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! 

A

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street style: @georgelancaster

I’ve known my good friend, George, since we were 3 or 4 years old, and we’ve been through many fads and fashions together. Some of the more memorable ones include rocking a shaved head at the same time; wearing huge, baggy jeans for no apparent reason in the early noughties; and even wearing full footy kits (when we weren’t playing football).

Anyway, I’d like to think we’ve evolved somewhat (not sure) and now share a taste for classic sartorial elegance. I’m half joking.

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Image taken by Callie Lancaster

What I admired first about this outfit is its layering. As you know, I love a layered look, but it’s not always easy to pull off; oftentimes people aren’t sure how to mix colour and texture. Not George. The blue & grey tones which dominate the outfit allow for the autumnal pop of colour from the mohair jumper, which adds texture and really completes the look.

I’ve talked before of my long-term struggle with trainers, but I think George has nailed the ability to pull them off. Firstly, if you’re going to wear white trainers, KEEP IT CLEAN. This is part of the reason I tend to avoid them, because there is a certain amount of upkeep required to maintain their shine. As you can see, George’s Stan Smith’s are spotless, which means they retain their cool.  Secondly (unlike our younger selves) he’s made sure his jean is just touching the top of his trainers, rather than covering them. Another great sartorial tweak George has employed is folding up his jeans bottom hem just once, as to create a distinct line between the trainers and jeans.

Finally, George has inspired me to try out a fur-lined hooded parka. His is really well-fitted, and that’s crucial in my opinion, so I’ll start my search now. It may even feature in the second edition of my top winter coats, who knows

Thanks for reading.

Peace.

A

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street style: @zestyosy

I met Emmanuel in Sheffield, the night before New Year’s Eve. Firstly his smart, even formal style, drew my attention. The pinstriped shirt is a classic piece, but is a little less popular at the moment; with louder, embroidered shirts more on trend.

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Emmanuel has subtly, but crucially, matched the pinstripe colour to that of his tie which means the outfit flows well, and isn’t too clashy on the eye. As you guys know, I love simplicity in an outfit, and the understated feel of his shirt means the cuff links work so well when suavely bringing together the formal, double cuffs.

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Finally, Emmanuel’s tie bar completes the outfit nicely. The functional use of a tie bar is to pin the tie to your shirt, uniting the two and keeping it all in place, but it also adds another touch of bling, perfect around the festive period.

Thanks for checking this street style post out; I have more lined up for the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled 😉

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Alex Pegg

what to wear wednesdays

This Wednesday it’s back to normality for me – sporting a smarter look. I love my new shirt from ASOS; perfect for the festive season. Burgundy’s a great celebratory colour, and the polka dots add that little something extra, which needs to happen to stand out at Christmas time!

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I’ve had this classic Levi’s denim jacket for a number of years now, and still find myself wearing it so often, it’s just so versatile. A must for any man’s wardrobe, and it doesn’t need to be Levi’sTopman and ASOS stock v similar, budget alternatives. When I bought it, it was actually bleached blue denim (think 90’s boyband 🙄), so I picked up some velvet black dye and got to work! (Jk, threw it in the washing machine with the dye and voila!!)

Style Tip:- Love the fit and style of a garment, but can’t stand the colour? Check out fabric dyes as a way to help this. Generally only an option if you are willing to change it to a darker colour.

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Since it’s winter, I’ve had to top the outfit off with an overcoat. One of my faves in fact. This one is by Farah, and flows with a pair of jeans and trainers, just as well as with suit pants and smart shoes.

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As always, thanks for reading.

Pls comment below for any style advice, or to let me know if you’d style this outfit any differently! 🙂

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen

street style: @theguyfrommilkandhoney

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I was drawn to Ibrahim’s style initially because of his outfit’s silhouette. The layered, top heavy sherpa denim jacket and shirt contrasts amazingly well with his skinny jeans, which then flow into his bulky DM’s.

The attention to detail is also excellent – a look I often go for is dark jeans and shoes – but Ibrahim has inspired me with the pop of colour in his yellow laces. It was only once I began talking to him that I noticed the captivating, aztec patterned bag and shirt which go together so well, and add huge amounts of texture to his look. This is another aspect I might incorporate into my style.

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It’s clear Ibrahim has natural style, and probably threw this outfit together without thinking, but it really made him stand out from the crowd due to the excellently scaled proportions and complementary colours. I’d like to thank him for being my first street style subject of many to come!

Peace.

A

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Images taken on an iPhone by Alex Pegg