Style-is.co.uk – A New Search Engine for Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion search engine www.style-is.co.uk

I wanted to share my new website www.style-is.co.uk, a search engine for sustainable UK fashion. Obviously a deliberate plug on my behalf but I also though it would be a useful resource for anyone who would like to shop more sustainably but have found it time consuming or difficult to find exactly what they want or need.

Style-is.co.uk brings together thousands if sustainable and stylish choices from over 100 brands together under one virtual roof. It features clothes, shoes and accessories for men, women and children in a number of sustainability categories including organic, Fair trade, recycled, vintage, vegan and for hire. The site features a wide selection of styles, all chosen for their design but also commitment to sustainability or ethics.

For those looking to shop ethically on a budget, there is also a sales page so you can check out the latest reductions and a number of offers and discounts available on some products listed on the site.

Whether you are looking for an ethical fashion dress by UK designers including Henrietta Ludgate or Ada Zanditon, organic clothing from a ‘Made in Britain’ brand like Seasalt Cornwall, high performance outdoor wear from brands like Timberland and Patagonia, stylish vegan shoes or quirky recycled accessories, we hope you will find a piece of clothing that you can love, treasure and wear for a long time.

I would love to know what you think or if you know of any other useful resources for shopping more sustainably.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

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Happy New Year and Ethical Fashion Link Round Up

Happy New Year! 2012 has been an exciting year for ethical and sustainable fashion, with so many innovative new brands and interesting developments in the industry. Some times it can be difficult to keep up with everything that is going on both globally and locally and in 2013, I hope that we can continue to grow and develop our community to provide a useful and supportive resource for our our members and beyond, both for blogging and finding the most sustainable style choices.

I am really inspired by the many different styles and blog posts that I have seen from Ethical Fashion Bloggers so far and would like to help share this in 2013 with a monthly post round up. This month, with it being the being the beginning of the new year, we have some fantastic posts including round ups of 2012, ethical finds in the sales and, of course, plenty of new years resolutions and challenges, enjoy!

Made to Travel  rounds up in My Fave Posts of 2012

Recycled Fashion tells us about Designer Brands Starting the Recycling Revolution

The Conscience Collective share 20 New Years Dresses with Personality

Jessie Anne O will be joining Little House in Town for the 2013 Wartime Wardrobe Challenge!

Citizen Rosebud takes the Shop Second Hand First Pledge

Honey Go Lightly is taking part in the 100 Day Spending Ban

Country Girl Does Norfolk shares her lean, mean and green Resolutions for 2012.

Eco Warrior Princess makes it her new year resolution To Buy Nothing New

The Only Way is Ethical share 15 of the Best (ethical) January Sales

You can also check out My Sustainable Style Resolutions for 2012

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in Ethical Fashion Bloggers during 2012, you are amazing! Looking forward to lots more fashion blogging in 2013, lets make it a sustainable and glamorous one.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image – Katherine Hamnett T Shirt at Yoox

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Christmas Outfit Challenge

A very Happy Christmas to all Ethical Fashion Bloggers! Here is our slightly belated Christmas party outfit challenge.

Bella at the Citizen Rosebud has put together a beautiful festive outfit for Christmas using second hand clothes. You can check out her Shop second hand Pledge here.

Jean of Jean of All Trades has put together a thrifty designer outfit for Christmas featuring Aramani trousers and Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Pao of Project Minima has created a fantastic outfit in her post The Artist Not Wearing Banksy or Hirst

For my Christmas outfit which is featured on Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog, I have worn a vintage maxi dress from a local charity shop.

Have a lovely time!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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We Need You! The Wartime Challenge 2013

the wartime challenge

We need you! The Wartime Wardrobe Challenge 2013

Fellow ethical fashionistas and bloggers, lovers of all things green, vintage and Fairtrade, I come bearing festive news of an ethical fashion challenge designed to change the way we think about our wardrobes, promote the ethical fashion cause and raise some much-needed money to support garment workers worldwide.

So, what is it?

The Wartime Wardrobe Challenge is based on the clothes
rationing system introduced in June 1941 in response to the shortage of
materials and need for factory space to produce war supplies. In short,
everyone was expected to make only essential clothes purchases, and make the
most out of their existing wardrobes using the principles of ‘Make Do and
Mend’. The coupon allowance for men and women during this time was 66 coupons,
with different garment types attracting different coupon values (e.g. a dress
was 7 coupons and a coat was 14).

In 2013, Meg (the Double Life of Mrs M) and I (Nik of Little House in Town) will be challenging ourselves to live within these ration restrictions, but (of course) with an ethical twist!

Any items purchased that are deemed ‘unethical’ will be penalised
- attracting a higher coupon charge than their counterparts. We will also be
encouraging re-use and repair by making all second-hand and vintage purchases coupon-free, as well as allowing free use of sewing materials and existing fabric stocks.

In addition, any overspend on our coupon allowance will result in a hefty fine – the proceeds from which will go to garment worker charities.

(You can see the full list of coupon values and rules here.)

 What can I do?

Throughout 2013, in addition to blogging our progress in the challenge, Meg and I will also be sharing practical, useful advice and tutorials to highlight the issues in the fashion industry, get to grips with the background of ethical fabrics, learn new skills in making and repairing our clothes, and experiment with clothes washing techniques and item care.

Of course we would love for you all to sign up and take part in the challenge with us, blog your own progress and display our lovely badge for the world to see. But even if you choose not to join in with us, there are other ways that you can help us raise awareness of the challenge and (therefore) the benefits of curating an ethical wardrobe.

  1. Share your shopping/mending/making skills with us!
    Take over our blogs for the day and showcase your talents, or teach us how to
    do something new.
  2. Follow us on Facebook (Nik, Meg) and Twitter (Nik, Meg) and share our progress with your
    followers (#WWC).
  3. Let us know about any ethical fashion posts
    you’ve done on your own blog that could be of use to us in the challenge, so we
    can share them with other participants.

Or anything else you can think of! The key aim of this challenge is to bring awareness – of the fashion industry, of the alternatives available, of the simple ways each person can make a difference. We, as ethical fashion bloggers, are the natural ambassadors for all of these things and if with our knowledge and influence we can convince one single person to change their habits for good then I think it will have been a good use of my 2013.

A very Merry Xmas to everyone, and here’s to an ethical 2013 (said in Queen’s Speech-esque voice)!

For further information on the challenge, email nicola@littlehouseintown.co.uk or visit www.littlehouseintown.co.uk / thedoublelifeofmrsm.wordpress.com  

 

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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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Brand Spotlight – Antithesis

In the first ever of our brand spotlight features on Ethical Fashion Bloggers, I interview Zahra Ash-Harper of slow fashion brand Antithesis to find out a little more about the brand.

What is the inspiration behind the name ‘Antithesis’?

ANTITHESIS breaks away from the fashion mainstream by developing clothing outside of trends or seasons, we offer women the opportunity to wear stylish yet timeless clothing. We believe there is enough space in the fashion industry for all types of fashion brands so we don’t see large companies and fast fashion as our competition.

However we do feel it’s important to offer consumers an attractive alternative. We hope to be considered the “antithesis” to fast fashion principles, Through slow fashion and local manufacturing we highlight that there are other routes to bringing fashionable garments to customers and other approaches to the design process. Our name ANTITHESIS inspires to be different and daring in an industry that has very established practices, it reminds us daily that the risks we take to achieve our vision is significant in a wider context – slow fashion is needed to balance what is happening in mainstream fast fashion.

What do you hope to achieve with Antithesis and what inspires you?

We’re very inspired by the influential ‘modern woman of the 21st Century’. We hope to provide these women with clothing that is both physically and emotionally durable, to bring them items that can be treasured over a lifetime. We feel it’s important that people feel a renewed sense of connection and dependance on garments in their closets, so they don’t become things that eventually they tire of. For this reason we are focused on functionality of each piece we feel if an ANTITHESIS piece has a multiplicity of looks and/or purpose and it can win it’s place in the wardrobe and will be called upon frequently to support the needs of the wearer. If it’s useful and helpful the to our customers we hope this will develop a relationship which goes beyond ‘it looks nice’ thus it’s place in the heart and mind of that woman will remain over time and she will take care of the garment. Our dream is to never see a ANTITHESIS garment hit a landfill, for our clothes to be passed on at best or recycled for new purposes. 

Do you think it is possible to combine fashion and sustainability?

Definitely! Of late there are always new and ever improving ways in which people can try to live more sustainable lives. By adopting ‘slow fashion’ principles we hope to decrease the extraordinary amount of textile waste that enters landfills each year, not to mention the fashion industry’s sizable water-and-energy footprint. Our business is based on the premise that there are women out there agree that fashion and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.

We are constantly discovering new sustainable fashion brands and products every day, just this week we visited the Pure Thread/EJF pop up store on Carnaby street and discover brands such as Kami and Jux which are both producing beautiful sustainable clothing. There are many clothes, accessories, lingerie designers who seek to uphold their values alongside creating beautiful garments, and the ranks are surely growing.

How do your designs benefit the environment and society and what benefits do they offer to the wearer? Why a 10 piece capsule collection?

All our materials are sourced locally and we operate a UK manufacturing policy which helps to reduce environmental impact. Encouraging a slower consumption is a strong part of Antithesis’ philosophy. We are trying to influence the average consumer who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in sustainable fashion by bringing in increased functionality and versatility. We believe this functionality will encourage fashion consumers to consider the value inherent in the garments and clearly show the craftsmanship and though that goes into designing and making clothes. We want the term “conscious consumption” to be on the tip of all women’s tongues when they shop with us – but also when they go into any other store. We believe that in thinking why a garment is needed when making a purchase, what one needs to do when wearing it as well as the fabric content and quality and how long the garment could be with you. Fashion garments have a monetary and lifestyle value, even when sitting in a closet, and like any other investment should be considered from many angles, rather than based on aesthetics alone.

For Antithesis’ first collection, we wanted to produce a 10-piece capsule collection that would respond to the hectic lifestyle of cosmopolitan professional women. The pieces had to be versatile, comfortable and easy to pack, while of course looking stylish and sexy. We researched into the pieces that make up the core wardrobe for professional women and put a spin on these classics. Recently we met a women who proudly claimed to have 300 dresses alone. She was neither a millionaire nor apparently a shopping addict. This is something which boggles the mind! That’s nearly enough to wear a different dress every day of the year!  We believe people loyal to our garments, should be offered variety too but in a responsible way. Our future collections will always offer new attachments and bases that way existing pieces can be mixed and matched to create new looks.

What is the Antithesis Collective, please tell us more?

Each season we will be working in collaboration with a new designer in order to develop a one-off product, not only does it complement our collection to offer something we don’t have the expertise to make alone in house but it allows us to showcase the skills and talent of other designers out there. It’s a challenge for our collaborators as often they have not considered multifunction in their design before and they seem to enjoy the experimentation For us it’s a great way to encourage others in fashion to also consider the needs and preferences of women.

What future do you see for sustainable fashion and also for Antithesis?

We think there is a good future for sustainable fashion, with consumers becoming more ethically aware these days everyone is looking for ways to become more sustainable and these practices can definitely be adopted by fashion brands. Plus, big names like Livia Firth and Stella McCartney have definitely been helping to raise the profile for conscious consumption within the fashion industry and we believe it’s a trend that’s set to continue as more people become ethically aware.

The People Behind Antithesis

ANTITHESIS is a partnership Made up of Renée and Zahra. Renée is originally from northern Ontario, but moved to Montréal to study fashion design. She worked in Italy for 6 months during her degree in Veneto, Italy’s Jeans Valley. After finishing her BA studies, she traveled to Peru and volunteered for an NGO working with indigenous female weavers. Back in Montréal, she acquired experience as a Junior Designer in a leading apparel company before moving to London to specialise in sustainable design. During her MA, she interned with ethical designer Christopher Raeburn and around this time she met Zahra.

Zahra followed a rather more unusual path into Fashion. She gained her BA in philosophy, fascinated by ideas of aesthetics, expression, representation and existentialism. In her last year she became particularly interested in the impact these ideas have on identity construction. A native Londoner, she returned home and settled into a communications agency with a focus on branding, PR and marketing. In 2009 she decided to take a break from agency work, freelancing with several fashion start up brands helping them develop low cost, but high impact communications strategies. It was this interaction with SME businesses which strengthened her resolve to establish a fashion start-up of her own. She applied to the MA Fashion Enterprenuership programme at LCF, won the prestigious Harold Tillman scholarship in 2010 as well as interning with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise and the Fashion Business Resource Studio.

Zahra and Renee are partners as well as friends, they share a vision and although very different in skills, personality and style recognized in each other that these differences we a combined strength and would allow them to work together compatibly over the long term.

You can find out more and check out the full collection at www.antithesis.co

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Have an Ethical Cyber Monday

Hello Ethical Fashion Bloggers! There are sooooo many fantastic ways to have an Ethical Cyber Monday! This year lots and lots of wonderful ethical shops are participating in deep discounts that are too good to miss! Here are my faves!

(image source)

*P.S.-I bought these fab riding boots from the Compassion Couture Sample Sale :) .

THREAD 4 THOUGHT 40% OFF Everything for 4 Days. Black Friday Revolution Ends Monday, Nov. 26th at 11:59pst. Promo Code: GIVEGOOD

*PPS!-I shopped Fashioning Change’s sales too :D .

MATA TRADERS

25% off all Clothing and Shoes-At Checkout, use code: gobblegobble

***PPS!!- I’ll be looking out for sales for you all day! And tweeting additions on twitter HERE. And I would love to know any deals that come your way.

Enjoy Cyber Monday!

Jamillah writes at made-to-travel about ethical shopping and happy things. You can find her on twitter @made2travel.

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November’s Ethical Fashion Link Round Up

(image from the library of congress)

One of the reasons I joined the Ethical Fashion Bloggers is to discover like minded people and really help grow a community of bloggers with wonderful intentions. So I was thrilled Ceri asked me to do November’s roundup! It was a great way to see the awesome things you all are doing and discover some new go-to sites :) .

The Only Way is Ethical- Lots of lovely shoes in this ethical shoe roundup.

Little House in Town- Lists great ethical finds in her Winter Wardrobe Wishlist.

Eco Warrior Princess- Introduces SPAIR, eco-friendly footwear to go!

Misfits Vintage- Dance party in a 60′s frock! This post is so super fun!

Jesse.Anne.O-Jesse shares struggles on why she buys and what the right clothes mean to us.

Daisy Dayz- Highlights from the Vivienne Westwood Cardiff Store launch party.

Recycled Fashion-Erica introduces the Thrift Store Runway!!!

Citizen Rosebud- Takes the Secondhand Pledge and offers you to do the same.

Jean of All Trades-Mega thrift find PLUS a hardy belly laugh :D .

 

Jamillah writes at made-to-travel about ethical shopping and happy things. You can find her on twitter @made2travel.

 

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Inspirational Fashion Bloggers – Esther Freeman of Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe

Over the next few months we will be running a series of interviews on Ethical Fashion Bloggers about inspirational bloggers. We hope to share how fashion bloggers are having a positive influence on the world around them and helping to promote ethical fashion and sustainable style.

In our first interview I interview Esther Freeman of Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe, a fashion blog dedicated to ‘Looking good on the outside, feeling good on the inside’. Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe has just been announced as a finalist in the Source Awards (the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Global Awards for Sustainable Fashion)

Why did you start Ms Wandas wardrobe and what inspired you to start blogging?

I went to a swish and it really opened my eyes to the impact my wardrobe had on the world. I’d never thought about it before, which was kind of strange as I’m generally pretty socially and politically conscious. I realised how blind sided I’d been by the fashion industry.

Following this I decided to give myself a challenge of going for a year only wearing upcycled, pre-loved or vintage clothing. I blogged about the experience, taking photos of my outfits each day. This is how Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe was born.

It was good fun, but to be honest I realised afterwards that I wasn’t much of an outfit blogger. I was more interested in blogging about news, issues and campaigns around ethical fashion. And I felt there wasn’t a huge number of people doing that so there was a niche for me to neatly fit in. And that’s pretty much where I am today.

Do you have any previous experience in ethical fashion and or blogging and how does your day job fit with your blogging?

I had no experience in the fashion industry before I started, apart from being a consumer. And that’s pretty much how I want to keep it. I see my blog as the voice of the consumer and I try to keep it fresh and honest.

When I’m not doing Ms Wanda’s I work as a freelance digital content creator and campaigner (which translates as blogging, making internet films and doing social media for NGOs like ActionAid and Greenpeace). So it all kind of fits in quite nicely. However I didn’t start blogging because of my job – my blogging helped me find the work I do now. So even if you’re not making money directly from your blog, don’t under-estimate it as an pathway in to other work.

How would you describe your style?

I’ve never really thought that much about my style – I always thought it changed depending on what mood I’m in. But my friend said the other day that she thought I had a very distinct style – she recognised me being influenced a lot by bold colours and patterns, which were feminine but never really girly. I realised later she was right.

What is your favourite ethical fashion brand and why?

I wouldn’t want to single out a favourite as there are lots doing great stuff. However I have to confess to always checking out the People Tree catalogue when it comes in, and having a huge amount of Tara Starlet in my wardrobe. But more generally I work out a look I like and then try and source it through ethical labels, vintage or second hand stores.

What is the Fashion Mob and what made you want to start it?

When I started researching the ethical fashion sector I often heard major brands say they’d change if “consumers wanted it”. They claimed they didn’t, but I knew this wasn’t entirely true. Many consumers don’t know what is going on in the name of fashion as there’s not enough transparency in the system. Others know, and are angry, but just don’t have a loud enough voice.

So I started pulling together a group of ethical fashionistas who were prepared to shout about what we want. Our founding principal is that the more of us there are the louder we can be – it’s a people power movement.

We’re still quite new, but so far this year we’ve had the chance to support some great NGOs, including Anti-Slavery International’s Cotton Crimes campaign; and Adidas campaign from the Clean Clothes Campaign. However we’ve got our first independent campaign coming up this Christmas. I’m not saying much right now, but it’s going to be a lot of fun!!

How important do you see blogging as a way of spreading the word about ethical fashion and bringing about change?

I love the blogosphere as I see it as a space to hear about issues that the mainstream media won’t talk about. And it’s growing bigger and more influential by the day. So in that respect it’s very important. But (and it’s quite a big but) it isn’t going to change the world. That’s why I started the Fashion Mob, to be able to take that discussion and action further, right out on to the street if needs be.

How do you see the future of sustainable fashion?

I think we’ve come a long way in a relatively short space of time. However it isn’t enough. We need to push brands to move away from tokenistic things, like recycled paper bags, and on to the bigger stuff, like children working as slaves. This stuff is tough to fix, but that’s not to say we can’t. We just have to keep on pushing and letting companies, as well as providing solutions for how things can be better.

What tips would you give to any fashion bloggers who would like to start promoting ethical and sustainable fashion?

The most important thing is to be yourself. That was the mistake I made at the beginning. I just started outfit blogging because that was what people seemed to do, but it wasn’t really me. That’s not to say it’s not right for other people. It’s just you need to find your niche and your voice. Most importantly be true to yourself.

Ms Wanda’s Christmas Fashion Mob campaign is going to be launched in the next few weeks. It’s going to be fun, exciting and they need as many people involved as possible. To get involved sign up to the Fashion Mob at www.mswandas.co.uk/fashion-mob

A big thank you to Esther for being the first of our Inspiration Fashion Bloggers. If you would like to suggest a Fashion Blogger that has inspired you for our series, please get in touch.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

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Frida Inspired Outfit Round Up

Our February outfit challenge was to create an ethical/ sustainable outfit inspired by Frida Kahlo. Frida was a Mexican painter whose work is considered emblematic of national and indigenous tradition and is also celebrated by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Ethical Fashion Blogger Pao of Project Minima created this fantastic photograph inspired  by a Frida painting for a feature about imitating art on Thrifted Shift.

I have also noticed plenty of fashion inspired by Frida Kahlo lately, which just happens to be sustainable. Check these out!

frida kahlo
These Frida Kahlo pieces are handmade by Lilygrace Originals using vintage beads and Rhinestones. Check out the website for more Frida inspired jewellery.
This Frida t shirt by Ink Apparel is dip dyed with original artwork hand painted onto an eco cotton t shirt. It is made in compliance with the Fairwear Foundation.
In case you are interested, there was an interesting article about Frida as a fashion icon in the Daily Mail last month.
I hope you are having a good week. Please keep your eye out for our November DIY challenge which I will be posting very soon.
With warmest wishes
Ceri x
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