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ethical fashion

Illustrated Wishlist: Poetry, Pottery & Po-Zu

By January 21, 2018 Wishlist

My illustrated posts seem to go down well around here so to mix things up a bit and fully embrace what I recently had to say about wishlists (they’re not just for Christmas), I’ve put together an illustrated version to showcase some items I’ve had my eye on for a while…


 Items marked with  are from brands included in my ethical directory.


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema


PO-ZU SNEAKERS // TRIBE OF LAMBS RING // POTYERTITSAWAYLUV // WAIT BY WILSON ORYEMA // GEORGANICS BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH // ALBATROSS RAZOR // LUCY & YAK DUNGAREES


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Po-Zu Sneakers 

If you read my post on my ethical wardrobe priorities, then you’ll be of the understanding that shoes aren’t high up on my list. This is mainly because I don’t buy new shoes very often – the last pair I purchased was a second-hand pair of Dr Martens – but that doesn’t mean I’m never in need of new ones or that I never have the urge to fill a gap in my collection.

A gap that currently needs filling is in the shape of a pair of shoes that go with everything and that are suitable for every season. The closest I have to that is a pair of white platforms but they’re not necessarily the comfiest option for long distance walking. This is where Po-Zu comes in; Po-Zu is a brand that offers ethically made shoes using sustainable practices and materials and I’ve had my eye on this pair of trainers (or sneakers), for a while now.


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Wait by Wilson Oryema

Truth to be told, I don’t know a whole lot about this book but when Tamsin Blanchard shared a picture of it, I was instantly intrigued. Wilson Oryema is a fashion model who has written and published ‘Wait’, a book of poetry and short stories centred around the topic of contemporary consumption. 

Coeval describes it as a “witty moral code for our ever consuming, ever impatient society” and with that, I know I need to get my paws on it.


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Tribe of Lambs Ring

This isn’t the first time I’ve included a Tribe of Lambs ring in a post related to wishlists and it most certainly won’t be the last. If anyone who knows me hasn’t taken the hint yet… I would really love to stack one of these rings upon my fingers.

Tribe of Lambs are a brand featured in my ethical directory. They produce all of their stunning jewellery ethically in India and use the profits to give back, supporting HIV positive children in local communities. So far, they’ve helped over 500 children and by purchasing a ring, you can help that number grow.


Ethical Fashion Wishlist - Po-Zu Shoes & Wait by Wilson Oryema

Georganics Bamboo Toothbrush

One of the least glamorous items on my wishlist is in fact, a toothbrush. There comes a point in every toothbrush’s life when it must be retired; the bristles are too spread out and it simply isn’t doing a good enough job according to your dentist’s standards. Fortunately, we have brands like Georganics to provide us with a biodegradable version which won’t leave you feeling guilty when you need to replace it with a new one.

The next time my teeth are in need of a new friend, I won’t be going straight to the supermarket to pick up a plastic one which will most probably end up on landfill, I’ll be ordering one of these instead. (And maybe an Albatross razor whilst I’m at it – because hair removal is something to be conscious of, too.)


Remember, wishlists are great for understanding what you truly need rather than what you think you’d fancy on a whim. Compile them gradually and infrequently to make more considered and conscious purchases and when you’ve finally mulled it over, enjoy making a quality investment you know you’ll end loving for more than a few days.

What’s on your ethical wishlist? Share some of your latest findings in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Favourite Blog Posts of 2017…

By December 29, 2017 General

2017 was a weird but wonderful and I’m here to send it off. For those of you who have perhaps only recently discovered my blog or just want a quick refresher, I’m here to highlight some of my favourite posts from the past year, as well as get to know what your favourite blog posts were too! As always, thank you so much for sticking with me, following me and leaving thoughtful and considered comments. Here’s to another… 🥂


5 Things to Expect When You Become an Ethical Blogger

One of the biggest changes on my blog this year was starting to publish solely ethically focused fashion posts. This change hasn’t been easy so I compiled a list of things to expect if you decide to make a similar transition. The list covers a change in income, attracting the right audience and realising you can’t do everything!

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

This post received an interesting and thought-provoking response. It took a bit of work and research to compile but I’m glad I discussed this way of looking at things. Although of course, I highly recommend taking a proper read of it, in conclusion, I decided your wardrobe can only really be sustainable if you value what you put into it as much as what you take out

★ My Style: Recycled & DIY Denim*

This post has to be one of my best outfit and fashion shoots, yet! There’s not much to say about this one but if you want to know the sorts of styles I was wearing and channelling this year, then this is a great example. I can’t wait to bring this outfit back out in the spring.

▷ My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

Want to know what I honestly buy ethically? This post explains all, including the reasons as to why shoes and underwear are so low down on my list. I’d love to know what your ethical priorities are, no matter where you are on your ethical journey. Why not leave a comment whilst you’re there?

✤ How Teens Can Grow out of Clothes Sustainably

Parents seemed to enjoy this post as their children are always growing out and in need of new clothes, causing a great dilemma when it comes to ethical and sustainable morals. As someone who has first-hand experience in this, I shared some advice and tips on how to do it all as sustainably as you can, including shopping for your future self and sizing-up.

→ The Answers to Your Many Questions

Published not too long ago, I answered some queries my readers had in my ethical fashion survey. The format of this post and almost agony-aunt style of answering was useful to some of you and if there is a demand for more just like this, then I’ll be sure to provide for you in 2018! Just make sure to get those questions sent in.


What was your favourite blog post this year? What would you like to see more of?


Happy New Year! 🎉 See you in 2018, folks!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What I Learned During #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 10, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

#MAKESMTHNG Week has now concluded but that doesn’t we should stop making things here. In fact, I’ve learned a thing or two taking part in this new celebration of crafting and I hope that I can inspire you to take on a project for yourself, whether it’s today or tomorrow or any day of the year…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit


WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Denim Shirt (DIY) // Pink Cashmere Beret (DIY) // Striped Trousers (Jumble Sale) // Dr Martens (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Rubber Handbag (Paguro Upcycle)*


Making something yourself is extremely satisfying…

I’m going to toot my own horn here and say I’m quite chuffed with my new embroidered shirt and my two rather dashing homemade berets. I may not have sewn together a wedding dress or cut a new pair of jeans from scratch but I’ve updated my wardrobe without technically adding anything new and there’s a special feeling that comes with that.

You’re always going to treasure a piece which you made with your own bare hands because you know how much hard work and time went into it.

That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily end up wearing it more than you would wear something you’d buy but it means you won’t mindlessly throw it out or let it wear down into a bad condition – why would you? You made it! You should treasure it! It’s completely unique and only you will be able to style it up; patchy stitches, flaws and all.

Also, it’s a lot of fun to have this conversation – “Where did you get that beret?” “Oh, I made it.”

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

Starting small will build up your confidence…

As with anything, practice makes perfect. You don’t even have to embroider free-hand or buy a sewing machine if you don’t want to. Start from a place you feel comfortable at, even if that means getting out the iron and adding on a patch from one of your favourite artists to an old jacket.

There are some really simple ways to make something new or make something feel new, if you put your mind to it. Knowing I can turn a cashmere jumper into a beret in a couple of hours definitely makes me believe more in my abilities.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll realise how much work goes into how your clothes are made…

The fact that it took me a day to upcycle one piece really put things into perspective in terms of garment workers. Fast-fashion is fast for a reason and the pressures put on manufacturers can lead to workers having to play a role in creating hundreds of garments per day, maybe even up to 900, according to the book, To Die for By by Lucy Siegle, which explains the production of t-shirts and how a group of university students in the UK using the same machines and style of production line, could only manage to produce 95 within the space of 7 hours.

I had the luxury of no time restraints, working from home with food and drink in-between, yet I still felt tired after sitting and concentrating on the sewing machine for half-an-hour and pinning fabric together.

Doing things yourself adds to the level of empathy you can have for those who are battling with our cultural demands and can make you think before you go to buy new next time.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll get addicted…

Okay, maybe not actually addicted but I’ve definitely come away from this week itching to make more! I want to embroider all of the clothes I own and I already want to advance my sewing machine knowledge, in fact, I’ve taken a look at the old clothes I have stored under my bed to re-evaluate the fabric I could use. Speaking of which – does anybody have any ideas for scuba material?


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG


What did you make this week? Have my posts inspired you to make something in the future? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How to Make a Beret Using Old Clothes | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 5, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

If you haven’t been following along, this week is #MAKESMTHNG Week, created by Greenpeace and supported by Fashion Revolution to inspire us all to put down the shopping bags and make something ourselves to take a break from the cycle of endless consumption. After I scratched my itch for some embroidery, I decided to attempt the rather on-trend beret…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


WHAT I USED: Zebra Top & Pink Cashmere Jumper (Originally Secondhand) // Sewing Machine // Pins // 2 x Different Sized Circles // Measuring Tape // Scissors // Felt Tip


Making something that is currently in trend is not only a great way to treasure it for longer due to all of the hard work you put in, it’s also a great way to truly work out whether you’re going to enjoy wearing something for a long period of time, or not, without having to splash much cash or shop from a non-ethical brand.

The idea of making a beret from scratch was mainly born out of my need for a nice-looking winter hat that kept me that little bit warmer but I’m sure subconsciously the fact that they’re popping up everywhere currently was a selling point too.

Recently, my pink cashmere turtle-neck shrunk in the wash – Don’t! Wash! Your! Clothes! Irresponsibly! Kids! – so, once my grieving period was over, I decided it deserved to live on, no matter how badly I wanted it to shrink back to its original state.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

I also had an old zebra top folded up in my drawer which 13-year-old Tolly loved almost as much, so I took the two of them to my dining table and got to work!

I started with my zebra top to get a feel for what I was doing just in case I didn’t like the outcome and decided to leave the high-quality cashmere for another day. I can’t take credit for the pattern of this beret; I used a guide I found on Instructables which was really simply laid out.

TLDR for the basic hat itself – cut two relatively large circles with one of them cut like a doughnut before sewing them together on your sewing machine, and turning them inside out.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


Just like I did with my first attempt at embroidery, I’m going to list some tips and tricks I worked out along the way, below:


As berets are usually made out of felt, woollen fabrics work best…

I do love the outcome of my zebra beret (it has a different sort of fit and will work with more monochromatic outfits), however, my cashmere jumper definitely worked better fabric wise. Not only does it look more like a traditional beret, it also has a better shape and sits more roundly on my head.

Of course you can experiment with other materials, but if you have an old jumper or sweater lying around, that might be your best bet.

Use lots of pins!

I found my pink beret so much easier to put through the machine because I used far more pins than I had with my zebra beret which was a big rookie error. I’m still not perfectly confident with a machine and have to use it on a relatively slow setting but I could speed things up when I knew my fabric wasn’t going to move about or bunch up under the machine’s foot.

When using an old item of clothing, use your scraps…

For my zebra beret, I used the tight but stretchy high-neck as my headband. This reduced the number of scraps I had left-over and allowed me to skip over the step of creating a new band (like I did with my pink beret).

Although it did involve a bit of skill (gathering was needed), it’s funny and satisfying to think the band which usually stretched over my head, now sits on top of it perfectly.

You can create a faux beret bobble…

Or… nipple/tassel/whatever you’d like to call it. I took a small cutting of my pink cashmere, folded it over and very carefully squeezed it under my machine and went back and forth once or twice to stitch it together and give it some structure.

I then took a needle and my pink thread and hand-sewed it to the centre of my beret. If you do it neatly and discreetly enough, it will stand loud and proud and look like the real thing!


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG during the week of December 2nd – December 10th!


Have you been working on any DIYs this week? Share your crafty stories in the comments below… Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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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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