DIY Round Up – The Perfect Fit

The latest DIY round up on Ethical Fashion Bloggers had a theme of ‘the perfect fit’. We all probably have at least one or two pieces of clothing in our wardrobe that don’t fit quite right and this challenge was all about converting them into something beautiful and wearable that fits just right.

Erica of Recycled Fashion has upcycled a mens business shirt into a fabulous casual shirt without sleeves.

Pao of Project Minima has cleverly changed the fit of her shirt completely by making it into trousers.

I have removed the sleeves from this dress which I posted about on Ethical Fashion Blog.

I hope that you are having a good week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

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October’s DIY/ Upcycled Knitwear Challenge

For October at Ethical Fashion Bloggers, the DIY upcycled challenge is all about knitwear. Of course knitwear is always a good way to keep warm at this time of year but it can also look amazing too!

Vix at Vintage Vixen looks stunning in this floor length crochet coat made by her Mum from unravelled jumble sale  jumpers in the 1970s!

Pao of Project Minima has repaired and rejuvenated this beautiful pair of pearl embellished gloves. Make sure you check out her blog for the fantastic DIY outfit that she wore with her gloves.

Over on my Ethical Fashion Blog, I tried my hand at dip dying a cardigan from a charity shop. More details of what I did on the blog.

I hope that you are having a fantastic October. A big thank you to all of those who have participated in this months outfit challenges and round ups. I will be in touch soon with more details of what we will be doing in November soon.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

 

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10 Good Reasons to Green Your Fashion Blog

As a fashion blogger, greening your blog may seem like a daunting task. But any small change that you can make like buying a little less, shopping in charity shops or occasionally blogging about an ethical brand will have a positive impact on the world around you. If you are not quite sure why you should bother then here are a some good reasons.

People

There are many ways that you can help others whilst you blog. It is great to feel that your blog has a sense of purpose and I actually find myself much more motivated to blog when I feel like I am doing some good. Promoting brands that provide a decent living wage for those making their clothes and do not use cotton picked children in countries like Uzbekistan and Burkina Faso is a good start. If you are not sure which companies to avoid check out the buyer’s guide to high street shops on Ethical Consumer.

Planet

The world cannot sustain our constant appetite for new stuff all of the time and this includes fashion and clothes. Each piece of clothing that we wear only once or twice before throwing away uses nonrenewable resources, contributes to global warming and adds to the landfill problem. The cotton used to make most cotton clothing has also been grown with a large amount of pesticides which are bad for the environment and pose a health risk to those living in the  area. As a fashion blogger you can easily promote sustainability by not encouraging people to buy clothes that they do not need. Vintage, thrifted, charity shopped and DIY outfits are all great ways of been stylish, sustainable and unique.

Be Independent

Ok, so not everyone buys into the whole people and planet thing, but one way that bloggers can be and are more sustainable is by developing their own sense of style. Slavish devotion to fashions and trends can lead to us constantly renewing our wardrobes with new fast fashion items. As a blogger working your own individual style is what will set you apart from the crowd (plus it is so much more sustainable). Why not invest in a beautiful clothing that you love, looks great on you and you will wear for seasons to come instead of a piece of clothing that you have to have just because everyone else is wearing it.

Your bank balance

Having new clothes might be great but if you never get the chance to go out because you have spent all your money on clothes, it kind of seems a bit pointless. Making the switch to more sustainable clothing that lasts more than one season or shopping in charity shops means that you will always have something amazing to wear but also some money left for the fun stuff in life like going out.

Finding a niche

As fashion bloggers we are all look for a slightly different angle or something interesting to write about. Most ethical and sustainable fashion brands have  an interesting story to tell, if you choose to feature them on your blog you won’t have any trouble finding something to write about. Ethical and / or sustainability is an interesting angle of fashion to write about. When you find yourself a new niche and set yourself apart from the crowd, you may also find a whole new set of brands that will want to work with you.

Become part of a movement

The ethical fashion movement is steadily growing and gathering pace. If you want to become part of a movement that includes some truly inspiring, passionate and friendly people then ethical fashion is for you. There are plenty of online communities where you can network and interact with like minded people with a shared purpose and enthusiasm for fashion that looks great but doesn’t cost the earth.

Discovering new brands

There are lots of new ethical and sustainable brands emerging all the time and rather than being restricted by this, they seem to strive to find new ways to be creative. These brands are fun, fresh, contemporary and innovative, if you weren’t on the look out for ethical brands, you may not even get to know about them.

Get ahead of the game (it’s the future!)

Many of the big brands are now making moves towards becoming more sustainable and ethical. If this is the way that the industry is going, it makes sense to be ahead of the game and be one of the early adopters.

Authenticity and credibility

Aligning your own values with those of your blog is the only way to be authentic and credible. If you are encoruaging people to keep buying new clothes that they don’t really need and yet you don’t really believe this is the right thing to do, your writing will seem shallow and empty. Think carefully about why you are blogging and what you hope to achieve with it and make sure it matches your own personal values.

Creativity

Limitless access to new clothing week on week actually (believe it or not) gets boring in the end. I think it tends to stifle your creativity where as having less choice can really stimulate creativity and make you think so much more about what you are wearing. The fantastic upcycled pieces of clothing and DIY tutorials that you can find on so many fashion blogs is proof of this. Creating a new outfit without buying fast fashion can be a bit of a challenge but you may even find it fun!

So that is it! These are the reasons that I decided to green my blog. I would be really interested to hear if anyone else has any good reasons.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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DIY/ Upcycling Challenge Round Up – Lace

For this months DIY/ Upcycling Challenge, we have created outfits with the theme of lace, you can read more about the challenge here.

lace cut out blouse

Jamillah of Made to Travel has posted a very simple tutorial on how to make this lovely lace cut out blouse.

Pao of Project Minima has not only made a beautiful lace collar with several homemade crochet lace collars passed down from her Mom but she has artistically featured it in the painting Madame Charles Louise Trudaine by Jacques Louis David.

floral lace dress

For my lace DIY outfit on Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog I have combined two piece of clothing, a lace top and strapless floral dress, that I hardly wear to make something much more wearable.

Next up on Ethical Fashion Bloggers is a Polyvore contest, more details to follow soon!

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September DIY Challenge – Lace

This months DIY/ Upcycling challenge is all about lace. You can either make something or upcycle something using lace or upcycle something old made from lace. All you need to do is post your DIY to your blog and email the link to ceri@heathcotecommunications.co.uk by Sunday 23rd September. I will post a round up of all of the posts on Monday 24th.

Just in case you are in need of a little inspiration, check out the You Tube tutorial for Anthroplogie inspired lace shorts above.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

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September at Ethical Fashion Bloggers

Summer is almost but no need to feel sad, we have plenty going on here at Ethical Fashion Bloggers to help you forget about all of your weather woes and move into autumn with style!

Here are just a few dates for your diary:-

12th September – Outfit Challenge – Layering – show us a layered outfit to keep warm or cool for the season ahead (featuring ethical, eco, vintage, recycled or upcycled items)
19th September – DIY Round Up – Lace – Upcycle or make something from lace or use lace to upcycled an item that you no longer wear.
26th September – The first Ethical Fashion Blogger Polyvore Contest – Make an outfit for AW12 on Polyvore.

If you are a fashion blogger and would like to keep in touch with everything going on at Ethical Fashion Bloggers, you can follow us on Facebook here or contact us to join here. Members will recieve our newsletter.

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Terri of RAGS Against the MACHINE Takes the Six Items Challenge

Six Items Challenge

It’s been a week now since the July round of the Six Items Challenge for Labour behind the Label’s effort to raise awareness about working conditions in the global textile and fashion industry. And, it’s been curious to watch my behavior…to see if anything has really changed. And after a week, I would say it has.

Early in the challenge Franca at Oranges and Apples wrote a post that worked on my thinking throughout the challenge. She speculated that a challenge would only be possible with frequent laundering, thus contributing to the environmental impact of a reduced wardrobe. Two of the items I selected for my challenge were Dry Clean only (the black slacks and woven skirt). Two were cold water wash items (the reversible shell and white skirt) and two could be tossed in with other items of laundry I might be doing (the white and black tees). I learned to change into my nightgown earlier in the evening than I ordinarily would. I learned that simply airing clothing might suffice; I wore items longer between washings. And, I learned to wash items in my bathroom sink. I dry cleaned once during the month, using a kit and my own washer/dryer. Today, 6 days after the challenge ended, I had my first official laundry day in a month, having run out of underwear.

I also worried that such intensive wearing might permanently ruin the six items I chose. I am happy to report that the white tee was the only item that showed this wear, with the hem beginning to ravel in the last week. The black slacks, however, will likely never be worn as a pair of dress slacks again–as I’ve discovered how comfy and “dressed up” they are for every day wear. In fact, as I type, I’m wearing the black slacks with a Harley top that Sandra from Owl Molt sent toward the end of the challenge. Picture it: a 58 year old woman, braless, in a tight motorcycle ridin’ top. DH loves it.

I rediscovered the WEALTH of accessories I own and have done a second closet cleaning since the challenge ended, trying to think of a better way to organize these accessories. I need something like a shoe box for each color in the palette where items could be sorted according to color. Do any of my readers have an arrangement like this?

I also discovered what summer shoes I do not wear and have tossed them into a new box intended for a thrift store donation. Even more of the wardrobe that remained after the first closet clearing has now been added to the pile of things I’ll attempt to sell on eBay. The reversible top may show up there. (I’ve made my first sale!)

Before the challenge began, I had wanted to include a dressier skirt and a grey linen blazer which has seen no wear this summer. Given the additional challenge that the hot-hot-hot weather added to the challenge, I consider myself very LUCKY to have stumbled across the reversible top in a thrift store just before the challenge began. It reminded me of this dress I had been very tempted to purchase last winter. Early on, some of my readers had questioned the long-sleeved tees, but given the intensity of the sun in my area during July, I was glad to be covered up. Luckily, my work does not involve going to campus in the summer time so I was able to make do with a fairly casual wardrobe.

I have never been a fan of fast fashion. The $20 wardrobe I worked with entirely originated in a thrift store. Rags has long ago proven that it is possible to dress professionally for very little expense, but the challenge has shown that I could likely do with a fraction of wardrobe I currently own. Another round of the challenge is upcoming in September for those of you who think you’d like to try it. And my fund-raising widget will remain in my sidebar until that challenge begins. I encourage you to try it!

This post was written by Ethical Fashion Blogger Terri of Rags Against the Machine, Visit her blog to find out more about her challenge and sustainable style. If you would like to find out more about the next Six Items Challenge visit

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Thrifty DIY And Upcycling Round Up For March

For March, the Ethical Fashion Bloggers were challenged to make or upcycle a piece of clothing or accessory without spending much money. There is some fantastic inspiration here on ways to refresh your wardrobe with really easy ways to refashion an old piece of clothing to slightly more complex sewing projects for a whole new piece of clothing from something old, all without spending much money at all!

Terri at Rags Against the Machine has upcycled this beautiful printed shirt by replacing its buttons and added cute hearts to this skirt to cover burn holes.

Pao from Project Minima has been making good with scraps! This reversible vest has been made with real attention to detail right down to the handmade bias tape edging.

Franca of Oranges and Apples has made this fantastic dress using a thrifty sheet that she got from the Salvation Army.

At Thrifted Shift a cosy cardigan refashioned with some new buttons (and a very sweet dog!)

Vix at Vintage Vixen has made some Hippi tastic jeans by customising a pair she got at a car boot sale.

I recycled some old t shirts into a headband. Further details of this project on my blog Ethical Fashion Blog

If you fancy having a go at creating your own DIY clothes by upcycling something old, why not join us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers and take part in our monthly DIY round ups.

With warmest wishes

Ceri

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The Valentine’s Day DIY/ Upcycling Round Up

Valentines Day is a fantastic time to show someone how much you love them but it can also get just a teensy weensy bit commercialised. For our February DIY/ Upcycling round up on Ethical Fashion Bloggers we have some great inspiration for fashion and accessories for Valentine’s Day which don’t involve buying anything new.

First up, the newest member of Ethical Fashion Bloggers, Thrifted Shift has a stylish and warm outfit featuring an upcycled cardigan and DIY circle scarf.

Franca of Oranges and Apples has made these cute heart brooches from scraps of fabric.

Jean of all Trades has made this amazing skirt from guess what? door matts

 

Marcie of Care Wear Share has made this beautiful paper flower necklace using old magazines.

 

I made this heart applique top using an old sweatshirt. You can check it out on my blog Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog.

I hope that you are having a fantastic Valentines Day. If you would like to join in our DIY/ upcycling roundups and outfit challenges, you can find out how to join us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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An Interview With Erica of Recycled Fashion

In the first of a series of interviews with Ethical Fashion Bloggers, I interview Erica of Recycled Fashion about upcycling, blogging and ethical fashion. Erica’s blog features plenty of inspiration in the form of thrifty outfits and DIY projects plus plenty of handy tips, she is also involved in some other really interesting projects relating to sustainable style.

How did you get started blogging?

I started my blog because I wanted to focus some of my time on my two passions; second-hand fashion, and writing.  I read blogs of similar interest, and thought I’d have a crack at starting my own, that was two years ago

How would you describe your style?

Thrifty; only choosing second hand over new

Quirky; it is not uncommon to find out of the ordinary pieces in my wardrobe.

Individual: I try not to be a follower of fashion, and choose instead, to create my own individual style.
 
You are obviously very talented at sewing and recycling clothes, what is it about recycling clothes that you love?

Thank you for such a nice comment.  I like the individuality of designing my own wardrobe pieces to fit my body shape.  We’re not all born the same off-the-rack size, and most of the time, a small size adjustment on a shop purchased garment, will make the world of difference.

From an ethical standpoint, I cannot justify buying new clothing, when there is an abundance of garments already in circulation.  By recycling existing garments, we keep more clothing out of landfill, and in our wardrobes.

What is the refashioning project that you are most proud of?

For a thrifted piece, transformed into something more wearable, I’m quite fond of my butterfly dress refashion.  However, the creation I am most proud of, would be my upholstery patch dress, of which I made some furnishing fabric samples into a patchwork shift dress.
 
Where do you get your inspiration both for recycling projects and for your blogging?

 Most of the time, I am inspired by articles I read on the internet, and on other similar blogs.  Otherwise, fashion I see on the streets, or current fashion topics.
 
I have noticed that ethical and sustainable fashion seems to be quite popular in Australia, how would you describe the ethical fashion scene there?

Ethical and sustainable fashion certainly seems to be on the rise in Australia, we still have a way to go, the ethical fashion scene is small in comparison to some, but we’ve a strong, passionate group of individuals working hard to see a change in the fashion industry.  Being that we have a smaller population that many western countries, individuals involved in the ethical fashion scene tend to know of each other via various networks and word-of-mouth. 

 Which are your favourite eco/ethical/ thrifty blogs and brands?
 Blogs I read frequently >

Refashion Co-op

My Thrifty Closet

Pull Your Socks Up! 

Style Wilderness

Urbandon

C&C 

Not Dead Yet Style

Refashionista

Modest is Pretty

Brands.  I have not purchased new clothing for over two years; however, there are ethical brands which I admire:

Lydra

Siamese Dream Design

Bartinki

JunkyStyling

The Social Studio

 
I see that you have advertising on your blog, how do you go about ensuring that that advertisers/ give away sponsors fit with the values/ethics of your blog?

The majority of my advertising sponsors have worked closely with me prior to their advertisement banners being added to my blog.  If I am approached by potential advertisers that do not have any link to ethical fashion, I generally do not agree to advertise them on my blog.
 
Tell us more about Melbourne Op Shop Tours…

Melbourne Op Shop Tours run sustainable shopping tours across Melbourne.  Tours run through Melbourne’s second-hand wonderlands, on public transport.  Tour groups are kept nice and small to make sure everyone has a chance to pick up some fabulous bargains without having to resort to fighting their fellow op shoppers.   There are currently 6 tour routes, I run Melbourne’s Bayside Tour which appeared on TV here

Tell us more about Recycled Market..

 Last year, I co-founded a new online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling recycled products, Recycled Market. Recycled Market is a unique online venue that encourages buyers and sellers to reduce, reuse, redesign, refashion, rework and recycle as much as possible. A global marketplace focused on showcasing stylish handmade and ethically manufactured pieces made from recycled materials.


 
What tips can you give to anyone who wants to start recycling or upcycling their own clothes?

Get yo’self a sewing machine!  It need not be new, nor anything fancy, but owning a sewing machine will be the best investment if you’re interested in recycled fashion and DIY.

Refashioning tips? Don’t set your goals too high to begin with.  Making a dress from scratch would probably not be a good start, instead, try making a small clutch bag using an online tutorial, a soft toy, or t-shirt refashion, something simple so that you’ll progress with your next sewing attempt.

Many thanks to Erica for sharing her tips and so much with us about herself and her blog. If you would like to be interviewed for Ethical Fashion Bloggers, please get in touch. Also don’t forget to visit the forum and post your links for our DIY/ upcycled round up on Monday. If you are not a member already, you can join here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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