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Calling out Hypocrisy Won’t Get Us Anywhere

By January 15, 2018 DIY & Lifestyle, Ethical

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What I Learned During #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 10, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

#MAKESMTHNG Week has now concluded but that doesn’t we should stop making things here. In fact, I’ve learned a thing or two taking part in this new celebration of crafting and I hope that I can inspire you to take on a project for yourself, whether it’s today or tomorrow or any day of the year…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit


WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Denim Shirt (DIY) // Pink Cashmere Beret (DIY) // Striped Trousers (Jumble Sale) // Dr Martens (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Rubber Handbag (Paguro Upcycle)*


Making something yourself is extremely satisfying…

I’m going to toot my own horn here and say I’m quite chuffed with my new embroidered shirt and my two rather dashing homemade berets. I may not have sewn together a wedding dress or cut a new pair of jeans from scratch but I’ve updated my wardrobe without technically adding anything new and there’s a special feeling that comes with that.

You’re always going to treasure a piece which you made with your own bare hands because you know how much hard work and time went into it.

That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily end up wearing it more than you would wear something you’d buy but it means you won’t mindlessly throw it out or let it wear down into a bad condition – why would you? You made it! You should treasure it! It’s completely unique and only you will be able to style it up; patchy stitches, flaws and all.

Also, it’s a lot of fun to have this conversation – “Where did you get that beret?” “Oh, I made it.”

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

Starting small will build up your confidence…

As with anything, practice makes perfect. You don’t even have to embroider free-hand or buy a sewing machine if you don’t want to. Start from a place you feel comfortable at, even if that means getting out the iron and adding on a patch from one of your favourite artists to an old jacket.

There are some really simple ways to make something new or make something feel new, if you put your mind to it. Knowing I can turn a cashmere jumper into a beret in a couple of hours definitely makes me believe more in my abilities.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll realise how much work goes into how your clothes are made…

The fact that it took me a day to upcycle one piece really put things into perspective in terms of garment workers. Fast-fashion is fast for a reason and the pressures put on manufacturers can lead to workers having to play a role in creating hundreds of garments per day, maybe even up to 900, according to the book, To Die for By by Lucy Siegle, which explains the production of t-shirts and how a group of university students in the UK using the same machines and style of production line, could only manage to produce 95 within the space of 7 hours.

I had the luxury of no time restraints, working from home with food and drink in-between, yet I still felt tired after sitting and concentrating on the sewing machine for half-an-hour and pinning fabric together.

Doing things yourself adds to the level of empathy you can have for those who are battling with our cultural demands and can make you think before you go to buy new next time.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll get addicted…

Okay, maybe not actually addicted but I’ve definitely come away from this week itching to make more! I want to embroider all of the clothes I own and I already want to advance my sewing machine knowledge, in fact, I’ve taken a look at the old clothes I have stored under my bed to re-evaluate the fabric I could use. Speaking of which – does anybody have any ideas for scuba material?


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG


What did you make this week? Have my posts inspired you to make something in the future? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How to Make a Beret Using Old Clothes | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 5, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

If you haven’t been following along, this week is #MAKESMTHNG Week, created by Greenpeace and supported by Fashion Revolution to inspire us all to put down the shopping bags and make something ourselves to take a break from the cycle of endless consumption. After I scratched my itch for some embroidery, I decided to attempt the rather on-trend beret…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


WHAT I USED: Zebra Top & Pink Cashmere Jumper (Originally Secondhand) // Sewing Machine // Pins // 2 x Different Sized Circles // Measuring Tape // Scissors // Felt Tip


Making something that is currently in trend is not only a great way to treasure it for longer due to all of the hard work you put in, it’s also a great way to truly work out whether you’re going to enjoy wearing something for a long period of time, or not, without having to splash much cash or shop from a non-ethical brand.

The idea of making a beret from scratch was mainly born out of my need for a nice-looking winter hat that kept me that little bit warmer but I’m sure subconsciously the fact that they’re popping up everywhere currently was a selling point too.

Recently, my pink cashmere turtle-neck shrunk in the wash – Don’t! Wash! Your! Clothes! Irresponsibly! Kids! – so, once my grieving period was over, I decided it deserved to live on, no matter how badly I wanted it to shrink back to its original state.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

I also had an old zebra top folded up in my drawer which 13-year-old Tolly loved almost as much, so I took the two of them to my dining table and got to work!

I started with my zebra top to get a feel for what I was doing just in case I didn’t like the outcome and decided to leave the high-quality cashmere for another day. I can’t take credit for the pattern of this beret; I used a guide I found on Instructables which was really simply laid out.

TLDR for the basic hat itself – cut two relatively large circles with one of them cut like a doughnut before sewing them together on your sewing machine, and turning them inside out.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


Just like I did with my first attempt at embroidery, I’m going to list some tips and tricks I worked out along the way, below:


As berets are usually made out of felt, woollen fabrics work best…

I do love the outcome of my zebra beret (it has a different sort of fit and will work with more monochromatic outfits), however, my cashmere jumper definitely worked better fabric wise. Not only does it look more like a traditional beret, it also has a better shape and sits more roundly on my head.

Of course you can experiment with other materials, but if you have an old jumper or sweater lying around, that might be your best bet.

Use lots of pins!

I found my pink beret so much easier to put through the machine because I used far more pins than I had with my zebra beret which was a big rookie error. I’m still not perfectly confident with a machine and have to use it on a relatively slow setting but I could speed things up when I knew my fabric wasn’t going to move about or bunch up under the machine’s foot.

When using an old item of clothing, use your scraps…

For my zebra beret, I used the tight but stretchy high-neck as my headband. This reduced the number of scraps I had left-over and allowed me to skip over the step of creating a new band (like I did with my pink beret).

Although it did involve a bit of skill (gathering was needed), it’s funny and satisfying to think the band which usually stretched over my head, now sits on top of it perfectly.

You can create a faux beret bobble…

Or… nipple/tassel/whatever you’d like to call it. I took a small cutting of my pink cashmere, folded it over and very carefully squeezed it under my machine and went back and forth once or twice to stitch it together and give it some structure.

I then took a needle and my pink thread and hand-sewed it to the centre of my beret. If you do it neatly and discreetly enough, it will stand loud and proud and look like the real thing!


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG during the week of December 2nd – December 10th!


Have you been working on any DIYs this week? Share your crafty stories in the comments below… Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Updating Your Wardrobe with Embroidery | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 2, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

This week marks the inaugural #MAKESMTHNG (Make Something) Week by Greenpeace. The holiday season, especially with sales and promotions such as Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales, is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year and although that may be all well and good – especially for gift-giving and saving money on essentials – it’s a time when we often tend to forget other alternatives like making things…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I USED: Denim Shirt (Originally Johnnie B) // Embroidery Hoops // Embroidery Thread // Embroidery Needles


Instead of shopping, Greenpeace alongside Fashion Revolution, are aiming to inspire us all to make something of our own, whether it be big or small, our first project or one of many, in order to take a break from our culture of over-consumption and take a leaf from someone else’s book to understand the true value of how our clothes are made.

I was asked to take part and I have to say, it’s done the trick. I started off small myself as admittedly, I’m still on a journey when it comes to the actual creation of clothes and accessories.

There’s a lot to it and it can feel awfully daunting if you’ve never put needle-to-fabric or iron-to-iron-on-patch, before! The inspiration behind my first project came mainly from the wonderfully woven artwork I’ve been following along on Instagram lately.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Embroidery may be a trend which flows in-and-out of the fashion cycle every other season but it’s actually a craft which originates from even as early as 300 AD (according to Stitches in Time). Now you can find examples of embroidery by designers such as Valentino – it’s one of the reasons I admire their haute-couture collections so much.

As I said, I’m still an amateur in certain areas and although I’ve dabbled in cross-stitch work in the past, I’ve never properly attempted embroidery.

Fuelled by #MAKESMTHNG motivation, I picked up an embroidery hoop, some threads in primary colours and a pack of needles and got stitching some #MAKESMTHNG imagery on to a denim shirt-dress I owned double-of.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Later on, I also went on to chop down and hem the shirt-dress into a blouse – using a sewing machine – and added a new popper, which was the reason I hadn’t been wearing it in the first place, therefore bringing new life to something that was shoved in a bin-bag.


Here is my advice for helping any fellow embroidery novices:


Having a basic sewing knowledge will help…

Although I definitely had to head to YouTube for some tips on how to achieve different stitches, actually putting them into practice was far easier than I thought because it’s not too far removed from ordinary sewing.

I would recommend having a practice on a scrap piece of fabric (or maybe a t-shirt you could easily unpick on) so that you feel more confident when you start off. Straight stitch is as simple as going in and out of the fabric and back stitch is as simple as going in, well, backwards. Speaking of which…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Don’t feel like you have to use a strict stitching pattern…

Of course, sticking to the same style of stitch is essential in certain scenarios but don’t feel like you have to only use one style to complete something. I used a mix of straight, back, satin and split stitches to achieve all of the shapes I was working on.

I sort of winged-it in a sense, using what stitch felt best on each area. Satin stitch – stitching as close together as possible – will of course always be easiest for filling in blocks of colour.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I WORE: Many Questions T-Shirt £20.00 (Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh) // Black Trousers (Charity Shop) // Watch (Casio)* 


Be as even as possible…

You can actually see the difference in me implementing this rather obvious piece of advice just by looking at the hand shape versus the eye shape which I embroidered. The white of the eye is a lot less patchy as I took more time to make my satin stitch as smooth as I could.

Satin stitch works best with smaller areas (see my little yellow stars and the pink circle) but you can definitely achieve a similar effect if you put your mind to it. I’m wondering if this was a little trickier as I was working on a denim fabric – if you’re an embroidery expert, please do let me know!

Use interfacing to avoid fraying…

If you’re going to be embroidering on to an item of clothing, use some iron-on interfacing on the backside of your embroidery work. This will help you avoid it coming undone or lessen the chances of it fraying when you wear it. Seeing as it won’t be visible, you don’t have to be too neat with this.


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG during the week of December 2nd – December 10th!


I’ll be back soon with another project but for now, let me know what you’ll be making in the comments…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Dealing with a Lack of Confidence in My Real Life Artwork

By October 2, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you’ll know that I used to fairly regularly post updates of my personal art scrapbook. I used to really enjoy my “Scrap Social” series and I know a lot of you did too…

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch

I didn’t always update you on new pages due to my blog schedule not necessarily allowing for it but after a while, that wasn’t the reason for my lack of posting. Like a lot of art, there comes a point where you usually grow out of certain styles and practices. For me, ‘scrapbooking’ (in the way that I was) hasn’t been enough and since recognising that, I haven’t felt I’ve had anything worthy of sharing, either.

However, sharing isn’t my reason for writing, in fact, I’d have to say it has more to do with consuming. I believe my consumption and intake of other art is what stops me at that first hurdle and which perhaps maybe stopping you and other people from doing the same.

It almost reminds me of the pressures of school and seeing everybody’s pieces lined up and feeling put down and de-motivated when there was something significantly different to the rest in my work.  There are so many artists and creators out there who all have such distinctive styles, it’s incredibly difficult to step back and work on your own work without comparing the two. This, of course, applies to more than just art, so much so, that I used to struggle with this on my blog.

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch

Going back to how scrapbooking didn’t feel enough to me… I think part of that reason was due to the fact it allowed me to fall back onto other mediums and references which would automatically start the ideas flowing without my real creative thought. I was creating but I wasn’t creating anything new or fresh for myself.

Combining that with the pressure of influence and trying hard not to be over-influenced, you can see how I might have lost track a little. I reached a dead-end in pushing myself forward and now all I know and seek out are my comfort zones.

I wish I was here to spew out advice and list down ways I’ve managed to overcome this challenge but I’m afraid I’m still in this limbo. I’m stuck in a creative sandpit where I can only manage to build sandcastles made of everybody else’s sand. (I’m also terrible at analogies, it seems).

I understand using references and inspiration is a huge part of all art – it’s why fashion takes from past decades and why music often doesn’t necessarily fall into one genre with how it sounds and feels – but in becoming your own artist, there comes a time when you need to stop relying upon it, in my opinion, even if it’s only temporarily.

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch


Organic Cotton “Art is My Distraction” Patch £4.99 (Shenaniganz)*


I feel extremely confident in who I am as an artist online. I’m proud of the content I publish and produce and I feel sure that my style is distinct enough to shine among the rest, I’m just not sure how to achieve that same level of confidence with the art I create and produce with my hands.

In fact, that’s a whole other topic in itself. With online content creation, we can add filter after filter and delete picture after picture but there are only so many pages we can tear out of a sketchbook and throw in the bin before the book is empty and well, the Amazon Rainforest is no more.

Have you dealt with similar when it comes to the creative process? How have you managed to get back on your feet? Let’s discuss in the comments! I need inspiration!


Before you go! I want to know what you want to learn about ethical fashion! Fill in my survey here, if you want answers to any burning questions you have in mind. There are also instructions on how to nominate me as a Young Green Leader in the Observer Ethical Awards, which nomination deadline has been extended to October 22nd, 2017.

  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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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 I Want to Fight Harder for What I Believe In

By November 17, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few months, it’s the fact that life can throw things at you that are totally out of your control, and that with that, there’s a big difference between knowing/believing in something and actually experiencing it. Just like there’s a big difference between believing in something and actually fighting for it.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

I haven’t really had the chance to update anyone other than on Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media platforms that only allow a few words or paragraphs, but unfortunately, the account of my earthquake experience I wrote in August, wasn’t my last experience of one. At the end of October, Italy was hit with another three earthquakes within the space of 5 days. It was exactly three months and two days after the first one that I was hiding under a desk again, and another few days after that, I was sleeping in a tent and seeing our Italian home once again turn to ruin.

I know this isn’t something for a fashion blog, and has probably bored you to death if you have seen my updates elsewhere, but it genuinely has been a huge and traumatic part of my life recently. Falling into a routine of having to deal with aftershocks and your belongings breaking around you is not something normal to deal with.

But I’m a part believer in taking something out of everything, which means I’ve decided to take a lesson from all of this. If there are tragic things in life we can’t control, then the things we can control should be the things we fight and push on for.

It seems like a bizarre thing to compare it to, and I, of course, know I came out of the situation in a far safer and luckier place, but I now have empathy for those who have been through similar situations, specifically relating to issues which I believe in, like those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster for example. Although I can’t really compare the two, there are many accounts which state it felt like an earthquake coming on – all the machines rattling and the building starting to cave in on itself.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

But the harsh reality and the unfortunate truth of that disaster was that it was avoidable. It was somebody’s fault that thousands died and were injured. It’s nobody’s fault that an earthquake happens; it’s just the earth being the earth.

We have the power to make change and to use our voice so that avoidable tragedies are just that – avoidable. Factories shouldn’t collapse because the managers are being forced to risk it. Factories shouldn’t catch on fire because of poor working conditions. Workers shouldn’t die because there are no fire exits. Workers shouldn’t die because their only source of income is working in a factory that is ready to collapse.

I have the ability to inspire others to try and fight for change, and that’s exactly what it should be – a fight. The end goal of every fight is to win, and now I want to fight harder because I know what it’s like to feel helpless.

There’s nothing you can do when an earthquake strikes other than to drop, cover and hold. But there is so much to be done when it comes to human rights, the environment and equality, especially across an industry which exploits all three (and more). When a factory catches fire, there should be fire exits and extinguishers and there should be people fighting to put out the flames and never let them light up again.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion


The photos in this blog post were taken in Italy. The confetti photos were taken during the carnival in Ascoli Piceno – one of the local towns which I came to know and love, and which I know is still dealing with the after-effects of the 2016 earthquakes. 


There are ways to stop and change the outcome of certain scenarios, even if it takes time and effort. It’s worth it. That’s one similarity between a natural disaster and something man-made. We can put precautions in place. We can make buildings stronger and we can stop people from going inside of them if the risk is too high, because we know profit isn’t worth people’s lives.

‘We’  is anyone who contributes to the way things are already – the consumers who buy from these exploitive brands and send out the signal that they’re doing a good job; the buyers in charge of sourcing factories; the designers and teams that decide on the high numbers of collections per year; the managers of the factories being exploited by the teams providing those high numbers.

But mainly, it’s us, the consumers and believers which need to start building the momentum.

We need to start moving and show those in charge that we will cause a huge wave of power if they don’t start getting prepared. We can start building up the pressure (just like in an earthquake) so that they have no choice but to let things release and start making the change to deal with all the changes. There is so much they (the brands, the manufacturers, the governments in charge of laws and legislations) could be doing, so we need to show them that there is actually a rhyme and a reason to making it happen.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

This is also a good time for me to touch on politics and the current situation with the President-Elect in the US. It might not have been the decision that a lot of us/you, in America, wanted, but it’s what we have. That doesn’t mean to say it has to stay that way, though, or that we have to settle for it. We should take the same attitude for issues we believe in, across the board. Stand up, voice your opinions and your concerns – fight (without violence and causing damage that is.)

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

I can’t say exactly how I’m going to up the ante in my personal fighting because as I have mentioned several times throughout this post, the past few months have been quite stressful and I haven’t quite got my blogging/activist/ethical advocate head straight, but I know that for sure I won’t let something natural and uncontrollable get in my way. It’s a bit like what I said about influencers using their voicesif you have the ability to make a change, try your very best to actually make it happen.

Don’t just sit and stay still unless you physically can’t. Don’t leave it to ‘everyone else’ because there are helpless people out there who need you to be their help.


For those of you somewhat interested, I can update you all by saying that I am now on my way to (or by the time you read this, already am in) Sardinia. It’s a less earthquake-prone Italian island, where I’ll be spending a few months to get back on my feet and experience yet another culture. The past few weeks have been ones of uncertainty, but hopefully, this time will resolve that. 2016 hasn’t been perfect for the most of us, but we still have a bit of time to try again. Who’s with me?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Self-Deprecation on Social Media Is Dangerous

By August 20, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

Over the past few months I’ve been using Tumblr a lot. I use it for two types of Tumblr browsing; fandom (because yes, I have succumbed to the teenage stereotype of obsessing over fictional characters and the actors and actresses that bring them to life) and fashion. I’ve made friends (you know who you are!), I’ve gained inspiration and I’ve had a lot of fun whilst doing it… but I’ve also seen a considerable amount of self-deprecating content and it’s actually made me rather quite sad.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

There’s a danger that comes with social media, and we’re all aware of it, but the question is; do we actually take it seriously? For the most part when it comes to the internet, we (as in – the majority of us who use it (I’m talking about you, me, everyone who’s reading this now)) make sure that important topics are learnt about and crucial changes are made, especially when it comes to such things as cyberbullying, online grooming and all those sorts of things which I don’t really want to go into at much detail.

In terms of subtle messages and half-hearted posts made by anybody and anyone however, we don’t really seem to care that much, because that’s exactly what they come across as – half-hearted, meaningless throw-away comments.

What happens to all of those throw-away comments though? Where do they go? Well… they collect, and they get distributed, and because they’re so common but dispersed at a less powerful rate than those dangerous cyberbully comments and those weirdos you find on those random webcam generating sites, they get dismissed. When in actual fact, because they’re so prevalent, and because we see them so frequently, they can actually become more powerful than all of that over time.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

It sounds all a bit dramatic and some of you might not agree, but after realising how many of these self-deprecating posts there are on Tumblr and sites alike, it got me thinking as to why we need to a put a stop to them. Seeing endless posts of ‘omg i’m so ugly haha hashtag relatable’ and actually starting to go “Ohh yeah, that is relatable” is pretty damn worrying – because we’ve all done it right? We’ve all seen a post which has made us believe we are just that – ugly… too thin; too fat; too curvy; too spotty; too hairy etc etc; the list goes on.

Some of the time we agree with the apathetic-ness of it all – we reblog or retweet something along the lines of ‘imagine a world where i’m pretty’ (no capitalised letters because Tumblr™) and don’t think much of it because it made us laugh. We move on and we share another similar post the following day or week, or whenever something else along the same vein grasps our attention.

Let’s focus on one word there though – share.
That’s the dangerous part. It’s not like in a book where you can read a line and laugh, or read a line and express your relatable feelings to yourself, because there’s also a button which gives you the instant ability to pass the message on; to pass the message on to somebody else to find and start believing in too.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

These messages and comments and beliefs start filling our minds and it becomes second nature to click the button and agree with whatever’s written – probably by somebody in a genuine moment of insecurity, but has then snowballed to become a post with over 42,790 notes (reblogs/likes) and counting because it’s been marked and labelled as something ordinary. It’s a dangerous pattern all because we don’t even realise it is one.

It’s okay to sometimes share these posts in my opinion, because we all have down days of insecurity – even the most confident seeming people do, and occasionally we need something relatable and something that doesn’t make us feel so alone… but we also, more importantly, need to realise that there is a danger to it and that damage can be made when we’re constantly feeding our minds with these ideas which all ridiculously incorrect.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

I agree with the statement of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because it genuinely is. There is no such thing as ugly. We only know of the word ugly because society has made us feel like we have to fit into a certain box – or should I say in this case, a text box.

So the next time you see a post like this, or you see somebody you know reblogging one – do take it seriously. Tell them that you disagree with the statement – send a message and tell them that they’re not ugly; tell them that they don’t have too-far-apart thighs or knobbly knees or whatever else might be listed, because promise me, they won’t expect it, but my goodness gracious they’ll appreciate it… because even if they did share it just as a joke, deep down, they probably believe it whole-heartedly.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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