Robyn @wheelingalong24 is back to talk sustainable fashion, accessibility and shopping small

You may remember Robyn (know as @wheelingalong24 on instagram) from our September interview! They're back with some great tips for getting the most out of your vintage wardrobe, supporting makers and finding clothes to fit your needs.

Do you have any styling tips for people struggling to get more wears out of their clothes?

I honestly believe in rewearing outfits with a twist. Say you love how a particular skirt looks with a particular blouse, wear that outfit but add a cardigan, try it with a waist coat or add a jumper over the top. Then you love how the blouse & jumper looked together, try a different skirt with it or trousers or wear them over a dress.
The more you practice mix & matching the pieces you own the better you will get at it I promise.
Also there is no shame in just wearing the same pieces the same way over & over, if it make you happy go for it!
Robyn shares styling tips and how-to-wear videos on their instagram
In this video, they wear the 'Helen' dress from our Summer collection. It's no longer available but you can shop our other dresses here or request any past style through our bespoke order form.

What are some versatile pieces you would recommend?

White blouses & blue skirts 100%.
They go with absolutely everything & always look good. These are the pieces I like to invest in because the higher quality they are the better everything you wear with them will look.
I also love cardigans but that’s a bonus item :)

Do you have any tips for finding sustainable vintage style clothing?

That’s a hard one actually, it’s partly why I love Rose’s Wardrobe so much because I have found it so hard to find sustainable vintage inspired clothing, especially in my size.
Honestly I tend to find my clothes via things other cottagecore bloggers wear although honestly it’s mostly not mid century. 
The only other place I’ve found that does this kind of style & is working towards sustainability is Revival Retro.

Do you think that dressing in vintage style makes it easier to avoid the temptation of fast fashion?

Yes & no. It makes it easier to avoid big fast fashion retailers like H&M because they don’t have anything I want to wear in them anyway but a lot of cheaper vintage reproduction & vintage inspired brands work on a similar model to fast fashion & back when I still fit into those brands they were really tempting tbh.
Honestly it was only I started to get too big for any of my clothes to be disposable (cause it was almost impossible to replace them) that I was able to drown out the voice of consumerism & focus on how my clothes were being made.

What are your favourite sustainable brands?

Honestly my top 3 are you, loudbodies & Wilde Mode (for undies).
There are very few other sustainable brands that have big size ranges as standard & many won’t even do my size as custom.
Robyn in their custom 3/4 circle skirt by us!
If you would like something custom made to your measurements, just fill in our bespoke order form!

What are the signs you look for in clothing which let you know that it will be high quality & durable?

I’m honestly not very good at this, I tend to only know if it is well made when my mum tells me her grandmother would like it (she worked in tailoring & then weaving back when Leeds & Bradford were hubs for the textiles industry).
I tend to look for two things though. One, does the brand talk about the fabrics they use & tell you why they chose them & two, are their clothes made by their own tailors who are paid a living wage.
Usually those two things equal high quality clothing.
I also like to see long, sturdy zips. If the zip is long & sturdy I know the skirt/dress is going to last :)

Do you have any general tips for living sustainably?

Living sustainably is really difficult when you are disabled (so much medical waste is plastic & completely un-recyclable!) so I always say you have to start with empathy for yourself. You do not have to be perfect to make a difference!
1% of all goods sold in North America are still in use after 6 months, so try to make that percentage bigger by fixing & mending what you can & recycling what you can’t.
Buy less just in general, I find it helps to try not to buy things on impulse. More often than not I don’t actually need the new necklace, speciality hot chocolate maker etc etc.
Buy what you need from small businesses if you can, they are usually working on a more sustainable & ethical business model just by default.
Buy your food as locally as possible or subscribe to something like odd box which sends you fruit & veg that otherwise would have been thrown away.

What could clothing stores do to make shopping more accessible?

Not use the disabled changing room for storage (everywhere I’ve ever been has done this at least once) & prioritise disabled people using them over groups of teenagers trying on clothes like a scene in a 90s movie.
Turn down the music, it is often too loud & overwhelming.
Seating, so many people with invisible disabilities would find it so much easier to shop if there were places to sit, especially in huge stores like H&M or Primark.
Wider doorways & spaces between racks. It’s hard to get a wheelchair through most standard doorways & it makes you feel less unwanted if you don’t crash into something as soon as you get into a store.

As a wheelchair user, is there anything that fashion brands can do to make their clothing more comfortable for you?

Elastic waistbands, or something less plastic but honestly waistbands with no give to them are AWFUL. So many clothes look amazing & fit great when I’m stood up but are the devil when I’m sat for 5 hours.
I rarely zip my skirts up all the way anymore because waistbands just dig in so much.

Anything else you want to talk about?

Honestly I just want to thank you for having a brand that makes beautiful, sustainable, ethical clothes up to my size.
I’d have given up & resorted to pjs if it wasn’t for your brand so thank you.

Thank you so much Robyn, it's always a pleasure! You can check out their instagram to see more.

THE TEAM

Rose’s Wardrobe was founded by Emma and Leanne after both having over 12 years of experience between them working in high street, vintage inspired, and fashion supplier backgrounds. The inspiration from Rose’s Wardrobe derived from Emma and Leanne’s muses - their grandmas and great grandma - Patricia, Edna, and Rose. The aim is to produce replicas of the beautiful clothes their grandmas wore, using colours, styles and prints from the 1940’s through to the 1960’s. Anna joined our team this year as our brand assistant. She is a recent fashion graduate and helps out with everything from social media to sewing. You can connect with Rose’s Wardrobe on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest. Have a look at where Rose’s Wardrobe will be here. Read our sustainability statement. Or, shop the collection