Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sisters Are Blogging It For Themselves!

I'm very honoured to announce that the lovely Shelley Marsh from Money Mummy has nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! The award is shared among female bloggers who inspire one another with their writing.

Shelley is an inspiring woman who blogs about two of her favourite subjects - motherhood and money. She does an amazing job demystifying money matters and providing practical tips for saving money. Money Mummy is one of Money Buddy’s top 5 recommended savings blogs for women.  

So as a recipient I've been asked to follow these simple steps: 
  1. Put the logo on my blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated me << Easy!! Thanks so much Shelley xo
  3. Choose 10-12 other female bloggers as my nominees
  4. Post the links to the nominees' blogs and notify each of them on their blog
It's my absolute pleasure to share my nominees, although I have to say that choosing only 12 proved very difficult :)

(1) Sasstainable - This amazing blog is the brain-child of Angela Wallace, who like me has a passion for all things ethical and sustainable in fashion. Angela has a degree in Environmental Management and is an expert on sustainable lifestyle and ethical luxury.

(2) OutsaPop Trashion - If you're into DIY you're going to love this! Created by Pyy Outi a self-confessed fashion addict from Helsinki - this blog is all about getting hands-on with upcycling tutorials and sustainable fashion inspiration.

(3) Art With Chrissy Foreman Cranitch - There are some blogs out there that are like breathing in fresh air, this is one of them. Chrissy Foreman is an artist who blogs about her creative experiences and her continuous quest to live an authentic life - without glossing over the bumpy bits.

(4) October Rebel - If you haven't met October Bly yet, you're in for a visual treat! She's a personal style blogger highlighting fair trade and charity shop fashion. I'm in constant awe of her style images with their whimsical beauty and picturesque scenery.

(5) Naturally Chic Life - Kaitlyn Pierce is not only a natural lifestyle blogger, photographer and new Mum, she's also the founder of my favourite online chat #BlogTrends! Kaitlyn's blog is all about how you can live naturally and simply. 

(6) Quick Cheap and Pretty - If you love beauty bargains that don't come at the cost of animal welfare then Martha Woods has the blog for you! Martha's fantastic blog showcases fantastic cruelty-free and vegan beauty products for busy women on a budget.

(7) Recycled Fashion - Erica Louise is a recycled fashion guru with a background in environmental sustainability as well as interior design. Recycled Fashion is an amazing international resources for recycled, vintage, upcycled and DIY fashion.

(8) Style Eyes - Ceri Heathcote is dedicated to sharing her ethical fashion finds and sustainable style inspirations via her personal style blog. Ceri's blog is overflowing with tips on how to look ecochic without going broke in the process!

(9) Green Issues by Agy - Based in Singapore, Agy is an Environmental Designer blogging about her love of DIY fashion recycling. Her awesome goal is to spread the message that you don't have to buy something new, and you shouldn't throw something away without thinking about what it could be turned into!

(10) Eco Fashion Talk -Talk about a blog with pedigree! Eco Fashion Talk is the blog of Sass Brown, Acting Assistant Dean for the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. She's also the author of 2 amazing sustainable fashion books. This blog is all about cutting-edge eco fashion from the perspective of someone very much in the know!

(11) Moral Fibres - Sustainability expert Wendy Graham's blog examines 6 main areas where you can be creatively sustainable: home and garden; food and drink; life and style; families; travel; and resources. This is a beautiful and accessible source of green inspiration.

(12) The Beautiful Think - This is the weekly blog of eco-boutique owner Brooke Hahn. Each post focuses on a different way to think about how you live your life and the actions you take. Brooke reminds us that one of our most essential relationships is with ourselves. It's wellness and green-living with a healthy sprinkling of sustainable fashion.  

I hope you enjoy these amazing blogs!

KB x

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Ecochic Meets EEeeeeek for Halloween!

"Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite, 
All are on their rounds tonight; 
In the wan moon's silver ray, 
Thrives their helter-skelter play" 
~ Joel Benton

A big shout out to all my Northern Hemisphere ecofashionistas who celebrate Halloween. While it's not traditionally a holiday that's recognised in Australia, I have to admit I do love the challenge of hunting down spooky ethical fashion and design treats!

1950s Halloween Party Cups from Salty Dog Vintage - If you prefer your Halloween parties to have a retro-flavour then these fabulous vintage cups are for you!
Men's Sloppy Joe Tee from Pini Piru - This disturbingly stylish 100% organic and fairly traded tee will take a man seamlessly from Halloween festivities to the pub

Golden Pumpkin Hand Cream by Ville De Fleurs -Perhaps your idea of the perfect Halloween is staying in and treating yourself to a pamper night? Well then this handmade vegan deliciousness for your hands will be a great companion! Made from organic and fair trade ingredients
(1) Organic Cotton Iguana Baby Hat and (2) Eco Felt Gray Wolf Mask by Soul Role - These super fun dress-up items are waaay cuter than mass-produced 'comes in a pack of 50 throw-away masks'. The adorable baby hat is made from organic cotton French terry fabric. The seriously cool wolf mask is crafted from an eco felt made from recycled plastic bottles!
Hanging Halloween Decorations by Molly Moo and Jessica too - These are the types of decorations that stay in a family for generations! I love the quirky charm of these gorgeous characters handcrafted from vintage blanket and other upcycled materials
Organic Chocolate Halloween Orange Bites by Sjaak's - These delicious dark chocolate and orange-filled vegan treats are a great size for those little monsters ringing your doorbell :)

Halloween Dog Collars by Cozy Pom Pom - Puppy doesn't have to miss out on the seasonal hijinks but he also doesn't have to be humiliated by some crazy Yoda outfit either ;) These stylish yet striking collars are handmade from a combination of cotton and recycled PET fabric

Raven Necklace by Billy Would - Off to a chic party for Halloween? Wanting a look that's sophisticated with a nod to the macabre? Then don your fav ecochic little black dress and this frighteningly fabulous Raven necklace carefully crafted from recycled and reclaimed wood

Pumpkin Cider Lip Balm by Molly Rose Balms - Pumpkin. Cider. Warm Spices. What's not to love about this vegan-friendly lip loveliness?
Funny Zombie Card by Euclid Street Shop -Hee hee! This made me chuckle, then smile and then chuckle again :) Made from 100% recycled materials
Kaspa Light by Ilsa Parry - This charming and innovative eco-friendly light can be used as 'mood-lighting' for your soiree or as a friendly companion for a child not comfortable with the dark
Medical Supplies Messenger Bag by Blue Q - Oh my goodness this bag is so much awesome! Made from 95% post consumer recycled material, it's the perfect accompaniment to any medical costume - plus you'll be able to use it again (and again!)
Fair Trade Your Halloween Kit from Equal Exchange - One of the scariest things about Halloween is that most of the chocolate handed out on the night is connected with forced child labor! Keep your holiday fair with these ethical options
Brown Batty Wings and Mask by sparrow & b - Lovingly handcrafted from a mix of new and recycled materials, this sweet outfit will transform a child into a winged wonder!
Vintage Halloween Candy Bags from Boston Bag Lady - These vintage trick or treat bags are sooo cool! I love the black and orange artwork, don't you?
Halloween Heart Soaps by Amirya's Garden - If you're looking less for creep and more for chic this Halloween, then these stunningly detailed vegan soaps are for you!
Vintage Comic Book Bunting from Charlie Loves Pearl - Upcycled from vintage comics, this bunting would be a great decorative party feature for anyone who likes to standout from the crowd
Goth Skeleton Top from Broken Ghost Clothing -This one-of-a-kind upcycled top is a fun and easy way to get into the spirit of things and look effortlessly edgy
Halloween Treats from Endangered Species Chocolate - There are SO many reasons to feel good about handing out (and eating) these chocolate treats! Indulge in the knowledge that these goodies are vegan, gluten-free and that Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of net profits to environmental non-profits that are focused on wildlife conservation and habitat preservation
Shimmery Friendly Ghost Brooch by Liv Creatively - This cute little fella has been handmade using recycled, upcycled and non-toxic materials...no wonder he's smiling! Why not let this cheery ghost adorn your outfit and spark some smiles :)
Angry Cloud Top by Kowtow - Being a sustainable dresser means owning a flexible wardrobe. This certified organic and fairtrade cotton top is a fun Halloween option - "Hey everyone! I'm a thunderstorm!"- yet this expertly crafted top will remain a fun addition to your regular wardrobe :D
Halloween Soap Trio Set from Second Spring Soaps - Tired of handing out sweets? Having guests over for Halloween and want to give your bathroom some fun touches? Then these cold pressed vegan soaps are a very fun and yummy smelling option!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Be the Fairest Of Them All With Human Friendly Fashion!

October 16th is Blog Action Day! Since 2007 bloggers worldwide have come together on this day each year to discuss one important global issue. Previous themes have included: the environment; poverty; climate change; water; and food. This year the topic is Human Rights.  

To help shine a spotlight on human rights issues embedded in the fashion industry, I've joined up with a consortium of ethical fashion bloggers from all around the world. We are the Human Friendly Fashion Bloggers! This group of like-minded bloggers has been spearheaded by Fashion Mob founder, Esther Freeman.

Sadly recent events in Bangladesh have brought into stark relief the terrible and even life-threatening work conditions in many fast-fashion clothing factories around the world. 

Esther says, "One comment that keeps coming up is the responsibility of consumers around fast fashion. Quite frankly this is nonsense. Furthermore it is dangerous to suggest so. All too often high street chains whine about how hard it is for them to improve human rights, and how they’d change but consumers don’t want it. It’s become their get out clause. And by saying consumers have some kind of responsibility, we reinforce that myth." 

This is not to say that we as consumers have no responsibility when purchasing fashion - simply that these large multinational companies need to stop making excuses for their unethical behaviour!

According to Fairtrade International: “Not all trade is fair! Farmers and workers at the beginning of the chain don’t always get a fair share of the benefits of trade. Fairtrade enables consumers to put this right”. 

FairTrade (c) Pablo Municio

What could be better than looking fantastic in a chic new outfit? Why, looking fantastic AND feeling good in a gorgeous fair trade ensemble of course!!! :)

Here are just a few of my favourite fair fashion finds:

  • The Girl's Zebra Tee from Johari is so cute! Every item is handmade in Kenya under fair conditions and by wearing Johari you are empowering vulnerable young adults to build a living for themselves and their families.

  • The Atlantic Playsuit by NearFar makes me so happy! I adore playsuits and this one errs on the side of super chic. NearFar garments are produced ethically and locally, and are handmade by artisans in Sierra Leone, Africa.

  •  The Curry + Silver Triangle Tassel Necklace from Raven and Lilly not only looks beautiful but it carries a beautiful story along with it! After the gorgeous designs, one of the things I love most about this brand is how transparent they are. You can read about how items were made and who they were made by!

  • The pink Hi-Lo Henley Dress from 4 All Humanity makes my eyes happy! I love colours that POP, especially combined with interesting silhouettes. This lovely has been handmade in Uganda under fair trade conditions from 100% organic cotton. The talented women who crafted this dress were paid 3 times the average factory wage.

  • The black Men's Cotton Tee from Ananda Pascual is deliciously simple and stunningly sophisticated menswear. This tee was crafted in partnership with fair trade organisation Creative Handicrafts (India), working to improve the lives of women living in the slums of Mumbai.  

  • The Coral Summer Outfit from Eternal Creations is such a fun option for a vibrant young man who isn't afraid of a little colour! I especially love the marine print on the shirt. All Eternal Creation clothes are handmade under fair trade conditions at their Himalaya Tailoring Centre, located in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.

Here are 3 simple things you can do today to promote Human Friendly Fashion:

1.  Sign the 1% Campaign petition and demand that multinationals take responsibility for what happens in their name!

2. Check out the amazing ethical fashion blogs that make up the Human Friendly Fashion Blogger consortium. 

3. Connect with the Kindness by Design community on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more ethical fashion goodness!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kindness by Review: Kofü Ecodesign

Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of interviewing ethical jewellery designer Valérie Fréchette. She spoke to me about the art of upcycling and her love of vintage aesthetics. 

Now I'm so happy to share a closer look at one of her lovely handmade pieces - modeled by my dear friend and talented artist Lara Beeston.

At the heart of sustainability in fashion - lies versatility, which is one of the great things about these stunning earrings. You can wear them for a whimsical touch during the day and then transition effortlessly into a glamorous nighttime look!

I love the contrast of the playful owl pendant and the sophisticated vintage lace. Thanks to her environmentally friendly methods, most of Valérie's designs are limited editions and some are one of a kind. 

This uniqueness, coupled with the designer's exquisite taste, gives you the opportunity to own something truly exceptional AND ecochic! 

If that's a prospect that appeals you, I'd recommend a visit to Kofü Ecodesign :) 

Photo Credit: Andrew Beeston