I was ill for the most part of November and December with a really persistent chest infection, so hadn’t managed to make any trips to our allotment in months. Thankfully my partner and our friends that we co-own the allotment with have put in some hours and hard work, so it was really pleasant to take a stroll to our allotment on Sunday to see what’s changed there.
While we were there the mid-winter light was so lovely that I cast off my coat and scarf for all of 30 seconds and we took some very quick photos of my new dress that Braintree Clothing kindly sent me to review. Then I bundled back up again and went home to warm up over a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate! No more lurgy for me, thanks very much!
I’m wearing the Kenzie Dress, which is beautifully soft and easy to wear. It’s pretty much the style of dress which I love, from the shape to the cut, to the pattern, and I know I’ll be wearing this for years and years to come. Since I got it, I’ve barely taken it off – I even wore it on Christmas Day! All of Braintree Clothing’s clothes are ethically produced and are one of the few ethical retailers to cater for both men and women.
If you’re in the market for some new ethical clothing then you might be interested to know that the Braintree Clothing January sale has just started today, and the Kenzie dress is now 50% off – a snip at just £24.90! Just saying…!
My boots came from eBay – I mentioned them in this early really early Moral Fibres post – I’d already had them a year at that point so they’re holding up really well! My necklace came from Monsoon about 7 years ago. What can I say, I like my clothes, shoes and accessories to last!
Wondering about that willow fence? Our neighbouring allotment holder grows and coppices his own willow, and weaved it all by hand. It’s so beautiful!
We’re still in the clearing and planning stage of our allotment – this is one of our neighbour’s allotments. We’ll get to that stage soon: I’m really looking forward to sharing our progress with you all!
Disclosure: Braintree Clothing sent me a dress to review, but all words and opinions are my own.
I’m so excited by today’s Your Ethical Style – it comes to you from one of my favourite bloggers, Vicky from the blog The Owl and the Accordion. Portsmouth based Vicky blogs about her fab thrifty secondhand finds, as well as her crafty endeavours, and her beautiful home. The girl’s got style! Give it a read – you’ll instantly be hooked!
Over to Vicky!
Hi Vicky, can you share with us three facts about you?
1. I can’t cook, at all. My repertoire includes pasta, shepherds pie, bolognese, soup and stews and omelettes. Enough to get by, but I’ll never be hosting a dinner party, let’s put it that way!
2. I’m a total Radio 4 addict: The Archers, Woman’s Hour, the Afternoon Play, Book at Bedtime… Heck, even the shipping forecast!
3. I can’t drive, and at the grand old age of 31 have just filled out the form to renew my provisional license. Embarrassing!
Tops – charity shop / Jeans – Monkee Genes
Where are your favourite places to shop for ethical clothing? I don’t really have the budget for ethical clothing brands, so I usually just shop in charity shops or on eBay. I think if you’re clever about it, you can find pretty much everything you need on there. Most of the kids clothes come from eBay as well. I’ve found so many things that were brand new or barely used, and children are in clothes for such a short time that it makes sense to buy them second-hand.
What’s the last ethical item that you bought? I’m not sure if it particularly counts as ethical, but I bought a dress from the Reclaimed Vintage section on ASOS a couple of weeks ago. It is black velvet with a little lace peter pan collar, and it’s just perfect for winter with some lovely coloured tights, a chunky cardigan and Doc Martens!
Is there anything ethical or secondhand that you are lusting over at the moment? I love pretty much everything on the Lowie website, and I’m really hoping I get some of their Turkish Socks for Christmas. I love the French Farm Print Midi Skirt as well, but I think that’s a bit out of Santa’s budget this year!
Do you have a top tip for shopping ethically? Shopping in ethical places is expensive – there’s no getting away from it. The fact is that for everyone involved to be paid a decent wage, and the materials to be sourced responsibility, then the final garment price is going to be more costly than your average high street top. I tend to look during sales – which basically means buying summer dresses while the temperature plummets and then stocking up on knitwear once spring arrives! If you really can’t afford to shop ethically (and let’s face it, a lot of people can’t), definitely get involved with charity shops, clothes swaps and eBay.
Is there anything you find difficult about shopping ethically? Absolutely – the amount of times I’ve spent months searching for something specific on eBay and in the charity shops and then found it in the window of Primark for pennies is ridiculous. Resisting the urge of fast, cheap fashion is difficult – I’m not even going to pretend that it isn’t!
Where do you get your style inspiration from? All sorts of places – vintage style blogs, old films, crazy old ladies with fur coats and fancy hats, other bloggers, markets and charity shops.
What is your best secondhand or ethical find ever? Without a doubt my vintage mustard coat with a fabulous fur collar. I found it on eBay for £25 and I literally love everything about it. I’d been looking for one for years, and then it just appeared one day. Nobody else even bid on it, I couldn’t believe it! A couple of times I’ve thought about selling it, because I don’t wear it as much as I could – but I can never actually commit to letting it go!
What would be your ultimate thrifted find? I liberated a G-Plan coffee table from a skip outside someone’s house once – it’s not clothing, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top it!
Finally Vicky, can you share three ethical style tips with us? 1. Get involved with charity shops: visit them regularly, as they have a pretty high stock turnover, make notes of which shops have the best selections and make friends with the staff – that way, you can ask politely if they could keep certain things for you if they come in.
2. Read up on ethical style issues. Lucy Siegle wrote an excellent book (To Die For <-affiliate link) which is a really good, simple introduction to the issues behind fast fashion, and the Ethical Consumer website is a great resource as well. Once you start reading, it’ll naturally lead on to other books, websites and magazines.
3. Learn basic sewing skills – being able to take up a hem, take in a waistline or even just do some simple mending means that secondhand or sale items which might not be in the right size or best condition can become one of your most treasured pieces.
Do you want to share your ethical style with Moral Fibres readers? Whatever your age, sex, size, style, budget or location I’d love to feature you to show that ethical fashion is for everyone! Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in Your Ethical Style! There are no barriers to taking part – you don’t have to be a blogger to be featured!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog. I believe that sustainable living should be hip, not hippie. Here you'll find all sorts of easy hints and tips here for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style. As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now! Want to know more? Check out the about page for more information or explore the archives using the category tabs above. Moral Fibres is always free to read. If you want to support the site's running costs you can buy me a coffee.
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