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5 Years of Tolly Dolly Posh | How My Blog Can Help You

By March 29, 2017 General

Whew boy, I can’t believe that I have officially been writing my blog for half a decade! Blogging is a weird and wonderful word and over the past few years I have definitely realised how many blogs and websites there are out there now but I couldn’t be more chuffed with how my very own is turning out. On previous “blog birthdays” or “blogiversaries”, I’ve answered questions about how I blog but this time I wanted to get some of my frequent readers and commenters involved and see how it’s been to read my work and join in with Tolly Dolly Posh along the way. Hell yeah, I’m not only championing my hard work (because yes, it’s been challenging), I’m championing you too!

tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blogger - fame & partner zenith dress


🎉 HAPPY 5th BLOG BIRTHDAY TOLLY DOLLY POSH 🎉


Without trying to big myself up, I wanted to ask some of you who frequently interact with my content why you read my blog and how it’s helped you over the past few years, months, weeks or days you’ve been reading it! It’s a slightly more personal version of one of my previous reader surveys. Hopefully, it will make things a little clearer for new readers and will also celebrate the community which has been created ever since I started writing because obviously, I probably would have stopped or at least pulled back a little if it wasn’t for your continuous support. I may be a small fish in a big sea but it’s definitely a good sea to be in…


JayneNabilaEleanorEdie


When did you start reading my blog?

About three years ago. I had read about you in a magazine, I’m not sure which one.

Edie

I am not exactly sure. I found you through another blogger probably saying how awesome you are. I think a little over a year ago.

Nabila

tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blogger - fame & partner zenith dress

How has my blog inspired you?


In a blogosphere (beauty & fashion specifically) full of shallow, predictable content heavily focused on trends and full of bloggers who are so desperate to please brands that they’ve maybe lost their way a bit, it’s refreshing to see you doing things your own way since the start.

I’ve always cared about ethical shopping and natural products, but it wasn’t until you switched to being more focused on ethical fashion that I really started doing my research and changing my habits. It’s also super inspiring to see someone so young have such a passion for something so important to making our world better, people like you give me hope that things will get better in the future.

Jayne

I would say it’s helped me learn more about ethical fashion and how it can really easily tailor to your style; in no way does ethical fashion have to be drab.

Eleanor

You have inspired me to wear what I want and only what I want. If I feel confident and badass in something, I’m going to wear it, even if my parents say I look like a clown! Posts like ‘How To Soothe A Sore Thumb‘ have massively increased my confidence, and changed my mindset. They taught me that life’s too short to conform, and that’s a priceless lesson!

Edie

tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blogger - fame & partner zenith dress

Has my blog helped you become a conscious consumer?


I have never been the best buyer of clothes since I love shopping but reading some of the newer posts by you has helped me to realise that not every piece of clothing is created equally. I have also learned that having maybe fewer clothes isn’t a bad thing and how to really have less.

Nabila

You’re the reason I’m so aware of ethical fashion! That’s now the main focus of my own blog, and I’m doing presentations in my school about it. I feel extremely passionate about the subject, and I would now class myself as a conscious consumer now. Yay!

Edie

The ethical book reviews on your blog have really helped me to further my knowledge and make educated choices about the clothes I buy. The ethical directory you have on your blog is a fantastic way to easily access ethical brands and have helped me find some brands that I’m absolutely in love with!

Eleanor

I’ve got a long book list from reading your blog and have already watched some eye-opening documentaries off the back of your recommendations and that’s the best first steps anyone could ask for. I’ve actively stopped shopping with brands that I know are problematic like H&M, Topshop and Primark and am now spending more time learning how to sew so I can make as much of my own stuff as possible going forward.

Jayne

tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blogger - fame & partner zenith dress

tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blogger - fame & partner zenith dress


WHAT I WORE: Zenith Dress (Fame & Partners)* 


What would you like to see more of? 


On the blog I would love to see more feminist posts as I loved the one on feminist shirts. I would also love to see more posts asking and answering questions to things that are being talked about or are popular questions.

Nabila

I would say posts that expand on the brands mentioned in your ethical directory so perhaps more information on a few of your favourite brands with your favourite pieces from the brand (like a wish list for the company).

Eleanor

Whatever captures your heart and inspires you. Always write for passion. Your blog is special because you can tell that you really care about the subject and have gone to a lot of effort to do the research and put it together in a way that is accessible to a wide range of people. I’d love to see more bloggers taking a page from your book and going back to the specific thing that they are passionate about, the trigger that got them writing in the first place.

Jayne

Receiving these responses really solidified how happy and proud I am of the work I’m doing right now. I think I’ve definitely found my feet even if it’s taken me five whole years to get here. Of course I’m always looking to improve and make things even more accessible and enjoyable for you, the readers, so please feel free to send over your own responses! Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see and perhaps I can make it happen!

For now though, once again, thank you so much for reading and giving me such incredible opportunities over these past few years. I suppose we should say ‘here’s to another five’ but perhaps this site will be a platform for something even greater by then. Take a look back at some of my favourite posts in the meantime and keep updated by following me on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and all those magical places.

THANK YOU! 👊

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How Millennials and Generation Z Can Become More Ethical

By March 21, 2017 Ethical

A common theme when I asked around for some questions and blog post ideas after racking my brain for days, ended up being about the younger generation and ethical fashion. Of course, that’s rather relevant seeing as I’m part of what some would class as “Generation Z”; the not-quite millennials.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution


FEATURED: Clarabella Bag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Zhandra Rhodes Top (People Tree) // Fashion Revolution Instagram // Bluetooth Speaker (UE Roll)* // Nike Trainers (old – JD Sports)*


Whenever I talk about my generation and being a teen today, I always have to reiterate how my experience isn’t necessarily the bog-standard norm for people my age and for people in let’s say, the UK. Without trying to sound pretentious, the situations I’ve been put into have opened me up to alternative ways of living and viewing different aspects of life, especially in more recent times. This doesn’t, however, mean that I’m oblivious to teen culture. My earliest blog posts are an insight into that with my focus on celebrity style and bargain buys; I’ve lived that but now my eyes have been opened.

And I think that’s a good segue into the core of this blog post. I was talking to someone recently about social media and how it plays a part in teenagers and politics and it brought to head my true opinion on what I believe about our age group. On the one hand, I couldn’t be happier that we have so many incredible platforms to play with and use right at our fingertips.

It’s opened up so many different conversations and gives us the ability to be inundated with unique angles and perspectives that we wouldn’t necessarily get anywhere else. We have the freedom to learn about whatever we want and talk to whoever we want and express whatever we want and I don’t see why anyone should be complaining about that.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

In my mind, the problem which comes with that, is the idea of sitting back and letting everyone else do the work. It’s extremely easy to think that there are enough active people and citizens out there because when we refresh the page, there’s something new from them. There’s a huge difference between being a participant in what is going on around us and actually being part of what is going on around us. I’m not just saying this relates to teens and young adults; we all know

I’m not just saying this relates to teens and young adults; we all know from these platforms that there are plenty of older people who like to talk but not do, but if I’m going to relate this to ethical issues in particular, then I believe this is one of the stumbling blocks we face.

The younger generations are much more aware of the issues and that’s hugely important because it means they are being informed and influenced in some way. The more the issues to do with, say, the fast-fashion industry are discussed, the more we’ll start to question things and wonder if we’re part of the problem. Being actively involved in changing our ways is perhaps a little harder but this all seems to stem from old habits.

When I started my blog at age 11, I used to go into high-street shops with the main objective of buying as much as I could with the £10 note in my hand. An unsuccessful shopping trip would be one which left me close to empty-handed. The thrill of buying as much as you can with as little as possible is understanding, especially when you’re younger and money is sparse.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Labour Behind the Label

I treasure money like gold now, understanding and knowing it’s true value; saving up for investments, my future and experiences rather than anything too materialistic, unlike when I was younger and it was a fun thing to use and play with. I’d buy t-shirts and dresses in the sale for prices as little as £3 and I’d be utterly satisfied. I can only believe that this was because due being brought up on the idea of more meaning more, due to western society, consumption and commercialism (wow, that’s a big sentence).

Unfortunately, I think this is still true of many younger people and as I said, it has a lot to do with money. When you’re a teen, you’re either saving for the future or you’re struggling to even put together a double-figure number, so when it comes to clothes and it comes to accessible products to buy, the cheapest option is always going to be easiest and on the surface, seem more worthwhile.

This especially true when you add the ‘millennial’ mindset on top of that; according to a study by the Harris Group, 72% of millennials would now prefer to spend money on experiences rather than physical products. This doesn’t mean we aren’t buying physical products, it just means we’d rather spend less and save the bulk for travelling and experiencing new opportunities. We’re definitely not avoiding buying physical products – it’s hard to imagine somebody going on a vacation or heading to a festival without buying new clothes to wear nowadays, isn’t it?

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

Getting people out of this mindset and into a more conscious one is a little difficult when ethical fashion, unfortunately, has a stigma of being more expensive. I’m going to say this rather bluntly; ethical fashion isn’t more expensive if you stop buying as much as you usually would. The only reason ethical fashion is known to be expensive is because one piece can often be the price of two fast-fashion pieces. It’s why it often gets referred to as ‘slow fashion’. It’s about consuming more slowly and considerately; saving the money you would spend on a handful of trend focused pieces, for fewer, more long lasting and of course, ethically and sustainably made items.

Once our mindsets have been changed, ethical fashion won’t be expensive. It will be the way we shop. The industry will move and we’ll head in a more positive direction as a whole. We have to start thinking about it differently but unfortunately, just reading headlines and taking in tweets isn’t going to change anything drastically. Just being aware doesn’t cut it anymore.

So, how exactly, especially as part of the younger generation, do we go about changing our ways and become more actively involved in making positive actions happen?

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

Change your mindset…

Start believing that less is more. Conscious consumerism may not be the final answer to change how the industry works, but it’s one of the easiest ways to start getting involved. This wonderful quote by Anna Lappe which I’ve included before on my blog says it all, ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want’. Use your vote more wisely. Think about whether you’ll actually end up using or wearing something you buy. Be conscious not just aware.

Help others change their mindset too…

If you’re out shopping with someone; why not ask them questions? Get them to think about why they’re buying each item. You don’t have to pressure them or fill them with a sense of guilt by showing them screenshots of a collapsed factory (that’s a bit extreme) but introducing this thought-process gradually is a big step. It will also make you truly appreciate everything you touch and feel. I can no longer go into a shop without questioning things now. I’m always asking where? Who? How?

For a slightly more extreme approach, take look at Craftivist Collective’s ‘Mini Fashion Statements’ idea.

Take part in Fashion Revolution…

If we’re a generation that thrives on getting ourselves out there and getting stuck in with new and exciting experiences, then physically taking part in some form of activism can be a great place to start.

Fashion Revolution was created after the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, and now pushes for change within the industry throughout the whole year but especially during the month of April. Take a look at their website and see if there are any events on in your area that you can be a part of. It’s a global event as well, so there’s nothing stopping you from finding an event in your country or even.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Labour Behind the Label

Get answers…

It’s all well and good celebrating when a brand answers a broad question about how they run in terms of ethics and sustainability, but actually asking the questions yourself and pushing them constantly will make them aware that change is needed. One of the questions I’m currently trying to ask is directed at Jack Wills. They recently released the news that they would be openly sharing where their products are manufactured, on their website, but I have yet to easily find this list and in my opinion, that’s a little disappointing.

Since publishing this post, Jack Wills have tweeted me with a link to their “Fabric of Jack” campaign.

So, if you’re curious – ask. Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat in this scenario, it leads to something more positive. This also links in with Fashion Revolution and the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign.

Donate to those who are helping directly…

Initiatives like Labour Behind The Label are striving to help those affected by the issues in the fast-fashion industry, protecting, supporting and empowering garment workers worldwide. They have some incredible campaigns running which you can donate to in order to support their wider work. Donating can help Labour Behind The Label put pressure on brands, support those have been exploited and overall, help us move forward in making the industry a more positive space.

What do you think Millennials and Generation Z could be doing better in terms of ethics? How are you being more active? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why YouTube Haul Videos Don’t Have to Be Problematic

By March 12, 2017 Ethical, YouTube

For those of you know aren’t familiar with the term ‘haul video’, here’s a brief description. A haul on YouTube is a video showcasing someone’s recently purchased items. They’re hugely successful especially when it comes to fashion, with some videos receiving views in the millions. The problematic side of this comes down to the frequency of uploads and the vast amount of people being influenced by them; it’s the opposite of celebrating conscious consuming.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - fashion haulternative

I don’t want this to be a negative, guilt-inducing article because I too, at one point, was an avid haul-watching-aholic. In fact, I used to upload haul videos myself back when I was somewhat active on YouTube (meaning I am part of the 21,500,000 videos on YouTube including the word ‘haul’ in the title). I’m not here to tell you to stop watching them or to stop making them, in fact, I’m going to avoid that completely; hence the title. But, just to continue on from my introduction, I will expand on why it doesn’t match up with what I believe should be more beneficial to us.

Haul videos promote consumption, and that’s just a fact nobody can avoid. The reason for haul videos isn’t just to spread the love of what we own, it’s to spread the love of what we own for somebody else to then enjoy by purchasing it themselves. It’s also not even about that anymore due to the rise of influencer marketing where products are paid to be featured in them or they’d been paid for by a brand in hopes of a feature, too.

If you’ve read my blog post about using your audience for change, you’ll know how important I believe the word ‘influencer’ is and how relevant it is to what I have to say in this post, too.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ CLOTHES SWAP ~


With haul videos being so influential in what we buy, especially within the younger generations, they can be problematic if we’re going to make sustainability a priority. It’s also problematic if the brands being promoted are perhaps not as ethical as we might like because they gain interest and that sends a signal to them that they’re ‘working’ or that they’re successful.

There’s a great quote by Anna Lappe which is, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”, and I think it rings true for how we approach influence as well. Every time you promote a brand, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want other people to cast a vote for too.

So, why do I think haul videos don’t have to be problematic? It’s once again all to do with influence and the message put across. Although I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while now, the final push came when I watched one of Marzia (CutiePieMarzia)’s videos; a haul video, to be precise. Throughout the whole video she touched on ethics, even if it was just showing a brand’s core values and towards the end, she explained it all in further detail, explaining why buying items you truly love is more important than buying items you’ll only wear a handful of times even if they’re not necessarily ethical in the first place.

As much as I want to promote ethical shopping, it can be a difficult transition to make but this is a really great starting place not only for us, the viewers but also for content creators and how they approach these topics gradually and naturally.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ HAULTERNATIVE ~


One of the reasons I picked out Marzia specifically is because she has a large audience and if we’re going to talk about influence then we should talk about those who can influence the most. It’s really refreshing to see somebody at least opening the conversation, which I think we could do with a lot more of. On the grand scheme of things, no reputations would be harmed and brands aren’t going to back away from working with someone if they’re only naturally introducing a concept. In my opinion, there’s nothing to lose.

Another great example of someone with a wide audience is Liv from What Olivia Did. I’ve been a huge fan of Liv’s blog for years now but recently she did a post all about consumerism and it was honest. She didn’t make herself out to be anything more than she is, and that’s something we should value when it comes to these issues. We need transparency across the board.

These two examples are just small ways haul videos and fashion content can become less consumption based. I think constantly dropping in ideas and mentions of what we all need to work towards is actually sometimes more important and influential than huge statements once in a while. Consistency and commitment to a message are key.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tolly Dolly Posh Love Story


~ SUBSCRIBE TO FASHION REVOLUTION ~


There are other ways, though, which takes me back to Marzia once again because, over the past couple of years, she’s taken part in Fashion Revolution’s #Haulternative campaign which focuses on exactly what I’m talking about; more positive and conscious consumption. Fashion Revolution have a wide range of content ideas for when Fashion Revolution day comes around, which I would highly recommend taking a look at if you are a blogger or influencer yourself.

One of these #Haulternative ideas is one I participated in and uploaded myself. The idea of a ‘Love Story’ haul involves sharing items of clothing you’ve had in your wardrobe for longer than just a few days. It’s still technically a haul because you’re sharing a collection of products, but it’s about sharing the idea of rekindling the love you originally had for them. It’s also about sentimentality (you can read more about how that’s important to sustainability here) and prolonging the number of times you use and wear something.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tanya Burr Most Worn Items


~ MOST WORN ~


A video which wasn’t directly for Fashion Revolution but was along the same vein was by Tanya Burr. She posted a video about the most worn items in her wardrobe and even if the products and brands she was promoting weren’t necessarily ethical, she was engaging with the concept that clothes can last.

All of the messages add up and contribute to a more positive influence online. We just need more people to participate and learn more themselves. I will say it for the 783rd time – education is vital and is something we all need and can do with more of. I’m still learning about how to become a better shopper and a better influencer. Why don’t we start thinking about how we all can, too?


Do you think YouTube hauls are problematic? What hauls have you seen which are more positive? Let me know in the comments! Let’s discuss…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Jump to It with People Tree & What Daisy Did*

By March 7, 2017 My Style

It seems the last time I shot a full outfit post was back in November last year. Due to the fact I do so much more photography for my blog in recent times, I often forget that I haven’t solely focused on my style, so I’m back at it again today. If you haven’t read my blog post on sustainable wardrobes, you won’t know why I’m re-wearing a lot of the same items recently. Hopefully, this outfit will be a bit of a mix-up!

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag


 WHAT I WORE: Pink Cashmere Roll Neck (Charity Shop) // Navy Livia Jumpsuit £90.00 (People Tree)* // Clarabella Bag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Vagabond Dioon Platforms (Mastershoe)* // Sunglasses (Topshop – old) // Stacker Ring (Gemporia)*


The last time a People Tree item entered my wardrobe, I wore it non-stop. The fabric was beautifully soft, the fit was comfortable yet the sleeves and shape made up for how casual it seemed and the pattern and overall design was eye-catching but abstract enough that it was wearable with a lot of my other clothes. This time is exactly the same but it’s an even better experience.

As my style has started to evolve, I’ve started to attract two very different styles of dress; fitted and shaped, or floaty and draped (that rhyme wasn’t intentional, but it works). This jumpsuit is of course of a fitted variety yet it hits my sweet spot for floatiness by having a comfortable looseness in the trousers. The last time I owned a jumpsuit was actually back when I started my blog (five years at the end of this month!) and I wore it so much it became faded and the fabric started to bobble. Although it’s a much higher quality than that one, I can quite easily see myself wearing it until it’s officially just a piece of loungewear. It’s comfortable, but it’s enough to make me feel dressed up, suited and booted.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY JUMPSUIT? ~
Assisi Garments – a garment manufacturer using organic cotton to produce garments for People Tree, supporting deaf, mute and economically disadvantaged women by providing training and employment. 


I have worn this jumpsuit buttoned up and without another item underneath but instead of showing you that outfit (which involves the yellow leather jacket you are probably all sick of by now) which you can actually see on the People Tree Instagram account, I thought I would layer things up with my trusty cashmere sweater. It was the perfect combination for what felt like a spring day recently; no jacket or coat needed, just a pair of sunglasses. Yay for sunshine!

When I looked down at my platforms I realised this could definitely be seen as a 70s apre-ski inspired outfit. The collar on the playsuit definitely lives up to that aesthetic especially when it’s in such a retro looking print… which for any cat lovers out there, is actually a diagonal repeat of a kitten. You can’t tell from afar though which I like meaning it doesn’t take away from the chicness. On top of all that, the fabric is organic cotton.

I hope you like that new segment of “Who made my…”. I’ll try and add that in as many outfit posts as possible to as many clothes I wear as possible! For more info about the Fashion Revolution campaign, #WhoMadeMyClothes, make sure you head over to their site. Fashion Revolution week is in April; get ready!

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

In terms of accessories, I have a new handbag in my life. I’ve been wearing my suede tassel bag for so long now that it’s started to get a bit grubby so to swap it out for a while, I have this gorgeous Clarabella bag from What Daisy Did. I connected with Daisy on Twitter and have been in awe of their brand ever since. What Daisy Did uses recycled materials and when it comes to their colourful leather collection, the materials that would be going to waste are collected from factories within a 140km radius of where the bags are made.

Their website is pretty much transparent all around and states that their workers set their own deadlines for what they can produce, meaning no pressure is put on them to meet deadlines. For me, this is hugely important and ties in with one of the biggest issues within the fashion industry today. If I’m using up waste materials and I know that this is the case, it’s a cause for a huge sigh of relief.

I understand that leather isn’t for everyone but the materials What Daisy Did use would otherwise be added to a landfill. Leather is somewhat sustainable in terms of how long it lasts, it’s just the actual process of creating it which is the problem. I really love this bag though and knowing where it came from makes it even more beautiful to look at. And yes, I can’t escape yellow – that small bit of dealing works wonders with my jacket 😉


 How would you wear this jumpsuit? What ethical clothes have you been buying recently? Let’s talk in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle

By March 2, 2017 Ethical

Seeing as I’ve mentioned it at least a dozen times in previous blog posts, it’s probably about time I spoke about my reading of To Die For by Lucy Siegle, isn’t it? This book review is going to be in a slightly different format, similar to my review of Vivienne Westwood’s book because I’m going to talk about three different topics I hadn’t thought about before…

If you’re wondering why these pictures were taken at the beach; I read most of this book on a tiny bench by the sea.to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#1 – Cotton has a cost…

It’s a lot easier for us all to relate to stories and issues which connect directly with the clothes we wear. It’s easier for us to open our ears and minds to stories about some of the final hands which held them and put the garments together, and it’s even easier for us to forget about the people long before that; the people who made us the fabrics. One of the most eye-opening chapters in To Die For, was the chapter dedicated to cotton and the sections which focused heavily on cotton picking.

One of the biggest cotton producing countries in the world (7th biggest, according to WorldKnowing.com in 2015) is Uzbekistan.  I’d never thought about cotton picking in much detail so when I read that “in 2009 between one and two million children were forced out into Uzbekistan’s fields”, it’s safe to say I was taken aback. It’s also safe to say that cotton picking isn’t pleasant labour.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

Each year the government-installed system forces millions of Uzbekistani’s to take part in cotton production where they are exposed to unknown chemicals, unsafe and unsanitary housing, and lack of safe drinking water (you can read more about it on CottonCampaign.org); many of these people are children or teenagers.

Lucy interviewed a former cotton-picking student who was supposed to reach a quota of 60kg (132 pounds) per day, for the duration of 54 days. As a sixteen-year-old at the time, she only managed to reach this quota once due to how lightweight cotton is. There is so much more to Gulnara’s story, yet I’d never even thought of it before. When practically all of us wear cotton, why is it that we don’t know enough about it?

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#2 – We need to learn more about sustainability…

I’ve always thought more about ethics over sustainability. I suppose not only did I know more about the human side of the industry but it also always struck a chord more easily than say, issues to do with the environment. Knowing that I am responsible for another human being’s treatment to a certain extent was one of the main reason I started approaching fashion more consciously. But I really need to thank this book for making me think about the earth too.

From the date this book was published, the textile industry was one of “the biggest water consumers in the world, using 3.2% of all the 1,400km³ of water available to the human race each year”. This isn’t the only staggering number though, we have to remember that fashion’s footprint is much larger when you consider coal usage, land and water pollution, the effects of herding animals for fibres and skins and all of the added and extra effects which come with the production of things like zips and metal eyelets.

There is so much to consider, it’s no wonder we don’t know enough. There are ways to do it, though. Lucy recommends using a tool called EcoMetrics which enables you to calculate the rough footprint of your wardrobe by looking at what fabrics your clothes are made up of. I’ve yet to try it myself but it’s just one of the small ways you can start to understand sustainability a little clearer.

One of the tools I have used though, is Nike’s Making App which allows you to compare different fabrics and their footprint in different areas. I used it quite a while back in a blog post about my wardrobe at the time but it’s still relevant today too.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#3 – Should we wear fur – faux or real?

Fur is actually a rather hot topic right now. There were PETA protests and campaigns happening at fashion week this season and there are debates and conversations starting up online so perhaps what Lucy spoke about in To Die For will get you looking at it all from a new perspective.

Lucy opens up to the idea that faux fur might also be a contributor to why real, natural fur is an issue within itself. In more recent times, fur has become more of a statement of wealth rather than warmth and practicality that it originated from many moons ago. There’s this illusion that fur is something beautiful and something to hold and treasure because of its cost and value and this idea seems to be coming back into fashion as a very similar statement.

There are pros and cons to each side of the story of faux and real fur but the book made me start to think whether both are equally as bad. Neither option is ethical; chemicals cause faux fur to be polluting and unsustainable and the slaughtering of animals and the treatment of the skins are unsustainable and unethical when it comes to real.

If a faux fur jacket doesn’t degrade for at least six hundred years (according to a quote by Teresa Platt on page 189), how can we really choose either option? It’s come to my conclusion from reading the chapters on both sides of the story, that we really can’t. Wearing faux-fur is still making fur of any kind seem aspirational and iconic. I really want to delve into more surrounding this subject, especially vegan leathers and furs.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

Overall, To Die For is definitely one of the heavier books I’ve read on these topics but it’s worth it if you want to focus on areas you have perhaps, a weaker knowledge for. There are also lovely illustrations dotted throughout and unique personal stories which you, of course, won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for a book which is more about ethical brands which are already up and running, I’d recommend taking a look at my review of Slow Fashion by Safia Minney, who is mentioned in this book a couple of times towards the end. For more of a feminist take on things, Threadbare is a great one, and for something just as thought-provoking but a little lighter in terms of writing and size, Stitched Up is another amazing alternative.

I’m currently reading Clothing Poverty, so I’m sure you’ll see a review of that soon.


What do you think of the topics mentioned? Should we wear fur? What books are you reading? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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LFW Autumn Winter 2017 Illustrations

By February 26, 2017 Fashion

With my blog picking up speed again and life distracting me, this season’s fashion month hasn’t been on my radar all that much but I asked those of you who follow me on Twitter if you’d like to see me do a few illustrations of what did catch my attention and you said yes! So, without further or do, here’s a small selection of my favourite collections from LFW Autumn Winter 2017…

lfw autumn winter 2017 fashion collection illustrations - ASHISH


~ ASHISH AW17 ~


I don’t think it was to anybody’s surprise that politics would be a huge theme throughout the upcoming season’s collections. Although I’m sure some people are opposed to the idea of focusing on a message rather than style, I think in current times it is vital we use as many platforms as possible to stand up for what we believe in, and fashion is one of the most important ways to do so, especially as what we wear is usually a good indicator of what is important to us.

Every piece in the collection was themed around something that is topical, especially within America, including diversity, unity and LGBTQ+ rights. It was still prominently ASHISH but it’s clear that it wasn’t just about creating a new collection, it was about showing that the industry and people within it will not stand for what is being proposed and changed. As one of the pieces suggest, there is a lot of unfinished business to be dealt with and I’m so thankful that it was ASHISH pointing it out.

lfw autumn winter 2017 fashion collection illustrations - fyodor golan


~ FYODOR GOLAN AW17 ~


I love Fyodor Golan and upon looking a little closer at this collection (thanks to LOVE magazine), I love this collection too. Another collection which has a statement to it, a lot of the pieces were based around female empowerment and the ideas and values of a modern woman. There are also novelty elements like the velcro Post-It notes which to me, are some of the most creative novelty elements to a collection I’ve seen in a while.

I can’t help but also believe that the rainbows and bold colours mixed in with the love-themed slogans are also a nod to the idea of ‘love is love’. It’s current, it’s inventive and it’s strong. 

lfw autumn winter 2017 fashion collection illustrations - house of holland


~ HOUSE OF HOLLAND AW17 ~


If I’m going to make the more political collections a focus of this post, then perhaps I should highlight House of Holland due to the fact it is heavily inspired by American themes and those iconic Wild West styles. If you’ve been following my reviews of fashion week for long enough then you’ll know I’ve dipped in and out with my love of HoH, but the prints and shapes are definitely a winner.

And tell me I’m mistaken but it also all seems rather ‘Bowie’ with those aforementioned shapes; fitted but with movement and life, and a whole lot of texture. I’m sure the slogan sweaters and tees will be a huge hit too.

lfw autumn winter 2017 fashion collection illustrations - erdem


~ ERDEM AW17 ~


A clash between British and Turkish influences, Erdem focused on combining classic traditions across the board. I always find with Erdem’s collections that they feel heavily luxurious and this is no exception. There were velvets and patchworking and ruffles and sheer embroidered dresses and there were beautifully dark jewel tones which felt perfectly autumn/winter.

It feels like the sort of collection you would find raiding an old vintage shop, with pieces from every kind of woman and every kind of past; a grandmother’s dressing up box.


What were some of your favourite LFW Autumn Winter 2017 collections? Would you like me to do and MFW round-up? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why It’s Okay to Feel ‘Okay’ | The Children’s Society

By February 22, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve recently been in touch with The Children’s Society charity because they are currently trying to get more people, and specifically the UK government, to step up to the plate and stand up for girls. As a feminist and a girl/young woman myself, of course, standing up for girls is going to be of importance to me, however, it is even more important to me when the campaign they’re running is focusing on appearance and confidence.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I was wondering how to go about this post but then I remembered a quote I read by Katy Bellotte on Instagram (you might know her as Hello Katy). It was one of those moments where I read it and thought to myself; that’s exactly what I mean, I just haven’t been able to express it so eloquently before! The quote was this:

There is a widely-popular misconception that confident people are completely without fear. Confidence isn’t “they will like me,” confidence is “I’ll be okay if they don’t.” – Katy Bellotte

Out of the whole quote, though, the word that stuck with me most was the word ‘okay’. My mind spiralled after reading it because it came to my realisation that, as young women, the word ‘okay’ is rarely used. And so I looked back on The Children’s Society‘s notes and wondered how I could incorporate this idea into my blog post when I scrolled down onto a quote from a teenage girl that had been part of their research – it highlighted another word for me; the word was ‘expected’.

This isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve written about it before when I spoke about curating your own personal style and how in some respects, I felt as if I was expected to be a certain way; expected to dress a certain way at a certain point in my life. I’m sure it isn’t a new concept for you either if you’re a girl or a woman. All sorts of phrases lead back to the idea of expectancy, like ‘fitting in’ and ‘conforming’. If you feel as if you need to fit in; you feel as if you’re expected to be a certain way. If you feel as if you aren’t good enough; you feel as if there’s an expectation to live up to.

According to research by The Children’s Society, 1 in 7 girls feel unhappy with their lives in general, with 1 in 3 unhappy with their appearance. There’s pressure and there’s expectancy and there’s the idea of living up to a certain standard. What does ‘okay’ have to do with this, you ask? ‘Okay’ is a word stripped of expectancy. It’s okay to feel a certain way; it’s okay to feel down and it’s okay to feel as if you don’t live up to these societal pressures because as Katy’s quote suggests, confidence isn’t about not having fears. Confidence is about being okay with having them. Confidence is saying I’ll feel okay if I don’t look like this or I’ll feel okay if I don’t live up to what might usually be expected of me.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I would say I’m a confident person, in fact, I’ve stated it many times in blog posts like this but in no way does that mean I have no insecurities or worries. I haven’t spoken to many people about this because it is rather personal to me but more recently, I’ve started to notice how much I focus on the size of my chest (Hi Dad!). I’m very small chested. I’m almost 17 and I still don’t wear bras (Hi anyone who knows me!) because there is quite frankly no need for them and yeah, there’s no difference when I wear slightly more fitted tops to when I wear baggy ones – there’s nothing there to see either way. I worry that I look younger than I am, I wish I could wear more open summer dresses that aren’t just straight up and straight down without feeling as if I’m a flat piece of paper and I really wish I could wear delicate triangle bras without feeling as if there’s no point.

It’s not that I necessarily want or need to be any different than I am but I know that in western society there is an expectation put on women for us all to have something in that department. It’s about understanding and realising that there’s an expectancy rather than developing upon on an idea or an image that is just there. It’s engrained within younger people to feel this way because there aren’t enough people shouting out and saying that it’s okay not only to realise there’s a pressure but that it’s okay to not be defined by it or expect ourselves to rely on it.

It’s okay to be who we are because that is who we are. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to change for anyone or anything but it’s also okay to listen to that pressure and start to understand it. This can be taken on for more than just insecurities, this can also be taken on board when we think about more mental issues and the health and wellbeing of our minds. Opening up about mental health is what we all need more of especially when insecurities and fears are often caused by anxiety and depression.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls


~ THE OKAY CHECKLIST ~

Make a list of your insecurities
 Ask yourself where they came from
 Ask yourself who brings out your insecurities and who lessens them
 Make note of when you don’t feel insecure; what made you feel that way?
 When you do feel down or insecure, tell yourself it’s okay
 Tell other people it’s okay too
✓ Try to listen and understand yourself more and more each day
✓ Read The Good Childhood Report and spread the word!


I always try and leave my readers with something to learn from so I’ve made a small checklist of questions to ask yourself and small ideas to remind yourself of on a daily basis. I’m also going to link you up with three of my previously written articles and works on similar topics. There are checklists and helpful ideas within them too and I hope they will start to open your eyes up to why it’s okay to feel okay…

How to Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

“How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.”

How to Soothe a Sore Thumb

“The more you flaunt it, the more people will catch on to your awesomeness, which means in the end, more people will be flaunting their awesomeness, so nobody will have to feel like a sore thumb ever again.”

★ Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

“We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.”


You can read more about The Children’s Society here

How do you tell yourself it’s okay to feel okay? How do you deal with insecurities? Share your wisdom in the comments!


I’ll be back soon with some fashion week content…

(Obviously The Children’s Society is a charity so this blog post is in no way sponsored. I just feel strongly about these sorts of topics.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What to Do with Old Clothes | Charity Shop & Clothes Bin Alternatives

By February 15, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle, Ethical

In my blog post about whether having fewer clothes actually makes your wardrobe more sustainable, I mentioned that charity shops might not be the best option for decluttering your wardrobe. I promised a blog post about it, so here we go…

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration

Don’t get me wrong, I love charity shops. I have absolutely nothing against them being scattered around full of hidden gems and cheap as chips clothing ready to be worn. Of course I’m not going to start stopping you from shopping in them because not only does it generate money for charities which do such incredible work for different causes, it also makes for more sustainable shoppers and consumers. I would say most of my wardrobe is second-hand and I’ve written many times about why I want you guys to rediscover pre-loved items, too.

The issue of charity shops doesn’t stem from the shopping or what’s on the shop floor, it stems with what we send to them and what we believe is actually ending up there. I understand that some more local, individual charity shops may not experience what I’m going to discuss and that there is actually a need for more items in order to keep the shop up and running, but for the most part in fact, only 10% of clothing donated to charity shops will actually end up being hung up and put onto rails (according to To Die For by Lucy Siegle). We have to think about it similarly for clothes bins.

I remember a few years ago before ethics and sustainability were in my mind, I watched a documentary by the BBC about what truly happens to our clothes once they’re collected from places like clothes bins. I’ve started learning more about this journey not only from the aforementioned book, To Die For, but also from a new read of mine, Clothing Poverty, which describes this in its first chapter.

The clothing that can’t be sold in charity shops or genuinely recycled, is often shipped off in plastic-wrapped bulk bales to areas of Africa. The documentary I watched explored the capital of Ghana in West Africa where every three days, bales are delivered. They met a seller who purchases these bales, the t-shirts and trousers of which had all been purchased through UK charities. Our donations are bought for profit and then delivered to developing countries for locals to purchase themselves and once again sell on, in order to gain income.

You might be thinking at this point that it’s a great way to keep people afloat? Well, actually, there’s a huge risk in purchasing a bale. In To Die For, Lucy explains how one seller could only look through the plastic wrapping to work out what they would be able to sell on. When the communities are already suffering from poverty, they have to rely on what the sorters of our donations have decided to send on meaning that if the clothes are unwanted, they have technically wasted money they could have used to keep providing for their family.

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration

It also adds to the decline of the fashion and textile industry in these areas due to the fact that the poor rely so heavily on our cast-offs to wear. After telling my dad this, he said to me that “It now makes sense why we see European brands and football shirts being worn in documentaries just like that”.

This is only a brief introduction into the cycle of where our donations end up. We might think when we do a wardrobe clear-out that we’re making the most conscious decision of sending them off elsewhere, but really, due to the amount of clothes being thrown out, there are many downsides to doing just that. I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos about spring cleaning recently and it shows how easy it can be to dispose of an item we don’t want, to a charity shop or a clothes bin because we then believe we are no longer responsible for that item – it will go towards something good. I believe we need to stop relying so heavily on these easy-outs and start not only making much better, greener decisions, but also start profiting from our clothes ourselves.

Having a ‘closed loop’ industry is a big aim for many (where everything that is created is then recycled and put back into the cycle) and it seems to start with focusing on where our clothes are coming from – so why aren’t we focusing on where they go too? I’ve listed a few alternatives which might help you the next time you go to sort out what you already own…

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration - ebay and depop

Depop & eBay…

If you want to start profiting from your own clothes, one of the more modern ways of doing so is by creating a Depop or eBay shop. You can sell on items, name your price or start an open bid, and know that the person who will be receiving them will know exactly where it came from. You’ll earn a small (or large – depending on what you sell) amount and the more you sell, the easier it will become to sell in the future too.

Depop also works a bit like Instagram so if you’re not up for the fees and layout of eBay, that might be the one for you. Many bloggers and influencers use it for their followers to shop their wardrobes, so it’s great for buying as well!

Jumble, Garage & Carboot Sales…

I never know which phrase to use – my mum introduced me to the word ‘jumble’, I know that ‘garage’ is used in the US and I know that in the UK ‘carboot’ is very specific to fields full of cars with clothes hanging out the back, but really what I mean is; selling your clothes within your local community. Get out and join in with an event and pass on your clothes to those in your area. Go to specific sales for clothes or if you own a lot of vintage, sign yourself up to a vintage market. There are so many options and I’m sure you can find somewhere to sell most days of the week.

Clothes Swaps…

Not as common as the previous alternative, but clothes swaps are a thing. Nobody is left empty handed because you swap clothes between friends or Facebook groups (a good place to find them), almost like scratching someone else’s back whilst they scratch yours. Not only are these events fun and different, they’re almost always satisfying. It adds a story and some sentimentality to what you add to your wardrobe and what somebody else takes from it.

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration


~ HOW I UPCYCLED WITH DYLON DYES ~


Friends & Family…

Speaking of friends and Facebook, why not donate your clothes to those who you know best? Not only will you immediately know who the item will suit, they’ll appreciate the offer and it won’t go to waste. This is especially good if you have newer items in your wardrobe so it will feel more like a gift than just a hand-me-down, which can often create a stigma in the realm of second-hand shopping.

Upcycle it!

There’s a big difference between upcycling and recycling. Upcycling involves giving an item a new lease of life. Maybe a garment has lost its colour and needs some dye to brighten it back up? Maybe the only reason you’re deciding to pass it on is because it has a hole and some buttons missing? You might still love it, which means it only takes a bit of DIY to keep it from losing its place in your wardrobe.

Take on the ‘make do and mend’ mindset and get out a needle and thread or find someone who might like to upcycle it for you! You can always take a now ill-fitting item to a tailor and get it reworked. There are so many choices to avoid your favourite or unworn pieces being wasted.

What do you do with your old clothes? Let me know in the comments!


Just letting you know I’ve added some more brands to my ethical directory. I’m really happy with how well receieved it’s been, so I hope you like the new additions. Happy ethical shopping!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By February 8, 2017 Ethical

I began writing this blog post because as some of you might know, towards the end of last year (on Halloween, precisely) life took a bit of a turn for the second time (read here for the first), meaning I had to part with some of my wardrobe for a while. After tweeting and Facebooking and asking how many clothes my readers and followers own, the topic of this blog post has ended up being slightly different.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

I originally intended to tell you that living with only 38 pieces of clothing over the past three months has been relatively easy. I, unfortunately, can’t pinpoint how many items of clothes I genuinely own seeing as I haven’t completed a full count before, but I know that the number in total would probably be double or perhaps even more than.

I can live with 38 items of clothing. Seeing as it’s winter, that number roughly includes about five pairs of trousers (2 pairs of jeans; 1 pair of black trousers; 1 pair of suit trousers; 1 pair of patterned), multiple tops (including 4 sweatshirts, 2 of which are the same with a different variation of design), one skirt (for wearing with tights which I didn’t include within the number – there are some essentials we can’t live without) and four choices of jackets for varying weather conditions and outfit choices.

Usually, if my clothes weren’t stuck in a building damaged by an earthquake, I would have the choice of a fair bit more. Although I do sort my clothes by summer and winter, in turn, technically creating two separate wardrobes of choice, I like to say I have gradually mastered the art of wearing summer dresses layered up for the colder months meaning I have missed the extra choice.

There is a pair of ASOS Africa trousers which I thoroughly enjoy wearing, sat in a drawer, waiting to be worn by me again soon. There’s my grey and floral slip dress you may have seen in one of my final summer outfit posts, which I would have loved to have worn with a turtleneck and some tights.

I love clothes, obviously. I want to have my own collections one day; there’s no denying that, which means there have been moments so far where I’ve been bored and a little uninspired of what I have to choose from. I worked out that technically if I’m wearing about 4 items of clothing (excluding shoes, socks and accessories), I could wear about 361 different outfits with what I currently have with me. I’m not going to do that however because my suit jacket doesn’t match with my bohemian maxi dress but the idea that, that is a possibility is what has got me thinking.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion


WHAT I WORE: Floral Shirt (Jumble Sale) // Botanical Print Trousers (Motivi) // Vintage Yellow Leather Jacket (Jumble Sale)


After running polls and asking how many clothes you own, I received a lot of feedback which has had me questioning – does having fewer clothes, actually make a wardrobe any more sustainable? My answer is in fact, no.

52% of you own between 30 and 60 items of clothing in your wardrobe, which I will presume is a fairly rough estimate as I’m not expecting everyone to have rifled through and counted each individual item. That number surprised me because I happened to believe it would have been more. Only 26% (which is still a fairly large amount) of people responded saying they couldn’t count, or at least that the number went over 100. But; none of these numbers included shopping habits.

In a 2015 Barnardo’s report which I often refer people to, it states that typically in the UK, the average woman will spend £64 per month on new clothes, with 33% of the surveyed women deeming an item ‘old’ after only wearing it three times. And I don’t know about you, but I often read or hear the phrase ‘spring cleaning’ when it comes to clothes, which means there must be a high number for how many times those ‘old’ clothes are being removed and sent elsewhere.

Only having 38 items of clothing doesn’t make my wardrobe sustainable – my shopping habits do. Your shopping habits do. If 52% of you are living with between 30 and 60 items of clothes, that means you have around the same amount of options as I currently do; 361 outfit combinations, or more. That’s just under a year’s worth of outfits, for one per day. That only becomes unsustainable when you increase, and yes, decrease that total number.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

A wonderful member of the #EthicalHour Facebook group brought up the fact of why decreasing the number of clothes you own is just as important as to how frequently you increase it. Starting a capsule wardrobe shouldn’t mean chucking away all of your clothes because that will then create waste, which creates a whole separate issue.

Some will say that you can donate to a charity shop and there won’t be anything to worry about, but as I will talk about in an upcoming blog post, that isn’t always the best option. Becoming vegan or changing an element of your lifestyle elsewhere, also shouldn’t mean suddenly and dramatically changing what you wear.

There are consequences to so many of these decisions. It’s about working out a way to get around all of them for you. Consciously shopping and working out whether you’ll actually end up wearing what you buy are super important elements to keeping your wardrobe at a sustainable level, and passing on clothes to other individuals or attempting to revamp an item will leave you feeling much more satisfied than taking your textiles to the dump.

In conclusion, whilst admittedly being bored at times, living with less has given me two challenges which hopefully, you can take something away from. Firstly, it has challenged me to wear outfits I’d never usually think about wearing. Just the other day I wore my vintage yellow leather jacket, the floral oversized shirt and completely contrasting navy floral trousers I’m wearing in this post. (Hands up if you saw it already on my Instagram Story!) In theory, none of that should have matched, but it did because it worked out looking fairly seventies inspired.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

I discovered a new outfit I would never have worn before because I had nothing else to choose from except the blouse and sweatshirt combination I’d been wearing for a couple of days straight – in a hygienic manner, guys. It challenged me to think about those 361 combinations, and if I, in fact, need to make that number any larger.

And secondly, it has challenged me to think harder about how or if I do increase the choice I have. Recently, the only additions to my wardrobe have been from ethical brands, like Lost Shapes, who are part of my ethical directory. Truly measuring the size and scope of what I own, makes me value what else is eventually included. So, for you reading this, perhaps this will inspire you to count what you have, and count up the value of what you might have in the future.

Sustainability doesn’t happen by removing what isn’t ‘100% organic’ or produced using ‘100% recycled materials’. Sustainability starts when we limit the number of resources we’re using up.


How many clothes are in your wardrobe? How sustainable are your clothes? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Feminist T-Shirts That Were Actually Made by Feminists

By February 2, 2017 Ethical

Recent news brings activism and marches for issues which should have been put behind us years ago. It’s a shame we still have to fight for basic equality and against discrimination but it’s also a shame that what we buy to make our voices clearer don’t always support the causes fully. Today, I wanted to focus on some march-worthy feminist t-shirts that were actually made by feminists… not the high street slogan tee kind.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


PEOPLE TREE ~ EQUALITY T-SHIRT ~ £32.00

Image via People Tree, edited by me.


You probably already know but I’m a huge fan of People Tree. Their website is as clear as day when it comes to transparency and ethics. Every item is clearly marked with certifications in terms of organic cotton and Fair Trade processes. This specific ‘Equality’ t-shirt is guaranteed to have been made with equality in mind, seeing as it was produced by Assisi Garments, a social enterprise in India.

Set up by Franciscan nuns, it provides training and employment for deaf, mute and economically disadvantaged women, and thanks to the partnership and support from People Tree themselves, their team has grown from 8 to over 100 employees. Assisi Garments also invests in the community by supporting various social projects, including a cancer hospital and an AIDS rehabilitation centre in South India.

I wrote a blog post a while back on my thoughts on feminism and fast-fashion, so it’s really refreshing to see a garment being produced in such a positive and empowering environment. In my opinion, if you’re going to be buying a t-shirt with the word ‘equality’ on the front of it, it should have been made by people who truly believe in that statement too.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


IT’S ME AND YOU ~ FEMINIST T-SHIRT ~ $48.00

Image via It’s Me and You, edited by me.


A new discovery for me, but a good one nonetheless, is It’s Me and You. It’s especially important because as of November 2016, after the US election, 100% of this t-shirts profits have been going to donated to the workshop, An Afternoon For You. The workshop is run to support and empower children that will be most vulnerable and at risk during the next four years of the Presidency. After the election, community based and localized education will be especially important going forward, especially safe spaces for children.

Created by Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, It’s Me and You is a hub for body positivity, an issue which is especially for women in current times. This t-shirt in particular is 100 percent cotton, hand printed and made in the USA. Although that isn’t quite as transparent as the likes of People Tree, I feel comfortable enough in sharing their products because sometimes it is more about the story and what the brand embraces.

We have to support our ideals and what we believe in. Every penny we spend is a vote towards that, and It’s Me and You is a prime example of where we should put our money especially when everything seems so unfair.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


MY SISTER ~ FEMINIST T-SHIRT ~ $22.00

Image via My Sister, edited by me.


Last but definitely not least, is this feminist t-shirt produced by My Sister. Their mission is to prevent sex trafficking whilst empowering the population and providing after-care for survivors, all by promoting messages through their ethically produced, sweat-shop free products. It makes sense that this is their mission seeing as both of their tag lines are either “Fighting sex trafficking one shirt at a time” or “Apparel against sex trafficking”.

The main inspiration for this blog post and my aforementioned post about feminism and fast-fashion come from my reading of Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking, My Sister is a rather important brand to shop from. Not only are they promoting equality and feminist messages through what they sell, but they’re also supporting the communities which are affected by these serious issues.

Plus, the fact that they’re using male models and targeting a unisex audience is super important. Feminism isn’t just about cis-women, it’s about gender equality no matter what gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.


Do you know of any ethically conscious brands selling feminist and activist t-shirts? Let me know in the comments!


Slightly different post style to what I’ve been publishing recently, but I couldn’t let this idea slip and it was wonderful discovering a few positive brands. I’ll be back soon…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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