5 ways I've updated my wardrobe without funding fast fashion

Once upon a time, in what feels like another life, I was a fashion blogger. Yep. A full on "weekly wishlist", "OOTD", "Trend alert!" kinda fashion blogger who prided herself on her ability to spot a Gucci dupe in any high street shop. My life revolved around trends and hanging around fashion week locations (the second best thing to actually being inside the shows themselves, as far as I was concerned) from the ages of about 14 to 17. It was a good time whilst it lasted and I'm still proud of a lot of the opportunities that I created through it, but it's safe to say that I've changed a tad. And that my adoration of fashion has simmered down considerably.

It's also got a lot less clear cut since discovering just how morally fucked up the fast fashion industry really is. As I discussed in my first post for Fashion Revolution Week, the lack of transparency surrounding the clothes that most of us are buying is pretty terrifying. Due to a distinct lack of supply chain information and an ever growing demand for the 52 seasons of style that the fast fashion industry accommodates, we don't really have a concept of how much damage our purchases are doing.

Fashion Revolution Week: How ethical is my wardrobe?

This week marks 4 years since the Rana Plaza Disaster, possibly the most powerful example of how much our society values convenience and a bargain over anything else. It was the day on which 1,138 garment factory workers died due to a building collapse, despite the fact that companies were warned to evacuate the premises. Of course, that would have meant losing profit. And there is nothing to fast fashion businesses more important than profit, not the lives of the people that make their clothes and not the environment that their harmful practices are killing.

Which is exactly why Fashion Revolution Week is so needed. It's a time for us to all come together and demand transparency within the fashion industry, by asking brands 'who made my clothes'? That means no more confusing labels, fake activism or supply chains that are impossible to track down.  All we're asking for is some honesty so that we know whether anybody has suffered for the clothes that we buy.

How ethical is my wardrobe? Fast fashion and the clothing revolution

Earth Day: Small changes I've been making

Sometimes, I really hate humans. In fact, oftentimes I really hate humans. That's not to say that I don't have individuals I'm pretty fond of (Elizabeth Gilbert, Beyoncé, Bob Ross), but I have to admit that as a collective we're pretty shit. Once you've realized how much we value convenience (as in, more than we value the actual world that we live in), it's hard to not wonder when the hell we're going to get our sustainability act together. It's almost like we forget that we're not the only ones that live on this beautiful lil' planet.

The thing is, the habits that are scarily quickly killing our planet are completely unnecessary. But they are habits, which means it takes a little bit of focus to get yourself out of them. Personally, I think that the best way to do so is to scare /educate yourself. Watch documentaries, read articles and talk to people about everything that we're doing wrong and how we can make it right. Or at least more right.

Over the past few months, partially inspired by Ariel Bisset's video on sustainability and partially inspired by the ticking time bomb that was my conscience, I've been making some changes. Small changes that are pretty insignificant as far as my daily life is concerned, but changes that all add up to help reduce plastic pollution, the emission of greenhouse gasses and unnecessary consumption. So, since it's Earth Day, I thought I would share them with you.

Why I've started a Youtube channel

I've just done something so simultaneously scary and exciting that I might actually throw up any second now. So, just a warning before you decide to move along with this post: by the end, it could be puke filled.

By now you've probably figured out that I'm pretty keen on putting my opinions on the internet. Not in a Katie Hopkins kind of way, but in "aw I really like talking to people that share similar beliefs to me" kind of way. It's not just a case of having the opportunity to be creative and to get a bit of catharsis (although, that's great too), I just really appreciate the conversation that online content creation allows for. This little space that I've built has taught me an overwhelming amount about myself and the world and it's also given me the chance to share lessons I've learned which hopefully help you.

Instagram accounts that it's totally okay to unfollow

Let's be real, it's 'okay' to unfollow whoever you bloody well want to unfollow. It's just Instagram and it is well and truly not that deep. But, I would be lying if I told you that I haven't ever experienced "unfollow guilt" and the subsequent internal monologue regarding whether they'll actually notice it if I re-follow them. Like, will they think I was checking their profile and accidentally clicked unfollow and am totally chill or will they see right through my guilt laced re-follow?

The politics of social media is exhausting, but you do have the option to forgo it or, alternatively, stick the middle finger emoji up at it.

As I've said before, for the sake of my mental health I've really started monitoring the way that I use apps like Instagram. Mainly that's manifested in not spending so much of my life on them because it kind of leaves me feeling like I have a million voices shouting their opinions in my face at once. Or at least shouting what they had for brunch in my face. Recently though, I realised that in a "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" kinda way, I desperately need to get rid of accounts that don't bring me joy from my feed.

Accounts to unfollow for your mental health

Giveaway: One day to go!

With only one day left in my Punky Pins X Mel Stringer giveaway, I thought a lil' reminder was in order! You could win the whole collection (8 pins worth a total of £56) in all of its body posi glory. Enter the giveaway here and keep your fingers crossed because I can't wait to send these beauties to one of you. Be sure to also run over to my twitter and Instagram for extra entries.

Good luck, angels!

A personality test read me like a book

For those of you that don't know me, I'm a bit of a Hamlet. Not in terms of having a life goal to avenge my father's murder, but in terms of being one of the most introspective bastards around. I spend a lot of my time thinking. Mainly, thinking about either the universe's conception or my place within it. So, as well as keeping me awake at night, that means that I put an absurd amount of energy into contemplating how I work. What makes me angry and why it makes me angry. Whether I'm an introvert, an extrovert or a mix of the two. Why I'm so incapable of working on uni group projects without having a near mental break down. That sorta thing.

So when I was introduced to the wonder of the Myers-Briggs personality test, my mind was mildly blown. "Wait, so these aren't just the kinds of things that you find in the back of tween magazines?!" It's not like I need an excuse to think more about my personality, but this gave me one and I'm pretty damn happy about it.

But seriously, I think learning to recognise your strengths and weaknesses is important. If you know that you're not good at the whole team work thing, then you know that you might need to focus on your breathing a bit more when you're doing a group project at work. You can learn to make the world work to your advantage, and what's not to love about that? So whilst this is a totally self-indulgent post in which I do my favourite thing (talk about me), I do find it genuinely amazing how accurate and helpful this little quiz can be.

Apparently, I'm type ENFJ-T, which sounds very scientific indeed, so I obviously innately trust it.

Tween magazines have improved, but they need to do better

When I was a youngster, getting a magazine felt like the single biggest treat in the world. Mainly I think it’s because they gave out free purple lip gloss and clumpy mascara that allowed me to morph into an MUA at every sleepover I attended, but I also liked finding out which member of the Zoey 101 cast I was via the medium of flow chart quizzes. Plus, I always felt like whipping a copy of Mizz out during break time would give me extra cool points (and I was a distinctly uncool kid, so I needed as many as I could get).

On a recent trip to buy an absurd amount of metallic stationary I came face to face with tween magazine nostalgia. It reminded me of just how dedicated I was to begging my parents to buy me one every time I walked past a corner shop. But aside from essentially asking my Dad to remortgage our house so that I could get stickers of S-Club Junior, I’m pretty sure that I would do anything that those pages told me. They were essentially my bible, which made me wonder whether they were teaching me the kinds of things that I would want to teach younger me given the opportunity.

Feminism and Tween Magazines

Taxes, spirituality and how those two things are actually related

You don't need to tell me. I know that this post has the potential to be a rather bloody boring one. And if you clicked on it then I'm sure it was more a case of "why the hell is Beth writing about taxes?" than "wow, that sounds jolly enjoyable". Don't worry, I don't blame you.

I promise though, when I jotted this idea down on my monthly blog brainstorm, there was more thought behind it than just telling you about the fact that Hurray! It's time to get my shit together and learn how to fill out tax returns and...erm that sort of stuff. Nor has this turned into the type of blog that gives you hints and tips on how to be a blogger (and, ipso facto, how to not get the tax man knocking on your door because you've been busy sweeping business matters under the Instagrammable rug).

The truth is, that me figuring out how to manage my money isn't just a matter of practicality. This is a manifestation exercise, my chums.

The way that we talk about food

We all exist within a society that ceaselessly celebrates "thin" and condemns "fat" and, for most of us, we are participants in that culture whether we realise it or not. It's ingrained in the world that we've always known. It's in the language. It's in the media that surrounds us. And, perhaps most scarily, it's there in our brains every single time we think about eating. Food isn't just something that we need to survive anymore, but a complex factor of a goal orientated society.

Food has become a way of measuring our worth.