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My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

By July 21, 2017 Ethical

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

ethical wardrobe priorities - tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blog

1. Tops

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

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

2. Skirts

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

3. Dresses

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

4. Jackets

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

5. Trousers (& Shorts)

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

ethical wardrobe priorities - what daisy did

6. Handbags

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

7. Shoes

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

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

8. Coats

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

9. Jewellery

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

10. Underwear

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

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

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How We Can Make Everyone Understand Fast-Fashion

By June 29, 2017 Ethical

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

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion


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


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

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

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

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

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

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

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

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

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

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

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

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


~ QUESTIONS ~

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

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


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

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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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

By June 5, 2017 Ethical

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

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


Outfit from: Sustainable Alternatives to Leather

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Outfit from: How to Grow up as a Teen Blogger

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

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

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

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

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


Hauls from: Autumn Shopping // Second-hand Shopping

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

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


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

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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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