I was watching one of my favourite fashion influencers the other day and she turned the camera around to show the floor of her bedroom. You literally couldn’t see the bottom of it for packages – clothes half in half out of boxes, heels poking here and there. She said: “I told you – when I’m bored – I just shop!” How amazing would it be for that to be your job? Well, I decided to join her. I’m not going to be posting about fast fashion brands, but I am going to be making some sustainable stylist recommendations for your wardrobe. This is for you dear reader – each outfit is styled from hand-picked mindful fashion brands and themed to suit your needs this upcoming summer… when COVID-19 is far behind us…
The Summer Wedding
Beautiful long flowing dresses, champagne fizzing from the bottle into your waiting glass, happy chatter amongst the guests, and the scent of roses from the bride’s bouquet… Summer weddings. There’s nothing quite like them. For me, soft heels and delicate jewellery are a must. I pair these with an elegant maxi dress and eye-catching headpiece for full-on glamour to stand out amongst the crowd. Insider tip: just don’t outshine the bride! 😉
Reformation is one of my favourite go-to brands for occasion wear. They are working to minimise their impact on the environment and each item has a group of stats with it that shows how much waste and water was saved in the making when compared to other fast fashion brands. The Winslow Dress in Macademia has saved:
- 7.0 lbs of carbon dioxide
- 3.0 gal. of water
- 1.3 lbs. of waste
If you’re on the hunt for a statement headpiece that you’ll wear with everything from dressing for garden parties to attending Ladies Day at the races then look no further than the eye-catching luxury pieces by Jane Taylor London. Before she became the sought-after milliner to dress The Royal Family in England, Jane Taylor started her business while living on a houseboat in Kew, London in 2007. Seven years later, she launched her boutique and studio on the King’s Road. I love to keep shopping local! If you’re looking for something more affordable, try these DIY hair pieces and flower crowns from Sophie & Luna or buy one pre-made!
This Rose Gold Halo set from Lee Renee Jewellery suits the whimsical floral print on our maxi dress perfectly. All Lee Renne Jewellery is handmade in her London studio from recycled silver. You can pair the necklace with the single matching slider earring and to give your look a quirky twist, I recommend adding the Ladybird Bracelet in Rose Gold.
Now for shoes. A nude or soft pink heel to match, preferably something sturdy to give your feet a rest from all that standing. These are RAFA USA, handmade in Los Angeles and crafted from recycled textiles. The Simple Sandal in colour Gobi is a good choice but they do many other shades too.
Finally, our clutch. Since we’re wearing a pearl headband and our jewellery is dainty, a petite clutch bag is a must. To keep it sustainable, I prefer to shop for vintage finds, like this vintage pearlescent bag from the 1950s that I found on Etsy.
The Beach Holiday
Sand, sea, sunshine… breeze in your hair, salt-spray on your lips, the cry of gulls above you… oh how I wish I was at the beach. Shopping for bikinis and swimwear is bringing me that little bit closer though! And I know the perfect brand to keep it sustainable: Fisch Swim. I like an understated, smart resort wear look at the beach. Think Coco Chanel circa 1937 if she’d worn a swimsuit.
This black one-piece has caught my eye…
This Rajalin Jet Black one-piece is inspiring all my beachside dreams. Its fabric is woven in Italy and 65% of this swimsuit is made from the sustainable material Econyl® (fishing nets and nylon waste).
And something ethical to cover it up with – I love kaftans. They’re the best thing to throw on when you’ve spent a heavenly day at the beach and the sun is just starting to dip beyond the horizon. This long kaftan is handmade in India using the traditional Indian techniques of hand printing and hand embroidery, and this piece is hand-loomed too. I also like the Delphine Embroidered Kaftan – £55.00 – if you’re looking for something shorter.
Whilst on the hunt for sustainable hat brands, I came across Will & Bear and my sun hat issues were solved. All their hats are made from 100% natural or recycled materials and for every hat sold, they’ve partnered with Trees.org, to plant 10 trees in West Africa as a way of giving back to the planet and their community. You can read more about their story and their factories here.
Carrying on with Chanel herself in mind, my top pick for beach shoes would be this vegan lace-up style by Momoc Shoes. All their items are made sustainably in Spain. The soles of these particular shoes, for example, are made from recycled rubber. Perfect for comfort and grip whilst walking along the sand.
Now on to our bag. It turns out – upcycling old boat sails into tote bags is a thing! And I am so happy it is! This Sailcloth Beach Bag from Sails & Canvas is a total hit from me. Not only is it reducing waste by reusing sails that would otherwise be thrown away, it is also very roomy, waterproof and great for the beach! I searched through loads of brands online offering a similar thing but this one’s design stood out.
The City Break
My ideal city break would include…
- Breakfast at a cafe that serves pancakes
- Sight-seeing in comfy trainers
- A glass of refreshing Pinot Grigio at lunch
- A stroll, hand in hand with a lover (or loved one) down the embankment to the river
- Shopping in independent bookshops and vintage boutiques
- Dinner at a restaurant with views of the city
So my outfit would need to go effortlessly from day to night. I’ve chosen a cream lightweight silk slip dress and bright white trainers to keep it simple yet chic, with a black vegan backpack and vintage leather jacket to throw on in the evening – all ethically made or sustainably sourced in line with our mindful mindset.
Clemmie Rose is a women-run fashion brand which focuses on empowering women by providing a safe and fair working environment for them to thrive in. Their About page says: “Made by women, for women… a luxury and ethically focused fashion brand that aims to support and empower women from all different walks of life… These pieces are made with love by a team of strong, fierce, brave and exceptionally talented ladies in a small and safe factory in South India that focuses on providing sustainability to better the life of a woman who has previously been in a vulnerable situation and had a low chance of employment”. Hats off to that.
Looking for an investment streetwear piece you can throw on over anything to give it that edgy, ‘fresh off a road trip’ look? I highly recommend a preloved luxury leather jacket. Leather lasts forever so this will immediately become one of your wardrobe staples. This one is from Tradesy, a luxury fashion resale marketplace on a mission to clean up the fashion industry. In 2019, Tradesy reached $1 billion in sales – “equivalent to 25,000 garbage trucks of fashion waste prevented, with the same environmental impact of taking 100,000 cars off the road”. This brand encourages customers to sell any unused clothes hanging in their closets on their resale platform, whilst also offering rare and luxury finds for these same customers’ next shopping spree, thus creating a circular fashion economy. Pretty clever, no? If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, check out Beyond Retro’s vintage leather jackets here.
I’m also obsessed with gold chain jewellery at the moment. I think it makes such a statement when paired with a streetwise yet feminine outfit. These Solid Gold Interlocking Stud Earrings from Lily Flo Jewellery are a striking addition to a dainty silk slip dress and oversized leather jacket. Lily Flo Jewellery is an ethical, fine jewellery brand, who handmake all their jewellery in London. I recommend the Eternity Round Link Chain Bracelet and Interlaced Gold Chain Necklace to match.
Looking for budget-friendly jewellery alternatives? Check out the 100% brass, handmade and Fair Trade, jewellery on People Tree here. These pieces are made by Bombolulu, “a Fair Trade social business in Kenya that creates beautiful hand made jewellery. Bombolulu provides opportunities for people who have physical disabilities”.
Trainers! I LOVE shopping for ethically made trainers. Veja is the company I turn to time and again for effortlessly chic, comfy trainers. Just some of the great things about this brand:
- They use organic cotton, recycled polyester and recycled plastic bottles in their trainers
- The soles are made with wild rubber from the Amazonian rainforest, utilising traditional sourcing techniques of native communities to forage it sustainably for them
- Each pair of shoes is made mindfully in Brazil in fair, transparent working conditions with the goal of providing many new jobs to workers in their local community
And now, the perfect companion to any conscious city break – a vegan backpack made from Piñatex™ and crafted mindfully in Mallorca, Spain. Piñatex™ is “an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile made from pineapple leaf fibres… a green and animal-friendly alternative to leather and petroleum-based materials”. Check out how to care for your Piñatex™ bag here.
The Dinner Date
Whether it’s out with your girlfriends or the love of your life, dinner dates are an essential part of our calendar. Getting dressed up in your slinkiest LBD, sparkling with that new diamond bracelet, and bronzing your cheekbones until they shine and shimmer because it makes YOU feel good. That’s when the compliments come flooding in and that warm fizzling sensation in your stomach. Who said romance was dead? It’s just on our terms.
I’m one of those ladies who doesn’t like to flaunt it. My Little Black Dress gives everyone a taster – a bare shoulder here, a low-cut back there. Bullet offers the perfect understated yet sexy yet slightly androgynous (which I LOVE) piece in the form of their Ava dress in black. It also comes in a range of other colours at budget-friendly prices. Bullet is a small independent fashion brand based in Liverpool who moved into e-commerce in 2015.
The best thing about an LBD is that you can really spice it up with accessories. Add a splash of colour to your wrists, neck and ears with The Wedge Collection from ethical jewellers Little by Little Jewellery. This collection is inspired by the ‘vivid green’ found in the watermelon slice and is crafted from gold plated 925 Sterling Silver and green enamel. To match, find the Wedge Bangle and Wedge Ear Jackets here.
Little by Little Jewellery is partnered with the Luminary Bakery – an innovative “social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves. We provide a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically… We use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferrable skills for the working world”. You can read more about their ethos here.
And finally, our bag. This cute yet smart little envelope crossbody bag can also double up as a clutch if you tuck the chain inside – two bags in one! JW Pei have been on my radar as a one-to-watch sustainable bag company for a few years now. They even made my Sustainable Shopping List for Meghan Markle – Our Next Princess To-Be back in 2018. Just a few great things to expect from your new bag:
- Minimalist design and sustainable vegan materials
- Linings made from recycled plastic bottles
- Bodies made from eco-friendly non-leather material alternative Patina™ which needs no water or pesticides to produce
The Open Air Festival
There is a whole other side to me when all is said and done that shuns the ‘elegant/chic’ pristineness and just wants to roll in a tub of sparkly glitter, don massive pieces of jewellery, wear the brightest of colours and get mud all over myself at a music festival. Which is precisely what I’m advocating here. For the ultimate ethical festival look, I recommend sifting through your local vintage or charity shop as I do quite regularly in London. Look for anything with sequins, bohemian patterns and coloured faux fur. I found these on Rokit but you could also check Beyond Retro and eBay:
When it comes to footwear, I can’t stress this enough: preloved preloved preloved. There is so much to be found on online resale marketplaces like eBay that doesn’t break the bank. Depending on the weather, I’d look for:
Just make sure under the Condition section that Used is checked so that you are sure it’s preloved. I also found some amazing sequin shorts here.
Now for the all-important GLITTER and FACE GEMS. For eco-glitter, it has to be my old friend Glitterlution. They make biodegradable glitter that doesn’t harm the environment and they do heaps of colours. Check them out here.
For face gems, I recommend finding reusable ones as these aren’t biodegradable or recyclable so when you throw them away they’ll probably end up in landfill and take many hundreds of years to break down, polluting the soil around them. We want to avoid that as much as possible! The Gypsy Shrine offers many reusable face gems – they just advise applying eyelash glue/special FX glue to the edges of the jewel when reusing.
And no eco-festival would be complete without the addition of the ultimate good vibes jewel to adorn yourself with from Third Eye Pinecones. Have you heard of them? Let me introduce you. Their motto is “buy a cone, plant a tree”, so every time you purchase a pinecone pendant (pictured above) “your money goes to work right away, not only supporting us as artisans, but also planting a tree via American Forests in areas of the country that have been negatively impacted by logging, wildfire, or pollution”. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on one. Staying true to my blog’s heritage, I, of course, went for pink:
Rhodochrosite is “reputed to be an excellent stone for the heart and relationships, [it] assists in all aspects of giving and receiving love…It is also highly desired for its ability to balance the emotions, and is used by spiritual healers to gently facilitate the processing of trauma and old wounds”. That sounds like something we could all really use right now. Do you believe in the healing power of safe Nature? I do. I believe that what’s on the heart gets steadied by being around and close to Nature that is calm and serene. And what’s on the heart right now is uncertainty, confusion, disappointment – complicated emotions. But by focussing on happier days ahead we can allay some of these fears. I hope our sustainable styling journey has helped you think of better times to come…
In Love&Light, MM XOXO