Sustainable fashion Feed

Loving pre-loved clothing

I love vintage and pre-loved clothing. Clothes that are durable and timeless appeal to me far more than the mass-produced disposable clothes of today.

Durability aside, favouring pre-loved is an easy way to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts of my wardrobe.

From wastewater emissions to air pollution and energy consumption, the textile industry weighs heavily on the environment. There are also the social impacts to consider, with child labour and sweat shops sadly still being one of the key ingredients in cheap fashion and those bargain 2 for 1 specials.

Buying pre-loved is a bit like treasure hunting.

I pop into op shops regularly and quickly browse through the clothes. I have a mental note of what I’m looking for and more often than not leave empty handed. But sometimes I strike gold and discover something I need and love.

The op shops I frequent today are far nicer than the ones I visited in my teens. These days they are typically tidy, uncluttered and the clothes are sorted into sizes or colour coded. A handful of friendly old ladies who like to chat usually staff the counter which adds to their appeal.

But I know there are many people who can’t bear to sort through racks of unappealing clothes to find that one rare treasure and who wouldn’t be seen dead in an op shop.

Thankfully sorting through an op-shop rack isn’t the only way to score a vintage find.

Boutique style vintage stores are popping up everywhere and online options for buying pre-loved clothing are rapidly growing, particularly for kids clothes. There’s a suite of online stores dedicated to selling pre-loved clothing that is usually in as-new condition including designer labels. Clothes swaps and pre-loved clothing markets are also on the rise.


Here in the Hunter we are lucky enough to have a regular pre-loved recycled fashion event – Raid My Wardrobe. Now in its third year, Raid My Wardrobe is a vintage and pre-loved clothing feast where 45 stall holders’ clear out the contents of their wardrobes and shoppers have a chance to buy preloved designer fashion and quality vintage at bargain prices. The next raid is next weekend Sunday 2nd June 10am – 1pm at the Newcastle Basket stadium, Broadmeadow. More information at

{originally published in the Newcastle Herald 25 May 2013}

Welcoming summer: Planet Boab ethical and eco t-shirt giveaway

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

I can smell Summer. Long days. Ocean swims. Sunshine. The sound of Cicadas.

To welcome Summer i'm offering readers a chance to win a Planet Boab t-shirt.

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

I shared my love for Planet Boab t-shirts earlier in the year. Planet Boab t-shirts are made here in Australia in a sweatshop free factory from 100% certified organic cotton and are hand printed using water based inks. Whats not to love!

I treat myself to one new Planet Boab t-shirt each summer. I'm onto my third and my first is still going strong despite being worn literally over 100 times. It was one of my six for the six item or less challenge earlier this year and I still love it. 

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

Daddy Eco is now sharing in the Planet Boab love. Here he is in his new Cycle Path t-shirt.

Want your very own Planet Boab t-shirt? 

The Giveaway

You can win a short sleeved Planet Boab t-shirt of your choice*.

The winner is comment number 80: Nicole with her t-shirt design suggestion of a 'brass instrument like a trombone or trumpet, or a bat hanging upsidedown from a branch'.

I LOVE the bat idea Nicole! Congratulations. I've just sent you an email.

Thank you all for your entries.

To enter head on over to Planet Boab, check out their range, and pop back here and leave a comment sharing which of their hand printed designs is your favourite. Those of you reading this by email will need to head on over to the blog (by clicking on the title) to leave a comment.

Want a bonus entry? Leave an extra comment sharing a design idea for a new Planet Boab t-shirt. If Lisa from Planet Boab spots an idea she likes she's suggested she might make it a limited edition print and offer it first to Little Eco Footprint readers. That would be fun!

Entries close midnight (Australian EDST) Monday 28th November 2011.

The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post on the Tuesday morning. I'll contact the winner directly by email.

Good luck!

*The prize is a gift voucher for $57AUD  which covers the cost of a short sleeve t-shirt plus postage within Australia. International entries are welcome, although an international winner will need to pay the balance (above $57AUD) to cover international postage.

Buying ‘handmade by someone else’

It seems a little silly to write a post on ‘buying’ when we’re not doing any buying at all. But I guess it’s sort of like dieting and chocolate, if you can’t have something you talk about it, think about it, and dream about it. Or in this case write about it.


I’ve been thinking of writing a post about this gorgeous dress I bought Little Eco a few weeks ago from Foxs Lane. Then today, after reading Kate’s expression of appreciation for her own little online shop, I couldn’t help but share my love for her sweet handmade dresses.

Recently, I haven’t had time to make anything beyond last minute birthday presents. I really wanted to make Little Eco a cute dress. Something with short sleeves. Something that was girly and cute, yet perfectly suitable for wearing while climbing trees or riding a bike or jumping over water.


Something a little different. Something made from vintage floral sheets. I really wanted to make something similar to the sweet dresses Kate makes.

I chose the pattern, selected the fabrics from my stash. And then nothing….

I just couldn’t find the time. I contemplated, isn’t buying ‘handmade by someone else’ as good as making your own? Surely even better?

I returned to Kate’s shop and shopped…..


…and soon after we received the sweetest dress ever.


Exactly what I wanted, yet so much more.

Do you enjoy buying ‘handmade by someone else’? Feel free to test my no-spend determination and share links to your favourite online handmade shops in the comments.

There’s only one day left to enter the Planet Boab giveaway. Entries will close midnight Thursday (Australian eastern standard time). Good luck :-)

Sharing my favourite ethical and eco t-shirt: Planet Boab GIVEAWAY

I’m finding it relatively easy to be green when it comes to clothing. I’ve (more or less) stuck to the ethical clothing pledge for the past year and a half; buy mostly pre-loved; and have managed to whittle my wardrobe down to no more than eight of anything. No more than eight shirts, eight t-shirts, and so on (I know, I said I’d do six, but I’m not quiet there, yet).

But there’s one annual purchase of ‘new’ that I can’t live without. I have to have at least one new t-shirt each Summer. Thankfully, I don’t have to break the ethical clothing pledge to buy one. There’s plenty of ethical companies out there making t-shirts from environmentally friendly materials.  Trust me, I’ve tried my fair share.

Unfortunately, I’ve mostly been disappointed. One of my pet hates is throwaway clothing. Clothing should last more than a season. So I’m not fond of t-shirts with fabric so thin that they last only a few washes, or that lose their shape after only one season. Organic cotton still comes with an ecological cost, albeit less than conventionally grown cotton, so if I buy a new t-shirt, I want it to last. Thankfully I discovered Planet Boab t-shirts.


Planet Boab hand-printed organic cotton t-shirts

I bought a Planet Boab t-shirt around eight months ago. Their t-shirts well and truly pass the ethical clothing pledge requirements. They're made here in Australia in a sweatshop free factory from 100% certified organic cotton.

I was drawn in by their quirky hand printed designs, and being a lover of anything to do with native plants, I couldn’t resist their Kangaroo Grass t-shirt. Recognise it? I love this top so much that it was one of my six for the six item or less challenge. I've worn this top at least once a week (and often more) for the past eight months and it's still in great condition.

The Giveaway

I was so happy with my t-shirt that I contacted Planet Boab to say thank you. Being more than happy to share my love for Planet Boab tees, I cheekily asked if they were interested in doing a giveaway here at Little eco footprints. They generously agreed! Yay!

{You can win}

A short sleeved Planet Boab t-shirt of your choice.

{to enter}

Head on over to Planet Boab, check out their range, and pop back here and leave a comment letting me know which of their hand printed designs is your favourite.

Entries close midnight Thursday 31st of March.

{bonus entries}

You can receive up to four bonus entries by leaving additional comments for sharing this giveaway via facebook, twitter, email, or on your blog.

{The small print}

The prize is a gift voucher for $57AUD  which covers the cost of a short sleeve t-shirt plus postage within Australia. International entries are welcome, although an international winner will need to pay the balance (above $57AUD) to cover international postage.

Acting on a few wise words about time and choice

I find myself wishing for more time far too often. Thankfully, I'm learning to act on these wise words..

You don't need more time... just need to decide.

I'm getting better at letting go of all those urgent tasks that don't really matter and focusing on what truly matters.


Now, if only I could learn to not feel guilty about all that i've chosen not to do.

p.s. Ethical clothing can be cute. In the above pic Little Eco wears a vintage top from the Reuse Center at Sandgate, a pre-loved skirt from Preloved Kidswear, and a handmade hair-clip from RedStitchDesign. Her pre-loved doll (an ebay find after she fell in love with a similar doll at childcare) wears a hand knitted outfit purchased from a small country town arts and craft co-op.