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What To Buy A Girl For Her Birthday: The Ethical Edit

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about what I want for my birthday – 9th of April – whoop whoop! Of course, the only things I would like are those that are traceable, ethical and green, but that’s difficult for my family and friends who are buying for me to know exactly what I want. So I thought I’d put it all here for ease. Here is my 2019 birthday wish list – I hope there are some gift ideas on here for you too!

Something pretty…

Handcrafted Jewellery

Crystal Star and Moonstone Dangly Earrings from Arborea Jewellery

£22.00

These moonstone earrings are handmade by conservationist Christy in Devon. On her website she explains: “The birthstone for April is diamond or clear quartz… Clear quartz is said to bring strength and clarity to the intellect, aiding concentration and memory retention, and filtering out distractions”.

Drop Tassel Earrings from YGN Collective

£15.00

These earrings from YGN Collective are handmade in Yangon, Myanmar “by women who are supported through social enterprise, which provides stable regular income and free training”. There are a couple more cool styles here:

Long Tassel Earrings

£20.00

Tiered Tassel Earrings

£20.00

You can shop more on their website.

Geometric ring AQUA by Jewellery by Juna

£58.00

Have you ever wondered whether you’d ever be able to find an ethical version of the earthy, esoteric jewellery that you see sold by the likes of Urban Outfitters? Well, here it is! Jewellery by Juna is one of my all-time favourite jewellery brands who use recycled silver and gold in their collections and only source gems from like-minded suppliers, such as RubyFair, Nineteen48, Ward Gemstones & Kernowcraft. All of their packaging is also recycled and sustainable. I love this brand! Some of my favourites:

Opal stacker ASO- Silver stacking ring with opals

£49.00

Earrings ‘Day and night’ with gems

£38.00

Something useful…

Handwoven Bags

BASKET IN REVERSE BLUE STRIPE

In Medium – £40.00

The only bag I want is this one – handwoven near Mandalay, Myanmar, by families supported through social enterprise via YGN Collective. Or this one:

ORIGINAL BASKET IN GREY & WHITE

In Medium – £40.00

Sustainable Shoes

Sable Rose – 95 euros 

Momoc Shoes

A luxury yet sustainable shoe start-up, Momoc Shoes are based in Spain and these are their vegan sandals. They source naturally-occurring or recycled materials local to them in Spain in order to cut out air miles. Go Momoc Shoes! A couple more styles I like:

Sable Bleu – 95 euros 

Sable Noir – 95 euros

La Mouette Burgundy – 130 euros

Shop more here. 

VEJA X MADEWELL PEONIES WHITE

125,00 €

These peonie-covered ethical trainers by Veja are crafted from a combination of wild rubber from the Amazon Rainforest, organic cotton from north-east Brazil, vegetable tanned leather (although they do some without leather too), and B-mesh – the fabric Veja created for themselves out of recycled plastic bottles.

A couple more styles I like:

V-10 EXTRA WHITE PETALE DRIED PETAL

125,00 €

V-12 YUCCA

125,00 €

V-10 VEJA X MADEWELL WHITE GLITTER

140,00 €

V-12 WHITE NATURAL

125,00 €

And finally: Swedish Hasbeens.

Elsie Yellow 

$239.00

Gittan Silver

$209.00

Birgit Nature

$209.00

All clogs are made the traditional Swedish way, in small factories that have been making shoes for decades. The leather used is natural grain leather, a way of minimally treating leather that is kinder to the environment and makes each item unique. You can shop the full collection here.

Something to make us feel good…

Ethical Fashion

Rebecca Floral Shorts and Melissa Linen Shirt

£24.00 and £45.00 respectively

I would wear anything and everything from Ararose Clothing – they care deeply about every person at each stage of the production process, from factory workers to models. They work with a small scale factory in Bangladesh, which is committed to providing for and empowering their employees with “fair wages, fair working hours, opportunities for bonuses, family care and a high standard working environment”.

Organic Society T-shirt

£32.00

This brand are also all about empowering women to be their natural, beautiful selves, particularly online where social media has taken its toll on people’s perception of beauty. Shop more here.

Juliet Floral Shorts – £18.00

Some high-waisted jeans from Armed Angels. I love these ‘mom’ style ones:

MAIRAA
Mom Fit High Waist – €99.90

Or these by ethical jean brand Monkee Genes:

Light Grey Eco Wash Jane High Waisted Super Skinny Organic Jeans

£50.00

I’m a size 29 waist, 30 leg 😉

White Jersey & Poplin Frill Bardot Top

£6.60

Any of these pieces from sustainable clothing brand Nobody’s Child Sale! Size 12-14 😉

Black Dora Daisy Front Button Through Dress

£14.00

Pink Sequin Mini Skirt

£9.00

Black Faux Shearling Bomber

£30.00

This Himalayan fair trade blanket scarf from Like Mary:

Kai Merino Handwoven Shawl and Oversize Scarf Limited Edition – £25.00

Recycled Polyester Bikinis

STINA BIKINI BRA BLACK

DKK 300.00

Bikinissss!!! I’m going to Sardinia soon, whoop whoop! These ones are from Under Protection. Something tells me I’m going to need underwired and these ones aren’t, but they are still beautiful! Crafted with recycled polyester, these are the ethical versions of swimwear we’ve all been waiting for!

VANESSA BIKINI BRA BROWN

DKK 225.00 

ALEXIA BIKINI BRA BLACK

DKK 300.00

STINA BIKINI BRA ORANGE

DKK 300.00

ALEXIA BIKINI BRA CREME

DKK 300.00

Recycled Tights / Stockings

EBBA POM-POM SOCKS DUSTY ROSE

€29,00

Swedish Stockings are alllways on my wish list! They make stockings by recycling old ones, creating the first closed loop production cycle for tights!

ELVIRA NET SOCKS BLACK

€12,00

FRIDA LACE TIGHTS BLACK

€27,00

KLARA KNIT SOCKS IVORY

€14,50

Something magical…

Hand-painted Tarot Cards

These hand-painted tarot cards are so precious. By artist Jamie Richardson of online store Ember & Aura, these beautiful cards have been painted by hand in watercolours “created with the highest care and intentions”.

$55.00 for the pack and guidebook 

That’s all for now!

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10. Titbits To Brighten Your Monday, Vol. 7!

1, Vintage Floral Perfume Ads

Find via Pinterest.

2, Urban Gardens, Paris

According to a new law, Parisians are being actively encouraged to build urban gardens, but without the use of pesticides: “This is part of mayor Anne Hidalgo’s plan to add 100 hectares of green space to the city by 2020”.

Found on BoredPanda.com.

3, A Belle Epoque Inspired Wedding Dress

Found via Joanne Fleming Design.

4, The Man Who Stopped The Desert

Found via YouTube.

5, Flower Tattoos

And for anyone looking to do their own floral tattoo:

Found via Cultura Collectiva.

6, Elderly Couples Having Fun

7, This Great News from Hobart in Australia

Read the full article here.

8, The Tahla Quilt by Anthropologie

Buy it here.

9, These Quotes On Becoming

10, Rita Levi-Montalcini

“If I had never been discriminated against, I would never have received the Nobel Prize”. “Rita Levi-Montalcini, OMRI, OMCA, was an Italian Nobel laureate, honored for her work in Neurobiology. She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor. From 2001 until her death, she also served in the Italian Senate as a Senator for Life. This honor was given due to her significant scientific contributions”.

Found via Words of Women.

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Live Action from London Fashion Week: THE Eco-Luxury Catwalk Show To Grab Front Row Seats

My feet were aching in my high heels and I was feeling a little giddy from the third fourth glass of champagne I’d tippled earlier that afternoon as I sat at the gilded tables of Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill and waited for the show to start… but I was about to forget all of that.

Upstairs, the models were getting ready in a hush of excitement behind their elaborate mirrored wall and I was reminded of the children’s novel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, where the characters find an otherworldly wonderland waiting for them on the other side of the door…

As the lights dimmed, I sat forward eagerly in my seat and bathed in the strains of eerily beautiful Celtic music that began to pour from the speakers. I kept my attention on the mirrors and waited, trying not to get distracted – this is Ethical Girl London’s first fashion show after all – and I wanted to capture every moment of it. Aha! Here they are…

Jeff Garner – the man behind the splendor and the genius behind sustainable fashion brand Prophetik – had been inspired by historic regal figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots, for this – his 2019 catwalk show. Using traditional Scottish weaving techniques, he crafted his gowns and gentleman’s couture from plant-based textiles and dyes:

“Prophetik’s mission is to enlighten consumers as to the harmful effects of synthetic fabrics and petro-chemical dyes in everyday garments and to provide a beautiful solution and a purposed vision of awareness”.

The effect was magical – a storm of rich reds, gleaming creams and azure blues mixed with 16th-century charm.

Intricate brocades, tartan and gleaming jewels studded Prophetik’s pieces and Jeff Garner’s choice of models gave a modern twist to the collection. The weaving and textile mills Garner collaborated with are some of the oldest companies in the world for these types of textiles: craft lace from MYB Textiles in Ayreshire (since 1900), Kirkcaldy Linens (since 1825), Knockando Woollen Mill in Spey Valley (since 1790!), and Locharron of Scotland (since 1892), which is the world’s leading manufacturer of Scottish tartan.

Headpieces laced with gold and stunning necklaces adorned the ladies…

…whilst gentlemen in diamond-woven waistcoats and brocaded jackets graced the runway.

A flash of neckline, a low-cut back, a ruff at the throat – these were the tantalising parades on display as the gowns flowed past.

And here they all are together:

I apologise for the somewhat shaky nature of this video – I’m still getting the hang of this! If you would like a little snippet of Jeff Garner’s sustainable dying techniques, here is a video of him mixing up his potions in his kitchen at home! Enjoy.

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11. Affordable Ethical Fashion Brands You’re Going To Love

Polka Open Back Maxi Wrap Dress – £20.00 by Likemary

So here’s the thing about ethical fashion – I love it, but I can never afford to buy BLOODY. ANY OF IT. Unless there’s a sale, and even then it’s stretching it right to the top of my price range. SO what to do for those of us out there who think we can’t afford to buy ethical? Well, we write a list – a list of all the fashion that is out there and is affordable but is made with morals in mind. Welcome to 10. Affordable Ethical Fashion Brands That You’re Going To Love…

1, Likemary

Kai Merino Handwoven Shawl and Oversize Scarf Limited Edition – £25.00

Likemary are my personal favourite go-to for affordable ethical shopping. I own so many dresses from these guys I’ve kind of lost count! Likemary are “driven by our love for fairly traded, beautiful and natural fabrics with a story to tell. We respect our suppliers, listen to our customers and believe in exceptional customer service.” Their blanket scarves, such as the one in the picture above, are still handwoven using traditional weaving techniques and all knitted items are handmade and fairly traded by women in the Himalayas. Their dresses and many other designs are also crafted from excess fabric – saving it from landfill and giving it a new lease of life! Go Likemary! Read more about their story here.

Shop the full collection!

2, Dedicated

Shirt Fredericia Clouds – £39.98

Dedicated is an independent fashion brand who work closely with their partners to provide safe, clean and fair working conditions for everyone involved in the production process. They work solely with Fairtrade standards and only use organic cotton in order to mitigate the social and environmental damage that the fashion industry is so often associated with. Scroll down to learn more about their partners here. Their quirky off-beat style had me from the get-go and they also do Menswear.

Sweater Arendal Palms – £39.98

Sweatshirt Ystad Dirty Dancing Logo Heather Rose – £27.48

T-shirt Visby Dogue – £14.98

3, Thought Clothing

Primervera Floral Fit & Flare Dress – £29.00

Thought Clothing are arguably one of the most conscientious ethical fashion brands on the market for both womens and menswear. Their in-house design team in London craft clothing to last – from classic silhouettes to the type of material they use, Thought believe in slow fashion opposed to a constant churning out of new styles. From bamboo, organic cotton, recycled polyester, rayon (recycled tree pulp), wool and hemp, Thought lovingly weave their beautiful designs. They also have the most incredible bamboo sock collection I have ever seen. The dress above reminds me of my childhood! ↑ Read more about their choice of material and slow fashion values here.

Linna Stripe Batwing Top With Contrast Cover Stitch – £17.00

Manami Panelled Printed Dress With Lace Detail – £35.00

Meadow Tencel Printed Shirt Dress – £29.00

4, People Tree

Madison Dot Dress – £79.00

From the moment I received my signed copy of Safia Minney’s Naked Fashion, I was hooked on People Tree. This iconic company has gone from strength to strength since its founding in 1991. They are one of the only affordable ethical fashion brands I know of to have been awarded the Soil Association certification for ‘the first integrated organic supply chain in fashion’ and the World Fair Trade Organisation’s Fair Trade product mark. People Tree use ‘closed-loop’ fabrics, such as Lenzing certified TENCEL – a sustainable material that turns wood pulp into cellulosic fibres – and Global Organic Textile Standards certified organic cotton. As well as this, this brand is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the people who make our clothes. They have worked with small groups of people in Bangladesh and Nepal for over 15 years who are skilled artisans making clothes with handwoven fabrics, hand embroidery, hand dyeing techniques and hand knitting. What all this means is guaranteed transparency at all stages of the supply chain. AND the clothes are to dye for (excuse the pun!). Take a look…

Shelli Floral Dress – £45.00

Hera Boho Dress – £55.00

Ginny Stripe Shirt Dress – £80.00

Tessa Tunic Dress – £75.00

Shop the full collection here!

5, Nobody’s Child

Black Snakeskin Puff Sleeve Mini Dress – £8.40

Even by my standards, Nobody’s Child is cheap. Its catchy, eclectic style and amazing prices have me wondering – can this be ethical fashion? But Nobody’s Child assures us on their About page that they do care about tackling throwaway fashion and that they are committed to providing safe and fair working conditions and wages – their designs are made from what is called ‘deadstock’ or excess fabric from other companies and factories, which they re-use and re-craft to save it from landfill and tackle fashion industry wastage. Going one step further, they also donate any fabric that they don’t use to fashion colleges – “because why would we waste a good thing?” I like the sound of that.

Gingham Wrap Top – £28.00 

Blue Frankie Check Double Breasted Check Blazer – £15.00

Cowl Neck Black Strappy Dress – £8.40

Green Ginny Spot Peplum Hem Top – £7.50

Mustard Sonia Floral Ruffle Wrap Dress – £9.50

 

6, ARMEDANGELS

RAANDI MULTI STRIPES
Top and skirt made of Organic Cotton

I have this really awkward moment whenever I visit the ARMEDANGELS site where I realise I’ve bookmarked almost everything that I’ve seen thus far – I just love so many of their pieces! These guys gravitate towards the very top of my price range but the quality and style is worth it. They believe in slow fashion rather than a throwaway culture, are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, and only use sustainable materials to craft their designs, such as organic cotton, organic linen, organic wool, recycled polyester and new eco-friendly fabrics Lenzing Modal® and Tencel®. ARMEDANGELS also care deeply about the conditions and pay of the people who make their clothes – ‘no matter if they are a cotton farmer in India [or] a sewer in Turkey’ – so they work hand-in-hand with the Fair Wear Foundation and Fairtrade. These are both organisations who working to redress the imbalance for workers and producers in the fashion industry. You can read more about their philosophy here. Their denim range is also really worth a look and they cater for both womenswear and menswear.

INGAA SEAMLINE
High Waist Denim – €109.90

INGAA
Skinny Fit High Waist – €99.90

MAIRAA
Mom Fit High Waist – €109.90

 

7, Lucy & Yak

‘Rainbowz’ Limited Edition Striped Dungarees – £58.00

The first time I stumbled across Lucy & Yak I initially fell in love with their beautiful, fun and quirky dungarees, of which they make many styles, such as the one above ↑. However, I then read their About us page and quickly fell even more in love.

These guys travelled to China, India and Thailand to find the perfect small business to help craft their designs, going in search specifically for someone who shared their ethos – fair pay and comfortable working conditions.

‘Gigi’ Organic limited edition pastel stripe dungarees – £32.00

They found this special someone in India – Ismail from Rajasthan. Every single person involved in the production process of Lucy & Yak earns the Living Wage or above, as appropriate to their country. As Lucy & Yak say themselves: “It’s so important that all of our staff are treated with respect, no matter how big or small their role is. Whatever country they are in, they will always be looked after.”

‘The Mini Pini’ Corduroy Dress in Oxford Blue – £18.00

They have just built a new, larger factory in India -“clean, bright, and with air-conditioning for those 45 degree summers”. It also has solar panels fitted on the roof so soon the factory will be running off 100% renewable energy – go Lucy & Yak!

‘Harper’ Long Cotton Shirt Dress in Rust – £35.00

Their designs come delivered to you in a 100% recycled bag and 100% biodegradable packaging, which includes ‘Thank You’ cards and returns slips made from recycled card.

‘Frankie’ Oversized Organic Boilersuit in Lemon – £40.00

Oh, and did I mention their dungarees are made from organic cotton? Even better.

Shop more here! 

8, Warp + Weft

MXP PLUS – HIGH RISE JEAN

Two things really struck me about WARP + WEFT

  1. Their commitment to minimising the environmental impact of denim production
  2. Their inclusivity – this brand stocks jeans right from Petite and Size 00 through to Size 24

MXP – HIGH RISE JEAN

As their About page tells us, a normal pair of jeans takes 1,500 gallons of water to produce, whereas a WARP + WEFT pair takes only 10. They also recycle and treat 98% of the water they use and are committed to “fair wages, reasonable hours and positive working conditions”. Wherever possible, Liquid Indigo from Dystar Germany is used to dye the jeans – “the cleanest and most eco-friendly of all indigo dyes”.

With Kids, Mens and Womens jeans all averaging out under $100, I’d say this is guilt-free shopping without the hefty price tag.

Shop both ranges here. 

9, Ararose

Amélie Wrap Around Skirt – £16.00

Ararose are an inspiration to the fashion world. Not only are they committed to slow fashion – creating timeless pieces rather than wasted collections – they also care deeply about every person at each stage of the production process, from factory workers to models. They work with a small scale factory in Bangladesh, which is committed to providing for and empowering their employees with “fair wages, fair working hours, opportunities for bonuses, family care and a high standard working environment”.

Isabel Lace Shorts – £10.00

One of the ways they reduce wastage is via their Conscious Outlet, which sees clothes discounted with small flaws or those that have previously been used on a shoot that are still perfectly wearable.

Leah Floral Playsuit – £12.50 

Ararose are also all about empowering women to be their natural, beautiful selves, particularly online where social media has taken its toll on people’s perception of beauty and of themselves. One of the ways Ararose does this is by creating an online community of empowered women – their models – who each have stories and messages to share with other women via interviews with Ararose here.

Rebecca Shorts – £12.00 

This is a brand that truly cares with affordable, beautiful clothes. Shop more here.

Organic Society T-shirt – £32.00

Ararose Canvas Bag – £9.00 

Divine Feminine T Shirt – £27.00

10, Beyond Retro LABEL 

LABEL CILLA ZIP SKIRT

£5.95

Beyond Retro LABEL is the sister brand of vintage clothing giant Beyond Retro. They are on a serious mission to reduce the number of clothes that end up in landfill every year. Beyond Retro LABEL sees clothes that don’t make the cut to be sold in Beyond Retro stores in London and Sweden being turned into new fashion items and given a new lease of life. LABEL’s candid About page, which is really worth a read to do the Factory Tour as well, tells us that only 1 in every 1,000 vintage pieces end up on the shop shelves. Beyond Retro LABEL is ‘their answer to the other 999’.

These new pieces are lovingly crafted from reclaimed materials in Beyond Retro’s very own factory located in western India, where much of the world’s vintage clothing comes to be sorted.

They have 85 full-time employees, who are paid fair wages, work normal working hours and in comfortable, clean working conditions that are well-maintained. The factory was intended to be ‘a more meaningful investment in the local community’.

LABEL also operates a ‘closed loop’ policy – this means that “we can return any fabric that doesn’t pass the prototype phase, and all scraps are recycled back through the facility to be cut or shredded for use as industrial rags, fillers and more.” Money (usually pennies) found in the pockets of their clothes that arrive at the facility are stamped with the Beyond Retro anchor and used to decorate the re-crafted clothes. Pretty cool, huh?

LABEL’s pieces fall comfortably into the affordable range if you’re a shopper on a budget, particularly their Sale pieces which are all under £10! Shop Menswear and the full collection here!

11, Monkee Genes

Light Grey Eco Wash Jane High Waisted Super Skinny Organic Jeans – £50.00

Monkee Genes are probably my answer to affordable ethically made jeans. These guys have been on my radar from the very beginning and I already own a pair by them. These jeans are made with only GOTS certified Organic Cotton, meaning that the pollutants and harmful toxins that are used in non-organic cotton are cut out of the process. This means less environmental damage and also saves up to 46% in CO2 emissions. Monkee Genes also work closely with their factories to ensure safe working conditions and fair wages. When the brand launched back in 2006, founder Phil Wildbore wanted to create something that was fashionable whilst supporting sustainability – and Monkee Genes was born!

Mid Blue Eco Wash Jane High Waisted Super Skinny Organic Jeans – £50.00

As a child I always had a fascination with evolution and a yearning for mankind to recognise its humble beginnings. Monkee Genes celebrates where we came from, and is committed to respecting this planet we share. Our name pays tribute to our jeans that have evolved organically, consciously made to fit the natural rhythm of life. During my travels, one of our factories shared their ethos of ‘Respect for Individual’, which went on to become our brand mantra for values we have always had – respecting individuals, regardless of faith, race or creed.

Phil Wildbore, Owner and designer of Monkee Genes 

Above: Sudarmi works on the sewing line in our factory and is an important part of creating Monkee Genes.

Monkee Genes’ new ‘Eco Wash’ collection uses GOTS Certified Cotton – this is cotton grown without the use of harmful pesticides – and is produced using 80% less water. Considering that one pair of jeans takes up to 7,600 litres of water in the production process, I’d say that’s a pretty big saving! And they come in high-waisted too which is perfect for my high hips!

Light Blue Eco Wash Jane High Waisted Super Skinny Organic Jeans – £50.00

To shop the full collection, please click here.

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The Mindfully Stylish London Good Hotel Guide

Top 14. Hotels in London for Sustainability, Secret Gardens & Olde Englishe Charm

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‘Magic’ London: Ideas for An Esoteric Reawakening This Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and I’ve been doing a little research into some of the events and shops around London bespeaking of ancient belief, witchcraft and paganism to get you in the mood. First off, I discovered a new series on YouTube called ‘Pagan London’, which explores some of the oldest sacred sites and worship rituals hidden in the capital’s past. It’s fascinating and has given me loads of ideas of places I can visit myself, such as Shepperton Henge (3600-2300 BC!) – the capital’s very own Stone Henge dating to over 500 years older than it’s Glastonbury cousin – as well as the most famous pagan temple in London, the London Mithraeum, which I had no idea existed!

Here are a couple of episodes of this new series below:

I have also been following the wonderful workings of A Curious Invitation and London Month of the Dead, where you can find up to date information on events that go on beneath the city’s crust to discuss and celebrate some of the stranger workings in London’s history.

I highly recommend a visit to The Last Tuesday Society to marvel at this museum of dusty yet decadent wonders… with a scorpion (cock)tail on the side to match! I wrote about it here.

Finally, if you’d like to wander the glittering aisles of London’s bookstores as purveyors of magical goods yourselves or attend a reading, talk or event, you can find help at:

Treadwell’s Bookshop 

The Astrology Shop

Atlantis

Stepping Stones of Greenwich

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5. Ingenious Uses for Plastic Waste Which Benefit Us & Don’t Harm the Environment

plastic-bottles

Building work, comfort for the homeless, and even 5,000 kilometres of road made from re-purposed plastic waste – these are the solutions that some of the most inspirational communities around the world have come up with to combat not only plastic pollution and wastefulness, but also a variety of social issues that some are faced with. We could all learn from them!

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5. Times The Kardashians Supported Ethical Fashion, Beauty & Wellbeing

It is not often that I delve into the reality TV show grittiness of evaluating exactly what kind of impact certain stars make on society, and the Kardashians I have to say, in terms of ethical fashion or spearheading positive environmental awareness, have not cropped up that regularly in my line of work.

However, you would have to live under a rock and be totally cut off from all forms of social media in order to get away with not knowing who the Kardashian and Jenner clan is – my Nana for instance is one such example of this innocence, spurning as she does anything to do with computers, Facebook, and other modern day contraptions. So – I was intrigued when I came across a couple of articles on Eluxe and Veg News posing the tentative question – could Kim Kardashian actually help rather than hinder ethical fashion? Her track record, as well as several others from the Kardashian/Jenner family, has admittedly not been great having been photographed wearing very real fur on several occasions.

However, then came the article entitled ‘Vegan Fur is Kim Kardashian’s New Thing’, and it got me to thinking – with their multi-million fan following all over the world, one tweet or Instagram post from this famous family incenses a buying and copying frenzy that could enormously help and highlight areas of the fashion, beauty or health industries who put fair wages, transparency in production and environmental ethics first. I did a bit of digging into what evidence there is so far that the Kardashians might be in this way inclined…

1, Kylie Jenner’s Vegan & Cruelty-Free Lip Kits

Earlier this year, 21-year old Kylie Jenner’s new range of lip kits sold out in under 20 minutes and she is set to become the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

A statement clearly posted on the Kylie Cosmetics website reads: “Kylie Cosmetics products are not tested on animals, and all shades of The Kylie Lip Kit (excluding Candy K) are vegan.”

Kylie’s love of animals has motivated these ethics, and at least one media voice has argued that this has served to increase their popularity. In a world where cruelty-free make-up is possible and popular, it is still baffling to me that not more make-up can be termed thus. It would be good if Kylie Cosmetics adopted an even more holistic approach to marketing their make-up and perhaps used organic and naturally-derived ingredients in production, following in the footsteps of ethical make-up companies such as INIKA Organic and PHB Ethical Beauty.

Kylie Jenner with her dogs

2, Vegan Fur is Kim Kardashian’s ‘New Thing’

This is the Instagram post that set the internet ablaze – Kim Kardashian sporting a faux fur coat on her way to watch her idol Cher perform in Las Vegas, where she recreated the same look Cher once wore to a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1974. The coat was a gift from Givenchy’s communications director Youssef Marquis and came with the note: “My sweet Kim. A little treat for the summer … or the winter. Love ya! PS: It’s all fake.” Kim shared this and the coat to her 114 million followers.

Whether this commitment to faux fur will last remains to be seen, but Kim has already taken criticism for being seen in numerous fur pieces throughout her starlit career, including one such occasion when PETA campaign model and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson sent a handwritten note to the star requesting that she use her influence against real fur rather than for it. According to VegNews, Pamela said of Kim: “Kim has a great heart,” Anderson said, “and I know she is a great influencer. She has millions of followers around the world.” Here’s hoping that this craze sticks!

Khloe Kardashian’s US-made jeans

Khloe Kardashian’s denim line GOOD AMERICAN launched in 2016 with $1 million turnover on its first sale day. One of the most heartening and surprising aspects of this jeans brand is that A) almost all products are assembled in Los Angeles and B) each item sold donates a profit to Step Up – the charity that “helps girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential”.

Of course, ‘assembled in’ LA doesn’t mean the same as ‘made in’, and it would be even more preferable for each of the components involved in the assembly of each item to be made in the USA (rather than being imported from abroad, as the The Alliance for American Manufacturing found they are currently).

Khloe Kardashian’s US denim brand initially aligned itself firmly with certain manufacturing values, with an early article reporting the following from the GOOD AMERICAN About page: “Made in Los Angeles… GOOD AMERICAN is dedicated to having a positive impact on the community. Pledging to sustain the manufacturing of jeans in the United States and supporting charities that empower girls to realize their true potential.” However, when I last looked, I couldn’t see this manufacturing pledge on their website… 

The pledge to donate a percentage of each sale to Step Up however is still loud and clear. Step Up empowers girls from less privileged backgrounds through the use of mentoring, after-school programs and awards to achieve their full potential, and GOOD AMERICAN’s support will be strongly felt by many in their scheme. I believe this is a step in the right direction for all Kardashian / Jenner enterprises.

4, Kendall Jenner’s Apology at Pepsi Ad blunder

Back in April 2017, a commercial appeared featuring 21-year old Kendall Jenner by soft drink giant Pepsi. It took the internet by storm – and unfortunately not in the way Kendall or Pepsi intended. Shortly after the commercial was aired internationally, the whole thing was pulled due to a massive backlash from people all over the world, who held it and the company to account for its apparent trivialization of protest movements and the message behind the campaign Black Lives Matter, since it implied that complex social issues and movement dynamics between protestors and police officers could be solved by enjoying a can of Pepsi together. The full ad is above, and below is a blow-by-blow breakdown of exactly why it wound so many people up.

Following the outrage it caused among viewers, Pepsi pulled the ad and sent out the following message:

Kendall Jenner remained comparatively very quiet about the whole thing, until her reaction to the backlash was aired on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Season 14, when she said: “I would never purposefully hurt someone, ever… I just felt so stupid, the fact that I would offend other people or hurt other people was definitely not the intent… I genuinely feel like sh**, and I have no idea how I’m going to bounce back from it”. Her sisters showed their support for Kendall in this same episode, saying that such criticism affected her the most out of all of them because she is renowned for thinking and caring deeply about the impact her modelling work has on supporters.

However, although this tearful episode is clearly heartfelt on Kendall’s part, a number of viewers noticed that she kind of apologised but didn’t really apologise, as this Twitter-er rightly pointed out:

I think this is a case of someone who is still young being caught up in what they think is a positive overall message of unity and peace that will appeal to viewers rather than thinking a little more deeply about the overt and in some cases offensive political messages that such a commercial would send out. Even if this was the case, a genuine apology from Kendall would, I think, have been the more ethical way of going about this backlash, and would have sat more comfortably with her fans.

5, Kourtney Kardashian’s Organic & Vegan Eating Habits 

Of all the Kardashians/Jenners, Kourtney is the one who is the most outspoken and rigorous about her diet and her children’s. She insists on buying only organic when she can from the supermarket, and says that she maintains a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle. Having read a couple of articles written by Kourtney herself on her website, it is clear that she is passionate about her diet choices and the effects these have on her physical and mental health. However, Kourtney’s eating habits on the show Keeping Up With The Kardashians have been scrutinised and found wanting by food sensitivity and vegan websites such as Superfoodly, who point to the fact that many of the products Kourtney is shown indulging in are neither gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan. Veganism is a label that Kourtney seems to toy with throughout the show, and it seems to be offending real steadfast vegans, who recognise that Kourtney is aligning herself with those that see veganism as a food ‘fad’ rather than staying true to its values. As one Superfoodly writer points out, “She makes dietary choices based on buzzwords, without apparently ever really digging into the science (or lack thereof) behind them…She will insist on buying only organic at the grocery store and highlighting the veganism of items in episode 3, but episodes/scenes before and after she’s chowing down on dairy and other things which clearly are not vegan… She gives the real vegans a bad rap.”

Although I would never critique someone for trying to eat healthier, I do understand this writer’s perspective. For those who genuinely commit to a life of full veganism, it can feel like a mockery is being made of the values behind it when superstars such as Kourtney toy with the idea and use it in conversation and lifestyle choices when it suits them to do so.

Summary

Of course, the second question that I am left considering having looked into the fashion, beauty and lifestyle choices of these five Kardashian and Jenner family members is not only what they are currently doing, but also ‘is it enough?’ Taking into account their huge platform on social media and ability as influencers of fashion, buying behaviours and role models for well-being traits all around the world, it strikes me that the Kardashian/Jenner family could definitely be doing more, as well as aligning themselves with movements that they both commit to and believe in. Khloe Kardashian’s USA-assembled and charity-supportive denim brand Good American is one large step in the right direction. Transparency in production practices as well as highlighting and supporting charitable causes are two business traits that are becoming increasingly important as an antidote to the world of unethical, unaccountable and ‘fast’ fashion. It is my hope that this could be used as a model for all future Kardashian/Jenner ventures.

In Love&Light FS XOX

 

Yes 5

The Sketches That Encourage More Self-Love In An Hour Than Punishment Does In A Lifetime

I found some sketches by the artist and sculptor Charlie Mackesy. I think they speak for themselves.

You can find more of Charlie Mackesy’s stunning and incredibly moving work over on his website and Instagram page @charliemackesy.

In Love&Light, FS XOX

tonic

Are These The Strangest Advertising Campaigns Ever Made?

I really feel that this should go under the heading “UNethical Girl London”, but as I don’t have one of those yet it’s going here instead. This is how not to advertise – with blatant misuses of ‘facts’, science and data, plus some things that were clearly either dangerous or complete lies. Welcome to the bizarre world of the strangest advertising campaigns ever made.

They had some interesting ideas about cigarettes…

And about what constituted a ‘nice’ Christmas present…

I’ll tell you one thing – if someone gave me a packet of cigarettes, a pair of scales and a gun for Christmas I would really get the message of how much they liked me.

This was at a time when Coca-Cola (with its synthetic additives and crazily high sugar content…) was considered good for you and your children:

And laxatives were to be taken like sweets on a daily basis,

And even as a cure for depression:

Chemicals that are now banned and knowingly dangerous were used in day-to-day life, personal care and cleaning products…

There was also that belief that makes your skin crawl today that homosexuality could be ‘cured’:

And all types of sex drive could be modified chemically with medication, electric devices or holistic ‘massages’. One wonders how little people prescribing these ‘tonics’ really knew about or even believed in their efficacy:

The adverts for those prescribing ‘lower body massages’ are just hilarious – no wonder they made women feel better!

There also seems to be some confusion around what was considered a ‘fun game’,

And around parenthood/adult life in general:

I can’t say these are the most optimistic outlooks on marriage…

Feminism wasn’t exactly encouraged…

And what appeared at first glance to be encouraging healthy attitudes towards body weight, in fact, was just feeding the same insecurities, inequalities and delusions about self-image that have always been advertised to women in order to make them conform to the patriarchy’s ‘ideal’ body type for their age:

Don’t be too fat!

Don’t be too thin!

How boring.

After reading all of this, it’s a wonder any of us are here at all! Thank you to those of my relatives who didn’t listen to these ridiculous adverts, or if they did – lived to tell the tale!

In Love&Light.. FS XOX

sockboot_01_SOL_w_1080x

Top 17. Vegan-Friendly & Ethical Shoe Brands With Eco-friendly Souls 

RAFA Sock Boot in SOL – $400.00

You know that song lyric by Paul Simon? “She Got… Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes”. Well, that’s what got this whole post started. I was humming along and it dawned on me that eco-friendly shoes is one topic I haven’t delved into yet. So off I went and here we are. But I’ll come clean – these shoes don’t actually have diamonds on the soles. If they did they would be conflict-free diamonds of course. And they might as well have to be honest because these beautiful designs are vegan-friendly and ethically-made gold dust for conscious shoe addicts. Let’s explore.

1,RAFA Shoes

RAFA is our first stop on this trail and their website and intentions are concise. RAFA Creative Director Taghrid Chaaban Zorob states that their aim is to use the local craftsmanship of just 20 shoe-makers in Los Angeles, combined with high-quality eco-friendly fabrics and sustainable processes, “to create a collection of accessible, luxury footwear”.

RAFA Shoes are:

  • Crafted from vegan fabrics, such as faux-suede and velvet
  • Handmade in small batches
  • Slow fashion advocates
  • Transparent about delivery: their shoes have a much longer lead time compared to other fast fashion shoe sites because of the care that goes into them
  • Intent on making “special items that are good for people and good for the earth”

Also available in:

Conch (pink)

Sloe/Ruby (black/red)

Heliotrope (purple)

2,Bourgeois Boheme