The Eco Age Frugal Challenge – 7 Days of Heaven

 In Ethical Fashion, Journal, My Wardrobe

Last week I took part in the Eco Age Frugal Challenge. The task; sharing and wearing only ethical fashion. It wasn’t much of a challenge as that’s every day in my world, but was super fun to share it with the Eco Age audience and folks on twitter.

Here are my 7 outfits (and an extra fancy dress costume from Saturday night!)

Monday. African Queen.

Hello Monday morning. Today I am in the Jewellery studio which isn’t as glamourous as it sounds, will be spending the day sawing, filing and soldering metal. It’s a shared space so there are loads of health & safety rules such as hair up, no open toe shoes, and only natural fibres (due to man made ones often being more flammable)
So I have gone for my ASOS Africa jumpsuit which I love, especially as it is made my SOKO, a fair trade production unit in Kenya, set up by my former colleague at Ethical Fashion Forum, Jo Maiden.

Have paired this with my comfy TOMS and a ring and necklace from my own collection. Stylish for the studio, and perfect for my friends leaving drinks tonight.

I stopped a stranger on the way to the tube and asked her to take this photo. Turns out I picked a photographer. Thanks Dani (

Tuesday. Organic.

Woke up to the sound of heavy rain this morning. So went for something perfect come rain or shine and easy to wear at the bench today (which is where this photo is taken).

It’s a day for climate neutral organic cotton which both my tee and my trousers are made from. My trousers are by Norwegian label Fin Oslo, part of a range they created exclusively for the ASOS Green Room last year. The t-shirt is from charity EJF (Environmental Justice Foundation) whose work I am a big supporter of. In a way it’s your famous campaign/political tee but with a design twist. This one features a design by Eley Kishimoto, which was inspired by the tree of life and the profits of it’s sale went to their Climate Refugees campaign. Did you know that there are actually more climate refugees than political refugees in today’s world. In 2008, 20 million people were displaced due to climate change, and over 150,000 died due to global warming and it is estimated that these figures are just getting higher. So it’s a really important campaign to support.

And my shoes – well they are Melissa for Herchcovitch; Alexandre. Made from  MELFLEX plastic, and the Brazilian company has some innovative sustainable practises in their factory such as recycling 99.9% of its factory waste and water. They have the added bonus of protecting me from soggy feet if we do get some rain later today – but fingers crossed for another sunny afternoon and evening.

Wednesday. Bright is Right!

For the last three years I have been buying just 20 items a year, and as these all tend to be dresses that I can wear for work or for play, I have developed a tendency to dress a bit like I am going to a party when in the office. I like to bring a bit of colour to the office, and think it makes the day more fun, plus this morning a gentleman gave me his seat on the tube (always a bonus!)
So this dress is actually one of my mum’s skirts. It’s from Dorothy Perkins, I think in the 70s and is made from 100% polyester and so it has worn really well over the years. It’s also really light and so keeps me cool in this weather. The waistband is elasticated on the back so it happily sits on me as if it was made to be a strapless dress. Have added in a few accessories; an old leather belt from Anthropologie, my favourite ring, a handmade lace hairthing I picked up last year and my Neu Aura animal free and eco-conscious shoes.
Oh and not to forgot underwear, I am wearing these striped knickers from Pants to Poverty, made from fairtrade and pesticide free cotton.

Thursday. Long and Lovely.

A rainy morning, so am brightening it up with this gorgeous vintage dress. I got this a few months ago from Saloon 97 in Brixton Village. I walked it and it was hanging on the wall. I tried it on and as I walked out of the changing room, everyone nodded and I knew that I was taking it home. It’s such a great feeling when you find a vintage dress that you love and that fits you like it was made to measure.
I have accessorised it with this ring and wanderlust necklace from my Raw-Cut Dreamer collection, and some sharp non-leather heeled sandles.

Friday. What a Beauty!

Wearing my beautiful Minna dress today made from a mixture of silk, peace silk and antique lace and shoes from Terra Plana.

Saturday. Think Act Vote

Am at a music festival today and so wearing this gorgeous dress that Tara Starlet made for my project Think Act Vote (?!X), am pairing it simply with these little gold pumps that I have had for about ten years now from Portobello Market and vintage sunglasses. The ?!X Refashioned challenge had leading eco-fashion designers creating one off pieces from one of our climate neutral t-shirts. You can read the story of the dress here.

?!X is a project that brings together citizenship, sustainability, culture and creativity to get us to share the future that we choose and ways to create it. A space online and offline where how you dream the world and how you see it come together. A place where all of us can share inspiration and be inspired.
Recently we have launched the Futures Interview which yesterday featured Jeff Garner, of Prophetik who designed Livia’s beautiful Golden Globes dress. Livia and the rest of the wonderful Noi Collective Ladies took part in Think Act Vote last year sharing the future they choose. You can get involved too by answering our question.
(Ooh and later this afternoon I am dressing up as a bumble bee as part of the British Countryside theme of the festival – I have put together my costume in a sustainable way of course – buying nothing new. Stay tuned for a photo of the bee in action on Monday!)

Sunday. Fun Day.

A fun festival look for Playgroup, where I am this weekend. Am wearing a special piece from Junky Styling. I walked in one afternoon and it had just been made that morning. I love the colours and the floaty feel of it….perfect for running around in fields. It’s see thru, so am wearing part of what was an up-cycled Johann playsuit, which I chopped into a mini dress one day.
Have combined it with this handmade floral headband from Her Curious Nature, and jewellery from my own collection (ringnecklacebraceletanklet)

Extra: Queen Bee

This weekend I went to Playgroup Festival, where the theme was the British Countryside, and they were also using this theme to raise awareness of the current issues threatening the future of it. I just decided to go a few days before the festival and didn’t have much time to work on an outfit. I was given a little card that came with my ticket inviting me to dress up as a hare. But I didn’t have any hare like clothes, and wanted to buy nothing new to make this outfit.

I have noticed two types of friends when it comes to fancy dress. Most head out and buy what they need from cheap high street stores and fancy dress stores, happily wear it once and throw it away. Whilst others work with what they have got or make things especially for the occasion. I wanted to make the Bjork Swan dress, from an old white sheet but didn’t have the time, so I thought through my wardrobe and realised what I could put together easily.

I decided to go as a bee, as they are a vital but in danger. Sam Roddick wrote on the Eco-Age blog earlier this year about The Importance of Bees – “Within England, the bee is vanishing at a far larger rate than any other country in Europe- the British honey bee population has dropped by thirty percent in recent years. Six of 25 bee species have declined in UK by at least 80% in last 50 years while 3 British bumblebee species are already extinct.”

To make the costume, I wore a yellow dress that I have had for years and stitched some black ribbon around it to make the stripes. I had these bee boppers as somebody had left them in my car on the way to a festival a few years ago. I then made my wings with a couple of wire coathangers and an old pair of tights. As it was a bit chilly, I put on some organic cotton leggings from Gossypium, a cardigan from Frank + Faith, and fairtrade Ethletic trainers from The Fair Corporation. Making a costume that was easy to dance in, free and all the parts of it are wearable again.

Thanks to Livia & Miranda and the rest of the team at Eco Age! This week you can vote for your fave of my outfit on the Eco Age poll.

+ Find out how you can clean up your wardrobe with my top tips.

+ Read the Eco-Age Blog

+ Follow Eco-Age on Twitter

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  • […] wore every day for seven days including a day of fancy dress as a bee at a music festival! You can see all the pictures here, sadly the links to Eco-Age on the photos don’t work now as Eco-Age have since re-designed […]