Happy Favourites of the Week – Uno and a Book Haul

The Colour Purple – I had been pushing this book further and further on my reading list until one day I decided that it was time to read it. I was so surprised when I swallowed it in a couple of days and enjoyed it immensely!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Uno and a Book Haul - byLiiL

Chamomile Manuka Tee – It is soothing and relaxing to my mind and my tummy. It has been great for these chillier August days!

In A Heartbeat – The new Pixar short animated movie about a boy coming out. Of course, I had to watch and within such a short time managed to shed more than just a couple of tiers. It is really sweet and beautiful, as well as funny!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Uno and a Book Haul - byLiiL

Unsolved Murders – This week while working I’ve been listening to the Unsolved Murders podcast and been completely obsessed! Although there are some quite grim parts when they discuss the murders, the main part of the podcast that I like is the speculation and analysis of the mystery; who did it? why they did it? and so on. Also, so of the murders have happened in the 19th century or early 20th century so there is a good amount of history and description of the time, which is very fascinating.

Little Book Haul – I really don’t like any kind of hauls, but when I get to do it for a charity, I can accept it occasionally. I went into a local Cat charity shop (a great concept for cat lovers) and found a deal on 4 books for £1. Luckily I found 4 books that I was actually quite excited about. Hurray for book deals!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Uno and a Book Haul - byLiiL

The Versions of Us – I was not expecting to like this book, but I quite enjoyed it. It has a very similar feeling to David Nicholls One Day with its love story. The main concept of the book is the three different versions of this couple’s lives if they would’ve changed one moment in their life.

Uno – Who remembers this game? I had forgotten all about it, until one of our friends, visiting us, asked if we had them. And of course, we started an Uno tournament and I am sure there are many more to come!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Uno and a Book Haul - byLiiL

Big Sick – I went to see Big Sick with my friend in the local cinema and I laughed harder than I’ve had in a while. It was a sweet story and a good laugh, definitely, recommend! It also really makes you appreciate your health and your relationships (well if the relationship is good).

 

What made you happy this week?

With love,

Lii

Are Big Brands Stealing Small Brand Thunder?

As you have probably noticed I am all up to support the small brands and talk bad about the big brands, especially if I feel they are taking the small brands thunder with ethical or sustainable things. Not following? Let me explain. Recently I’ve seen a lot of articles about ethical swimwear; it seems there is a boom in the industry. Designers from Europe, USA, Australia and Canada, especially, are producing swimwear with various ethical ways such as GOTS certified cotton, fair trade or recycled ocean waste materials. I find it absolutely amazing to hear that these small brands are making their mark with their ethical produce!

Are Big Brands Stealing Small Brand Thunder? - byLiiL

If you have read about these small brands, you have probably also read about the fashion and sportswear giant Adidas producing swimwear and shoes from recycled ocean waste. My first thought was great, more marketing for the ocean conservation and sustainability. My second thought was, wait…  by using the same technology and marketing tactics isn’t Adidas taking the limelight from all the other brands within the narrow ethical fashion marketing sphere?

Recycled Ocean Waste

The highly marketed recycled ocean waste fabric is Econyl, a trademark by Aquafil which is made in Slovenia. It is a fibre made out of recycled nylon 6 which they collect from few locations around the world and some volunteers collect them discarded fishing nets. The fibre is produced in a closed loop system and can be recycled numerous times. It sounds great compared to virgin nylon and it is definitely a solution for nylon 6 waste. You can check their website if you want to read more about it.

Are Big Brands Stealing Small Brand Thunder? - byLiiL

There are several brands that use econyl to make their swimwear. Auria, a brand from London, was one of the first brands that used the fibre and has built a brand on making their beautiful ethical swimwear by using only econyl fabric. Koru likewise to Auria has built their brand producing ethical swimwear and only using econyl, whilst they are in New Zealand. There are several others that you can find just by googling and on the Econyl blog where they share the brands that are using their fibre. And then, of course, there is Adidas, who made a collaboration with Parley to create an eco swimwear collection and shoes to raise awareness for the ocean and marine conservation. Currently, they produce 50 % of their swimwear out of recycled materials but are aiming for 100%.

Econyl provides any brand with a sustainable new nylon fabric. Small brands don’t have to innovate to create an environmentally sustainable business. What they do with it is the difference. Small brands have to drive their sales with beautiful and unique designs, each catering to a slightly different niche market and retailing for £50-170 per swimsuit. They boast with ethical swimwear that is made out of recycled ocean waste and produced fairly by making it locally or in fair trade factories. Whereas Adidas caters to the mass market with a price to match £25-51 and although they spread the message of ocean and marine conservation to a wider public, the price questions whether the swimwear is made in fair conditions. In addition, when the small brands have been able to build their brands on the sustainable fabric, I wonder why it is taking Adidas this long to do it 100% nevertheless of their aims. Is Econyl production not quite meeting the Adidas swimwear production rates, or is it just green marketing tactics?

Are Big Brands Stealing Small Brand Thunder? - byLiiL

I do think that it is great there are many options to buy more sustainable alternatives than the general high street mass market options, but I do feel Adidas is stealing the thunder from the smaller brands while not being quite as committed to the cause. When googling recycled ocean waste swimwear Adidas collaboration with Parley has several first clicks, whereas I originally read about the smaller brands because I follow several ethical blogs. However, I do not think these small brands could have spread the message as wide as Adidas did, on their own. To make this planet sustainable we do need everybody working for it; producing sustainably, educating people and spreading the word. Maybe this way we challenge each of these brands to be even better and more innovative with their sustainable ways.

Pictures are from Auria, Econyl and Proswimwear websites.

 

What do you think?  Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii

What I Was Up To In June

I can’t believe June is already over! This has been a month of reflection for me. I’ve been working more from home and being in my solitude really makes me think! I can influence what I think about with podcasts that I listen while I work or with articles that I read on my free time, however, reading and listening to all the challenges we face with making the planet to be a better place for all and learning about oppression to so many different groups of people can often make me a bit sad before it pushes me into action.

Straws - Eco-Friendly or Healthy?

Due to the reflection, I wrote more about what was going on in my head such as are summer bucket lists necessary and can you fake body confidence. Especially the latter one is a topic that I don’t even like to talk about to my close group of people, but something that I think about and struggle with often. Don’t you think that writing things down just makes more space and sense in your head? Unlike speaking about things, when I write I really dig deep into why I am feeling a certain way, talking is not as easy.

Inspiration of the Month - Fight and Thirst for Education - byLiiL

This month I have also been really tapping into sustainability in general. It’s quite unbelievable how many layers such topic can have. In June I wrote about Honest Rosie – a capsule wardrobe, I shared articles on sustainability and problems with charities, I shared an amazing recycling website Earth 911, I wrote about the sustainability of straws and OneSqin – organic tampons and skincare, and education for girls. Talking about education, which was my inspiration of the month after reading ‘I Am Malala’, I’ve been educating myself on photoshop, start-ups, sustainability and feminism. I couldn’t be more excited and I feel I don’t have enough time for all of my interests!

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Fashion Sizing - byLiiL

This month I started a new thread of posts about fashion and some sustainability issues with it. The first post was about fashion sizing, more or less to explain why we struggle with finding garments that fit us, but I will be tapping into more sustainable topics in fashion soon as well. In addition, I shared my favourite Insta pics from May and how I love pink evening skies.

I still don’t know what July will be like, most likely quite similar to June, as all my summery plans are for August. But you never know what opportunities reveal themselves and I plan to live in the moment!

 

What did you do in June? And what are your plans for July?

With love,

Lii

Summer Bucket Lists – Are They Necessary?

I am a true lover of all kinds of lists and make them on a daily basis from to do lists, to what to buy from the store and what I want to accomplish in a year. Summer is here and although I have been really excited about it for some time now, I don’t seem to get inspiration to make any kind of list of what I want to do this summer. At least not the kind that summer bucket lists would usually involve. I’ve been thinking maybe there is something wrong with me. In our culture summer holidays are the time for vacation and taking it easy. People are planning holidays and times to spend with friends.

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When I still lived in Finland my bucket list would have included a lot of swimming,  spending time on the beach, doing a grill, visits to the countryside, drinking out with friends on midsummer’s eve and may day and so on. In the UK I don’t really do most of those things. I do reminisce them fondly and think how fun I had in my teen years and later on as well.

Since I graduated from University I haven’t really seen summer as the ultimate holiday time. Mostly, because I work for myself. I schedule my days, weeks and months the way I want to, which means I have my holidays when I want to and do everything else when I want to. I don’t really have bucket lists anymore, I have wish lists of things that I dream of such as travelling to certain countries, being brave enough to do a bungee jump and so on. For this summer I do have a wish list as well. I wish that I will have a fun time while I work, I wish that I can take my work to the next stage and I wish that I will earn enough money so that I can go on all the trips that I want to do this year; Ireland and Netherlands are definitely on the list. I want to read more books, but they are always on my list and I want to enjoy my time outside. None of this is something that needs to happen, but rather something that would be nice. I will be perfectly content with none of it as well.

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I understand that for many, summer is still the ultimate holiday time and with the sun shining and the temperatures high. That is why I wish that people would, rather than making bucket lists of things that need to be done in a certain amount of time, just enjoy the summer and have fun on an impulse. And while you are enjoying your time, try to think of the environment a little as well and keep it sustainable.

 

What do you think are summer bucket lists still necessary?

With love and I hope you have a great summer,

Lii

 

What have I been up to in February

I had trouble being motivated and inspired in February unless we count the inspiring Iris Apfel, who I wrote about in the beginning of the month. I was unwell for about three weeks of the month, which in February seems even longer than any other month. Being frustrated and stuck at home I concentrated my time on reading books such as The Buried Giant and Persepolis and watching tv-shows and movies that got me more inspired to learn more about different cultures.

Happy favourites of the week - learning experience - byLiiL

Being stuck at home has made me dream a lot. I’ve been dreaming about a dining space and about warmer weather. My two furballs have been a big comfort and seem to be happy about me being home so much. Some enjoyment I’ve gained from using my Matt&Nat handbag when out and about and using my new favourite items from Lush. Valentine’s day brought me many lovely messages from friends and a happy smile from my boyfriend on receiving his sustainable valentine’s day cards with two lovey-dovey foxes.

Are cat's affectioned - byLiiL

I’ve had some time to research sustainability and wrote about 5 easy sustainable fashion changes and why I would change to natural cleaning products, rather than use the mainstream options. Most proud I have been about being able to keep up with regular posting! Hurray! Now I hope March will bring some more sunlight into our lives and I can go and enjoy ice skating while the rink is still open, yoga and walks in that sunshine!

What have I been up to in February - byLiiL

How was your February?

With love,

Lii

15 things I am dreaming about just now – February edition

Warm and light spring days with long walks outside!

To get rid of the cactus in my throat.

Quick reading abilities. I have so many books to read and I am anxious to get through them.

Going to a sauna. The hot moist air that purifies the skin and the body of all toxins! (one of the only things I miss from Finland)

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

A comfier couch. Ours is a poor resemblance of a couch which makes my back ache and it’s not actually comfy to sit on.

To not have to read any more upsetting news, at the same time I am so thankful to be able to know what is going around the world.

Uncorrupt media and world governments…

A really good tiramisu. I rarely want one, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking out for the one, I would like to have.

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

 

A holiday. Warm, with clear waters and good food, that is all I need.. and maybe some adventure 😀 With friends, with my family and with my loved ones!

Having more energy!

Pizza!

Some clarity in my mind.

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

 

Understanding hashtags.

My own garden to plant herbs, fruits, veggies and flowers in it!

Being confident to speak out all of my opinions, not only here but in general.

 

What are you dreaming about just now?

With love,

Lii

Dreams of a Dining space

In our flat, we do not have a dining table. I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk and when we are eating dinner it is done on the couch watching tv or on occasion (when we have guests or it’s Christmas) we pull out my other work desk that we set for the dinner. Often, after work, I do enjoy watching a tv-show which distracts me from what has been going on during the day, however, often I also find it paralyses me on to the couch and I get frustrated easily.

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

This is why when researching about healthy eating habits, I was not surprised to learn, that sitting at a table with your family or friends, without distractions such as TV, can be beneficial for your health. When you concentrate on what you eat you are more mindful about it and when you converse with somebody it makes you eat slower and you feel full quicker, thus you will not overeat. In addition, to me, sitting at a table and having to get up from it after dinner gives new energy to work on something else, rather than be stuck with a TV-show. Funnily enough, we often want to go out for a meal, because then we know that we will have a meaningful conversation.

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

So recently I started dreaming of a dining area. I know there is no room in our current flat, but the more reason I can dream of one for our future flat and meanwhile try to dine without the TV on (wish me luck). I collected here some ideas of the dining area that I would enjoy eating at. Obviously, I would like to make the area sustainable, so a lot of items from recycled or otherwise sustainable sources. First things that come to mind are; foliage, thick repurposed wooden tables, comfy chairs, beautiful place mats and coasters to protect the table and copperware, which is supposed to have antibacterial properties (read more about it here).

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

  • The ball lamps in picture 2 are just wonderful and made out of upcycled capiz shells, which are in abundance in Indonesia. I absolutely adore them. You can read more about the recycling method and find the lamp here.
  • The beautiful geometric acrylic lamp in picture 6 is made from recycled materials and I love the shading it gives on the walls. You can find the lamp here with the information about how it was made.
  • The copper table in picture 7 is so interesting. I know I said I would love a repurposed wood table, but that would be my option two. Don’t you just love the colours? The table is made by Arhaus and recycled as well. You can find more similar tables here.
  • Pictures 8 and 13 are visual of other items from Arhaus. I love that such a big company has built their success on making sustainable furniture (read more about it here). More companies should do that!
  • The lamp in picture 12 is made out of recycled plastic bottles. Only on closer inspection did I notice that and thought how cool the idea was! Check it out here.
  • Picture 15, although, over saturated, is close to the ideal dining space. Maybe a bit too much foliage, but everybody needs a lot of oxygen!
  • If you want to see more recycled furniture ideas check these four small shops 1, 2, 3 and 4, or if you liked the Arhaus check their dining room set here.
  • The rest of the pictures are from Pinterest and can be found on this board.

Do you dine at a family table or do you watch tv on the couch instead?

With love,

Lii