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Ethical Fashion

Ethical 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 wearing 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 is 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!

Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

Your Ethical Style – Stephannie Hay

ethical style blog
ethical style blog

Time for another Your Ethical Style feature!  This time, Edinburgh blogger Stephannie Hay is sharing her ethical style tips, secrets, and inspiration with us.  Stephannie blogs at The Inelegant Horserider a blog about, funnily enough, horse riding, with Stephannie’s other loves of running and ethical fashion thrown in for good measure.

horse rider

Stephannie and her beautiful horse

Over to Stephannie:

Hi Stephannie, can you share with us three fun facts about you?

I took up horse-riding again about eight years ago and love it, hence the name of the blog.  I am a nervous rider and wanted the blog to help me realise how much I have achieved and it allows me to chart my highs and lows.  The blog has really helped me during my recent attack of nerves.

I live in Edinburgh.  I adore the city – it is a beautiful place to stay and I love how small it is for a city.  I like being able to get to the country and the coast in no time at all.

I am pretty terrible at sewing or crafting but I love trying.  Just now I am attempting to learn to knit again: it’s going slowly but it’s fun.  Oh, and my baking is very much bingo baking – sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t!

Where are your favourite places to shop for ethical clothing?

Probably Howies, Finisterre*, and People Tree*.  I also like Rapanui for t-shirts, they have brilliant prints and the softest material.  Last year I took part in the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge – a year-long clothes rationing challenge – and started getting into eBay again.  This year I have also been to a few clothes swaps which are good fun, especially when combined with friends and cocktails!  I also really like Totty Rocks, an Edinburgh-based design duo.  They are so friendly and happily alter items to fit you perfectly.

What’s the last ethical item that you bought?

The last secondhand item I got was a black and white stripe top at a clothes swap a couple of weeks ago, which I love.  The last ethical item I bought was a brilliant pair of cycling chinos from Howies which have a higher waistband at the back and extra stretch making them perfect for, well, cycling!  I adore them: I wanted a pair for a while now and the fact they are smart enough for the office is even better.

clothes swapping

Some of Stephannie’s clothes swap finds!

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

A Vaute Couture Emily coat in Emerald.  One of the bloggers I follow, Jesse Anne O, introduced me to this brand. I haven’t managed to buy anything yet but I love their coats.  They look so luxurious and warm plus the colour is incredible.  Alternatively, I would settle for a Finisterre padded jacket. They look so cosy and stylish – perfect for being out and about whether on horseback or not.

Do you have a top tip for shopping ethically?

I think this top tip is probably just a top tip in general – I would say taking your time is key.  I have made so many purchasing mistakes through impulse instead of thinking if I need the item or in most cases, if I love it.  Let’s face it, we all have items that we love in our wardrobe and ones that we don’t.  I think this tip is especially important at clothes swaps or second-hand or vintage shopping. Here it can be tempting to get lots of items which you don’t need just because they are free or cheap.

jumping

Is there anything you find difficult about shopping ethically?

Jodhpurs are a niche item that is hard to find ethically produced!  Joking aside, I do find certain parts of sportswear trickier to source. What’s more, some ethical brands I have tried have not been up to the job.  It is definitely getting better though with Ronhill, who has a pretty decent ethical policy.  Howies also have some good cycling and running gear, while Finisterre* have good base layers.  And, of course, if in doubt you can patch and mend while emailing each company you like asking about their ethical policies!

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

A tricky question for me as I am in a bit of a style quandary at the moment, I’m not even sure I have a style!  But I like the 1920s/30s/40s style captured beautifully in the Agatha Christie Poirot series.  I also love looking at street styles, friends’ styles, and other bloggers’ styles for inspiration.  I particularly enjoy Franca at Oranges and Apples (you can check out Franca’s ethical style here!), Jesse Anne O, and Katie at Sustainability in Style.

What is your best secondhand or ethical find ever?

I have a couple of these!  Firstly I love my bright red Totty Rocks mac printed with blue ponies on the belt and collar.  I got it as a reward for achieving something important to me. It is made to measure with these huge pockets that can fit so many things in it so you don’t need a bag! The other items are kind of a set. I have my mother’s denim Chinese-style jacket and denim shirt from the 70s.  They are fabulous, worn to the softest denim and I like the fact that I have pictures of my mum in these items styled totally differently from how I wear them.

Totty rocks mac

Stephannie’s gorgeous Totty Rocks mac.

What would be your ultimate thrifted find?

Hmm, this one is one for the horse riding folk, but I would love to find some Ariat Windermere boots – perfect for riding and stomping around in.

Finally, Stephannie, can you share three ethical style tips with us:

Clothes swaps are brilliant fun.

The internet is your friend for ethical shopping: people out there have often done some of the hard work for you.  See Ceri’s Ethical Fashion Blog and Ethical High Street as just two examples.

If you can make friends with your sewing machine or even friends with someone who can use a sewing machine (in my case my mum!) it helps for fixing and altering items that you need to.  My mum managed to rescue a jumper that was attacked by moths by patching the holes with brightly coloured sequins.  It’s so simple but looks great!

sequin jumper

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