Fashion, Life & Style

Your Ethical Style: Victoria Haynes

ethical fashion blog
ethical fashion blog

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, shepherd’s 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!

 ethical charity shop outfit
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 kid’s 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!
skirt made from a shirt
A shirt that Vicky made into a skirt!

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 responsibly, 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.
vintage outfitShirt – thrifted / Skirt – eBay / Jumper – Marks & Spencer

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!
vintage mustard coat
The coat!

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.
customised leather jacket
Vicky in a thrifted leather jacket which she customised with studs.

Thanks for taking part Vicky!  You can follow Vicky’s blog, The Owl and the Accordion, and find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  New to Moral Fibres?  You can also check out the other Your Ethical Style posts! And do check out Mel Wiggins Your Ethical Style post. It’s a good one too!

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 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!

Fashion, Life & Style

Your Ethical Style – Jamillah from Made to Travel

Jamillah Made To Travel blog
Jamillah Made To Travel blog

I’ve got another great Your Ethical Style feature for you today, this time with Jamillah from the ethical fashion blog, Made To Travel.  New York-based Jamillah’s posts on ethical fashion are really useful and inspiring – her post on Ethical Fashion 101 is so useful!  Jamillah has some great looks and some really useful advice so, as always, I’m sure you’re going to love this post.

Over to Jamillah:

Hi Jamillah, can you share with us three facts about you?

1) I have 21 first cousins just on my mom’s side and we all grew up together!  So while I only have 1 brother I feel I have a huge family!

2) I’ve been a hair factory pretty for the last 6 years – growing and chopping my hair off to donate.

3) My mama wanted to nickname me Jamie after the Bionic Woman and they happened to know a woman named Jamillah – the only name they could figure Jamie made sense with.  Jamillah actually means beautiful in Arabic, but my parents had no idea until a Jordanian classmate told me in 3rd grade.

Where are your favourite places to shop for ethical clothing?

I love thrifting in a real way, but I also really enjoy supporting ethical designers.  I heart the artisan feel of the clothes from State, the easy/modern pieces from KowTow. And I also have a super-sized crush on every print at Clover Canyon.

uk fashion blog

Hat – handmade in Iceland / Jacket – thrifted via this Etsy store / Dress- Meg / Vegan bag- Matt & Nat  / Boots – gifted / Ring – Heart of Haiti and gifted / Bracelets – Gifted

What’s the last ethical item that you bought?

Sweatpants from Nancy Goes Green.  I’m really looking forward to cozy-chic outfits with them this fall/winter :).

Is there anything ethical or secondhand that you are lusting over at the moment?

I’d really like to score a pastel-colored winter coat and a denim shirt dress from Study NY.  I think both pieces would do wonders for my winter wardrobe game!

Do you have a top tip for shopping ethically?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!!  One thing great about living in the time we do is that getting in touch with retailers is so easy.  If there’s a question you have about where a product is made, how, or with what then tweet, email, leave a Facebook comment on the retailer’s page, and ask it!  There are also lots of places that offer live chats that I’ve found very useful too.

eco fashion blog

Dress – Asos Africa / Belt – gifted / Shoes – thrifted via Buffalo Exchange / Jewellery – gifted and Made Her Think

Is there anything you find difficult about shopping ethically?

For me, non-disclosure is a big issue.  Lots of sites don’t say where an item is made or what it’s made of.  And while we have lots of ways to get in touch with companies some will just not get back to you and that’s infuriating to me.  But I just have to let them go.

Also, when I first started being a more conscious shopper the number of brands that I found to have questionable practices was astounding.  There are just fewer brands that are completely transparent and so that process to find the right brands takes a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it!  They are out there!!!  Promise!

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

While I think I have a style that I really enjoy to wear and stick to, I’ve gotten great style experiments from bloggers.  Someone will wear a skirt as a shirt or add a belt where I never would have, and poof, I have new outfits from things I already own.

What is your best secondhand or ethical find ever?

Ooo, I have a long list!  I think brand-wise I got a hot pink skirt suit by Bill Blass and a white denim jacket from Helmut Lang.  Both were practically nothing from thrift stores.  But my favorite thrifted item to wear are these flower pants that I bought a couple of years ago. They are my happy outfit!  And my fave ethical find would have to be my winter coat from the German company Hessnatur (top photo).  I bought it on sale and a couple of weeks later they stopped shipping to the US. I was elated I bought it when I did.

ethical clothes

Jacket – very old / Denim shirt & sandals – thrifted via Buffalo Exchange / Flower trousers – thrifted via goodwill / Rings – gifted & Nissa ring

What would be your ultimate thrifted find?

I would be ecstatic to find the perfect shirt dress…  I LOVE a good shirt dress.

Finally Jamillah, can you share three ethical style tips with us?

1) Take a moment to think.  Do you need the item?  Would you really wear the item?  How are you going to wear it?  Curating a thoughtful wardrobe took a lot of practice, but it’s worth it!  I was a very impulsive shopper. I was buying lots of things because they were really pretty but finding they weren’t necessarily my style.  If I had just taken a moment to think at those times I would’ve saved so much money!

2) Don’t pay attention to size!  I have a ridiculous range of sizes in my closet, you’d think 8 different women were in my apartment!  But vintage sizes run very differently than modern sizes and even contemporary retailers have huge disparities when it comes to size.  Keep an open mind and get the sizes that fit the way you want your clothes to fit.

3) Find a shoe repair guy and a tailor STAT.  My shoe guy has done wonders for me.  I usually bring a bunch of shoes to be repaired twice a year.  PRO TIP! – If your guy’s a local little shoe dude, like mine, he’ll swing a discount for bringing a bundle in at a time :).

ethical style

Sweater – thrifted via goodwill / Bag-  Hearts / Trousers – Marketplace Handwork of India / Shoes – thrifted via goodwill / Rings – gifted and Nissa

Thanks for taking part Jamillah!  You can follow Jamillah’s blog, Made To Travel, and find her on Twitter.  New to Moral Fibres?  You can also check out the other Your Ethical Style posts!