Travel bucket list 2019 - Ethical travel

Here is my travel bucket list for 2019! After all my adventures last year I wanted to share some that I am hoping to go on this year to... Share your travel dreams with me below!

1. Perucica
This is somewhere I would love to go as it is one of the last remaining primaeval forests in Europe. The forest is in Bosnia Herzegovina and is untouched by humans; you have to book in advance as a guide takes you into the forest, but I think it will still be worth it. This area of the world, in general, is a very underrated travel destination in my opinion.

2. North Wales
There are so many stunning places in North Wales! Obviously, I am biased as I grew up here but there is just so much to do and see! Although it is expensive to stay in the national park some air bnbs are reasonable if you are in a group. I would recommend visiting CAT Portmeirion and Conwy to name a few...

3. Russia
There are so many stunning places I would like to visit in Russia from Kamchatka to lake bikal where they have many unique species of animals! I would love to go on the train but this may be a dream I would have to book on the burner for a while due to cost!

4. Spain
Again! but I would really love to visit the sun seed centre to learn more about desertification! If I can brave it I may go!

5. Tel Aviv
This is somewhere I have been interested in for a while! Mainly for the history (you can take a day trip to Jerusalem) and hearing about the history of Christianity in the middle east. If that doesn't sound like fun the beaches are stunning and the food looks incredible... I'm going on sky scanner now! 

6. Iceland Road trip 
Although I've been before I would love to do a trip around Iceland ring road! Mountains waterfalls and being surrounded by nature... perfect! Iceland also has some pretty interesting places to visit in terms of environmentalism like the greenhouses inFriðheimar
you can also plant a tree in Iceland to offset your emissions from your trip here.

7. Morroco
One of my favourite countries I love the food and the markets and would love to go back! Obviously, recent events are very offputting and I hope the government does something soon to tackle Islamic extremism in the country so it will be safe to visit again...

8, Ibiza 
Need I say more?

9. Greece 
The birthplace of civilisation with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world... love it! I always look at pictures of people on holiday in Greece and am very jealous so I think its time I went!

10. USA 
Now I have never been one for considering America a good holiday destination but I have recently changed my mind. I would love to go to the deep south and Texas and then back up through Utah and Washington and all the national parks! There is some stunning natural beauty in America and some amazing wildlife! 

If you would like to know how I stay as ethical as possible when travelling click here to read my post!

What is organic?

I wanted to talk about a very over used and under explained word and what it means... the word organic is used quite a lot nowadays... sometimes as an excuse to increase prices.. but what does it mean?

If something is classed as organic it generally means there have not been any toxic harmful chemicals used when it is being made. It also means that it comes from a natural seed if it is a plant or doesn't contain any GMO derived ingredients. 

In terms of organic food production and farming, it means no manufactured fertilizers or pesticides. All organic food is subject to strict inspection and certification, which checks for GMOs or Chemicals that may be in the supply chain. 

This is regarded as 'better' by a lot of people for a number of reasons:
1. Organic farming cares for the soil and leads to less contamination and erosion.
2. Aminals are fed a better diet and generally kept in better conditions.
3. Better quality food and less use of chemicals lead to better tasting meat or plants.
4. Farmers are not strangled by debt (e.g. farmer suicides in the Punjab)
5. Better wildlife on and around the farm with fewer chemicals in the air soil and water.
6. Less exposure of farm workers to harmful chemicals.

(There is some evidence linking chemicals etc. on food to cancer reproductive issues and hormone problems etc.)

In terms of organic beauty, cosmetic products are manufactured using only organically farmed ingredients. These ingredients are grown without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GM), herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and more.

This is better for people as the chemicals found in makeup can be quite dangerous and although they are small amounts are absorbed by the skin,

In terms of textiles, organic cotton or bamboo means the chemicals used in the growth of these plants has been restricted. Final products are restricted in the amount of allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause allergies, skin rashes or respiratory problems.
In contrast, non-organic manufacture uses tens of thousands of acutely toxic chemicals, many of which are classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

I personally try to choose organic where possible but this can be quite challenging especially with high prices! There are cheap ways of purchasing organic food however like veg boxes, which are good for bulk buys, or growing your own food!

Valentines lush haul! Cruelty-Free and Vegan

Happy Valentines day! Well not yet... but as there are some exciting new products out from Lush I thought I would let you all know what I have been loving before the day arrives.

Not everyone likes valentines day, but personally, I am a big fan! Even if your not in a relationship it can be a nice day for a good old pamper. This year it is falling on a Thursday, which is a perfect day to give yourself some TLC before the weekend!

I decided to get four things from Lush for myself for valentines, all cruelty free of course. Two are bath bombs that I more got for their comedy value, a body scrub and a body conditioner.

1. Love Island body scrub £2.92

I divided to get this as I was hoping it would be quite coarse and I have started to get little bumps on my legs again (mainly through lack of exercises) It has a strong scent of lemongrass with something else that I am not too fond on but feels very rough so I am hoping it is worth it!


2. Peachy bath bomb £3.29

Made with peach juice and grape fruit oil, this smells amazing and turned my bath water a dark glittery pink! It didn't leave to stronger smell on my skin and the glitter washed away easily... though I hope it biodegrades!


3.American pie naked body conditioner £9.13

This was the most expensive thing I got from the Valentines collection. Made with Shea butter and almond oil it has the usual sent of American Cream which I love... however it was very melty and fell apart quickly. I don't think you can get enough uses out of it to make it worth the money though it did make my skin smell amazing!


4. Aubergine Bath bomb £3.29

This one is very different from the peachy bath bomb! Filled with bergamot and ho wood oil  it is much more uplifting and a more mature scent. Fun to look at and a perfect joke prezzie for the man in your lie for Valentines :)


My top 30 ethical handbag brands - Sustainable fashion and vegan

Well, as it is nearly Christmas I'm sure you will all need something to add onto those Christmas lists! It can be hard finding ethical brands to shop with so I want to make it as easy for you all as possible. So here is my list of ethical handbag companies for you to peruse; they are all different styles, materials, some vegan some not (so do check!) but all of these companies are doing something to use their business as a way to improve the lives of people and animals all over the world.

Let me know which one is your favorite below!

Angela Roi

This is a small vegan and sustainable 
brand from New York,
designing fun clutch bags.

Vegan brand from L.A, they are not sustainable
but are a favorite of vegan leather lovers.

Eco friendly ethically made brand from Australia, 
yes they are vegan.
4. Matt and Nat

One of the best with a large range of styles that are designed well. They are vegan, sustainably made and have recycled bag linings.

5. Bead and Reel

Bead & Reel is a sustainable community founded by Sica Schmitz in 2014 to connect companies and shoppers as we create a more mindful world together.

6. Stormie Dreams

Storimie Dreams are a small company from LA who up cycle old unused fashion. They make really lovely interesting beachy bags that are very sustainable!

7. Sapahn
Sapahn create very easy to wear handbags (something I find quite rear in the ethical accessory world); crafted ethically and sourced simple pieces. 

8. Genesis Fairtrade
A fair trade business empowering female artisans in Peru. Lots of lovely Aztec prints!

9. Kakaw Designs
These are very new agey style bags with some pretty cool travel bags etc. They are sustainable!

10. Bloom and Give
Lovely handmade goods, they have a one girl to school scheme that helps get more girls into school. It artisan american company and again lots of aztec printe.. 

11. Ebatotes
Made in the USA, their style is close to Matt and Nat which I like. Very sustainable and vegan they are very underrated. 

12. The Batik Boutique 

Batik Boutique's vision is to empower hundreds of artisans like Ana by offering them a fair and sustainable income producing beautiful, high quality fashion and gifts. As you would expect these are batik bags.

13. Nina Bernice

Nina Bernice is an eco-luxe handbag brand based in Melbourne, Australia. We create accessories such as cork handbags for the modern woman using good quality and cruelty-free materials to promote sustainability in style. We are founded on the values of positivity, individuality and mindfulness.

14. Shopenat

Enat was  started by best friends Olivia and Eliza who wanted to make more affordable wearable ethical handbags. Made from sustainable leather and made by fairly paid worker this is one of my fave brands.
15. Juuty

Founders Rik & Rosanne from the Netherlands visited Bangladesh in 2014 during their world tour. The couple were touched by the social and natural environment, so they decided to contribute to the development of Bangladesh.

very underated timeless style and an interesting use of material!

16. Shop filbert

Lux vegan handbags that are PETA approved. Plain classic designs slightly pricey. Would be good  for vegans looking for creuelty free vegan leather look bags.

17. Tribe Alive

Handmade products that support women in third world countries. They have classic designs quite simple to be paired with anything! Quite pricey..
18. Parker Clay

Stunning leather bags with a classic design; high quality leather and traditional craftmen ship. Not for vegans sorry!

19. Slate and Salt

Boho jewelry and some canvas bags one of the more famous brands. I really like them but they are a little pricey on some items...

20. Purse & Clutch

We now design & produce our own label that’s currently being made by weavers & artisans in Guatemala as well as leatherworkers in Ethiopia where other employment opportunities simply don’t exist. It really is amazing how much of an impact employment can have on an individual’s life as well as on her community! 

A little bit like Matt and Nat but they use leather so not vegan sorry!

21. Future Glory

If you are looking for something signiture... ook no further! Stunning design and a price tag to match this would be one of my favourites however I find their political affiliations EXTREAMLY dissapointing.

22. Stone and Cloth

Ethical backpacks.

23. Everlane

Popular ut expensive thical brand a little bit like matt and nat. They  do also do some sweet plain canvas backpacks for those hikers our there. 

24. Nisolo

Ethically made leather totes fairly traded. They have no middle men in their supply chain to keep costs low.

25. Freedom of animals 

Organic cotton and vegetable dyes!
26. Angela roi

Very popular ethical brand that make vegan bags. They are expensive and have to be shipped in from the USA with quite high shipping costs. 

27. Cuyana

Each piece is made with integrity and kindness from the highest-quality materials, and created by skilled craftsmen throughout Europe, South America, China, and the United States. Best for expensive totes.

28. Raven and Lily

fair trade fashion brand specializing in uniquely beautiful leather bags and jewelry. purchase of a Raven + Lily product helps fund microloans to female entrepreneurs in our partnership communities.

29. Elvis and Kress

Since 2005 Elvis & Kresse have been rescuing raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories and donating 50% of profits back to charities. Interesting designs.

30. Fashion Conscience

Selling lots of different ethical brands many vegan options and price options!

31. Eco Chic

Good school backpacks, made in a low waste environment from recycled materials. 

32. Isabella Queen

Stunning design with an expensive price tag! Stunning bags made in Britain and using material from Europe. One of the best in my humble opinion in terms of style. Not vegan as they are made of Italian leather.. I cant find much on how the leather is treated though..

What is sustainable timber?

Sustainable timber is timber that comes from sustainably managed forests. This means that the forests are typically managed by stewards who monitor how much wood is taken and oversee reforestation projects.  The overall aim is to limit or slow the current rate of deforestation. While also combating soil erosion and stopping illegal logging, while supporting sustainable development.

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”, Bruntland Report.

Managing forests in this way is extremely important not only for clean air and habitats for animals but for soil health and preventing environmental disasters like flooding. Forests are also a source of food and fuel for many indigenous populations.

Where a forest is not managed, it can leave the door open for a multitude of issues. These can range from local problems like flooding, environmental degradation and food and water shortages to large-scale problems.

Large-scale issues can range from socio-economic issues like funding corruption to large-scale environmental issues like desertification. Desertification is one of the biggest
environmental challenges worldwide as it results in a decrease of viable agricultural land.

One of the best ways that we can make a difference is to look for FSC or PEFC certifications on wood products. Paper, furniture and packaging are all brilliant places to start! Also sharing information on timber and desertification so people know of the problems; we often here of campaigns to save orangutans etc. but we cant protect these creatures without protecting the forests they live in.