I am a huge believer in wearing what you love, what suits your shape and what makes you feel fabulous – which is why you won’t be seeing me in PVC trousers this season. No matter how achingly on trend they may be! I’m the same when it comes to drinks. If it’s trendy and faddish, I’m not interested. Whether it’s fashion or flavours; I love finding things that fit me perfectly – and if they come with a bit of history and are steeped in heritage then all the better! That doesn’t mean I won’t get excited by trying new things, but I like things because they excite them and never because they are popular.
London Fashion Week was created to try things on for size and experiment with your adventurous side. It is also the perfect place to soak up some serious style inspiration. So when the lovely people at Newby Teas invited us along to London Fashion Week Festival (to sit in the front row of the catwalk collection as hosted by Darren Kennedy and soak up the atmosphere) we couldn’t refuse. We were particularly drawn in by the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion initiative. We lapped up every word that Glamour editor Lucy Walker shared with us about her views on Autumn Winter 2017 fashion trends and we had a wonderful time exploring the brand new Heritage Collection from Newby.
I adore tea. Not only is it an integral part of my morning routine (and let’s face it – this ritual returns every few hours offering a break, comfort, some time for thought or an excuse for a good chat ), but it has been known to make its way into my baking and my beauty regime. From Earl Grey shortbread to revitalising skin scrubs, loose leaf tea is a magical ingredient! I dragged my whole family to a tea ceremony in Japan and had no less than two Japanese tea ceremonies as part of my wedding (which is why I was so delighted to see sencha in Newby‘s latest range!) If you’re even half as much of a tea lover as I am, you can’t help but get excited by this new loose leaf collection that is inspired by tea history. With Moroccan Mint, Indian Breakfast Tea and Black Tea and Thyme amongst the stunning flavours you will find something that will suit your taste! Newby offer the finest in luxury teas and their dedication is evident from the very first sip.
The copious amount of tea that we consumed was the perfect accompaniment to the event. There was no mistaking we were in the heart of England, with the vast glass windows offering a striking view of the city. Yet there is something so deliciously cosmopolitan about London, and Fashion Week is the perfect way to celebrate what Darren describes as the “collective consciousness” in reference to trends that affect the whole world. What could be better suited to the occasion than a range of teas from all four corners of the globe?
I wanted to share my outfit with you all, because it reflects my ethos of not being on trend. For me, what truly matters is feeling confident and comfortable which means choosing fabrics that feel fabulous, a cut that suits my figure, shades that set off my colouring and purchases that are ethical and sustainable. This is why I am so in love with me&i with their focus on ethical fashion, the softest fabrics and the most flattering cuts. Their clothes always make you feel fantastic. I opted for shades of plum and stripes, along with my trademark heels long before I knew any of these things were hot this season. For me fashion should be timeless and wearable, trends come and go but finding a style that suits you on every level will last you for years and can gently evolve as you do. I don’t want my clothes to just last a season. Some of my most treasured items are vintage and have existed for many more decades than I’ve lived through.
That being said, you can’t avoid fighting trends as all new clothes will be a reflection of what is currently fashionable and there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking contemporary. For me it’s all about dressing in a way that celebrates your own unique sense of style, your personality, your body and your lifestyle.
Newby Teas were the perfect partners for London Fashion Week Festival. Great contemporary fashion could not exist without a rich history and drawing inspiration from our global heritage is what makes the current season so exciting. There is so much more choice when it comes to style these days and all of the options mean you’ll easily find something that suits you perfectly. So whether you are picking out tea or looking for a new winter coat, the wider you cast your net the more treasures you’ll find. Discover your own playful way to interpret each new season and you’ll keep your wardrobe fresh and varied – which is also a pretty beautiful way to approach your life.
What I wore to LFWF:
Top: Boatneck with stripes from me&i
Skirt: City skirt from me&i
Shoes: Vintage black court shoes
Hair: Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Colour in Rich Chocolate Brown
Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo
Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner
A’kin Rosehip Oil
Makeup: The Bare Sensuals READY Eyeshadow Palette 14.0 by bareMinerals
Green People Age Defy Tinted Moisturiser in Ivory
Green People Mineral Powder Blush in Rose
Green People Velvet Matte Lipstick in Damask Rose
To find out more about what we found out at London Fashion Week (including our AW17 trend report) you can read all about it in the October issue of Natural Mumma magazine (out on October 6th).
I’d always fancied the idea of making my own yoghurt from home and so when the lovely people at Water For Health offered to send me Progurt’s Yoghurt Incubator I leapt at the chance. I loved the idea of being able to create my own fresh probiotic yoghurt.
The benefits of probiotics:
- Restoring the good bacteria to your gut (especially useful after a course of antibiotics)
- Improved skin quality
- Increased immunity
- Improved digestive health
- There is evidence to show that it can help with cognitive problems in children
Probiotics are suitable for vegans and anyone with a gluten or lactose intolerance. They are also suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to make your probiotic yoghurt:
It’s really simple, you take a litre of UHT milk or coconut cream and add a sachet of probiotics. With 1 trillion beneficial bacteria in each sachet, this is where the good stuff is stored! The machine does the rest of the work for you.
I used coconut milk because of the nutritional value. Coconuts are full of fibre and vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin E and many of the B vitamins) as well as iron, potassium and calcium. Of course, if you wanted to add nutritional benefits to a UHT based yoghurt you could always add fresh fruit, nuts and seeds when serving.
The instructions tell you to use every bit of the sachet so I was careful to do that. You simply stir the sachet of probiotic into your chosen milk/cream until well combined, before incubating it for 12-24 hours. If you are after a thicker more tangy set yoghurt then you will want to go for 24 hrs, if you prefer a creamier yoghurt then 12 hours is perfect. Making your own probiotic yoghurt is so easy. You switch on the machine so the light at the front comes on, then pour the yoghurt/probiotic mix into the reusable container that is provided. Ensure the lid is tightly sealed and slip the container into the incubator for the desired amount of time. The machine will do all the work for you, gently heating the yoghurt and making the magic happen!
Once the yoghurt is ready you remove it from the incubator and store it in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy it.
I left my yoghurt for 6 hours before tasting it. The texture was great and the taste was fabulous. It had a light coconut flavour but it wasn’t too dominant and had a pleasing freshness. I added prebiotic stimulating syrup to my yoghurt which added a sweetness as well as enhancing the health benefits. This yoghurt is also delicious with manuka honey and fresh fruit.
I would thoroughly recommend the Proghurt Yoghurt Incubator to anyone. The yoghurt tasted great and the machine was so simple to use. It is also compact and quiet. If you were planning on making fresh yoghurt each day then the cost of the probiotics would quickly mount up, but I feel that it is worth it for the quantity and quality of product that you end up with. It is also worth remembering that there is a much higher number of colony-forming bacteria in the Progurt yoghurt than in the products you buy from the supermarket. In fact, it contains up to 40 times more good bacteria than other brands! You can leave the machine running overnight so that the whole family can enjoy probiotic yoghurt for breakfast. I certainly felt a lot healthier and more energised after consuming the yoghurt for a week.
As well as this fabulous Progurt Yoghurt Incubator and the accompanying probiotics, Water for Health also stock a fantastic range of supplements and health products.
You can watch me making probiotic yoghurt here:
Searching for fair trade, sustainable clothing using low-impact dyes, reclaimed materials and organic fabrics? Here is my pick of the top ethical fashion brands out there:
Luxury vegan shoes from Beyond Skin
Madison Black Over The Knee Boots (available 29th September)
If you’re looking for beautiful footwear that is also cruelty-free, then the luxury vegan shoes from Beyond Skin are absolutely irresistible. They are handmade in Spain and feature an incredible array of designs. From chic stilettos to classic brogues, stunning bridal shoes to playful kitten heels, embroidered slippers to striking party shoes. There is also an impressive selection of boots and some gorgeous vegan clutch bags too. Their new menswear collection is coming soon and you can sign up on the website to ensure you are notified as soon as they launch. The Madison Black Over The Knee Boots are a great versatile addition to your Autumn/Winter wardrobe. They’ll see you right through the colder months and well into Spring. If you only buy one pair of boots this season, this would be a chic yet sensible choice. I’ve also got my eye on the Gaia Black and Gold Lace-up Vegan Heels which are out in November (but ready to pre-order now) and the Ellen Red Bow Vegan Stilettos are exquisite.
Luxury British knitwear from Plum of London
Children’s Fisherman’s Sweater in Royal Alpaca (in royal blue with turquoise trimming – also available in red with peach trimming)
This contemporary take on the classic crew neck is fashioned from soft alpaca wool, providing comfort as well as style. This jumper will keep your little one snug in the winter but is also ideal for warmer seasons due to its lightweight, breathable qualities. What I especially love about this jumper (aside from the alpaca wool!) is how it has been knitted in one piece so there are no bulky seams or scratchy stitching (as the mother of a child with sensory processing disorder this excites me more than you’d believe!). This unique way of fashioning the garment also means that it has a superior shape, as well being so much more comfortable. Plum of London also offer alpaca baby blankets and christening shawls, as well as a collection of alpaca knitwear for women, men and children. Socks, scarves, hats and cowls in vibrant colours complete the ladies collection (which is growing all the time), while the men’s collection also has a couple of sweaters. Alpaca wool is durable, beautifully fine and has excellent thermostatic properties. It is also recommended for those with sensitive skin and allergies.
100% organic kid’s clothes from Little Green Radicals
The Sherpa Snowsuits from Little Green Radicals are part of their adorable new AW17 range. These snuggly suits come in 3 colour ways (Midnight Peacocks, Paradise Birds and Midnight Jungle) they are made from 100% organic Fairtrade sherpa lining & poplin cotton and available in sizes 0-6m to 24-36m. The new range also includes matching Serpa blankets, mitts and hats as well as some seriously sweet tunic dresses, bubble skirts, baby dungarees and playsuits. I’m particularly smitten with the Bear Necessities design. Little Green Radicals fairtrade cotton is farmed in Indian and they pride themselves on being 100% organic. They offer organic cotton clothes for children up to 8 years old, and the quirky designs and bright colours simply add to the appeal.
A curated collection of ethically-made menswear from Brothers We Stand
Brothers We Stand are devoted to seeking out the best ethical menswear and offer a range of designers. Their Oxford shirts from Knowledge Cotton Apparel are classic, stylish and beautifully made. Featuring brands such as Mud Jeans, Idioma and Know The Origin. Brothers We Stand also have their own house collection featuring some classic t-shirts made from organic cotton in a wind-powered factory, as well as their sweatshirts which are made from recycled plastic bottles. Offering essentials such as their 100% organic cotton white t-shirt which at £12.50 is a steal! What I especially love about the company is how they offer real insights into where each item comes from and how it is made (check out the ‘footprint’ description for each item).
Reclaimed, sustainable design from Antiform
Box Jumper in Grey x Tassel
Antiform is a revolution in fashion. All of the materials used in their stunning designs are sourced within the UK. With a focus on reclaimed materials and a welcome injection of heritage craft, brand founder Lizzie Harrison and her team are also available for lecturing, consultancy, design work and ethical production. From fisherman knit hats to tweed sweaters, ethical purses from the Bristol weaving mill to vibrant leggings – their range is as exciting as it is conscious. I’ve completely fallen in love with their folk dresses and pleat dresses too.
This chic box jumper from Antiform is sustainably made in England from 100% reclaimed materials. They are ideal for pregnant mums, as being available in only one size makes them great for a changing body shape. This is also the perfect jumper for breastfeeding. The box jumper is formed from conker-coloured lambswool blankets, with sleeves in ash grey knitted wool and beautiful accents on the cuffs which are salvaged patchwork woven silk samples from Bristol.
Eco-conscious childrenswear from SKiN&BLiSS
A selection of the Hatley pyjamas
SKiN&BLiSS are devoted to seeking out ethical, responsible and sustainable children’s clothing. Their online shop stocks a beautiful range of ethical kid’s clothes all of which are made with love, passion and responsibility. They stock brands such as Monkee Genes and Indikidual (champions of organic cotton), their own brand which includes 100% organic African cotton, Boys & Girls who use organic dyes as well as organic cotton and Hatley whose products are all free from PVC and made with azo-free dyes. Azo-dyes shed carcinogenic aryl amines as a garment is worn, they also contain toxic chemicals such as chlorine bleach.
SKiN&BLiSS have an impressive range of baby clothing and the most adorable soft toys, blankets and swimwear. Their collection for boys and girls includes raincoats, pyjamas, hats, scarves, socks, tights, t-shirts, slippers, hoodies and more. They offer a whole array of beautiful pyjamas from Hatley which as are good for the environment as they are for your child’s delicate skin and they come in the most fabulous prints!
Sustainable and fair trade fashion from People Tree
One of their New Arrivals from People Tree Jaden Corduroy Shirt Dress Burgundy is made from 100% organic fairtrade certified cotton. Corduroy features strongly in the new collection with culottes and trousers available in both navy and burgundy and a zip front pinafore and jacket with drawstring waist in navy too. The range is full of interesting prints in People Tree’s trademark soft silhouette, but it also contains some essentials too such as the Eileen Blazer and Irene Wrap Dress (both in black).
Organic bamboo socks from Thought
Thought have a wonderful range of clothing in natural fibres such as bamboo, hemp and cotton. With their women’s range featuring soft organic denim, nightwear, underwear, jackets and coats. The men’s range is full of hoodies, shirts, trousers and coats. Their range of organic bamboo socks not only have fabulous fun designs but because bamboo has such strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties they are great for your feet. I especially love their over the knee socks. If colourful socks aren’t your thing, then there are plenty of more traditional options available too.
Gender neutral kids clothing from me&i
A selection from the new AW17 selection –
photos by Gerard Hughes for Natural Mumma Magazine
The fabulous Swedish designs from ethical clothing company me&i are all about colour and comfort. I love how their children’s range is gender neutral and their matching coordinates for mum and kids is also pretty adorable. We were fortunate enough to attend the UK launch of their brand new AW17 range and you can read all about it and their sustainable clothing for children in the latest edition of Natural Mumma Magazine.