Monday, 28 May 2012


Two weeks ago, in Brighton, it was cold- fact. It was cold and it was rainy and it was miserable- also fact. So when I packed up some clothes to visit family for a while, all I brought with me was jeans, jumpers and my faithful old cowboy boots. Who could blame me? I was preparing for what had been forecast as one of the coldest months of May we had ever seen. And then this happened: 27 degree madness!

Now, I love my beautiful vintage cowboy booties, but as practical as they usually are for our regular English weather, in this heat they are the last things I want on my feet. So I had to make a very hasty plan. As you know, I only like to buy ethical clothes and finding ethical shoes is quite tricky at the best of times. Trying to find a pair of ethical summer shoes before my feet fell off, left me with about an hour to complete my quest.

I was racking my brains trying to think of vintage shops in Exeter- nope couldn't think of any. Charity shops? Not any within an hour of where we were as far I could tell (being quite new to the area). And then it hit me- TOMS.

TOMS has become a fashion staple for trendy feet of all ages in the UK and elsewhere. This is great news for a company with such great ethical foundations but as brands become more popular; there ethical roots can sometime be forgotten. So, to remind you all, TOMS is a fantastic shoe brand that sells shoes on a 'One for One' basis: when one pair is sold; one pair is given to a child in need. This is how they decide how to give the shoes:

  • Identify Communities That Need Shoes
    Together, we find communities that will benefit most from TOMS shoes due to economic, health and educational needs, and where local businesses will not be negatively affected.
  • Give Shoes That Fit
    Our Giving Partners order the sizes children in their community need. We make the shoes to order to ensure children are given new shoes that fit them. Learn more about the Giving Pair here.
  • Help Our Shoes Have a Bigger Impact
    Children who are given TOMS shoes receive them as part of larger health and education programs run by our Giving Partners. These programs help children get the care and opportunity they need to keep them healthy and in school.
  • Give Children Shoes As They Grow
    Children grow fast! TOMS works to give shoes to children in need throughout their childhood. Once we identify a community that needs shoes, we continue to give to the children in that community to help them stay healthy and in school.
  • Provide Feedback and Help Us Improve
    We rely on our incredible Giving Partners to provide feedback on shoesí fit and durability, the giving process and the needs of the community ñ allowing us to continually improve.

You can find out more about how, when and where TOMS give out their shoes to children in need on their very informative website that prides itself on its ethical transparency. Its so refreshing to find lots of information on a company's ethics, freely available to the the consumer. 

I am slowly falling in love with my TOMS; they are the perfect ethical summer shoe and according to friends of mine who have had them for a long time, they wear very well. I was advised to buy them in a size too small as they tend to stretch quite a lot after you have worn them for a while. I was skeptical at first and just found that I had purchased a pair of very tight shoes that were rubbing; but after a couple of days, they stretched and now they are extremely comfortable! Thankfully, these shoes will be replacing my cowboy boots over the next few months; much more practical for this balmy weather- enjoy the sunshine everyone!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Good News!!

Good news is nice, so I thought I would share some with you today. One Green Dress has been picked by Komodo Fashion as one of their Top Ten Fashion Blogs! I think this is a huge acheivement especially considering that they weren't looking for ethical fashion blogs, but were instead trying to pick just ten blogs from the sea of fashion blogs that swamp the internet.

This is also rather a personal honour as Komodo are one of my favourite ethical fashion brands. I have known about Komodo for a while now but only recently developed such a respect  for their company. In February of this year, I attended Pure London Trade Show and saw Komodo's coming Autumn/Winter collection. Needless to say, I was incredibly inmpressed.

Komodo have evolved from a company selling young and flimsy garments, with a rather hippy edge, that may have screamed ethical a little too much; to a sophisticated, contemporary and sleek look thats screams nothing but quality. What I was so impressed with, seeing the clothes up close and personal, was not only their new grown up and thouroughly modern designs, but the quality of the fabrics used in the garments.

Komodo have gone beyond the norm of ethical fashion brands who just use organic cotton and have instead been working with new eco-fabrics to add a huge variety of texture to their garments. When I saw the collection, I was so impressed with the variety of textures and Tencel in particular. Tencel is a thick, heavy fabric that feels a lot like suede and adds a grown up feel of quality to any garment that uses it. It's so unique that it really grabs your attention! I was also extremely impressed by Komodo's use of embroidery to add texture and depth to their clothes. Komodo is truly a forward thinking, innovative and beautiful ethical fashion label!

All images from Komodo

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Power of Nettles

After perusing the green corners of the internet this morning, I came across a new eco-blog called ECObloggerNL. The blogger had been to a 'Pressday' run by a PR agency and had come across some new ethical fashion collections including this one from Netl. Netl is an innovative eco brand with a new collection coming out this winter. The collection is stunningly stylish with simple cuts in bright but wearable colours and woven with beautiful fabrics. Believe it or not, they make their clothes from stinging nettles! Nettles can grow in rainy climates like England and as they are weeds they grow thick and fast with little need for pesticides. Nettle fibre is strong, soft and 30-50% lighter than cotton. The nettle is processed in Europe using human friendly and environmentally friendly processes.

Interestingly, nettle was being used to make clothes 5,500 years ago and all the way up until the 19th century. When cotton was introduced to Europe, it was found to be a cheaper and easier alternative and so the use of nettle in the clothing industry came to an end. In the last 20 years it has regained popularity as new improved techniques in processing the nettle have been discovered and it has come to be seen as a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to the damaging cotton industry.

I particularly liked this quote from the website: "Do you like to buy fast fashion? Lots of it, often and cheap? Shop till you drop? Does it not bother you where your clothes come from, how they are made, where and by whom? Then you have come to the wrong place. We love our craft. We love quality and beautiful, timeless items that will last long after yesterday’s fashions have been put out with the trash."

I can't wait for this collection to come on sale; I will definitely be buying some of these classic yet unique knits and am sure to be found bragging about their unconventional source! I am especially excited to find out what this fabric feels like as in the pictures it looks extremely fine and soft... However, if you see me carrying around bunches of dock leaves, you'll know why!

Pictures from ECObloggerNL and CreamPR and Perscentrummode

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Vivienne VS Climate Change

Vivienne Westwood; punk, fashion designer, icon and environmental campaigner. Just a few of the many achievements under Dame Vivienne Westwood's very fashionable belt. Never one to sit still, Westwood has begun yet another campaign using her power and influence in the fashion world to support important green and political issues. This time she has joined forces with the Environmental Justice Foundation creating a line of organic cotton tee shirts with a carbon footprint 90% lower than your average top.

Westwood says: " support of the Environmental Justice Foundation’s (EJF) ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign for climate refugees. The t-shirts I designed, seen in the show, support the campaign to raise awareness of the plight of people who have been forced from their homes and land due to the increasing and intensifying impact of climate change. This can happen through violent calamity, but also and often people are forced into a decision to move because their land is no longer habitable. EJF believes that climate change is one of the most profound threats to people’s rights to life, food, health, water and shelter. Unlike the 10 million refugees recognized by the UN Refugee Agency, these people currently have no legal status or protection. EJF is calling for urgent international action to provide them with legal recognition, assistance and protection." 

The Video below shows a short introduction to what EJF does; please go to their website here and take a further look, especially at the articles about cotton consumption. Awareness of these issues are so important and the articles help to explain why choosing ethical and organic fashion is so important to our world. EJF is a great cause and these t-shirts are a great way to get behind them!

Pictures: Vivienne and co. can be found here, t-shirt design can be found here