Tuesday, 21 February 2012

She Died Of Beauty

I'm always on the look out for new ethical brands and this new find is a particularly exciting one! Erin O'Conner- supermodel and generally huge name in fashion- has collaborated with her friend Kate Halfpenny- a designer and stylist who graduated from Central St. Martins University who has a whole host of achievements under her belt.

They have created a range of T-shirts and bags each with a slogan on that plays on their brand name 'She Died of Beauty'. The whole collection is ethically sourced and organic which of course is fantastic but what is particularly good is that it is by no means the focus of their products. The advertising focus's on the style, the witty slogans and the designers. The fact that the Tee's are ethical is merely an afterthought which I think is the right way to go about sustainable fashion. By not plugging it's sustainability and ethical soundness, it becomes the norm; no longer a novelty purchase but instead something to be constantly expected.

I can't wait to wear one of these! Their bold statements are sure to raise a few eyebrows and invite some questions about the Tee's origins. I think that anyone can wear them as the white T-shirt is probably one of the most versatile items of fashion there is. Will you be buying any of the 'She Died of Beauty' range?
The Tee's have already been spotted on a few celebrities too- it's always good to see people with the power of influence supporting Green Fashion!

Pictures from CocoPerez, Five Five Fabulous, Zimbio. Check out 'She Died of Beauty' here!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Pure London Fashion Trade Show

This Valentines Day I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 'Pure London' Fashion Trade Show. The show showcases the upcoming Autumn/Winter Collections for an absolute multitude of fashion brands. Included in this vast array of beautiful garments were some truly inspiring ethical fashion companies. It was my mission to seek these ethical brands out and see what they had in store for the next season...

My first stop was People Tree where I had the pleasure of seeing their Autumn/Winter collection for a second time. I had already seen the collection a few months ago at their London Headquarters but this second viewing allowed me to take notice of which were the really stand out pieces in the collection. I don't want to give too much away so I will just tell you this- I was immediately drawn to the vibrant colours in both their knitwear and their new dresses. The patterns on key dresses are just exquisite, with fresh, young and bold designs really standing out. I can honestly say that this is the best collection that People Tree have ever produced and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Next, I headed straight over to bibico which was only a few stalls away. I was immediately greeted by Tim, who  was so friendly and welcoming! He ran me through the collection with his colleague piece by piece explaining why each one had made it to the shelf. The colours in the collection reminded me of the English sea in winter time; lots of beautiful greys, wool in its natural state without any dyes and a really relaxed feel encompassed the collection. I also spotted a few cashmere bits which are new to bibico and some green woolen jumpers really caught my eye. I can't wait to see this collection hit the rails!

Next stop was Nancy Dee; I had been looking forward to this one after seeing a sneaky preview of their photo shoot for this collection, and I was not disappointed! Nancy Dee know what they are good at and they know what works so this collection was a real showcase of the best of Nancy Dee's classic designs. The dress from the photoshoot really caught my eye; a little fitted black number with trim on the hips to accentuate those feminine curves. One of the prints that I really loved was a dusky orange colour with beautiful intricate black butterflies scattered all over it. Tamsin and her husband were so excited about the collection with Tamsin wearing one of the beautiful designs herself- it's so good to see such enthusiasm from right at the top!


Visit the websites for Pure London, People Tree, bibico and Nancy Dee
For more photos of the Nancy Dee photo shoot, click here!
What do you think of the new collections?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

This little piggy went to market

Meet my new friend! I bought him yesterday after weeks of deliberating whether I could muster the courage to buy myself (a grown woman) a cuddly toy. Well after a fair amount of persuasion from both my inner child and the lovely shop assistant, we came to the conclusion that as the little piggy was in the 'homewares' section, I was actually buying myself a decoration for my house- not a cuddly toy. I repeat, this piggy is for purely decorative purposes and not for cuddling. I'm not sure I have convinced you...
These knitted animals have to be the most adorable childrens toys around- they are lovely and soft and so incredibly unique- each one is different as they are hand made. I love how textured they are and I love that you can see how much work has gone into each one. Unlike most modern knits, the separate parts (eg. feet and ears) aren't attached by sewing machine, they are properly knitted together resulting a truly hand knitted piece that is well made and durable.

This little piggy began in Njoro, Kenya where woolen animals are hand knitted by rural women. "Fleece is purchased from local farmers and sold to Spinners at a subsidised rate. The Spinners then wash and hand-spin the wool using homemade spinning wheels, fashioned from wood and bicycle tire rims. Each week the Spinners sell the transformed fleece to Kenana Knitters, as wool for a profit. It is washed, moth proofed and dried. Some is kept in the original creams, browns and grays of the local sheep. Natural dyes from plants grown in the rural agricultural area are then used to dye the balance of the wool, adding vibrant depth and creating a variety of shades. Finally, the wool is hand-knit into a  unique Kenana Creation"

So now that I have my piggy, I need your help- my piggy needs a name! I have no idea what to call him/her and I would love your thoughts. Please post your ideas in the comment box below and I'll let you know what I decide! 

To find out more about Kenana Knitter Critter's please click here! And post your name idea's below!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Three Green Dresses

Shopping for that new and unique Green Fashion garment can take a lot of time and really start to test your patience. You rummage with wild fingers and thumbs through rail after rail of second hand clothes; keeping your eyes peeled for that elusive dress/ blouse/ pair of shoes that you know is out there just waiting to be found, just out of sight, just beyond your reach... And just to make things that extra bit tricky, each vintage/charity/second hand boutique files away these mystical items using completely different systems! Some of them co-ordinate by size- you zoop to the rail where surely you will find 'it' but then you are gripped by doubt... What if it has been misplaced? What if that ultimate piece that I am seeking comes up a size larger in that make than normal? What if it comes up a size smaller? The hunt continues... Some boutiques choose aesthetics over functionality and order their clothes by colour- why? Why, I ask you, do they think this pleases the weary women who are seeking 'The One'? Now we have to extend our quest to every single rail in the bloomin' shop!

Well my friends, nay- my comrades- I have found the answer. I have found the answer to all of our struggles; the answer to our tired eyes, our weary bones and our fatigued little feet.

And here it is-

Oxfam has gone (pause for dramatic affect) ... online.

That's right! You heard me! Online! And not only that, but you can use their search engine in a whole multitude of ways to narrow down the selection to find exactly what you want! If you are after a dress specifically and you don't want to be blinded by checkered shirts and mini-skirts, then you can search by which type of garment you require. If you aren't willing to compromise on the fit, then you can just search for the size of your choice. If you want a fifties high waisted dress and don't want to have any eighties shoulder pads glaring at you through your computer screen then you can search by decade. If you only want to look at the high end designer clothes then you can search by brand. If you don't want to spend a fortune then you can search for items under £20. If you only want to look at brand new clothes with the tags still on then you can search by condition. And if you want a seventies, floral print, size 16 dress, in a used but good condition by Linzi- then you can search for just that...

Here are our top picks from within the Green Dress category- because everyone needs One Green Dress in their lives!

Brand New With Tags, Mori Lee, Size 16, Emerald Green Dress, £80.00
Click here to see more information and purchase

Vintage 1960's, Size 18 Green Black and Gold Dress, £24.99
Click here to see more information and purchase

Vintage 1980's, Dellwood, Size 10, Emerald Green and Gold Evening Dress, £45.00
Click here to see more information and purchase

Check out the Oxfam Shop for yourself here and see what gems you can find!
Let us know what you think- post a comment below : )

Friday, 10 February 2012

Too Good To Waste

In our world of over-consumption, waste is a big issue. We buy clothes that we never wear, we use disposable items daily and we throw away bin bags full of food. We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year and the worst part is most of it is still good to eat. Restaurants alone throw away 600,000 tonnes of food every year due to food prep, spoilage and leftovers on plates. We can help to reduce this food waste both in our own homes and when we are out in restaurants.

Too Good To Waste have come up with a solution to reduce the amount of wasted food being sent into our landfills from restaurants. Instead of wasting our leftovers, this yummy food is being sent right into our fridges thanks to 'The Doggy Box'. No- it's not a new invention- it's a rejuvenation, of the old Doggy Bag that is so popular on American soil. The box is a very contemporary looking item made from 100% recycled and biodegradable material that you can take your left over food home in. Once home, you can dispose of it in your compost bin. Even the stickers used to seal up the boxes are made from recycled material so it is sustainable and environmentally friendly too!

It seems to me that the whole concept of asking to take home leftovers is seen in somewhat of a negative light in the UK. It tends to be considered rude to ask for a Doggy Bag here but this is a perception that we need to start changing. Wasting perfectly good food and sending it unnecessarily to landfill is something that we need to be aware of and be trying to reduce in our everyday lives. Reducing food waste is something we can be striving for both at home and when eating out in restaurants.
To prove to you that asking for a Doggy Box for your leftovers isn't something to be sniffed at, there is even a whole host of famous chefs, food critics and restaurants supporting the Doggy Box, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Thomasina Miers and Antony Worrall Thompson. 
Here at One Green Dress, we think the Doggy Box is a great idea! There is nothing worse than having to leave half your plate of food in a lovely restaurant because you are too full to enjoy the whole meal. What do you think about the Doggy Box? Do you think this a good solution to food waste when eating out?

Reducing waste when cooking at home is another way to help stop filling up landfill sites with food. Love Food Hate Waste has many brilliant tips for reducing food waste that also helps you to save money on food bills. They suggest recipes for left overs, suggest realistic portion sizes and explain how best to store your food to keep it fresher for longer. Take a look at their website to see how you can help to cut waste in your kitchen!

Pictures and info from Too Good To Waste and Love Food Hate Waste

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

D.I.Y. Upcycling

Upcycling has to be the most creative and personally satisfying form of Green Fashion we can think of. You can aquire a brand new piece of clothing, tailor made to fit you, at a very minimal cost to both your pocket and the environment. I was perusing the internet the other day and came across a brilliant couple of blogs that link together quite nicely in this area of Green Upcycled Fashion.

Firstly I found CharityShopChic, a brilliant blog that chronicles the upcycling of charity shop buys. The blogger tends to buy clothes in good quality fabrics or beautiful prints that are too big for her so as to provide excess material. We are then shown how she chops them up, sews them back together usually following a pattern, and then, hey-presto! A brand new fabulous garment that fits like a glove, is completely unique and has used up old clothes from a charity shop!
Here are some before and after pictures to give you some idea of what this lovely blog is all about:

This Shirt cost £6.40 from a Goodwill store in San Fransisco. This XXL mens Hawaiian shirt is completely restructured to this gorgeous tropical blouse! Just a few snips and a dab hand on a sewing machine and- voila!

To see how she did it- click here!

This size 16 blouse came from the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Shop and cost £6. In a few simple steps it is transformed into an over-sized vest top- very glamorous!

To see how she did it- click here!

So for the rest of us mere mortals who aren't so handy with a sewing machine, I found this next blog- Wendy Ward. Wendy runs a shop called MiY Workshop in Brighton's North Laines. This is a place where you can hire sewing machines and work spaces to create your fashion masterpieces. Not only that but she also runs daily classes and workshops to teach you how to use the sewing machines, cut fabric and create clothes.

This Workshop is such an innovative idea! It can be hard to find time to get creative in your own home as there is always a million and one other things to be done and many people just don't have the space to set up a sewing machine with the large areas needed to cut cloth. Also, if you are a little rusty on the old Bernina, or haven't ever used one before then this is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill that is both creative and extremely useful! We hope we have inspired you to get creative and start upcyling some of your old clothes to give them a new fabulous  lease of life!

Pictures from Wendy Ward, Gumtree and CharityShopChic

Monday, 6 February 2012

One Green Outfit

Green fashion comes in a huge variety of styles to suit a multitude of tastes but this fact seems to surprise many people. The common opinions hanging over pre-owned or fair trade fashion is that it is dowdy, beige or made from hemp. Well, we are here to show you that this is not the case! Green fashion comes in contemporary, smart and sophisticated designs- it's all about how you put it together. Personally, I like to mix vintage, fair trade and charity shop buys together to create a smart, formal look that is still eclectic and unique. I thought I would just show you all how I have put together some pieces from my Green wardrobe:

I bought all of these items recently apart from the boots which might actually be soldered on to the bottom of my feet! Calf high boots are a staple item in most vintage shops but make sure you check the condition of the leather and re-heel and sole them regularly to keep them in good shape.

The skirt I found recently at the same beautiful vintage shop in Brighton- Starfish. Vintage shops come in all shapes and sizes; the larger ones are great if you fancy a good rummage but if you'd rather do a quick shop then smaller ones like Starfish are very useful as they have a smaller, more selective collection.

My only tips for Charity Shop hunting are make sure that you really do love the item and your not just being enticed by the price. This blazer is an absolute gem! It fits perfectly, is a very modern cut with a gorgeous burnt orange lining and it is originally from a very high quality London store- Arrogant Cat.

When buying second hand clothes I always look for quality pieces but if you fancy getting creative then upcycling is a great way to turn a bargain buy into a unique creation!

Blazer: Oxfam (Brighton), £7.99, Skirt: vintage (Starfish, Brighton), £25.00, Boots: vintage (Starfish, Brighton), £45.00, Earrings: antique (Port Isaac), £25.00, Necklace: fair trade, £3.99

Photography by Rebecca Spuffard

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Fairmined Gold

The Fairtrade Foundation has been doing tremendous work promoting and enabling the sales of Fairtrade products for many years but has now moved even further into Green Fashion. Garments and cotton have long been able to be certified with the Fairtrade label but since February 2011 it has been possible to buy Fairtrade Gold.

It is a well known fact that miners face some of the worst working conditions in the world. Fairtrade and Fairmined standards have introduced measures to ensure the miners working conditions are safer and to keep the surrounding environment safe too. Miners receive a guaranteed minimum price for gold and  develop groups and organisations to gain bargaining power in the gold market. Miners receive a Fairtrade premium payment which is reinvested into the miners workplace and community projects such as child-care facilities. Watch the video below to see some of the miners that will benefit from Fairmined gold and to hear their views.

Although Fairmined Gold has been available for a year, it has not been widely advertised or acknowledged. When receiving jewellery, we agree with the Fairtrade Foundation and believe it's the thought that counts- Fairmined gold shows just that thought. For a list of available stockists, please click here. And remember to only buy gold showing both the Fairtrade and Fairmined labels shown below!

Pictures and video from Element Jewellery and Fairtrade Foundation

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

People Tree

People Tree is one of the most well known Fair Trade fashion brands in the UK today and has been creating beautiful garments for more than 10 years.  Peopletree is accredited by a long list of reputable sources including 'World Fair Trade Organisation', the 'Fairtrade Foundation' and the 'Soil Association' so you know that you are getting a genuine piece of Green Fashion.
People Tree support small scale artisans by designing garments that require hand manufacturing. You will find that their clothes are often hand knitted, hand woven or hand embroidered so that People Tree can employ people instead of machines. Creating their garments by hand results in the added advantage of reducing their carbon footprint by not using electricity. This further benefits the people that create these clothes as manufacturing does not have to take place in cities but can take place in any rural location. Knowing that a piece from the People Tree collection has been created by hand, with a lot of care and time put in, makes each piece feel really unique and special.

My most recent purchases have been a combination from their new Spring Preview collection and from their January Sale. The 'Isabella Pink Crop Cardigan' feels incredible to the touch and looks great with a high-waisted dress- just like the two I bought in the sale! People Tree is an inspiration and we hope they keep on producing beautiful clothes and sticking to their Green principles for many years to come!

Pictures from People Tree