I’ve had a real switch in the last few weeks, quickly changing from a light dabble in cruelty free beauty into full-blown vegan skincare, and from buying clothes from pretty decent brands to only sourcing brands who make garments sustainably and with recycled/100% cotton materials.
I’ve still not learnt the knack of actually buying the clothes however, losing out on a jumpsuit I’d wanted for months and was sat in my basket, slowly going down in the sale and then had extra discount on top, before swiftly going out of stock. Sod’s law, or is it sustainable in disguise? *sustainable for my bank balance more like*
The idea of sustainable fashion stemmed from so many places; firstly the fact I had a wardrobe overflowing with cheap clothes for years, with a few items I always wore and others I bought on a whim. By the age of 19 I hated the fact I’d accumulated all of this stuff and didn’t feel joy, yet kept it because I’d spent money on it.
Another factor was Liv’s post, which I thought was so interesting and honest – whether you blog fashion, beauty, or any topic, having to constantly keep up with trends and have new things to share with an audience can cost, even if thrifted or hand-made, and it all adds up and makes you feel personally and collectively that you have to keep selling things to people in order to make a living and/or stay relevent. I’ve had days when I’ve felt I had nothing to blog because I hadn’t bought anything new, and there was only so many ways to make the same outfit or products look new.
The most recently revelation I guess has been the decision to commit to a lifestyle. I’m vegan, not the best vegan though which I have no problem admitting. I’ve been a hypocritical vegan for years, from eating cheese in the beginning to still owning leather handbags and featuring them on the blog regularly. It’s a big lifestyle change, you can’t do it overnight, and after almost 4 years I’m still learning but society has made it a little easier to manage.
I don’t agree with harming animals, I have no desire to eat animals or their byproduct, I don’t consume dairy so to keep my skin as clear as possible, I don’t like using harsh chemicals on my skin, and I don’t like wearing or purchasing clothes that will go out of style fast or won’t stand the test of time or wear.
I’ve always dreamt of being able to sell my wardrobe and use the money to buy pieces that hare high-quality and good materials, and being an already Frugal Fanny it’s made me focus and research brands more to determine if their ethos and materials are sustainable long-term. I do think that in the UK market there are more brands with sustainable clothes leaning towards casual wear rather than stlyish pieces, but if you look hard enough and are willing to cough up more for key pieces, you can find something pretty wonderful.
High street wise, there’s a few options – H&M has a concious collection which has a mix of basics and really beautiful items, however online ordering is a pain and they don’t organise all the concious pieces in one area of the store which I think would make shopping a lot easier, but what’s shopping without a hunt?
There’s also Monki, who have an amazing ethos when it comes to fashion – all of their denim is 100% recycled cotton, aiming to use all material from sustainable sources by 2020, and they don’t test on animal nor do they allow the use of PVC or rainforest products. They also use recycled wool and polyester, and they have a great range of cotton tops, dresses, and more – if you need to see specifically which items are eco, check the ASOS Eco Edit which lists all the brands and products that come under their specifications.
Speaking of ASOS Eco, you can skip the high-street and shop a lot of brands (fashion and beauty) on their specialised edit, which includes a project between ASOS and Kenya for their Made In Kenya range which is made from fairtrade materials, and items that make a low-impact in carbon and production on our planet.
This little number is a new purchase from Monki; I decided to pop in before an event and knew they had a lot of organic pieces, and landed on two items similar to things I already have yet much more lightweight and breathable. I finally succumbed to cut-out shoulders and this cotton top is crisp, light, the perfect balance of floucy yet fitted, and is 100% organic cotton – score! In fact, double score is that these new-in trousers are also 100% organic cotton, light and crisp again, and have pockets and an elasticated waistband. They truly are perfection, and I’ve worn this outfit daily since.
I feel better now that I’m conciously thinking about where I purchase things and what they contribute to on a larger scale. Maybe it’s getting older, or maybe it’s having more awareness for the world today, but investing in products and pieces that think about more than just fash fashion, trends, and making products as cheap and synthetically long-lasting as possible, makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger, that I’m supporting beliefs that benefit all, and that you really can do more with less sometimes.
Photos by Jaye the Bae
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.