Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cabbages and Roses

I know that in my last blog post I mentioned that I feel guilty buying brand new items of clothing, but I just couldn't resist purchasing this charming mod-style dress last week at a designer outlet sale at Kilver Court. The dress is from London based brand Cabbages and Roses, which was founded in 2000 by designer & author Christina Strutt. Since its creation, the brand has expanded from its roots as a vintage-inspired textiles company by adding homewares and clothing departments, all in keeping with their very 'British' image.

Of course, I did feel a slight pang of guilt as I handed the money over for the dress, but after having a look on the company website I feel more than comfortable with the values they represent:

'We cherish quality and individuality. We aim to run our business in the kindest way possible, with the best quality of product and with the best treatment of the people involved in the provenance of the product; from beginning to end. Quality, uniqueness and fair prices paid to all our suppliers are reflected in our prices.'

So... I think I can justify it?

(Also... it reminds me a little bit a lot of the dress I made back in May 2010 - only my new one is properly lined and much higher quality!)
I took great care in shortening and re-hemming it by hand, as it was slightly longer than what I'd usually wear. It was nice to sit down for half an hour with my needle and thread in front of the TV - this particular dress certainly deserved more than my usual 5 minute job on the sewing machine!
The dress is actually from a few seasons ago (I bought it at an outlet), but I was lucky enough to meet the designer who assured me that they will be bringing out some similar designs this Autumn/Winter. I can't wait to see what they produce!
Sadie xxx

P.S. I was recently interviewed over at by the lovely Tamsin - do check out her blog!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Green Guilt

I bought this dress after seeing the white version on Cait’s blog (hers being perfectly matched with a wonderful hand-made sailor collar from her collection, Wayward Daughter). I loved the shape of the dress – it boasted a fine example of a cinched waist, as well as a demure high neckline and long sleeves to hide my sinfully pale arms. Not only this, but when I clicked through to the Dorothy Perkins website, I was delighted to discover that it was in the sale for a mere £15 – reduced from a slightly less tempting £45. So naturally, I decided to treat myself to it – using the excuse of ‘exam results treat’.

After receiving it in the post I tried it on immediately, but got a rather disappointing reaction from my mum, which if I remember correctly, went along the lines of ‘It makes you look like a granny smith apple!’ Hopefully I have rectified this a little by taking it up and removing the sleeves – giving it a touch more elegance and a better fit. What do you think? I opted not to wear a belt, in favour of jewellery, but it looks quite nice with my brown leather belt too!

Pretty bunting - a present from the boy
Photos courtesy of my very patient boyfriend! Thankyou!

I don’t often buy things new – in fact, I think this is the first thing I have bought new for a very long time now. I think my wardrobe must be at least 80% thrifted – which is something I am very proud of, as I like to think it cuts carbon emissions from clothing production, reduces waste, and for the most part of my clothing collection, means charities receive income. With the added bonus of costing much less!

I must clarify that I am definitely not here to preach, as I am evidently a lover of clothing and inevitably spend money in high street shops from time to time – not to mention feeding ‘the machine’ a little through blogging. But I have recently become so much more aware of my own spending habits, and especially their impact on the environment – and it has got to the point where I do feel genuinely guilty for purchasing things new.

Does anyone else feel this way about buying things new? How can it be justified? I know I will get a lot of wear from the dress and that I will eventually recycle it. But I really don’t need it. Is this just the way that fashion is, or can it be changed? I think I'm going to make more effort to find out about the environmental/ethical policies of brands from now on.

Sadie xxx