Here we are again, that time of the year when the sun is shining, it feels hot and we just wanna shake off our warm clothes and jump into those light, colourful summery ones!
It’s been pretty wonderful in the UK of late – temperatures rising to 35 degrees…entire days passing without a cloud in sight… However, while we’re all out enjoying this weather, it does raise concerns about climate change and how temperatures are changing around the world faster than ever. Indeed, experts have said that this is one of the driest and hottest UK summers on record and we can most likely expect more summers like this over the coming years. To be honest with you, while it’s nice to feel the sun for so long, especially here in the UK, it’s also quite concerning to see our environment change in such dramatic and devastating ways. I mean, some days it felt like we were in a completely different country (like Italy, Greece or the south of Spain) and we mustn’t forget that this heat can be dangerous to old people, pregnant women, people with illnesses, etc. And then there’s the arid land and animals unable to find water. If this continues, who knows what the future might hold…
Well, to cope with this warm weather I have bought a few new pieces that I would like to show you now. I tried to buy only things that I really needed or that I really liked and also that I could wear after the summer or during other seasons. I tried to use the summer sales to purchase the things I wanted so I could also save some money for my holidays too.
First, the white skirt is from Thought, a brand I’ve already reared about in some of my previous posts. I’d wanted it since I first saw it on their website! What I like most about it is that it is very versatile and I can wear it with a lot of things. See below some of the outfits that I’m putting together with it – they all feel super summery but also the skirt goes well with some long sleeves t-shirts too, making it a possible piece of clothing for the coming autumn.
The second thing I bought was a couple of summer shoes because, as strange as it may sound, I didn’t have appropriate footwear for these hot months. The first pair is these rose sandals from Matt&Natt, a brand that I’ve been quite interested in trying since I first heard of them. Their products (they also sell bags, belts, small accessories and purses) are all vegan as they do not use leather or any other animal-based materials to make them. The name of the brand stands for Matt (Material) + Nat (Nature), and they describe themselves as a brand that is always exploring new innovative ways to be sustainable and eco-friendly. Among the materials they use in their products, we can find recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. In addition, all the linings inside their products are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. These sandals are made with “vegan leather” PU (polyurethane) which is far less harmful to the environment than the more commonly used PVC. They always try to use PU instead of PVC where possible. Another great thing is that they also pay attention to the way their factories work and the conditions of the workers in those places. Their factories are in China and according to their website they are regularly visited and inspected. They say they have strong, long-standing relationships with all of their supply factories; indeed, one of their own factories operates by the SA8000 standard, which ensures high quality work conditions for all the employees.
The second pair of shoes are the blue ones from the brand TOMS. I found the brand thanks to a reader who suggested I check them out online. Thank you John! ☺ They are so nice and comfortable that even my boyfriend has fallen for their charm and bought another pair for himself. But the positives don’t end there! The brand and its ethics are superb too. They work based in the mantra “One for one” which means that every time someone buys a pair of their shoes, TOMS gives another pair to a child in need. What started out with shoes has branched out to helping communities in a much wider field. -they now give help and support to people with sight problems, providing them with health care, medical treatment and prescription glasses when needed. Other programmes they have in place include providing access to safe, clean water in places where inhabitants don’t have access; helping women to give birth in safe conditions; and even programmes aimed at preventing and finding solutions to bullying in US schools. I’ll leave you the link here if you want to have a look: https://www.toms.com/improving-lives. I really recommend taking a look and reading about the work they do and the help they provide. It’s truly inspiring and it also makes you realise how much help is needed throughout the world and how much we can do as a consumers if we support the right brands and businesses.
Another thing about TOMS that I really like is that you can find them in local stores so you don’t have to order their products online. You can go to your nearest store, try the shoes on and buy them straight away if you like them. This was a nice surprise for me because buying online is one of the things that I struggle with the most while shopping ethically. I used to love going to the shops and trying on clothes before buying them, feeling them and seeing the colours covering my body. Sadly, when buying from ethical brands, this is not possible most of the time. I’m not going to tell you the number of times I’ve bought something and had to send it back because it didn’t fit me or suit me, or that I didn’t like how it felt or looked. Hey, nobody said this would be an easy project!
Finally, I bought a lovely print blouse from a company called VILDNIS. This company caught my attention because some of their pieces are made with recyclable plastic bottles. This blouse is one of those pieces, made by recycled Coca-Cola bottles – wow! I really like it because it feels incredibly light and fresh; perfect for a summer’s eve with a bit of a cool breeze. When I go on holiday, it will definitely have a place in my luggage ☺ I loved the idea of using plastic bottles to make new pieces of clothing as reusing the plastic that is already in the world it helps to prevent it ending up in the landfill or the ocean. This brand, apart from using fabrics and materials that have a minimum impact on the environment, are great because they also have a very transparent supply chain. On their website you can find a lot of information about their factories and the people who make their clothes. They work with a factory in Portugal and another one in India and from the photos and the comments it looks like they really take care of the people there. It’s very encouraging when you see that it’s possible for brands to have a real, close, caring relationship with ALL their workers and it makes me think positively about the future. An alternative way of producing fashion and being a consumer is very possible and, as I have been discovering recently, some people are already working to make this possibility our reality.
Now tell me, have you bought anything new this summer? 🙂