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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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Pen to Paper with… Eleanor Amari of Remake

By July 10, 2017 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a feature on TDP which involves an informal handwritten form of interview between myself and creatives –  from fashion designers, photographers, journalists, artists and musicians, to people who generally inspire me from day-to-day. 


Eleanor Amari - Remake Our World

Remake is a platform dedicated to building a conscious consumer movement, using its voice to improve and shape the lives of those who make our clothes.  Eleanor Amari is the content manager at RemakeShe pushes forward the depth, breadth and visual identity of Remake’s video and social content. She’s focused on telling engaging stories that humanise the fashion supply chain.
Remake has worked with the likes of Parsons to show three fashion design students how their clothes are made, directly in Cambodia.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // TDP STORY


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


Next up in my Pen to Paper series, I want to re-introduce you to the movement of Remake, or Remake Our World. I say re-introduce as I’ve mentioned their work on my blog before, more specifically in my post about ethical fashion education. I had the opportunity to ask one of their team members, Eleanor Amari, some questions about what they’ve learned since the beginning and how she thinks we can play our part.


 Ethical fashion has a bad reputation (“it’s a hemp sack” “it’s too expensive/over priced”), on a broken foundation (Retail has failed us. We expect fast & cheap only because we are used to it).

What do you think stops the everyday consumer from shopping with ethical brands?


I believe I first discovered Remake via Ayesha Barenblat’s TED talk (which I seem to no longer be able to find). Ayesha is the founder of Remake and her message is simple but powerful. It’s always good to raise up those with a similar mindset so if you enjoy reading my blog, you’ll probably find her work equally as interesting.

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari


Remake began because… Fast Fashion is OUT! High volume @ low cost ⟹ Ongoing human rights abuses behind our clothes. Slow fashion is IN! It’s a win-win: looking good while doing good is possible, and what we want. 

Why and how did Remake begin?


One of my favourite Remake features is their #humansoffashion series (which I am honoured to have been a part of over on Remake’s blog) which mainly lives its life on Instagram. It’s simple yet powerful, focusing on different opinions on fashion from different women (and men) all around the world.


Across the world, ladies want to look good while doing good ❤❤❤ ↬ We want your stories! We’re all #humansoffashion, share your story with us to grow the movement: info@remake.world

On Instagram, you have your #humansoffashion series - what has been the most surprising answer to your questions?


Interview with REMAKE Our World - Eleanor Amari

Embedded within this post is Remake’s short film, Made in Cambodia which, for ten minutes, should be mandatory viewing material. Remake took three students from Parsons School of Design in New York, to Cambodia where they met some of the garment workers behind our clothes. It’s eye opening and closes that gap and disconnect we often find ourselves dealing with when trying to share the hard truths of the industry. I think it’s really important the lovely ladies who were a part of it, were of a younger generation. We need more young people behind these sorts of campaigns in order to start changing our future.


Char Wong. Despite her burdens (she works in some of the world’s worst factories) she still hopes & dreams for a better future. She speaks up for her rights. As fellow ladies, we can support her fight by voting for brands who support their makers. Meet Char Wong on remake.world

What is one of the most eye-opening and inspiring stories you've learned from a maker or 'invisible woman'?

 Say NO to fast fashion. A whole new fashion world will open to you from there!


Thanks so much to Eleanor for answering these questions and for doing your part in pushing the industry in a more positive direction. If you’re interested, read what I had to say on their blog here.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How We Can Make Everyone Understand Fast-Fashion

By June 29, 2017 Ethical

I’ve had this thought in my mind for a while now but I’ve never really known how to make the little seed in my mind into something helpful and useful for the rest of you but after a recent conversation with the wonderful and talented Lauren McCrostie, I finally realised my thought’s potential and it all starts with four very simple words – we all wear clothes.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion


FEATURED: Floral Trousers (ASOS Africa) // All others (Second-hand/Vintage) 


The reason for highlighting this simple phrase and statement is because I believe it is one idea that we can all understand and learn from especially when it comes to ethical education and conscious consumerism. There are a lot of terminologies thrown around when it comes to the issue of fast-fashion and ethics, so much so that the ethical platform, Project JUST, has a full page dedicated to slang terms you might not know the definition of.

In fact, it starts just there, with the phrase ‘fast-fashion’. It’s the most commonly used term when it comes to trying to explain why the shops we find on the high-street aren’t all as pretty as they seem and why the earth is being damaged by an industry which is supposed to be full of glamour and beauty. Although the term is relatively easy to understand – it’s the system in which provides fast and cheap fashion, producing large amounts of stock and creating large amounts of profit – if you were to use the phrase in everyday conversation, understandably, not everyone will understand you straight off the bat.

As someone who is expanding their knowledge of ethics and sustainability daily, I can admit that life was a lot easier to take for granted before it all started to click for me. Although I was aware of certain issues like waste and global warming, I now take it into consideration in my daily life, even if it’s in a context which isn’t remotely related to fashion or my clothes. It’s just within me now, to try and do better.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

But with these phrases and words and all of the nitty gritty information, can we get just about anybody to understand the negative impacts of what we wear, by only focusing on ‘fast-fashion’ and ‘the industry’? And no, I’m not going back on what I said in my piece about second-hand shopping – the industry is important to understand but perhaps it’s not vital when trying to get people to start questioning their choices.

A great way to explain this more simply is looking at our food. Just like the statement ‘we all wear clothes’, the majority of us fortunate to be even having this discussion, are all able to say ‘we all eat food’. The food industry is often used as a way to explain what we mean by ‘transparency’, as, in recent years, it has become a lot more open to sharing where produce comes from, leading consumers to become more aware of what they’re actually consuming. It’s all essential to our lives and we all care in some respect or another because every day we aim to eat three healthy meals.

So, why don’t we all care about where our clothes come from if we’re putting them on our bodies just as frequently? Even beauty and make-up can inspire us – we care about what we put on our skin with what chemicals are being used or whether an animal has been used to test a product prior to being sold.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

This is a reason why Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign should be so easy to get people behind. The term ‘clothes’ strips things down to the basics of what we all wear. Asking where our clothes come from is a lot easier to do than asking why H&M is producing 52 micro-collections a year; that’s fashion (fast-fashion, specfically). If we start to separate the two terms, clothes and fashion into two separate entities, then we’re more likely to get just about anybody on board in some shape or form.

Returning to food, there are a lot of questions we can adapt to our clothes. Questions like – What are you eating? How do you store your food? What do you do with old food? – can all be changed to revolve around clothing and get people thinking in that same way about something which is essentially, affecting us all in the same way. As a whole, we try to eat healthy food and we store it in the fridge or in a cool dry place. We recycle food and put scraps on the compost. If the fashion industry is supposedly the 2nd most polluting industry on the planet, why are we not all taking on this same mindset? It’s seems simple, really.

Ethical Fashion Advice - How to Understand Fast-Fashion

For those of you who are already starting to become more conscious consumers or are wondering how to go about spreading the message, here are some questions which can get people thinking in very simple terms:


~ QUESTIONS ~

What are you wearing?
What do you wear on a day-to-day basis?
Where did you buy them?
What do the labels say? Do you know what they mean?

Where were your clothes made?
➯ Would you like to know where?
Do you know who made them?
How do you look after your clothes?
What do you do with old clothes?


Don’t stop there though, if you’re interested in learning even more or want to start asking some more in-depth questions, then make sure to take a look at my educational resources from the past year. They should be helpful for you, your friends and family and anyone else you want to pass on knowledge too. Oh and don’t forget, ethical fashion shouldn’t make you feel bad, either.

How do you think we can get people on board with ethical fashion? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Christopher Raeburn for Save The Duck SS18 Presentation | Pitti Uomo 92

By June 19, 2017 Ethical

If you missed my latest post then you won’t have seen that I recently attended Pitti Uomo 92, in Florence this past week. The event is dedicated to menswear and is an opportunity for buyers and press to scope out what is coming up for the next season. Today I wanted to focus on one of my Pitti highlights, the Save The Duck x Christopher Raeburn collection…

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92


locationLOCATION: Pitti Uomo 92
Villa Vittoria, Florence, Italy 🇮🇹


Both Save the Duck and Christopher Raeburn have very similar messages within their two brands, so, of course, this and their previous collaboration are a perfect fit. With outerwear being Save the Duck’s main focus, the collection is a range of lightweight jackets and coats made with recycled fabrics and animal-free innovations like Save the Duck’s ‘Plumtech’ material that lines and pads.

The theme is clear, of course, with camouflage prints in different colours (blue and orange), in an almost patchwork like style. Paired with Bruno Bordese shoes and Entre Amis trousers, the scenery matched the whole look of the presentation – a garden in the city. Natural prints with a more modern and urban twist.

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Raeburn focuses on sustainability within his luxury design and following the brand on social media makes it extra clear that supporting them isn’t something to question if we want to see more consciously created collections on the catwalk.

Save the Duck are also a brand that heavily focuses on sustainability being their message with a more prominent interest in being animal-free. Their products don’t use ordinary duck feathers for lining and their upcoming summer collection is made of all recycled materials, just like this collaboration. You can probably tell how excited I was to see the two brands come together, up close and personal.

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92

christopher raeburn x save the duck ss18 presentation pitti uomo 92


FOLLOW SAVE THE DUCK // FOLLOW CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN


And although this post may be dedicated to the clothes themselves, I have to say that meeting and talking to Christopher briefly made me feel even more inspired by his work. He’s genuinely down to earth and I felt a swell of British pride to experience some of his work, even if it was all the way out in Italy.

The new Christopher Raeburn for Save The Duck collection will be available in select luxury stores in collaboration with the showroom Tomorrow. And, if I am correct, with this being the final collection between the two brands for the near future, I wish them all the success. They’re both sustainable brands we should be championing…

What do you think of the collection? Let me know in the comments…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Is Menswear Sustainable? | Pitti Uomo 92

By June 16, 2017 Fashion

If you haven’t heard already, this week I attended my very first Pitti Immagine event, Pitti Uomo 92. Pitti is one of the largest fashion events in Europe, bringing together brands and designers to showcase their work not only to buyers but also to the press. Not only was I there for my own personal blog, I was also writing a short piece for The Florentine magazine, which you can read here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationLOCATION: Pitti Uomo 92
Fortezza da Basso, Florence, Italy 🇮🇹


Pitti Uomo is the menswear event under the Pitti name (uomo is ‘man’ in Italian) and this year, the theme for the events is ‘Boom Pitti Blooms, focusing on flowers with colour, patterns and textures, with the art direction by Sergio Colantuoni who says, “The theme is also a metaphor for our fairs, of what fertile ground they are for new and often unusual creative expressions.”

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the event but as I soon realised, one of the major purposes of Pitti is for brands to reach out to new buyers and distributors, so it was interesting coming in from a blogger angle. Of course, on my blog, I focus mainly on womenswear and in particular, ethical and sustainable womenswear, so I planned to go in learning more about how ethics fit into menswear. As already mentioned, I was also there to write for The Florentine and you can read my 5 point sustainable round-up if that takes your fancy.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

It was hard to resist following the crowd and not taking some time to grab some street-style photos. It was 33°C on the day I attended, so I have to applaud the attendees dressed to the nines. In true fashionable style, I overheard one person say, “Even if I faint, it’s worth it.”.

If you’re in need of some sartorial style inspiration then Pitti Uomo is the place to be. It most definitely reinstated my love for tailoring and sleek suits. Those Pitti Peacocks are well dressed, albeit extremely hot and sticky.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSAVE THE DUCK


I discovered Save The Duck a while before Pitti, knowing of their collaborations between Christopher Raeburn who is one of my favourite designers due to how he repurposes materials and is committed to that way of thinking across his whole brand. Actually talking to their team and understanding how they too, are extremely focused on being as sustainable as they can be, was rather inspiring.

Their latest collection for summer is their Recycled range, which is made of recycled materials from the lining to the zipper, and even uses recycled ‘Plumtech‘, which is their innovative material to replace feathers used in outerwear, making their brand vegan and sustainable. And although they manufacture their pieces in China, I was reassured that factories have to be certified in order to work with Save The Duck. Visiting their booth was most definitely my Pitti highlight, on par with meeting Christopher himself and attending their last collaborative presentation. I’ll be posting a piece dedicated to the collection, shortly.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationPRESIDENT’S


Although Pitti Uomo and the other Pitti fairs are open to worldwide exhibitors, of course being in Italy allowed for there to be plenty of brands Made In Italy. President’s use organic cotton in their shirts and tops and dye their leathers with vegetable tanning, so they’re on the right track.

Their brand, although sticking to traditional Tuscan craft, is modern and fresh and is a brand I will be keeping a close eye on whilst I travel the area. You can read more about President’s here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSTUTTERHEIM


And last, but most definitely not least, is Stutterheim, a Swedish raincoat brand who surprised me with their upfront honesty on where they stand on sustainability. John Laster, one of the directors of the company was very open when talking to me, sharing the fact that their materials are most certainly not of a sustainable nature with PVC coming from oil, of course. This doesn’t however, mean they’re entirely going down the wrong path. I and John both agreed that mindset can often be more important than fabrics…

“I think the biggest strain on the environment today is the buying and throwing away of things. It doesn’t matter if it’s made organic or not; use it five times and throw it away, use it for one season and it’s not sustainable.”


As I said, I will have another post up soon about the Christopher Raeburn presentation but for now, that is all from me at Pitti Uomo this season. You may just see me at the knitwear event, Pitti Filati, sometime soon…

What do you think of Italian menswear? Have you heard of any of these brands? Let me know 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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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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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

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Why Having Fewer Clothes Doesn’t Mean Your Wardrobe Is Sustainable

By February 8, 2017 Ethical

I began writing this blog post because as some of you might know, towards the end of last year (on Halloween, precisely) life took a bit of a turn for the second time (read here for the first), meaning I had to part with some of my wardrobe for a while. After tweeting and Facebooking and asking how many clothes my readers and followers own, the topic of this blog post has ended up being slightly different.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

I originally intended to tell you that living with only 38 pieces of clothing over the past three months has been relatively easy. I, unfortunately, can’t pinpoint how many items of clothes I genuinely own seeing as I haven’t completed a full count before, but I know that the number in total would probably be double or perhaps even more than.

I can live with 38 items of clothing. Seeing as it’s winter, that number roughly includes about five pairs of trousers (2 pairs of jeans; 1 pair of black trousers; 1 pair of suit trousers; 1 pair of patterned), multiple tops (including 4 sweatshirts, 2 of which are the same with a different variation of design), one skirt (for wearing with tights which I didn’t include within the number – there are some essentials we can’t live without) and four choices of jackets for varying weather conditions and outfit choices.

Usually, if my clothes weren’t stuck in a building damaged by an earthquake, I would have the choice of a fair bit more. Although I do sort my clothes by summer and winter, in turn, technically creating two separate wardrobes of choice, I like to say I have gradually mastered the art of wearing summer dresses layered up for the colder months meaning I have missed the extra choice.

There is a pair of ASOS Africa trousers which I thoroughly enjoy wearing, sat in a drawer, waiting to be worn by me again soon. There’s my grey and floral slip dress you may have seen in one of my final summer outfit posts, which I would have loved to have worn with a turtleneck and some tights.

I love clothes, obviously. I want to have my own collections one day; there’s no denying that, which means there have been moments so far where I’ve been bored and a little uninspired of what I have to choose from. I worked out that technically if I’m wearing about 4 items of clothing (excluding shoes, socks and accessories), I could wear about 361 different outfits with what I currently have with me. I’m not going to do that however because my suit jacket doesn’t match with my bohemian maxi dress but the idea that, that is a possibility is what has got me thinking.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion


WHAT I WORE: Floral Shirt (Jumble Sale) // Botanical Print Trousers (Motivi) // Vintage Yellow Leather Jacket (Jumble Sale)


After running polls and asking how many clothes you own, I received a lot of feedback which has had me questioning – does having fewer clothes, actually make a wardrobe any more sustainable? My answer is in fact, no.

52% of you own between 30 and 60 items of clothing in your wardrobe, which I will presume is a fairly rough estimate as I’m not expecting everyone to have rifled through and counted each individual item. That number surprised me because I happened to believe it would have been more. Only 26% (which is still a fairly large amount) of people responded saying they couldn’t count, or at least that the number went over 100. But; none of these numbers included shopping habits.

In a 2015 Barnardo’s report which I often refer people to, it states that typically in the UK, the average woman will spend £64 per month on new clothes, with 33% of the surveyed women deeming an item ‘old’ after only wearing it three times. And I don’t know about you, but I often read or hear the phrase ‘spring cleaning’ when it comes to clothes, which means there must be a high number for how many times those ‘old’ clothes are being removed and sent elsewhere.

Only having 38 items of clothing doesn’t make my wardrobe sustainable – my shopping habits do. Your shopping habits do. If 52% of you are living with between 30 and 60 items of clothes, that means you have around the same amount of options as I currently do; 361 outfit combinations, or more. That’s just under a year’s worth of outfits, for one per day. That only becomes unsustainable when you increase, and yes, decrease that total number.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

A wonderful member of the #EthicalHour Facebook group brought up the fact of why decreasing the number of clothes you own is just as important as to how frequently you increase it. Starting a capsule wardrobe shouldn’t mean chucking away all of your clothes because that will then create waste, which creates a whole separate issue.

Some will say that you can donate to a charity shop and there won’t be anything to worry about, but as I will talk about in an upcoming blog post, that isn’t always the best option. Becoming vegan or changing an element of your lifestyle elsewhere, also shouldn’t mean suddenly and dramatically changing what you wear.

There are consequences to so many of these decisions. It’s about working out a way to get around all of them for you. Consciously shopping and working out whether you’ll actually end up wearing what you buy are super important elements to keeping your wardrobe at a sustainable level, and passing on clothes to other individuals or attempting to revamp an item will leave you feeling much more satisfied than taking your textiles to the dump.

In conclusion, whilst admittedly being bored at times, living with less has given me two challenges which hopefully, you can take something away from. Firstly, it has challenged me to wear outfits I’d never usually think about wearing. Just the other day I wore my vintage yellow leather jacket, the floral oversized shirt and completely contrasting navy floral trousers I’m wearing in this post. (Hands up if you saw it already on my Instagram Story!) In theory, none of that should have matched, but it did because it worked out looking fairly seventies inspired.

creating a sustainable wardrobe - second hand fashion

I discovered a new outfit I would never have worn before because I had nothing else to choose from except the blouse and sweatshirt combination I’d been wearing for a couple of days straight – in a hygienic manner, guys. It challenged me to think about those 361 combinations, and if I, in fact, need to make that number any larger.

And secondly, it has challenged me to think harder about how or if I do increase the choice I have. Recently, the only additions to my wardrobe have been from ethical brands, like Lost Shapes, who are part of my ethical directory. Truly measuring the size and scope of what I own, makes me value what else is eventually included. So, for you reading this, perhaps this will inspire you to count what you have, and count up the value of what you might have in the future.

Sustainability doesn’t happen by removing what isn’t ‘100% organic’ or produced using ‘100% recycled materials’. Sustainability starts when we limit the number of resources we’re using up.


How many clothes are in your wardrobe? How sustainable are your clothes? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Where to Buy Ethical Clothes | UPDATED Ethical Directory 2017

By January 27, 2017 Ethical

This blog post has been a while in the making for several reasons and due to several road blocks but  I am finally happy to publicly and properly release my updated ethical directory into the world! I want to try and make a real effort it with it this time, hence the updated layout and much easier to use format. Read on for more information and to find out where to shop for ethical clothes…

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes


FEATURED ITEMS: Wander Wonder Sweatshirt £33.00 (Lost Shapes)* // Zhandra Rhodes T-Shirt (People Tree) // Patterned Culottes (ASOS Africa)


Seeing as I go on about them so much, I get asked about where to buy ethical clothes a whole lot. At first, when you’re only just starting to change your shopping habits, it can seem impossible to find anything which isn’t unfairly made or seriously damaging to the environment, but it’s not impossible. It takes searching to find hidden gems that honour and value the idea of well-made, sustainable products.

This is where my (now updated) ethical directory comes in – I want to try and make it a little easier for you. I want to try and update the list as often as I can and really celebrate the idea of ethical fashion and all of it’s greatness. I’ll talk you through a couple of the brands listed in this blog post, but I’m inviting you to click over to my new ethical directory for yourself, and find a brand that takes your fancy! It might only be small now, but I’m hoping it will grow and grow in the future…

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes


ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes

~ ETHICAL DIRECTORY ~
A selection of the brands featured…


new-lost-shapesEst. since: 2012
Mission: Lost Shapes products are all made from 100% organic cotton or other sustainable fabrics such as Tencel, and produced using renewable energy. They provide screen printed, organic fair trade products for all the family.
Price range: £12 - £30

Shop Lost Shapes

Est. since: 2005
Mission: Thought (formerly Braintree) is based upon the idea of sustainability and "thoughtful clothing". They use some of the most organic and long lasting fabrics around and ensure that the production process is just as sustainable and ethical. Slow fashion is what they thrive on!
Price range: £5+

Shop Thought

new-braintree
new-people-treeEst. since: 2001
Mission: People Tree aims to be 100% Fair Trade through the whole supply chain. They do this by using natural resources and sustainable materials, and supporting their producers by challenging power structures to gain them their rights to a livelihood.
Price range: £15 - £200+

Shop People Tree


Est. since: 2016
Mission: Sheer Apparel focuses on providing the best ethical and sustainable options for all aspects of your wardrobe, at prices comparable to brands you've loved for years.
Price range: £16+

Shop Sheer Apparel

new-waisteEst. since: 2013
Mission: WAISTE is an online vintage shop full of beautiful recycled treasures, adding to the number of clothes that are recycled each year.
Price range: £15+

Shop WAISTE


All of the brands selected and included in the directory, were chosen by myself after scouring the internet. Some of them focus on more ethical issues, and some of them focus on more sustainable issues, like the Lost Shapes sweatshirt I’m wearing in the photos…

ethical directory - where to buy ethical clothes

I actually think Lost Shapes are a really nice starting point, especially if you’re looking for basics. Their pieces aren’t necessarily ‘fashion’ pieces or trend led, but I think that’s something you have to take on board when it comes to slow fashion. The goal of course, is to have an industry which is ethical, sustainable and somewhat trend led, but trends lead to consumerism and we all know what happens then…

The sweatshirt I’m wearing is made from 100% recycled fabrics; 60% recycled pre-consumer cotton, and 40% recycled post-consumer polyester – that’s directly from the label on the inside of the seam. It’s so refreshing to wear something that comes from a transparent and open company, and the screen printing adds a wonderful finishing touch, as it’s printed in house in England.

Ethical fashion isn’t just about hemp and natural fibre dresses, and I want to try and prove that, but I also want your help too!

Ethical Directory - Where to Buy Ethical Clothes

Make sure you share your favourite brands in the comments or send me a tweet so I can add them to the directory!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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