99% of the year I use make-up that is the palest shade. However sometimes, on those very odd occasions when my skin meets sunshine, I need something a little darker. But because it’s only a… More
Unfortunately our Lionesses were knocked out last night in the Euro semi-finals by the Netherlands. But regardless of that ‘failure’, they still reached their second semi-final in three years. They should be proud of this. We all should be.
“If the men’s team were doing this well, they’d have changed the name of our currency to Raheem Sterling.”
But our country should also be ashamed. Ashamed of the state football is in today, the inequality and the large sum of unsustainable money in the game.
Over a hundred years ago we invented the glorious game, but in 1921 the FA banned football for women. A couple of weeks back Clare Balding hosted a great programme on Channel 4 – ‘When Football Banned Women’ . If you’re into football and or a feminist, get it watched.
During and after WWI women’s football was very popular but then all of a sudden they were banned from playing the sport for a whole 50 years because fuddy duddy men in the FA did not want women getting paid for playing football. Outrageous!
As much as women’s football is now legal, the game is still far from being equal. Just this week Neymar was sold to PSG for a record breaking £200mil, he’ll be earning £782k a week! Compare this to the highest paid female footballer, Steph Houghton who earns roughly £60k a year… again… outrageous!
In Clare’s documentary she visited a girl’s team, when asked who their heroes and heroines were they replied Stevie G, Jagielka, Joe Hart etc. Not very many heroines, and why would there be? Women’s football gets very little coverage. The past few weeks the Euro’s have been taking place in the Netherlands, I’ve seen very little of the tournament on the back pages of newspapers, I’ve not seen one St George’s flag in a super market, or dangling off people’s car. How can the future stars of England’s women’s team have a heroine role model when the media don’t cover their game?
The FA have set a target for 2020 to double the number of women and girls playing football, they have also been running a girl’s football week (16th July – 6th August) with the aim to raise the sport’s profile. It would be great to see at the next women’s World Cup held in France a bigger hype, helping improve equality and respect in the sport.
Good luck to all working to achieve that, and chin up Lionesses! x
It’s pledge time again!
This time it’s to pledge to help marine wildlife. Every year The Wildlife Trust host National Marine Week and this year it is running 29th July until 13th August (right now!).
If you have seen Chasing Coral you will understand the devastation our every day lives have on our seas. If you haven’t seen it… you really should! It’s a great documentary, just head to Netflix and press play.
Fishing, waste, pollution and climate change are all contributing to major issues with our waters and the life that lives there.
Did you know?
- The oceans have absorbed a third of all the carbon dioxide emitted since the Industrial Revolution, causing seawater acidity to rise faster than at any time in the last 55 million years
- Sea levels really are rising. Over the last 50 years they rose approximately 1.8mm per year however in the 90’s this increased to 3.1mm per year
- Plastic is often mistaken for food by marine animals. Plastic material has been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles
- Fertiliser runoff creates eutrophication that increases the amount of algae in the water which depletes the oxygen content, suffocating marine wildlife
- Eating contaminated seafood can cause serious health problems such as cancer
The list of shocking facts could go on and on and on, you simply just have to google ‘ocean’ and the top story found is about a rubbish patch in the Pacific that is bigger than Mexico…
What can we pledge?
- Stop using single use plastic like bottles and packaging
- Pick up litter and put it in recycling or a bin to stop it drifting into the ocean
- Watch out for microbeads in products such as tooth paste and exfoliators
- Reduce your carbon footprint; walk more, eat less meat and switch lights off
- Eat less fish and ensure the fish you do eat comes from a sustainable source
It may not seem like a lot, but if many of us make little changes there is a possibility we can reverse some of the effects our planet’s actions are having on the seas.
Converting to a natural shampoo that does not recommend the use of a conditioner around the time of dying my hair made me very nervous. Very nervous indeed.
But I really needn’t of been.
Odylique’s Gentle Herb Shampoo is great!
It is 100% natural and 70% organic. It is free from animal testing, sulfates, fragrance, artificial preservatives and salt and it comes in a 100% recycled UK-made bottle.
To get the best out of the shampoo I put a couple of pumps in my hands and lather onto my hair and scalp, leave to soak for about 2-3 minutes, then rinse. Leaving the shampoo in gives the hair a chance to absorb the active ingredients. This is what takes away the need for a conditioner and still works on sensitive scalps and dyed hair.
Please be aware that because this shampoo is sulfate free, it does not lather as much as a ‘normal’ shampoo, this does not mean you haven’t used enough.
INGREDIENTS: ALOE VERA JUICE, COCONUT AND CORN GLUCOSE, COCONUT OIL, CHAMOMILE, NETTLE, HORSETAIL, ROSEMARY, SUNFLOWER, SUGAR CANE, PLANT STABILISERS
My hair is in great condition at the moment, I find a wash now lasts two days instead of one and I’m saving money/creating less waste on not using a conditioner.
Right now I’m so excited! Tomorrow I’m off to Truck Festival in Oxfordshire.
I really just can’t wait to get there, put the tent up and crack open a can. Aside from the general festival atmosphere and discovering new bands, I’m really looking forward to…
- Libertines – even though I’ve seen them so many times before, nothing beats singing along to the Libs
- Cabbage – after seeing these previously in a small venue in Leicester I can’t wait to see how they perform to a big crowd, bunch of mad-eds
- Slaves – I’ve loved their work for a few years now, be great to finally see them live
- Reggaerobics – does what it says on the tin… good little reggae dance along
- Idris Elba – what a man, need I say more
I love festivals, and over the years through trial and error I’ve managed to get festival packing down to a tee. Here are my festival essentials…
- Glitter – These days, such a festival essential. But did you realise most glitter is made from plastic? Do not worry though, Eco Stardust are here to save the day. They sell beautiful biodegradable glitter.
Did you know? 8 million tonnes of the stuff end up in the ocean every day – the equivalent of one rubbish truck of plastic every minute.
- No rinse shampoo & dry shampoo – Not showering for a few days takes it’s toll. Luckily there’s fantastic inventions to help out. Lush’s No Drought dry shampoo is made from natural ingredients and as always is not tested on animals. The grapefruit and lime oil in it makes your hair smell amazing! All you do is dash some powder onto your roots, let it soak in, then brush out. Another hair saver is Zerreau Towel Off Shampoo made in the UK, again animal testing free and they use recycled materials for their packaging. All you do is put it onto dry hair, lather up like you would normal shampoo and then towel dry.
- Wipes & hand sanitiser – The shower and toilet situation is never great at a festival. A wet wipe wash and constant application of hand sanitiser is essential. I’ll be taking Earth Friendly Baby Wipes with me which are 100% biodegradable, made in the UK and free from parabens, SLS and animal testing. My go to hand sanitiser is Nilaqua. Made in the UK with fair trade ingredients it is free from palm oil, parabens and SLS. It’s cruelty free, suitable for vegans, biodegradable and has recyclable packaging.
- Poncho – First making its appearance at Glasto 2011, it’s been an essential for every muddy UK festival since, it tucks neatly away into a bag ready to be pulled on when the heavens open. Mine regrettably was bought from Primark back in the day, but I really have gotten wear out of it.
- Dr. Martens – Sometimes, just sometimes, festivals aren’t one big puddle. This is why I ditched wellies years ago for my Doc Marts. They work in both bad and good weather (saving on packing), they are stupidly comfy and provide more support than wellies.
- Sun cream & insect repellent – There is very little escape from the extremes at a festival. For suncream I use Jason SPF 30 as mentioned in my Summer Essentials post and for insect repellent I use Incognito Anti-Mosquito Spray. Last year I was eaten alive at Isle of Wight. This year I won’t be making that mistake again.
- Milk thistle – Part and parcel of a festival is alcohol. Massive consumption of the stuff. To ease the effects of alcohol I take milk thistle, courtesy of Brainfeed. Milk thistle is a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve the symptoms of alcohol consumption, several scientific studies suggest that the compound silymarin in milk thistle can protect the liver from toxins. I’ve been using it for nearly two years now. This is definitely a festival essential!
Other essentials include; something to drink from (water bottle, reusable cup) as suggested in my last post, camping chair, music speakers, sunglasses (check out Monkey Glasses), mirror (for that all-important glitter application), recycled bin bags (always clean up your mess) and clothes for every occasion!
One last crucial essential (that my sister managed to forget last year for T in the Park… sorry Fi) – your ticket!!!
I’m now all packed and raring to go. If you’re off to a festival I’d love to hear what your essentials are. I’m always up for new ideas to make the experience easier.
Truthfully, it’s not going very well.
I’ve had some successes…
I’ve been shopping from my local greengrocers and taking reusable bags with me, this massively cuts down on plastic packaging and carrier bags.
I take my stainless steel One Green Bottle everywhere with me.
I now buy baked beans in single cans, not multi packs of four which are coated in plastic.
But also some failures…
I ran the Great North 10k the other week and it was scorching, so I ended up grabbing a plastic bottle from one of the water stations on the way round, drinking it and then tossing it to the ground.
I’ve been on the road alot this month. Up to Durham, down to Bristol, up to Yorkshire, back to the Midlands… and unless you are very organised it is nearly impossible to not use plastic when stopping at a service station. Even with the best intentions of using my One Green Bottle I struggled to find somewhere to refill.
Dauntingly, round the corner may lie my biggest challenge yet…
This weekend I am off to a music festival. However I am very determined to try and use as little plastic as possible.
I will be taking my ‘pimp cup’ and asking the bar staff to serve me my pints in this instead of a disposable plastic cup. I’ve also got myself an Organic Humble toothbrush, which is made from bamboo, to take with me.
Did you know? More than 2 billion plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill sites every year.
How is your Plastic Free July going?
I’d love to hear about your struggles, and even better, your hints and tips!
Three weeks ago I enrolled on a free online course hosted by Future Learn with Fashion Revolution and Exeter University. The purpose of the course is to understand the issues within the fashion industry, how a fashion supply chain works, and to share a variety of simple techniques to find the answer to ‘Who Made My Clothes?‘. It also explains how to use the findings to press the fashion industry to value people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.
During the course you are asked to write a story about an item of clothing. Here is mine…
“The first time I was worn was at an Austrian Rolling Stones gig (who turned out to actually be from Birmingham) in a village hall, Melbourne, Derbyshire. I danced to Little Red Rooster, Honky Tonk Woman and got my ‘Jagger On’ to Brown Sugar.
Before my first outing though I originally started as a combination of two materials. I’m made of 76% polyester and 24% metallised fibres which were produced in factories in China. The factories were hot, very hot, highs of 270°C are used in the manufacturing process. In the Chinese factories I didn’t see many people, mainly just machines. The first time I really heard conversations and felt a human touch was when I was being transported by ship to Turkey.
When I arrived in Turkey I found myself in another factory. This time there were loads of people, the majority seemed to be Turkish, around the age of 40 and male. However I did notice a small group of workers that seemed distant from the others. Whilst under a needle and thread on a tightly packed sewing machine I overheard them whispering about where they came from, Syria, and the horrid civil war that was taking place there. They had to whisper as the man who gave them their 90p an hour wage was always keeping an eye on them.
Before I was popped into a plastic bag my creases were ironed out by a young boy, I overheard him telling a fellow worker that he had worked 15 hours yesterday and that he would just love to go home and play football with his brothers.
From Turkey I was shipped to a distribution centre in Swindon. While I was there the union GMB for the distribution centre workers turned up and said the workers there were being treated like lumps of meat. I wondered what this meant, but it turns out the union were outraged as they had been given less than one week’s notice that workers currently employment by agency Tempay Ltd were to be transferred to another employer, 24-7 Recruitment Services without any consultation. It was not a happy place to be.
Finally on November 1st 2016 in Munich as a birthday present to herself, Anna woke up hungover after many German beers and bought me online from Marks and Spencer’s. I left Swindon by truck and was delivered to Anna’s flat in Leicestershire. Hurray!”
Writing the above story was so difficult. Please note that photos and facts used in the story are all related to news articles found on the Independent, BBC and GMB website. I am obviously not 100% certain that Syrian refugees were used in the specific factory that made my shirt. From M&S supply chain map you can see there are many factories in Turkey. This does however show how difficult it is to trace an item of clothing!
The Future Learn course has been great in guiding the research done to create my story. As a last ‘assignment’ the course asks you to make a pledge to do at least one thing to support the Fashion Revolution movement to help improve the lives of the people who make your clothes.
My pledge is to continue with my blog and bring awareness to others, continue doing research on the clothes I buy and challenge brands to find out #whomademyclothes, continue to buy second hand, vintage or swap with my friends and continue to support Labour Behind the Label.
What do you pledge to do?
At least once a week I have avocado. Absolutely love the stuff. I have it in many shapes and forms. For breakfast, dinner or tea. Sometimes in a smoothie, with eggs on toast, in a wrap, with chili con carne or even just to dip some crisps.
Did you know…?
- They’re are a fruit, and where most fruit is high in sugar, avocado is high in healthy fats (aka monounsaturated oleic acid)
- They hold a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals
- They contain more potassium than a banana!
Tonight I’m having my weekly dose in the form of guacamole with poached eggs on toast.
Here is the guac recipe courtesy of Rob!
- 1 ripe large avocado
- 1/4 large red onion, finely diced
- 2 beef tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
- Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 red chili, finely diced
- Pinch of salt
- Mash the avocado up with a fork
- Add the onion, tomatoes, coriander and chili then mix
- Season with salt and lime juice, and voila! Done.
Easy, healthy and scrummy! If you want some more avo-inspo head to @bestofavocado on Instagram.