Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Who made my Activewear?

As the fitness and wellness industries continue to expand with more people seeking healthier and more active lifestyles, sales of Activewear are soaring (Business Insider, 2017). Activewear forms part of the fashion industry which is known for devastating environmental impacts and exploitation of workers globally (Fashion Revolution). Whilst there are incredible movements towards a more purposeful fashion industry, there seemed to be little focus on Activewear. I wanted to organise an event that connected consumers with the hands that made their Activewear, highlighted wellness brands who put sustainability at the heart of their business, and supported Fashion Revolution’s efforts to stimulate change for a better fashion industry. This led me to host Who made my Activewear?, a mini sustainability in wellness festival seeking to encourage more mindful consumption in the wellness industry and fundraise for Fashion Revolution.

Who made my Activewear? took place on Saturday 28th April 2018 at Benk + Bo in London, during Fashion Revolution Week. There was a pop-up shop, classes for mind and body, and an ‘Ethics in Activewear’ panel discussion.

As part of the event, six purposeful Activewear brands shared information on their fabrics and the factories they work with to provide greater transparency over their supply chains and connect consumers with the hands behind their Activewear: Adrenna London, Jilla Active, Silou London, Sports Philosophy, Starseeds and VYAYAMA. You can read what these brands had to say at www.whomademyactivewear.com

7M6A9324.JPG

Founders or representatives from each brand spoke on the ‘Ethics in Activewear’ panel discussion hosted by Heather Knight from Fashion Revolution. Heather started the panel with her tips for a more sustainable sportswear wardrobe: buy less, make it last, fix it when broken, swap with friends, buy second hand and buy from conscious brands who use recycled, natural or innovative fibres. The brands then discussed how they’re addressing their social and environmental impacts, from using lower impact materials, working closely with their factories to ensure fair and safe conditions and looking to minimise the environmental impacts of packaging and distribution. They also touched on the challenges they face as small brands with little leverage in factories supplying some of the largest Activewear brands globally. It was an insightful hour behind the scenes of purposeful Activewear brands and I was overwhelmed with the incredible turnout that just about managed to fit into the beautiful Benk + Bo ground floor.

7M6A9279.JPG

All six brands could be found at the pop-up shop, as well as other incredible wellness, lifestyle and beauty brands including: Rêve En Vert, AmaElla, Optiat, Nitara London, Home of Eco and YogaClicks. It was so wonderful to see people connect with these brands, ask questions and consider the impact of their purchases.

7M6A91037M6A91287M6A9138

The classes included the perfect start to the morning with Caleb George‘s Early Risers Yoga and Phoebe Greenacre‘s Rise and Shine Vinyasa Flow to ensure you woke up well. I then taught BarreBodyLondon, Chiara Pellegrino’s butt-burning barre method, for those wanting a Saturday sweat. Our afternoon finished with Corinne Naomi‘s Contemporary Mat Pilates where you certainly felt your core, and Natalia Bojanic‘s beautiful meditation session Gratitude is Gold.

C831FCD4-1584-4B6A-B2B6-05BAA5C1BFBB.JPG

We also had a Circular Design Station ran by Felicitas Olschewski where you could learn about the principles of circular economy and design your own Activewear outfit with those in mind. Runway rental service Wear The Walk very kindly donated a voucher for the design competition winner, Fiona Cartmel!

F6AE942E-AB64-4344-A192-08134628E9B7.JPG

To further fundraise for UK charity Fashion Revolution, we had a raffle with fantastic prizes from conscious wellness brands including Joe’s Tea Co., Yuhme, Freda, Natural Deodorant Co., and Danielle Copperman.

Overall, we raised a total of £125 for Fashion Revolution and gathered more than one hundred people to discuss mindful consumption and discover purposeful wellness brands. I hope this is just the start of championing sustainability in the fitness and wellness industries. I’ve already discovered a number of new Activewear brands striving to build their business addressing key environmental, social and economic impacts. We as consumers have the power to change the industry by asking questions and voting for the world we want with our wallets.

A special thanks to Domenic Pendino for capturing the action, to Eliza, Lily, Rose and Soph for being the best of friends and saving the day to help me out, to Oliver Ferris for being my rock, putting up with all the emails and organisation and project managing the day, and to all of those that came to support the event!

You can find out more about the event at  www.whomademyactivewear.com or on the event’s Instagram page.

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Brownies with Luminary Bakery

 

On Saturday 10th March, we celebrated International Women’s Day with social enterprise Luminary Bakery through a special Barre + Brownies event.

After my mat-based BarreBodyLondon class at the lovely Yogahome studio (big thank you to Yogahome for kindly donating this space for the event!), we walked over to the Luminary Bakery cafe to indulge in delicious brownies. The brownies were HEAVENLY – so rich and gooey, exactly what you want on a Saturday afternoon! Rachael, Luminary’s Business Manager, then told us a little more about what they do and how we can get involved…

ninacoluminarybakery150

Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise offering opportunities for women who experience social or economic disadvantages to build a future for themselves. They use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferrable skills for the working world. Offering courses and qualifications, work experience and paid employment within the bakery, they empower and build confidence, enabling women to become independent and realise their dreams. They have many wonderful success stories, including a lovely and talented lady who has just set up her own cake business!

You can support this social enterprise in a number of ways, including:

  • Brunching at or buying from the bakery
  • Purchasing a celebration cake for a special occassion
  • Attending one of their bakery workshops
  • Becoming a mentor and providing roughly 1 hour of support a month
  • Donating directly
  • Recommending to a friend

I’d thoroughly recommend the brunch, bread and other baked treats!

Nina-Co-Luminary-Bakery-004

As well as my mat-based barre class and yummy brownies, attendees were also treated to a goody bag with treats and discounts from brands that inspire, empower, or support women. These included:

  • Birdsong – a ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’ social enterprise offering fashion that’s fairer for women, paying living wage and supporting disadvantaged groups
  • Juta Shoes – a social enterprise employing passionate and skilled local women in London to handcraft espadrilles using reclaimed leather and environmentally-friendly materials ​
  • Freda – organic period care that gives back through partnerships with Bloody Good Period and A Bloody Good Cause in the UK and Kilipads in Tanzania
  • Pai Skincare – certified organic skincare that is effective whilst free from Parabens, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Petrochemicals, Detergents (SLS/SLES) and artificial fragrance
  • Natural Deodorant Co. – natural yet effective deodorant made using familiar and recognisable ingredients in a reusable glass jar
  • People Tree – a pioneer in ethical and sustainable fashion, using Fair Trade and Organic certified materials and pushing for a fairer fashion industry for all
  • AmaElla – an organic lingerie and nightwear brand offering conscious yet elegant underwear you can feel comfortable and confident wearing
  • Iam By Nature – a natural and organic certified skincare brand using very few ingredients all within recyclable packaging
  • Husk & Honey Granola – organic, gluten-free granola made in London, free from refined sugar, dairy and wheat
  • Joe’s Tea Co. – a London Living Wage accredited employer offering organic, whole leaf tea made with quality and ethics in mind

I want to say a huge thank you to the lovely ladies that attended the event – I really enjoyed it and I hope you did too. We managed to raise a wonderful £100 to support Luminary Bakery’s continued work empowering women.

 

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Beauty: DIY deodorant using natural and organic ingredients

This weekend I held my second event of 2018, where my mat-based barre class was followed by a deodorant making workshop with Elsa’s Organics founder Henrietta Lampkin. Using just coconut oil*, shea butter*, cacao butter*, pink Himalayan salt and essential oils*, we heated and mixed to make our own deodorant paste (* = certified organic ingredients). It was great fun getting crafty with a lovely group of ladies for a Saturday of self care!


After learning more about the benefits of organic beauty (read up here) and all of the nasty chemicals often found in conventional products, I’ve been keen to find out exactly what is in my skincare. I’ve also been trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use and opt for reusable containers where possible. I really liked the idea of combining one of the barre classes with a deodorant workshop using reusable glass containers. I was so pleased when Henrietta was keen to collaborate on this event and share her expertise! You can find out more about Henriette and Elsa’s Organics by reading this interview I took with her here.


The event took place at Benk + Bo, a beautiful cafe, co-working and events space tucked just a 5 minute walk from Spitafields Market. The quirky space has a calming feel with plenty of plants and Scandinavian style furniture, perfect for a weekend of wellness. The class took place in the yoga studio, where I was able to set a romantic pink scheme for the lighting with Hue to promote self-love! We then moved down to the lower ground floor for a nourishing PRESS London smoothie and to start the workshop.
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
We also had gorgeous goody bag totes from ethically-aware Activewear brand Jilla Active filled with gifts and discounts from some of my favourite conscious brands, including:

 

Thank you so much to the lovely ladies that came to the event – I really enjoyed teaching the class and I hope you enjoying taking part!

You can find out about my next class here.

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Brunch for Mental Health UK at The Hoxton, Shoreditch

This Sunday I hosted my first event of 2018 – a ‘Barre + Brunch’ at The Hoxton, Shoreditch, for charity Mental Health UK. Following three events I ran with Savannah Devillez last year fundraising for this worthy cause, I was so excited to continue our efforts into the new year…

Mental Health UK is a network of four charities across the UK who provide more than 400 services to support those affected by mental health issues. With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it’s so important that there are networks providing the support needed to help people improve their mental health. Lloyds Bank have partnered with Mental Health UK to develop and launch a service where both mental health support and financial services can be provided together. Those who experience poor mental health often struggle with their finances, and similarly those who struggle with their finances can then experience poor mental health, so this service will provide the help required to manage both aspects. Our fundraising is going towards ensuring this combined service reaches as many people as possible across the UK, and we’re so pleased that at this January event we managed to raise another £100 to help make this happen!

EC33D7F5-D811-4366-8C44-477581948541.jpg
M Life London eco mats

 

This event was all about feeling good – with an upbeat, energetic barre class followed by a delicious, nutritious brunch.

Barre was held in the uber cool ‘Apartment’ within The Hoxton hotel in Shoreditch; a super stylish space I’d like to inhabit, please! With our M Life London eco mats and resistance bands, we worked through all major muscle groups for a full body burn, before finishing with a relaxing stretch. Following refreshments from PRESS London and Seedlip, we were fired up for a feast. We moved into the conservatory within the Hoxton Grill for a buffet brunch with pancakes and blueberries, hemp seed chia puddings, avocado and roast tomatoes on sourdough, mozzarella and beets spelt salad and platters of fruit. I am getting SO hungry just listing that out!

Ok, so, on to my favourite part of any event – the goody bag! I love a good goody bag and always work hard to make sure I can gift my attendees a great selection of goodies to take home with them. This event was no exception and I was so happy to get support from the following cool and conscious companies:

  • PRESS – cold-pressed juices and healthy snacks for busy Londoners (the pineapple lemonade is delicious!)
  • Seedlip – the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits
  • KINN Living – certified organic skincare and cleaning for you, your family and your home
  • M Life London – non-toxic and sustainability-conscious yoga wear and accessories
  • Iam By Nature – natural and organic beauty with just a few ingredients you can understand
  • Brave – high-protein pea snacks made in the East of England
  • Joe’s Tea Co. – organic whole leaf teas from farmers paid a premium on top of fair trade
  • Lola’s Apothecary – delicate and elegant oils with a wellness purpose
  • Form Nutrition – plant-based protein for mind and body
  • Optiat – natural beauty using waste from the food and beverage industry
  • AmaElla – beautiful and sexy organic cotton lingerie and nightwear

Thank you so much to all of those that attended to plié, pulse and eat pancakes with me – I hope you enjoyed it. I absolutely loved seeing lots of new faces alongside some more familiar ones and hope to see you again soon!

Find out more about my upcoming events here.

Categories
Dress Exercise Live Previous Classes

Winter Wellness Day: Barre, brunch and ethical fashion brands

On Saturday 2nd December I took part in Sports Philosophy‘s Winter Wellness Day fundraising for their charity Freedom For Children Foundation. This was part of a project to fund a school bus in Myanmar, enabling children to get the education they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

Funding a school truck

Freedom for Children Foundation are supporting the myME Project in Myanmar which aims to improve children’s access to education, enabling them to get better jobs and move out of poverty. Currently, over 500,000 students drop out of the formal education in Myanmar each year. Too often parents take their kids out of school to help out on local farms or send them to nearby cities to work. MyME provide practical education and vocational skills to child labourers at their workplace in collaboration with the business owners, often teashops, to improve literacy and develop basic computer skills. Whilst this doesn’t end child labour, it does enable children to get the education they need to find a job with higher pay and fairer and safer working conditions. By helping them to move out of poverty, myME hope that future generations will not be taken out of education to work, reducing child labour.

42 Acres Shoreditch

The event took place at the incredible 42 Acres space in Shoreditch. It is a truly beautiful venue, with gorgeous, large arched windows, natural furnishings and plants aplenty – by far the most aesthetically pleasing place I’ve ever taught at, feeling like a sanctuary for wellness within the city! As well as an events venue, it also acts as a conscious co-working space designed to provide a healthy, happy working environment for individuals and organisations alike. 42 Acres also have a focus on sustainability, procuring products and services that are both environmentally and socially conscious. I am hoping to return in 2018 for more events and would absolutely love to visit their Somerset retreat – thoroughly recommend attending an event or co-working in the Shoreditch location!

img_2110

My barre class

As part of the event, I lead a mat-based barre class. I teach Chiara Pellegrino’s BarreBodyLondon method which combines ballet, Pilates, yoga and resistance training movements for a full body workout that you’ll definitely feel the next day! For this class, we used our own body weight and Manuka Life eco bands to sculpt and tone all major muscle groups. It was amazing to have a full class of super strong ladies who brought great energy on this early Saturday morning – perhaps powered by the couple of cheesy Christmas songs I snuck into the playlist!  I loved seeing some of my regulars and close friends as well as lots of new faces – a big thank you to all that joined!

SP Winter Wellness Event-29_preview

Ethical brand Q&A

After my class came a Q&A session with companies conscious of their ethics. The speaker line-up included Sports Philosophy founder Stella Heng, AmaElla co-founder Julie Kervadec, Rêve En Vert co-founder Cora Hilts and Araminta Marketing founder Minty Sheridan. Talking ethical fashion, they covered the issues in the industry, how to shop more ethically and how to build your own business.

img_2124img_2125

Brunch

Then it was on to a mouth-watering brunch spread (I’m drooling just look at the photos!). From granola and smoothies to mini open sandwiches and vegan cakes, it was an absolute feast. Stella and team – you did an excellent job!

Ethical brand pop-up shop

And whilst munching on the delicious, nutritious brunch buffet, we were also able to browse the ethical brand pop-up shop. Stocking Sports Philosophy, Rêve En Vert, AmaElla and Lola’s Apothecary, it made the perfect place to pick up a conscious Christmas gift for a loved one. Or in my case, a gift for myself – I couldn’t help it, the AmaElla lingerie is so beautifully elegant and I’d been considering getting a set for a while.

AmaElla is a small organic cotton lingerie and nightwear brand based in Cambridge, founded by best friends Julie and Lara. Spotting a gap in the market for delicate, sexy and ethically-made underwear, AmaElla was launched. With a focus on fair and safe working conditions throughout the supply chain, they work with two manufacturers – one in the UK and one in Portugal. The UK partner is a non-profit social enterprise training young women, and their Portuguese partner only employs women in the local area to maintain the rich textile heritage of the community. They also care deeply about the health of society and of the environment, so all of their products are made from Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. GOTS cotton is requires significantly less water and is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides unlike regular cotton.

Sports Philosophy is an Activewear brand aiming to end child labour. When founding the company, Stella and partner in business and in life Matthias also set up their charity Freedom for Children Foundation to fight child labour across the world. A percentage of the profits from the Activewear company are donated to the foundation, which works to develop community-led solutions relieving poverty and allowing children to gain an education instead of having to work. The brand also aims to offer high-quality workout wear to last the test of time, with just one collection released each year. As an ambassador for this wonderful brand, I have an exclusive discount code to give you 15% off: ZARA01SP – enjoy!

Rêve En Vert is a platform for sustainable luxury, offering long-lasting fashion you can feel good about. Having struggled to find fashion and lifestyle pieces that combine aesthetics with ethics in their own lives, Cora Hilts and Natasha Tucker decided to provide a solution for others experiencing the same problem. They refuse to compromise on style for sustainability, so everything they stock has been carefully curated to meet both their social, environmental and visual standards.

Lola’s Apothecary handcraft delicate, luxury beauty products with natural, botanical ingredients in their farm kitchen in the Devonshire countryside. Focused on high-quality skincare, their essential oil based products are free from artificial preservatives, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, sulphates, parabens and other undesirable chemicals. Each fragrance has been developed to suit your mood, from calm and clarity to energy and romance. Many of their bottles contain pretty petals or springs for a beautiful, elegant appearance making a gorgeous gift for a loved one.

SP Winter Wellness Event-41_preview

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre & Brunch for Mental Health UK

On Sunday 10th December, I returned to the beautiful Method Movement studio for my third and final barre class event fundraising for Mental Health UK in 2017. We took to the mats, equipped with our Manuka Life eco bands (read more about them here), for 45 minutes of pliés and pulses, powered by an epic Christmas playlist!

img_2281

I’ve absolutely loved hosting events this year with my friend Savannah Devillez to fundraise for this worthy cause. With one in four people affected by a mental health problem in the UK, more than cancer or heart disease, it is widespread issue that needs addressing. Mental Health UK is a network of four charities across the UK supporting those affected by mental illness. Their 400 services are relied on by more than 90,000 people a year, reducing the impact of mental illness and helping people through crises, to live independently and to realise they aren’t alone. Across the three events we’ve organised this year, we’ve raised a total of £360 for the charity and we’re looking forward to continuing our fundraising next year!

These barre events have also been the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of some inspiring, sustainability-conscious brands. With my passion for more mindful living and consuming, it was important to me that all of the brands supporting our events care for people and planet. For our December event we were incredibly lucky to gain support from some fantastic conscious companies, including:

  • KINN Living body wash – Soil Association certified organic, non-toxic lifestyle products made in the UK
  • Freda period care – organic tampons and sanitary products that give back, helping women worldwide gain access to the period care they need
  • Iam By Nature face mask – 100% natural skin care with few, simple ingredients
  • Optiat coffee scrub – natural skincare made from high-quality coffee waste
  • Elsa’s Organics deodorant – a gentle, nourishing and natural deodorant that is Paraben, Aluminium and alcohol free
  • Deliciously Ella granola bar – vegan-friendly snacking full of natural ingredients and high in fibre
  • Lola’s Apothecary tea – delicate, elegant, and natural beauty and wellness products handmade in England
  • FitKit shower gel – this UK-made body care brand is Peta-approved cruelty free and vegan, and Soil Association approved organic
  • Sundried tote bag – a sustainable sportswear company striving to minimise the carbon footprint of everything they do, using innovative fabrics and reusable packaging
  • Sports Philosophy discount flyer – aiming to be the first truly ethical activewear brand, Sport Philosophy tackle child labour through their charity Freedom For Children Foundation. You too can get 15% off with code ZARA01SP
  • Jilla Active brochure – simple and sophisticated Activewear designed to last through time and trend
  • Free Soul discount flyer – vegan protein powder and fitness supplements designed for real women
  • SourcedBox – these absolutely insane snack boxes are perfect for anyone that likes food (and who doesn’t like food?!), containing a collection of healthy and natural snacks designed to work wonders on your wellbeing! They’re vegan-friendly and are free from any artificial flavourings, preservatives or additives, and refined sugar, helping to fuel you through the working week!

As this event was a ‘barre and brunch’ we also treated our attendees to delicious, nutritious treats from healthy catering service PO-TEN-CY and organic juice kitchen CPress. PO-TEN-CY provided delightful energy balls made of orange, cinnamon, tahini, medjool dates, cashews, vanilla and sesame to help my barre-rinas recover after the workout. Whilst CPress donated refreshing apple and ginger juice bombs and tasty granola bars.


Thank you so much to all of barre beauties that attended the event and helped us to support Mental Health UK – I hope you enjoyed it! A big thank you to all of the wonderful supporting brands helping us piece together the great goody bag. And a special thank you to Ollie for helping out on the day and Domenic Pendino for the photos and your infectious, effervescent energy!

I’m looking forward to hosting more events in 2018 for a range of different causes and hope to see you there.

Zara x

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Raising the barre for Mental Health UK at Method Movement

To celebrate World Mental Health Day, I ran my second barre class event fundraising for Mental Health UK. I took two back-to-back BarreBodyLondon classes, the first for full body and the second a booty-focused (or derrière in ballet terms!) class.

BarreBodyLondon is Chiara Pellegrino’s barre concept class, aiming to work all major muscle groups with isometric movements, Pilates and resistance training, before finishing with a relaxing stretch. I’ve been teaching Chiara’s method for almost a year now and I absolutely love it – you’ll work your whole body and definitely feel it the next day!

I have always found exercise classes a great way to relax and relieve stress. It’s an hour where you’re not thinking about anything other than the muscles you’re using, giving your mind a well-needed rest whilst working to improve your physical strength. That’s exactly what I want from my classes – to take my barrerinas’ minds’ off of anything going on in their lives and get them focusing on feeling the burn!

The classes took place in the beautiful Method Movement studio in Earl’s Court. The studio has a light and bright feel – perfect for a Sunday of wellness. If you go there for a class (which I thoroughly recommend), peak your head out to their garden – it’s a gorgeous, covered terrace area with wooden flooring, a white painted brick wall and light heaters to keep you warm in the winter. It absolutely love it and want to come back for one of Co-Founder Natalia Bojanic’s mindfulness classes!

22406187_1825187217496250_4928539586675317511_n

To make sure my attendees really felt the BarreBodyLondon burn, I used eco resistance bands from Manuka Life to aid with arm and glute sequences. These ‘eco’ bands are latex free and made from non-toxic materials, developed to avoid harm to both the user and the environment, unlike typical PVC bands. They are my favourite workout accessory as they can be used in so many different ways. They’re also the perfect piece of kit to take around town or to pack into your holiday suitcase as they’re super small and light. Get yours here.

22406527_1825187357496236_9155524150979586004_n

Ok so onto the goody bags – my favourite part of any class event (as they usually contain a delicious chocolate bar!). I was so lucky to get support from some amazing brands that care about the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. As sustainability is my greatest passion, I’m always on the look out for brands with a social or environmental purpose, that care about both style and substance. Here’s a little about the wonderful companies that supported the event:

  • Sports Philosophy tote bags – aiming to be the first truly ethical activewear brand, Sport Philosophy tackle child labour through their charity Freedom For Children Foundation
  • Form Nutrition protein powder – with every order of their smooth and delicious plant-based protein, Form Nutrition provide a meal to the Family Feeding Fund at Bansang Hospital in The Gambia
  • Brave Foods peas – a tasty pack of peas as an all-natural, eco-friendly source of protein, grown in the East of England
  • Ombar chocolate – raw, organic, vegan chocolate that is now a firm favourite in my household!
  • Born Wild Tea tea – high-quality, ethical and flavoursome loose leaf tea blends, born in the heart of the Cotswolds
  • Lola’s Apothecary body oil – delicate, elegant, and natural beauty products, all with a wellness purpose and handmade in England
  • Dash water – lightly sparkling spring water infused with wonky lemons and cucumbers that would otherwise be thrown away
  • Free Soul discount flyer – specialist vegan protein powder and fitness supplements for real women
  • Jilla Active discount & brochure – simple and sophisticated Activewear designed to last through time and trend

IMG_0712.JPG

I’m currently working on a plan for class events next year so please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to do by commenting below!

Zara x

 

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

My BarreBodyLondon class for Mental Health UK

 

Last weekend saw my first ever event – a barre class to raise money for Mental Health UK. It was a really exciting opportunity to fundraise for a great cause and to test the waters when it comes to fitness event planning.

Did you know that mental illness affects more people each year than cancer or heart disease, with one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year? Mental Health UK is a network of four charities (Rethink Mental Illness, Support In Mind Scotland, Hafal, and MindWise) who work to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness, supporting more than 60,000 people nationwide. Their early intervention and support can help to reduce the impact of poor mental health, guiding people through crises, to live independently, and to realise they aren’t alone.

Find out more at https://mentalhealth-uk.org/home/

So when Sav Devillez, a crazy friend hiking Snowdon, cycling from the Peak District to Birmingham, and running a half marathon across three consecutive days, asked me to help her organise a fundraising event for Mental Health UK, I was delighted to help out.

We organised a BarreBodyLondon class, which is a ballet-inspired workout designed by Chiara Pellegrino to target every major muscle group in the body. I’ve been teaching barre now for a year, after having taken dance lessons from the age of four until eighteen and then continuing to perform at university, and I absolutely love it. It’s a fun workout with ballet, pilates, yoga and resistence training movements that you’ll definitely feel the next day (no matter how many classes you go to, trust me…)!

img_3233

The Detox Kitchen very kindly donated their beautiful studio for the class, and we managed to round up a collection of gorgeous gifts for the goody bags. With my passion for more conscious consumption, I wanted to make sure all of the brands we reached out to had a great social and/or environmental purpose. Here’s a little bit about the wonderful companies we were lucky enough to get support from:

  • Sundried tote bag – this sustainable sportswear company strives to minimise the carbon footprint of everything they do, using innovative fabrics and reusable packaging
  • Nourish cleanser certified organic and vegan skincare made in the UK
  • Lola’s Apothecary body oil – natural beauty products with a wellness purpose handmade in England
  • Dash water – sparkling spring water infused with wonky lemons and cucumbers
  • Ombar chocolate – raw, organic chocolate you’d never know was vegan!
  • Willy Chase’s fitcorn – air-popped corn made at their farm in Herefordshire
  • Happiness Planner 100 day diary – inspirational stationery designed to help you cultivate happiness through positive thinking, mindfulness, and self-development
  • Lumie light for wellness guide – bright light designed for seasonal affective disorder and other conditions
  • Veryan discount card – organic apparel and accessories from Europe made in the UK
  • Sports Philosophy discount flyer – an ethical activewear brand raising money for the charity they established to fight child labour across the world, Freedom for Children Foundation. You too can get 15% off with discount code: ZARA01SP

We also rounded up excellent prizes for the best Instagram event posts, including:

  • Liforme eco yoga mat – read more about eco yoga mats here
  • Lumie BodyClock – read more about the benefits here
  • Veryan organic beauty bag
  • Lola’s Apothecary ‘breath of clarity’ oil
  • Willy Chase’s apple cider vinegar
  • Detox Kitchen wheatgrass and spirulina powders

We managed to raise a total of £165 for Mental Health UK so thank you to all of the amazing attendees and supporting brands for making this happen!

We’re hoping to organise another event in October so let me know if you’re interested by commenting below or follow me on Instagram at @zaralwilliams