Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Blog Action Day: Outfit Post

It's Blog Action Day 2013 and this year we, as a collective, are focusing on human rights. As an ethical fashion blogger I've looked at the Rana Plaza factory collapse in my previous post and now I'm doing an outfit post to show you how you can use fashion to promote the proper enforcement of human rights.

In this picture, I'm wearing a top and a pair of boots both bought from Oxfam. Buying from Oxfam not only promotes the reduction of consumption and waste in the fashion industry but also gives to an incredibly good cause. Oxfam is committed to reducing poverty around the globe and promoting human rights. This top is actually originally from Edun- an ethical fashion brand which uses Fair Trade in its supply chain and promotes use of the African fashion industry. Fair Trade strictly promotes human rights in its labour policies. 

The skirt is from People Tree- pioneer of ethical and Fair Trade fashion and the first fashion brand to be accredited by the WFTO. People Tree is committed to providing long term jobs to those who need them most and creating beautiful items of clothing in the most human and environmentally friendly way possible.

By choosing to shop from ethical, Fair Trade, second hand and charity fashion brands; we can make a positive difference to peoples lives around the world and throughout the supply chain. Our purchasing power should not be over looked. As consumers we hold immense power over fashion brands; their supply meets our demand- if we demand better, they will have to provide.

Join the debate on twitter : )
@onegreendress  |  @MrsWandas  |  @BlogActionDay12  |  #BAD2013  |  #HumanRights

Blog Action Day: Rana Plaza

The Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh opened up the worlds eyes to a problem that has been ignored for too long. The garment industry has been employing labourers around the world without being fully aware of how human rights are being enforced or simply disregarded. This is mainly due to fashion brands out-sourcing labour and refusing to own the factories that produce their garments. In the past, this has relinquished them from any responsibility for factory safety upkeep and working conditions but now people are starting to question this chain of accountability. 

The fashion industry's supply chain is notoriously long and complicated; spanning many countries and cultures, travelling thousands of miles, passing through countless pairs of hands. This is where the problem of accountability and responsibility arises. Who do we look to, to enforce human rights throughout the supply chain? 

Fashion brands? Consumers? Governments?

Well I think that we all need to chip in. When a person's human rights are denied, we have a collective responsibility to speak up. Governments around the world should all be moving towards introducing not only minimum wages but living wages. There are some fashion brands that are already providing this for their employees around the world and I hope to see others follow in this vain. As consumers, what can we do? Well, we can demand more. We can call out the retailers that are disregarding human rights, we can promote the ones that are enforcing them and we can cast our vote with our money by letting our purchasing power do the talking.

After the Rana Plaza disaster, the 'Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh' was drafted by Uni Global Union, IndustriALL and NGWF. It was put forward to all the fashion companies producing garments in the city. Under the accord, garment workers can refuse to work in unsafe conditions and must continue to be paid under these circumstances until the issues are resolved. The fashion brands were not eager to sign, with some major hesitations from; Matalan, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, J D Sports and River Island. We are still waiting for Peacocks and Sports Direct to sign.

The fashion companies complicit in the Rana Plaza disaster were invited to Geneva to discuss setting up a fund for the victims. Of the 29 companies involved, only 9 turned up and only Primark contributed to the fund. It's time for us to call upon these fashion brands to become accountable to their workers. You can call on Peacocks and Sports Direct to sign the Accord via the See Through Fashion campaign here. You can also chose to cast your consumer vote wisely by shopping for clothes using ethical fashion brands that enforce living wages and by buying second hand from charity and vintage shops.

Learn more about human rights and ethical fashion by following the debate today on twitter
#humanrights | #BAD2013 | #ethicalfashion | @blogactionday12 | @MsWandas | @onegreendress

Picture from: Business of Fashion

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Longing for Miista Right...


Miista by ameliaglynn on Polyvore

Don't worry, the long winter nights haven't sent me gooey eyed but this shift in weather has had me hankering after some new shoes. Preferably some boots of the sturdier variety. Miista has the most gorgeous collection of ethical footwear to drool over- I just have to block out the price tags... Ahhh maybe one day : )

Friday, 11 October 2013

Vintage Style with Oxfam

As the seasons change we inevitably end up looking into our wardrobes and altering them to fit in with the new nips and chills that we are challenged with daily. Autumn is probably my favourite season. I love the colours that are thrust upon us in the turning of the leaves; I love how crisp the mornings become with dew and mist and fog. I love seeing my breath in front of me. 

But most of all I love the change to my wardrobe. First of all there are the knits; the woolies, the chunky knits, the bobbly jumpers, the teacher cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves. I love how a knit can be thrown on top of everything else altering the entire outfit or artfully layered to merely enhance ones current look. In my mind, the best knits are vintage 80's- this is the only way to get the best classic vibrant chunky mohair designs that are synonymous with that period of time...

Autumn Knits Vintage

Then of course we have the anticipation of the party season. You know it's coming; it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from halloween. Time to crack out the party dresses- 50's style prom being my winter party favourite, harking back to school discos, slow dances and bowls of punch....

Party Season Vintage

And then there are the grey days. Days where one look out of the window makes you want to bury your head under the duvet and never leave. On these days I go with the flow and let the weather guide my wardrobe with greys, blacks and whites to reflect the stormy skies outside...

Monochrome Vintage

All of the above pieces can be found on the Oxfam Online Shop. What does your vintage winter wardrobe include? What are your favourite autumn pieces? Let me know in the comment section below or tweet me @onegreendress : )

You can also find this post on the Oxfam Fashion Blog

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Balance Diversity: Ethics on the Runway

On this blog I constantly find myself discussing ethics during the manufacturing process of fashion but the ethical credentials of the fashion industry cannot be limited to this one area. Last month Naomi Campbell, Bethann Hardison and Iman brought attention to the fashion industry's limited use of black models on the catwalk. The 'Diversity Coalition' penned an open letter to the heads of the four main Fashion Councils: London, New York, Paris and Milan.

Their message is clear, ethnic diversity on the catwalks is disturbingly limited. And it's not just on the runway- Vogue has been repeatedly criticised for hiring almost exclusively white women for its covers, not only in the early days but in disturbingly recent years too. 

When we discuss ethical fashion, we shouldn't be demanding fair treatment for only those people who manufacture our clothes; we should be demanding fair treatment for all people hired in the fashion industry including those closer to home. Let me know whether you think we need more ethnic diversity on the runways in the comments section below or tweet me #BalanceDiversity

Friday, 20 September 2013

Style Post: Peopletree & Komodo

This was taken before the rains came.... Seriously weather- what are you playing at?! But when it was warm enough to go outside in a skirt, sans tights and thermals, I wore this to dinner and drinks with my lovely housemates. My new Komodo jacket has proved its worth by being just as fabulous teamed up with a skirt as it is with jeans due to its perfect cropped length. I've gone with my Peopletree jersey skirt which is an absolute staple in my wardrobe- so easy to wear and the stretchy waistband is a winner when your scoffing down copious amounts of chinese food with friends! Bag and shoes both picked up from Brighton charity shops for under £3 each and the crop top too which was once a full length tank top which I chopped up to fit in with this summers stomach bearing trend.... Brave indeed!

All in all a thoroughly ethical outfit combining charity shop and Fair Trade fashion followed by a fabulous evening with friends : )

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Green Carpet Challenge and Net-a-Porter Capsule Collection

Today a very exciting ethical fashion collaboration launches online. The fabulous ethical fashion front-runner, Livia Firth, has teamed up with Net-a-Porter to launch an exclusive capsule collection of ethical fashion garments designed by five of the most talented British designers to date. Designing two pieces each for the collection are Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Roland Mouret, Erdem and Christopher Bailey.

Each piece in the collection is created to the standards set by the GCC ethical criteria and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to (RED) which supports the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Once again Livia Firth is breaking down barriers in the fashion industry. Livia has managed to succeed in the near impossible task of bringing together five top British designers and creating a collection of beautiful fashion pieces that are ethical and sustainable. The pieces in the collection are all stunning but my favourites are worn in the pictures below. The pieces are all ultra-glamorous and designed to be worn on the red carpet which results in hefty price tags; but it's Livia's mission to prove to the world that ethical fashion can most definitely be high fashion- and boy has she succeeded...

Top: Christopher Kane, Middle: Victoria Beckham, Bottom: Livia Firth wearing and with Erdem Moralioglu

In the ethical fashion debate it is often discussed about where change should come from. Should it come from the consumers, the fashion houses, the people with the money or politicians? In this venture, Livia Firth demonstrates that it can (must? should?) start from the high fashion designers and from the A-listers on the red carpet. This way, as with the rest of fashion, it can trickle down to the mainstream as consumers and designers are inspired by higher end fashion. The influence that celebrities and high fashion houses have on the world of fashion is immense and what Livia is trying to achieve, if she can pull it off, could have immeasurable impact on the future of ethical fashion. So far, so good! We can't wait to see what Livia has in store for us next : )

Pictures acquired from Vogue, Net-a-Porter and Eco Age

Friday, 30 August 2013

Style Post Ft. Komodo & Monkee Genes

The end of summer requires a bit of layering. Here I am modelling the stunning new Komodo jacket in herringbone. It's a classic shape and cut that will carry through the years and the quality is incredibly good. It isn't yet part of my own wardrobe, I've just borrowed it for this picture from The Fair Shop, but as soon as I gather the funds it will be all mine! 

Together with the jacket, I'm wearing my new Monkee Genes. I've wanted a pair of these for literally years but always a) shied away from the price and b) could never find the right colour denim... But finally I found them in Loot, an independent retailer in Brighton's North Lane. They were in the sale reduced from £59 to £40- far more acceptable for my budget. I know you can buy Monkee Genes in Topman but I always like to try and support independent retailers if I can. 

My sandals I picked up in a charity shop the other day for the bargain price of £1.99 and the top was exactly the same price, originally American Vintage and is 100% silk- charity shops really are incredible. 

P.S. These photos were taken in The Fair Shop and any items you can see in the background can be found and bought there  : )

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Brighton Style Post

Walking through Brighton's lanes I can't help but admire the beautiful murals graffitied over the city's walls. Most people who live in Brighton would agree that this kind of graffiti is not considered vandalism but is most definitely considered art. We love it.

Today I'm wearing a vintage skirt bought from within Brighton's North Lane at Starfish, a Laura Ashley top bought from a charity shop on Brighton's London Road and an O My Bag handbag bought in The Fair Shop- a Brighton based ethical fashion boutique. Brighton is an absolute hub for ethical fashion whether it be vintage, second hand or Fair Trade- it can all be found within the seaside city.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Sustainable Living: Re-upholstering Furniture

Taking the old and making it new again is an essential part of living sustainably. Upon graduating university, my mum wanted to give me something for my future that I would be able to keep forever so of course, she went antique hunting. She finally settled upon an antique chaise longue that was in some desperate need of a bit of T.L.C. Buying antiques that are looking a bit beat up and worse for wear is a great way to nab a bargain but you will need someone skilled to help you to get them back into shape. This is where my incredible Grandpa comes in!

If you can see on the picture, the cover on the chaise is in really bad condition... It's ripped in several places and incredibly worn. All of the material had to be removed and replaced. Once the material had been taken off, it became clear that work needed doing to the innards too. The springs and stuffing also needed replacing. Thankfully, my wonderful Grandpa is a pro and undertook the challenge without hesitation. Next, I was given the task of choosing a new material for the re-upholstering. 

It was a tough task. I wanted to pick something classic that wouldn't age but also I didn't want it to look too old fashioned. I needed a fairly pale colour to enhance the dark wood of the chez and a pattern to add some interest. It also had to be thick and strong enough to withstand the tight stretching that the upholstering involved and also strong enough to last through the years. I eventually settled on a duck egg blue material with a rose bush pattern in a raised gold (looks more silver in the pictures). This pattern had so much more depth and interest than the others and I think it's a perfect mix of classic and modern styles.

As you can see, my Grandpa has done an absolutely fantastic job of re-upholstering the chaise longue  You can see how he has put braiding all along the edges and done shallow buttoning along the arms and back. He also made a beautiful roll cushion to go with it- just stunning! With a bit of skill and a lot of love, you can turn some beaten up, worse for wear furniture into a stunning one-off piece that will last you a life time and be the center piece of any room. Thank you so much to my wonderful Grandpa for putting so much time and effort into creating this masterpiece for me. I love it! : )

Gemma's Style

Beautiful clothes can be picked up ethically from so many places. Today, Gemma is wearing a stunning vintage piece by Laurence Kazar New York that she picked up from an 'All Aboard' charity shop in East Finchley for the bargain price of £20. This stunning piece channels some serious 80's vibes and is perfect for cocktails with the girls. F.Y.I. Gemma is also a fellow blogger; you can find some delicious veggie grub on her blog Gemma's Jam Jar

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Oxfam Blog Post: July

What does fashion mean to you? It's a big question and the topic of discussion in my most recent blog post for the wonderful Oxfam. Check it out here : )

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Fashion ComPassion Guest Blogger of the Month

This month I was invited to be Fashion ComPassion's guest blogger of the month which I am very excited about! I was asked to answer some questions for them about my blog and about the ethical fashion industry- I hope you enjoy reading the answers. Fashion ComPassion is an online retailer of ethical fashion promoting some beautiful fashion brands in a mid-price range. You can see my top three favourite picks from their site on the blog post here

Do check out the blog post and their site- it's well worth a look!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Reading into Ethical Fashion

Want to find out more about ethical fashion? Enjoy a good book? Then look no further! I have written a blog post for the Oxfam Fashion Blog about my favourite ethical fashion reads. Click here to check them out : )

Friday, 8 March 2013

A Few Articles That Have Caught My Eye

I've stumbled upon a few articles and blog posts recently (some not quite so recently) that have related to some of my previous posts here on One Green Dress and I thought that I would pass them your way to peruse at your leisure. Do take a look- they are all well worth reading:

'The Sustainable Fashion Paradox' by threadGently

This very well written piece talks a little more about the high street ethical lines, for example H&M's Conscious Collection, (see my article on the collection here) and discusses whether sustainability and fast fashion are compatible or mutually exclusive. It's an age old question that is found at the crux of the ethical fashion industry: Sustainability VS Consumerism.

'Luxury Leather and the Amazon' by Lucy Siegle

This article written for The Observer discusses Gucci's New Jackie O Bag that is sourced from deforestation free-zones. The bag is in collaboration with Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle's Green Carpet Challenge project where designer brands dress celebrities ethically at Red Carpet events to raise awareness for ethical fashion. The article explains a bit more about the difficulties of ethics in the leather industry but I am yet to find out whether the Gucci bag tackles the problem of leather tanning in an ethical manner- TBC...

'Why I Prefer Real Leather' by The Conscience Collective

Another article on ethical leather which gives a reasoned and down to earth opinion on the leather debate. It's a subject which I find really interesting mainly because people always focus on Fur as opposed to leather (you can see my blog post on the subject here). Hopefully articles like this one and the new Gucci handbag will get people talking about it more.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


This post is entirely un-fashion related but retains all the ethics that I hold true to this blog. Please do have a read: My very good friend and fellow ethical fashion supporter, Sigga Rafns, helps to manage the 'Jammin N' Ting' Annual Music and Arts Festival in Naledi Village, South Africa. The festival provides a platform to promote African music and art whilst proving an opportunity for the local community to develop skills and incomes to improve their standard of living.

"With the amazing location of the village in a valley surrounded by the sandstone mountains and spectacular reputation of Rustlers festivals the first steps have been taken towards creating an event that can focus on African heritage, while giving the people of Naledi the opportunity to use and develop their skills to improve their standards of living."

"Having been involved with the Rustlers music scene since 1993 Manello Funkikora has been developing a vision, for artist in Africa to have a place, a haven, where they can meet on mutual grounds to talk opportunities, connect and enjoy each other’s art and vision while supporting development in the rural villages of South Africa."

The festival has had more and more people interested in it and it now needs your help to take it to the next level. The festival has not been supported by big corporations so that local people can provide food and drinks stalls to earn themselves money as well helping to set up the infrastructure and they want to keep it that way. To go to the next level they need to market the festival to a wider urban audience. At the moment the festival relies on social media sites for publicity. They need a kick start to advertise more widely, to sell more tickets and then be financially self sustainable in the future. The other major cost is transport. The festival wants to sell transport packages to the festival from Johannesburg but they need to pay start up costs to reserve drivers and mini buses.

This is where you come in. To cover these costs, Jammin N' Ting need to raise £1,300. They have joined the  kickstarter website where you can pledge money to help to get them to their target. There are only 3 days left and so far they are up to £763 but they need your help to make it to the target! If you would like to donate to this fantastic project that promotes community development, self sufficiency, the learning of skills and the promotion of African music and art, then please donate here : ) Thank you

Monday, 4 March 2013

Made in Britain vs Fair Trade

I've been doing some research for a study recently and it has involved conducting interviews on the subject of the garment industry. I've had lots of interesting points coming up which I'm sure I will be discussing with you in the coming weeks but I thought I would start with this one. 

In the industry of sustainable fashion- what is more sustainable: Made in Britain or Fair Trade? The question isn't really about adding up the stats to get an exact answer, I was just interested to know what you think? Here are a few points on both that seem to come up a lot:

Made in Britain

  • Less Travel

    • Not having to import goods from countries far away saves considerable costs on transport. It also uses much less energy especially in air miles which can considerably contribute to your carbon footprint. Sustainability is intrinsic to ethical fashion and looking after the environment is a huge part of this.

  • UK Labour Laws

    •  There seems to be less concern about accountability if garments are made in the UK. It's commonly assumed that it's more likely in the UK that the supply chain will heed to labour laws and give workers better working conditions on a more frequent basis than in Fair Trade where slip ups are expected to occur. 

  • Support UK's Economy

    •  During our current recession, every extra job in the UK is seen as a benefit and a boost to the UK economy. Supporting UK jobs is part of supporting our family, friends and the wider community of Britain to pull itself out of economic decline.

Fair Trade

  • Fair Wage and Conditions

    • The Fair Trade standard sets an example for how wages and working conditions should look in developing countries. This is especially important to you and me because it is Western societies like the UK that take advantage of the lack of human rights and unions and exploit workers in developing countries for cheap labour.

  • Support a Developing Economy

    • Fair Trade is set up to give the poorest people better jobs and better wages because they need it most. Giving someone who is on the brink of poverty a job that pays properly means the difference between staying alive and actually living. It's the difference between a job and a livelihood. Fair Trade is more than bread on the table, it gives oppurtunites to grow, improve and invest in a future.

  • Support the Fair Trade Movement

    • Even if Fair Trade haven't got it completely right yet, people have told me that they want to support the movement by buying the products anyway. The idea behind Fair Trade is a very good one and it is a not-for-profit registered UK charity. Fair Trade is how all trade should be.

I'm not trying to say that buying British Made products and Fair Trade products are mutually exclusive; I think they work well side by side and benefits can be reaped by purchasing and supporting both of them. Both are considered ethical fashion in my books but I would love to know which one you think is more important. Are there more benefits I have missed from either that you would like to bring to the table? Let me know : )

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Good Morning!

Just thought I'd post something to get you through the day and put a smile on your face. It definitely put one on mine : ) FYI please note, it's the unedited version so there may be a naughty word in there somewhere... 

But look how GOOD you can look in Thrift Shop clothes?!! 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Where you can find One Green Dress

Did you know that you can follow One Green Dress on Facebook and Twitter?
Follow us to keep up to date with the latest blog posts : )

You can also find blog posts that I write for Oxfam and The Fair Shop here : )

Monday, 25 February 2013

Beautiful Birthday Gifts

This weekend I celebrated my birthday with friends and family and was lucky enough to receive a selection of beautiful ethical gifts that I thought I would share with you. Thank you so much to everyone that made the weekend so fun and of course, thank you for all of my wonderful birthday presents, both featured here and otherwise, I am so grateful. Love to you all!

I received these fantastic ethical pants from my good friend Lizzy and was thrilled! Having just ordered a couple of pairs myself, I already knew that these were of the highest quality and ethical credentials. Who Made Your Pants use off cuts from the lingerie industry that would be wasted at the end of each season and employ women who have been granted asylum in Britain. The pants are fabulously comfortable and gorgeous! (FYI my pants were made by Samia...)

This delicious gift was also given to me by the wonderful Lizzy and is made by Hotel Chocolat's Rabot 1745  Purist collection who trade fairly without using the Fair Trade label. Here they explain why:

It is simply not possible for a company-owned cocoa plantation, such as our Rabot Estate, to gain Fair Trade accreditation. Only smallholdings are eligible.

The quality and scope of Fair Trade cocoa and chocolate is extremely limited. Our products differentiate themselves by exploring the subtle nuances of origin, quality and variety of the cocoa bean. So, using Fair Trade cocoa would severely compromise our aim of creating high quality chocolate.

We therefore needed a wider-ranging approach that would fit with our love for fine cocoa and allow us to continue making creative chocolate. In fact, the work that we do both complements and extends beyond the scope of Fair Trade.

Do take a look at their website to find out more about their ethical trading.

This beautiful upcycled necklace is a gift from my mum and is rich in history. The necklace is made by Caroline who upcyles antique solid silver cutlery into beautiful and quirky jewelry. Teaspoon rings were originally made by servants and used as wedding rings as they couldn't afford rings of their own. This tradition has been  brought forward into the modern age and is now a form of beautiful ethical fashion.

This beautiful bee necklace was given to me by my wonderful and very generous boyfriend Ed and is a classic piece from Alex Monroe's line of jewelry. His designs are consistently stunning and I have been lucky enough to receive jewelry from his collections in the past. I have had my eye on the bee necklace since I was first introduced to his work and am thrilled to finally be an owner of this beautiful piece of art. All of Alex's jewelry is still hand made in Alex’s London studios by skilled craftspeople to enable the highest of quality. 

This incredible find was given to me by my wonderful housemates; Ferna, Katie and Becky. It is a book from Amelia's Magazine that combines beautiful illustrations with ethical fashion profiling. Both stunning and informative, it is a delight to read and quite literally has my name written all over it!!

Thank you so much for all my wonderful gifts, do check out the links to find out more : )

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ethical fashion. Emphasis on Fashion.

This is how ethical fashion is done. MAIYET Spring '13 Collection

If someone would like to buy me the entire collection, just get in touch : )

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Second Hand Shoes

Shoes shoes shoes. Ethical shoes are often seen as being a bit of a nightmare to find but recently I have had quite a lot of luck with them. In the last two weeks I have found a new pair of Cowboy boots to replace my old ones (see my article for Oxfam Fashion Blog about them here) and also found this beautiful pair of Gucci shoes for the bargain price of £20 at a junk shop in the Isle of White. Win!

Check out the Oxfam Fashion Blog post here : )