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Sustainable Alternatives to Leather | Paguro Upcycle*

By May 10, 2017 General

An area of ethics and sustainability that I haven’t quite cracked on my personal journey, is where to stand with leather. If you’ve already made the choice with your food to become a vegetarian or a vegan with your diet, then it’s likely that your opinions with leather will line up with what you eat. But for those of us who haven’t made that choice (for whatever reason that may be – we all have our reasons), I believe leather in fashion is quite a confusing subject.

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


WHAT I WORE: Floral Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Silver Blouse (Charity Shop) // Floral Pleated Skirt (Charity Shop) // Reina Dual Purpose Vegan Handbag (Paguro)* // Sunglasses (Unknown) // Wanderlust 101 Boots (Dr Martens)*


I believe for most when we think about leather, we think about quality. Words like ‘long-lasting’ are associated with our impression of leather and what it brings to the table. However, unfortunately, with recent times and the speed of the industry, fast-fashion has given us the ability to consume and own leather without there being a lot of quality to it or without it really being long-lasting. To Die For by Lucy Siegle is a book which has a fascinating focus and chapter about leather in it – page 201 states that around 14.8 billion pairs of shoes were manufactured globally, eleven years ago in 2006, with nearly 5 billion of them being designed and produced with leather uppers.

As we’ve started to become accustomed to easily accessible leather, we’ve started to forget leather’s impact on the world. Cattle farming is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases (another quote from To Die For) which is a staggering number to take into account when the majority of leather produced for the fashion industry is taken from cows. Not only that, in India, which is responsible for 8% of the world’s leather production, the country is struggling with the side effects of pollution. A report by National Geographic shows that samples of water from the Ganges are high in Chromium, which can cause lung cancer, kidney and liver damage and other concerning health conditions, not only for leather tannery workers themselves but also for the communities in surrounding areas.


The bag that I’m wearing (and quite in love with) is made from 75% recycled materials, or, recycled rubber inner-tubes to be precise. It’s vegan and has been produced with ethics in mind by Paguro’s partner, Sapu. And if it looks a little different to the modelled version on Paguro’s site – it’s because no inner-tube is the same which makes every piece a little bit more unique.


sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY BAG? ~
Sapu – a group of artists based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga. They are made up of a collective of creative people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists. Moreover, the members are united by a respect for their natural environment. They use unwanted man-made materials, transforming these into jewellery and accessories.


Of course, there are some sustainable values to leather. The leather products that I own – shoes, a jacket and two handbags – will stay in my wardrobes for years to come. If I maintain their longevity and care for them like prize possessions then the sustainability factor will most definitely be put to use over shoes and bags which will most likely become damaged and worse for wear over time due to their less robust materials. Overall, I’m personally more comfortable in buying second-hand leather; I’m not directly contributing to the current leather industry and I’m being even more sustainable by reusing something that is already there.

If the working conditions, ethics of animals and polluting processes of leather aren’t all that attractive to you then luckily, there are alternatives and if you haven’t got the hint from the images within this post, then I’m here to tell you about one of them. I discovered Paguro on Twitter and was instantly intrigued. They use man-made materials but they’re recycled and/or off-cuts, so once again; there’s no direct impact being made.


It is essential to us that the principal element of each of our products is made from a recycled or reclaimed material. The majority of our products are made using the recycled rubber inner tubes of bus and lorry tyres. The rubber is sourced directly from transportation companies in Central Java and is transported to our designers’ workshop in the town of Salatiga. All of the inner tubes are recycled and have reached the end of their useful life. 

Where are the recycled materials sourced from?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


Our production processes are focused on minimising waste. The tyre inner tubes and bike chains, which we use throughout a range of jewellery and accessories, require little work beyond a thorough cleaning. The makers are determined to use as little water as possible in the cleaning process. Whilst there are inevitably offcuts from the production of our inner tubes bags and jewellery, they can generally be incorporated into the designs for smaller products such as our cuffs or earrings. Any material which can not be used in this way is thinly sliced and used in place of cord for our product tags.

What goes into making the recycled materials usable? How sustainable is this process?

All of the information I received from Paguro was clear, thorough and concise which excites me because it shows how dedicated they are to their work both in ethics and in sustainability. Their rubber designs will end up lasting far longer than leather too and if you want to keep it in top condition, very little work goes into the process. I can also assure you that the lining is just as cool; mine is striped.


We have taken the decision to focus on the use of recycled and reclaimed materials which require minimal processing and we do so for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I feel that recycled materials to have a greater degree of individuality and character in comparison to synthetic materials. For instance, the inner tubes carry patterns which follow the treads of the tyres. These patterns are all distinctive, making each of our products unique.

Secondly, I think recycled materials pose more of challenge creatively. The designer is faced with constraints in terms of the size and amount of the material available and needs to adapt their ideas accordingly. I believe that this leads to a more interesting final product.

Finally, using the materials in their original form is generally better for the environment. Any additional processing with inevitably carry environmental considerations, which I would sooner avoid.

What are your thoughts on vegan leathers?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

Although recycled rubber isn’t the only alternative, my eyes have been opened to a similar feeling, similarly long-lasting option over leather. Pinatex is next on my list to inspect – a leather made from pineapple. See? The possibilities are pretty endless if you really want to try something new.

What leather alternatives do you know of? What are your thoughts on leather? Let me know in the comments!

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Paguro. Read my full disclaimer here.)

  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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Illustrated My Style: 2016 Outfits

By December 23, 2016 My Style

An idea planted in my mind after my latest post, so I decided to run with it. 2016 has been a year of rekindling my love for digital illustration. I’m quite happy with where I’m at in terms of my signature style, whether that’s in terms of drawing or even the outfits I’ve been wearing this year, so, I thought I’d combine the two and do a small recap of the looks I’ve been gravitating towards, in the form of some fashion outfit illustrations!

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog

~ WOODLAND BOHEMIAN DREAMING ~

One of my first outfits of 2016 was probably the start of defining my aesthetic for the year. I thought perhaps it would dip in and out of this and that but this dress has made quite a few appearances more than this simple two-piece look. Seeing as it wasn’t an ethical or conscious purchase, I’m justifying it by knowing that I most definitely have worn it for 30 wears and I will continue to do so until it’s either in need of repair, a revamp or a trip to a charity shop.

I’m also happy to say that my Dr Martens have had plenty of outings too, and I had them repaired instead of receiving a new pair when the zips were starting to fail me. I would like to try out the vegan Dr Martens, but I’d also like to know more about their production before doing so. Although they might not be produced of leather, plastics and synthetic materials aren’t necessarily any better due to the chemicals used and released in the manufacturing process.

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog

~ ACCEPTING CHANGE // SARDINIA, ITALY ~

A similar style dress with splits and a detailed print was featured in my blog post about accepting change and curating a personal archive. I also wore my DIY and revamped faux leather jacket in this post too. I’d say for the majority of the second half of 2016, I was wearing at least one or two, second-hand items per outfit, so for this one, I opted for layering a floral blouse underneath the dress. For those with a slimmer figure and for those who don’t usually wear a low neckline, layering blouses is what I recommend for you! I also wore my Dr Martens here too.


You may have taken a look at this outfit post rather recently, but I’ve definitely worn it more than that one photo shoot. I love the colour blocking element to it and the fact that everything but the shoes I was wearing (another pair of my trusty DMs) were second-hand or vintage. A lot of you liked the look of my pink turtleneck (in fact, I believe one of you even went out and scouted down your own second-hand version), so I’ll definitely make a show of it in 2017 too! And of course, the years after that, and for however long I can manage to squeeze into it.

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog

~ SEE-THROUGH ~

This outfit went down with a warm reception. As you can tell, dresses and my calf height Dr Martens are definitely a ‘Tolly trend’. This dress was an unexpected jumble sale delight. Unfortunately I now don’t have it on me as it wasn’t really on my mind when leaving the earthquake zones (let me know if you want me to write a piece on living with a temporary capsule wardrobe), but I know once it’s back in my possession I’ll be styling it up once again. In fact I think it would look great with the aforementioned pink turtleneck. Also – sheer clothes are really fun to draw.

What have you been wearing recently? Which is your favourite illustration? Let me know in the comments! 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Sardegna, Italy*

By November 27, 2016 My Style

Like every outfit post it seems, it’s been a while since my last. Quite honestly, my appearance hasn’t been on top form over the past few months because I’ve been living in a tent, out of a dust covered house and now a very limited amount of clothes as we start exploring in Sardegna (Sardinia). But I thought I’d take a moment to share with you something I’ve been wearing a lot recently. You may notice I’ve worn the top half of this outfit in photos already but an outfit isn’t much of an outfit without something on the bottom!

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy


WHAT I WORE: Yellow Leather Jacket €35 (Jumble Sale) // Pink Turtleneck £5 (Charity Shop) // Navy Satin Trousers €5 (Jumble Sale) // Dr Martens Pascal Mirror Shift Suede Boots (Mastershoe-MyShu)*


Looks familiar, huh? It probably looks familiar to my whole family seeing as I’ve worn this outfit about 500 times since I bought all of the pieces. It’s a colour blocking outfit and it was even more block-y when I was wearing it with my white platform heels, but I’ve refined it now which means it blends out in the right places. The majority of it as you will see above, is second-hand. Everything other than the Dr Martens and one of my rings are previously owned which means I’m happy to promote the whole look.

And luckily, even though I was wearing it with a winter coat over the top at home in England, the weather here in Sardinia means I can wear it with everything on show. That’s one thing about winter I dislike – sometimes you’ll be wearing an outfit you love, but you have to cover it up with a coat or jacket that isn’t quite as exciting.

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy
ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

Speaking of jackets, I’ve worn my yellow leather number so much more than I expected myself to. One of my biggest concerns before purchasing it was ‘What will I wear it with?’, but it seems I can wear it with quite a lot. I haven’t had the chance to wear it with a dress yet, but I know with the right shoes and accessories, it could work well with something floatier than what I’m wearing here.

The trousers are probably one of my favourite purchases of late. The satin texture is surprisingly wearable, and as I mentioned above about the block outfit blending in certain parts, the sheen and shine to them ties in my Dr Martens. There’s something really satisfying about the contrasting colour of the rest of the outfit, tied in with the shoes and trousers. I’ve yet to wear the matching suit jacket as I was about to adjust the shoulders before another earthquake hit… but you just know I’ll be shooting an outfit as soon as it’s ready to wear.

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy


Sunglasses €2 (Jumble Sale) // Middle Finger Ring (Unknown) // Index Finger Ring (Arezzo D’oro Diamond Cut Stacker Ring – Gemporia)* // Ear Cuff (Claire’s)


If you read my second hand shopping post, not only would you have seen the top half of this outfit before, you would have seen my jewellery and sunglasses. I’m a very simple jewellery person. In fact, I’m so simple that I now hardly ever take my rings off. The only real things I change up are whether I’m wearing a watch or whether I have an ear cuff on (which I really wish was a real piercing. I was planning on getting my helix done, but I haven’t had the time yet). This recent discovery in semi-permanent jewellery has made me question why people worry about mixing silver and gold. My watch is gold but everything else I wear is silver. Mix it up! Forget the norm! Wear what you wanna’ wear. We haven’t got time for rules.

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

ethical fashion blogger outfit ideas - sardegna italy

I’ve come to the conclusion that my Dr Martens are a fairly sustainable purchase. They’re not the most ethical from what I know, and there are definitely better options (even from Dr Martens themselves with their vegan and Made in England collections), but if they’re going to be lasting me years and I’m only buying a pair every once in a while, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’m always talking about how we have to take small personal steps to becoming more ethical and sustainable in our lives, so I’m going to admit that this is a small step I have yet to take.

What have you been wearing recently? How would you style a yellow jacket? What’s your small step you’ve yet to take? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: See Through*

By September 13, 2016 My Style

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a fully fledged outfit post, My Style or ‘editorial‘, so before I crack on with fashion week content, I thought I’d keep you in the loop with what I’ve been wearing recently. I’ve been rediscovering old gems in my wardrobe, starting to transition into autumn and have been picking up some more second-hand treasures…

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping


WHAT I WORE: Mesh Grid Top (Blue Vanilla)* // Grey Sheer Hem Slip Dress €6.00 (Jumble Sale) // Shark Purse (ASOS) // 1B99 Dr Martens (Mastershoe-MyShu)* // Rings (Various


The amount of colour I wear has definitely dropped by a fair amount in recent times, so I find myself gravitated towards darker pieces that are usually in minimalistic shapes, like this slip dress that I spotted on the back of a door at a jumble sale. I’m so glad it caught in the corner of my eye because it’s something I never knew I needed but is almost something I’ve unknowingly been looking for.

I think the location of its original home put me off at first (an old lady’s living room – so it was probably owned by an elderly woman before me), but I think that’s something that you have to look past when it comes to secondhand shopping, because really, if I hadn’t had mentioned it was secondhand – I totally could have pulled it off as a high street piece, right?

There’s just something so effortless about being able to literally slip it on, whether that’s on its own or layered on top of something…

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping


location

  LOCATION: Senigallia, IT  🇮🇹


…which is what I did, this time around, with an item I haven’t worn in a while. Due to its almost plastic texture, I don’t wear this mesh grid top very often, but I’ve kept it in my wardrobe for, as I mentioned, layering. The dress is slightly lower in the neck than I’d usually go, so if I’m in the need for covering up, adding a thin layer underneath which doesn’t take away from its fit can be quite useful. I also don’t want anything to take away from the straps, because they’re doubled up and it adds that touch of ‘sophistication’, I suppose.

I didn’t go completely colourless either! I know most people associate pastels with spring, but in my opinion, icy, cool tones work really well in the cooler seasons too… not that it’s particularly cool in Italy right now; I think my frizzy hair is a testament to the humidity!

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

my style ootd fashion blog how to style a sheer dress - asos dr martens second hand shopping

I believe my way of accessorising this outfit is what caused people to stare at me in what I would class as a fairly ‘normal’ outfit (but who cares about normal, eh?). Yes, that is indeed a shark shaped purse. I’m not sure if I’ve featured it on my blog, but it was a gift from my brother and is one of those more wearable novelty items, even if it can barely fit my essentials in it. The grey matches up with the mesh floral print within the dresses hem, and the silver matches my rings because I’m officially a big ring person.

The ring on my left middle finger is now a permanent ring… I even have a tan line forming, and I’m quite intrigued to know how long it will be staying put for! Years, maybe?! My Dr Marten’s are also a fairly permanent fixture on my feet because the weather is cooler now, so I can get away with wearing them without my feet boiling out. Sad news, though; there’s a small bit of stitching which has come apart on the right zip, which is a shame because I haven’t even had them for a year yet! The first Dr Martens fault I’ve ever had! I’m definitely going to be getting in touch because that’s obviously a little sad.

How would you have worn this dress? What have you been wearing recently? Let me know in the comments!


Have you checked out my #16in16 feature yet? A campaign by Take Part all about what it’s like to be a 16-year-old in 2016. Take a look!
I’ll be back soon with, erm, what I think is going to be an LFW illustration every day! We’ll see how that goes… 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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Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

By June 12, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle, My Style

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ‘making your mark’ or leaving your personal imprint in the world, in terms of how we look back on ourselves from a certain point in our lives. That sounds a bit odd, but the idea came to me when my dad stated something a while back over dinner…

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice


WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (Peacocks – old)* // Floral Blouse (Jumble Sale) // Bohemian Maxi Dress (Pull & Bear) // 1B99 Dr Martens (Mastershoe My-Shu)* // Rings (Various Stores)


“It’s funny really, when you’re older and we look back, we won’t have many pictures of you in summer dresses, will we Tolly?” is what he said.

What he said really stuck with me, but not for the wrong reasons (just in case you’re worried Papa Posh!). It got me thinking about the idea of our future and past selves and how in the digital age of instantly uploadable photographs and Facebook ‘Memories’, we’re always looking at what we were like then and now, and how it will be so much easier to compare our past selves and cringe over decisions we made ‘back in the day’ when we have this back log of data and endless streams of photos and saved moments in the future.

What my dad was saying was true – when people look back on my younger self, there won’t be any floral dresses or what some might label as ‘girly’ photos of me, because I’m just not that kind of person. I’m not a tomboy or anything like that (I mean, I’m wearing a dress in these photos and my blog is covered in pink and purple – ugh, *eye roll* 🙄 to stereotypes) but I’ve never been the average kind of gal to prance around in little ankle socks and daisy chain printed skirts.

Having the means to digitalise memories and have them saved onto your laptops and phones (or ‘in the cloud’) means we can see all of the changes and transitions happening, and I think what we need to do is accept that. Things do change. We all change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

For people my age, this is probably one of the hardest things to accept. The idea that we don’t stay as this set person and we don’t always end up being the person we thought we’d be. We can try our best to mould ourselves into what we want to be, but there’s always going to be things that we can’t help doing differently. The reason I’m connecting the dot between this and what my dad said, is because I evolve constantly. I don’t wear summery items of clothing because I’m wearing faux-leather jackets and utility dresses one minute and then blouses and bohemian dresses the next. That’s part of becoming who I am – and part of that is realising, I won’t be able to look back on myself and see this one type of person. No matter how hard I try to create this one aesthetic, there will always be multiple, because I’m still changing.

As a blogger and someone who uses social media rather often, I know what it means to be putting out this specific persona and display of yourself. You probably do too, whether it’s because of what you’re posting or what others are posting. How many Instagram accounts do you go on which are neatly laid out and in a specific colour scheme? Dozens, maybe hundreds, probably… and that’s great; it’s creative and uniform and part of art, but do you know what the biggest struggle is when you start to do that? Adapting to change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

Accepting that change and realising that looking back on what you were then compared to now, is so important. I was listening to a podcast recently (Ladies Who Lunch, if you’re curious) and one of the ladies (who lunches, heh – Cat, I believe) said that she – as a YouTuber and online influencer – is glad that she has the ability to look back and see where she came from, because it’s an archive of her life and her journey.

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

In response to my dad’s statement – you’re right. You won’t see many pictures of me in fluttery dresses and cardigans, but what you will see, is a timeline of the person I’ll become and a record of what not wearing those summery prints, means to me.


Do you find it hard to accept the fact you aren’t the same person you were last year? Are you happy with your personal archive so far? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Turning Sixteen…

By May 19, 2016 My Style

Hello during this random blog post, the month and day of which coincide numerically with my expulsion from a uterus… yes, it’s my birthday! I’m officially sixteen… throw streamers, shoot out the confetti, pop the champagne (wait – can I drink that yet? 🤔) and get the balloons out because yeah, it’s my “sweet sixteenth”. Crazy, huh? I wonder if any of you have been here from the beginning? Let me know in the comments how long you’ve been reading! 1⃣6⃣ Today’s post is a little update! Hold on tight…

turning sixteen - ootd teen fashion blogger dr martens pull & bear

turning sixteen - ootd teen fashion blogger dr martens pull & bear


WHAT I WORE: Floral Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Good Morning Sweatshirt (Wildfox)* // Blouse (Stradivarius) // Mom Jeans (Pull & Bear) // Mono Pascal Boots (Dr Martens) // Sunglasses (SCOUT)


Recently I’ve been having a bit of self-doubt, especially when it comes to my blog, so even though I know I shouldn’t, I’m going to apologise for the lack of content coming your way. I’m the sort of person who only really likes to put their best foot forward, or in this case, their best posts forward, so when I’m not especially proud of what I’m writing, I end up not publishing anything for a while. Luckily, I’m starting to realise that, that’s okay, but I just needed you to know, in case you’re wondering where I am at.

It always feels as if I have a lot more going on behind the scenes of my blog, rather than actually on it. For example, I just signed off the start of a new documentary style project that I’m going to be a part of (I can’t say much more just in case 1 – I’m not allowed, and 2 – something changes) and I’m still collaborating with different brands on upcoming features… it’s just the bit in between that I get a stuck with.

turning sixteen - ootd teen fashion blogger dr martens pull & bear

I know exactly the type of posts I want to put out, but it’s coming up with the individual ideas every four, or however many days. I also have to take into account that I’ve changed a lot in the past couple of years. My likes and dislikes have changed meaning that how I want to come across has been altered. At the moment I’m big on laid-back, carefree photography (inspired by film and polaroids) so my photoshopped profile pictures and header images don’t quite showcase that, do they?

Honestly, doing a whole overhaul of my blog has been on my mind recently… there are just several things in the way of stopping me, like formatting of old posts etc. I want readers to come to my blog and see who I am now rather than who I was before. I want to get rid of wishlist style posts and solely focus on my own, unique content. That‘s the dream.

But we can’t forget our origins, can we? Having all of my old posts creates an archive of all of the adventures and stories that have turned me into who I am, so stripping them away doesn’t show all of the hard work… it’s a real dilemma. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, right now, I think I need some time to figure everything out. I absolutely, one hundred percent, no doubt about it, want to keep my blog going, but I need to figure out how to keep it going.

So in the words of Tilly from Miranda; bear with, bear with, bear with.

turning sixteen - ootd teen fashion blogger dr martens pull & bear

turning sixteen - ootd teen fashion blogger dr martens pull & bear


OOTD My Style Outfit Seventies Bohemian ASOS Dress 1B99 Dr MartensBIRTHDAY PLAYLIST:
Take It Or Leave It (Cage The Elephant) 🎶
Whistle For The Choir (The Fratellis) 🎶
Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare (Matt and Kim) 🎶
Everyday (The Tragic Thrills) 🎶


I didn’t mean for this post to be quite so dramatic and rather depressing, but it’s actually lifted a weight off my shoulders, writing everything out for you to know. Today I’m going to relax and enjoy the day with my family (this will be my last birthday as an aunt to one – my next niece/nephew is on the way – woo!) and celebrate the fact that I’m still happy and healthy and going strong; because that’s all that matters, right?

Thank you for sticking with me over these past four (well, five birth) years, seeing me change and grow. It’s quite an exciting prospect that one day I’ll be able to look back on it all and see how I evolved into who I’m going to become. The great thing is, that even in these moments of doubt, I know I have you guys to spur me on!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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4 Years of Blogging | When Do I Blog?

By March 29, 2016 General

I only just remembered late last night that today marked my 4th blogging year. How crazy is that? In celebration, I thought I’d keep up the tradition of these what, when, how and why questions that I’ve been doing every year to mark the occasion. Last year it was howwith the year before that being whySo for the 4th year, in celebration of my of my 694th blog post (yikes!), I’m talking about when…

blogging advice - when do i blog - blogging tips - 4 years of tolly dolly posh teen blogger

~ #1: WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT ~

The most important time to blog is when I feel like it. Honestly, there are so many times when you’ll find yourself thinking “I should probably put up a post today” but not actually feel like doing it. Blogging takes a lot of effort, especially when you’ve set your own personal standards and goals, so it’s important not to forget to just enjoy the process.

It’s easier to forget this when you’re working with brands in my opinion because you have this added pressure to get out a post for their sample or sponsored campaign as soon as possible. Try to work with brands that value your time and acknowledge the fact that you can’t always get a blog post up within 10 days of receiving an item.

To be honest with you, my favourite blog posts are ones that come from the heart and are spontaneous. They may be written at eleven o’clock at night and be filled with random words that make no sense within the context but they usually read a lot more naturally; just like you’re talking to a friend.


TOP TIP: Write when you can but if inspiration hits, write as soon as possible, because your words will flow write (I honestly accidentally wrote this, but it turns out it fits as a nice pun) from the source – your mind and your fingertips. If you feel pressured, press down on the breaks and ask yourself “Who’s keeping track of when my last post was?” because most people are just here to read, not to keep track of the date on each post heading.


blogging advice - when do i blog - blogging tips - 4 years of tolly dolly posh teen blogger

~ #2: WHEN I NEED TO ~


Dioon (Vagabond)* // Wanderlust 1460 (Dr Martens)* // Violet Holographic Pascal & Virginia Leather 1B99 (Dr Martens @ Mastershoe-MyShu)*


Although I said that it’s best to work with brands who acknowledge your time, sometimes you actually have to work to a deadline due to certain terms in the campaign. As a fashion blogger, I mainly get asked if I can post a sample feature within a certain amount of weeks, but sometimes it’s a little tighter than that, so blog posts need to go up at certain times.

Technically, it’s all part of the business side of blogging. When you feature an item or site on your blog, you’re becoming a virtual billboard for brands and companies, big and small. Some brands will need features to go up within a certain month due to seasons and trends changing, or due to the fact that their product has limited stock. They are all big factors to take in to consideration, so if they haven’t given you a time to get things published by, make sure to ask!


TOP TIP: Even if you don’t think there would be a deadline, ask just in case. The worst thing is being chased up by a brand multiple times a week (or even day!) asking for the link to the post they’ve been waiting for. Get things written up, send them drafts and keep them up to date with frequent, friendly emails.


blogging advice - when do i blog - blogging tips - 4 years of tolly dolly posh teen blogger

~ #3: WHEN I CAN ~

Now, now, now… there’s a big difference between when you feel like it and when you can, because unfortunately, not all of us can be working on our blogs 24/7 (unless you’re actually a full-time blogger… in which case, good on you!) and not all of us can keep our blogs as our main priority.

If you feel pressure to post when you just physically can’t, then take a break and refresh yourself. When blogging becomes a chore when you simply want it to be just a hobby, it takes all the fun out of it and you start to forget why you blog. Hit the refresh button and reevaluate. Nobody’s going to point out the fact you haven’t blogged in a while, so take a breather. If you can’t, you can’t.


TOP TIP: When blogging becomes a task, switch off for a while and think about why you’re really doing it. If it turns out that you’re forcing it and you’d rather stop for now… then that’s okay! If you realise that you’re just in an inspirational rut, that’s also okay. Relax, people!


blogging advice - when do i blog - blogging tips - 4 years of tolly dolly posh teen blogger

~ #4: IN THE MORNING ~

I actually tend to write most of my blog posts at night time (just due to the fact that I do other things in the day so I don’t have time) but I actually really recommend writing blog posts earlier on in the day before you start getting influenced by new ideas. It’s especially great if you think of something to write about the day before but can’t get to your laptop straight away… you can just crack on when you’ve finished checking your emails etc.

It also leaves your evenings for just relaxing and doing whatever you want (which can of course include blogging). Also, for photography reasons, lighting is always better in the mornings throughout every season, so the earlier you get up, the more time you have to snap away! That’s if you don’t have soft-boxes of course… they are life savers in the winter!


TOP TIP: To maintain your focus, install a browser extension like Timewarp that keeps timers on tabs and certain websites to stop you from getting distracted for too long. This is great for any form of computer work really… so is f.lux, which is a piece of software that adjusts your laptop screen to the light outside. My eyes have never felt so good sitting at my computer for extended amounts of time!


Thank you so much for all the support these past four years! It’s been a load of fun and I’ve gained so many opportunities all thanks to you guys! *group hug*

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Wishlist: Patchwork Denim, Red, White & Blue*

By March 10, 2016 Wishlist

I haven’t put up a wishlist style post in a while, so seeing as a new season is about to set in, I thought I’d put one up. I’ve been seeing a lot of patchwork denim around the place as well as the still ever growing trend of embroidered badges so that’s basically what this consists of. You can see which are my favorites below…

SS16 Trends Wishlist Patchwork Denim - ASOS Dr Martens River Island SPRINGTIME


Heels (River Island @ ASOS) // Surrender Badge (Rosie Wonders @ ASOS) // Purse (Springtime)* // Clutch (SPRINGTIME)* // Skirt (ASOS) // Rose Badge (Rosie Wonders @ ASOS) // Dr Martens (Dr Martens) // Wallet (SPRINGTIME)* // Pinafore (ASOS)


I’m ever so slowly becoming a shoe person, and I’m also ever so slowly starting to fall in love with heels (eek!) and this combination of a shoe, heel, denim and patchwork has me with heart shaped eyes. I’m not sure the boot style would actually fit my very slim figure though… which is a shame because they really are quite delightful.

To match those, this dress and and this skirt would work perfectly. I’ve actually had my eye on that patchwork denim pinafore for a while now and I’m thinking it would look pretty great this summer with a crisp white blouse (which I’m now an owner of – it’s a Stradivarius number) underneath and then quite possibly a cool pair of Dr Martens on my feet… these Valentine’s pair are pretty funky, right?

In terms of the accessories, like I mentioned, it seems that embroidered patches aren’t going anywhere soon and I’m pretty happy about that… did I mention that my socks come with a free embroidered badge, yet? 

I’ve included a few SPRINGTIME pieces there too because I love what they’re brand is all about. You may have noticed the new addition to my sidebar, which has a handy link straight to their site. When the lovely team got in touch with me, I knew I had to work with them because they have such an awesome message about achieving your dreams and spreading that passion to everyone around you. I’m all for it and the fact that they’re pieces are all very denim orientated… well it makes them that much better.


What have you been wishing for recently? Let me know in the comments!

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SPRINGTIME. All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest. You can read my full disclaimer here.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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