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Depop drama: Buying, selling and everything you need to know

I first used Depop about four years ago when I was in college and desperate to make a quick buck. I listed a few things for sale but as my phone camera was pretty terrible, my pics weren’t very enticing and I never made a sale.

I soom deleted the app and didn’t feel very encouraged to use it again.

Fast forward to 2020, Depop is even bigger than ever. During lockdown I began obsessing about tracking down a pair of shoes after I lost one while moving house. I’m wearing them in the pic below.

After searching the shoe online, several Depop links came up. I downloaded the app again and began trawling.

I messaged several people to no avail but finally I found a girl selling them in a size 5 and bought them from her. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit.

The shoes soon went to the charity shop but my curiousity was piqued and I realised Depop was the perfect way to hunt items that I’d previously seen in shops/online or no longer fitted me.

I tracked down the shoes but sadly they were too small.

This behaviour may seem bizarre to people with real hobbies but for me, it’s proved very satisfying.

A friend of mine even found shoes for her wedding on there. She was finding it hard to shop because of lockdown, I asked her what style and size she was after and within a few minutes, I’d pulled up some options on Depop!

So far, I’ve bought a Topshop jumpsuit that I previously borrowed off a friend, a blue suede Topshop skirt that I’d bought in a charity shop but was much too small, a pair of colour block jeans and a really cool Whitney Houston t-shirt.

I was after this blue suede Topshop skirt for years!

I rarely ever buy new clothing nowadays but I still love looking at what’s available in high-street shops.

So, if you’re looking to make your wardrobe more sustainable but aren’t a fan of vintage/charity shops, Depop is a great place to start and save money while you’re at it. Or you can declutter your own wardrobe and make some money while you’re at it.

The best part of Depop is that your cash isn’t going to line the pockets of a big coporation, Depop sellers are primarily young women or independent retailers.

I finally found the skirt!

Buying tips

Don’t restrict your search to just your own country

It’s tempting to limit your search to your own country as most sellers will ask you to pay postage.

But if you are really keen to find an item, tick the worldwide box and see what you can find. I’ve actually bought more items from UK/Northern Ireland sellers than Irish sellers.

Wearing the jumpsuit four years ago

I bought both the jumpsuit and the suede skirt from UK sellers and they arrived quite quickly.

Take your measurements

Most Depop sellers don’t offer refunds so you’ll need to ascertain the fit before you buy. Ask for measurements, take your own measurements (leg length ankle to crotch, widest part of bust and hips and narrowest part of waist).

Rather than relying on the size provided by the seller, I’ve been taking my own measurements for a more accurate fit.

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I bought these jeans – but they did not fit!

I recently bought a size 10 pair of jeans on Depop only to find that they didn’t fit at all. So, when I was buying the suede skirt, I asked the seller to take measurements and checked them against my own and happily it fit.

Ask questions

If you’re thinking of buying something, ask questions first.

I.e. What’s the fit like, do you have more photos, was this taken with a flash (can make colours look different), any faults etc.

Most sellers are very obliging and won’t mind providing you with more information. Be sure to ask about postage, returns policy and delivery time.

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Whitney t-shirt

Check prices between different sellers

If you find several people selling the item you’re after, check what the best price available is and ask each individual seller about postage costs as they may vary,

That way you can be sure you’re getting a good price. It’s also worth assessing the condition of each item however, some may be cheaper due to flaws/condition.

Haggle if possible

Now I’ve never been the best haggler in the world but this is a platform where you can make offers and bargain.

Some sellers will state that they welcome offers and others will not. You can also offer a swap of an item or ask if they can do a bundle deal or free postage. It’s always worth asking but obviously don’t take the piss either or you probably will end up on the Depop drama Insta!

If an item doesn’t work out

If your item is not as described or has undeclared faults, you can ask the seller for a refund. If they won’t help, you can open a dispute with Paypal.

Every transaction made through Paypal ensures your purchase or sale is protected if anything goes wrong.

Make sure to purchase through the Depop buy button rather than a private arrangement as you have more protection this way. Where possible, ask for a tracking number also.

If something just doesn’t fit and you can’t return it, you can always try selling it yourself or donate it.

Upload a pic of what you’re looking for

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, upload a pic and caption it “not for sale”.

State the brand and size and a description of the item you’re after, you never know someone may have it in the back of their wardrobe!

SELLING

Take the best photos you can

Ideally your photos should be of someone wearing the outfit but if that’s not possible, good lighting and clutter-free backgrounds are a must.

Make sure you show the front and rear of the item and take pictures of any flaws. If the colour is not showing up right in the pic, make sure you mention in the listing what the true colour is.

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My Depop profile (my pics leave a lot be desired but I’m working on it)

Be flexible with your pricing

The quality of the item should be reflected in the price so if it’s an item you’ve worn a lot, don’t charge what you paid for it. New items with tags still on can command more as can lightly worn items or secondhand designer items. If you don’t accept offers/swaps, it’s a good idea to mention that.

Use tags

Depop will only allow five hashtags per item, however, you can include more popular keywords that people commonly search for (y2k comes to mind!)

Be truthful

“Such a stunning Y2K top, one of a kind”, grates after you read it for the 50th time. Likewise, don’t list an old Jane Norman cardi as “vintage”, that will only irritate buyers. True vintage clothing should be at least 20/30 years old so don’t lose the run of yourself.

Give as much detail as possible and be patient if your buyer has questions.

Ask for reviews and leave reviews

It’s nice to be nice and getting a good review will increase trust and encourage more people to buy from you. So ask your buyers to leave a review when they’re satisfied and also review them as buyers. It’s a win-win!

Approach potential buyers

If someone likes an item, don’t be shy, drop them a DM and ask if they’re interested in buying. I get these messages all the time and usually I just reply browsing thanks but a friendly message could help close a sale,

When your items aren’t selling

If your items haven’t sold, there are a number of avenues you can explore. You can delete the listing and reupload it with new pics or update the description. You can lower the price or offer a limited discount or offer bundle prices.

You can also share your items on other social media such as Instagram or Facebook, it may catch someone’s eye there.

Above all, don’t be disheartened, it takes time and patience to build a up a Depop profile.

I’m really enjoying using Depop and I’ve found it to be one of my favourite ways to shop now, particularly when shops aren’t open.

Have you used Depop? Leave me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon and let me know.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page and of course my Depop @edelh22.

Edel

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Charity shopping in a post-Covid world: Liberties, Rathmines and Camden Street

Charity shopping was one of the things I missed most when Ireland went into lockdown. As you all know, I spend an inordinate amount of time browsing and trying on clothes and looking for bargains.

As I moved house just before lockdown, I didn’t even have a chance to visit the charity shops in my new neighbourhood.

So as soon as I heard they were reopening, I was ready to go check them out. Previously, I’d lived on the northside of Dublin and although I’d frequently been charity shopping on the southside, I wasn’t as familiar with its offerings.

LIBERTIES

My first day back at the shops was a little disappointing as there are strict limits on the numbers that can enter at any one time and I had to queue for a few. Staff were meticulous about reminding customers to use hand sanitiser which was great but like other shops, you can’t try anything on at the moment. I wandered around the shops around Meath Street and Thomas Street but left empty-handed. Not all of the charity shops opened on June 8 so I didn’t get to visit them all.

However, a few weeks later I had a successful thrifting spree in the fantastic Simon Community shop on Thomas Street.

It was a Friday and there were a few customers browsing but I didn’t have to queue. I immediately noticed some great stock, including a beautiful blue Sandro dress.

However, as I couldn’t try things on, I had to judicious about my selections. I spotted a really cute floral Nasty Gal blouse with fringing on the sleeves and back.

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€7 shirt brand new

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Floral shirt

It was a size 12 but looked small so I knew it would fit me.

It was new with tags on but was only €7. I’ve already gotten loads of wear out of it which is great!

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The fringing on the back and sleeves

Using my investigative journalist skills (lol), I found it on the Nasty Gal site and it had been €28 full price so I got it for a quarter of that!

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The floral blouse and belt I thrifted

Here I’m wearing it with my favourite Topshop jeans, an old wicker bag I found at home and my Doc Martens.

The floral shirt
Wearing the shirt and belt I thrifted

I also spotted a brand new F&F bra with tags on in my size for €5. The original price was €12.50 so a good bargain!

I know some people wouldn’t even consider buying a bra in a charity shop but this was brand new and I’m trying to avoid buying new where possible.

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Pink F&f Bra

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€5 new bra

I was also tempted by a white denim overall dress but when I turned it around, I saw some marks on it so I left it.

When I was going up to the till, I spied an adorable belt with a gold Scottie dog buckle and three little dogs on the side.

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Vintage style belt

On the inside, I saw it was marked real leather in French and I could tell it was really nice quality too.

It didn’t have a price on it but when I brought it up to the till it was €1!

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My adorable belt was a big hit on the gram also!

Unfortunately, when I got home, one of the dogs fell off the side but I’m going to find a way to reattach it because it is the cutest belt ever!

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So cute!

My total was €13 and everything fit well. The belt is a little small but I will wear it around my waist with a dress rather than jeans.

I visited again recently and there was even more gorgeous (and new) stuff, including an Urban Outfitters keyhole 90s style top and pleated skirt that I may go back for.

I also nipped into the Vincent’s shop on Meath Street which was closed for longer than the others and I saw a brand new tie-dye print slip skirt from Penneys.

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The tie-dye style slip skirt

I’d been looking for a slip skirt for ages to wear with Doc Martens. It was a size 12 and still had tags on, originally priced at €14.

I’m a ten but I thought it looked small and as it was only €5, I decided to get it.

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Primark skirt brand new with tags

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€5, verdy good value!

It’s ever so slightly large for me in the waist but fits well in the hips. I don’t have any weddings this year thanks to Covid but I may wear it to an upcoming barbeque.

RATHMINES

There lots of charity shops in Rathmines but I visited at the start of June when they weren’t all open. Rathmines tends to have some really nice stock compared to the city centre and I admired some skirts in Oxfam but as you couldn’t try anything on, left them behind.

I did pick up a holographic sunglass sleeve for €1 which was great because I lost the one my Ray-Bans came in (typical I know).

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Raybans not included

I will be back to Rathmines another day for a proper shop.

CAMDEN STREET

My blogging pal Ama and I decided to meet up for a charity shop crawl of the Camden Street area which was so much fun. If you can rope a friend into charity shopping, it’s much more enjoyable and also you have someone else’s advice.

We popped into a few of the stores, including Liberty, Enable Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society. Ama was on the hunt for a formal bag and struck gold – we saw a beautiful pink Karen Millen bag that was in excellent condition. It was €15 and in really good nick so she was delighted with it.

I was tempted by a gorgeous Zara long skirt and a real leather Tommy Hilfiger 90s style one with a slight side split.

But the Zara was too small and the Tommy Hilfiger one had a damaged zip so I reluctantly left them behind.

Ama was a good companion for charity shopping as she reminded me I didn’t need more skirts anyway! Check out her blog here.

I spied a Humans of New York book for €10 that I was very tempted to buy but I had no cash and the shop didn’t have a card machine. Now, I’ve noticed a lot of more charity shops take card these days but it’s still worth bringing cash in case they don’t.

Instead I merely bought a few wooden clip hangers for a mere 10 cent each as I don’t have enough at home for the giant skirt collection!

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10 cent hangers can’t beat it

TIPS

You can’t try on clothes at the moment so only buy something if you’re pretty sure it’ll fit and check if it’s possible to exchange if not. I know some stores are offering exchanges at the moment because of this.

Bring cash and cards, some charity shops still don’t have card machines.

Be prepared to queue, most charity shops are quite small and have strict limits on the number of people who can come in. I’ve never had to queue longer than five minutes for any of them but some may be very busy.

Wear a mask and use hand sanitiser – every shop I’ve been to have been asking people to sanitise their hands which is great to see.

And finally – be patient and don’t give the staff hassle, remember the charity shops took a massive hit when they closed and are only getting back on their feet now. So, don’t haggle with the staff and be respectful.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to machine dye old jeans with Dylon

With the shops closed and the majority of us spending most of our time at home, now is a good time to go through your wardrobe.

Perhaps you need to do a purge of things that don’t fit or no longer suit your lifestyle.

Put what you don’t want into a bag for the charity shops as they’ll be in need of donations when they re-open.

Alternatively, you can take your old clothes to a clothes bank if there’s one in your local area or cut up old/stained clothing to make into dusters.

If you have an item you like but you want to breathe new life into it, why not try an upcycle? Fabric paint, dye, embroidery, zips, and studs can all inject new life into an old item.

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I’m going to share one of my favourite upcycling methods and show how machine dye transformed these vintage jeans.

When I first bought these jeans, I really liked the fit of them but I wasn’t crazy about the colour. (I took before pics but for the life of me, I can’t find them!)

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Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored

I was at a Tola Vintage kilo sale when I spotted these Levis 511 jeans. They are a slim fit but not skinny and low rise.

What I liked most about them was how thick and hardwearing the denim is. PS, I spilled water on them in the pic above, hence the weird discolouration!

I wore them a few times but I found it hard to match the weird grey/white colour and so they soon were left in a drawer.

Browsing in Hickeys one day, I saw some navy Dylon dye and I decided it was time to dye the jeans.

The process was really simple. I’d hand-dyed things before which can get messy but this was machine dye so I just had to pop the jeans into the wash with the dye capsule and run a cycle on 30C or 40C.

Then I had to wash them again with detergent on the same cycle and wait for them to dry.

The jeans emerged a gorgeous dark navy with the stitching remaining white. I hadn’t planned this but I really liked the effect.

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Levis 511 dyed jeans

However, the brown Levis patch on the back did dye which I was hoping it wouldn’t.

I don’t know if there’s a way around this but if there is, let me know!

Since I dyed the jeans, I’ve worn them much more frequently and found it easier to match them with outfits. The colour has also remained strong with numerous washes almost two years on.

This dye will remain on anything it stains, some got onto a towel I was using and it is still there to this day! So wear rubber gloves and old clothes and follow instructions carefully!

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Levis tab

The colour of the dye on the box didn’t look that dark but it came out a deep navy blue which was exactly what I wanted. As far as I can remember the shade I picked was called navy blue.

Dylon also have a dye especially for faded jeans which I may use to revive old pairs in the future.

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Levis 511 jeans

It’s important to remember that every fabric is different and dye results will depend on the permeability of the fabric and type of fabric. And some fabrics can’t be dyed, so check before you break open the dye.

The weight of the fabric and the amount of synthetic fibres will affect the final result, synthetic mixes will come out lighter.

From a sustainability point of view, obviously the dye residue will go into the water and there’s a good bit of washing involved but it’s probably still more sustainable than going out and buying a brand new item.

Machine-dying a few items with one capsule is probably the most sustainable way of doing it.

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Stitching on the back pocket

If you want to avoid artificial dyes, you can experiment with natural dyes, such as fruits and vegetables. Check out Moya (Environmental Eadai) on Instagram or Aisling Duffy Designs for natural dye inspiration.

Hope you all enjoyed this upcycling post and let me know if you decide to try machine dyes.

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My dyed Levis 511s

As for what else I’m wearing in the outfit above, it’s all vintage or thrifted except for my sunglasses. My boots were about €22 from a charity shop, shirt was about €6 from a charity shop (both River Island).

The jeans and my leather waiscoat were sold by kilo so I can’t remember what I paid but whole outfit is probably only about €55.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the competition I’m running on my Instagram and Facebook pages at the moment.

Edel

 

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River Island Spring Summer Trends 2020

Last week, I was invited along to the River Island Spring Summer 2020 press day and I was thrilled to see all the gorgeous fashion on show.

Although I don’t purchase many fast fashion items anymore, I still love seeing all the trends and getting inspiration for the new season.

I have also found River Island‘s footwear and clothing to be quite hard-wearing in comparison to many other high-street stores.

Here are the key trends for 2020:

Western

I’m a sucker for Western-style clothing and a good cowboy boot.

I have several pairs of ankle boots in this style from River Island but I have yet to buy a longer version.

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These cowboy boots immediately caught my eye

They might be tricky to pull off but I think these would be gorgeous with a floaty dress or fishnets and shorts for a festival.

These are available online for £85/€113, shop on the UK site and order them to your local store to save a few quid.

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River Island cowboy boots

Another stunning piece from the Paris Texas story is this cream fringed jacket – I’m in LOVE.

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Cream fringed jacket. Pic: PRshots.com

And I’m a big fan of this soft bleached denim dress with big 80s-style gold buttons. This is available online for £55/€65.

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Denim dress

If like me, you were a teenager in the 00s, you probably wore a diamante item or ten back in the day.

So, while you might be hesitant to relive that trend, it’s definitely making a comeback.

These diamante western belts are so cool, I want them in both colours but the black is probably a classier option for everyday wear! These are €40/£30.

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Diamante western belts

Another eye-catching accessory is this black fringed shoulder bag. I’ve been looking for a round bag for ages and this one is really cute.

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Black fringed bag

Western looks
Western-style

Faux leather shirts are still a big trend this year and I love the braiding detail on this one.

90s style shoes

Delicate strappy 90s style mules and sandals are going to be huge this summer and River Island have a great selection.

I loved these snakeskin square-toe sandals and the punchy lemon yellow and coral mules.

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Yellow and coral mules

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90s style mules

Romantic pastels and ruffles

Ditsy florals, puffy organza sleeves and pastel lilac, pink and green hues caught my eye as these are all right up my street.

But as well as the more feminine pieces, there was some sharp tailoring, such as the vibrant green three-piece suit to the left of the rail, which comprises of shorts, a waistcoat and blazer.

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Pastels and florals

River Island spring summer
Lilacs, pinks and greens

Romantic pastel shades
Romantic pastel shades

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Pastels and florals

Even though tailoring isn’t really my thing, I admired this lemon shorts suit with a funky double-breasted blazer – It’s giving me serious Dynasty vibes!

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Yellow shorts suit

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Yellow double-breasted blazer and shorts

Meanwhile, this adorable lilac handbag with chain and rivet detail was probably my favourite accessory on show.

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River Island lilac bag

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River Island lilac bag

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Lilac handbag. Pic: PRshots.com

As for sunglasses, long resin chains and dainty pearl detailing are key.

I’ve lost and mislaid more pairs of sunglasses than I care to remember so maybe a chain would be handy!

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Western-style accessories

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Pearl embellished sunglasses

Whites/Monochrome

There were also lots of delicate floaty white and monochrome pieces and I really like the contrast of the black ribbon and buttons on this beautiful dress.

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Floaty white dress. Pic: PRshots.com

These tiered white shorts have a cool vintage look and would be perfect for a sun holiday.

White shorts with lace detail
White shorts with lace and floral detail. Pic: PRshots.com

The kids’ range was adorable as always, leaving me wishing some of the pieces were available in adult sizing.

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Kids clothing River Island

I’ve flagged the items which are already available online and the entire range will be instore from March.

PS, this isn’t a sponsored post but I was gifted a voucher which I look forward to putting towards a pair of shoes!

Hope you all enjoyed this sneak peek at the new collection and drop me a comment if you’ve any questions, just click the grey speech bubble icon below right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

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Wardrobe cull, mending and altering my clothes

How many items of clothing do you own that would be “perfect” if they were altered/repaired? That skirt that’s just a little too tight (or loose), the shirt missing half its buttons or the jeans that you constantly have to roll up?

The best outfits are not always expensive or trendy, rather they are the ones that fit us well and are most becoming to our body type.

I had over a dozen items of clothing in my wardrobe that didn’t fit well or needed to be mended or altered. Having recently moved into a much smaller apartment, it seemed like the perfect time to do a wardrobe cull/audit.

Shoes – I ended up giving away five pairs that didn’t fit well to the charity shop, a pair of snakeskin boots that were too small, another pair of ankle boots that were uncomfortable, a pair of cheap runners and two pairs of too-large heels.

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New Look snake print boots which were too small for me

Jackets – A lovely tweed vintage jacket that I bought on impulse but never really wore as it was a size 14 had to go as did a cream embellished one which had lost some of its trimmings.

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The tweed jacket

T-shirts/tops- I spent €25 on a Levi’s t-shirt in Spain when they were all the rage but it was really poor quality, it was very thin and had faded a bit so it had to go also. I also let go of a gorgeous navy bodysuit that no longer fit me.

Jeans/Leggings: I donated two pairs of jeans, white ripped ones that I wore approximately once a year and black mom jeans that never really fit well.

I also donated an impractical pair of lace-up black leggings that I hardly ever wore.

Handbags – I own an insane amount of bags and after much deliberation decided to part with a tiny impractical bag and a floral crossbody that I loved but rarely used.

Skirts- I owned two beautiful leather skirts that no longer fit but I was reluctant to let them go.

I brought them to a seamstress to see if they could be let out but unfortunately, it wasn’t possible.

The zip in the black one below broke the last time I squeezed into it! And looking back, I can see it’s too small for me…

I replaced the zip but realising they would never fit me again (bar developing some kind of wasting disease), I gave them to a fashion-loving friend where they will have a good home!

If you can’t bear to give away a much-loved item to the charity shop, then why not give them to a friend or family member?

Another too-tight suede skirt made its way to the charity shop after I learned it could not be altered either, leaving me with 17 fewer items in my overcrowded wardrobe.

Mending and fixing

I have a good collection of vintage shirts and blouses and while I wear some more frequently than others, one paisley print beauty was sitting forlornly in the back of my wardrobe.

I bought this a few years ago in Lyon Loring in Stoneybatter but discovered after a couple of wears, that the buttons were prone to snapping off and almost all of them fell off.

I kept the buttons and the shirt but never got round to fixing it until one day I took it back out of the wardrobe.

I came up with an interim solution of wearing it under a pinafore so no-one could see the missing buttons.

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A slightly blurry close up of the blouse

Eventually, one quiet Sunday, I sat down with a needle and thread and gathered up all of the buttons to sew back on.

I wanted to use the original buttons as they are really pretty and thankfully, I found all of them bar one.

I always wear my collar open so I didn’t need a button for this, leaving me with just the right amount for all the missing ones.

Before I replaced the missing ones, I went back and sewed the remaining ones tighter so they wouldn’t fall off.

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Paisley print vintage blouse

I ran into a small bit of bother when I realised the button openings were so small only the thinnest needle could pass through them but luckily I had a very thin small needle that did the job.

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Sewing the buttons back on

Ta-da, my blouse was as good as new and having washed it twice since my stitches have held up nicely.

I intend to wear this blouse a lot more now, with jeans as below or underneath my black pinafore which contrasts really nicely with the black in the blouse.

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My lovely vintage blouse as good as new

Mending and fixing up items can be a pain, especially in this day and age when we are used to everything being instantaneous.

Getting a professional to do it is the ideal option, however, alterations can be pricey, sometimes costing almost the same as a new item.

If it’s a tricky job or an expensive item, I’d advise going to an alterations place such as the Alterations Centre on South Anne Street. I had a dress altered here before and I was really happy with how it turned out. I’ve also used The Zip Yard for alterations and they have branches around the country.

If it’s something like sewing on a button or stitching a ripped seam, why not have a go if you have basic sewing skills? If you don’t but can’t afford alterations, then look up YouTube tutorials for help.

Or you could ask a friend or family member who’s handy at sewing but make sure you do them a favour in return!

My little DIY project has inspired me to see what else in my wardrobe could do with some TLC and hopefully, I’ll get more wear out of what I already own.

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Brooding in black

As well as mending clothes, replacing the heel tips or resoling your shoes will help them last longer. I’ve several pairs of leather boots and good shoes that have lasted me years with repairs.

It’s better to buy expensive shoes which will last longer than a cheap pair which won’t be worth mending.

Outfit: Black trench coat: Daisy Street at Asos: £34.99/ €41.14

Vintage blouse: about €15

Jeans: Topshop €55

Belt: Charity shop €1

Earrings: Penneys €3

Total cost: €115.14

Hope you all enjoyed this post and Happy New Year! Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. If you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

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Three Weddings and a budget

There comes a time in your life when you’re inundated with wedding invitations and dear reader, I have reached that time.

With lots of my friends and family tying the knot in recent years, I’ve been attending weddings right, left and centre.

Now, I love a good wedding mainly because it’s an excuse for a weekend away, a big party and of course, getting glammed up.

However, there’s no denying that weddings cost a bomb between paying for accommodation, wedding gifts and travel. And I frequently have to use annual leave days for them as I’m not guaranteed weekends off work.

So, although part of me would love a new outfit every time, the sensible part of me knows that I can’t afford it.

This year, I had three weddings and I decided I wouldn’t buy anything new from the high street and instead try to re-wear some of my old outfits.

Here’s how I got on:

Wedding number 1: An outdoor wedding in Meath in June.

This wedding was at Boyne Hill House and it was a beautiful day, it didn’t rain, even though there were a few drops on the way down.

The bride was radiant with flowers in her hair, the sun shone and it was a gorgeous civil ceremony. It was really nice to experience an outdoor wedding as I’d never been to one before.

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Boyne Hill House wedding venue

I decided to re-wear an Asos dress I bought for another friend’s wedding two years earlier.

This dress actually fits me better now since I lost weight and I paired it with cream shoes from the charity shop which were €2 and threw an Asos white cardi on top.

This dress is from a brand called Elise Ryan and it cost €57.

I accessorised with a silver bag I already had.

Verdict: The dress was perfect for the weather and the occasion but the shoes were not great.

They were tough going on the grass and I felt like Bambi on ice! I gave them away since as they were not for me.

Hot tip: Don’t wear shoes you’ve never worn previously to a wedding, never a good idea!

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Blue Asos dress

Price:€0 as everything was from my existing wardrobe.

Wedding no 2: A civil ceremony in Co Wicklow in August

Another gorgeous day out in Brook Lodge and MacCreddin Village in the heart of Wicklow.

The dress I wore for this wedding has been in my wardrobe for 11, yes 11 years!

I originally bought it for a Christmas party in 2008 and wore it to my college graduation in 2010.

Happily, it still fits and I added my hero red high heels which have also been in my wardrobe for a long time, around seven years.

They are the most comfortable heels I own, despite being quite high.

The only new part of my outfit was my hairband which I bought from AliExpress for €10.18 and earrings from Penneys.

I re-used the same silver bag as before – it goes with everything and threw on Ray-Bans when it got really sunny.

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Green satin dress

To get the dress ship-shape, I had to gently handwash it as there were some stains on it and the silver straps had gone black so I went over them with silver nail varnish.

A bit of an effort but worth it because I love this dress and I got loads of compliments on it.

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Green satin dress

I think this dress has lasted so long because it’s handwash only. It wasn’t an expensive dress but I’ve taken good care of it.

Verdict: This was a really good choice and I’m glad I hung on to the dress all these years. As it’s quite flowy, I had plenty of room for food and drinks and I lasted most of the night in the shoes too!

Cost: €13.18

Wedding no 3: An October ceremony in a refurbished barn in Co Louth

This was my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding so we were very excited about it and I was very emotional on the big day!

It was the cutest ceremony with an alpaca for a ringbearer and the venue, Seagrave Barns, was stunning.

We also got to stay in a wooden pod which was pretty cool.

For this wedding, I wore a dress and bag which were new to me but they were vintage and secondhand bargains.

While browsing in Retro City Lisboa in Lisbon, I came across a beautiful dress with a floral skirt and black upper half with a sweetheart neckline.

It was a gorgeous fit and really flattering on me, so I knew I had to get it. It was marked €20 but they gave it to me for €18.

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Vintage dress from Retro City Lisboa

I decided I wanted a different bag this time and I spotted a funky 00s style Oriental print clutch in one of the charity shops in Phibsborough. This was about €6.90 but while it’s cute, it doesn’t open very wide so you can’t put much in!

I added a navy vintage belt with a gold buckle and my trusty red heels again. There were a lot of colours going on this outfit but they all worked together.

I accessorised with a hair clip from Nasty Gal and a small gold necklace which was about €6.

Verdict: A good choice, except I only brought a cardigan and ended up wearing a rain jacket over the dress as it lashed rain all day!

I spent the most on this outfit but it was still very little compared to the cost of a new outfit on the high street.

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Floral vintage dress

I think I’ll save the clutch bag for nights out as I tend to bring lots of makeup to weddings and need a big bag.

Cost: €30.90

My total spend on outfits for the three weddings was €44.08, equal to the cost of one dress or pair of shoes on the high street.

Next year, I’ve two weddings lined up and after seeing how little I spent this year, it’s motivated me to re-wear outfits again or choose secondhand/vintage.

It’s possible to re-wear wedding outfits without becoming bored by changing up your shoes/accessories or even trying a different hair/makeup look.

Obviously, I was lucky in that I still fit into those dresses, if I didn’t, I might have had to buy new ones.

Sometimes, you do have to buy a new outfit/shoes/bag, depending on the circumstances and I’m not against that but it’s always worth checking what’s in the back of your wardrobe as well as exploring secondhand/vintage options.

While you might be attending weddings with the same group of people over and over, no-one is going to notice if you re-wear an old outfit, all the attention will be on the happy couple!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and it’s given you some inspiration for wedding outfits.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

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Oxfam’s Second Hand September Challenge

We’re almost at the end of September and I’ve pledged not to buy any new clothes for a month as part of the Second Hand September challenge.

It’s not the first time I’ve done a “no new clothes” challenge, I did one way back in 2014 and when I was doing my Master’s, I didn’t buy any new clothes for several months as I was broke!

This year, I’ve seen a lot of people doing No Buy July and I almost made it through the month until I caved and bought a little top from Bershka.

I decided to stick to Second Hand September but I had one small problem – going on holidays!

Last year, I didn’t buy any new clothes for my holidays in Barcelona but I picked up a few high street pieces while I was there. Now, I’m not going to guilt-trip myself over that as it was just two things which are still in my wardrobe.

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Wearing an all second-hand outfit in Lisbon

This year, I again refrained from buying new holiday clothes but I freshened up my holiday wardrobe with pieces such as this Beatles t-shirt which I got for €3 in the Irish Cancer Society charity shop with my denim shorts from the Kilo Store in Amsterdam.

My belt is also second-hand, €1 from the Respect shop in Stoneybatter.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2mYL-gCeEP/

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Beatles t-shirt and vintage shorts

Another outfit I rewore on holidays was my green River Island dress, also a second-hand bargain from the Irish Deaf Society shop in Phibsborough.

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Ignore the crazy hair

While in Lisbon this year, I initially avoided going into the shops but eventually I went for a look around.

There was a t-shirt I was obsessed with in Brandy Melville (a shop for teens really, everything was a size 0) but I tried it on and although it was nice, it didn’t fit great so I no longer wanted it after that!

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Green River Island dress from a charity shop

To my credit, I managed to browse all of the high street stores without buying anything other than some jewellery.

I was going to buy some bras which I really needed but the store’s card machine was down as were all the nearby ATMs so I took that as a sign!

But I still managed to find some new wardrobe additions as I’d researched the vintage and secondhand options before visiting Lisbon.

My best find was probably this lovely scarf print skirt for €15 in the Feira Da Ladra flea market.

I probably could have gotten it for less by haggling but tbh, I’m not much of a haggler, especially if I have to do it in Portuguese!

Scarf print skirt
Scarf print skirt

When I got home, the weather was still lovely so I paired it with my white Reeboks, a white crop top and a real suede Mango jacket that I found in the Debra Ireland charity shop in Phibsborough for about €10.

I’m a big fan of scarf print and I’d been tempted to buy similar skirts from Zara or Aliexpress earlier this year.

The best thing about this skirt is it’s really versatile and can be worn to a special occasion, work or a casual day out.

 

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Scarf print skirt from the Feira Da Ladra market

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My scarf print skirt

I also picked up a vintage dress in Retro City Lisboa, a renowned vintage shop that was very close to our Airbnb.

This is a size 12 dress but fits more like a 10. It’s really pretty and I may wear it to an upcoming wedding.

It was marked €20 but they only charged €18.

I also discovered a chain of charity shops called Humana where I thrifted a patchwork denim Zara skirt. This was €10 but still had a Zara tag for €19.99 on it.

The stock in Humana was very summery and not as cheap as you’d find at home, a lot of stuff was under €10 but not as much around the €5 mark.

I did spot a really cool Lacoste bag for €20 but I don’t need any more bags right now! If you are in Lisbon, it’s well worth checking out the Humana stores and they are in other European cities also.

Aside from Belgium, I’ve never actually found a charity shop abroad until now (I clearly hadn’t been looking that hard!)

With just two days left, I’m confident of making it through Second Hand September and I’m proud of myself for taking on this small challenge. There were times when I really wanted to buy new items but I managed to remind myself of how much stuff I already own and also the fact that I’ll be moving house in a few months.

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Wearing my suede thrifted jacket and scarf print skirt

One month without buying fast fashion is really not a big sacrifice and I would encourage anyone to give it a go.

And even though September is nearly over, you can still take part by signing up here.

Oxfam will email you some tips and inspiration along the way if you’re struggling!

Have you taken part in Second Hand September or a similar challenge? I’d love to hear your thoughts, drop me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon below on the right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

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Nasty Gal’s Autumn/Winter Press Day at Cafe Bombo

I had the pleasure of attending Nasty Gal’s autumn/winter press event during the week in the ultimate Insta-worthy surroundings, the cute and kitsch Cafe Bombo.

When I saw the event was taking place in Cafe Bombo, I was very excited. This has been on to my to-visit list ever since reading about it over on Bean Magazine.

On arrival, we were treated to a drink of our choice and a delicious pizza from adjoining Proof Pizza.

And it didn’t stop there as we also tucked into gorgeous desserts, hot chocolate and tea from the cutest teapot known to man. Seriously, just look how happy I am!

As one of the other guests said, it was like Christmas and a birthday rolled into one!

Cafe Bombo is located on Thomas Street in Dublin and is a gorgeous setting for brunch, tea or coffee or one of their signature bombolini desserts.

They also do an unbelievable hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini marshmallows – yum!

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Hot chocolate

The cafe is decorated with neon lights, floral wallpaper, pink and marble furnishings.

In the bathroom, monkeys swigging vodka and clutching cigars adorn the walls.

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Cafe Bombo

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Mad monkeys

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Cafe Bombo

Once brunch was over, I had a chance to peruse the new collections and was really taken by the shoes and bags.

I love a good handbag, especially this pretty pearl beauty.

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Pearl handbag and high-shine shoes

It might not be the most practical bag but I love it!

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Pearl beaded bag

The footwear collection was equally enticing with lots of high-shine patent,  snakeprint and velvet shoes and boots.

And there were also some adorable mini-bags, including a sequin one with a hip-flask style clasp.

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Snakeprint boots and mini bags

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Nasty Gal shoes and boots

Checks and faux leather featured heavily in the clothing and among the standout pieces were a long check mac and a black faux leather jumpsuit.

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Love this fabulous check mac

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Checks featured heavily in the collection

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Checks and muted colours

I wore a black faux leather skirt from Aliexpress, with a black polo neck, a jewelled hairband also from Aliexpress and ankle boots from Mango.

The skirt is an exact dupe for a Zara one (just search ZAYA for Zara dupes on Aliexpress) and I love the embroidery.

I’d been looking for a jewelled hairband for ages and was delighted to find this one for just over €10, while my skirt was just under €14.

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Wearing my Aliexpress skirt

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Aliexpress skirt

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My Aliexpress jewelled hairband

If you’re interested in my Aliexpress purchases, leave me a comment and I’ll do a post on them.

After finishing the afternoon with a chat with some of the other guests and a cup of tea, I headed home feeling very full and delighted with life.

We also were given a very generous goody bag which included two t-shirts and a mini-bag, I’ll pop up some pics of me wearing them up here soon, excuse the creasing in the photos below!

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E.T. t-shirt I received in my goody bag

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Nasty Gal E.T. and Powerful Fucking Women t-shirts and mini bag

If you want to grab the E.T. t-shirt for yourself, you can nab it for €15 here and the cross-body mini croc bag is €12 here. (These are not affiliate links, btw).

Thanks a mill to Ashley and Burrell PR for inviting me and throwing us such a great party, it was really enjoyable and I know a lot of hard work went into putting on such a great day.

Hope you all enjoyed this sneak peek at the autumn/winter collection and drop me a comment if you’ve any questions, just click the grey speech bubble icon below right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

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Total Nostalgia: Damn Fine Print’s Telecom Eireann Jumper

Do you remember the days of call cards? Have you ever used a payphone or heaven forbid a landline? If the answer is yes, then congrats you’re probably yet another disillusioned Gen-Y-er!

While I’ve often blogged about my love of charity shops, vintage sales and online shopping, I haven’t devoted much time to supporting small local brands and businesses.

I used to love shopping the high street but years of working in retail combined with knowledge of the effect of fast fashion on the environment extinguished this love.

Recently I was in town shortly after payday and there were sales everywhere. Despite the fact, I had cash to splash and there were “bargains” to be had, I didn’t buy anything.

These days, I tend to think my purchases through a bit more and I’m also trying to buy more goods from small local businesses.

Browsing Instagram one day, I saw an ad flash up for an amazing jumper with the old Telecom Eireann logo on it.

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Telecom Eireann jumper

I love a bit of nostalgia and I can fondly remember the Telecom Eireann logo plastered everywhere from the phone book to the old phone in my granny’s house where I spent a lot of time as a child.

From looking up people’s numbers in the phonebook, to prank calls and chats with my childhood best friend who got a phone for confirmation, the old landline brought me endless amusement.

With my heart set on buying the jumper, I clicked through to find it was a local business, Damn Fine Print in Stoneybatter. 

telecom eireann jumper

I had no idea they sold clothes as well as art and I decided to buy one of the crewneck jumpers. It cost €35 which I thought was a really good price and as I was able to pick it up from their studio, I didn’t have to pay delivery.

The jumper was ready in just under a week and I was delighted when I tried it on at home. It’s a lovely vivid blue with a soft fleecy lining and feels really cosy.

The colour was true to the image I’d seen online and I got lots of compliments on it.

One friend even decided to order it for herself in green after seeing me post it to my Instagram story #influencer

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The colour is really vivid

I really think it’s worthwhile finding local brands and labels to support where possible.

Obviously, the jumper was only printed in Ireland and was made abroad so it may not be 100% sustainable but it’s still better than purchasing a cheaper high street jumper that everyone will have.

I’ve gotten lots of wear out of it already and I know it will be in my wardrobe for years to come if I look after it.

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Catch me in my natural habitat

We took these photos on a casual trip out to Donabate beach and it wasn’t planned so I’d little or no makeup on.

However, I think this enhances the casual look!

I’m also wearing denim shorts from a kilo store in Amsterdam, Adidas Gazelles and a River Island bag, can you tell I like blue?

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Strolling around

I bought the jumper in a small and as you can see it’s quite a baggy fit but I like loose jumpers.

It was part of a limited run but Damn Fine Print are now selling them again, just in time for Christmas, in blue, yellow and grey. Green is sold out.

There’s also a grey t-shirt which is €25. You can shop here.

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Donabate beach

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All kinds of blue

Donabate is a lovely spot for a peaceful beach walk and I found some beautiful shells on the shore.

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I didn’t shell out too much for this jumper haha

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Donabate beach

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River Island bag with shells

I’m going to use these to fill a jar to make a nice ornament for my apartment.

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Trying not to fall off these rocks

Total outfit cost= €47, excluding presents.

Bag: -(present), Jumper €35, Shorts €8, Hairclip €4, Runners: €59 (present).

FYI, this wasn’t a sponsored post and I wasn’t asked or paid to promote any items featured. There are no affiliate links either. The items I’ve marked as presents were from my boyfriend and family – not gifted by companies.

Hope you all enjoyed this post, if you’ve any questions, feel free to leave a comment below by clicking the grey speech bubble on the bottom right.

Or you can get in touch with me on  InstagramTwitter or my Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

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Sustainability Struggles: Trying to live a less wasteful life

Sustainability and zero waste are woke buzz words these days but I was living in a sustainable manner long before I knew what it meant.

Growing up with parents who were a lot older than me (closer in age to some of my friends’ grandparents) meant we had a “waste not, want not” lifestyle.

I remember carefully washing glass jars and peeling off the labels for recycling, using newspapers to dry up spills and light the stove and of course, wearing hand-me-downs and charity shop clothes.

When I made my Communion, my mother even had her wedding dress made into a dress for me – now that’s economical!

We lived on a farm, drank our own cows’ milk, picked blackberries and crabapples and wrapped our sandwiches in old bread wrappers instead of tinfoil. It might sound grim but it was a very thrifty and sustainable lifestyle.

Now, we were far from perfect, country living means driving pretty much everywhere and of course, we ate meat (apart from my very brief stint as a vegetarian).

There were aspects of my upbringing that I didn’t like, as a teenager I wanted all the latest trends from the chain stores but my mother did buy me new clothes and shoes when I really needed them.

When I left home and lived with other people, I was shocked by how some thought nothing of throwing out food or clothes.

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This one of my many thrifty outfits

I didn’t know how to recycle properly but I tried to recycle as much as I could and also dispose of my old belongings in a responsible way.

Nowadays, most people (myself included) are a lot more informed about living a sustainable life and how our wastefulness is killing the planet.

I get very anxious when I think about the harm caused to the environment by our incessant dumping, polluting and use of toxic substances.

I cringe when I see workmates casually flinging coffee cups and dirty cartons into the recycling bin without a care.

I often hear things like “oh I never thought of that”, when I mention that I’m trying to cut down on using plastic etc. I try not to preach as that just alienates people but I think we all need to be living more sustainably for the greater good.

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My bag, dress and belt are all secondhand

While I don’t see myself having children any time soon (if ever), it does bother me that the next generation will be greatly affected by our actions now.

And it’s not just about people but also animals and plants which don’t willfully damage the earth but still suffer the consequences.

Here are a few simple changes I’ve been making to my life in order to live more sustainably. I don’t see myself becoming a vegan, or giving up driving or travelling completely but I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Minimising plastic waste

When I go grocery shopping, I buy loose fruit and veg as much as possible or in a rigid plastic or cardboard container as that can be recycled. Soft plastics (anything you can scrunch up in your hand) are no longer being recycled in Ireland so I’m trying to cut down on them.

I also always take a shopping bag or rucksack – there’s no need to buy a plastic bag, I’ve approximately 70,000 of them at home.

Another way to cut down on plastic is to bring a lunchbox for meat or fish from a deli counter.

Buying in season/locally produced food

When I’m food shopping, I try to buy as much Irish produce as possible. This can be very hard in supermarkets, for example, Tesco tends to sell fruit and vegetables which have travelled from every corner of the earth.

If you can afford to shop at a butcher, greengrocer or farmer’s market now and again, these are good places to pick up fresh local produce. Obviously, these options aren’t available to everyone, particularly if you live in the countryside or have very little money for food shopping.

Zero waste markets and shops are popping up in several cities now, I found an excellent one in Phibsborough called Noms where you can buy food, household products and beauty products.

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Sustainable and stylish

Using public transport or cycling

Again, this one is tough for those who live in the countryside and is more applicable to city-dwellers.

I used to always drive to work until my car died but now I only drive at the weekends when there are limited trains. As I work shifts, there’s no public transport that would get me to work early enough so I have to take a taxi in but I take the train home.

I also started cycling late last year, something I was very nervous about because cycling in Dublin is no joke but I am a lot more confident now. Dublin Bikes cost only €25 for a yearly subscription, making them much cheaper than public transport.

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The power to change things is in our hands

Separating waste correctly

Yes, it’s a pain in the hole but I’d rather that than a hole in the ozone layer! I now have three bins in my apartment, one large one for recycling paper, rigid plastic and cardboard, a smaller bin for food waste (I use compostable bin liners in this) and an “everything else” bin.

All recycling should be clean and dry so that means washing out cartons and containers and letting them dry. I tend to do this while washing the dishes so it’s just part of the routine.

It took a while to get everyone using the bins correctly and taking three bins out can be laborious but in the long run, it’s not a big deal.

You can find recycling guidelines on Repak’s website.

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Photoshoot in Galway

Switching up your toiletries – soap bars, toothbrushes, tampons

Bars of soap are definitely more awkward than hand soaps and shower gel but they do the same job, and you can use them to shave with and there’s no waste left over.

I store my bar of soap in a plastic box to stop it melting all over the shower.

I haven’t tried toothpaste tabs or shampoo bars yet but these are definitely on my list. I also now use a bamboo toothbrush and the only issue I have is that toothpaste tends to stick to the brush and you have to clean it regularly.

Recently, I bought a Mooncup, hoping that it would be a good investment but I actually haven’t been able to use it, I think I bought the wrong size.

If you can’t use or afford a menstrual cup (they are pricey), you could try using non-applicator or cardboard tampons to minimise plastic waste.

In the long run though, a menstrual cup is much cheaper. Another option is resuable period-proof underwear (yes such a thing exists and is apparently very effective), check out Colette’s review of them here.

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Having a pensive think about our planet’s future

Slow fashion

My number one hobby is fashion so it may seem a bit hypocritical for me to be talking about being sustainable.

Fast fashion is a massive contributor to pollution but there are so many sustainable alternatives such as swap shopping, using the clothes you already have, charity shopping, vintage kilo sales and upcycling.

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Kilo store Amsterdam

Markets are another place to get your sustainable style fix, you can even find designer items here.

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Armani blazer at a market in Amsterdam

I haven’t cut out fast fashion completely but I buy about 60% secondhand and 40% new clothing at the moment.

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Denim dress and thrifted belt

In this post, I’m wearing a vintage denim dress that I bought in Amsterdam, a €1 belt from a charity shop, my DKNY rucksack was €6 from a charity shop, but my runners are from Asos and my earrings are from Penneys.

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My DKNY rucksack was one of my best bargains ever

Another way to shop more sustainably is to buy one high-quality item which will last longer. I got almost three years out of my last pair of Reeboks.

Reusable straws, coffee cups and water bottles

These days, I will always say “no straw” at the bar unless they have paper straws.

Paper straws are annoying when they go soggy but they’re less wasteful and I’m thinking of buying a metal one.

I almost never buy coffee in a disposable cup as I can’t bear the thought of them going in landfill. I do have a reusable cup but I don’t really use it as I usually bring my own coffee to work.

I have a Nespresso machine at home but I find the capsules quite wasteful (though I’ve seen compostable capsules in Noms). I try to use my moka pot more as the grounds can be composted.

If you are a Nespresso fiend, you can get recycling bags from your local store/concession.

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Scowling at people who don’t recycle properly

I drink loads of water but almost never have to buy bottled water as I bring my water bottle everywhere with me.

Recently, our workplace got rid of plastic cups which I think is a great move. I’ve a metal bottle which keeps the water nice and cool.

These are just small changes and I’m aware that I’m very privileged to be able to make these. I live in a city with public transport and lots of shops, I have disposable income and I’m an able-bodied person. I know not everyone has the same opportunities or advantages as me.

I’m not perfect and I still need to improve my own efforts but I hope this post has provided some food for thought.

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My denim dress from Amsterdam

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on sustainability.

All photos were taken by Galway-based photographer Sarah Kelly, go check out her Instagram and website, Untamed Moments, she’s an extremely talented lady.

I won a photo shoot with Sarah and I loved having a chat with her about sustainable style and blogging. she was a delight to work with!

Sarah has a degree in Earth and Ocean Science and Zoology and is passionate about protecting our environment. Check out her tips on reducing plastic waste here.

Total outfit cost: €100.20, dress €23.40, belt €1, earrings €3, runners €72.80.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and thanks for reading. Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel