My life mission: To rid the world of man’s ugly, pilly, baggy track pants and thigh-high polyester shorts

It’s fathers day in little over 8 days in Australia. Time to celebrate the men in our life.

Father's Day in the sorella-hood

And if your dad is anything like mine (sensitive, grumpy, a little needy, a lot argumentative, and always right…. But also generous, kind-hearted, supportive, totally lovable, and worth enduring the annoying first listed traits) – then might I suggest you avoid risking the ordinary this fathers day?

The ordinary being, an ordinary blah blah father’s day gift.

My dad always says he doesn’t want anything. But I’ve never seen him turn down a box of Darrell Lea Chocolates come the big day (He has to rely getting those from one of my sisters’ these days though as there are questions whether they ethically source their cacao…. Poor dad).

So this year (like the last) I’ll be sporting Dad out in some sorella men’s pieces.

Yes he already has a draw-full, but he has secretly told my mum that they are the comfiest dacks going ’round. And he’s been around a while my dad – so he’d know.

And that’s why I think you should get a pair for your dad too. Or maybe for hubby from the kids!

A happy Dad is… well… a happy dad. And let’s be honest, we really do need to rid the population of ugly, pilly, baggy track pants and shorts.

 Fathers Day Gift - owens short in evening skyOwens Short – $44. Available in Evening Sky (shown), Vintage Black, and Feather Grey Continue reading

3 things no.3! || nanas, love & mandarins

Time for another edition of everyone’s favourite game – 3 things!

3 things I learnt/realised/randomly thought about this week || no.3

#1 Nana’s can be cruel

You know it’s time to book an emergency hair appointment when your 90 something glasses-wearing-nana says:

“Oh look at those roots Anna. Are you growing your hair out to go back to your natural colour?”

Touché Nana. Touché.

This is my Nana. See? I told you she wore glasses.

This is my Nana. See? I told you she wore glasses.

#2 That I quite possibly have had too many failed relationships

‘Nuff said really. Or if you now find yourself more intrigued read this for a laugh: The Tragically Failed Relationships Mix Tape.

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#3 Mandarins are a sometimes food

It’s mandarin season in Australia. I would like to warn everyone though that a mandarin is no substitute for chocolate during a craving. No matter what anyone tells you. (Stupid Nutritionists).

In fact, I think they should actually be eaten like this.

Friends for life (and in ma belly)

Friends for life (and in ma belly) … (Green & Blacks Organic & Fair trade Chocolate)

How about you? What things have you learnt/realised/randomly thought about this week?

x anna 

sneaky-peek behind the scenes! 2013 sorella & me photoshoot

It’s so exciting for us to be so close to launching a few new pieces to our much-loved sorella & me collection. After the success of the new men’s collection, we are sure you will love these new women’s and maternity pieces just as much!

To keep you salivating until they launch later this month, we’ve put together a little behind the scenes video of the shoot which we held on the Sunshine Coast. You might spot a few of these new pieces!

A big thanks to the very talented Harry Mark for putting the video together for us! Continue reading

Think. Eat. Save.

It’s World Environment Day!

world environment day

A stunning butterfly I found hanging out by my vegie patch

Celebrated every year on June 5th, World Environment Day is a campaign run under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) aiming to raise awareness and bring about positive environmental action.

This year, the campaign’s theme is Think. Eat. Save which encourages us to be more aware of our food choices, and the carbon footprint we are creating through such choices and waste.

The UNEP provides a couple of great ideas to easily get started:

“Purposefully select foods that have less of an environmental impact, such as organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process. Choosing to buy locally can also mean that foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.”   

We all know that we love organics at sorella & me! (Organic sleepwear anyone? Yes please!)

Our environment is clearly something we are all responsible for.  And every little bit helps.  On World Environment Day last year, we posted 10 really easy things you can start doing today to help the environment – check them out here.

So now to add to that list with this years theme, we are going to be more mindful about the food choices we make and what we waste more broadly – Think before you eat and help save our environment!”.

I already try to buy organic food when possible, but I am going to try and understand more about seasonal fruits and vegetables too.  There is no point in buying a product that has been flown in from the other side of the world – even if it is organic. It’s easy to pop that item in your basket without thinking about it – but from now, let’s stop, think, and make an alternative selection if need be.

And my other goal is to finally start the compost I have been talking about doing for the past 2 years. Living in rental properties has stopped me from setting one up but it’s so important and can make such a difference. So these are my new goals.

For more ideas on greening your lifestyle, check out this great A-Z list from the UNEP.

And don’t forget to check out our friends at Sustainable Table, who have a heap of resources (and a couple of great cookbooks!) on how our food choices can impact our environment.

Do you have any green-tips you’d like to share with the sorella-hood? Perhaps you only shop locally?  Maybe you only buy seasonal fruit and vege? Whatever it is, we’d love to add it to our list!

 ~ anna

My top 5 (okay, 6) brands to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight!

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! This a great opportunity for us to understand how making more informed choices on the products we buy can have a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate.

The FairTrade logo

The Fairtrade logo

Fairtrade is described by the Fairtrade Association of Australia & NZ (an arm of Fairtrade International) as:

Better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade International have developed a strict global certification process to allow consumers greater confidence when buying everyday products that come from areas in the world where working conditions, rights, and pay can be unethical.

I have worked in India with Oxfam, and Vietnam with CARE Vietnam and I have seen first-hand how the cycle of poverty can grip communities when they are treated unfairly.  Why should we have the benefit of paying just $10 for a piece of clothing if it means a family can’t afford to eat? That doesn’t seem very fair does it?  To understand more about the principle of Fairtrade, check out this previous post.

For today, I’m going to share 5 super duper brands that are working hard to ensure their products are sustainable and ethical. This might mean that they are made using Fairtrade materials, made with sustainable textiles that have been sourced ethically and locally, or they have been able to go that one step further and have had the actual product produced certified under Fairtrade International if it has been made in a developing country (This will be evident by a little Fairtrade logo on the product packaging – and deserves a high 5 for sure!).

  1. Eternal Creation – certified by Fairtrade International. They have some super cute pieces for little ones!
    Eternal Creation Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    Eternal Creation’s Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    2. Green & Blacks Chocolate – certified by Fairtrade International (and is also organic!). It’s now deliciously available pretty much everywhere – so no excuses to reach for that other nasty stuff now!

Green & Black's organic & fairtrade chocolate

3. Nerada Tea Organics Range – certified by Fairtrade International. My 2 favourites are the Green and Chamomile.  You can find this brand in most major and some independent supermarkets.

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

4. Pure Pod – Made in Australia using sustainable materials.  Considered a pioneer in ethical fashion in Australia.

Pure Pod

Pure Pod

5. Sinerji – a sustainable & ethical collection using natural dyes and organic cotton.

Sinerji

Sinerji

And I had better sneak one more in – we can’t forget the love of my life, sorella & me.  Our collection is made using certified Fairtrade cotton (and is also certified organic).  We use an Australian sewer but have been providing skills transfer and capacity building to a small family-run Fiji manufacturer for the past 18 months. We are so excited they are now ready to join the sorella & me team! By providing them an ongoing opportunity for work will ensure sustainable income and at the same time improve skills and employability – both of which are major concerns for most Fijians with its current poor economic conditions and regular natural disasters that destroy many businesses.

sorella & me sleepshirt

sorella & me sleepshirt

Happy Fairtrade fortnight!

Do you have a favourite ethical label? Please share it with the sorella-hood below!

~ anna x

Love Peppermint!!!

We were thrilled the sorella & me sleepshirt was included in Peppermint magazine’s Fashion Safari feature for their beautiful Autumn edition!

Peppermint Autumn 2013 (cover)

Peppermint Autumn 2013 (cover)

sorella & me organic sleepshirt $79.95 with pashmina scarf $215 - by kishandevie.com

sorella & me organic sleepshirt $79.95, wrapped up with a gorgeous pashmina scarf $215 by kishandevie.com

Peppermint “is the green fashion and lifestyle magazine, celebrating eco and ethical style with a fun, fresh, intelligent and positive spin. It was created for the rapidly growing number of consumers who appreciate good design, fashion and creativity, but also care about social and environmental issues and where their clothing comes from.”

The perfect place for sorella & me, right?

Giraffe! Peppermint's Autumn safari shoot was at Werribee Zoo, Victoria

Giraffe! Peppermint’s Autumn safari shoot was at Werribee Zoo, Victoria

The location of the shoot was the beautiful grounds at Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria (which by the way is just 30 minutes from Melbourne and a great place to visit with the kids when you are in town!).

Just some of the labels in the shoot included stunning pieces from sosumeclothing and thisisbento. These labels work so hard towards sustainability and ethical production in all aspects of their collections – truly inspiring. I have had the pleasure of hearing Alex of sosumeclothing speak at various events and he is doing amazing things – so innovative with fabrics, dyes, and the way he produces his garments to reduce waste.

Pepperminy magazine

A big thanks to Stylist Leeyong Soo & the team at Peppermint for finding sorella & me and loving our sleepshirt as much as we do!

Love the look of Peppermint (we wouldn’t be surprised!)… Head over to the mags website for more ethical fashion love or look out for their beautiful magazine in your local newsagent. If they don’t have it – ask them to get it in! If you are an overseas sorella – don’t panic! Peppermint also ship internationally!

~ alisha & anna

Australian fashion is loaded with toxic chemicals – Organic & Natural fibres are the way to go, says Choice

It’s no surprise for us here at sorella & me to read a report this week by independent consumer watchdog Choice on the toxic chemicals found in Australian clothing and the damage they are doing to our health as well as our environment.

In Choice’s report, Andreas Schimkus, a Senior Advisor from the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TCFA) states:

The most dangerous way for a toxin to enter the body is not through the digestive system, but through the skin

Therefore, any garment in contact with the skin can easily transfer the toxic chemicals used in its manufacture and finishing through to the individual.

Toxic Chemicals are found in garments

Image via Choice ‘Chemicals in Clothing’

Further, and perhaps even more alarming, Schimkus says:

“Products that are made in China for the Australian market could not even be sent back to China, as many of them would not meet the Chinese product safety standards but are acceptable here.”

This is terrifying!

Continue reading