Ondo and Annabelle have brought me so much comfort over the last many months. I went so far as to buy a second-hand iPad on eBay so I could place it on the windowsill and watch their videos while I did the dishes or cooked (only a global panini could finally force me into the kitchen).

You asked, I answered. Okay, actually — I asked (on Instagram Stories), you answered (with a question of your own), and now I'm here to do my best to answer some of the most common issues I hear about switching to a more ethical, sustainable and/or "conscious" lifestyle. Particularly when it comes to clothes. But you'll see from my answers that you can apply a lot of my attitude outside of your interaction with fashion too.

I literally can't find ethical fashion that I can afford and is plus size. Comments?

My first comment is it would be pretty awkward if I did not acknowledge that I am privileged in my body type. I am not restricted by having to search for a niche (plus size) within a niche (sustainable clothing brands). To anyone concerned with cost, I always recommend searching for second hand clothes first. Online my first port-of-call is always either eBay or Depop. In person, charity shops, thrift stores or arranging a clothes swap with friends.

That being said, I know those are still not a hard and fast answers if you are searching for ethical plus size clothing. I've seen friends disappointed on shopping excursions to vintage stores because of limited options for their body type. Marion privilege numero dos (this list is long, btw): I live in a major city so I am spoiled for choice. You may live somewhere that doesn't have secondhand clothing stores, or friends and acquaintances with a similar build to you to ask for tradezies. And online shopping can be a bit of a gamble too, with not everyone on eBay or Depop accepting returns.

Sooooo... is there any good news? Try these two pieces advice I always remember a friend of mine using for Depop:

  1. When you find an item in your size and style, follow that person's profile. They are likely a similar size to you and then you can know when they have new items available that you might be into. 
  2. Message people and ask if they will do specific measurements on a shirt or dress you are interested in, but are afraid might not fit. (You can do this on eBay and Etsy too.) When you get the numbers, compare them to an item of clothing that you already own and love the fit of, and you can feel more confident with buying.

My number one rule? (For everything really...) Do the best you can, but also give yourself a break. Just by asking this question I see you are conscious and motivated about making more planet-friendly choices. That's half the battle won. Don't let it consume you if you can't find what you are looking for. Focus more on buying less, buying well when you can, and not beating yourself up when you buy something from fast fashion because you were in a pinch.

Plus sized sustainable fashion! Where to find it??

I've been compiling a running list for years now of ethical, fair trade and sustainable clothing brands. (Welcome to my weird 2am insomnia hobbies.) I have not combed through them to see which brands are plus-size inclusive though. Thankfully, other awesome people have done this research. Check out Sarah Laughed's post on plus size ethical fashion companies. There is even a freaking regularly updated spreadsheet; that's a girl after my own heart. A quick Duck Duck Go search also brought up Sophie's post "Size Inclusive Sustainable Fashion Brands."

Being conscious when travelling especially where you might have limited choices

Living a more "conscious," eco-friendly, sustainable, low waste life – whatever you want to call it, however you want to frame it – boils down to about 90% preparation. Which is a massive mindset shift for a lot of people; it definitely was for me. There's the super basic things like getting comfortable with always taking the following supplies with you: refillable water bottle or coffee cup, reusable utensils, canvas tote, smaller cloth bag, etc. At first it's annoying carrying all this around. Then you feel naked without it.

After that, we kind of run into privilege again – there is the privilege of time at play here. Do you have the time to look up where you are travelling to to see if there are any markets, grocery stores or bakeries where you can buy unwrapped goods to use and eat? Do you have the time to hit up those places early in your travels to sustain you for a couple days or more? If those options aren't available where you are going, consider using it as an opportunity to speak to independent store owners about what you were wishing you could find, and why. "Hey, it'd be awesome if you sold bar shampoo; I'm trying to use less plastic." or "Everything here looks so good! Do you get many customers asking for vegan pastries?"

How do you start? 😅

This question haunts me for so many reasons. How do you move towards becoming the person you want to be, when it seems so impossibly daunting and, well, impossible? I'm afraid it is the most annoying answer ever... You just start. And it probably won't feel like you have started when you do start, because it'll be such a tiny baby step. For me it was getting really mad at the ethics of Amazon and refusing to buy from them anymore. Then it kind of just snowballed from there.

Find the tiniest baby step you can take and celebrate it. You save a little money here and there so when you run out of your favourite mascara, you can treat yourself to a cruelty free or organic one with better ingredients. You find a place to recycle your holey socks and replace them with a pair of soft bamboo ones. You set a goal of eating vegan one day a week. You venture out to a school climate strike or immigrant rights protest. Just remember: BABY STEPS. Don't ask too much of yourself, especially not all at once and in the early days. You're going to go through the 5 stages of grief, but for capitalism. It sounds weird, but trust me, it will happen. Oh, and golden rule: Do the best you can, but also give yourself a break.

There's couple more questions I have yet to address including what to do when you slip up, money-saving, guilt and men (*sings* these are a few of my favourite things) so check back here for part two.

Hey! Thanks for watching my video. These are the links you are looking for :)

The shirt I am wearing is from Eileen Fisher. My nails are Intensae in the colour Jungle. I have a video coming up in which I walk through this makeup but until then the lip colour in this video is ColourPop's Lumière.

The music that opens the video is "Comme une maison vide" by Julsy. Her stuff is all as gorgeous as this and more. I also used a song of hers, "Ze Rest Of Uz", in my Norway video. Listening to it chokes me up every time because I'm sensitive af. Support her on Bandcamp; the world needs more dreamy albums from this artist.

The golden group chat is made up of Emily, Lex, rhr and Sa-nay-nay. These girls convinced me to go to Amsterdam, and I am so glad they did. I'm so happy I got to see Sanne speak on her panels (*proud mother duck*), be in the same room with Rosianna even though she was a working whirlwind. Lex took me to my bus stop to get to the airport because she is a total gentleman. And Emily is getting as difficult to pin down as Rosianna these days so I was so so happy to have someone to gush to about how much we were falling for Amsterdam. Seriously though, I might like Amsterdam more than London now HELP???

I know I'm not a special snowflake. (Though some would disagree and say I have yet to learn this.) I'm not the only twenty-something year old girl that spent her formative years studying Rory and Lorelai Gilmore, willing herself to be them. But when has being exactly like thousands of other people ever stopped me from talking about myself.

It was on ABC Family when I got home from school. I got the first and second seasons on boxset for Christmas. I would watch them when school had let out for summer until the discs wore out and I could hear birds announcing I had made it to 6am. I started a notebook detailing the plot of season one and where songs appeared in certain episodes (there's websites for this now that I would have killed for then). I was firmly in favour of the cookies and love and the Dean and the Rory and the cookies and the love

I wanted to work hard and set my eye on applying to Ivy League schools like Rory. I applied to one in the end. Got as far as a phone interview and blew it by talking nervously to the recruiter about Twilight. Oh, to be eighteen.

I idolised stubborn, sharp-tongued and reference-wielding Lorelai. I hated the way she sucked in her cheeks when she was looking at something or upset. And I pined for my mother to be more like her than an Emily. Which was not fair on my mom, as she was a far cry from either. 

Update: Craftsman Café closed permanently in 2018 :(


One of my favourite places I've discovered since moving south of the river (the shock, the horror) is Craftsman Café. It moved into the neighbourhood at about the same time I did. To the extent that we saw them hand-painting the trim and stencilling the logo on the front window (below right photo via the geo-tagged Instagram page). And I think for those reasons, though I've gone less in the colder months, this has become of my favourite places in London.
*pears around corner* Ahem, erm, h-h-hello? Am I still allowed here? Yes? *whips white sheets off furniture*
This little guy is all over the shops this week. I was reading a proof copy last year and now have the luscious debossed hardback by my bedside. The writing of Goats and Sheep is so comforting without being at all dumbed down. It has a dreamy quality to it that at times reminds me of if The Virgin Suicides was set in middle England and concentrated on two ten-year-olds rather than pouting teenage daughters. I'm looking forward to starting it again–it's the kind of read with descriptions so good you want to roll them around in your mouth.

I stole my friend's advanced copy of this because it is so pretty. Look at it, goddammit. That typography. I had to take it home. I have no idea what's it about (that's how I like to go into my books) but I'm going to wager there are some horsies. I have to be honest, I did try to start reading it tonight and am finding it difficult to get past the first couple pages. But to be fair it's 9pm on a Friday after a full on week of work. Progress to be updated on Goodreads.

"What's today?"
An innocent, anodyne, purely date-seeking question was posed to me this morning. But when I flicked over to the sidebar to check,

"Oh. It's September 11th."

Like most Americans, especially those around my age, I have a September 11th story. And they usually all start with a variation on 'I remember...'

I remember not long after, people (my parents?) saying this would be our Robert Kennedy moment. Our moon landing. We would all remember this day. And have a picture burned in our minds of exactly what we were doing when we found out. There have certainly been more traumas in the world since. If I was a Londoner, maybe it would have been the 7/7 bombings, or if I lived in Indonesia, the 2004 tsunami. And there will never be enough words on the amount of hurt caused by and still happening due to the 'War or Terror.' Basically, what I'm trying to get at here is the fact that looking at the date and feeling a rush of sadness and dread in the pit of your stomach when you realise it's 9/11, is a largely American reaction. No matter how much I try to shrug off where I come from, my relationship with that date will always be a reminder to myself that part of me is unshakeably American.