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My 2016 Ethical Fashion Education | Books, Documentaries & More

By December 18, 2016 Ethical

I wasn’t sure how to end off 2016 in terms of blog posts. I haven’t been able to get out anywhere at the moment due to a broken down car, so my shoot locations are limited (as well as my wardrobe, on another note), and most of the topics I want to focus on are ones that I would like to tie into my ethical directory re-launch in the New Year. If you know me, you know that time is something that I revolve around in terms of starting new things, so instead of publishing rather unfestive posts, I thought I would look back on the year in terms of what I’ve been learning. There will also be my annual round-up post coming up soon, but for now, let’s talk about the ethical sides of things in my ethical fashion education summary…


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

I have to admit that I’m still working my way through the pages of this book but it deserved a mention nonetheless. Some of the topics covered are ones I haven’t necessarily thought about before, like one of the recent chapters about the auditing process in the fast fashion industry. It’s a lengthy book and covers some of the early 2000s and how the cycle and issues have changed over recent years. Reading this and the other books mentioned in this post is a sure-fire way to learn more factual information about your clothes and where they possibly come from.

BBC Panorama Undercover: The Refugees Who Make Our Clothes

This half-hour documentary by BBC Panorama is a short and simple insight into the issues going on in the industry, and why we should be opening our eyes to them when they affect us so clearly. Some of the quotes from mentioned brands like ASOS and Next genuinely upset me, because it shows how the brands themselves don’t even know what is going on to the full extent that they are. The filming takes place undercover in Turkey, focusing on factories and workshops using child labour and illegally employed Syrian refugees. If you shop with ASOS, Next, Marks and Spencers, Mango, ZARA and the like – please watch this.

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E Hoskins (Review)

A different perspective on the fashion industry, focusing on the capitalist cycle of how it works, as well as topics like racism and size. I found that although this was still a factually informative book and every chapter was extremely insightful, the way it was written and the illustrations alongside it, made it more down to earth and inviting. You can read my full review on Tansy’s book above. It’s been a pleasure to connect with her and support a book which I hope many of you go on to read!

▷ UDITA (Arise): A documentary about female garment workers from Bangladesh

Out of all of the documentaries I’ve watched about the darker side of fast fashion (well, actually – is there even a lighter side?), this truly shows that even the garment workers themselves want us to change our ways, even just by thinking about the way we shop. Being a conscious shopper does so much more than being oblivious to your actions. Every penny you spend with a brand using an exploitive system, is a vote towards their work. It’s over an hour long, but perhaps you can switch out a Netflix episode for something like this, instead?

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Safia Minney (Review)

Safia’s book was the first I bought purely to learn more about ethical fashion. Now that I’ve read several others, I would have to say I would recommend this once you have learned more about the issues themselves, whether that’s about exploitation or inequality or child labour or any of the topics mentioned in this post and beyond. This is mainly because the second half of this book is almost a directory for brands paving the way, and as much as that is important, I think it’s what you need to read about afterwards. It’s still an educational book though, and it was really eye opening to see what other ethical advocates had to say.

Remake: Join the Ethical Fashion Movement

A recent discovery for me is the movement, Remake. I love finding sites that are dedicated to inspiring people to becoming more ethical, especially when it focuses on younger people. There’s a great video by the founder, Ayesha Barenblat, on their core aim and how millennials can choose to change the world they live in. It also touches on the topic of strength and female equality, which is something I mentioned in my post focusing on why I don’t think you can be a feminist if you support fast fashion. If you want to follow along with their journey and start integrating their great work in to your day-to-day, make sure you follow them on social media.

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Review)

For those wanting a more visual way of learning about the fashion industry, you might like to take a look at the comic book I read this year called, Threadbare. Focusing on some of the more taboo areas of in the industry like sex and trafficking, it might not be for everyone, but it’s worth taking a look at nonetheless. It’s what inspired my post on feminism, and is what I hope inspires some of you to broaden your minds even further, about what isn’t always discussed.

What have you been learning about in 2016? Leave your ethical fashion education recommendations in the comments!


I hope you have a wonderful holiday this year. I’ll be back before the New Year, I promise!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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You Can’t Call Yourself a Feminist If You’re Supporting Fast Fashion

By October 21, 2016 Ethical

It seems a little bit over the top to point this out right at the start of this post but I honestly believe it’s true; you can’t call yourself a feminist if you believe in fast fashion.

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

This belief hit me whilst reading “Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking” by Anne Elizabeth Moore. It’s an illustrated non-fiction comic all about the fashion industry and how it links in with sex work and trafficking. It sounds like a pretty heavy topic, but it was possibly one of the easiest ethical/anti-fast fashion reads I’ve finished so far, and for those of you who prefer something a little more attractive to the eyes, then I’d definitely recommend it (however I will point out – it does have fairly small text to read).

The statistic that struck me with this realisation was this – 1 in 7 women worldwide, work in the fashion industry. The tricky thing about feminism is how it is deemed to be only related to women and feminine issues, when as we should all know by now, it’s about equality, and the only way we can reach gender equality and an equal balance between men and women, is by working on the imbalance of which is mainly weighing down on, well, women.

So seeing as a seventh of the female population in the world are somewhat responsible for the fashion industry, it would seem a bit absurd to not think about how it affects those people, wouldn’t it?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

One of the main issues surrounding fast fashion and the industry as a whole is the problem surrounding working conditions. 80% of garment workers are women. According to the book “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle, if we break down the price of a £4 (ASDA) t-shirt, £1.18.5p goes to the supplier; £2.80 goes straight to ASDA as profit and the garment worker (most probably a woman) receives just 1.5p.

That’s 1.5p per what could possibly be 200 garments per day (roughly £4 a day), in a factory with poor safety regulations. In fact, 60% of factories in Bangladesh are structurally unsound according to a 2013 study, which makes the Rana Plaza disaster even more tragic, because it would be so easy for it to happen again.

Upon reading more about feminism and fast-fashion, I read fellow blogger Jen’s post about her thoughts, and her point about clothes plastered with feministic slogans and messages of empowerment really raised a great question; how can we be buying these clothes that promote female empowerment that cost as much as a coffee at Starbucks, when the people making them can barely afford to live and make these clothes for us?

How can we say we’re feminists when we’re supporting companies that don’t have any interest in the women (some of which are in their teens) that they employ and the situations that they are in?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

The answer is, we simply can’t. If feminism is about bringing equality to women, then we can’t call ourselves feminists if we’re still supporting a cycle and an industry that still promotes inequality. It doesn’t matter what a brand is doing on the surface. It doesn’t matter what natural beauty campaigns they’re running, or what slogans are on those t-shirts.

At the end of the day, if they didn’t have the garment workers in the first place, then they wouldn’t have their company – we wouldn’t have our clothes and our wardrobes full of outfits. We as women, as men, and as humans who need to prolong the earth we stand on – cannot call ourselves feminists if we live with the mindset that this is okay.

In line with that, one of my favourite parts of “Threadbare” and actually the page that featured that slap-in-the-face statistic, was this –

‘So if you want to support job opportunities for women in developing nations, don’t shop at the mall.’

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

If you want to call yourself a feminist and support one of the biggest industries in the world, and a seventh of the female  population (cisgender/transgender – unfortunately there isn’t a clear statistic for that number, which would bring me onto a whole other topic of discrimination), then don’t support what is causing the most damage. Or like I’ve said many times before; be conscious. Hold retailers responsible.

So yes, I am a feminist, because I’m doing my part to avoid supporting companies who don’t value their workers and aren’t doing their part to create a fairer industry. Are you?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Starting an Ethical Wardrobe | Secondhand Autumn Shopping

By October 14, 2016 Ethical, My Style

I know I’m not really supposed to apologise for what goes on, on this blog, but I would just like to say a quick sorry for my lack of blog posts since LFW finished. I did actually give a quick warning to say I’d be on a break, but then I was struck by a dreaded cold and the break stretched further than I’d anticipated. However, I’m hopefully back for good now! I thought I’d start things back up again with a simple, good ol’ fashion-y post about what I’ve been shopping for recently, all in the form of secondhand pieces of course! Much more satisfying and a great way to gain inspiration for your own ethical wardrobe…

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion


~ WHAT I BOUGHT: £80 ~

☞ Vintage yellow leather jacket (€35 – jumble sale)
☞ Black jeans (£5 – charity shop)
☞ Floral oversized shirt (£8 – charity shop)
☞ Sheer white ruffle cover-up (€3 – jumble sale)
☞ Vintage gold sunglasses (€2 – jumble sale)

☞ Navy satin suit trousers (€5 – jumble sale)
☞ Navy satin suit jacket (€5 – jumble sale)
☞ Pink cashmere roll neck (£5 – charity shop)
☞ Lurex black sparkly slip dress (£7 – charity shop)
☞ Purple satin ruffle blouse (€5 – jumble sale)


As I was saying; satisfying, isn’t it? All of that for the price you might pay for two or three high street items which aren’t necessarily (well, almost definitely) ethically or sustainably produced. What’s even more satisfying is how everything blends and matches so well! It wasn’t really intentional, but when you’re shopping in all in one, I suppose it’s a subconscious thing, to buy items that all match up perfectly. Technically, though, I didn’t buy all of this is in one as you can see from the labels above. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep my receipts to tell you which charity shops I shopped in, but I can tell you from memory that RSPCA & Longfield Hospice are two of my favourites for well-sorted stock.

For these recent purchases, the only items I had in mind beforehand was some sort of evening dress (I’m off on a cruise at the start of November and let me tell you, they dress fancy) and possibly, a suit. A while ago whilst in the car, my dad spotted a men’s suit in the window of a shop and um… it turns out that apparently, it was a better fit for me (it was polka dot, mind you), so ever since then I’ve been on the hunt for a matching two piece! I’ve actually become really interested in suits in general over the past few months, just because of their fit and the androgynous vibe that comes with them.

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

It turns out that running giddily around a jumble sale looking for every single stand of clothes pays off because I found it! I found the suit I was looking for! I hadn’t really decided on my ideal suit, but I knew a navy one wouldn’t turn me away. You can’t really see it in these pictures, but I promise once I’ve adjusted the shoulders, I’ll be shooting it ASAP! It’s actually a satin number with the most gorgeous fitted trousers, and it cost me €10 in total. And the even greater thing? At the same jumble sale, I picked up two options for blouses.

I don’t feel so guilty indulging in trends when I’m buying them secondhand (trends = mass consumption/mass production), so when I, my mum spotted a sheer ruffled cover-up, almost lingerie style blouse at the same seller’s stall, I knew it would make a great textural contrast against the satin. Plus, white and navy is a really crisp and sharp colour combination and will work really well for an evening event (did I say something about a cruise?). The second blouse is another satin piece but in a light purple. Although contrasts are nice, I thought it would blend in nicely as a more fitted and ‘proper’ shirt with the suit.

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion

how to start an ethical wardrobe - secondhand shopping for autumn fashion


Rings: Middle Finger (Unknown) // Index Finger (Arezzo D’oro Diamond Cut Stacker Ring – Gemporia)*


Speaking of that ruffled blouse, it looks great with the evening dress I managed to pick up! I know not many people are fans of lurex fabric, but I think if worn in the right way, it can look just as elegant as any other sparkly material. As you would have seen in my last outfit post, I love layering slip dresses, and it looks great with any kind of texture or colour. The black shade means I’ll be able to wear it to dinner, but also be able to go for a slightly grungier look in the day. Versatile, non?

Oh and yes, yes that is a cashmere ‘granny jumper’. It was one of those purchases which I was unsure about at first, so I left the charity shop empty handed before going back again and trying it on because it just seemed too tempting. It will work with jeans, it will work with a dress and who knows, maybe it will even work with the suit? I love muted pink, as you will already know if you’ve read my whole post basically dedicated to it.

Oh and that jacket? Another item which I had to go back for. In fact there was shopping drama with this one! I asked the seller if he’d give me a deal because I wasn’t that willing to buy it for his original price of €40 (even though it is vintage leather), so he said he’d drop it to €35, final price. I mulled it over, he put it back out on a rail, and somebody else tried it on… and luckily, they didn’t want it, so I bought it, but only just before another lady asked to try it on. It was a faff, but I have it on my shoulders (and of course, on my arms when I’m actually wearing it out and about). A good point to remember though – jumble or carboot sale shopping allows for bargaining. 

So there we have it! All secondhand. I hope you liked reading about my recent shopping experiences. The reason I do these ‘ethical wardrobe‘ posts, is to try and share with you how easy it is to create a collection you enjoy wearing without having to effect the world and environment around us. Buying secondhand means recycling, giving back to charity and supporting your local communities. Give it a go! See what you can find for £80…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins

By August 3, 2016 Ethical

I’m not meaning to fill up my blog with book reviews, but I’m back again today with just that! I’ve been dropping notes here and there that I’d be reviewing “Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion” by Tansy E. Hoskins, so that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing. It’s another book based around ethical and sustainable fashion, as well as the effects of fast fashion, as that’s what I’ve been researching and wanting to learn more about recently…

Stitched Up The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins book review

Stitched Up is a book opening up about the world of fashion and what’s behind the clothes we wear. It flicks between brands and labels like Primark to Karl Lagerfeld as it explores consumerism, class and advertising, to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation. Tansy delves into the relationship with the planet and with our bodies to uncover what makes the industry so damaging.

Along with advertising, it takes a look at racism and beauty standards and why they exist, as well as what could happen if the industry starts to adapt and change to better itself. It’s filled with accurate information and true insights and truly opens your eyes to why we shouldn’t just be blaming the high street for the effects and disasters happening – we should really be blaming capitalism.

I wasn’t quite sure how to start this review, so I’m going to note down some of the topics that came up and how I responded to them and how I am still reacting to them.

Stitched Up The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins book review

I’ll begin with one of the most interesting and eye opening chapters for me – ‘Stitching it’. In this chapter, Tansy talks about garment production and the arguments as to ‘why sweatshops have benefits’. There’s one argument in particular which is based upon the idea that manufacturers would flee from developing countries where the sweatshops are based, if there was a wage increase to help and support the workers. Yet the logic fails when you take a look at the statistics and facts, which are all clearly marked out on Page 87…

“The wages of garment workers could be doubled without there being a noticeable impact on the price of clothing. The wages of garment workers account for 1-3 per cent of the cost of clothing – 1.8 per cent in a 2002 study by the economist Robert Pollin. According to experts: ‘for a typical sportswear garment, doubling labour costs (by doubling wages) would result in retail price increases of roughly 1-3 per cent; tripling wages would result in price increases of 2-6 per cent.'”


There’s then an example of a dress Kate Middleton wore by Reiss. Female workers in the Romanian sweatshop producing the dress, were paid only £168 a month (or, 99p an hour). The dress originally retailed at £175, so if their wages had been doubled, the dress would have cost just £178.15. That’s £3.15 more. That’s the price of a coffee in a Starbucks or a Costa. It’s a price that anyone shopping at Reiss would be able to afford, and a small difference that the brand could easily work with. If we’re paying the same amount as one worker’s monthly income for a dress, then surely, something’s not right?

Stitched Up The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins book review

On the same vein of sweatshops is the quality of garment factories and workshops. After the Rana Plaza disaster, it’s obvious that things need to change, but what’s quite shocking is how easy it would be to do it; Tansy explains on Page 77…

“According to the Workers Rights Consortium, the cost of implementing decent standards in Bangladesh’s 4500 factories would be $3 billion spent over five years. Consider that the five siblings of the Walton family, which controls Walmart, each have personal fortunes of £18 billion. Just 3.5 per cent of their wealth would ensure that the people who slave for them do not die horribly in the process.


Like a lot of these statements that are featured in the book, there are many reasons why these changes aren’t happening, even if the opportunities to do so are there. The main reason is capitalism (hence the name of the book) and how corporations work together to keep profits high and to keep things ticking along in a cycle (more on that in a moment); but that doesn’t make it seem any less simple.

My initial thought was – ‘Imagine that? Imagine if a brand really did that. Imagine if they used what they have, and what they don’t necessarily need, to help what they know is a problem? It would not only be a benefit to the people receiving the help, but it would also be a benefit to their brand and how they’re perceived – no?’ – until another chapter popped up and got me thinking about using change for promotional benefits.

Stitched Up The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins book review

So many brands these days start up campaigns just for the name of their brand. For example, Marks & Spencer’s have their ‘Shwopping‘ campaign which promotes the idea of donating old and unwanted clothes, yet it becomes totally hypocritical when they start giving out vouchers and membership points for doing so. They’re promoting the idea of out with the old, in with more new. On the surface, it gives their brand a good name for being green and sustainable, yet the actual idea is the total opposite of that. ASOS are also a brand promoting the ‘swapping clothes’ idea; they may not be giving away vouchers in exchange, but the selling point is having more space in your wardrobe – out with the old, in with the ASOS!

We need more brands to be genuinely interested in change and learning more. We need more powerful voices to genuinely take charge, rather than have their PR and Marketing departments decide it would be great to support ‘Green Week’ so that they have a good voice, temporarily. It’s all an illusion, when really, they’re the ones creating the damage in the first place.

I’m going to jump back to the ticking along of the cycle I mentioned earlier with this Marx quote from Page 55 which I’ve already mentioned in my blog post about emotional sustainability to make things a little clearer…

“Fashion is more than just clothes; it is a commodity cycle of newness that makes clothes go out-of-date and keeps retailers in business. This makes consumption the final stage in the production of fashion: ‘A product becomes a real product only by being consumed,’ wrote Marx. ‘A garment becomes a real garment only in the act of being worn.'”


The industry is a cycle which starts with a trend that is produced on mass at low costs. Profits are made and the cycle starts again once that trend has fizzled out, or once the brands and companies have decided it needs to fizzle out so they can start making money from the next big thing. It’s unsustainable. I believe the number is roughly 52 collections per year for a high street brand. That’s 52 different cycles of clothes that are based around temporary ideas.

Just going into a store the other day and immersing myself within the summer to autumn transitional sales made me realise how true this is. It’s only just August and there are already autumnal pieces being sold, with summer pieces starting from €3.99 on discount.

Stitched Up The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins book review

Not included in the book, but something I recently discovered through The JUST Project (possibly the best ethical directory there is), is that H&M-owned brand COS is running things slightly differently with two collections per year, each designed 18 months before they go on sale. Unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee perfect working conditions, but at least the sustainable base is being built upon.

Overall, Tansy has really given me some food for thought and has already made me purchase Lucy Siegle’s “To Die For” book for my next bit of research. I’m also taking a deeper look into Karl Marx and his views on capitalism, which I know might seem quite controversial, but when you read and listen to the beginnings of his ideas and ideologies, you can see where he was heading and how his opinions can be taken upon in current times.

I haven’t even touched on the beauty standards and racism side of things, so if you’d like me to talk a little about what I took from that, then please do let me know… or of course, buy a copy of the book yourself so you can have a read! It’s definitely worth it.

Look out for a review of Lucy Siegle’s book once it’s arrived and been read, as well as a review of Vivienne Westwood’s book in the not so distant future.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Emotional Sustainability and Why Sentimental Items Have Value

By July 25, 2016 Ethical

We’re all guilty of keeping a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes in our wardrobe simply for the fact it reminds us of a certain time or moment in our lives, right? When it comes to a spring clean, there’s always that one item that you pick up and say, ‘I’ll throw you out one day’ to (yes, I personify my clothes – you’re probably guilty of that too), but never actually get around to doing so. But upon thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s value in sentimental fashion and clothing…

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

My first pair of Dr Martens // My blue Maid of Honour bracelet // A bracelet bought with my mum // My sister’s old ring // My mum’s old ring

The value is that it’s sustainable. Yes, keeping that dress you’ve had for four years is sustainable, because it’s lasting; it’s staying put and not being chucked away or replaced. So, you might not wear it very often, but you might have stopped yourself from buying something similar that one time because you know it’s there. You’re keeping an item and prolonging its worth, and whenever you see it, you’re being thrown back emotionally to a time you loved and appreciated.

There are some items you might own that you never want to lose, so you take extra care of them when you do showcase them to the world. I own a ring (pictured) which my dad originally bought for my mum many moons ago, and I go into a state of panic whenever I can’t find it – Note to self: always check leather jacket pockets.

These items are irreplaceable. They don’t keep up with the trends. They aren’t part of the profit gaining cycle of the industry. They may not even be long lasting items which were made of the best fabrics, but because we want to prolong the memory; we prolong the item.

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

I remember buying this bracelet from a small little shop with my mum.  It was nothing special in the moment, but she treated me to it and it always reminds me of that day. 

There are also those items that one day you might want to pass onto your children (just like my mum did with that ring). If you buy something of value and quality, it’s more likely to last longer, meaning you can pass it on in the future. Buying an expensive watch which will last several years, gives you that option to then pass it on to your child. “But it will probably be broken by then” I hear you say… repairs are an option, which is exactly why DIY fashion is promoted as sustainable.

For me, I’m clinging on to my first pair of Dr Martens. It sounds ridiculous, but yes, one day I hope that I can pass them on. They’ll remind me of a time in my life and how much I treasured them, and because I know they are of a certain quality (okay, not necessarily of an ethical and environmentally friendly quality), I know that they are going to last just that bit longer and I know that they can carry on being sustainable for much longer than a pair of shoes I could buy some time in the future. They were second hand, they’re being sustained, they can be repaired, and they will be passed on again. It’s a much more beneficial cycle than that of something new and temporary… which brings me to the idea of the sustainable fashion industry as a whole…

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

This silver necklace used to also be my mum’s and I hold it very close to my heart (a pun which was very much intended).

Sustainable fashion is about stepping out of the profitable cycle of fast fashion, and stepping into the cycle of clothes and items that last longer than the trend they were produced for. Fast fashion is all about trends and keeping things ticking along. To quote a line from ‘Stitched Up by Tansy Hoskins‘ (that I will be reviewing soon) – “It is a commodity cycle of newness that makes clothes go out-of-date and keeps retailers in business.”

Sustainable fashion has no sell-by-date or best-before label. It lasts. Buying a product which is made of higher quality fabrics and has been crafted in a way that not only prolongs the item, but prolongs the wellbeing of the earth, is going to be so much more beneficial to everyone (and the children that it gets passed on to).

The idea and meaning behind what a sustainable item is doing, brings us back to sentimentality. If consumers start to be aware of where their clothes are being made and by whom, they’ll start to appreciate their items and will stop seeing them as disposable items. We all need to start seeing our clothes and fashion as a whole as something that lasts longer than one season and a few weeks on a rack. If a moment can keep us clinging on for years, then the stories and effects of what we’re buying should be able to, too.

What’s one item you’re sustaining for sentimental reasons? Have you bought anything specifically sustainable recently? Let me know in the comments!


I hope you’ve been liking my posts recently. I feel like I’m back in the blogging game and really know where I’m going with it. I also hope you liked these pictures in this post! I’ve discovered that I’m in love with ‘Scanography‘ (the art of using a scanner as your camera) and I absolutely love the look and feel of them. I’ll talk to you soon!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Slow Fashion by Safia Minney

By July 2, 2016 Ethical

I’m going to say something for the 1000th time when it comes to ethical and sustainable fashion; it’s really important to educate yourself.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review


SLOW FASHION by Safia Minney


You might be aware of some of the issues surrounding the fashion industry these days, but how much do you really know about what’s being done to make changes? How many real life stories have you listened to? How do you know what to do as a consumer?

These are all questions you should be able to answer easily, but for a lot of people, it’s hard to answer them without saying, “I don’t know” or perhaps, “I don’t know enough to give you an answer”. So yes, I may have said it several times by now, but it really is important. We all need to learn more, so that we’re open and aware about what needs to change… a big emphasis on need, because it really does need to.

So, as a way to educate yourself, I’m going to introduce you to a book that I’ve just finished reading – “Slow Fashion” by founder and CEO of People Tree, Safia Minney. “Slow Fashion” is a book which explores the work which is being done to make the fashion industry more ethical and sustainable, as well inspiring entrepreneurs, creatives and consumers, to think differently and start to make change, no matter how big or small.

Safia has been running People Tree, a leading ethical and sustainable fashion brand for the past 25 years, working alongside designers like Zandra Rhodes to create exciting and ethical collections which not only help the people making them, but the environment and the earth.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

One of the main themes throughout the book is something that I wanted to share with you, and is something that emphasises my point about educating yourself; small steps lead to bigger things. One of the best ways to explain this is through a quote (from the book) by actress and model, Lily Cole…

“Whenever I am given a choice, I try to make the right one.”

When you learn about some of the issues in the industry, you can be taken aback. For me personally, it was like something clicked and suddenly I had this whole new mind-set (thanks to the wonderful movie which is, The True Cost)… but there are cons to that happening. I ended up putting pressure on myself and started to rush things and try and reevaluate everything I knew before. Although now I see this as a pro, I basically stopped shopping altogether. I felt guilty whenever I wore clothes I knew were unethical, and I tried to change too much of what I could all at one time.

The reason I’m explaining this, is because Lily’s quote uses one specific word; try.

When we learn about all of these issues, for most of us, it’s hard to suddenly change everything. It’s hard to step out of what we can afford or what we are able to do immediately. But it is possible to do in the long run (though of course, the faster the better, as I said; things need to change) and that’s something we mustn’t forget.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

It’s reassuring to read that even people who are making changes, aren’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s impossible. Not everyone has the freedom and privilege to purchase specifically ethical clothing due to the fact that it’s usually higher in price than normal run of the mill, high-street fashion (don’t forget though, second-hand and vintage clothing is an option). But being aware that there is a choice, is very valuable.

Walking into a shop and asking yourself whether you need an item, or whether you could find a better, more high quality option that will be more sustainable, is so important. And to loop it all back; being aware, means educating yourself, which is why I’m recommending this book.

At the same time as learning more about the issues and effects of fast-fashion and mass consumption, you can discover new brands and labels to shop from, some of which include: Goodsociety, Miss Green, Braintree, Armed Angels, MADE, LeJu, Joanna Cave and Quazi Design.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review


Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins


You can also discover other books including the one photographed in this post, “Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion”. I’m only into Chapter 2 and it’s already highly insightful. It not only looks into fast-fashion (both on the high-street and on the catwalk), but it also covers topics like racism and body image. It’s a one of a kind book to add to your reading list! (I’ll be sure to review it when I’m finished).

Also through this book, I’ve discovered the film, “Udita” by Rainbow Collective. It’s an extraordinary and raw insight into the lives of the female factory workers in Bangladesh, most of whom were affected by the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013. One of the most touching moments in the film for me, is when one of the workers is explaining their desires and wishes for the future…

I wish people would buy clothes with a conscience. My desire is that what’s happening now will never be repeated. That people who are buying clothes abroad stop and think about how much they buy for it and how much is the true cost for us here.”

If the workers themselves are saying they wish we could shop with a conscience, then surely that’s enough for us all to implement change, no matter how big or small? The majority of us have a choice. We all have the ability to learn about our choices. Learning is all part of the process, and really, at the most, it can take an hour out of your day to do so.

When you next sit down to binge watch your favourite Netflix show, why not click onto The True Cost (which is on Netflix anyway) or go onto Amazon and order yourself a book, instead? Small steps lead to bigger things, and we can all make them if we try.


What are you going to do to learn more? Have you read Slow Fashion already? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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A Look Back On Fashion Revolution Day 2016…

By May 2, 2016 Ethical

Long time no blog, huh? I’ve been trying to stop myself from apologising when there’s a bit of a gap in my blog posts, but I’m just gonna’ have to say it: I’m sorry! These past two (three?) weeks have been crazy as my sister just got married (eep! I’m sure I’ll post a couple of pics at some point) and, well, I’ve been ill with a cold… I think I’m coming out of it now but I have had literally no motivation whatsoever. So to ease us back into things, I thought I’d look back over the awesome week of Fashion Revolution. Here was my post from before the week began!

~ LOVE STORY ~

The wonderful team at Fashion Revolution asked if I’d like to be part of their YouTube channel ‘relaunch’ by doing a little ‘Love Story‘ about some of my favourite second-hand and ethical purchases. I had fun making it, so I hope you enjoy watching! There’s also a playlist that you can check out which includes everyone’s #Haulternatives from YouTubers like CutiePieMarzia and grav3yardgirl. Definitely check all the videos out for inspiration!

Fashion Revolution - #whomademyclothes - Massimo Dutti

~ BRAND RESPONSE ~

One of my favourite things about Fashion Revolution is when brands actually respond to the #whomademyclothes tweets, especially when their responses are actually thorough and honest. One of the brands that Fashion Revolution have highlighted for a great response is Massimo Dutti. Massimo Dutti are a Spanish brand, and they responded with a perfect answer about where their clothes are made, how many people made them (per department) as well as a small bit of information about their recent audits. Bravo to Massimo Dutti, for sure!

Fashion Revolution - Slave to Fashion Safia Minney Kickstarter

~ SLAVE TO FASHION BY SAFIA MINNEY ~

On the same sort of vein as the goings on of Fashion Revolution week, Safia Minney, the wonderful founder of People Tree has just opened up a Kickstarter for a new her “Slave to Fashion” project. The campaign aims to raise awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry (yes, it’s a thing). The Kickstarter aims to fund the team to produce a mini documentary series about about real men, women and children caught up in the world of slavery. Safia and her team hope to spread the awareness through schools and events to get this important matter in front of people.

And you can help! The Kickstarter is open for all and there are several different perks depending on how much you donate. The goal is £35,000 and every penny counts! Let’s stop this happening, together. 

~ SECOND-HAND SHOPPING ~

During the week of Fashion Revolution, I picked up two new items from a charity shop! An awesome, fitted and belted, zip up utility dress which has a really nice sporty shape to it. I’m absolutely obsessed. It’s definitely one of the first uniform pieces I’ve ever bought, but I think that makes it even better – trying something new is always fun. I also picked up a new blouse (I’m basically a blouseaholic) which has embroidered details and a really pointy collar to it.

I picked up these two pieces from a Longfield charity shop in the Cotswolds. They have quite a few shops dotted around and it all goes to a great cause for the area, and the prices seem to be pretty decent too. For the dress (which was basically brand new) and the blouse, I only spent £12! Bargain, in my mind 🙂


What did you do to support Fashion Revolution this year? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How To Support Fashion Revolution Day… 18th – 24th April

By April 17, 2016 Ethical

So as you will know from the past couple of years, I’m a big supporter of Fashion Revolution, so this is just a quick reminder for those of you who are new around here (or just new to Fashion Revolution Day in general)… it’s also a great way to refresh your mind on how to support the campaign even if you’ve joined in before…

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

On the 24th April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. The campaign and it’s supporters believe that 1,134 is too many people to lose from the planet in one factory on one terrible day to not stand up and demand change.

On 24 April every year, Fashion Revolution Day brings people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes. Fashion needs to become a force for good. The aim is to transform the fashion industry into a transparent one and that all starts with the question… who made my clothes?

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

One of the main ways to get involved is through social media, asking the all important #whomademyclothes hashtag. Send a picture or selfie of your clothes, inside out, with the label showing and tweet the brand, to ask who made it. Keep trying if you don’t receive an answer – it should be an easy question to answer for all brands, no matter how big or small. Here’s an example tweet (click to use it!)…


I’m [name] and I want to thank the people who made my [clothes] Hi @ [brand] #whomademyclothes? @Fash_Rev


If you’re a blogger, then make use of the resources on the Fashion Revolution site to make up your own images for your blog and social media. Spread the word to as many of your followers as possible!

How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

If you’re out and about shopping over the next week (and well… anytime), make sure to hit up your local charity, vintage and second hand shops! Don’t be scared… just go in, take a look and save some money! Change your mindset… think about where your clothes are coming from and how they effect the world we’re living in, and the people in it. Don’t buy something just because it’s cheap – think about the alternatives. DIY and revamping is also included! It all counts.


TDP Archive: The Importance of Second Hand Shopping // Starting An Ethical Wardrobe // Ethical Directory


How to Support Fashion Revolution Day - April 18th - 24th 2016

One of the biggest and most important things to do is… educate yourself! Learn more about why these sorts of issues are effecting the fashion industry. If you wear clothes, then you should know about wear they come from and what happens after we let them go, right? Right. One of the best documentaries that I can personally recommend, is The True Cost. I’ve written about it before, but I don’t mind bringing it up again. Please watch it and let me know what you learnt!



Reading Material: The Label Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story // Rana Plaza // The Plastic Age


Let me know if you get any responses from your favourite brands in the comments! Let’s do this together!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Traid #SecondHandFirst Week 2015

By November 23, 2015 Ethical, Fashion

As you will have gathered over the past few months on this blog, I’m a huge advocate for second-hand shopping. Ever since I picked up a turquoise floral dress from a charity shop when I was about seven, I’ve been in love with the idea of recycling clothes and keeping them in the world for longer, because, why not? When I found out about the Traid #SecondHandFirst week, I knew I had to write up a little something-something to share…

2nd Hand First ootds


SECOND-HAND OUTFITS: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6


TRAID is a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. We turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes. It is a circular and sustainable approach to the problems of clothes waste tackling disposal, production and consumption.”

The point of this week (23rd – 29th November 2015) is to raise awareness of the power of second-hand shopping. It’s a chance to get more people on board with the idea and let people know that it’s more than just old dirty clothes in a dingy little charity shop – it’s a chance to recycle clothes that are perfectly usable and stop them from ending up on landfill sites. Traid want as many people as they can to make a pledge to source their wardrobe with second-hand clothing, whether that’s vintage, hand-me-downs, charity shop donated or re-vamped one-offs.

2nd Hand First Pledge

~ TAKE THE PLEDGE ~ FOLLOW @TRAID ~

I’ve commited to sourcing 50% of wardrobe second-hand, just like Susie Lau (Style Bubble) and I’m sure, many other people. You don’t need to commit as much as that (you can commit more if you like!) but setting yourself a little target can really make you more motivated to becoming a savvy shopper – thinking more about being ethical and sustainable, rather than being splurgey and spendy. The outfits in the first image are all outfits featuring second-hand items so yes, you can still be stylish and shop second-hand. We just need to all start proving it!


How much of your wardrobe will you commit to sourcing second-hand? Have you already taken the pledge? Let me know your thoughts on second-hand shopping in the comments!


P.S If you’re in the UK on Saturday November 28th, please pick up a copy of The Telegraph Magazine as there maybe a little feature of my Mooi en Lief by TDP collection in it! Eeep! 🎅🎄

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Starting An Ethical Wardrobe | Sale Shoppping*

By August 25, 2015 Ethical

on a tight budgetAfter launching my Ethical Directory it seemed a bit wrong not to actually shop from it, didn’t it? So when Think Money came to me and asked whether I’d like to do a bit of sale shopping and show you how much money I saved, I thought it was the perfect time to add some more to my ethical wardrobe that is slowly starting to grow. Want to see what I picked up? Carry on reading… 🙂

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes
Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

~ THE CHALLENGE ~

The task was simple… to go sale shopping and document how much I spent and how much I saved, and it really was quite the challenge. As the benefits of ethical/sustainable fashion often make the price of items go up, it was quite tricky to buy that much with the budget that I had (£50), but I realised, that even with ethical fashion, that’s not the point.

Cutting down on the amount of clothes we buy each year is also a big factor when it comes ethical shopping, on top of making sure those items are produced and manufactured in fair working conditions and with fabrics and materials that are as eco-friendly as they can be. So with 3 items in my basket, I was quite chuffed that I was able to support two brands and the people who made the items.

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

~ ASOS AFRICA TROUSERS ~

The first piece that I knew I had to pick up was this pair of ASOS Africa trousers. You may recognise the print as I have already got the matching blouse (you can see me wearing it here and here). I loved the print so much that I knew I needed these to cover up my legs! They’re actually a crepe material which is slightly odd but they’re still super lovely. You can read more about ASOS Africa here, in case you missed it! They were £16 and are going to make a lovely addition to my wardrobe!


Sale Price – £16.00 // Original Price – £45.00 // How Much I Saved – £29.00

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

~ ZANDRA RHODES CUBE T-SHIRT ~

The next piece I knew I had to pick up was this oversized top from the “Zandra Rhodes with People Tree” collection. The fact that it was Zandra Rhodes did pull me in a bit more than it should have, but so did the price. On sale it was only £16, so in terms of an ethical and fair-trade item of clothing, it was quite a good deal.

It’s a sort of oversized style top that has quite large, almost batwing, sleeves with this abstract print which reminds me of a mix between a rocket ship and a satellite floating in space. I love these sorts of prints and colours as they mix really well with things like my KENZO shorts (second-hand, woop woop).


Sale Price – £16.00 // Original Price – £40.00 // How Much I Saved – £24.00

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

Ethical Fashion Sale Shopping - ASOS Africa & People Tree Zandra Rhodes

~ LOVE CHARMS NECKLACE ~

Lastly but definitely not least, is this gorgeous little necklace, also from People Tree. I thought it would look perfect with a necklace I have from Accessorize as it has very similar beading and colours. The beads are all glass so it’s actually a lot more sturdy than it may look. I also really like the little “PT” symbol and bird which sit just in the middle. It’s going to be the perfect little layering necklace and a nice reminder that I’m supporting a good cause.

It was made by TARA, a fair-trade group working with artisans in India. TARA has it’s own collection of jewellery with People Tree, all of which are lovely and delicate. What do you think?


Sale Price – £6.00 // Original Price – £14.00 // How Much I Saved – £8.00

I saved… £61.00 in total!

So yes, I saved myself quite a lot pennies didn’t I? Of course with brands like People Tree it’s nice to support them fully, but when you’re a teen like me, or a student, or even if you’re just on a tight budget, saving yourself some money can be a real big help, especially when you want to focus on creating an ethical wardrobe.

I’m chuffed with my purchases and I hope you are too! Let  me know in the comments what you’ve bought in the sales recently! 🙂

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Think Money. I was sent £50 to purchase whatever I want. All opinions are 100% honest. You can read my full disclaimer, here.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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