fbpx
My Sustainable Maternity Wardrobe

My Sustainable Maternity Wardrobe

As you may or may not know I RARELY write about fashion or style on the blog. I do, however, share lots of pictures of myself and my outfits on Instagram and I’m always surprised at the response, which is overwhelmingly to ask me where I got stuff from.

This is not to brag about my excellent styling skills (which aren’t excellent….) but to explain why I’m writing a post about fashion when I rarely have before.

Because questions mean people need to know, amiright?

My Ethical Style Journey

My ethical style journey is similar to many, perhaps. I’ve never liked shopping, but was a shopaholic as a teen, naturally, and presumed cheap, fast fashion was the only way.

Fast forward to uni and I’d honed my style, in that I knew what suited my shape (pretty much) and liked what I liked. And that was NEVER anything ‘on trend’. At the time I thought this was a hindrance on my part, and that not having fun with fashion would come back to haunt me when I was 80 and couldn’t do that anymore.

Which is total bullshit because a) I can do what I want at whatever age, including aged 80. And b) there’s absolutely no reason why ‘having fun with fashion’ should mean wearing trends we’ve been sold as part of a cynical capitalist ploy to make us think we need more, for less, all the time.

So, as it goes, I am eternally grateful for my inner fashion scrooge.

Quitting fast fashion

Despite the fact I’ve always been a keen budgeter and anti-shopper, I didn’t quit fast fashion until about four years ago. And even then, I didn’t do it very well.

In a previous life I was a retail planner (merchandiser), and for ten years I worked in retail head offices making as much margin as possible while maximising sales and minimising costs. In real terms, this means making money for big retailers by screwing over everyone aside from the board (the consumer and the supply chain.)

So I know a thing or two about retail.

This knowledge is what turned me off the high street, not an intricate understanding of the human and environmental costs.

But either way, quit it I did and as my zero waste curiosity piqued so did my sustainability interest. And that led me into a big black hole of research, books, and, of course, the MUST watch documentary The True Cost.

Where am I at with my sustainable fashion ethos now? Well, I wear what I have first and foremost and have started to really dig deep on mending, altering and styling (not my forte, but fun!)

I choose to thrift/charity shop anything I need (for me, and for Anaïs) and lastly I buy the most ethical I can afford.

I have a lovely list of brands I turn to and I haven’t bought more than a handful of things based purely on the fact buying new is last on my list, so stuff I do buy is few and far between.

So that’s me, and my ethos. Which you didn’t come here for but this is what you’ve got and informs/explains how I’ve gone about building a sustainable maternity wardrobe; not the easiest task to do!

My Sustainable Maternity Style

First off, I want to acknowledge my privilege; I am a standard-size 8-10, average height and live somewhere where I have the option of a LOT of charity/thrift shops.

It’s easier for me to find stuff basically. I have more choice so my rules mightn’t translate into your perfect wardrobe but I hope it’ll help inspire you a bit.

I REALLY recommend seeking out Aja Barber who is a sustainable fashion expert and can talk to plus-sized fashion too; what she doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing. You can find her on Instagram but the good stuff is on her Patreon.

If you’re still with me, here’s how I built my maternity wardrobe.

It’s such a long period of time to think about in one go, I tried not to stress too much about seasonal things and instead opted for items I could wear all year round and layer. 

I also bought little and often, so I didn’t feel burdened with a heap of stuff I then needed to sell or make work. 

Buying second-hand

The first things I picked up were maternity jeans and I was lucky enough to find them in one of my local charity shops.

I frequent them regularly so it was a case of luck, thin privilege and commitment to the cause! 

I got two pairs of jeans; both under bump. One in an autumnal mustard (my pregnancy would span from February to October) and one in blue denim (these were in a tall so I had to alter them, which was easy enough.

I then got a three pack of plain black, stretchy vest tops from Vinted which I knew would be fab for layering and a few maternity bras too (some might find this gross but I don’t care…..it all gets washed, ya know?) 

Sustainable maternity brands

Because the bulk of my pregnancy fell in HOT, sweaty summer I wanted a breastfeeding friendly, cotton/jersey jumpsuit so I bought two. One maternity and one non. 

Beyond Nine make beautiful maternity wear designed to last you beyond the nine months. So it’s all breastfeeding friendly too. I opted for this one, although in hindsight it wasn’t my favourite piece as it doesn’t really suit me as even the small size is HUGE on me at nine months pregnant. 

The next thing I knew I’d need was at least one pair of over bump maternity leggings. The H&M pairs you might pick up en masse are super crappy quality and I guarantee by the end of your pregnancy they’ll be worn ragged. 

So I found a pair of Jojo Maman Bebe (not sustainable, buy second hand) leggings on eBay which is excellent for honing in on specifics (set a saved search so you don’t have to think about it/get tempted to browse!)

ps – Isabella Oliver and Seraphine are both great brands in terms of fit and quality but they aren’t truly sustainable so do what I did and find preloved pieces on eBay/Vinted/Depop instead. 

Non-maternity wear that works

The jumpsuit I LOVED the most was my OmBaby which can also be breastfeeding friendly if I switch it around as it has a lovely low v-back. It isn’t maternity but because of the relaxed fit worked perfectly for me. 

If you simply want a few vest tops, or under bump leggings you could totally just size up non maternity wear. 

I don’t wear a heap of tight stuff anyway, opting for relaxed fits so almost all of my t-shirts and jumpers still work for me which is a huge bonus. 

As your pregnancy progresses you’ll undoubtedly want slip on shoes so bear that in mind. I had some old Birkenstocks and a black pair of slip on trainers too. 

The errors

Like I said, the Beyond Nine jumpsuit isn’t my favourite and I’ll certainly sell it afterwards. But it’ll be helpful in the days after birth (especially if I have another c-section) as it’s loose, breathable and breastfeeding friendly.

I couldn’t afford any ethical activewear so after sticking it out with my pre-preggo stuff I caved at 36 weeks and bought some bamboo Seraphine yoga pants. They were the most ‘ethical’ of the fast fashion brands I could find but still……not truly sustainable. 

I also panic bought a yellow summer top from eBay but only wore it once so I sold it again (same price, yay!)

Not keeping my maternity-wear from pregnancy one was probably the biggest error and I had to rebuy bits I knew I had first time around. VERY frustrating! 

If you’d like a big old maternity style cheat sheet, please do download mine right HERE! 

L x

The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The Third Trimester

The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The Third Trimester

Let’s catch up on what’s been going on in my third trimester, shall we? YES, LET’S! 

29 – 34 WEEKS

This is a fairly huge chunk of time although, in truth, it was genuinely marked by energy and feeling pretty damn good. When I was supposed to be feeling amazing in the second trimester I felt crap, and now I’m in my third trimester I should be feeling shattered and devoid of energy but I’m not! So praise be.

A lot of that is to do with the iron I’ve been taking for my anaemia which has, in turn, cured my restless legs giving me the most amazing nights sleep I’ve had in yonkers. I’ve also been practicing yoga daily, in no small part preparing my body and mind for the marathon of its life but also because I’ve started my 50 hours pregnancy yoga teacher training (timing sounds mad, but it feels so right)

Emotionally, I’m a LOT happier albeit fairly anxious about the birth. Most people seem to think I’m anxious not to have another c-section but I’m not worried about that (I’ve done it, know what it’s like and know the recovery wasn’t hideous for me) – what I AM worried about is the unknown. I’ve laboured for 27 hours with no pain relief (not in a braggy way) but I haven’t experienced transition or the second stage of pushing. And that unknown is fairly scary……not sure why, as I wasn’t remotely frightened the first time around.

Perhaps it’s the onslaught of horror stories you become privy too once inducted into the cult of motherhood, or perhaps it’s the lost innocence of having already given birth. Who knows, but this is something I’ve had to work on through hypnobirthing (which I didn’t do last time.)

35 – 39 WEEKS

 

Well, after feeling VERY SMUG about the fact the dreaded Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) I’d been afflicted with in my first pregnancy hasn’t come back, guess what? It’s back. Luckily I managed to complete my pregnancy yoga teacher training before it kicked in but still….come on. It’s started with twinges, rather than the full on I-CANNOT-WALK horror of last time but I know it’s only a matter of time before things get tricky.

So armed with my new-found knowledge about the pelvis and anatomy of a preggo I’ve been practicing gentle yoga, and resting a whole heap. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) has become my new best friend and I’ve been listening to my hypnobirthing tracks daily. The only thing I can’t really change is my daily walk to get my toddler from nursery and the various activities we do together (that are all fairly physical.)

My mood has definitely shifted into a less sunny disposition and I’m feeling all the feelings about the fact I should be in Edinburgh for a friend’s wedding but, alas, I am exhausted both mentally and physically and decide to stay at home feeling sorry for myself. A tricky decision and, spoiler alert, one I come to regret.

As I approach the final hurdle time seems to incomprehensibly slow down and speed up all at the same time. Which leads me to feeling a bit out of sorts about my birth plan (which, FYI, nobody has asked to see as at 39 weeks because the care down in Brighton is LESS THAN ideal………and I’m privileged so God help those less fortunate. Look, the NHS are freaking amazing. They are. And I am PROFOUNDLY grateful to have been born in a country that, once upon a time, believed in a welfare state that grants healthcare to us all for free. But in comparing my care down in Brighton to London it’s been lacking; I was under the care of the perinatal mental health team in London, however here, “I don’t qualify” despite the fact my history is the same, I had post-natal depression AND my anxiety/depression have both got much, much worse throughout pregnancy.

I was also not allowed the mythical ‘birth stories’ chat I hear so many folk talk about (this is where a midwife talks you through the notes of your last birth so you can better understand what happened) because it wasn’t considered ‘traumatic enough’……overall, it’s been an uphill battle to get any support and I’m lucky that I have the emotional privilege (along with everything else) to have fought for midwife changes, birth plan chats etc etc.

But it has definitely taken a toll on my mental health and that’s felt crappy at a time I should be coddling myself in extra support.

That being said, as I approach my estimated due date I feel fairly positive (albeit impatient) that everything will be okay. Trusting in the process, my body and what’s meant to be is hard but with a whole heap of support from friends and my saint of a husband I’m getting there!  

40 – 41 WEEKS

Hello my old friend OVERDUE. As I write I am 40 weeks and five days pregnant which is technically overdue however practically completely normal. In fact, if I moved to France tomorrow I wouldn’t even be due yet (they consider week 41 full term) so…..there’s that.

Although I am insanely excited to meet baby two and feeling all the gratitude for my crazy nesting stint of the past month (SO much has been fixed, cleaned and decluttered) I’m also very aware of the fact I am, in NHS terms, a ticking time bomb. As a home birth VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) I’m considered to be more risky than a normal vaginal birth and, as a rule, the NHS don’t like pregnancies to linger beyond 42 weeks.

But like last time, I’m not prepared to have an induction, rather choosing to have extra scans to check baby’s okay if needs be/going straight to a c-section so…..essentially, I’d love everyone to get in the sea and leave me alone 😉

One small thing; I can barely walk. The PGP is now so bad I am both waddling AND limping. Oli’s had to take over picking Anaïs up from nursery (thank GOD) and we spend our afternoons going a little stir crazy at home. But it’s also had it’s sweet moments as we have been able to spend loads of quality one on one time that I know I’ll miss soon enough.

I’ll end this on a happy note (SHOCKER) and say that while this pregnancy has been incredibly tough and I am in a lot of physical pain, I am also feeling intensely blessed. For every ache and pain, and annoying midwife I can count 10 friends who’ve sent me messages of support, dropped flapjacks on my doorstep, added me to a meal rota, prayed for me and generally made life a whole heap better.

And for that I’m TRULY grateful.

See you soon (with a baby hopefully!)

L x

My Zero Waste Hair Routine

My Zero Waste Hair Routine

 Okay, so worth noting straight off the bat is that this post about my zero waste haircare is the first post I’ve written in over a month.

I have a gazillion of things I need to write about……my final Pregnancy Diaries post for one, along with approximately 25 different pieces about travel (I never get to these ones) but apparently how I deal with my barnet is a far more pressing matter. 

In fact, I actually get asked about my zero waste haircare an awful lot and I find it hard to answer succinctly because, honestly, my hair is SO darn low maintenance and I basically look like a damn scarecrow most of the time so……I mean, I’m not about to hit a million YouTube subscribers with my hot take on how to achieve the perfect ‘do with two or less plastic-free products.

So what I have done is gathered up all the zero waste hair products I’ve ever used, as well as some I’ve had recommended to me too. AND made a video for you about my zero waste hair routine just in case you’d enjoy a scarecrow vibe for your next wedding/family event too. 

MY ZERO WASTE HAIR ROUTINE 

Roughly speaking, this is what I do….

I shampoo my hair with a shampoo bar (I’m a mega Lush fan but since I started using them about eight years ago lots more brands have popped up and I share some below)

I have tried the ‘no poo’ method (which involves not washing your hair with shampoo at all) I’ve scrubbed my scalp with bicarb and rinsed with Apple Cider Vinegar……but none of these methods worked for me AT ALL. In fact, I hated them hard. I like a lovely smelling lather every so often, and seeing as I only wash my hair a couple of times a month I’m okay with using more water and ‘stuff’ knowing it’s a fairly rare occurrence. 

I use conditioner because I have thick curly hair that needs it. I used to use Lush liquid conditioners, buying them in the biggest size possible which typically lasts me over a year, before taking it back to store to be recycled. I don’t use Lush solid conditioner bars, although I’ve tried several, because they are…..well, my hair hates them. However I LOVE the FunkySoap conditioner bar the NoPlasticShop sent me as a gift and would certainly recommend it. 

In terms of styling, I do sweet FA. A bit of coconut oil/sweet almond oil through the ends is as far as I go but I do have some very old hairspray (which was in a goody bag before I got married). So…..yeah, I haven’t got too many tricks up my sleeve when it comes to zero waste hair styling but here are a few brands and products I’ve either tried/been recommended. 

Here are a my zero waste product recommendations: 

Et voila! 

Hope this has been helpful. Ultimately it’s a case of trying things out and seeing what works best for you and your hair. I live and die by the rule that if you can’t find things without plastic, aim for bulk as your next best option. And that doesn’t have to mean super expensive products in the largest bottles; you can find semi-ethical products (semi because nothing mass produced is sustainable, however all beauty made within the EU is cruelty free) on the high street too; you just have to do your due diligence. 

Much love.

L x

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something using one of them I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. L x

My Zero Waste Hair Routine

My Zero Waste Hair Routine

 Okay, so worth noting straight off the bat is that this post about my zero waste haircare is the first post I've written in over a month. I have a gazillion of things I need to write about......my final Pregnancy Diaries post for one, along with approximately 25...

Zero Waste: A Beginners Guide Ditching Plastic

Zero Waste: A Beginners Guide Ditching Plastic

facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramlinkedinOh Plastic Free July, you annoying, clever and necessary month. The first time I heard about Plastic Free July was maybe two years ago when I saw YouTubers sharing their progress, waste, and swaps.  And, of course, their...

Want a monthly love letter from me?

Subscribe to get ethical resources, my musings and more in your inbox EVERY month I remember to write it.....;)
    You're signing up to my monthly newsletter but you can unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The Second Trimester

    The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The Second Trimester

    Hey hey friends! I’m finally in my third trimester and it truly feels as though I’m on the home strait. Except….I still have a potential three months to go. WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?!

    Seriously, I feel like the second trimester has absolutely dragged. And that is the total opposite of what everyone told me would happen; “Your pregnancy will fly by because you have a toddler to look after.”

    WRONG. I should’ve guessed this though because everyone said the first pregnancy would be slow, and it whizzed by in a haze of smugness (I LOVED pregnancy the first time around. Loved it hard.)

    So here goes, this is my diary of the second trimester for your reading pleasures.

    13 – 17 WEEKS

    After a tricky first trimester I expected to feel that energetic boost come week twelve along with a disappearance of the dreaded morning sickness.

    But somehow, I feel more tired than I’ve ever felt in my life and I STILL feel sick. What the actual.

    I struggled through my very, very slow runs and my bump started to get heavy and uncomfortable but mostly, I just felt too tired to do any exercise at all. But of a spiral into feeling crap!

    That coupled with anxiety and a real low patch left me struggling through the first chunk of my second trimester.

    Although HELLO I took a little mini break to Lisbon with hubs so that was nice.

    18 – 22 WEEKS

    This chunk of my second trimester was marked by sleeplessness. With a toddler who slept ‘well’ from about ten months I honestly have never had to deal with the sleepless nights some have to for years. Well, I’m paying for that now aren’t I? !

    Along with the dreaded restless leg syndrome I have also been struck with some fun occasional insomnia which is SUCH a treat. And I find that extreme exhaustion coupled with looking after a toddler is just THE BEST. Agreed?

    Okay enough moaning. Good things about being pregnant…. my hair, skin and nails are DREAMY this time around. Who knew? That’s a treat and a half. Especially as I wash my hair about once a year and manage to file my nails less than that 😉

    I’ve also started thinking about the birth. Not a lot, because AGES to go but a little. My last birth was a planned home birth ending in an emergency c-section so I’m a bit mixed about it all. The NHS are very pro vbac (vaginal birth after caesarian) but that comes with some risks and the potential of a lot more medicalisation (unless i go against protocol) 

    Anyway, as I write this I have a plan. But I’m not super keen to discuss it here just yet so let’s just say I’ve done a HEAP of research and feel a whole heap more prepared than last time on every count.

    23-28 WEEKS

    So as it goes, along with the news I am magnesium deficient, don’t have enough protein in my diet and a few other things (hello B12!) I am anaemic! Yay. So iron tablets are being dutifully knocked back and even my decaf coffee has been ditched. 

    But excitingly, I’ve started to feel better! Yay! I can’t tell you how dreamy it is to get a good night’s sleep when you’ve had weeks of exhaustion. And my energy levels are up too so I’ve clawed back my yoga practice, adding in some workouts and dynamic sessions to add to the daily restorative stuff.

    Lastly, I’ve started hypnobirthing! The lovely YesMum gifted me her online course which led me down a rabbit hole of teachers here in Brighton. I found Laura and so far she has basically changed my life. Well, my pregnancy anyway….

    I regret not doing hypnobirthing SO much last time around so I’m throwing myself into it now and I have to say I am a TOTAL convert. I had an idea it was just breath work, which I already do through yoga so I dismissed it based on my own half-arsed pre conceptions. But it’s not at all! I finally understand what happened with my last birth, why it went ‘wrong’ and have put things in place to help me if the same thing repeats itself. That’s not to say I think hypnobirthing alone guarantees you to have a perfect birth (sidenote: what the fudge is a perfect birth anyway) but I already know I have tools to cope with the inevitable changes and fun surprises that tend to crop up throughout labour.

    Lastly, I start my pregnancy yoga teacher training this month! This is something I’ve wanted to do FOREVER and had planned to do earlier this year but….yeah, surprise baby got in the way and plans had to change. But it all worked out for the best as I’ve had six months to think about what type of yoga teacher I want to be (one who doesn’t namaste or chant…..) and helping women during pregnancy in an accessible way is far more appealing to me than teaching £15 a class iyengar yoga to yuppies. (yuppies like me, admittedly…)

    Watch this space for the next chapter of The Pregnancy Diaries or catch up with #bumpwatch on Instagram.

    L x

    S4E14: Being a Good Ally with Rabya // She Flourished

    S4E14: Being a Good Ally with Rabya // She Flourished



    And I ALSO wanted to thank my new Patrons! A HUGE thanks to Esra Alhamal and Emily Owen who join Lizzy Harley, Rabya Lomas, Julia Goodall, Amanda Jones, Carly, Natasha Fielden, Jenna Stobbs, Ingrid Marie Kielland and Jessica Phillips. THANKS SO MUCH! 

    And thanks to all of you who download, listen and share this podcast. This is the very last episode of season 4 and right now, I’m not planning another. So…..there may be another #PODMAS this year but we’ll see. I love the podcast, and I’ve enjoyed creating it and cultivating a community around it. I’ve REALLY appreciated my guests and the honesty and wisdom they’ve brought to the table but I don’t feel it’s serving me right now and, quite honestly, it’s knackering to produce! 

    Instead, I’ve decided to focus on Patreon, my newsletter & of course Instagram! I’m planning a new podcast and will be releasing episodes exclusively for Patreon. My weekly love letters to my newsletter are back every Sunday and that’ll just be my usual honest ramblings about low impact living, sustainability and musings on freelancing and creative life. 

    Today’s episode is a JUICY one, as ever and it’s particularly brilliant because it’s with one of my very favourite IN REAL LIFE friends Rabya Lomas aka She Flourished. Rabya is a beautiful writer and photographer creating playful, whimsical and political content on her blog and Instagram. 

    We chatted about Rabya’s experience of covert racism, how to be a good ally, white supremacy and *that* slow fashion takedown.

    Show it some love over on Instagram if you enjoyed the episode – it’s potentially the last ever episode so I’d love to go out with a bang!
    Hope you enjoy the episode! 

    Listen on the player below or through your favourite podcatcher!

    L x

    WHERE TO FIND RABYA

    Her website: https://www.sheflourished.com

    Twitter | Instagram

    WHERE TO FIND ME

    You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @lucylucraft or on my blog: lucylucraft.com.

    Join the What She Said Facebook community

    Get exclusive podcast access & bonus content via Patreon right here >> https://www.patreon.com/lucylucraft

    THANKS TO…

    Artwork by Carissa Tanton

    Music via Audio Jungle

    Hosting by Libsyn

    Thanks to my Patreon supporters for helping to fund the podcast.

    L x

    S4E13: Getting Started with Email Lists

    S4E13: Getting Started with Email Lists

    It's the PENULTIMATE episode! Sad face? Happy face?! Todays solo episode is all about EMAIL LISTS! Why you should have one, how to get started and my best tips from building my own over the past five years.  Enjoy!  L xREFERENCED IN THE EPISODE Elizabeth Goddard...

    read more