Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Tesco are launching a charm offensive on the ethical community by collaborating with leading a ethical fashion label to create a line of recycled clothing.  This will no doubt stick in the throat of a number of environmentalists.  Tesco has attracted a number of high profile enemies, including the Tescopoly campaign.

None the less, what this campaign will do is raise the profile of upcycling and ethical fashion and make it accessible to the masses.  And for that we must applaud them.

The 6 piece collection is made from end of line Tesco stock which would otherwise end up in landfill, and is being produced in one of the most environmentally-friendly factories in the world.

The clothes are being produced in a “green” factory in Sri Lanka – the first in the world to be awarded a gold rating for environmental responsibility by LEED, the international green building certification system.

“The really exciting thing about the From Somewhere to F&F range is that it’s not just great for the environment – it’s great fashion, too,” Jan Marchant, the buying director for Tesco Clothing, said.

Orsola de Castro the From Somewhere and Estethica founder and designer, said she took the view that reclaiming and “upcycling” fabric should be made more accessible, and that any effort by huge retailers to take responsibility for their waste should be encouraged.

The collection includes some real crowd pleasers but the prices are what makes this range truly accessible starting at just £16.

Click here to view the range.

Source: The Guardian


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Fairtrade Fortnight is upon us and the Fairtrade Foundation are asking us to swap everyday shopping basket items such as tea, coffee, chocolate, cotton tee-shirts, pineapples, bananas, cakes, sugar and lots more for Fairtrade alternatives during Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 (22 February – 7 March).

The aim is to get people in Britain to make one million and one swaps over the two-week period and change the lives of millions of farmers around the world.

With more than 4,500 products licensed to carry the Fairtrade Mark there should be an option for all budgets.

However, if you feel like celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight in style, check out Burberry muse, Emma Watson’s new 100% organic and Fairtrade collection for People Tree.

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Calls to bring forward a total ban on recyclable material being sent to landfill are increasing, as the EFRA waste report show big increases in the amount of textile waste being dumped. Throwaway fashion from shops such as Primark are being blamed for an increase in the amount of clothes being dumped in landfill sites.

Although the proportion of total waste dumped in landfill has decreased by nearly 1/4 in recent years, textile waste has risen to more than one million tonnes in the same period, driven by the tendency to discard low cost clothes quickly.

The biggest culprit was the retail and wholesale sector, which produced 12.7 million tonnes of waste in 2002-03, nearly half of which was sent to landfill. In addition, nearly half of household waste sent to landfill was bought from retail supermarkets and convenience stories.

The report highlighted the importance of reducing food waste, with one third of food bought – currently thrown away every year and generating 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in landfill sites, equivalent to the emissions from 4 million cars.

The Government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has been running a ‘Love Food, Hate Waste‘ campaign since November 2007 and Defra has also announced plans to reform packaging label rules to reduce confusion over ‘best before’ dates.

What can you do?  If you have had enough of throw away fashion and want some ideas on how to get your fashion fix in a more sustainable way click here for lots of ideas.

Source: The Ecologist

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Mumzine is off to the first International Day of Swishing in London tomorrow.  In honour of this day here are our top things you can do to love fashion with a clear conscience.
1. If you love the high street, spend a little bit of time researching the ethics of the companies.  There are some brands doing great stuff to produce their garments ethically.  New Look was recently praised in the Good Guide and Ethical Consumer is an excellent place to start if you want to do some digging.  Many of the high street brands do organic and fair trade lines as well as committing not to use child labour (we all remember that Primark expose).
2. Shop in Charity/Vintage Shops. Vintage clothes not only look more unique but they’re also often higher quality than mass produced high street clothes. Wherever you live, if you go to second hand shops in salubrious areas you will be amazed at the finds up for grabs.  The Notting Hill Oxfam is notorious for designer picks .
3. Get swishing – there are now swishing events everywhere, and if you cant make an event you can swish online or host your own swish. Its fun and a great way to update your wardrobe without spending money.
4. Upcycling. Hot on the heals of the swishing trend is upcycling.  From ETSY to Stich n Bitch, crafting is everywhere.  Instead of recycling your clothes, give them a face lift.  All you need are a few safety pins, a bit of lace, a few sequins or anything else that takes your fancy.  If you are lacking in confidence there are many courses available to help you get comfortable with sewing.

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Personally I’ve never been a fan of ear muffs but as middle age approaches and it’s snowing these beauties have definitely got me turned.

Little Fille creates uniquely designed earmuffs and beautiful headbands that can be worn in a variety of ways. Each piece is handmade. Look out for their upcoming headbands using recycled fabrics.

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The snow is falling my daughter is insisting on wearing a totally inappropriate summer dress.  To get round it I put one of her merino tops underneath and it got me thinking what a miracle product it is.

Unlike synthetics, Merino reacts to changes in your body temperature to insulate and keep you warm when you’re cold and release heat and moisture when you’re hot.   This reduces the risk of over heating, which is a factor linked to cot death.

What are benefits of merino?

  • Improves sleep routine**
  • It can be worn all year round
  • Machine washable
  • Breathable against babies skin
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Unlike wool it is not itchy so reduces skin allergies
  • It is fire resistant – Merino contains natural fire retardants
  • It is odour resistant meaning less washing

Here are a few of our favourites:

Swaddling Blanket from Bambino Merino – £29.95

Merino base layers (up to age 13) £18.00 from Muddy Puddles

Ribbed hoodie in lots of colours – £26.95 from Merino Kids

Children’s long sleeved vest from Elm House (1-16yrs) £14.50

The hand knitted merino mittens are on the pricey side at £15.00 but are lovely.  Just got to make sure you don’t loose one! (Booties not included)

** Medical studies have proven that merino improves the sleep patterns of babies resulting in increased weight gain and generally improved levels of contentment.

At the Cambridge Maternity Hospital in 1979, Scott and Richards investigated the effects of Merino bedding on low-birth weight babies and found that they gained an extra 10g a day compared to babies that weren’t sleeping on merino.

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Buying organic baby products can be a pricey business so we asked Mumzine mum Kimberly Bernhardt to look into the affordable options on the high street.

“Dressing your newborn in organic clothes is important because their skin is very sensitive and is more likely to absorb harmful chemicals, dyes and finishes. There are no regulations requiring textile manufacturers to disclose what kind of dye or which one out of 600 additional chemicals are used in the fabric finishing process on their labels. Many of them are known allergens, carcinogens or mutagens.

In the USA, disperse blue dye was named the 2000 Allergen of the Year, which puts millions of little babies at risk.
We often associate organic clothing for our children with spending a lot of money.  However, organic clothes are beginning to become more widely available on the high-street and at reasonable prices.  Although the high-street still has a long way to go until it genuinely embraces the organic market there are definitely options, which is what concerned consumers have long waited for.
Right, time to test the high-street online and see who really cares and who doesn’t.
A few of my favorite organic baby gift selections are:
Marks & Spencer – My Unusual Friends 2 Organic Fairtrade Cotton Bibs – £4.00

Mothercare – Hello World organic gift set – £20.00

Mothercare – Organic burp cloths – 3pk – £6.49

The Body Shop – Buriti Baby Snugly Bath Towel £17.60

John Lewis – Organics For Kids Breton Stripe Romper Suit – £14.50

Although some retailers may stock more organic products instore I was very disappointed to see that Debenhams, ASDA and TESCO had ZERO organic selection for babies online.

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