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Exactly what it says on the tin! Anything related to fashion will be found right here! My favourite category…

What Do Logos and Labels Say About You?

By August 20, 2017 Ethical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ethical fashion blog - lost shapes x tolly dolly posh


SPEAKING OF LOGOS…

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


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

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Relax, I Am Not the Ethical Police

By August 5, 2017 Ethical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ HANDY ETHICAL ADVICE ~


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

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

By July 21, 2017 Ethical

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

ethical wardrobe priorities - tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blog

1. Tops

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

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

2. Skirts

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

3. Dresses

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

4. Jackets

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

5. Trousers (& Shorts)

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

ethical wardrobe priorities - what daisy did

6. Handbags

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

7. Shoes

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

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

8. Coats

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

9. Jewellery

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

10. Underwear

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

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

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How We Can Make Everyone Understand Fast-Fashion

By June 29, 2017 Ethical

I’ve had this thought in my mind for a while now but I’ve never really known how to make the little seed in my mind into something helpful and useful for the rest of you but after a recent conversation with the wonderful and talented Lauren McCrostie, I finally realised my thought’s potential and it all starts with four very simple words – we all wear clothes.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion


FEATURED: Floral Trousers (ASOS Africa) // All others (Second-hand/Vintage) 


The reason for highlighting this simple phrase and statement is because I believe it is one idea that we can all understand and learn from especially when it comes to ethical education and conscious consumerism. There are a lot of terminologies thrown around when it comes to the issue of fast-fashion and ethics, so much so that the ethical platform, Project JUST, has a full page dedicated to slang terms you might not know the definition of.

In fact, it starts just there, with the phrase ‘fast-fashion’. It’s the most commonly used term when it comes to trying to explain why the shops we find on the high-street aren’t all as pretty as they seem and why the earth is being damaged by an industry which is supposed to be full of glamour and beauty. Although the term is relatively easy to understand – it’s the system in which provides fast and cheap fashion, producing large amounts of stock and creating large amounts of profit – if you were to use the phrase in everyday conversation, understandably, not everyone will understand you straight off the bat.

As someone who is expanding their knowledge of ethics and sustainability daily, I can admit that life was a lot easier to take for granted before it all started to click for me. Although I was aware of certain issues like waste and global warming, I now take it into consideration in my daily life, even if it’s in a context which isn’t remotely related to fashion or my clothes. It’s just within me now, to try and do better.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

But with these phrases and words and all of the nitty gritty information, can we get just about anybody to understand the negative impacts of what we wear, by only focusing on ‘fast-fashion’ and ‘the industry’? And no, I’m not going back on what I said in my piece about second-hand shopping – the industry is important to understand but perhaps it’s not vital when trying to get people to start questioning their choices.

A great way to explain this more simply is looking at our food. Just like the statement ‘we all wear clothes’, the majority of us fortunate to be even having this discussion, are all able to say ‘we all eat food’. The food industry is often used as a way to explain what we mean by ‘transparency’, as, in recent years, it has become a lot more open to sharing where produce comes from, leading consumers to become more aware of what they’re actually consuming. It’s all essential to our lives and we all care in some respect or another because every day we aim to eat three healthy meals.

So, why don’t we all care about where our clothes come from if we’re putting them on our bodies just as frequently? Even beauty and make-up can inspire us – we care about what we put on our skin with what chemicals are being used or whether an animal has been used to test a product prior to being sold.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

This is a reason why Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign should be so easy to get people behind. The term ‘clothes’ strips things down to the basics of what we all wear. Asking where our clothes come from is a lot easier to do than asking why H&M is producing 52 micro-collections a year; that’s fashion (fast-fashion, specfically). If we start to separate the two terms, clothes and fashion into two separate entities, then we’re more likely to get just about anybody on board in some shape or form.

Returning to food, there are a lot of questions we can adapt to our clothes. Questions like – What are you eating? How do you store your food? What do you do with old food? – can all be changed to revolve around clothing and get people thinking in that same way about something which is essentially, affecting us all in the same way. As a whole, we try to eat healthy food and we store it in the fridge or in a cool dry place. We recycle food and put scraps on the compost. If the fashion industry is supposedly the 2nd most polluting industry on the planet, why are we not all taking on this same mindset? It’s seems simple, really.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

For those of you who are already starting to become more conscious consumers or are wondering how to go about spreading the message, here are some questions which can get people thinking in very simple terms:


~ QUESTIONS ~

What are you wearing?
What do you wear on a day-to-day basis?
Where did you buy them?
What do the labels say? Do you know what they mean?

Where were your clothes made?
➯ Would you like to know where?
Do you know who made them?
How do you look after your clothes?
What do you do with old clothes?


Don’t stop there though, if you’re interested in learning even more or want to start asking some more in-depth questions, then make sure to take a look at my educational resources from the past year. They should be helpful for you, your friends and family and anyone else you want to pass on knowledge too. Oh and don’t forget, ethical fashion shouldn’t make you feel bad, either.

How do you think we can get people on board with ethical fashion? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Christopher Raeburn for Save The Duck SS18 Presentation | Pitti Uomo 92

By June 19, 2017 Ethical

If you missed my latest post then you won’t have seen that I recently attended Pitti Uomo 92, in Florence this past week. The event is dedicated to menswear and is an opportunity for buyers and press to scope out what is coming up for the next season. Today I wanted to focus on one of my Pitti highlights, the Save The Duck x Christopher Raeburn collection…

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92


locationLOCATION: Pitti Uomo 92
Villa Vittoria, Florence, Italy 🇮🇹


Both Save the Duck and Christopher Raeburn have very similar messages within their two brands, so, of course, this and their previous collaboration are a perfect fit. With outerwear being Save the Duck’s main focus, the collection is a range of lightweight jackets and coats made with recycled fabrics and animal-free innovations like Save the Duck’s ‘Plumtech’ material that lines and pads.

The theme is clear, of course, with camouflage prints in different colours (blue and orange), in an almost patchwork like style. Paired with Bruno Bordese shoes and Entre Amis trousers, the scenery matched the whole look of the presentation – a garden in the city. Natural prints with a more modern and urban twist.

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Raeburn focuses on sustainability within his luxury design and following the brand on social media makes it extra clear that supporting them isn’t something to question if we want to see more consciously created collections on the catwalk.

Save the Duck are also a brand that heavily focuses on sustainability being their message with a more prominent interest in being animal-free. Their products don’t use ordinary duck feathers for lining and their upcoming summer collection is made of all recycled materials, just like this collaboration. You can probably tell how excited I was to see the two brands come together, up close and personal.

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92


FOLLOW SAVE THE DUCK // FOLLOW CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN


And although this post may be dedicated to the clothes themselves, I have to say that meeting and talking to Christopher briefly made me feel even more inspired by his work. He’s genuinely down to earth and I felt a swell of British pride to experience some of his work, even if it was all the way out in Italy.

The new Christopher Raeburn for Save The Duck collection will be available in select luxury stores in collaboration with the showroom Tomorrow. And, if I am correct, with this being the final collection between the two brands for the near future, I wish them all the success. They’re both sustainable brands we should be championing…

What do you think of the collection? Let me know in the comments…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Is Menswear Sustainable? | Pitti Uomo 92

By June 16, 2017 Fashion

If you haven’t heard already, this week I attended my very first Pitti Immagine event, Pitti Uomo 92. Pitti is one of the largest fashion events in Europe, bringing together brands and designers to showcase their work not only to buyers but also to the press. Not only was I there for my own personal blog, I was also writing a short piece for The Florentine magazine, which you can read here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationLOCATION: Pitti Uomo 92
Fortezza da Basso, Florence, Italy 🇮🇹


Pitti Uomo is the menswear event under the Pitti name (uomo is ‘man’ in Italian) and this year, the theme for the events is ‘Boom Pitti Blooms, focusing on flowers with colour, patterns and textures, with the art direction by Sergio Colantuoni who says, “The theme is also a metaphor for our fairs, of what fertile ground they are for new and often unusual creative expressions.”

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the event but as I soon realised, one of the major purposes of Pitti is for brands to reach out to new buyers and distributors, so it was interesting coming in from a blogger angle. Of course, on my blog, I focus mainly on womenswear and in particular, ethical and sustainable womenswear, so I planned to go in learning more about how ethics fit into menswear. As already mentioned, I was also there to write for The Florentine and you can read my 5 point sustainable round-up if that takes your fancy.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

It was hard to resist following the crowd and not taking some time to grab some street-style photos. It was 33°C on the day I attended, so I have to applaud the attendees dressed to the nines. In true fashionable style, I overheard one person say, “Even if I faint, it’s worth it.”.

If you’re in need of some sartorial style inspiration then Pitti Uomo is the place to be. It most definitely reinstated my love for tailoring and sleek suits. Those Pitti Peacocks are well dressed, albeit extremely hot and sticky.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSAVE THE DUCK


I discovered Save The Duck a while before Pitti, knowing of their collaborations between Christopher Raeburn who is one of my favourite designers due to how he repurposes materials and is committed to that way of thinking across his whole brand. Actually talking to their team and understanding how they too, are extremely focused on being as sustainable as they can be, was rather inspiring.

Their latest collection for summer is their Recycled range, which is made of recycled materials from the lining to the zipper, and even uses recycled ‘Plumtech‘, which is their innovative material to replace feathers used in outerwear, making their brand vegan and sustainable. And although they manufacture their pieces in China, I was reassured that factories have to be certified in order to work with Save The Duck. Visiting their booth was most definitely my Pitti highlight, on par with meeting Christopher himself and attending their last collaborative presentation. I’ll be posting a piece dedicated to the collection, shortly.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationPRESIDENT’S


Although Pitti Uomo and the other Pitti fairs are open to worldwide exhibitors, of course being in Italy allowed for there to be plenty of brands Made In Italy. President’s use organic cotton in their shirts and tops and dye their leathers with vegetable tanning, so they’re on the right track.

Their brand, although sticking to traditional Tuscan craft, is modern and fresh and is a brand I will be keeping a close eye on whilst I travel the area. You can read more about President’s here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSTUTTERHEIM


And last, but most definitely not least, is Stutterheim, a Swedish raincoat brand who surprised me with their upfront honesty on where they stand on sustainability. John Laster, one of the directors of the company was very open when talking to me, sharing the fact that their materials are most certainly not of a sustainable nature with PVC coming from oil, of course. This doesn’t however, mean they’re entirely going down the wrong path. I and John both agreed that mindset can often be more important than fabrics…

“I think the biggest strain on the environment today is the buying and throwing away of things. It doesn’t matter if it’s made organic or not; use it five times and throw it away, use it for one season and it’s not sustainable.”


As I said, I will have another post up soon about the Christopher Raeburn presentation but for now, that is all from me at Pitti Uomo this season. You may just see me at the knitwear event, Pitti Filati, sometime soon…

What do you think of Italian menswear? Have you heard of any of these brands? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn’t the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion

By June 5, 2017 Ethical

Changing your shopping habits can often feel daunting and intimidating and you might be left not knowing where to start. Or you’ll most probably be told that second-hand shopping is the route to take. During a read of Clothing Poverty by Andrew Brooks, I conjured up a lot of thoughts and feelings surrounding the topic and why second-hand shopping isn’t the best answer to sustainable fashion.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfit from: Sustainable Alternatives to Leather

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog or even just a recent reader of my blogger, you’ll know I’m a dedicated advocate to second-hand, pre-loved, used or vintage clothing. There are so many benefits to buying and wearing clothes and fashionable items that have been worn before and that are in close-to-perfect condition to be used again, so I don’t want anybody to jump to the conclusion I am now against the idea.

For background knowledge; I’ve grown up with accepting and appreciating second-hand fashion. I’ve never found a problem with it. I’ve never been put off or disturbed by the idea of wearing something that isn’t “NWT” (new with tags). Especially since becoming more independent of my own budget and even my own style, second-hand clothing has given me the opportunity to refresh and add to my wardrobe whilst it not being out of my reach.

Over the years, I’ve spent more money at charity shops and at jumble sales, than I have with a brand like Topshop (in fact, I can list everything I own from Topshop straight off the top of my head; a single pair of socks and sunglasses).

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfits from: Why It’s Okay to Feel Okay // Recycled & DIY Denim

Not only has second-hand shopping benefited my small teenage budget, I also know it has benefitted the environment. What I’ve saved from being taken to a landfill or donated elsewhere, has been added to my wardrobe to be worn even more times than it already had been by its previous owner. If 84% of unwanted clothes in America went into a landfill or an incinerator in 2012, then I’ve participated in playing my part in lowering that number (the number is still obscene in Europe and elsewhere).

I’m also by no means saying second-hand shopping isn’t sustainable. Purchasing second-hand is sustainable, so long as you care for the items as much as you would something new, continue prolonging its life length and that you’re not disposing of them shortly after purchasing just because they’ve had a previous life. My reasoning for suggesting that it isn’t the best answer to sustainable fashion comes from the industry rather than second-hand shopping alone.

Not only have I always appreciated second-hand shopping, I have also always known I’ve wanted to work in fashion (design, specifically). I adore clothes and the ability that comes with them to express ourselves and I don’t want to see that fade. Fashion is a separate entity to ‘clothing’ as such, in the sense that fashion is what changes.

Fashion doesn’t just affect our clothes, it affects other industries like beauty, TV and film, and even sports and lifestyle. The way that fashion works, is what we want to change and understanding that makes it clear how second-hand shopping isn’t the answer.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfit from: How to Grow up as a Teen Blogger

Second-hand shopping is an alternative way to start on your journey of becoming more ethically and sustainably conscious as a consumer, it’s not the way to change the fashion industry, and in particular, fast-fashion as a whole. Second-hand shopping is also a way that not all can necessarily partake in.

I understand that curating most of your wardrobe out of previously used garments is in some way, a privilege, especially with sizing. It can also be an unrealistic option if a lot of your purchases of clothing are based on workwear and a specific style – shopping for a strict dress code is most probably going to be easier when buying new (although not impossible to do second-hand, of course).

If we want to change the industry and how it works, whether that be with mindset or manufacturing, we need to focus on the repeat offenders – the big name brands which hold the majority of the power. This doesn’t mean boycotting. Another topic which I would like to research in more detail before discussing it on my blog is the idea of abandoning high-street and fast-fashion brands altogether.

In Fashion Revolution’s fanzine, the Agony Aunt section focused on this. The quick and simple answer? Boycotting only works in large numbers and when it does, it can negatively impact garment workers.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Hauls from: Autumn Shopping // Second-hand Shopping

(I currently don’t shop from any fast-fashion brands, the reason of which is a combination of my ethical beliefs and stance on the issues I discuss on my blog, but also because I have a teen budget and simply don’t want to support the way fast-fashion brands work with the very little disposable income I have.)

Shopping ethically is what we want to do in the meantime, just like second-hand shopping, but it’s all with the end goal of ethics and sustainability being the norm. It’s why raising up those who are doing it right is vital. We need to show those who are lacking in certain areas but holding all the power, that we want them to be doing better. We need them to be doing better. We want fast-fashion brands to just be fashion brands, and for ‘fashion’ to have a whole new meaning.


What are your thoughts on second-hand shopping? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!

I’m sorry for being slightly MIA recently but if you’d like to stay up-to-date with me then make sure you’re following me on Twitter or that you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By April 28, 2017 Ethical

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


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

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


~ READ THE FASHION REVOLUTION FANZINE ~


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are they shouting about it?

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

What information can you find?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What information will they give you?

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

Are they making progress?

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

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

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

Will you actually end up wearing what you buy?

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

Shop from brands that are built on ethics and sustainability.

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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A Love Story to My Clothes | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 26, 2017 Ethical

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


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

Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Metallic Dr Martens,

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

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

Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Yellow Leather Jacket,

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

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

Love from your constant wearer,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE IT ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear ASOS Slogan Sweatshirts…

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

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

Thanks for keeping me warm,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Slow Textiles in Prato, Italy | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 24, 2017 Ethical

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


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

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato


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


fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato


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


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

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

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato - violeta nevenova


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE THESE CLOTHES? ~
Violeta Nevenova


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

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

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

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

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

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


whomademyclothes

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


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

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

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

fashion revolution event italy - lottozero textiles prato

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

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

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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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