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peg pic.jpgWriter Janina Mathewson explains the rules of wearing something that has been loved before, and how a girl on a budget can avoid growing weary of the nearly new...

Sometimes in our lives we find it hard to stretch to a new pair of jeans. Sometimes we find it hard to stretch to a replacement pair of three pound sneakers. Sometimes we're startled awake by the realisation that we don't own a single piece of clothing that's newer than three years old and that we have more hand me downs than clothes we've actually bought!

Once you start accruing hand me down clothes it can be difficult to stop. There are two reasons for this. The first is because if you're going through a time where you know you may not be able to have a decent shop for a while, you start losing the ability to turn down free things. Someone might offer you a dress in just not at all your colour, and you'll take it because you're not sure when you're going to manage to buy a dress yourself. The second reason is that once people realise that you're open to receiving their leftovers, they start running them all by you before they take them to the charity shop.

Friends' leftovers

This is obviously lovely; it's splendid to be able to sit back and reflect on the fact that your friends won't let you go completely naked, but there is a difficulty to be overcome. Because when you're trying to choose something to wear, you want something that feels like you. Something that shows the most and best of you. And it's really hard to achieve that with a wardrobe stocked with other people's leavings.

This is easiest combated with the smaller items. Your skirts and shirts and cardies. In this case, it's like mixing paint - you think yellow is too jaunty? Mix in some blue for a vintage pea-green. Think that shirt is a bit too prim and businessy for you? Chuck an old belt over it and wear it with a chunky necklace.

Dresses and such like are harder, as they're kind of like a full outfit, but choice of boots and jackets can do a lot. It' s all in what you do with it.

Choose different boots

Yes, there will be some things that will always feel a little strange; like those boots you have to wear more than you want to because they're the only footwear you own that keep out water, but you can still have a strong effect on the overall look. And if nothing else, you'll learn more about what you don't like to wear, for when your ship comes in and you can foist the whole lot off on someone else.

Follow Janina on Twitter @J9andIf

Via Shiny Style

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Top Shop Keep Wildlife out of Wardrobe.jpgPETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and fashion retailer Topshop have teamed up to draw attention to the treatment of exotic animals killed for their skins. The high street store has created a display at its flagship Oxford Street store in London.

The display, which can be seen in the shop's main window today until Monday, 18 March, features a wardrobe with exotic animals spilling out and the caption "Keep Wildlife Out of Your Wardrobe". It goes on to urge shoppers to visit PETA UK's website to sign a pledge never to wear exotic skins.

"Topshop knows that the only place for exotic skins is on their original owners", says PETA Senior Programme Manager Yvonne Taylor. "Through the years, Topshop has set the industry standard for promoting animal welfare, and its latest high-profile display at the heart of London's busiest shopping street will help save many snakes, alligators and other animal victims of the fashion industry from an excruciatingly painful death."

As shown in PETA US' exposé of the exotic-skins trade - narrated by acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix - snakes, alligators and other exotic animals who are killed for their skins are commonly nailed to trees, bludgeoned with hammers and skinned alive. It often takes hours for the animals to die, usually from shock or dehydration. Nice.

PETA and Topshop have joined forces on several previous occasions to make it clear that they oppose the cruel fur and exotic-skins trades. Topshop was recently presented with a PETA-Approved Vegan Fashion Award in the category of Most Stylish Women's Knitwear for the company's trendy cream-and-lime jumper.

For more information visit PETA.org.uk.

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Consumers are becoming more aware and concerned about the origins of the products in their wardrobe, and fake fur, cruelty-free fabrics and pleather are fast becoming the go-to materials for those wanting to enjoy the latest fashion with a clean conscience. And everyone from high-street retailers such as Topshop and French Connection to high end designers like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney are meeting consumer demand for animal-free fashion.

Animal welfare organisation PETA is recognising the best cruelty-free contributions to the fashion world with a new awards - the first ever PETA-approved Vegan Fashion Awards.

The awards mark the launch of PETA's new logo, which designers and retailers can use to identify vegan clothes and accessories that they sell online or in stores.

Check out the 2013 winners below - more information can be found here.

Eco-friendly cycle wear from new label VELECO

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We're great fans of cycling here at Hippyshopper; not only is cycling a great way to get around the London traffic (beware of motorists and pedestrians mind!), it keeps us fit!

Most of the time we'll just wear our normal clothes but sometimes that just doesn't seem right. What if we could have some ethically made garments made especially for our bike rides - that doesn't necessarily involve extremely tight fitting and unflattering lycra?

Well Jamie and John, the guys behind VELECO have just the answer! With what they claim to be the world's first fairtrade and eco-friendly cycle wear company (if anyone beg to differ, let us know in the comments below), they hope to change cycle wear across the world by making it more ethical.

Using natural, organic and recycled materials wherever possible, a 15% fairtrade premium is paid on every garment made, which is pushed back into health and welfare projects for VELECO's workers and their families in Pakistan.

The current collection consists of cycling jackets, t-shirts and hoodies as well as a selection of accessories including cycling caps, cotton bags, recycled tyre and tube belts as well as green oil. Plans are in motion to launch more technical wear in 2013, which will include shorts, trousers, more jackets and bags for urban cyclists and commuters!

Take a look at the collection below.

trunks-for-trunks.jpgOK you might think we're insane to even mention swimwear as the autumn chill is swooping across the British Isles, but with many jetting off to warmer climes or taking advantage of the great exercise that swimming provides we just couldn't help ourselves. But the main reason for shouting about this new swimwear label is the fact that it is dedicated to wildlife conservation.

Love Brand & Co. is the brainchild of young London designer Oliver Tomalin and has launched its first collection of ethical swimwear: Trunks for Trunks. Inspired by the plight of the iconic Asian elephant, 5% of each sale will go towards helping endangered elephants survive in the wild through charity Elephant Family.


The current collection is uses state-of-the-art, soft and fast drying fabric, particularly notable are the silver tusks on the end of the drawstrings. The design is of a classic European cut, loosely tailored for a comfortable fit.

The collection is available in 8 block colours, two stripes and 5 limited edition prints and comes in sizes XXS - XXL. Prices range from £118 - £128 for men's swimming trunks, £68 to £78 for boys'.

There is a lot of truth in the saying one man's waste is another man's treasure, especially for menswear label Sir Plus.


The London-based label has made its business on upcycling off-cuts and surplus fabrics into debonair outfits for the modern gentleman. Sir Plus started out in 2011 as a line of boxer shorts made from surplus shirting and silk, and has now expanded into waistcoats, bow ties, jumpers, t-shirts and even women's boxers.

And as all items are produced locally in England, so you can be sure the carbon footprint is low.


Levi's goes green with WasteLess denim

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We like it when big companies do their bit for the environment and make their products more sustainable - of course in an ideal world all companies would operate as green as possible...

Green is definitely the new black over at jeans giant Levi's, which has revealed its waste

Each pair of Levi's waste

Speaking at the preview last week, global president of the Levi's brand James Curleigh said: "From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivising them to do more of it."

"This collection proves that you don't have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning."

The brand expect to put some 3.5 million recycled bottles into the waste

"With this collection, we're doing our own small part by taking waste and making something new from it," added Curleigh.

"We don't just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it. We are committed to making products in ways that are good for people and better for our planet."

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[via ShinyStyle.tv and Brandish.tv]

10 faux fur coats to keep you warm this winter

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We noticed a distinct chill in the air over the weekend, and had it not been for the autumn sun we'd frozen ourselves silly on our little walk along the Southbank to the Tate Modern.

Winter is definitely coming and it's time to wrap up warm. We've been big fans of fur coats for a while, but unless its actual vintage we will not be caught dead in a real fur coat. With this in mind we've searched the (digital) high street to find the best fake fur coats around this autumn. Whether you want to dress like a snow leopard or a cuddly teddy bear, here are our ten favourites... so far.


In April this year, UK retail chain Marks & Spencer launched a shwopping campaign, fronted by long time ethical campaigner Joanna Lumley, urging its customers to bring in and donate any unwanted items of clothing.

And now M&S is able to show the first tangible results of this shwopping session, the Shwop Coat, which is made entirely from donated wool.

The coat is better value for the environment, and at £89 it is half the cost it would normally have been had it been made from virgin wool. That's a win win for both environment and consumers!

The coat will go on sale in selected M&S stores across the UK and online from 10 October.


We all know how the process of dyeing textiles uses a lot of water - up to 25 litres of water for ONE t-shirt - so it's great to see big names teaming up to spearhead innovation in fashion and the way our clothes are produced.

British designer Stella McCartney has teamed up with Adidas to create a new t-shirt as part of the sportswear label's DryDye initiative, which will see tees being produced with waterless dyeing.

Developed in Holland, the new technology uses pressurised carbon dioxide instead of agua to colour the textile fibres. Overall it's a win-win solution, as it reduces water consumption as well as uses less energy and fewer nasty chemicals.

Speaking about the blue and white leopard print tee, Stella McCartney said: "It's been incredibly exciting for me to work with and have access to this amazing new technology that uses no water at all in the process. The sustainable message behind it is very important to me and I hope to work with it more in the future."


Autumn has definitely hit the British isles, with warnings of floods, torrential rain and winds that will blow your hats off, and it's time to dig out the knitwear. If you haven't stocked up on knitted goodies that would turn The Killing's Sarah Lund green with envy yet, here's your chance.

Known for her rather limited macrobiotic diet and desire to do good, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has teamed up with British ethical label Chinti and Parker to design two cashmere sweaters. These will be sold through her inspirational (and aspirational) newsletter/ecommerce site Goop.

The limited-edition pieces will be available in intarsia hearts or Breton stripes,and feature Chinti and Parker's signature buttoned shoulders, contrast-color pockets, and statement-making elbow patches.

Unfortunately it is only available in the US.


member_sml.jpgYou might have seen the posters on bus stops or overheard people joke that the panda made them do things...

The Panda Made Me Do It is a campaign by WWF that encourages people to take action and do something positive for the environment; feel inspired and become part of the wonderful world and work of the World Wildlife Foundation. WWF has devised a number of simple actions that people can do to really make a difference to the environment as featured on wwf.org.uk/doit.

So how can you get your paws on a The Panda Made Me Do It t-shirt? Just commit to do an action set out on wwf.org.uk/doit to unlock the exclusive tee. Once you've taken some positive action for the environment, inspired by WWF's work, then you can proudly wear the t-shirt as an environmental 'badge of honour'.

Personally, I adore pandas so have been in love with the campaign ever since I spotted it - I even Instragrammed a photo of the poster on the bus stop (tragic I know but it's all spreading the word)

As part of the campaign the WWF has released this video showing that all is fair in (environmental) love and war... And if in doubt, just say: The Panda Made Me Do It.

We love a good find here at Hippyshopper HQ. Today we came across this fine piece of clothing, the Aegis Parka, which has an integrated air quality sensor and built in respirator to protect against toxic urban environments.

The concept was thought of by Erik De Nijs and Tim Smit, who work for Dutch company Nieuwe Heren.

The Aegis Parka, which takes its name from the shield of Zeus, is currently only a prototype, but its designers hope that a clothing brand will snap up the idea.

Even though it sounds like something out of the future, we'd love this to hit our local stores!


[via PSFK]

What do you do with the off cuts from all of your elite swimsuits? Well if you're Speedo you turn them into eye-catching ball gowns, obviously.

The swimwear company, best known for kitting out competition swimmers across the world, has teamed up with sustainable designers, From Somewhere, to create this colourful ball gown made of surplus fabric from Speedo's Fastskin 3 range.

It's actually the second time the company has collaborated with From Somewhere, the first time being when swimming governing body FINA outlawed textile swimsuits and Speedo was left with a load of stock on its hands that it wasn't able to sell.

This time the collaboration sees a special edition version of its latest Fastskin3 elite swimsuit, made using off cuts from various international swimming teams including those from the USA, Great Britain, Australia Germany, Spain, Japan, Canada, Netherlands and Israel.

Though in some ways the ball gown - known as the Unity dress - is about as diametrically opposed to a swimsuit as you can get, clearly this one has been influenced by water with its long figure hugging design making the model look a little like a colourful mermaid.

Says From Somewhere's Orsola de Castro: "I think our dress speaks about water, and water is life. It's about the environment, and preserving water which should be a priority for all humankind."

She adds: "We wanted to really concentrate on the idea of having a traditional evening gown that totally mimics sportswear design techniques. The sewing, finishes and details were constructed as if the dress would also have to withstand swimming, which presented an exciting challenge."

From Somewhere

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Adorable you: Ciel Liberty Print eco lingerie

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How cute are these! Eco fashion label Ciel has teamed up with quintessential London store Liberty to re-issue these gorgeous Liberty printed camisole and knickers.

The capsule lingerie collection is made from sensuous silk and organic cotton. The camisole and knickers sets are available in Indian tribal feather headdress print in shell pink with denim or hot pink with taupe and black, or Stars & Unicorn in creamy peach with taupe print on a black background.

The camisoles are priced at £54.95 and knickers at £24.95 and are available to buy from By Nature.

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