The best online stores for sustainable fashion

The clothes shops were shut the past few months while were all in the pandemic lockdown, and it was nearly impossible to buy even a pair of socks. Although my growing children ran out of clothes to wear after week 8, I myself enjoyed rediscovering old items I still had hidden in my wardrobe. I even upcycled and ‘reconstructed’ some old pieces. Now the shops are slowly opening up again, have you changed your shopping habits? Are you more conscious now in how you consume? Are you choosing sustainable fashion over fast fashion?

Retail therapy and the fast fashion trap

I am no saint. I will start by admitting that I bought a cheap summer top in a local boutique in my neighbourhood last week. Made in China. Nothing eco-friendly about that. Yep, guilty. But I supported a little local shop during the lockdown… At least I didn’t queue outside Primark before throwing twenty items in my basket without even trying them on, just because they were cheap. I know very well how tempting this is when you need a bit of retail-therapy. And when you are on a small budget and you need to dress your kids, you simply have no choice – I do not judge anyone for that. But a lot of people just buy for the sake of buying, because they are bored and they want something new every month. Fast fashion items often don’t hold their shape after washing them even once. Or you may regret buying something when you’re back home. But who is taking back a 3€ t-shirt? You’d pay more on the parking fee.

The ugly truth behind our fast fashion shopping habits. Image: pinterest

Let’s make sustainable fashion mainstream

A top costs little more than a take-way coffee these days. A pair of jeans less than a tenner in some stores. No surprise that fast fashion is so popular. Did you know that even in 2014, six years ago, because of this, people bought 60% more garments than they did in 2000? That Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. Worse even, 85% of all textiles or £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year. Even charity shops are becoming overwhelmed by the amount of cheap clothing and have to refuse a lot of donations. This cannot continue. We have to stop and change our behaviour.


For more reasons than one I am leaning towards buying quality over quantity and supporting sustainable and ethical fashion brands. Clothes that still look good after wearing them dozens of times and are made of natural materials that are nice for skin and planet. But are they not super expensive? Well, some are, but luckily, as it is becoming more mainstream, there are more and more options out there that don’t cost the earth – excuse the pun. Here are some sustainable brands and stores to check out when you next need something.

Eco-friendly Stores to check out:


El Naturalista, vegan shoes that are biodegradable

You know what I dislike about cheap shoes these days? That many contain plastic, or are even made from plastic instead of leather, and you just know they will end up in landfill forever eventually. I was very pleased to recently discover the sandals by El Naturalista, which are not only amazingly comfortable to wear but are also completely biodegradable! How is that for a feel-good factor. I ordered them online, which is always a bit tricky with shoes, but they fitted perfectly. If you are vegan, this brand is especially interesting as the ‘leather’ is fake, but looks and feels natural. They are a bit pricey when you buy them from the site itself, but google them and you may find the brand in other stores for a lot less.

El Naturalista


Wearth London: Ethical clothing by British makers

Many of the fashion pieces by cool online concept store Wearth London are made ethically in the UK, a number of which are handmade to order. The company helps to reduce waste, whilst also bringing British makers back into the fashion industry. They stock some very beautiful designer pieces, from bags to clothing to accessories, toiletries and even furniture.

Wearth London


Earth Wardrobe: sustainable fashion without the hefty price tag

Earth Wardrobe specialises in nice, every day basics such as tees, sweat shirts, men’s hoodies and kids wear, made from fabrics that are organic and sustainable, often made from recycled materials. When you first arrive on the homepage of Earth Wardrobe however, you notice the low prices. This immediately made me wonder how they can produce their clothes at such low cost. Well, they are quite open about it on their ‘Where is it from‘ page and the short answer is: Bangladesh. A country whose economy depends heavily on the textile industry. Their mission is to provide high quality organic clothing essentials at a price everyone can afford and explain that “In order to fulfill our mission (…), we must continue to use traditional supply chains.”. They claim they only use companies who have had their facilities certified by an appropriate authority such as WRAP or SEDEX and have a Modern Slavery Disclosure to comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015.

Earth Wardrobe


Smallable, swoon over sustainable design

The ‘Greenable‘ collection of the family concept store Smallable includes some highly covetable pieces for both women and children / babies. I have to admit, not the cheapest in the range, but the pieces just ooze quality and beautiful design, both the clothes, accessories and home decor products. And when something lasts, it is worth it.

Smallable


Planet Warrior Yoga Wear

Planet Warrior use plastic waste, eco-rubber and more to produce gorgeous looking active wear such as yoga leggings, bras and even yoga mats. It’s a small UK based company run by two sisters who love the beach, oceans and yoga and decided to combine this passion to combat the plastic problem. One outfit apparently uses 50 recycled plastic bottles collected from the ocean. Not only do they recycle bottles, their packaging is alse eco-friendly using tissue paper and biodegradable stickers and packing tape.

Planet Warrior


Ethical Superstore: fairtrade and sustainable fashion

Ethical superstore is an online shop that not only sells groceries, cleaning products, homeware and gift items, but it also has a great clothing department, including shoes and accessories. Worth a look. They stock fair-trade fashion, organic cotton and eco-friendly hemp from brands like People Tree, Komodo, Marzipants & Thought Clothing. A great one-stop shop for all your eco products.

Ethical Superstore Fashion Collection


H & M Conscious: sustainable fashion in the high street

Eco-friendly clothing doesn’t have to mean spending a huge amount, nor does it mean wearing purple and looking like a hippy. High-street store H&M recently was in the news for raking highest in the 2020 fashion transparency index. Transparency is key to developing a cleaner, greener fashion industry, so consumers can make better choices. The annual report, now in its fifth year, ranks the amount of information companies disclose about social and environmental policies, processes and effects within their operations and supply chains.

H & M Conscious


Disclaimer: some of these links are affiliate links, which means you would support this blog as well as the sustainable brands, if you choose to buy from them, at no extra cost. They usually pay people like me a small percentage of the final price, as a thank you for helping them spread the word. So it would be awesome if you did, as I write my blog posts for free. As always, I only promote brands I like and (would) use myself. Nina x

Review: Silk mustard yellow kimono

Lockdown was miserable and I think we were all looking to cheer ourselves up a bit, while we were – and maybe still are – limited from going out and seeing our friends and loved ones. Did you buy something nice for yourself? I am not one for luxury items, but I decided to order a silk kimono on Etsy. Why? I had enough of my baggy yoga pants and if I have to be at home most days, why not lounge around in something a bit more stylish and sexy? I can honestly say, I am now looking forward getting out of bed in the morning and throwing it on. My husband thinks I am nuts, but that kimono makes me feel HAPPY so I don’t care. Ha! How is that for self-care.

Floaty and airy

Etsy is usually a good bet for finding unique handmade gifts and items for your home and wardrobe. As I still had some gift vouchers to spend, I finally decided to go and buy something with them. I had been wearing a fluffy, fleecy bath robe around the house for most of the lockdown (on top of those baggy yoga pants – oooh mama), but as it was heating up here in Spain, I needed something a bit more summery. I searched for kimono robes on Etsy and found this beauty by Wear the World Label, a UK based Etsy shop specialised in oriental robes, trousers and other clothes made in cotton and silk, with floral prints. Lots of rich colours to choose from. And she ships to Spain and other countries!

A little gift in the post

The fun thing about indy sellers on Etsy is, they often wrap the items beautifully, add it a little personal note or a card, so it feels like a real gift arriving in the post. Try to get that personal service on Amazon! I am therefore a big fan of Etsy and continue to support all its wonderful, hard working and talented sellers on there. It is true to say that nowadays the platform has grown a lot and it is sometimes hit and miss depending on what you look for, but if you use the shoppers guide or editor’s picks as a help, you’ll get some great suggestions.

Silk kimonos for breakfast…or a night out?

The ochre, or mustard yellow, silk kimono I ordered, is perfect. Loose fitting, down to the knee, with the a long waist band for fastening. It is very comfortable to wear in the morning at breakfast, or throw it on after a shower in the evening. In fact, just wear it out as a dress. Style it up with a big belt, a statement necklace and some heels and you’d be glam as anything.

All glam and chuffed to bits in my new kimono, haha!

The kimonos from Wear the World Label are all priced at around £39, which I felt is a good price for something of such great quality that I’ll be wearing for years to come. I am glad to be out of strict lockdown now, but that kimono will still be worn every single day.


Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links, which you probably figured out already. I only ever promote brands that I use myself, like and love, so anything I say in this article comes from a good heart, and I only share things that I feel are worth sharing and could be of value to my readers.

Review: buying affordable art online with Artfinder

Buying affordable art online is something that is becoming quite popular. I regularly post about art, as I believe it brings joy to people’s lives and can add real personality to a home. Art is in fact an important ingredient in my designs for clients and I always suggest to people to invest in some artworks if they don’t own pieces already, and it really doesn’t need to cost the earth. Without it, I feel a room is just not complete! I wrote a blog post recently about how and where to buy art in which I mentioned online galleries as a good way to browse art in a non-threatening way. Today I am reviewing Artfinder.

Discovering original art is becoming a lot easier with sites such as Artfinder popping up on the net, offering a service that takes any barriers out of the buying process. Buying art can feel a little bit alien to some, but just saving images as favourites as if you were on Pinterest makes things a doddle.

buying affordable art online
Hybrid No:19, collage on paper by Leigh Bagley

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Landscape, Acrylic painting on Canvas, by Nadia Moniati


As you are saving your favourites, the site recommends other artists and works you may like, a bit like Spotify, so if you don’t know exactly what your taste in art is, then you may form yourself a much clearer idea after browsing the site for some time and regularly clicking on the ‘like’ button.

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Diamond (Rose), Linocut on Paper, by Liam Roberts


Of course, there is more to art than only large abstract paintings – try browsing the printmaking section for beautiful contemporary graphic pieces for example. I enjoy receiving tailored suggestions or seeing “The daily finds”, as it is a good way of sifting through the huge amount of art that is on offer as well as discovering pieces you may nog have come across otherwise.

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Cat in Teal Green, Screenprint on Paper
by Lu West


You can get an original piece of art on Artfinder from less than £50, so it is very affordable and so much more personal than buying a mass produced canvas from the home section of a high street department store (who buys these things anyway?). The nice thing is also that you get to read about the artist who made it, often with a bit of background about the artwork. Artfinder supports artists from around the world, which means you can buy internationally.

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Through a Courtyard (relief), Relief on Panel / Board / MDF, by Liam Hennessy


Many of the works come framed and ready to hang, which is a welcome bonus. Do double check the sizes though, as many artworks are small. Nothing worse than receiving your purchase in the post and opening a tiny parcel when you expected a huge canvas! Shipping costs are given upfront so you know exactly what you are paying. And if you are looking for an original birthday, graduation or Christmas present, there is always the gift card option.

Do you have any online art sites you like to use?


This post includes affiliate links to Artfinder. This mean that if you like this article and subsequently decide to purchase an artwork through Artfinder by clicking on one of the links in my post, Nina’s Apartment receives a small commission too.

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts

It’s the season to feel festive and drink mulled wine. You snuggle up under a blanket, have the fire on and spend time with family. Then it’s also the season to be bombarded with high street consumerism. In addition to that you get stuck in traffic because everyone is queuing up to get to the malls for their Christmas shopping. How about trying something different this year? Here is your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts.

Shop consciously

My family are Dutch and we mainly spend our time eating and drinking at Christmas. Presents are not a big thing (in fact, I was told this year to ab-so-lu-te-ly NOT buy anything for anyone! Can you believe it?). Of course most of you readers will probably want to wrap at least a little thoughtful something for your loved ones on Christmas day. I have therefore put a conscious gift guide together, to support the independent makers rather than the big corporates.

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide

I would always promote buying or receiving gifts that are useful, beautiful or well made. Etsy has been my go-to site for this kind of thing for years now. I love the fact that by shopping on Etsy you support small businesses and artists, in your own town (check out if your city has a local Etsy market!) or internationally. By buying from them, you make a a hard working designer-maker extremely happy!

Handwritten thank you cards

I love the added bonus that Etsy items often come lovingly wrapped with a handwritten thank you note included. It is also a great place to find items that feel good to give, i.e. not made from plastic, which is what we should all aim for in the end really (and it gives me hope that there is obviously a growing demand for this sort of thing!). I hope you like my picks in my Etsy Christmas Gift Guide. What are you giving your loved ones this Christmas? (Or are you going Dutch this year?)


gifts For the book worm

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These lovely wooden bookmarks are made by IngrainedInc., who I found at a local craft fair in Aberdeenshire recently (I stocked up on a few things by her, including key rings – just so nice!). This bookmark is £8.50


gifts For the one wearing a shirt

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Personalise a set of cufflinks made of brass and glass….with a details of a vintage map. Perhaps the place where you first met? Got married? Birthplace? Possibilities are endless. Recycled map of choice and date engraved. Love this. From £22.95


gifts For the design conscious

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
Set of 3 geometric art prints, great for the home or the office. Different sizes available, from £22.10

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
It is hard to pick jewellery on Etsy, there really are so many gorgeous items! I like these contemporary silver earrings by MinimalGeometric. £30.00


gifts For the vegan (or anyone else who loves a good bag)

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for vegan gifts
Cork and Harris Tweed shoulder bag. Great if you have a vegan in the family or just a good looking alternative to leather. Also comes without the wool bit. By MyCottonHouse £105.00


gifts For Mr Hipster

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
A chunky ring for the outdoor man. By MyliuDesign. £40.00

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
A nice grooming set for the beardy man in your life. OriginalMonkey £20.00


gifts For the exhausted mum

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
The gift for your exhausted new mummy friend. £13.39

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for gorgeous original gifts
Grey and mustard….yep, my favourite combo. Great unisex hat by TheDorothyDays. £12


gifts For the vintage collector

Your Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for vintage gifts
For the vintage collector…some fabulous West German pottery (I know I would LOVE a gift like that). AnythingGoesCeramics £45.00

For the vintage collector…some fabulous West German pottery (I know I would LOVE a gift like that). AnythingGoesCeramics £45.00


gifts For the creative

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Frame loom weaving kit by local Aberdeenshire maker LePetitMoose, fab to learn how to make pretty boho wall hangings. £22.00

Shop the trend: a Grey and Mustard living room

Grey and mustard yellow have been around now for a while but there still is no sign of them going out of fashion any time soon. It’s such a timeless, sophisticated combination. The grey is the new ‘neutral’, while the yellow perks things up a bit. Grey and mustard yellow mix well with black & white, teal blue, but also with soft dusty pinks and the latest copper trend. If you have some mid-century modern furniture to throw into the mix, teak wood also works, as well as tan leather.

grey and mustard living room
Image: Instagram (mrsmerrellyeah)

Grey and mustard yellow: a match made to last


Farrow and Ball have some great colours in their paint collection. These would make excellent choices to use:

grey and mustard decor

Style Board

grey and mustard living room

Midcentury modern style lighting


I have spotted lights like this on Pinterest and I love this one, which is not badly priced either. Inspired by midcentury lighting, this globe pendant chandelier would make a great, eclectic statement, especially if you have high ceilings.

grey and mustard decor
John Lewis & Partners Huxley Ceiling Light £210.00 buy

Add some nice table lamps to the corners of the room for added coziness. Drum lampshades are always great and come in so many different designs. Check out Etsy for some great geometric patterned ones.

grey and mustard living room
Love this lampshade! Find it over on Etsy from €23.60 Buy

Add a cosy monochrome blanket to your mustard and grey decor

Every living room or bedroom needs a warm blanket or throw for cooler days. Black and white monochrome throws go really well with a mustard and yellow decor. They provide a nice contrast. Check this one out on Etsy.

grey and mustard living room
This monochrome blanket makes a great combination with a grey sofa and mustard yellow accessories. Find it on Etsy

A great comfortable sofa

I am a big fan of the velvet trend just now. These sofas look comfortable and timeless in grey. Just style it up with a few nice patterned mustard yellow and black & white cushions. For more velvet sofas try Graham and Green or John Lewis

Grey and mustard living room
Oscar Sofa fromGraham and Green. £1,725.00 buy

Grey and mustard rug

This grey and mustard rug is made of a cotton and wool mix, so natural materials. A nice, pattern in a pop colour to really lift the room and set off a grey sofa and natural wood furniture. Check out Kukoon for many more grey and mustard rugs.


grey and mustard rug

Another great grey and mustard rug, with a slightly more minimalist look. It is soft yet hard-wearing with a stain-resistant finish. Find it on Kukoon.


grey and mustard rug
Grey and mustard rug from Kukoon. From £19.95 Buy

Midcentury modern Sideboards to go with a grey and mustard decor

I think an original midcentury modern teak sideboard would be preferable in this scheme, to give the room some character and an eclectic touch, but failing that (you can’t always find the right one or they are too big for your space), this is not a bad alternative and a nice small size too. A lovely warm wood tone, in a simple, timeless design. This one is by west elm at John Lewis. The whole west elm range is worth checking out by the way, some gorgeous pieces here.

grey and mustard decor
west elm Mid-Century 3 Drawer Chest £699.00 buy

Perfect cushions for a grey and mustard living room

If you don’t want to completely redecorate and buy new furniture at this point or you’re very happy with your own sofa, try adding some cushions to your grey and mustard living room. This is a nice, quick and inexpensive way to update the look of your room and make some seasonal changes. I love the pattern and colours on this one. Plenty nice cushions to find on Etsy.

grey and mustard decor
Yellow and Grey Double Sided Geometric Cushion. 17″ x 17″ €8.95 buy
grey and mustard living room

Tan leather chair

Tan leather goes suprisingly well with a grey and mustard decor. It gives warmth to a colour scheme than otherwise can become a bit too grey and cool. This classic butterfly chair would make a great design addition to your interior: stylish and timeless at the same time. Find it on Etsy.

grey and mustard living room
The classic butterfly or ‘BKF’ chair €234.92 Etsy Buy

I love a swivel chair. This one comes in a retro design with enough comfort to make it a great chair for snuggling up in for a read. Try Homelia for some great chairs and other home products.