filled with different ideas and ways to compare myself, this realisation has definitely helped me. As much as achieving a lot while you’re young is an outstanding, I don’t think any young people should be pressurised into feeling like they have to.

It’s helped me more specifically with my future career aspirations too; I went through a phase of feeling really bogged down and worthless. I’ve cried over not feeling like I’m doing enough for my age but now I know that I want to continue learning before really going for it. Which I suppose, is exactly what my blog is for! I am achieving some great things – in fact, that’s part of the reason I’ve been quiet online recently – but I’m also gearing up for when I can achieve even more at a later stage. That’s what it’s like to be seventeen… it’s gearing up for everything.

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


OOTD My Style Outfit Seventies Bohemian ASOS Dress 1B99 Dr MartensBIRTHDAY PLAYLIST:
Would You Be So Kind? Live (Dodie)  
Hard Times (Paramore)
Shut Up Kiss Me (Angel Olsen)
Total Entertainment Forever (Father John Misty) 
Five Years (David Bowie) 


For my seventeenth birthday, I’ll be wondering around Florence in Italy and dining at a Greek restaurant for dinner. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of the exciting things I’m currently gearing up to, but for now, thank you so much for celebrating with me and for following along for as long as you have been. I think eleven-year-old Tolly would be quite proud of what this place has become!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Sustainable Alternatives to Leather | Paguro Upcycle*

By May 10, 2017 General

An area of ethics and sustainability that I haven’t quite cracked on my personal journey, is where to stand with leather. If you’ve already made the choice with your food to become a vegetarian or a vegan with your diet, then it’s likely that your opinions with leather will line up with what you eat. But for those of us who haven’t made that choice (for whatever reason that may be – we all have our reasons), I believe leather in fashion is quite a confusing subject.

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


WHAT I WORE: Floral Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Silver Blouse (Charity Shop) // Floral Pleated Skirt (Charity Shop) // Reina Dual Purpose Vegan Handbag (Paguro)* // Sunglasses (Unknown) // Wanderlust 101 Boots (Dr Martens)*


I believe for most when we think about leather, we think about quality. Words like ‘long-lasting’ are associated with our impression of leather and what it brings to the table. However, unfortunately, with recent times and the speed of the industry, fast-fashion has given us the ability to consume and own leather without there being a lot of quality to it or without it really being long-lasting. To Die For by Lucy Siegle is a book which has a fascinating focus and chapter about leather in it – page 201 states that around 14.8 billion pairs of shoes were manufactured globally, eleven years ago in 2006, with nearly 5 billion of them being designed and produced with leather uppers.

As we’ve started to become accustomed to easily accessible leather, we’ve started to forget leather’s impact on the world. Cattle farming is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases (another quote from To Die For) which is a staggering number to take into account when the majority of leather produced for the fashion industry is taken from cows. Not only that, in India, which is responsible for 8% of the world’s leather production, the country is struggling with the side effects of pollution. A report by National Geographic shows that samples of water from the Ganges are high in Chromium, which can cause lung cancer, kidney and liver damage and other concerning health conditions, not only for leather tannery workers themselves but also for the communities in surrounding areas.


The bag that I’m wearing (and quite in love with) is made from 75% recycled materials, or, recycled rubber inner-tubes to be precise. It’s vegan and has been produced with ethics in mind by Paguro’s partner, Sapu. And if it looks a little different to the modelled version on Paguro’s site – it’s because no inner-tube is the same which makes every piece a little bit more unique.


sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY BAG? ~
Sapu – a group of artists based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga. They are made up of a collective of creative people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists. Moreover, the members are united by a respect for their natural environment. They use unwanted man-made materials, transforming these into jewellery and accessories.


Of course, there are some sustainable values to leather. The leather products that I own – shoes, a jacket and two handbags – will stay in my wardrobes for years to come. If I maintain their longevity and care for them like prize possessions then the sustainability factor will most definitely be put to use over shoes and bags which will most likely become damaged and worse for wear over time due to their less robust materials. Overall, I’m personally more comfortable in buying second-hand leather; I’m not directly contributing to the current leather industry and I’m being even more sustainable by reusing something that is already there.

If the working conditions, ethics of animals and polluting processes of leather aren’t all that attractive to you then luckily, there are alternatives and if you haven’t got the hint from the images within this post, then I’m here to tell you about one of them. I discovered Paguro on Twitter and was instantly intrigued. They use man-made materials but they’re recycled and/or off-cuts, so once again; there’s no direct impact being made.


It is essential to us that the principal element of each of our products is made from a recycled or reclaimed material. The majority of our products are made using the recycled rubber inner tubes of bus and lorry tyres. The rubber is sourced directly from transportation companies in Central Java and is transported to our designers’ workshop in the town of Salatiga. All of the inner tubes are recycled and have reached the end of their useful life. 

Where are the recycled materials sourced from?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


Our production processes are focused on minimising waste. The tyre inner tubes and bike chains, which we use throughout a range of jewellery and accessories, require little work beyond a thorough cleaning. The makers are determined to use as little water as possible in the cleaning process. Whilst there are inevitably offcuts from the production of our inner tubes bags and jewellery, they can generally be incorporated into the designs for smaller products such as our cuffs or earrings. Any material which can not be used in this way is thinly sliced and used in place of cord for our product tags.

What goes into making the recycled materials usable? How sustainable is this process?

All of the information I received from Paguro was clear, thorough and concise which excites me because it shows how dedicated they are to their work both in ethics and in sustainability. Their rubber designs will end up lasting far longer than leather too and if you want to keep it in top condition, very little work goes into the process. I can also assure you that the lining is just as cool; mine is striped.


We have taken the decision to focus on the use of recycled and reclaimed materials which require minimal processing and we do so for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I feel that recycled materials to have a greater degree of individuality and character in comparison to synthetic materials. For instance, the inner tubes carry patterns which follow the treads of the tyres. These patterns are all distinctive, making each of our products unique.

Secondly, I think recycled materials pose more of challenge creatively. The designer is faced with constraints in terms of the size and amount of the material available and needs to adapt their ideas accordingly. I believe that this leads to a more interesting final product.

Finally, using the materials in their original form is generally better for the environment. Any additional processing with inevitably carry environmental considerations, which I would sooner avoid.

What are your thoughts on vegan leathers?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

Although recycled rubber isn’t the only alternative, my eyes have been opened to a similar feeling, similarly long-lasting option over leather. Pinatex is next on my list to inspect – a leather made from pineapple. See? The possibilities are pretty endless if you really want to try something new.

What leather alternatives do you know of? What are your thoughts on leather? Let me know in the comments!

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Paguro. Read my full disclaimer here.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Easy DIY Fashion Fix Ideas | Fashion Revolution 2017

By April 30, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

With my penultimate Fashion Revolution post being quite a heavy piece, I thought I would tie this week up along the simpler route by listing out a few of ways that you can make your clothes last longer. Although I talk an awful lot about shopping with more ethically focused brands, the way you care and dispose of your clothes is equally as important as what you buy.

One of Fashion Revolution’s campaigns for 2017 included the #LovedClothesLast short film which focuses on exactly that; how loved clothes will last a lot longer than those which aren’t, whether that means how we care for them or how they were produced. You can watch the full short film here. On top of that, Fashion Revolution are also trying to encourage people to start “fashion fixing”; making your clothes last longer by fixing them rather than throwing them away. Scroll down for some easy ideas that I can guarantee all of you can do from home…

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ DIY PATCH JACKET ~
Read the full tutorial here.


This is the jacket that some of you long time TDP readers may recognise. I also featured it in my recent blog post of my trip to Lottozero’s Fashion Revolution event in Prato, Italy. I originally bought the jacket from a jumble sale with the intention of adding more to it; it was a blank white canvas which meant there was an awful lot of room to play with. If you click through to the tutorial you’ll see that not only did I dye the jacket but I also added some patches. 

Iron-on patches are extremely easy to use (all you need is a tea-towel and iron) and are what I used for all of the patches upon it. However, some of the original patches did peal off in the wash, so if you access to a needle and thread, sewing the patches on will make them last even longer. I simply re-ironed them on this time, adding my Fashion Revolution patches along with them. It is possible to find more sustainable patches; Avery Dennis (who produced the exclusive patches) use 90% recycled yarns. 

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ DIY SLEEVELESS JACKET ~
All you need is scissors!


This might not seem like much of a DIY but it saved this jacket from being taken to a local charity shop. I was wearing this denim jacket “cropped” for a few years, styling it so it looked purposefully fit to be smaller but unfortunately it had reached the stage where it simply just looked too small. I took to it with some sharp scissors though and I have a whole new item in my wardrobe; a sleeveless denim jacket (or waistcoat).

I’m also planning on adding some white pleated ruffles around the armholes using an old white dress. I’ll be getting out my sewing machine soon and will most definitely report back on my progress in the future.

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ MORE IDEAS ~
Follow my Instagram Story…


Ripped & Dip-dyed Jeans…

To go alongside my dip-dyed jacket, I ripped up some of my white jeans and dyed them in a similar style. They’re still going strong and you can see them styled up in a recent outfit post. Quick, easy, and once again doesn’t require much skill if you haven’t necessarily got the time to learn a new craft.

Crop It…

Take the same principle as I did with my old denim jacket and cut off the length of a t-shirt. It might not seem like you’re doing much but you might just end up falling back in love with its new style. If you want to neaten it up and save it from fraying, find a sewing machine and create a simple hem line, or ask someone who knows how to do it for you.

Add Pom-Poms…

I love this idea from Fashion Revolution themselves; pom-poms are really simple to make once you learn and can definitely add something more interesting to an item you’re getting a little bored of. It also saves you from going out and buying a new pom-pom trend led piece which often aren’t much more than just a sweatshirt and the pom-poms themselves. Being in charge of the process will guarantee that it will last for longer and you can make it look exactly as you like it. 

Use Off-Cuts…

With DIYs, especially those involving cutting and slicing off arms, you’ll often have off-cut pieces of fabric lying about. Don’t throw these out! You can make accessories or use the old buckles and buttons for future projects. Try and reduce your waste as much as possible. 


How will you make your clothes last longer? Have you got any quick DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me this Fashion Revolution Week! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll be sending out a round-up shortly.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What Is Greenwashing & How Do You Avoid It? | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 28, 2017 Ethical

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


Fantastically, Fashion Revolution and a new surge of conscious consumerism have brought to the attention of many brands that their customers want more answers about where their clothing comes from. We’ve seen them respond positively and it has inspired us all to keep going on our mission for greater transparency, however, with this comes the idea of ‘greenwashing’ and being all talk and no action.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability


~ READ THE FASHION REVOLUTION FANZINE ~


The Greenwashing Index defines greenwashing as “when a company or organisation spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimise environmental impact“. With the rise of consumers demanding to know more about how a brand is run and how it’s supply chain is managed, more and more brands and designers have started to step forward to show in whatever way they can, that they are part of the positive change and movement.

I will start off by saying that it’s important to recognise that something is being done, no matter how small that is. We have to start from somewhere even as individuals so I’m glad that the industry is becoming more aware. My concern is that for less informed consumers, small steps will end up looking a lot larger than they are on the surface and those who are doing an outstanding job across the board, will be left at the wayside due to the fact that they are lesser known.

One of the major examples that some of you may already be aware of, is H&M. H&M have two “sustainable” lines under their belt; H&M Conscious and Conscious Exclusive. The aim of the Exclusive collection is to showcase more sustainable production techniques whether that means using organic cotton or recycled materials. It’s a capsule collection, far smaller than the rest of their range which is more heavily marketed on their website and far easier to find in store. The main Conscious collection seems to be based around what fabrics are used within each garment.

If you visit the H&M homepage, you’ll find that the Conscious Exclusive collection has to be found by scrolling down and that there is no main header link for either Conscious collection; they’re tucked away under the Campaigns on the Women’s tab.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Secondly, their recycling initiatives have also been catching the attention of the media and its customers. In January 2017, H&M launched a campaign video called “Bring It On” to ask their customers to donate their used garments into store. Interestingly enough, this video is still up and running on H&M’s US website, but on the UK one, you can only discover it via Google.

You’re probably wondering why I’m focusing on how accessible these pieces of information are. It’s all part of what greenwashing technically is, and is a good indicator of whether you should be supporting a brand or not. If the sustainable or ethical information isn’t as equally as accessible as the main collection of a brand as a whole then they are being the opposite of transparent. Information is being spread around that sustainability is a focus when in actual fact, it’s still something which is being tucked away and concealed.

And as much as I appreciate the H&M Foundation for funding some innovative and sustainable ideas at the recent Global Change Awards, I highly doubt the average high-street customer is aware of this.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

I found this a similar case with ASOS; their ASOS Eco Edit is tucked away under a menu tab with just a single link. They have two separate social media accounts for promoting their more sustainable and ethical items of stock, their Instagram following being a mere 12k compared to an over 5 million account reach on their main. That’s a whole lot of influence being put to waste. It would be an interesting question to have answered; why wouldn’t they want to share the more positive of brands on their site, with the majority of their following? To me, it’s baffling.

With H&M especially though, they aren’t just tucking away what they so say want to change within the industry, they’re almost disguising the fact that they’re one of the biggest reasons behind why it needs to change. On the UK site, out of the main collection there are 4,874 items for Women, of which only 209 are consciously focused. This is a reasonably high number; in fact, perhaps a little too high with prices a little too low. How can a pair of skinny jeans be be £19.99 and be labelled as “conscious”? And in terms of the actual production and ethics of it all, it was only in February 2016 when an H&M factory in Bangladesh caught fire killing four of its workers. It’s due to the immense pressure of a brand of such size, that these sorts of incidents occur.

As I mentioned previously, I’m concerned that the positive actions that are being put into place aren’t being compared to what is really going on. It’s not just fast-fashion brands either. I’ve had concerns over supposedly, “non” fast-fashion brands like Nobody’s Child, for example. They claim to be to serve “fast fashion with a conscious” which is rather peculiar. Fast-fashion is unsustainable; mixing those two terms is something already rather questionable.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

An article by Project JUST, which reviews several bigger name sustainable brands like Everlane and Warby Parker, shows that phrases like “radical transparency” don’t always live up to their definitions. Of course, I would much rather suggest people start lifting up brands such as Everlane, but if you really want to be the best consumer as possible (which trust me, is often difficult), learning more about all kinds of brands is just as important.

But, there are ways to avoid the wool being pulled over your eyes. These are some questions which are good to ask yourself before supporting a brand…

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Are they shouting about it?

Something which concerns me with brands who label themselves as “ethical and sustainable” yet come across as fast-fashion, is whether they’re really shouting about it. Simply labelling yourself as such doesn’t necessarily guarantee that these practices are being put into place. Take a look and see how accessible their information regarding ethics and sustainability is, and whether they’re proud to fly that flag. Do they join in with #WhoMadeMyClothes, and the like? Ask yourself if you truly trust what they’re claiming to support.

What information can you find?

Alongside whether they’re shouting about it, you need to know what it is they’re shouting about. If this information is easy to find, you might want to think about what sort of issues are important to you. A great way to decipher this is by taking a look at the Policy & Commitment categories within Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index, which is a review of 100 major brands and how they’re tackling transparency. Some of these commitments include…

Animal Welfare
☞ Child Labour
☞ Discrimination
☞ Equal Pay
☞ Forced or Bonded Labour
☞ Health & Safety

☞ Maternity Rights/Parental Leave
☞ Sub-contracting & Outsourcing
☞ Use of Chemicals
☞ Waste & Recycling
☞ Water Usage
☞ Working Hours

Some of Fashion Revolution’s findings include the fact that only 20 out of the 100 brands disclose procedures that address maternity rights; only 43 brands publish an assessment for high-risk supply chain issues and only 40 brands disclose how child labour policies are put into practice.  That’s less than half.

Ask yourself what issues matter to you and find out whether the brand has open information readily available for you to read and learn from.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

What information will they give you?

A brilliant point brought up in Project JUST’s article on the same issue of greenwashing was what information will brands give you if they ask. Especially when it comes to campaigns like #WhoMadeMyClothes, the stand out brands will be those of which reply with the most transparent and specific answer possible. It’s not just what they tweet you either, it’s what you can get through contact forms, emailing and even writing letters in some cases. If they don’t give you enough information; ask yourself if you truly want to support their level of transparency.

Are they making progress?

As aforementioned, I want to reiterate that progress is important. It’s exactly what we want to see more of. So yes, do praise and award brands which are doing so but also ask yourself how much are they really doing? Another part of Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index includes the Know, Show & Fix category which is about analysing which brands are assessing their policies, disclosing these assessments and are fixing what needs to be fixed.

The highest scoring brands in this include (thankfully) H&M, alongside Marks & Spencer, GAP, Adidas, Reebok and Puma – but none of these brands score higher than a 40% score. You can learn more about the scoring by, of course, taking a look at the index for yourself, which I highly recommend if you are interested in learning more.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Will you actually end up wearing what you buy?

I think it’s not only important to understand who you’re buying from, but also what you’re buying. Take a read of my post on working out whether you’ll actually end up wearing what you buy. An important part of creating a more sustainable industry is creating sustainable shoppers. We need to start becoming more conscious of our decisions and impact as that all leads back to what brands decide to change. Every penny is a vote, remember!

Shop from brands that are built on ethics and sustainability.

Finally, I want to point you in the direction of my ethical directory. Although I will admit I can’t answer all questions to do with every brand within it, I can say that I am in full support of everything these brands stand for. The list is growing and I’m updating it every month so hopefully, some of you will find it helpful. I also, recommend taking a look at Project JUST who I have already mentioned within this post. Not only was I recently interviewed for their #IAMJUST series, I also admire what they are doing. Their directory is a lot more in-depth and offers you a platform to learn more about brands you might already shop with.


Have you ever encountered any greenwashing? What are your thoughts on the progress within the industry? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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A Love Story to My Clothes | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 26, 2017 Ethical

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


One of the ways Fashion Revolution is trying to inspire people to care more about their wardrobe’s impact is getting them to write a ‘love story’ to some of the items we own so that we can spend a moment to really appreciate what hangs on all of our hangers or what is tucked away in our drawers…

Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Metallic Dr Martens,

Honestly, I didn’t spend a single penny on you (the perks of being a blogger), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t value you. You took months to wear in and your laces now need repairing, but you still look as shiny and beautiful as ever.

I don’t know who made you but I would like to find. I’d like to think you’ll last me well as that’s what DMs are meant to do.

Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Yellow Leather Jacket,

One of the saddest words is ‘almost’. I almost didn’t have you in my life. You attract people to you; you’re vibrant and bold and joyful in your yellow hue. So, it’s no surprise that on the day you entered my life you were being pulled in different directions because other people like you so much too!

I was unsure of you at first but I haven’t stopped loving you or wearing you and because you’re so durable and of such a high quality, even though you’ve been loved before, I know that I will continue to do so.

Love from your constant wearer,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE IT ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear ASOS Slogan Sweatshirts…

I bought you a few years ago in the sale because you were within my teenage budget. Luckily the spur of the moment purchase didn’t go to waste because I wear you every autumn.

Again, I’m not sure who made you or how much they earned to make you but I know I put you to good use.

Thanks for keeping me warm,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


What would you write in your love story to your clothes? What are some of your favourite pieces in your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Slow Textiles in Prato, Italy | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 24, 2017 Ethical

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


It is officially Fashion Revolution Week 2017 and to kick things off I wanted to take you to an event I recently attended; the Lottozero Fashion Revolution Fair in Prato, Italy. In support of Fashion Revolution, local designers and textile manufacturers came together to promote slow fashion and raise awareness for local craft and artisans.

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato


WHAT I WORE: Patch & Dip-dye Jacket (DIY) // Cat Print Jumpsuit (People Tree)* // Suede Tassel Bag (Jumble Sale) // Denim Chokers (Yours Again)*


fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato


locationLOCATION: Lottozero Textile Laboratories
Via Arno 10, Prato, Italy 🇮🇹


I discovered the event on Fashion Revolution’s global event page (I highly recommend you take a look at your area); it was set-up by the awesome women of Lottozero who are a sister-duo focused on revitalising the textile district of Prato, Italy. Although Prato has always revolved itself around the production of textiles, after World War II, Prato established itself and grew into one of Europe’s largest centres for fashion led textiles after mainly focusing on wool production and processing.

It may be on a smaller scale but the textile industry in Prato is still booming, however, designers and individuals face a struggle when it comes to facing the fashion industry from a slow-fashion perspective. Ordering fabrics in smaller quantities is often harder to do as most textile manufacturers only sell in bulk. Lottozero brought together fabric stockists to sell what they offer at a cheaper price, enabling designers and artists to get hold of what they need affordably and without waste. Most of the designers create high-quality one-off pieces which are, of course, extremely ethical and sustainable when they aren’t at all trend lead.

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE THESE CLOTHES? ~
Violeta Nevenova


Displaying their work at the event was Violeta Nevenova (above), Alessandra Jane (more on her below), Andrea Moretti Sartoria, ANG Un Bebe, Chiaria Ciabatti x Camiceria Baldini and Eugen Nita, as well the fabric producers and wholesalers themselves, Aviem Tessuti, Tex Ingro and Textus.

I think knowing that all of the designers were supporting Fashion Revolution made it all that little more inspiring, knowing that there are people all over who believe that there is still an awful lot of work to be done in order to make the fashion industry a more open and positive space. Some of my favourite pieces at the event were by Violeta Nevenova whose pieces are all handmade in Italy, a lot of the pieces being one-off and tailored to size. There were some really gorgeous colour palettes going on too.

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - alessandra jane designs

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - alessandra jane designs

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - alessandra jane designs

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - alessandra jane designs


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE THESE CLOTHES? ~
Alessandra Jane – @alessandrajanedesigns


I also had the chance to meet and discover Alessandra Jane who, believe it or not, ended up being from back home in Gloucestershire in the UK. Once again it was really interesting to talk to someone like-minded and fueled by the same ideas. Her pieces are also handmade and even hand-painted; I was in awe of her velvet kimono as well as the stories behind her Chinese-inspired shoes, heeled with rosewood and according to Alessandra herself, extremely comfortable.

Alessandra also had on display some of her ‘extra-terrestrial’ sculptures which looked rather fitting in the Lottozero workspace.

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

It was refreshing to experience some Fashion Revolution revolutionising in real life and hopefully this inspires you to all do the same. Speaking to the designers and producers themselves definitely, makes the pieces seem more valuable and more of a product to treasure for years to come. I spoke to one of the co-founders and Moroder Lottozero sisters, Tessa, who said that realistically you can’t avoid the higher prices within slow-fashion. It’s true; it is often harder to avoid paying more but really, it’s paying more than what we’re used to.

Getting hands on and understanding where your clothes and even the fabric are made from is extremely helpful in understanding why what we’re used to, isn’t necessarily what we should carry on being used to. As I mention many times, changing your mindset is key and Fashion Revolution events just like this are vital in doing so. 

Will you be attending any future Fashion Revolution events? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Recycled & DIY Denim*

By April 19, 2017 My Style

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block over the past week or so. I’m full of ideas but the words don’t seem to make much sense when I get my fingers to a keyboard. Showing you my recent outfits is always a good way to inspire me though because I love putting the photos together so much, and the response I get is always somewhat motivational. I’ve been apart from the majority of my wardrobe for over six months now but they are finally back with me and I’m excited to style up some new looks with what I’ve gathered since then. You might remember these DIY jeans…

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop


WHAT I WORE: Vintage Yellow Leather Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Golf Blouse €3.00 (Charity Shop) // Ripped Jeans (DIY + ASOS) // Wanderlust 101 Boots (Dr Martens)* // Denim Chokers (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Jumble Sale) // Headscarf (Jumble Sale) // Rings (Unknown)  


These photos have a different colouration to usual as I think its overall aesthetic deserved a greener hue, don’t you? Technically, this is a brand new outfit as I recently took to a charity shop and picked up three new items (make sure you’re following me on Instagram as I often share these sorts of things on my Instagram Story!) which I’ll undoubtedly share in future posts, including this golf print blouse which I almost didn’t take to the check-out.

I think styling often comes easier when you look at an item from a broader perspective rather than the item itself, in detail. I was drawn to the print of the blouse as it reminded me of a vintage scarf print and how it would work well with denim (more on that below) in the summer but was off-put when I realised it as golf themed. I don’t think one would suspect that on first glance though which is what made me push past my hesitance and add it to my wardrobe (the money going to a good cause of course and the item being saved from being passed on elsewhere). 

The hints of red, yellow and blue are what make it a little bit more me. I can add on my trusty yellow jacket and have it blend in seamlessly along with my Dr Martens which have elements of each colour in their print. Don’t forget – there’s sustainability in keeping an item for years on end when the item itself isn’t directly ethical or sustainable, like my boots.

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

As the title of this post suggests and as I’ve already mentioned, I knew this silk-like shirt would work well with a denim texture clash which brings us back to my DIY, ripped and dip-dyed jeans. I think for most people, the rips would be enough to end their life in a wardrobe but they are still the perfect fit and the rips now allow me to move more freely. Pro tip, though; perhaps don’t rip elasticated jeans as they will just keep. on. ripping. 

The blend of white is what keeps the outfit crisp and clean and leaves for a blanker canvas for accessorising. Also, the block colours of the majority of the outift ties in with the stripes of the shirt. See what I mean about looking at things as a whole? 

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY CHOKERS ? ~
Simona Uvarovaite, the founder and designer of Yours Again. Yours Again produce their collections in Lithuania but some pieces are also created in Denmark where Simona is based. Their Instagram is full of behind the scenes photos.


Speaking of accessorising, these chokers from Yours Again (a brand in my ethical directory) came into my life with perfect timing. I’m not one for blouses without a top button (this can be easily fixed with a needle and thread of course) but these recycled denim chokers make up for it and quite frankly look better altogether than what another button would do. I’ve never actually worn chokers before although they have always interested me. I believe it’s because I’m quite lazy in the accessories department. You’ll usually only see me with sunglasses and a handbag.

Yours Again turn used and pre-loved denim and jeans into new pieces whether that be chokers like mine or their first collection of waistcoats and jackets. I understand their pieces are on the higher end of the scale in terms of price but I can tell that they are coming from a committed and loving team which means you’ll be able to treasure the journey and story your clothes have been on. Plus – they look amazing and I can’t wait to style them up again soon.

I also added a headscarf to tie in the green of the blouse and I actually love the outcome. It was a decision I made last minute before stepping out the house and sometimes those sorts of decisions are the best kind.

How would you style up these chokers? Have you been second-hand shopping recently? Let me know in the comments!


I’ll be back soon with (hopefully) lots of new content for Fashion Revolution Week

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Salvatore Ferragamo Museum: Art & Fashion – Florence, Italy 🇮🇹

By April 9, 2017 Fashion

This post is coming to you in a very similar fashion to my post about the Gucci museum from summer last year. I’m back travelling on the mainland of Italy so on the last day of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum’s art and fashion exhibition, I thought I would share some photos for those of you who missed it or are interested in learning more about Italian fashion and culture. Art and fashion go hand-in-hand so having a dedicated space for it was really interesting to see.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy


locationLOCATION: Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence, IT  🇮🇹


I believe when the exhibition isn’t taking its place, the museum is purely dedicated to the history of Salvatore Ferragamo itself. For those of you aren’t aware, Ferragamo is one of the leading luxury footwear labels in the world, with the brand now spanning out into a luxury goods empire in itself. After emigrating to the US in 1914, Salvatore found success in California designing made-to-measure shoes for celebrities. Being known for being a shoemaker to the stars and mainly that, didn’t satisfy him entirely, leading him back to Italy and finding himself in Florence, where the museum is today.

Although he still created designs for the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, his work flourished and his local workshop soon grew into a workforce of 700 artisans, producing 350 pairs of shoes a day.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

For someone who is now dedicated to following in the path of sustainability and ethics, looking back to Ferragamo’s earlier work is vital especially when learning more about Italian fashion in particular. Ferragamo often looked back and took from traditional Tuscan craftsmanship which I think is something we’ve lost in an age of fast-fashion and mass-production; really honouring the production and craft of our clothes and shoes.

But Ferragamo also took from more modern and contemporary practices, looking at new art for inspiration. He often took from the Surrealist period (think Salvador Dali, for example).

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Because the exhibition on display wasn’t purely focused on Salvatore Ferragamo’s work, there were many other designers and artistic workings throughout, including pieces from Yohji Yamamoto to Prada and Mila Schön, all demonstrating how art and culture have influenced their work in the past. As an aspiring designer, this is hugely important, especially when researching before starting upon an idea or collection.

I also believe it’s something we’ve lost, especially within the mainstream fashion industry and what the majority of the western world is able to get their hands on. Due to the trickle down effect of haute-couture to the high street, we often lose the meaning of what was originally, and essentially, a work of art. A lot of the art within the exhibition was based on Futurism and contemporary concepts as it’s what heavily influenced Ferragamo as already mentioned.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy - Nick Cave soundsuit

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy - Nick Cave soundsuit

One of my personal favourite displays was the set of ‘Soundsuits’ by Nick Cave. Nick Cave is not only a sculptor, he is also a dancer and performance artist and his Soundsuits are some of his most well-known works. The suits are wearable pieces of art, heavily detailed and technically, sculpted, using many different fabrics and textures from feathers and sequins to even human hair. The finished pieces take from different inspirations and cultures including the Dogon of Mali in Western Africa and often symbolise different concepts at one time.

The immense detail is what makes it art and the wearability makes it part of fashion; wearing art to express a message or a story. They’re extremely detailed and intricate up close and if you’ve read my fashion week reviews in the past, you’ll recognise that a common theme of my reviews is my love for pieces which are more heavily decorated and worked upon – pieces of art.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Art isn’t just paintings and sculptures though; it’s also music and film and popular culture. It’s about the spirit of a certain time and era, again, something I believe we’re missing nowadays with how much is produced and put in front of us. Can we really put a pin in what the current time is about when it comes to fashion?

Overall the exhibition was really interesting and definitely reinforced how important art is to fashion and how I hope we start to treasure it more and rediscover what fashion as we know it, used to be about.


How does art play a role in fashion, for you? What are some of your favourite pieces of art? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Heather Knight of Fashion Revolution

By April 4, 2017 Ethical, 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. 


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution began after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed on April 24th, 2013, in order to push brands and open up the conversation about the real issues within the fast-fashion industry. Fashion Revolution helps consumers understand what is going on behind the label, inspiring them to create change and ask questions.
Heather Knight heads up the branding and communications for Fashion Revolution. She makes sure everything looks good and sounds great, from Fashion Revolution campaign materials, fanzines and reports, to website, social media and newsletters. She believes in the power of creativity to make an idea irresistible, and the ability of communications to inspire real change.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // ZINE


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you would have read the words ‘Fashion Revolution’ a hundred times over by now. It’s one of the most influential campaigns regarding the fashion industry and I couldn’t be more honoured to be connected to the team in some way. They’re all truly passionate about the work they do and supporting them is one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

With Fashion Revolution Week just around the corner (April 24th – April 30th), I thought it would be a great way to start my Pen to Paper series back up and get some direct answers from Heather Knight, who heads up branding and communications.


Even in the past 4 years since Fashion Revolution began, we’ve seen a real shift… both in brands becoming more transparent and in consumers expecting and demanding transparency. There’s still a long journey ahead → We want a radical change in the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, but there’s momentum to change.

What has it been like to watch the fashion industry change over the years?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We shouldn’t shy away from presenting the shocking, grim realities, but they should be accompanied with inspiration and action. Making people feel guilty isn’t going to change behaviours – that’s been proven not to work. Showing that ethical fashion can look good and feel good and can make your wallet (and the planet) happy is a great way to shift hearts, minds + behaviours.

Do you believe we should focus on the more positive sides of ethical fashion or do you believe talking about the harsh truths is more important?


I personally believe this is one of the reasons Fashion Revolution has been such a powerful initiative. It has opened my eyes to many of the tragedies over the past few years but it has also made me see things in a new light and made me really champion those who are behind our clothes. It’s quite incredible to think that transparency is becoming more important, showing proof that we can get the results we as consumers are now asking for.

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


Buying from ethical brands is an option off their radar – there are misconceptions that ethical fashion is expensive, dull and ‘unfashionable’, but there are some amazing and affordable brands out there. But buying new clothes should be a last resort – there are so many better ways to update your wardrobe, from charity shopping, vintage, swapping or the clothes you already own! ↳ www.fashionrevolution.org/haulternative

What do you think stops the everyday shopper from purchasing from ethical brands?


Last year we had 1,251 brands/retailers respond with #IMadeYourClothes, and over 370 were major global brands. It was great to see G-STAR RAW respond with an interactive map and stories of their producers. American Apparel produced a video, and Marimekko dedicated part of their website to sharing stories about their producers.

With #whomademyclothes, what brands have had the best responses overall?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We want to see even more people participating, asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and more brands than ever replying with #IMadeYourClothes and demonstrating transparency in their supply chain. We want a BIGGER LOUDER Fashion Revolution that reaches more people in more countries around the world, inspiring people to think differently about the clothes they buy and wear.

What are your goals for Fashion Revolution in 2017? What can we all do to support it?


GET INVOLVED: www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved

Thank you so much to Heather for answering some questions, especially when we’re just 20 days away from the big week of pushing for change. Make sure to get involved as much as you can and follow Fashion Revolution throughout the year too. I know I will!


(Images courtesy of Fashion Revolution)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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