Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Paris Ethical Shopping Guide: Emmaüs

I've decided to start a little ethical shopping guide to Paris, as I've had a few requests for ideas on places to go!

First up is Emmaüs, one of the biggest (and best) charity shops I have ever visited! This particular shop is open on Saturdays only (get there early for all of the best stuff), and is located up in the north-eastern 19th arrondissement. The charity was founded by Abbé Pierre in 1949 in order to help the homeless, some of whom are actually employed by the organisation, to help in the shop and in the processing of donations.

The shop itself is more like a giant warehouse, with a quirky-yet-tastefully-merchandised boutique-feel. The ceilings are high, the décor is bright and colourful, and large wooden structures artfully divide the huge space into specific zones. There is a section for second-hand haberdashery goods, men's, women's and children's clothing, white goods, other electronics, furniture, shoes, books and CDs, as well as a little vintage section. I even spotted a little knitting class taking place on some comfy looking sofas in a quiet corner. This place has everything you could ever want!

I left with some 60s flower-shaped elbow patches, a giant bag of buttons, some balls of wool and a chic little black cardigan, all for under €15.

42 Rue Riquet
75019  Paris
Sat: 10am-6pm

(I recently discovered another one, about a 5 minute walk away, over at the Centquatre):
104 bd d'Aubervilliers
75019  Paris
Weds-Fri: 3pm-7pm
Sat : 10am-7pm

Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dusting the cobwebs off the sewing machine

There is something about writing essays for uni that makes me really want to sew. It's probably procrastination, but I also find it really relaxing, and I also love the idea of making things with my very own hands. I'd take fabric and thread over writing out long bibliographies any day!

Now I've finished my first major essay of the year, I'm deliberately giving myself a few weeks off to do things I feel too guilty doing when there is a deadline looming. I brought these three retro patterns back from home after Christmas, and found this salmon-pink fabric for €5 at a vintage shop in Montmartre (living the dream!). It's a bit more pink than it looks in the photo, and I think it'll make a lovely blouse à la this one, but probably with sleeves this time.

I'll let you know how it goes...

What's your favourite thing to do to de-stress? Does anyone else sew or knit?

Sadie xxx

Monday, 14 January 2013

Hedgehog print! (Aimée by People Tree)

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of silly prints! If you open up my wardrobe (or rather, look across my room at my temporary year-abroad-clothes-rail), you are greeted with a ridiculous mix of 70s flowers and 60s geometric designs (take a peek at some of my finest blouses here). I love each and every one!

My latest addition is this fabulous organic boxy hedgehog print top from People Tree, my favourite ethical brand. Isn't it cool?! Organic cotton is always preferable to conventional cotton, as it is more sustainable and means dangerous chemicals aren't leaked into the ground, affecting local producers' health. I've started thinking more about buying organic vegetables too, for the same reasons.

The best thing about People Tree is that you can trace your supply chain really easily - they provide information on which factory made each item. According to the website, this top was 'Made in India by Assisi Garments' - the less cloudy a supply chain, the less room there is for exploitation, this is all good in my books!

I had planned to wear it with some bright red tights and a skirt, but it was a bit chilly so instead I wore it with my new Monkee Genes. Seeing as they aren't even in the photo, I think I'll be posting about them in the near future!

This top is now 50% off in the People Tree sale, making it just £14. There are quite a few other amazing things to be found! If you can't afford their clothes at full price, this is an excellent chance for some fairly guilt free shopping! And if you can... can I tempt you with this fabulous Peter Jensen soldier print top?!

How would you wear this hedgehog print top?

Sadie xxx

P.S. If you were wondering how People Tree is able to have a sale and still pay its workers a fair price, have a look here.