Happy Favourites of July 2019

I am posting this quite late in the month, but it is a whirlwind of time at the moment. Whilst I might not be doing much I have millions of things my mind is constantly focused on and there is not much headspace for anything else. Exciting things are happening in my life and I hope I can share them with you in the near future! And hopefully, I will have a bit more headspace soon to write more posts. I have so many ideas, but it seems to take too much effort to actually finish those posts.

Happy Favourites of July 2019 - byLiiL

 

I’ve achieved one of my goals for 2019 – I’ve read 100 books. For many years I’ve wondered how people manage to read so many books in a year, but by giving me time to read and with audiobooks I’ve already managed to fulfil this goal. There have been some not very good books, but mostly I’ve read excellent fiction and non-fiction books with many to do with sustainability.

Healthy Cats – I had noticed how my little Tiger kitten, who is usually greedy with his food, didn’t like to always finish his food and seemed a bit down. After a visit to the vet he was diagnosed with gum infection and we put him on a diet with wet food and dental dry food, and a daily toothbrushing. Oh, the joy to see him feeling better and being himself again. In a month almost all signs of the infection are gone and he is back to being greedy little thing. He is not enjoying brushing his teeth, but the dry food is his favourite thing of the day and he requested it countless times a day!

ModiBody – The period panties have revolutionised my anxiety during my periods. I tried them first-time last month and am already planning a reorder of a couple more pairs to keep me happy during that time of the month. They were comfortable and I felt secure and dry!

Happy Favourites of July 2019 - byLiiL

 

Ethical clothes – I rarely buy new clothes but when I do I only buy items I need. During these hot summer days, I required a couple smarter tops that were cool, most of mine are jersey t-shirts which are not very smart or woollen jumpers which although are smart are not suitable for the weather. And I found two lovely light linen and organic cotton jumpers and a linen top from Seasalt. They have become my favourite items in my wardrobe almost instantly!

Health – It’s already past halfway in the year and I have not checked on how I am doing with this year’s goals yet (you can check the goals post here), although I have been working on them. Health was one of the biggest goals this year for mind and body and I am so happy I have been working on this. I went through a few months of physiotherapy and am now working by myself. I can already see a big difference with pain levels and what I am able to do, which uplifts my spirits to the moon! There are still bad days, but now I know what to do in those situations. For my mental health, I am back to yoga, only once a week at the moment, but even that is working wonders! On top of that, I do almost daily meditation practice which is excellent for helping me to calm down and focus. For mediation, I use Insights timer and their breath meditation practices, which I’ve found to be the best suitable for me, it’s also free.

Watercolour painting – I have also found other practices that help my mental health. One day I felt this overly strong yearning to do watercolour painting and noticed how this helped me to calm down and be mindful, and completely forget the outside world. I am practising different techniques and using my creativity in a way I haven’t used it before. It’s relaxing and mindful. Have you tried it?

New shelving unit – While my neighbours were throwing out some of their furniture away I spotted a shelving unit which I loved instantly. My neighbour apparently noticed this and offered it to me. Now it’s sitting on top of my set of drawers. It looks great, offers more space for plants and books and I love it! Also, it’s very good quality and I saved it from being dumped on the landfill. Win-win!

Happy Favourites of July 2019 - byLiiL

 

READ

I actually did read a lot in July, 12 books, but although I enjoyed many of them, I don’t feel like recommending many of them. Partly I was just rereading Harry Potter’s for the comfort and felt completely lost once I had finished the series. There is something about that world that makes you want to dive in there and stay, nevertheless of all the gruesome things that happen. Maybe it’s the friendship of Harry, Hermione and Ron, or the sense of togetherness when fighting Voldemort. Do you know?

This Is A Good Guide – A massive book that will take ages to read, and I think it should rather be read almost like a coffee table book or taking hints and tips when you need them. There is a lot of good general information on sustainability and sustainable living, but it doesn’t dive deep into why something isn’t good or why something is good and therefore I would always do a bit more research. Still, it is a good place to start on your sustainable living journey!

The Graveyard book – For the fans of Neil Gaiman or Harry Potters this book was also a comfort read, although it was the first time I read it. It’s meant for children or middle grade, but it is so hopeful, unassuming and naive in a wonderful way. The book is full of adventure and different creatures. I absolutely loved it!

Blankets – This is a graphic memoir and it’s massive! It’s about growing up in a small town when one feels he doesn’t belong to and grips on things to survive, such as religion. But growing up things become more foggy and clear, and there is a first love involved. It was beautiful!

 

WATCH

Good Omens – This tv show was brilliant! It is dark and funny and unexpected!

Orange Is the New Black – The last season is out and although I didn’t like the last episode quite so much, the last season is quite good. It brings out how incarcerated women are treated poorly and about the often unfair treatment of immigrants.

Happy Favourites of July 2019 - byLiiL

 

How was your July?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Happy Favourites of June 2019

Happy Favourites of May 2019

Happy Favourites of January 2019

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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My Sustainable Journey In April, May and June

This really should’ve been something I post monthly, as I’ve had a bit of a blogging slump this post was one of the ones that struggled. In spite of the slump I still consciously did monthly concentrate on changing different things in my life for a more sustainable life. The previous time I wrote about my sustainable journey was in March when I was planning to get rid of the junk mail that I receive. Unfortunately, it is something that I would’ve really had to tackle on many sides and I often forgot to make the effort only woken up by ever more junk mail that I received. So I will make the effort to work on it in July!

My Sustainable Journey In April, May and June - byLiiL

 

SUSTAINABLE APRIL

As I planned to do in April, I did get the rechargeable batteries. However, I haven’t needed to use them yet. There is no point of taking batteries out of the devices that are using them now, and I will rather finish those batteries and recycled them. I have a few new single-use batteries still in the cupboard which I can save for when they might be needed and slowly change to the rechargeable batteries when any equipment shows signs of needing them. I will be writing more about them once I’ve used them and see whether they are actually better than the single-use ones.

This did wake me up to the fact that I rarely use batteries. There are only a few devices that I have with batteries and the only time I use batteries more often is during the winter for fairy lights, or for toys that cats use. Other devices that use batteries actually last a long time. So ones they need replacements I can start using my rechargeable batteries.

 

SUSTAINABLE MAY

For May I set myself to make my coffee drinking even more sustainable in the house as it’s slowly been going that way. First I got us an AeroPress, which although is plastic is a product that lasts a long time and has parts that can be changed. I got us a hand coffee grinder by Hario that also has parts that can be changed. And a couple months ago we accidentally broke the glass bowl from it. Instead of having to buy a whole new grinder I could go on to Hario website and just order a replacement bowl. This made me REALLY excited!

With Percol introducing compostable packaging for coffee I have been excited to reduce the amount of waste I produce from my coffee drinking, and am happy to see that there are other companies as well that are changing their packaging! I use Percol coffee with a French press. But with AeroPress, my daily coffee is usually small batch locally hand roasted coffee which I get from my local independent coffee shop. Lately, they changed the packaging in which their coffee comes. Instead of ordering a lot of big bags of beans, they now order tubs that they reuse. So now I can go with my own tub or an old coffee bag and get the same coffee beans in my own packaging. So exciting!

My Sustainable Journey In April, May and June - byLiiL

 

SUSTAINABLE JUNE

For June I set myself to make sure my existing phone will last for longer, and I wouldn’t have to be buying a new one all the time. One day I suddenly noticed that a back corner on my phone was chipped. I hadn’t realised that one of the panels on the phone was made out of glass and hadn’t noticed it breaking. However, now for my safety and safety of the phone, I had to get a phone case. Instead of getting yet another plastic covers (yes I do have a collection of old phone covers for my old phones from over the years) I decided to try Pela case, which is compostable phone case.

So far I had been hesitant about it because they have to ship all the way from the USA, and they are fairly pricey. I received my case a couple of weeks ago and was instantly in love with the little penguin on the back. The feel of the case is flexible and it was really easy to put on the phone. Unfortunately, the fit is not snug and it comes right at the edge of my screen protector which makes it crawl under the screen protector and dislodging it a bit, making me having to set it over the screen protector over and over again.

What is great about it though is that I feel a lot more secure with my phone now. I am not afraid that it will break any minute now, and it feels secure in my grip as well. I am sure that the case will protect my phone from any more damage and therefore keep it in use for longer, and after I am finished with it I can compost it. Hurray!

My Sustainable Journey In April, May and June - byLiiL

 

OTHER

MORE LOW WASTE PRODUCTS

I’m slowly getting more lower waste products. This month I replenished on the deodorant that I’ve loved using, which is in a cardboard packaging, and on the toothpaste tablets. I also got bamboo and cotton cue tips for when they are needed. I’m still to figure out how to dispose of these products.

 

BUYING FROM ETHICALLY SOURCED COMPANIES

I don’t buy clothes often and am always on the lookout for ethical fashion companies where the price is correct, the sizing is correct and they match in some ways with my values. In April I found a jacket from Seasalt Cornwall that is suitable for different situations and is great for Spring Summer season, or under a coat in Winter.

 

FASHION REVOLUTION FANZINE

I was late to notice the fourth fanzine by the Fashion Revolution team, but I am even more excited about this one as it covers crafts and artisan making. I had just started to have more questions about that so this will become handy! Check it out here.

 

PERIOD PANTIES

I got myself to try out ModiBodi period panties. I am so excited about not having to use single-use pads any longer!

https://www.modibodi.com/

 

SUSTAINABLE JULY

As I still didn’t manage to sort out my mail, I really need to work on it in July. The one thing I have been doing is collecting all the mail that I do not need that we receive, which does give an insight into how much is actually coming through our mailbox.

I will finally be looking into getting a guppy friend. It’s more than time for it!

 

What are you planning to change in the month of July?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

My Sustainable Journey In March

My Sustainable Journey In February

My Sustainable Journey In January

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Favourites of April 2019

In April I was still busting on a lot of work, as I knew I was going on a holiday at the end of the month and had to have most of my work finished. So the beginning of the month was spent working so much I had to rest with a book. Easter, finally let me relax a little bit, and my holiday was a rejuvenating although also tired affair with lots to see, and chatting until late in the night. It was a beautiful month weather vice and I am left quite happy going into May.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

Trip to the Netherlands – I mentioned earlier that my sister is graduating and I get to attend her graduation in the Netherlands. Funnily enough many thought that we were going to the Netherlands to visit Amsterdam like there is nothing else to see. We spend one day in Amsterdam (which is not enough to see the city properly, but I’ve been there before). The rest of the days we spend in Leiden and Hague. We were staying in Airbnb, which was a beautiful, small houseboat. It was a great experience and we had the best time, so much laughter! To everybody who is thinking of going to the Netherlands, I recommend checking some other cities in the country as well!

Balletboyz – At the beginning of the month I got to see the Balletboyz in Glasgow. It was not a long show, but I always love seeing some culture, and one of my favourite things is seeing dance.

Hario Coffee Grinder – I got a Hario coffee grinder maybe two years ago. We did a lot of research into which grinder to get. Hand grinder would be best if we wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money. Hario was, at that time, a grinder with best reviews. Since then I’ve been happy to see this coffee grinder being sold at Buy Me Once. A couple of weeks ago, however, we dropped the grinder and the jar into which the coffee grind falls into broke. Thankfully the company is smart and sells parts for this grinder on their website, and a few days ago we received the jar which perfectly fits the grinder. I am so happy that I didn’t have to buy a completely new grinder!

Game of Thrones last season started – Who isn’t excited about this? I was so excited I was shaking when watching the first episodes.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

Fashion Revolution week – A fashion revolution week saw a lot of people joining forces, questioning companies and educating on how to make better decisions. I only attended one event for the week, the webinar by reGenerate, which was excellent. I wish I had attended more than one, but my trip again this year coincided with the week. Nevertheless, I do not fret for missing on it, as I think we should be working actively on these problems and not only during this one week.

Blooming Trees Outside My Window – It is finally the time when all the trees are blooming and it looks so beautiful!

Some New Plants – I got some beautiful new plants into my flat. Plants always make me so happy! But my little rascal, Tiger, really loves climbing to where I try to hide them from him and nibbles on them or pulls them out of the pots… They are still alive, but not quite so happy. I need to come up with something which will make him stop doing this. And yes, he does have cat grass which he eats, so this is not about that.

Summer Weather – Easter weather was so gorgeous. I was so happy with the sunshine and our flat was so warm.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

New Jacket From Seasalt – I posted on Instagram about the new jacket I got from Seasalt Cornwall. They are an ethical fashion company (maybe not the most ethical, but they sell a great variety of sizes. More on this soon) and I was on the lookout for a jacket that is fairly neat looking and suitable for spring and summer weather. I’m in love with the jacket and keep wearing it all the time.

Making Beer Experience – I got my fiance for his birthday a make your own beer experience with Innis & Gun, which we finally did in April. It was fun to make our own beer, and we got to learn what goes into making your own beer. I was fascinated to learn how much water they used, how much waste they make and what is done to reduce that. This was, of course, a rather small batch making, but it did give me a good overview of the practice.

365 Days of Happiness gifted – I received a gift of 365 Days of Happiness by Jacqueline Pirtle from Kelsey from Book Publicity Services. I am really excited to read it. It is all about giving advice on how to become a happier person by giving a tip per day. The book is full of energetic and happy advice. More about it soon!

Mallow and White Restore Balm – I won a piece of Restore Balm for myself and my sister from Mallow and White. It is a beauty company that I’ve wanted to try for ages, and I must say I am not surprised by all the prices they’ve won and by all the recommendations I’ve read about them. I absolutely love the balm, and especially its scent. And it was wonderful bringing my sister her jar of it when we met in the Netherlands.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

READ

I read a lot of books in April, which is funny, as I was pretty busy. Some of the best ones and the ones I recommend to read are below:

Circe – I really loved reading Circe, which tells the story of the goddess Circe by collecting her stories into one from the other literature in Greek mythology. I liked how Circe was brought to life and given a voice, motives and character. Many comment, that it reads like many short stories, but I found it quite natural. It is full of family rivalry and relationships with oneself, one’s mistakes and with loved ones. The writing is beautiful and I am really fascinated with the Greek mythology and therefore found the book a very enjoyable read. It is now shortlisted for the women’s price for fiction.

Of Sorrow and Such – I listened to this short story on audio and truly enjoyed it. Angela Slatter writes beautifully, but the voice narrating it brought the story to life. It is about witches and how they need to hide to not be burned, and men’s relationships with women. There is a little bit of magic there, but rather the type that comes from roots rather than with a wand. This made me want to read more books by Angela Slatter!

The Things I Would Tell You – The Our Shared Shelf book club choice recently, the Things I would tell you is a collection of short stories, poems, plays and articles from Muslim female writers. It is a very insightful collection with beautiful voices, lyrical writing, and many of the authors I had to write down to read more from them.

The Sun and Her Flowers – A beautiful poetry collection by Rupi Kaur. It is simple to read and understand, and many of the poems touched me.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

I wish May will be as much filled with happy incidents as April was.

How was your April?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Happy Favourites of March 2019

Happy Favourites of January 2019

Happy Favourites of September 2018

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Sustainable Reading Nr.4

Fashion

Fast Fashion Is Harming The Planet, MPs Say – Although it is great to see that the government is taking this issue seriously, I find it slightly funny that MPs are saying this now, when it’s been talked about for years and only with the pressure from consumers are MPs even talking about it. However, to those who have been saying that “it is not illegal” there will hopefully soon be a different tone. However, MP asking the biggest fast fashion polluters for advice how to change this can’t be the only option, they should be asking leading sustainable fashion researchers and academics as well as well known ethical fashion companies who are actually creating the innovative solutions. Whereas it is obvious that MPs are looking to keep the capital fast fashion brands bring to the country and provide a pr bandaid to quite the consumers.

Please Stop Clearing Out Your Wardrobe In The Name Of Sustainability – Ethical Unicorn puts it very clearly how clearing out wardrobe isn’t sustainable and what other options there are. I enjoyed reading about how capsule wardrobes came to be and what they actually are meant to be, and how she explained clearing out masquerading as sustainable. I thought her idea of selling your old clothes interesting, as most influencers I’ve followed over the years in Finland do exactly this. They sell their own clothes to their followers who are more than happy to give the clothes a new home. This should definitely be mainstream!

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Sew Be It: The New Eco-Fashion Brand That Helps You Make Your Own Clothes – This brand has taken slow fashion to another level with letting customers sew their garments and make sure they fit them. They have made easier to follow patterns and sewing instructions, on top of sourcing them suitable fabrics. They are working on closing the loop and try to take into consideration the impact they might affect. I would like to see more of brands that operate like this!

H&M Ranked As Number One User Of Sustainable Cotton – Article by the apparel resources discusses how H&M and many other fast fashion companies are using the better materials, however, it doesn’t explicitly explain what sustainable materials. It is great to hear that these companies are trying to clean up their supply chain at least a little bit, on the other hand, it is not surprising they are the biggest uses due to the volume of clothing they produce. They could also consider paying more for their labour.

Fighting Fast Fashion: The Rise Of Ethical Consumerism – The article discusses very well about lack of education and what we can do.

PLEASE Stop Saying Fashion Is The 2nd Most Polluting Industry After Oil – article by Alden Wicker from Ecocult which delves into how difficult it is to tell how polluting fashion industry actually is, and why it is harmful to say it is when there is no data to back up the claim.

Fast Fashion Means Charity Shops Are Getting Too Many Clothes, Head Of Select Committee Says – This is no news, but it is good that it is put out there for the wider public to read about. However, I am not sure how this article will help the shopping at the moment. We should be recycling our garments, but on a bigger scale, it is not feasible at the moment and with the popularity of Depop and other similar stores I do not see many high-quality garments ending up in charity shops, but rather only poor quality garments that can be worn only a few times. Primark saying that they will start a take-back programme where they will be reused by overseas charities just sounds like a money making ploy where they are trying to look good by moving their used poor quality garments out of the UK landfills to other countries landfills. It is great that the poor quality manufacturing companies are getting questioned though and I hope this will be more prevalent this year!

Success Is Sustainable For Designer Turning Waste Into Fashion Statement – A great example of how designers can lead a change in their own label, but also in the industry – Christopher Raeburn.

Consumers Want More Transparency And Action From Fashion Brands – This is not surprising, but I am happy to see how many people are becoming aware of the issues and rooting for the change. This surely is due to the amazing work Fashion Revolution has done!

Why Ethical And Sustainable Jewelry Matters – I am happy to see that more articles are coming out on this topic. It’s been a year since I wrote about this topic and since then have seen so many other articles popping out!

China Experiments With Longer Weekend To Boost Shopping – There are many thoughts when I first read the headline, many positive ones and too many negative ones. Excellent that people are getting longer weekends, it’s time they can spend on hobbies, being with their family or of course shopping. However, the fact that they want retailers to stay open later means that there are employees who will have to work those hours. Increasing the economic wealth of an area is great, however, should it be done at the expense of our environment?

With Its Anti-Fur Fight Gaining Progress, PETA Sets Its Sights On Wool – I am not sure if this is a good thing or not? I am aware that PETA wants to stop the use of wool, which is a great sustainable fibre to use in clothing with its great properties and many possibilities. However, I do agree that the industry should be more regulated to end the cruelty for animals.

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Social

British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons – “We’ve been fostering a culture that’s popping pills and Prozac, when what we should be doing is more prevention and perspiration,” I am so happy to hear this and am excited to see this starting to roll around in the UK. Although, I do not understand why I read about this first in a US publication rather than a UK one.

London Welcomes It’s First Ever Zero-Waste Vegan Christmas Market – It is great to hear that there are markets that combat the Christmas waste problem.

British Schoolgirl ‘Scared’ To Go To School On Her Period After Teacher’s Wouldn’t Let Her Use The Loo – Reading the article I feel there is part of the story missing, nevertheless, it is incredible that this still happens in the UK!

Scotland Is The First Country To Offer Free Sanitary Products To All Students – Excellent follow up on the previous article, but still raises questions how in some parts of the country the issues might be addressed better than in other parts.

The Army Is Donating Ration Packs To Help Feed Hungry People In The UK – It is heartbreaking that this is still such a big problem in the UK and only raises a question how big of a problem it must be in countries that are not as wealthy as the UK or in refugee camps.

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Climate Change

Grounded: Reframing How I Cover Climate Change By Igniting Enchantment – Holly puts it very eloquently that we need to change the way we talk about climate change.

It Seems So Good… But Here Is Why Solar Power From Space Is A Bad Idea – A very interesting article on technological advances that could happen but also the problems with them.

100% Palm Oil Free Beauty Brands We Love – Although this article delves into beauty brands it also talks about the use of Palm oil in beauty, how the current big beauty brands use it and how it is greenwashed.

How Coral Bleaching Is Changing Marine Life Behaviour – Due to climate change and the change of pH in the oceans the corals are bleaching more often than before. The bleaching has, of course, affected other marine animals and the data is here.

Plastic Pollution

Calls To Fit All Washing Machines With Microfibre Filters – Yes! And how has this call not been made before and how come I only hear it for the UK and not for other countries? This should’ve been done ages ago and hurriedly!

Waste

How Companies Are Innovating Food Waste Solutions – So inspiring!

 

What were the interesting articles you read lately?

With love,

Lii

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

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

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us?

Whenever I find a new fashion brand or a shop I am always excited by the imagery and marketing message they are telling me. It is obvious the modern successful brands are good at providing a persuading brand image. They get me wanting a new piece of clothing or buy into their message and it is only after the sustainable fashion movement became a driving force that we’ve learned how the fashion industry works and what we are supposed to be looking for when choosing a new product or a brand to by into. But how available is the information to the general consumer? Not very, as many companies rather through around green buzzwords rather than back them up. In the last 5 days, I’ve stumbled upon 3 new brands which sounded interesting and I had to message all 3 of them questioning the information missing from their sites and confirm whether they are as sustainable as they claim to be.

It is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and many companies like to hide things that we consumers wouldn’t like to see or we might stop buying from those brands.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

ANIMAL CRUELTY

The public outcry after we saw the tortured angora bunnies in a Chinese factory. Did those companies really not know what was happening to those animals, or were they hiding this from their consumers? Animal cruelty still happens throughout the fashion supply chains.

Leather is a very much unregulated trade, unlike fur, because the consumer presumption is that leather is always a by-product. It is often not so, especially if it’s something else than cow leather. Animals might’ve been kept in poor conditions. Fur on the other hand, due to consumer outcry, is strictly regulated even more so than wool industry. Wool, which is one of the greatest fibres can be cruel to animals. The animals can be kept poorly and shearing them is not always stress-free. In addition, some of the sheep have been bred to provide certain wool for the consumers use.

Look for brands that are selling cruelty-free products, who talk about how they treat their animals. The smaller the brand the better, as with big quantities they don’t have the time to take care of their animals.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

TOXIC CLOTHING

Do you know if your clothes are good for the environment or to you? There is a lot of information about how the production of clothes in many cases is dangerous to the labour and how the factories pollute the surrounding waters and the environment. Companies and factories have tried to keep this a secret, but the truth has come out. However, what is less talked about but as relevant is how the toxins might still be in the clothes we wear every day on our skin. You wouldn’t put toxic beauty products on your skin so how is clothing different? It is not.

When attending a talk in Berlin during a green fashion week about innovative textiles I heard a woman ask why aren’t we just coming up with a new textile which is originally good for us rather than incorporating good ingredients into textiles that are not so great?

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

I hadn’t before this thought about how toxic our clothes could be to us and it horrifies me know the way we think about fashion. I’ve come across many young women who want to find fashion that is brightly coloured, sequined, tight, different and CHEAP. Cheap clothing comes from Asian factories which do not have as stringent laws against chemicals as in Europe. The bright colours so sought for are the result of chemicals added to the die. And to transport these clothes without mould and wrinkles into our stores they are sprayed with chemicals. Manmade fibres are made with petrol based fibres that are full of chemicals and cotton is grown with pesticides. All these chemicals still exist in our clothes when we wear them and through friction and heat, they get absorbed by our skin.

We want these clothes and the companies hide these facts from us. In Europe, the law only requires companies to tell what fibres the clothes are made from, not what chemicals were used to make them. However, those chemicals can affect skin irritations, allergies and other more problematic health conditions. Some chemicals often found in our clothes: pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame retardants, other carcinogens and lead.

Read more about toxicity in clothes from Leotie Lovely, World Threads Traveler, Mochni and Eluxe. In fashion look for brands that produce clothing with toxic free dies and garments made closer to home require fewer chemicals to travel with.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

WASTE

It is widely known that the clothing we throw away becomes waste, but as recently reported to surprised and outraged consumers, companies burn the clothes they have produced too much off. It was Burberry that was under fire lately, but Burberry is only one of the many many big fashion corporations that do this. And it is not only clothes but fabrics and materials as well. When interning for a fashion company even I saw it and couldn’t fathom the waste of all the beautiful fabrics that many of us interns could’ve used on our Uni courses. And this is not talking about the waste that accumulated from designing (all the paper and energy), sampling (fabric cut offs, sample garments) and the production (fabric cut offs, thread etc.). And although that is the waste the company accumulated, you are paying for the waste. The garments are priced to cover for the waste materials as well.

Look for small brands that make fashion in small batches. This reduces the waste they create and supports their trade.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

SALE IS ONLY AN ILLUSION

It should be a common knowledge by now that outlet’s do not really sell designer clothing, but rather poorer quality clothing that they can attach a designer label on. The fact that the design labels have agreed to this is astounding, as those clothes still represent the brand even with the poorer quality.

However, what is not as commonly known are the discounts in stores. They claim to be to sell off the rest of the stock before the next season’s clothing and where that might’ve been the original reason and still one of the reasons, the bigger reason is consumers want the discounted items and wait for it. When much of the stock is sold at the discounted price the original price is steeper so that the stockholders will still get their share from the sales.

Support small brands that might not do so many sales, but who also rarely overprice their products. The customer service you get from them is also priceless!

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

CONTRADICTION TO MARKETING MESSAGE (OR GREENWASHING)

  • Using sustainability as a marketing tactic to sell products.
  • Companies providing a good message, but not doing the work behind the message.
  • Marketing a new innovation but not telling the whole truth.

Fashion companies are very skilled at branding and marketing an image that consumers want to see. That image sells, but only few will look behind the image to see whether the message is true to the core. Since sustainability and ethical fashion has become somewhat of a trend movement many companies have seen the potential to make money out of this by either selling a message that they are doing their bit for the fight (and really are not) or selling products with positive messages about saving the planet or feminism, with products that are more harmful for both. Beyonce’s Ivy Park line has been under scrutiny for promoting empowered women, but seemingly not empowering the women who made the clothes. SZA promotes sustainability and dumping plastic on clothes that are made by Champion, a company not so sustainable or one producing without plastic. Even though the proceeds go to fund the charities fighting for these problems the merchandise should not add to the problem. And then there are the feminist t-shirts that are made by women who are definitely not empowered.

Then there is the other side where small companies are trying to innovate something new and promote themselves tot he bigger audience with their innovation but leaving out information. I have been so excited to hear about fashion made out of waste products such as milk, apple waste, banana, lotus flower and seaweed. All renewable and sustainable options, however, not all are what they are marketing. Fabric made out of seaweed only actually has 4% of seaweed and the rest is cellulose, lyocell. However, at least Seacell does provide this information when looking for their specs, whereas other companies don’t. Bags cannot be made 100% out of apple waste, they need a binding agent, however, we do not read about that even though the company claims to be transparent.

Look for the information the companies tell you and question it. Ask them questions about their products and depending on their answers you can see how open they are about their products or whether they still want to hide something.

 

Ethical and Sustainable fashion is not all about making the world a better place. It is also about making better decisions for yourself and your health.

 

Unfortunately, companies are not happy to reveal information that is not entirely positive and often we might be sold something that isn’t entirely true. We can’t always blame the faces for what fashion industry is like, however, if we all question how the clothes are made, who made them and what chemicals were used to make them we might see change. Remember to share your findings with others, but to also be kind to those brands who are striving and working to be better. It is time for the fashion brands to stop hiding behind the closed doors!

Pictures by Godisable Jacob.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii