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My Honest Ethical Wardrobe Priorities

By July 21, 2017 Ethical

I’ve decided within my (hopefully) helpful ethical content, I need to inject some honesty. As much as I want everyone to convert to the way of conscious shopping, I understand it isn’t always easy at first which is why I’ve decided to list out my honest ethical wardrobe priorities in order of what I shop for most consciously…

ethical wardrobe priorities - tolly dolly posh ethical fashion blog

1. Tops

Tops (t-shirts, blouses, sweaters etc) are what take up the majority of my wardrobe and what I wear most. Unless it’s the summer, I’m not a huge dress person so, my outfits are generally made up of two key pieces rather than the one, meaning I have more choice in variation.

Although my shopping habits have dramatically changed since becoming a conscious consumer (no more ASOS splurges or random Primark hauls around here!), I definitely purchase more tops than anything else which means I’m more aware of what ethics are behind them. I’ll either shop second-hand or look through some staple choices by brands like People Tree.

2. Skirts

Over the past few years, I’ve become more of a skirt wearer which makes sense with what I’ve already explained about the top half of my outfits. Depending on my mood and the time of the year, I’m also a shorts person but I don’t invest in them very often at all. When it comes to buying skirts, I think the fabric is really important to take into account. It really makes a difference in terms of shape and style and of course, sustainability.

3. Dresses

As much as I don’t wear them too often, I’m not opposed to adding more to my wardrobe. I tend to steer clear of trend-led dresses (which is rather easy when second-hand shopping and ethical brands don’t tend to lead you down that route) and focus on dresses which I know will last me in terms of style and versatility. I also always think about layering as I’m not one to shy away from making use of summer dresses in winter by adding on a jumper underneath or a blouse on top.

4. Jackets

I would say dresses and jackets are almost of equal of priority but as with items like shorts, I’m not buying jackets on the regular (or any clothing for that matter) which means they’re slightly lower on my scale. Due to the fact that jackets are a form of outwear, considering longevity and practicality is a major factor when it comes to buying new because you want to know it will actually do its job rather than just look pretty. However currently, I would say 85-90% of the jackets I own are second-hand or have been in my wardrobe for years now.

5. Trousers (& Shorts)

I believe trousers are a really interchangeable item, meaning once again, I don’t buy them often. In fact, my collection is rather limited. I am guilty of buying fast-fashion denim not too long ago (within the past year) but due to the fact that I won’t be buying any more anytime soon, I think it’s something I can let myself off with. Jeans will last but they’re also truly unsustainable to produce so this part of my wardrobe is what I want to learn more about. I have my eye on you Mud Jeans!

ethical wardrobe priorities - what daisy did

6. Handbags

After receiving my What Daisy Did bag and becoming truly obsessed with my Paguro recycled rubber number, I’ve realised that handbags are a lot easier to buy ethically than you’d think hence why they’ve moved up a little in my rankings. It’s only in the past three or four years that I’ve actually started wearing a bag every day but now I’ve had time to truly understand their sustainable value, I’m definitely thinking about them more when that new-purchase feeling starts tickling at my skin.

7. Shoes

It might seem surprising that footwear is in the bottom half of my priority list but I have to be honest and explain my reasonings behind that. Firstly and simply, as with the rest of this list, I’m not buying them often.

Secondly, a lot of the shoes in my wardrobe have been gifted to me across the duration of my blog meaning I haven’t needed to splash out personally and thirdly, speaking of splashing out, I currently can’t afford any of the more sustainable options on the market. That’s the truth, which means when it comes to shoes I’m not always thinking about ethics and sustainability first. I do, however, like most people, wear shoes every day which means I’m always putting them to good use.

8. Coats

I own two coats. One rain coat and one large, second-hand faux fur option. I don’t plan on adding to this very small collection anytime soon, so the reasoning behind #8 is rather self-explanatory.

9. Jewellery

I’ve never thought of jewellery in an ethical and sustainable sense but recently more and more brands focused on just that have opened my eyes to it being an option. I absolutely adore Tribe of Lambs and I was rather close to hitting the checkout button on their site recently, so, I may have been converted to shop more consciously when it comes to my very rare jewellery shopping urges.

10. Underwear

We all wear it, so it has to be included! As I’m admittedly still at that stage of buying rather unflattering and not at all glamorous underwear, it really just isn’t that important to me although I know there are great ethical options (just take a look at my directory, for examples!).

Again, the infrequency of my underwear shopping is the main reason for this, combined with the fact that I’m still shopping in Marks & Spencer kids. You heard it here first, folks! I may be ethically aware but my underwear hasn’t quite got the message just yet. I promise I’ll work on it. (Was this TMI? Probably but I’m trying to be as honest as I can be.)

What are your ethical priorities? How are you being a conscious consumer? List it all out in the comments!


If you want to keep up-to-date with me whilst I lose all writing and creative motivation to the sun and summer fun (hello seeing Arcade Fire live!), make sure you follow me on Instagram and check in on my Instagram Story every now and then…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Sustainable Alternatives to Leather | Paguro Upcycle*

By May 10, 2017 General

An area of ethics and sustainability that I haven’t quite cracked on my personal journey, is where to stand with leather. If you’ve already made the choice with your food to become a vegetarian or a vegan with your diet, then it’s likely that your opinions with leather will line up with what you eat. But for those of us who haven’t made that choice (for whatever reason that may be – we all have our reasons), I believe leather in fashion is quite a confusing subject.

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


WHAT I WORE: Floral Denim Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Silver Blouse (Charity Shop) // Floral Pleated Skirt (Charity Shop) // Reina Dual Purpose Vegan Handbag (Paguro)* // Sunglasses (Unknown) // Wanderlust 101 Boots (Dr Martens)*


I believe for most when we think about leather, we think about quality. Words like ‘long-lasting’ are associated with our impression of leather and what it brings to the table. However, unfortunately, with recent times and the speed of the industry, fast-fashion has given us the ability to consume and own leather without there being a lot of quality to it or without it really being long-lasting. To Die For by Lucy Siegle is a book which has a fascinating focus and chapter about leather in it – page 201 states that around 14.8 billion pairs of shoes were manufactured globally, eleven years ago in 2006, with nearly 5 billion of them being designed and produced with leather uppers.

As we’ve started to become accustomed to easily accessible leather, we’ve started to forget leather’s impact on the world. Cattle farming is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases (another quote from To Die For) which is a staggering number to take into account when the majority of leather produced for the fashion industry is taken from cows. Not only that, in India, which is responsible for 8% of the world’s leather production, the country is struggling with the side effects of pollution. A report by National Geographic shows that samples of water from the Ganges are high in Chromium, which can cause lung cancer, kidney and liver damage and other concerning health conditions, not only for leather tannery workers themselves but also for the communities in surrounding areas.


The bag that I’m wearing (and quite in love with) is made from 75% recycled materials, or, recycled rubber inner-tubes to be precise. It’s vegan and has been produced with ethics in mind by Paguro’s partner, Sapu. And if it looks a little different to the modelled version on Paguro’s site – it’s because no inner-tube is the same which makes every piece a little bit more unique.


sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY BAG? ~
Sapu – a group of artists based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga. They are made up of a collective of creative people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists. Moreover, the members are united by a respect for their natural environment. They use unwanted man-made materials, transforming these into jewellery and accessories.


Of course, there are some sustainable values to leather. The leather products that I own – shoes, a jacket and two handbags – will stay in my wardrobes for years to come. If I maintain their longevity and care for them like prize possessions then the sustainability factor will most definitely be put to use over shoes and bags which will most likely become damaged and worse for wear over time due to their less robust materials. Overall, I’m personally more comfortable in buying second-hand leather; I’m not directly contributing to the current leather industry and I’m being even more sustainable by reusing something that is already there.

If the working conditions, ethics of animals and polluting processes of leather aren’t all that attractive to you then luckily, there are alternatives and if you haven’t got the hint from the images within this post, then I’m here to tell you about one of them. I discovered Paguro on Twitter and was instantly intrigued. They use man-made materials but they’re recycled and/or off-cuts, so once again; there’s no direct impact being made.


It is essential to us that the principal element of each of our products is made from a recycled or reclaimed material. The majority of our products are made using the recycled rubber inner tubes of bus and lorry tyres. The rubber is sourced directly from transportation companies in Central Java and is transported to our designers’ workshop in the town of Salatiga. All of the inner tubes are recycled and have reached the end of their useful life. 

Where are the recycled materials sourced from?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag


Our production processes are focused on minimising waste. The tyre inner tubes and bike chains, which we use throughout a range of jewellery and accessories, require little work beyond a thorough cleaning. The makers are determined to use as little water as possible in the cleaning process. Whilst there are inevitably offcuts from the production of our inner tubes bags and jewellery, they can generally be incorporated into the designs for smaller products such as our cuffs or earrings. Any material which can not be used in this way is thinly sliced and used in place of cord for our product tags.

What goes into making the recycled materials usable? How sustainable is this process?

All of the information I received from Paguro was clear, thorough and concise which excites me because it shows how dedicated they are to their work both in ethics and in sustainability. Their rubber designs will end up lasting far longer than leather too and if you want to keep it in top condition, very little work goes into the process. I can also assure you that the lining is just as cool; mine is striped.


We have taken the decision to focus on the use of recycled and reclaimed materials which require minimal processing and we do so for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I feel that recycled materials to have a greater degree of individuality and character in comparison to synthetic materials. For instance, the inner tubes carry patterns which follow the treads of the tyres. These patterns are all distinctive, making each of our products unique.

Secondly, I think recycled materials pose more of challenge creatively. The designer is faced with constraints in terms of the size and amount of the material available and needs to adapt their ideas accordingly. I believe that this leads to a more interesting final product.

Finally, using the materials in their original form is generally better for the environment. Any additional processing with inevitably carry environmental considerations, which I would sooner avoid.

What are your thoughts on vegan leathers?

sustainable vegan leather alternatives - paguro upcycle rubber handbag

Although recycled rubber isn’t the only alternative, my eyes have been opened to a similar feeling, similarly long-lasting option over leather. Pinatex is next on my list to inspect – a leather made from pineapple. See? The possibilities are pretty endless if you really want to try something new.

What leather alternatives do you know of? What are your thoughts on leather? Let me know in the comments!

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

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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