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.

Bow Tie Brooch

 

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

Tea Room Hat 

Seasalt Cornwall Sailors Socks

 Sailors Socks

Milie 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
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.

tea light holder

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

Chrity shop gifts

mini ceramic tea set

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.
Reclaim 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.

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

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.

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

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 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

Soya Candle

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.

 SisterThis 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?

 

 

 

 

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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 So Candle

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

Organic Chilli Candle

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

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

Eco Picnics

Image credit

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 sandwich

Image credit 

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 tin ideasImage 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.

Fair trade tiffin tins

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

Cold Drinks

Floral metal cups

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

Image credit

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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