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howie_nut_buttons.jpgEco fashion is going a bit nuts at the moment, isn't it? But living sustainably is often about attention to detail, and good old Howies are a great example of how to get this right with their new nut buttons. As well as giving an outfit that stylish and unusual twist, the buttons won't melt or break.

The ethical fashion label recently ditched plastic buttons in a bid to further reduce its garments' production emissions. It took designers a while to find a practical alternative, until they discovered some buttons made from the Tagua nut, which grows on palm trees in South America. Another sustainable material that makes great accessories is coconut, and you can wear it on your body with many of the adornments sold by Tribu. They sell some fantastic coconut earrings for just a fiver at their online store.

Howies has already used the Tagua nut buttons on some of its women's trousers, and on sine men's and women's jackets. Howies plans to use the 100% natural buttons again next season.

[via fUK]

queenvintage.jpgGirls seem to love their hand bags and it’s always great to have some ethical ones, preferably ones that you can fit your kitchen sink in. Matt & Nat make some fabulous vegan bags, so you can rest assured that you don’t have a dead cow or any other creature hanging off your shoulder. Peta awarded Matt & Nat a Proggy award in 2005 for creating the best collection of cruelty-free handbags. Their synthetic leather bags are mostly constructed from PVC and sometimes PU (polyurethane). I know these are not great for the environment but they beat using leather. Here are my top five! The first one, to the left is a Queen Vintage Bowler in cognac for £90.

Traidcraftbangles.JPGTraidcraft have a huge range of fairtrade and ethically sourced products, meaning you'll find something new every visit. I particularly like these wooden bangles made in India through the Tara Project. Based in Delhi, the project combines 25 groups of artisans who have been supplying Traidcraft for 20 years.

As for the bangles, they are handmade from wood and resin and you get both of them for £10.

Related: Funky fairtrade jute hammock from Traidcraft I Traidcraft wine I More fashion and accessories

bag7.jpgAnother take on the ethical shopping bag! This time it is the novel concept of using recycled vintage bed sheets to make rather attractive shopping bags. Luce Beaulieu is the Canadian creator of POSCH. Luce is an eco-designer and entrepreneur who is concerned about the effects of discarded plastic carrier bags on the local wildlife, especially on the endangered bird species native to Quebec. The bags are handmade in Canada using an environmentally friendly process to minimise the ecological impact of the production process. The used sheets and pillow cases are sourced from local not-for-profit outlets like The Salvation Army and other similar charity shops. They are then sanitized, washed and printed using water based inks. The bags come in loads of different and unique designs and are available on-line from The Natural Store.

pardess.jpgIf you are feeling frilly this summer, in line with the New Romantic trend, I suggest you purchase the 100% organic cotton Petal skirt, from Pardess and the French Bustier camisole in 100% organic cotton. Pardess make some fantastic ethical clothes that are wearable and stylish.

Every garment by Pardess is hand made by Mimi Rogers and the “Elite” Collection offers couture design for wedding dresses and evening wear. Garments are made from internationally certified organic materials, packaging is made from recycled tissue paper and card and printing is from soil-association approved organic printers.

tshirt1.jpgI like doing as much as I can for the environment and for the exploited workers of the world, but I do like the to look reasonably stylish too. It is pretty hard to find men’s ethical clothes that are well styled and fashionable. I have found an organic and fairtrade t-shirt that looks like an ordinary t-shirt any one would wear!

The Classic Tee is made by Saf (Socially Accountable Fabrics), and is available from getethical.com. The t-shirt us made using 100% organic fair trade cotton with an ethical and environmentally friendly supply chain. The manufacturing process relies on close supplier relationships to ensure ethical practices are maintained. Saf have Soil Association and Global Organic Textile Standard certification which pretty much guarantees the ethics behind the brand.

people%20tree%201.jpgJust days after announcing the appointment of former Topshop guru Jane Shepherdson, People Tree is already leaping into more shops. As well as having a concession in Whole Foods Market, due to open its doors tomorrow, the organic Fairtrade label is branching out into more UK outlets, with a range appearing soon at not-for-profit store Sust in Milton Keynes.

Buying organic clothing is a great way to reduce the spread of potentially harmful chemicals worldwide: 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land is used to grow cotton and some of the most toxic pesticides are used in growing cotton. This kind of farming seriously affects the health of cotton farmers and their families, with toxic chemicals in the air they breathe and the soil where they grow their food

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Wildlife Works is all about the wildlife, with goods manufactured by Kenyan locals near to wildlife reserves so that they can afford to live without having to poach. And the clothing produced is, naturally, rather lovely too. Some of the items can be very pricey but dib in to the sales section and you'll find this Broken Frill printed organic T-shirt down to £20 and this boot print wrap skirt in organic jersey on sale at £35.

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Visa Swap: a new concept in clothes swapping

visa%20swap.jpgWe all know that clothes-swapping parties are a new sensation sweeping the nation, but how do they actually work? Well, usually they take the form of a normal party but with your friends old clothes thrown into the mix. All a lot of fun, but a bit hit and miss, depending on your friends' tastes.

Now, clothes-swapping has gone official.:Visa Swap is the name for a new clothing event to encourage ethical fashion through swapping.

ecostylist.jpgThe fashion industry is pretty much a dirty business when it comes to damaging the environment and exploiting workers in some of the world’s poorest communities. There are some ethical designers and manufacturers, and the trend for fashion with a conscience is growing, but actually finding stylish ethical clothes can be a bit of a nightmare. Well, from tomorrow (5th June), finding a new stylish and ethical outfit will get a whole lot easier with the launch of Eco Stylist. Eco Stylist is a one-stop resource for anyone interested in ethical fashion.

Green knickers online sale starts today!

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Want to pick up some top class eco-lingerie without paying through the nose for the latest fad? You might just be able to bag yourself a bargain at Green Knickers' online sale which launches today.

There's up to 50% off selected green knickers (and boxers) in the sale, which includes sexy silk and hemp panties with all ingredients locally sourced and handmade, machine washable and unbleached. And if you're thinking of heading for the Camden Green Fair this weekend (let's hope it's less of a washout than Kingston during bank holiday), you'll be able to meet the Green Knickers team and browse the sale and new items too.

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Foraging on the beach for shiny pebbles is key to Rebecca Ward's jewellery designs which take natural products from New Zealand's beaches and makes them into little works of art for you to wear. The Bag Lady picked out this Black Pebble Longshore Drfiter pendant for AU$300 whilst I favour the slightly more pocket friendly Pebbles in a Pebble pendant at AU$120.

Related: Green Beach recycled ad ethical jewellery I More fashion and accessories

denise%20van%20outen%20waste%20couture.jpgDenise Van Outen stepped out today in a 'trashy' new dress to promote the 'sexy' side of recycling.

The colourful ballgown, made from cans, bottle tops, cardboard packaging, glass beads and plastic bags; a ‘tulle’ skirt, made from 30 newspapers; and a tiered ball gown, made from 42 pairs of used Levi 501s, was designed by Gary Harvey, whose creations include a dress made from copies of the financial times, shown at the last London Fashion Week.

A big advocate of recycled couture, Harvey said “The collection is a statement against a disposable culture. I wanted to show that it’s possible to create something useful and beautiful from waste materials.” Van Outen added that "going green has never been more fashionable" before uttering a phrase we've never heard before about green being the new black.

Related: Recycled fashion event: From Waste to Wear

shorts.jpgHopefully the sun will rear it's shiny head again this year, and when it does you should make sure your summer threads are funky, but don't cost the earth. Seasalt Cornwall understand this, and have created a great line of organic cotton clothing and accessories for all the family. These cute little shorts are made from 100% organic cotton jersey, certified by the Soil Association. They're machine washable at 30° and dry quickly, so great for splashing about on the (local) beach this summer, especially if you also buy one of these bright organic beach towels. The drawstring waist means they give a snug fit no matter what your waist size. Available in sizes 8 to 16 and cost £15.

Related: Green with envy? Top 5 High Street eco buys | More eco fashion

Piccalilly.JPGScrummy organic food is as messy for your mini cook as any other food so why not go for a fairtrade apron like this one from Piccalilly? With a floral print, it's made from fairly traded cotton from Jaipur, India. It's just a shame they don't have a more 'butch' look for little boy helpers. One size fits 3-6 years £8.99

Other items in the Piccalilly range include bibs, bandanas, dresses, tops, tooth fairy pillows and laundry bags. Find them all at The Natural Store.

Related: More kids stuff I More fairtrade I More food and drink

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