Ethical Christmas Gift Guide

It is lovely to buy ethcial christmas gifts for friends and family. Not only will they show them how much you care but will also help to have a postive impact on peoples lives around the world and help to minimise your impact on the environment. Christmas can be a time when a huge amount of waste is created but by choosing your presents with care, you can ensure that they are cherished for a long time to come and don’t end up in landfill by the new year! Here are few of my favourite ethical gift ideas for this year that I think my family and friends would love to recieve.

sustainable scarf

Check Scarf by Thought

This cosy and colourful scarf by sustainable and ethical fashion brand is perfect for brightening up a winter outfit. It is made from a supersoft material made from recycled plastic bottles and comes packaged in a lovely gift box.

Toms slipper

Multi-coloured Tassel Mule Slipper by TOMS

These slippers strike just the right balance between style and comfort with a colourful boho feel and cosy faux shearling lining. TOMS give away £1 for every £3 profit that they make, providing shoes and grants to local partners around the world trying to create change by ensuring that people are physically safe, mentally healthy and given equal access to opportunity.

plastic free beauty products

Beauty Kitchen Plastic Free Gift Set

Christmas bath sets often contain lots of plastic packaging which is not good for the environment. This lovely gift set by Beauty kitchen features bars not bottles helping to cut down on disposable palstics. It also filled with natural skin and haircare products made in the UK that are both kind to you and the planet, and that will leave your skin and hair squeaky clean and super hydrated.

rock and roll scarf

Rock and roll scarf by Saint + Sofia

Saint + Sofia are a stylish brand proving that their is nothing fuddy duddy about sustainable fashion. This limited edition scarf is made from quality yarns, alpaca and wool. It is designed in London and made in Italy with care taken to ensure minimal environmental impact.

fairtrade chocolate

Sourced by Oxfam

The Oxfam online shop is not just a great place to buy second hand clothes, books and homewares but it also has a great selection for ethically sourced products to buy including Fairtrade chocolate, reusable bottles and cups and stationery, all of which make great ethical christmas presents.

Timberland Tee shirt

Timberland Tee

This organic cotton t-shirt by sustainable boot brand Timberland is like a ray of sunshine on a dark winters day. It is cropped with a relaxed fit making it perfect for layering with jumpers. Choosing organic cotton over conventional cotton is better for the farmers and better for the environment and by shopping with Timberland you are helping them in their goal of planting 50 million trees by 2025.

bamboo razor

Bamboo platic free safety razor

For the man in your life this plastic free essential is a great way to cut down on disposable plastics that are choking the planet. A bamboo razor made with a minimal eco footprint under fair conditions. What’s not to love about this useful stocking filler?

bamboo socks

Bamboo Socks by Thought

Socks may be a little cliche as a Christmas present but let’s face it for those difficult to buy for people, at least they are useful! Thought have a great selection of socks in fun designs made from sustainable fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton making them breathable and long lasting for happy feet. They also have some great little gift boxes.

vegan biker jacket

Vegan Biker Jacket by Dauntless

Biker jackets don’t have to be leather to be stylish. This soft and sustainable baby blue biker jacket would make an amazing present for a vegan friend.

Sustainable Swim and Surf Wear by Euphoric Threads

Euphoric threads

Today, I wanted to share Euphoric threads, an eco-active fashion label for women. Now, when the weather is freezing cold, it may seem like a strange time for me to be posting about summer swim and surf wear, sustainable or not! But having just postponed a surf trip to Portugal which I had been looking forward to for what seems like forever, I decided I was in need of something to cheer me up a bit and this colourful and ethical swimwear brand is just that. So here goes…

Su

Fun surf stuff that is also ethical and sustainable can be difficult to come by so I was really pleased when I came across Euphoric Threads. With more pizazz than you can shake a stick at, this local South west brand describes itself as multifunctional tropical activewear for the WAVES and RAVES!

ethical surf wear

Each Euphoric Threads piece is limited edition and lovingly handmade by textiles designer Laura Griffith using high performance recycled fabrics. The clothes are helping to keep the oceans plastic free, being made from 100% recycled plastics that would otherwise have ended up as waste. The latest collections are made from 100% regenerated nylon yarn called ECONYL® , which is made from Nylon waste that would otherwise pollute the Earth such as fishing nets, old carpets, and fabric waste. All of the prints featured are hand painted and designed in house by Laura, taking inspiration from her childhood and tropical travels around the globe.

sustainable swimwear

I am in love with these beautiful prints and so pleased that they tick all the boxes ethically and sustainably being unique pieces that are made to be cherished, sweatshop free, made to order to reduce waste, with ecofriendly printing methods and plant based compostable packaging. Definitely going to be added to my Christmas list this year!

What do you think? Is Euphoric Threads making you feel excited about next summer already?

With warmest wishes

Recycled Polyester Clothes

Finnisterre natural History board shorts

Vintage top – ASOS Marketplace
Shorts – Finnisterre

I have seen recycled polyester clothing appearing more and more particularly for sports and outdoor wear brands. For those of us that have an active lifestyle and are committed to shopping sustainably, it seems like god send but I wanted to write a post to look into it a bit further and how good for the planet, it really is. As I see it, here are some of the key pro’s and con’s to recycled plastic clothing.

Pro’s

  • Comfortable to wear, practical and ideal for sports and outdoor activities
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Requires less energy to wash and dry
  • Does not requires as much energy and non renewable resourses to make as virgin polyester
  • Helps save post consumer waste (plastics) from landfill
  • Can be recycled at end of its useful life (closed loop)
  • Nets collected from sea to create clothing by some brands can help to clean up the oceans

Con’s

  • May shed fibres and enter the water table
  • Energy still required to recycle into a usable fabric
  • Could lead to complacency over use of single use plastics
  • Still has an issue at end of life if not recycled or disposed of correctly

I definitely welcome the additional choice available and clothes made which help me to live my life the way that I want to live it. Each sustainable choice has its pros and cons and there are certainly trade offs to be made. I think it is  worth investing in a few carefully chosen pieces of clothing that will last me for ages and are made from recycled Polyester however buying nothing and wearing what you already have always has to be the most sustainable choice followed by shopping second hand.

The shorts in the above outfit are made from recycled polyester using post consumer waste from my favourite Cornish sustainable brand Finnisterre and are part of a Natural History Museum Collaboration featuring the hand-selected illustrations from the work of pioneering 17th century naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian.As these fabrics can be recycled repeatedly, they are helping to close the loop on plastic production.

What do you think? Is recycled polyester clothing a good sustainable option?
With warmest wishes

Vintage Denim Jacket

vinatge denim jacket

Jacket – Married to the Sea (Newquay)
Trousers – Nomads
Organic cotton top – People Tree
Shoes – Toms
Bag – Owen Barry

This picture was taken in Newquay back in May when the rest of the UK was bathing in amazing sunshine but all we got was sea mist!

Its not all bad though, I got the chance to wear my new old vintage denim jacket that my girls treated me to for my birthday from Married to the Sea in Newquay. I think denim is something that definitely gets better with age and so a great option for me on my no new clothes for a year challenge. What I really love about this denim jacket is that the denim has become really soft unlike another denim jacket that I have which is a bit like cardboard. The fake fur interior also makes it really cosy for cooler days and I love the washed out look. If you are ever in Newquay town centre, I would definitely recommend checking out Married to the Sea for a small but carefully chosen selection of vintage denim. I also recently got my daughter some dungarees for her birthday.

The bag was handmade in Somerset by Owen Barry and I treated myself to it a few years back for my birthday. Up until now I haven’t used it much and have kind of kept it for best. But I have decided, it isn’t worth keeping things for best, If you have them, you might as well/wear use them otherwise what is the point in having them. It has now become a key part of my spring and summer outfits.

surfing newquay

In other news I haven’t been blogging so much lately as I have been mainly working and surfing whenever I can. Here is a picture from a weekend I went on with Women and Waves back in May. I have just about mastered standing up after 2 years of trying to learn, but still lots of practice needed! Surfing is pretty addictive and I can’t really explain the feeling of bobbing about in the sea and catching a wave. If you fancied giving surfing a go, I would definitely recommend Women and Waves. I had such fun and it was great to surf with such a supportive group of women to give my confidence a boost.
I have made a bit more progress on plastic free July since my last post. I have switched to having milk delivered in a glass bottle and also to using an eco egg for my laundry instead of detergent. I’ll let you know how I get on!

I hope you are enjoying the summer. What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

Shopping My Wardrobe

30 plus wears

Vintage poncho – Etsy
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Thought clothing

I often post about new pieces of ethical or sustaianble clothing that I have bought but the most important part of my drive to be more sustainable with what I wear is shopping my wardrobe. Ok ‘shopping my wardrobe’ is just another way of saying not buying anything at all or just wearing what I already have in my wardrobe! But I thought it might be a bit more an attention grabbing title for the post and of course a hastag on instagram.

We are facing unprecendented threats to our environment and possibly life as we know it brought about by environmental degradaation which are largely driven by consumerism.Climate change and plastic oceans are just two of the big issues that we need to address as a worldwide and as individuals. Just last week, Lucy Siegle reported in the Guardian on how, if unchecked,the fashion industry could account for 25% of carbon production globally by 2050. UK consumers sent 300,000 tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.

And yet, governement minsters have recently decided to reject propsals by a cross party environmental audit committee which included a1p levy on fast fashion and mandatory environmental targets for fashion retailers with a turnover of 36m.

We can still take hope from countries such as Denmark, which has recently cancelled Stockholm fashion week to investigate more sustainable options. And as individuals we can continue to do everything in our power (no matter how small) to limit our consumption.

Our greatest weapon against fast fashion is to shop your wardobe which is summed up so perfectly with Vivienne Westwoods phrase:

  • Buy less
  • Choose well
  • Make it last

Whilst I do very occasionally make a mistake and buy the wrong thing that doesn’t get worn very much, almost all of my clothes have been in my wardrobe for a number of years and have been worn multiple times. I have found the ‘no new clothes’ challenge that I am taking part in again this year is a great way of focussing my mind on not buying new clothes and enjoying what I already have.

The dress and leggings picture above for example have been worn at least 30 times, probably much more. I don’t feel this should be a big deal and something that needs talking about. It should just be the way it is. But whilst there is still a culture of fast fashion and clothes just bought for a few wears before being discarded, we need to keep talking about it.

In other news I am taking part in Plastic free July. I won’t lie it is not going to well so far. I am trying to find more plastic free alternatives to my usual products but there often just isn’t the choice. I am also tweet my ideas and suggestions to brands and supermarkets. Not so sure that they will take notice but its got to be worth a try. Where there are other options like the local fruit and veg stall in the market, I am taking my custom there.

How is your July going? are you taking any steps to reduce your plastic use or buy less clothes?

With warmest wishes

Single Use Plastic Free – 13 Simple Swaps

tea and cake

 

David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series really brought the issue of ocean plastic and single use plastics out into the open last year. Since then I have since other various shocking articles, documentaries and photos highlighting the issue in a way that makes it impossible to ignore. This time last year I pledged to try and cut out my consumption of single use plastic altogether.

I won’t lie, it actually turned out to be even more challenging than I could ever have expected. So many of the foods and products that we consume in our everyday lives are made of or packaged in plastic. Some can be recycled but a lot cannot. I am also suspicious that much of the plastic that we think gets recycled in reality may not.

Cutting out single use plastics can seem pretty daunting. I am just taking it one step at a time, trying to make simple swaps starting with those that will have the biggest impact. Whilst I am still quite a long way from being single use plastic  free, I think I have made quite a substantial reduction in our plastic waste. Here are my top simple single use plastic free swaps that I have introduced over the last year.

plastic free chilly's bottle

1. Refillable water bottle

This is possibly one of the easiest swaps and most effective swaps to make. A bottle of water or two a day adds up to a lot of single use plastic and quite abit of money too. Tap water is free and it really isn’t too much effort to fill it up from the tap. As I discovered on my recent travels to Copenhagen, even when trvelling, it is not difficult to find refill points at airports to avoid buying plastic bottles.

2. Reusable shopping bag

Another super simple swap that makes a big difference is a reusable shopping bag. The key to making this swap is getting in to the habit of keeping a few reusable bags in your car and handbag for those unexpected pops into the shops.

 

3. Packed lunch in reusable container

Another huge and potential daily source of single use plastic packaging is the packaging on shop bought sandwiches and ready made lunches. I prefer to make my own combining fresh salads, roast veg, cheese, nuts and a dressing for a lunch that I really look forwad to and helps get me through the afternoon. I have invested in this Slice of Green tin from Ethical Superstore which has a smaller container inside. Don’t forget to take your own knife and fork to avoid using plastic ones!

local market veg

4. Local market veg

Another big win for me has been buying my fruiy and veg from the local market. Almost all of it is naked with no plastic packaging and can be tipped straight into my reusable shopping bag. This has also been another big win on the budget point of view and costs significantly less and tastes better than supermarket veg. If you don’t have a local market, a farm shop or green grocer is a good option or possible an organic fruit and veg box scheme.
5. Soap and shampoo bars

The bathroom is another huge source of single use plastics in our house especially with so much long hair that needs washing. Liquid soaps and shampoos are almost always in a plastic bottle and it is easy to use too mcuh of them. Switching to a simple bar of soap instead of shower gels and shampoo bars for our hair has worked well in reducing our plastic waste. At the moment I am using a Lush shampoo bar which I find really good and Simple soap. We haven’t yet found a conditioner bar that works for our curly and often tangled but continue to search for a good alternative.

homemade bread

6. Homemade bread

I started off by buying fresh bread from the market in a paper bag each week but found that it didn’t last all week and worked out quite expensive. Instead we have now invested in a small breadmaker which makes just enough for one day and is super easy so we can wake up to the smell of fresh plastic free bread every morning, which makes me super happy.

homemade cheesecake

7. Homemade cakes and biscuits

Another big source of plastic waste is snacks. Cakes, biscuits and chocolate is all wrapped in some sort of plastic or film. We all love homemade cakes and bisuits much better than shop bought and all or most of the ingredients can be bought in non plastic wrapping e.g. flour, sugar, eggs, butter, chocolate. Our favourites are banana bread, chocolate brownies and victoria sponge with jam but not cream! Homemade cookies are also great for childrens lunch boxes.

homemade yoghurt

8. Homemade yoghurt

Many yogurt pots from shop bought yoghurts are made from polystyrene so not accepted by most household recycling schemes. Shop bought fruit yoghurts are also usually packed with sugar. I have invested in a yoghurt maker which makes it really easy to make lovely homemade yoghurt which can be combined with fruit puree, nuts and granola for a tasty breakfast, desert or snack.

9. Homemade soup

Soup is  a lunchtime favourite for me especially in the winter. I often take it to work in a flask for a quick and easy lunch. Making my own vegetable soups is a great way to use up any left over veg as well and means I don’t need to buy plastic pots of ready made soup. This swap is another win for a budget friendly, highly nutritious choice that also saves some pennies.

10. Paper cotton buds

This one doesn’t really need much explanation! Plastic cotton buds can easily be swapped for a paper alternative.

11. Freezer and convenience food

Whilst cooking as much food as possible from scatch generally is the best way to support a single us plastic free lifestyle, my life is busy and there are times when I need to resort to covenience food. Most convience food is plastic wrapped but I have found sound options which are packaged in non plastic options including fish fingers, frozen veggie burgers, falafels etc and potato waffles.  Eggs are also available in cardboard and great for quick meals.

12. Pasta in cardboard

Barilla pasta is available in a plastic box and has only a small film window. This can always be combined with a homemade pasta sauce or even ready made jars of pasta sauce for a superquick meal when I am in a rush.

13. Amazon and mail order

Whilst shopping from Amazon and other mail order companies has become a huge part of our lives due to its convenience, almost every single small item that you buy will arrive wrapped in plastic. I am trying to avoid this where possible by buying from a local shop.

14. Supermarket deliveries for popping to the shop

I am trying to reduce my relaince on a weekly supermarket shopping delivery. Mainly because despite my selection of ‘no plastic bags’ they still insist on packaging certain items including meat and substitutes in plastic bags. There really is non need for this as they are all stored in the same fridge without a plastic bag. Hopefully they will get their act together soon so I can return to the convenience of my weekly shopping delivery!

Have you made any swaps to avoid single use plastics? I would love to know how you are getting on or any ideas that you have!

With warmest wishes

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

nye charity shop outfit

New Years Eve Oufit

Dress – Oxfam
Necklace – Sourced by Oxfam
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Reclaim

It has been lovely to have a whole 10 days off work over the Christmas break allowing time to recharge the batteries, reflect on 2018 and make plans for 2019. We spent Christmas in Cornwall walking, surfing, eating and drinking way too much and spending time with family. For New Years Eve this year, we are opting for a quiet night with a few drinks in town.

Looking back at 2018

2018 has been another super busy year. I am slowly learning that, that is the way I like it and that list of stuff that just never gets done because I don’t have time, probably just isn’t that important. I think I am perfecting the skill of juggling and prioritising the important stuff so who cares about the rest.

2018 was the year that I learned to surf and swapped foreign holidays for Cornwall, that I took the plunge and left a job that I loved to try something else with full time job, instead of waiting it out for the almost certain prospect of redundancy (so glad that I did!)

Plastic free

2018 was also very much about the environment for me. David Attenborough has helped to bring the issue of plastic pollution into the mainstream and at the beginning of 2018 with publicity around his Blue Planet 2 series I started to work towards becoming single use plastic free. I am not sure I realised how difficult it would be. Looking back over the year, I have made some really positive changes to our life (you can read my latest update here) but we still have a long way to go. Looking at the large amount of waste created over Christmas (albeit much less than previous years) has renewed my motivation to keep making small changes which all add up to a big difference. I will be sharing more of these soon.

No new clothes for a year

Another big environmental issue that has also been highlighted in 2018 was fast fashion with Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets presneting the issue in a fresh and compelling way. Whilst I have not bought fast fashion for many years now, in 2018 I took part in the ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge to further reduce my consumption and help to show that it is possible to live quite happily without buying new clothes. In complete honesty, I didn’t quite manage the challenge this time. I did invest in a few new clothes by ethical and sustainable brands including shoes and fitness clothing that whilst not completely essential will be worn continually. Despite this I think the challenge has really helped me to carefully consider and reduce my consumption of clothes this year. For 2019, I have decided to keep a clothes log of any new clothes bought including the reasons and ethical credentials. I hope that this will help me to be more mindful of my purchases.

Plans for 2019

My big focuses for 2019 will be quality time with family and friends, living in the moment, improving my surfing, continuing to reduce the impact of my clothing on the environment and reduce our single use plastic consumption, whilst hopefully inspiring others to the same with this blog and social media.

Happy new year! What are your highlights of 2018 and plans for 2019?

With warmest wishes

Sustainable Fitness Clothing

ethical fitness wear

Top and leggings – Teeki
Trainers – Veja

This post is a collaboration with The Sports Edit.

The search for sustainable fitness clothing

I have been wanting to write a post about sustainable fitness clothing for quite a while! The truth is I have put it off because I have struggled to find any fitness clothes that really work for me and tick the ethical an sustainable boxes. Fitness and workouts are a really important part of my life. On an average week I do between 8 and 10 classes including a combination of Body combat, my favourite along with Grit, Body Pump and body balance. If I had time to do more I definitely would!

I spend a lot of time in fitness wear and I really need high peformance clothing that washes and dries quickly, is flattering, comfortable and easy to wear leaving me confident to get on with my routine. Typically lycra and polyester are perfect for fitness clothing but not so great for the environment.

recycled plastic yoga wear

An exciting collaboration

So I was really excited to be asked by The Sports Edit to collaborate with them to share my thoughts on some of the ethical and sustainable brands that they stock. Teeki is just what I have been looking for as it combines high performance and a flattering style with sustainability and ethics. Teeki yoga wear is handmade from recycled plastic bottles in the US. Whilst Teeki is described as a yoga brand, I am pretty sure that I won’t just be keeping this top and trousers just for yoga, I think they could work well for other classes too. I love that Teeki has helped to get me out of a style rut with my fitness clothing which has resulted in me wearing black all of the time. They have a fantastic selection of fun pattered leggings and shorts.

Plastic in the ocean

Plastic in the environment and the ocean is a big thing. Plasticoceans.org have some pretty shocking facts. Over 500 million plastic bottles are used every year. Many of which will end up in our oceans. But its not just bottles and plastic bags that are an issue, its clothing too. With fast disposable fashion made from synthetic materials such as polyester, there is a growing amount of clothing waste containing particles which can also be washed into waterways, rivers and eventually the sea.  Sir David Attenborough told us during Blue Planet 2 that “we dump eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea every year”. It’s choking our seas, killing and harming marine life.

As you will know if you regularly visit my blog, I am attempting to drastically reduce my use of single use plastics if not completely stop using them. It makes sense that if I really have to buy clothing that is made from synthetic fabrics, that I choose an option not made from virgin fabrics. This helps to find a use for old single use plastics such as plastic bottles helping to prevent it finding its way into landfil and oceans. Whilst I am well aware that buying nothing is usually the most ecofriendly choice, there are times when this isn’t always an option or at least would be very impractical.

ethical fitness clothing

Ethical Sports Shoes

Veja are most defintely one of my favourite brands of trainer. The styles are practical and comfortable but also super stylish. The two pairs that I already own are by far the most worn shoes in my wardrobe. I was excited to be able to try out this amazing gold pair which are not only great for the journey to and from yoga classes but also for a night (I really can’t do heels very often these days!). Veja are an environmentally responsible and transparent brand that use a variety of ecologically friendly materials  in their trainers including wild fairtrade rubber from the Amazonian Rain Forest and organic cotton and leather tanned with non toxic methods. The great thing about getting your Veja trainers from The Sports Edit is that they are UK based you can avoid the hassle and difficult of international shipping that you would get with buying direct.

Reusable water bottles

A final but very important accessoryfor every single work out that I do is my reusable water bottle. I keep this in my kitbag permanently and refill as needed to avoid buying plastic bottles of water. Keeping hydrated is really important for workouts and I prefer to use a water bottle that is free of nasty plastic chemicals and keeps my water cool helping me to keep cool. S’Well are a great brand (also stocked at The Sports Edit). They are light weight and made of stainless steel, available in some very stylish designs and also BPA free. You can check out the full range here.

Reasons to train

Finally I just wanted share with you some of the reasons I love fitness and excercise classes so much.

  • Happiness – I can’t explain it but I always feel happy after a class
  • Energy – if I have to miss out on classes, I don’t feel as energised
  • Confidence – I feel much stronger and more confident when I have been training
  • Friends – I have made so many friends through my fitness classes

Losing weight or becoming thinner has never been one of my exercise goals. I definitely take part for enjoyment and don’t see it as a chore in anyway.

I would definitely recommend giving them a go! Do you do any fitness classes? Have you ever considered planet friendly fitness wear instead of the obvious big name fitness brands? I ‘d love to know your thoughts!

With warmest wishes

Eco-Friendly Surf Brands

eco friendly surf brands

I can’t believe I have only just tried surfing for this first time in April this year. I have always loved water sports including sailing and diving and body boarding but have never tried surfing until then. I am now completely hooked. Not sure I can really explain it but it is completely addictive. I feel so alive when I am surfing and all my worries wash away.

So as I now spend so much of my time at Fistral beach in Cornwall, I thought it was about time I posted about some eco-friendly surf brands. It kind of makes sense that surfers should do their bit for the environment (as should everyone else!). Spending so much time out doors makes you feel more connected and appreciative of the environment and being in the sea regularly, makes you really concerned about water quality. So eco friendly surf brands really make sense but actually it can some times be difficult to find just what you want.

When I am surfing in the UK I obviously need a wetsuit but also swimwear and shorts for the beach in the summer months and warm comfy clothes to wear apres surf in the colder weather.

So here are some of my favourite eco-friendly surf brands…

Patagonia

I love the philosophy of Patagonia which is to create the best products that cause no uneccesary harm and help to solve the enviromental crisis. Their products are all about performance and are made to last. They actively encourage customers to repair and repurpose clothing once it becomes damaged or unused with their ‘worn wear’ initiative, a very different approach to most clothing companies! In fact Patagonia’s Worn Wear tour recently visited Newquay with the offer of fixing and repairing wetsuits no matter what brand they are. For wetsuits the Patagonia Yulex™ full suits are made from a renewable plant based material. They light and stretchy, neoprene free and Fair Trade Certified™. Just check out the video above for more information. They also sell a massive range of other outdoor clothing.

Finisterre

Finisterre is another outdoor brand with sustainability at its heart. It’s ECONYL® swimwear is helping to tackle plastic pollution byplastic pollution in our oceans by taking nylon waste, from carpet offcuts to discarded fishing nets, and turning it into something new and useful. Based in Cornwall, Finisterre and set up specifically for surfers, Finisterre are ideally placed to understand the performance requirements of their customers. Again their philosphy is about  creating sustainable high performance products that last. They have an inhouse repair service to maximise the life of their clothes.

At

Atlantic Surf Company

I discovered Atlantic Surf Company, a Devon based eco friendly surf brand on Instagram. The brand was started by surfers as an alternative to the mass produced surf clothing that is seen everywhere. Their clothing is screen pulled by hand, using ethically traded clothing and eco-friendly ink, with 20% of their profits going to The Wave Project, a fantastic charity that I regularly see in action on my visits to Newquay.

Rapanui towel

Rapanui

Rapanui clothing is certified organic and produced using a factory powered by renewable energy in the Isle of Wight. Founded by free diving enthusiasts, the brand has environmental protection very close to its heart and has collaborated with the Marine Conservation Society to help raise funds and awareness. Whilst they aren’t necessarily a ‘surf brand’ Rapanui clothing is well suited for anything outdoors and their tee shirts slogans are all about saving the oceans. I love their surf towels which make for easy and warm changing on the beach.

Swami’s

Swami’s is a brand new discovery for me. A brand that celebrates a lifestyle lived in nature. They strive for sustainability in their products in many different ways from organic cotton to reclaimed materials, vegetable tanning and water based inks. All of which are clearly explained on their website. Their collection features sarongs, bikinis, board shorts, tee shirts and lovely beach blankets, made in the Cotwolds. They are also leading the way in green surf boards with their use of Biofoam, which is as lightweight and as strong as any foam blank on the market. Production results in 36% less global warming emissions compared to standard polyurethane boards. When coupled with a bio-resin and hemp cloth this makes for the greenest of surfboards.

hangzen swimwear

Hangzen

Hangzen is described as swimwear designed for active and eco minded water women. Designed by Emily a surfer and surf instructor from South Devon, the swimwear is created to solve 2 issues that really resonate with me: beautiful swimwear that empowers girls by being comfortable to wear and staying on in the waves and ocean plastic pollution. The ‘surf proof’ collection is made from a sustainable techno-fabric made using a nylon yarn that has been upcycled from ocean plastics such as fishing nets and other post consumer waste plastics. The website shows drawings rather than photos of the bikinis but you can find photos on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Riz board shorts

Riz Board Shorts

Riz board shorts make amazing board shorts for men from plastic bottles which have been converted into 100% recycled and recyclable fabric. They encourage customers to return old unwanted shorts to be repaired, recycled or rehomed with a 25% for new shorts. They also support the work of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) by partnering with them at beach clean events and directly donate £1 from every pair of our shorts sold to help fund their important ongoing efforts to protect our marine environment. The prints are amazing, just a shame they don’t do a women’s version!

surfers against sewage

Surfers Against Sewage

Of course a post about surfing and sustainability wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the charity Surfers Against Sewage. Originally set up to help tackle sewage pollution which was a big problem for surfers, the charity is now also turning its efforts to plastic pollution which is one of the greatest issues facing the marine environment. It uses campaigning, education and beach cleans to make a difference to the coastlines of the UK and beyond. Their online shop features some great eco friendly tshirts and hoodies to help promote their cause as well as eco living items such as bamboo tooth brushes and refillable water bottles to help reduce plastic use.

So that’s it for now. I hope to share more eco-friendly surf brands with you as I discover them and if you know of any, please do share in the comments. Finally I just wanted to share a few photos of my happy place by the sea!

 

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Was going to go surfing and then I had wine

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Sunset bbq #fistral #newquay

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Clean Up Coffee

Clean up coffee

Clean up coffee is a campaign for recyclable coffee cups.

To celebrate the campaign and help spread the word Percol have sent me some lovely coffee related gifts which could well help me in reducing my waste.

By far my favourite out of the package was the protein iced coffee which was perfect for getting me through a 3 hour fitness session on a Sunday morning, I was genuinly surprised by how good it tasted. I would usually steer well clear of individually portioned drinks where possible because of the packaging and waste.I was pleased to learn that this packaging is fully recyclable as paper and 30% more ecofriendly to produce than aluminium cans so great for an occasional pick me up when you are on the go. It would be great if this packaging caught on for other drinks as it is also a better alternative to plastic bottles. The coffee is also organic and Fairtrade.

I virtually never buy coffee in disposable cups and for work, car and gym I always make use of a reusable coffee cup so the plastic reusable cup was definitely useful. In my quest to reduce my plastic use, gaining new plastic items does seem a little oxymoronic but on the other hand when you look at the alternative (lots of disposable coffee cup waste) it is defintiely a better option.

Coffee capsules or pods have always really bothered me. They seem to create such a lot of plastic waste for just a single cup of coffee. These plant based coffee pods offer a great alternative but as I don’t have a coffee machine, I wasn’t able to try them out.

Whilst Percol haven’t quite found the perfect zero impact packaging for their products, they are definitely taking steps in the right direction and giving consumers more options when it comes to low waste/ recyclable packaging. Their coffee is Fairtrade and they support a number of initiatives including Fairtrade Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance and the Soil Association. They are also part of Next Generation Coffee project, which helps the new generation of farmers see a positive future in coffee growing, by providing education about climate change, and offering training in growing techniques and sustainability.

If you would like to sign the Clean up Coffee petition you can do so here. The petition asks for big brands like Starbucks, Costa and Nero to be forced to clean up their act with legislative change to enforce the use of eco alternatives by 2020 and introduce recyclable alternatives, as sustainable solutions already exist!

What do you think? why shouldn’t coffee cups be reusable or recyclable?


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