While the sun shone down gloriously on London this Tuesday, I spent the day in the giant greenhouse that is Kensington Olympia. I was there for a trade show featuring lots (and I mean *lots*) of companies looking for new retail outlets; imagine the Clothes Show or the Ideal Home exhibition without being able to buy any of the goods. This is probably a good thing as I wanted so much, from sea shell earrings to several different kinds of bag to some oversize pink earrings!
Window shopping opportunities aside, I was there on a specific mission.
In my fashion and beauty writing, I’m committed to featuring eco, ethical and sustainable firms as much as I possibly can. In particular, I want to highlight the many innovative and stylish small brands working in this area – brands that don’t have huge publicity budgets but deserve exposure.
At Olympia, I was looking for companies doing good work in terms of conscious consumption so that I could share them with you.
Boy did I find some! Below I’ve detailed my highlights in five categories (beauty, candles, fashion, jewellery and other). I hope that you like their look, and their ethos, as much as I did. Visit their websites, follow them on social media (check out my following lists on Twitter and Instagram if you like) and next time you’re making a purchase, consider buying from one of them.
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ Lao Tzu
Do you have any brands that you like to recommend? Tell me about them! You can comment below. Plus if you enjoyed reading this post, please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps! Sharing buttons are also below.
Natural, organic handcrafted and vegan friendly, never animal tested, ethically sourced and eco-friendly handmade products in recyclable packaging. Also free from SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrance, petroleum and mineral oils [That’s quite a list!].
Small batches of handcrafted botanical skincare and essential oils candles made using completely natural and organic ingredients [These aren’t a new discovery – I love their soap, as I mentioned last week – but they definitely warrant a mention].
Raw minimalist organic skincare, handcrafted in England and made according to the family’s century’s old ethos of nurturing the best of good green earth and being rich with less than more.
Sustainably sourced, handmade in Britain candles and home scents made using pure essential oils.
Vegan, carbon neutral natural soy wax candles with cotton core wicks, essential oils and recycled packaging, handcrafted in small batches in a garden studio.
Candles free from petrochemicals, parabens and synthetic fragrances.
100% free from synthetic perfumes, chemicals and paraffin, using only GMO-free coconut and plant waxes, pure cotton wicks and uniquely formulated aromatherapy grade essential oils.
Each product is created by handicraft charity units or World Fair Trade Organization producer groups in Nepal, giving local people an income in line with fair trade principles along with a continually developing commitment to minimising environmental impact as much as possible.
All products are designed and made in the UK using nontoxic dyes and organic fabrics; all are vegan. The clutch bags are hand painted and made from abstract paintings, making each one unique.
Natural wool slippers designed in Denmark, manufactured in Nepal using eco-friendly dyes, World Fair Trade Organization certified. Profits also support a Nepalese orphanage.
For every pair of sunglasses bought, one person in Africa who needs prescription glasses gets them.
Vintage silk kimonos from Kyoto are upcycled into unique new items, such as clutch bags and jackets.
These bags are made in England from fabric discarded by industry.
Trans-seasonal designs made from textile factories’ surplus yarn.
- Jewellery and Accessories
Designed and produced locally to their Dutch studio using local artisans and social workplaces as well as environmentally sound materials such as FSC certified or recycled wood.
Focused on fair trading and supporting Columbian artisans, particularly women with no other employment options, while also using suppliers certified by the Administrative Department of the Environment in Columbia.
Handcrafted jewellery created from vegetable ivory, a seed from a Columbian palm tree – a natural, ethical and sustainable alternative to elephant ivory.
Just Trade collaborates directly with eight groups of artisans in Peru, Ecuador and India to create handmade jewellery that is fairly traded and crafted from locally-sourced and ethical materials where possible.
Founded by two sisters, Ziko Afrika (‘Afrika has it’) creates modern jewellery using traditional craftsmanship by local artisans in Kenya.
- Other areas
Creating upcycled homeware by taking mixed fibre knitwear, returning it back to fibre then re-spinning and felting into new sustainable material without using any harsh dyes or chemicals.
The Revival Collection of home accessories is made using off-cuts from the fast fashion t-shirt industry that are saved, sorted, shredded, woven and then reused by Indian families working in good conditions.
Organic skin care along with garment care and shoe care, inspired by the creator’s grandfather, designed to allow us to better look after what we already own.
Seedballs are designed to encourage bees and butterflies by making it easier for everyone to grow either wildflowers or herbs or salad. They’ve been designed specifically for a north eastern European climate and each one containing of these British made balls contains a mini ecosystem of seeds, clay, peat-free compost and a little chilli powder to deter predators! This is a new concept in the UK but seed balls have been used in ecological restoration projects around the world.