We are delighted to interview Tolly Dolly Posh this week, we talk about Plastic Free July, The True Cost Movie, and gifs!
Please introduce yourself...
I'm an 18-year-old ethical and sustainable fashion blogger who has been writing for the past 6 years. My blog has slowly become a site dedicated to raising awareness for issues within the fashion industry in a positive, honest manner. I'm also a designer and illustrator, collaborating with brands such as Lost Shapes
on a collection of co-branded t-shirts and Wool and The Gang
, for their latest collection of animated GIFs that you can use on Instagram.
Why did you start focusing on ethics and sustainability?
After the Rana Plaza, the documentary The True Cost was released and it sparked something inside of me. I knew I couldn't sit back and carry on creating the content I was creating without feeling a sense of guilt. I knew I had to use my audience for good and I'm proud that I stuck to that little personal promise.
It's Plastic Free July - how does this relate to fashion?
I think most of us unknowingly introduced plastic to our wardrobes. Most of us now own a good portion of polyester made items, as well as other materials such as nylon and acrylic. They're all synthetic and contribute to this era of toxic plastic usage. I honestly believe, like the "Bronze Age", people will look back at this period in time and call it the "Plastic Age" and it's a sad truth to realise that this even relates to our clothes.
Our clothes (and shoes!) are not only produced unsustainably but they are also extremely difficult to recycle and they take hundreds of years to break down - and even that simply just means breaking down into tiny particles that never really go anywhere. Plastic is here to stay.
How can we avoid plastic in our wardrobes?
Shop naturally! That's why I love Po-Zu because a lot of the designs are great natural alternatives
to many plastic-based, faux-leather options on the market. For example, Pinatex, pineapple leaf fibre, is a great innovation and it's so exciting to see Po-Zu embracing this, along with cork, linen and organic cotton as seen here on the BUTTERFLY indigo trainers - in fact Po-Zu's new Sri Lanka sneakers are 100% organic cotton without any synthetics where a lot of the conventional sneaker brands are not even 100% cotton, they are mixed with synethetics.
The Pinatex designs are a great choice for a Plastic Free July purchase (all the postal packaging is sustainable too - hooray!). Although obviously, there are still many issues around natural fabrics in themselves, shopping natural will always be better because you know that eventually, they will break down more easily and without as many consequences. As well as plastic, a lot of us wear cotton, so embracing that can be a great thing.
Even look for natural fabrics when shopping second-hand, and avoid plastic microfibres entering the water systems if you use a GUPPY FRIEND Washing Bag when you wash your clothes, The GUPPYFRIEND™ Washing Bag protects synthetic garments and reduces the amount of microfibres that may enter rivers and oceans from washing. After washing garments in GUPPYFRIEND, remove the microfibers from the bag and throw them away in the trash
Can you tell us more about your GIFs and how you're using them to promote sustainability?
My GIFs can be found by searching "@tollydollyposh" (or keywords which apply to them) on platforms such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat. I created them after realising there weren't any stickers that helped get a quick and easy message across for people interested in ethics and sustainability. They're fun and easy to use and they've now been viewed over half a billion times. In fact, Instagram themselves loved them too, as I was able to feature them during my Earth Day 2018 take-over, on their official flagship account, @instagram. Exciting, right?
A recent addition is my "Plastic Free July" design which I've already seen being used in the #PlasticFreeJuly hashtag. You can take a look at my whole collection, here