Tolly Dolly Posh Fashion
Lost Shapes x TDP
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sustainable fashion advice

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

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Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn’t the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion

By June 5, 2017 Ethical

Changing your shopping habits can often feel daunting and intimidating and you might be left not knowing where to start. Or you’ll most probably be told that second-hand shopping is the route to take. During a read of Clothing Poverty by Andrew Brooks, I conjured up a lot of thoughts and feelings surrounding the topic and why second-hand shopping isn’t the best answer to sustainable fashion.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfit from: Sustainable Alternatives to Leather

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog or even just a recent reader of my blogger, you’ll know I’m a dedicated advocate to second-hand, pre-loved, used or vintage clothing. There are so many benefits to buying and wearing clothes and fashionable items that have been worn before and that are in close-to-perfect condition to be used again, so I don’t want anybody to jump to the conclusion I am now against the idea.

For background knowledge; I’ve grown up with accepting and appreciating second-hand fashion. I’ve never found a problem with it. I’ve never been put off or disturbed by the idea of wearing something that isn’t “NWT” (new with tags). Especially since becoming more independent of my own budget and even my own style, second-hand clothing has given me the opportunity to refresh and add to my wardrobe whilst it not being out of my reach.

Over the years, I’ve spent more money at charity shops and at jumble sales, than I have with a brand like Topshop (in fact, I can list everything I own from Topshop straight off the top of my head; a single pair of socks and sunglasses).

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfits from: Why It’s Okay to Feel Okay // Recycled & DIY Denim

Not only has second-hand shopping benefited my small teenage budget, I also know it has benefitted the environment. What I’ve saved from being taken to a landfill or donated elsewhere, has been added to my wardrobe to be worn even more times than it already had been by its previous owner. If 84% of unwanted clothes in America went into a landfill or an incinerator in 2012, then I’ve participated in playing my part in lowering that number (the number is still obscene in Europe and elsewhere).

I’m also by no means saying second-hand shopping isn’t sustainable. Purchasing second-hand is sustainable, so long as you care for the items as much as you would something new, continue prolonging its life length and that you’re not disposing of them shortly after purchasing just because they’ve had a previous life. My reasoning for suggesting that it isn’t the best answer to sustainable fashion comes from the industry rather than second-hand shopping alone.

Not only have I always appreciated second-hand shopping, I have also always known I’ve wanted to work in fashion (design, specifically). I adore clothes and the ability that comes with them to express ourselves and I don’t want to see that fade. Fashion is a separate entity to ‘clothing’ as such, in the sense that fashion is what changes.

Fashion doesn’t just affect our clothes, it affects other industries like beauty, TV and film, and even sports and lifestyle. The way that fashion works, is what we want to change and understanding that makes it clear how second-hand shopping isn’t the answer.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Outfit from: How to Grow up as a Teen Blogger

Second-hand shopping is an alternative way to start on your journey of becoming more ethically and sustainably conscious as a consumer, it’s not the way to change the fashion industry, and in particular, fast-fashion as a whole. Second-hand shopping is also a way that not all can necessarily partake in.

I understand that curating most of your wardrobe out of previously used garments is in some way, a privilege, especially with sizing. It can also be an unrealistic option if a lot of your purchases of clothing are based on workwear and a specific style – shopping for a strict dress code is most probably going to be easier when buying new (although not impossible to do second-hand, of course).

If we want to change the industry and how it works, whether that be with mindset or manufacturing, we need to focus on the repeat offenders – the big name brands which hold the majority of the power. This doesn’t mean boycotting. Another topic which I would like to research in more detail before discussing it on my blog is the idea of abandoning high-street and fast-fashion brands altogether.

In Fashion Revolution’s fanzine, the Agony Aunt section focused on this. The quick and simple answer? Boycotting only works in large numbers and when it does, it can negatively impact garment workers.

Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn't the Best Answer to Sustainable Fashion


Hauls from: Autumn Shopping // Second-hand Shopping

(I currently don’t shop from any fast-fashion brands, the reason of which is a combination of my ethical beliefs and stance on the issues I discuss on my blog, but also because I have a teen budget and simply don’t want to support the way fast-fashion brands work with the very little disposable income I have.)

Shopping ethically is what we want to do in the meantime, just like second-hand shopping, but it’s all with the end goal of ethics and sustainability being the norm. It’s why raising up those who are doing it right is vital. We need to show those who are lacking in certain areas but holding all the power, that we want them to be doing better. We need them to be doing better. We want fast-fashion brands to just be fashion brands, and for ‘fashion’ to have a whole new meaning.


What are your thoughts on second-hand shopping? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!

I’m sorry for being slightly MIA recently but if you’d like to stay up-to-date with me then make sure you’re following me on Twitter or that you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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