Tolly Dolly Posh Fashion
Instagram GIFs
Browsing Tag

my style

My Style: Incorrect Sizing & Upycling (+ Instagram Stickers!)

By February 6, 2018 My Style

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you what I’m wearing around here so let’s start off February with some rather Valentines-appropriate colours and a little talk about upcycling and what to do when nothing second-hand is your size (at least, not in the way you thought)…


 I also have something exciting to announce! I’m now a verified GIPHY artist which means… you can now use my very own ethical and sustainable GIFs on things like Instagram Stories! Take a look at some examples in this post and on my profile, here.  


Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


WHAT I WORE: Red Blouse (Charity Shop) // Embroidered Denim Dress (Upcycled + Jumble Sale) // Leather Backpack (Upcycled + Charity Shop) // Tights (Old) // Floral Wanderlust Boots (Dr Martens)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)*


I’ve been embracing red recently. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s what I should call ‘my colour’ as I’m not entirely used to wearing it yet but there’s always fun in experimenting. I was actually making it my mission to add more of the colour to my wardrobe so it was delightful to find this old Marks & Spencer’s number in a charity shop towards the end of last year.

If you read my post on my ethical and sustainable fashion journey (where I admit it’s taken me three years to get to where I am, currently), you’ll know that I’m also making it my mission to pay attention to what fabrics are in my wardrobe because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our clothes don’t just affect the world we live in whilst they’re being made – they can also have negative effects on the world we live whilst we wear and wash them.

Thankfully, whilst I was in the charity shop changing room, I did a quick Google search to understand what fabric this blouse is made of…

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

To my surprise, it’s made of Cupro which is a biodegradable fabric made of waste cotton fibres. I was satisfied! This blouse isn’t any old Marks & Spencer’s blouse though as it comes from their old St Michael’s range which came to end in 2000 (the year I was born, which means this blouse is at least 18 years old), which has me wondering; do they still use this sustainable fabric? Or have times changed?

It’s also wrongly sized for me, it hangs off of me baggily and the sleeves are long enough for me to pull over my hands but that’s one piece of advice I will always give to people shopping second-hand (or even just newly); sizes aren’t essential to pay attention to unless you want something form fitting or trousers that don’t fall down. 

I have a floral blouse that’s a UK Size 16 and it’s perfect for layering and now I have this red number too, which sits on me loosely and creates a deep-V, which one day I may just be brave enough to wear with an intricate bralette. Try things on and see how you can make it work, regardless of the number on the label.

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

I’m not here just to talk about that though, I also want to discuss my denim dress. It’s not a new item of clothing to my blog – I actually wore it when I first received these very same Dr Martens – but it looks a little different than before.

Recently, I finally decided to get my sewing machine out and make it more wearable. Before I upcycled it, I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time as the apron-style strap weighed down on my neck so quite honestly, it’s stayed in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. 

It didn’t take much for it to become something I now want to treasure (think about this before you decided to pass on an item of clothing). I used some denim scraps from my embroidered blouse to create two straps that cross-over at the back of the dress and it now sits perfectly on my shoulders; no back pain, at last!

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


Search “@tollydollyposh” on Instagram Stories GIF selection to use stickers like these wherever you like!


Speaking of embroidery, another reason to treasure this dress is because I’ve decided to embark on a new project – The Embroidery Dress project, in which I plan to completely cover the whole surface of the dress in embroidery as I learn new techniques and improve with my hand stitching.

I can already see where I’m getting more confident and so far I’m pleased with the result even if it doesn’t make much sense to anybody else catching a glimpse of it. If you want to follow the progress, I make sure to update you all with what I add, on my Instagram Story and you are more than welcome to send suggestions.

The numbered shape is a Community-inspired cootie catcher (my favourite show, you should know that by now), the paint droplets are something I plan to do more of once the rest of the dress starts to take shape and the other two pieces are pretty self-explanatory; the boot of Italy and the Many Questions pattern from my ethical t-shirt collection.

I also did a spot of upcycling on my mini backpack which I received for Christmas (because yes, receiving and giving second-hand gifts is perfectly acceptable). The leather bag had a small stain where you will now find a cluster of flowers, which was originally a piece of a broken necklace. Clever, huh?


What have you been wearing recently? What should I add to my embroidery dress, next? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

Illustrated My Style: 2017 Outfits

By December 23, 2017 My Style

Some blog posts are too good not to attempt again so as part of my end-of-year content, I’m back with another illustrated round-up of my annual outfits. You can take a gander at my 2016 selection if you’re in need of even more sartorial inspiration…

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations

~ RECYCLED & DIY DENIM ~

This blouse was most definitely a most-warn item for me during the warmer months; it was perfect with skirts or trousers and made for a great layering piece in the early autumn. However, I wouldn’t have worn it as much if it hadn’t had been for my Yours Again recycled denim chokers which tied it all together.

The lesson from this outfit? Sometimes the clothes we um-and-ah over can become the clothes we most adore. Although, of course, I am an advocate for my considered shopping choices, sometimes it’s nice to take a risk, especially when what you’re buying is secondhand.

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations

JUMP TO IT // LOST SHAPES X TOLLY DOLLY POSH ~

My pink cashmere jumper may now be a beret but that doesn’t stop me from looking back on this outfit fondly and appreciating the amount of wear I got out of this People Tree jumpsuit.

I do understand that People Tree’s prices aren’t accessible to everyone at all times but wearing it made me realise how much of a luxurious investment their pieces are and I had quite a few compliments on it, too!


I couldn’t look back on this year without highlighting an outfit which included my very own ethical t-shirts, could I? I styled up my Lost Shapes collaborative tees very simply for the lookbook but since wearing them over the course of the past few months, I’ve managed to discover lots of different ways of doing so…

You can also now pick up a Limited Edition “Keep on Asking” sweatshirt – it might not be around for long so I’d take a look at it now before it’s too late!

Ethical & Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Fashion Illustrations

TESTING MY COMFORT ZONES ~

An outfit that you – my readers – seemed to love just as much as me, involved this two-piece from Mayamiko. Sadly, those killer blue lens sunglasses are no more (why did I have to stand on them?) but I’m glad I was able to capture them in all their glory and immortalise them in some way.

Since the hot days have faded, I’ve worn the crop-top underneath my navy satin suit and am now longing to wear it all over again


Which is your favourite? What have you been wearing this year? Let me know in the comments!

Happy holidays… 🎁❄️

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

It’s Taken Me Over 3 Years to Become a Conscious Consumer | My Ethical Journey

By December 16, 2017 Ethical

In early 2016, I was still buying fast-fashion, even knowing that my purchase wouldn’t benefit anything other than my itch for wanting something new…

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?Circa April 2013, I was sat in my living room, rocking back and forth in my chair as I read the news of the Rana Plaza disaster. This was the very first time I considered that the industry I loved might have scary and dangerous consequences. I was thirteen but go ahead and call me uneducated or close-minded if you so wish.

The little I did know was extremely simple (and rather inaccurate) and barely scratched the surface on the real issues at hand – the clothes I bought were inexpensive because they were made cheaply and the more expensive they were, the higher quality they would be.

What literal schooling and the school-of-life hadn’t taught me was that cheaply really meant, unfairly. There’s always a reason why products are priced lowly or highly, after all. But for child and pre-teen me, it was exciting to shop, no matter how things were made.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

It was an experience, one which I mostly shared with my mum and my sister. We’d go out on the weekends and we’d browse the latest offerings, piling up clothes to take to the changing rooms where we’d laugh and giggle when things didn’t fit right and joyously celebrate when a dress was ‘perfect’ and ‘so you’ (and also didn’t break the bank).

My sister moved out before I ever reached my tenth birthday so those shopping trips lessened. However, they only became more cherished when she’d come back to see me and we’d do what we hadn’t been able to do for however long it had been.

I’d go on days out with my mum too because that was what we did to treat ourselves, with Southampton’s West Quay being the destination of our choice.

To avoid being stereotypical and saying that only the women in my life were shopping-til-they-dropped, I also used to plan days out with my dad where we’d spend one-on-one time dressing each other up and treating ourselves to a KFC afterwards (it was a treat, thank you very much; their baked beans are second-to-none.)

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

This was all ordinary behaviour and to this day in western culture, still is. We go into town with our friends and we make a full day of it. You can make memories in high-street changing rooms.

Thankfully for me, I was never brought up to avoid charity shops or vintage stores despite the stigma that surrounds them, so, without even knowing it I often balanced out my new purchases with more sustainable ones.

I’d say the closest I got to a proper formal education on the negative aspect to our clothes and the fashion industry, would have been a school trip to a local landfill where we saw the piles of rubbish which included perfectly usable textiles.

Other than that, it took the collapse of a garment factory home to the products of Primark, for me to finally embark upon my ethical fashion journey.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

It took me until summer 2016 to properly bid farewell to those sorts of purchases (excluding underwear – you can read why that is here), even though I was well aware that there were better alternatives and reasons to consume more consciously.

A lot of it had to do with my shopping habits rather than the actual clothes I was buying, though. It’s almost as if you experience withdrawal symptoms and every now and then you have to fall back into fast-fashions grasp and use the good ol’ excuse of ‘treating yourself’ but since when did treating yourself mean buying something which was made without people and the planet in mind?

Technically, your dopamine levels are the only part of the equation that is being treated, or, maybe the water used to make the fabric of your new dress, just with toxic chemicals, dyes and plastic micro-fibres.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

I am by no means perfect, currently. For instance, I shop second-hand but I pay no attention to the fabrics I’m buying and now that I’m more educated, I know more about the impacts of other aspects of my life, yet I haven’t made many changes in those other problem areas.

It takes time to become more conscious individually and the rest of the industry following will also take time. It’s one of the reasons we need to shout about it loudly and proudly because the quicker it happens, the better!

The more you educate yourself and allow yourself to question what you’re used to, the easier it will become to make the right choices for you. It will also make it a lot easier for other people who haven’t even considered other ways of shopping and experiencing fashion, to educate themselves too.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

My consumption habits and patterns in 2016 were tremendously better than those I had in 2013 and the ones I have now make me feel content and comfortable, however, there will always be room for improvement. If you feel hopeless or perhaps even a little guilty, take a breather and put things into perspective.

Take a trip down memory lane and take a look at the changes you’ve made so far. Is there anything more you can be doing now?

Do you have any ethical goals you’d like to achieve? Is there anything you want to learn more about? If my thirteen-year-old self had asked herself those questions, I’m sure I would have reached the stage I’m at now, far sooner.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?


Here are some Q&As to break-down my ethical journey…


When did I first become aware of the issues of fast-fashion?

Around 2013 – early 2014. The main chunk of my education came from the documentary, The True Cost, which was released around the same time. You can watch it on Netflix.

What was my first ethical purchase?

Other than the dozens and dozens of second-hand items I’ve consumed in my life, I believe it was an ASOS Africa blouse. Although ASOS may not be the most ethical or sustainable brand and I don’t know too much about how it was manufactured, I think it was a good starting place and allowed me to slowly transition from shopping there frequently to making more considered choices.

When was my last fast-fashion purchase?

I can’t remember the exact time or date or which purchase was officially the last but the four items I do remember buying last year (in the early months and possibly towards the end of 2015) were a pair of Motivi floral trousers, a Pull & Bear jumper and a pair of jeans, and an embroidered white shirt from Stradivarius (the latter two brands of which are owned by Inditex).

Although these purchases weren’t ethical, they are all still in my wardrobe. I’ve worn the floral trousers so much that the zip is now broken (and will soon be fixed, I promise!) and I probably won’t be buying any other jeans for a fair few years.

I don’t condone boycotting on a mass scale but if you can shop with alternative brands – which I believe most of you reading this will be able to do, even if it means not shopping at all for a while -, then avoiding fast-fashion is what I highly advise.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Conscious Consumer?

What has been one of the biggest struggles so far?

Not being able to buy anything overly elaborate or ‘out there’. By that I mean, not browsing through ASOS’s new-in and buying a ruffled midi-dress which is half-floral and half-sequin (that’s the first item that caught my eye on a very brief look at their latest offerings).

I’ve perfectly adapted to this change and I believe it’s made me make much more versatile style choices meaning my wardrobe is far more wearable than it ever was before, but I can understand why it’s easy to succumb to pieces that are totally out there and not easily accessible elsewhere (unless you’re making it yourself).

What is my next goal as a conscious consumer?

In terms of fashion purchases, I want to consider the fabrics I’m buying, whether that’s new or second-hand. I want to avoid bringing more polyester and man-made materials into my life to avoid the unwanted breakdown of fibres when washing, as well as wanting to consider the affects fabrics have on my body – who knows what chemicals are in what we wear?


Are you a conscious consumer? How far along are you on your ethical journey? What are your ethical goals? Share them in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

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

You Might Also Like

Goodness and Gold | Little by Little Jewellery*

By November 13, 2017 Ethical, My Style

With age, my style has evolved over the years, drawing me closer to items and elements that I never used to appreciate when I was younger. Part of this evolution involved discovering the joy of high-quality jewellery and saying goodbye to costume necklaces and rings which turn my fingers green. They’re sustainable investments and certain pieces have now simply become part of me…

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger


WHAT I WORE: Floaty Cover-Up (Jumble Sale) // Geometric Slip Dress £47.00 (Mayamiko)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Watch (Timex)* // Silver Rings (Old & Gemporia*) // Gold Wedge Fan Ring £45.00 (Little by Little)*


My love of rings started when my mum sorted through her jewellery collection a couple of years ago, discovering a silver ring which no longer fit her but was in perfect condition. Fortunately, I was handed it down and you can now see it gracing my finger in almost every picture I post. It’s simple and the stone isn’t anything too spectacular but it’s definitely been and will continue to be sustained by an emotional attachment to it.

It took a few weeks of taking it on and off before I realised I could simply wear it all around the clock because it wasn’t going to wear away or turn a different colour like all of the other jewels I owned previously.

Peculiarly, I get a sense of satisfaction from the idea that just anybody I pass in the street will never know how long it’s been there with me and that yes, I carry it with me all day and every day; it isn’t just a decoration to match what I’m wearing.

For someone in their teens who most definitely isn’t nearing marriage anytime soon, it gives me a similar sense of pride as to wearing a wedding ring (okay, maybe not quite in terms of the meaning behind it but I now get a sense of what it can feel like). It’s the one thing which makes me feel complete even if I’m having a bit of drab day, sartorially.

I added my next ring to my right hand not too long after and although it may seem even simpler, the sparkle to it is what’s missing from my first original addition. And now here I am, donning my third; a gold number – because I’m not against mixing metals – which can fit almost all my fingers (I have tiny ones so it was nice not to have to get a ring measurer out) and has a rather special inspiration behind it…

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little was set up in 2015 by Annabel, a jewellery designer, and Georgina, a cookery author. Combining their two passions, not only do the duo create beautifully designed jewellery to last a lifetime but they also put their energy into supporting the charity Action Against Hunger; the global organisation combating world hunger and providing healthy livelihoods for those in need.

It’s the reason as to why my ring might remind you of a fresh slice of lemon, which is rather fitting for me as not only do I love lemons but where I’m staying in Italy, is dotted with lemon trees around the garden.


Our main aim in establishing Little by Little in 2015, was to make a difference in a sustainable manner. That is why we partnered with Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger’s teams work in nearly 50 countries worldwide to carry out innovative, lifesaving programmes in nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene. The money that we have raised has generated enough funds to build a latrine and feed 100 malnourished children for a day.


I have to be honest and say that there are plenty of brands out there that label themselves as ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable’ simply for the work they’re doing with what they generate from their revenue. I’m of course in no way against companies which do this but it can make you feel sceptical of what their end goal is all around.

A lot of the time when people ask me how to know if a brand is truly ethical, I tell them to trust their gut instinct and work out whether the brand is truly passionate about spreading awareness for the issues that affect the industry.

Speaking to Annabel about her core values made me understand and appreciate that it isn’t all about donating money once the item is purchased – it’s about being transparent and responsible from stage one. Although I’m able to let myself and others off for purchasing unethical jewellery and watches due to how long they last, it feels refreshing and satisfactory when you know your jewellery has been made with care.


The intricate jewellery is lovingly created by a well-established jewellery producer in Lima, Peru. The factory has been running for 25 years. It now employs 350 people.

From its inception, its aim was always to bring opportunity and employment. It does this by giving jobs to people with no prior technical experience, training them in the art of jewellery. Having visited I can verify that it is a well equipped, safe and spacious place to work.

Whereabouts are Little by Little items manufactured?

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger

Little by Little Ethical Jewellery for Action Against Hunger
whomademyclothes~ WHO MADE MY RING? ~
There are a number of different individuals that put together the different elements of Little by Little jewellery. Everything is made from scratch. The team are well-skilled jewellers who make and manufacture the jewellery. This is led by Sandra Romero and Piero Reinoso.

Fashion with a cause is often easier to get behind morally within the realm of ethical fashion because we know for certain that our money will be reinvested into something we support and believe in. Although this is the case the whole year round and I don’t need to sell anybody on it, I think as we near gifting season, it’s something to pay attention to. Little by Little combine charity and ethics; a double whammy!

Not only can you gift somebody with a piece to treasure for years and years to come, you can also gift them with a story and a positive message that they’ll be reminded of whenever they wear their new jewels or when, like me, they look down at their new ring every day.


Do you see jewellery as a sustainable investment? How would you style up my ring? Let me know in the comments!

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Little by Little. Read my full disclaimer here.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

Can You Stay on Top of Trends as a Conscious Consumer?

By September 18, 2017 Ethical

Let’s take a breather on the Lost Shapes x TDP content, shall we? For this post, you could say the alternative title would be – How I’ve Lost Touch with Trends and What Goes on at Fashion Week…

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends


WHAT I WORE: Navy Livia Jumpsuit (People Tree)* // Printed Jacket €5.00 (Charity Shop) // Clarabella Handbag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Topshop – old) // Pink Flatform Sandals (New Look – old)*


A couple of years ago, perhaps even only last year, you would have seen me live streaming London Fashion Week and scribbling notes down as each dress came down the catwalk; I used to print out the show schedule even though I wasn’t attending and I’d get in touch with PRs just in case I was nearby when September and February rolled around. I was drawn in by the drama and excitement of it all and I couldn’t wait to spot fellow bloggers sat on the ‘FROW’ of Topshop Unique.

Fast-forward to now, if you asked me what the latest trends were, I’d panic and stare at you with wide eyes and hesitantly give a good guess… “The eighties?”, I might say, perhaps I’d even follow it up with a mumbled, “Ruffles?”, but I’d never be quite sure because the last time I really paid attention to the going-on’s of the catwalks and the seasonal trends that trickle down from that, was the last time I shopped with a fast-fashion brand.

I suppose at first I wanted to realise why is this; what made me lose interest? As a designer (2 co-branded collections under my belt, thank you very much), when you research for collections, you often look at what other designers are working on – you look at trends and how past eras and styles are being channelled through into more up-to-date times.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

It’s all part of the research and it’s why it wouldn’t have been an absurd guess for me to have said “The eighties” when we went through a whole period of reigniting the decade before that, for a good few years. As someone who can admit that non-ethical or sustainably focused clothes can still be appealing to me (aesthetically, that is), I find it hard to say the reasoning behind my sudden disinterest in these trends is completely and solely a moral one, if I’m still being drawn in by the news that ASHISH are collaborating with River Island.

However, it is true that I’ve unfollowed a handful of my former high-street loves on social media and I’ve probably drowned out a number of luxury designers that I’m influenced by, by connecting with more positive and sustainably focused ones. But, why would that mean I’m now completely out of the loop?

If you’re already a conscious consumer and you’ve researched these sort of things, the answer might be fairly unsurprising – maybe supporting ethical fashion just doesn’t allow for acknowledging trends and the major fashion months every season? It’s commonly said that trends and conscious consumerism don’t play well hand-in-hand; in fact, avoiding them is one of my tips in my list of 10 simple ways to ‘keep on asking’.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

If we want to steer the fashion industry into a more positive direction, slowing down trends and how we shop would make a huge difference because the rate at which we produce, consume and throw-away new styles and ideas is simply unsustainable. So, it’s no wonder that trend focused ethical brands aren’t really a ‘thing’ and it’s no wonder my grasp on it all, has slipped. Ethical brands that I admire don’t even tend to talk about trends on social media and collections don’t always get released at seasonal times for the likes of “S/S” and “A/W”.

I opened up this conversation in the #EthicalHour Facebook group and had some brilliant responses, a lot of them reiterating the fact that shopping for fashion consciously is more about long-lasting purchases and shapes and fabrics you know will last years on end.

When I (and others) talk about conscious consumerism, we’re not talking about the idea of not shopping at all (I really don’t expect anyone to wear the same clothes for their whole entire life, even if these Sardinian women have other ideas), we’re simply talking about slowing down – slow fashion, is perhaps a more useful term to use in this scenario, and releasing major collections for every season, doesn’t really add up.

ethical and sustainable fashion advice - shopping for trends

But there are ways around this – if you want to shop a trend ethically, you might find that brands designs overlap with current styles even if it isn’t purposefully. And you can scour your local charity and second-hand shops to find pieces which will match up perfectly, anyway. Trends come in cycles; everything is re-used, just not necessarily in the way we want it to be.

So, it is possible to stay on trend, it might just become less of a priority to you once you start to change your shopping habits and you might find, like me, you’ll lose touch with how fashions and trends change altogether. That might sound a bit alarming but in one way, it makes style a lot more fun to play with – who needs trends when you can dress to look different to everyone else whilst being ethical? Not me!

Do you think it’s possible to shop with trends and ethics in mind? Let’s discuss it in the comments…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

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

You Might Also Like

My Style: 60% Ethical, 100% Cool

By July 3, 2017 My Style

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

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

You Might Also Like

My Style: Jump to It with People Tree & What Daisy Did*

By March 7, 2017 My Style

It seems the last time I shot a full outfit post was back in November last year. Due to the fact I do so much more photography for my blog in recent times, I often forget that I haven’t solely focused on my style, so I’m back at it again today. If you haven’t read my blog post on sustainable wardrobes, you won’t know why I’m re-wearing a lot of the same items recently. Hopefully, this outfit will be a bit of a mix-up!

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag


 WHAT I WORE: Pink Cashmere Roll Neck (Charity Shop) // Navy Livia Jumpsuit £90.00 (People Tree)* // Clarabella Bag £33.00 (What Daisy Did)* // Vagabond Dioon Platforms (Mastershoe)* // Sunglasses (Topshop – old) // Stacker Ring (Gemporia)*


The last time a People Tree item entered my wardrobe, I wore it non-stop. The fabric was beautifully soft, the fit was comfortable yet the sleeves and shape made up for how casual it seemed and the pattern and overall design was eye-catching but abstract enough that it was wearable with a lot of my other clothes. This time is exactly the same but it’s an even better experience.

As my style has started to evolve, I’ve started to attract two very different styles of dress; fitted and shaped, or floaty and draped (that rhyme wasn’t intentional, but it works). This jumpsuit is of course of a fitted variety yet it hits my sweet spot for floatiness by having a comfortable looseness in the trousers. The last time I owned a jumpsuit was actually back when I started my blog (five years at the end of this month!) and I wore it so much it became faded and the fabric started to bobble. Although it’s a much higher quality than that one, I can quite easily see myself wearing it until it’s officially just a piece of loungewear. It’s comfortable, but it’s enough to make me feel dressed up, suited and booted.

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY JUMPSUIT? ~
Assisi Garments – a garment manufacturer using organic cotton to produce garments for People Tree, supporting deaf, mute and economically disadvantaged women by providing training and employment. 


I have worn this jumpsuit buttoned up and without another item underneath but instead of showing you that outfit (which involves the yellow leather jacket you are probably all sick of by now) which you can actually see on the People Tree Instagram account, I thought I would layer things up with my trusty cashmere sweater. It was the perfect combination for what felt like a spring day recently; no jacket or coat needed, just a pair of sunglasses. Yay for sunshine!

When I looked down at my platforms I realised this could definitely be seen as a 70s apre-ski inspired outfit. The collar on the playsuit definitely lives up to that aesthetic especially when it’s in such a retro looking print… which for any cat lovers out there, is actually a diagonal repeat of a kitten. You can’t tell from afar though which I like meaning it doesn’t take away from the chicness. On top of all that, the fabric is organic cotton.

I hope you like that new segment of “Who made my…”. I’ll try and add that in as many outfit posts as possible to as many clothes I wear as possible! For more info about the Fashion Revolution campaign, #WhoMadeMyClothes, make sure you head over to their site. Fashion Revolution week is in April; get ready!

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

Ethical Outfit Ideas - People Tree Jumpsuit & Recycled Leather What Daisy Did Bag

In terms of accessories, I have a new handbag in my life. I’ve been wearing my suede tassel bag for so long now that it’s started to get a bit grubby so to swap it out for a while, I have this gorgeous Clarabella bag from What Daisy Did. I connected with Daisy on Twitter and have been in awe of their brand ever since. What Daisy Did uses recycled materials and when it comes to their colourful leather collection, the materials that would be going to waste are collected from factories within a 140km radius of where the bags are made.

Their website is pretty much transparent all around and states that their workers set their own deadlines for what they can produce, meaning no pressure is put on them to meet deadlines. For me, this is hugely important and ties in with one of the biggest issues within the fashion industry today. If I’m using up waste materials and I know that this is the case, it’s a cause for a huge sigh of relief.

I understand that leather isn’t for everyone but the materials What Daisy Did use would otherwise be added to a landfill. Leather is somewhat sustainable in terms of how long it lasts, it’s just the actual process of creating it which is the problem. I really love this bag though and knowing where it came from makes it even more beautiful to look at. And yes, I can’t escape yellow – that small bit of dealing works wonders with my jacket 😉


 How would you wear this jumpsuit? What ethical clothes have you been buying recently? Let’s talk in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like