Zoe here from The Big Swap, I was glad to swap a few words as guest blogger in return for Ismay’s support at my zero waste event. My first encounter with Boy Wonder Brand was at a Nottingham board game café, when I interrupted a game on the neighbouring table to find out more about the cool fish and chip print sweater the young boy (Ismay’s son) was wearing. It wasn’t long after that, when I approached Ismay to say a few words about her ethical clothing range at The Big Toy Swap. An event designed to for help the average person take steps to becoming greener and recognising they have the power to make a difference.
I grew up in a ‘far left’ household as a happy child with 2 parents and brother, with all the things in place to appear a regular family. However, even as a young girl I had an inclination there was something unique about our home, but simply put it down to having creative parents, making a living through being artists. My family shared a car with two other families, often leaving no choice but to cycle everywhere. We minimised holidays and almost never did international trips, my first being a school exchange in my teens. Monthly dried food packages arrived to our house and were exchanged and shared accordingly. My parents never upgraded things for newer models simply because it was current or no longer complimented the interior of a room. Objects lasted and if they didn’t, they were fixed or repurposed. That was the 70’s and around the time of first environmental movements towards air pollution. It turns out my family was pretty green, led by conscious adults.
Like so many people today I have a boot in each camp, a desire to make changes for a better world, one less damaged by humanity and a passion to have lovely things and maintain a lifestyle I have worked hard for. More than anything, as a parent I want my behaviour and attitude to transcend the right message to my young family as the living earth faces crisis.
In 2018, UK consumers spent £370 million on toys and this is showing no signs of slowing down, which is bad news for the environment. A survey by the British Heart Foundation found that, on average, children in the UK have four toys they have never played with, in the same survey all parents admit to throwing broken or just unwanted toys away. A large number of toys are made from materials not accepted at recycling plants and it is estimated that 80% of plastic toys will end up in landfill.
The good news is that quality consumables like children’s toys and clothes are not designed for ‘single use’, however our children do grow out of things pretty fast. I have considered a number of ways in which a family can make changes and lower their environmental impact and an easy one is to pass pre-loved items on and get something in return. Most people I speak to are doing a good job at charity runs and hand-me-downs to younger siblings and friends, but we need to buy less to begin with and slow consumerism down. The fossil fuels used at manufacturing and shipment of toys and clothes is the initial villain and the biggest threat.
Swap culture is happening globally, only this week I read the glitterati have been encouraged to reuse dresses or swap for the BAFTA’s red carpet. The Big Swap events are designed for people wanting to make change, they are accessible and offer a pocket of sustainability closer to home.
Swapping not only keeps great items in circulation, giving them new life, they are a great way to save money. Swaps are the new guilt free way of shopping. With less waste and more money in your pocket it opens up more opportunity to make smarter investments in brands that are taking the eco stress out of purchasing. Choosing to buy less but from more ethical brands like the Boy Wonder brand, will ease your conscience and have a much more positive impact on the environment.
The Big Swap – reuse, rehome, relove. A little sustainability one swap at a time.
We use organic cotton in our collection which is more expensive. So what is organic cotton and why should you buy it?
No Toxic Chemicals!
Conventional cotton is grown and treated with many cancer causing chemicals including frightening ones like cyanide[i], formaldehyde and sulfuric acid[ii]. Organic crops do not pollute natural water courses, thereby helping to protect aquatic and wildlife, promoting biodiversity and precious ecosystems. Chemical free crops also mean that local communities have clean drinking water without toxic run-off poisoning them. Conventional cotton growers have high rates of cancer and death by suicide which has decimated large communities.
"A single drop of the pesticide aldicarb, absorbed through the skin can kill an adult."[iii]
Safe for Children
Clothing by its very nature is in close contact with the skin which allows for easy absorption of harmful chemicals. Young children are at a greater risk of exposure to these chemicals due to their size, behaviour and metabolism[iv] Exposure to these have been have been linked to a whole range of medical conditions from eczema and asthma to ADHD[v]
Lower Environmental Impact
Organic soil is very healthy and fertile helping to store carbon while also acting like a sponge soaking up flood water, in both ways directly helping to combat climate change. Most organic cotton is rain-fed reducing the strain on water supplies especially in countries with high drought levels. It uses 88% less water and has 62% less energy use. Organic cotton also lasts longer[vi] than the standard meaning it can be kept in use for longer.
Organic cotton farming is subject to higher ethical standards than conventional cotton. They have to follow very strict guidelines which are regularly checked and scrutinized[vii]. Standard cotton growing is rife with child and forced labour in places such as Uzbekistan[viii]. As they don't grow organic cotton it is less likely such practices are used in organic growing areas. As the workers and farmers are not exposed to the nasty chemicals used in standard cotton growing they have better health and wellbeing where others suffer from acute pesticide poising often requiring hospitalisation.
Organic cotton is grown alongside food crops allowing farmers greater food security for themselves and their families and can provide extra income. Conventional cotton is grown as a mono-crop where nothing else can be grown with it and any nearby food sources are contaminated with high levels of toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
Genetically modified seeds are owned by large corporations who farmers have to buy seeds from every year[ix]. As organic cotton never uses GM seeds farmers can save the seeds for the following year without extra cost or getting into debt. They can control the quality and type of seed they want to grow giving them better yields.
How do I know if it's organic?
Certified organic cotton should have a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Content Standard) or Soil Association logos either on the garment labelling, on the retailers website or they will have a copy of the certification if you ask them.
I hope this helps you to make an informed decision about buying organic clothing.
Water, the latest fashion Victim
Tale of a T-shirt
Wake up to Child Labour
#organiccotton #sustainablefashion #nontoxic
Fashion resale has become a big thing over the last year or so and is a good sustainable option. In fact the second -hand clothing market is predicted to grow faster than new sales. I have been buying second-hand clothes and selling my old things for a while now, so thought I could pass on some tips to you.
There are so many platforms online where you can sell your clothes now. Depop is a great app you can have on your phone to buy and sell and is my favourite. eBay is an old trusted platform, Vestaire Collective is for designer goods and there is also Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, ThredUP and Poshmark, to name but a few. Choose the platform where the person who is most likely to buy your clothes from will be looking. If you're not sure, then where would you be most likely to buy from? For example Depop has a younger audience than eBay and Facebook and Vestaire Collective is for the wealthier customers. There are also some brands like John Lewis, Levi's and Patagonia that now take back their clothes giving you a discount or payment and they will resell them. This is something we have in mind for Boy Wonder in the future.
First of all make sure that the garments are clean and ironed. Nobody is going to want to buy a crumpled old thing from the bottom of your laundry basket. It's probably worth even fixing any repairs too. It is also much nicer for the buyer when they receive it when it's nice and clean and ready to wear. You will get better feedback too which is important to build trust if want to sell anything again.
The key thing if you are selling online are the photos. There is nothing more off putting than a terrible photo. Most mobile phones these days have really good cameras, so there is no need to worry about expensive kit. You will need somewhere that has good, preferably natural light, but not so bright that it throws strong shadows. You may be able to brighten them up a little on your phone afterwards if necessary and crop out anything you don't want on the image. It always look better to show garments being worn as they look very different on the hanger. Most people don't have a great imagination and if they can't imagine how good it could look on them then they won't wear it! Try also to have a plain background behind the wearer, that won't distract too much from what you are trying to show. Photograph key details too, especially any branding if it's premium or designer to show authenticity. Be honest about any imperfections and show them too, as you don't want unhappy buyers. The more photos you have to show the garment off the better.
Pricing is a tricky one and will depend on the platform you are selling on. eBay is an auction site, so maybe start at the very least you are willing to accept and you can always relist with a lower price if it doesn't sell. Depop is not an auction site, so it's worth doing a bit of research to see what prices other people are selling similar things at. Consider how much you would be willing to pay for something similar if you were a buyer. Items that are brand new, have never been worn and still have the price tags on you can obviously charge more for, but you will not get the retail price back. It's important to check as well how much a platform will charge you for selling with them as they vary from a 10-25% commission.
Describe the item well and make sure you include all the key information honestly. Most sites will require you state size, colour and brand at the very least, but an indicator of quality is also really helpful. Other useful things to mention maybe the fabric, washing information or even for strange sizes some dimensions too.
I have sometimes also included images for how to style the garment or links to fashion bloggers reviews. Buyers love to see if something is a bloggers favourite so include it in the headline too.
When it comes to adding on postage and packaging be honest and only cover your costs. High postage is off putting and most people would rather wait longer than pay more. You can weigh your item on home scales along with the mailing bag and then check out the royal mail's website to find out how much you are likely to pay. If you are sending multiple or heavy items it might be worth comparing costs with a courier company instead. Try to be quick in dispatching the goods after someone has paid and let them know it has been sent. It's always safer to send something with a signature on delivery and with enough insurance to cover it as there are rogue buyers out there who will say they haven't received it. Send the tracking number to the buyer too and an estimated date of delivery.
Answer any questions that prospective buyers may have quickly and clearly otherwise they will go elsewhere. If there are any problems with the sale or afterwards deal with them as soon as possible and in a polite manner. Problems can happen to anyone and if its at your end being honest and upfront with an apology will go a long way. Remember to rate your buyer afterwards and give feedback and ask them to do the same. That way you can build your reputation as a seller and hopefully have customers returning to you.
This is stating the obvious, but don't try to sell winter coats in the summer and vice versa. But, also consider scheduling the item to start when people are most likely to be on the internet browsing for stuff. I often start eBay items on a Sunday afternoon as people often are free then. With auctions you also have to consider ending them at a time when people will be able to bid. No one wants to get up in the middle of the night to bid on some old jumper! Another thing to consider with timing is what time of the month you are trying to sell in. Near the end of the month a lot of people won't have much disposable income to spare, but after payday they are more likely to part with their cash.
Realising the potential of your unwanted clothes can be quite lucrative but also they are then going to live a second life with someone else which is better for the planet. Hopefully these tips will help you od just that.
#resalefashion #secondhandfashion #consignmentfashion
The days are getting shorter and the nights are drawing in. There is a chill wind blowing and the leaves are falling. It is nearly All Hallow's Eve, a time of witches and ghouls and...tonnes of plastic rubbish. This ancient celebration, which America has supercharged, grows in popularity and environmental impact every year. But Halloween can still be enjoyed without the guilt and the waste.
30m people dress up for Halloween[i] and 7m Halloween costumes are thrown away in the UK each year. Most are made from polyester or other oil-based plastic such as PVC which releases harmful chemicals as it breaks down. Two thousand tonnes of plastic waste is created from clothing and costumes alone, not considering all the plastic accessories, wigs, masks and hats. This is equivalent by weight of waste plastic to 83 million Coca Cola bottles. Not only that, but most are made very cheaply and in all likelyhood unethically.
You could make your own costumes with what you have already, borrow, swap or reuse old ones or get them second hand from charity shops. Local sewing shops will have Halloween fabrics if you have a sewing machine and Pinterest has lots of ideas for costume designs. Or if you are going to a special Halloween party then consider hiring a costume instead.
Cheap plastic Halloween decorations sadly cant be recycled as they are too poor quality. So why not use natural items such as pine cones, colourful autumnal leaves and acorns to decorate with? Or buy or make your decorations out of paper. Candles or tealights in jam jars are also a lovely to set the spooky mood. Otherwise if you don't have time to make or find paper or natural decorations then you may need to spend a bit more to invest in some good quality, non-plastic items that you can re-use year after year. LED or solar powered lights will cost you less in electricity as well as lowering your carbon footprint. There are lots of ideas on my seasonal zero waste Pinterest board here.
The vast amount of sweets and chocolate that are bought and consumed over Halloween are not only bad for our health but for the planet too. Most come in plastic bags and wrapped individually in plastic too. Foil wrapped chocolate or ones in cardboard like raisins at least can be recycled. Sugar is also a very environmentally damaging crop along with palm oil which is in many chocolate treats, so another good reason to limit naughty treats . A visit to a sweet shop or a pick 'n' mix counter will cut out some of this excess packaging. You could also give something useful instead of sugary treats like fun rubbers or spooky pencils. Or have fun making your own treats such as chocolates, biscuits, toffee apples or popcorn that can be given out in paper or cloth bags. You can get fun silicon moulds to make your own chocolates and use them for other seasonal events like valentines and Easter too,
In the UK alone,only 5% of the 10 million pumpkins that are carved out for Halloween are actually eaten. 18,000 tons of pumpkins are left to rot in the UK. All the water and energy that went into growing and transporting those pumpkins is wasted. [i]
Buying locally grown pumpkins means you are supporting local farmers but also reducing those food miles. Make sure you use the flesh that you scoop out of the pumpkin to make some delicious soup or pie and try roasting the seeds with a little salt for a tasty snack. Here are some recipes to try. Put your old pumpkin in your compost bin or food waste collection rather than your waste bin so it can give something back to the earth and not release harmful gases in a landfill site. The same goes with apples for apple bobbing too.
Reusable cutlery, plates, napkins, tablecloths, straws and other table settings not only look nicer but reduce waste and environmental impact. Again investing in some good quality crockery that you can reuse each year makes sense if you can afford it but otherwise be inventive and creative with what you already have. You can find some layout ideas on my fright night Pinterest board here.
Hope you all have a Spooktacular and waste -free Halloween!
#zerowastehalloween #greenhalloween #plasticfreehalloween
After spending a week in London with XR (Extinction Rebellion) I wanted to try and share some of the experience with you. It is very difficult to express it to people who were not there but I will do my best!
It was a really intense experience and a roller-coaster of emotions with long days, late nights, little sleep and lots of adrenalin. While holding sites there was discomfort from long periods of sitting down in tight spaces, little access to toilets and food as well as the cold & rain of autumn. I chose to take time off work and be away from my son and put my liberty at risk, but I would take all the down sides and do it all again in heartbeat to highlight the severity of the climate crisis and push for action. There are environmental activists around the world who die trying to protect our plant and our future, so these all seem insignificant in comparison. witnessing other rebels and friends making huge statements of sacrifice by gluing and locking themselves onto buildings and structures is very humbling. However, I do recognise my privilege as a white, middle class woman to be able to be part of the rebellion, but I do feel that I should use this and whatever platform I can for the cause.
On our sites we created our own XR villages complete with sustenance, art, meditation, wellbeing, first aid and stewards tents. We even had toilet tents with buckets, as the police confiscated our portaloos! Our site was next to St. James' Park where the campers had a lovely setting next to the lake and the pelicans. For me this embodied the natural world we are fighting for whilst being directly opposite the opulent buildings of Horseguards Rd which embody the establishment we are fighting against. We heard speeches from many notables including Gail Bradbrook, Mark Rylance, Bruce Parry and Rupert Read. We had live music from KT Tunstall and many others. Entertainment came from the Red Rebel Brigade, Rebel Roos, the Skeleton Parade and the dancing birds and of course people’s assemblies to make all the group decisions for the site. We truly created the society we want to see with inclusion, community and resilience.
It is difficult to describe the incredible energy of the experience in standing beside like-minded, passionate people who are using civil resistance to drive change. You begin to realise what power we all have when we come together and disobey the powers that be. That immense power of communal spirit and love was summed up for me while we protested outside the BBC by singing 'Amazing Grace'. It was so moving it had the police officers struggling to hold back tears. You also start to realise how much social conditioning we have in society to ‘put up, and shut up’, not just from the authorities but also from peers for fear of disapproval. I was quite anxious about what some friends and family would think about what we are doing in XR, but have been pleasantly surprised with all the support I have had. It is really empowering after years of feeling like we are getting nowhere with letters, petitions and marches to see people rising up and taking action.
The main thing I take away from the whole experience is the amazing sense of love. We went to London as thousands of rebels and came back as friends. Everywhere I went hugs and words of support were given, food and supplies shared and hopes bolstered. Whilst we are sitting blocking the road, the wellbeing team would pass us food, blankets, cushions and handwarmers, while legal observers would check we knew our rights. Supporters would cheer and the samba band would drum in defiance of the police. We had pizzas delivered to us from anonymous supporters, our home rebels raised money to buy extra supplies and visitors dropped off folding chairs and head lamps. We sang together, laughed together and cried together and it was the most incredible experience of my life.
#rebelforlife #actnow #tellthetruth
Why I am Rebelling
5 ways to save the planet pt2
Responding to Criticisms of the Rebellion
Ok, so let's first talk about what fast fashion is. Fast fashion is when clothing is produced quickly and cheaply, often being able to have new designs in store just weeks after being designed. The business model is based on high volume and turnover of stock.
The main problem with the fast fashion industry is the sheer volume of clothing it produces - 1 billion garments annually! Sophisticated marketing and the high turnover of stock drives consumers on to the next trend in order to buy ever more. Considering that fast fashion is predicted toincrease 60% by the year 2030 this is not sustainable when we all need to be buying less (of everything) to save our planet. The truth is we don't actually need any more clothes at all, we have more than enough to go round already, but fast fashion taps in to the desire for the new 'must have' and the affordable 'don't miss it' offer.
Aside from a few small conscious ranges, most fast fashion garments are made with synthetic fabrics which are responsible for 0.6 – 1.7 million tons of microfibres end up in the ocean every year. We all know from The Blue Planet II what the impact of plastics is on our sea life, but the fibres also end up in our drinking water and in our food as they do not biodegrade like natural fibres. The fast fashion industry is also responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater. The dwindling resources on our planet cannot sustain such turnover of 'stuff' driven by company policies based on growth and expansion; new stores, emerging markets, ever more lines. The industry emits1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year which is about 5% of global emissions - more than air travel and international shippingemissions combined. Much of this will come from the thousands of fashion miles that are incurred when the products travel across the world to get to our stores.
Most fast fashion (97%) is produced in far off countries which have extremely low wages. Low price fashion often means unethical practices and little transparency. The prices we pay in a fast fashion store do not reflect the true cost of what someone should have been paid, nor the resources used and the environmental damage done. Large fast fashion brands have incredible power, which puts pressure on developing countries to provide goods at rock bottom prices and cut corners on health and safety in order to keep the orders coming in. The speed of production can also lead to long working hours and extreme pressure to hit impossible deadlines. The Rana Plaza tragedy is a prime example of this.
Some fast fashion brands have sustainability schemes such as H&M's 'Closed loop' and ''recycling' schemes. However, with current technologies, it would take 12 years to recycle what the fast fashion industry creates in 48 hours. It is also unclear about how much of these unwanted garments actually get recycled or reused. This seems to be a marketing idea rather than a solution, as it still takes energy and resources to recycle. What happens to what cannot be recycled? The worry here is that so much low grade fast fashion is going out to African countries that their local textiles industries are collapsing. Clothing recycling as with household recycling makes us believe that it's ok to keep consuming at the rate we are without considering it's impact.
The Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry had one main conclusion and that is we need to value our clothes. And high street and fast fashion does not necessarily mean low quality if you choose good pieces that are classic and look after them. However, the majority of fast fashion is not designed for longevity which is one of the principles of circular fashion.
So, I don't believe that fast fashion can be sustainable because of all these issues. Can the big fast fashion brands change their way of working and become more sustainable? Maybe, but I doubt they would want to jeopardise their bottom line. So don't be fooled by clever initiatives and green-washing or that at least they are trying. There are so many other ethical and sustainable brands that deserve our attention that are doing so much more.
#fastfashion #sustainablefashion #ethicalfashion
6 Fashion Brands to avoid
Top 5 Ethical Kids Brands
5 Most Ethical High Street Fashion Brands
It's been nearly 6 months since I wrote my first post on how to save the planet. Since then I have learnt a whole lot more on climate issues, become a climate activist myself and frighteningly the climate emergency has sped up a great deal. So I felt strongly that I had to go back and rewrite my suggestions in light of all this.
As I write the Arctic is experiencing the worst wildfires and fast melting ever seen and across the globe historical temperature records have been broken. I have become aware of all the dangerous feedback effects that are not even taken into consideration in the IPCC reports and global emissions are still rising despite all the Paris Accord pledges. So, If like me you are worried about all these things and want to do something about it, here is my list of suggestions in order of importance:
30 years of inaction by leaders and rising emissions despite agreements, petitions, marches and polite letters to MPs go to show these methods are totally ineffective."Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will". Non violent direct action and civil disobedience has proven to be the most effective way to bring about change according to research and it only needs 3.4% of the population to be successful. No matter what you think of Extinction Rebellion, they have been more successful in the last 6 months in increasing public discourse on the climate crisis than most green groups have been in their entire existence. However, massive changes need to start happening to save our planet and they need to happen now, so more direct action is necessary.
I am sure you are all well aware of how "a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth". With an ever growing global population, agricultural land is becoming scarcer and climate changes are already seriously affecting food production. Our oceans are being devastated by pollution and overfishing and animal agriculture contributes massively to methane emissions. But aside from all that, a vegan diet is the most healthy diet there is and sentient creatures don't have to suffer and die for it. So even reducing meat and dairy can have a high impact and the wide variety of vegan options available now make it an easy choice.
"If aviation was a country, it would be the 7th worst polluter globally". Frequent flying and long haul flights cause significant carbon emissions (aside from the pollution). A return flight from London to New York will result in the loss of 6.6m2 of arctic ice, which is the earth's natural climate regulator. The rise of budget airlines and cheap flights have been enabled by the fact that airline fuel carries no duty and flights do not have VAT added on like with other forms of transport. This added to the lack of investment into public transport has now created the biazarre situation where it is often cheaper to fly somewhere than get the train. This needs to change and fast and reducing your own air travel will go way some way towards this.
Many pension schemes and savings accounts are invested in fossil fuel companies or other unethical and polluting projects. Withdrawing your hard earned cash or putting pressure on the financial institutions to divest from such areas makes a big statement and hits big companies where it hurts. As "100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions" of which fossil fuels companies are the highest emitters, they are the ones that need to change the most. Because as long as they are still making billions in profit as well as receiving £10.5 billion subsidies in the UK they won't change a thing.
There have been various legal cases against governments and fossil fuels companies in regard to climate change and some are still on going, but without an international law covering loss, damage and destruction to ecosystems, justice is rarely done. The late UK barrister, Polly Higgins, dedicated her life to getting ecocide made law and her team are still working hard to achieve it. If the legal case can be passed then CEOS and government ministers could be held criminally responsible for the damage they have caused. You can contribute to their legal team and support activistshere and become an earth protector too.
Taking real action in the face of climate catastrophe can really help with eco-anxiety, beacuse as Greta Thunberg says "once we start to act hope is everywhere" so I hope you will join me in doing whatever you can.
5 ways to save the planet
Responding to Crticism of the Rebellion
How to stay Climate Positive
#climateactivism #divestment #ecocide #flightfree
With constant stories in the press at the moment about the environmental crisis and the word extinction now being used in everyday conversation it must be a very frightening time to be a child. I remember the threat of nuclear missiles hanging over my childhood in the 1980s, but it always seemed very abstract to me then. However, as my son lost his dad when he was four, loss, grief and fear are a reality to him when they weren't to me. So as I become more of an activist I wonder how best to talk to him about such existential threats without frightening him.
Bringing children up with a love and respect for nature will mean they will grow up understanding the need to protect it. Being outdoors creates a connection with nature and gives you the opportunity to explain certain aspects of what is happening to the environment. For instance, if you spot insects you can talk about them and explain that they used to be many more when you were their age and that the birds need them to eat and so on. Grandparents could be a good source of information on this as they will have seen many changes they can talk about. Talking about our impact through daily routines such as when you are out shopping asking your kids to choose produce that's from the UK and explain why that's important. I talk more about this in my How to raise Eco Kids blog here.
I do believe it's very important to be honest with children and the problems we face now are so vast that we should not hide it from them. For small children though the complexities of climate breakdown would be beyond their understanding, so any information must be age appropriate. You know best as a parent how much your child can take in or how much they already know and what they feel about it. Maybe start small by explaining how trees absorb CO2 and give us oxygen? Make it relatable to their interests, whether they love birds or big cats. Explaining the impacts of climate change on the animals they love or things that are happening around them will mean more to them and hold their interest. Learning the difference between the weather and climate is critical for children. It is important though to have a good understanding yourself of what you are talking about, so it's worth reading up about things first. If your child asks a question you can't answer, then be honest and maybe you can suggest you look it up together. If you are worried you can't give them enough or the correct information then find out what their school can advise or do. Environmental, wildlife charities and even natural history museums may be able to provide answers or evidence of some of the issues in an interesting way that would appeal to kids.
It is really important to make sure your kids know that they are safe but also that it's ok to feel afraid, sad or angry about things that are happening to our planet. They need to know that clever scientists have been working on these problems for many years and have told us what the solutions are and that they are many people all over the world trying fix things. Frame your conversations hopefully, even if you don't feel it, as you are their protector and they need to know we can all do something about it. There are many success stories you can share about how we can change things like rewilding projects, the growth of renewable energy and reforestation.
As Greta Thunberg said "with action comes hope". Help children to realise they are not powerless and to find their voice. Whether that is writing a letter to their school or MP .Talking to them about the school climate strikers, the sunrise movement in the US and all the other brave kids standing up for the planet will show them that they can help too. Measuring their own carbon footprint is a good way to get them started on thinking about what they can change and how things can affect the planet. Make them aware too that they haven't caused the problem and shouldn't be expected to fix it, but that we can all help and that governments and other big guys are the ones that need to do the most. Also, children learn by example so be the change you want to see in the world and they will want to be earth protectors too.
There are a few books and websites here that may help:
And my Pinterest boards on kids eco books and films are here
I know I will change the way I discuss the crisis with my son after writing this so I hope this will be useful to you and your kids too. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and any of my blog posts, so do drop me a line x
#ecokids #climatecrisis #earthprotectors
Kids fight for climate
How to stay climate positive
5 ways to save the planet
Seasonal celebrations throughout the year are by their nature very wasteful in their celebration of feasting and excess. How can we as mindful consumers still enjoy these celebrations without contributing to landfill, carbon emissions, habitat loss other ethical problems?
Unless you are religious, eggs and more specifically chocolate eggs are what Easter is about for most people. However, most Easter eggs are packaged in plastic and so the average child receiving eggs from their family members will accumulate quite a pile of plastic waste as a result. There are many alternatives to these including making your own with chocolate moulds, making your own papier mache eggs or using cardboard, tin or wooden refillable eggs. You could even re-use something you already have like used Kinder Egg eggs or get something second-hand instead of buying anything new as this is significantly lower impact. If you are buying pre-made branded eggs then consider what it is you want to be eco/ethical about. There are some better options around that are either dairy-free, organic, fairtrade or palm oil free, but most are not all of the above. Please remember to recycle all packaging properly including the foil if this is your choice. Here and here are guides to some of the most ethical.
If you are using refillable eggs or putting together an Easter basket or egg hunt you will need extra treats too. If you are trying to steer away from the sugar overload that is Easter, then consider small wooden toys like the ones in my eco gift guide. Second hand shops would also be a good way to pick up small toys cheaply. Otherwise taking your own reusable containers to a sweet shop or a pick and mix area at your local supermarket will avoid all the extra packaging of mini eggs and the like.
Avoid buying plastic baskets, but if you already have one use it rather than replacing with something else as this is just waste in itself. Great plastic alternatives are traditional wicker baskets which you can often get from florists or online. They can be lined with straw, real grass or foliage, shredded paper from your recycling bin or scrap cotton fabric and ribbon. Once children have grown out of using these they can be reused for all sorts of things including gift hampers. Wire, felt or paper baskets or tin buckets are also a good cheap option and can be decorated by the kids to personalise them or do versions for the adults with gardening or pampering things. You could even use an up-turned Easter bonnet if you have one, so getting double the use!
Use nature as inspiration for creating your own decorations out of twigs, ribbons, hand dyed eggs and spring flowers. You can find ideas here and here on my Pinterest boards. Get your children involved with crafting chicks and bunnies out of scrap wool and fabric. Scouring your local second hand shops after Easter you will often pick up some bargains ready for the following year. Beautiful vignettes can be created out of all of these and other things you have around your home such as vases of flowers, lanterns and Easter goodies. Florist wreath frames can be decorated with fresh foliage and flowers and then used again with winter foliage at Christmas.
Wishing you all a happy and ethical Easter x
#ecoeaster #ethicaleaster #zerowaste
My Zero Waste Update
How to have an Green & Ethical Christmas
Last Friday, I was very proud to march in London alongside the Boy Wonder (and my mum) in the Global Youth Climate Strike. It had a profound effect on me. Being surrounded by 20,000 passionate young people, many finding their voices and realising their own agency for the first time was awe inspiring. The kids really ‘get it’ in a way a lot of the adults just can’t, but it’s time for us all to wake up. The energy and power of the event must gain momentum. The experience has galvanised me to want to do more to help save the planet. Because ,this not just about the planet's survival, but ours too. Large scale communal protest and peaceful demonstration is one really important way to get involved, but what else can we all do?
Make individual changes in your own life, such as reducing meat and dairy in your diet (or going vegan if you can), switching to a green energy provider, tree planting, divesting your bank accounts & pension funds, getting an electric car and consuming & flying less. All these actions are small in comparison to the total system change we need, but they do inspire and influence others to do the same and create a demand for a greener society. However, making people feel guilty about not so green decisions will not get them on your side, they will just get defensive. So inspire and inform people instead by telling them the reasons why these things matter to you or the story that lead you to change.
Climate change is not something that is in the distant future, it happening right now and a lot faster than we thought. We all need to educate ourselves much better on what will happen if we don't act soon. Then we need to spread this message to everyone we know and challenge denialists and delayers. Reach out to them by telling them how it will affect them directly and what matters to them most, be that their children or their income. There are many great books, articles and interviews with experts which are not overly scientific or full of jargon. I attach links to these below. Collective denial and complacency, even from some within the green movement, have held us back for too long, now is the time to learn about the stark reality we are facing.
The news media has so much influence on all of our opinion forming and indeed on our politics. They should follow a moral duty to inform everyone on the apocalyptic nature of runaway climate change. Sadly, most print media don't do this, due to being beholden to advertisers or owned by powerful people invested in the status quo. However, there are many independent media companies who have fewer constraints that we would be better off patronising. Public service broadcasters, like the BBC, who do not have advertisers are a good target for public pressure in getting the climate reality message out there. They are answerable to us as license fee payers and their complaints system can be used to tell them we won’t tolerate them broadcasting climate deniers as they have often been known to do. Petitions, letters and visit to MPs are also a way to do this although I’m not entirely convinced if they work. However, petitioning your MP, government, town and district councils to declare a climate emergency would start some important ground level action that could be beneficial. Social media can also be an effective way get your network on board too.
Never before has your vote mattered so much, the world’s fate literally depends on it. Democracy is a flawed system, but we need to elect people into power who can change things from the top - and fast. Candidates need to show evidence of real commitment and strong policies for change rather than the usual greenwashing. If our parliamentary representatives do not act in our best interest, they can be legally challenged as failing in their duty. The UK government is currently fighting a court battle with activists who are against the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow airport. The emissions target that the UK signed at the Paris Climate Accord simply cannot be met with this airport expansion. There are possible challenges that could also be made similar to the ones in the US, Ireland, the Netherlands and France on climate change itself. Legal action against the companies that have caused over 2 thirds of climate change has already begun with Exxon Mobil, (who have known about climate change since the 1970’s.) BP & Shell, amongst others. $1 billion has been spent since 2015 by the 5 largest fossil fuel giants in lobbying and climate denial misinformation. Boycotting these eco-vandals is a vote with your wallet and a stand against impending ecocide.
Get involved with environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, 350.org or Greenpeace by volunteering or donating. If you feel you can go further, then a direct action group such as Extinction Rebellion, who use peaceful civil disobedience such as blocking highways, will have the most direct impact. Collective group pressure is much more powerful and demands greater press attention and public exposure than any small individual act can ever do. Come along and join the next climate march with us and feel that power for yourself, and you will know that you did all you could to help save the planet for future generations.
If you have any thoughts on this or any suggestions for further reading and viewing please let me know. We love to hear your thoughts x
#savetheplanet #youthclimatestrike #extinctionrebellion
Kids Fight for the Climate
How to Stay Climate Positive
How to Raise Eco Kids
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THIS:
YouTube interview with Dr David Suzuki
YouTube - Scientists Warning - Deep Adaptation
YouTube - David Attenborough
YouTube - Greta & Svante Thunberg
YouTube - Radio Interview with Naomi Klein
YouTube - Michael Mann Climate Expert
Drawdown by Paul Hawken
The Madhouse Effect by Michael Mann
Storms of My Grandchildren: The truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hensen
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate by Naomi Klein
How Did We Get Into This Mess by George Monbiot
The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace- Wells
Some of you might have noticed that something is happening. And it’s truly amazing. Kids all over the world are taking action over climate change. They have enough of standing by waiting for the grown-ups to do the right thing and are taking charge.
Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish girl you might have heard of for doing just that. She has been on strike from school since last summer in protest over global inaction and has inspired many other school children around the globe to do the same.
"Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more?”[i]
In Brussels last week, tens of thousands marched, as did kids in Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and America. In French cities recently there were more youth climate activists than there had been ‘yellow vest’ protestors the day before[ii]. The movement is spreading rapidly and gaining traction.
Greta has appeared recently as a speaker at the UN and at Davos where she berated the billionaires who had turned up in their private jets in no uncertain terms.
"Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don't want your hope, I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis.”[iii]
We have been told by the world’s top scientists that we have 12 years to change our ways and prevent runaway, catastrophe climate disaster. To most children it is obvious what we need to do and they are fed up of being told by adults that it’s more complicated than they think. It is their future we are destroying as they and their children will be affected by it. They see the powers that be are stuck in apathy, complacency and worse still in hock to the oil and coal industry.
“We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.”[iv]
At the UN climate talks in Poland last year, a delegation of the Youth Climate Movement made their presence known. These talks have been taking place for 24 years and every target that has been set has been missed. Victoria Barrett, 19, has been campaigning about climate change for five years and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about youth involvement in its sustainable development goals
“What will be the catalyst for people in power to do what is right? …. Do we have to be stealing a livable planet from people not even born yet? How many millions of people will have to die from climate damage such as drought, famine, superstorms and wildfires before world leaders commit to implementing real solutions to defeat this crisis?”[v]
These strong and eloquent young people are speaking truth to power where many adults won’t while others dismiss them as naive. In America youth activists targeted, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s Washington DC office to demand change[vi]. The Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats group were arrested for a sit-in over the Green New Deal. While the Juliana vs. US climate lawsuit[vii] which was filed by young Americans for ‘failing to protect it’s citizens from climate change’ has sadly recently been denied reconsideration by the judge.
The first UK wide youth strike for climate will take place on February 15th 2019 in major cities, followed by a global youth strike on March 15th. Do you think we should listen to the kids? Will you and your children be there? We are certainly considering it even though I think maybe the Boy Wonder is still bit young at 8 years old.
How to stay Climate Positive
How to Raise Eco Kids
#strike4climateaction #climatestrike #schoolstrike #fridaysforfuture #fff
You may have read my New Year post last year where I stated my aims to go reduce my waste and have toxic free home. As most of you may find, some resolutions work better than others.
Going completely zero waste was not my aim, but putting waste foremost in your mind can really help to change your habits. I will be honest, at times it wasn't easy. Sometimes I forgot my own produce bags or reusable cup and often I just couldn't get what I needed without all the pointless packaging. It’s not easy on a very limited budget too so I had done what I can. However, it has made a real difference and I’m really happy about that.
When I first went to the supermarkets with my reusable produce bags proudly in hand, I was genuinely surprised (and disappointed) at how little fruit and veg was available without all the plastic. Not only that, but the unpackaged produce was more expensive. This has to change to encourage people to make the switch, so I welcome the government’s plans to make the retailers rethink packaging. However, although things are changing (mainly due consumer pressure) any legislation will likely be a while in coming so we could all do with rethinking our shopping.
Frustration at the lack of unpackaged produce led me to my local green grocers. Again, this has been a slightly more expensive option, but it does mean I am supporting local small business and helping to keep our high street alive as well. They now know me well in there as I always untie their plastic bags of fruit to put into my own reusable bags. In fact, this has spurred them on to remove all their plastic bags from inside their shop, which shows that even my small actions have had an effect.
I have noticed from becoming more aware of my waste that there is a lot more you can recycle than you think. Always check on the back of any plastic packaging as it should tell you. Some plastic packaging can be recycled along with shopping bags at larger supermarkets. Try to avoid black plastic though (these are often food trays) as these cannot be recycled at all.
I also did a waste bin audit which helped me find areas I could improve on. This involved tipping out my rubbish bin on the lawn and rifling through it (washing up gloves are advised!) Luckily, as I compost all food waste, my bin only contains dry rubbish - which also means I don't use a bin bag either. This exercise made my snacking more apparent, as was my use of microwave rice, both of which I have reduced to bring my waste down further. Becoming fully vegan also had to added benefit of adding more whole food items in my diet which have no or less packaging.
I spent some time unsubscribing from unwanted catalogues, phonebooks and direct mail campaigns (junk mail) and switching to paperless billing. There are several ways you can stop receiving unsolicited post, but I have to say this has not be successful. Even sticking a sign on my front door has not stopped the deluge of charity bags, flyers and menus from coming through the letterbox.
Reducing consumption of ‘stuff’ in general and buying second-hand has a real impact not just on waste produced but on saving the earth’s dwindling resources. Not to mention the money it saves. I am even looking at getting parts to fix my old hoover myself rather than getting a new one. I have invested in a some new, reusable products such as a silicone mat to replace tin foil, washable cloth sandwich bags & make-up pads and kishu charcoal stick instead of water filter cartridges. I have put together a useful list of swaps and changes here and there are lots of ideas on my Pinterest board here.
Overall, my efforts have meant that I have gone from putting out my household waste bin every month (there is only two of us, admittedly) to only twice this year and my recycling has gone from every fortnight to once a month or every six weeks. I aim to reduce this down further next year by purchasing some goods from a bulk buy merchant and by making more of my own food, including bread!
My aim to make my own cleaning products however, was not such a success story. I found that the recipes I tried for various things, including bathroom & toilet cleaners, shower gel and hand wash did not work at all well. I guess that If I had more time I could try out different recipes and would find ones that do work well. I ended up using more of the product with worse results and it took a longer to research, make them and clean with than I had thought. Maybe this is something I will come back to now I have all the staple ingredients, but in the meantime I shall use non-toxic brands such as Ecover and Method instead.
Going forward into the New Year I plan to grow some of our own food and make my own bread but mostly to build on what I have done so far and further reduce our overall consumption of goods. From what friends and family have told me I have already influenced some of them to adopt new habits so hopefully you can too and help bring about a less wasteful 2019! Let me know what your plans are to reduce your waste too.
Happy New Year to you all x
#zerowaste #newyear #pointlessplastic
Since I have started blogging and setting up the brand various people have asked me where is best place to shop for clothes? They are not asking about expensive ethical and eco brands but the shops that we can all find on the British high street. I always add to these conversations that it's better to buy second-hand or save up for an investment ethical piece than shop on the high street, but I do know that sometimes that's not possible. So, I have spent a long time researching and compiling a database to be able to provide the answer to this question for them and you; my lovely readers.
There are various consumer information sites that provide ethical and sustainability ratings on fashion brands. These include Ethical Consumer Magazine, the Good Shopping Guide and Rankabrand (who I have mentioned in a previous blog). They investigate brands and give them a score for different categories from how transparent they are through to whether they use renewable energy. The Ethical Consumer Magazine appears to be more well-established, with years of research behind them and seems more thorough in their critical appraisals. Rankabrand is mainly focused on German and Dutch brands but does feature some of the larger British companies. However, they all suggest quite different brands as being the best and all have a slightly focus.
These can be useful to look at simply to find out more information about your favourite brands but they all seem to have certain bizarre anomalies. I suspect this come from different ways of measuring and applying data but these anomalies make me feel slightly unsure about them. For instance the Good Shopping Guide rates River Island at 73, which is the same rating they give to Patagonia (one of the most environmentally conscious brands there are) and rates Fat Face even higher at 81, which from my research over the years I cannot agree with. There are also many reports by groups such as the Clean Clothes Campaign, Fashion Revolution and Greenpeace investigating whether brands actually live up to their commitments. These help to build a bigger picture to inform my decisions.
I used the comparison sites to help me create my own methodology with which to judge them by. I used many different markers to establish ranking, including being signatories to the Bangladesh Fire & Safety Accord, pledging to ZDHC (zero discharge of hazardous chemicals) and 'take back' schemes such as M&S's shwopping. There are far too many separate factors and areas I looked at to mention in full here, so I will simply give an overall summary on my findings. In this comparison I have focused solely on British fashion retailers and not included supermarkets. This amounted to 15 different brands, including 3 department stores, and one online-only retailer. For the sake of drama and suspense I shall count down from number 5!
No. 5 - Debenhams (Rating of 17.5)
Please note that Debenhams sells other brands alongside it's own. This scoring of them refers to the company itself and it's own products and practices. Debenhams uses 100% renewable energy to power it's stores[i] and are joint founders of Fast Forward auditing (see below). They also partner with the Salvation Army[ii] to divert waste from landfill. By collecting and donating unwanted clothing, textiles and shoes they also help raise funds for those in need. Debenhams also scored highly in the Good Shopping Guide.
No. 4 - Arcadia Group (Rating of 20.5)
In fourth place this large retail group includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and others. Topshop have a strong animal welfare policy and got shortlisted in 2008 for the RSPCA good business awards[iii] and worked with PETA to campaign against the use of exotic animal skins[iv]. They have also sold limited edition collections of garments made from upcycled fabrics[v]. However, having a 'fast fashion' business model works against them, which is why the Good on You site gives them a rating of 3 out of 5 saying 'it's a start'[vi].
No. 3 - New Look (Rating of 22)
Even with cheap price points , New Look is still managing to score highly on ethics. (I wonder if this may be my anomaly, as low prices don't lend themselves to fair wages) They publish a list of their factories and rank midway in the Fashion Transparency Index[vii]. As they have stated recently that they are going to slash prices further[viii], I am not sure how they will maintain this. They also have a good animal welfare policy[ix].
No. 2 - ASOS (Rating of 29)
Second place goes to this online only site which is not strictly a high street brand, but it deserves a place in our list. Many of their garments are made in the UK and most of them at the ethically audited factory where our launch collection will be made. In fact they helped to set up, along with Debenhams, a stricter audit system called Fast Forward[x] whose need became arose from the Leicester sweatshop problems noted in the press a few years ago. Not only do they have their own eco edit[xi] they also sell second hand garments[xii] through the site too, thereby encouraging circularity. The sheer volume of their production however, does categorise them as a 'fast fashion' brand which does lower their score.
Drumroll please....and the winner is.....
No. 1 - Marks & Spencers (Rating of 32)
M&S's commitment to sustainability is evident in Plan A[xiii] which has been underway since 2007, years before many others started using the word 'sustainability'. They tick nearly every box for ethical and environmental commitment including having their own sustainable cotton ranges which use BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton ensuring various ethical and environmental guarantees. They are also certified as carbon neutral and have even become a green energy provider[xiv] as well as giving away money to fund renewable energy projects[xv]. Ethical consumer magazine also put M&S in their top 5 ethical high street shops[xvi] and the Fashion Transparency Index rated them at 51%, the highest being 58%. These top two brands are head and shoulders above the rest and will hopefully convince others to follow their lead.
There were 5 brands that came in the middle of the rankings whose scores were less than half of those at the top. Although they are doing some things right, they could do a lot more in my opinion. These were Next, John Lewis, Monsoon, White Stuff and Oasis.
And the losers?
The bottom five brands in my research in consecutive order were Fat Face, River Island and Matalan with French Connection and Peacocks coming joint last place. Come on guys, you can do better than this!
If you do need to buy from the high street always remember that as consumers we can change things for the better with what we buy. Go for the brands 'eco' ranges and do ask questions. Do the garment workers get a fair wage? Does it really need plastic packaging? I hope this helps you to be more informed and conscious shoppers and to help those British brands that deserve our patronage.
And lastly, what do you think? Do you agree with my rankings? Are there any surprises there? I would love to hear your thoughts x
#ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #britishhighstreet
Christmas is a time of giving, which mostly means mass consumption and masses of waste. It’s also a time of charity and thinking of others so why not think of the planet this year? You can save money, waste and the planet all at the same time with some of our handy tips.
CARDS & GIFTWRAP
“The amount of wrapping paper used for presents is enough to wrap around the equator 9 times”[i]
Try to avoid shiny or glittery wrapping paper as this is not recyclable and the glitter contributes to micro plastic pollution. Sustainable alternatives are recycled gift wrap, or re-usable options like wrag wrap or make your own out of scrap fabrics instead.
1 billion cards ended up in the bin in 2016 rather than being recycled.[ii] Why not consider E-cards this year which saves a lot of time and effort and could include a charitable donation? Or otherwise look for charity cards on recycled stock or labelled with the FSC mark. After the festive season remember to recycle them at Sainsbury’s for the Woodland Trust or cut them up to make gift tags for next year.
Why not try making your own decorations? Foraging for holly, pine cones and evergreen leaves is free and if you combine them with candles, oven-dried fruit slices and a little creativity it’s amazing what you can come up with. Check out some ideas here.
Reusable crackers can be bought online, but you could also make these yourself with some cardboard tubes, fancy paper and ribbons. Fill them with your own jokes and a few treat and they will be a real surprise on the Christmas table.
There are various alternative to the disposable advent calendar. You could invest in a beautiful drawer calendar which you fill with treats every year. (This would even work for more than one child) Or make your own calendar with numbered socks or envelopes with fun family activities for each day instead of chocolate. Another ethical alternative is a reverse advent calendar, whereby you put a small gift of food or toiletries into a box which is then donated to a charity or foodbank.
“6 million or 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are discarded every year”[iii]
A potted Christmas tree can be reused again and again. But if that’s too expensive then why not do what the Scandinavians do and find some nice branches to put in a pot and decorate instead? If you have a cut tree then you can take to your local waste site for it to be composted. If you can’t get to a site then chop it up and put it in your garden waste bin for collection.
And don’t forget the lights… “Approximately 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are thrown away each year, yet many people do not realise that they can be recycled”[iv]
Rather than more 'stuff' consider experiences instead like; theatre tickets, cinema passes and spa vouchers. Or, if you are short of money why not offer your time or skills instead? An offer of a tasty home-cooked dinner or a promise to walk the dog for a month would be appreciated by many family members.
A secret Santa arrangement might work for your family, choosing one person to buy for rather than lots of stuff for lots of people! This can save on money, time and waste too. Make sure to look out for items that have minimal or recyclable packaging. Lush do some great gift sets.
If you want to give something back then there are lots of great sites like Good Gifts and Oxfam unwrapped where you can buy a goat for someone in Afghanistan for instance.
Buying second hand items at charity shops also means giving back and creating less waste at the same time. We have adopted the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod where we gift second-hand books to the family which are traditionally read in bed on Christmas Eve with some chocolate.
If you have the time then everybody loves a hand-made gift. Yummy baked goods always go down a treat and the kids can get involved too. Find some inspiring ideas here.
“Within three months, 41 per cent of the toys children receive will be broken. Most will go to the tip.”[v]
There are many ethical and green gift options around these days so you don't have to opt for the mountains of plastic on the high street, I have put together a Pinterest board of some of the best gifts for kids here.
FOOD & DRINK
Try not to use disposable items such as straws, plastic cups and paper napkins. If you are having a party why not invest in some special cloth napkins or make your own from old shirts? Guests could be asked to bring their own glasses or you can borrow them for free them most supermarkets.
“Recycling all glass instead of disposing it to landfill would save the CO2 equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road for a year.”[vi]
Avoid food & drinks in plastic bottles or pots and choose easier to recycle materials such as glass or tins instead. Produce from local greengrocers, farmers markets, veg box schemes or butchers will help to avoid all that excess packaging.
Making your own mince pies, xmas cake & pudding also avoid packaging and will always taste so much better or even make great gifts. Remember to use silicone baking sheets and eco wraps for cooking & left overs rather than tin foil and cling film.
“Over 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts are thrown away every Christmas”[vii]
We all over-indulge at Christmas so freeze left-overs and re-use turkey for sandwiches and curries that will see you right through until the New Year.
Lastly, try to buy only what you need and not get seduced by all the offers and marketing in the shops. This is easier said than done, I know, but having a list of what you need often helps. Find more zero waste ideas on my Pinterest board here. Let me know if you have any other ideas x
Happy New You!
How to have a green Halloween
How to have a Green Easter
#zerowaste #ethicalchristmas #greenchristmas
As the news that we have lost over 50% of our biodiversity hits me, I know it’s the next generation that will be most affected by this and climate change. So how can we make sure our kids are equipped with the necessary tools to become guardians of the planet?
Where to start?
We have a tradition of watching a nature programme together on a Friday Night. There are so many awe inspiring programmes to choose from but we really love the David Attenborough ones best. The behind the scenes part at the end often has an environmental message and serves as a good basis for discussion afterwards. Another easy starting point is reading story books or watching films with your kids that feature different environmental issues. There are a wide range out there and I have put together some of these on my Pinterest boards here and here. Try to relate these issues to real life though so that they are not just fantasy and fairy tale for them.
Set an example
Young children model themselves on their parents and so being green yourself will influence them greatly. Encouraging them to get involved with reusing, reducing and recycling, and even composting, can be fun and they will engage more if they are part of the process. Using tools such as shower timers and smart meters can help instil good water & energy conservation habits such as switching off lights and stand-by gadgets.
My son is very aware of trying to use less plastic, but is still drawn to all the plastic toys in the shops. Consuming less with children is a difficult task as all kids want what their friends have, but the better option is to go for second hand. Young children are far more adaptable to this as the item is new to them anyway. Toy libraries are also a great option for this as are second-hand shops, school and car boot fairs or even swap with friends. In this way, making them aware of the earth’s finite resources and reducing waste from an early age will stick with them into adulthood.
Living without a car if you have kids is pretty impossible for most people unless you live in a big city. So although that’s not a practical option we could all use our cars less or even go electric. Walking to school is especially important not just for the environment but also for exercise and to cut pollution. I asked my son’s school to get involved with the Living Streets charity who challenged the pupils to walk to school and guess what? They did! https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-we-do/walk-to-school
Connect with nature
When my brother and I were little, my dad took us out at night to go badger and fox watching. It was so exciting to be out after dark and after a long tense wait, when we had to be very still, we got to see these amazing creatures in their own habitats, playing with their young. This has stayed with me and I believe is part of the reason for my passion for wildlife and the environment.
“Children who have an immersive experience in nature between the ages of 5 and 10 foster a deep love of the environment that they carry with them their entire lives”[i]
Visiting animal sanctuaries, farms, zoos and wildlife parks allows kids to see animals they otherwise wouldn’t up close. However, I always stress to my son that it’s far better for animals to be out in the wild than captive for our entertainment. Even interaction with a pet can help foster love, respect and empathy for animals.
Some kids can be reticent about being drawn away from their screens and games consoles, but fun outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, canoeing and camping can be a great way to entice them out. Even less adrenaline filled pastimes such as gardening, foraging for blackberries or strawberry picking at your local farm is a good excuse to get them outside. There are lots of amazing green spaces in the UK that you and your kids can access such as nature reserves, national parks or even your local park will have an abundance of flora and fauna to explore. Many areas such as these will have birdwatching, forest schools or nature clubs that will offer kids activities such as making bird feeders or pond dipping.
My son and I do something every year to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. We adopt an endangered species and the pack of information, newsletters and the soft toy help to connect him to these animals and understand the hard work that is being done to protect them.
Volunteering for beach cleans, litter picks and tree planting can also show kids how we can all help, just as events such as Earth Day raise awareness that community and global efforts can make a difference.
How do you try instill a love and respect of nature in your children? We would love to hear from you x
#ecokids #greenparenting #sustainableliving
Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the state of the planet and tired of fighting what seems like a losing battle. I sometimes think that however I live my life or whatever I say or do will not make any difference especially against the backdrop of global corporate and state-sanctioned destruction of the environment. I often feel like a modern day Cassandra or the weirdo on the street wearing the sandwich board saying ‘The End of the World is Nigh’ who everyone avoids, as so many people don't seem to care or want to know. It feels like there is very little good news right now with the devastating effects of climate change becoming evident through the global summer heatwaves, the vastness of the plastic pollution problem, the recent shocking IPCC report, and so on.
I do put some of this eco-exhaustion down to the fact that I am more informed now than I have ever been. I am consuming news and opinion via news apps and social media several times a day and the more I read the more despondent I become. It seems I am not alone though, that the depressing and frightening messages and information overload that we are bombarded with is now creating ‘apocalypse fatigue’ amongst many people.
“If governments or policymakers repeat the same message too often, people just tune out after a while."[i]
This is sometimes compounded for me with the environmental and ethical minefield that is everyday life. Is it better to buy local produce or organic food?[ii] Is switching to an electric car a green option if you are selling your old one that will still be polluting the planet? Deciding what to do for the best takes so much effort and is hard work.[iii] So how do we continue fighting the good fight, and engage others in it too?
Turning away from some of the news media’s negative reporting could help counteract this problem. It’s not a case of ignoring the threat of catastrophe but oversaturation of it in our information filled world makes us feel helpless. Actively seeking out positive, constructive messaging or at the very least filtering the information we take in can give us hope that we can still do something and that we still have some control.
“This fear, this guilt we know from psychology is not conducive to engagement, it’s rather the opposite.”[iv]
If you seek out these alternative narratives you can find that, as opposed to the scaremongering in the media, positive change is happening. Although the US did pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, over half of their population lives in areas that are committed to those goals. Alongside this, renewable energy is going from strength to strength with many countries seeing less reliance on fossil fuels all the time. Trillions of dollars are also being divested every year to add to this booming industry.[v] And what’s more, grass roots activism is become more prevalent now, with people finding their voices on wide range of issues. This has a real potential to change the world as people stand up for what they believe, when they now know that corporates and governments will not do it for them.
“One key factor in keeping people enthused in the fight against climate change will be local, collective action…in a group of like-minded people they have the support, accountability, peer pressure and the shared experience of others to help make the change”[vi]
Community projects like 10:10 Climate Action turn local into a force for bigger changes. They also gather these stories of hope to inspire others and maintain momentum in the movement. [vii]. Joining others in such projects is a great way to feel part of something bigger and not so alone in our struggles.
“We need to change the way we talk about climate change.”[viii]
An effective way to approach other people’s disconnection or lack of involvement with environmental problems is changing how we frame such issues. Talking to parents about the effects of pollution on their children’s health or to businesses about energy security makes the problems relevant to them. It’s then not just about polar bears on the other side of the world, but real and tangible.
Another way to overcome the psychological barriers to real environmental change is using the power of our own social networks. This is where our small, individual actions do actually count. Behavioural science has proved that knowing what others around us are doing greatly influences us. When environmental actions or messages come from people inside our social networks, rather than scientists or politicians, they have a much more powerful effect.
"The ripple effect from person to person doing visible, positive social acts becomes central".[ix]
Utilising this could move many people from apathy to action. Using tools like the carbon footprint calculator and sharing your results with friends, family and social media followers may spur others to make their own changes. If you want to measure your footprint try it here: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/
"Inspiration rather than guilt, then, is the most effective antidote to eco-fatigue.”[x]
I hope then that through my blog, the Boy Wonder brand and it’s social media presence and also the way I live my life, I can inspire others to live a greener, more ethical lifestyle. Maybe you can too?
And lastly, the best reason to stay positive is…“because hope beats fear”[xi]
#climateoptimist #ecofatigue #carbonfootprint
One of my old friends, Ellen MacArthur, is working with industry, big brands and famous designers to build a circular economy. She very kindly agreed to an interview so that I could find out more for my readers.
Me: Working with global fashion brands seems a world away from competitive sailing, what got you into working with fashion?
Ellen: When you sail a boat around the world non-stop you develop a true understanding of what it is to have finite resources. What you have is all you have – there is no more. This understanding of finite led me to think much more broadly, and I began to relate the reality of finite resources on a boat to our global economy. I soon realised that if our economy uses resources up, we do not have an economy that can run in the long term, and I became fascinated by what the solution could look like. In 2010 I launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with the goal to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
Me: The circular economy sounds very complicated, what is it and is it achievable?
Ellen: In its essence its incredibly simple. It’s the difference between a straight line (the linear economy we have today) and the circle of a circular economy. The three main principles are :
-Design out waste and pollution
-Keep products and materials in use
-And regenerate natural systems.
The idea behind a circular economy is that you build an economy which is designed to work in the long term. Products are designed so that even when they reach the end of their use period, they are able to be disassembled and the raw materials recovered and fed back into the economy. In order to do this successfully, different business models, design, marketing, and financing often come into play. Materials are split into two cycles – either biological (those which biodegrade) or technical (plastics and metals for example). It also needs the economy to be powered by renewable energy.
Me: In such a throwaway society, what suggestions do you have to my readers to bring more circularity into their everyday lives/how can people get involved with it?
Ellen: Our job at the foundation is to ‘shift the system’, so that we can all operate differently in our everyday lives. So that we don’t have to make difficult, and often impossible decisions about what to do with products or plastic waste for example. If everything were designed to fit within a system, be it a plastic bag or a t-shirt, then it's easy to do the right thing. 'Throwaway', I guess, is not 'away' if the material has another life afterwards!
Me: After Blue Planet II people became much more aware of plastic pollution, what are your thoughts on education and information to raise awareness of such issues?
Ellen: Awareness raising is important, as much work needs to be done, but at the Foundation we see our role as being the catalyst to help to change the system so that plastic packaging for example, never becomes waste. That means for example working with businesses to make sure that plastic is designed differently, to fit either the technical or biological system.
Me: I am attempting to buy much less and avoid packaging to reduce waste, but how much impact do you think these individual choices really have?
Ellen: Everyone can help to shift the system for sure, but ultimately we need to go to the root cause, and change the materials which enter that system. That means bringing all the organisations involved in plastic - producers, retailers, city leaders, waste management companies - to work to change the system together. Cleaning up the beaches and buying less cannot fix this globally, they are essential, but we need to change how plastic is produced and used, so that it can always have value.
Me: What are the main barriers currently to a circular economy in your opinion?
Ellen: State of mind! Once we establish that the economy can run in a different way, and be regenerative, then no young person would leave university or school and follow in the linear footsteps we have pursued for so long… Once you ‘get’ circularity, you think differently.
Big thanks to Ellen for giving me this interview. We are very inspired by her work to change the system and wish her all the best with it x
#makefashioncircular #circulareeconomy #ellenmacarthur
When we think about what fashion will be like in future, most of us will imagine silver space-suit type outfits. However, back in the eighties, we imagined we would all be driving hover cars, which never happened (not where I live anyway!) So how realistic are these design futures? Let’s look at the emerging innovations and the challenges they face to find out.
The future, the planet and all our lives will all be heavily impacted by climate change so it is inevitable that design processes will become sustainability driven due to dwindling resources. Financially, big high street names have suffered recently with massive drops in sales, as they have failed to evolve while our shopping preferences have rapidly changed. Bricks and mortar stores have become increasingly expensive to run with fewer customers to sustain them. This is compounded by online disruptors such as ASOS and BooHoo taking larger market shares by challenging traditional working practices.
“There are historic changes happening in the fashion cycle, and at the same time significant technological advancements that are changing the industry”[i]
A big growth area in fashion sustainability is textile innovation. As the environmental impact of animal products and synthetic materials are becoming acknowledged, significant research is being made into creating alternatives. Leather substitutes have now been developed from pineapples, mushrooms, apples and tree bark and Bolt Threads[ii] have even invented a spider silk without the spiders. Read a post I wrote before on strange and wonderful textile innovations here.
Another area where designers are developing better use of resources is by through rethinking our waste. The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful, being based on the idea of the new, but the practice of circular fashion puts that ‘waste’ back into use. There are now many innovators with exciting recycled fibres and yarns such as Econyl[iii] who reuse abandoned fishing nets and Levis + Evernu[iv] who have created new jeans from old t-shirts.
Supply chain transparency will hopefully become industry wide with the use of Blockchain. This is a technology that is used in digital currencies such as Bitcoin and has the potential to give brand and customer the ability to trace every stage of their products journey. There is great hope that this will force better ethical practice within the garment sector. Some designers such as Martine Jarlgaard[v] have already seen success with her ‘smart labels’
“Full transparency and traceability becomes a stamp of approval allowing consumers to make informed choices with no extra effort.”[vi]
The automation of sewing machines is a hotly debated topic in the industry right now. As with any talk of automation there is widespread fear of massive job losses which would hit some of the poorest people in the world. Such robotic systems would, however, revolutionise the industry providing reliability and efficiency, while eradicating unethical practices. Production could be increased and waste reduced as less stock would need to be held. Uptake of this technology will lead to far more personalisation and customisation of garments as seen already with Adidas and Uniqlo.
“Customers will be able to design or customise their own clothing and then have in produced in automated factories and delivered within days.”[vii]
Most designers work to the traditional spring/summer and autumn/winter fashion cycle. However, the digital age has given us an expectation of immediacy. So in the last few years, buyers have wanted to be able to purchase designer collections as soon as the catwalk show has debuted. Only a few brands have been able to deliver this, but it is undoubtedly the way the future is going to look. As the designer, Tom Ford, clearly stated:
“The current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers is an antiquated idea, and one that no longer makes sense,”[viii]
As wearable tech becomes more widespread the digital world will become part of our clothing itself. Imagine being able to do everything you do on your phone through your jacket for instance? The Levi's Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket already does some of this, so it’s not too far-fetched an idea. The digital space will become a bigger part of our shopping experience, as we have already witnessed with virtual changing rooms. Augmented reality has been utilised by many Zara stores[ix], giving the consumers more opportunity to interact with the brand in a new and exciting way. In store models come to life through the screen of a mobile phone while supporting easy click to buy options.
“Augmented reality is going to change the way that the fashion industry creates, showcases and retails its products”[x]
As we continue into the unknown future one thing is obvious; for fashion to stay where it should be, at the vanguard of change, designers need to collaborate and technology shared. Engineers, scientists, programmers and other technical experts will have to join forces with designers to tackle some of the big challenges of our times.
#fashionfutures #fashionblockchain #textileinnovation
Design it yourself fashion
It's 100 years ago since women got the vote in the UK. Activism is growing in different areas as people are still fighting for hard won rights and it's exciting to see this expressed in some great kid's fashion brands. Here is a celebration of the power of fashion to change things for the better.
W.I.M.A.M.P. (Worldwide Inventive Minds against Monsters of Pollution) is a not for profit collection by Bobo Choses that features drawings from children around the world about how to stop sea pollution. $25,000 dollars are to be donated by Bobo Choses to an NGO Ocean Conservancy to support ocean conservation through this social project.
#votesforwomen #fashionactivism #feminism
One area in sustainable fashion that is much talked about is zero waste. 15-20% of fabric gets wasted and discarded due the expense of recycling scraps, according to fashion industry experts. Lay-planning systems such as Gerber have been around for a while and use computers to work out the best way to lay the fabrics out on the cloth prior to cutting. This clever optimisation still doesn’t totally eradicate waste however and therefore some fashion designers are now challenging themselves to leave nothing on the cutting room floor.
Although inspiring, designing the whole garment around the idea of zero waste is time consuming and highly skilled so therefore won’t affect mainstream fashion in a big way. This is one reason why I don’t believe that the zero waste initiative should be a focus nor is really achievable or sustainable. Most designers could probably improve on waste reduction, but it doesn't seem sustainable to use up all the fabric to avoid waste but rather to use less of it in the first place. Any scrap that is left can always be utilised elsewhere anyway, such as shirt waste for pocket bags, or at the very least recycled for insulation or some such. So why waste (sorry, excuse the pun!) so much time on it?
The issue of cutting room scrap fabric really pales into insignificance in comparison to the 600 million garments that fashion giants like H&M sell every year all over the world. This is driving the 2.5 billion pounds of clothing that ends up in landfill every year because customers now see fashion as disposable. Sustainable fashion needs as many champions as possible to try to combat this so any disruption or innovation to the standard models of working is a good thing. But surely prevention is better than cure? So wouldn’t encouraging people to reduce their consumption of clothes and make better choices about what they do buy have a far bigger impact?
The concept of a circular economy does incorporate the idea of waste reduction but also challenges us to rethink our mentality on waste, like Will.i.am says “it’s not waste until you waste it”. The circular concept is what slow fashion is all about and offers real hope for the future of the industry and the planet. It involves designing fashion with longevity, repair, recycling and also biodegradability in mind. Furthermore, by creating a high quality garment to enable multiple users to wear it, via swapping, renting or second hand sales, thereby extending it’s lifecycle as much as possible. Minimal waste in the design process becomes part of using less resources in the whole of the lifecycle and trying to close the circular loop.
What circular fashion ideas inspire you the most? We would love to hear from you x
Making Fashion Circular
#ZeroWaste #CircularFashion #SlowFashion
Humans have been making cloth for hundreds of thousands of years. The earliest type of fibres for cloth would have been flax, wool, silk and cotton. Since those early days of textiles we have developed and invented so many different types of cloth to be used in a vast variety of ways not just for fashion.
However have we created an environmental monster with some of the synthetic fabrics we have created? There are of course ecological pros and cons to any type of fibre or material proceeded from it as they all have an impact on our planet and people.
After the worrying news this week of President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement I felt I had to use my blog this week to send out a call to action.
It would be all to easy to get despondent and feel that there is now no way we can curb carbon emissions with the USA, being the second largest contributors, not being on-board the deal. But maybe, this is a turning point. Maybe that decision will become a driver to galvanise everyone else. Thankfully it seems that many others are stepping into the breach including many US states, cities and businesses and also, notably, the Chinese government.
So what can we all do to help fight the good fight? Many people think that their actions are insignificant in the grand scheme of things so why bother, but I disagree. We all have the power to change things and now we need to use that power more than ever, for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. Let's join with others across the globe who care about the planet and become part of the solution!
A good way to start would be to find out what your carbon footprint currently is to then get an idea what areas need looking at. There are various carbon calculators on the web but the one on the WWF site is particularly good. It's really quick and easy to use and gives you ideas on how to reduce your footprint. Just doing it myself has made me think about changing my car to an electric one as soon as I can afford it.
Changing your diet to a plant based diet is one of the biggest things any of us can do to tackle climate change according to many scientific reports, including the United Nation's, and is something we all have control over. Even if you start by reducing your meat and dairy intake by half it would make a significant difference. Eating organic, locally sourced produce or growing your own is a great step too.
Other ideas such as switching to a green energy tariff, using our cars less, and being more energy efficient are also easy to do and some will even save us money! Energy monitors are a good way of seeing where energy is being wasted in your home and can be purchased online. Smart meters do a similar job and are being rolled out across the UK over the coming years to encourage us to be more efficient.
Even if just half of the total world population implemented some of these ideas to lower their footprint, can you imagine what impact that would have? So please do your bit today.
#WeWillMoveAhead #MakeClimateMatter #PeoplePower
Water is fast becoming a rare commodity. It may not feel like it to us in rain sodden Britain but in other places in the world it is now a serious and life threatening issue. There has always been tensions over water supplies throughout history but these problems are on the increase due to population growth and climate change. Less than 1% of our planet's water is accessible for us to use and most of this is used to grow crops while about 1 billion people cannot access safe drinking water. Now let's think about how the fashion industry comes into that as one of the largest users of water.
The Indian textile industry uses 425, 000, 000 litres of water a day to process their fabric production. Cotton, which 40% of our clothes are made of, is a thirsty plant and is often grown in very dry regions. It can take around 1800 litres of water to grow the cotton needed for one pair of jeans, but then add on the processes used in manufacturing and how much we use to wash them and Levi's reckon it works out about 3,781 litres!
According to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) it takes 2,700 litres of water to make a t-shirt. To put that into perspective this is what a person could drink in 900 days! Contamination of water supplies is also a massive problem with 20% of all industrial water pollution being due to printing, dying and treating textiles. These are applied in water baths are then often discharged straight into the local waterways.
The fashion industry is in fact the second largest polluter in the world second only to the oil industry. An estimated 8000 chemicals are thought to used in textile processing which are devastating lives in the industrial areas nearby. In some places you can tell what the colour trend of the season is by the colour of the rivers. These issues prompted river conservationist Mark Angelo to produce a film released last year called Riverblue that has won various awards - watch it if you can.
However, there are many initiatives around the world now working to help reduce water usage and contamination in the fashion industry. The BCI & World Wildlife Fund are helping farmers to reduce their water usage, Levis are pioneering their Water<Less method of recycling water in their denim production and Clevercare set up by designer Stella McCartney, is encouraging consumers to wash their clothes less. Furthermore the need for sustainability within the industry is driving many exciting new technologies such as AirDye, ColorZen and DyeCoo which are dyes that penetrate using air instead of water and advances are being made in digital textile printing that should start to replace the water thirsty mathod of traditional screen printing.
We can all play our part too: by buying organic cotton - where pesticides are not leaking into the water tables, by choosing ethical and environmentally aware labels that keep a strict eye on their water usage & discharges, to wash our clothes less ourselves and with greener laundry products and to buy less and wear longer. Loving our clothes more thoughtfully means loving our planet too.
#WaterandFashion #TextileProduction #Riverblue #Clevercare
Green spin AKA greenwashing is now rife in every industry and as fashion is world's 2nd largest polluter this is a tactic that is often used by the global fashion giants to make us feel good about what we are buying. And it works! Just think about how many garments you now see with and organic cotton label on it, or you read that their stores are run by solar power etc. While it is good to see something being done rather than nothing often this is to divert attention from bad practices they would rather we didn't know about. And how often do many of us look further than that label or that bold claim?
H&M, as I have written about before, have an in-store recycling initiative that on the face of it puts them in a good light. However, when you consider it would take them 12 years to recycle what they actually produce in just 48 hours this seems like a clever ploy just to get us unsuspecting customers in store to buy more. Forever 21 is a another huge fashion brand in the US that a few years ago installed what was then the largest roof top installation of solar panels in the Los Angeles county, but at the same time they opened another vast store selling more clothes cheaper than ever, thus negating any ecological good done by the solar panel arrays.
Some of this greenwashing is done on a much more subtle way using practices learnt from the food industry. Store fittings in natural looking materials, illustrations of leaves and trees or even just green swing tags make us unconsciously believe these are more natural, sustainable products when many of them are far from it. So how do we know who is really doing the right thing?
Well, on a simplistic level if a garment is cheap then it really can't be very sustainable. The workers cannot have been paid much nor looked after properly and the fabrics would not be organic. But if you want to go into more detail there are also several places you can look.
The Higg Index, due to be released next year, is a growing reference of assessments on fashion brands that will show environmental footprints of their garments. Rank a Brand is another agency who grades brands from different industries and Project Just is another searchable database. Corporate Sustainability Reports are often available on a company's website which may also shed some light on how much the brand is doing. If they use terms that come with some sort of certification such as organic, fair trade and recycled then it's easy to substantiate rather than the words sustainable and eco-friendly which have nothing to back them up.
#Greenwashing #HiggIndex #RankABrand #ProjectJust #Fashion #Green
Since I started blogging I have read a lot about different aspects of sustainable fashion including, recycling, zero waste and eco fabrics. But as I read more and more as research for my blog posts I am becoming very aware of what a minefield the area is. In one blog post I can write about what seems like a solution to a certain environmental problem only to discover further down the line that maybe it isn't the answer we had hoped for.
For example, I was heartened to discover that some high street fashion brands were encouraging customers to recycle their clothes but later read that they often simply ship these clothing mountains to the developing world. As this takes it out of sight and out of mind it then contributes to the problem as customers think it allows them to carry on consuming massive amounts of fast fashion.
I have happened upon this conundrum again whereby some smart thinking fashion brands are re-using plastic bottles to make polyester clothes. Sounds good right? And it is a great way to make use of all the waste we produce don't get me wrong, however these clothes, and all others that are made from synthetics, leach micro fibres when we wash them. These innocuous sounding particles pass into the waterways and oceans creating havoc for wildlife. 60% of all clothing in the world is made from man-made fabrics so that is a very big problem. Some easy solutions to this are to wash your man-made textiles in special bags that capture these textile terrors, to fit a special filter on your water outlet pipe and, of course, to buy clothing made from natural fibres.
So, I will continue to research into sustainable fashion and new innovations but armed with the knowledge that it is an ever evolving area. This will mean that the brand will have to be flexible to adapt to these developments in order to stay as green as possible. It would be impossible to create a truly zero impact brand as any human endeavour creates some impact, but I aim to do it in as minimal and as considerate a way as possible.
I hope as I write about these things they will inform and engage you towards living a more sustainable life too, as this is far more important than the brand itself.
#SustainableFashion #PlasticPollution #MicroFibres
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