Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018

It’s that time of the year again when we get frantic about finishing all the work, preparing for relaxation time and trying to find everybody some presents. My best tip is to check a couple of tip posts or articles out, for some inspiration, and especially the ones for ethical and sustainable presents, there are many of them this year! And then listen to your friends and family and what are they looking for. I think often the best presents are time and being together with somebody, or giving them an unforgettable experience, and that post I will be posting up soon, however, for those who want to give products I am sharing some great brands here where you can find absolutely amazing products that are ethical and/or sustainable, and there are options for different price points as well! Do remember that the most ethical present (in items) is something that the person wants and will use years to come.

You can check an alternative Sustainable Gift Guide that I wrote last year from here and the post about gifting experiences can be found here. The decorations and seeds seen in this posts are from LA Juniper online store and part of the presents I am giving.

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Fashion and Homeware Gifts

Mavolu – An online shop based in Germany selling fashion, accessories and home products made with sustainable textiles.

Gaia & Dubos – A Canadian sustainable fashion company selling beautiful products, teaching how to care for them. In addition, they offer a bunch of tutorials for caring for your clothes.

La Juniper – A beautiful online store for homeware, stationery and gift products all ethically made.

Alicas – This is a Scottish brand working on providing women in crisis new clothes by repurposing surplus stock from retailers. They are selling ethical items with beautiful illustrations, right now to fund their amazing project.

Elvis and Kresse – Make amazing accessories from repurposed fire hydrants and off-cut leather. In addition, they give 50% of their profits to charity. This is one of my favourite brands at the moment and their accessories are on my Christmas wishlist!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Wild Tussah – Ethical accessory brand made by artisans.

Nandi Berlin – Ethical homeware store with items made by artisans.

Buy Me Once – Fashion,  homeware and gift that will last a long time, are high quality and look great.

Gather and See – Sustainable and ethical fashion from around the world.

LiiL – British made Giclee prints and ethically made sleep masks and homeware.

Primrose and Pixie – Ethical and sustainable lingerie from Scotland.

Studio Emma – Beautiful and colourful homewares made out of concrete.

Maik London – Homewares that are sustainably sourced and ethically made in beautiful prints. I especially like their socks!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Beauty Gifts

Acala – Zero waste beauty shop selling everything to women and men.

MyPure – Natural beauty shop for women, men and children.

Evolve – Natural and organic beauty brand, which is one of my favourites.

 

Zero Waste Supplies

White Spring – Sell high-quality bamboo straws, which are a great present for anybody who likes to drink with straws.

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Better Subscription Gifts

Green EcoBox – They have a natural beauty and gourmet food-related subscription boxes which give back. These boxes are amazing for somebody who likes to try new products which are of high quality and from small brands. If you don’t want to get the whole box or a subscription then you can check just the products on their websites. They are amazing!

Sourced Box – A subscription box full of healthy treats and for Christmas, they bring in a healthy chocolate box which looks so delicious I might just have to order one for myself!

Ethical Consumer – A subscription to this magazine will support ethical consumer magazine and bringing information about ethical businesses. It is a great magazine which I like to support.

Willoughby Book Club – or any other book subscription. At Willoughby, you can choose how long subscription and what type you want to order.

Spotify – or any other music service. Having the premium service can be a nice difference when you don’t have to listen to the constant advertising.

Netflix – or any other video service. There are so many options and so many of us watch tv on a daily basis.

Who Gives A Crap – Why not gift somebody, especially those who might need it, a subscription of toilet paper which is better for the environment as well. I know this might be a controversial present, but I also know that some people would love this present!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Let me know if you have any other great shops or tips for Christmas!

With love,

Lii

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Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code

[I was kindly gifted with these bamboo straws in exchange for my honest review.]

After attending the Circular Economy conference I got a better understanding of how recycling and especially plastic recycling works, and why it doesn’t often work, and it has provided me with a better picture of what plastic should or shouldn’t be used for.

Plastic can be a wonderful material for certain uses, but there are many uses for which there are more cons than pros and such is plastic used in food packaging or as utensils. Food contaminates plastic which makes it more difficult to recycle, as the food contamination lowers the quality of plastic that it can be recycled into and therefore single-use plastic often end up on the landfills or being incinerated. How plastic contaminates food is another matter as plastic can’t be tested for everything at the same time, but rather it can be tested for certain “leaks”. Therefore you might want to use compostable or reusable packaging and utensils when possible. One of the great materials used in reusable utensils is bamboo. It provides some wonderful benefits whilst not costing too much to the planet.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Bamboo

Bamboo grows quickly without pesticides and when grown with responsible forestry it can be a fairly sustainable material. Bamboo is free of all the chemicals used in plastic straws and is naturally anti-bacterial. At the end of use, bamboo is biodegradable and can be composted in industrial compost. For straws bamboo is an excellent material, although it often varies in shape, it is durable when properly cared for.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Alternative to Bamboo Straws
  • Plastic – We are used to the feel of plastic straws in our mouths and therefore prefer them, however, this perception can be changed. Nevertheless, plastic straws can be useful for when other alternatives are not suitable.
  • Silicon – Is a great alternative and can be recycled, but is not biodegradable.
  • Stainless steel – It requires quite a lot of energy to produce and can leave a metallic aftertaste, although it could be recycled.
  • Paper – Is a single-use alternative, which could potentially be recycled, however, it faces a similar problem with plastic and food contamination and therefore many councils do not accept them into their recycling.
  • Glass – It again requires quite a lot of energy to produce and it can be very fragile.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

White Springs Bamboo Straws

White Springs want to use bamboo as an alternative to single-use plastic. They pride in creating straws which are compostable whilst still being high-quality compared to many others on the market and truly they are durable, do not crack and feel nice and smooth in your mouth. In addition, they strive to pick bamboo with fairly similar internal diameter. With your bamboo straws, you get two cleaning brushes and an organic cotton bag where you can store them, or carry them with you. You get 8 straws and two cleaning brushes in the pack.

 

My Review
  • I like them, but the thickness is something I have to get used to, it isn’t unpleasant though. I love that they are reusable, organic, made out of natural materials and that they are compostable though!
  • My partner said he felt they brought the taste of wood to his drink, but I found it didn’t affect the taste of my drink in any way, I rather liked it.
  • Cleaning them the brush goes nicely all the way through, however, feels a bit tight. It still cleans the straws very well and airdrying them is fairly quick. They are dishwasher safe as well! From previous experience with bamboo products, I wouldn’t leave the straws soaking in water, as long periods of moisture can create mould. I didn’t experience it with these straws but I am mindful of it.
  • They feel really durable, smooth and nice to use.
  • The bag fits the straws well but doesn’t feel cramped, and I love that I have something to carry them with me if I need to.
  • There is no plastic when you receive your straws. Straws and brushes are in the carry bag and the carry bag is in a neat cardboard box.
  • The straws work very well for most cold drinks, however, for some reason with carbonated drinks they float a little bit and it pushes the bubbles up, although it doesn’t much affect drinking them either.
  • The straws vary in size, but it doesn’t matter to me. Different sizes can be pleasing to different people or different drinks.
  • My kitten was really excited about them as well. Compared to plastic I am not afraid if he plays around a bit with the bamboo as then he won’t be swallowing pieces of plastic. The bamboo is durable enough so he shouldn’t be able to break and eat pieces of it.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

 

White Springs has kindly offered a discount code for my byLiiL readers, for UK customers only. You can use the code: WS324977 for a single purchase (it is valid until the 31st of December), which you can apply at checkout, and you can order your very own White Springs bamboo straws here. Do check their website out for more information! You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

White Spring Add

Have you tried bamboo straws before?

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

 

The Green Eco Box – Subscription Box That Does Good

(Suomeksi skrollaa alas)

I was kindly sent a Beauty in the Box* by Green Eco Box to test and enjoy. I am really excited to introduce you to this box as I enjoyed exploring it and I really feel they make a difference!

The Green Eco Box is a company that offers you some wonderful artisan products from around the globe whilst promoting more environmental living and it fights against the big problems in our world today: global warming, deforestation and loss of biodiversity. It is a one of a kind product and service with a small but dedicated team behind it to make it all happen. At the heart of the company is the love for our planet and it’s inhabitants, which can be seen in every aspect the company does from their values and ethos to their products.

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

The Green Eco Box has two types of boxes on offer the Beauty in the box and Bee happy box. Bee happy box is a monthly subscription box that is full of amazing sounding artisan gourmet foods like jams, biscuits and tees, whereas the Beauty in the box (which I received) is a bimonthly box full of artisan beauty products. What is really amazing is that that Green Eco Box has partnered up with amazing charities, for example for the sale of each box the organisation 1 tree will plant a tree in either Haiti or California and depending on which box you choose they gift 3-5€ to WWF or Greenpeace.

In the box I received: Shower Gel from Creamy Stuff, Shampoo bar from Sauberkunst, Soap from Les Belles de Savon, Bath melt from Autour du Bain, samples of chocolates from Valrhona, Tea from Higher Living and a sheet of seeds, which when planted will grow carrots. The seeds are untreated which is all the better for me and the soil I will plant them into! I can’t wait to try it out and see if I can grow my own carrots. My kitchen garden is growing!!

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

My Experience

Shower Gel – Creamy Stuff

A pomelo scented shower gel which is not tested on animals and is paraffin, paraben and palm oil free. In addition, it is handmade and vegan.

I like the scent of the shower gel, although it is a bit sweet. The consistency was milky, but little goes a long way and it felt luxurious when showering with it. The only criticism I have for the product is that it is in a plastic bottle and therefore I don’t know if I can recycle it here. I have since learned the packaging was made out of recycled plastic and is BPA free, which is excellent!

Shampoo bar – Sauberkunst

A mango lassi scented shampoo bar that is cruelty-free approved by PETA and handmade with wonderful ingredients that will make sure your hair will only get nourishment and none of the ugly stuff.

This was definitely my favourite product from the box and one that I will probably keep buying as it became one of my favourite shampoos ever! The scent was fairly strong, thankfully I like mangoes. And the first time I used it I had to lather quite a lot to get enough product into my hair, however, it washed my hair wonderfully but still gently, as it doesn’t have any soap in the shampoo. The bar is small and would travel well, but also I have washed my hair several times using it and I don’t think it has diminished at all, so will definitely last me a long time!

Soap – Les Belles de Savon

This is a multifunction ‘soap’ that is suitable for hair, body and face, as well as due to it’s natural and perfume free nature it’s suitable for all different skin types and even for babies. It’s full of wonderful ingredients that will make your skin soft and your hair clean.

I tried this bar on my hair, which it washed well and on my skin which was left soft. The scent is fairly natural, maybe slightly peaty, but not in a bad way. The scent after the shower is wonderfully natural. The actual bar is like a balm and a pleasure to touch and use. This would be a wonderful product to take with you when travelling as you won’t need any other product in the shower with you!

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

The chocolates were nice and the teas had a wonderful flavour of not being too berry, which is usually what I dislike in teas like this. I especially loved the tea with watermelon as it was flavourful but fresh, yummy!

I loved trying these different products and appreciated the uniqueness of each product and the work Green eco box does. What I also like is that if you liked any of the products you tried or if you missed a product that you would like to try you can buy them from the Green Eco Box eboutique!

I think the box is a unique way to be introduced to new brands you wouldn’t otherwise find and like me fall in love with new products. Each box contains something new and interesting and you know that the money you put into the box goes towards supporting small brands and their craft as well as great charities, which I love! I also like that many of the products were third-party certified which made me trust the work Green Eco Box is doing that much more!

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

Subscriptions:

Monthly subscription of Bee Happy box is 42€ (approx. £37.5) delivery is included to EU, Switzerland and the UK, additional costs for deliveries to other countries.

Bimonthly subscription of Beauty in the Box is 33 € (approx. £29.5) delivery is included to EU, Switzerland and the UK, additional costs for deliveries to other countries.

 

Right now if you subscribe you get 15% off, which is a great deal to try this box now. Check it out!

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Boxi joka tarjoaa sinulle mahtavia tuotteita eri nurkista maailmaa ja samalla promoaa ja tukee ympäristöystävällisiä elämäntapoja, sekä taistelee isoja ongelmia vastaan kuten: ilmaston lämpeneminen, metsä kato sekä luonnon monimuotoisuuden kato. Tämän erikoislaatuisen tuotteen ja palvelun taustalla on pieni mutta hyvinkin omistautunut tiimi joka varmistaa että jokainen boxin tuote on harvinainen ja korkea laatuinen.

 

Green Eco Box:illa on kahden tyyppistä boxia tarjolla: Beauty in the box ja Bee happy box. Bee happy on kuukausittainen tilaus-boxi joka sisältää artisaani herkkuja kuten gourmet hilloja, keksejä sekä erikoisempaa teetä. Beauty in the box (boxi jonka minä sain kokeiluuni) on tilaus-boxi joka tulee joka toinen kuukausi ja sisältää artisaanien tekemiä korkealaatuisia kauneus tuotteita, joita ei ole testattu eläimillä. Vielä mahtavampaa on että Green Eco Box on lyöttäytynyt yhteen hyväntekeväisyys järjestöjen kanssa ja jokaisesta boxista menee 3-5 euroa joko WWF:lle tai Greenpeace:lle, sekä 1 tree hyväntekeväisyys järjestö istuttaa yhden puun per jokainen boxi joko Haitiin taikka Kaliforniaan.

Minun boxini sisälsi: Creamy Stuff suihku geelin, Sauberkunst kiinteän shampoopalan, Les Belles de Savon saippuan, Autour du Bain kylpypallon, Valrhona suklaata, Higher Living teetä, sekä siemenpaperin jonka siemenistä kasvaa porkkanoita! En malta odottaa että saan kasvatettua itselleni porkkanoita ja levitettyä pientä keittiö puutarhaani.

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

Kokemukseni

Creamy Stuff – Suihkugeeli

Tämä suihkugeeli oli pomelon tuoksuinen, sitä ei ole testattu eläimillä, se ei sisällä haitallisia kemikaaleja eikä palmuöljyä. Suihkugeeli on käsin tehty ja vegaani.

Vaikka suihkugeelin tuoksu tuntuikin hieman makealta, pidin siitä silti. Tuote tuntui luksukselta kun se oli niin maitoinen ja pieni määrä riittää pitkälle. Olisin toivonut, että tuote olisi pakattu muuhun kuin muoviin, mutta muutoin olin kovin tyytyväinen kokemukseeni.

Sauberkunst – kiinteä shampoopala

Tämä kiinteä shampoopala oli herkullisen mangolassin tuoksuinen ja yksi ehdoton lempi tuotteistani boxissa. Se on PETA:n hyväksymä ja sisältää ihania luonnollisia tuotteita jotka ravitsevat hiuksiamme.

Tämä tuote riittää todellakin pitkälle. Vaikka shampoopala onkin pieni, käytin sitä useampaan kertaan, enkä huomaa että sitä olisi kadonnut minnekään. Hiukseni tuontuivat pesun jälkeen puhtailta sekä terveiltä ja tuoksu pysyi pitkään. Tämä tuote olisi mahtava mukaan reissuun ja on ehdottomasti tuote jonka ostaisin uusiksisin!

Les Belles de Savon – saippua

Oikeastaan tämä ei ole saippua vaan pala jolla voi pestä hiukset, kropan ja kasvot, mutta joka ei sisällä saippuaa vaan muita ainesosia jotka ovat hellävaraisia mille tahansa iho tyypille atooppisesat vauvan ihoon. Se pesee hyvin ja on luonnollinen eikä sisällä parfyymeja.

Kokeilin palaa hiuksiini ja kroppaani ja olin oikein tyytyväinen tuloksiin. Tuoksu oli kevyen tervamainen, mutta pidin siitä, ja pesun jälkeen koin tuoksuvani hyvin luonnolliselle. Tuote tuntui hyvin pehmeältä ja ylelliseltä. Tämä on myös tuote joka toimisi mahtavasti matkassa mukana, kun et muuta tuotetta suihkuun tarvitsekkaan.

 

Tykkäsin paljon suklaista ja vain harmitti ettei niitä ollut enempää. Yleensä en pidä marja teestä, mutta nämä teet olivat hyvin raikkaita ja erityisesti pidin siitä joka sisälsi vesimelonia, se oli aivan ihana!

Minusta oli ihana kokeilla näitä tuotteita, joita en varmasti olisi muuten tullut kokeilleeksi. Jokainen oli korkealaatuinen ja ihana elämys. Aloin arvostaa Green Eco Box:ia ja heidän työtään vain enemmän! Nyt heidän netti sivuiltaan löytyy myös eboutique, joten jos missasit jonkun tuotteen tai haluat ostaa lisää jotain mistä tykkäsit se onnistuu helposti.

Minusta Green Eco Box on aivan ihana uniikki palvelu joka tutustuttaa sinut brändeihin joihin et muuten luultavasti tutustuisi. Se mahdollistaa uusien tuotteiden kokemisen ja tukee pieniä artisaani tekijöitä ympäri maailmaa, sekä varmistaa että jokainen tukee myös hyväntekeväisyyksiä. Oli myös mahtava huomata kuinka monet tuotteen oli certifioitu, joka sai minut vain luottamaan tähän boxiin enemmän! Heidän nettisivuja voi toistaiseksi käyttää vain englanniksi, saksaksi ja ranskaksi, mutta toivottavasti tulevaisuudessa he laajentavat myös muille kielille.

The Green Eco Box - Subscription Box That Does Good - byLiiL

Tilaus jaksot:

Bee Happy box:in kuukausittainen tilaus on 42€ per boxi. Hintaan sisältyy postimaksut Eu:n sisällä mukaan lukien Sveitsi ja Iso-Britannia.

Beauty in the Box:in joka toinen kuukausittainen tilaus on 33 € per boxi. Hintaan sisältyy postimaksut Eu:n sisällä mukaan lukien Sveitsi ja Iso-Britannia.

 

Juuri nyt uudet asiakkaat kirjauduttuaan saavat 15% alennusta. Tuo on mahtava hinta kokeilla boxia ja tutustua uusiin artisaani tuotteisiin. Vieraile heidän sivuillaan täältä!

 

With love,

Lii

 

*Green Eco Box gifted me with a free box to test and write about, however, all opinions are my own / Sain boxin lahjaksi Green Eco Box:ilta, mutta kaikki mielipiteet ovat omiani.

What Was I Up To In May 2018

I spend may working very hard and working on a project that I am super excited about and can’t tell about yet, but will hopefully be able to start talking about soon. There very many late night sessions of work, asking my partners help and a couple of cries of frustration when the internet wasn’t working. It is funny to realise how dependent we are on the internet. Our lives in the western countries are based on us being able to use the internet, so it’s no surprise how helpless you can feel when that is taken away from you.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

When the internet actually did work I quickly did the work required to be done on my computer and wrote posts here. I finally published my experiences of sustainability in Chania. The post is a great resource if anybody ever wants to go on a holiday there! I was excited to learn, during the Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week, that the eye cream I bought from Chania was certified organic and have enjoyed using it even more since!

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week - byLiiL

I also visited the Glasgow Coffee Festival where I got to know several new local companies making amazing products! And I shared Instagram pictures that I enjoyed in April and the most interesting sustainable news I saw in April.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Calming Candles in the Sun - byLiiL

For June I am expecting one of my busiest months but will try to come and write here on occasion. Funnily enough, my freelance work is piling up just now and I don’t seem to be able to say no. And on top of that, I still have my project that I am working on. So keep your thumbs up that I will have enough time to finish it all and still have some time off for myself!

 

How was your May? And what plans do you have for June?

With love,

Lii

What Was I Up To In March 2018

March was a very cold month with some surprising and exciting snowy days in Glasgow, which made me think about how lovely my warm home is with heating and warm and dry covers. That’s when I wrote the post about why we should feel gratitude for having a home. Homelessness should be an issue that is addressed at all times, but especially when it is cold outside!

Why You Should Feel Gratitude For Having a Home - byLiiL

I loved the interview I did with Nadja, who is the founder of MAVOLU the webshop for sustainable fashion with innovative materials. She has great insight into material innovation and what sustainable fashion is all about! I also shared a bunch of articles that are helpful to a sustainable lifestyle. And finally, I share a big collection of sustainable news from February.

March also saw International Women’s Day and I got tickets to see Priscilla the musical as a present, which I enjoyed a lot! March also saw International Water Day and Earth Hour, two very important days to remember our connection to nature. I found it funny that the beginning of March saw such cold days and also very beautiful spring days. Finally, I shared beautiful Instagram pictures.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

The start of April is cold again and I hope we will get warmer and sunnier days soon! Sun definitely boosts my efficiency and energy, so come on sun!

How was your March?

With love,

Lii

 

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU – Material Revolution

Nadja, the founder of MAVOLU, and I go way back to our undergraduate studies where we both showed interest in sustainable fashion. This common interest was definitely a part of what kept us as friends ever since our University studies. I am happy to have a friend with whom I can discuss my interest in sustainable fashion and who is an inspiration to me. I can always count on her support and am every day impressed by her integrity and drive for what she wants to achieve. I wanted to share the interview with Nadja as she has some great points on sustainable issues and innovation currently and she has founded a great new platform for sustainability! I hope you will enjoy this interview and let me know if you want to read more of these kinds of posts in the future!

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

Who are you? And how are you connected to sustainability?

My name is Nadja, I am from Germany and 28 years old. After completing my BA in ‘Fashion Business’ at Glasgow Caledonian University I moved to Berlin in order to study an MA course focussing on sustainability in fashion. My MA project was examining innovative and sustainable materials, in particular, peace silk, banana fibre and soy fibre. I went on a research trip to India in order to learn more about the production and sourcing processes of each fibre, and in addition to that, I designed a small capsule collection made from those materials. After finishing the MA course me and some other students decided to continue working together as re/GENERATE, focussing on collaborations and workshops that are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  We also got the chance to show our MA projects as part of the ‘Fashion Sustain’ Conference during Berlin Fashion Week, which was very exciting! A small summary of all the projects can be found on our webpage.

What is MAVOLU?

Ever since I’ve started the MA course I’ve been somewhat obsessed with material innovation, especially because there is so much experimentation going on right now in terms of new and sustainable fibre options. But while I was doing the research for my thesis I realised that it is often quite difficult to gain access to clothing and accessories made from ground­breaking and innovative materials. While there are some designers that are already working with those materials, it is very time­consuming to actually find all of them. So I thought the easiest way to solve this problem was to create a marketplace specifically for products made from innovative materials. I, therefore, started an online platform that is currently covering eight different materials, with the intention to add more over time. In the online shop, you can find beautiful and unique products such as wallets made from banana fibre, dresses made from peace silk, and bags made from cork. In addition to that, MAVOLU wants to create a knowledge exchange in the field of sustainable textiles and fibre options, which is why I have added a material library that will show a short summary of each fibre. I have also recently started a blog where each material will be discussed in more depth and where I will introduce the different designers and brands who are behind all these beautiful products.

Where do you see the future of fashion and sustainability?

While material innovation is a big passion of mine, I am of course aware that the right material choice alone is not going to change the whole fashion industry. But I do believe that it makes a very big difference to choose a low­impact fibre or material at the very beginning of the supply chain, which will then have a positive impact on all other stages ­ for example, a material that is free from chemicals will cause less harm in terms of human toxicity for farmers, weavers, and of course also consumers. This can be as simple as choosing organic

cotton instead of conventional cotton, because its production requires a lot less water, chemicals and fertilisers.

What is the most interesting innovation in terms of materials so far?

I am a big fan of fibre production from agricultural residues, such as banana fibre and pineapple fibre. Banana fibre, for example, is derived from the pseudostem of the banana plant, which would naturally rot once the fruit has been harvested. The fibre is therefore entirely made from a by­product of the food industry and its cultivation does not require any additional resources. The same goes for pineapple fibre production: the fibres can be extracted from the leaves of the plant (again a by­product of the food industry) and can e.g. be turned into Piñatex, an innovative material created by Ananas Anam which is often used as a vegan and environmentally friendly alternative to leather.

 

What do you see as the biggest problem within material innovation?

I think for now a lot of the material innovation is still in the research stage. While fabrics made from Tencel, ramie and hemp have been around for some time now, others are not quite as developed and are therefore not used by many designers. That seems to be the main reason why it is currently still quite difficult to get your hands on items made from innovative and sustainable materials. But I also think that there is a huge interest in developing those materials further, as well as coming up with new alternative fibres. E.g. if you look at the winners of the Global Change Award in the past years then you will notice that at least one of them is focussing on some sort of ground­breaking fibre or material ­ be it from citrus waste, algae, or even cow dung. So over time, those materials will hopefully be used by more designers, and as a result, more people can gain access to it, offering them an alternative to mass­produced items made from unsustainable fibres.

And what do you see as the biggest problem within sustainable fashion?

I think that most of all, we need to start changing the current mindset in terms of value. We are too used to clothing being insanely cheap and therefore disposable. In fact, we are so used to cheap fashion that it has now become the norm, consequently making sustainable fashion appear ‘too expensive’. However, I think it is necessary that we re­value the labour that goes into each and every garment ­ starting with the fibre production, the spinning, the weaving, the sewing, the distribution. If you consider all those individual steps in the supply chain then suddenly sustainable fashion doesn’t seem quite so expensive ­ it’s just a realistic price for a realistic amount of work.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

Do you have any tips for people who want to be more sustainable in their fashion consumption?

Start small and don’t get demotivated! To be honest I often get demotivated myself, thinking that I can’t really make a difference compared to the bigger picture. But as consumers, we all have a choice, with every single purchase we make. And even if sustainable fashion is not within your budget then there are still plenty of other options, such as buying second­hand or renting your clothes (e.g. from ‘fashion libraries’ such as Kleiderei. All those seemingly small steps are contributing a lot towards a more sustainable future in fashion.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

 

I hope that interview got you more excited about material innovation. Now go check MAVOLU out and learn even more about innovative materials. And check her beautiful Instagram account as well!
If you have any additional questions to Nadja ask them in the comment box below!
Shop the products in the post:
With love,
Lii