sustainable fashion: my move towards it

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support so far, and hope you’ll continue with me on this journey 🙂


AROUND one year ago, I did something I’d been thinking about for a long time, and finally mustered up the courage to start a fashion & lifestyle blog. Distil My Style was born.

SINCE then, I’ve mainly produced (some good, some bad, some ugly) fashion content, but recently I started to feel an unease about posting it. I noticed I was getting more enjoyment and satisfaction from lifestyle posts such as 6 places to visit in Sao Miguel, Azores and 3 gym classes to try and in most cases they were being better received by you guys 🙏

AFTER reflecting on this for some time, I realised the reason for my angst was the fact I wasn’t giving much consideration to the fashion brands I was promoting. Plenty of thought was going in to the fit, the print, and the price of the clothes, but none given to whether they’re sustainable and/or ethical. Did the production of these garments carry a negative external cost to the people making them, or to the environment?

EVEN though I’d shopped loyally with many of these brands for over a decade, the seed had now been sewn, and I had to look more deeply into the issue. I soon found many amazing people had been researching and campaigning for an alternative fashion industry ever since the rapid emergence of fast fashion in the late 90s/early 00s.

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LUCY Siegle is a pinoeer of this movement, and in her revolutionary book To Die For, she discusses how:

“As consumers we’ve been completely anaesthetised by the seemingly incredible value of fashion over the last decade. The kick that buying cheap items gives us makes it easy to forget the reality of their production.”

THE more I continued to read about the devastating affect the fashion industry is having on certain people’s lives and the environment, the more I began to angle my blog and Instagram content towards sustainability.

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Some charity shop outfits 😝

MY mind was made up when I watched Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, which focuses on the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Dooley cleverly and candidly tackles the topic from a consumer’s point of view:

“The few pounds we spend for an item of clothing isn’t the true cost – the real cost is the millions of gallons of clean water that was used to grow the fabric, or the millions of gallons of fresh water that was polluted with toxic chemicals to dye the clothes.”

AFTER watching this I felt I had no other choice than to focus Distil My Style completely on sustainable fashion, making it the unequivocal topic of conversation on the blog.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE

  • More charity and vintage outfit posts using recycled clothes
  • Practical life hacks on how to shop fashion more sustainably
  • Interviews with established, and upcoming, sustainable fashion brands

SO, I hope this slight shift in focus is as exciting to you as it is to me, and that you’ll continue with me on this journey. To those who have been with me since the beginning, and to those who are just joining, thanks again for your support! 

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would versus could

Disclaimer: Right! You’ll have to bear with me here, and excuse any pseudoscience/lack of historical accuracy; this is just a bit of a brain dump of some thoughts I’ve had recently on ambition and personal development, inspired by books I’ve been reading. If you dig any of what you read below, I’ve put a list of books with similar ideas in the footer 😉


It’s my belief that we all have the potential to achieve anything.

We all could, but the question is, would we?

Back in the prehistoric day, humans lived in a much tougher environment than modern day Western civilisation. This meant taking persistent action was essential because it was literally the difference between life and death. Everyday Caveman John woke up, he had to fight for his food and shelter, otherwise he was dead. Clearly this isn’t the case for us today – I could wake up tomorrow and decide to do nothing – and there would be zero consequence to my imminent survival.

So, what’s my point?

Should we sack Western civilisation off, and revert to living in a prehistoric manner, just so we have to work harder? Absolutely not, I think the security and free nature of our modern civilisation is absolutely admirable and amazing. However, it does mean, in order to be successful at something we usually have to put evolutionary pressure onto ourselves.

Now I’m not talking Caveman John pressure, where we are acting purely out of survival, but enough pressure so that we get a little out of our comfort zones – something I’ve talked about before in 3 gym classes you should try.  We all could do this,  but would we be willing to push ourselves, and experience some discomfort, in order to achieve?

I’ve had instances of pushing myself to my potential over the years, but also innumerable times when I have taken the path of least resistance. Last year, I landed an interview for a job I really wanted at a fashion retailer in London. After the preliminary stages, I was fully aware I would have to improve my Excel skills quite dramatically, and I had 3 weeks to do it in. I definitely could have learned the Excel skills, but the point is that I wouldn’t commit to doing it.

So in order to develop, I need to take the lessons from this experience, and implement them. For instance, this is something I really want to put into practice with blogging.

I know that I could:

  1. Keep to deadlines to produce regular, scheduled blog posts
  2. Put myself out there to meet and collaborate with other bloggers & photographers
  3. Optimise social media accounts to drive traffic to my blog

But will I?

I’ll have to make sure I put enough pressure on myself everyday, and not let myself off the hook. I believe that if I do commit to these 3 points, a longer term snowball effect might occur, and I’d get to a situation where people are reading the blog regularly, and most importantly gaining value from it.

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Yet, as I’ve said, this will only happen if I stick to small DAILY habits that then compound into long term progress. For example, regularly planning and writing blog posts,  and shooting and editing imagery, as well as indirect (but critical) habits such as getting 8 hours sleep per night and hitting the gym. I’ll also, in the short term at least, have to be willing to give more than I will necessarily receive.

Finally, it’s important to say that I have friends, colleagues and mentors who are much further along their journey than I am. So I write this post from a place of humility, a place of noticing that there is at least one thing all these people have in common, and that’s their persistence in taking action. They put enough pressure onto themselves to make sure they’re habitually taking action and, as a result, developing themselves. This is why I strive to be around people like this as frequently as possible. They make it a matter of course to step out of their comfort zones with a willingness to learn,  which is something I’m trying to do every single day.

Thanks so much for checking this post out – follow me on Insta for updates on all new blog material 🙂


Source material and self-development books I’d 100% recommend: