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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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Pen to Paper Interview with… Heather Knight of Fashion Revolution

By April 4, 2017 Ethical, Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a feature on TDP which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

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

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


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


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

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


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

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


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


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

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


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

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


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

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


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

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


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


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

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


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

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


(Images courtesy of Fashion Revolution)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How Millennials and Generation Z Can Become More Ethical

By March 21, 2017 Ethical

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

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution


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


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

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

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

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

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

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

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

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

Change your mindset…

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

Help others change their mindset too…

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

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

Take part in Fashion Revolution…

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

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

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

Get answers…

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

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

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

Donate to those who are helping directly…

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

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

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why YouTube Haul Videos Don’t Have to Be Problematic

By March 12, 2017 Ethical, YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

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


~ CLOTHES SWAP ~


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

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

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

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

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


~ HAULTERNATIVE ~


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

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

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

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


~ SUBSCRIBE TO FASHION REVOLUTION ~


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

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

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


~ MOST WORN ~


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

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By March 2, 2017 Ethical

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

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

#1 – Cotton has a cost…

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

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

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

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

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

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#2 – We need to learn more about sustainability…

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

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

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

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

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

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

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

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

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

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

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

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

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

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


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


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By February 15, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle, Ethical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Depop & eBay…

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

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

Jumble, Garage & Carboot Sales…

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

Clothes Swaps…

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

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


~ HOW I UPCYCLED WITH DYLON DYES ~


Friends & Family…

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

Upcycle it!

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

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

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By February 8, 2017 Ethical

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

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

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

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

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

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

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

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion


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


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

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

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

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

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

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

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

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

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

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

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

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

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


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


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Feminist T-Shirts That Were Actually Made by Feminists

By February 2, 2017 Ethical

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

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


PEOPLE TREE ~ EQUALITY T-SHIRT ~ £32.00

Image via People Tree, edited by me.


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


MY SISTER ~ FEMINIST T-SHIRT ~ $22.00

Image via My Sister, edited by me.


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

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

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


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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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