Ethical Fashion

Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

Your Ethical Style: Tilly Johnson

your ethical style blog feature
your ethical style blog feature

Today Tilly Johnson is sharing her ethical style tips and secrets with us.  Tilly lives in Yorkshire, and in July of this year embarked on a charity shop shopping challenge, where, for one whole year, she will only purchase clothes from charity shops (with the exception of undies!).  Although only a few months into her challenge Tilly has already learned so much!

Over to the beautiful Tilly:

Tilly Johnson

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

1.  I live with my pug Otis and my fiancé.  We get by on a modest budget, but we get by.  It’s not easy, however, and there have been times where we have misjudged our budget and ended up on an ‘I’m a Celebrity’ diet – rice!
2.  I hate having my photograph taken and my blog started as a sort of remedy for that – I have a few pictures of me knocking around now and it’s an exercise in self-confidence for me.  I’m lucky to have the opportunity to blog, so I embrace it and share my face.
3.  I love exploring.  I’m most at home on a windy mountain, clinging onto my bobble hat as I try to persuade my feet to move forward.

Where are your favourite places to shop for ethical clothing?

I love scouring charity shops.  There is a huge amount of satisfaction to be had in burying myself in the rails and coming out with something I adore.  That isn’t always the case, of course, but it is sometimes and that little pearl of satisfaction keeps me going.

What’s the last ethical item that you bought?

The last item I bought, in a charity shop, was a bunny jumper.  It has no label so I don’t know where it is from, but I love it and it will be one of those things I really wear out during winter.

rabbit jumper

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

Aside from the aforementioned bunny jumper, I bought an orange tartan dress last month for £3 and I adore it.  I’m going to lift the hem a little bit as it is a little long for my hobbit-esque body, but once I have it hemmed and lovely I plan on wearing it all the time.  Possibly even in bed.

vintage tartan dress

Do you have a top tip for shopping ethically?

Don’t be afraid.  I get a lot of people looking down at me if I reply ‘oh, I got this in a second-hand shop…’ to them if they pay me a compliment.  Really, you just complimented it!  I’ve found gorgeous pieces in shops over the last few days and I hope my charity shop challenge (which I began in July, where I’m only shopping from charity shops for a year) highlights this over the coming year

Is there anything you find difficult about shopping ethically?

The biggest challenge I’ve had is digging through all the summery gear in the charity shops at the moment and getting my grabby little hands on some knits and thicker pieces that I can wear in winter.  Vests and cute little summer dresses?  No problem!  A chunky knit that will serve me from Autumn through to Spring (thanks, UK!)?  Not so easy.

Tilly, where do you get your style inspiration from?

A huge amount of places.  My style icons are Zooey Deschanel, Gizzi Erskine, and the weather.  I love colours, prints, retro vintage pieces, and one-of-a-kind items.  When I go into a shop, I don’t just keep an eye out for the brands I know from the high street – I keep an eye out for labels maybe that I don’t know.  The pieces that are a bit of a mystery.  The tartan dress, for instance. Bits that grab me by the heart and tell me to buy them.

woolly hats

What is your best secondhand or ethical find ever?

I don’t think I can name any one purchase as my favourite!  I’m so fickle when it comes to my buys: I love them all.  I’m always really happy when I find something that makes my heart go all aflutter – there is nothing better than really connecting with something you buy.  I think second hand, it probably means a bit more as someone else has already owned it before I have, I’m just giving it a second lease of life.

What would be your ultimate thrifted find?

I never thought I’d say this, but my ultimate thrifted find would be a wedding dress.  I’ve started to realise over the last few months that I’m going to have to really get stuck into wedding planning and preparing and with our budget, it is going to be something I have to really watch my budget on.  Finding something in a second-hand shop that I completely fall in love with would mean the world to me.

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

1.  Don’t ever be afraid of experimenting with something that you ‘like’ and you don’t know why.  Sometimes your gut knows more than your eyes do.
2.  You can, can, CAN customise something for yourself.  It isn’t something that only the elite can do.  I can manage, I’m sure you can do it too – keep an eye out on the blog for my own story of this.
3.  Have fun.  There honestly isn’t any point in doing it if you aren’t having fun.  I wouldn’t find half of the stuff I manage to find if I felt like it was a chore doing it!

Thanks for taking part, Tilly!  New to Moral Fibres?  Do check out the other Your Ethical Style posts!

Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

Ethical Fashion Resources: Buyerarchy of Needs

ethical fashion resource

Looking for ethical fashion resources? I’ve got a really useful diagram to help make you stop and think about your shopping habits. Read on!

Hello!  How have you been? Lately, I have been spending some of my evenings browsing Pinterest. Particuarly for ethical fashion resources.  Something about the visual aspect of it has been quite soothing after a long day!  

ethical fashion resource

An Ethical Fashion Resource

It was here I came across this great ethical fashion resource – the Buyerarchy of Needs by artist Sarah Lazarovic:

buyerarchy of needs

I love how Sarah Lazarovic succinctly shows in her buyerarchy of needs that using what you have is always the most sustainable solution, and buying new should be your last resort if all other options fail.

This framework can be applied to almost anything you would usually buy. I find it to be particularly useful when applied to my wardrobe. After all, the most ethical item of clothing is the one you already have. Especially so when you consider that according to research the average person only wears 20% of the items in their wardrobe.

The aim is only to buy new items of ethical clothing when I’ve exhausted the other options. And even then, being brutally honest with yourself and asking if you actually need it, or do you just want it? The answer might surprise you.

Other Useful Ethical Clothing Reading Materials

Speaking of ethical fashion resources, then If you’re in need of some pointers I’ve got a few!  With regards to thrifting there are some secondhand shopping guides on Moral Fibres such as my charity shop shopping tips, and eBay shopping tips, in case you haven’t come across them before. I’ve also got a really useful post on where to shop for secondhand clothes online.

I’ve also started a useful series on how to build an ethical wardrobe from scratch, which I hope will provide a good starting point for beginners in making your wardrobe more ethical.

All images courtesy of Sarah Lazarovic.