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

Candles: 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 are five parts: beauty & skincare on Monday, accessories & jewellery on Tuesday, and gifts, greetings cards & stationery last night.  There will also be a collated post on Saturday.  Phew!

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 🙂

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


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.


Sunday Suggestions 4th December 2016

Sunday Suggestions: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do
Sunday Suggestions 4th December 2016 ||

Welcome back to my regular series with suggestions of awesome people and things to check out, read, participate in and follow.  Today’s post is an eclectic mix but I couldn’t resist any of these!  There’s some ideal Sunday morning listening.  As is common, there’s some fashion and beauty.  There are also two links showcasing two very different women’s lives as well as a heartwarming example of community resistance from the New York subway.  Finally, because I’ve realised I like to end with a funny video, there’s a great clip of a little girl and an Irish dancer.  Enjoy!

  • Listen: Boat To Row

Boat To Row are an awesome band from my home town.  They have a modern folksy town, with great instrumentation and lovely lyrics.  Handily for this blog post, they are ideal Sunday morning listening.  You can listen to them here.

  • Read: Different perspectives on fashion & beauty

Like so much good stuff in life, fashion and beauty are paradoxes: we should take them both less seriously and more seriously.  Here are some links from both perspectives…

Sali Hughes’ new beauty book, Pretty Iconic, was the first item on my Christmas list this year.  Writing for The Pool this week, she nails the pleasure and camaraderie that getting ready for a night out can give us.  I especially love this because there’s a tendency to talk about beauty very seriously, forgetting that it can be a huge source of playfulness, fun and bonding between women too. There’s even academic research on this very topic.

At the other genuinely serious end of the fashion and beauty spectrum, I’ve spotted a couple of articles this week about ethical consumption: one on cruelty free beauty brands and the other (again from The Pool) on sustainable approaches to Christmas shopping.

And because who can resist a listicle, here are two that have caught my eye recently:

Ten fashion bloggers who are also journalists (I guess I fall under this heading too, although haven’t quite made it into this round up!).

12 of the most fashionable films (my partner and I have decided to make Sunday night a film night so this has given me some examples that I definitely want to follow up).

  • Inspiration: two different women’s lives & a tale from the NYC subway

Last Sunday I spent the cold and grey afternoon curled up on the sofa watching the snooker (is there anything else on TV as relaxing?  Even the commentary is whispered).  I was excited to notice that the umpire of one of the matches was a woman.  It’s always great to spot women at the top echelons of sport in any capacity, but it seemed particularly noteworthy because this was in a high level match between two men.  I can’t imagine a woman referee at a Premier League football match or Six Nations rugby game.  I looked her up and her name is Tatiana Woollaston.  You can read her story here.

Another inspiring woman is my new friend Shona Macpherson, who bravely and openly shares about her coming to terms with a life she hadn’t imagined.  Definitely one to make you think.

From two individuals to a moment of community: one woman shares how a group of strangers came together on the New York City subway to resist the current climate of political fear and hatred.  It’s a Facebook post but you should be able to see this page even if you don’t have an account.  It’ll make you want to carry an eyeliner even if you don’t wear it!

  • Finally…

I doubt you’ll see a sweeter video this week than this clip showing the moment a little girl spotted an Irish dancer in the street.  I especially love the bond that forms between them, with the dancer neither getting annoyed with the child or simply laughing at her but instead engaging her.  I just love it!

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.