sustainable-style-blog

Style Is: Sustainable

sustainable-style-blog

Sustainable fashion website Style Is have put together a sustainable outfit competition, and because I fully support the idea that clothing should be sustainable and timeless rather than disposable, I thought I’d submit an entry.  It’s a particularly timely and important thing to think about in light of the sad news in Bangladesh, where hundreds of people making clothes for the high street lost their lives – devastatingly showing the true cost of fast and cheap fashion.

Second-hand and ethical clothing can be incredibly stylish.  There are heaps of ethical brands out there making some great clothing and accessories. And, with the likes of eBay, Etsy and other online resources, you don’t even have to spend hours going round second-hand/vintage shops to find some second-hand bargains (although I do like a good rummage in a charity shop now and again, and the money raised goes to good causes).  And the best part about buying stylish rather than overtly “fashionable” clothing means you have a wardrobe that lasts a lifetime, rather than pieces that go out of fashion after a few months which will never see the light of day again.  So from a money-saving point of view it’s also good news!

The rules of the Style Is competition are that you have to put together an outfit containing at least one sustainable item of clothing, be it vintage, second hand, upcycled, or an item of clothing from an ethical manufacturer.  I went the whole hog, and went for everything second-hand

As our house is too small to get decent photos and it’s raining outside (oh Scotland!), meaning I can’t get out in the garden to take photos, I thought I’d take some individual photos to show the pieces in detail:

My Sustainable Outfit

vintage dress

This is my forever favourite dress.  It’s vintage from Japan, and is the ultimate in eco-friendly dressing – it’s at least third-hand!  I bought it on eBay from girl in Manchester, who bought it in a vintage shop.  I paid £1.49 for it too, making it a super bargain!

navy-military-french-connection-jacket1

I love this jacket – it’s my summer jacket.  I bought it second-hand on eBay three years ago.  It’s in need of some TLC – perhaps a dye-job as it’s a bit faded in places, but that should give it life for years to come.

vintage-tan-tooled-leather-bag

This bag is my favourite.  I found it in the vintage section on Etsy five years ago, and it’s rarely left my side since. It didn’t cost me very much money – I think the postage cost more than the bag, as it came from the States.

large-wooden-bead-necklace

This necklace came from a charity shop in Edinburgh (Shelter in Morningside – in my opinion the best charity shop in Edinburgh!).  I don’t wear necklaces very often, being a mum to a small child, so it was a treat to wear it for these photos.

buying-secondhand-shoes

I bought these boots secondhand on eBay last year, and have worn them in all weather.  They’re so comfortable and soft.

And voila, my secondhand sustainable outfit!  What do you think?

EDIT: I’ve put together a post on my top eBay shopping tips that you might find useful!

how to stop junk mail

How to Stop Junk Mail

how to stop junk mail

Junk mail is one of my biggest bug bears and lately I’ve been keen to find out how to stop junk mail.  From my research I’ve put together a guide on how to stop junk mail, which I’m sure you’ll find useful!  It really has helped me

The biggest offenders in my area are Virgin Media and Farmfoods (I’m all for naming and shaming).  I swear we get a Virgin Media circular through our door every other day (the worst part is we don’t even live in an area where you can get all of the Virgin Media services!).

H&M are also terrible.  If you buy something online they will automatically put your name on their catalogue distribution list and send you what seems like at least one catalogue a fortnight.  My partner also found himself on that same list, so it came to be that we were receiving two copies of the same catalogue every fortnight.  It took about 3 months of me returning every brochure that was sent to me before they took us off of their list.  And then I bought something else online, and the pesky catalogues started again.  Cue more sending the catalogues back until they took my name off the list (and a vow to only ever shop in-store in H&M).

junk mail

How to Stop Junk Mail

What can you do to stop junk mail?  First of all, do what I do with H&M and return any personally addressed junk mail to the sender.  Just cross through your address, add a note to the envelope asking to be removed from their mailing list, and put it back in the post box.  You don’t need to add a stamp – I never do.  Most companies get the message quite quickly and you won’t receive any more unsolicited post, others, like H&M, are a bit slower on the uptake.

Next on your checklist for how to stop junk mail is to sign up for the Mail Preference Service.  This is a free service which you can use to get your name and address removed from lists used by companies to market their products.  This means you will receive no junk mail addressed to you personally, however it does not stop mail addressed “to the householder” or un-addressed junk mail being delivered, nor junk mail originating from abroad.

The next step you can do is to put a “no junk mail”, or “no circulars” sticker or sign on your letterbox.  This will help remind people, such as local fast food shops, not to put circulars through your letterbox, but will not stop the postman putting junk mail through your letterbox.  Apparently postmen are contractually obligated to give you any junk mail that companies have paid Royal Mail to deliver.  It also won’t stop the delivery of free newspapers – you’ll have to add a “no free newspapers” sign on your letterbox as well.  If you’re worried about how all of this is going to look on your letterbox, then the Stop Junk Mail website (which gives very comprehensive advice, by the way), sell some letterbox stickers for only 90p.  You can even get some fancy aluminium signs for only £4.50 on there.

To then stop the postman delivering junk mail to you, you have to opt-out via the Royal Mail website.  I’ve found that Royal Mail make this as difficult as possible for you to do and for that reason I haven’t done it yet.  You have to write to Royal Mail or e-mail them.  They send you a form by post, which you then have to fill in send back to them.  It’s too much of a long-winded faff for me, but one day I will do this.  To opt out you can either send your name and address to:

Freepost RSTR-YCYS-TGLJ
Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs
Kingsmead House
Oxpens Road
OXFORD
OX1 1AA

Or e-mail your name and address to optout@royalmail.com

This lets you opt out of junk mail for two years, then you have to re-contact Royal Mail and go through the whole rigmarole again.  Again, a bit of a faff but it’s a key action in how to stop junk mail.

Have I missed anything on how to stop junk mail?  Let me know in the comments below!

Image sources: 1 / 2