Happy Favourites of December 2018

Christmas – The time I got to take to just be. The end of December was very busy and a bit stressful, so I took a complete hiatus from social media, blog and work. Instead, I’ve spent time with loved ones, played games, watched a lot of tv, eating great food and too much chocolate, and given my brain a rest.

Seeing My Grandmother – Just before Christmas, I visited Finland to see my Grandmother who is staying for a bit with my mother. It was lovely seeing her after over 10 years and after a day of fumbling with how to behave in each others company we spend a lovely time together.

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Time To Read – My preferred time to read is the morning before I start working or when I am travelling somewhere, but if I am stressed I rarely have the concentration for reading books. Now with the holidays, I spent every day several hours reading books and how I enjoyed it! I managed to finish 7 books in 7 days and therefore finished the year with 36 books read in 2019, which was my goal for the year.

Organising – I finally managed to purchase a storage shelving unit into our walking wardrobe. I’ve been planning it for several months in hopes that it will help us keep the little storage space we have in order. Until now that space has had a clothes rail and a small bookshelf left by the previous tenant, so all our stuff is piled on top of each other and it was a nightmare to get anything out of there. Now thankfully it looks a lot tidier, more organised and we can actually see what we have in the storage space. Hurray!

Forbidden Island – I received this new board game as a Christmas present and have really enjoyed playing it. It is based on co-operative playing where all the players are trying to survive without sinking with the island. It’s either all win or all lose and although it is stressful it is fun as well!

Recycled Wool Blanket – I’ve wanted one for ages as our flat gets pretty cold in the winter in spite of heating, but I couldn’t find one anywhere until I finally found Future Kept before Christmas! The blanket is so warm and cosy, I absolutely love it!

Illustrated Best News of 2018 – This is an awesome idea and so I wanted the post. Although there is a lot we should know about climate change and the affairs of the world, it is also important to see the progress!

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Watch

Material Girl – Why I Choose Organic – This video by Kate Arnell (I am a bit late on this as it was published in 2017) is like a short documentary on organic fabrics and other items and why it is better to use them. It is informative, entertaining and just excellent. I really recommend watching it!

Read

Trevor Noah – Born A Crime – I actually listened to it on an audiobook which was narrated by the author himself which I think everybody should ‘read’ the book. Trevor brings depth to his book by narrating it and I felt like I was watching a movie or a documentary. The book is great for explaining what life was like for a mixed race boy in South Africa during and after apartheid. And although it doesn’t sound like the book would be pleasant when it is based at such a time, Trevor discusses his experiences with the naivety of a child with some comments but lacking any judgement. The book is fairly humorous when it explains the differences in culture and race. I can truly say I enjoyed this book a lot!

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – This excellent book took me a bit longer to read, but it is so informative not only about race but about our culture in general and what we don’t see or realise is happening. It’s a book that everybody should read!

Girl In The Tower – A second book in the Winternight trilogy which surprisingly I enjoyed even more than the first book (Bear and the Nightingale). The book is still based in Russia and entangles Christianity and old beliefs with magic to create a wonderful adventure which is both gripping and exciting. I didn’t want to put the book down!

Mister Pip – A beautiful and sat book by Lloyd Jones tells about a story about the magic of stories and how they can transfer your anguish and fright to make people and especially children resilient in time and place which is filled with horrible events. It is set on an island which is in the midst of civil war and where the civilians are facing all the struggles of the war.

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Support

Labour Behind the Label For UK Garment Workers – UK is getting more and more garment workers each year. This helps many small and ethical brands to manufacture locally, however, it also means that fast fashion brands are able to create sought-after clothing faster but with consequences to the labour. Even in the UK, there are problems with companies that are not paying their employees the national minimum wage. The labour is afraid to report about this or might not know that this is not the norm and the companies take advantage of the situation. They might be paid as little as £3.50 an hour. I have a first-hand experience of this, although, at the time I didn’t realise what was happening. I was asked to work as a freelancer, over the busy Christmas time, for a brand in their factory that is claiming to be ethical and sustainable, however, because they wanted to employ me as a freelancer they paid me by the item and not by the hour. I was naive and agreed to it. After a week of working for them, I realised I had been only paid less than £5 an hour, whilst I also travelled to their factory every day.  They asked me to come back to work for them after Christmas, but when I asked to be paid the same amount as the rest of the factory labour I didn’t hear back from them. Only later did I realise that they took advantage of me being naive and young. I would’ve felt different about that pay if I could’ve worked from home, or if they paid for my travel, but they didn’t. Now, as I see that their company is considered very ethical and sustainable I feel sick and I wonder if any other person has experienced with them what I went through. Now you can help by supporting Labour Behind the Label with their initiative!

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

What were your favourites in December?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable News of the Month – July 2017

Sea Shells For Sale: A New Source Of Sustainable Biomaterials – Discarded molluscs are a big waste that could potentially be turned into a circular economy.

Remote Sensing Technologies Key To The Future Of The Oil Palm Industry – We know that the oil palm industry can be very harmful to our environment and animals, but it is also a very productive crop meaning companies will want to harvest it. This article discusses the possibilities of making it more sustainable.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Biodegradable Cleaning Products And Eco-Friendly Plastics From Mushroom Waste – Each week more than 50,000 tonnes of mushroom waste is generated in Europe alone. How great it will be if this can be generated into something else?

Sourcemap, Provenance Harness Supply Chain Mapping, Blockchain Tech to Power Robust Traceability Platform – Traceability for brands and customers.

Meet the Company Refusing to Accept When a Lithium Ion Battery Is ‘Dead’ – Different solutions for Lithium Ion batteries to reduce wastage.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Target, Stella McCartney Strike Up New Partnerships to Drive Sustainable Textile Solutions – Research into sustainable cotton production.

British Retailer Tesco To Detoxify Clothing – How Tesco is joining other brands at aiming to remove toxic chemicals from their clothing supply chain.

The Next Step In Sustainable Design: Bringing The Weather Indoors – How nature and weather affect our mood and mental health, and the way design can support it.

 

Have you read any interesting sustainable news lately? Share them in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods

It is quite unbelievable that I am only learning about this amazing mall, in Sweden Eskilstuna, now, when it has been open since the year 2015! As the title says there is a mall that solely sells repaired and recycled goods, in addition, they actually recycle and repair the items in the mall. How cool is that?!

A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods - byLiiL

The mall takes household item donations, which they then sort into workshops to be recycled or repaired and then sold in their boutiques or if there is no use to the donations they send them to the recycling centres. They have 9 running stores and 3 small pop-up stores that sell anything from furniture, computers, clothes, building materials, toys, you name it. In addition, they have the organically focused cafe and a restaurant to feed the hungry shoppers and educational centre, conference hall and a meeting room.

The team behind the mall is aiming to “make it the best town to handle waste-management” and hope the customers will bring in their unwanted items and stay to look for what they would like from the stores available to them. This sounds so exciting I wish there would be one in every town! It creates jobs and reduces the waste burden on the local governments. This is a great effort to make a whole town more sustainable!

A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods - byLiiL

I wonder whether this kind of a mall would be successful in a town where people are not as sustainably conscious and happy to buy second hand? Would you like to visit a mall like this?

You can read more about the mall from here1 and here2 and visit their (unfortunately it is all in Swedish) website, picture from here.

With love,

Lii

Overdressed and the True cost -review

I mentioned ages ago, that I read the ‘Overdressed’ book and how excited I was about it. I also watched the documentary ‘True cost’, which I thought was an excellent addition to getting the whole picture of the issues in the fashion industry. Well, close to a whole. I am sure there are still many problems that have not yet come up to the public eye. First of what I would like to say is that if you like fashion and shopping for fashion, you should read and watch these. I think everybody should know the backgrounds of items they love so much. Not so that people would stop shopping, but so they would be shopping smartly, with intention and understanding. Also, I really think these two should be read/watched together. What one leaves out the other fills in.

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Overdressed: The Shockingly high cost of cheap fashion by Elizabeth L.Cline

This book goes through very well the insane mass consumption of fashion in the USA and the history of how they got to it. She is writing this from a USA point of view, however, I think it can be somewhat transferable to the European consumer as well. Elizabeth is not really blaming the consumer or the businesses for problems in the fashion industry but rather explains how the system is intricate and has so many layers it is difficult to tackle.

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Basically, she explains how fast-fashion is a horrible problem in many ways from exploiting labour to poor fitting fashion and masses of textile waste. Unlike articles about all these problems, however, she does explain what she thinks would help to slowly resolve at least some of these problems.

I was really interested in why there is no more support for small businesses and makers and why are the conditions in developing countries not improving in spite of all the media attention.

Elizabeth’s writing is very interesting, thorough and clear. I found it very easy to read although with somewhat mixed feelings. Where the book is interesting, it is also very sad and depressing and it made me feel a bit powerless, nevertheless of her tips. Although after reading it I felt this urge to do my part in moving towards slower fashion. The only thing I would have wished to have more in the book is the sustainability and other environmental issues, as she only scratches the surface on these issues and rather sticks with the labour issues.

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True cost movie (available on Netflix)

This movie does touch some of the issues mentioned in the book but concentrates more on the environmental problems, such as toxicity and erosion, which are usually overlooked in articles and in the media when talking about the problems in the fashion industry. I really liked how in depth they took this subject without blaming the consumer but exploring the wider implications. They questioned the economy and capitalism as a part of the driving forces in this problem, which rarely is mentioned and they talked about what we could do if we shopped sustainably and ethically.

The documentary was filmed well and Andrew Morgan has done a great job directing it. It was interesting and grabbed my attention, but also made me a bit depressed. The only thing I was wishing a bit more from the documentary was showing more the problems we have with the waste resulted from the fashion industry.

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As a result of watching and reading these, I felt the need to do more and better and a little empowered to move in the right direction. Whereas previously I felt I didn’t have any options, now I feel I do. Yes, it is depressing but it is also so informative! There are so many companies and people who think they can get away with doing just about anything and this is one of the ways they can be exposed.

I definitely recommend checking out both of these and when you have please leave me a comment. I would love to discuss these issues further! And please let me know if this is something that you are interested in reading more about on my blog.

 

Pics from Take Part and Going Zero Waste. You can also read more about the topic from those resources.

 

With love,

Lii

Matt & Nat and the future IT bag

I don’t know about you, but the brand, Matt and Nat, is a new find for me. I stumbled upon it in some article about great sustainable and eco fashion brands and fell instantly in love!

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Matt and Nat (comes from mat(t)erial and nature) is an accessories brand, which is completely vegan. They pride in not using leather or other animal-based products, but rather use various recycled products in their designs. Of course, when thinking recycled you might not picture something as beautiful as these handbags and purses. But, the fact is, all of their lining is made off 100% recycled plastic bottles and they use recycled nylon, cork, cardboard and even bicycle tires in their production process. How cool is that! They have accessories for women and men, plus their lookbook images are so sweet!

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Their mantra is ‘Live beautifully’ and it really relates from their products. With such amazing colours and minimalistic designs, I am sold! All of their products are designed in Montreal, Quebec, where their home office is situated. Their products are produced in China, where they are in close collaboration with to ensure the factories comply with their ethos.

Matt and Nat believe their products are sustainable because they are functional, resistant, durable and strong. In addition, they support upcycling and suggest you donate your bag to dresstosuccess.org if you are not using it anymore. In this way, you can ensure the long life and love of the product.

As I said, I fell in love with their product instantly, and when trying to choose something for you to show I noticed clicking on way too many of them. I’ve noticed lately love for crossbody bags. I have a busy lifestyle and am always running somewhere (this could be because I have difficulty with leaving my house on time). Crossbody bags just provide that functionality for this lifestyle. Lately, I’ve found myself been attracted to anything that is pastel coloured (you can see it from the collage below). It is actually quite funny, as not that long ago I hated everything in pastel tones. Oh well!

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My dream bag at the moment is definitely that Phi bag in lilac, it is just gorgeous with the interesting shape and beautiful colour! The Abiko looks like a perfect upgrade for my current clutch/wallet from Kurt Geiger, which is actually falling apart. And I am completely in love with the mint green colour version of the Eeha SM bag. Matt & Nat bags offer a luxury product with an affordable price tag, with most of their products being priced between £45-130.

The only downfall I find in with this brand is their transparency. They have a separate section on this with pictures from the factories in China, however, there is no actual proof of what they say. So it is up to each customer whether to believe what they say. I like to believe the small brands and their want to make a difference, so I choose to believe it, but would like some link to the factories to have that extra reassurance.

 

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Now I will go and dream of that Phi bag in lilac. I have already placed it on my Wishlist board on Pinterest and now I just have to save money for it or wait for Christmas..

Have you heard of Matt and Nat before? How do you like their accessories?

All pictures from the Matt & Nat website.

With love,

Lii

Revive eco – the future of zero waste

Following on the World recycling week – theme, I wanted to introduce to you the company about which I read not too long ago and was so impressed with! It is just the kind of idea for entepreneurship, recycling and the use of natural resources that this planet needs, and it comes from the city where I live! So cool!

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Revive Eco is a company, started by three young people in Glasgow. The whole point of their business ethos is to find solutions for the growing food waste the UK is faced with. They collect used coffee ground from local coffee shops, restaurants and offices, which they turn into natural fertilicers for plants. Well, that was their original plan, but now that I went to research them more for this post they have come with another even greater product, by extracting oil from these used coffee grounds they are creating coffee base biofuel! How amazing is that?!

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This new start up has already won several awards for their innovation and it is not a surprise. They are reducing waste and creating new uses from it! I am so impressed and wish to hear a lot more from them. But for now go and check their facebook page with lots of new information on how their business is progressing (great inspiration) and videos where they explain their process and benefits of their business program! By googling them you will be able to find even more information and interviews of them.

Pictures are sourced from these two articles: Link 1 and Link 2.

With love,

Lii

Recycled treasures from Etsy

There was a time when I thought anything recycled would be something horrible, dainty and looked used, doesn’t sound too appealing does it? However, as we the human race is generating so much waste and depleting natural resources we are forced to make the ‘old things’ count. In the past couple of years, I’ve seen so many excellent creations which have used recycled or sustainable making technique and really want to support this craft! Here I have compiled a list of items on the Etsy which are recycled or made in a sustainable way. Have a look at each products seller as well and you might just find something even more incredible!! Link.

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I mean look at these creations, would you think even for a second that they were recycled? I wouldn’t! I am especially in love with the acrylic lamp, which is sold out, but it is just gorgeous! And the candles are on my shopping wish list just now! Also, the recycled wrapping paper made me really excited!!

 

Have you seen any beautiful recycled or sustainable creations?

With love,

Lii