Ethical Fashion – My Holiday Packing List

236 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
I got back from holiday less than a week ago but after a couple of days back at work it feels like forever ago! This year I thought that I would share with you my favourite sustainable and ethical fashion pieces for taking on holiday with me. In the true spirit of sustainability, I try not to buy new things each year for holiday, after all it is only 2 weeks and I have lots of clothes. I would rather spend my money on a lovely meal at our favourite Italian restaurant where we can watch the sunsetting and the waves crashing over the rocks. I did however treat myself to a dress from Oxfam Fashion by Monsoon, just because I couldn’t resist it and I knew it would be comfy and cool for the lovely hot weather in Tenerife and a pair of flip flops because my old ones had worn out. In the picture above are a few of my summer holiday staples.

Fairtrade cotton vest tops – Marks and Spencers
Marks and Spencers have a small selection of Fairtrade cotton vest tops but they are really versatile and cool for hols. Marks and Spencers are also doing quite well in terms of ethics and sustainability as reported by Ethical Consumer.

Necklaces – Made
Made are an ethical jewellery company creating beautiful jewellery in their workshops in Kenya with a view to harnessing the talent and skills of local artisans, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training.

Cut off Jeans
Not overly inventive, but a great way to extend the life of a piece of clothing. When my jeans started to wear out, instead of throwing them away, I made them into shorts.

Friendship Bracelets
I love wearing friendship bracelets. I got these ones from a website for recycling jewellery.

Hat – Pachacuti
I love Pachacuti hats, not only do they look great and keep the sun off my face but are also helping to preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes by combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

Sunglasses – Colin Lesley Eyewear
These sunglasses are made from a combination of sustainable bamboo and recycled acetate and plastic.

Gandys FlipFlops
I wrote about the story behind the brand for Gandy Flip Flops in my last post.

Sarong
I bought this sarong nearly 20 years ago when I went on a conservation diving expedition to Belize. To me a piece of clothing that last 20 years is pretty sustainable. I love that it also  reminds me of the amazing time I had spending 2 months on a desert island in Belize.

Along with these staples, I also took some of my favourite ethical dresses most of which have been regularly featured on this blog.

096a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Monsoon

102a1 Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Dress – Oxfam Fashion

192a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List
Earth Kind Originals

215a Ethical Fashion   My Holiday Packing List

Dress – Ruby Rocks

What do you usually pack for hols? which are your holiday staples that you take with you year after year?

With warmest wishes

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Gregory Freia Backpack Review

gregory freia 30 backpack for women in ink blackp5477f 011500.3 1 Gregory Freia Backpack Review

In my last post, I blogged about my adventures at Trekfest, (32 miles across the Brecon Beacons in just under 13 hours) ,but I also wanted to post about the kit that I needed to get, which turned out it be a whole mini challenge in itself.

The kitlist for Trekfest was fairly extensive but luckily I managed to borrow or make use of stuff that I already had. One of the things that I did have to buy was a 30 litre backpack to carry waterproofs, emergency supplies, drinks etc. I wanted to share with you a little review of the backpack that I chose. I did a fair amount of research trying to find just the right backpack as I wanted one with a waist and chest strap but also one that was ethically made and not to expensive.

The Ethical Consumer backpack guide was a really useful resource and I decided to go for the Gregory Freia Backpack, a brand which was ranked third highest in the guide for a combination of its resposibility towards animals, people, environment, politics and product sustainability. I managed to find one in the sale at Blacks reduced from £85 to £30.

It was in my opinion great value for money. It had a chest and waist strap and sat quite comfortably on my back for the duration of the 32 mile walk/climb. It also allowed the air to circulate around my back which was quite important on such a warm and muggy day. It had 2 pockets in the top with a handy clip for my car keys and 2 mesh pockets in the side for easily accessible drinks etc. Only after I got back from my trek did I realise that there is also a big pocket on the back of the backpack which would have been ideal for my map. For me the Gregroy Freia Backpack strikes just the right balance between having enough places for storage and not having too many which would have lead me to forgetting where I had put everything. It also had space for a hydration pack and places to clip walking poles.

Do you consider the ethics/ sustainability of everything you buy? how do you choose which brands to buy from?

With warmest wishes

Trekfest 2014 – The Brecon Beacons


004 Trekfest 2014   The Brecon Beacons

011 Trekfest 2014   The Brecon Beacons

013 Trekfest 2014   The Brecon Beacons

017 Trekfest 2014   The Brecon Beacons

020 Trekfest 2014   The Brecon BeaconsI have been a little lazy with the blog posts over the last few months, partly because I have been working on a few changes to my sites (hopefully soon to be revealed) but also because I have been in training for Trekfest. I took part in Trekfest last Saturday, a 32 mile (not 27 as I had originally thought) trek across and over the Brecon Beacons including a breathtaking (literally) climb up Pen Y Fan and some spectacular views. I managed to raise £360 for Naomi House Children’s Hospice.Unfortunately the other half of Team Kerri and my lovely friend and collegue Kerry was forced to retire with a painful knee injury at the half way point. I decided to continue alone although that fact that there were about 600 other Trekers taking part meant that I wan’t really alone at all!

It was good to meet so many people along the way and there was definitely a great sense of camaraderie and team spirit with everyone helping each other out. So disappointed that I couldn’t cross the finish line with Kerry but also pleased to have finished in just under 13 hours despite the difficulties and unexpected mileage. I arrived back covered head to toe in mud, definitely not my most glamorous of moments but I was so pleased to get across the finish line I couldn’t have cared less. It was an amazing experience and I am already making plans for another challenge next year. There are lots more pictures of the event here incase you were interested.

I am really looking forward to this weekend for lots of rest, spending time with family and catching up on some blog posts/ blog reading that I have been missing out on over the last few crazy weeks. I will also be writing a review of the backpack by an ethical brand that I bought for Trekfest. How will you be enjoying the sunshine this weekend?

With warmest wishes

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Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe

0061 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
018 Recycled Jewellery at OrnateMe
I love jewellery and can’t help but constantly refresh my collection to allow me to refresh and accessorise my outfits in lots of different ways. I try to buy upcycled, fair trade and sustainable jewellery, but it has always bothered me that buying too much costume or fashion jewellery is wasteful. It seems a real shame that such a lot of the lovely costume jewellery bought in the shops will probably end up in landfill. This is where OrnateMe a fab new website concieved by Paul Tully in response to his concern about the unsustainability of the current fashion industry and the throw away attitude driven by low cost products. He hopes that through the success of his business, he will help high street retailers to adopt more sustainable retailing models.

The idea behind OrnateMe is simple. It provides an easy way for customers to upcycle their old costume jewellery. You just need to put your old jewellery into a prepaid envelope and send it in. For each piece of jewellery that is resaleable, you recieve points which can be used towards a piece of jewellery that you would like to buy on the site. Pieces that are not resellable are upcycled.

The website also has a great selection of recycled jewellery to buy and of course I couldn’t help but have a little browse. I have been on the look out for friendship and boho bracelets to wear with casual clothes for the summer and when I spotted these two picture above, I couldn’t resist getting them. They arrived in an envelope which I can then reuse to send back any of my unwanted jewellery. I just need to make a little time to have a clear out of my jewellery collection and decide what I no longer wear.

What do you think of this idea? Do you have any jewellery to recycle and do you love the idea of getting credits to buy a piece of recycled jewellery?

With warmest wishes

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Natural Beauty Spot – Christmas Gift Guide

nb Natural Beauty Spot   Christmas Gift Guide

Today’s Christmas Gift Guide is all about natural beauty. I like to try and minimise the chemicals that I put into and onto my body but don’t like to compromise on less than lovely beauty products. Here are some of the natural beauty products that I have come across that I  thought would make luxurious Christmas gifts.

Blue Beards Revenge Shaving Kit –  Ethical Superstore

The ideal gift for that hairy man in your life, this Blue Beard’s Revenge shaving kit contains contemporary shaving products for the modern man including a paraben free shaving balm.

TSI-LA Organics Kesu Eau de Parfum – The Natural Store

This perfume is vegan and free from chemical nasties including synthetic compounds, preservatives and colourants.  It is 100% Flower and Plant Based and made from a blend of Plant Essences And Raw Organic Oils. It is described as an elegant fragrance with warm amber and precious rare woods are combined with seductive, smoky incense, a hint of Egyptian jasmine, davana, exotic spices, and fresh lime. It can be used by men or women and is in a handy roll on bottle which is perfect for popping in your handbag and reapplying throughout the day.

Snow Fairy Gift Box – Lush

Lush is always one of my favourite places to buy Christmas pressies. The amazing smell bursts out even before they get the chance to unwrap the present. I usually love to buy the Lush products with minimal packaging but for Christmas, this gift box is a lovely treat. Lush products are made from  fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.

M & J London Soya Candle – Ethical Superstore

This beautfully luxurious candle makes a perfect Christmas gift for a female friend or relative. The candles are made from finest soya wax and scented with essential oils and aroma compounds. I love the sound of Left Bank Martini which combines Elderflower, Lemongrass, Gooseberry and Juniper. Even the glass is recycled and the packaging sustainable.

Organic Skincare Gift Pack – Green People

This organic skincare gift pack is perfect for nourishing winter skin. It is packed with nutrients and vitamins for a revitalised and rejuvenated complexion. People Tree products are free of Parabens, Lanolin, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), artificial perfumes, petrochemicals, phthalates and colourants. Instead this gift set contains natural products like Evening Primrose, Avocado and Green Tea.

How are you doing with your Christmas shopping? What pressies are you getting for your family and friends this year?

With warmest wishes

 
PS Sorry I haven’t been posting much or visiting my favourite blogs much lately. Have been super busy but hope to get back to normal soon!

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Eco Living – Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

In the second of my Christmas gift guides, I share some more of my ideas for ethical and socially conscious christmas gifts.

normal anchor print wooden bow tie Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillersnormal wooden bow tie with arrow print Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking FillersSienna butterfly necklace Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

 

Not on the High Street has some lovely and unique jewellery which make great stocking fillers. I particularly love this handmade wooden jewellery by Ladybird Likes.

tea room hat Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

Tea Room Hat 

sailors socks Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

 Sailors Socks

millie scarf Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking FillersMilie Scarf

Seasalt Cornwall have up to 25% off stocking fillers at the moment. Above are just a few of my favourites from their site which includes organic cotton, bamboo and made in the UK pieces.

Rose and Champagne macaroons Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers
Not only do these rose and champagne macaroons taste lovely but they look lovely too making them a great stocking filler for both fashionista and foodie friends or family. The Macaroons are from Miss Macaroon on Run Native (a fab website with lots more great gift ideas). Miss Macaroon C.I.C. supports young Care leavers, offenders and ex-offenders, Not in Employment, Education or Training back into work through supported training programmes and voluntary work experience.

cloud light Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

This stylish tea light holder is made from recycled glass and is also from Run Native.

owl brooch 2 Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

silk scarf Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillersmini ceramic tea set Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

You may not have considered giving second hand as Christmas gifts but if you look carefully, you can find some pretty amazing stuff. One  of my favourite ways to charity shop is at the Oxfam online shop. It is really easy to search and amongst the goodies that I have found are this Owl brooch, Liberty print silk scarf and a mini ceramic tea set which would be perfect for children that like having tea parties.
reclaimbags 18 300x300 Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking FillersReclaim Bags make innovative bags using reclaimed materials including rubber inner tubes. Their bags really challenge peoples preconceptions about upcycled fashion. They would make a great stocking filler for anyone that likes unique fashion accessories.

silver bracelet Eco Living   Christmas Shopping Stocking Fillers

If you would like to give a lovely piece of jewellery to a family or friend, MAD (Make a Difference) have a great selection and 100% of the profit from the item that you buy will be donated to the charity of your choice. A large amount of the jewellery on the site is made from recycled metals although you wouldn’t guess it and the organisation is also committed to ethical sourcing.

If you are feeling in a festive mood you may also want to check out my recent post for style-is.co.uk, Christmas jumpers, they’re not just for Christmas.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Would you like any of these goodies in your Christmas stocking?

With warmest wishes

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Eco Living – Early Christmas Shopping!

As I am super busy at the moment I have decided to get started with my Christmas shopping nice and early. I prefer to plan a bit ahead as this gives me the opportunity to have a look around and find something really lovely (as well as ethical and sustainable) for my friends and family.

Here are some of my initial ideas, more to follow soon.

Children

jabari t shirt Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

habari Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!Johari have a great selection of bold and bright Africa inspired t shirts in their Johari Seedlings Collection, some like the one above are designed by children. They are handmade in 100% cotton and proceeds from the sale go to the Johari Foundation which helps vunerable children and young adults in Kenya with social enterprise and development programmes.

fair true fair trade knitted snowflake hat orange grey Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

I am also loving these handknitted bobble hats made by a Fair Trade group in Nepal, part of the WFTO Fair Trade Nepal Group, for Fair + True. They are available from Fashion Conscience which currently has a 10% discount with code AUTUMN10.

Mr S

black jamie fleece jacket cd2f3391fa6e Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!I think this Jamie fleece jacket by People Tree will be great for Mr S for those occasions when he wants to wear smart casual. It is made from Fair trade and organic cotton by a social enterprise in India.

Mum 

tide times poncho Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!I really love this Seasalt Cornwall Tide Times Poncho and I know my mum would too. As she has a birthday quite near Christmas, I could make it a joint pressy. It is made from supersoft lambswool.

Friends

candles Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!

These Soya candles by M & J London are a lovely treat for my friends. They are handmade in London using the finest soya wax, essential oils and aroma compounds to create a Lavender, Manuka Honey and Cocoa scented eco-friendly candle. The glass is also recycled. They are available from Ethical Superstore along with lots of other great Christmas gifts including organic chocolate, fair trade jewellery and natural beauty products.

 Sisterfire hose Eco Living    Early Christmas Shopping!This iphone case is made from recycled fire hose and lined with parachute silk by Elvis and Kresse to protect the screen. It is available fro Fashion Conscience. Again I can make use of the 10% discount code AUTUMN10.

Have you started thinking about or buying Christmas pressies yet?

 

 

 

 

PS

This post is entered in the Blog Hop by Linky Tools at City Girl at Heart.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Ethical children’s choices

organic Penguin Romper Ethical children’s choices

Are you wondering about the ethics and environmental impact of buying clothes for your children?

Nowadays, more and more people are learning the uncomfortable truth about their favorite clothing. Underpaid workers manufacture many clothes in unsafe conditions, with companies using resources in an unsustainable way. These are all valid concerns, particularly in light of some of the tragic news stories coming out of the countries where our clothes are made, which do not guarantee rights or fair wages to the workers in the factories.

But you may be asking, ‘what about the cost?’ This is particularly concerning if you are going to be purchasing clothes for your kids, who will outgrow the clothes and need new ones six months later. While clothes featuring the labels of “organic” or “fair trade” may cost a little more, which little bit of extra money is definitely worth the contribution you’re making toward environmental and social justice.

Therefore, if you are concerned about the environmental and social impact of the clothes you buy, then consider buying items made with organic, fair-trade materials. These can consist of cotton, wool, or other natural fibers. Not only will they be more sustainable, but they will have a more comfortable, natural feel. You should also look for clothing that is made within the EU, which has legal protection for workers rights. You can also look for clothing that is labeled “fair trade,” which means the producers are given a fair share of the profits.

Where can you find children’s clothing that comes with its own code of ethics? Here are some great places where you can find high-quality items made with sustainability in mind.

Frugi

Specialising in attractive yet ethical kids’ clothing, Frugi offers a wide variety of well-made items in lots of adorable designs. They use organic cotton and only produce in SA8000 certified factories. They also give 1% to environmental protection programs and also support an orphanage in India. Plus, their fun and unique designs are just so cute!

Lily+Sid

This precious line of luxury baby clothes and kidswear has plenty of bright colors and designs that will delight both kids and adults. They also manufacture all of their clothes in UK and donate 5% of their profits to Unicef. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of ordering from their online store, you can also find their clothing in specialty shops, such as We Love Squirrels, Juicy Tots and Burp Boutique.

Little Green Radicals

This aptly named brand offers a wide selection of fetching baby clothes, leggings and hosiery, as well as some pieces for older kids. They also offer a line of certified organic skincare products for little ones.

What are some other places to buy ethical kids ‘clothes? please share in the comments below!

Image – Organic cotton romper, Alexandalexa.com

Eco Living – Natural Wax Candles

I have always loved burning candles to create a relaxing and calming ambience, make my house smell lovely or even to keep insects at bay when camping or sitting in the garden. Recently though I have been put off using them by reports that parafin wax candles could be linked to health risks including asthma and lung cancer. Parafin is also a by product or petroleum which of course we all know is a non sustainable/ renewable resource.

I was really pleased to discover that there are some much more healthy and natural alternatives to parafin wax candles which also represent a more eco friendly choice. Scentedcandleshop.com has a fantastic selection which includes yummy scented candles, tea lights and candle jars which make great pressies.

Soy Wax Candles

seda france soy wax candle Eco Living   Natural Wax Candles

Soy is a highly sustainable and renewable crop which is not just good for eating and making clothes. Soy candles are clean burning, eco friendly and also ideal for vegans. Soy wax candles also burn slowly with a consistent release of scent.

Organic Candles

heaven scent organic candles Eco Living   Natural Wax Candles

Organic candles are made from natural plant wax from plants that have been grown without the use of chemical pesticides. The organic certification gives added reassurance that these candles are made from 100% organic materials and are free from harmful substances.

Bees Wax Candles

beeswax pillar candle Eco Living   Natural Wax Candles

Bees wax candles are a healthy and natural option with a sweet aroma of honey. They are both smokeless and sootless with the wax being sourced naturally from bees.

Other Natural Wax Candles

Other natural sources of wax for candles include plant Wax, Palm and Stearine Candles. All more eco friendly and healthy alternatives to parafin wax. You can also get natural wax candles or tealights with citronella that are great for keeping insects away at barbeques.Natural wax beads are also a great choice if you like to get creative with your candles. You can mix them with your own blend of essential oils and burn them in an oil burner or use them to create your own candles.

Do you love candles? what are your favourites?

 

Eco Living – Spring Picnics

picnic Eco Living   Spring Picnics

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A while ago after going to the Liberty London Girl talk at Bath in Fashion, I decided that I was going to diversify a little with the topics I blog about to include a monthly post about natural beauty, natural food, eco living and eco tech. Today is the first of my eco living posts and I have decided to share some ideas for eco picnics.

When the warm weather does finally arrive, I always like to make the most of it by getting out of doors. In the summer, we try and have dinner out doors as often as possible and picnic lunches are the perfect way to get the children out and running around in the park. For those that work in an office, a picnic lunch is a hundred times better than grabbing a sandwich in front of your computer screen, It gives you time to take a break get some fresh air and rejuvenate ready to get back to work in the afternoon. A home made picnic is also a much more eco friendly, tasty and healthy option than a shop bought lunch with all of that throw away packaging.

Sandwiches

smoked salmon Eco Living   Spring Picnics

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I love sandwiches and they are most definitely my favourite picnic food. To avoid getting bored I like to choose different breads and concoct lots of different sandwich fillings. Pinterest is also a constant source of sandwich inspiration! For an eco friendly and chemical free alternative to foil or cling film, I love the reusable sandwich wraps at Yours Sustainably which also open out as a mat to put your food on. A local farmers market is also a great place to stock up on yummy fresh fillings for sandwiches.

My favourites are

  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels with rocket
  • mozzarella, tomato and avocado with pesto
  • Turkey, horseradish and watercress on rye bread

Tiffin Tins

tiffin Eco Living   Spring PicnicsImage credit

My girls love salads for lunch and these stylish tiffin tins are great for filling with a variety of salads including Greek Salad, pasta salads, cous cous salads and either fresh strawberries or fruit salad.

eat it Eco Living   Spring Picnics

These tiffin tins from Yours Sustainably are fair trade, made from recycled metal and free from chemical nasties.

Cold Drinks

floral cups Eco Living   Spring Picnics

A cold drink is just what you need to sip whilst lazing in the sunshine. I usually just fill a bottle with water but for a special treat, I love elderflower or some other posh cordial. A Chillys Drinks bottle is a good eco alternative to disposable drinks bottle and keeps your drink really cold too.  For a really special treat on a weekend, a bottle of cider, Prosecco or champagne served in these pretty fragipani floral cups goes down a treat! The cups are fair trade and handmade from recycled materials are available from Yours Sustainably.

Picnic Blankets

picnic blankets Eco Living   Spring Picnics

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Finally, no eco picnic would be complete without a recycled picnic blanket (also available from Your Sustainably) or why not upcycle your own using scraps of old fabric, perfect for lying the sunshine with a good book.

Vintage fairs are also a great place for finding retro picnic wear and baskets. Whilst I have featured a number of products from yourssustainably.com in the post, I have not been sponsored or received any payment or samples in return for this post, I just really love their products and stylish take on eco living!

Do you love picnics? what picnic goodies would you stash in these tiffin tins?

Not long to go until the bank holiday weekend and I can’t wait. I have lots of fun stuff planned, what will you be doing?

With warmest wishes

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