Sustainable fashion is the topic on everyone's lips at the moment. With the world in chaos around us, it's no surprise that individuals are starting to take a closer look at how we can find ways to reduce our impact on the environment. It's a topic that I've always been very interested in, but even more so since I started traveling. When you live out of a backpack and constantly move between places, it really opens your eyes to the amount of waste in the world and the focus on materialism.
I won't lie, I'm very guilty of giving into the latest high street fashions and cheap clothing that was made in some factory in Asia. But just as I have done with my vegetarian diet, using less plastic and recycling, I'm trying to make small changes in my life which could make a big impact on the world around me. I'm over all this preaching nonsense, I think making good decisions comes down to education and allowing people to make mistakes and educate themselves, not shaming them.
I'm so excited to share this collaboration with a new fashion brand, Wool&, and had so much fun shooting the pictures for this feature. How did I know that this was a brand I wanted to share with you? Well very simply, their values centre around the ideas of "Live simply. Consume carefully. Do good." Exactly my motto for life! Wool& have created the most practical, and most wearable dress in my wardrobe which I find very exciting because it is the perfect dress for travel. I've always loved fashion, but my adventurous side always calls for practicality and to finally have a dress that can keep up with my travels is amazing! The Rowena Swing dress is made of merino wool, which means it's naturally wrinkle resistant, odor resistant, breathable, temperature regulating and quick drying. Could a dress be any more practical? Oh yeah, and it has pockets. (That's right, you heard me ladies!)
Just like the idea that travelers should leave nothing but footprints behind them, I've always tried to lead my life along the idea that we should have as little impact on the world around us as possible. There are so many ways to reduce our carbon footprint, from eating less meat, to traveling in a sustainable way to support responsible tourism and local communities instead of bigger corporations. We can limit the amount of plastic and packaging we use, try to use cruelty-free products and invest in a reusable water bottle. I'm not perfect by a long shot, but I really do try to do my bit and look at the bigger picture. But how does this apply to the clothes on my back?
Instead of giving in to every fast fashion craving, I take a step back and ask myself if I really need the item and whether it will last. Because sustainable fashion is about more than just wearing clothes made of bamboo – it's about choosing classic investment pieces that will transcend the seasons and will last for years. It's about buying clothes made of good quality, natural materials that don't harm the environment and will be loved time and time again. I'm a huge fan of vintage and second-hand shopping, when traveling, this is my main source of clothes. It's also about supporting businesses that don't take advantage of their workers for cheap labour and realising that with every penny we spend, we are casting a vote.
Read this post: The Trouble With Being An Ethical Traveler
I know we live in a world of fashion bloggers and models, where every girl on Instagram seems to have a new outfit in every photo. But I'm here to bust this idea that we need to constantly be buying new things to look good. Honestly, who has the time or the money to spend on this? Because those girls on Insta who are always wearing the latest fashions and styles, quite often, they are being sent clothes for photos and are making money from the links they share! There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but if you're not an influencer, it's not always the most attainable lifestyle.
The happiest I've ever been was when I was living in the same manky old bikini and beach dress combo every day. I didn't care what I looked like, I cared how I felt, and I felt happy. So let's take a step back from this idea that we constantly need new clothes to feel and look good. Re-wearing and re-styling clothes is cool and I love to keep repeat featuring clothes on my posts because I really love them and genuinely wear them all the time. I don't see the point in having endless wardrobes of clothes that never get worn, I'd much rather have a few choice sustainable fashion items that I love to put on.
Finding your Autumn style can be a bit of a challenge when you're a summer baby at heart. Made more for bikinis on the beach and flip flops, the cooler months have always been a struggle for me. Perhaps the reason why I've spent the last four years chasing the summer from the Northern to the Southern hemispheres and back again! While some friends craved the warm winter woolies and darker nights, fantasising about staying warm on the sofa with a good movie, I was dreaming of tropical heat and living on the beach. But moving to Hamburg has really made me see Autumn in a whole new light, no longer is it the season of rain and wind and cold, but instead Germany has shown me a season filled with warm, rich colours, with hearty food and log fires. I can't believe I had never seen it before, but Autumn is Germany at it's finest, the parks ablaze with gold, red and brown, the skies clear, blue and the ground warmed by the late season sun. I won't lie, I'm writing this on a day when it is rainy and blustery to the max, a horrible autumnal day, but until now, my first Autumn living in Germany has been one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
You all know that I'm used to spending my life in maxi dresses and swimwear, and already I've adjusted my summer style to fit in with the Hamburg look, but with a new season comes a whole new challenge. Getting used to all the layers, knitwear and most of all, weatherproofing against the German weather while not giving up all sense of style! German style seems to be very functional, weather-oriented and very muted colours, with a lot of black. Well, as much as I'm rooting for how practical their style is, I can't help but be bored by the lack of colour and fun in dressing for the weather. I think there HAS to be a way of preparing both the sunny Autumn days and the worst weather that is yet to come this season, while still maintaining your fun, quirky style throughout the winter months. Here's five ways I'm embracing the season and changing up my style for autumn:
I love anything colourful and living in sunny countries means a bright colour scheme never gets a second look. But, when you're walking through dark, dull streets and everyone is wearing black and grey, it can be hard to be brave and to embrace colour. I miss my bright red and yellow summer dresses that always looked great with a tan! But there's no reason why your autumn/winter wardrobe has to be dull. Why not change up your colour palette and instead of avoiding all colour, go for more muted, jewelled tones that suit the season. I love the autumn shades,l from deep reds and golds, to rusty oranges, I'm a huge fan of the rich colours appearing in the shops. It doesn't have to mean a complete wardrobe overhaul, why not pick up some new accessories or basic tops to pair with your favourite season-to-season items? My favourite new items are a deep orange headscarf and a bargain rust-coloured coed jacket that I’ve barely taken off since I found them.
It’s all about the accessories and I’m all about finding ways to change up your autumn style while sticking to your budget and keeping things sustainable. It’s nice to see fashion bloggers stepping away from fast fashion and instead promoting vintage and second-hand shopping. I’m a big lover of vintage shopping and find it great for picking up one-of-a-kind pieces that will help keep your style unique to you. Whether it’s a new bag, scarf or even a hat, it will come with a story, and even better, you’ll know that your purchase will be supporting both your wallet and the environment. One of my favourite things to shop for is vintage and second-hand jewellery on markets and in stores, you can find some real gems if you dig deeper enough!
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing more important than having plenty of layers at the ready to keep you toasty on the walk to work. We all want to look good, but it’s just as vital to stay warm and cosy when it’s -10 degrees outside. I’ve started wearing small tops under big jumpers with a warm coat for the journey into work, with scarves and hats. Layering means being ready for that first blast of autumn winds and rain in the morning, but also being able to peel off those layers when your office is 100 degrees by the afternoon. By being smart and combining layers, you can save yourself the cost of investing in a thicker coat by instead layering jackets and jumpers. If you’re on a budget when updating your autumn style, this can really help.
Trying to limit your purchases of new autumn styles? Trying to stick to a budget? Cut back on spending and instead invest in a capsule wardrobe. Just focus on picking key pieces that you know you can style up in multiple ways and will wear throughout the season. Don't worry about picking up one of everything, instead pick out the timeless styles you know you will bring out again and again. If you love the more retro, 70's styles, why not invest in a pair of flares or some corduroy trousers? Or if you prefer, why not invest in a piece of knitwear or boots you will wear for years to come? Always ask yourself if you really need the item, if you will wear it for more than one season and if it is really your style.
A great way to refresh your wardrobe is to recycle clothes from one season to the next. All those summer dresses could be reinvented with a polo neck or long-sleeved top underneath and a pair of boots. Pair with a nice, cosy winter coat and you have a brand new look! Or why not bring back those summer skirts with a pair of tights and ankle boots? Look carefully at your wardrobe and think about how you can recycle what you already have to really make the most of the clothes and limit your spending. Plan your autumn style carefully to achieve maximum effect with minimal effort. All the money you will save, plus the knowledge you are making sustainable choices for the environment, will be more satisfying than yet another cheap dress or outfit. Plus, restyling previous outfits forces you to get creative and try ways of wearing items!
How do you change up your style for autumn? How are you embracing the season? What's your must-have autumn style?