Top 10 Ethical fashion brands for summer - Sustainable fashion for every budget!

Even the most conscious shopper with the most minimal wardrobe fancies a new summer purchase every now and then. Although shopping second hand is always the best way forward, sometimes you just need a perfect new addition to your wardrobe! When I hear the call of a sparkly new slow-fashion piece it then becomes a long arduous search for a clothing company with transparency, more ethical supply chain and quality materials.

To make it easier I put together a list of all of my favorite ethical fashion brands who make beautiful  Summer pieces. These are classic designs, beautiful fabric and unique hand stitched pieces you can feel good about owning and wearing and enjoying forever.  I tried to get a mix of styles and fabrics so there is something for everyone! Let me know what you guys think in the comments!

(They are in order of preference)

1. If your looking for a statement pastel piece of perfection look no further! Siizu combines classic basics in wearable colors with design. These are basics you will wear forever, colors and shapes that will never go out of style.
The have sustainable manufacturing and use tencel and natural fabrics like silk and cashmere. Vegan they are not, but it depends on your position on sustainability and ethical fashion... Personally cotton silk and wool are sustainable fabric sources to me, but obviously if you are vegan this is a issue.

2. This brand are expensive but if you are looking for a stunning investment piece they are worth considering. Based in Peru they combine style design and ethics in their style creations. Made from alpaca and pima cotton, AYNI may not be for you if you are vegan, but in my eyes they are sustainable. Definitely one to check out but if you are going to buy something I would recommend going through Revolve. 

3. When the weather is hot, in the mist of an Indian summer there is nothing better than channeling some boho vibes. Look no further than Arnhem! Based in Australia they use organic materials and give 1% for the planet. They create maxi dresses in crazy prints perfect for the beach, desert or anywhere else you can think that needs a little flower power.
They are not cheap and shipping all the way from Australia inst the best (also I did DM them about their dyes and labor conditions which they never answered), but they are still included on my list.

4. No list of ethical summer clothes would be complete without mentioning People Tree. Probably one of the best or the best ethical and sustainable fashion brands their clothes are organic fair trade soil association certified AND not ridiculously expensive. Most of the colors and patters are not to my taste but if you look hard enough there is something for everyone and they have good basics.

5. Monkey Jeans was created in 2006 in the UK to offer something fresh to the denim market. Organic cotton ethically made jeans in a fresh cut. I would say they are on the pricey side ... around £80.00 a pair.. but they are cute so if you have the money why not?

6. Preloved is one brand I had to throw in here, not because I love their style but because I love the company and what they stand for! They make amazing pieces from vintage and dead stock juxtaposed into unique creations! Best for cute blouses and cami tops!

7. We are thought is a really good place to shop ethical classics and pick up some great basics. Some items can be a little pricey but they have some cheaper thinks and some lovely more conservative floral dresses. Created in Australia they are now based in North London and ship globally. More aimed at middle aged men and women they definitely have something for everyone. 

8. I chose to talk about beed and reel because I feel like they don't get enough recognition in the style community or the slow fashion one. Classic slow fashion pieces combined with some basics and the odd work/event dress, they are not amazing but they do cater to the slow fashion seance. The reason they made it on my list however is there 5 in 1 dresses which I absolutely covet! 

9.Wallis Evera create ethical work wear made locally using sustainable fabric. I wanted to give them a mention, as I feel like most ethical clothes are statement tee-shirts etc. but in reality most women aren't influencers or models or students, we sit in an office all day in office wear and that is what makes up a lot of our wardrobe. That is why I wanted to mention this brand and share some ethical work wear, as in reality that is what most of us will be wearing this summer!

10. Aeonrow are a plain brand that do ethical basics in a modern way. They are definitely mid range and ship to the UK but I've never ordered anything from them so I would be weary of customs.They make all of their products to be durable and they are all made from revived fabrics, so although it is a investment you can expect that they wont fall apart after a few months a la primark.

Cruelty-free skin saviors! Organic and natural beauty

My skin has been horrendous lately with hormonal changes and the stress of moving house and job! The weather hasn't helped either going from sub-zero arctic temperatures to boiling hot sun, has played havoc with my hair and skin! I had to have five inches off my hair and have had permanent blotches on my face for the past few weeks.

Keeping my face hydrated for me is a constant struggle but these are the products I've been using (and loving) at the moment that have helped my face stop cracking and dropping off.
The first thing I wanted to mention is my favorite product that I picked up from Holland and Barrett, which is the tiny Dr. Organics lip balm in coconut. I have really struggled trying to find a cruelty free and natural/more natural lip balm that is really hydrating. I know every other blogger seems to love HARAWW but I have always found the quality quite low.
Another thing I have been doing to really lock in the moisture in my skin is, at night after my shower using a serum and a night cream. I've been using the Insta naturals Hylauronic acid serum, which is good and worth the £10.00 price tag. What most people don't realize is that for this to work well you need to apply it to your skin when its hot and wet from out the shower. Don't dry your face at all and put the serum on straight away!This helps lock in moisture and helps the HA do its job. Once it has soaked in and your face apply the night cream. My favorite this Spring/ Summer has been the MADARA organic night cream that I got from Love Lula.

The last product I wanted to mention I had been really enjoying using... but I'm not overly sure of now. The rose water toner I mentioned in my last Love Lula box review I love the smell etc and it is refreshing on the skin but I'm not sure of how toning it is really. I have been still using it but more as a refreshing spritz for my hair and skin as I'm unsure of using it as a toner. 

What's it like to be a vegan ethical vlogger? With Rhian HY!

When I started my journey and fell down the rabbit hole of ethical consumerism, one of my constant inspirations was Rhian and her YouTube channel Rhian HY. I somehow stumbled across her YouTube it was the first ethical or cruelty-free YouTube I had found who was relate-able to me.
Most of the YouTube or bloggers that I had found, seem to me to be very similar in their delivery; what stood out for me with Rhian was her sarcastic and dry humor and her honest discussions about mental health (not to mention the beautiful aesthetic of her channel and Instagram feed which has many cruelty-free fans obsessed). What I love about Rhians channel is it is genuine, organic and I can relate to it. 

Since I enjoy the videos so much, I thought I would ask her to share with me and the people who read my blog, how she got started, and what inspires her videos and what challenges she feels she has had as a ethical and vegan blogger/vlogger. 

1. What was your inspiration to start your blog?

I started online journaling casually when I was really young and then moved onto Tumblr where I gathered more of a following. Commenters on Tumblr would ask questions about products or lifestyle items and eventually started asking me to make videos or do more comprehensive blogs on things so it's truly the readers that pulled this job out of me.

2. What do you feel are the biggest challenges when you began to blog?

The biggest challenges in starting a blog are honestly just… beginning. There are so many things that seem daunting like will people like it? Will people leave mean comments? Those thoughts really get in the way and I think the best thing to do is just to jump in!

3. How do you feel being an ethical/cruelty-free blogger/vlogger is different?

It takes a lot more research and diligence in making sure the products are truly cruelty-free because it's not always as black and white as it seems.
You also have to turn down a LOT of work from brands that don’t fit into your own ethos/ moral standards which of course is tough in making it a viable job. You really have to hustle to create relationships with the few brands that you do feel are ethical.

4. If someone is interested in going cruelty-free what brands do you recommend for newbies?

I would recommend checking out Pacifica, ELF and Anastasia to start. There are lots of good cruelty-free brands out there when you know where to look and Logical Harmony’s Cruelty-Free Brand List is a great place to look if you’re ever unsure of a brand.

5. What inspired you to start vlogging about ethical fashion?

Starting with vegan and cruelty-free makeup, it just seemed like a natural progression. If we can show empathy toward animals, we should be able to do the same to humans too so it really just felt like the natural next step for me.

6 .What are your favourite brand discoveries so far this year?

I recently discovered Wet N Wild base products and I'm loving them for a great drugstore option.

Red Apple Lip Liners are my favourites.

I’m also loving Root Pretty for lip gloss and highlighter!

7. Favourite tea?

I’m going to be boring and say regular old black tea with soy milk. I’m British, its part of my daily diet!

Check out Rhian's you tube channel at Rhian HY!

The worlds biggest environmental problem that no-one talks about!

(Southern Iceland, when people settled they cut all the trees down and created massive issues with soil erosion. Now most of the island is classified as a desert and barely anything grows.)

Over time, the public seems to catch on to environmental issues, the government slowly introduces legislation and attitudes change.

However, there is one issue that never seems to be at the forefront of climate change discussions. The often neglected discussion around soil erosion and desertification absolutely mystifies me. With the expansion of the worlds deserts, the loss of good agricultural soil and the increase in carbon in the atmosphere, I would have liked to think that this would become a bigger topic of conversation.

The reason for my interest in this topic, comes from my passion for soil. Sounds boring... but its actually not.. well not to me! Although it looks boring there is so much going on in soil all underneath our feet. Soil is one of the most important habitats for life on earth, as millions of organisms making their homes there. The organisms that make soil there home can range from newts worms and frogs to microbes that facilitate the transference of nutrients to plant roots.

Even if this still sounds boring to some, no one can deny the importance of soil in our lives. Most life on earth including ourselves depends on soil, indirectly or directly. Soil is essential for our food our foods food, water filtration and the focus of this blog post the storing of carbon.

It is estimated that around 1600 GTC of carbon is stored in the worlds soils that has accumulated over millennia through the decomposition of plant and animal life. This carbon is trapped within our soil creating healthy organic matter for plants and trees to grown in and for micro organisms to make their homes.

The problem is however, over the last 150 years we have lost half of the worlds topsoil, which is used to grow all of our food. This is mainly down to deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices. In our quest to produce a surplus of unnecessary food we put a huge amount of strain on our soil. This is one of the biggest environmental crises that we face and its relatively ignored. The destruction of soil and the advancement of deserts all over the world also leads to the displacement of animals and people, droughts famine and migration.

Oh great another blog post where its all doom and gloom, but it actually inst. Although this is one of the biggest crises I feel that we face, its also a massive opportunity if we take it. Re-vegetation of deserts is possible using appropriate planting techniques, feeding the world is possible with sustainable agriculture. It is possible if we re-vegetated the worlds deserts, that we could take current levels of atmospheric carbon back to pre-industrial levels through carbon sequestration in the soil (basically take carbon our the air and put it in the soil). This would also enable many displaced communities and communities that are often plagued by environmental crisis's to have a more stable life.

For us in the UK, this may seem like a unimportant issue but it actually isn't. Currently large upland areas of Wales, Scotland and England have large issues with soil erosion. That's not to mention the huge drop is soil carbon that can be seen in the agricultural counties like Shropshire, where tilling and unsustainable agricultural practices have led to a huge drop in the amount of carbon found in top soils (I know this from my own field research and analysis). On top of this, as a country we have a very low tree coverage with only 13% of our island covered in trees compared with 47% in France. We are also one of the biggest importers of timber in the world after China and 50% of our food comes from abroad.

This puts us in a good position with lots of opportunities for inciting change and making a difference, but, before this happens soil really needs to become a conversation point. Just as the recent media attention around plastic pollution has insisted change I think its about time that the health of the worlds soils became a conversation too.

Please comment and share this post to raise awareness of this issue!

For more information the Soil association website has good resources!

My experience with a Derma Roller

A derma roller is not something I had considered until quite recently. I never really understood them and they looked a bit scary, but since I started to worry more about my skin I thought I might as well give it a whirl. I have heard scary stories about people bleeding and it really hurt but I thought they must be exaggerating, so I went onto Amazon and bought one (sidenote, you can get an eco-friendly one here but I was shit and didn’t do my research). I did some research on youtube about how to use one correctly and what you need to do to prep your skin etc beforehand. This mainly involves just making sure you sterilize your derma roller and make sure your skin is as clean as possible. You need to roll over every area down up and diagonal over ten times which allows the needles to make as many holes as possible.

Now, when I researched  derma rolling I found that some people said it hurt and some people said it didn't. Don't believe anyone who says it doesn't. Ouch ouch ouch! The first time I ever tried derma rolling was the worst! This for me was extremely painful and I had to keep stopping just to calm down and take a breath!! It made my face so red and sore and tight and was not a pleasant experience at all.

I started off using a 1 mm needle but would defiantly recommend that you start off with a 0.5mm the smallest you can get. Although this is a painful process I would recommend it. After the searing pain and discomfort my face was tight and stinging and I went to bed; in the morning my face felt so smooth and my skin was really really soft. They recommend you derma roller once a week for a few months before you can see a difference and I'm excited to see the results. I've also seen that it can help with hair loss and uneven hairlines which I'm hoping to see a change to. At the moment I have switched down to a 5 mm needle and haven't seen any lasting results, but fingers crossed!