Cork by Grow From Nature

*This post contains affiliate links and if you buy an item using them I will get a small percentage from the sale. I only work with carefully selected partners who I genuinely like.

When thinking about vegan leather alternatives I often think of polyurethane based fabrics which are not great for our environment and in long-term not great for animals either. However, there are other great alternatives such as Pinatex (made out of pineapple waste) and cork, which is personally my favourite alternative.

Cork by Grow From Nature - byLiiL

Cork is a great sustainable fibre which has an interesting story. Cork oak trees grow in Portugal and unlike other trees, they thrive when their bark is peeled off them every few years, whereas other trees die if their bark is peeled off. They grew a different type of bark to protect them from forest fires and they regrow the bark when it’s burned or peeled off making it a renewable resource. It’s also waterproof, fire resistant and can be modified in many ways. To me, it reminds of all the corks used in wine bottles and cork tiles used for some interior design (a look that I’ve really liked), but now also, apparently, as a leather substitute in the fashion industry and quite frankly I really like the look of it!

 

There are not many brands that use cork to make their designs, but the few I’ve seen so far have been very promising. One of those brands I wrote about in the post about my favourite sustainable brands and now I would like to introduce you to Grow From Nature.

Grow From Nature drives their beautiful line of cork accessories by being sustainable, eco-friendly and vegan. They showcase the unique patterns of cork to their and the designs’ advantage in making each item special and in its own way beautiful.

 

They believe that sustainability isn’t the future but that it is the present. That is why they strive to be more sustainable in everything they do. They are very straightforward that there is still a lot of work to be done towards sustainability and explain what they are doing to achieve it. They use an eco-friendly cork from Portugal in all of their designs and actually tell an interesting story about their cork here. Their cork harvesters are paid well and they manufacture all of their designs in Portugal.

Now they are also expanding their range to cork shoes, how exciting!

 

You can check Grow From Nature through here*. Remember to check their Instagram as well!

 

With love,

Lii

Cork by Grow From Nature - byLiiL

Sustainable News Nr. 2

Plastic

Plastic Waste Set To Beat Price As UK Shoppers’ Top Concern – Study – It’s great to see how consumer mindset is changing and the price isn’t always the number 1 priority.

But What Happens If You Use Up All The Plastic? – The short answer is that’s not going to happen.

Even Insects Are Carrying Around Microplastics – It is not surprising how widespread it is, but it is still quite terrifying!

This Fungus Could Be The Answer To The Plastic Waste Crisis – Hurray! Why aren’t they researching it more?

Are Biodegradable Plastics The Solution To Our Plastic Obsession? – Muccycloud dives into this question and explains what biodegradable plastics actually are.

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Groceries

Slavery In The Chocolate Industry – Explains what many big chocolate corporations don’t want to tell you and why we should check more strictly on what chocolate we buy.

FoodShot Global Looking To Fund Innovators Taking ‘Moonshot For Better Food’ – I wish this kind of collaboration at this level would be done across other industries as well.

Fashion

Leading Bangladeshi Textile Mill Regrets Going Green – Apparently, some customers are not prepared to pay even one cent more for buying green clothes.

Rethinking the Business of Fashion – 12 start-ups that are in an acceleration programme supported by the Fashion for Good-Plug.

Lenzing’s EUR 26 Million Sustainable Nonwovens Fibre Facility – Finally nonwoven that is not an oil-based fibre!!

New Plant-based Shoes From Vivobarefoot – Interesting innovation.

Francesco Carrozzini’s X-Ray Fashion: Seeing Through A Toxic Industry – What if all the consumers would be able to feel how people making our clothes feel, would they shop for fast fashion then?

Grow Your Own Vegan Handbag! The Marvel of Mushroom Leather – I can’t wait for this to become more mainstream, it sounds fantastic!

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Recycling

How One E-Waste Recycler Uses Education To Incentivise The Right Behaviours – And more information on e-waste recycling.

Social

What Is Going On In Yemen – Fran writes about a crisis that is less talked on the news but which requires our attention.

50 Girls Hospitalised After FGM In Burkina Faso, Dozens Arrested In Crackdown – Even though Burkina Faso has illegalised FGM the culture is still so ingrained in the practice that the nation has difficulty ending it.

Gender Inequality Is Bad For Men’s Health – It does make sense.

This Incredible Former Child Bride Persuaded Her Country To Ban Child Marriage – So inspiring!

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Other

California Mandates 2 Largest Pension Funds Factor Climate Risk Into Investment – Excellent, all the banks should be doing that though.

Can China Become Powerhouse In Green Manufacturing? – A very interesting question that leaves us to wait for the future to see if it will.

What Are The Most Effective Water Pollution Solutions – an Excellent guide on what should be done about water pollution.

These Giant Towers Could Clean Toxic Smog In The Wolrd’s Most Polluted Megacity – Air cleaning towers that are self-sustaining, what a great idea, however, I hope they will also consider working on lowering the emission they are releasing in those megacities as well.

 

What news have you read recently?

With love,

Lii

Doing Small Changes Won’t Save The Planet – But It’s a Start

In the world of environmentalism and sustainability, I come across slightly contradictive articles all the time. Most of the articles, blog posts, podcasts etc. are about how we can make changes to be more sustainable, how little or big things we can do, some even guilting us into changing our behaviour. The slightly contradictive articles are a minority but they appear regularly and they question the little changes that we are making and criticise how those won’t save the Earth. I am sure you’ve all read those articles. One of the latest ones that I read was in the Guardian where Monbiot wrote that “We Won’t Save The Earth With a Better Kind Disposable Cup”. So who is right? Is it the articles who encourage people to consider the changes they are making or is it articles who question the better you are doing and rather pushes us to challenge the power or wants all of us to change how we live?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start - byLiiL

In my opinion, both are correct. That is true if the only thing we are doing is changing to a better disposable cup, or just change worse material to a slightly better one it will not save the planet. However, not changing the bad materials at all is also not an option nor is stopping consumption altogether.

Changing the consumer behaviour doesn’t happen in an instant, it takes years if not decades and when the popular media continues to promote a certain lifestyle it gets more difficult to change that. Government legislations against harmful products to us and the environment would help, however, they do not move swiftly either and only seem to make legislations when there is a public outcry on a topic such as microplastics. However, the government seems to only put on a patch on the problem, rather than fix the underlying issue to quiet the population and to change this the population needs to be educated on the underlying issue. This all definitely needs to be done, but it sounds like a lot of work which will take a lot of time, doesn’t it?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

While we wait for it to happen if we do not make changes and innovate better materials we have not made the world any better, but have probably created a lot more waste. When I think about a disposable cup that is made out of plastic and ends up polluting our oceans I would much rather use a disposable cup that biodegrades, even if slowly, however as at the moment there are many innovations coming up to make our current system better and more environmentally friendly, we have the possibility to look into what would be the best option.

One great example of a better product is the Nespresso compatible coffee capsules by Percol. I’ve always felt any Nespresso machine represents the opposite of environmentalism because of the capsules it uses that are fairly wasteful, however, the Percol coffee capsules are compostable and the coffee is Soil Association organic. Also, although I think we should all carry a reusable cup with us, it is not always feasible and therefore The petition to change the disposable cups into better disposable cups is definitely worth signing for those moments that somebody just has to take the disposable cup, but I wish there was another petition to the government to set up waste systems to easier dispose of those biodegradable or compostable disposable cups and another that would start proper education systems to schools and to adults about the change that we need to make to save the Earth.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

Educating people rather than guilting them will help them make decisions on their own and will provide a more worthwhile movement with real change. Guilting people into changing their behaviour doesn’t help, and studies have shown that they can even harm the movement. Writing about consumers doing wrong when they want a better alternative only makes them confused if they are not already familiar with the topic and might make them give up on even trying to be more ethical or requesting change from brands or the government.

By doing small changes and noticing that it works can move people into making bigger changes and to changing attitudes. Let’s not scare them off that path and rather support them with the journey. Make the small changes, such as having a less bad material and promote education on environmental problems and challenging the power and the decision makers. That is how we are going to change the planet.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

What do you think about making small changes or challenging the power?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable reading No.1

Let’s experiment with posting these weekly, at least when I have the time to do so.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

Social

Maybe Your Sleep Problem Isn’t A Problem – Not really from last week, but I thought it was important and interesting. When reading the article and knowing how important sleep is for people I started wondering if the daily schedule of 9-5 is completely wrong and should we have a more relaxed daily schedule in general? I know I can’t handle 9-5 as I feel my brain going to mush, which is part of the reason why I prefer being self-employed.

Living Close To Urban Green Spaces Is Associated With A Decreased Risk Of Breast Cancer – All urban cities should be full of parks and green spaces with all the benefits the research is telling us they provide, so why aren’t they?

Research Identifies All The Different Ways The Sea Supports Human Wellbeing – There is definitely more than we might first think of.

These South African Women Are Using Menstruation Cups To Change The World – And just another proof that when women decide to do something and make others lives better they will succeed!

Migrant Children Could Be Detained Indefinitely Under Trump Administrations’ New Proposal – And they blame it on somebody else of course.

Indonesian Restaurant Law Bans Women and Men Eating Together – Really? This sounds like the government doesn’t trust their citizens nor lets them choose for themselves how well they follow their religion.

Nearly 4 Million Children In the UK Are ‘Too Poor’ To Have A Healthy Diet – A sad reality of food poverty in the UK and I think the government should think what to do about this for a better future for the children when they grow up.

UK Ban On Nuisance Calls From Claims Companies Comes Into Force – About time. These cold calls are not only using energy unnecessarily and disturbing people as well as making it difficult for people to recognise when they are scammed. But where are the instructions on how to put this into practice?

Chief Rabbi Calls On Jewish Schools To Tackle Homophobia – It is great to hear that the heads of religious groups understand that children need to be supported no matter what their sexuality is or what they like.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

Fashion

What It’s Really Like Making Locally – In Finland, locally made and locally sourced clothing is what the consumers are often looking for. Why are we not looking for that everywhere?

Burberry Says It Will No Longer Incinerate Stock – a Great example for the other brands.

 

Ocean

Water Water Everywhere – Clear explanation on how and why water is scarce on our planet and how we could manage it.

Pros and Cons Of Hydropower – Even more sustainable options can have cons.

Norway Pledges To Divest From Ocean-Polluting Companies With $1Trillion Fund – Hurray, I hope to see this from more countries!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Entertainment - byLiiL

Environment

Environmentally Friendly Farming Practices Used By Nearly One-Third Of World’s Farms – And they are being productive, so why isn’t the rest of the farming changing to this practice as well?

Bio-Based Plastics Can Reduce Waste – If We Invest In Both Making And Getting Rid Of Them – And that is what we should be thinking of.

Ditch The Almond Milk: Why Everything You Know About Sustainable Eating Is Probably Wrong – The sustainable choices you thought you made but weren’t necessarily that sustainable.

 

With love,

Lii

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands

Although I follow several sustainable fashion brands from all them I think handbags are my favourite thing to follow and dream about and I only hope to earn more money so I can afford all my sustainable bag dreams. Here are some of my favourite ones.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Elvis and Kresse

This is an absolute wonderful brand which doesn’t stop to amaze me with their design aesthetics. More interestingly the brand has an amazing story behind it. Since 2005 started rescuing end of life fire hoses to provide the materials with a second lease of life and in 2017 they partnered up with Burberry to reuse their leather scraps. In other words, Elvis and Kresse only use materials that were heading for the landfill!

If this didn’t sound amazing enough they are a certified B Corporation and a social enterprise that donates a whopping 50% of their profits to charities among them Fire Fighters Charity. The company tries to be sustainable in every way from running on renewable energy to using rescued materials for their packaging. In addition, they are open and transparent and host workshops in their studio in Kent.

Every time I see one of their bags on Instagram I wish I had it, unfortunately for me, they are a luxury brand with prices ranging from £20 for keyfob to £350 for a duffel bag. I can’t yet afford but at least I can dream of one and one day I get my own Elvis and Kresse bag!

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Eve and Andis

A second brand whose bags I cannot stop admiring on Instagram. Eve and Adis make beautiful bags and other accessories from innovative and eco-friendly materials such as cork, pinatex and eco leather. Pinatex is a material made out of pineapple leaves, cork is a highly renewable material grown in Portugal, and the Eco Leather they get from bio-farm in Germany and it is vegetable tanned without any chemicals. All of their timeless pieces are handmade either in their studio in the south of Germany or in a family owned factory in Spain.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Mollum Vellum

Mollum Vellum is an artisan leather brand from London. They specialise in traditional craftsmanship with traditional tools, which is inspired by the Japanese style leather work. They source their vegetable tanned leather with sustainability in mind from UK and Italy and every piece is handcrafted by them in their studio. Their brand is the model for minimalist and slow design, with all of their timeless pieces.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Maravillas Bags

Is a Spanish brand of vegetable tanned leather and Pinatex bags which is popular due to their bright colours and innovative designs. Maravillas is based in Mallorca where all of their bags are made in the studio with the help of local craftsmen, or in the local trusted factories. They source their vegetable tanned leather from Spanish trusted tanneries. They rejoice in minimalist style and slow fashion principles, whilst using traditional craftsmanship.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Marina Kleist

Marina Kleist is a cork bag designer based in Hague, Netherlands. Their beautiful colourful cork bags are a great alternative to any leather bag, as they are Peta approved vegan. They use French know how to create all of their pieces in their studio with natural materials that are organic and eco-friendly. The materials are either Oeko-Tex or GOTS certified and I already have several of them on my wishlist!

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Matt and Nat

This Canadian brand is already world renown for their Peta approved vegan bangs and linings made out of plastic bottles. They are working on making their materials and factories as sustainable as possible and diligently visit the factories in China to ensure high standards and close relationships. They support the dress for success charity. Matt and Nat is definitely one of the front-runners for Vegan handbags and they show it in every aspect of running their business from their HQ being cruelty-free to encouraging their employees to volunteer.

 

What are your favourite sustainable bag brands?

With love,

Lii

 

Sustainable News of August 2018

Climate Change

Earth At Risk Of Entering ‘Hot House’ State From Which There Is No Return, Scientists Warn – One of the possible futures for our planet if we are not rapidly doing something to prevent it.

Rising Heat Will Cost The Poorest Countries Billions Of Dollars A Year – Heath exhaustion doesn’t happen to only us living in Europe or the US where we are not used to such warm temperatures, it also happens to those who are used to them.

Hotter Climate Means Hungrier Insects Will Munch Millions More Tons Of Crops By 2050 – The one thing we didn’t even think about climate change.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Social

New Passport Checks For Families Are Sexist, Backward Step – In a modern world where we think we are moving forward with feminist issues we stumble upon new ones when legislations fight other crimes.

Why The World Needs More Female Leaders In Health Care – Whilst they occupy the most roles in health care females only have a small portion of leadership roles.

Reversing Burundi’s Pregnant Schoolgirl Ban Is Not Enough, Activists Say – Although a great start as the girls will have greater potential to earn a better living for their families in the future, it is still not concentrating on sexual exploitation.

Diversity In Sustainability – Addie writes with great enthusiasm and good points why sustainability should matter to everybody, not only white women.

This 9-Year-Old South African Author Has a Message We All Need To Hear – It’s so inspiring to see young children to take such initiative and show their enthusiasm to learning and bettering themselves as well as others lives!

Fake Foods Are Threatening South Africa’s Most Vulnerable People – Yes you read it correctly, fake foods or counterfeit foods are allegedly being sold around South Africa to the poorest population with serious health implications.

How Bikes Helped Cut Malaria Deaths by 96% in This Zambia District – As simple a thing as bikes can help poor nations and communities to get access to health and other services.

Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Intelligence, Study Finds – So we should probably do something about it.

 

Plastic

Iceland Is The First UK Supermarket To Sell Plastic Free Chewing Gum – And by this, they do not mean the packaging but the actual gum that you chew. Who would’ve thought that it is even legal to have petroleum-based substances in our consumables? Now you definitely don’t want to swallow it.

Decomposing Plastic Revealed As Hidden Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

UK Plastic Pact Is Central To Forming A Circular Economy – In the mids of all the plastic fears this article tells about a pragmatic approach to tackle the plastic problem. Although, it discusses the circular approach it still doesn’t pinpoint how customers will be involved in it, or how they will make sure no toxic chemicals will be left in the recycled plastics.

This Is The Single Greatest Cause Of Ocean Trash – Lately, we have been hearing about cigarette buts and there is a reason behind it. Maybe it would be time to regulate this.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Recycling

Down With Upcycling? – With so many companies using waste products to make new products are they just using new sources of materials or are they thinking of the whole lifecycle of the product until the end?

 

Food

EU Households Waste Over 17 Billion Kg Of Fresh Fruit And Vegetables a Year – That is an astounding number and we all should start checking whether we actually eat all of the fruit and veg in our households.

Glyphosate Found In Breakfast Cereal In the US – Also found in the UK (especially in bread) as farmers keep using the pesticide before harvest so it is more likely to stay in our food. Buy organic to keep away from the carcinogen and if you want to help affect change in this in the UK you can donate money to Soil Association.

 

Fashion

France Is About To Ban Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Clothing – The idea is that the stores could give the clothes to charities and although this would be a great idea, I don’t think the volume of clothing that would go to charities would do good for either of the industries, I can almost see history repeating what happened to fashion outlets. It is important to do something about the volume of clothing that is thrown away by retailers and brands, but I am not sure if gifting them to charities is the way to go forward.

Why This Factory Is Making Its Factory Wages Public – An excellent initiative that will hopefully be shared by many other brands and bring even more visibility to this problem. Although, I don’t think it should only be factory workers wages, everybody in the company and the supply chain to provide a proper comparison.

Everlane Is Launching ‘Clean Silk’ In a Move Toward Greater Sustainability – The company’s plans are great and I am impressed with how they are reducing harmful chemicals from the production, however, not sure why there was no talk about using peace silk, only organic, which would’ve made the silk even more sustainable.

Shoppers Are Buying Clothes Just For The Instagram Pic, And Then Returning Them – This article talks about a deep-rooted problem in the fashion industry to which Instagram, OOTD and a new outfit for each pic are a fuel. If clothes can be even more disposable than before how can we ever change the fashion industry?

Adidas Launches FW’18 Collection Made Of Recycled Polyester, Organic Cotton – It’s great to hear that the brand is making changes to their ranges, however, this range is designed by Stella McCartney, I would like to see them changing completely to more sustainable materials!

Stella McCartney Evasive On Unsold Stock Issue – For a company that supports sustainability I am surprised and saddened that it is not more transparent on their own supply chains.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Ecosystems

Effects of Overfishing On Ocean Health – This describes very well the different problems overfishing has on marine life and it’s ecosystems.

Why Are Elephants Important To African Ecosystem – Although I’ve always thought they are important I never quite knew how important they are! Let’s save them all!

Climate Change’s Latest Casualty: Cute, Tiny Puffin – Unfortunately with the ocean animals are finding it harder to find their food and have to travel longer to get to their source of nutrition.

Scientists Just Discovered A Coral Reef Off The Coast of South Carolina – And it needs to be protected against oil and gas industry!

Top Performing Microbes Could Be Key To Sustainable Agriculture – Taking an example from nature at it’s best!

 

I think I might need to start doing these weekly as there are so many links to go through. What do you think weekly or monthly?

With love,

Lii