Friday, 25 October 2019

Talkin' Bout A Revolution


In a fashion system that operates on disposability, where we’re told that beautiful garments have trend-based expiration dates, keeping our clothes is a revolutionary act. The global movement, Fashion Revolution, who campaign for greater transparency in the fashion industry, say that the only antidote to a throwaway society is to keep. 


By wearing my 1960s Wetherall of Bond Street cape I'm doing just that. I bought it from a charity shop almost 20 years ago and its been a regular fixture on my blog for over a decade. As capes come in and out of fashion with alarming regularity, the way it's regarded when I wear it differs according to current trends, sometimes it's stroked and swooned over and at other times I'm subject to many an odd look.  Do I care? Of course not, I'm a revolutionary!



Although I'm wearing two items of clothing that are new to me, they're not new new. The early '70s Indian block printed suit by Phool came from a fellow vintage trader and the black wool trilby, originally from high end British clothing chain Reiss, was listed for sale on line at a fraction of the retail price by a lady who'd bought it in error and never got around to returning it. My entire outfit cost less than the original purchase price of the hat.


I couldn't help myself. On Wednesday I made the mistake of trying on Monday's chazza shop find, the late 1960s Suede & Leathercraft coat and fell in love so I've decided to hold on to it for a while before it goes into the stockroom. The beauty of selling vintage clothes is that everything has already had at least one previous home so another owner only serves to add to its already rich history.


Underneath my newly acquired coat is a vintage cotton dress by Interlinks, London (a company that supplied British boutiques with imported Indian-made clothes in the 1970s & 1980s) and last seen on my blog HERE. The River Island velvet ankle boots & 1970s tooled leather belt with a lion buckle were both charity shop finds. The 1950s leather bag was a 50p jumble sale buy years ago.


My hair seems to be changing by the day! I haven't dyed the length (only the roots) since December and I quite like how the colour has lifted. I was horrified to discover that Lush had discontinued the Karma shampoo bar I've been using for over a decade and bought a cheaper non-Lush one to eke out my remaining bar. It was awful, leaving a sticky residue on my hair that I couldn't shift. When Jon commented that my hair looked clumpy & weird it was the final straw. After persevering for over a month I had to admit defeat. I've got enough Karma to last another month or so then I'll just order another of Lush's shampoo bars - it's false economy to mess around looking to save a couple of quid.


Here's proof that us Brits don't need to swap over our wardrobes according to the season, I last wore yesterday's outfit back in June (albeit with a different hat), sheepskin-trimmed suede jacket and all! In fact it was so cold that day I was reduced to wearing the dreaded tights - something I've not been forced to succumb to yet!




We've been doing more charity shopping since I last posted. Here's what we've picked up since Monday.
Clockwise from top left: 1980s Italian leisure shirt; Indian cotton waistcoat trimmed with bells; Current FabIndia wool tweed sleeveless Nehru jacket; Italian-made floral shirt, 1970s Elgee of London wool belted coat; 1980s paisley dressing gown; 1970s wool maxi skirt; 1980s cerise suede boots and emerald shoe boots

Penelope Chilvers leather Chelsea boots; FabIndia block printed maxi skirt; 1980s Jupiter leisure shirt; 1980s cotton midi dress (with pockets); 1960s Keynote raincoat with tags still attached; Gunne Sax watered satin maxi skirt; 1980s Gabicci leisure shirt; Deadstock boiler suit.

The weather's pretty grim today so Jon's cracking on with the accounts whilst I've managed to conquer both the mending pile and hand-washing mountain. Being so pale this 1960s Indian cotton maxi dress isn't the most practical choice for a rainy Autumn day, just as well I'm not planning on going further than the Kinky Shed.


While we've done quite well with the secondhand finds this week I've also do rather well for myself. 

  • This hand-painted Kashmiri tiffin tin will be perfect for zero-waste packed lunches when we trade at vintage fairs, go National Trust visiting or venture to charity shops further afield - they retail on line (HERE) for £39.99 but ours was a mere £2 from the clearance charity shop. 
  • A girl can never have enough wide brimmed hats so I had to buy this one for £2 from the British Heart Foundation. 
  • With the prices of vintage Indian cotton clothing continuing to go through the roof I've managed to find a quilted block printed midi skirt and a 1970s gauzy cotton pussy bow blouse to add to my collection for a combined price of £20. It's all there on eBay, you just need patience.
  • I'd been after a pair of Clarks' Orinoco Club black nubuck boots for my India trip for ages. Apart from them looking good, the heel height is perfect for my unoperated hip, they have side zips so I can take them on and off when we visit temples without too much hassle. I didn't want to pay the current £75 retail price but, after a few weeks of trawling eBay, I found these unworn ones in my size (UK 6.5) for under £30, I'm India ready!
Who needs to buy new when there's so much good stuff secondhand? 

Have a fab weekend and see you on the other side.

55 comments:

  1. So far this year I have only purchased a few undergarments and socks/tights. I was hoping for it to be more as motivation to lose weight and refresh come 2020. Well, I still need to lose the weight, but I've also more come to realize I really do not need ne clothes to spruce my sorry wardrobe, but more creativity and looking at the possibilities. Some pieces in my wardrobe truly have seen the end of their life, but as I move into the end of the year and think about refreshing my wardrobe in 2020, if I can't buy it used, or previously loved, I'll just wait a bit longer. I'm done with fast fashion and would rather have right for me fashion.

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    1. Well done, Sam! that's good going and brilliant to realise that you don't need new to refresh your wardrobe, sometimes a cheap thrift shop scarf can make a wonderful change! xxx

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  2. Your hair looks beautiful!! Just go with the different Lush bar! I love that purple dress --- and that little lunch tin! You're my fav counter-culture babe 💜

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    1. Thanks, Becky! You say the sweetest things! x

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  3. I think your hair looks fab.
    Don't you just hate it when companies discontinue products you love.
    The dress hanging on your wardrobe door is gorgeous.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! It drives me mad, as soon as you get attached to something they stop blooming making it. Arghh! xxx

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  4. I tend to keep my clothes until they fall apart. Same with shoes. My wardrobe is 50/50 new and thrifted. It's hard to find bras and shoes second hand.

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    1. I do okay with secondhand bras and shoes considering I've got a smaller than average boobs and common sized feet! x

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  5. I think I am not going to buy anything new until 2020(then underwear and bras)...you are right. You have to be open to looking around to find good used clothing. We found Mom an amazing jacket at a thrift store the other day. Price $5 but when she got to the till $1. She is a large woman so good used clothing for her is difficult but I make her try things on and more often than not they fit. She is very happy with the purchase. I love those tins and great find on your new boots.

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    1. I'm with you - I can survive easily on secondhand but will probably go wild in India, too many beautifully (and ethically) made clothes to resist!
      That's a brilliant score for your mum. Larger sizes are so popular here, I know a few women who buy them all up in the chazzas and sell them on-line. xxx

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  6. I had to stop using Lush after they discontinued basically every product I used in one go at one point. Your hair looks great to me though!
    You look fab, I love your first outfit in particular, the royal purple over the printed cotton is making me swoon. I love the lunch tin too, I'll have to keep an eye out for one of those, much nicer than the plastic tupperware from the Chinese takeaway I usually use!
    I tend to keep my clothes until they fall apart, I've still got some stuff back from when I was a teenager. A few pieces are falling apart at the seams, but I keep sewing new ones in just to get a bit more life out of much loved clothes. I can never fathom people putting perfectly good clothes in the bin, more money than sense!

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    1. What is it with Lush and Barry M? They both keep discontinuing stuff I use?!
      Is there an Indian hardware shop near you? They're your best bet for tiffin tins although they're bog standard aluminium but with your artistic talents I bet you could customise one! xxx

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  7. indeed! i´m swooning over that phool suit! absolutely fabulous! especially with your glorious cape and chic accessories!
    today you would have to buy high end designer stuff to look half as good as you do in your vintage treasures - lately "normal" clothes are so ugly - mostly. at least what i´m seeing on people - it was months ago that i set foot into high street.
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! When I saw that suit I knew it had to be mine, it's been years since I wore a suit but it was irresistible. I'm a corporate hippy!
      There's hardly any shops left in our forlorn high street but the window displays in the remaining few are awful, nasty fabric in grey and beige and sportswear galore. Whatever happened to taking a pride in one's appearance? xxx

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  8. Totally love your purple cape and fabulous block printed suit!, gorgeous!. And I love your cape not only because of its magnificent color and quality, but also because it's a statement piece that you've kept in your wardrobe for years, this makes it even better!
    I have a weakness for some signature pieces that I wear and wear until they fall apart!.
    And you look so fab in your newly adquired coat and black dress, totally hippietastic and cool!. Also love your sheepskin jacket and lovely dress and the massive pendant (totally my kind of pendant, mwhaha)
    And glad that you purchased lots of amazing stuff!. Lovely idea to carry your own lunch when travelling, I have to take this into account!. And I've been a huge fan of the Orinoco Clarks, they were my trusty favourite boots for years!. I hope you enjoy yours!
    besos

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    1. Thanks so much! Some years I rarely wear it and other times it's never off my back. I still thank my lucky stars the day for the day found it in the charity shop!
      I do love a packed lunch, we were planning to go on an adventure this week to try it out but the place we were going to has flooded!
      Love my Orinoco boots, they'll be getting a pre-India test drive very soon! xxx

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  9. I noticed the change in your hair colour and I think it really suits you.
    My hair needs regular shampoo changes or it rebels!
    I tried the Orinoco Club boots but they didn't fit me - high instep, but I love them.
    Have a good weekend xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Your hair sounds very naughty! Mind you, after a month of persevering with the terrible shampoo bar my hair is behaving wonderfully now it's back to Karma, I just hope I can find a substitute to keep it happy! xxx

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  10. I've always been a bit of a rebel, so I'm glad to call myself a revolutionary too! I'm swooning over that block printed Phool suit, and as for your purple cape, that is simply stunning. What a gorgeous colour! And of course you've got to keep that suede coat, even if only for a while. It fits you perfectly too. I'm loving your new-to-you finds, especially that tiffin tin (which I wouldn't have been able to resist either), the pussy bow blouse and the skirt. Can't wait to see how you'll wear them. Oh, and I'd noticed your hair and I love it. Shame about the lush shampoo, hope you find a decent replacement. xxx

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    1. Welcome to the Revolution!!
      That Phool suit was a bit of a steal because most of it's buttons were missing - I had to attach 40 buttons on the jacket before I could wear it! Thank goodness, like you, I'm a bit of a button hoarder so it didn't cost me anything but a couple of hours of my time! xxx

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  11. Your hair looks great! I think that slightly lighter colour would suit you all the way up to your roots.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! We'll see what occurs when I'm in the heat of India, it may lift even more! x

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  12. There's always amazing stuff secondhand! I was in Ann's beloved Think Twice this morning in Bruges and there was so much good vintage in there (it was 30% off day too!). I tried on lots but sadly, the things I was interested in that I'd realistically wear didn't fit me! There was some amazing other bits that I could have easily bought though I was realistic that I'd not wear them much!
    Your clothing choices are gorgeous! I really like the Indian dresses, skirts and blouses you are increasingly wearing- they are beautiful and really suit you as well as being practical too!
    If I see any Karma bars anywhere, shall I just grab them for you? I've been using the orange/lemon one Montelbano.

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    1. Oh dear - what a shame about Think Twice but you were very wise not to get carried away buying things 'cos they were cheap, I used to do that to me and my wardrobe's error!
      I love my Indian stuff, I've always sold it in the past as it's so popular but I've decided I need more in my life.
      That's very kind of you regarding the Karma. I think I'm just going to be brave and try another shampoo bar - tempted with Godiva (Midlands connection!) xxx

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  13. Your hair looks really cool like that! I haven't coloured mine in 15 years but it still has several different shades in it.

    You do find the very best stuff. Those green boots are incredible.

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    1. Your hair is amazing, how brilliant that you haven't coloured it for so long.
      I loved those green boots, Jon loved those green boots, my feet and hip hated those green boots! x

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  14. Great outfits! I love your purple coat. SO great you have had it for so long and still love to wear it. The outfit you paired it with is fabulous. I really like that set.
    The long brown coat and dark blue dress is another fantastic pairing. I also like the third outfit with its beautiful purple tones.
    Needless to say, I absolutely agree with everything you said against consumerism and about benefits of keeping our clothes and wearing them. I think the best way to do fashion is to create stories with our clothes...and the best and most meaningful stories often revolve about items we had for quite some time.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana! You always put everything so eloquently - creating stories with our clothes is just brilliant, to weave our lives and adventures into the very fabric so that we treasure them and just by looking at the clothes we own bring back happy memories so that we want to keep them forever. x

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  15. You look real swanky in that cape, and the costume is gorgeous. Can imagine you swanning around in Harrods and the assistants falling over themselves to serve you.

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    1. What a fabulous thing to say.xx I totally agree. My first visit to a blogspot. Thank you.. Vix your ace xx

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    2. Thanks both of you! Aren't you kind? I bet I wouldn't find Harrods nearly as interesting as I would a charity shop but I wouldn't mind being waited on hand and foot for a bit of a novelty! xxx

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  16. The items I can find secondhand never cease to amaze me.

    That midi skirt you scored is wonderful. I even found one of your special Anokhi blouses this week while thrifting. I would have never known this brand if it hadn't been for you.

    I bought that Lush shampoo bar after your glowing reviews but found that it left sores on my scalp. I'm using it now as a shaving bar. They had quite a few other shampoo bars, did you try any of those?

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. It never ceases to amaze me either - I often come across women who've gone into charity shops for the first time and they're nudging me and showing me stuff in amazement, incredulous that they can kit their kid out in Tommy Hilfiger or buy a swimsuit with the tags still attached for less than a fancy cup of coffee!
      Anokhi is gorgeous and as there's only two outlets in the UK that sell it, I'm always amazed to come across any of any era.
      What a shame about your experience with Lush. I'm going to give another of their bars a try, the reviews on the website or really helpful, I just need something that won't weigh my fine hair down too much - not a big ask really, I know it'll smell great! xxx

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  17. Well it’s a wet Saturday afternoon in Whitworth and I’ve got radio 2 blasting out Paul Gambacinni 70’s Music. Philip is on his way to watch Burnley v Chelsea and what have you done missus ? You’ve given me an earworm. Radio’s been switched off while I work out who and what I’m singing haha. It’s the Beatles “Revolution”. I hope I’ve planted it in your ear now heehee.
    Have a lovely weekend you two. Lots of love is two xxx

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    1. Goodness me, wasn't Saturday atrocious? I blame being housebound and stir crazy all day for going out and getting outrageously drunk later that day!!
      Your option sounded a lot more attractive than our Philip's although I'd have to swap Gambo for 6Music's lovely Liz Kershaw - love a lady with a Northern accent! xx

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    2. Liz Kershaw and her brother Andy were brought up in Whitworth/rochdale and their mum lives five minutes away from us. I’ll have to try 6Music on my new Alexa echo dot. It’s a fabulous piece of kit. Only thing is we now have an excess of radios heehee xx

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  18. I love it when I recognise some of the labels on your clothes. That all important Made in Britain . I worked in Brindley's a high end shop in Derby in the 60's and remember the excitement when the Dollyrockers department opened. I bought a lime green anglais mini dress. Had to save up for that. I was just a junior assistant. We juniors had our coffee in the smaller half of the lounge whilst the over 18's and senior staff had the half with the nicer furniture, haha. I was 15 and started full time after being a Saturday girl for a while. ( nearly 71 now ) Love reading your interesting blog.

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    1. Hi Caz, lovely to hear from you! I remember a lady in a charity shop telling me to always buy clothes with the Made in Britain label as they were a rarity. I always get excited to see one especially these days when nearly everything is made in a terrible sweatshop somewhere!
      I love the story behind your Dollyrockers dress and you youngsters having to sit in a different part of the canteen - how the world has changed! xxx

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  19. I love your new hair, Vix and all your outfits look great.

    I'm not usually keen on pale clothes but your pale green dress looks wonderful on you, I think I've been converted.

    What foods will you put in your new handpainted tin? It looks like it could hold a curry and some rice. X

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I'm the same, not generally attracted to pale colours but the intricate design on that dress and the gold stamping (which isn't very visible from the poor selfie) was too good to pass up.
      Yes, those tiffin tins are usually for curry, rice and rotis. There's an amazing Indian film called The Lunchbox which is based on a tiffin box! xxx

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  20. I love the two-tone hair! I think you have more luck finding well-made vintage pieces over there than we seem to have here. The majority of the thrift stores here have so much crap that finding a quality piece is becoming a challenge. I know you have fast fashion stores there too, but you still seem to be able to find good stuff, particularly ethnic clothing like your India-made dresses. I've yet to see any of those over here.

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I don't know, we do have an awful lot of dross. Today for instance I only came back with a raincoat (for me!) and a handbag - a nice, posh one but a bit disappointing after a whole morning of rummaging. xxx

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  21. Your hair looks cool!
    I always loved capes, so dramatic, but they can be difficult to drive in.
    I would be wearing everything before selling if I had your life!
    xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Thank you, stranger! Lovely to hear from you!
      I've never had the brains to learn to drive. Capes are great for walking, though! Nice and snuggly with plenty of ventilation! xxx

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  22. Well I'll never tire of seeing that fabulous cape! I really don't see how classic items can ever not be 'in'. What a find that pretty tiffin tin was!

    Xx

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    1. I still get excited to get that cape out of the wardrobe, it must have cost a bomb back in the day.
      Isn't that tiffin tin gorgeous? I've seen them in posh tourist shops in India but never had the nerve to ask the price, bet they're more than £2 though! xxx

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  23. Oh my goodness, I missed commenting (I read this over the weekend, though). I adore that wonderful suit and that cape makes my breath catch! I always enjoy looking through your finds - those magenta boots are swoon-worthy!

    Hope you had a fab weekend, Vix. Love to your fur-boys!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads and forgets that i haven't commented, it happens to me a lot!
      Loved those magenta boots but reckon they're for women who get taxis or lifts everywhere, not us hardcore walkers! xxx

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  24. I'm always so impressed with your outfits and accessories. That cape is so snazzy, the colour so bold. Really like your Phool suit too. Lucky you for finding that beautiful suede coat. I want one for myself to wear with bell bottom jeans and a long slinky scarf. I see you've found some great new additions in your treasure hunts - I like the pussy bow blouse and skirt. Those gorgeous stackable tins would be great for picnics. And those black Clark's boots are on my desirable list. You really do find wonderful things. My wardrobes are slowly being taken over by secondhand items rather than new. Besides finding these to be better quality, I'm also saving a pretty penny, but mostly the aim is to be a little bit more sustainable. Anyhow, the quality of fast fashion today is despicable. I really like the two tones in your hair. Actually, I'm inclined to think the colour on your ends would be great as an all-over colour. Have never used Lush's hair soaps, only their bath soaps. Might try one. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks, Suzy! A long suede coat would be fab over bell bottom jeans, keep looking, the right one will turn up eventually (usually when the weather gets warmer and nobody else is looking!)
      I'm excited about your ever evolving wardrobe - mine can change from day to day depending on what I've found (or borrowed from the stockroom!)
      I'm a natural blonde, it feels strange seeing light ends after dyeing my hair for 13 years but lets see what happens.
      Love Lush! xxx

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  25. Your experience with the non-Lush shampoo bar echoes the one I had with one I bought from a craft fair. I'd so wanted to like it because it was palm-oil-free but it was horrible! Maybe I'll try the Lush ones, though it is annoying they've discontinued the one you like.

    I've had no luck in the chazzas for ages, I must be due a good haul... You need to send some of your magic my way.

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    1. You ought to give the Lush ones a bash, I'm either getting Godiva or Angel hair next, I think. Definitely none of that hideous sticky rootage with them. xxx

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  26. Yes! Hanging onto clothes and wearing them again and again is so important. I don't understand the need to buy new clothes every season. I love pulling something out of my wardrobe for the umpteenth time, styling it differently and wearing it again. I get a buzz form that, that I don't get from new stuff. I do feel like the trend of throwaway fashion is changing but there is still such a long way to go, it's just the beginning.
    I can recommend the Lush New shampoo bar, it smells amazing and had none of that clumpy feeling.
    I'm not a fan of tights either, I've entered my jeans and jumper phase of the year...
    xx

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    1. Yes, yes, yes!! I'm constantly amazed by people who have to buy a whole new winter wardrobe every year, what on earth do they do with all their old clothes? The waste horrifies me!
      I nearly bought Lush's "new" but went for "Angel Hair" instead. I shall report back! xxx

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Lots of love, Vix