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Watch Your Footprint!

December 16th, 2013

No one really likes to leave a messy footprint behind and for many the environmental footprint left by the clothes and shoes that they wear is getting more and more important. Fashion has a huge impact on the environment and on the lives of those working the supply chain but there are now many more eco friendly choices out there to choose from. One high street and online retailer in the UK that offers some eco friendly shoe choices is Jones Bootmaker.

Here are some of the shoe brands that we loving for both their style and minimalistic (environmental) footprint!

Timberland is definitely up there with best in terms of innovative design. The Timberland Earthkeepers collection is made from sustainable materials included recycled PET (that’s plastic drink bottles!) and organic materials. Did you know that the use of recycled materials in Timberland products has already saved more 75 million plastic bottles from landfill? Their innovative fabrics ensure that looking after the environment does not mean compromising on performance or comfort of their shoes. The Timberland Earthkeeper collection represents their most eco friendly product line and is also their fastest growing line.

Pikolinos is  a Spanish brand making beautiful shoes with great attention to detail. The brand manages the tanning of its leather in house to ensure that manage to ensure the high quality that is synonomous with the brand.

Clarks shoes are showing their commitment to the environment by ensuring that the leather used to make their shoes does not come from cattle that has been raised in the Amazon Biome. They also work with the Leather Working Group to promote a strategy for zero deforestation of the rain forests. The Leather Working Group also assesses tanneries to ensure sustainable practices in the footwear sector.

What do you think of these brands? are you concerned about the footprint of your clothes and shoes?

Shoes for Autumn and Winter

October 19th, 2013

We have put together a list of our top five shoes for autumn and winter based on not only how fabulous they look but also for their ethical manufacture and sustainability.

First up is this lovely pair of metallic slip ons. They are the perfect way to jazz up an outfit for daytime or evening. The metallic colour goes with practically everything. The shoes are made by Clarks a brand that shows commitment to both ethical and sustainable manufacture. Their leather is sourced from areas that do not contribute to deforestation in the Amazon and their factories are monitored to ensure ethical production. Clarks also support a number of charities.

These Timberland boots are a great choice for weekends and casual outfits. We also think they are a great way of dressing down a cute floral dress when worn with a pair of thick tights. Timberland are another socially responsible brand.You can check out the link to find out more about their Earthkeepers range with which they are innovating and using recycled materials.

Panama Jackis a fab brand that makes its shoes in Spain. This style features a  cosy lining that will keep your feet super toast and warm. It his great for wearing with both skinny jeans and jumper dresses with tights.

If you are looking for a smarter shoe to wear with a troucer suit for work, these boots tick all of the boxes. Comfy, stylish and with a medium heel to elogate the legs, they make a great choice. Pikolinos are brand that is commited to protecting the environment. Their shoes are made by artisans in Spain.

London Fashion Week - What’s Your Style?

October 1st, 2013

Sustainable Fashion - What’s Your Style?

We wanted to share this London Fashion Week video by Style is… which really makes us think about why we love fashion and what our own unique style is.

The video was created by Natalja Safronova

Beautiful Bags for Autumn

September 5th, 2013

Although I love the summer for its lovely weather and sunshine, I equally love autumn for its snuggly clothes, warm colours and comforting food. This autumn, I am on the lookout for a new handbag to complement my neutral autumn wardrobe and can’t quite make up my mind whether to opt for something to add a splash of colour for those dark and dreary days or something in a tan or brown colour, as a great investment piece that will go with just about everything. Here are just a few of the handbags that I have been checking out.

The fabulous embellishment on this bag add a little glamour while still being a great style for everyday use. The bag is by the French brand DDP which is known for its quality and sophisticated style!

I am a big fan of the brand, Dream in Green not only because their bags have great timeless style but also because of their sustainable approach. All of the Dream in Green products are made from natural and recyclable materials including vegetable tanned leather. They are also ethically made in Europe.

Skunkfunk is another brand that I love, not just for their fresh and funky style but also their sustainable stance. Their clothes and bags are made from eco friendly materials which include recycled polyester and organic cotton. This handy little bag would be the perfect addition to a casual outfit and would definitely add some colour to my autumn wardrobe.

For a real style statement, I really love this Desigual Bag. It striking and really eye catching but also quite neutral in colour so would look amazing with so many of my autumn outfits. I especially love the cute tassel detail on it which gives it a boho feel.

What do you think, which bag will you be carrying this autumn?

Back to School Style Essentials

September 5th, 2013

If you’re heading back to school in a matter of weeks, you’re probably experiencing a mix of excitement and dread. A New Year means a new chapter - a fresh start with new notebooks, new pens and possibly new class mates – but school is school, which means work and time spent in the same room as many people we don’t really like.

Before you head back to class however, how about giving yourself a pick-me-up with a pre-term shopping trip? Here’s a look at this season’s style essentials to work in the classroom, as long as your uniform policy allows it…

Statement backpack

Clutching your school books by your chest may now be the norm, but it’s not a very practical way to get your gear from class to class – and is usually only done because the thought of a ‘school bag’ is underwhelming. Pretty patterned rucksacks are huge this season though, so now you can make fashion statement with your book bag and save your posture. Look out for floral, Aztec and animal prints or go bold with a neon colour block design.

Neon satchel

If backpacks/rucksacks aren’t your thing, the satchel is another stylish way to carry your school supplies. Forget frumpy navy blue or black options, this season it’s all about bright coloured leather! See if you can get away with a neon design, though it might distract a few fellow fashionistas from their studies… Neon yellow, orange, pink and lime are the colours you can expect to find on the high street.

Statement headphones

Whether you’re listening to Gaga in your lunch break or tuning into Radio 1 on the bus ride home, MP3 players have become a must-have high school accessory. If you want to treat yourself to a music related style purchase, look out for this summer’s range of funky (and chunky) patterned headphones and novelty earphones. Have a quick browse online and you’ll find everything from moustache motifs to dazzling diamante!

Wedge court shoes

Can’t get away with heels at school? Opt for a cheeky wedge shoe instead – with low, mid and high-heel options available, wedges have been a firm favourite this summer and now autumn/winter appropriate choices have started hitting the shops too. Cutaway wedge boots and delicate suede and leather wedge court shoes are big on the agenda, giving you that added height without the ‘clip-clop’ and discomfort of a heel. Now school footwear can be practical and elegant. No more dreary lace-up designs.

Hi-top trainers

When it comes to school sports, PE lessons are never great for the ego. Give yourself a helping hand in the games style stakes though and switch clumpy white daps for some of this season’s hi-top trainers. Take a look at the array at New Look for example, it’s never been easier to style Sports Luxe in the games hall! Hi-tops come in the recognisable lace-up designs reminiscent of Converse or more urban Velcro styles with bright neon details and perhaps a small wedge platform.

Boots for Autumn by Dream in Green

August 24th, 2013

We all know how unpredictable autumn and winter weather can be in the UK. A solid and stylish pair of boots is often the most practical footwear and you can find a great pair of boots to go with almost any outfit from ankle boots for work wear to biker boots for the weekend. One brand that we love, with a great selection of boots for autumn and winter is Dream in Green. Dream in Green are a brand that is dedicated to creating beautiful, comfortable and stylish shoes but they are also committed to preserving the environment, hence the ‘green’ in their name. The leather used to make Dream in Green is tanned using vegetable tans which is a much more eco friendly alternative than the toxic tans used for conventional leather.

Here are out top 5 boots for winter by Dream in Green

Great for wearing with tights and dresses, these wedge boots are really comfortable and easy to wear. We particularly love the quirky collar style.

These casual boots would look good with a range of different outfits from sweater dresses to skinny jean.

These (faux) fur topped boots are a great way to add a little luxury and glamour to everyday!

These Dream in Green boots are perfect for a boho look. Wear with washed out floral print dress or blue jeans for a very stylish casual outfit.

Long riding style boots never really go out of fashion. These brown boots are really versatile and would look great with mid or short lengths if skirt. They will also keep your feet toasty warm and dry.

Wear your boots with chunky knit socks or thick opaque socks for an on trend look for autumn and winter.

Your Autumn Work Wardrobe

August 9th, 2013

You’ve been enjoying the glory of summer and wearing your favourite bold brights to work to inject that bit of sunshine into your working day too. But now, autumn is on its way and this brings cooler days and a whole new palette of colours. There’s no need to say goodbye to summer colour completely but enjoy what the new season has to offer too with new colours and clever layers.

Which colours are on trend for autumn?

Of course before looking at the hottest colours of the season, we cannot forget the classic autumnal shades that we all associate with autumn – these will never be far from our minds during the season. Oranges, browns, burgundies, olive greens and greys are all colours that will be forever part of autumn and they inevitably find their way into our wardrobe whether it’s clothing, new shades of make up or great accessories. High end designers agreed with plenty of the classic autumn shades but added a few unexpected bold brights too. Gucci showcased deep wine, burnt orange and olive shades while Carven continued the trend for pastel pretties with ice blue and pale pinks. Showcasing the colourful bright shades were Chanel and Diane von Furstenberg with cobalt blue and purple and Bottega Veneta with show-stopping yellow.

Dresses

Dresses are great for work whatever the season and there are plenty that you may been wearing for summer that will comfortably see you into autumn so don’t put them away for the season just yet. The gorgeous Blossom Print Tulip Wrap Dress from Bonmarché is a great example of something that is trans-seasonal. In summer enjoy with nothing more than a pair of wedges and a pretty necklace. By autumn, they’ll comfortably carry off a pair of complementary coloured tights and heels, paired with a simple cardigan or tailored jacket for a completely new look.

The same goes for maxi dresses. We’ve all been wearing these through summer but they’re not restricted to holidays or days at the beach. These ankle skimming dresses look great with a neat jacket, simple scarf and boots for a cooler seasonal approach so get creative.

Trousers

Cropped trousers have been on trend throughout the summer and neat Capri style trousers are just the ticket for autumn too. Pair them with kitten heels or ballerina pumps for a fresh look and if the temperature is dipping, then add a pair of natural pop socks if you need to. Top off your trousers with a chic knit such as the Crisp Sequin Stripe Cardigan from Bonmarché, or a fitted jacket for a more formal look.

If you’re a fan of wide legs these look great for autumn too but add heels if you’re anything but Amazonian as they can have the effect of making you look shorter if you’re not careful. Pair with a jersey top or elegant coloured blouse to keep that summer feeling in your look.

Pencil Skirts

Pencil skirts have been a key work wear look for the season and this continues into autumn. It’s good news as these are super flattering and somehow have the amazing ability to induce a bit of a sexy wiggle into the walk of any woman who wears one! Slight heels work best and combine with a figure hugging top and cardigan for an easy to wear everyday look.

Layering up

Now though autumn is full of gorgeous colours, the temperature could be considered as not quite as kind as summer. Although, nobody loves working in an office when it’s roasting outside so perhaps autumn is better than we think! With the cooler temperatures it’s time to add a layer or two. There are a few ways to do this. We’ve all got oodles of jersey tees in our wardrobe and it’s easy to combine two in complementary colours to create a unique look. Of course cardigans are a hot favourite too. They’re easy to throw on and take off at will. This year the waterfall or open fronted cardigan has been a big winner. Something like the Bonmarché Frill Detail Shrug will add a splash of colour and add some warmth at the same time. Your knitwear is a great place to add those great autumn colours too as most of us like to stick to our neutrals for skirts and trousers. Why not try the amazing cobalt blue or purple that designers are predicting to be hot this autumn. Finally jackets are of course a good way to go. This will depend on what the weather folk say about the temperatures this autumn as they’re warmer than cardigans.

10 Sustainable UK Fashion Brands to Check Out

July 21st, 2013

There has been so much in the news lately about the many issues of ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. The good news is that there is a growing movement calling for change in the industry. As a consumer we can make a difference by choosing from sustainable UK fashion brands that make their clothes with respect for people and planet. If in the past you have avoided ethical and sustainable fashion because you were worried that it wouldn’t look great, you certainly don’t need to worry now. There are a growing number of sustainable UK fashion brands to choose from and what really sets them apart from the rest is their fresh and innovative designs. There are some particularly lovely choices of dress for spring summer 2013.

Here are 10 sustainable UK fashion brands to check out.

Ruby Rocks

A fresh and young UK fashion brand with clothes featuring bright colours and bold prints. Their latest collection really makes a strong style statement with tropical print dresses and ikat print biker jackets. The clothes are made in a small factory in Bali where staff are paid above the national average and benefit from good working conditions with recreation areas. They also receive healthcare for themselves and their families.

Seasalt Cornwall

With a number of products being made in the UK and from organic cotton, Seasalt Cornwall clothes are a great choice for anyone who loves that relaxed by the seaside inspired style that this brand does so well. Look out for their unique prints, cool linen casual summer dresses and classic striped tops.

Braintree Hemp

Braintree Hemp make Feelgood fashion. Their clothes are classic but with a contemporary look and feature unique prints and easy to wear colours. Their collection for summer is inspired the bohemian and relaxed feelings of summer afternoons. Braintree Hemp clothes are made from sustainable fabrics including hemp, organic cotton and bamboo. All suppliers must abide by a code of conduct which ensure that workers are fairly treated.

Bibico

Bibico was founded in 2007 with the aim of creating beautiful fashion that had timeless appeal and could be worn over and over again. The clothes are beautifully made with attention to detail using natural materials. They are handstitched, woven or knitted in fairtrade co operatives.

Komodo

Komodo was set up back in 1988 making it one of the pioneering labels of ethical fashion. They continue to make beautiful clothes that are desirable well beyond their ethics. This summer the Komodo collection has featured some great printed dresses with bright florals in flattering cuts.

People Tree

Another pioneer of ethical fashion People Tree is probably one of the most know and loved ethical brands. As a result of their fair trade initiatives and the work that they create for people around the world, People Tree create beautiful clothes with amazing fabrics and details. People Tree clothes are long way from many people preconception of ‘crunchy’ ethical fashion, their styles are both chic and contemporary but best of all People Tree are really making a difference to people’s lives in Bangladesh and other countries around the world. The latest People Tree collection features modern dresses with a contemporary twist.

Kuyichi

Kuyichi is a Dutch denim brand that uses organic cotton for all of its clothing. Kuyichi are also committed to ethical manufature and innovation . Their collections feature jeans and a range of stylish casual wear including t shirts and sweatshirts.

Lowie

Lowie make beautiful clothes that are inspired by traditional handicrafts and vintage styles. They are commited to ethical manufature and sustainability using organic and recycled cotton and chromium free leather in their collections. Many of their clothes feature handcrafts like crochet and knitting and they are produced in villages in Eastern China, helping to create a sustainable livelihood for people that may otherwise have to leave their families to find work in the cities.

Nancy Dee

Nancy Dee specialise in creating beautiful and wearable jersey dresses which are made from sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, organic cotton and soy. The clothes are all made in the UK under the highest ethical standards. Look out for chic draped day dresses that they do so amazingly well.

Skunkfunk

Whilst SkunkFunk is not actually a Uk brand, it is stocked in plenty of UK fashion boutiques like the new sustainable fashion search engine style-is.co.uk. Their clothes are fresh, fun and funky with the added bonus that with respect for the planet using sustainable and renewable fibres.

Without a doubt, it is now easy to shop with a conscious without compromsing on style. You could also check out Ethical Fashion Forum for more sustainable fashion brands.

Which are your favourite sustainable UK fashion brands?

A Wedge for All Seasons

July 19th, 2013

The humble wedge shoe has so many great benefits for anyone that cares about style, comfort and practicality in their footwear. You have a heel which is great for adding height and lengthening the leg but in contrast to stiletto or tower heels, a wedge shoe is easier and more comfortable to walk in. The chunky look of the wedge heel is also very now and is a great choice for dressing down girly summer dresses for a slightly more on trend look. The great thing about wedge shoes is that they are not just confined to the summer months with sandal style wedges but you can also get wedge boots and shoes for winter which will look fab with tights and skirts or trousers.

Here are just a few of my favourite wedge shoes..

These Dream in Green wedges are great for brightening up a pair of jean and a t shirt for a fun summer outfit.

For a look that is so on trend , a wedge trainer is perfect. Just add skinny jeans and tshirt and you are good to go. You could also try wearing them with a little black dress. These trainers by Ash are an amazing colour but I think it is their ‘Bowie’ name that I love the best!

The sleek and minimalist design of these wedge sandals by Zinda make them the perfect footwear for almost any outfit from a delicate strappy dress to jeans and t shirt. The ultimate in versatile summer footwaer.

Finally

Save money and give to charity at the same time with discount vouchers from My Favourite Voucher Codes

June 21st, 2013

How would you like to have a positive influence on the world when you go shopping but still be able to buy exactly what you would usually buy? For those of us that are on a budget but want to make a difference with our purchases it can be different. But My Favourite Voucher Codes, allows you to save money whilst benefitting charities with discount vouchers for all sorts of products.

I really love that My Favourite Voucher Codes gives 20% of their profit to charity and you can also help them to choose which charity should benefit by voting on their website with current choices including Help for Heroes, Soldiers, Sailor and Airmen and Families Association and British Red Cross, all incredibly worthwhile organisations.

You don’t have to compromise at all on what you would normally buy as the website has 4323 discount codes to choose from. Take your pick from a wide range of online retailers from Waitrose for food to Whistles for fashion and Air France UK for holidays. Whatever you are looking for, you will find a discount code to save yourself some cash.

We really love the voucher code app. It flags up discount codes as you shop, making life really easy and meaning you can just carry on shopping as usual.

You can cut down on your food shopping bill, treat yourself to a well-earned holiday at a lower price or and even have a day out in the UK or Staycation. Whatever you do, you can feel happy that 20% of your spend is going to charity. If you happen to be going to a festival this summer, you could treat yourself to a pair of Hunter wellies with Allsole voucher codes. They will no doubt last you for year and keep your feet lovely and dry no matter how muddy the field.