01 May 2016

This Week // #45

boat sailing in the english channel
{Photo from a quick trip down to Brighton earlier this month.}

A bit too much. Life has been really busy recently and April has been manic. I realised that I have had 1 day at home this month. It has been because I'm doing great things, like big catchups with my family, travelling, projects at work and our trip out to France, but it has been tough. I haven't had much time for friends or my husband, or blogging and I've had a cold that has lingered all month but things are quieting down now. One thing is for sure- this weekend is all about the downtime!

My job. It is a big part of why I am so busy (commuting an hour either side of a 9 hour day) but it is really good right now. I've got my teeth into projects, I just got a promotion and I had the chance to go to Barcelona for 4 days with work. It is exciting and feels so full of opportunities. It has taken me a long time to get to a point where I feel like I'm actually in a career, with a future, and finally stuff feels like it is all coming together. Am I a grown up now?

Nothing of note. I feel like I hate my wardrobe right now. I am sick to death of all of my knitwear, which is too warm in the office now, but it is still so damn cold that nothing new works and I'm in a grump. I feel in a total rut with it all and like the worst frumpy mess clothing wise. Please can Summer come? I want light layers and summer dresses.

Of warmth and sunshine. Barcelona reminded me how good you feel with sun on your skin and blue skies overhead. Seeing as I am currently curled up with a blanket and slippers whilst it sleets outside, it isn't a surprise I'm craving the heat!

Links of the Week:

My number one link has to be this one. My sister was on TV talking about why she was striking about the Junior Doctor Contract that Hunt is trying to force through. I am so proud of my sister, for all the hard work she has done over the years, for how much she cares about how job and her patients.
Having seen how much of her life her job has taken up, I am horrified by how much more this contract asks of people. I know how impossible it would be for these medics to stretch themselves any further when they already work their lives around their jobs. It is emotionally and physically exhausting and they deserve better. The NHS won't survive without them, so if you can, show your support and show Jeremy Hunt that he cannot do this.

The Vogue at 100 campaign is everything right now! I totally adore the Harvey Nichols collaboration with a 100 year old model, Bo Gilbert. I challenge you to watch this video and not fall in love!

One of my friends from Brighton, Carrie has just launched a new adventure at One Pleasant Day. I remember us having a chat about photography and inspiration and blogging and creativity over coffee on a windy day in Kemp Town and it is so exciting to see people you know develop and start new challenges. I am already planning on buying some of her prints, to bring a little East Sussex into our Manchester home, but if you can, go across, say hello and give her some love!

I think it might be obvious that the last year or so have been full of change and transition for me. I finally feel like life is settling into a clear path after a long while of feeling somewhat at sea. No surprise that Coco Tea Party's '5 Things I Learned in My Early 20s' hit home!

Catch up with Chambray & Curls:
// Greenwashing // #LFBlooms Beauty Box // Vichy Thermal Springs // 5 Books that Inspire Me //



23 April 2016

Style Files // Greenwashing

HM Conscious Collection I've been on this ethical fashion journey for a long time now. Do you know I haven't actually bought anything from a highstreet store in over 2 years? I have found ethical alternatives, crawled the charity shops for treasures and become a fan of eBay instead.

But the other week I broke a little. I have a work trip to Barcelona tomorrow, for which I have no clothes, and a 25% discount card popped through the letterbox with my ELLE subscription. So I went to H&M and bought two things from their Conscious Collection, telling my self that it was good enough because of the label.

But since then I have honestly felt a little shitty. Because I know I allowed myself to pretend that the 'Conscious Collection' label meant it was actually ethical shopping, when I know it is actually quite a meaningless label.

What does the Conscious Collection even do? Well it uses some nicer fabrics. Some are organic cotton, some are recycled fabrics and some are 'sustainable' fabrics. The idea is that those choices can make you feel like you are a conscious consumer, which is all very well but the reality is that they are still clothes made on an enormous scale, in poor working conditions, for us to buy as much of as often as possible. It is all just Greenwashing.

I have been thinking about this a lot. More and more people seem to be interested in the ethical side of their purchases and brands are picking up on it. They put a label on it that hits us emotionally and makes us feel like it is a 'better' choice.

I guess what I struggle with is the idea of talking about sustainability alongside fast fashion. When we are consuming as much as we do, it cannot be sustainable. When businesses are pushing to make as high a profit margin as possible, it cannot be totally fair production. H&M encouraging customers to bring in a bag of clothes to recycle and offering them a voucher to buy more clothes with? That isn't sustainability, it is using people's consciences to make more money.

It isn't just H&M. I'm seeing marketing campaigns like this popping up all over the place, at the same time as brands like Mango and Matalan are refusing to pay the compensation they owe to victims of Rana Plaza. At the same time as H&M has been called out for not getting fire regulations in their factories up to standard. I am just struggling with the whole thing and to be honest, it has just fired me to keep looking at alternatives like #SecondHandFirst and ethical small businesses.

This was quite a rant, but with Fashion Revolution Day tomorrow, 3 years after Rana Plaza, it needed to get out of my head. More to remind myself of why I took my ethical pledge in the first place and why I want to keep doing it. I will wear my new jumpsuit and keep asking brands: Who made my clothes?

14 April 2016

BEAUTY // Lookfantastic #LFBlooms Beauty Box

LFBLOOMS April Lookfantastic Beauty Box Oh I do love taking photos of the Lookfantastic Beauty Boxes!* The packaging is just gorgeous. This month's box is so perfect for Spring. Not only is the packaging so pretty and bright, but the contents are all about eco and natural beauty. Blooming lovely, if you ask me (pun very much intended). Opening the Lookfantastic April Beauty Box What's inside the April Lookfantastic Beauty Box Lookfantastic Beauty Box Magazine
So what are my thoughts on this month's box? The box itself contains a Rituals hand scrub, Elemis hand cream, Balance Me body scrub, Blossom and Bloom body wash, Monu TanWorx tan maintainer, Briogeo hair mask and some bonus Myvitamins effervescent tablets. That's quite a bundle!

It is always nice to find some makeup bits in a beauty box but the thoughts behind this month's contents are so good that I can forgive it for being mainly body based. The magazine explains all the nice things about each one, from the natural ingredients inside to their eco credentials. With natural beauty becoming every more popular and it being Earth Month in April, it is really nice to try out some brands I wouldn't usually pick up. The Briogeo mask smells incredible!

Have you tried this month's box? Let me know what you think.

* PR sample but all opinions are my own and links are not affiliated!