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ethical and sustainable fashion

How to Use Instagram for Sustainable Inspiration

By February 23, 2018 Ethical

As much as algorithms seem to be driving a lot of the Instagram community up the wall recently – yes, we all know, it was a far better place when posts appeared chronologically – for me personally, it’s actually fast becoming one of my favourite platforms for a multitude of reasons. So today, to mix things up from my usual content, I thought I would share some ways to enjoy ‘IG’ as much as I am as well as a few recommendations of who you should be following…

Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow

Your vibe attracts your tribe…

Especially when you’re introducing yourself to sustainability and ethics, you can become bogged down in the nitty-gritty of it all and often what you really need is a nice, healthy dosage of positivity! 

Following individuals on Instagram who spread positive messages about good work being done is a quick and easy way of educating yourself without feeling like the world is facing impending doom. 

@unwrinkling (also known as Whitney Bauck) is one of my favourite Instagram users. Her day job is focusing on sustainability with her journalistic work so she merges the two, highlighting new initiatives and innovations whilst still being relatable and sharing imagery which would be fit on any other Insta-page. She introduced me to G-STAR RAW’s latest work and for that, I am very grateful.

@storiesbehindthings is an account run by Jemma and Ella who focus mainly on vintage fashion and opening up discussions with their followers about different sustainable and ethical topics. If you’re into perfectly coordinated themes and being introduced to new brands; definitely give them a follow.

@celinecelines (Céline Semaan) is the founder of The Slow Factory and is one inspiring woman. Not only does she head-up The Slow Factory #FashionActivism brand, she is also a sustainable advocate all round, being an ambassador for the Global Fashion Exchange and founding The Library. She’s a joy to follow and you all need to learn more about her.

Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to FollowLearn more about where your clothes come from…

In my opinion, you can trust a brand when they’re openly transparent and by that I mean, more than just sharing their list of suppliers on an interactive map.

A lot of ethically focused brands will share behind the scenes information and stories about where their clothes come from and how they were made, especially on social media. Even if you haven’t ever bought from the brand, it’s one way to understand how what you wear, becomes just that. You end up getting the answer to “Who made my clothes?” before you’ve even asked it. 

@knowtheorigin‘s Instagram is a great example of this. They often share information about their travels to their garment factories as well as videos and photos to go alongside it. Know The Origin was essentially built around the idea of transparency so they’re a good place to start if you want to follow a t-shirt from factory to finished product.

@po_zu will forever be a favourite in my mind especially if you like behind the scenes of the photoshoot variety.

Don’t forget, if you want to discover more ethical brands (even if you just want to browse their Instagram feed), my brand directory is a great place to start.



Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow


Ethical and Sustainable Instagram Accounts to Follow - @tollydollyposhSaving and GIFing…

Other than following, you can also use Instagram in a variety of other ways to gain inspiration and spread the ethical message further than just your own mobile device.

Saving photos to your Saved Collections can help you decipher the sorts of styles and outfits you’re into. This allows you to work out what looks you’re still appreciating after you’ve double-tapped to give a post a like and scrolled on.

This will help the next time you’re in the mood for shopping or the next time you’re on the hunt for something new, as you’ll be able to work out more easily what might last for a long time in your wardrobe. To save a post (without anyone knowing, don’t worry) click the bookmark flag under a picture.

Making use of Instagram’s new GIPHY GIF feature is something I would advise too. Was this just an excuse to plug my stickers again? I hear you cry? Possibly, possibly. Searching terms such as ‘ethical fashion’ or ‘@tollydollyposh‘ when you’re picking something out for your next Instagram Story, is always a good call.

I can also now announce that I’ve designed a few GIFs for the wonderful @fash_rev, some of which you can see above. I’ll also be releasing a few more in the lead up to Fashion Revolution Week in April, so watch out.

Make sure to give me a follow @tollydollyposh, if you haven’t already.

How do you use Instagram for sustainable inspiration? Who should I be following? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What’s the Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion?

By January 31, 2018 Ethical

This blog post is extremely overdue. I understand that for those who are new to the concept of ethics and sustainability, understanding the differences between the two terms can be difficult – there’s even the question as to whether there even is a difference. Although this dilemma can be subjective, here’s how I define the two…

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Related Terms: Fairtrade, Fair Fashion, Cruelty-Free

1. relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.
Synonyms: moral

1. moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Synonyms: moral code, morals, morality, moral stand, moral principles, moral values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals


Ethical fashion is fashion that takes into account the morals of manufacturing. Ethical fashion is generally fashion and clothing produced with the whole production line and supply chain in mind, from cotton pickers to those who seal up, package and deliver. The belief that all workers and those affected by the production of garments should be treated equally and fairly, is the common mindset behind most ethical fashion brands.

The providing of a safe working condition, a living wage and a kind and non-abusive work environment are the usual priorities of those producing ethical alternatives to the likes of fast-fashion.

Ethical fashion avoids the use of forced, slave and child labour throughout the manufacturing process and organisations like Fairtrade International are able to help brands and companies to label and guarantee that safe and ethical practices are being put into place. Often brands don’t just ensure ethical practices but they also support and improve the livelihood of the workers they employ, especially those of which are in developing countries.

Ethical fashion can also be a term to cover cruelty-free and vegan practices, meaning that no animals are harmed or used as part of the production of clothing. An example of a vegan fabric is Peace Silk; Peace Silk is produced from moth cocoons after the moths have emerged and flown away, therefore it does not disturb or kill the moths in order to be woven into fabric.

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Related Terms: Slow Fashion, Eco Fashion, Eco-friendly, Green Fashion, Organic, Recycled, Upcycled, Second-hand, Vintage

1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
2. able to be upheld or defended.
Synonyms: viable, unceasing, imperishable, renewable, unending

1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
2. avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.


Sustainable fashion is fashion and clothing produced to last and with the environmental costs of production, in mind. Seeing as fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, sustainable fashion aims to cut down on pollution and the negative consequences fashion production has on the earth.

Not only does sustainable fashion recognise things like pollution (whether that be into the water systems, the atmosphere or the ecosystem), it also recognises the dangers of the fast-fashion business model. Sustainable fashion brands often provide less choice, choosing to focus on quality rather than quantity, making the supply chain as eco-friendly as possible. This is also known as ‘slow fashion’.

Sustainable fashion brands often use organic fabrics, avoiding the use of pesticides and synthetic materials which have a damaging effect on the environment (as well as those who live nearby to farms and factories). Organic and natural fabrics (like cotton or bamboo) are biodegradable, which means they won’t cause as much as an issue when it comes to disposing of them.

Second-hand and vintage clothing is also considered to be a part of sustainable fashion as it is a form of recycling, meaning the consumer isn’t supporting the production of new clothing.

Difference Between Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

Often both terms get combined – ethical and sustainable fashion – simply because both go hand and hand. Although certain brands often focus on one or the other more prominently, most of the time you will find that those who believe in ethics also believe in sustainability and vice versa. 

There are certain things to be aware of though, like greenwashing, for example. These terms shouldn’t be thrown around lightly for the sake of it. I wrote all about greenwashing here, so for a more in-depth look at the issue, go and take a read. However, the main takeaway is that with ethical and sustainable brands, for the most part, they will fly the ethical or sustainable flag proudly.

One way I differentiate a brand from being ethically or sustainably focused as to not, is by taking note of how openly they discuss the issues at hand. If for the most part, ethics or sustainability doesn’t seem to be their main priority, you can use that to make your decision as to whether to support them or not.

Clothing featured: Mayamiko (ethical), People Tree (ethical/sustainable), vintage Skirt (sustainable) and upcycled DIY jacket (sustainable).

Has cleared things up for you? Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Slow Fashion by Safia Minney

By July 2, 2016 Ethical

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

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

SLOW FASHION by Safia Minney

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

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

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

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

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

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

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

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

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

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

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

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

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

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

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Fashion Revolution Day – #InsideOut

By April 11, 2014 Fashion

Today I have a special post, which I really really hope you get involved with. If you don’t know, April 24th is Fashion Revolution Day which is exactly 1 year after the Rana Plaza disaster. I’m here to tell you more about the special day, and how you can get involved to raise awareness in the fashion industry…

inside out fash rev9 inside out fash rev1 inside out fash rev3What I Wore #InsideOut: Neon Embroidered Blouse with Drop Hem (ASOS), Printed Dress (Primark), H.Morgan Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale), Pastel Chain Necklaces (Rings & Tings)* & Blue Jelly Sandals (Sun Jellies)*

Last year on April 24th in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed, many more were injured. The textile industry is widely regarded as a major contributor to global pollution but, according to research by Deloitte, 2 in 3 fashion companies are not focused on engaging consumers with regard to sustainability. According to the Australian Fashion Report in 2013 61% of companies surveyed didn’t know where their garments were made. Fashion Revolution, says enough is enough, and I totally agree. It’s time we do know where our wardrobe came from! I know I don’t feel comfortable in buying clothes made by children my age, and by people in crumbling buildings, and YOU can help. YOU can do something. YES, YOU!

inside out fash rev5inside out fash rev2

This is what Fashion Revolution want YOU to do….

Wear a piece of clothing (or an outfit!) ‘#InsideOut‘ and share it around with the hashtag #InsideOut including @Fash_Rev and @TollyDollyPosh (I want to see it too!)

Tweet and share your picture with the brand that it comes from, and ask them ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ again with the #InsideOut hashtag

There are going to be events at Somerset House, as well as a mass catwalk in Barcelona, a fashion show in Bangladesh and in Nepal. This isn’t just a local thing, Fashion Revolution is a global project, and I hope you get stuck in!

inside out fash rev7 inside out fash rev6 I’m going to be tweeting throughout the day to as many brands as possible that I have worked with in the past, or whoever! I want to try my best to help this cause because I am very passionate about it. If you are a blogger, you can also check out the course I have made on Bundle where you can learn more about the cause, and gain points on your Bundle account. More modules will be added, but for now go check it out! It will only take you 30 minutes at the most.

Please please please check out Fashion Revolution because everyone wears clothes, so it is something we should all be getting involved with. I hope to see lots of you tweeting on April 24thIf you liked this post, you can nominate me as Best Teen Style Blog here! Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Ethical And Sustainable Fashion

By February 9, 2014 Ethical

I really wanted to do a post on eco-friendly and ethical fashion, and here it is! I wanted to find out a bit more about not only what it is all about, but also some great brands which sell and produce ethical and sustainable fashion products. It’s taken me quite a while to get this done so I hope it is worth it! Thank you to the brands for answering my questions too!

VOZ ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion VOZ This brand specialize in hand-made garments that feature premium quality natural and ecological fibres, hand dyed and woven to celebrate ancient traditions. On their site they state: ‘VOZ give’s their artisans a means of sustaining their culture, by offering them economic and artistic protection for their proprietary indigenous craft forms. Our artisans receive name credit and earn royalties for their designs featured in our collection.‘ I love how Voz offer gorgeous collections, but also do good at the same time. I like how they stick to ancient traditions and really work on each piece, taking in every detail. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the answers in time to publish but check out VOZ anyway!

Reet ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Reet ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Reet Aus – This brand is an ‘up cycler’. They collect donated clothing, and get it turned it something completely new. Each garment in the collection I have featured, on average saves 4500 liters / 78% of water creates 2273 g / 86% less CO2 emission per each new garment, which I think is incredible. I love their SS14 collection, and the fact that they are saving that much energy and water is really good to see.

When and why did you start to realise that Ethical fashion was the way to go forward?  Reet has been working with fashion and clothing for many years. Seeing the industry from the inside, the fast fashion, the endless new clothes that come in and out of stores, has been alarming that it is not really the way it should be. Just imagine the amount of waste and pollution it creates.

What is the process in up cycling clothes and making them Ethical & Sustainable? The process of upcycling is using left-overs in making new products. In this case, textile and clothing waste for new garments without changing the material. This method avoids producing new virgin materials and also helps to alleviate the waste problem in the producing countries.

Ovna Ovich ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Ovna Ovich This is probably my favourite brand in a ‘fashion’ sense, because all the pieces are so simple, and versatile, yet they all are ethical and sustainable from the fibres and the fastenings. Is it weird that I can tell which bloggers would wear what from these pieces? The white dress would be perfect for Liv, the blue one for Carrie, possibly maybe the two piece for Natasha, and the pale blue dress for Katia! Weird I know…

When and why did Ovna Ovich start to realise that Ethical fashion was the way to go forward? It has been a life long journey of decisions and upbringing to get to this realisation. The ‘eureka’ moment happened when I was working on my final project at university and wondered what would happen if I concentrated on producing work that was a solution rather then just pointing the finger at something negative.

What do you do differently to other Ethical designers? OVNA OVICH is clothing for both male and female genders. These lines are blurred where we create clothing for men which can also be worn by women. OVNA OVICH work with fabrics that eco friendly and luxurious. Our pieces can be worn to special occasions as well as the everyday.

New Look ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion New Look – You may not know it, but New Look Retailers are an ethical and sustainable brand. They try to create quality jobs for people they work for as well as care for the environment as they produce our clothes. Most of us will own a New Look item in our wardrobe and they are all really good quality for the price, so what exactly goes into making them, and how are New Look trying to change the way things are done? I got my questions answered by their Ethical Trade & Environment Manager, Subathra Vaidhiyanathan… (Images thanks to New Look)

What do you do differently to other Ethical brands? One of the things I really like about working with New Look is that there’s a big focus on building long term relationships with our suppliers. This is important because it means we get to know our partners and we understand the challenges our factories face. This means we can talk about how to resolve them and then work together to help factories overcome any challenges they face. All our suppliers sign up to our Ethical Aims before we buy from them and we have members of our field teams visiting factories daily to check conditions. We also recycle a lot more than others and last year we recycled 71% of all waste from our UK stores we hope to do more in 2014.

What are your next big goals with your Ethical system? What do you want to achieve next with it? We have set ourselves some challenging ethical targets this year and our ethical team are working hard to meet them! Last year we worked on over 70 ethical trade projects, this year we have over 100!

Do you think we will ever see most high street brands being Ethical & Sustainable? I feel that awareness of ethical trade and sustainability among consumers, brands and suppliers is the highest it has ever been. People care about where clothes come from and that they are made in a ethical and sustainable way, which is great. Many high street retailers have ethical teams now and I really hope this trend continues!

It’s been really interesting creating this blog post on ethical and sustainable fashion for you guys and I hope you like it! Thanks once again to the brands who answered my questions! Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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