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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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Slow Fashion by Safia Minney

By July 2, 2016 Ethical

I’m going to say something for the 1000th time when it comes to ethical and sustainable fashion; it’s really important to educate yourself.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review


SLOW FASHION by Safia Minney


You might be aware of some of the issues surrounding the fashion industry these days, but how much do you really know about what’s being done to make changes? How many real life stories have you listened to? How do you know what to do as a consumer?

These are all questions you should be able to answer easily, but for a lot of people, it’s hard to answer them without saying, “I don’t know” or perhaps, “I don’t know enough to give you an answer”. So yes, I may have said it several times by now, but it really is important. We all need to learn more, so that we’re open and aware about what needs to change… a big emphasis on need, because it really does need to.

So, as a way to educate yourself, I’m going to introduce you to a book that I’ve just finished reading – “Slow Fashion” by founder and CEO of People Tree, Safia Minney. “Slow Fashion” is a book which explores the work which is being done to make the fashion industry more ethical and sustainable, as well inspiring entrepreneurs, creatives and consumers, to think differently and start to make change, no matter how big or small.

Safia has been running People Tree, a leading ethical and sustainable fashion brand for the past 25 years, working alongside designers like Zandra Rhodes to create exciting and ethical collections which not only help the people making them, but the environment and the earth.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

One of the main themes throughout the book is something that I wanted to share with you, and is something that emphasises my point about educating yourself; small steps lead to bigger things. One of the best ways to explain this is through a quote (from the book) by actress and model, Lily Cole…

“Whenever I am given a choice, I try to make the right one.”

When you learn about some of the issues in the industry, you can be taken aback. For me personally, it was like something clicked and suddenly I had this whole new mind-set (thanks to the wonderful movie which is, The True Cost)… but there are cons to that happening. I ended up putting pressure on myself and started to rush things and try and reevaluate everything I knew before. Although now I see this as a pro, I basically stopped shopping altogether. I felt guilty whenever I wore clothes I knew were unethical, and I tried to change too much of what I could all at one time.

The reason I’m explaining this, is because Lily’s quote uses one specific word; try.

When we learn about all of these issues, for most of us, it’s hard to suddenly change everything. It’s hard to step out of what we can afford or what we are able to do immediately. But it is possible to do in the long run (though of course, the faster the better, as I said; things need to change) and that’s something we mustn’t forget.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review

It’s reassuring to read that even people who are making changes, aren’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s impossible. Not everyone has the freedom and privilege to purchase specifically ethical clothing due to the fact that it’s usually higher in price than normal run of the mill, high-street fashion (don’t forget though, second-hand and vintage clothing is an option). But being aware that there is a choice, is very valuable.

Walking into a shop and asking yourself whether you need an item, or whether you could find a better, more high quality option that will be more sustainable, is so important. And to loop it all back; being aware, means educating yourself, which is why I’m recommending this book.

At the same time as learning more about the issues and effects of fast-fashion and mass consumption, you can discover new brands and labels to shop from, some of which include: Goodsociety, Miss Green, Braintree, Armed Angels, MADE, LeJu, Joanna Cave and Quazi Design.

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney Book Review


Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins


You can also discover other books including the one photographed in this post, “Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion”. I’m only into Chapter 2 and it’s already highly insightful. It not only looks into fast-fashion (both on the high-street and on the catwalk), but it also covers topics like racism and body image. It’s a one of a kind book to add to your reading list! (I’ll be sure to review it when I’m finished).

Also through this book, I’ve discovered the film, “Udita” by Rainbow Collective. It’s an extraordinary and raw insight into the lives of the female factory workers in Bangladesh, most of whom were affected by the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013. One of the most touching moments in the film for me, is when one of the workers is explaining their desires and wishes for the future…

I wish people would buy clothes with a conscience. My desire is that what’s happening now will never be repeated. That people who are buying clothes abroad stop and think about how much they buy for it and how much is the true cost for us here.”

If the workers themselves are saying they wish we could shop with a conscience, then surely that’s enough for us all to implement change, no matter how big or small? The majority of us have a choice. We all have the ability to learn about our choices. Learning is all part of the process, and really, at the most, it can take an hour out of your day to do so.

When you next sit down to binge watch your favourite Netflix show, why not click onto The True Cost (which is on Netflix anyway) or go onto Amazon and order yourself a book, instead? Small steps lead to bigger things, and we can all make them if we try.


What are you going to do to learn more? Have you read Slow Fashion already? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Pen to Paper Interview with… Ben Alun-Jones of UNMADE

By June 8, 2016 Pen to Paper

‘Pen to Paper’ is a new 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. 


bio pic

Founded by Royal College of Art graduates Ben Alun-Jones, Hal Watts and Kirsty Emery, UNMADE collaborates with creatives across a range of disciplines to bring together the best of art, fashion and design, which you then define.
In just a few clicks disrupt your pattern, shift lines and clash colours to create a made-to-order piece of knitwear that’s uniquely you. They hold no stock and nothing is produced until you submit your order. You can find them in features including The New York Times, DAZED, BoF, The Guardian and more.

 WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM


Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


~ READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ~


When I discovered UNMADE through Susie Bubble’s blog (Style Bubble), I knew instantly that this was the kind of brand I’d like to know more about. Mixing technology with ethical and sustainable fashion is basically a dream for me and that’s exactly what they’re combining. I had the chance to send over some questions to Ben Alun-Jones who is one of their founders to ask some more about how their brand works and what they’re doing to make their mark in not only the sustainable area of fashion, but the industry as a whole.

The brand brings together innovative technology which lets consumers manipulate and change the designs of their knitwear to exactly how they want them, with the original designs coming straight from the minds of designers and artists including Christopher Raeburn, Malika Favre and Nicolas Sassoon. They have no stock which reduces waste and makes the whole experience even more unique.


We saw an industrial knitting machine for the first time. 💡 This was the lightbulb moment. We could make a unique garment from a digital file in a matter of a few hours. Now to make that dream a reality… (The software didn’t exist yet).

How and when did the concept for UNMADE come about?

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


Simply put, no. Short term financial benefits trump longer term ethical and sustainable benefits. We’re trying to make a viable alternative to current industrial production (That happens to be more ethical and sustainable). We want people to choose it because its better, not because its more sustainable.

Do you think enough is being done to combat the issues around ethical and sustainable fashion?

What Ben said about making their brand a better alternative rather than a ‘more sustainable’ one was quite interesting to me. That’s the aim, isn’t it really? To be able to go to a brand with the knowledge that they’re focusing on ethical and sustainable issues, but actually shop from them because their designs and products are what draw you in.

Ben Alun-Jones UNMADE Interview


We are a completely different approach to working with brands, customers and manufacturing. We need the acceptance of all these people. (This is hard).

Technology is a big, if not the most important part of how UNMADE runs - what's the biggest challenge you face with weaving tech into fashion?

We’ve had to build all the tools to make unique production work on an industrial scale. Now we’re taking it to the wider industry to create a more creative, more sustainable and more responsive approach to the industrial production. Watch this space…

What's your next aim? What direction do you see the brand going in?

As an aspiring designer who wants to focus on sustainability as I grow and learn, UNMADE is a huge inspiration to me. The concept may be niche, but it’s not hard to imagine it growing even bigger and having a wider reach. I’m excited to see what’s coming next, especially when we’ve been left with a ‘Watch this space…


(IMAGES COURTESY OF UNMADE)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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NEW TDP Ethical Directory for Fashion Brands

By August 9, 2015 Ethical

So, whilst I’ve been having a bit of a blogging low, I’ve actually been working behind the scenes on something that I think you guys are going to like! I’ve been asked a few times what ethical brands I recommend since I’ve started talking more ethical fashion, so I thought why not create a list of all of them?

Ethical Directory For Fashion Brands - ASOS Africa, People Tree, Reformation

Ethical Directory For Fashion Brands - ASOS Africa, VILA, VERO MODA

~ TDP’S ETHICAL DIRECTORY ~

Dah-dah! I’ve created an Ethical Directory. A list of brands that I’ve discovered that are all giving back in someway or another, whether that be ethically, sustainably, or both! Some of them I’ve known for a while now, and some of them I’ve only just discovered since working on the list, but either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy having a browse.

I’ve devised the directory into 7 categories, and they all have handy links so you can get to each of them easily. Have a click on these if you want to go straight to it…


Favourites // Fashion // Accessories & Footwear // High End £££ // Basics // Second-hand // Miscellaneous


Ethical Directory For Fashion Brands - EMG, O MY BAG, Reformation

So far, I have 3 brands/designers per category, which I know doesn’t seem like much, but I thought it would be a good, organised, base to start from. There are 3 images displayed which point to each brand’s website, as well as 3 drop down toggles which have basic information and another, easy, clickable link. Price ranges/dates maybe rough, but I’ve tried to be as clear as possible! 

Some of the brands maybe 100% ethical and sustainable already, and some brands may be on their way, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what is actually out there and makes you start to think before you buy! I really hope to expand the directory and hopefully, you can help too!

Ethical Directory For Fashion Brands - ASOS Africa, Oxfam, People Tree

~ GET INVOLVED ~

If you want to get involved with my new ethical directory, then click on the banner above (or this link). Follow the link to a tweet, and add in your brand name/Twitter handle. I’ll have a peep through the hashtag, #EthicalTDP, and if I find any brands or designers that pick my fancy, I may just add them to my directory. How does that sound?

So, what do you think of my new ethical directory for fashion brands? I really hope you like the idea and that you get involved with making it grow! Don’t forget to comment any ethical brands too; I’d love to know of some more…


Are you a brand who wants to be listed in my Ethical Directory? Head over to my advertising page to learn more. I’m currently offering a small, limited amount of features.


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Ethical And Sustainable Fashion

By February 9, 2014 Ethical

I really wanted to do a post on eco-friendly and ethical fashion, and here it is! I wanted to find out a bit more about not only what it is all about, but also some great brands which sell and produce ethical and sustainable fashion products. It’s taken me quite a while to get this done so I hope it is worth it! Thank you to the brands for answering my questions too!

VOZ ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion VOZ This brand specialize in hand-made garments that feature premium quality natural and ecological fibres, hand dyed and woven to celebrate ancient traditions. On their site they state: ‘VOZ give’s their artisans a means of sustaining their culture, by offering them economic and artistic protection for their proprietary indigenous craft forms. Our artisans receive name credit and earn royalties for their designs featured in our collection.‘ I love how Voz offer gorgeous collections, but also do good at the same time. I like how they stick to ancient traditions and really work on each piece, taking in every detail. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the answers in time to publish but check out VOZ anyway!

Reet ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Reet ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Reet Aus – This brand is an ‘up cycler’. They collect donated clothing, and get it turned it something completely new. Each garment in the collection I have featured, on average saves 4500 liters / 78% of water creates 2273 g / 86% less CO2 emission per each new garment, which I think is incredible. I love their SS14 collection, and the fact that they are saving that much energy and water is really good to see.

When and why did you start to realise that Ethical fashion was the way to go forward?  Reet has been working with fashion and clothing for many years. Seeing the industry from the inside, the fast fashion, the endless new clothes that come in and out of stores, has been alarming that it is not really the way it should be. Just imagine the amount of waste and pollution it creates.

What is the process in up cycling clothes and making them Ethical & Sustainable? The process of upcycling is using left-overs in making new products. In this case, textile and clothing waste for new garments without changing the material. This method avoids producing new virgin materials and also helps to alleviate the waste problem in the producing countries.

Ovna Ovich ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion Ovna Ovich This is probably my favourite brand in a ‘fashion’ sense, because all the pieces are so simple, and versatile, yet they all are ethical and sustainable from the fibres and the fastenings. Is it weird that I can tell which bloggers would wear what from these pieces? The white dress would be perfect for Liv, the blue one for Carrie, possibly maybe the two piece for Natasha, and the pale blue dress for Katia! Weird I know…

When and why did Ovna Ovich start to realise that Ethical fashion was the way to go forward? It has been a life long journey of decisions and upbringing to get to this realisation. The ‘eureka’ moment happened when I was working on my final project at university and wondered what would happen if I concentrated on producing work that was a solution rather then just pointing the finger at something negative.

What do you do differently to other Ethical designers? OVNA OVICH is clothing for both male and female genders. These lines are blurred where we create clothing for men which can also be worn by women. OVNA OVICH work with fabrics that eco friendly and luxurious. Our pieces can be worn to special occasions as well as the everyday.

New Look ethical and sustainable fashion retailers and brands ethical fashion New Look – You may not know it, but New Look Retailers are an ethical and sustainable brand. They try to create quality jobs for people they work for as well as care for the environment as they produce our clothes. Most of us will own a New Look item in our wardrobe and they are all really good quality for the price, so what exactly goes into making them, and how are New Look trying to change the way things are done? I got my questions answered by their Ethical Trade & Environment Manager, Subathra Vaidhiyanathan… (Images thanks to New Look)

What do you do differently to other Ethical brands? One of the things I really like about working with New Look is that there’s a big focus on building long term relationships with our suppliers. This is important because it means we get to know our partners and we understand the challenges our factories face. This means we can talk about how to resolve them and then work together to help factories overcome any challenges they face. All our suppliers sign up to our Ethical Aims before we buy from them and we have members of our field teams visiting factories daily to check conditions. We also recycle a lot more than others and last year we recycled 71% of all waste from our UK stores we hope to do more in 2014.

What are your next big goals with your Ethical system? What do you want to achieve next with it? We have set ourselves some challenging ethical targets this year and our ethical team are working hard to meet them! Last year we worked on over 70 ethical trade projects, this year we have over 100!

Do you think we will ever see most high street brands being Ethical & Sustainable? I feel that awareness of ethical trade and sustainability among consumers, brands and suppliers is the highest it has ever been. People care about where clothes come from and that they are made in a ethical and sustainable way, which is great. Many high street retailers have ethical teams now and I really hope this trend continues!

It’s been really interesting creating this blog post on ethical and sustainable fashion for you guys and I hope you like it! Thanks once again to the brands who answered my questions! Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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