How To Create A Stylish Sustainable Wardrobe

Creating a sustainable wardrobe not only helps the planet, helps support fair and ethical trade and working conditions it also helps you. Not only are you more likely to start wearing more natural fabrics, which will allow your skin to breath, helping your mind and body. You’ll become wiser in what you buy, where from, what works for you and your body shape, loving and utilising all of your clothing and then options for reusing or recycling once an item is no longer wanted or beyond repair. In the long run, you will also save time, money and energy!

Here are 14 sustainable fashion tips you can start doing today to create that stylish sustainable wardrobe

  • Press Pause on Purchases
  • Be Confident In Yourself Your Style And Your Vision
  • Choosing colours and clothing styles that support and compliment you
  • Organise – What do I already have
  • Create a sustainable capsule wardrobe
  • Use Accessories to change a look
  • Repair
  • Sell, Swap, Donate
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Decide on what you need
  • Sustainable fabric choices
  • Where to buy
  • Take care of your clothing investment

Press Pause On Purchases

Over-consumption is one of the biggest factors regarding environmental issues. Fast fashion is exactly that…fast, not made to last or even expected to last because next season a different version will be made, and you’ll be expected to buy.

Creating a sustainable wardrobe involves thinking about your clothes in a sustainable way. They are an investment and an investment in you. You need to think about you, change your mindset don’t feel pushed into ‘The must have’s’ for the season. Start thinking in terms of ‘might have’s‘ and if its right for you and your wardrobe needs.

Stay away from the sale rail, unsubscribe from store emails, clear your browser from automatically opening to stores and make it difficult to buy anything clothes related. The chances are that unless you literally have no functioning underwear, socks or tights, you really don’t need to buy anything for at least a month and probably longer. Giving you a chance to work through most, if not all of the steps below.

If you think there is something you desperately need or has popped into your inbox with a massive discount, leave it where it is for 48 hours or even better a week. The chances are you won’t feel the same or have the same rush of ‘must have’. Putting distance between you and your habits in purchasing is where you can make the most gains in time and money. Most of us have bought something in the heat of the moment, then regretted it later or only worn the item once. Yes, you can return the item, but lets face it, its not usually something any of us want to be bothered with, and it could have been omitted just by pressing the pause button!

Being sustainable is not just about buying everything Eco-friendly, its about shopping wisely ensuring everything is really what you want, need and love to wear.

Be Confident In Yourself, Your Style And Your Vision

Be honest, and ask yourself the following questions:-

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Gift Ideas That Keep On Giving

Struggling to think of gift ideas for a friend or loved one? A special birthday coming up and they literally have everything? An Eco conscious friend your nervous to buy for? Look no further my list of top eight genres with lots of thoughtful ideas that keep on giving and don’t cost the earth in more ways than one in the process!

  • Planet Friendly Ethical Fashion
  • Gifts Including Memories
  • Gifts For The Gardener
  • Gifts That Support Someone Else
  • Experience Gifts
  • Practical And Personal
  • The Gift That Gives Elsewhere
  • The World Of Words

Planet Friendly Ethical Fashion

There is something about wearing natural fibres, that have been ethically and fairly made that puts a spring in your step. Whether an actual clothing item or a gift card, you can’t go wrong with a sustainable ethical clothing brand. Items produced in organic cotton, bamboo and hemp, not only bring a great talking point, they are a delight to wear, allowing your skin to breath and they last.

I love bamboo clothing, I came across the fact that you could make clothes with bamboo several years ago, which at the time to me, just seemed bizarre. I was intrigued and so I ordered some clothes. To speak in a very British way when my package arrived.. I wasn’t disappointed! For the not so British let’s go with awesome!

There are now multiple brands from Lucy & Yak to Noctu. The brand I have personally used for several years is Thought. Once delivered, I was amazed to open something that wasn’t full of plastic. (Even the outer bag was beautifully designed, paper and encouraged you to reuse). From the first feel of the softness and quality of that bamboo top and the cosy bamboo socks that snuggled around my toes, I was sold!

Since that time they have added more lines, with home, make-up, jewellery and accessories. As a company that has an ethos of responsible sourcing and caring about people and nature its a brand worth considering.

I have since purchased plenty of bamboo socks amongst other things as gifts!

For a link to the wearthought.com website click here.

Gifts including memories

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Mixed Fruit Crumble

This is an ideal way of using up fruit that is starting to look a little sad and being bypassed for fresher looking fruit! Predominantly a pudding but my family have been known to scoop a bowlful as an alternative breakfast!

You can pretty much use any fruit. I find Apples, pears, plums, berries, rhubarb, all work well and I tend to add in, citrus, banana and mango to other fruits rather than a whole crumble of them, but that is only because I haven’t tried it thus far!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make a little or a lot. I tend to decide from what fruit I would like to use up as to how big the dish I am going to use and subsequently how much crumble I will need. Therefore the amounts below are a rough guide, its quick and easy so if you feel your crumb is looking a bit thin you can always add some more!

  • Prep Time 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time 30-35 minutes
  • Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 500g of mixed fruit
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey or syrup
  • 100g of flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of sugar white or brown
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Quick Flap Jacks

Flap jacks one of those snacks that you can leave basic or add in all sorts of things that you would like to use up. Banana, apple, raisins, chocolate chips, leftover cereals, I love just popping things in and seeing how they turn out.

For a quick basic recipe see below and have a go!

  • Prep Time 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 125g sugar
  • 125 butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 250g Porridge Oats
  • 50g dried fruit (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven 180C / Fan 160C/ Gas 4
  • line a small baking sheet with grease proof paper
  • Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan, put on a low heat stir and melt it down.
  • Once all melted add the oats, dried fruit and any other bits and pieces and give a good mix around making sure everything is coated.
  • Once mixed place into the tray, smooth and press down with a fork
  • Bake in the oven for around 20 mins or until golden.
  • Remove and allow to cool
  • Once cooled, lift out and chop into squares.

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What can I do with overripe bananas

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What can I do with overripe bananas

You bring your lovely bananas home partially green and it seems within seconds there are brown spots they quickly become less appealing to eat as each day passes. Before you know it, there are more black than yellow areas all hints of greenness disappeared. However before you head for the nearest bin even if its a compost bin have a look at these options. There are quick options for when you are heading out of the door!

  • Freeze
  • Banana porridge
  • Mashed Banana & Peanut Butter on toast
  • Smoothie
  • Banana Ice Cream (quick method)
  • Baked Banana
  • Banana & Mixed Fruit Crumble
  • Banana Flap Jacks
  • Banana over ripening prevention

Freeze

Freezing is a quick way of delaying any further ripening and saving them for use at a later date. You can actually freeze with the skin on, it will go black. (ensure when defrosting you place in a bowl as there will be liquid seeping)

Bananas are best put in an air tight container or freezer bag. I tend to use reusable jars. But whatever you use, you can peel and cut into chunks, there by being able to remove the amount of chunks you may want for later. If space is tight you can mash up and place in a freezer bag, flatten to remove air and seal. You then will have a nice flat shape that can slot in pretty much anywhere in the freezer. Labelling your item with how many mashed bananas it contains can be helpful for future use.

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Less is more – My own story

It started with a hedge!

Many years ago I was engaged in the most arduous garden job of cutting the hedge. The hedge that grew at an insane speed. Little did I know that this hedge would change my life! Whilst busy getting frustrated, I noticed a large clearance van outside a neighbors house quickly being filled with household contents and furniture.

The elderly lady had passed away a few months before. I knew she had no local family and her only child was a son that normally lived some distance away. I could see him overseeing the removals. The property had been sold, and the van quickly became crammed with her possessions.

It really hit me that as the men shut up the doors, how final it all was. That van was filled with a lifetime of possessions and furniture unwanted by the son or anyone else.

  • You do not know what is around the corner.
  • You cannot take it with you

I had many questions – What was the point? Why did we all work so hard to maintain houses? Why did we buy or acquire so many things? What should or could we do with those things? Over a lifetime many items will become lost, broken or worn out and will be replaced. However some items can hang around for years. We may notice and enjoy them….but sometimes not!

House moves are stressful

House moves are stressful but can often result in unopened boxes in a loft leftover from a house move from several years before. I’ve known people that have moved those unopened boxes from one house move to another.

We all have our own experiences and points of view of essential items. (If I’m ever able to possess a pair of Manolo Blahnik killer heels, then yes I probably would consider them essential!!!)

How many of our possessions when we die, realistically get taken by a friend or family member? At the time of my personal enlightenment the Swedish word ‘Dostadning’,  translated as ‘death cleaning’ in English was unknown.

Something really shifted inside of me that day. A seed was planted, a snowflake settled. Over time they gathered momentum, and my life looks very different now. I still don’t own a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, but I do possess a smaller property without a hedge!

Dostadning’ from the the book by Margaretta Magnusson, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

For Amazon click image above

The links below enable you to shop supporting the book shops local to you via Bookshop. org. (Currently UK and US only).

For UK bookshop.org click here

For US bookshop.org click here

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Why Less Is More

With so many lives changed either temporarily or permanently in the last 12-18 months, the term, ‘less is more’ has possibly never been more relevant and can actually be beneficial in so many areas of our lives.

Wanting More

The temporary joy in acquiring something new, for most people, particularly in the western world rarely lasts that long. We move on surprisingly quickly. The cycle of wanting more material things or experiences therefore needing more money to buy them, which intern leads to push for promotion or a search for a job that pays more money to pay for them. The more ‘stuff’ you have the bigger the home you need, or possibly forced to pay for storage. The increased home and contents insurance. The time and/or money needed for repair or just maintenance, it can go on in a constant cycle.

Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists are extremely honest in their stories of dissatisfaction , where they had achieved everything they thought was important in life – the 6 figure career, the home, the car, the seemingly perfect lifestyle yet they were unsatisfied, depressed, stressed and in debt. This then caused them to make large lifestyle changes.

In general, once basic needs, health and security are met the correlation between greater wealth and greater happiness is no longer the same and can even start to diminish.

More Options More Decisions

Having little or no choice can be too restrictive and make us unhappy or feel that we have no autonomy over our lives. More choice increases our happiness however too many choices can be overwhelming and we then end up with too many decisions to make.

How many people have a closet full of clothes yet they feel they have nothing to wear or late for work trying to decide?

Twenty years ago I travelled to Canada, wonderful, amazing country. However coming from the UK at that time if you asked for a coffee, the chances are it was given to you white, if you wanted black you would have to say before the milk went in, and no one had heard of nut milks! I think some places may have offered cappuccino if you were lucky!

So back in Canada, up early, slightly jet lagged we wanted to have a look around and decided to go out for breakfast. We found a cafe with huge options on the boards. I thought I’d make it easy by going for a coffee and a doughnut. The poor waitress was probably equally alarmed at my lack of knowledge and how many questions it took to get my order. First question what type of coffee then decaf or normal? milk? what kind of milk? Dairy, nut or soya? OK dairy -full, semi or skimmed? Sugar? what kind of sugar? We then moved onto the doughnut…what kind of doughnut? what flavour? Iced or plane? I think at this point I stammered something like plane with plane icing! I just remember feeling exhausted by the time I sat down!

Continue reading “Why Less Is More”

Basic Vegetable Stock

This basic vegetable stock recipe can be created and used straight away, kept in the fridge for a few days, or frozen for another time, it’s easy and can be a great way of using up leftover vegetables:-

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Carrots
  • 1 Whole Onion (skin on is fine)
  • 4 sticks of celery or the bulb end
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Sprig of Thyme
  • 1 handful of parsley

Method

  • Wash (making sure all dirt is removed) and roughly chop your ingredients (skins can be kept on)
  • Place in a large saucepan or stock/soup pot
  • Cover with water so that the vegetables are covered by about 1 inch of water and can easily be stirred.
  • Put on a medium heat and once getting to boiling point, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off the heat, strain and you have your stock.

If not reusing straight away remember to cool before putting in an air tight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

For a lighter flavour you can add more water or less for a more concentrated stock.

You do not need to add Salt or Pepper, this is best leaving till you make your soup, or use it in other cooking.

Another good way of creating stock is keeping a container in the freezer for leftover bits of veg that you haven’t used and once you have enough for stock, create the stock.

It is fine to use vegetables that are passed their best but do not use mouldy vegetables.

Other articles you may like

7 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Soup

Click on the links below to see some of my favourite soup recipes.

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Leftover Vegetable Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Sweet Potato Carrot and Lentil Soup

7 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Soup

There is something incredibly wholesome and satisfying about homemade soup both for the cook and the recipient. A large pot on the stove simmering away with that welcome aroma floating through the house is a scent encompassing the feeling of warmth and cosiness on a cold night. Equally satisfying, open a flask at work, school or out in the cold and you have instant tingly home cosy warmth to wrap your hands around. If this isn’t enough to get you heading to the kitchen and peering in the fridge for possible soup ingredients, then see below for 7 reasons why it is worth making your own soup!

In a rush…don’t need the reason just want some recipes? – Scroll to the bottom of this post!

  • You know exactly what is in it!
  • Nutritious
  • Low Calorie & Filling
  • Easy to make
  • Low Cost
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Easy to Freeze

You know exactly what is in it!

Hate to state the obvious but the reality is, you make it, you know what’s in it! Equally goes for any homemade food you’re creating from scratch. Ready made soups, do tend to have a higher salt and sugar content, so something to check on the ingredients breakdown label. I do not need to add sugar to my soups, and may not always add salt, if I feel it tastes fine without. Some items being added for example in my Broccoli & Stilton Soup the Stilton being cheese, will already have salt in it. As will ready made stock cubes and other ready made stock options. You can get reduced salt or (reduced sodium) stock. If you are worried or need to limit your salt intake, you can also just either use water, or make your own stock without any salt. For my recipe on How to make stock click here.

Nutritious

As most soups have plenty of plant based ingredients and meat based soups only usually have small amounts of meat as well as vegetables. The vitamin and mineral content of this meal is usually high depending on the ingredients, also, nothing is lost by throwing it away during cooking, everything remains together. It is also an excellent way of hiding specific unfavourable nutritious items that won’t be eaten normally by some family members (especially little ones) but are acceptable in soup.

Continue reading “7 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Soup”

Roasted Sweet Potato, Carrot & Lentil Soup

This all in one soup is one of those go to soups for an amazing taste from very little ingredients, the roasting process bringing out all the wonderful flavours of the Sweet Potato, Carrots, Onion and Garlic. If you don’t like it too spicy, go easier on the Chilli Flakes.

It’s silky smooth texture but hearty fill make this an excellent winter warmer lunch that will easily keep you going till dinner.

  • Prep Time 8-10 minutes
  • Cook Time 20-25 minutes
  • Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato
  • 3-4 Medium Carrots
  • 100g or 4 oz Red Lentils
  • 1 Onion
  • 5-6 Garlic Clothes
  • 2.5 Pints of stock
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 2 tsp Coriander ground or fresh
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper seasoning

Method

  • Turn on oven to warm 200C/ Fan 180C / 400 F/Gas 6
  • Wash, peel and chop vegetables putting approx 1/4 of the onion to the side, the garlic cloves can be peeled and left whole. Or if you like a strong garlic flavour you can use a whole one part peeling keeping it together and chopping the pointed ends off so it will bake in one. (See photograph below).
  • Pour some of the olive oil on the tray, then place the chunks of sweet potato, carrot, 3/4 of the onion and garlic on the tray, pour on the rest of the oil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper over the vegetables and mix everything together with your hands, ensuring everything has a coating of oil, (add a little more oil if necessary)
  • Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins or until vegetable are soft
  • Place a little oil in a large saucepan, heat and add the onion to soften and the lentils and 3-4 table spoonfuls of stock and cook for 3-4 mins keeping an eye, then put the rest of the stock into the pan and simmer for about 8 mins until the lentils are cooked.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked add them into the stock and blend with a hand blender or transfer to a liquidiser in batches.
  • Once blended return to the hob to heat season to taste and add the coriander. Stir in and serve.

Other Soup Recipes

Click on the links below to see some of my other favourite soup recipes you may like.

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Leftover Vegetable Soup