How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

Are you on Pinterest?

If so, how do you use it? As the ultimate time suck, spending whole evenings pinning first birthday party décor schemes (even though you don’t have children) and searching for inspirational quotes (because that’s easier than actually getting on with the task you’re dreading)?

Or in a professional capacity, driving traffic to your blog and sales to your funnel?

As you may be able to guess, I don’t use Pinterest for the latter. But some folks, such as Sarah Von Bargen of the Yes and Yes blog, do so with huge success.

I don’t use Pinterest for the former either. Well, not much. I did once end up down a rabbit hole about Turkey Cake (even though I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving).

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

However, I do use Pinterest a lot – pretty much daily, in fact.

I use it as a pin-board.

It’s hardly revolutionary, I know. The name of the platform suggests that’s what it’s there for.

However I don’t pin a huge amount of content from within Pinterest. The majority of what I add to my boards comes from other websites. In the same way that back in the day, you might have torn an article out of a magazine and literally tacked it to a cork-board, I electronically stick all of the stuff I read and find interesting into Pinterest.

I’m telling you this because It. Has. Changed. My. Life.

No more searching through my browser history trying to find the article I mention to a friend and they are really interested in (I’m sure it was the New York Times. Hmm, may be it was the New Yorker…).

No more unwieldly Internet browser bookmark folders with lists so long that I can’t find anything and filing systems that I forget I’ve introduced.

No more giving up and accepting that the amazing content I find online is then destined to disappear into the ether, never to be seen again.

No more random post-it notes in bags, on fridges and in diaries with scribbled names of books.

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

Friends, now I can read things and know I have a safe place to store them – a safe place that looks pretty when I go back to it!

The boards may also be of interest to you as I most regularly add links related to my professional interests and the topics that I write about:

How Pinterest changed my life (or at least has been super useful for work)Ethical beautyEthical jewelleryLiving ethically

Maybe you’re also into ethical and sustainable fashion – or ethical beauty, ethical jewellery, ethical lifestyle

How Pinterest changed my life (or at least has been super useful for work)

Maybe you also want to know what’s happening in the fashion industry at large

 

How Pinterest changed my life (or at least has been super useful for work)

Maybe you’re also self-employed

Magazines

Maybe you’re also a magazine geek or want to learn about the latest news from the magazine publishing world

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

Maybe you also don’t drink – or are thinking about not drinking

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

Maybe you also take an interest in mental health advice and experiences

If your work in anyway involves online material, I honestly can’t recommend starting some dedicated Pinterest boards enough.

They’re also a great way to curate content linked to random interests, hobbies or fandom that you have.

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)

For example, I’ve long been obsessed with names and naming practices. As a tween and teen, I’d check baby name dictionaries out of the library and read them cover-to-cover. Now I have a special Pinterest board so rather than just being some random part of my brain, I have a little Names collection going on!

Jackie Kennedy

The same applies to all the other topics that I love knowing about for no reason other than curiosity (Jackie Kennedy) or may one day wish to write about (Jane Fonda, soap operas, the royal family and fashion).

What could you start a Pinterest board for?

How Pinterest has changed my life (or at least been super useful for work)Soap operasFashion and the royal fashion

 

 

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The round-up: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival 2017

After a week of posts featuring different categories, here is the final collected round-up.  All of the stalls that I visited on the eco trail at the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate on 17th July: seventeen in total, although there were others that I didn’t get to in my one day visit!

I’ve been so glad to share these awesome eco, ethical and sustainable brands with you.

(I’ve previously done a round-up of the eco, ethical & sustainable firms at the Pulse show too).

Beauty & skincare, fashion accessories & jewellery, gifts, greetings cards & stationery, candles, Christmas: they’re all listed below.

I hope that you’ve found some new companies to consciously shop with.  Let me know what purchases you make from them!

You can comment below or on social media.  And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then please do share – it really does make a huge difference!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Beauty & skincare

 

Big Green Tree

Big Green Tree is a family owned business that designs and manufacturers its natural skincare products on the edge of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.  They offer a broad range of paraben and SLS free products, along with a diffusion line of men’s skincare items such as shaving soap and post-shave balm.  As well as the friendliness and knowledge of owner Helen, what impressed me was that when they do use plastic bottles, they are recyclable.  Good to know for certain!

Starting from around £12.00.

Sorry I didn’t get any pictures from this stall!  

Beauty & Skincare: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

MOA

The Magic Organic Apothecary was established in 2010, creating natural skincare products with close links to old folklore.  Their key ingredient is herb yarrow (Achillea millefolium), commonly found in English hedgerows.  MOA grow their own in Somerset, where they plant seeds by hand!  The products combine yarrow with other herbs and essential oils, such as tea tree and damask rose.  The original multi-purpose balm has now been joined by a cleanser, bath potion and facial oil.

Prices from £4.00.

 

Fashion accessories & jewellery

Earth Squared

Scarves, hats, gloves, bags, purses: Earth Squared offer them all under the slogan ‘fair trade and fabulous’.  They certainly are both!  A member of BAFTS (the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers), they work with fair trade accredited producers.  Among their huge selection of products, there will be something for everyone but my personal favourites were the tweed purses, velvet scarves and knitted bobble hats – although I also have my eye on a navy wool sling bag 🙂

From £5.99.

EnviroTrend

EnviroTrend sell a variety of bags that are designed to eliminate the use of plastic bags.  They are all lightweight yet strong, and the SAKitToMe™ shopping bags fold up into a size that you can attach to your key-ring – so you never caught out at the checkout without a reusable bag again!

They have also created the INside OUT Umbrella™.  This looks like a regular umbrella and opens the same, but will stand up on its own when down.  It also turns inside out as it is closed, so that the water drains on the inside, meaning no more soaking the side of your leg when walking round with a used brolly!

RRP from £6.00 for the bags; the umbrella £25.00.

Mowgs

Mowgs founder Michal stumbled upon villagers making beautiful baskets while travelling around Myanmar.  Locals produce them when the rainy season prevents farming, using generations old weaving techniques but plastic strapping recycled from used materials around them – meaning each one is unique.  Michal now works closely with the same villagers, bringing a limited number to the retail market.  Unsurprisingly they sell out fast!

RRP from £19.99 to £45.99.

Accessories & Jewellery: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Old Willow

Scottish jewellery firm Two Skies source old pieces of the iconic blue-and-white willow pattern china and porcelain then upcycle the pottery into hand crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces.  This includes rings, earrings and necklaces that feature either a bird, a bridge or another part of the classic scene.

Their publicity even tells the ancient love story behind the pattern:

Accessories & Jewellery: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

‘A peasant boy and a princess were in love but her father, the king, would not let them marry.  He built a large fence around the palace and arranged a suitable marriage with a duke.  Arriving by boat, the Duke found that the couple had already escaped to an island where the gods had taken pity on them and transformed them into immortal doves’.

Starting at £24.50.

 

Gifts, greetings cards & stationery

 

Gifts, greetings cards & stationery: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Claire Vaughan Designs

Claire’s free-hand artwork is inspired by the garden, the countryside and coast.  These designs then appear cards, coasters, stationery, prints, bottles, homeware and ceramics.  The vast majority of goods are handmade or hand-finished and come from the finest independent UK sources.  I was immediately drawn to the mugs as I’d never seen such beautiful examples; I was unsurprised to learn that these are from The Potteries, Stoke.

From £1.95.

 

Hannah Longmuir

Hannah is a countryside artist whose mainly pencilled drawings record the beauty of hedgerows, woodlands and fields.  These images become cards and stationery that really are works of art.  I don’t need to describe them; the images speak for themselves.

From £2.00.

Gifts, greetings cards & stationery: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Seasonal Soul

Inspired by owner Rhianydd’s own quest for more connection and wellbeing, Seasonal Soul offers small homeware products, stationery and greetings cards designed to help users to relish the season and rekindle their soul.  Designed and made in the UK, the prints, colours and slogans reflect different times of the year, from the ‘For Someone Who’s Just Blooming Fabulous’ summertime card in hot pink to the seasonal journal kit in autumnal greens and oranges.

From £2.00.

Totes Adore

The Adore-A-Bottle range showcases stylish upcycling by recrafting empty alcohol bottles into beautiful new products.  There are chopping boards, lights, candles, nibble bowls and drizzle bottles.  The bottle lights would look great on an outdoor table or nestled on a cocktail bar, while the bespoke option means that you can sentimental bottles (such as champagne from your wedding) converted into a candle with a matching scent.

From £15.00.

Wraptious

Wraptious regularly run competitions to find new artists to contribute to their animal and nature inspired lines of products.  They offer a broad range of designs on items such as greetings cards, notebooks, coasters, placemats, clocks, mugs, cushions and prints.  All are made in the UK.

Retail prices from £2.50.

Gifts, greetings cards & stationery: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

YooJoo Cards

YooJoo’s Monster Cards have a second life as a bookmark: you simply tear the perforations when you’ve finished displaying it.  If that weren’t ingenious enough, owner and illustrator Julie has now added the Plectrum range.  She collects used store cards from shops then makes plectrums from the plastic, adding them to her drawings of acoustic and electric guitars.  Again these can be kept when the card is recycled.

From £2.75

Candles

 

 

Candles: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Light Me Bio-oil Candle

Did you know that 4.3 million people die every year from indoor air pollution?  It was this statistic which inspired the creators of the Light Me Bio-Oil Candle to create their product.  Their alternative maintains the ambience of regular candles but are clean burning, without the soot and melted wax.  They also self-extinguish if knocked over.

From £10.99.

 

Candles: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Melt

For almost twenty years, Melt have been making hand-poured candles with scents that differ from the usual perfumed options.  From Angel and Aubergine to Verbena and Clary Sage, Violet and Black Pepper, there are many distinctive perfumes available in two jar sizes and three freestanding options.  Furthermore, more than 94% of their ingredients come from the county of Lancashire, where they are based – supporting local business while keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum.

From £8.95.

The Recycled Candle Company

You know how there’s wax leftover whenever you’ve finished burning a candle?  Well the clever chaps at The Recycled Candle Company go round collecting this seeming waste product from London churches, pubs and hotels then they recycle all the bits into beautiful new ones.  Isn’t this the greatest recycling story that you’ve ever heard?!

From £6.00.

Christmas

Keep this cracker

Upon realising the amount of waste generated each Christmas by single use crackers, Bea Thackeray came up with her own solution: reusable ones!  After some experimentation, she perfected her model.  You fill the gift box centre with whatever your choose, thread the snap through and pull as normal – except the whole thing slides apart rather than rips, so you can use them again!  All you have to replace are the snaps, which she also sells.  Genius!

There are also options for wedding favours and other occasions.

From £3.10 for the crackers; £1.10 for six replacement snaps.

20170717_131140

Christmas (yes in July): Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Nauseni

Founded in response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Nauseni (now-se-ni) strives to empower Nepalese women by offering skill development and income generating opportunities.  The firm works closely with teams of women artisans who they have trained to produce needle felted ornaments that reflect the centuries of wool making crafts in the Himalayas.

Prices unavailable at present.

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You can also follow me and my freelancing adventures on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

Beauty & Skincare: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival 2017

Beauty & Skincare: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

Last week, I attended the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate.  It’s a huge event, made up of many producers and even more retailers looking to add new lines to their sites, stores and stalls in the autumn.

As with previous events trade events I’ve attended, my goal was to seek out those makers with an eco, ethical or sustainable tale to tell.  I thus set off on the organised ‘Eco Trail’ but I was defeated by the size of the show, covering only around two-thirds of it.

Even so, I met some awesome brands that I’m excited to tell you about!  

Having realised how mammoth my earlier ethical round-up was, I decided to break this summary up somewhat.  There will be five parts going out each night Monday to Thursday, followed by a collated post next Saturday.

I hope that you find some new companies to consciously shop with.  Let me know what purchases you make!

You can comment below or on social media.  And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then please do share – it really does make a huge difference!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Big Green Tree

Big Green Tree is a family owned business that designs and manufacturers its natural skincare products on the edge of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.  They offer a broad range of paraben and SLS free products, along with a diffusion line of men’s skincare items such as shaving soap and post-shave balm.  As well as the friendliness and knowledge of owner Helen, what impressed me was that when they do use plastic bottles, they are recyclable.  Good to know for certain!

Starting from around £12.00.

Sorry I didn’t get any pictures from this stall!  

Beauty & Skincare: Following the Eco Trail at Home & Gift Buyers' Festival 2017

MOA

The Magic Organic Apothecary was established in 2010, creating natural skincare products with close links to old folklore.  Their key ingredient is herb yarrow (Achillea millefolium), commonly found in English hedgerows.  MOA grow their own in Somerset, where they plant seeds by hand!  The products combine yarrow with other herbs and essential oils, such as tea tree and damask rose.  The original multi-purpose balm has now been joined by a cleanser, bath potion and facial oil.

Prices from £4.00.

 

For more from me straight to your inbox, sign up for my monthly mailing.  It includes exclusive offers and giveaways! Every single subscription makes a real difference to me and my work.

You can also follow me and my freelancing adventures on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

My top three tools of the beauty trade – & you can win them!

My top 3 tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!

Confession time: despite writing in a guest blog post for Midlands Minimalist last week about the ‘one in, one out, one spare’ rule for toiletries and makeup, I have started stockpiling Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.

In my defence, parent company L’Oreal announced at the end of April that they were withdrawing the Japanese beauty brand from the UK and already the products are vanishing.  In a panic about losing access to what are universally regarded as the best lash curlers on the market, I felt compelled to hoard.

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
I keep my spare pads in an old gramophone needles tin

I think I’ll probably now be okay until at least my next birthday ending in a zero.

Each pair lasts for ages.  They come with a replacement pad and regular replacement pads fit too.  I’m only on my second set in what must over a decade of use.  How many mascaras have I got through in the same time?

This longevity is a key factor in why I love eyelash curlers, specifically the Shu Uemura ones, so much.  Plus they really make a difference even if you use them alone, as I do 99 percent of the time as I get a monthly eyelash tint.

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!

Using curlers drastically reduces the amount of other eye makeup that I buy and use, which is important to me.  There’s little point in committing to feature eco, ethical and sustainable brands from the world of fashion and beauty in my work if I’m not careful and considered in my own use of resources.

Eyelash curlers are one of several long-lasting tools that I use in lieu of a product with a shorter shelf life.

 

 

The other two that top my favourites list are:

Exfoliating gloves

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
Exfoliating gloves, £3

Thanks to Danielle the beautician for this tip, which she passed on as a solution to ingrown hairs (possibly TMI).

Rather than rubbing yourself down with a pot of body scrub or even a currently popular dry body brush, exchange your sponge or puff for a long lasting textured glove (£3.00 from Boots).  You save time and effort by exfoliating while you wash.  The floor of your shower isn’t left covered with slippery grit.

Plus you get to channel your inner Michael Jackson by prancing round with one white glove on!

Bonus tip: make sure you buy exfoliating glove rather than just a body wash one as the latter aren’t rough enough to slough your skin.

 360 foot file

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
360 Foot File, £5.49

A friend bought me one of these last summer, which sounds like a weird gift now I’ve written it down!

Anyhow, I’ve tried a lot of creams and gadgets for hard skin on the feet over the years but none have been as effective as this spongy scrubber (£5.49 also at Boots).  I use it at the end of my shower each day.  It even works better than the classic pumice stone and has a satisfying squishiness.

 

I love these products so much that I wanted to share them with you too, so I’m offering a special giveaway! 

You can win a set of my three favourite tools (Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, a pair of exfoliating gloves and a 360 foot file).

All you have to do is share your favourite article by me, either from my blog or elsewhere, on social media and tag me so that I see it (you can find a collected list of my other writing over here).

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday 7th June at 18.00 BST.

For more from me straight to your inbox, sign up for my monthly mailing.  It includes exclusive offers and giveaways! Every single subscription makes a real difference to me and my work.

You can also follow me and my freelancing adventures on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

Long Weekend Reading

Long Weekend Reading: some Bank Holiday article suggestions ideas & some beautiful buys too
© John Lewis Edition

Hello all!  An especially warm welcome to the new readers who’ve come over from Midlands Minimalist.  Good to have you here!

How’s your long weekend going?  Been up to much?  It seems that pretty much everyone I know is having a quiet one; aside from a few friends who’ve gone on holiday, there’s lots of talk of gardens and family meals and switching off alarm clocks.

This has certainly been the rhythm of my weekend so far.  It’s now 4pm on Sunday afternoon and I’ve been mainly occupied with eating and sleeping.  In that order.

I’ve also been doing some gentle reading.  While flicking through the pages of a couple of magazines, I’ve been thrilled to spot some good recommendations for the conscious consumer.  There’s definitely a movement towards greater mindfulness around what we buy – something that we’ve seen for a few years in food but is spreading into other areas too.

Long Weekend Reading: Bank Holiday article suggestions & some gorgeous bits to buy
From the Guardian Weekend

In the Guardian Weekend supplement, I was less interested in the article on one hundred men’s relationships with their penises (including a photo collage) than Sali Hughes’ review of high street eye shadow palettes.  The three featured were all cruelty-free and vegan friendly.

If you’re looking for some gorgeous new nudes (again, not the naked men but in terms of eye shadow) then check out Hughes’ choices:

Elf Eye Shadow Palette, £7.50

Nip + Fab Sculpted Eye Palette, £10.95

Basic Moment Eye Palette, £17.50  (I can only find this product online for £18)

Long Weekend Reading: some Bank Holiday article suggestions ideas & some beautiful buys too
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… or in my garden :: FSC certified deckchair frames from John Lewis, £34

If the recent good weather has got you searching for some new outdoor furniture, I spied some FSC certified eucalyptus deckchair frames in the John Lewis Edition summer issue.  They are £34 each and you can select a fabric sling for an additional £9.

Initially I was drawn to the gorgeous old school style: ethics don’t have to mean compromising aesthetics.   

Long Weekend Reading: Bank Holiday article suggestions & beautiful items to buy
Leon bamboo pot

Also beautifully designed is the bamboo lunch pot (£16) that appears a few pages later.  Made by food brand Leon, the bamboo is biodegradable, sustainable and naturally anti-microbial.

The red box would look fab at any picnic or, more likely, perk up lunch at your desk when it starts raining again!

There are many other amazing ethical, eco and sustainable brands that you can buy from listed in my blog post last week, where I offer a round up of the companies that I met at a recent trade exhibition.

If you too are looking for some reading over the long weekend then as well as last week’s post, you might want to check out the other pieces I’ve had published recently.  There’s been a little spate, covering more on conscious consumption along with a critical analysis of hair  and my response to the dreadful Manchester attack.

My most recent contribution to Welldoing.org :: Managing mental health: the small things make all the difference

For The Revival Collective :: Organic beauty and well-being week: a two-step approach to becoming a more conscious beauty buyer

A guest post for Midlands Minimalist :: One spare tube of toothpaste: five toiletry & makeup minimalist tips from a beauty writer

My latest column for Mental Health Today :: How do we maintain emotional stability in the face of tragedy?

For the Londnr magazine :: Beneath the Barnet: the cultural significance of hair

On raeritchie.com :: What can I do?  One step towards ethical and sustainable beauty

On raeritchie.com :: Eco, ethical and sustainable beauty brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Tip off regarding the next blog post: it’ll include a special giveaway!  I’m very excited about this!  

If you enjoyed reading this piece (or any of the links to articles that I’ve shared), please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps!  Sharing buttons are also below.

Thank you for reading.

For more from me straight to your inbox, sign up for my monthly mailing.  It includes exclusive offers and giveaways! Every single subscription makes a real difference to me and my work.

You can also follow me and my freelancing adventures on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

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.

 

  • Beauty

Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products

Corinne Taylor Organic Aromatherapy

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!].

Nathalie Bond Organics

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].

Nathalie Bond Organics - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Savon Stories

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.

 

  • Candles
The Bird Box - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
The Bird Box
The Bird Box - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
The Bird Box

The Bird Box

Sustainably sourced, handmade in Britain candles and home scents made using pure essential oils.

 

Join

Vegan, carbon neutral natural soy wax candles with cotton core wicks, essential oils and recycled packaging, handcrafted in small batches in a garden studio.

 

Join - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

The London Refinery - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

The London Refinery

Candles free from petrochemicals, parabens and synthetic fragrances.

 

 

 

 

Sun.Day - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Sun.Day of London

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.

 

 

 

Sun.Day - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

  • Fashion

Aura Que - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Aura Que

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.

By Studio Hand - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

By Studio Hand

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.

 

Egos Copenhagen - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Egos Copenhagen

Natural wool slippers designed in Denmark, manufactured in Nepal using eco-friendly dyes, World Fair Trade Organization certified.  Profits also support a Nepalese orphanage.

 

 

Pala Sunglasses - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Pala Sunglasses

 

Pala Sunglasses

For every pair of sunglasses bought, one person in Africa who needs prescription glasses gets them.

Pala Sunglasses - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio Kimono - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Studio Kimono
Studio Kimono - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Studio Kimono

 

 

Studio Kimono

Vintage silk kimonos from Kyoto are upcycled into unique new items, such as clutch bags and jackets.

 

 

 

Terracotta Row - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Terracotta Row

These bags are made in England from fabric discarded by industry.

 

 

Valentina Karellas -Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

Valentina Karellas

Trans-seasonal designs made from textile factories’ surplus yarn.

 

 

  • Jewellery and Accessories
All The Things We Like - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
All The Things We Like

All the Things We Like

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.

Artisan Life - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Artisan Life

Artisan Life

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.

Caliz Jewellery - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
‘Vegetable ivory’ seed used in Caliz London jewellery

 

 

 

 

Caliz London

Handcrafted jewellery created from vegetable ivory, a seed from a Columbian palm tree – a natural, ethical and sustainable alternative to elephant ivory.

 

Just Trade - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
A Just Trade collaboration with WWF
Just Trade - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Just Trade

 

Just Trade

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.

Ziko Afrika - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

Ziko Afrika

Founded by two sisters, Ziko Afrika (‘Afrika has it’) creates modern jewellery using traditional craftsmanship by local artisans in Kenya.

 

Ziko Afrika - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

  • Other areas
Anneka Textiles - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Anneka Textiles

Anneka Textiles

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.

Helen Moore Revival Collection - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Helen Moore Revival Collection

 

 

 

 

Helen Moore

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.

Tangent GC - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Tangent GC

 

TangentGC

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.

 

 

 

 

Seedball

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.

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What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty

What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Nathalie Bond Organics soap £7.50
Nathalie Bond Organics soap £7.50

It’s Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week!  Yes, really!  Under the lead of the Soil Association, 15th to 21st May 2017 is an awareness week dedicated to celebrating beauty brands that are certified organic.

Like so many other aspects of ethical and sustainable living, this is a difficult to area to get to grips with.  As the Soil Association points out,

‘there is currently no legal standard in place for organic cosmetics, meaning that any brand can make organic claims on packaging without needing to contain any organic ingredients.’

#wtf?!

Unsurprisingly this makes sourcing organic beauty even more complicated.  However dedicated we are to this mission, it unfortunately seems that there are firms out there who are willing to dupe us with misleading branding and hard to decipher ingredients lists.

So what can I do?  What can each of us do?

1) Get clear about our own priorities

For a start, get clear about our own priorities.  Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week is, unsurprisingly, focused on organics – but maybe your biggest concern is with animal welfare.  Cruelty free is a related but not identical issue.  Likewise, you might be trying to use fairly traded products as much as you can; this may or may not map neatly on to organic products.  Alternatively if you’re looking for British made then you’ll have different criteria again.

What can I do?  One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Look for the Cruelty Free logoWhat can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Buy Fairtrade

This might seem like trying to rank equally worthy objectives, but it is necessary.  Otherwise you’ll be stood at the counter trying do weigh up the merits of a possibly smaller carbon footprint versus fairly traded ingredients from further afield while also needing to decide what food to pick up during your lunch break.

In a complex web of competing factors, we need to make our choices as easy as possible.

2) Do some basic research

We can also do some basic research into the area that most concerns us.  The internet, as well as online shopping, makes accessing niche brands and products easier than ever.  We can check out a firm’s credentials (as I need to do) and buy what we are after with just a few clicks.

What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Do some research

There are plenty of resources out there to support this.  The Soil Association, for instance, lists the brands that they have certified as organic.  There are also apps that can help, such as Skin Matters by Joanne Evans (unfortunately for IOS only at this stage).  This doesn’t focus on ethical issues directly but allows you to find out more about the components in your skincare, including those chemicals best avoided.

 

I also have an Ethical and Sustainable Beauty Pinterest board where I gather together articles on this topic.  Some of these deal with the big issues and debates but many discuss easily available products, such as vegan nail varnishes.  I update the board regularly so follow along to keep informed.

 

3) Make one change

Perhaps the most powerful step that we can immediately take is to make one change.  This is within all our grasps with little inconvenience or extra cost.

Conveniently I’ve already written an article about three easy conscious beauty swaps!

You can read all the details over on the Revival Collective, but in summary they are:

Trade shower gel for soap

Switch to natural deodorant

Use organic cotton wool

Of course there are others, and I’d love to hear what you choose.  What one change will you make?

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.

Thank you for reading.

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