Clothing & Gifts That Help To Make The World A Better Place
March 16, 2017



Since 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discharged and some of that material might persist for centuries or much longer. So, have you ever thought about doing something to reduce your plastic footprint on the environment?

Some of the consequences of plastic waste are that it:

  • contributes to the climate change problems with the increase of carbon emissions and carbon sink
  • results in microplastics in the marine food chain, harming marine life and affecting food supplies 

Here are some tips to help you reduce your plastic footprint

1. Bring your own reusable bags wherever you go

Most plastic bags are not recycled and end up in landfill where they take hundreds of years to break down. There are now all kinds of reusable bags out there. Choose what works for you and carry it with you in your pocket, coat, purse or car.

If like me you forget to carry a resuable bag, why not to invest in a practical everyday bag that you can put extra items into when necessary. This waxed cotton backpack is available here. 

2.  Avoid bottled water and bring your own reusable water bottle or mug when you go out

Plastic bottled water has got lots of disadvantages, including:

  • usually it is filtered tap water
  • it is expensive
  • the plastic used normally is type PET #1 which contains the toxic metal antimony. If it is used once, it might be harmless, but once you re-use, these toxins will break down faster and leach more plastic residue.

Get yourself a reusable stainless steel bottle or a glass bottle.

Find reusable plastic bottles here

3.Use non-plastic containers for food – lunches, leftovers, freezing, storage

When plastic food containers are exposed to extreme temperatures, it causes them to break down faster and leach chemicals more readily. 

Use alternatives such as glass containers, stainless steel, china. You have a lot of options to get rid off the plastic from your kitchen shelves and fridge.

We will be stocking non-plastic containers from April at Sancho's :). Send us an email to if you'd like us to contact you when they are here :)


4. Shop at your local farmers market

A great way to shop for fresh and locally produced food. What's more, you are not only helping the local community of farmers, but are also eating healthier options choosing seasonal fruits and veggies, avoiding packaging and getting to know who is producing your food.

We highly recommend Shillingford always has a stall at the farmers market and are keen for you to use reusable packaging. 


 5. Request plastic-free gifts for yourself

So if you are reading this, it's likely you are already looking out for ways to cut back. You can help increase awareness by asking your family and friends for plastic-free gifts on your birthday or a special occasion, this will help everyone around you to be more conscious of what they are buying. It is also a nice challenge a family to take on together!

Here is an example of “plastic-free” gift that you can find at our store or website:

Bamboo Plastic Free Tooth Brush

Great gift, a touch of simplicity and elegance.

6. Look for plastic-free shoes. Ones that are made from natural rubber rather than plastic, or jute soles and reclaimed leather.


100% natural rubber is completely biodegradable. So if you wear out your 100% natural rubber flip-flops, that means you can bury them and the earth will take care of it without any damages to land.  You can also find jute sole shoes with reclaimed leather. Reclaiming leather and saving offcuts from landfill, creates new items without contributing to environmental pollution.

Check out our new plastic free shoe range here

7. Choose Plastic Free Clothing

Choose natural fibres, look for organic cotton, hemp, cruelty free wool, bamboo. Avoid conventional cotton because of fertilisers and pesticides used to grow it.

Synthetic high performance fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic or spandex - everything from running shorts to yoga pants to fleece jackets and more, are known to shed a lot of micro plastic fibres, making them a major pollutant as compared to cotton fabrics. Washing machines play an integral step in the path to pollution. Everytime we use it, millions of pieces of tiny fibres flow into the ocean. Our clothing is breaking up, sending this plastic microfibre out with the drain water.

Organic cotton, hand spun fabrics and high quality clothing last longer and shed natural fibres, reducing your personal impact on the planet.

Check out a variety of 100% organic cotton, tencel (also known as Lyocell), hemp fabric clothing, bamboo socks and fair trade wool garments at



March 16, 2017


What's the difference between non-organic and organic cotton?

Now organic cotton is taking the ethical fashion industry by storm, encouraging a new following of careful shoppers seeking high-quality clothing that meets a modern standard of ethics.

 At Sancho’s Dress we are delighted that organic cotton is getting the attention it deserves. To clarify and help you to understand why we are so keen on Organic, we made this nifty table!



Conventional Cotton

Organic Cotton


• Uses seeds that are treated with fungicide or insecticides

•  Uses GMO seeds for the majority of cotton


• Uses untreated seeds

• GMO seeds not allowed


•  Applies synthetic fertilisers

• Mono-cropping culture, responsible for the loss of soil

•  Depends on irrigation

• Crop rotation, intercropping and compost, that results in building organic soil

•  Retains water more efficiently due to organic matter in soil

• Applies herbicide to soil to inhibit weed germination

• Sprays herbicide to kill the weeds that do grow

• Controls seeds through cultivation and physical removal


• Uses insecticide to control pests

• The 9 most common are highly toxic, 5 are probable carcinogens

• Crop dusting may cause harm to surrounding eco-systems and communities

• Maintains balance between pests and their natural predators through healthier soil

• Uses beneficial insects, biological and cultural practices to control pests


•  May defoliate with chemicals

• Defoliates through natural seasonal freezing

• May stimulate defoliation through water management


• Treated with harsh chemicals, like chlorine bleach, can wear down fibers making it less durable

• Sensitive skin may have irritation caused by the nasty chemicals used during the process

• Less processed and not treated with chemicals, making it more durable

• Fibers are softer

• Organic cotton is free of allergens



There are many justifications why organic cotton should become the main label of your wardrobe. And to celebrate spring, we have a vast new collection and new brands for you to choose, try and see the difference.


So get exploring today. 

February 13, 2017


Love, be loved and be ethical

There is a debate about Valentine's Day: is it a simply day to exploit consumer culture? Or a day of joy to buy into the idea of gifting  a significant other with love?

The history of Valentine's Day goes back to the  Ancient Romans, but It was not until the 14th century that this feast day became definitively associated with love. Over the centuries, the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England.

Whatever you feel about it, we believe that the idea of a day dedicated to love is a great ideaSo why not celebrate an “ethical valentine’s day”? Fair-trade gifts for him and her, because everyone loves getting presents, and when you give Fair Trade gifts you help create a better world. 

Being sustainable, ethical and a fair-trade shopper you are showing love not just to your significant other, but to an enormous community and to the planet your are living in. 

The meaning of ethical shopping goes beyond doing no harm, representing an approach which strives to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, minimising and counteracting environmental concerns.



November 20, 2016


Sancho's Organic Outfit of the Week

We are very excited to share some interesting additions to the Sancho's collection this week, particularly chosen for you to browse for yourself and as options for great gift options!


The Statement Jewellery

Let's start with some absolutely gorgeous pieces from Quazi Design. Their jewellery is handmade and created from recycled material. Check out the ring made of recycled magazines - it's literally a fashion statement ring! Or the lovely earrings made from recycled paper and dipped in gold.


The Granite Marble Scarf for Sustainability

Next up we have some lovely new scarves finally arriving in our shop. After a photoshoot with Briony last week, you can now browse the new scarves online or visit our shop to find your favourite. Remember, they are handmade in Ethiopia for a fair wage! They are incredible comfy and a great personal gift to yourself or someone you love.

The Winter White Mohair Jumper

Why not match that lovely scarf with our new Mohair Jumper from Bibico (a brand who are working with fair trade certified producers)? It's super soft and looks lovely on, great for keeping you warm this winter.

Bobbie's Recycled Tyres Backpack

Next up is a favourite - the backpack! It's a trend that has been around in 2016 but will grow as we go in to the new year. And we love it; its practical, and looks great. This backpack also does great for the environment - being made from recycled inner tyres! This is genuinely a one-of-a-kind gift.

The Multi Purpose Black Jersey Trousers

We would match the above with our black jersey trousers, from People Tree. With a drawstring waist they are super comfy but look incredibly formal on - a perfect multi-use garment for your wardrobe.

The  Adventurers Travel Bag

Finally, for whatever adventures you are up to this week, take a look at the Stylish Adventurers Travel Bag from Nikki Strange. Perfect to keep your essentials in order, and its compact size fits in a bigger bag but also looks good on its own. You could also use it as your next tablet cover!

We pick every piece in our store with care, to ensure everything is created in fair conditions for makers and with a method that is sustainable for our planet. All to make it easier for you to not only look good, but do good too! 

November 01, 2016


A Walk To the Quay: Things To Do In Autumn in Exeter

As the weather gets colder and Devon looks pretty in orange and burgundy red, it is time to go outside for a frisk walk – and to investigate what wardrobe pieces to bring home to keep you warm this season.

We have put together a look book of items from our shop, just something to use as inspiration, together with a couple of activities you and your partner can enjoy during a weekend in Exeter.

For Walking to the Waterfront

You may think the Quay is only for summer nights, but it is excellent for a hot cup of something whilst strolling the waterside. The best way to get there is by walking down Exeter High Street, continuing down Forestreet to the small independent shops (have a look to see what you may find in all the vintage and gift shops - it is great for an unpredictable day out). Then, simply turn left and you will be at the Quay in less than 5 minutes.

For a comfortable walk, match your jumper with a warming scarf and folded jeans. And let that scarf light your outfit up with a striking colour!


Her: Banana Cream Top, Monkee Genes Jeans, Red Amaru Sustainable Scarf; Him: Light Navy Sweatshirt

Her: Navy Devon Pullover, Monkee Genes Jeans, Terracotta Butu Sustainable Scarf; Him: Light Navy Sweatshirt

For Taking Some Unforgettable Photos

Another activity we recommend is capturing the incredible autumn feel on camera. All Exeter parks are exploding with colour, and the light is fantastic this time of year, giving you pictures to frame and keep as loving memories. Remember to have fun – those leaves are there to play with, and once a year only!



Cream Knitted Dress, Vegan Clutch, Colour Block Wool Scarf

Let all those autumn colours do the job, dress for a walk in the park in something neutral and sustainable. A cream jumper with a leather bag will never go out of style. Matching with a scarf is perfect for the current weather.  

For men, a fool-proof outfit combination for this season is jumpers over shirts, matched with a thick scarf and smart trousers or shoes. Use this style for work or a weekend out - it works with everything.

Light Heather Grey Sweatshirt, Thick Grey Scarf (available in store)


Are you looking for a new go-to piece to use for months to come? Or perhaps you are looking for something for your partner, a spontaneous gift or something to package up for Christmas? Have a look in our online shop or on 126 Forestreet in Exeter; we have plenty of sustainable garments and appreciated gifts with a story!

October 27, 2016


Jewellery: Why Do We Wear It?

We’ve been decorating ourselves through the ages. Animal teeth, bones, feathers, shells and reeds adorned the bodies of our ancestors, all the way to the royal and aristocratic jewels kept in museums today. We might expect that jewellery is used differently now, but even those gold-coloured studs on our pre-scuffed boots nod to a richer history.


Why do we decorate ourselves? In the 40’s, American psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ – a pyramid with a base of physiological factors followed by safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation at its very tip.

If we look at jewellery through Maslow’s lens, then the wearing of it would fall into our higher needs. For example, for ‘love and belonging’, jewellery may have been used to attract mates by way of showing wealth, or through wooing by giving gifts (Valentine’s day, we see you). It may also have been used – as it still is – to show affiliation with a certain group. Modern-day equivalents might be signets, engagement rings, or even those ‘best friend’ necklaces most of us have lying around somewhere.

Hierarchy of Needs - Sancho's Dress

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (

The ‘esteem’ category might reflect the fact that in the past, the richer you were, the more decorated you were, like the paintings of many monarchs show – but how about ‘self-actualisation’? Clearly, jewellery is still a form of self-expression. Whether it be a delicate chain or a choker, the things we choose to wear send a little message to those passing us by, and perhaps to ourselves, too.

Also a different story is society’s attitude towards men wearing jewellery. For the past 200-or-so years, jewellery has been a traditionally female domain. Now, more and more men are escaping the bounds of cufflinks and watches to dabble in bracelets, necklaces and other previously-thought ‘feminine’ things. Skull rings at £3,000 a pop (yes, really) have given designer Theo Fennell quite a name among some circles, while on a more imaginable level, chain-stores are now home to beaded bracelets, comfortably sitting in the men’s section.


Why the change? World-views are shifting, strict gender roles are melting and individualism is more celebrated (or more tolerated, at least). With these values, perhaps it’s a given that more people – Mr. T’s gold chains aside – feel they’re able to play around and give self-actualisation through decoration a go.

As Amy Cuddy explains in her fascinating TED talk, the way we pose affects not just the way others see us, but the way we see ourselves. To quote her, "our bodies can change our minds, and our minds can change our behaviour, and our behaviour can change our outcomes."

But how about the jewellery we decide to adorn ourselves with? How can the pieces we wear change the way we see ourselves, the way we feel? Personally, I have a necklace that a good friend gave me, and when I wear it, I love to peak at my reflection or feel the stone against my skin, reminding me of the warm intentions behind it. Wearing certain rings on my fingers makes me feel empowered, as I once decided that wearing them would do so. 


Dressing with purpose and wearing jewellery that echoes that can make us feel the type of confidence that comes from feeling truly yourself. This is a sentiment we hold dear at Sancho's Dress, each owning small pieces of jewellery which help us understand and actualize our best selves.  

Why do you wear jewellery? Do you have a piece that means something to you? Let us know below! xo - Sancho. 

October 19, 2016


3 Must Have Looks for Ethical Fashion This Autumn

Do you ever feel like if there is a trade-off between dressing fashionably and caring for sustainability?

This week we’ve had a look at the industry leaders in fashion to suss out how you can be in style for the winter and autumn season, whilst also staying true to yourself as well as your community. Here are the three timeless yet seasonal styles you can achieve with help from our ethical brands.

The Everyday Lux

The likes of Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire favour the everyday lux style this season. To achieve it, simply use heritage patterns such as tweed, stripes and checks to master this feminine goes masculine look. Style with grey plaid jacket or long coat for the ultimate match. 

The Daydream

There is an autumn romance in the air, and you can quickly spot dramatic patterns and layers coming in to stores in Devon. With Marie Claire, the Fashioners, Elle and Cosmopolitan all agreeing on their love for romance and sweethearts, the best way of achieving this look is to make the most out of the return of the turtleneck, or layering simple tops with this seasons must-have; the cape.

The Free Spirit

Just because we are starting to layer against the cold doesn’t mean we can’t let our inner spirit shine through every garment. Mixing and matching key trends such as midi-skirts, metal details and versatile denim, dress for country-walk freedom this autumn. And there is no reason to not use a good wind jacket, as matching your look with the odd piece of sportswear is pointed out by both Elle and Marie Claire to be the hit of this season.


October 12, 2016


3 Ways in Which Donald Trump Would Be A Step Back For Ethical Fashion

 The 11th of October is the International Day of the Girl: a day in which we are compelled to take a step back and appraise both the high strides we have made as a global society in achieving gender equality and the long road that lies ahead. As global leaders small and big across our blue planet will take their role in addressing the future of girls worldwide, this week at Sancho’s we are making the case for why electing Donald Trump would be a step back for Ethical Fashion, and what the consequences of this will be for girls in countries which rely on textiles industry.







                                                                                                                                            Donald Trump is Sexist

Women worldwide have watched uncomfortably as Donald Trump has used the US election process to underhand and insult female reporters, colleagues and rivals.However, his degrading sleuth of words and actions, begun long before his campaign to run for office. This is a reality to which the world became savvy this week with the release of a stomach turning video in which he speaks to an Access Hollywood reporter about his techniques to force himself onto women against their will. During the presidential debate this Sunday night his words were merely described as ‘locker room talk’, normalising sexual violence and deeming it acceptable.


(Washington Post/ Access Hollywood)

Women and girls make up around 80% of the 75 million people working in the textile industry. Women garments workers are paid less than men, work longer hours and receive little or no social benefits. For us to combat the discrimination that the women who make our clothes face, we need leaders who are enlightened enough to have equal respect to their own electorate.

Donald Trump has an unjustified protectionist world view

The basis of Trump's campaign, similar to most far right wing campaigns in Europe in the last decade is that the average person should fear immigrants on the grounds that they are loosing jobs to them. Trump argues that America is failing to provide good work for its citizens by increasing the competition for work from neighbouring Mexico.

This is a fundamentally flawed position, as immigration has been shown to have an irrelevant effect on job availability. Immigrants take jobs that they are either more competitive in, or jobs that others would not do. To solve the problem that some workers face, two things would need to happen: 1) citizens should have access to training which will make them competitive and 2) employers should be made to stick with employment law and not target vulnerable immigrants with low payed work. 

The alternative that Donald Trump is advocating for will be to have less immigrants, and higher wages, a strategy that will lead to higher prices and  that will potentially cause an increase in real price (the actual cost of goods relative to wages).

Free and Fair trade is the crucial ingredient to a fair and equitable world. Instead of scapegoating vulnerable members of the community, our leaders need to assertively demand that companies take no advantage of anyone and pair fair wages both domestically and internationally.  

Donald Trump chases rock bottom prices when ordering his Merchandise

"Fast fashion" is a term that refers to the clothing industry  seeking increasingly lower prices, cutting costs and frequently wages to provide the lowest price point possible. Although most competition is healthy and a positive thing for economies, the race to the bottom is negative for all involved. The people who carry the most weight for the race to the bottom are those working in the textile industry in developing countries, some of which have paid for it with their life.

Trump or Trump associates have produced garments during his election campaign without being able to identify their sourcing, relying on areas likely to rely on low wage economies. Just like his actions toward women reveal that he is not capable of being a true advocate of women’s needs, his actions toward clothing also reveal that he will not sympathise with the ethical fashion movement.



September 27, 2016


Sustainable Fabrics

Sancho's Dress is mindful of the effect the production of different fabrics has on the environment. Here is a list of some of the fabrics you'll find in our store and why we have chosen them.

Organic and Ethical Clothes at Sancho's Dress in Exeter

 Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is grown in subtropical countries from non genetically modified plants and without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilisers or pesticides.

“Buying organic cotton is a simple way that we can contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change, as amongst other things, organic cotton is proven to save and protect water resources and reduce carbon emissions.”

-Peter Melchett, Policy Director, Soil Association


Modal is a viscose fiber refined under modified viscose production and spinning conditions. It stands apart for its softness and is the preferred fiber for highquality t-shirts and similar products. 

Modal is currently called the new "wonder" fabric. It is a processed, bio-based textile made from the reconstituted cellulose of beech trees. This fabric combines the benefits of natural fibers and the fantastically soft feel. Soft and smooth, with a texture similar to that of cotton or silk.

The modal sourced for Sancho's Dress tops, produced by Lenzing Modal is completely carbon neutral. 


Tencel is a sustainable  fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It is similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. However, Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics, for several reasons. Tencel fibers are grown sustainably.

"Unlike rayon and bamboo, Tencel’s supply chain is transparent. It is obtained from eucalyptus trees that are grown on farms—no old growth forests, genetic manipulation, irrigation, or pesticides are used. These forests and the pulp produced for Tencel have earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification meaning that the products come from socially and environmentally responsible forests. The European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed Tencel's farming practices as sustainable. Tencel eliminates the negative environmental impacts of traditional fiber processing, using new sustainable technologies."


"In addition, the cellulose or ground pulp used for Tencel is treated in what is known as a closed loop process in which these solvents are recycled with a recovery rate of 99.5%. The tiny amount of remaining emissions is decomposed in biological purification plants. Because of the nature of the material, the processing never requires bleach. This overall method of manufacturing fabric was awarded the “European Award for the Environment” by the European Union."

Recycled Polyester

Recycled polyester uses PET as the raw material. This is the same material that is used in clear plastic water bottles. Recycling it to create this fabric prevents it from going to landfill. Recycled polyester takes on properties of water resistant materials and so is suitable in making rain resistant clothing. 

Upcycled Fabric

Upcycling is described by some as reusing a material without degrading the quality and composition of the material for its next use. Upcycling strong fabrics such as leather for shoes prevents them from going into landfill. In addition to this it reduces the demand on limited resources by tightening the loop of production.

Why Do We Use These Fabrics?

We are motivated to provide environmentally and socially sound clothing to protect our environment from undue damage and also enable disadvantaged people from around the world to seek better futures. 


Size Guide

Women’s Size Guide*


US Size


































*please also refer to fit type of the garment in product description.

 Men's Size Guide*






























** Please also refer to style and fit