Ethical Fashion

Posted by Penny on May 06, 2013
Fairtrade, Fashion, Handmade, Vintage / 1 Comment

If we want to live more ethical & sustainable lifestyles, one of the best places for many of us to begin is to become more conscious consumers. This past couple of weeks the garment manufacturing building collapse in Bangladesh has been on many of our minds. It’s so easy to ignore the pesky knowledge that many of our clothes are made in sweat shops, but I think this past week many of us have said to ourselves ‘I must try harder’. Try harder to spend our hard earned money on businesses that share our ideals, rather than ones who act unethically.

It’s actually fairly easy to shop ethically these days, when there are plenty of Australian made, organic & fairtrade, handmade or secondhand options around. I know organic and locally made clothing often has a bit of a reputation as being rather expensive, so let’s break it down.


Secondhand / Vintage
My hands-down favourite way to buy clothing is op shopping or thrifting. I love that buying preloved means I’m getting something someone else might not have. It’s mostly about the thrill of the hunt – you never know what you might find! There’s plenty of vintage and secondhand to be found online as well – eBay anyone?
Pros: you’re reusing an item that’s already been loved – no new resources were used.
Cons: you have to find it first!
Lust-list: Vintage 1960s Blue and Green Silk Tropical Floral Print Wiggle Frock from VintageFrocksofFancy


Ethically Made
This is a no-brainer – ethically made means that you’re purchasing something thoughtfully, which is hopefully made of organic fibers and been made by workers who’re paid a fair wage. There are many different accreditation systems for ethically made, but I like to look for fairtrade, organic and eco-friendly items. Ethical Clothing Australia is a good place to begin!

Pros: you’re supporting worker’s rights to a safe workplace and a fair wage.
Cons: there are heaps of labels out there who may not be as eco-friendly or fairtrade as they claim – look for accredited brands or ask questions!
Lust-list: Men’s Triangle Print Tee by People Tree


Making your own clothes is great. You can get a perfect fit, use any fabric you want, and the sky’s the limit in terms of style! Plus, you can pay yourself whatever you like! Just make sure to try and find some great organic or vintage / secondhand fabrics. Check out your local op shop!

Pros: you made it yourself! Sweet satisfaction.
Cons: you need to know how to sew. You can totally teach yourself though!
Lust-list: Bow Shirt 02 Pattern by BurdaStyle


And finally, there are so many independent labels around run by talented designers and makers creating clothing in small runs, making one of a kind pieces, or even making bespoke pieces tailored just for you.

Pros: support a local designer, buy something truly unique, and have it tailored just to you.
Cons: are there any?
Lust-list: Pink Flamingo Dress with Peter Pan Collar by Kissyface

If you have any favourite handmade or ethically made labels, great sources for vintage and secondhand or resources for DIY clothing please leave a comment. More posts soon!


Etsy Wishlist: Tea Party

Posted by Penny on April 22, 2013
Handmade, Organic Cotton, Recycled Paper, Vintage, Wish List / No Comments

Did you see that MONA (Tasmania’s amazing art gallery / museum) is opening a Red Queen themed exhibition soon? I might just have to go down there again! It made me think of tea parties, and then after several hours of poking around on Etsy and the internet in general I have some fun tea party finds. Etsy is one of my favourite places to shop online because it literally has everything.

1. Vintage 1950s SWIRL wrap dress from BessGeorgette – for wearing to the tea party! Buying vintage is great because you’ll be wearing something nobody else will, and you don’t need to worry about your hard earned cash supporting a company who uses sweatshops.
2. Vintage baby blue imperial 70 typewriter from epochco – for writing invitations or just adding to the awesomeness of your home.
3. Screen Printed Organic Cotton Bicycle Cloth Napkins by ohlittlerabbit – recycled paper napkins are usually pretty ugly, but cloth napkins are the best. Use them over & over!
4. Card – You’re Seriously the Best by HappyDappyBits – for inviting friends to your tea party, or thanking them for attending.
5. Vereco: blue cup/saucers, set of six from ThatRetroPiece – for sipping soy chai, or maybe a hot chocolate.

P.S. I think at the tea party we would eat this cake (love me some raw food desserts) and listen to some Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. xx

Etsy Handmade Roundup – Australia

Posted by Penny on December 16, 2011
Gift Ideas, Handmade / No Comments

Pink hemp/cotton clutch purse with floral print by SirTom

Etsy is an extremely awesome place to find last minute Christmas gifts – if you buy handmade on Etsy you’re buying directly from the maker, so if you check first and mention you’ve got a deadline you may be able to get some excellent and extremely speedy service!

Etsy has a couple of really useful search tools to allow us to find local gifts (making postage a bit faster!) If you do a search for, let’s say, linen, you’ll be able to whittle down the results by excluding items that don’t post to your country, and including only items from your country. Check out the Ship To and Local Items functions here!

This is my shortlist of some gorgeous Aussie gifts for Christmas (but remember to check postage deadlines with each seller!)


Above – the clutch purse by SirTom features an original fabric design printed onto Hemp fabric. Awesome.

1. Organic Cotton Knit Scarf – Sketchbook by EllyNelly – made of 100% certified organic cotton, these scarves all also feature original artwork. Gorgeous!

2. Long Case – Black – ‘Flock’ by mingus. Mingus has been around for awhile now, and in my opinion the products keep getting better & better! Mingus textile products are hand printed, and completely made with love. And Mingus’ designer Dear is completely awesome too.

3. Fluffly white clouds stacking wooden toy by ScarletteRoseFairy. The production of these wooden toys is a real family affair, but kids are really at heart as they’re handmade using non-toxic paints & a beeswax finish! That’s your favourite bub’s gift sorted.

Tea Towel Dahlia Tangerine by ElkhornDesign

More handprinted gorgeousness! These teatowels are all printed with waterbased ink, and as with any handprinted textile they’re all ever so slightly different, so they’re great as a truly unique gift! And these ones are made of linen, which most dishwashing veterans will tell you is the only fabric to make a tea towel from.


Let me know if I’ve missed your favourite Etsy seller from the list! There’s always time for online shopping, right?