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!
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!
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.
Shirt – 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, eccentric 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.
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 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!