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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


~ SUBSCRIBE TO FASHION REVOLUTION ~


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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You Can’t Call Yourself a Feminist If You’re Supporting Fast Fashion

By October 21, 2016 Ethical

It seems a little bit over the top to point this out right at the start of this post but I honestly believe it’s true; you can’t call yourself a feminist if you believe in fast fashion.

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

This belief hit me whilst reading “Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking” by Anne Elizabeth Moore. It’s an illustrated non-fiction comic all about the fashion industry and how it links in with sex work and trafficking. It sounds like a pretty heavy topic, but it was possibly one of the easiest ethical/anti-fast fashion reads I’ve finished so far, and for those of you who prefer something a little more attractive to the eyes, then I’d definitely recommend it (however I will point out – it does have fairly small text to read).

The statistic that struck me with this realisation was this – 1 in 7 women worldwide, work in the fashion industry. The tricky thing about feminism is how it is deemed to be only related to women and feminine issues, when as we should all know by now, it’s about equality, and the only way we can reach gender equality and an equal balance between men and women, is by working on the imbalance of which is mainly weighing down on, well, women.

So seeing as a seventh of the female population in the world are somewhat responsible for the fashion industry, it would seem a bit absurd to not think about how it affects those people, wouldn’t it?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

One of the main issues surrounding fast fashion and the industry as a whole is the problem surrounding working conditions. 80% of garment workers are women. According to the book “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle, if we break down the price of a £4 (ASDA) t-shirt, £1.18.5p goes to the supplier; £2.80 goes straight to ASDA as profit and the garment worker (most probably a woman) receives just 1.5p.

That’s 1.5p per what could possibly be 200 garments per day (roughly £4 a day), in a factory with poor safety regulations. In fact, 60% of factories in Bangladesh are structurally unsound according to a 2013 study, which makes the Rana Plaza disaster even more tragic, because it would be so easy for it to happen again.

Upon reading more about feminism and fast-fashion, I read fellow blogger Jen’s post about her thoughts, and her point about clothes plastered with feministic slogans and messages of empowerment really raised a great question; how can we be buying these clothes that promote female empowerment that cost as much as a coffee at Starbucks, when the people making them can barely afford to live and make these clothes for us?

How can we say we’re feminists when we’re supporting companies that don’t have any interest in the women (some of which are in their teens) that they employ and the situations that they are in?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

The answer is, we simply can’t. If feminism is about bringing equality to women, then we can’t call ourselves feminists if we’re still supporting a cycle and an industry that still promotes inequality. It doesn’t matter what a brand is doing on the surface. It doesn’t matter what natural beauty campaigns they’re running, or what slogans are on those t-shirts.

At the end of the day, if they didn’t have the garment workers in the first place, then they wouldn’t have their company – we wouldn’t have our clothes and our wardrobes full of outfits. We as women, as men, and as humans who need to prolong the earth we stand on – cannot call ourselves feminists if we live with the mindset that this is okay.

In line with that, one of my favourite parts of “Threadbare” and actually the page that featured that slap-in-the-face statistic, was this –

‘So if you want to support job opportunities for women in developing nations, don’t shop at the mall.’

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

If you want to call yourself a feminist and support one of the biggest industries in the world, and a seventh of the female  population (cisgender/transgender – unfortunately there isn’t a clear statistic for that number, which would bring me onto a whole other topic of discrimination), then don’t support what is causing the most damage. Or like I’ve said many times before; be conscious. Hold retailers responsible.

So yes, I am a feminist, because I’m doing my part to avoid supporting companies who don’t value their workers and aren’t doing their part to create a fairer industry. Are you?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Self-Deprecation on Social Media Is Dangerous

By August 20, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

Over the past few months I’ve been using Tumblr a lot. I use it for two types of Tumblr browsing; fandom (because yes, I have succumbed to the teenage stereotype of obsessing over fictional characters and the actors and actresses that bring them to life) and fashion. I’ve made friends (you know who you are!), I’ve gained inspiration and I’ve had a lot of fun whilst doing it… but I’ve also seen a considerable amount of self-deprecating content and it’s actually made me rather quite sad.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

There’s a danger that comes with social media, and we’re all aware of it, but the question is; do we actually take it seriously? For the most part when it comes to the internet, we (as in – the majority of us who use it (I’m talking about you, me, everyone who’s reading this now)) make sure that important topics are learnt about and crucial changes are made, especially when it comes to such things as cyberbullying, online grooming and all those sorts of things which I don’t really want to go into at much detail.

In terms of subtle messages and half-hearted posts made by anybody and anyone however, we don’t really seem to care that much, because that’s exactly what they come across as – half-hearted, meaningless throw-away comments.

What happens to all of those throw-away comments though? Where do they go? Well… they collect, and they get distributed, and because they’re so common but dispersed at a less powerful rate than those dangerous cyberbully comments and those weirdos you find on those random webcam generating sites, they get dismissed. When in actual fact, because they’re so prevalent, and because we see them so frequently, they can actually become more powerful than all of that over time.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

It sounds all a bit dramatic and some of you might not agree, but after realising how many of these self-deprecating posts there are on Tumblr and sites alike, it got me thinking as to why we need to a put a stop to them. Seeing endless posts of ‘omg i’m so ugly haha hashtag relatable’ and actually starting to go “Ohh yeah, that is relatable” is pretty damn worrying – because we’ve all done it right? We’ve all seen a post which has made us believe we are just that – ugly… too thin; too fat; too curvy; too spotty; too hairy etc etc; the list goes on.

Some of the time we agree with the apathetic-ness of it all – we reblog or retweet something along the lines of ‘imagine a world where i’m pretty’ (no capitalised letters because Tumblr™) and don’t think much of it because it made us laugh. We move on and we share another similar post the following day or week, or whenever something else along the same vein grasps our attention.

Let’s focus on one word there though – share.
That’s the dangerous part. It’s not like in a book where you can read a line and laugh, or read a line and express your relatable feelings to yourself, because there’s also a button which gives you the instant ability to pass the message on; to pass the message on to somebody else to find and start believing in too.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

These messages and comments and beliefs start filling our minds and it becomes second nature to click the button and agree with whatever’s written – probably by somebody in a genuine moment of insecurity, but has then snowballed to become a post with over 42,790 notes (reblogs/likes) and counting because it’s been marked and labelled as something ordinary. It’s a dangerous pattern all because we don’t even realise it is one.

It’s okay to sometimes share these posts in my opinion, because we all have down days of insecurity – even the most confident seeming people do, and occasionally we need something relatable and something that doesn’t make us feel so alone… but we also, more importantly, need to realise that there is a danger to it and that damage can be made when we’re constantly feeding our minds with these ideas which all ridiculously incorrect.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

I agree with the statement of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because it genuinely is. There is no such thing as ugly. We only know of the word ugly because society has made us feel like we have to fit into a certain box – or should I say in this case, a text box.

So the next time you see a post like this, or you see somebody you know reblogging one – do take it seriously. Tell them that you disagree with the statement – send a message and tell them that they’re not ugly; tell them that they don’t have too-far-apart thighs or knobbly knees or whatever else might be listed, because promise me, they won’t expect it, but my goodness gracious they’ll appreciate it… because even if they did share it just as a joke, deep down, they probably believe it whole-heartedly.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Blogging: Time, Effort & Energy

By June 29, 2014 DIY & Lifestyle

This post was going to be about a random piece of banana fibre I found (see here), but I changed my mind and it’s now about blogging. I’ve seen a lot of these posts lately, and I just want to get my words out there. I’m not sure how this will go, but I guess we’ll see!

blogging time effort energy(Thinking of selling personalised downloads of this? Comment if you like the idea!)

I sometimes say that blogging really isn’t anything special, and I don’t really understand when people say ‘You’re an inspiration’, but when my parents said to me ‘You don’t really know how much work you put into it [my blog]’, it kind of clicked. On top of doing home work, spending time with my family, and trying to just have me time; I’m on my Twitter, emails, Facebook and Instagram promoting myself, brands and anything random to please you, the readers. I feel like other bloggers try and hide the fact by saying ‘I only do it because I love it’, and some of us do, but at the same time, we’re writing and tweeting because people enjoy it. I know it might sound like that isn’t much to you ‘non-bloggers’, but actually when you add it all up, it really is.

Lily Melrose, or LLYMLRS, wrote a really short and sweet blog post about why you shouldn’t give up blogging, and her thoughts were exactly the same as mine are now. Basically, if you don’t put cake mixture in the oven, you won’t get a cake in the end… or if you don’t put the effort, time and energy in, you won’t get all the fun stuff… I prefer the cake version.. yummm cake! I’m not saying that if you’re not doing ‘well’ (well = your own definition of course), that you’re not putting enough effort in, but it might mean that you haven’t been doing it for that long, or maybe you’re setting your standards too high, or putting too many eggs over flour in your mixture (eggs/flour = different content).

These ingredients can mean whatever you want them to mean personally, so I can’t tell you the perfect quantities (#ImSoGoodAtTheseCakePuns), but when you look at these so-say ‘big bloggers’, you have to understand that they whisked and mixed, and put their cake mixture into the oven to get where they are today. Just because their cake is golden and gooey (…just give me my medal now…), doesn’t mean they didn’t think of giving up.

Your goals are your own. Whether you want blogging to take you to a full time job, or you just want to reach 100 followers within 6 months, it will take time and effort. Set mini goals along the way, and slowly (or quickly, depending on how much time you put in), you will reach them. Hey, one of my goals this year was to do a product collab, and I have done it (see here)!, which means it is possible. A cake takes patience, and so does a blog…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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