Smear Fear... #SilentNoMore

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I was recently made aware that cervical screenings in the UK are at their lowest levels in two decades, especially across London, with one in three British women not attending their screening tests because they find them embarrassing. I was therefore, in total awe of my friend, and Lady Garden Foundation co-founder, Chloe Delevingne, for having her own cervical smear test on live television earlier this year, in a bid to combat the stigma around getting checked.

As cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under thirty-five, its worth remembering that although smear tests are always pretty damn uncomfortable, they also last less than five minutes, are required only once every three years, and also save around 4,500 lives each year through early detection... Now that’s worth talking openly about! If you’ve been putting yours off, practice some ultimate self-care and book one in tomorrow morning… 💗 #SilentNoMore

I’m wearing my Tabitha Webb x Lady Garden Foundation silk blouse which helped raise vital funds towards the Royal Marsden’s ground-breaking research into gynaecological cancers... Available upon request.

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Uzma Bozai's Africa Collection (Donating 10% to For Rangers)

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I’m always one for mixing a casual tee with something smarter, and the minute it gets chillier the tee is replaced with a sweatshirt. Never out of style, and always comfortable (not something regularly associated with fashion, let’s be honest!) the sweatshirt is a great way to dress down and bring a little casual-cool to your favourite pair of velvet or leather trousers, or maxi and pencil skirts.  I was therefore, thrilled to discover Uzma Bozai’s namesake brand, my now go-to for colourful, bold and intricately embellished sweatshirts. 

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This season, Uzma Bozai have released a collection of sweatshirts inspired by Kenya’s beautiful Masai Mara, featuring hand-beaded tribal art, wild animals and statement slogans derived from African proverbs.  Not only is the Africa Collection ultra wearable and all things hella cool cat, but after learning about For Rangers and their incredible work through following me on Instagram, Uzma Bozai will be donating 10% from each Africa sweatshirt to the cause until Christmas. 

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I have supported For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk, all year with Auree Jewellery by donating to them the profits of our Tembo Bracelet collaboration

The project was started by friends of mine back in Kenya, a dedicated group of individuals, with no overheads or running costs, who raise money for the welfare of rangers on the frontline of this battle to save elephants by undertaking insane feats to help raise money to support them.  Over the last two years, the group have completed, amongst many others, the 'Marathon de Sables' across the Sahara Desert, the ‘Beyond The Ultimate’ Jungle Run in Peru, and last week, the ‘Desert Ultra’ across 250km of Namibia. Legends, or what?! 

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Please consider buying a sweatshirt or bracelet this Christmas, and supporting For Rangers and the brave heroes on the front line of the battle to save Africa's endangered wildlife.

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Read my interview with Uzma Bozai HERE

Photography: Frances Davison

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

The Watamu Turtle Pouch

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This week I launched my second ‘Buy To Give’ collaboration, the limited-edition ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch,' (£25.00) with the wonderful British home wear designer Elizabeth Scarlett.

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I am proud to say that 100% of the profit from our limited edition, intricately embroidered cotton pouches goes straight to Local Ocean Conservation, a non profit organisation based in my home village of Watamu, on the beautiful Kenyan coast.

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Local Ocean Conservation are committed to the preservation of Watamu’s spectacular Marine Park and Reserve. With a focus on protecting critically endangered turtles, they use practical conservation, community involvement and development, education, research and campaigning to promote the sustainable use of Kenya's marine resources.

I have grown up in awe of the work that this project achieves, and have been lucky enough to help with many of Local Ocean's turtle releases, and I can tell you first hand, nothing brings more joy than watching these beautiful beings healthily return back into the wild.

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Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered, slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells.  They also suffer from habitat destruction, plastic pollution, accidental capture in fishing nets, and having their nesting sites seriously affected by climate change (which is actually a real thing, Donald…!)

Being an avid fan of Elizabeth Scarlett, and sharing such mutual passions with the beautiful Lizzie herself (primarily, conservation and sustainability - oh, and a seeeeerious love of pineapples), I’m thrilled to be working together with her to raise some vital awareness and funds for Local Ocean Conservation.

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Please Buy To Give this Christmas…  #TLCxES

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The 'Watamu Turtle Pouch' can be purchased online at Elizabeth Scarlett.

All proceeds will go direct to Local Ocean Conservation.

Photographs of Elizabeth and TLC:  Ella Sadika

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A Boots Story with TOMS

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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of TOMS, a really unique brand that has inspired much of my own ‘fashion for good’ conservation work over the years. With giving at its core, TOMS fantastically matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of shoes for someone in need.  To date, this brilliant ‘One for One’ mission has seen over 75 million new pairs of shoes given to those in need around the world, with over 1/3rd of those shoes being produced in the regions where they are distributed, including back in Kenya.

This season, TOMS has introduced a selection of boots, ones that not only look great (with, as I found out, EVERYTHING you pair them with), but like all other TOMS products, they also give back; It’s a win, win!

TOMS asked me to style up some of their Ella and Alpine Boots in celebration of their launch, and I found that not only were both pairs extremely comfortable and versatile, but also really stylish, which is of course, just as important…

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The Ella Booties...

Instead of going dark, like the rest of my usual winter boots, I chose to wear the Ella Booties in Desert Taupe Suede Metallic (RRP. £89.00). A favourite of Queen Victoria, the timeless Chelsea Boot style, characterised by it’s high-top, slip-on design, and inherent simplicity, are the easiest of silhouettes to wear. The light colour of these boots makes them really inter-seasonal, and the inclusion of the metallic, makes the feel both modern and fresh. These boots conveniently work with every outfit I throw together and look set to be pretty hardworking additions to my wardrobe!

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Not all heroes wear capes. But some do. In their TOMS. I’m never usually too far from some leopard print, and in this case Britney and Justin, I will take your Double Denim and I will RAISE YA! Yup, I went Double Leopard, all black everything else, with my Ella Booties balancing the outfit. Gloves, socks and a beanie will be merry additions as it gets colder.

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I love winter whites on a bright, cold day, and the combination of my Liz Hurley’s (a.k.a. my white jeans) and sandy Ella Boots, mixed with some textured tweed and a darker polo neck led to one of my favourite looks of the day which I will certainly be replicating.

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I mean, just when you thought I couldn’t possibly throw any more leopard your way… A statement coat like this can always do the talking, so I just had to rely on my neutral Ella’s to do all the walking.  And in case you were wondering, no, that teeny bag doesn’t fit a thing… But that’s not really the point now, is it?! #Fashion.

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The Alpine Boots...

I also chose a pair of Toffee Suede Alpine Boots (RRP. £84.99) which literally put the fun into functional. The boots are everything you crucially need for a bitter winter, without having to sacrifice your style in exchange for keeping warm. Despite being water resistant, and promising to keep those tootsies snug-as-a-bug, the bold pattern they feature is sprightly.  These will be exactly what I need to keep myself distractedly cheerful, whilst tackling the impending street slush in the next few, darker months!

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Having the sweetest tooth known to man, the whole toffee’ness of this outfit appeals hugely. Not only do the Alpine Boots stop my jacket from feeling too Frank Butcher, I love how my (*epic) bag highlights their coloured details.  This look is definitely one I’ll be enjoying during The Big Chill.

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All the layers of this outfit, along with the wool of the Alpine Boots poking out, immediately makes me feel cosy and peaceful. I just need to accessorise with a hot chocolate (or mulled wine… what time is it?!) pronto.  

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And there it is. The beanie. The beanie which will be attached to my head for the foreseeable future (I’ve even been known to sleep in them… Don’t judge me, I’m from Africa and I’ve never grown used to these winters!)  A coat that could double as a dressing gown, and the feet cuddles the Alpine Boots are giving me, makes the whole getting out of bed in the morning and leaving the house whilst its still pitch dark thing, a whole lot easier.

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I loved styling up my new TOMS boots, but best of all, I love knowing that by wearing them, someone else less fortunate than me in the world is also now walking around in a pair of shoes that they so desperately needed. It is that thought really does put a spring in my step.

Click to see about TOM's Boot's Story...

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In collaboration with TOMS.

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Nails: Sophie Gass

#OneForOne