Ethical Fashion with IKKIVI


Since I started this blog (way back in 2008!) the landscape has changed dramatically for plus-size women. Where once our choices were limited to a bare handful of online shops (mostly in America) the fashion industry seems to have somewhat woken up to the fact that plus size women have money to spend.

But among the companies jumping on board the “inclusive fashion” bandwagon are many businesses with less-than-stellar credentials around ethical production, sustainability, and human rights.

Of course there’s a number of small, independent designers with a focus on inclusivity, but it can be difficult tracking them down. That’s one of the reasons I was so delighted to have been invited to participate in the launch of IKKIVI’s Size Inclusivity Pact.

IKKIVI is a fashion platform developed by five young women to promote small ethically and sustainably produced fashion, accessories, and homewares from independent designers in India. To be included, labels must fulfil IKKIVI’s sustainability and inclusivity requirements, meaning that almost everything on the site is handcrafted, organic, minimal waste, vegan, ethically produced, and size-inclusive.

With their recent Size Inclusivity Pact IKKIVI has committed to promoting independent designers whose size range covers from 2XS to 5XL, with custom sizes available for anyone who doesn’t fit the standard size charts. As part of the announcement they interviewed a number of plus-size designers (including me!) and the questions they asked were among the most well-considered and incisive I’ve received in over a decade of blogging.

Check out the campaign here, and listen to my interview with founder Nivi here.

I’m absolutely honoured to have been invited to participate in this campaign, and delighted to be collaborating further with IKKIVI to present my own curated range within their extensive offerings. If you choose to make a purchase before 15 February I’ll receive a percentage of the sale, but even if you don’t spot something that you like this time, I’d encourage you to keep the site bookmarked because new pieces are uploaded regularly.

Among my favourite pieces is a classic blazer made from hemp fabric, a blush smock dress with delicate embroidery on the shoulders, a cleverly draped dress, a pair of brilliant beetle earrings, a frock with a modern silhouette and a dreamy marine print, a showstopping pendant lamp, and more. Each and every item would be at home in my wardrobe, and I’m honestly trying not to add the entire collection to my own cart. Take a look for yourself here.

Eva’s Sunday

Scarf: Eva’s Sunday

So, about ten years ago I found myself at a kind of crossroads with my blog. It was something I’d started as a hobby, and in a remarkable fluke of timing it gained far more traction than I’d ever anticipated. Blogs were in their heyday, and it wasn’t unusual for me to hit 30,000 visitors a month. All of my peers seemed to be going down the route of monetising their blogs and turning them into profitable careers, and for a while I wondered if I should be doing the same. I loved my job, but at the time it seemed like a permanent move overseas was on the cards, and being a professional blogger was something I could do anywhere.

For a month or two I tried. And I hated every second of it. I’m actually a bit shy, and a bit awkward IRL, and schmoozing didn’t come naturally. I didn’t enjoy networking – the idea of trying to build connections with people just so I could profit off them made me feel very uncomfortable. I especially didn’t want you, my beloved readers, to feel like my good opinion could be bought, and I really, truly didn’t want to have to support brands whose ethos I didn’t agree with, simply because I needed to pay rent. 

Absolutely no shade to those who did go down the path to professional influencing – they have a stamina, drive, and courage that I am absolutely lacking. They’ve created brands, built empires, faced snide criticism for years to become an economic force of nature. They’re the ones who forced brands to sit up and take notice, and without them plus-size women wouldn’t have one tenth of the options that they do today. It just wasn’t the right path for me. 

Once I realised that, I dug my heels in against the voices pressuring me to accept paid advertising, and to this day I still say “no” to far more brand partnerships than I say “yes” to. I can count on one hand the number of “sponsored” posts I’ve done in over thirteen years – I actually can’t remember the last one (maybe 2012?). I discovered that a great benefit to keeping my blog and my social media presence un-monetised is that I can happily support small, independent, or upcoming labels that don’t have the budget for paid influencer advertising.

So while 99% of what I share on my blog and Instagram is stuff I’ve discovered and purchased myself, I want you to be confident that if you see me singing the praises of a brand that I’m partnering with, it’s because I believe in them wholeheartedly. 

Anyway! All of that was a long winded introduction to me telling you how genuinely excited I was to have a brand that I’ve adored (mostly from afar) invite me to come in a take some photos with their new season.

Skirt / top / jacket : Eva’s Sunday

Eva’s Sunday is an ethical, sustainable, local Melbourne business with a big heart, and a passion for slow fashion that is designed to transcend the limitations of what’s considered “in style”. They’ve been on my radar for years – I fell in love with their range after visiting their shop in Beechworth – but you haven’t seen them on the blog before because I quite simply didn’t think their size range catered to me.

Top / pants / scarf: Eva’s Sunday
Dress / pants : Eva’s Sunday
Dress: Eva’s Sunday

Turns out I was wrong! I’m wearing either an L or an XL in everything pictured (the XL is the largest size at Eva’s Sunday at present, but it’s an extremely forgiving size 20, and most styles will still be comfortable on a larger body – if in doubt email the team, they’re very anxious to help).

I was impressed with how versatile their beautifully produced linen clothing is. Every piece is carefully considered within the context of the brand’s range: dresses are designed to be layered over trousers, under jackets, over shirts; shawls can be worn scarves, or neckpieces, or sashes. 

Dress/pants: Eva’s Sunday
Top/skirt/jacket/brooch: Eva’s Sunday

I couldn’t resist buying a piece to take home for myself – the beautiful Danni skirt above is destined to become an intergral part of my wardrobe for years to come, I suspect. 

If you’d like to check them out for yourself, designer Nic has given me a code to share with you all! Save 15% off with the code FROCKSANDFROUFROU