Norwich woman wants to be a green style queen

Reader Jill Roberson wants more than a new look – she wants a makeover with an eco twist. EMMA HARROWING shows her how she can get a new look as ethically as possible.

Jill Roberson is co-owner of ethical homeware and furniture shop The Living Rooms in Framingham Earl and she tries to live her life by being as eco-friendly as possible. So when it comes to a new look, Jill is keen to make as little impact on the environment as possible.

'It's not that every aspect of my life is 'green' as that would mean that I would never leave the confines of my tent,' laughs Jill. 'However, I do try to buy and use products that are as ethically sourced as possible.'

Eco-friendly products can be those made from organic or recycled ingredients or materials, made locally, or made in Fair Trade conditions.

'At The Living Rooms we go as far as humanly possible to ensure that all of our products are ethically produced,' says Jill. 'Sometimes this can be difficult and you can sometimes only go by what a Fair Trade organisation says. We have discovered that if you ask the church in any community overseas they will know if working conditions and the product is as a company says it is.'

In Norwich, there are many fashion and beauty businesses that aim to be as eco-friendly as possible, so we took Jill to some of them to help her get a new look.

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Ethika in Pottergate in the heart of Norwich Lanes is a stylish hub of clothes and accessories that have been made by local designers. They are made from eco fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo and hemp, or have been made using recycled materials.

Many people still think that clothes that are made from eco materials or made by local designers are frumpy and unfashionable. So with the help of shop owner Roberta, I aim to give Jill a stylish, eco-friendly look.

With the changeable British weather a stylish layered look is perfect for a smart summer look. It is also a look that suits Jill's tall frame as layers can be used to shorten her long legs to bring her body shape into proportion.

Starting with a navy and white stripe nautical style tunic made from organic cotton, we clashed the wide stripes with a thin striped pair of wide leg trousers made from hemp for a modern style. The look was layered with a tailored navy jacket made from bamboo. A red print scarf made by Diss designer Annette Rolston, a ring made from a 1950s red glass button by Norwich designer Sue Massey and a red bag and bracelet made out of recycled tyre inner tubes from Intutiv Design added a pop of colour. The look was finished with a summer raffia hat with red scarf made by Wymondam designer Raffique Hats.


Over the past few years a few hair salons in Norwich have embraced the new wave of organic hair colours and products that are now available.

Lauren Reeves hair salon in Fye Bridge Street has been using a new range of organic colours for the past few months.

'It is difficult to find products that are truly organic,' says owner Lauren. 'Sometimes products say they are organic but many still use other non-organic ingredients. I believe we have found a product that is as close to being organic as a hair colour can be.

'As organic colours are pure they do not cover grey as well as non-organic products, however, they do give hair a nice shine.'

For the cut, Lauren shortened the back of Jill's hair and added texture to the top by cutting in choppy layers. An asymmetric fringe updated Jill's look.

For the colour, colourist Amy used a rich brown organic colour with auburn tones to give Jill's new style shine.


To complete Jill's new look, Charlie, store manager at The Body Shop on Castle Street, treated her to one of their free makeovers in store.

'The Body Shop has come under fire since founder Anita Roddick sold the company to international brand L'Oreal,' says Charlie. 'However, The Body Shop has retained its ethical principles by maintaining its own identity under the umbrella of the international brand.'

Some of the make-up in store is made from Community Fair Trade Marula Oil sourced from the Namibia and pressed by the Eudafano Women's Co-operative. None of the products in store have been tested on animals.

Get Jill's look

For your base

After cleansing and moisturising the skin, use concealer under the eyes to cover any dark circles, then apply a liquid foundation in a colour that matches your skin tone over your face. Set your base with a dusting of loose powder.

For your eyes

To create Jill's daytime smoky eye, apply a cream coloured eye shadow over your eyelid up to the eye socket, then layer with a medium brown eye shadow. Next, apply a dark brown eye shadow on the outer corners of your eye lids and blend. Finish the eyes with a coat of volume mascara in black.

Frame your face by filling in your eyebrows with a soft brown eyebrow powder.

For your cheeks

Add colour to your cheeks using a peach colour blush. 'Application depends on your face shape,' says Charlie. 'But the general rule is to apply blusher to your cheeks and blend up and out along your cheekbone to your hair line. I always take the blusher up around the side of the face to create a natural blush.'


To create Jill's colour pop lip, use a red lip liner to define your lips and prevent the colour from bleeding. Then fill in your lips with a red lipstick, using a lip brush to get an even finish. Blot your lips to take away any excess colour.

The verdict

Jill says: 'Thank you so much for my makeover. I really enjoyed myself, not only being pampered, but dealing with other businesses that put 'ethical' issues at the heart of what they do – not something I am often able to say.'