Sunday, 2 December 2018

Ethical fashion - what's the issue & what you can do

As a serious serial-shopper, I have to confess that I don't ever go a whole week without placing an order for new clothes, or popping into a store to pick up a new item. It's an unhealthy habit, and not just for me, but 99% of the time, it's an unhealthy thing for the planet.

Along with half of Britain, I was sucked in to watching Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion's Dirty Secrets on iPlayer, and I was so pleased that I watched it. Before seeing the documentary, I had absolutely no idea that fast fashion had the largest impact on the environment, even more so than cars and beef production. Fast fashion essentially refers to frequent new collections to keep up with catwalk trends, and these collections are produced at high speed and extremely low cost. If you think about your favourite retailers, I'm sure you can confirm that they have bought out more than one new collection per season, whether this is a new celebrity collaboration line or a partnership with another brand.

I'm not really one for having TV shows affect me and my way of thinking, but I was devastated when I saw the effect that fast fashion is having on the countries where the materials and clothes are being produced. It blows my mind that the industry is so caught up with firing out new lines every month, or even more often than this, that the impact on the planet and even more shockingly, other human beings, is not being taken into consideration. For example, in the documentary it shows toxic waste and chemicals being pumped from a factory into a river that is used for not only drinking water, but for bathing as well. Imagine going to wash in water that contains chemicals that can eventually cause medical issues?!

Speaking of water, you'd be absolutely amazed at how many litres of water is used to make one item of clothing! The production of cotton uses so much water that it has in fact dried up an entire sea, isn't that just ridiculous?! For clothes!

It's almost impossible to say that you won't ever shop with the companies who are not sourcing their materials sustainably, as not all of us have the funds to shop with more ethical brands all the time. However, there are definitely things that we can do, and I'm really hoping that the influencer world and fashion blogging industry jumps on board to help push this.

outfit from Missguided, shoes from Boohoo - sustainable clothing haul to come! Sorry I just didn't have any other pics for this post!

Here are some great stores you can shop from if you want to buy from retailers who are trying to be a bit more sustainable, and my top picks from each store:

- Nobody's Child

I've shopped at Nobody's Child a few times before, in fact I bought option 1 of my Graduation dresses from them for only £8 (ironically I didn't actually wear this one and it's still sat in my wardrobe crying to be worn...and after many hints, the boyfriend still hasn't taken me out for a fancy dinner...). They have an insane range of clothes, and as there isn't a huge number of items on the website you can pretty much browse through the whole store in 10 minutes. I couldn't find much on their website directly regarding their sustainability, but there are lots of articles online about them being sustainable. They own their own factories and therefore control all the processes in the production, from the designing to the manufacturing of their clothes. They ensure that all processes are done as sustainably as possible, reducing waste, whilst staying affordable for their customers. I'd love to know a bit more about what they do so I think I'll drop them an email and let you guys know the updates.

I picked out some lovely pieces from their site that I think you guys will love too - how cute is this jumpsuit please?!

Purple Brushed Chunky Stitch High Neck Jumper - £32.00
Red Funnel Neck Split Front Mini Dress - £26.00
Spot Wide Strap Culotte Jumpsuit - £28.00

- H&M’s Conscious collection

I'm pretty sure H&M have had their fair share of bad press, not necessarily on the sustainability front, so it's nice to see that they are taking a step in the right direction when it comes to fast fashion. They launched their Conscious range in April 2018, and began with a range of clothing made from ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste. Although not all of their clothing range is necessarily classed as sustainable, it is clear to see that they are really trying to make a difference by creating this collection of pieces made in a more sustainable way. 

It's not only their sustainable range that H&M are aceing, but they also are one few stores to offer a clothing recycling scheme, where you can drop off clothes and textiles from any brand, in any condition, and you'll be rewarded with a voucher. If i'm not mistaken I believe & Other Stories do something similar, but don't quote me on that.  Below are some things I really want to get my hands on, this coat in particular is gorgeous!

Fine-knit jumper - £17.99
Wool-blend coat - £119.99
Patterned blouse - £14.99

- Lindex

I'd never actually heard of Lindex before I was researching sustainable brands after watching the show, but they have some great pieces, and are really making waves in the sustainable fashion market. They have an entire sustainability report on their work in 2017, which shows amazing stats such as 95% of their cotton comes from more sustainable sources, 55% of their garments are made from more sustainable fabrics, and also 100% of their denim is made with more sustainable production processes. I love these pieces, and I am so tempted to order this sweatshirt, I think it would look gorgeous with a silky midi skirt!

Jumpsuit in Tencel® - £49.99
VERA Skinny High Coated Jeans - £39.99
White Scuba Sweater - £29.99

I hope that this has inspired you to think about shopping from sustainable brands a little more often, not necessarily all the time - or at least think a bit more about what you buy before you buy it. I'd love to hear whether you watched the documentary and what your thoughts were. Has it changed the way that you view shopping?


Monday, 5 November 2018

Muse of London: Chocolate Crusade Treatment*

If you'd have told me in 2013 that a hairdressers would be asking me if I could visit their salon and review their new hair treatments in exchange for a blog post, I'd have probably laughed in your face. However, a few weeks ago, the lovely guys at Muse of London held a celebration for their 5th Birthday, and also to showcase their new colour range called Chocolate Crusade. It was a fabulous evening with a chocolate fountain that I spent the entire night stood next to, chocolate themed cocktails - which were insane, and I left desperate to give my hair a little oomph. The next day, the lovely guys got in touch with me again to ask if I would like to try out one of the new colours, and obviously I said yes.

The whole menu of colours are all named after something chocolate related, from Strawberry Ganache to Cinnamon Salted Caramel, which is such a great selling point for anyone as addicted to chocolate as I am. As my hair is pretty dark anyway, I opted to go for the Dark Chocolate, which is described as an Espresso colour with a high gloss finish - this sounded ideal for me as my hair was still clinging on to my 2014 redness in the ends, I regret wanting to look like bad gal Riri!

The overall treatment time took around an hour and a half, but this includes the 20-30 minutes developing time of the colour, and trust me, it was totally worth it. As I feel that my life is constantly on the go, it was great to actually have the hour and a half to myself, and spent the time catching up on Killing Eve (still disappointed at the ending of that show, not going to lie). During the rinse off of the colour, I had the most insane head massage that I will never forget - it's just the best part of going to the hairdressers, am I right or am I right?!

When my hair had been blow dried (also the best blow dry I have ever had - didn't even feel that it needed straightening after) I was in total shock at how fresh and glossy my hair looked. As someone who has never had a gloss on their hair before, I had no idea what to expect, but I was truly amazed at the result. I did worry a little that it would make my hair look super greasy, but it really didn't. Even if you don't live in London, I would recommend getting a gloss on your hair at your local hairdressers - totally worth it, I've been swishing my hair in everyone's faces since I've had it done. I'm gutted I didn't get a good photo of my hair on the day, as these photos were taken a few weeks after the treatment you can see the gloss has definitely worn away a little.

Muse have definitely restored my faith in hairdressers, and I just know that it will become my new go-to salon as it's so reasonably priced for London, and close enough for me to get to after work. Located on Mortimer Street, Muse of London is perfectly central for those of you who work in London, being only a 10 minute walk from Oxford Circus. They always have great offers on for other treatments, and also offer a variety of beauty treatments too. I'd love to hear if you've ever been to Muse, or if you are tempted by any of the colours on the Chocolate Crusade menu!


Sunday, 5 August 2018

It's time to take care of my skin...for real

If I scrolled through my blog, holding a shot glass and a bottle of Vodka, and took a shot every time I mentioned in a blog post that I was going to start really looking after my skin, I'd be drunk....very drunk. But this time, I really mean it, mainly because I have found some products that I just bloody love using. 

When I was on my Thomas Cook flight at the start of the month, I was browsing through the on-board duty free magazine, as you do, and spotted a Clinique Moisture Surge kit for something super cheap like £36. I'd decided before the plane had even left the runway that I was going to be making a purchase, along with the Emma Hardy Cleansing Balm which they had on offer too. My decision was set in stone when the flight attendant announced that everything in the in-flight magazine was an extra 20% off too! I therefore paid just under £30 for this set, which includes the Moisture Surge Cream, the Moisture Surge Hydrating Mist, and the All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (which was amazing post-flight!)

I have to say, the cream feels super luxurious to use. I would describe it as more like a gel, and my skin feels insanely plump after using this, and I can honestly say when I put this on in the evenings, I wake up in the morning with naturally dewy skin, and you can just tell it is super hydrated. It's not an 'oily-dew' (if that even makes sense), but just a gorgeous radiance. I'm praying that this cream lasts me ages, as the full size is over £30 on its own *cries*. 

In this hot weather, the moisturising mist has been an absolute life saver. When I'm feeling a little hot and sticky, I've been spraying this on my face and it's an absolute dream - definitely not what it is intended for though. During the day, if your skin is feeling a little tight and dry, the spray is meant to help hydrate the skin, making it perfect for commuters and people on the go (I don't know about anyone else, but commuting has really taken its toll on my skin!).

I do have to say though, my absolute favourite thing in the box was the All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage. It comes in one of those pen-like tubes with a metal ball at the end to help with the de-puffing of eyes. I suffer with ridiculous dark circles, its a hereditary thing so nothing really helps, but I find that when I am tired they are obviously made ten times worse. Using anything cooling under the eyes, I find, really helps, and using this in the morning has been helping me to wake up before my travel into work.

Have you guys tried any of the Moisture Surge range? There was such a huge hype about it a few months ago, with loads of huge bloggers going on a trip with Clinique for the range, and I guess I was sucked in by the good price and vlogs! 

*This post contains affiliate links*


Sunday, 29 July 2018

The pink dress of dreams and my fear of wearing dresses

Despite the fact I am typing this whilst sat in the car watching the rain pour onto the windscreen, the weather recently has been ridiculously hot. Me being a massive winter baby, I had no summer clothes (appropriate for the UK), so took it upon myself to do a cheeky ASOS haul of some pretty pieces to keep me cool in the heat, and this dress was one of them.

I won't lie, I find the concept of wearing dresses in the heat, especially in London, a little daunting. Why? I hear you ask. Well - chub-rub is the reason. A few weeks ago my Mum was telling me about a conversation she had had with one of her friends about chaffing, and how she never even knew this was a thing - I was shocked that she'd never even heard anyone talking about it before. Pretty much everyone I know is affected by chaffing, even some of my more petite friends. Although of course if you have chunkier thighs, like myself, we do tend to get it a little worse. I think all of us who suffer with chub-rub in Summer can confirm it is the most uncomfortable and painful feeling, and you just want to waddle instead of walk. Thankfully, it seems like chaffing is now being recognised by a lot of high-street retailers and online stores, such as Pretty Little Thing, who have now bought out bands to put on your thighs when you are wearing dresses, and you won't be bothered by chaffing anymore. 

Back to this dress anyway, after that little detour! It's a super light linen-y material, which means it creases so bad - as you can see from the photos, but me having to get out an iron to wear this dress is so worth it. With it being so light, it is a tiny bit sheer, so I would recommend nude underwear with this one. 

I'm such a fan of anything off-shoulder, I find it is super flattering on me, and my neck/chest area is one of my favourite parts of myself, is that weird?  I hope that this style sticks around for a lot longer! With it being a more skater-style dress also, it is perfect for those Summer dinners out, or cocktails with the girls, when you are definitely going to be needing something to hide the bloat.

I would recommend perhaps sizing up in this dress if you have slightly larger boobs, or don't want it to cling to you too much, as there really is no stretch in the material at all. 

Please tell me I am not the only one with this ridiculous fear of wearing dresses in Summer, and let me know your top anti-chaffing tips in the comments, help a girl out!

Dress: ASOS


Monday, 23 July 2018

They call it mellow yellow

...or not so mellow in the case of these trousers. (I couldn’t not title this post this way, despite the odd reasons behind the song...). Is anyone else feeling the yellow vibes recently? Since I bought my Mustard dress from Miss Selfridge (I'm talking about this one), I've been on the hunt for anything and everything yellow. I feel like it really flatters darker skin tones, and is a colour that most people would probably shy away from since it can be quite garish and loud. Well, not me, throw all the yellow my way please!

These trousers were especially bought for my holiday, and I was planning to shoot them on the beach in Majorca, but 1) they arrived and are actually quite thick, so the thought of walking 15 minutes to the beach in 30 degrees was not for me, and 2) I have the most uncooperative Insta boyfriend, who quite frankly just wanted to lay about doing nothing when I wanted my pictures taken. It worked in my favour though, as Covent Garden was a much more colourful location, although not half as picturesque I have to admit.

The top I paired these with is actually a little one shoulder number, a style which I am loving at the moment. In terms of shoes, when I was on holiday I paired this outfit with my espadrille wedges, but traipsing around London in those didn't seem a good idea, nor a very comfortable one, so I opted for my trusty Vans, which definitely turned this into a more edgy outfit. 

I don't know about you, but this summer has given me this huge urge to change things up, branch out in terms of my style, and do new things. You would not have seen me dead in yellow a few years ago, yet here I am typing this post with bright yellow Gel on my nails and toes. It seems super silly that wearing one new colour can feel like such a change, but honestly, if I hadn't picked up that yellow dress a few months ago, I'd still be wearing black almost everyday of my life. 

If anyone has seen any gorgeous yellow clothes anywhere please hit me up, and also, let me know what your colour of the summer has been!

Trousers: Missy Empire
Shoes: ASOS*

*This post contains affiliate links*

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