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Is Ethical Fashion Expensive? | A Discussion

By November 8, 2017 Ethical

For the past week or so I’ve been trying my hardest to put this piece together and have it make actual, logical sense. I wanted to start straight off the bat by saying that ethical fashion isn’t expensive and explain from that point onwards. However, upon writing and re-writing (three times!) and discussing it with others, I’ve come to the conclusion that this topic just isn’t that simple, even if I can see it that way myself.

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

At first, I believed that my own experience of consuming ethical and sustainable fashion was a prime example of debunking the myth of a fair wardrobe being completely inaccessible but even I have to admit that I have certain privileges which make it a whole easier to fathom. I’m all about honesty around here; there’s no such thing as being overly transparent.

If I were to say that I don’t add new items to my wardrobe regularly, that wouldn’t be the whole truth. From time to time, I do fill up the gaps in my wardrobe but often I don’t have to pay the expense because I write this blog and am trusted to receive samples and gifted items in order to promote brands which are doing good work.

This isn’t often, which makes the ‘regularly’ part of the statement correct but it still happens; I can’t deny that and nor would I want to – I love fashion. I would expect you do too if you’re reading this.

If I were to also say that the prices of the brands I promote are realistic for people my age or even just the average person who might come across my blog, that wouldn’t be the whole truth either because without the privileges I receive from writing and working my socks off around here, I can hands down say I wouldn’t be wearing a People Tree jumpsuit or a recycled denim choker that costs almost £30 (although, that People Tree jumpsuit has definitely made me realise how worthy their clothes are of an investment).

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

It goes back to the good work they’re doing – I want to show that it’s being done instead of clinging on to the brand names I no longer appreciate. (Bear in mind, I recently turned down an ethical directory feature request because I deemed the brand to be too expensive for my readers. I’m happy with the balance I’ve found.)

If I were to say that second-hand shopping is the best way around any price-based or moral dilemma, that once again wouldn’t be the whole truth because I’m a slim 17-year-old and I’m fortunate most charity shops are filled with viable options for me.

I can’t confirm nor deny whether people of different sizes do genuinely struggle when on the hunt in these scenarios (I often find many more larger sizes, especially in UK stores) but I’m happy to admit I’ve probably been lucky on more than one occasion.

I’m excluding looking for workwear, children’s wear or necessary purchases within this and the rest of my discussion – I’m not about to start saying we should be buying bras and underwear from our local Oxfam (although, good on you if you do) or that a young family of four should all of a sudden stop buying new clothes for their fast-growing kids (my nephews wear mostly second-hand clothes but there’s no way they could go without new shoes or re-purchases here and there).

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

So, what can I say that for the most part, strips away privilege, anything to do about the way we look at ethical options as an ‘investment’ and the idea of conscious consumerism and changing our shopping habits?

Well, it goes back to what a lot of my past blog posts used to revolve around – the facts and figures that show what we’re paying, isn’t what we should be paying if we want to acknowledge that the industry of fashion and the clothes we wear need to change.

The concept of fast-fashion (aka. the opposite of ethical, sustainable or slow fashion) originated in the 90s when the industry in the west discovered the opportunity to manufacturer clothing at a cheaper price and at a faster rate, allowing customers the chance to update and add to their wardrobe with fresh and new styles whilst saving money at the same time, and in-turn, producing more profit (it makes business sense, right?).

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

The majority of fashion manufacturing moved overseas, allowing brands to find cheap labour in developing countries. Quite simply, the demand grew, being supported by catwalks, the advertising industry and the new consumer expectation that we could have it all, whenever we wanted and for an amount, our purses would be happy with. This lead to more and more pressure being put upon the factories by the brands we grew to know and love. It’s why we saw the Rana Plaza disaster and the Tazreen factory fire.

Factories in developing countries aren’t built for the consumption of fast-fashion and nor is the supply chain. The cost of production means underpaid workers, poor working conditions, human rights violations and even child or forced labour that nobody would allow elsewhere.

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

All of these are consequences of the cheap, low prices that can be found on high-streets or online, and that’s not even including the affects this type of production puts on the planet and earth itself. It’s unsustainable and it’s unethical and there’s a reason why it’s cheap and why I don’t use the term very fondly around here.

Even if we’re not used to it and even if it will take years to change – we should be paying more which means ethical fashion, quite frankly, isn’t expensive in theory. It’s expensive in terms of price tag comparison (an ethical t-shirt could cost you £20-30 versus a fast-fashion alternative at £10) but the reason behind it is just and fair. It ensures that workers are paid fairly and that they work in safe environments, as well as often ensuring the use of sustainable and organic materials.

“But in the meantime, Tolly, how can I afford to buy new clothes at the same time as caring about where they come from? It seems impossible.”

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

This is where my favourite friend, Mindset, comes into play. Over-consumption goes hand-in-hand with the actual manufacturing of clothes and it isn’t helped by how we now see it being portrayed in front of our very own eyes. I know one YouTuber who has done eight different ‘haul’ videos in the past month.

I’m by no means accusing any of you of over-consuming but I think a lot of us can almost experience a sense of ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) by not owning a beret or a pair of heeled boots right now. I know I have!

We live in a society that thrives off of a culture of consuming the latest new “thing” (due to how #capitalism and the world of advertising works, as already mentioned) which is especially the case with fashion, with trends dipping in and out that not only affect our clothes but go on to change everything else around us.

Why Is Ethical Fashion Expensive

The more we understand that this behaviour and way of consuming isn’t necessary, the less money we’ll end up spending in shorter periods of time, allowing more room for those so-say more pricey purchases which will end up being more of an investment anyway. Cost-effectiveness is sustainable and beneficial especially if you’re on a tighter budget (again – parents or anyone with strict workwear policies, I’m not pointing at you).

For example, if you know a pair of unethically produced shoes which are currently in the fashionable charts, won’t last you as long as a more investable and ethically produced pair would; think about which is more worthwhile, not only for your wallet that may have to repurchase once the cheaper option has worn down but also for the planet and the people who are making them. For me, I don’t even question it anymore.

And if you can and you’re willing to try? Look in Oxfam or Goodwill or on Depop or eBay. Even if it takes you three times as long as looking on ASOS or scrolling through what Topshop has to offer – I promise you it will feel so much more satisfying when you’ve prolonged a perfectly wearable item’s lifespan. I recently welcomed in an old pair of cherry red Dr Martens and a suede coat most definitely not in my size but there’s nothing a new pair of innersoles and wearing something oversized can’t do!


As this title suggests, I want this to be a discussion so go forth and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Answers to Your Many Questions | Survey Response

By October 19, 2017 Ethical, Shop

Not too long ago, I popped up a quick survey for you guys to answer and submit your burning questions and queries about ethical fashion. The survey is still open and I would love if you would continue to fill it in, as it’s always good to know what you’re interested in learning more about. In the meantime, I have some answers for those of you have already asked away, inspired by my ‘Many Questions’ t-shirt from the Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh collection…

Common Ethical Fashion Questions | Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh


WHAT I WORE: Many Questions T-Shirt £20.00 (Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh) // Ripped Jeans (New Look – old)* // Vagabond Dioon Platforms (Mastershoe-MyShu – old) // Red Leather Jacket £6.00 (Charity Shop)


Is there such a thing as cheap or high-street ethical fashion?

It’s understandable that this question became a reoccurring theme in my survey responses, especially as most of you reading this are of a student age where funds are limited whilst you still want to enjoy fashion and updating your wardrobe.

I really want to say yes to this question. I don’t want to let people down and leave you all feeling hopeless that shopping ethically just isn’t a viable option, but especially when it comes to the high-street, it’s a real tricky one (and I will be writing about it in more depth in the near future).

I’m quite open with how I stand on high-street and ‘cheap’ brands launching sustainable and more ethically-conscious lines and collections; I’m a bit of a sceptic, honestly. For me, the negatives of how these brands and businesses are run will always out-way the smaller, positive steps they’re taking, until major shifts start to take place. I can’t happily tell you to go and shop with H&M and their Conscious collection when I’m being told they burn unwanted items.

The thing is, there’s always going to be a better option, even when you’re buying from a brand which is Fair Trade certified or is using recycled fibres – there’s always going to be a brand or designer out there who is doing the next best thing (which is great, don’t get me wrong). The better option to buying on the high-street is buying second-hand; the better option to buying second-hand is not buying at all. You see the dilemma?

So – really, no, there’s no such thing as ethical high-street fashion, yet. That’s just because that’s how the industry works and that’s what we’re all on the path to changing. Is there such thing as cheap ethical fashion? Yes. Second-hand and thrift shops are full of it. Your mum’s wardrobe is. XYZ Insert Ethical Brand name’s seasonal sale is. The £30 t-shirt which will last five times longer than an £8 option is also doing the trick.

Common Ethical Fashion Questions | Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh

How do I get my friends on board?

Luckily for you, I’ve touched on this question several times in the past. Click here, here and here for some of my old blog posts to browse through. I know from my own personal experience that it isn’t easy to suddenly transform your friends and family into conscious consumers.

It won’t click for everyone immediately, especially those who are only receiving information and education through you and you only. Honestly, if you really want to do it – try and get them to sit down and watch the True Cost, which you can easily stream via Netflix. Maybe even do a screening at home! Tell them that it’s important to you and you think it could be interesting and valuable for them to watch.

Where do I find trend-specific pieces?

Once again, you’re in luck. I recently wrote about my experience with trends and ethical fashion and how my priorities have now changed. That’s the blog post to answer your question.

Common Ethical Fashion Questions | Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh

What books and resources should I use to learn more?

Third times the charm, isn’t it? I’ve got you covered with my 2016 list of books and resources. I’ll be sure to do one for 2017 too, as I’ve definitely learned and discovered since then, including the book A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison which looks at the fast-fashion industry from a fictional perspective.

Are there any sustainable technologies helping advance the industry?

This is a really interesting question which I wished I had a blog post to direct you to for my answer but alas, technology is part of the industry I have limited knowledge in (alongside the intricacies of Fair Trade, the ethical beauty world and vegan materials) but will bear in mind to research so that I can share my findings with you.

Any examples that do come to mind, are mainly fabric oriented, like Pinatex, which takes pineapple leaf fibres and creates a leather alternative which you’ll see being used by the likes of Po-Zu (the ethical and sustainable footwear brand now headed up by Safia Minney).

Have any other burning questions? Leave them in the comments or click here to submit to my survey!


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. Nominations now close on October 22nd 2017. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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10 Simple Ways to Keep on Asking

By September 14, 2017 Ethical, Shop

In celebration of the launch of Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh last week, I thought I would explore the meanings behind each design and turn them in to helpful articles for you to use and put into practice. First up is my Keep on Asking design. You may have heard me suggest these ideas in many blog posts before but that’s just how important I think they are. Here are 10 simple ways to keep on asking…

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts


~ SHOP LOST SHAPES X TOLLY DOLLY POSH ~
Featured: Keep on Asking


1. Use your voice on social media…

Although I understand that “clicktivism” isn’t always the most powerful tool, especially when it’s thrown in amongst content that is quite the opposite, if you have a platform, I definitely advise using it. Even if you’re not necessarily a blogger or don’t specifically use social media to reach a specific audience, just one click might inspire one person to follow in your ethical and conscious footsteps.

2. …and your voice in real life…

As I said, empowering and inspiring on social media isn’t always the answer, so get out there and talk to people you know about these issues in real life. Even if just means casually dropping in a question or thought about ethical fashion whilst you’re shopping with a friend, it’s the same principle – it may just cause a chain reaction. Ask your friend or family member if they’ve ever thought about where their clothes come from or how something can be priced so cheaply.

3. Ask yourself questions…

It’s all well and good subtly dropping these questions and concerns into a conversation but if we’re not repeatedly asking ourselves these questions, then how can we become more conscious? Ask yourself if the action you’re taking is the best one – could I recycle this shirt differently? Do I really know where my dress came from? Is the label telling me enough?

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts

4. Join in with #WhoMadeMyClothes…

I’ve encouraged this enough and it was one of the main inspirations behind the slogan t-shirt in my collaboration. Every year, Fashion Revolution asks consumers and customers to ask brands who made their clothes to push for transparency and challenge what we know of the fashion industry.

5. Take longer to decide before buying…

Use my helpful guide on how to know if you’ll actually wear what you’re buying if you want to work out easier ways to decide on your purchases beforehand. This can really help us all become more sustainable.

6. Write a letter to brands you love…

Using Fashion Revolution’s helpful guides, write a letter or a post card to a brand that you love. Admittedly I have yet to do this, so perhaps I’ll report back in the near future when I give it a shot myself. Writing a letter could bury a seed into the mind of someone has more power than somebody reading a brand’s social media feeds and really shows you’re willing to put in the effort for something you feel strongly about.

How to Keep on Asking - Ethical Fashion T-Shirts

7. Look for warning signs…

Are you being greenwashed? Do you even know what greenwashing means? Learning how to identify signs of a product or brand not being quite as eco-friendly or ethical as it seems can help us avoid buying into the idea of sustainability and ethics being a trend. I spoke about greenwashing here and I hope it helps you keep your eyes peeled.

8. Question price…

…because your t-shirt shouldn’t cost less than your trip to Starbucks. Price doesn’t mean everything; just because an item is more expensive doesn’t mean it is immediately more ethical. In my opinion, you shouldn’t trust any brand that is selling at absurdly low prices (I’m talking about the likes of Primark and H&M) because it’s obvious they are cutting corners. At the same time, research brands that charge more so you know what you’re really paying for and investing in.

9. See if you can find an alternative…

If you know what you’re buying isn’t necessarily ethical, perhaps hold up on purchasing and see if you can find an ethical alternative or even a second-hand one. This ties in with taking longer to decide before buying but is especially important if you’re either investing in a product or re-purchasing an essential wardrobe item that you might benefit investing in, anyway. Quality lasts, folks!

10. Don’t take anything at face value…

This final step is really the whole idea of asking questions and pushing for transparency. We need to know as much as possible in order to make conscious and considered decisions that will not only help us but other people and the planet. Ask questions, even if they seem simple and easy to answer – they should be if they’re not already.


  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh Ethical T-Shirt Collection

By September 7, 2017 Ethical, Shop


~ LOST SHAPES X TOLLY DOLLY POSH ~
Shop the ethical t-shirts collection


I’m so excited to announce that I have officially launched my own ethical and sustainable t-shirts with Lost Shapes! For a large portion of this year, I’ve been working closely with Lost Shapes to bring you something that we’re both incredibly proud to be sharing with you all. A lot of projects like this often don’t seem like much on the surface but I can tell you now that a lot of love and hard work went into making these t-shirts possible, so I hope you appreciate them as much as we do!

In case you aren’t aware, Lost Shapes are an independent clothing brand from back home in the UK. The wonderful owner, Anna, has built her brand upon ethical and sustainable values to go along side her traditionally hand-printed designs. You might recognise Lost Shapes from my ethical directory.

I couldn’t release my first sustainable pieces without making them all about what I believe in. In this post, not only can you scroll through and get a taste of the lookbook, you can also find out the inspirations behind each piece and why they ended up looking like they do.

However, if you’re ready to shop already, click the link above. I can’t wait to see you all wearing your Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh pieces!

Make sure to tweet @TollyDollyPosh and @LostShapes with the hashtag #LSxTDP so we can see how you style them.


~ MANY QUESTIONS T-SHIRT ~
100% Organic Cotton with 90% Reduced Carbon Footprint


This design is inspired quite simply by the idea of questioning the supply chains across the fashion industry. It’s a bold inspiration which might not come across to just anyone but it started to be put across from the very first pages of my sketchbook. The question marks are linked like a chain and if you look very closely, the colours cross over each other with slight transparency – that of course was very intentional.

As the name suggests, there are so many questions that need answering when it comes to our clothes, so this is like wearing all of them on a t-shirt which supports answering them. The racer style makes it all the more striking and looks rather good against the backdrop of the lookbook (it’s a Keith Haring mural, open and on display in Pisa, Italy).

I styled both t-shirts with a denim skirt (second-hand, of course), as there are definite yet subtle 80s vibes in each design. Although the bright pink and orange may seem rather summery, there’s no reason these t-shirts can’t be worn throughout the colder seasons. I’m ready and set to pair this design with a biker jacket.

 


~ KEEP ON ASKING T-SHIRT ~
Fair Trade 100% Organic Cotton with workers premium


The other t-shirt in my little collection took a while longer to perfect (well, both of them did – a lot of time goes into making colours perfect when they’re being hand-printed), simply because slogans of course have a lot to shout about.

We want these t-shirts to be open for everyone to wear (man or woman, they’re unisex!), hence why the ‘Many Questions’ design is a symbolic pattern and hence why the phrase ‘Keep on Asking’ hopefully, applies to a lot of other things.

Of course, the ‘Keep on Asking’ I’m referring to within my designs, is the idea of asking those who are in charge and capable of real change, to answer questions. This stems back to great initiatives like Fashion Revolution and #WhoMadeMyClothes, as well as just conscious consumerism in general. In order to become more transparent, we need questions to be answered. Once again, the transparent layering is intentional and I’m really happy with the outcome, especially with the 80s style, bubble font.

I’ve already worn this t-shirt a dozen ways with different skirts and bottoms (it may or may not be my favourite design of the two, with the Fair Trade cotton being the cherry on top) and I think the versatility definitely comes down to the shirt being grey.


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY T-SHIRTS? ~
Every Lost Shapes item is sourced sustainably before being hand-printed by Anna Brindle, the creator of Lost Shapes, with each design in the collaboration designed lovingly by Tolly Dolly Posh.


I’m really proud to have worked with Anna on this little collection. It took a lot of back and forth work but I believe the overall outcome was most definitely worth it. I really hope to see some of you wearing them in the near future, or at least to hear you have them on your wishlist! All the important links can be found belowhappy Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh shopping!


FOLLOW LOST SHAPES:
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

DOWNLOAD:
Press Release // Lookbook


Special thanks to Kayleigh Adams Photography for capturing the t-shirts in all of their glory. Follow Kayleigh on Instagram for more photography and visit her website if you’re interested in using her for your own project. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper with… Lauren McCrostie

By August 25, 2017 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. 


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

Lauren is a 21-year-old freckle faced actress from London with a bursting passion for the environment. Interested in all realms of the topic, she is actively engaged in promoting ethical and sustainable initiatives and championing organisations who are doing good.  Lauren is also obsessed with recycling.
Lauren’s acting working includes Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (as Olive) and The Falling (as Gwen).

TWITTER // INSTAGRAM


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


A while ago I had the opportunity to Skype with Lauren McCrostie (who you may have seen on the big screen last year, with her role as Olive in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) after we connected on Twitter quite some time ago. Although I connect with dozens upon dozens of like minded people, a lot of them are usually directly within the fashion industry so when I get talking with someone who isn’t necessarily within that field, it’s always rather interesting.

Of course, I had to take the opportunity to ask Lauren to answer some questions for my Pen to Paper series because what she had to say was definitely worthy of sharing with the rest of you. It’s always good to see if peoples thoughts align with yours when they’re coming in at it from a different angle.


So much! The waste in the film industry is colossal but there are some amazing organisations working on improving this for us all, like Adgreen, EarthAngels and The Costume Directory team. We have become such a disposable culture and this has sadly infiltrated into almost every sector.

How does all of this fit into your experience as an actress?


lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


People have this idea of that ‘eco’, ‘sustainable’ brands are dull + shapeless but this is so outdated. There are countless stylish brands offering a diverse range of beautiful + well-crafted pieces. Many coveted by huge mainstream stars (a la Rihanna in Reformation!).

What do you think stops the everyday consumer from shopping with ethical brands?


Being an actress, Lauren has wonderfully gathered a following on her social media platforms and I have to say, I’m really thankful for how she uses that audience. As if Lauren was Rihanna, Lauren holds up ethical brands highly and proudly, which I think we need more of. There’s a common argument that we need to praise fast-fashion brands that are starting to implement sustainable ideas, which is, of course, true to a certain extent, but I believe we need to focus on those who are doing good, just as equally and if not, more so.

And if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, Lauren’s your go-to gal, as well. And for recycling. She’s got it all covered and she’s utilising the opportunity she has to share it all with a wide range of people.

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh

lauren mccrostie actress interview - ethical fashion blogger tolly dolly posh


The fact that this is becoming more of a topic in mainstream conversation is really positive! It should be sung + celebrated! We must grow a greater sense of consciousness of our power as consumers + the impact we have on our environment. This should feel empowering and exciting! We have the ability to change things! To build a better future!

What's some progress you've seen that you believe needs highlighting?


I hands down agree with Lauren that making change and following a path of having ethics in mind can feel downright empowering. I feel as if it should feel even more empowering to a younger generation (myself and Lauren included – she’s 21 and already a superstar!), which is why I’m always trying to be as positive and as inspiring as I can be across my platforms.


I would love to support this movement more by raising more awareness + educating the mass the TRUE COST fashion has. We can no longer claim to be victims of ignorance. We have the responsibility as to allow ourselves to be educated. Equally, I think it is important to stay focused on creating lasting change, regardless of scope.

What's your next goal within sustainability etc?


Even if all this post does is inspire you to click the follow button on Lauren’s Instagram, I’ll be happy. I’m excited to see what she’s planning for the future and how she can use her platform to continue pushing for changes.

How would you answer these questions? Let me know in the comments!


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Testing My Comfort Zones with Mayamiko*

By August 9, 2017 My Style

It isn’t easy to take photos in 40-degree heat (104 for you Fahrenheit users) so when the sun started to set yesterday, with the temperature a few degrees lower, I jumped at the chance to show off my new Mayamiko two-piece which has been pushing me out of my comfort zone…

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did


WHAT I WORE: Dandy Garden Bralet £19.00 (Mayamiko)* // Dandy Garden Shorts £30.00 (Mayamiko)* // White Cover-up (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Leather Handbag (What Daisy Did)* // Suede Flats (Accessorize – old) // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Charity Shop) 


I’m the sort of person who likes to push people into the direction of confidence and feeling good about themselves. It’s one thing that really crushes me in this time of plastering social media platforms with Snapchat filter covered selfies and tweets about how down we feel but that doesn’t mean I find everything easy myself. In fact, rather honestly, I would probably say in the past year I’ve been the most self-conscious I’ve ever been in certain areas. I’ve never been super confident of showing off too much of my skin, mainly because it reveals the boniness my fast metabolism doesn’t want to hide. So when two gorgeous pieces from Mayamiko slipped through the post, it’s safe to say I was a little afraid of seeing a bralet and a pair of high-waisted shorts in the package. 

The bralet I immediately thought would look great paired on top of a clean white t-shirt, solving my self-conscious dilemma straight away but I decided to try it on without just in case, and somehow, it fit like a glove. The nerves didn’t fade when I stepped outside but when I realised I could accessorize and still distract (in my head), in some way, I actually ended up enjoying the outfit, even if I did wear it with trousers at first.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY TWO PIECE? ~
The two-piece was cut by Charity and sewn by Enala, just outside of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Both women graduated from Mayamiko’s Trust, to become professional pattern cutters and tailors. You can read more about Mayamiko’s charity here. 


Not only is it great to break through a barrier causing you to shy away from certain fashionable styles, it’s even better when you know exactly where those clothes are coming from. Mayamiko were in my ethical directory before I got my hands on their beautiful clothes, so I can assure you I’m a big fan.

Not only are Mayamiko transparent and open about how they go about their business, they also provide support and opportunities to local communities in Malawi, where their pieces are produced. Each piece is only one of around 10-15 made and fabrics are mostly handmade, meaning there’s not one the same due to imperfections which aren’t really imperfections at all.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

Ethical Outfit Ideas - Mayamiko & What Daisy Did

I styled up the two-piece with a white cover-up I bought at a jumble sale last year;  I believe it was originally a night gown of sorts (?!) but I cut the ribbon ties and now adore its frills and sleeves. It also adds texture to what would be a pretty simple outfit without it.

I’m also still carrying around my What Daisy Did bag which matches my old suede flats so perfectly it’s quite unbelievable, as well as tying in the lenses of my new killer sunnies with the side panel of blue. For someone who was recently given a pair of Rayban’s, you know I love this €4 vintage pair when I haven’t stopped wearing them. I’d been looking for a pair which had a slightly more striking shape than my average round ones and I couldn’t be happier I found these!

Oh, and my choker is never coming off either. It really helped with those jittery nerves of wearing something new…


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Relax, I Am Not the Ethical Police

By August 5, 2017 Ethical

The title of this post may sound familiar if you follow my Facebook page (you can do so by clicking here) as a while ago I brought up the matter in response to several messages I’d had from friends, family and people I knew online. Most of the messages had a similar theme – they were apologies for shopping fast-fashion.

Ethical Fashion Advice - Relax, I'm Not The Ethical Police

However, I’m putting it out there – I’m not the ethical police. Nor is anyone else who is an advocate for ethics and sustainability and moving the industry (and world) in a more positive direction. I’ve never come across anyone who has pointed out somebody’s wrong doings within this realm (unless it’s been pointed in the direction of a major brand or company as a whole) and I wouldn’t even necessarily jump to saying they’re ‘wrong doings’.

Of course, whatever I put out there into the world with promoting this new way of thinking – technically it’s not that new but awareness is still growing – in terms of conscious consumerism and how we wear our clothes, I do it all with the intent of trying to inspire others to do the same. It’s my goal.

I want you to listen to what I have to say and hopefully, in some respect, take it to heart. I believe we should be changing our ways. This isn’t something we can just sit back and ignore anymore. We have a duty, especially within my generation of younger people (it’s our future, folks), to make changes.

So yes, I will celebrate people who start to implement these ideas and changes because I understand that at first, it can seem daunting, as if you need to change everything you know in life in order to be conscious (I’m not over exaggerating here – I have seen people expressing how impossible it seems).

Ethical Fashion Advice - Relax, I'm Not The Ethical Police

But, will I ever call you out for going against all of this? No. Should you feel guilty about it? No. Why? Well… because four years ago I was cheering on the fact that Primark was stocked on ASOS and I wasn’t batting an eyelid to what brands sent me in the post to feature on my blog.

It takes time to adjust and it takes time to learn. I don’t want anyone to come to me feeling guilty or down because I’m no perfect example of anything, I’m just attempting to shine a light on the darkness of this industry. In fact, I may even give you a proud pat on the head if you ever confess to fast-fashion purchases because it shows how aware you are (although please refrain from doing so, as this post suggests). Having your eyes open and being honest with yourself is key in becoming more conscious and thoughtful in the way you live and shop, whether that be in fashion or elsewhere.

This post is simply to say – you can take a step back and relax if all of this ethical and sustainable jargon and information is getting you down in the dumps, or if you slipped up and indulged on something which doesn’t have a clear label on it. I want my blog to be a space where we’re not focusing on doing wrong; we’re focusing on doing better.

If you want some tips on how to do just that rather than worrying yourself into ethically-induced anxiety, then click some of the links below. They might be handy for if you’re new around here, too!

~ HANDY ETHICAL ADVICE ~


Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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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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Pen to Paper with… Eleanor Amari of Remake

By July 10, 2017 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. 


Eleanor Amari - Remake Our World

Remake is a platform dedicated to building a conscious consumer movement, using its voice to improve and shape the lives of those who make our clothes.  Eleanor Amari is the content manager at RemakeShe pushes forward the depth, breadth and visual identity of Remake’s video and social content. She’s focused on telling engaging stories that humanise the fashion supply chain.
Remake has worked with the likes of Parsons to show three fashion design students how their clothes are made, directly in Cambodia.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // TDP STORY


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


Next up in my Pen to Paper series, I want to re-introduce you to the movement of Remake, or Remake Our World. I say re-introduce as I’ve mentioned their work on my blog before, more specifically in my post about ethical fashion education. I had the opportunity to ask one of their team members, Eleanor Amari, some questions about what they’ve learned since the beginning and how she thinks we can play our part.


 Ethical fashion has a bad reputation (“it’s a hemp sack” “it’s too expensive/over priced”), on a broken foundation (Retail has failed us. We expect fast & cheap only because we are used to it).

What do you think stops the everyday consumer from shopping with ethical brands?


I believe I first discovered Remake via Ayesha Barenblat’s TED talk (which I seem to no longer be able to find). Ayesha is the founder of Remake and her message is simple but powerful. It’s always good to raise up those with a similar mindset so if you enjoy reading my blog, you’ll probably find her work equally as interesting.

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


Remake began because… Fast Fashion is OUT! High volume @ low cost ⟹ Ongoing human rights abuses behind our clothes. Slow fashion is IN! It’s a win-win: looking good while doing good is possible, and what we want. 

Why and how did Remake begin?


One of my favourite Remake features is their #humansoffashion series (which I am honoured to have been a part of over on Remake’s blog) which mainly lives its life on Instagram. It’s simple yet powerful, focusing on different opinions on fashion from different women (and men) all around the world.


Across the world, ladies want to look good while doing good ❤❤❤ ↬ We want your stories! We’re all #humansoffashion, share your story with us to grow the movement: info@remake.world

On Instagram, you have your #humansoffashion series - what has been the most surprising answer to your questions?


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Embedded within this post is Remake’s short film, Made in Cambodia which, for ten minutes, should be mandatory viewing material. Remake took three students from Parsons School of Design in New York, to Cambodia where they met some of the garment workers behind our clothes. It’s eye opening and closes that gap and disconnect we often find ourselves dealing with when trying to share the hard truths of the industry. I think it’s really important the lovely ladies who were a part of it, were of a younger generation. We need more young people behind these sorts of campaigns in order to start changing our future.


Char Wong. Despite her burdens (she works in some of the world’s worst factories) she still hopes & dreams for a better future. She speaks up for her rights. As fellow ladies, we can support her fight by voting for brands who support their makers. Meet Char Wong on remake.world

What is one of the most eye-opening and inspiring stories you've learned from a maker or 'invisible woman'?

 Say NO to fast fashion. A whole new fashion world will open to you from there!


Thanks so much to Eleanor for answering these questions and for doing your part in pushing the industry in a more positive direction. If you’re interested, read what I had to say on their blog here.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: 60% Ethical, 100% Cool

By July 3, 2017 My Style

If you follow my Instagram stories then you’ll alway be up-to-date with my outfit obsessions, so it won’t be a surprise to some of you that today’s outfit post is styling up a combination I’ve shared a lot recently. You may even notice two of the pieces from my post about how we can make everyone understand fast-fashion, if you’ve been paying attention, lately…

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree


WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Top €5.00 (Second-hand Shop) // Floral Trousers (ASOS Africa) // Clarabella Bag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Dr Martens (Mastershoe-MyShu)* // Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Necklaces (People Tree & Accessorize) // Sunglasses (Rayban) // Rings (Various


It seems as if everytime I’m unsure about an item which I’ve picked up second-hand, as of late, I’ve ended up feeling quite the opposite once I’ve washed it and hung it up in my wardrobe. Not only did this happen with my golf print blouse, it’s also happened with my new embroidered long-sleeve top, originally from the brand Oilily.

And yes, the way I’ve styled it may come across slightly bizarrely and perhaps a little youthful but personally it makes me feel as if I’ve stepped out of an ASOS magazine with that free, edgy and mix-matched vibe. It’s one of those outfits that clearly shows how certain elements of my personal style have stuck with me from when I was younger and still work with my aesthetic now.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

I’m happy to say that about 60% of this outfit is somewhat ethical and sustainable too. The top is second-hand, the trousers are from ASOS’s Made in Kenya range (formerly known as ASOS Africa), my handbag is by What Daisy Did who use recycled leather, and my denim choker is by Yours Again who also use recycled materials for their handmade pieces.

It’s always satisfying when you can trace back the majority of what you’re wearing and prove those who believe ethical fashion is dull and boring, that it doesn’t always have to be. Even pushing yourself to mix-up different combinations of pieces is being sustainable. I haven’t worn these trousers in quite some time so it’s nice to bring new life to them!

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Speaking of those ethical pieces, it’s rare to see me without my Yours Again choker these days. It’s such a simple accessory but it works so well. I’ve found it’s especially worth wearing if you’re a fan of collars like myself but don’t want to restrain yourself in the summer heat. I’ve also worked out it looks great with dresses which are rather open across the collarbone area. I’m not particularly keen on anything too revealing so it makes up for it.

My handbag is still holding up and the more I wear it the more I want to add What Daisy Did’s Blue Jay backpack to my collection. The differing colours and panels mean you can match up different elements of your outfit which is always fun.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - ASOS Made In Kenya, What Daisy Did & People Tree

Lastly, I need to dedicate a whole segment of this post to my Fox socks. No, they’re not covered in cutesy little fox faces but they’re actually by the mountain biking brand, Fox. My brother gave me a pair many moons ago and I ended up working out that they are the best socks for wearing with Dr Martens. Boot socks are all well and good for the colder months but once you’ve worn in your boots, the thickness and style of them makes for a dreamy combination (can I say that about socks?). I also like how the white and black always pops out, even if I am repping a logo that doesn’t exactly scream fashion. So there’s a little pro tip for all you Dr Marten wearers out there; find some socks meant for biking


How would you have styled this outfit? What ethical pieces have you purchased recently? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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