botanic gardens edinburgh

Ten Things

botanic gardens edinburgh

Hello!  Good week?  My eldest daughter and I spent Monday at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh spotting squirrels, getting cosy in the tropical glasshouses (above) and looking at beautiful plants, before warming ourselves back up again with hot chocolate.    The rest of the week wasn’t quite so relaxed but you can’t win them all!

This week’s links:

1.  “I’ve decided: fur is the eco-friendly choice, and you won’t change my mind” – a compelling read from Alden Wicker.

2.  An Irish environmental group is taking it’s government to court over inaction on climate change.  I think we will see more and more of this type of action in the coming years.

3.  Ways to live more ethically without getting too overwhelmed.  A useful read!

4.  Community fridges can help the most in need and help prevent food waste.

5.  The dark side of the internet.  I found this a fascinating read.  Take away message?  Not all bloggers or companies are entirely ethical or transparent.

6.  Could hemp fashion be the key to fixing India’s cotton economy?  Do you associate hemp with dodgy 1990’s music festival fashion?  You’ll be pleased to hear it’s moved on since the 90’s.  See exhibit A* and exhibit B*.

7.  A case for “borrow not buy”.  This fashion-sharing community has launched in 9 universities across Ireland and the UK and are hoping to expand to more campuses and workplaces around the globe.

8.  Why do we suck so much?

9.  The eco guide to radical materials – “how, for example, do you take the cow (with its thunderous footprint) out of a pair of leather shoes? Researchers for US startup Modern Meadows have discovered a way of biofabricating leather by brewing collagen (a protein found in cows’ skin) in a liquid form“.  Yum.

10.  Nestle, Hershey and Mars break promises over palm oil use – “this year’s Halloween confectionery will contain palm oil grown on land that should lawfully be habitat to orangutans, rhinos and clouded leopards, despite commitment to clean up supply chains“.  If you’re looking for more sustainable options here’s a handy guide to the most (and least) ethical chocolate brands.

Have a lovely week and the happiest of Hallowe’ens!  I’m about to watch Stranger Things 2 – so excited!


ethical padded jacket

Ethical Coats & Jackets for Autumn and Beyond

In the market for a new coat for autumn?  The good news is I have been doing some research and I have eight ethical coats for your perusal today.

The bad news is that the ethical coat and jacket market is small. Teeny tiny small.  And that ethical coats don’t come cheap.  If you get change of £200 then you are dong well.

With ethical fashion, the goal of course isn’t to replace clothing every year, as fast fashion would dictate, but to invest in quality items that you would be happy to wear year after year.  Think cost per wear!   I appreciate this isn’t great when your current coat or jacket is on it’s last legs and you don’t have £200 spare, but we’ll come on to that after the coats:


ethical padded jacket

If your style is outdoorsy then Finisterre offer classic outdoors wear.  This Alto jacket (£195) has a recycled polyester outer shell, and is insulated with recycled fabrics.  It’s wind and water resistant and will keep you cosy well into winter.

finisterre ethical parka coat

Meanwhile, the stylish Solus Parka (£225) looks like something you could take on all the world has to throw at you in it.  Built to last, and waterproof, it’s again filled with recycled insulation to keep you cosy on cold autumn and winter days.


patagonia ethical jacket

Patagonia also have a solid reputation as an ethical retailer, and this Radalie Parka (£160) is another good bet for the colder weather ahead.  Water repellent, with a 100% recycled nylon outer shell, it’s insulated with 92% recycled polyester.

People Tree
people tree ethical coat

If your style is less outdoorsy, then People Tree’s offering is this Yvette fleece coat (£119).  This is a transitional piece for autumn and spring, and the snuggly fleece nature of it would be like a perpetual hug.

Thought Clothing

Thought has a couple of stylish non outdoorsy options.  This Hartley organic jacket (£79.90) is another autumn and spring coat, but it is pretty darned stylish.
thought ethical autumn coat

If you’re after something more practical to beat the rain showers then this water resistant number (£44.90) made from recycled PET might do the trick.  It’s not lined, so wouldn’t keep you warm.  It would be more something you keep folded up in your bag for any wet weather emergencies:.
thought ethical waterproof coat


komodo ethical coats

Komodo are one of the longest running of the ethical retailers.  Their seasonal ethical coats offering is this Elda Jacket, which I have found currently on sale at Ethical Superstore for £139.96, down from £175.


Finally, Nomads autumnal offering is this beautiful diamond hand loomed coat (£145) which looks stylishly cosy.   It also reminds me so much of that Zara coat everyone seemed to be wearing last year.
nomads ethical coat

What if your budget doesn’t allow for an ethical purchase?

If your budget doesn’t stretch that as far as one of these coats, then I would recommend opting out of the fast fashion model that dictates that you should buy a new coat every year.  Instead find the best quality coat you love at a price you can afford.  Look for a style that won’t date, in a dark shade (light coloured coats are stain magnets, trust me!) and commit to wearing it for as long as possible.

Last year I needed a good outdoors jacket for braving the school run in all weathers, but my maternity leave budget didn’t stretch very far.  I bought a simple cosy water and wind proof (and dark brown!) coat that was 50% off in the sale from an outdoor retailer.

The trouble with outdoor retailers is that ethical ones are few and far between.  I’m not going to endorse the specific retailer I bought from as I doubt it was the single most ethical purchase I’ve ever made.  What swayed me was that the jacket came with a lifetime warranty.  If I’m going to buy something I want it to last a long time, so this gave me some reassurance that if it develops a fault the company will fix or replace the coat.  It seems sturdy, looks good as new going into it’s second year of wearing, and looks like it will go the distance, so fingers crossed!

Alternatively, if you want to stay resolutely ethical on a small budget then eBay is also a great place to look.  My previous coat was one that I’d picked up secondhand on eBay seven years ago, and wore for seven consecutive winters.  I was quite sad when it came to an irreparable end – it felt like a part of me!

I have less luck with charity shops when it comes to coats, but perhaps you might have better luck than me!