I’ve written on countless occasions about all the opportunities blogging brings. As well as making some very firm friendships within the blogosphere, I’ve also met and corresponded with a lot of business women, many of whom are busy mothers and all of whom have had a vision and determination to bring their product to market.

Katarina Stetz has a dual degree in chemical engineering and finance. During her maternity leave she had the idea of creating personalised skincare so she founded Ninni. The custom blend is done in a series of steps with a choice of “My Day,” (anti-oxidants and CoQ10) or “My Night,” (hyaluronic acid and peptides), followed by a choice of two scents (or an unscented version). I chose lemon and rosemary as a day cream and lavender and chamomile as a night cream. I have been using them for about two months now and although I’m not a beauty blogger or an expert on skincare, I can say that they are beautiful creams and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. I love lavender in anything so I find the night cream not only smoothes my skin, but soothes my soul before bed. 

Ninni skincare

Despite having my own jewellery website, I never tire of seeing new designs. Toolally Jewellery, founded by Mags, is a brand that is based within a few miles of where I live. She wanted her jewellery designs to make a statement and they do just that. I wore mine last week with my pink kinitted Chanel-style jacket and boyfriend jeans and got numerous compliments. They’re beautifully made and very lightweight and I suspect, rather addictive.

Toolally statement earrings

In the interests of equality, it seems only fair that I mention a duo of male entrepeneurs. Rene Seppeur, along with his university friend Matthias Groo, designed the Space Wallet when realising that a significant proportion of men, removed their bulky wallet from their back pocket when sitting down. These tiny wallets are little bigger than a credit card but are ideal for a night out when a card and a few notes is all that’s needed. There is a small change compartment too. I have already used mine when space is a premium in a clutch bag and I will be packing it to use on holiday too. You can see just how small it is in relation to my sunglasses and ring. The wallets are made in Germany, come in a wide variety of colours and styles and international shipping is free.

Space Wallet, pearl jewellery and gold stars ring

As well as small brands, it’s lovely getting the opportunity to try things from established brands too. This is the Leighton Denny Tribal Fever nail polish collection and the Must Have Mani Makeover Kit which includes a glass nail file, a buffer and a divine hand cream. The colours are richly pigmented and very vibrant and my nails remained chip-free for several days, which is most unusual for me! I love every single colour and know these will serve me throughout the summer months. 

Leighton Denny Tribal Fever nail polish

This bracelet was sent to me from the lovely team at Aspire Style from their new personalised jewellery selection. This is a rose gold friendship bracelet and I have the names of my children engraved on it, one on each side of the heart. It’s so pretty and would be a beautiful gift for women of all ages. This is something that sits beautifully alongside the rest of my jewellery and I have worn it every day since it arrived.

Aspire style personalised friendship bracelet

I hope this will lead you to some new websites and to some new products, so that between us we can support small(er) businesses when we can.


Love Liz x

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The items mentioned in this blog post were given to me to review. All opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. 

The ethical side of fashion is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to of late, because I’ve just finished writing my fashion column for the August issue of Aspire which is about eco-fashion. My research made for fascinating reading and I’ve been looking at brands that source their materials in a sustainable, ethical and transparent way 

The
fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment because so much of
our clothing is composed of synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. These
artificial fibres are made from petrochemicals which themselves cause
pollution. One particularly worrying by-product of nylon production is nitrous
oxide, a greenhouse gas that has a far greater effect than carbon dioxide on
global warming. I was surprised to learn that natural fibres too can be just
as detrimental to the environment and astounded to discover that non-organic cotton uses more pesticide
per cotton plant than almost any other crop in the world. Ongoing exposure to
pesticides has been linked to illness among farmers and disruption of the
eco-system as well as damage to other plants and animals. Certain dyes and chemicals
used in the wool industry including those in a sheep-dip are toxic and polycotton, especially popular in bedding because of its
non-crease properties is almost always treated with formaldehyde.

Eco-fashion
is rather a broad term used for clothing, fabrics and accessories that have been
manufactured in an environmentally conscious way with organic and recycled clothing
coming under that umbrella. It’s by no means a new concept, but there’s perhaps an ongoing misconception that it’s all tie-dye and sack cloth, or, at the other end of the scale, Stella McCartney and her vegan accessories that sometimes carry a four-figure price tag. This couldn’t be
further from the truth with global brands such as Skunk Funk and Braintree producing
collections that are as desirable, beautiful and stylish as the next brand.
They are conscious of the provenance of the raw materials and of the ethos of
the supply chain. They consider the environmental impact of distribution, so
choose a ship over a plane. They retail at a price point comparable with brands
with a similar aesthetic and they trade fairly. 
What more could one ask for?


Developments in technology mean environmentally friendly textiles have become a viable alternative. Here are a few, some of which are rather surprising, to look out for.

Organic textiles – grown without using harmful pesticides or genetically modified organisms.

Hemp- grows readily without pesticides. When blended with organic cotton, a soft, elastic fabric results. When blended with silk it produces a smooth, luxurious cloth which drapes beautifully.

Bamboo – a quick-growing crop that doesn’t require fertilisers or pestcicides. It is soft and comfortable and is ideal for socks, underwear and leggings.

Linen – a renewable fibre found in the flax plant which is fast and easy growing.

Tencel – the brand name for a regenerated fibre, (lyocell), made from the cellulose of eucalyptus wood and is widely accepted to be one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics because of the transparency of the supply chain. Eucalyptus trees are farmed for this purpose and are grown without irrigation or chemicals.

Wild silk – cruelty-free because the cocoons are only gathered after the moth emerges.

Crabyon – the brand name for an innovative fibre derived from chitin, (obtained from the shell of crabs and shellfish) which is combined with cellulose to create a biological, antibacterial yarn perfect for lingerie and swimwear. How oerfect that derivatives of sea-creatures go to make materials for swimwear.

Recycled polyester – an eco-fashionable way of giving plastic bottles a second chance at life. Used in a growing number of garments from dresses to fleeces to t-shirts and jackets.

Eco-friendly footwear has taken giant steps forward in terms of style and choice too. Recycled plastic bottles are formed into a microfibre, used to make faux suede footwear. Biodegradable synthetic leathers, organic cotton and hemp and recycled wood for heels, wedges and platforms combine to make statement footwear that is both sustainable and fairly traded. Glues are water-based and dyes are vegetable-based, ensuring everything biodegrades harmlessly. From head to toe, there’s an eco-friendly option available.

For further research, I met with Paul Barber, the owner of From The Source in Skipton. There and online, he sells a variety of ethical clothing, accessories and gifts including eco-brands Braintree, Nomads, Mudd & Water and Skunk Funk. He stocks menswear too and because I’m fairly sure my brother doesn’t read my blog, I can say here that I’m going to get him a shirt for his upcoming birthday.
This dress was from there last year. It’s a trans-seasonal favourite of mine and I’ve shared it on several occasions on my blog.  It’s by Australian brand Braintree whose strapline is “thoughtful clothing.” The brand whispers rather than shouts about its ethos and I think this gentle approach is an incredibly clever way of raising awareness by being neither self-righteous nor judgmental. I think you’ll agree that even though I’m indulging in a bit of tree-hugging, or at least, tree-patting myself here, the dress is as far from dippy-hippy as one could imagine.

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Danon long dragonfly necklace

Danon Swarovski set bee charm bracelet

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

If you’re local to, or visiting Skipton, do call in to From The Source. It’s very close to the canal basin and there’s a lovely teashop, Helene’s, next door, where my daughter and I had the most divine afternoon tea. Paul and his team will make you most welcome and he’s very knowledgeable about clothing generally and eco-brands specifically.  

Love Liz x

Outfit details:
Purple floral dress, Braintree via From The Source, past season.
Double star ring in silver (also available in matt gold) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
T-bar bee charm bracelet, £29.95, Danon at Lizzy O
Long dragonfly necklace, £39.95, Danon at Lizzy O
Silver sandals, Boden, previous season.

Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion

You may remember the post I did quite recently in which I wore a pink knitted Chanel-inspired jacket from Winser London and in which I also introduced The Over 40 Collective. One of the reasons I chose the jacket was because I knew I’d be able to wear it again and again and in different ways. Last time was with skinny jeans and flat brogues. This time, it was with boyfriend jeans, a white broderie anglaise tee and pink heels. I do like combining smarter pieces with more casual ones and there is something about wearing these slightly battered jeans with dressy shoes that I love. 

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

I try to support small, new, emerging or local brands where possible and my earrings really couldn’t be more local. They’re by Toolally, a company that is based a few miles from me at Broughton Hall, Skipton. Despite the brand’s youth, it is already seeing great success and was mentioned in the current (July) issue of British Vogue. These earrings are stylish, unusual, comfortable and make a statement. What more could one ask of one’s jewellery? Apart from perhaps co-ordinating well with a favourite pair of shoes…

Toollaly HRH earrings



Love Liz x

Outfit details:
*Cotton knitted tweed jacket, Winser London. Sold out at the time of writing but available in pale blue at the reduced price of £79.
White broderie anglaise tee, Fat Face, past season.
Boyfit jeans, Next, past season
Double star ring in matt gold, £25, also available in silver Danon at Lizzy O.
*Earrings, HRH in blush pink, £35 Toolally
Pink shoes, Next, past season.
*Nail polish, Tribal Dance, Leighton Denny.

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Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion

*Disclosure: my earrings were a gift from Toolally. I did not receive payment for this blog post. All opinion is 100% honest and all content is my own.