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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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Updating Your Wardrobe with Embroidery | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 2, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

This week marks the inaugural #MAKESMTHNG (Make Something) Week by Greenpeace. The holiday season, especially with sales and promotions such as Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales, is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year and although that may be all well and good – especially for gift-giving and saving money on essentials – it’s a time when we often tend to forget other alternatives like making things…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I USED: Denim Shirt (Originally Johnnie B) // Embroidery Hoops // Embroidery Thread // Embroidery Needles


Instead of shopping, Greenpeace alongside Fashion Revolution, are aiming to inspire us all to make something of our own, whether it be big or small, our first project or one of many, in order to take a break from our culture of over-consumption and take a leaf from someone else’s book to understand the true value of how our clothes are made.

I was asked to take part and I have to say, it’s done the trick. I started off small myself as admittedly, I’m still on a journey when it comes to the actual creation of clothes and accessories.

There’s a lot to it and it can feel awfully daunting if you’ve never put needle-to-fabric or iron-to-iron-on-patch, before! The inspiration behind my first project came mainly from the wonderfully woven artwork I’ve been following along on Instagram lately.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Embroidery may be a trend which flows in-and-out of the fashion cycle every other season but it’s actually a craft which originates from even as early as 300 AD (according to Stitches in Time). Now you can find examples of embroidery by designers such as Valentino – it’s one of the reasons I admire their haute-couture collections so much.

As I said, I’m still an amateur in certain areas and although I’ve dabbled in cross-stitch work in the past, I’ve never properly attempted embroidery.

Fuelled by #MAKESMTHNG motivation, I picked up an embroidery hoop, some threads in primary colours and a pack of needles and got stitching some #MAKESMTHNG imagery on to a denim shirt-dress I owned double-of.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Later on, I also went on to chop down and hem the shirt-dress into a blouse – using a sewing machine – and added a new popper, which was the reason I hadn’t been wearing it in the first place, therefore bringing new life to something that was shoved in a bin-bag.


Here is my advice for helping any fellow embroidery novices:


Having a basic sewing knowledge will help…

Although I definitely had to head to YouTube for some tips on how to achieve different stitches, actually putting them into practice was far easier than I thought because it’s not too far removed from ordinary sewing.

I would recommend having a practice on a scrap piece of fabric (or maybe a t-shirt you could easily unpick on) so that you feel more confident when you start off. Straight stitch is as simple as going in and out of the fabric and back stitch is as simple as going in, well, backwards. Speaking of which…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Don’t feel like you have to use a strict stitching pattern…

Of course, sticking to the same style of stitch is essential in certain scenarios but don’t feel like you have to only use one style to complete something. I used a mix of straight, back, satin and split stitches to achieve all of the shapes I was working on.

I sort of winged-it in a sense, using what stitch felt best on each area. Satin stitch – stitching as close together as possible – will of course always be easiest for filling in blocks of colour.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I WORE: Many Questions T-Shirt £20.00 (Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh) // Black Trousers (Charity Shop) // Watch (Casio)* 


Be as even as possible…

You can actually see the difference in me implementing this rather obvious piece of advice just by looking at the hand shape versus the eye shape which I embroidered. The white of the eye is a lot less patchy as I took more time to make my satin stitch as smooth as I could.

Satin stitch works best with smaller areas (see my little yellow stars and the pink circle) but you can definitely achieve a similar effect if you put your mind to it. I’m wondering if this was a little trickier as I was working on a denim fabric – if you’re an embroidery expert, please do let me know!

Use interfacing to avoid fraying…

If you’re going to be embroidering on to an item of clothing, use some iron-on interfacing on the backside of your embroidery work. This will help you avoid it coming undone or lessen the chances of it fraying when you wear it. Seeing as it won’t be visible, you don’t have to be too neat with this.


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!


I’ll be back soon with another project but for now, let me know what you’ll be making in the comments…

  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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Easy DIY Fashion Fix Ideas | Fashion Revolution 2017

By April 30, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

With my penultimate Fashion Revolution post being quite a heavy piece, I thought I would tie this week up along the simpler route by listing out a few of ways that you can make your clothes last longer. Although I talk an awful lot about shopping with more ethically focused brands, the way you care and dispose of your clothes is equally as important as what you buy.

One of Fashion Revolution’s campaigns for 2017 included the #LovedClothesLast short film which focuses on exactly that; how loved clothes will last a lot longer than those which aren’t, whether that means how we care for them or how they were produced. You can watch the full short film here. On top of that, Fashion Revolution are also trying to encourage people to start “fashion fixing”; making your clothes last longer by fixing them rather than throwing them away. Scroll down for some easy ideas that I can guarantee all of you can do from home…

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ DIY PATCH JACKET ~
Read the full tutorial here.


This is the jacket that some of you long time TDP readers may recognise. I also featured it in my recent blog post of my trip to Lottozero’s Fashion Revolution event in Prato, Italy. I originally bought the jacket from a jumble sale with the intention of adding more to it; it was a blank white canvas which meant there was an awful lot of room to play with. If you click through to the tutorial you’ll see that not only did I dye the jacket but I also added some patches. 

Iron-on patches are extremely easy to use (all you need is a tea-towel and iron) and are what I used for all of the patches upon it. However, some of the original patches did peal off in the wash, so if you access to a needle and thread, sewing the patches on will make them last even longer. I simply re-ironed them on this time, adding my Fashion Revolution patches along with them. It is possible to find more sustainable patches; Avery Dennis (who produced the exclusive patches) use 90% recycled yarns. 

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ DIY SLEEVELESS JACKET ~
All you need is scissors!


This might not seem like much of a DIY but it saved this jacket from being taken to a local charity shop. I was wearing this denim jacket “cropped” for a few years, styling it so it looked purposefully fit to be smaller but unfortunately it had reached the stage where it simply just looked too small. I took to it with some sharp scissors though and I have a whole new item in my wardrobe; a sleeveless denim jacket (or waistcoat).

I’m also planning on adding some white pleated ruffles around the armholes using an old white dress. I’ll be getting out my sewing machine soon and will most definitely report back on my progress in the future.

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket


~ MORE IDEAS ~
Follow my Instagram Story…


Ripped & Dip-dyed Jeans…

To go alongside my dip-dyed jacket, I ripped up some of my white jeans and dyed them in a similar style. They’re still going strong and you can see them styled up in a recent outfit post. Quick, easy, and once again doesn’t require much skill if you haven’t necessarily got the time to learn a new craft.

Crop It…

Take the same principle as I did with my old denim jacket and cut off the length of a t-shirt. It might not seem like you’re doing much but you might just end up falling back in love with its new style. If you want to neaten it up and save it from fraying, find a sewing machine and create a simple hem line, or ask someone who knows how to do it for you.

Add Pom-Poms…

I love this idea from Fashion Revolution themselves; pom-poms are really simple to make once you learn and can definitely add something more interesting to an item you’re getting a little bored of. It also saves you from going out and buying a new pom-pom trend led piece which often aren’t much more than just a sweatshirt and the pom-poms themselves. Being in charge of the process will guarantee that it will last for longer and you can make it look exactly as you like it. 

Use Off-Cuts…

With DIYs, especially those involving cutting and slicing off arms, you’ll often have off-cut pieces of fabric lying about. Don’t throw these out! You can make accessories or use the old buckles and buttons for future projects. Try and reduce your waste as much as possible. 


How will you make your clothes last longer? Have you got any quick DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me this Fashion Revolution Week! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll be sending out a round-up shortly.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What Is Greenwashing & How Do You Avoid It? | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 28, 2017 Ethical

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


Fantastically, Fashion Revolution and a new surge of conscious consumerism have brought to the attention of many brands that their customers want more answers about where their clothing comes from. We’ve seen them respond positively and it has inspired us all to keep going on our mission for greater transparency, however, with this comes the idea of ‘greenwashing’ and being all talk and no action.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability


~ READ THE FASHION REVOLUTION FANZINE ~


The Greenwashing Index defines greenwashing as “when a company or organisation spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimise environmental impact“. With the rise of consumers demanding to know more about how a brand is run and how it’s supply chain is managed, more and more brands and designers have started to step forward to show in whatever way they can, that they are part of the positive change and movement.

I will start off by saying that it’s important to recognise that something is being done, no matter how small that is. We have to start from somewhere even as individuals so I’m glad that the industry is becoming more aware. My concern is that for less informed consumers, small steps will end up looking a lot larger than they are on the surface and those who are doing an outstanding job across the board, will be left at the wayside due to the fact that they are lesser known.

One of the major examples that some of you may already be aware of, is H&M. H&M have two “sustainable” lines under their belt; H&M Conscious and Conscious Exclusive. The aim of the Exclusive collection is to showcase more sustainable production techniques whether that means using organic cotton or recycled materials. It’s a capsule collection, far smaller than the rest of their range which is more heavily marketed on their website and far easier to find in store. The main Conscious collection seems to be based around what fabrics are used within each garment.

If you visit the H&M homepage, you’ll find that the Conscious Exclusive collection has to be found by scrolling down and that there is no main header link for either Conscious collection; they’re tucked away under the Campaigns on the Women’s tab.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Secondly, their recycling initiatives have also been catching the attention of the media and its customers. In January 2017, H&M launched a campaign video called “Bring It On” to ask their customers to donate their used garments into store. Interestingly enough, this video is still up and running on H&M’s US website, but on the UK one, you can only discover it via Google.

You’re probably wondering why I’m focusing on how accessible these pieces of information are. It’s all part of what greenwashing technically is, and is a good indicator of whether you should be supporting a brand or not. If the sustainable or ethical information isn’t as equally as accessible as the main collection of a brand as a whole then they are being the opposite of transparent. Information is being spread around that sustainability is a focus when in actual fact, it’s still something which is being tucked away and concealed.

And as much as I appreciate the H&M Foundation for funding some innovative and sustainable ideas at the recent Global Change Awards, I highly doubt the average high-street customer is aware of this.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

I found this a similar case with ASOS; their ASOS Eco Edit is tucked away under a menu tab with just a single link. They have two separate social media accounts for promoting their more sustainable and ethical items of stock, their Instagram following being a mere 12k compared to an over 5 million account reach on their main. That’s a whole lot of influence being put to waste. It would be an interesting question to have answered; why wouldn’t they want to share the more positive of brands on their site, with the majority of their following? To me, it’s baffling.

With H&M especially though, they aren’t just tucking away what they so say want to change within the industry, they’re almost disguising the fact that they’re one of the biggest reasons behind why it needs to change. On the UK site, out of the main collection there are 4,874 items for Women, of which only 209 are consciously focused. This is a reasonably high number; in fact, perhaps a little too high with prices a little too low. How can a pair of skinny jeans be be £19.99 and be labelled as “conscious”? And in terms of the actual production and ethics of it all, it was only in February 2016 when an H&M factory in Bangladesh caught fire killing four of its workers. It’s due to the immense pressure of a brand of such size, that these sorts of incidents occur.

As I mentioned previously, I’m concerned that the positive actions that are being put into place aren’t being compared to what is really going on. It’s not just fast-fashion brands either. I’ve had concerns over supposedly, “non” fast-fashion brands like Nobody’s Child, for example. They claim to be to serve “fast fashion with a conscious” which is rather peculiar. Fast-fashion is unsustainable; mixing those two terms is something already rather questionable.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

An article by Project JUST, which reviews several bigger name sustainable brands like Everlane and Warby Parker, shows that phrases like “radical transparency” don’t always live up to their definitions. Of course, I would much rather suggest people start lifting up brands such as Everlane, but if you really want to be the best consumer as possible (which trust me, is often difficult), learning more about all kinds of brands is just as important.

But, there are ways to avoid the wool being pulled over your eyes. These are some questions which are good to ask yourself before supporting a brand…

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Are they shouting about it?

Something which concerns me with brands who label themselves as “ethical and sustainable” yet come across as fast-fashion, is whether they’re really shouting about it. Simply labelling yourself as such doesn’t necessarily guarantee that these practices are being put into place. Take a look and see how accessible their information regarding ethics and sustainability is, and whether they’re proud to fly that flag. Do they join in with #WhoMadeMyClothes, and the like? Ask yourself if you truly trust what they’re claiming to support.

What information can you find?

Alongside whether they’re shouting about it, you need to know what it is they’re shouting about. If this information is easy to find, you might want to think about what sort of issues are important to you. A great way to decipher this is by taking a look at the Policy & Commitment categories within Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index, which is a review of 100 major brands and how they’re tackling transparency. Some of these commitments include…

Animal Welfare
☞ Child Labour
☞ Discrimination
☞ Equal Pay
☞ Forced or Bonded Labour
☞ Health & Safety

☞ Maternity Rights/Parental Leave
☞ Sub-contracting & Outsourcing
☞ Use of Chemicals
☞ Waste & Recycling
☞ Water Usage
☞ Working Hours

Some of Fashion Revolution’s findings include the fact that only 20 out of the 100 brands disclose procedures that address maternity rights; only 43 brands publish an assessment for high-risk supply chain issues and only 40 brands disclose how child labour policies are put into practice.  That’s less than half.

Ask yourself what issues matter to you and find out whether the brand has open information readily available for you to read and learn from.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

What information will they give you?

A brilliant point brought up in Project JUST’s article on the same issue of greenwashing was what information will brands give you if they ask. Especially when it comes to campaigns like #WhoMadeMyClothes, the stand out brands will be those of which reply with the most transparent and specific answer possible. It’s not just what they tweet you either, it’s what you can get through contact forms, emailing and even writing letters in some cases. If they don’t give you enough information; ask yourself if you truly want to support their level of transparency.

Are they making progress?

As aforementioned, I want to reiterate that progress is important. It’s exactly what we want to see more of. So yes, do praise and award brands which are doing so but also ask yourself how much are they really doing? Another part of Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index includes the Know, Show & Fix category which is about analysing which brands are assessing their policies, disclosing these assessments and are fixing what needs to be fixed.

The highest scoring brands in this include (thankfully) H&M, alongside Marks & Spencer, GAP, Adidas, Reebok and Puma – but none of these brands score higher than a 40% score. You can learn more about the scoring by, of course, taking a look at the index for yourself, which I highly recommend if you are interested in learning more.

how to avoid fast-fashion greenwashing - h&m sustainability

Will you actually end up wearing what you buy?

I think it’s not only important to understand who you’re buying from, but also what you’re buying. Take a read of my post on working out whether you’ll actually end up wearing what you buy. An important part of creating a more sustainable industry is creating sustainable shoppers. We need to start becoming more conscious of our decisions and impact as that all leads back to what brands decide to change. Every penny is a vote, remember!

Shop from brands that are built on ethics and sustainability.

Finally, I want to point you in the direction of my ethical directory. Although I will admit I can’t answer all questions to do with every brand within it, I can say that I am in full support of everything these brands stand for. The list is growing and I’m updating it every month so hopefully, some of you will find it helpful. I also, recommend taking a look at Project JUST who I have already mentioned within this post. Not only was I recently interviewed for their #IAMJUST series, I also admire what they are doing. Their directory is a lot more in-depth and offers you a platform to learn more about brands you might already shop with.


Have you ever encountered any greenwashing? What are your thoughts on the progress within the industry? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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A Love Story to My Clothes | Fashion Revolution Week 2017

By April 26, 2017 Ethical

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?


One of the ways Fashion Revolution is trying to inspire people to care more about their wardrobe’s impact is getting them to write a ‘love story’ to some of the items we own so that we can spend a moment to really appreciate what hangs on all of our hangers or what is tucked away in our drawers…

Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Metallic Dr Martens,

Honestly, I didn’t spend a single penny on you (the perks of being a blogger), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t value you. You took months to wear in and your laces now need repairing, but you still look as shiny and beautiful as ever.

I don’t know who made you but I would like to find. I’d like to think you’ll last me well as that’s what DMs are meant to do.

Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear Yellow Leather Jacket,

One of the saddest words is ‘almost’. I almost didn’t have you in my life. You attract people to you; you’re vibrant and bold and joyful in your yellow hue. So, it’s no surprise that on the day you entered my life you were being pulled in different directions because other people like you so much too!

I was unsure of you at first but I haven’t stopped loving you or wearing you and because you’re so durable and of such a high quality, even though you’ve been loved before, I know that I will continue to do so.

Love from your constant wearer,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE IT ~
1 / 2 / 3


Fashion Revolution 2017 Love Story Haulternative

Dear ASOS Slogan Sweatshirts…

I bought you a few years ago in the sale because you were within my teenage budget. Luckily the spur of the moment purchase didn’t go to waste because I wear you every autumn.

Again, I’m not sure who made you or how much they earned to make you but I know I put you to good use.

Thanks for keeping me warm,
Tolly 💋


~ HOW I STYLE THEM ~
1 / 2 / 3


What would you write in your love story to your clothes? What are some of your favourite pieces in your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Heather Knight of Fashion Revolution

By April 4, 2017 Ethical, 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. 


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution began after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed on April 24th, 2013, in order to push brands and open up the conversation about the real issues within the fast-fashion industry. Fashion Revolution helps consumers understand what is going on behind the label, inspiring them to create change and ask questions.
Heather Knight heads up the branding and communications for Fashion Revolution. She makes sure everything looks good and sounds great, from Fashion Revolution campaign materials, fanzines and reports, to website, social media and newsletters. She believes in the power of creativity to make an idea irresistible, and the ability of communications to inspire real change.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // ZINE


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you would have read the words ‘Fashion Revolution’ a hundred times over by now. It’s one of the most influential campaigns regarding the fashion industry and I couldn’t be more honoured to be connected to the team in some way. They’re all truly passionate about the work they do and supporting them is one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

With Fashion Revolution Week just around the corner (April 24th – April 30th), I thought it would be a great way to start my Pen to Paper series back up and get some direct answers from Heather Knight, who heads up branding and communications.


Even in the past 4 years since Fashion Revolution began, we’ve seen a real shift… both in brands becoming more transparent and in consumers expecting and demanding transparency. There’s still a long journey ahead → We want a radical change in the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, but there’s momentum to change.

What has it been like to watch the fashion industry change over the years?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We shouldn’t shy away from presenting the shocking, grim realities, but they should be accompanied with inspiration and action. Making people feel guilty isn’t going to change behaviours – that’s been proven not to work. Showing that ethical fashion can look good and feel good and can make your wallet (and the planet) happy is a great way to shift hearts, minds + behaviours.

Do you believe we should focus on the more positive sides of ethical fashion or do you believe talking about the harsh truths is more important?


I personally believe this is one of the reasons Fashion Revolution has been such a powerful initiative. It has opened my eyes to many of the tragedies over the past few years but it has also made me see things in a new light and made me really champion those who are behind our clothes. It’s quite incredible to think that transparency is becoming more important, showing proof that we can get the results we as consumers are now asking for.

Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


Buying from ethical brands is an option off their radar – there are misconceptions that ethical fashion is expensive, dull and ‘unfashionable’, but there are some amazing and affordable brands out there. But buying new clothes should be a last resort – there are so many better ways to update your wardrobe, from charity shopping, vintage, swapping or the clothes you already own! ↳ www.fashionrevolution.org/haulternative

What do you think stops the everyday shopper from purchasing from ethical brands?


Last year we had 1,251 brands/retailers respond with #IMadeYourClothes, and over 370 were major global brands. It was great to see G-STAR RAW respond with an interactive map and stories of their producers. American Apparel produced a video, and Marimekko dedicated part of their website to sharing stories about their producers.

With #whomademyclothes, what brands have had the best responses overall?


Fashion Revolution 2017 - Heather Knight Interview


We want to see even more people participating, asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and more brands than ever replying with #IMadeYourClothes and demonstrating transparency in their supply chain. We want a BIGGER LOUDER Fashion Revolution that reaches more people in more countries around the world, inspiring people to think differently about the clothes they buy and wear.

What are your goals for Fashion Revolution in 2017? What can we all do to support it?


GET INVOLVED: www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved

Thank you so much to Heather for answering some questions, especially when we’re just 20 days away from the big week of pushing for change. Make sure to get involved as much as you can and follow Fashion Revolution throughout the year too. I know I will!


(Images courtesy of Fashion Revolution)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How Millennials and Generation Z Can Become More Ethical

By March 21, 2017 Ethical

A common theme when I asked around for some questions and blog post ideas after racking my brain for days, ended up being about the younger generation and ethical fashion. Of course, that’s rather relevant seeing as I’m part of what some would class as “Generation Z”; the not-quite millennials.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution


FEATURED: Clarabella Bag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Zhandra Rhodes Top (People Tree) // Fashion Revolution Instagram // Bluetooth Speaker (UE Roll)* // Nike Trainers (old – JD Sports)*


Whenever I talk about my generation and being a teen today, I always have to reiterate how my experience isn’t necessarily the bog-standard norm for people my age and for people in let’s say, the UK. Without trying to sound pretentious, the situations I’ve been put into have opened me up to alternative ways of living and viewing different aspects of life, especially in more recent times. This doesn’t, however, mean that I’m oblivious to teen culture. My earliest blog posts are an insight into that with my focus on celebrity style and bargain buys; I’ve lived that but now my eyes have been opened.

And I think that’s a good segue into the core of this blog post. I was talking to someone recently about social media and how it plays a part in teenagers and politics and it brought to head my true opinion on what I believe about our age group. On the one hand, I couldn’t be happier that we have so many incredible platforms to play with and use right at our fingertips.

It’s opened up so many different conversations and gives us the ability to be inundated with unique angles and perspectives that we wouldn’t necessarily get anywhere else. We have the freedom to learn about whatever we want and talk to whoever we want and express whatever we want and I don’t see why anyone should be complaining about that.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

In my mind, the problem which comes with that, is the idea of sitting back and letting everyone else do the work. It’s extremely easy to think that there are enough active people and citizens out there because when we refresh the page, there’s something new from them. There’s a huge difference between being a participant in what is going on around us and actually being part of what is going on around us. I’m not just saying this relates to teens and young adults; we all know

I’m not just saying this relates to teens and young adults; we all know from these platforms that there are plenty of older people who like to talk but not do, but if I’m going to relate this to ethical issues in particular, then I believe this is one of the stumbling blocks we face.

The younger generations are much more aware of the issues and that’s hugely important because it means they are being informed and influenced in some way. The more the issues to do with, say, the fast-fashion industry are discussed, the more we’ll start to question things and wonder if we’re part of the problem. Being actively involved in changing our ways is perhaps a little harder but this all seems to stem from old habits.

When I started my blog at age 11, I used to go into high-street shops with the main objective of buying as much as I could with the £10 note in my hand. An unsuccessful shopping trip would be one which left me close to empty-handed. The thrill of buying as much as you can with as little as possible is understanding, especially when you’re younger and money is sparse.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Labour Behind the Label

I treasure money like gold now, understanding and knowing it’s true value; saving up for investments, my future and experiences rather than anything too materialistic, unlike when I was younger and it was a fun thing to use and play with. I’d buy t-shirts and dresses in the sale for prices as little as £3 and I’d be utterly satisfied. I can only believe that this was because due being brought up on the idea of more meaning more, due to western society, consumption and commercialism (wow, that’s a big sentence).

Unfortunately, I think this is still true of many younger people and as I said, it has a lot to do with money. When you’re a teen, you’re either saving for the future or you’re struggling to even put together a double-figure number, so when it comes to clothes and it comes to accessible products to buy, the cheapest option is always going to be easiest and on the surface, seem more worthwhile.

This especially true when you add the ‘millennial’ mindset on top of that; according to a study by the Harris Group, 72% of millennials would now prefer to spend money on experiences rather than physical products. This doesn’t mean we aren’t buying physical products, it just means we’d rather spend less and save the bulk for travelling and experiencing new opportunities. We’re definitely not avoiding buying physical products – it’s hard to imagine somebody going on a vacation or heading to a festival without buying new clothes to wear nowadays, isn’t it?

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

Getting people out of this mindset and into a more conscious one is a little difficult when ethical fashion, unfortunately, has a stigma of being more expensive. I’m going to say this rather bluntly; ethical fashion isn’t more expensive if you stop buying as much as you usually would. The only reason ethical fashion is known to be expensive is because one piece can often be the price of two fast-fashion pieces. It’s why it often gets referred to as ‘slow fashion’. It’s about consuming more slowly and considerately; saving the money you would spend on a handful of trend focused pieces, for fewer, more long lasting and of course, ethically and sustainably made items.

Once our mindsets have been changed, ethical fashion won’t be expensive. It will be the way we shop. The industry will move and we’ll head in a more positive direction as a whole. We have to start thinking about it differently but unfortunately, just reading headlines and taking in tweets isn’t going to change anything drastically. Just being aware doesn’t cut it anymore.

So, how exactly, especially as part of the younger generation, do we go about changing our ways and become more actively involved in making positive actions happen?

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Fashion Revolution

Change your mindset…

Start believing that less is more. Conscious consumerism may not be the final answer to change how the industry works, but it’s one of the easiest ways to start getting involved. This wonderful quote by Anna Lappe which I’ve included before on my blog says it all, ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want’. Use your vote more wisely. Think about whether you’ll actually end up using or wearing something you buy. Be conscious not just aware.

Help others change their mindset too…

If you’re out shopping with someone; why not ask them questions? Get them to think about why they’re buying each item. You don’t have to pressure them or fill them with a sense of guilt by showing them screenshots of a collapsed factory (that’s a bit extreme) but introducing this thought-process gradually is a big step. It will also make you truly appreciate everything you touch and feel. I can no longer go into a shop without questioning things now. I’m always asking where? Who? How?

For a slightly more extreme approach, take look at Craftivist Collective’s ‘Mini Fashion Statements’ idea.

Take part in Fashion Revolution…

If we’re a generation that thrives on getting ourselves out there and getting stuck in with new and exciting experiences, then physically taking part in some form of activism can be a great place to start.

Fashion Revolution was created after the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, and now pushes for change within the industry throughout the whole year but especially during the month of April. Take a look at their website and see if there are any events on in your area that you can be a part of. It’s a global event as well, so there’s nothing stopping you from finding an event in your country or even.

Ethical Fashion for Millennials and Generation Z - Labour Behind the Label

Get answers…

It’s all well and good celebrating when a brand answers a broad question about how they run in terms of ethics and sustainability, but actually asking the questions yourself and pushing them constantly will make them aware that change is needed. One of the questions I’m currently trying to ask is directed at Jack Wills. They recently released the news that they would be openly sharing where their products are manufactured, on their website, but I have yet to easily find this list and in my opinion, that’s a little disappointing.

Since publishing this post, Jack Wills have tweeted me with a link to their “Fabric of Jack” campaign.

So, if you’re curious – ask. Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat in this scenario, it leads to something more positive. This also links in with Fashion Revolution and the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign.

Donate to those who are helping directly…

Initiatives like Labour Behind The Label are striving to help those affected by the issues in the fast-fashion industry, protecting, supporting and empowering garment workers worldwide. They have some incredible campaigns running which you can donate to in order to support their wider work. Donating can help Labour Behind The Label put pressure on brands, support those have been exploited and overall, help us move forward in making the industry a more positive space.

What do you think Millennials and Generation Z could be doing better in terms of ethics? How are you being more active? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why YouTube Haul Videos Don’t Have to Be Problematic

By March 12, 2017 Ethical, YouTube

For those of you know aren’t familiar with the term ‘haul video’, here’s a brief description. A haul on YouTube is a video showcasing someone’s recently purchased items. They’re hugely successful especially when it comes to fashion, with some videos receiving views in the millions. The problematic side of this comes down to the frequency of uploads and the vast amount of people being influenced by them; it’s the opposite of celebrating conscious consuming.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - fashion haulternative

I don’t want this to be a negative, guilt-inducing article because I too, at one point, was an avid haul-watching-aholic. In fact, I used to upload haul videos myself back when I was somewhat active on YouTube (meaning I am part of the 21,500,000 videos on YouTube including the word ‘haul’ in the title). I’m not here to tell you to stop watching them or to stop making them, in fact, I’m going to avoid that completely; hence the title. But, just to continue on from my introduction, I will expand on why it doesn’t match up with what I believe should be more beneficial to us.

Haul videos promote consumption, and that’s just a fact nobody can avoid. The reason for haul videos isn’t just to spread the love of what we own, it’s to spread the love of what we own for somebody else to then enjoy by purchasing it themselves. It’s also not even about that anymore due to the rise of influencer marketing where products are paid to be featured in them or they’d been paid for by a brand in hopes of a feature, too.

If you’ve read my blog post about using your audience for change, you’ll know how important I believe the word ‘influencer’ is and how relevant it is to what I have to say in this post, too.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ CLOTHES SWAP ~


With haul videos being so influential in what we buy, especially within the younger generations, they can be problematic if we’re going to make sustainability a priority. It’s also problematic if the brands being promoted are perhaps not as ethical as we might like because they gain interest and that sends a signal to them that they’re ‘working’ or that they’re successful.

There’s a great quote by Anna Lappe which is, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”, and I think it rings true for how we approach influence as well. Every time you promote a brand, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want other people to cast a vote for too.

So, why do I think haul videos don’t have to be problematic? It’s once again all to do with influence and the message put across. Although I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while now, the final push came when I watched one of Marzia (CutiePieMarzia)’s videos; a haul video, to be precise. Throughout the whole video she touched on ethics, even if it was just showing a brand’s core values and towards the end, she explained it all in further detail, explaining why buying items you truly love is more important than buying items you’ll only wear a handful of times even if they’re not necessarily ethical in the first place.

As much as I want to promote ethical shopping, it can be a difficult transition to make but this is a really great starting place not only for us, the viewers but also for content creators and how they approach these topics gradually and naturally.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ HAULTERNATIVE ~


One of the reasons I picked out Marzia specifically is because she has a large audience and if we’re going to talk about influence then we should talk about those who can influence the most. It’s really refreshing to see somebody at least opening the conversation, which I think we could do with a lot more of. On the grand scheme of things, no reputations would be harmed and brands aren’t going to back away from working with someone if they’re only naturally introducing a concept. In my opinion, there’s nothing to lose.

Another great example of someone with a wide audience is Liv from What Olivia Did. I’ve been a huge fan of Liv’s blog for years now but recently she did a post all about consumerism and it was honest. She didn’t make herself out to be anything more than she is, and that’s something we should value when it comes to these issues. We need transparency across the board.

These two examples are just small ways haul videos and fashion content can become less consumption based. I think constantly dropping in ideas and mentions of what we all need to work towards is actually sometimes more important and influential than huge statements once in a while. Consistency and commitment to a message are key.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tolly Dolly Posh Love Story


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There are other ways, though, which takes me back to Marzia once again because, over the past couple of years, she’s taken part in Fashion Revolution’s #Haulternative campaign which focuses on exactly what I’m talking about; more positive and conscious consumption. Fashion Revolution have a wide range of content ideas for when Fashion Revolution day comes around, which I would highly recommend taking a look at if you are a blogger or influencer yourself.

One of these #Haulternative ideas is one I participated in and uploaded myself. The idea of a ‘Love Story’ haul involves sharing items of clothing you’ve had in your wardrobe for longer than just a few days. It’s still technically a haul because you’re sharing a collection of products, but it’s about sharing the idea of rekindling the love you originally had for them. It’s also about sentimentality (you can read more about how that’s important to sustainability here) and prolonging the number of times you use and wear something.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tanya Burr Most Worn Items


~ MOST WORN ~


A video which wasn’t directly for Fashion Revolution but was along the same vein was by Tanya Burr. She posted a video about the most worn items in her wardrobe and even if the products and brands she was promoting weren’t necessarily ethical, she was engaging with the concept that clothes can last.

All of the messages add up and contribute to a more positive influence online. We just need more people to participate and learn more themselves. I will say it for the 783rd time – education is vital and is something we all need and can do with more of. I’m still learning about how to become a better shopper and a better influencer. Why don’t we start thinking about how we all can, too?


Do you think YouTube hauls are problematic? What hauls have you seen which are more positive? Let me know in the comments! Let’s discuss…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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