Ethical Fashion Pop Up - Viva La Vegan

Tucked away above the vegan restaurant OJoy in Shrewsbury is a new ethical fashion pop-up shop Viva La Vegan.
Born from the passion of Jay Charlton, a vegan, and former fast fashion designer, the brand focuses on promoting and supporting ethical supply chains and more sustainable fabric use. After working in the fast fashion industry for 14 years, Jay became disheartened with the fast fashion system, finding the expansion of consumerism at the expense of the product, people and the environment conflicted with her own ethics.
The material used is mainly organic cotton, recycled plastic and reclaimed vintage items that have been reworked into new designs. I was particularly impressed by the recycled plastic t-shirts, they were of really high quality and the texture of the fabric was slightly like bamboo.
Jay's style is slightly grungy with a street wear vibe that I really like, and I especially loved the vintage pieces that had been screen printed adding a slight twist.
It was really good to see an ethical fashion brand come to such a small town, showing that fashion and style can be done in a more sustainable way. I feel like the conversation around the environmental and ethical impact of fashion needs to be expanded.

 Often environmental problems and the conversations about them, happen in small circles of people who are interested in these issues. These conversations need to happen with people who aren't interested in ethical fashion or environmentalism, people who aren't as interested in engaging with these issues. This will incite real change, as the problems that arise from this fast fashion culture are not just about animal cruelty, sweatshops or climate change, they are issues that have a major impact on consumer health.

How to help someone with depression - 16 little things you can do to help

Mental health awareness has increased in recent years with many people now openly discussing mental health issues. Personally I see regular information on what to do if you have depression or how to recognise it. I still feel however, that there is a lack of understanding of practical ways to help someone who may be experiencing depression/anxiety. I also feel like there seems to be a disconnect when people who are having trouble ask for help they often feel like they don't get the help and support they need.
This post is to try and help people who have friends and family that are suffering, and understand ways they can  help. It's also for people with depression and anxiety who have trouble verbalising the way they feel, and the kind of help they need. This is not a list of long term solutions, and of course if you are feeling down or anxious for extended periods of time you should see a doctor.

I hope you all enjoy my list and feel free to add to it!

1. Don't say oh come on cheer up its not that bad! Or, well it could be worse... although you might be trying to help this can be very dismissive.

2. Be an ear. Sometimes just letting someone express their feelings is enough to help them feel better, you don't need to offer advice, just listen.

3. Feelings are feelings no matter how irrational! Yes many feelings of hopelessness and anxiety are irrational but pointing that out won't help.

4. Helping with small every day tasks like admin, forms and keeping the house clean can be an amazing help! When your in a bad space everyday tasks can seem too much to cope with.

5. Offer to cook their favourite meal. Skipping food and irregular sleeping are all problems people can experience that can make them feel drained, small acts of kindness like this can really help.

6. Put together a care package as a treat.
(nice tea, make up, bubble bath candles, dried fruit, vitamins, ready meals and magazines are all good things to put in a care package).

7. Make someone a cup of tea and give them a hug.

8. Let them no that no matter how hard life gets you will be there.

9. Tell them you love them.

10. Ring and text regularly.

11. Try and encourage them to stay active and keep eating healthy. Going out for a walk or to a juice bar can be a really nice activity and keep them feeling positive.

12. Offer support.

13. Run them a hot bath with lots of bubbles.

14. Treat them to a beauty treatment like a manicure or massage. This can help them relax and feel good about themselves.

15. Be forgiving when they disappoint you.

16. Be unconditional. Don't help to get something in return or hold it over them at a later date, this can be counter productive.

These are some little things that can really help someone in need, some may seem silly but they really can make a difference. It's important to remember however, that you can't fix someone or change the way they feel long term, but you can make sure they feel they have the support they need to be strong and fix themselves.

My top 10 thrifting tips to update your wardrobe ethically

Thrifting is a great way to update your wardrobe on a budget, and lessen your environmental impact. Shopping for clothes every week has become part of modern day culture, and many of us waste thousands every year on clothes we don't need. This has a huge environmental, political and social impact globally as fast fashion brands try and meet this high demand for cheap clothes. Thrifting outfits is a great way to lessen the impact we have on the world and move away from the global consumerist culture that encourages us to spend our money to be happy.

I personally love going shopping around charity and vintage shops as I never know what I will find, it's cheap and you can find some really unique pieces. It also helps give back to the community and supports local businesses. So if you would like to try thrifting, here are my top 10 tips on how to make it fun and help you find those special pieces that you can fall in love with!
1. Take a friend and have fun

2. Set a budget

3. Have an idea of what you are looking for (but don't expect to find it!)

4. Remember items can be washed fixed and altered

5. Always try stuff on

6. Make sure it fits with your own true style

7. Don't judge a book by its cover - I often find the best things in the strangest looking shops.

8. Check for fabric quality, shape, and type of material

9. Don't be put off by stereotype - Anyone can go thrifting

10. If you see something you like get it, next week it will be gone

My Top 10 affordable high street cruelty-free make up brands

For people who are just starting to go cruelty-free, it can feel really daunting not knowing where to start. Who is cruelty-free and who isn't? Whats the issue with parent companies etc.? It can all be very confusing, so I compiled a list of my top ten cruelty-free makeup brands that are easily accessible to anyone on the high-street.

1. Barry M


3. Sleek

4. Soap and Glory


6. NO.7

7. B. (by Superdrug)

8. Autograph

9. Natural Collection

10. MUA

Obviously, there are other cruelty-free high street brands, this is just my list. They are all affordable as well which I think is important to show as people often think cruelty free make up is expensive. Always remember your money is your vote and when you give it to a company that tests on animals your telling them that you are OK with them doing that.

July favourites cruelty free beauty and lifestyle

Most of July this year has consisted of eating ice lolly's, enjoying the sun and hiding from the rain! However, I have been enjoying a few little beauty and lifestyle products. Going cruelty-free isn't just about makeup it's about other products too.
The first things that I have been loving this July are my new shirt and glasses. Since I watched the documentary the true cost I  decided that I need to stop buying fast fashion and wasting my money; over the last 8 months I have been developing my wardrobe and buying clothes ethically and I have actually started to enjoy shopping more! As I don't have loads of money to spend on clothes, shopping in charity shops is my main way of getting 'new' clothes now. My favourite items I have picked up recently are a white pinstripe shirt and some tortoise shell sunglasses. Both of these were from Shropshire Cat Rescue, the glasses were £1 and the shirt was £1.50 and I literally haven't stopped wearing them!

This July I also went on a day trip to Aberdyfi in Wales, on the way we stopped off at the Centre for Alternative Technology and I bought the book Zero Carbon Britain. This is the first time I have had a book in a favourites post but I really wanted to include it. I still haven't finished the book but it is really refreshing to read about solutions to environmental issues rather than just the problems. It explains how with today's technology it is possible to get Britain to net zero carbon and shows how with small lifestyle changes we can make a big difference.

Beauty wise this month I have been glued to my moisturisers; my little Lush charity pot sample has been living in my handbag and I have been using my Marlenha moisturiser every night. The constant weather changes seem to be playing havoc with my skin, one minute it's hailing next it's boiling hot which has left me with dry patches on my cheeks and chin. My Marlenha Flourish moisturiser has been a godsend and as I have said before it is perfect for dry skin!

This summer I have also fallen back in love with my Nail Berry nail varnish, even though it is quite a boring colour for summer. Through July it's been quite an easy polish to wear at work, out for meals and to events as it's such a transitional shade.

Lastly, I have been loving trying contorting with my KIKO bronzer and experimenting with that. Just because there isn't any sun it doesn't mean you can't look bronzed! It's quite a matte bronzer that is highly pigmented so it can be used quite nicely as a contour.

These are my monthly favourites please share yours below as I would love to hear about any other cruelty-free faves. :)