For a number of years I have had a case of nagging guilt. I love clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery and all things fashion. Whilst never a slave to trends that just would not work for me, I still love to see others rocking a new look. This did not sit well with my long held belief that we could all live more sustainably and that putting our planet first was the only politics that really made sense to me.
Imagine the irony! Having put my noisy little conscience aside I embraced a fashion brand, Stella & Dot, and threw myself into a whole new world. I really didn’t expect this to bring me back full circle and enable me to see that my love of style did not need to mean I was costing the earth. Finding one beautiful piece can breathe new life into old favourites.
So it began with jewellery for me. Setting up a styling business with almost no capital was scary at first. I had expectations of having to buy a whole new wardrobe, reinventing myself, becoming some kind of guru. Quite quickly, surrounded by a group of wonderful supportive women I realised that, from a business point of view, I sold more by simply being myself.
Perhaps more of any eye-opener was seeing that a very simple outfit is completely transformed with colour, scarves, jewellery and make-up. Of course, I knew this already! I had got out of the habit of putting this into practice though.
Without even realising that I was starting to shop sustainably, I rediscovered my love of charity shops. There might be a wedding, conference, party coming up and, instead of loading the credit card, I had a business to run. I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to dress up but it couldn’t cost me the earth. My shopping choices were also now minimising the damage I made to our ecosystems.
A pair of Prada shoes meant I could wear my favourite jeans with a beautiful Whistles top I have had for more than 10 years. The jewellery came from my business and I felt transformed. The shoes came from a Princess Alice Hospice shop in Richmond. Any guilt the owner may have had about never wearing these beauties is off-set by the pleasure they gave me and the donation made to help someone at the most difficult time in their lives. Win win!
We all start making changes in our own way and this was mine. There have been many much loved purchases since those Prada shoes and I will share some of these with you in this blog. I would love to hear about your pre-loved finds.