Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Vegan scarves for the chilly seasons

scarf1.jpgIt’s starting to get mighty chilly and one incontrovertible Autumn/Winter must-have item is the neck warming scarf. It’s fairly easy to unearth some wonderfully soft wool, alpaca or cashmere scarves, but for the veggies amongst us we want something animal-free. Whilst it is often believed that animals such as sheep and cashmere goats do no suffer for their coats the reality is frequently quite different, with animals being kept in cramped, unhealthy conditions, being ground up in a mincer if they fall ill, or otherwise killed off at a very young age if their coats aren’t up to scratch. Certain ethical fashion companies may gather animal’s coats in more humane ways, but I’d rather skip an animal coat as a winter warmer. So, I’ve been on a vegan scarf hunt and here are a few of my favourite items, to keep that winter wind at bay.

1) Tanjuv Scarf, chocolate, fairly traded cotton, £11.99,
2) Circle Scarf, pinks/browns or blacks/beiges,100% acrylic, £35.00,
Bourgeois Boheme.
3) Antonia Grey Scarf, 100% acrylic, $19.99,
Alternative Outfitters.
4) Hemp Shawl, black, £19.95,
Ethical Wares.


Nu magazine hits the shelves and showcases ethical fashion

numag.jpgEthical fashionistas no longer need to spend hours combing the internet for fashionable and environmentally sound fashion purchases. Whip out your diaries, because on 24th September the very first issue of nu magazine will be lining the shelves of London's shops. Founded by social entrepreneurs Amisha Miller (22) and Lauren Maleh (24) nu is offering ‘fashion laid bare’ and flying in the face of the mainstream fashion industry, showcasing only the most stylish ethically produced clothes and accessories. It hasn’t come a moment too soon, launching at a time when the world is beginning to wake up to the ethical fashion world and realising that glamorous mainstream garments come at a cost to individuals and the environment.

Nu will be offering up only fair trade, organic, recycle and vintage, UK-produced and cruelty–free products, encouraging consumers to shop ethically whilst acknowledging that people have the right to remain supremely stylish.

Pearl Lowe, ex-Powder front woman turned fashion designer and cover star of the first issue, says:

“I've always been interested in ethical fashion, something that inspired me to create my own line of vintage dresses. It's great to see nu showcasing the very best of ethical fashion, making consumers aware they can be responsible shoppers without comprising on their style. I'll definitely be picking up a copy!”

Nu magazine is funded by UnLtd, a charitable organisation established by leading organisations that promote social entrepreneurship and Miller and Maleh have opted to invest 10% of profits to aid new ethical fashion designers in their bid to break into the UK market.

Hopefully nu magazine will demonstrate how effortlessly stylish and wearable sustainable fashion can be. Hurrah!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Get an ethical coat this Autumn

coat1p.jpgInspired by Elisa’s blog yesterday about Loyale Clothing’s new organic Costilla Coat, I have been on a web based hunt for other ethical coats and jackets. I haven’t found stylish ones so easy to uncover in the past, but the tide has turned and there is now much more on offer. The three coats I have featured are from Adili.com, People Tree and BTC elements. The rather elegant belted mac from Adili is the creation of Brazilian designer, Maria Garcia and is brought to us courtesy of Mumo (an acronym for Muda Moda). Mumo works with established fashion designers from Brazil to develop fair and ethical trading principles along with a sense of responsibility down the supply chain, choosing to focus on this aim rather than promoting fair-trade clothing as high fashion. They believe the key to fair-trade fashion is ameliorating ethical practices within the current industry to reduce poverty in southern countries.

The empire ‘Iris’ waist coat available at BTC Elements, in the centre of the image below, is crafted from a 100% recycled cotton and acrylic blend with vintage fabric trim, by Rebe, a mother daughter team, who incorporate more sustainable fabrics into their collections each season. The coat is made in southern California.

The ‘garbo’ jacket on the far right, from People Tree, is a fair trade item hand-woven in Bangladesh. People Tree, who is constantly setting the ethical fashion scene, has been registered with the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) since 1996 and is an active member of many fair trade, social justice and environmental networks.

1. Mumo Belted Mac – light khaki, £218,
2. Rebe Iris Coat - $196,
BTC Elements.
3. Garbo Jacket – black or grey herringbone,
People Tree.


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Get your vintage glad rags at Frock Me! fashion fair

frockme.jpgIf vintage fashion floats your boat mosey on down to the world’s favourite vintage fashion event, Frock Me! on Sunday 7 October at the Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, London. Approximately 50 specialists will be selling collections of vintage clothing and accessories including hats, shoes, gloves and jewellery alongside modern designer wear. This event attracts fashionistas, stylists, models, fashion students, collectors and costume designers for stage and film. Whatever era piques your interest, Frock me! has something to suit, with clothes ranging from one to several hundred pounds.

Those with a penchant for Burlesque can pick up basques, corsets, fans, feather boas and seamed stockings. One million tonnes of textiles get thrown away each year, so opting vintage is a great way of avoiding unnecessary waste, as well as circumventing the inevitable use of toxic dyes in most new garments. Samaya Ling Vintage Collections will be selling some beautiful fashion items at the October event. Kylie Minogue visited the last Frock Me! fair, so you can also do a bit of celebrity spotting while you are there.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

MADE launches premium range fair trade jewellery

Made%20Boutique%20necklace.jpgMade, retailers of ethical fair trade accessories are launching their new premium fair trade jewellery collection, ‘Made Boutique,’ on 8th October. With their tried and tested formula of enlisting famous designers and celebrities to design for the fair trade jewellery brand, ‘Made Boutique’ will use higher quality, individually hand-made materials to produce bold statement items and limited edition designs. So, if want to be simultaneously ethical, unique and flawlessly stylish, this collection is one worth adorning. Whether you want something delicate, layered and elegant, eye-catching and heavy, or somewhere in between, the first ‘Boutique’ range designed by Pippa Small is perfect for daytime divas and nocturnal knockouts.

HER Designs: Exquisite bags for ethical beauties

HERredbag.jpgFor budding and ethical fashionistas alike, bags are vital accessories that add something extra to a stylish outfit. Finding fantastic, chic, cruelty free and eco-friendly bags is getting ever easier. HER Design contemporary bags by Helen E Riegle are winning over celebrities and the general public alike, combining inspired design with conscious sustainability. HER Design was launched in 2004 with the aim of promoting cleaner, greener living that embraces style. Helen Riegle makes the most of organic and sustainable materials, producing bags with that wow factor, but without leaving a huge imprint on the planet.

It’s clear that innovation is key at HER Designs, with novel materials such as EcoSpun (made from recycled plastic bottles) and Treetap® (“wild rubber,” a sustainably made, fair-trade leather substitute from the Amazon) showing that we don’t have to rely on bog standard run of the mill fabrics.

Here’s a rundown of my top 3 HER Design bags. Relatives and boyfriend note, these are on my Christmas list!

1.’Iris’ - in microsuede with vegan leather trim, $118 (out of stock at HER Designs but available at
2. ‘Lily’ (md) in Linen – in natural, with vegan leather trim and EcoSpun lining, $129.
3. Lily’ (sm) in Organic Cotton – in turquoise, with Treetap®, $69.


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Equa boutique: Ethical Autumn fashion and last minute bargains

equalogo.jpgI am determined to get some last minute sales shopping in as we enter the Autumn/Winter 2007 season. With that in mind I ventured onto Equa boutique’s website and not only have they got some fab new fashions in for the chilly seasons but some great sale offers. Here is a small selection of my favourite items (sale and non-sale). Black is back and hides a multitude of sins, so if you are not a fan of this colour, I apologise for the selection!

Equa sell a range of organic (Soil Association or SKAL certified), fairly traded, fairtrade (Fairtrade Foundation certified), environmentally friendly (using azo-free dyes), UK made (supporting the UK fashion industry and the reduction of greenhouse gases from all those travel miles), recycled (reducing landfill pressure), vegan and hemp (preventing the reliance on heavily irrigated cotton) clothing and accessories. The ethical credentials of products are identified with easy symbols so you know what you are getting.

1) Ciel Striped Tee
, cut from £45 to £20, organic and fairly traded.
2) Matt & Nat Vicious
, £90, fairly traded and vegan.
3) Edun Sage Dole Skin Trousers in Black, £130, fairly traded.
4) Edun Chandelier Tee
, £42.
5) Wildlife Works New Grandpa, cut from £56 to £40, organic and fairly traded.
6) Stewart + Brown Cinch Skirt
, cut from £52 to £45, organic and fairly traded.