Co-founder of, Raquel is on a mission to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Ethical Style Challenge: The City Collection Edit by fashion blogger Donja

As co-founder of an ethical marketplace I would say the biggest challenge ethical clothing brands face is convincing high street customers that ethical doesn't equate to bland designs or high prices. As part of our drive to prove that ethical is anything but boring, we have started 'The Ethical Style Challenge' where we offer top fashion bloggers free reign over our collections to incorporate ethical pieces into every day outfits.

In the first of our ethical style challenges, we chose 'City Living' as our theme and we asked the beautiful Donja from fashion blog Doniaz, to pick her favourite items to style with her existing wardrobe, the results are fabulous.

We took some time out from the shoot to speak with Donja about life as a fashion blogger, her top tips for styling an outfit and her thoughts on ethical fashion.

Q. When did your interest in fashion begin?

Since I was quite young, maybe eight years old. I really enjoyed dressing up in my mum’s clothes, and I had lots of "self-made" clothes (as in clothing made from wrapping some fabric around me and keeping it together with safety pins). It was a form of self-expression, and I really enjoyed being creative with fabrics. This feeling has never faded over the years!

Q. When did you decide to become a fashion blogger?

Years ago, whilst browsing the internet, I stumbled on fashion blogs and started to follow them. Only after a few years of following different blogs did I think to myself.. "why don’t I start my own blog!?" If you’re putting effort into something (in this case, picking the “right” outfit), it’s very pleasing to share it with other people. Especially if these people are also interested in what you do and are inspired by it.  I guess there is no better place than the internet to find lots of like-minded people, hence the blog!

Q: How would you describe your style?

Mmmm, this is a difficult question. It’s quite variable to be honest, but I guess there is always some element of comfort that you will most likely find it in any of my outfits; sneakers, an oversized sweater, boyfriend jeans, that type of thing.

Q. Who inspires you and why?

People who can resist the temptation of buying lots of clothes.  In this society of consumption, it's hard to do and I’m trying to be more like them! Being fashionable is not related to the amount of clothes you have, it's how you use and co-ordinate what you have.

Q: What’s the best style advice you’ve ever been given?

There is a great internet meme "Black is always a good idea."  I must say I totally agree, if you have no idea what to where, go for black, it’s always right.

Q. Describe your outfit from the photoshoot? 

From bottom to top; Black ankle boots are always a good idea, they’re timeless and easy to combine in outfits. The same goes for the black jeans, but with spring upcoming I do feel that I need to add some colour to my outfits, hence the cosmicprint top and bright pink bag.  Then I have finished the outfit with a couple of pieces of cute minimalist jewellery.

Q. What are the best ways to introduce some of these items into an existing wardrobe?    
The black ankle boots are a wardrobe essential, if I could have only two pair of shoes, I’d go for white sneakers and black ankle boots. You can combine them with basically everything, but my personal favourite is to combine them with skinny jeans and an oversized t-shirt/sweater.

The printed sweatshirt might seem hard to combine but I think they always go well with white or black jeans. I totally see this top with a pair of white jeans and some white sneakers for another look. At a party the tshirt would be really nice tucked into a pink skater skirt and your favourite heels (or sneakers for that matter).

Simple, delicate jewellery like the icy ring and triangle bracelet look great with a neutral outfit. It adds more focus to the jewellery, when there is less to see in the outfit.

The pink bag is perfect for a night out. I totally see this bag with a LBD and some simple black heels.

Q. Having taken our ethical challenge and picking items you can wear every day, what are your thoughts on sustainable and fair fashion?

Visually, I would say sustainable and fair fashion is pretty equal to what we call “normal” fashion, it has the same if not better quality and it’s most certainly in the same price range. However behind the scenes of fair fashion it's just a different world in comparison to the production of “normal” high street clothing.  It's not a surprise, everybody is aware of this and it’s all over the news.  Yet still we (including me), keep buying unfair fashion because we THINK fair fashion is more expensive and we THINK it’s such an effort to find the right shops. But in all honesty that's just not the case. Note to self: choose fair fashion.

>>>To view more from our City Edit view the collection here

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