My People Tree Collection

Hello!

I’m in a bit of a blogging rut at the moment but thought it would be cool to share my favourite pieces I bought from People Tree (this isn’t sponsored – just genuinely love the brand!). I think ethical fashion can get a bad reputation for being ‘too hippy’ and/or ‘boring’ but hopefully this shows otherwise!

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I’ve put them in the order I got them – the last 2 are still available in the sale for under £25! The roll neck jumper dress is here and the burgundy print tunic is here.

I regularly wear the first three for work and the last one is more for fun – it has rabbits printed all over it, so I thought it’d be perfect for Easter!

They all wash really well and I love how they fit – they’re all in UK size 10, which is my usual size.

Which one is your favourite?

January Favourites

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This month I’ve been loving a few things – a couple are from the January sales and there’s a Christmas present too!

First of all is this People Tree dress – £25.50 in the sale! I think that’s a bargain as it’s a well made staple that you can wear so many different ways. I’ve already work it a lot to work and I’ve always felt very polished and it’s just because it looks lovely on. I wear it with a waist belt to break up the black a bit.

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These Toms are also a January Sale purchase! They’re £36 and they’re great for mild winter/early spring because of the fluffy lining that keep your feet nice and toasty 🙂 All I can really say is they’re cosy, comfy, and look a bit different to plain black shoes!

Then there’s the book Why Women Will Save the Planet‘ – it’s a collection of essays compiled by Friends of the Earth. I’ve not quite finished it yet, but it shows some unique viewpoints on gender and climate change – well worth a read.

Finally, a beauty favourite! I bought Gosh’s Sweetheart when there was an offer on in Superdrug – it wasn’t planned so I was pleasantly surprised with how much I like this. On my lips it looks like a cool toned mauve, with brown undertones – it’s a hint at the 90s thing going on without being too in your face about it! It’s also really flattering, and of course cruelty free.

This month’s favourites has been short and sweet – I’m testing out a few new bits of skin care so that might make it into February’s post! I’m also looking forward to a bit more sun as it gets closer to spring 🙂

October Love Lula Subscription Box: Mini Review!

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Hello!

So this is the second month I’ve been subscribed to the Love Lula Beauty Box – the September post is here. I received this box in mid-October but I wanted to give each product a chance before I reviewed them and put them on the blog.

Yes to Coconuts Cleansing Wipes: I’ve used this brand before and think they’re great! I don’t use face wipes as a regular part of my routine, but these are going to be so handy for travel, and I’ve recently joined a gym so I’ll use them when I go there. I tested these out a couple of times and they do the job; they remove most of my make up, but don’t leave my skin feeling too tight. I might repurchase these if they’re on offer (I don’t like paying a lot for wipes that aren’t particularly good for the environment as you can’t recycle them!).

Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai Soap: This is a really fresh smelling liquid soap – lemongrass and lime scented, so this would be great for a morning shower! I think I’m going to take it to the gym with me as it’ll be perfect after a workout. I love that it’s both organic and fairtrade.

Pommade Divine Remedy Balm: Honestly, I haven’t reached for this that much over the past couple of weeks… It’s supposed to be used on dry and damaged skin. My skin isn’t that bad but I’ve tested it on my elbows and heels and it feels lovely! It smells almost medical (in a good way!) and I think it’d be great for people who suffer from really dry skin in the winter.

Fairsquared Lip Balm: I love this! This is just a plain lip balm that smells of spearmint which I associate with Christmas and chocolate mints. This is now permanently on my desk at work so I can reapply it throughout the day. Again, it does the job of moisturising my lips and I’d repurchase this.

Balm Balm: This is something I was looking at purchasing myself before! So I’m really happy this was in the box. It’s a deep cleansing balm and it’s a little bit like Lush’s Ultrabland which I love! The difference is that this smells a bit more relaxing and spa-like. I’m really enjoying using this to take my make up off – it’s super moisturising as well as cleansing so it feels like a lovely treat for my skin.

This month it’s definitely been worth the £12.50 subscription. My favourites are the cleansing wipes, balm balm and the lip balm – I do love skincare!

Review and Thoughts: The True Cost

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A documentary was released at the end of May which is all about the cost of clothing to the environment and human rights issues.

I love a good documentary! But what makes this one special is how recently it was made AND how big it is – this interviews are with incredible people like the director of People Tree, Stella McCartney and Vandana Shiva as well as people around the world who are affected by the fashion industry.

40 million people are employed as garment workers – I knew this was a big issue, but it’s just incomprehensible! It shows as individuals what difference we can make as we buy clothes.

The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year – what?!! Again, this is incomprehensible. It’s so wasteful and shows how unnecessary most of it must be. I donate any unwanted clothing to charity shops, but that’s not a closed loop as I don’t buy ALL my clothes second hand.

There was also a load of really interesting stories and facts about the importance of organic clothing. This was something I wasn’t really aware of, so it was super interesting! I’m going to make an effort from now on to buy more organic food and clothing.

I think I knew most of the human rights issues around the fashion industry, but it’s good to get a reminder! And I didn’t really consider the environmental factor before. So while this is a great way to be introduced to the issues with fast fashion, it’s also a useful film for anyone really.

The website has 5 Tips for Shopping Smarter which I will be putting into practice!

In addition to the individual responsibility and brand responsibilities, it also touched on the economic system. Capitalism demands constant growth – this is inherently unsustainable and requires some people to forgo their human rights in order for the system to work. I think this is really important for people to recognise, as we are limited in what we can do as individuals.

However, my personal target will be to buy everything from truly ethical companies (People Tree, Braintree etc.) or second hand (charity shops, ebay etc.). I think the only time I’m going to fall down on this is with underwear, socks and tights, as I don’t want to pay THAT much and I also feel a bit icky buying it second hand… We’ll see!

Have you got any tips for avoiding fast fashion?

As for capitalism… Well, I’ll have to work on what I can do about that!

Here’s the trailer for The True Cost:

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Happy Easter! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day, and I really don’t want to cast a grey cloud but I have some bad news about chocolate…

A. The Climate Coalition has made this (pretty funny) April Fools/Easter clip about how chocolate is at risk due to climate change! Funny how something so commonplace can be affected by climate change. I love this campaign by the way, check it out – it shows how you may be affected by climate change in ways you never thought of.

B. I found this documentary on youtube… It’s pretty damning about the chocolate industry’s use of child labour. It’s hard to believe this actually happens, but the hidden cameras show it all.

So I’m going to pledge to reduce the amount of chocolate I eat, and when I do buy chocolate I’ll look out for the Fairtrade logo (Divine Chocolate will be my lifeline)! I think this is an easy pledge to make now as I’ve got plenty of chocolate Easter Eggs to eat anyway, and we’re entering Spring – the warmer the weather, the less chocolate I want to eat!

Divine Chocolate Review

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Divine Chocolate is pretty great; it’s a Fairtrade company that is 45% owned by cocoa farmers. They’re certainly the most ethical chocolate brand that I’ve found! They have some quite interesting flavours too, so I thought I’d try out a few of them and review them for you guys:

Dark Chocolate and Mint – this tasted kind of like an after eight mint, but better! I liked this one because you couldn’t eat too much of it (the dark chocolate is too bitter), which meant I didn’t overindulge! These were perfect to have with a mug of hot chocolate (or hot drink of your choice) in the evening. 8/10

Orange Milk Chocolate – this flavour was the opposite of the mint one; so moreish! I could have easily eaten the entire bar in one sitting. It tastes like a higher quality Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I can imagine children would love this one more than the other flavours. 7.5/10

Dark Chocolate and Raspberries – this was my favourite! The raspberry flavour actually comes from tiny bits of real raspberry in the chocolate. I love raspberries so it’s no surprise that I really loved this – it tasted really different and not too artificial. Again, because it’s dark I wasn’t going to eat all of it in one sitting, but I was more tempted to because it just tasted so good! 10/10 😀

Milk Chocolate with Spiced Apples – I was intrigued by this one; I’d seen it at Christmas and wanted to try it, but just hadn’t had the money! This was a little disappointing to me, it tasted more artificial (you can’t fit chunks of apple into the bar!) and I didn’t think the flavours went as well together. Maybe if I’d tried it when Christmas was approaching I would have enjoyed it more as it’d match the season! 5/10

Both Dark Chocolate bars contain soya, but no milk so are suitable for vegans 🙂

I really want to try Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, but it was out of stock when I ordered! The Dark Chocolate with Chilli and Orange bar also seems interesting…

The chocolate bars are obviously more expensive than other brands because of their Fairtrade commitment, I’m willing to pay a little more for this but I actually got these on offer from the ethical superstore!

If you have any flavour recommendations, please comment below 🙂

Favourite Fairtrade Brands

In case you didn’t know, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight (23rd February – 8th March)! The definition of Fairtrade is this: ‘Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers’, but I think it’s more than that.

Fairtrade is the start of a conversation about how unethical our rampant consumerism has become. The current trade system is unsustainable (for both the planet and the people working in it), so Fairtrade offers an option for consumers to buy without feeling guilty for supporting that system.

I don’t think it’s a long term solution, but it’s a start! Therefore, I often try to look for the Fairtrade Symbol or WFTO symbol; any product can claim to be ‘fair’ or ‘ethical’ but the mark means it’s been judged by an independent party to be truly fair.

(Side Note: WFTO is actually better than the normal Fairtrade symbol – it means the whole brand, rather than just one product, follows the Fairtrade philosophy eg. Nestle can get the KitKat branded as Fairtrade by switching their cocoa suppliers, but they wouldn’t be able to be certified by WFTO as the company benefits from constantly undercutting suppliers – a big no no!)

Here are a few of my favourite brands that follow the Fairtrade philosophy, and have been certified accordingly:

– Divine Chocolate (aka chocolate of the gods) – this just tastes so good. It’s mostly owned by the farmers themselves, and they’ve got loads of interesting flavour combinations that make it a bit different from the usual ethical chocolate bars! They also do Easter Eggs 😀

People Tree – this is another well known brand for how ethical it is and the clothes they make are so classic that you’ll keep them for years. The prices are a bit steep, but they have some really great deals in their sale section (in fact I think I’ll treat myself to this – also WFTO certified!).

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Shared Earth – a great find for home accessories, this is the brand I got my A-Z bookends from. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they do have a great selection – the recycled materials are especially interesting!

There are many more of course! Leave your favourites in the comments below – I’d love to discover different ones 🙂