Penny and I started our Instagram page Styleinthestix 4 years ago. Two friends with a shared interest in fashion and to sometimes escape being a mum.

With a basic knowledge of Instagram, we tended to follow other fashion pages, photograph a new outfit daily and try to provide styling inspiration for others.

Our plan? To grow our followers, create beautiful pictures and collaborate with some cool designers along the way.

Fast forward a couple of years and our plan was going beautifully ‘to plan’ but we felt something was missing.

Why were we doing this? What did we stand for? And more importantly what message did we want to share with people?…….buy new clothes and photograph a new outfit every day?

Stacey Dooleys TV programme ‘Fashions Dirty Secrets’ (BBC3) was a turning point for us. Further fact finding mortified us – why were we not aware that it took 700 gallons of water to produce cotton for one T-Shirt! One! That we’d dried up a whole ocean in order to grow enough cotton for our clothes?

So we did what any mums of 6 boys with a fashion Instagram would do, we pushed the reset button and changed our message. We started to follow people that were rewearing their wardrobe – it turns out the most sustainable piece of clothing is the one that’s hanging in your wardrobe – who knew! No more excuses – we knew.

We looked into hashtags like #whomademyclothes – what is the true cost of fast fashion? People, wages and living conditions?

#thereisnoplanetb – that half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres from washing our clothes ends up in the ocean every year.

We discovered amazing websites selling secondhand designer clothing and some very cool vintage sellers. It was fun to shop for pieces that weren’t all uniformly hanging on a rail with one in every size.

I’ve always been a fan of vintage clothing – it’s like a Grown-up’s dress-up. I love pieces that have a story, another life but I appreciate for others this is exactly the reason they don’t like it and shopping vintage is nothing short of terrifying.

My top tips if you do want to give it go are :

*Don’t be afraid to shop online – most places offer returns.

*Pick up the phone or ask for advice. These vintage shop owners know their stuff.

*You’ll always find current trends – what goes around comes around.

*Accessories can be a good place to start

*Don’t forget to browse in the mens – my favourite blazers are from the mens section.

*And one last thing – that vintage smell, that’s off putting for some – put your item in a freezer

bag, freeze it for a day or two then hang it out on the line – its like magic.

For Penny, second-hand is more her thing, although both of us love a good explore round the charity shops. Her favourite sites are Vestaire Collective and Hardly Ever Worn It. Both have some amazing brands and designers and if like me you’re coveting those Gucci loafers – browsing these are a great place to start.

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Facts and figures are constantly changing as are more people in the fashion industry but it’s still not enough. We need to keep reminding ourselves of the information, the damage to our planet, the cost to real people to make a £5 bikini.

No-one is perfect. We’re all lured in from time to time by beautiful tissue wrapped packages and a magazine cover – all we’re asking of ourselves is to think about what we’re buying, our motivation behind it and whether we’d find a similar piece in the vintage shop for a lot less guilt and a third of the price.