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To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle

By March 2, 2017 Ethical

Seeing as I’ve mentioned it at least a dozen times in previous blog posts, it’s probably about time I spoke about my reading of To Die For by Lucy Siegle, isn’t it? This book review is going to be in a slightly different format, similar to my review of Vivienne Westwood’s book because I’m going to talk about three different topics I hadn’t thought about before…

If you’re wondering why these pictures were taken at the beach; I read most of this book on a tiny bench by the die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#1 – Cotton has a cost…

It’s a lot easier for us all to relate to stories and issues which connect directly with the clothes we wear. It’s easier for us to open our ears and minds to stories about some of the final hands which held them and put the garments together, and it’s even easier for us to forget about the people long before that; the people who made us the fabrics. One of the most eye-opening chapters in To Die For, was the chapter dedicated to cotton and the sections which focused heavily on cotton picking.

One of the biggest cotton producing countries in the world (7th biggest, according to in 2015) is Uzbekistan.  I’d never thought about cotton picking in much detail so when I read that “in 2009 between one and two million children were forced out into Uzbekistan’s fields”, it’s safe to say I was taken aback. It’s also safe to say that cotton picking isn’t pleasant labour.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

Each year the government-installed system forces millions of Uzbekistani’s to take part in cotton production where they are exposed to unknown chemicals, unsafe and unsanitary housing, and lack of safe drinking water (you can read more about it on; many of these people are children or teenagers.

Lucy interviewed a former cotton-picking student who was supposed to reach a quota of 60kg (132 pounds) per day, for the duration of 54 days. As a sixteen-year-old at the time, she only managed to reach this quota once due to how lightweight cotton is. There is so much more to Gulnara’s story, yet I’d never even thought of it before. When practically all of us wear cotton, why is it that we don’t know enough about it?

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#2 – We need to learn more about sustainability…

I’ve always thought more about ethics over sustainability. I suppose not only did I know more about the human side of the industry but it also always struck a chord more easily than say, issues to do with the environment. Knowing that I am responsible for another human being’s treatment to a certain extent was one of the main reason I started approaching fashion more consciously. But I really need to thank this book for making me think about the earth too.

From the date this book was published, the textile industry was one of “the biggest water consumers in the world, using 3.2% of all the 1,400km³ of water available to the human race each year”. This isn’t the only staggering number though, we have to remember that fashion’s footprint is much larger when you consider coal usage, land and water pollution, the effects of herding animals for fibres and skins and all of the added and extra effects which come with the production of things like zips and metal eyelets.

There is so much to consider, it’s no wonder we don’t know enough. There are ways to do it, though. Lucy recommends using a tool called EcoMetrics which enables you to calculate the rough footprint of your wardrobe by looking at what fabrics your clothes are made up of. I’ve yet to try it myself but it’s just one of the small ways you can start to understand sustainability a little clearer.

One of the tools I have used though, is Nike’s Making App which allows you to compare different fabrics and their footprint in different areas. I used it quite a while back in a blog post about my wardrobe at the time but it’s still relevant today too.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

#3 – Should we wear fur – faux or real?

Fur is actually a rather hot topic right now. There were PETA protests and campaigns happening at fashion week this season and there are debates and conversations starting up online so perhaps what Lucy spoke about in To Die For will get you looking at it all from a new perspective.

Lucy opens up to the idea that faux fur might also be a contributor to why real, natural fur is an issue within itself. In more recent times, fur has become more of a statement of wealth rather than warmth and practicality that it originated from many moons ago. There’s this illusion that fur is something beautiful and something to hold and treasure because of its cost and value and this idea seems to be coming back into fashion as a very similar statement.

There are pros and cons to each side of the story of faux and real fur but the book made me start to think whether both are equally as bad. Neither option is ethical; chemicals cause faux fur to be polluting and unsustainable and the slaughtering of animals and the treatment of the skins are unsustainable and unethical when it comes to real.

If a faux fur jacket doesn’t degrade for at least six hundred years (according to a quote by Teresa Platt on page 189), how can we really choose either option? It’s come to my conclusion from reading the chapters on both sides of the story, that we really can’t. Wearing faux-fur is still making fur of any kind seem aspirational and iconic. I really want to delve into more surrounding this subject, especially vegan leathers and furs.

to die for by lucy siegle book review - ethical fashion

Overall, To Die For is definitely one of the heavier books I’ve read on these topics but it’s worth it if you want to focus on areas you have perhaps, a weaker knowledge for. There are also lovely illustrations dotted throughout and unique personal stories which you, of course, won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for a book which is more about ethical brands which are already up and running, I’d recommend taking a look at my review of Slow Fashion by Safia Minney, who is mentioned in this book a couple of times towards the end. For more of a feminist take on things, Threadbare is a great one, and for something just as thought-provoking but a little lighter in terms of writing and size, Stitched Up is another amazing alternative.

I’m currently reading Clothing Poverty, so I’m sure you’ll see a review of that soon.

What do you think of the topics mentioned? Should we wear fur? What books are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Changing With The Seasons #2 – February, Winter*

By March 6, 2015 Changing With The Seasons

I know, I know… it’s March and I’m only just putting up my CWTS #2 (meant for February)… I just blame February being shorter, I mean who knew 2 or 3 days less than usual could make such a big difference? I really do apologise though, I doubt any of you are really keeping track of the schedule, but oh well. It’s here now! Want to know how to dress for winter? Step right this way…

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

WHAT I WORE: Skater Skirt (H&M) // Faux Fur Gilet (Choies) // Scuba Top (Glamorous)* // Scissor Necklace (Chelsea Doll – Now closed)* // Floral Headband (Johnny Loves Rosie @ ASOS) // Holographic Buckle Boots (Boohoo)*

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

It’s definitely getting warmer, which I am SO excited about. I tweeted the other day saying that I literally love summer and spring so much. It’s just that feeling of stepping out the door and not having a freezing cold nose and not having to cover up your meticulously planned outfit with a coat. We’re nearly getting there and that means… COLOUR. I think this skirt (that you guys so amazingly voted for me to style) is a nice inbetween colour, because it matches the purple, but then it also sorta’ blends in those black tights that I’m still clinging on to.

I made this outfit a little bit more snazzy with texture too. I’ve been dying to try out the whole ‘scuba’ trend and I’m loving it. The structure to it makes everything look a bit more sleek and perhaps even a bit more expensive. I’ve had an odd relationship with Glamorous, but the more I wear their pieces, the more I fall in love. The other bit of texture is my faux fur gilet. It has been rather sad as you guys didn’t vote for it… but it made a cheeky appearance anyway!

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd

how to dress for winter - glamorous, boohoo, johnny loves rosie - ootd
I love my faux fur gilet, especially now as it matches my super adorable floral headband from Johnny Loves Rosie… but then again that’s rather sad too as it, keeps. on. braking! The stems of flowers just decide to pop off, so I perhaps wouldn’t suggest buying it, unless you just really like the look of it. Speaking of things we really like the look of… LOOK. AT. MY SHOES.

You have no idea how long I have wanted a proper (like proper, proper) pair of holographic shoes, and I finally have some. I do admit that they are slightly noisy (the buckles tend to squeak and rattle) and the zips are a little too stiff, but I can live with that… they’re amazing. I thank Boohoo for bringing them into my life… I will just point out here and now, that this year I’ll be working with Boohoo on a snazzy lil’ prom outfit… who’s excited for that?!


And finally, the video! I hope you enjoy the little video segment, because I do! It also kind of gives me an excuse to put something up on my YouTube channeleek, haha! I know each one is only short but it just gives you a little insight in to what the outfit actually looks like in ‘real life’? Let me know what you think and please do make sure to subscribe, it would make me very happy! Speak soon…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Changing With The Seasons | The Vote

By January 11, 2015 Changing With The Seasons

Over the Christmas period, I came up with a new series idea for this little ol’ blog, and I’m thinking you’re going to love it! It involves your favourite kind of post (aka. outfit/My Style), but first I need your help. Read on to see what I’m talking about…

CWTS Textures

The idea is, that I will take 1 item of clothing, (whether it be a top, skirt or even a faux fur gilet), and style it over the course of 8 months to go along with the seasons. I thought it would be a really cool idea not only to help you guys gain some style inspiration, but also for me to remember to shop my wardrobe from time to time and work out new and exciting ways to dress up. The schedule will work like this…

WINTER: January & February // SPRING: April & May // SUMMER: July & August // AUTUMN: October & November

So in all of the listed months, there will be an outfit styling the set item of clothing. What d’ya think? Are you game? This is the part where I need your help. I need YOU to vote for the item of clothing. Now, you haven’t got long to do this because I need to get the first installment up, so if you want to be part of this whole series, you’ll have to get your vote in super quick! All you have to do is scroll down and look at each item, think about which you would like me to style, (whether it be for inspiration or just for pretty pictures), and vote for the item of your choosing, using the button below it. The most voted for item will be styled 8 times… Simples!

Changing With The Seasons Stripey Top Boden Johnnie B

Voting is now closed! Here’s the first installment.

A super simple piece which is super versatile and works well in lots of different styles. A safe option, but do you need some inspiration? Vote for it if you’re on a bit of a stripey top low. I love them, so I wouldn’t mind too much! It’s from Johnnie B at Boden*… but seeing as I own a couple of different ones, you may see slightly different ones throughout the series.

Changing With The Seasons Tutu Marks & Spencer

Voting is now closed! Here’s the first installment.

A skirt with something special! I’ve styled this before and it’s pretty darn cool. If you like pastels than I’d vote for this. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, yeah? It’s from Marks & Spencer.

Changing With The Seasons Skater Skirt H&M

Voting is now closed! Here’s the first installment.

Another basic item but can be worked into so many different styles and vibes. I love this for grunge filled outfits. Perfect for the summer season… get voting! It’s from H&M.

Changing With The Seasons Pastel Gilet Choies

Voting is now closed! Here’s the first installment.

A new addition to my wardrobe, so styling this up would be perfect for me! Love how fluffy and soft it is too… IT’S SO FLUFFY! If you like Despicable Me, vote in… I have minion socks to match! It’s from Choies.

So that’s it! Get voting! If you want to be the first to find out which item has been voted the most, then give me a follow on Twitter. The first Changing With The Seasons post will be up towards the end of the month! Exciting… speak soon!

(Although there is a PR sample within this post, the idea was totally original and I was not asked to include it. Read my full PR disclaimer here.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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