Thrifted boxing day look - Ethical fashion edit

Keeping cosy in the frost and snow is essential, so keep your eyes peeled when thrifting this Christmas for some snuggly knits! I have recently developed a passion for white jumpers and shirts and this little knit has become a Christmas favourite. I love thrifting for jumpers like this as you cant go wrong for £1.00-£7.00 and it can give a chance to experiment with shapes and fabrics you wouldn't usually choose.

Jeans are another thing that I always thrift as they always seem to look better worn in. These were only a couple f pounds and are a lovely dark denim wash perfect for winter; they are also slightly high wasted to keep the food baby under control!

This jacket is really warm and was one of my favourite pieces I thrifted this year. Its a dark red satin with a burnt orange lining and I'm sure I will wear this for years to come. I liked paring this with my boots as I thought it was a slight juxtaposition of styles.
Keeping your green and cruelty free values at this time of year can be really hard and it can get quite discouraging.
Resisting the sale shopping can be tricky but make sure if you give in, the brands you are supporting are ethically made or sustainable fabrics. I know I'm having a hard time this year as I know I can't spend the money as I'm saving for a house as well; limiting myself to one treat seems to be the beat way forward for me personally but everyone has to find their own path as an ethical consumer and don't beat yourself up if you go a bit wrong or give in for something you really want no one can be perfect all the time.

Eden perfumes - Vegan and cruelty free dupes

The only thing I haven't managed to find a cruelty free or natural dupe for, is my perfume. I'm very attached currently, to my Coco Chanel and all of the other vegan ones I have tried don't compare. I've heard lots of vegan and cruelty free bloggers talk about Eden perfumes who create dupes for designer fragrances. I decided to test these perfumes out and see if I could find a dupe for my Coco Chanel mademoiselle.
They do a dupe for this and I gave it a go in the shop to see if I would like it; I had very high hopes as they are so highly recommended by other bloggers. Unfortunately I don't really like the fragrance, I don't feel like any of them that I smelt were very high quality. Not to be too much of a Debbie downer but I personally would not buy one of these. The fragrances all smell very shallow and all the floral fragrances are too sharp for me. None of the perfumes that I smelt were what I would consider high quality and I think you could probably get a nicer one from Lush or just use some essential oils. I wouldn't want to discourage people from trying out this brand but I would defiantly check their returns policy if you are buying them online! I also wouldn't recommend this as a dupe product because none of the perfumes I smelt were anything like the original perfumes.

If anyone has any vegan and cruelty free perfume recommendations please let me know as I have really struggled with this. I think its because perfume is such a personal thing and smells different on everyone, its hard to find one to keep as yours for a lifetime. 

Last months ethical favourites - Green and cruelty free beauty

Last month was one of the busiest of this year for me, overtime at work and social obligations meant I didn't get much time for myself. That being said I 'discovered' some of my favourite everyday beauty products to date. These are all cruelty-free, better for your body and the environment; the best kind of products that make you feel good inside and out.
The first product that I wanted to mention is the Faith in nature 3-in-1 facial wipes. Finding good facial wipes is not easy especially if you have sensitive skin. Many of the facial wipes that are found on the high street have alcohol in them and can result in a blotchy complexion if used on sensitive skin. I did a bit of research online, as I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce and one of the areas I know I'm quite wasteful is using a face wipe at least once a day. I've seen other people using cotton pads in their place but I feel like this would take a long time and I usually use face wipes when I'm really tired or can't be bothered! I thought I would try these ones as they are organic vegan and biodegradable so they won't sit in a landfill forever.
These are now a must in my beauty regime, as they are very kind and gentle to my skin and better for the environment. They cost £2.99 in Oxfam, which I think is a really good price as well and you can find them cheaper on Amazon. Definitely worth the money and a firm favourite!

Another favourite is my new BIONSEN thermal mineral deodorant; most deodorants on the high street contain parabens alcohol and aluminium which can be very damaging to your health. I recently switched to one that is free from these harmful chemicals called BeKind. However, after using it for a while I've found that it actually makes me sweat more and can feel quite uncomfortable. It can be quite hard sometimes to find more natural products in places like supermarkets and the high street, but I found this little gem in Tescos!
Next, I wanted to share this amazing face serum that I found on Amazon from Avive Naturals. This is a cruelty-free Hyaluronic acid serum with Vitamins C and E. This comes in quite a small bottle but it was only £6.50 and has really helped with my patches of dry skin on my cheeks. The formulation is strong but the consistency is thin and you just need a tiny amount (apparently) on your skin.Since my teenage years are a thing of the past, now anything that promotes collagen is a must as I don't want to look like a walnut.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who had dry skin as I've found it so soothing and helpful; it contains organic aloe and jojoba oil which definitely contribute! If your skin is extra dry, I've seen some people use it with a moisturiser for extra nourishment for the skin.

This month I have been working overtime at work stuffing letters to go out to our clients; because of this my nails have completely snapped off and I've been left with little stumps. To try and jazz them up a bit I've been painting my nails and one of my favourite new nail varnishes is the Touche Velours from Nail Berry. This is a top coat that makes any colour matt, which is just the coolest thing I have ever seen! Matte red, pink or green the world is my oyster! I think for me its better than buying a coloured matte nail varnish as there is more versatility. As always it is cruelty-free, vegan and free of the top 5 most toxic chemicals usually found in nail varnish.

Most aren't overly concerned about toxins in nail varnish but if you already have an illness or autoimmune condition I would really consider switching. Anything you put on your skin or nails will ultimately leach into your system and can aggravate your immune system.

Now, what would favourites be without a little bit of something delicious? This month I decided to try out some more milk alternatives, switching my almond milk to the Provitamil Oat Drink. I decided to make the switch for the reason that to grow an almond it takes 7L of water, oat milk, therefore, is way more environmentally friendly. Oats can also be grown in the UK, limiting the food miles involved in growing nuts in warmer climates and often clearing forests to make way for almond groves. I have to say I've been very impressed with this oat milk and have found it much creamier than the Oatly one, it's quite thick and creamy and would be a good replacement for anyone currently giving up dairy. The only thing I would say that I have found tricky is the fact that it contains gluten, so can be quite irritating to the gut. 
My last favourite that I wanted to share was this red checked scarf; I got this at a kilo sale a while ago and threw it in with all my other second-hand bits. Kilo sales are amazing places to pick up vintage and secondhand clothes and they are so cheap too as you pay by the kilo! This is pure new wool and has been a staple in my wardrobe since the weather has gotten colder. I would definitely recommend trying out a kilo sale for some second-hand goodies, they can also be really nice days out with friends as there is often tea and cake too!
I really hope everyone enjoyed my favourites this month, even though, as usual, it is fashionably late! What ethical and cruelty-free products have you all been loving this month?


Investment piece or budget buy - Slow fashion guide to an ethical wardrobe

One of the problems I always seem to hear when it comes to buying sustainable fashion is that it's too expensive. However, this isn't strictly true; slow fashion and shopping sustainably isn't about having a full wardrobe of organic cotton and £60.00 t-shirts. Anybody on any budget with any style can shop sustainably and ethically.
Knowing when to spend money and when to save is one of the most helpful things I have learned from shopping sustainably; knowing that shopping slow fashion and monitoring your consumption is more important than where you shop.

I used to go shopping nearly every weekend but now its a very rare occurrence every few months, for items I really need and would use for a long time. Now, if there is something I know I will love and use regularly, a classic piece that can be used as part of my core wardrobe then I know it is worth the investment. An investment piece for me is usually a coat a scarf, shoes or a bag that are really classic styles. When I'm looking for something like a good coat I would usually shop around for a few months, searching for something with an excellent fit and cut,  quality materials and at the very least a reputable brand. If you are going to buy something that will last 10+ years it has to have all of these components, then it won't ever date, break or fray.
I recently went to the opening of the new Barbour shop in town and for me, this is the classic example of an investment piece. They are classic, water and windproof and will last your whole life. They have always kept their products in line with their brand; every jacket is intricately made and can be worn anywhere. Ethical and sustainable fashion is not just about buying all your clothes from People Tree, it's about making an investment in your clothes and style. Jack wills and Barbour have recently put sections on their websites about their environmental standards and ethical trading, however, for me, they don't go far enough to be considered an ethical or sustainable brand. You can, however, pick up some really good classic pieces from them second hand on Depop, Asos marketplace and at Kilo sales. As for more expensive investment ethical pieces, brands like AYNI make some of the most beautiful knitwear; Burberry and Louis Vitton can be picked up ethically on Vestier Collective.
When it comes to the best areas to save money, budget buys are some of my favourites to shop ethically for. I will usually look for both basics and statement pieces, but I find you can be more relaxed about the style. Shopping in charity shops or at kilo sales, you can pick up some really exciting and unique pieces and try out trends without spending a lot of money or damaging the environment. Finding items in places like that for the same price as clothes in Primark or Top shop is not hard they are usually well within anyone's budget. I always buy my statement pieces second hand, this saves so much money and is better for the environment!

Shopping in this way has given me so much more financial manoeuvrability, saving me money and allowing me to buy things that are really special that I can invest in. Shopping sustainably is possible on any budget you just have to choose wisely, save your money and invest in quality that will last where you can.

Not all fabrics were created equal - How ethical is sustainable fabric.

From organic cotton to clothes made of hemp and bamboo, over the past few years there seems to be a plethora of 'new' fabrics one claiming to be more sustainable than the next. Some people seem to be saying natural fibres are better for the environment and then others say recycled synthetics are best. I've been having a little read around what these different sustainable fabrics are and what it means for a fabric to be sustainable and ethical. 
I hope you enjoy my fabric guide and the information I have found out about the benefits and pitfalls of each fabric!


This is regarded as one of the best and easiest substitutes for cotton and other natural fibres. Because of its fast-growing time and the fact that it needs very little water, it uses fewer resources than other plants (like cotton and hemp) which some would argue makes it a more sustainable option. The bamboo plant also does not need fertilizers and pesticides to grow, it helps the soil in areas plagued by soil erosion and it also is said to have antibacterial and antifungal qualities. While I don't dispute that it is a better option in terms of sustainability, I did find a few questions surrounding just how sustainable and ethical it actually is. 

The market for bamboo has expanded in recent years, meaning large areas of forest and farmland are now being used to grow fields of bamboo. Growing any large monoculture in this way becomes a problem for local animals and biodiversity, as habitats are destroyed and the balance within the ecosystem in the surrounding areas is often upset.

There are also environmental concerns around the processes which turn the bamboo grass into a fibre to be used in the textile industry. Fibers can be extracted from the bamboo mechanically to form bamboo linen, but more often than not they are extracted chemically. This is done through cooking the bamboo in chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide  NaOH and carbon disulphide. These chemicals can cause nerve damage and other health problems for the people that work with them. However, when customers buy clothes there is also a risk of these chemicals leaching into customers skin which many people (including myself) neglect to think about. 

Personally, I would still buy bamboo and I definitely think its a good quality fabric and is more sustainable than other unethical fabric sources. 

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton differs from regular cotton as it is grown without the use of GM crops, fungicides, insecticides, pesticides heavily and requires intensive irrigation. The farmers also use crop rotation and wait for a freeze to inhibit defoliation of the crops, both of which care for the soil and stop the degradation of soil organic matter. 

This helps lower the environmental impact of cotton production; farming in this way requires less water and doesn't erode the soil as much. It also is better for the farmers, as spraying chemicals on the plants and soil cause widespread health problems for the farmers, their families and the communities. These chemicals also linger in our clothes that we put on every day and have an impact on our health in both the long and short-term. 

Organics because they don't use GM, also ensure that farmers don't get into debt to large companies, or have their land seized because they can't repay their debts.Although you might pay a little more for an organic cotton t-shirt this little bit more we pay helps farmers in places like India have enough money to feed their families and send their children to school.

I would choose organic cotton where you can over regular cotton every time. The issues surrounding GM crops are so far-reaching it's important to recognise this. 


Hemp is considered a sustainable fabric because its cultivation requires less water, fertilizer and pesticides. It also is fast growing with a high yield; however, it is quite hard to find good stylish brands who use hemp. Hemp is also mould and mildew resistant and can be blended with other fibres to enhance the strength of those fibres.

As a crop hemp is also better for the environment because it puts nitrogen (one of the key nutrients that crops need to be healthy) back into the soil. Cotton, on the other hand, depletes the land's nutrients extracting all the nutrients from the soil and then when the plan is harvested and nothing is given back to the soil, it ends up depleted and starts to erode. Soil erosion, in my opinion, is the biggest and also the most important environmental problem that the globe faces. 

(I will be writing about this at another time if people are interested in reading about soil.... or I might just write it anyway)

Opinions on how sustainable wool production is can be very highly contested. Personally, I would love to see the re-appreciation and re-valuation of British sheep wool. I defiantly feel like young British people need to start buying more British wool, it can be a very sustainable fabric and produces some of the most classically British clothing on our island. Currently, many farmers don't get a good price for their wool and it is often shipped over to the EU where they can get a better price. I would love to see bigger retailers like Jack Wills really take advantage of this British fabric, especially due to the uncertainty Brexit has caused for sheep farmers.

Wool as a material is used to make jumpers and tweed suits, providing a fabric that is durable moisture resistant, breathable for your skin. Many vegans or animal rights activists disagree with the use of wool however as it is an animal product and they take issue with the practice of mulesing the sheep. I'm not very clear on the issue, but have linked the PETA website; however, I would add that this practice although cruel saves the lives of around 3 million sheep a year from flystrike. Although I don't agree with breeding Merino sheep there seems to be an absence of an alternative.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) "recognises the welfare implications of mulesing of sheep. However, in the absence of more humane alternatives for preventing strike fly, the AVA accepts that the practice of mulesing should continue as a sheep husbandry procedure".      

I would like to point out that I am for the use of British wool and this practice doesn't happen here, where we do not breed Marino sheep. I also believe that if there was more of a market for high-quality British wool, it would encourage farmers to better care for the animals and with good land management and welfare standards, this can be a good sustainable source of fabric. It would also help keep money in the country and build a stronger farming economy.               

Silk is another natural fibre that sustainability and ethical stance is very contested. It is made from small silk caterpillars that weave silk nests to pupate inside. Although silk is a really good fabric in terms of its effect on consumers (its lack of endocrine disruptions) many vegans don't agree with silk farming as the silk moths never pupate and develop into moths and are killed by steam before they can develop.

It is low impact in terms of the water and resources required in the process; however how it is then dyed, sewn and depending on if the mulberry tree has had any pesticides sprayed on it before it is fed to the silk moths will depend on how sustainable the fabric is. 


Tencel is made from the wood cellulose of the eucalyptus plant and is produced in a circular way, reintroducing the chemicals in the production cycle rather than disposing of them. This makes tencel one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics. This is because tencel less toxic as 99% of the chemicals are filtered and reused, it also needs less water and the whole production process emits fewer greenhouse gases.  The supply chain is more transparent and has been awarded the FSC and the European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed tencels farming practice. 

The production process also does not need bleach and the toxic chemicals that are used are biologically decomposed and purified; this makes it one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly products. 

As for its use, it can be blended with other fibres or used on its own. Quite a few brands have started using it, like People Tree who have developed many of their new products using tencel.


Rayon is made from wood pulp which is chemically converted into a soluble compound, it is considered to be a semi-synthetic fibre. Rayon can also be identified as viscose modal and lyocell. 

The process of manufacturing is extremely toxic and generates highly polluting air and water emissions, uses catalytic agents containing cobalt or manganese, and creates a strong, unpleasant odour. Because of the carbon disulphide used to make rayon workers can have extream health repercussions mostly strokes from working with Rayon. 

Although it biodegrades faster than cotton the main problems with rayon pollution is found in the deep oceans where it contributes to over half of the total fibres found deep under the oceans and is considered to be a microplastic. This means that everytime you wash clothes made of rayon it will release microplastics into the waterways which will then be released into the oceans. 

If you want to stop your washed releasing microfibres into the oceans click here.

Currently, I believe the best course of action regarding environmental problems like this is to ensure all wastewater is filtered for microfibers. 


This is created out of seaweed and has been regarded as an eco-friendly fabric. To create these brown algae is mixed with cellulose, is regarded as sustainable because of the algae's ability to regrow. It is mainly a mix of tencel and Algae and is a relatively new fabric.

I couldn't find much information on using algae as a fabric but from what I found it does at present seem sustainable. Part of the problem is not the fabrics per-say its the scale of production of many of these 'sustainable fabrics'. Any production on a small scale could be considered sustainable, but when things are commercialised and grown on a huge scale it becomes unsustainable. The best thing we can do for the planet is reduce our consumption of clothes and other fabrics.