Well...it has been just under a month since lent finished. The #wearyourwardrobe challenge is now officially over, but not much has really changed. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement, especially to the amazing ladies across the world that joined me during lent (you rock!). I had countless messages and emails from people with links to articles and campaigns that I was inspired by and hope that you were also challenged as you read my posts about the issues behind the challenge. I've become used to not really buying new clothes (although I did buy some Birkenstock sandals for going to Italy but they're so long-lasting and made ethically) and am still going to raise awareness of Stop The Traffik's campaign against the Sumangali Scheme. I'm even considering hosting a clothing swap, which STT are encouraging and have great new resources available for advice on setting one up. I have also set up an instagram shop (@guinearowthrift - GET INVOLVED) with some of my vintage clothes (and super-cute childrenswear) that I'm selling off to make room for the delights I picked up in a second-hand shop in Rome. I'll update it from time-to-time with different bits and bobs.
One of the greatest things about blogging and highlighting specific issues are the people you end up meeting online and build connections with. Many of the people behind the blogs/instagrams that I follow and interact with regularly feel like pals now, even though we may never physically meet. It's funny, that - but also just how life is now for most of us. I love engaging with other like-minded bloggers who use their online platforms to be creative, to challenge and to be vulnerable.
I want to find a way to keep the ethical fashion thread as a big part of what I yabber on about on my blog (that ok?) and thought it might be cool for you to meet some of my blog-mates who are also keen advocates for stylish, savvy, earth & people-friendly fashion.
So today, I want to introduce you to Wendy, from blog Moral Fibres. Wendy is a Scottish gal, and a guru on so many aspects of ethical living. Moral Fibres is jam-packed full of advice, DIY's, lifestyle & parenting tips about eco-living and never makes you feel like being ethical means you have to miss out on being modern or stylish. It is a delight to read and has become one of my favourite blogs to pour over regularly.
Wendy has kindly agreed to let me interview her about her thoughts and tips on ethical fashion as well as show off some of her all-time fav gladrags!
First off, tell us about Moral Fibres - why did you start it? - what are you learning from it/highlights so far?
I started Moral Fibres in February 2013. Our house was full with so many toys and all of the things we had accumulated from the first year of our daughter’s life. I started thinking there must be a way to live more simply and more eco-friendly as some of her plastic toys will be around longer than we will ever be.
I turned to the internet and started looking for some green living blogs for inspiration on living a bit more green-minded, but could only seem to come across ones that promoted the traditional treehugger image of green living. I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and thought why not create my own blog about living a stylish life sustainably.
I have an academic and work background in sustainability so I thought the blog would be a good place to share my knowledge on the things I know, and share my experiences in trying out the things I don’t but want to learn, such as reducing my food waste.
Although I do have a background in sustainability, I don’t know it all so every day I blog I’m generally learning something new - be it from tips that readers have shared, to information I’ve researched for the blog posts, or about blogging or the internet.
My highlights are when readers get in touch to tell me they learned something new that they’re putting into practice, or that they’re inspired to give some of my green tips a go.
How would you describe your style or what kind of looks you are attracted to?
I’m quite girly - I like dresses and skirts, and love quirky or floral prints. I’m a big fan of colour so make sure I’m wearing at least one bright thing!
What first put you on to the notion of buying ethically when it came to your clothes?
I’ll admit that I only started thinking about buying ethically relatively recently, when I first became aware of the existence of sweatshops and child labour. I guess I hadn’t really thought about it as I’ve mainly bought my clothes secondhand for most of my adult life I first started buying secondhand clothes as a student because it was cheap, and that set me up in good stead as now when I need something the first place I always check is eBay. About 80% of my wardrobe is comprised of secondhand finds - either eBay or charity shops.
How do you shop? Do you have something in mind and then search it out, or do you mostly just have a nosey and go from there?
I don’t shop very often - I don’t actually enjoy it - especially less so now I’ve got a toddler in tow who hates shopping more than I do! When I need something I generally curl up on the sofa with my laptop and browse eBay. As I’ve got older I know what suits me and what doesn’t; what brands I like and what ones I don’t; so I generally have a very specific idea of what I’m looking for.
Where is your favourite place to shop (physically/online) for clothes and why?
As you can see, I really love online shopping on eBay. I can generally find exactly what I’m looking for and as it’s secondhand it has a lower monetary and environmental cost. There are also loads of great online ethical clothes shops, such as People Tree, ASOS Green Room, and more that produce gorgeous ethical clothing. Physically I’m liking M&S more and more these days (something to do with getting older maybe?!). They seem to be doing a fair amount, environment wise, and their clothes tend to be good quality and do last a long time. And some of their stuff is actually quite stylish too.
What's hard about buying clothes with a conscience?
It can be hard knowing where to start. Sadly there is a fair bit of greenwash about and it can be hard to know exactly which retailers are ethical, and which ones are just fobbing us off with vague woolly statements.
Finally, go on...show us your favourite ethical outfit/finds/pieces & tell us about it/them!
This black dress is a Jaeger charity shop find - only £6.99. I absolutely love it to pieces. It’s such a multi-tasker - I can wear it out at night or to work, or quite casually and it always looks great. The silk scarf is also a charity shop find - just 99p. I adore the colour.
This yellow dress is an eBay find - only 99p! I paid about triple that in postage, but I love it and wear it all the time. It’s the perfect shape for me!
I hope you do check out all of Wendy's awesome blog & if you would like to share your thoughts and favourite tips on ethical fashion, get in touch!