Emerald green vintage kimono silk with buttons

Welcome to tortoise & lady grey, a fashion and lifestyle blog which aims to promote ethical and sustainable wardrobe choices, and inspire readers to embrace a slow fashion lifestyle. I am so glad you are here!

For many years I was aware of the human and environmental costs of conventional fashion, and knowing this I have felt guilty about my love of fashion. How could I love something that was so destructive? So in 2012 I bit the bullet-  I decided that I would to strictly abide by my ethics when it came to fashion, and only purchase ethically produced sustainable options- natural, organic, fair-trade, recycled, vintage and second-hand- or make it myself. A year after this decision I found that with a bit of planning, and a lot of research, it was easy to do. Slowly I began to build up my skills in textile crafts, and my knowledge sustainable wardrobe options.

After extensive research I became frustrated that many of the sustainable fashion sources I was reading didn’t go into enough detail. I wanted to know everything about the products- how were they ethical, exactly why was the fabric sustainable, what sort of colouring process did they use? I found myself emailing designers to ask these questions before I would make a purchase. I began to accumulate a lot of knowledge about sustainable products that other people might like to know, and I thought it was worth sharing.

I also felt that creating your own clothing was central to living a sustainable fashion lifestyle, but most of the blogs I came across seemed to be focused on sustainable fashion products OR textile crafts DIY but not both. This didn’t make sense to me. I felt that the two go hand in hand.

So out of my own sustainable fashion journey tortoise & lady grey was born. I hope that tortoise & lady grey can help you feel to confident that the products featured are sustainable, and that you know exactly why they are. Here you will find background information on the environmental and social costs of conventional fashion, and coverage of the sustainable fashion and slow fashion alternatives. You will find detailed reviews of sustainable fashion products and links to where you can buy them. As I learn and relearn time-honored textile crafts, you can learn along with me, building slow fashion skills through DIY tutorials for textile crafts. You will also find discussion of organic beauty products and slow beauty DIY recipes.

Give your sustainable fashion journey a boost by taking my free email course- the 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge. Gain a comprehensive understanding of how to approach your wardrobe sustainably, and the knowledge you need to cut through the green-washing and faux eco-marketing with my guide + workbook 6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe. Or assess the sustainability of your favourite labels with confidence with the help of my Guide to Sustainable Textiles.

As time has gone on, the I have extended my coverage of sustainable DIY style to home and garden, so you’ll find tips and inspiration for making sustainable changes to your lifestyle, without giving up a love of style. Just like the children’s fable, I believe that the tortoise will eventually win the race- that sustainable ways of living will emerge as the way forward. As consumers we can invest in the world we wish to see by rewarding designers and businesses that work ethically and responsibly. We can also do this by reconnecting with time-honoured skills in textile crafts, cooking from scratch, embracing DIY natural beauty, or growing our own food. I believe that if we start with small changes and small projects, we can all learn to make our own clothes, grow herbs or vegetables in our homes, shop sustainably, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle.

So welcome again to my humble blog, I am so glad to share this sustainable lifestyle journey with you. I love to hear from you and I welcome your thoughts on any of my posts. Feel free to leave a comment, or email me at summer(at)tortoiseandladygrey.com. If you like what you read, please do subscribe for regular sustainable fashion updates.

About me

Turmeric dyed cowl photo 1

I have many interests and I wear many hats, but the thread that ties my interests together is one fundamental belief. I believe that the economy is a social construction, and that the economy (both globally and locally) is not meeting our needs. It is damaging the environment, it exploits vulnerable people, it devalues the unique talents that come with diversity and it marginalises individuals and families that can’t or won’t act like mere inputs in an industrial machine. But we do not have to accept this. The economy is a social construction and the power lies with individuals working together to change the system into something that supports our needs, that takes care of individuals and families, and that exists sustainably on this earth.

This fundamental belief underlies everything that I do, and I am passionately committed to the work of social change to make a difference in this way. I am a community development practitioner and I have worked in Australia and internationally. Most significantly for my interests in sustainable fashion, I have worked with a women’s NGO in China where they were grappling with many of these issues, particularly the rights rural migrant factory workers in Chinese cities. I am the founder of Social Impact Stories, a consulting firm that assists social enterprises to capture, understand, learn from and communicate their social impact stories. If you run a fashion social enterprise, I’d love to hear from you so please get in touch.

I am a committed feminist, and I am particularly interested in empowering working mothers in their leadership journey, whilst still be engaged and around for their children. If you are a mama who wants a meaningful career and to still spend time with your children as they grow up, you will enjoy my online community Lead Mama Lead. I am a devoted yogi, and take inspiration from my practice to live a sustainable, mindful and passionate life. I am a family mental health carer and advocate. I have big dreams of making a difference to the field of mental health, particularly for family carers, but I haven’t quite found the courage or the strength to act on this one yet. Last but certainly not least, I am a wife and mother. I am committed to building a better world for my children whilst being engaged and present in their lives.

I am passionate about telling stories, and the opportunity to contribute to positive social and environmental change through communication and social connection. I am so pleased to connect with you on my blog. I hope that you feel that you can connect with me to share your interest in sustainable fashion, and your achievements and challenges in living more sustainably through your wardrobe. I look forward to hearing from you, through your comments on the blog or Facebook page, interactions on Instagram or Twitter or your emails. Welcome, once again, to tortoise & lady grey.


Some of the product links that feature throughout the blog are affiliate links. If you click these links and choose to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission from the sale (the price you pay is the same). The inclusion of affiliate links helps to support my blogging activities. However I only share products that I strongly believe fit with my ethics and the ethos of the blog. All the products that are featured on the blog must meet the highest standards of ethical and sustainability considerations. I will never feature a product that doesn’t live up to these standards. If you would like to know more about this, please contact me at summer(at)tortoiseandladygrey(dot)com