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Quitting Fast Fashion: Where to Start

As the climate crisis gets increasingly worse (yes, even with the pandemic), we need to think about how everything we consume affects our e...

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Sustainable OOTD // Rachel Green Inspired

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

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We all know that Friends is super problematic. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the characters in the show serve some serious looks throughout the series. Much of my What To Wear Pinterest board is full of outfits from Friends, with Monica and Rachel being frequent features. They're styles are fun and playful, but can also look pretty cool. I always feel a little bit like Rachel Green whenever I put on a mini skirt and wear my knee high socks, so this outfit is inspired by her. 






Jumper – secondhand fast fashion found on Depop, had nearly 2 years.
Skirt – fast fashion, had over 4 years.
Socks – secondhand fast fashion found on Depop, had over 2 years.
Necklace - not sure where I got this, had since I was a kid.
Earrings - had so long I can’t remember when or where I bought them, wear all the time
Shoes - high street, vegan, had since December 2019 and trying to wear more often.




Photos taken by Jude Crook.


If you liked this post you might like: OOTD // 60s Inspired
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Finding Your Style (and Why It Will Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable)

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

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I have been told several times by several different people that I come across as someone who has a definite style, and I won’t lie, that makes me very happy. I love clothes – they’re such a fun way of expressing yourself and using your creativity. I love wacky patterns, bright bold block colours, dungarees, stripes, turtlenecks, and splashes of red here and there. I have so many items and outfits that include those criteria, and which I can change in various different ways depending on how I’m feeling that day. I also absolutely love fashion from 70s, and to be honest, that’s where a lot of my outfit inspiration comes from. 

 

Finding what kind of clothes I really love, and my personal style, is something I’ve definitely achieved since stepping away from fast fashion. I now have frankly no idea what the current trends are, and clothes adverts don’t really phase me at all, because I know what I want to wear and what I don’t.  

 

I also believe that knowing what your style is, is a great way to slow down your buying habits, and to help that your wardrobe become more sustainable and ethical. Knowing what your style is can help make you more resistant to trends, from buying and wearing clothes you actually don’t particularly even like just because that’s what other people are wearing, and can ensure that you’re wearing outfits that make you feel great about yourself.  And if there’s one thing clothes are supposed to do (apart from the obvious keeping you warm and stopping you from being naked in public) it’s got to be making you feel good about yourself! One of the best feelings is putting together an outfit that makes you feel truly like, well, you. 

 

Having a clear sense of your personal style means that you’re less likely to get rid of the items you have, to proudly repeat outfits more, and to make more definitive and mindful purchases. Like anything, this is a different journey for everyone and of course your sense of style grows and changes as you do, but these are a few tips I’ve found useful and will hopefully be good starting points for you too!


 

Scroll through apps such as Pinterest and Depop

 

These apps are great for figuring out what kind of clothes you love, and your style. Once you’ve pushed past the items that are shoved in your face from the get go, you can find a whole array of clothes in different styles, from different decades and create lots of different looks.

 

I find Depop’s like and save features really useful as a means of seeing if I properly like an item before buying it. I have lots of items I’ve liked, but maybe aren’t quite for me, but still fit the type of clothes I own. To make sure an item is something I actually want to buy, I’ll add it to my saved section, and if I keep thinking of it or going back to it after a certain amount of time (provided it’s not already been bought), I probably do actually want it. 

 

This feature is also useful, as overtime you will have essentially made a virtual moodboard of your style without having to spend a penny!

 

As I’m sure you know, Pinterest works in a very similar way, but it does provide you with more options. You can make multiple different boards for different styles, circumstances, decades, etc., and figure out your favourites without the temptation of being able to buy anything. Again, you’ll need to push through the images that it’ll want to show you initially, but that’s why it’s so useful as a search engine! 


Make a list of people from pop culture (fictional or real) who’s style you love


When looking through films, social media, TV series, basically anywhere where you can physically see what someone is wearing, take note of who’s outfits you love. I don’t know about you, but my internal monologue when watching films and TV regularly goes ‘ooh, I love their top/skirt/jumper/whole outfit’. It’s those moments which have also helped me figure out what kind of clothes I love. 

 

Some of my style icons include Stevie Nicks, Donna Sheridan (from Mamma Mia) and Sally Allbright (from When Harry Met Sally) – two of which I already have OOTD posts inspired by, with the last one planned for October, so keep your eyes peeled! Yes, two of those people are fictional, but do I care? With these three people, I repeatedly think that I love their outfits, or someone I’m watching a film with them in (most likely my mum) will say that they could see me wearing their outfits. As I said in an OOTD post in July, I basically want Donna Sheridan’s entire wardrobe. 

 

I actually bought one of my most worn items – a bright red turtleneck jumper – because of how much I love a very similar item worn by Sally in the When Harry Met Sally. I kept thinking about it, and kept wanting one similar, so decided it was a purchase worth making. 

 

Another film I absolutely loved the outfits in was Misbehaviour, the last film I saw in the cinema before lockdown (I cry). It is a great film and I would highly recommend it to anyone besides the outfits, although the outfits were incredible. I particularly loved Keira Knightley’s outfit in the bathroom scene near the end of the film. There’s nothing I could say about that except give it a chef’s kiss. Is it unfeminist for one of my major takeaways from a film about looking beyond women’s physical appearance to be an admiration of their fashion choices? Nahh…


Misbehaviour


If you’re able to, have wander around your local charity shops


Try things on even if you don’t buy anything, see what catches your eye. So many times I’ve seen something in a charity shop window, and walked straight back to have a look, and either then decided that I didn’t like it as much on closer inspection, or actually gone in and tried it on/bought it. You can find some unique and ‘out there’ items in charity shops, especially if you try a few different areas.

 

Go Through Your Wardrobe

 

As I have recommending before in my post, Quitting Fast Fashion: Where to Start post, there are a few questions I always ask myself when reorganizing my wardrobe:

 

 Have you worn this item in the last year?

 

Have you worn this item at least 30 times?

 

Do you see yourself wearing it another 30 times?

 

Is this item something I don’t wear all the time, but is necessary for certain occasions (more formal, etc.)?

 

I find these situations super useful when determining what clothes I actually use, like, and, ultimately, want to keep. Another useful tip I’ve seen but not personally tried it to put post-it notes on all your clothes, only removing them once you’ve worn that item, and then looking back at how many post-its are left after a certain amount of time (6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc.). By knowing what you already own out of the clothes you already own, you can use that as a means of moving forward and (even though I hate the phrase) leaning into that aesthetic. 

 

Be more mindful when buying clothes in the future


As I seem to say quite often, don’t just buy things for the sake of it, or just as a one off. Make sure you absolutely love an item before you buy it (obvious exceptions include staples such as vest stops, plain shirts, etc.). As your fashion consumption slows down, your wardrobe will better reflect your true style, as it should be items you regularly wear and love! (I know it’s not necessarily always that simple or straightforward, but as I said at the beginning, it’s a starting point). 


 

I hope this has helped in some way! What tips do you have for finding your style?




If you liked this post you might like: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Toiletries

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8 Great Books I Read in Lockdown

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

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The one good thing that has come out of lockdown (for me at least) has been having the time to read books for fun, rather than only because I have to for my uni course. I’ve been able to branch out and find something new, read books that had been on my to-be-read list for a while (some for YEARS), as well as catching up on library books which were due back (although thank god they didn’t charge until mid-August for late returns). If you’ve read my Monthly Wrap Ups this year, it’s likely that you will have seen these books mentioned, although I may not have gone into that much detail, so this is my opportunity to talk about them more. These are the ones I’ve enjoyed the most, or got the most from. They’re not in any particular order, because doing so would take AGES and even then I probably couldn’t think of an order I’d be happy with. I hope you read at least one of these books and love them as much as I do. 


Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi


I honestly wish I could put a copy of this book into the hands of every person in the world. If you want a good introduction to intersectional feminism, this book is by far the best I’ve read. It’s a great starting point, introducing you to a variety of key issues, from reproductive justice to the prison abolition to the links between feminism and food. These issues are explained clearly and concisely, without simplifying any of the issues or being patronizing. Olufemi points her readers to the other places to learn more about these issues, both in the main text itself, but also in a great resource section at the back of the book.



A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes


I heard great things about this book, and was not disappointed when I finally got around to reading it. I loved the wide variety of women’s stories we hear in this book. I already knew a little bit about some of the characters in this book, but I particularly loved reading the stories about the women I’d not heard of before. Some of my favourites were Creusa, Penthesilea, and Briseis and Chryseis. 



Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid


I read this book earlier on in the summer, when I still had a few uni essays to write, and this book was a great way of keeping me grounded and forgetting work when I needed to. I completely got sucked into the world of these characters, and the way they tortured each other psychologically. I got through it super quickly, and simply couldn’t put it down. This novel is structured with a series of interviews with people in the fictional band ‘Six’ and those around them, looking back retrospectively many years after the band have split up. It’s personal, complicated, bitter and heartfelt. If you love the drama behind the scenes of bands like Fleetwood Mac and ABBA (and so many more), you’ll love reading about Daisy Jones & Six. 

 

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams


This book made my heart ache – but in a good way. It covers so many issues in such a good way. It covers the year in the life of protagonist Queenie, which begins with a breakup and a secret miscarriage (this isn’t a spoiler alert as it’s literally on the first few pages), and follows how she copes with these issues and how they spark the decline in her mental health. All the characters are complex, and felt real. It felt like a reassuring hug, a friend pulling up the blinds when you otherwise might have stayed in bed in the dark the whole day. I would urge everyone to read it. 


 

Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth


I ordered my copy of this book when I was halfway through the film adaptation (which I LOVED by the way!). When doing my usual research of films, TV series, etc. that I’m watching (I have a desperate need to know more, and sometimes that does put me in the habit of stumbling across spoilers accidentally), and was astounded to find that the film was based on a true story. I had to know more. I’ve not finished this yet, but I’m slowly working my way through and it is certainly fascinating.



Dark Days by James Baldwin


One of Penguin’s Mini Modern Classics, this is a collection of three essays by the incredible James Baldwin. They focus on racial and class inequalities in America, looking both at overarching societal struggles and personal experiences of Baldwin. Ever since reading Giovanni’s Room, I have absolutely loved James Baldwin’s writing style, and I am going to try and read more of his work (although that may have to wait until after I’ve graduated).  



The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid


I heard Mohsin Hamid speak at my university nearly 2 years ago about his book Exit West, and since then I’ve been meaning to read his most famous book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and when I finally did, I really enjoyed it. The writing style is gripping, and so easy to read. I think I got through it in a couple of days. I loved the character development, and the way it portrays the rise in Islamophobia in America post-9/11. I don’t quite have the words to express it, but I absolutely loved this book and the impacts it had. 

 

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman


I absolutely adore the TV series adaptation of this (I’ve seen it at least four times now), and I got the book not long after my first viewing. Having both read the book and seen the adaptation, I genuinely think the TV series is one of the best book to screen adaptations tht exists, not only in the actual content of the novel, but most importantly in its essence. These characters are brilliant, the narration is hilarious and its honestly so clever. I laughed so much at this book, and I would highly recommend it if you want something light-hearted but still complex.






If you liked this post you might like: Why Saving Libraries is Not Just an Option, It's a Necessity

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5 Online Secondhand Clothes Shops You Need to Follow

Friday, 4 September 2020

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Buying clothes that are ethical and sustainable can be kind of hard, especially with many charity shops not running at full capacity at the moment. Internet shopping, and platforms such as Depop, do a lot to make ethical clothes more accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live near a charity shop or vintage store, or don’t have the time to have a proper browse through one in person.  I love looking through secondhand clothes online, primarily through platforms such as Instagram and Depop, and I love discovering new online shops. So I thought I’d spread the love and share some of my favourite online secondhand shops! All of these sellers are on the platforms mentioned above, and some also have their own separate websites and sell on ASOS Marketplace. 


1. Seasons of Ella


I bought one of my favourite dresses from Ella-Louise (as seen in my Stevie Nicks inspired OOTD post), and her Instagram is one of my favourite accounts. She sells everything from dungarees, snazzy tops, . She regularly features outfits inspired by her favourite fictional characters (from Disney, Harry Potter, etc.), paintings (including Van Gogh’s Starry Night) and different decades, as well as showing multiple different ways to style one item.



2. Sooki Sooki Vintage


I genuinely don’t understand how Sooki Sooki Vintage doesn’t have more followers. They stock clothes from 70s to 90s, with a heavy emphasis on 70s and 70s inspired. Lapoze shares images from 70s, with images that inspire her, as well as the clothes she sells in her shop. Lapoze’s own style really shines through on both her Instagram and her shop. In May she started doing her first IGTVs and I love watching them. She has such an easy camera presence and I can’t wait to see what she does next!  



3. The Hippie Shake


Some of you may know that I am an absolute sucker for a bold pattern, and that’s why I am slightly obsessed with The Hippie Shake. On their Instagram, they share a mixture of photos from both the eras the clothes they sell were made as well as in the modern day. They also have some items they make themselves, with their patterns in maxi dresses, jumpsuits, crop tops and skirts! They do sales on Instagram every Sunday inspired by various fashion icons from the past few decades, including Cher and my queen Stevie Nicks. 

Their items are more expensive than some of the other mentioned on this list, so they may need saving up for, but I still love looking at their grid for outfit inspiration! 



4. Selena’s Shop


Selena sells vintage clothes primarily from 70s-90s as well as some homeware. Her shop includes lots of dresses of different styles, eras and colours, as well some tops, trousers, skirts, and even some shoes and swimwear. I do have to say that my favourite part about Selena’s Shop is the dresses she sells. They’re so varied, with different cuts, styles, eras, colours, patterns – and as I said above, I am here for all the patterns – and are always super bold. Plus, her dog Otis sometimes crashes pictures. Great clothes and dogs? Name a more iconic duo. 



5. Rebekah Peters


I love Rebekah’s outfits. Bright pattern shirts, stripes and a whole of red? What more could you want?! Rebekah makes everything look good, and frankly, I’m slightly in awe of how she does her hair and makeup. But it’s not her hair and makeup we’re here to talk about! Many of the outfits she puts together with her pieces are simple, yet so gorgeous, and she shows how some items can be used in different ways to adapt outfits. Expect to see lots of spots, stripes, monochrome, and as I’ve already said, red! I got one of my favourite pairs of shoes from her shop (my bright patterned boots) - I absolutely adore them and feel like they really express who I am, as well as acting as an easy way to jazz up any outfit. 

She even now has her own line of co-ords called byREBEKAHPETERS, each with different patterns and styles, and I would love to buy one when one in the right style and pattern for me comes out (and I'm able to afford it). 



If you want to check out even more secondhand clothing sellers, I have a longer list on my Fast Fashion 101 resource document, which you can access here. Have I completel left someone out who you think is amazing? Comment their shop and link below and I’ll add them to the resource doc!


If you liked this post you might like: Making Your Jewellery Box More Sustainable: 
Where to Start



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August 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday, 31 August 2020

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Somehow its August? Did summer even happen?!



Favourite part?

 

Dare I say it, August may have been my best full month this year? Okay so I may have just cursed myself, but I feel like some things are on the up. I’ve been writing a lot, mostly blog posts that will be published throughout the year on topics I am passionate about. I’ve been trying to pre-writ things while I have both the time and motivation to, so that I’m less stressed about blog content when uni starts back again and I need to focus on my degree. I have also started writing for The Tab! My first piece was all about how students can be more environmentally friendly, and then my second piece – a critique of the recent Inside Missguided documentary - was featured nationally! Writing nationally was a learning experience I’m very grateful for and it was a proud moment for me. 



I actually left the house a few times this month. I know, absolutely wild! I went for an afternoon in my local town centre with my mum, doing errands, having a browse of markets and local shops, and had lunch in a small cafe. I even went into a charity shop for the first time since March! I had a great time and saw I dress I absolutely loved, but didn’t buy anything as we understandably weren’t allowed to try things on. 

 

I also went for a walk and catch up with a friend I’d not seen since the beginning of January. This was so nice, especially as I’ve not seen many people outside my family for months as I haven’t felt comfortable going on public transport, etc. 

 

Apart from that I’ve been reading a little bit, slowly packing my stuff as I prepare to move house, and spending lots of time with my cat!



Best read?

 

I’ve not read as much in August; I think mostly because I’ve been writing more. However, I have read more of Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth, and I started reading House of Spirits by Isabel Allende for a book club I help run. 


 

I picked up a couple of magazines while I was out and about this month. I don’t get magazines laods, but occasionally some issues catch my eye and I have a rifle through. I picked up copies of both Vogue and Glamour, and found it really interesting how they included articles on topics like masturbation, periods and decolonizing beauty. I have a lot of thoughts on them overall, so watch out for a blog post about them. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is to just sit in bed and read magazines. 



I would also like to highly recommend Annie Kelly’s recent article about sexual abuse in fashion supply chains. It can be difficult to read and is harrowing, but it is so important and needs to be shared.

 

Favourite tunes?


Taylor Swift’s folklore. My queen. She makes me feel things. I’ve also been cracking out my old ABBA playlist again. It’s always a good time for ABBA.


Favourite watch?

 

As usual, I’ve done a fair bit of rewatching this month – notably Good Omens, Outnumbered and Dear White People. Films I rewatched include Bridesmaids and Groundhog Day!

 

I’ve also been watching several new series: Umbrella Academy, Mrs. America and Never Have I Ever. I loved all of these, particularly the last two. They’re so brilliant for so many reasons. Honestly, the Mrs. America title sequence is a serious bop and I may have had a small dance party every time I started a new episode. There’s so much to say about Never Have I Ever (which I’ll expand upon in a later blog post). It’s so well written, so heartfelt and so funny. I’d recommend it to everyone!!


 

What did I learn?

 

I can do things and I am capable. I also figured out something I was asked about in therapy a few months ago, which gave me a bit of a boost. 

 

What’s happening next month?

 

I’m moving back to Newcastle! I’m so excited to have my own space again, to spend more time with my flatmates and friends there, and just all the things that come with moving into a new house. 

 

I have a month between moving into my new house and starting uni, so I’ll be using that time to prep for all the other things I do alongside my course (societies, volunteering, blog, etc.), get myself fully settled in to my new house, and start thinking more about getting back into an academic mindset and some kind of routine. 

 

What’s been on my mind?


Can we not talk about the state of the world for a little bit, thank you. (But also, Oatly you disappointed me god dammit.)

 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

 

I loved Hannah Witton’s Wedding Q&A, especially where she was discussing feminism and weddings. It’s such an interesting discussion to have.

 

Favourite post?

 

August has had a fair amount of blog posts, and I am proud of them. My favourites are We Need to Talk About Privilege and Sustainable Fashion and Why Saving Libraries is a Necessity, Not an Option. They’re both such important discussions to be having and I put a lot of work into both (they’re basically essays). The post about libraries is so personal o me and actually makes me quite emotional as a topic, and I know that topic has the same effect on others too.




Biggest inspiration?


Is it bad to say knowing that I’ll be back in Newcastle soon? It’s been a massive motivator for me. I know I’ll have a new space for a new start, and can hopefully feel less stuck than I have been since moving home for lockdown. 


Any other favourites?

 

I’ve been using up one of my jars of Mindful Bites Dark Chocolate Spread on crumpets and it’s so good, although I do prefer the 'milk' chocolate one. Get me all the chocolatey goodness! Ooh and using dresses as tops! It may seem random, but honestly, this has given me so much joy recently. I have so many new outfits now.


If you liked this post you might like: July 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up
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