Sunday, 25 November 2012

Op Shop Christmas Market 2012

Guest post by Vicky Weatherlak​e of I Love to Op Shop

What is it?  

It's an online market with items submitted by op shops plus a few fundraisers, with all items under $30 and available for postage within Australia. 

Where is it? 

You can browse the fabulous selection to your heart's content via the dedicated album located at the I Love to Op Shop Facebook Page.

Vintage plastic plates from I Love to Op Shop

Who's taking part? 

At the moment some of the confirmed shops include: 
Melbourne Op Shop Tours are also offering three pairs of discounted tickets for use on any of their op shop tours in 2013.

What is being sold?

The usual variety of items you'd expect when visiting an op shop - from books, clothes, ornaments, vintage treats and accessories. There are also some giveaway items - you just enter by commenting, liking, sharing a picture or attending the Facebook event - easy!

Why is it being held?

For fun and for fundraising really. I realised that I have great support, input and enthusiasm from op shoppers and op shops on my page and thought this was a great way to come together, meet and share some festive shopping fun from home.  

Vintage 70s maxi dress from Big Heart Mission Australia

The best thing is being able to promote all the op shops out there who work tirelessly all through the year and hopefully introduce some new shoppers to them to continue to support them through next year!

Get involved!
If you know of any op shops who may be keen to take part there is still time.  I just need pictures and descriptions, they will either need to supply a Paypal address or bank payment details to the buyers to receive payment unless the item is being picked up locally.  Fundraisers also welcome. Drop me a message via the I Love to Op Shop Facebook page or email me at

Retro 50s style china plate (I love this!!) from Washed Up Treasure Op Shop in Emerton

I'm a big believer in Christmas being about a time of giving, this does not mean crazy cash or credit to Kmart, meltdowns in Myers or tantrums in Toys R us though.  I think thoughtful spending is perfect and if it can giveback at the same time to those who support the community it makes me happier immediately.
Who knows if it goes well there could be an Easter Market :o)

Guest post by Vicky Weatherlak​e of I Love to Op Shop 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Meet Australia's First Eco Model - Amanda Rootsey

When you hear the term "model" what comes to mind? Perhaps you conjure up images of cat-fights on and off the catwalk? Skinny young things starving themselves to reach fame and fortune? Materialism and fast living? Well Amanda Rootsey is proving that modeling can be a path toward ethical action and eco-empowerment! Australia's first ever eco-model is an intelligent, inspirational woman whose journey has led her to a life of kindness - to herself, those around her and the planet.

Q. What does it mean to be an eco-model in an industry largely based on superficiality and fast fashion? What have been the major challenges of this role? 

For me, being an eco-model means working as a fashion model but choosing to work with eco-friendly and ethical companies.  They don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, but if they are trying to implement ways to tread lighter on the planet and treat people and animals with respect then I am keen to work with them.  For me, it’s more about what they are choosing NOT to do e.g. exploiting animals. As you said, the industry is “largely based on superficiality and fast fashion,” so it’s time to shine a light on all of the incredible designers who are leading the way for a sustainable future. This seemed like a small way for me to do my part

It’s been interesting and quite challenging as many people in the industry think that eco and sustainable fashion is more of a passing fad than the way of the future. But it’s been great to collaborate and work with companies that are keen to ensure that the face of their brand also shares their values

Q. How was your passion for ethical fashion first sparked?

I haven’t always been interested in the environment or the process behind how that beautiful dress got to be in my closet. As long as it looked good I loved it! But I went vegetarian in 2008 and then I was working in Italy and had to wear a fur coat. It didn’t feel right but I put it out of my mind and got on with my work. 

Then, due to health reasons, I went vegan in 2009 and since then I have looked into the environmental and ethical reasons behind a vegan lifestyle as well. This sparked an interest in ethical fashion as well because fashion had always been a big part of my life. I was quite shocked to read some of the evidence, such as the fashion industry is the 2nd largest user of water in the world and that over 50 million animals still suffer and die because of the fur trade.  

Q. Can you tell us a little about your journey toward becoming a committed vegan and why this has been an important aspect of your life?

I initially went vegan for health reasons. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009 at the age of 24. I had just come home from modelling in Europe and was shocked to be told I had cancer.  I started researching what may have caused it and what I could do to help my body fight it. 

One of the things that kept coming up over and over again was the link between animal protein (from meat, dairy, etc) and all sorts of diseases, including many forms of cancer. I was particularly interested in books like The China Study and Cleanse and Purify Thyself. So I went vegan straight away and felt incredible.  Not only physically, but emotionally as well; like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. 

Q. What are your favourite things to do at home to lighten your ecological footprint?

Well, considering the livestock industry is the number 1 cause of global warming, being vegan is probably my favourite. I also ride my bike as often as I can, be frugal in terms of what I buy and try to buy second-hand as much as I can and support local farmers where possible.

Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?

Oh there are so many that I love!  I’m really excited about Sinerji’s summer collection and I love the simplicity of One Colour’s designs. 

Amanda wears a drop waist shift made of organic cotton from Sinerji
I also came across No Formula recently and love the cute and flirty designs. Rant Clothing is also a beautiful label with lots of colourful basics that you can layer and build on.

Q. If you could instantly transform one aspect of the fashion industry, what would it be?

Hmm can I pick 2?  Child slave labour and the use of animals in fashion would both be eliminated.

Q. When was the last time you were treated to a random act of kindness?

I’m always touched by how beautiful and generous people are. Whether it’s my incredible boyfriend bringing me a surprise cup of tea or a neighbour bringing in the bins, it’s those little things that make all the difference.

Q. What does the future hold for Amanda Rootsey?

I’m working with some ethical and sustainable design labels as a PR and Marketing consultant to help get their labels out into the media and drive sales. This has been great as it allows me to put my university degree and previous work experience to good use! Beyond that, my partner and I also run VeganEra and I have a few other projects that I’d like to get off the ground in 2013 as well.  

You can also find Amanda on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Monday, 19 November 2012

Ecochic Designs in Full Bloom

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul
- Luther Burbank 

Flowers have played a significant role in the natural history of our planet as well in our lives as human beings. Did you know that tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland during the 1600s? There are over 250,000 species of flowering plants recorded and they appear to have been around for about 140 million years! So I think it's fitting to incorporate this wonder of nature into our lives - in an ecochic way of course ;o) 

Multi-Coloured Rose Fairy Lights from Fresh Cargo - These 100% fair trade lights were designed in the UK and are made in Thailand
Rose Print Bikini Style Pants by Kerala Crafts - These super sweet undies were made under fair trade conditions by Malabar Memsahib Welfare, a women's co-operative providing desperately-needed work for women living below the poverty line in Ponnani,  southern India
Flower Pendant Choker Necklace by Frank Ideas -This striking pendant has been hand-stitched from strips of reclaimed black rubber
Orange Flower Print High-Waisted Skirt from Make Amend - Bright, summery and unique this pretty outfit has been re-made by hand from vintage garments and materials
Fleur Pendant Necklace by Annabel Panes - Inspired by the aesthetic of the 1930s this pendant has been crafted from 18ct Fairtrade and Fairmined white gold and the rope chain from 14ct recycled gold
Flower Print Jewellery Roll by Manumit -This gorgeous jewellery wallet was handcrafted in Vietnam under fair trade conditions, helping to secure employment for disadvantaged women and farmers
Pure Linen Dress with Rust Pleated Flowers by AnnySchoo - This bespoke dress is made using material that is cool, great for sensitive skins, chemical and animal free >> featured in Peppermint Magazine issue 6
Pink Petals Gift Tag by Little House of Limes - Here's a sugary sweet way to personalise that gift for someone special! These lovely tags are handmade from recycled materials
Micro Flower Print Dress by Etrican - This fun and flirty organic cotton dress was inspired by vintage Art Nouveau prints
Dahlia Necklace by Daphne Olive - This pendant has been lovingly crafted from environmentally-friendly bamboo
Vintage Black Velvet Floral Dress from VVVintage - This is such a fabulous vintage piece! I love the juxtaposition of the solid black top and the flowing colourful train. Why buy new when there are treasures like this up for grabs?
Crush Vegan Sandals by Cri de Coeur - Flower fashion doesn't have to be bright and garish, it can be sleek and sexy too! Made under ethical conditions in China using recycled lace
Black Flower Flamenco Apron by Zen Zen - Why save your eco-chicness for the outside world? Now you can be sustainably stylish in the kitchen with this crazy cool apron made by a fairtrade company in Indonesia that uses environmentally sustainable materials
Lace Eco Necklace in Black by Rachel Clowes - This completely amazing necklace has been crafted from felt made using recycled plastic bottles with stunning results!
Cap Sleeve Dress from Annie Greenabelle - This ethically made dress has a fresh retro feel to it :)
Ful Flower Pendant Necklace by Annabel Panes - Inspired by Nepali blossoms and traditional designs, this piece has been crafted by artisans in Nepal from 100% recycled silver
Hummingbird Shopper and Zipper Pouch from BlueQ - These flights of feathered and flowered fancy are made with 95% post-consumer recycled material
Elisa Flower Wrap Dress from People Tree - This delightful vintage print dress is made by hand from 100% organic and Fairtrade certified cotton in India
Bombay Petal Necklace by Stone Arrow - This delicate looking blue flower has blossomed out of a recycled Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle! Wow! Each piece is accompanied by an information pamphlet explaining their origins
Flower Goddess Soap by Pretty - Yummo! The ingredient list sounds mouth-watering including; rose petals, jasmine flowers, lavender, and sweet magnolia. Pretty promises to only use materials that are completely biodegradable, organic or derived from sustainably wild-harvested sources; with nothing fake, nothing toxic, and never tested on animals
Native Australian Wildflower Gift Card by Inaluxe - This eye-catching design was inspired by the colour and form of Australia's native flora. Made in a carbon neutral workshop from 100% post-consumer waste card and printed with vegetable-based ink
Lana Floral Print Dress by Bibico - Chic and versatile, this dress was made by a women's cooperative in India, providing them with training, education and work, empowering them and their children
Brown Flower Kigali Clutch from CAUSE + effect - What a stunning design! I just adore this clutch made from African wax fabric, and featuring a handmade closure of a woven raffia disk and paper bead. The creation of this product is helping to create positive change in African communities
Turquoise Floral Peplum Skirt by AFIA - This super fun floral print skirt was crafted under sweatshop-free conditions in Ghana using 100% locally-sourced cotton
Floral Cropped Jacket by Device - This charming bolero was made using fabrics left over from larger-scale production, normally destined for landfill
Flower Garden Stakes by Beyond Borders - These delightful garden ornaments have been handmade in Hati using 100% recycled metal from 50 gallon drums! Best of all purchasing Haitian art has a direct positive impact on the income of a Haitian artisan
Vintage Flower Dress from Nancy's Gone Green - Cheerful, mod and bright! I'm loving the vibe of this cute little number
Big Flower Necklace by Factory on the Moon - This is a fantastic piece for someone looking for a combination of quirky and pretty! Made from recycled magazines, this necklace is one-of-a-kind
Vintage Floral Clutch by Yellow Bird -This stylish vegan clutch has been handmade using limited-run vintage fabric and lined with re-claimed white fabric
Paper Mache Kashmiri Bangle by Handmade Expressions - Vivid and exquisitely depicted flora dance across these bangles crafted under fairtrade conditions by disadvantaged artisans located in India 

Petal Hydrangea Peace Silk Scarf by Sara C - This beautiful will bring a touch of Spring to any Winter or Autumn outfit! Best of all, because it's made from peace silk it's cruelty-free too :D
Dunn Earrings by Alcira - Handmade in Bolivia by women entrepreneurs using upcycled metals. Greenola has partnered with this small business, paying them a fair wage as well as fostering a safe, sustainable way to enrich the community and support themselves
Morgan Denim Flower Patch Hobo by Melie Bianco -Take a dash of animal-friendly faux leather, add some funky denim flowers and you've got yourself a brilliant bag!
Oversized Flower Brooch by Bartinki - Not one to make small fashion statements? Like your brooches to be extroverted? Then this is the accessory for you! Handmade from reclaimed materials
Milady Dress by Ethos Paris - Inspired by the Scottish highlands this 100% organic cotton dress created by artisans in India through a partnership with an ethical company based in about an international flavour ;o)
Flowered Wreath Headband from Hearts - Channel your inner wood-nymph using the flower power of this handwoven wreath. Made in India by a fairtrade cooperative of female lace artisans
Preloved Floral Playsuit from House of Beth - You may recall that I love a good playsuit! This one would be so much fun to skip about town in on a summer's day. Wanna hear something awesome? Half of the proceeds from each purchase at House of Beth goes to benefit the survivors of human trafficking and prevent more trafficking from occurring via the Red Light Campaign
Moonlight Lantern by Nkuku - Made from 100% recycled glass and sprinkled with a floral motif, this lovely lantern would illuminate any happy occasion beautifully 
Flower Patch Kit by Planet Eco - Last but not least...why not invest in some actual flowers as well? This super cute kit comes with 5 packets of organic seeds, bamboo plant tags, organic and biodegradable pots and a grow guide to get you started :D