Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Reigniting my love for charity shopping


In my humble opinion charity shops are somewhat like Marmite in the sense that people tend to either love them or hate them. Having wavered on both sides of the spectrum I can completely understand why people love them (name me a better feeling than unexpectedly finding an absolute dream of a piece that both fits as if it was made for you and costs less than a tenner) and why people hate them (foisty, fusty, cluttered shops where everyone seems to be finding a right old bargain apart from you are never a great time), but thanks to my latest vintage purchase my feet are stuck firmly in the 'love' camp... for now. 

Let's set the scene shall we... a busy Saturday lunchtime in any UK city centre. A twinge of curiosity around Primark's current home range (everyone loves a bit of new bedding right?) is met with immediate regret as you are sucked into swarms of sweaty teenagers and shouting mothers that fail to acknowledge your existence as you try to barge your way past every Gryffindor branded item under the sun. You try not to lose all sense of balance when you scramble out of the shop like some kind of washed up, ship-wrecked castaway and it takes every ounce of your being not to scream WIIIILSSSSOOOOON as you finally manage to push past the last person and make your way OUT of the Primark building alive. Ok yh maybe I'm a bit dramatic but you get the idea, in a world full of this scenario panning out in pretty much every city in the UK what a bloody beautiful breath of fresh air it is to open the door to a lesser known charity shop, hear the little bell ding as you step inside and have the person at the til look up and acknowledge you before you begin looking around. Instead of being surrounded by mass produced items that have been knocked off the shelves, person after person, the shelves are filled with undiscovered gems that each have their own history and stories to tell.


This blazer didn't cost a lot of money and isn't a 'brand' that I recognise. There's a hole in the inner lining of its right-side pocket. It fastens up with beautiful golden-coloured buttons. It's fit with shoulder pads. It has c h a r a c t e r. The brown on brown stripes are almost reminiscent of a school blazer and the fine detail of the blue/red pinstripes are beyond stunning. When I tried the blazer on it fit me almost as if it had belonged to me previously but the best part is that it didn't - it belonged to someone else. How cool is that?

Especially in the environmentally conscious time that we live in right now, how great is it to take an active role in recycling by creating your own wardrobe from pre-loved clothes? And not only that, but you're also benefiting a charity at the same time. Now there's a win-win if I ever saw one. And it's not even just clothes - I'm really getting into reading crime at the minute and I literally picked up two books for 99p each at the weekend - LESS THAN £2, it's just ridiculous! 

So... Shop in Primark. Buy from charity shops. Do whatever makes you happy, but just be aware that there could be a little miracle waiting to happen near you in the form of a shoulder-padded pin-striped retro number. All you have to do is go to your local charity shop and hunt it down! What do you think? Charity shopping - do you love it or hate it? Let me know and tell me your best finds!


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SHOT BY SARAH TREACHER

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

GOING ORGANIC WITH CHEAP MONDAY


'Organic'. A word that I associate with the fruit and veg aisle in the supermarket but much less so with dungarees. Clearly I'm not going to be eating my denim dungas* anytime soon so to be honest I had to do a bit of research into what organic actually means in terms of this industry (apologies if that's a little ignorant of me) and what kind of impact choosing organic clothes can potentially have on a wider scale. I mean it's all well and good slapping a big green label on an item and marketing the shit out of it in a self-congratulatory "HEY WE CARE ABOUT OUR PLANET" kinda way, but what does it all mean to the average shopper like you and me? Well, luckily for those less clued up like myself, Cheap Monday have made it pretty clear on their site: 

Organic Cotton is grown without any chemical pesticides and fertilisers and it doesn´t contain GMO Choosing organic cotton instead of conventional means:
- 46% less climate impact
- 71% less water
- 62% less energy

....well I've gotta be honest - I'm impressed!

(Plz ignore the dangly hanger thing near my neck - massive fashun faux pas and if I didn't hate them before well I bloody do now.)

The thing I really like here is that Cheap Monday actually explain what they're doing a why they're doing it. As you can probably pick up from the opening paragraph I am somewhat of a sceptic and get pretty frustrated when you can't clearly cut through the 'marketing bullshit' to see something for what it is. But here I genuinely feel like they're doing a great thing and actually making it really easy for everyone to get on board with by using organic material in their simple and popular styles so you don't have to buy some proper bizarre item (says the gal in the most flamboyant orange shirt you've ever seen) to get in on the action. It's not like an uber exclusive campaign that feels out of reach either, there are so many options on the website to pick from whether its some summery little dungas like mine or your next pair of every day jeans. 


I don't want to start making unrealistic promises that I can't keep and I won't pretend I'm only going to buy organic clothes from now on, but the fact that we have these options and that brands are actively factoring the planet and the environment into their decisions is really exciting and a huge step in a positive direction. I think it's fair to say that as consumers we want to feel that we are shopping ethically, and it's really refreshing when brands make it this easy. 


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*Items in the post have been gifted but as always this post represents my true opinions.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

CARBS LOVIN'


Nope, this isn’t an ode to bread, pasta or pizza (how great would that be though?) this post is a spotlight focus on one of my all-time favourite brands – CARBS. Bringing all my rainbow and sequin-filled dreams to life, CARBS is the ultimate festival fashion fix and deserves a lot more recognition for the unique pieces and collections that it has to offer.


Any time I wear CARBS, I feel great. And that’s what it’s all about right? Wearing items that put an extra little spring in your step and enable you to express your individuality with confidence.  

Many festival-wear brands offer a large variety of weird, wonderful (and often wacky) finds that are brilliant for the occasion but stay tucked away in the back of the wardrobe for the rest of the year. Now I’m not for a second going to deny that CARBS offerings are every bit as fun, colourful and bright as you’d expect from festival clothes, but there are some items that are just so gorgeous and feminine they could easily be worn on other special occasions or even nights out. Check out this figure-hugging dress for example, I felt so incredible wearing this - in fact if there was ever a ‘power dress’ to have existed THIS is definitely it.


Another reason I rate CARBS so highly is because I know how hard the founder, Jessica, has worked and is currently working to achieve her dreams and make her brand as big, glittery and wonderful as it can possibly be. With a very nastygal-esque beginning (involving rooms full of sequins, material and sewing essentials at her home) Jessica’s pure passion for the clothes that she creates has catapulted CARBS into its present day success.  

For more info on the brand or a better snoop at their incredible designs, have a look at their Instagram here (where you might find a few snaps of little old me!).

SHOT BY SARAH TREACHER
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The affordable skirt you need this summer

SHOT BY SARAH TREACHER

Summer is 100% HERE and I am so happy about it. Blue skies, light mornings, long days, beers in the sunshine… what’s not to love? And with the warmer weather inevitably comes the wardrobe switch up, digging out old dresses you forgot you owned and finding sandals you can't quite believe you once wore out in public. But let's be real, trends change all the time and people don't stay the same size forever (I ate a lot of pizza between September and June and I'm not sorry about it) so sometimes you're left with absolutely NO other option than having to spend money on pretty new weather-appropriate clothes. Heh heh heh.