Friday 31 July 2020

July 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

It’s August and somehow still feels like it should be March. 

Favourite part?

Again, not been a massively exciting month. I feel like I am probably doing better mentally. I’m trying to spend more time outside, more time reading and more time organising things. I’ve even stopped using the Habit app to make sure I do simple things like brush my teeth twice a day! That sounds like such a low bar but it’s good not having to rely on apps to do things like that anymore. I now have a date to move into my new house and I can’t wait for me and my housemates to get in and make it our own. 

I’ve been cooking a bit more, specifically eating lots of rhubarb crumble and trying out different tofu recipes and shoving a load of chopped regrown spring onions on top. These recipes include Chez Jorge’s Crispy Mongolian Tofu (check him out, his food is incredible) as well as just slathering a whole load of BBQ sauce on top. Get you a girl who can do both.

My family and some friends also had a go at making our own pizzas! For his birthday, my dad was given an extension for our BBQ which turns it into a pizza oven (pretty cool, right?) and we had lots of fun rolling out dough, adding toppings and cooking them. I used Applewood Vegan Smoked Cheddar, Viviera ‘Bacon’ Pieces as well as chopped pepper, spring onions and sweetcorn on mine, and it was dee-lish!

I also spent a couple of nights in a caravan on the edge of Brighton with my family (ensuring that we were wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible). We had a super tasty meal at an Indian restaurant at the marina called Malika, played mini golf, and spent lots of time playing Uno with my brother’s ‘extreme’ rules. We also went up the I360 (even if I did panic half way up that it was going to break and we’d fall. Spoiler alert: it didn’t), and I got a vegan Cod and tartare sauce sushi roll from Happy Maki.

I went through all of my clothes, had a sort and an organize, as it had been a while since I’d done so and to make sure that what I have still represents what I wear and like. From that sort out, I am now selling some items on my Depop. Please have a look and if you like one of them I’d love you to have it. I may not wear them anymore, but I want them to be loved again.

This month I’ve been working on a resource document called Fast Fashion 101: Stay Informed and Take Action. It has links to articles on a whole range of issues within ethical and sustainable fashion, including Rana Plaza, greenwashing, colonialism, privilege, and Black Lives Matter, as well as petitions to sign, places to donate and templates for tweets and emails to brands. It also includes podcast, book, documentary, activist and organisation recommendations, brands to support (both secondhand and new) as well as brands to avoid. I know this has already been useful to me as a reference bank, and I hope that it is useful to other people. I am continuing to update and add to it regularly, so if there’s something you think needs including, don’t hesitate to send me a message or comment on this post!

Best read?

If there’s one good thing I’ve experienced through a combination of uni summer break and a pandemic (and being let go from my usual summer job), it’s been having the chance the catch up on books I’ve been meaning to read for ages. During the academic year, I don’t tend to have chance to read books which aren’t linked to my course in some way, so I’m always grateful to have the time to read the books which have been piling up on my shelf. 

The first book I read in July was A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, a retelling of the events of Troy told through the eyes of the women involved. I really like Greek Myth and and ancient history, so hearing stories I’d already heard before from marginalized perspectives was great. Haynes covers a whole mash up of characters – from Cassandra, Clytemnestra and Persephone, to women I’d never heard of before such as Chryseis and Creusa. 

I then read Dark Days by James Baldwin, one of Penguin’s Mini Modern Classics collection. This was a really quick, easy yet still impactful read. I’ve read a couple of James Baldwin’s works now and I love the way he writes. 

Next I read Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi. I’ve been meaning to read this basically since it came out and I was not disappointed. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is such a clear, concise and accessible intersectional feminist text. For anyone who has struggled with the heavy and dense academic articles on the subject, this will help so much. I got my copy at half price from Pluto Press during a sale, so if you aren't able to buy at full price, I’d keep an eye out for more sales or to see if copies are available in your local library. I hope to share my copy with people I know in real life, although they’d have to cope with my highlights and notes! 

I then read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. I got through this so quickly, and I really enjoyed it. The main character was brilliant, and it talks about the increasing rise of Islamophobia in the US and the rest of the Global North since 9/11. 

I am currently nearly halfway through Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. You will have probably heard of this book before. If you haven’t, you’ve probably been living under a rock, or at least without an Internet connection. It has been heavily praised, receiving Best British Book of the Year and Debut Book Award, and for good reason. I have been loving this book so much. The characters are so well written and feel so real. Would highly recommend! 

I would also like to use this section to highlight The Storygraph, which I’ve been using this month as an alternative to GoodReads. For a while, I’ve been trying to distance myself from Amazon as much as possible – choosing to buy elsewhere, shopping small and local, and looking at alternatives for their various services. For me, the main service of Amazon’s that I use is GoodReads. I’ve had an account for nearly six years, and it is such a great tool for documenting what I read and what I want to read. I do so much in other areas to avoid Amazon as much as possible, but GoodReads has been the hardest to ditch – partly because I do love it, and partially because I haven’t found the alternatives. Until I found Storygraph! It’s a platform still in its Beta stages, so is not perfect yet but is brilliant. They’re still looking for feedback and making changes, and some key differences include increased stats on the books you read and an automatic shelf for books you didn’t finish. I am still using GoodReads alongside Storygraph (hey, habits are difficult to break), and I hope to fully switch when the platform is finalised. 

Favourite tunes?

I’ve been loving listening to more ABBA and Britney. Got to have something to have a bop along to.  

Favourite watch?

This month has been a lot of rewatching. After the death of Naya Rivera, I rewatched all of Glee. I think I forgot just how much I love it, how much it comforts me and how much it did in terms of representation for so many people, even if it definitely does have its issues (I did feel a bit ill when they started singing an R Kelly song at one point). 

I have also been rewatching Doctor Who from the revival. Having not watched these episodes in order for some time (most just a couple every now and again), I’d forgotten just how good these episodes are. The Russell T Davies era series are packed full with incredible episode after incredible episode. As much as I love and am grateful for Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor, the more recent episodes on the whole aren’t written as well as the earlier ones. And considering some of these episodes are up to 15 years old, I think they’ve aged quite well. Also Martha Jones is so underappreciated. I’ve said it for years, but seriously. 

Picture credit

But don’t worry, I have also been watching some news shows. For example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I relate to Willow so much), Chewing Gum (about damn time I got round to watching this), and Motherland. 

I’ve watched fewer films this months, but highlights of those include Mamma Mia 2 and BlacKkKlansman (which is now on Netflix at last!).

What did I learn?

I really need my rest. I should section off more time to just sit and read. Just sitting and reading is so valuable. 

What’s happening next month?

Writing more blog posts, reading, going through my stuff before I move. 

What’s been on my mind?

Our sham of a government. Planning blog content, trying to figure out how I’m going to get through the mountain of books I have yet to read, and also trying to figure out how I can best ally people who are more marginalized than myself. I’m trying to learn as much as possible so that I can be of the most use, and that takes a lot of time, but it’s time worth spending. 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

This month I’ve been reading a lot of new (new to me) sustainable bloggers, including Francisca Rockey, Elen (aka Welsh Wanderer) and Abi Christina, among a few others. 

On YouTube, as always Leena Norms and Venetia La Manna have been doing great things.

Favourite post?

I’m actually really happy with my posts recently, and with the posts I’ve got in the works. While I love my other posts, I’m probably going to have to say my Mamma Mia Inspired OOTD, simply because it was so much fun getting dressed up. 

Biggest inspiration?

As mentioned above, I recently found several sustainability bloggers on Twitter and Instagram I’d not seen before. Seeing the amazing work they’re doing gave me a bit of a boost, and made me want to be better and do better. 

Any other favourites?

I’ve been getting back into Pinterest a lot this month. I hadn’t been on it for ages, but after my friend made a collaborative board for our new house, I’ve been adding to my other boards and changing things around. 

And I’d also like to shout out ChipSticks, for always having my back and bringing that salt and vinegar-y goodness to my life. 

I’d also like to highlight that I now have a Ko-Fi page. If you like what I post, have learned anything about sustainability and ethical fashion from my blog or from my other social media platforms (and are able to), I would be so grateful if you would buy me a coffee and help me have the time to continue to write posts, research and help share the word. 

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


  1. You read some absolutely amazingly books this month. I am so excited to get round to Queenie in August. I love wrap ups that feature music, tv etc!! Xxx

    1. I hope you enjoy Queenie as much I am. I'm getting through it pretty quickly!

      Jemima x

  2. It is good that you have been trying to spend more time outside! I have too!