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Eat Live

Sustainable subscriptions – gifts that keep on giving!

A monthly subscription box is a great way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you all year round. Whether they’re coffee connoisseurs, vegan snackers or clean beauty queens, there’s something out there for everyone. And fear not, you won’t have to compromise on your ethics as there are many companies catering for the sustainability minded, gathering a month’s supply of goodies respectful of people and planet. Here are my five favourite subscription box discoveries…

Old Spike Roastery

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As well as supplying some of the finest, freshly roasted, seasonal coffee in the UK, this social enterprise provides training, jobs and housing support for people experiencing homelessness across the UK.

https://www.oldspikeroastery.com

 

Skin Organics Beauty Box

Skin Organics Beauty box

Each beauty box is filled with carefully selected organic, natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free products, delivered to your doorstep beautifully wrapped within eco-friendly packing. The boxes contain five travel size items allowing you to test out some of the latest sustainability-conscious skincare companies around.

http://www.skinorganicsbeautybox.co.uk

 

SourcedBox

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Healthy snacks delivered to your door? Yes please! SourcedBox curate a selection of health-conscious treats using only simple and natural ingredients to keep you fuelled throughout the four weeks of each month (ok, so maybe more likely 1 week for super snackers like myself, but still – who doesn’t want a box of delicious, nutritious snacks?!).

http://sourcedbox.com

 

The Box of.

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Treat a loved one to a monthly dose of self-care with The Box of., containing handy tips and tools that guide you to relax and recharge in a chaotic, non-stop world. Combining aromatherapy and crafts, founders Rochelle and Shana aim to inspire a focus on the positives for a healthier and happier life.

https://www.theboxof.co.uk

 

Abel & Cole

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A subscription classic – an Abel & Cole veg box is the perfect present for any self-proclaimed foodie, wellness seeker or wannabe chef, bundling the best seasonal, organic and wild produce around into a recyclable or returned box. They deliver fruit, veg, meat, fish or meal kit boxes on a weekly or one-off basis, with monthly subscriptions available for wine or cheese (both please!).

https://www.abelandcole.co.uk

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post – I hope you enjoyed it! Do you receive any subscription boxes? Which do you have your eyes on? Let me know by commenting! Zara x

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Live

Searching for more sustainable gifts – consciously curated online shopping platforms

(Photo credit: Trouva)

With the festive season full steam ahead, I thought it might be useful to share my favourite online shopping platforms to help you in your search for sustainability-conscious gifts. Covering clothing, accessories, homeware and beauty, you’ll find something for everyone (and a lot for yourself!!) – happy browsing!

WEARTH LONDON

An online department store gathering a range of lifestyle pieces that care about people and planet, combining style and substance. You can shop by item category or value, for example by ‘biodegradable’, ‘vegan’ or ‘social contribution’, making it easier to find companies with the same values as you or your loved ones.

Use code ZARAWILLIAMS for 10% off!

Here’s whats on my wishlist:

FSC Pegboard (£115),  Georganics Bamboo Toothbrush (£3.90), Georganics Coconut Oil Toothpaste (£6.90), Soap Co Hand Trio (£32), Geometric Linen Cushion Cover (£37.70)

 

Aerende

This social enterprise brings together life-improving homewares crafted by people in the UK facing social challenges. From those experiencing mental health issues to those that often experience barriers to work, such as language skills and learning disabilities, Aerende provides fantastic opportunities for their talented makers. Each item stocked exemplifies Aerende’s commitment to beauty, utility, and integrity, using environmentally-conscious materials made to last.

A few personal favourites:

Bather Gift Set (£42.50), Wool Blanket (£95), Striped Linen Napkin (£9.50), Ceramic Glazed Beaker (£13), Soy Wax Candle (£13)

 

Trouva

Trouva provide a platform for independent boutiques to compete on a global scale. Their carefully curated selection of high-quality, design-led homeware and lifestyle products allow you to support independent brick-and-mortar retailers from the comfort of your home (let’s face it – from your bed!).

Here are my top picks:

Kjaer Weis Mascara (£33, Wild Swans Islington), Iris Hantverk Organic Bath Towel (£55, Coastal Scandi), AmaElla Organic Cotton Knickers (£29, Elegant Atelier), The Kinfolk Home (£25, Fox + Feather), Hampson Woods Serving Board (£80, Tea and Kate), Earl of East London Soy Candle (£20, Bonds Hackney)

 

Content

London’s leading organic and natural apothecary, Content, has everything you need to meet your beauty and wellbeing needs. Showcasing some of the most advanced organics skincare brands, it’s the perfect platform for seeking out more sustainable skincare gifts.

Here’s what’s I’ve got my eyes on:

Kjaer Weis Captivate Lip Tint (£35), Kure Bazaar Cappuccino Polish (£15), Kure Bazaar Rose Polish Remover (£30), Stelton Lavender Coffee Cup (£24.95), Bambu Stripe Utensil Set (£13)

 

The Acey

Looking for contemporary clothing combining style and substance? The-Acey have got you covered! With womenswear and lifestyle products uniting integrity and innovation, you can be content knowing you don’t have to compromise on your ethics for aesthetics.

My wish list includes:

Dress With Sense Book (£14.95), The Acey Grey Fleck Wool Sweater (£180), Karigar Grey Wool/Silk Scarf (£109), Alice Chandler Sterling Silver Earrings (£20), Kings Of Indigo Wrap Organic Skirt (£110)

 

Know The Origin

Building a business without human rights abuses or environmental degradation was the mission of founder Charlotte when starting Know The Origin. Now stocking their purpose-led products alongside those of trusted brands, Know The Origin offer ethically made clothing and accessories for men and women.

Here are my firm favourites:

Fashion Revolution Fanzinee 002 (£15), Jollie’s Socks (£15), Ethos Magazine (£5), Soothe Me Activated Charcoal Mask (£12), Navy Breton Stripe Organic Top (£30), Idioma Fernweh Sweatshirt (£56)

 

Department Store for the Mind

Aiming to help you live happier, the Department Store for the Mind designs homeware and stationary to evoke thought and inspire more mindful lifestyles. Searching by mood enables you to discover thought-provoking tools encouraging you to be content with yourself despite the stresses of everyday life.

Find my top picks:

No Need To Hurry Virginia Wolf Poster (£12), Do Sourdough Book (£8.99) Don’t Overthink It Enamel Badge (£7.50), A Record Of Good Things Journal (£10), Proud Of Your Roots Tea Towel (£12)

Thank you for reading – I hope this post was useful. I’d love to know which online shopping platforms you like best and any brand/product discoveries so please comment below! Z x

Categories
Dress Exercise

Consciously curating your collection of activewear

When we think about a capsule wardrobe, we wouldn’t usually include our activewear. It makes sense, I mean you wouldn’t pair a neon yellow sports bra with your black tailored work trousers (or maybe you would? I guess it depends on your personal style…). But this means we often neglect to consider the sustainability of our workout wear. The all-encompassing textiles industry is one of the most resource intensive and environmentally polluting industries globally. With the fitness and wellness industries booming, more and more people are investing in activewear (Quartz, 2017; Telegraph, 2016), therefore it’s crucial we all become more conscious about our collection of sportswear.

Well, where to begin? What should you consider? Whether you’re thinking of buying something new or reviewing what you already own, here are some of the key questions to ask yourself…

Does it fit you well?

Usability is essential when assessing any area of your wardrobe, especially when it comes to what you’ll wear for exercise. We workout to both look and feel good. If your exercise clothes don’t work for you, you might feel less confident when stepping into the studio and therefore less likely to give your training session everything you’ve got because you’re pre-occupied with your top hugging your tummy too tightly or your leggings slipping down your behind. WRAP has found 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe hasn’t been worn for a year, often because it doesn’t fit anymore. If you’re not using an item because it doesn’t fit quite right, why let it take up precious space in your home?  Only purchase activewear that makes you feel as a great as you do after an amazing workout.

 

How often will you wear it?

Think about your personal style. We’ve all got caught up in fast fashion trends before, seeing our favourite influencers wearing the same print or cut clothing and wanting to be part of it, then a month or two later wondering why we went for something so wacky. Assess why you want the piece you’re considering purchasing. Is it part of a short-lived trend that you’ll regret buying into in a few months time? Think about the items you own that you do and don’t wear regularly. Which pile will this new piece fit into? Do you have other items that will compliment it? Style is about longevity, so pick pieces you know you’ll wear for years of sweaty, stretchy sessions to come.

 

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Photo source: Cassey Ho

 

How long will it last?

What material is it made from? Does it feel durable? Breathable? Supportive? Are there already bobbles before it’s been bought? Does the stitching look strong enough? There’s nothing worse than diving deep into a squat and hearing your leggings rip, revealing all! Assess the quality of the item, choosing quality over quantity every time.

 

Does the brand ethos align with your values?

Dig a little deeper into the company that made your clothes. What can you find out about their sustainability strategy? Are they socially or environmentally conscious? See if their values align with your own. If it’s the way in which workers are treated that you care about the most, then find out what the company does to ensure fair and safe labour conditions throughout their supply chain. Our perhaps you’re passionate about waste, do they use any recycled fibres in their product? If you can’t find out what you want to know on their website, email or call their head office to find out more. Even if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, that call or email might trigger internal discussions that get you the answer you want in the future. You are what you wear, only buy into brands that share your beliefs.  

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Photo source: Blair McKarnin

 

Do you need it?

So it fits you well, it matches your personal style, the quality seems high and you love the company’s ethos, but you already have 3 pairs of leggings with a similar print and mesh bottom. Now it’s time to be strict on yourself – how many pairs of leggings do you really need? Say you exercise on average 4 times, and you get really sweaty 2 of those 4 times. Perhaps you need 2 pairs of leggings for the week. Then possibly a spare pair or two in case you can’t wash and dry them in time, or they get an unfixable tear. That’s 4 pairs of leggings you’ll need at the very most. We’re all guilty of owning more than we need. In the UK, a study by Oxfam and M&S (2016) found adults wear just 44% of clothing they own regularly. That’s a waste of resources, money, time and space! Reducing the number of items you have and working towards a more minimalist wardrobe is great for both space saving and avoiding morning outfit stress!

 

Keep an eye out for my next blog post on my sustainable sportswear discoveries coming soon!

Categories
Dress

Wool week: the benefits of wool

Photo source: Pinterest 

Through my writing for the ethical fashion brand BIBICO‘s blog, I’ve discovered many benefits of wool I hadn’t previously known; and what better time to share these with you than national wool week?!

Now of course there are some issues surrounding the raising of sheep for wool, and much of the wool we use comes from sheep reared for meat which has ethical implications, but there are also many sustainability-related benefits of the natural fibre which are worth exploring.

Categories
Dress Live

Smart Sustainable Sale Shopping

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Now I know how tempting it is to splash out in the sales, but you have to be cautious not get carried away by the marked down price tag. Think carefully before you whack out your wallet- do you really need the item? How often will you wear/use it? Is it good quality? What conditions was it made in? Do you agree with the company’s ethos and operating processes? Even if it’s made by a sustainability-conscious company, having items you don’t use is a waste of your money, as well as the materials and labour that went into producing the product. So take your time and really think about it.

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Eat

Edible Cutlery: Spoon Feeding Better Behaviour

Currently, around 40 billion plastic utensils are used in the US every year, the majority of which are used just once before being discarded.  At a global level, the magnitude of this figure increases by 16 times the amount. At least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year. The World Economic Forum forecast that by 2050 there will be a 1:1 ratio of fish to plastic by weight in the oceans. Plastics in their original form can remain in the ocean for hundreds of years. In small particles they can remain in the ocean for even longer. The best research currently estimates that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean today!

Bakeys is launching the world’s first edible cutlery line made of three flours: rice, wheat, and sorghum. They want to create a cutlery revolution, helping to reduce waste and ocean plastic by providing an eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic cutlery. But they need your help: Bakeys are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to expand their collection and increase the affordability of their alternative to plastic utensils. Find out more below…

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Live

Sustainability at Selfridges: Bright New Things

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Selfridges has partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion on a new project, Bright New Things, to promote and support British designers focused on operating in an environmentally-friendly manner. The project launched yesterday (7th January) and will run through to March. Selfridges will be hosting a series of events to discuss the relationship between retail and ecology. The six shared window displays on Oxford Street will showcase the designer’s collections, which are estimated to be seen by 110,000 daily passersby. Selfridges and CSF hope that this will help raise awareness and inspire change in 2016.

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Dress

M&S: The Workwear Edit

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Photo Credit: M&S

Whether you’re starting a new job or want to start the new year with a smarter style, ensuring you have a capsule workwear wardrobe is essential for minimising the morning ‘what do I wear?!’ stress. Start by looking through you closet to see what you already have. If there are clothes you haven’t worn in the last 6 months, and that you don’t expect you will wear anytime soon, donate them to charity or deposit them at a recycling centre. Read my Christmas Clear Out post for more details on where, how and why you should recycle or resell your unwanted goods.

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Dress

Vegan Alternatives to Popular Leather Bags

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Matt & Nat offer a wide range of beautifully crafted vegan bags and accessories in all shapes and sizes. The creators were inspired by MAT(T)erial and NATure, and exploring the synergy between the two. Their moto, Live beautifully, refers to their appreciation of the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us.

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Dress

Gather&See

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Gather&See are an online platform for sustainable fashion. They offer a carefully selected collection of sustainable brands from across the world. All featured companies follow Gather&See’s 6 founding principles: Fair trade, Organic, Recycled, Eco-friendly, Handmade and Small Scale Production.