Thrifted boxing day look - Ethical fashion edit

Keeping cosy in the frost and snow is essential, so keep your eyes peeled when thrifting this Christmas for some snuggly knits! I have recently developed a passion for white jumpers and shirts and this little knit has become a Christmas favourite. I love thrifting for jumpers like this as you cant go wrong for £1.00-£7.00 and it can give a chance to experiment with shapes and fabrics you wouldn't usually choose.


Jeans are another thing that I always thrift as they always seem to look better worn in. These were only a couple f pounds and are a lovely dark denim wash perfect for winter; they are also slightly high wasted to keep the food baby under control!

This jacket is really warm and was one of my favourite pieces I thrifted this year. Its a dark red satin with a burnt orange lining and I'm sure I will wear this for years to come. I liked paring this with my boots as I thought it was a slight juxtaposition of styles.
Keeping your green and cruelty free values at this time of year can be really hard and it can get quite discouraging.
Resisting the sale shopping can be tricky but make sure if you give in, the brands you are supporting are ethically made or sustainable fabrics. I know I'm having a hard time this year as I know I can't spend the money as I'm saving for a house as well; limiting myself to one treat seems to be the beat way forward for me personally but everyone has to find their own path as an ethical consumer and don't beat yourself up if you go a bit wrong or give in for something you really want no one can be perfect all the time.

Eden perfumes - Vegan and cruelty free dupes

The only thing I haven't managed to find a cruelty free or natural dupe for, is my perfume. I'm very attached currently, to my Coco Chanel and all of the other vegan ones I have tried don't compare. I've heard lots of vegan and cruelty free bloggers talk about Eden perfumes who create dupes for designer fragrances. I decided to test these perfumes out and see if I could find a dupe for my Coco Chanel mademoiselle.
They do a dupe for this and I gave it a go in the shop to see if I would like it; I had very high hopes as they are so highly recommended by other bloggers. Unfortunately I don't really like the fragrance, I don't feel like any of them that I smelt were very high quality. Not to be too much of a Debbie downer but I personally would not buy one of these. The fragrances all smell very shallow and all the floral fragrances are too sharp for me. None of the perfumes that I smelt were what I would consider high quality and I think you could probably get a nicer one from Lush or just use some essential oils. I wouldn't want to discourage people from trying out this brand but I would defiantly check their returns policy if you are buying them online! I also wouldn't recommend this as a dupe product because none of the perfumes I smelt were anything like the original perfumes.

If anyone has any vegan and cruelty free perfume recommendations please let me know as I have really struggled with this. I think its because perfume is such a personal thing and smells different on everyone, its hard to find one to keep as yours for a lifetime. 


Last months ethical favourites - Green and cruelty free beauty

Last month was one of the busiest of this year for me, overtime at work and social obligations meant I didn't get much time for myself. That being said I 'discovered' some of my favourite everyday beauty products to date. These are all cruelty-free, better for your body and the environment; the best kind of products that make you feel good inside and out.
The first product that I wanted to mention is the Faith in nature 3-in-1 facial wipes. Finding good facial wipes is not easy especially if you have sensitive skin. Many of the facial wipes that are found on the high street have alcohol in them and can result in a blotchy complexion if used on sensitive skin. I did a bit of research online, as I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce and one of the areas I know I'm quite wasteful is using a face wipe at least once a day. I've seen other people using cotton pads in their place but I feel like this would take a long time and I usually use face wipes when I'm really tired or can't be bothered! I thought I would try these ones as they are organic vegan and biodegradable so they won't sit in a landfill forever.
These are now a must in my beauty regime, as they are very kind and gentle to my skin and better for the environment. They cost £2.99 in Oxfam, which I think is a really good price as well and you can find them cheaper on Amazon. Definitely worth the money and a firm favourite!

Another favourite is my new BIONSEN thermal mineral deodorant; most deodorants on the high street contain parabens alcohol and aluminium which can be very damaging to your health. I recently switched to one that is free from these harmful chemicals called BeKind. However, after using it for a while I've found that it actually makes me sweat more and can feel quite uncomfortable. It can be quite hard sometimes to find more natural products in places like supermarkets and the high street, but I found this little gem in Tescos!
Next, I wanted to share this amazing face serum that I found on Amazon from Avive Naturals. This is a cruelty-free Hyaluronic acid serum with Vitamins C and E. This comes in quite a small bottle but it was only £6.50 and has really helped with my patches of dry skin on my cheeks. The formulation is strong but the consistency is thin and you just need a tiny amount (apparently) on your skin.Since my teenage years are a thing of the past, now anything that promotes collagen is a must as I don't want to look like a walnut.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who had dry skin as I've found it so soothing and helpful; it contains organic aloe and jojoba oil which definitely contribute! If your skin is extra dry, I've seen some people use it with a moisturiser for extra nourishment for the skin.

This month I have been working overtime at work stuffing letters to go out to our clients; because of this my nails have completely snapped off and I've been left with little stumps. To try and jazz them up a bit I've been painting my nails and one of my favourite new nail varnishes is the Touche Velours from Nail Berry. This is a top coat that makes any colour matt, which is just the coolest thing I have ever seen! Matte red, pink or green the world is my oyster! I think for me its better than buying a coloured matte nail varnish as there is more versatility. As always it is cruelty-free, vegan and free of the top 5 most toxic chemicals usually found in nail varnish.

Most aren't overly concerned about toxins in nail varnish but if you already have an illness or autoimmune condition I would really consider switching. Anything you put on your skin or nails will ultimately leach into your system and can aggravate your immune system.

Now, what would favourites be without a little bit of something delicious? This month I decided to try out some more milk alternatives, switching my almond milk to the Provitamil Oat Drink. I decided to make the switch for the reason that to grow an almond it takes 7L of water, oat milk, therefore, is way more environmentally friendly. Oats can also be grown in the UK, limiting the food miles involved in growing nuts in warmer climates and often clearing forests to make way for almond groves. I have to say I've been very impressed with this oat milk and have found it much creamier than the Oatly one, it's quite thick and creamy and would be a good replacement for anyone currently giving up dairy. The only thing I would say that I have found tricky is the fact that it contains gluten, so can be quite irritating to the gut. 
My last favourite that I wanted to share was this red checked scarf; I got this at a kilo sale a while ago and threw it in with all my other second-hand bits. Kilo sales are amazing places to pick up vintage and secondhand clothes and they are so cheap too as you pay by the kilo! This is pure new wool and has been a staple in my wardrobe since the weather has gotten colder. I would definitely recommend trying out a kilo sale for some second-hand goodies, they can also be really nice days out with friends as there is often tea and cake too!
I really hope everyone enjoyed my favourites this month, even though, as usual, it is fashionably late! What ethical and cruelty-free products have you all been loving this month?

:)

Investment piece or budget buy - Slow fashion guide to an ethical wardrobe

One of the problems I always seem to hear when it comes to buying sustainable fashion is that it's too expensive. However, this isn't strictly true; slow fashion and shopping sustainably isn't about having a full wardrobe of organic cotton and £60.00 t-shirts. Anybody on any budget with any style can shop sustainably and ethically.
Knowing when to spend money and when to save is one of the most helpful things I have learned from shopping sustainably; knowing that shopping slow fashion and monitoring your consumption is more important than where you shop.

I used to go shopping nearly every weekend but now its a very rare occurrence every few months, for items I really need and would use for a long time. Now, if there is something I know I will love and use regularly, a classic piece that can be used as part of my core wardrobe then I know it is worth the investment. An investment piece for me is usually a coat a scarf, shoes or a bag that are really classic styles. When I'm looking for something like a good coat I would usually shop around for a few months, searching for something with an excellent fit and cut,  quality materials and at the very least a reputable brand. If you are going to buy something that will last 10+ years it has to have all of these components, then it won't ever date, break or fray.
I recently went to the opening of the new Barbour shop in town and for me, this is the classic example of an investment piece. They are classic, water and windproof and will last your whole life. They have always kept their products in line with their brand; every jacket is intricately made and can be worn anywhere. Ethical and sustainable fashion is not just about buying all your clothes from People Tree, it's about making an investment in your clothes and style. Jack wills and Barbour have recently put sections on their websites about their environmental standards and ethical trading, however, for me, they don't go far enough to be considered an ethical or sustainable brand. You can, however, pick up some really good classic pieces from them second hand on Depop, Asos marketplace and at Kilo sales. As for more expensive investment ethical pieces, brands like AYNI make some of the most beautiful knitwear; Burberry and Louis Vitton can be picked up ethically on Vestier Collective.
When it comes to the best areas to save money, budget buys are some of my favourites to shop ethically for. I will usually look for both basics and statement pieces, but I find you can be more relaxed about the style. Shopping in charity shops or at kilo sales, you can pick up some really exciting and unique pieces and try out trends without spending a lot of money or damaging the environment. Finding items in places like that for the same price as clothes in Primark or Top shop is not hard they are usually well within anyone's budget. I always buy my statement pieces second hand, this saves so much money and is better for the environment!

Shopping in this way has given me so much more financial manoeuvrability, saving me money and allowing me to buy things that are really special that I can invest in. Shopping sustainably is possible on any budget you just have to choose wisely, save your money and invest in quality that will last where you can.

Not all fabrics were created equal - How ethical is sustainable fabric.

From organic cotton to clothes made of hemp and bamboo, over the past few years there seems to be a plethora of 'new' fabrics one claiming to be more sustainable than the next. Some people seem to be saying natural fibres are better for the environment and then others say recycled synthetics are best. I've been having a little read around what these different sustainable fabrics are and what it means for a fabric to be sustainable and ethical. 
I hope you enjoy my fabric guide and the information I have found out about the benefits and pitfalls of each fabric!

Bamboo

This is regarded as one of the best and easiest substitutes for cotton and other natural fibres. Because of its fast-growing time and the fact that it needs very little water, it uses fewer resources than other plants (like cotton and hemp) which some would argue makes it a more sustainable option. The bamboo plant also does not need fertilizers and pesticides to grow, it helps the soil in areas plagued by soil erosion and it also is said to have antibacterial and antifungal qualities. While I don't dispute that it is a better option in terms of sustainability, I did find a few questions surrounding just how sustainable and ethical it actually is. 

The market for bamboo has expanded in recent years, meaning large areas of forest and farmland are now being used to grow fields of bamboo. Growing any large monoculture in this way becomes a problem for local animals and biodiversity, as habitats are destroyed and the balance within the ecosystem in the surrounding areas is often upset.


There are also environmental concerns around the processes which turn the bamboo grass into a fibre to be used in the textile industry. Fibers can be extracted from the bamboo mechanically to form bamboo linen, but more often than not they are extracted chemically. This is done through cooking the bamboo in chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide  NaOH and carbon disulphide. These chemicals can cause nerve damage and other health problems for the people that work with them. However, when customers buy clothes there is also a risk of these chemicals leaching into customers skin which many people (including myself) neglect to think about. 


Personally, I would still buy bamboo and I definitely think its a good quality fabric and is more sustainable than other unethical fabric sources. 


Organic Cotton

Organic cotton differs from regular cotton as it is grown without the use of GM crops, fungicides, insecticides, pesticides heavily and requires intensive irrigation. The farmers also use crop rotation and wait for a freeze to inhibit defoliation of the crops, both of which care for the soil and stop the degradation of soil organic matter. 

This helps lower the environmental impact of cotton production; farming in this way requires less water and doesn't erode the soil as much. It also is better for the farmers, as spraying chemicals on the plants and soil cause widespread health problems for the farmers, their families and the communities. These chemicals also linger in our clothes that we put on every day and have an impact on our health in both the long and short-term. 


Organics because they don't use GM, also ensure that farmers don't get into debt to large companies, or have their land seized because they can't repay their debts.Although you might pay a little more for an organic cotton t-shirt this little bit more we pay helps farmers in places like India have enough money to feed their families and send their children to school.


I would choose organic cotton where you can over regular cotton every time. The issues surrounding GM crops are so far-reaching it's important to recognise this. 



Hemp

Hemp is considered a sustainable fabric because its cultivation requires less water, fertilizer and pesticides. It also is fast growing with a high yield; however, it is quite hard to find good stylish brands who use hemp. Hemp is also mould and mildew resistant and can be blended with other fibres to enhance the strength of those fibres.

As a crop hemp is also better for the environment because it puts nitrogen (one of the key nutrients that crops need to be healthy) back into the soil. Cotton, on the other hand, depletes the land's nutrients extracting all the nutrients from the soil and then when the plan is harvested and nothing is given back to the soil, it ends up depleted and starts to erode. Soil erosion, in my opinion, is the biggest and also the most important environmental problem that the globe faces. 

(I will be writing about this at another time if people are interested in reading about soil.... or I might just write it anyway)

Wool
Opinions on how sustainable wool production is can be very highly contested. Personally, I would love to see the re-appreciation and re-valuation of British sheep wool. I defiantly feel like young British people need to start buying more British wool, it can be a very sustainable fabric and produces some of the most classically British clothing on our island. Currently, many farmers don't get a good price for their wool and it is often shipped over to the EU where they can get a better price. I would love to see bigger retailers like Jack Wills really take advantage of this British fabric, especially due to the uncertainty Brexit has caused for sheep farmers.

Wool as a material is used to make jumpers and tweed suits, providing a fabric that is durable moisture resistant, breathable for your skin. Many vegans or animal rights activists disagree with the use of wool however as it is an animal product and they take issue with the practice of mulesing the sheep. I'm not very clear on the issue, but have linked the PETA website; however, I would add that this practice although cruel saves the lives of around 3 million sheep a year from flystrike. Although I don't agree with breeding Merino sheep there seems to be an absence of an alternative.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) "recognises the welfare implications of mulesing of sheep. However, in the absence of more humane alternatives for preventing strike fly, the AVA accepts that the practice of mulesing should continue as a sheep husbandry procedure".      

I would like to point out that I am for the use of British wool and this practice doesn't happen here, where we do not breed Marino sheep. I also believe that if there was more of a market for high-quality British wool, it would encourage farmers to better care for the animals and with good land management and welfare standards, this can be a good sustainable source of fabric. It would also help keep money in the country and build a stronger farming economy.               

Silk
Silk is another natural fibre that sustainability and ethical stance is very contested. It is made from small silk caterpillars that weave silk nests to pupate inside. Although silk is a really good fabric in terms of its effect on consumers (its lack of endocrine disruptions) many vegans don't agree with silk farming as the silk moths never pupate and develop into moths and are killed by steam before they can develop.

It is low impact in terms of the water and resources required in the process; however how it is then dyed, sewn and depending on if the mulberry tree has had any pesticides sprayed on it before it is fed to the silk moths will depend on how sustainable the fabric is. 


Tencel

Tencel is made from the wood cellulose of the eucalyptus plant and is produced in a circular way, reintroducing the chemicals in the production cycle rather than disposing of them. This makes tencel one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics. This is because tencel less toxic as 99% of the chemicals are filtered and reused, it also needs less water and the whole production process emits fewer greenhouse gases.  The supply chain is more transparent and has been awarded the FSC and the European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed tencels farming practice. 

The production process also does not need bleach and the toxic chemicals that are used are biologically decomposed and purified; this makes it one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly products. 


As for its use, it can be blended with other fibres or used on its own. Quite a few brands have started using it, like People Tree who have developed many of their new products using tencel.


Rayon

Rayon is made from wood pulp which is chemically converted into a soluble compound, it is considered to be a semi-synthetic fibre. Rayon can also be identified as viscose modal and lyocell. 

The process of manufacturing is extremely toxic and generates highly polluting air and water emissions, uses catalytic agents containing cobalt or manganese, and creates a strong, unpleasant odour. Because of the carbon disulphide used to make rayon workers can have extream health repercussions mostly strokes from working with Rayon. 


Although it biodegrades faster than cotton the main problems with rayon pollution is found in the deep oceans where it contributes to over half of the total fibres found deep under the oceans and is considered to be a microplastic. This means that everytime you wash clothes made of rayon it will release microplastics into the waterways which will then be released into the oceans. 


If you want to stop your washed releasing microfibres into the oceans click here.


Currently, I believe the best course of action regarding environmental problems like this is to ensure all wastewater is filtered for microfibers. 


Seacell

This is created out of seaweed and has been regarded as an eco-friendly fabric. To create these brown algae is mixed with cellulose, is regarded as sustainable because of the algae's ability to regrow. It is mainly a mix of tencel and Algae and is a relatively new fabric.

I couldn't find much information on using algae as a fabric but from what I found it does at present seem sustainable. Part of the problem is not the fabrics per-say its the scale of production of many of these 'sustainable fabrics'. Any production on a small scale could be considered sustainable, but when things are commercialised and grown on a huge scale it becomes unsustainable. The best thing we can do for the planet is reduce our consumption of clothes and other fabrics.








October cruelty free favourites - Charlotte Tilbury

As November rolled around and the leaves have started to fall I looked back over my past posts and I have started to feel really proud of what I have achieved in the past 9 months of blogging. A year ago I had never heard of blogging or vlogging or even seen a blog in my life as far as I know. When I first started Ethical Bunny I had no idea of what direction my blog would take, all I knew is I wanted an outlet for my thoughts on the world and my passion for environmentalism. I'm so happy I started and I've never looked back; although at times it's been hard to keep consistent, it has been for me, a consistent joy in my life.

I have some beautiful favourites for you all this month from one of my favourite brands! 
I fell in love with Charlotte Tilbury quite a few years ago now when I found the stand in the Selfridges in Birmingham. Four years later I went back to have a look around and found myself perusing the Charlotte Tilbury section once again. 

When I decided to go cruelty-free I was so happy to learn that Charlotte Tilbury doesn't test on animals. There is a slight lacking of more luxurious cruelty-free brands so I was happy to learn that Charlotte  Tilbury still has this status. The products I came away with are the Full Fat Lashes in Glossy Black and a lipstick in Sexy Sienna. As usual, the rose gold packaging and feminine branding is spot on and it still has the attention to detail on the packaging that you would expect for £24.00 a lipstick. 

Full Fat Lashes is a fairly good mascara I would say, it is quite lengthening but I'm not sure if I would buy it again. I will definitely use it up and it is good (hence why it is in a favourite post); however, it does smudge quite easily and is quite difficult to get off compared to my other favourite mascaras. The pigment is fairly strong and you can put a few coats on but it isn't very strongly pigmented so you definitely need at least two I would say. I would recommend this for length and it is a good everyday mascara, but you might need one with a fatter brush if you like a more intense look. 
Sexy Sienna has become one of my favourite lipsticks! This is the first time I've tried one of the new lipsticks and I was quite impressed. The colour is beautiful and it is very strongly pigmented, whilst still being wearable. The formulation is just the right side of dry so I would defiantly recommend having moist lips before application. The only thing I would mention is that that the colour looks slightly different on to what it does when you look at it in the shop so I would bear that in mind!
I hope you enjoyed my two favourites for last month and I would definitely recommend Charlotte Tilbury to anyone looking for a luxury cruelty-free brand. :)




Of course all the plastics are in the same gym class/ 23 ways you can minimise plastic in your everyday life

Plastic pollution is epidemic in the global community now, with even the deep sea creatures contaminated with synthetic fibres.   The problem of plastic pollution is not just an issues of plastic pollution and the resulting loss of biodiversity, it is the resulting increase in estrogen levels. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic form of estrogen that is found in plastics and is used in their production; this leaches out into our food and water and ends up being injurested by animals and humans. These BPA's mimic estrogen in the body and disrupt our normal hormones, they can block estrogen or mimic it throwing off the hormone balance of both adults and children. This can also lead to a number of health problems like breast cancer, low testosterone and infertility. 

Platic pollution has already contaminated most of the planet including 83% of our tap water; slowly the UK has been making progress in regards to recycling and the banning of microbeads in personal care products. However, we need to move much faster on this issue and I have personally been really thinking hard about the products I buy and the global implications.

I have been asked recently why I write my blog if I actually think just me writing this and changing what I buy will make a difference in the world. To answer this yes I do. I nor anyone else can be personally held accountable for all the pollution on the planet, however, I am accountable for contributing to these issues and I have the choice not to. I believe that if enough people make this individual choice for themselves to change their lives then we really will be able to change the world together. This morning a few nurseries in Southern England has announced that they are banning glitter, it's these changes that if we all do them it will make a real difference.

I have put together a list of 23 ways to minimise my contribution to this problem, I hope you all enjoy it and find it a useful tool! Feel free to add to it if I have missed something out:

1. Always buy plastics that are BPA free

2. Don't buy bottled water or drinks ever, carry a metal water bottle or if that's not possible just reuse one.

3. When shopping for food stop buying products wrapped in plastic where possible or products that are individually wrapped; instead buy more basic food and bring your own bags to the shop. See the link for some really lovely reusable fruit and veg bags for your fresh fruit and veg. 

4. Wrap your sandwiches in reusable wrapping before you take them to work!

5. Use a menstrual cup instead of constantly buying pads! This also reduces waste from sanitary products and your risk of TSS.

6. Stainless steel drinking straws instead of plastic ones! Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day!

7. A guppy bag to help stop plastic clothes fibres washing out in the wash.

8. Stop buying, or limit the purchase of clothing made of synthetic fibres.

9. Choose products made of metal, wood or cardboard over plastic.

10. Take your own reusable cups and cutlery when you are on the go and refuse the plastic knives and forks when you are out and about.

11. If possible take a reusable lunch box when you go out if you want to take away food ( you might even get a discount, something I think more businesses should start doing)

12. Wrap all gifts in reusable gift bags instead of tacky wrapping paper and birthday bags.

13. Instead of a plastic phone case choose one from Pela Care who make compostable phone cases.

14. Make sure all your bed sheets and towels are 100% natural fibres, we spend so much time sleeping it's important to make sure we are not breathing in plastic all night.

15. Make sure all plastic that you do buy you also recycle.

16. Don't overbuy and overspend at celebrations, many people buy lots of tacky plastic gifts; try instead of getting someone one thoughtful gift. Also, some of the ethical items linked above can make great gifts and then this also helps spread the word on plastic pollution. 

17. Instead of shopping for furniture in places like Ikea or B and M bargains, try looking for second-hand furniture in places like Reviive or local car boot sales. 

18. Instead of buying a plastic toothbrush every 3 months try one made from bamboo or buy an electric one with an interchangeable head.

19. Limit your use of plastic resources like bin bags by composting and recycling.

20. Ask your workplace to remove the need for plastic cups in the canteen and make sure at your work/school they recycle their waste.

21. Choose hassle-free packaging on Amazon, and schedule your deliveries to arrive together. There are so many biodegradable materials now why not tweet a company abut using more biodegradable packaging.

22. Mend things!

23. Filter your water

Every year 8,000,000 tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean creating a toxic soup, and there are 150 million tonnes currently in the ocean and it has contaminated the whole of our food chain as the toxins bio accumulate. Reducing plastic consumption and recycling our waste is really important on an individual level.

Most of the plastic in the ocean is tiny partials and it would take an unimaginable amount of time and money to filter it all out again. However, there is hope, Boyan Slot a young aerospace engineer has come up with a solution to rid the oceans of plastic. I've linked his TedTalk below it's really ingenious and hopefully the more people watch this the more support his project can get and together we can make this happen.

:)








What's the problem with fast fashion anyway?

There are so many people talking about sustainable clothing and boycotting fast fashion, but what exactly does this mean? What is fast fashion? Whats the problem with it? Well if you are interested in finding the answer this may be the blog post for you!

Thirty years ago, the fashion world was very different; there were only a few high-street stores and buying an item of clothing was a luxury. People waited in earnest for the arrival of the new collections from Chanel, Vivien Westwood, Prada and Gucci. New collections have released a maximum of four times a year following the cycle of the seasons. An update to a wardrobe was a carefully selected treat designed to last, using quality fabric and manufacturing.
Now there are 52 micro-seasons of rapidly cycling low-cost clothing, people buy new clothes everytime they have an event. Wow, that's great isn't it because now we can afford loads of clothes! Not really... this system is called fast fashion and mimics the catwalk trends providing us all with cheap versions of the carefully crafted and designed collections that were so out of reach before. However, the result of this 'democratising' of the fashion system has resulted in large-scale social environmental and economic issues.  This is why people are now choosing to boycott fast fashion because of the problems associated with its production.  Some of these problems are listed below and I have divided them up into three categories because there are so many issues. 


Problems for the consumer:


1. High cost! the money we spend on clothes could be going towards a deposit for a house.

2. Pesticides and chemicals from none organic clothing leaching into our skin.

3. Endocrine disruption from synthetic fabric.

4. A constant feeling of pressure to look a certain way and never having anything to wear. 

5. Low-quality goods that break easily.

6. Loss of style.


Problems for the workers and country of manufacture:


1. Low wages and an inability to work their way out of poverty.


2. Unsafe working conditions and long hours.

3. Exposure to deadly chemicals that make them and their children sick.

4. Vulnerability to verbal physical and sexual abuse.

5. These companies are so big they have huge political power in their host country, stopping political change.

6. If workers complain the companies can threaten to move to cheaper countries like H&M are moving from Bangladesh to Ethiopia because of all the media attention.

7. Farmer suicides because of debt.

Environmental problems:

1. Destruction of biodiversity and the chopping down of the jungle to grow cotton.

2. Spraying of herbicides and pesticides killing animals and insects.

3. Soil and water contamination with toxic chemicals.

4. Huge amounts of water being used up, it takes 2700L of water to make one t-shirt

5. Fossil water use.

6. Slaughter of animals for fur and leather

7. Air pollution from factories.

8. Transportation pollution from deliveries and shipping fabric.

9. Most fabrics cant break down and as they are left rotting in rubbish dumps they release methane into the atmosphere.


These are just the issues I know are associated with the fast fashion system and it is these issues that led me to decide to boycott all fast fashion brands. It is definitely a journey and obviously, we all slip up sometimes or see something that we really want and that's fine. 

I think the most important thing is that we change our mindset from one where we see clothes as something disposable to something special to be treasured. When we look at our favourite t-shirt we should look beyond how it looks and see the people who farmed the cotton, the 2700L of water that it took to grow the cotton, the people that sewed it for us and its journey across the world to reach us and make us happy.

I hope you all enjoyed my blog post, I wanted to write something quite short that summarised and simplified the problems with fast fashion because it is such a big topic. :)

Illamasqua haul / The good, the bad and the ugly cruelty free review

This is one of the first lipsticks I bought from Illamasqua, and I bought this with some other products on sale to try out the brand. It's in the shade Moth, a very dark moody brown that would look very good in an Autumn look. I love the colour of this lipstick but the consistency is very dry and flakey, which makes it difficult to wear.
I love the packaging but it seems a little random compared to all of their other products that are packaged in their typical black packaging. 
This next product is a liquid matt orange lipgloss, it has a good matt formulation and yes the picture is true to colour. Although I typically go for a more neutral makeup pallet I thought I would try this out. I love the colour and I'm sure that I could incorporate this into some sort of Autumn look... maybe on Halloween if I decide to be a pumpkin... The formulation is quite good and it sets pretty quickly, the only problem is when I have tried it on, it seems to start flaking pretty quickly.
My other lip gloss that I purchased is this lipgloss in the shade..... This smells amazing and I love the colour I think the colour is the perfect red for winter time. 
I wouldn't recommend this product, however, although I love the colour and smell the brush makes it difficult to apply and the formula is quite messy and sticky. 
Some little swatches, I love both of these colours and they are perfect for Autumn I just wish they had a quality formulation and texture to match the strength of the pigment.
This is the Illamasqua hydravaile and is a primer that you can put under your make up. It is more lightweight than other primers I have used and applies easily. It is a gel formulation that sits easily under make-up; Although I would say its the best primer I have ever used, I wouldn't repurchase it. I don't really see the need for primer and at £34.00 this one doesn't come cheap.

The next product I bought was the Skin Base foundation, from the Illamasqua in the Selfridges in Manchester. After my disappointment with my other cruelty-free foundations, I really wanted to get a high-quality one with an excellent finish. This was recommended to me for my combination skin by a girl on the counter and she matched it to my skin tone then and there. I am quite happy with the colour match but not with the quality, although she said it was build able I feel like it provides virtually no cover and at £33.00 I feel like it was a waste of money. It also is very drying which would be good for people with oily skin but it too dry for my combination skin. I'm going to use it up, but I just always put moisturiser under it and I wouldn't repurchase.  
This blusher I have had for quite some time and I'm not sure if this shade is still available. I do like the blush duos and have definitely made use of this. I love the packaging I think it embodies the brand and although the blush is quite a low pigment it surprisingly really suits my skin tone. It is definitely buildable if you want a stronger pigment.

The Illamasqua brow build is probably one of if not my favourite product from Illamasqua and I wear it nearly every day. I purchased the colour Thrive which I feel matches my eyebrows well without being too dark. I always find black eyebrow products a little too dark for me! I really like this because it's quite subtle, easy to wear and apply.
This eyeliner I bought on sale and I'm not sure what I think of it. It is in the colour wisdom which is quite a medium to dark brown which I thought would be quite subtle. Although I wanted something subtle and I do like the colour the formula is very thin so two coats are needed for it to show up.
I do like this but it is not worth the money even when I got it son sale. I don't think I would buy it again and wouldn't recommend even though I will use it up.
This is the Illamasqua Slick Stick in the shade fervour I like the branding though  I feel like it is quite large for the amount of product you get. I didn't like this at all the colour and pigment was really vibrant but the consistency is very very dry.
I prefer the shade delight in this lip liner as although it's still dry its easy to blend with a lip gloss. I think I will try and use it up but would not recommend.
This lip pencil is probably my other favourite that I have tried from Illamasqua, it defiantly has the best formulation of any of their lip liners. It is easy to apply and the colour is beautiful, I would recommend these and buy it again. In the shade Woo this is perfect for a every day look, or a 60s look with some eyeliner.
Illamaskqa as a brand I love, but a lot of their products I find are overpriced and not very good quality.  I would like to see them using more natural ingredients too. Also I do like the way that they make a stand on certain politics however, I feel like sometimes this can be quite uniformed.

I hope you all enjoyed my review of some Illamasqua products, most of them I wouldn't buy again and I feel like its good to do reviews of products you wouldn't buy.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention that when I use the word 'haul' I don't go out and buy all of these things at once. Some of these products I've had over a year and I don't think buying loads of products in a 'haul' is a very ethical thing to do. I just wanted to mention this as I want to be transparent, as I feel like a lot of bloggers and vloggers often give the impression that we all spend all our money buying make up! 

Also to anyone who is thinking of starting a blog don't ever think you need lots of money, it's more important to be creative and expressive. There are some amazing blogs out there who just write about important issues and don't spend anything.

:)

My favourite autumnal cruelty-free nail varnishes from Nailberry

This month I have been obsessed with these amazing new shades I've got from Nailberry! I just wanted to share them with you all because they are so Autumnal and perfect for this chilly time of year!
I love this shade Rouge it's such a beautiful strong red and very on trend for AW17; I think adding this red into an outfit via a nail varnish can be a good way of staying on trend without updating your wardrobe. I found the colour and formulation a lot stronger in this shade than others I have had from Nailberry, I only needed one coat to get good coverage. I've enjoyed pairing this nail varnish with mustard yellows and navy blue for a really autumnal feel, parkin anyone?

Cherry Cherie is another autumnal shade that I have really been enjoying this year, though it is a bit difficult to pair with some of my outfits. Its a really bright orangy red, just the right side of neon but still a little difficult to match with other autumnal shades. I've been wearing this shade to work with monochrome outfits to add a pop of colour and a little bit of fun to an office outfit.
I love Nailberry as a company, cruelty-free, free from 7 toxic chemicals and breathable what is not to like?

 They also have such a beautiful bottle design that I really love and look well placed on my dressing table. I really appreciate the thought that has gone into the design of the bottle and the branding, to me, it subtlety screams elegance. One downside I would say is that although you only need one coat to give good coverage, this will chip after about two days. If you want it to last longer I would definitely recommend putting at least two coats or a top coat on.

I hope you all enjoy my cruelty-free nail varnishes, there are so many alternative products that are not tested on animals now I find it really inspiring.

Are the new Lush zero waste products the future?

Yes. That's the short answer. From their new zero waste shampoos and conditioners and package-less shower gels and body conditioners, this to me is the future. I think this a great new innovation selling products without the packaging and more companies should take note and follow in their footsteps.
However, there are still some areas where Lush could improve their environmental footprint. As they launch their new loyalty and subscription services, a few questions still remain for me on whether this is the best way for the brand, customers and the planet to move forward together.


"Lush will continue to build subscription services and also look to introduce more fan club programmes as it aims to solidify its growing community"
  “We don’t necessarily believe generating loyalty is purely about offering discounts so we want to build more subscription services and fan clubs,” 
“There needs to be a set-up where people can come into a shop and we know exactly who they are and can give them instant benefits. We also need to make sure our staff have more time to talk to customers on the shop floor – therefore, making the digital and physical experience seamlessly overlap will be a big focus.”
Personally, I feel like this is a drive is for profit and for Lushes marketers to gain more personal information on its customers. There are a number of other things that Lush could so to improve their environmental footprint and improve brand loyalty. Having a loyalty scheme where people will get a discount when they bring back their old pots and bottles to be refiled would be a good idea. Also, for the package-less shampoos, once you buy a tin getting 10% off every purchase where you bring in the tin would be a good idea; this would help reduce costs of packaging for Lush and be better for the planet as the package-less items still get wrapped at the counter.
Also, having points cards would be a really good idea as many of the products are quite expensive.
I feel like these would be better ideas than creating a subscription service to inspire loyalty and help the environment. They would also drive innovation and ensure that Lush keeps its place in the market and inspires and enthuses the millennials that have made it such a popular company. 

What I eat in a day - Going plant based and growing muscle

Since embarking on my journey towards a more ethical and conscious lifestyle one of the biggest areas that I am yet to change is my diet. Agriculture has a huge impact on human, environmental and animal health and is one of the biggest polluters in the world today. The effects of this capitalist agricultural system have caused issues ranging from the destruction of habitats and the release of greenhouse gasses to the creation of seed monopoly's, farmer suicides and populations riddled with obesity and disease.

Since working with some of these large agchem companies I decided that it was time for a diet change. This has been quite hard for me personally as I have lots of conflicting and niche requirements from my diet. For over 10 years I have struggled with swollen joints, pain, headaches a bad stomach, bad circulation to name a few. Because of this, in 2014 I had a major diet overhaul that was not that easy to do; I cut out most of my alcohol, smoking, wheat, dairy produce and three years on I'm happy with what I've achieved. I also started taking supplements trying to cut out sugar and focusing on my fitness.  Personally, I'm happy with my progress, but I now think its time for the next big diet change focusing on the impact my diet has on the environment. 

I currently eat red meat with every meal because I have been focusing on building my muscle mass at the gym with weight training. I have also not really thought about food miles, organic food, or GMO's, all of which I would like to address in this, my next diet overhaul.
Incorporating all of these needs into a new diet plan I found quite tricky, it has taken a while to come up with all my meal plans that let me hit all of my macros especially my protein. Finding substitutes for meat in some meals was quite hard, and as I'm not a big soy fan this what I eat in a day is defiantly a work in 
progress.

Breakfast:

This is defiantly my most important meal of the day if you want to get fit or lose weight you have to eat a good breakfast. This stops you snacking, replenishes your muscles and wakes your body up for the day. I like to start the day with an English breakfast every day, I either have eggs and beans or veg omelette and beans. On the weekend, I might add some cheeky bacon or sausage as long as they are organic and free range. This helps me start my day with a good 20-30g of protein some fats and some carbs, depending on the day it also can give me between one and three of my five a day. I usually wash this down with an almond coffee or a hot honey and lemon if I'm feeling extra. 

A good vegan alternative to this meal would be protein bread with beans or avocado. I personally found that if you have something fatty early in the morning it stops you craving fatty food throughout the day. Whatever you eat in the morning is what sets your metabolism throughout the day, so if you eat fat you will burn fat and if you eat carbs you will burn carbs. Just make sure these fats are good fats that are natural; organic butter if you are going all out or some slices of avocado if you are vegan.

After breakfast around 10am, I like to have a snack and my morning  BCAAs. I try and have a snack of either nuts, protein oats or peanut butter rice cakes. I feel like this keeps me going and gives me a massive energy boost from the carbohydrates mid-morning.

Lunch:

For lunch, I have replaced my mince and baked potatoes with Quorn mince and baked potato, or Quorn pieces with quinoa and veg. Another high protein meal I have been enjoying without red meat is tuna mayo pasta, with red lentil protein pasta and veg. This has about 46g of protein per serving with only a  little fat if you use light mayo, or vegan mayo if you don't like eggs. Another swap I have made in this meal is replacing rice with quinoa or potatoes. Rice is a very needy crop and needs large amounts of water to grow so I have been trying to keep away from it.

I try and include at least two portions of veg in at lunchtime to help keep my fibre and micronutrient levels high. As I'm trying to minimise my meat intake, I also sometimes will have protein pasta with kidney beans and vegan pesto and peas. This is so easy to make it takes about 5 minutes to cook and prepare and it has lots of good healthy fats, carbs and you can get about 32g of protein for a medium size serving! I used to have this with sweetcorn mixed in but I have recently found out that much of the corn, or corn derivatives are made from GMO corn which I want to stay away from. 

Usually, around four o'clock it is time for a snack and I defiantly need an energy boost! I like to have a piece of fruit if I haven't had one in the morning. If I have had some sometimes I will have a protein bar at this point in the day with a cup of tea! It sounds strange but I find it really hard to eat the amount of protein I need to in a day to grow any muscle so this is an easy way to get some extra protein in; they are also delicious.
Dinner:

For dinner, I like to keep it fairly light, high in good quality protein and relatively simple. I will usually have chicken or Quorn with a sweet potato or jacket potato and some veg. Usually, for dinner I  try and include broccoli and kale every night for some high-quality nutrients and plenty of vitamin K. If it is the weekend I also enjoy making a big curry; I think its really important to have a big hot dinner especially in colder months.

There is a perception of curry as an unhealthy food, however, it just depends on what you put in it. Essentially it can be chicken/quorn/ chickpeas and cauliflower with veg and spices which is really healthy. I usually have it with quinoa or if I'm making a big veg curry I chuck in some sweet potatoes. 

Whichever I choose I try to make sure I get around 35g of protein with my main meal, which helps me reach my macros. I think it's important to get most of your protein when you are growing muscle from your diet and not just rely on low-quality proteins from shakes and bars.
Before I go to the gym I like to have my second BCAA of the day; when I 've finished I like to have a protein shake and a banana if I'm feeling very organised or some more rice cakes or a Gluten-free crumpet if not!

This is obviously just what I have been trying for the past few weeks but I just wanted to share my thoughts on diet as I feel like this is where a lot of people get quite lost with fitness. People either seem to eat too much of the wrong foods or eat nothing to try and lose weight. I'm going to be trying to stick to this till February to see if I can reach my goals with muscle growth. I also wanted to show that even if your a big meat eater or are into fitness you don't have to rely on animal derivatives to reach your fitness goals.

As it is Vegan month this month I did consider going vegan even though I am not on principle against farming animals or eating meat. My issue around eating meat is more to do with the environmental impact of intensive farming and the way animals are kept to reach this demand for animal products. 

For me personally, there is a difference I feel between hunting or low impact organic farming to large-scale intensive farming systems. Also, it has been estimated that just one stake is the equivalent of 1000Ltrs of water which just blows my mind, that's around 6 months of showers!

If you are interested in fitness and health it is even more important to avoid most of the products I have talked about above; as if you are trying to change the way you look certain foods can really slow down this journey for you. Even if you don't care about the environment or animal cruelty there is a proven health effect of eating large quantities of meat. This is not just the obvious things like bowel cancer, but constantly consuming animal products filled with growth hormones and antibiotics will not help you get rid of body fat. 


Diet and the environment:

To some people, this may not seem very plant-based but it is really hard to hit your macros without much red meat/ meat. I also try an hit between 105g and 125g of protein daily which is over my body weight. Incorporating the Quorn and only eating red meat in the morning occasionally have been my biggest changes which have been quite big changes for me. Another change I have made is upping my good carbs and decreasing the calories I get from sugar and processed snacks. I have also recently given up soy and any corn derivatives after I have been looking into GMO products a bit more and how they can affect peoples health. This is also one of the reasons that I have given up most red meat unless its organic, as in the UK if animals are fed GMO's their milk and meat do not have to be labelled as containing GMOs. This concerns me because of the issues surrounding the bioaccumulation of toxins through food chains and the use of antibiotics in farm animals.

Eating this diet also ensures I eat 7-9 portions of fruit or veg a day with most of that coming from veg. This is something important to note if you are vegan, as just because you don't eat meat it does not mean that your diet is not damaging the environment. Tropical fruit, nuts and rice are all foods with very high levels of emissions. Try swapping tropical fruit for seasonal local fruit, rice for quinoa or potatoes and swapping nuts for homemade hummus and dip.

This diet emits 5 kgCO2e/day, a vegan diet would be 4kgCO2e/day and normal diet is 8kgCO2e/day. I think this is really encouraging as just with a few simple changes we can nearly half our carbon footprint from our diets. The highest-emitting food for me was bananas followed by the eggs, meat and cashew nuts the recommendation was to switch the bananas for pears or dates or apricots or peaches or apples which would be easy to do.

I know I have a lot of work still to do but I'm still making steps towards a better and more environmentally friendly diet. Next, I want to eliminate all red meat and or look at making only more local choices,  Lauras Larder is an amazing resource if you actually want to look at the environmental impact of your diet. It is interesting to see especially if you are on a vegan diet, how environmentally friendly your diet really is.


I hope you have all really enjoyed my post and it has given some good sound health advice and a little bit of help for people looking to keep slim but tone up and build some more muscle. I really wanted to show that it is possible to do this is a nutritious and environmentally friendly way.