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!
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
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 🙂
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 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.
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:
‘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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.