Turtle Doves: recycled cashmere

Turtle Doves is a British brand that buys woollen items from charity shops and turns them into new products. This is great for so many reasons and their story of success is inspiring. Turtle Doves started very small but now employs over 20 people, including ex-Laura Ashley seamstresses whose jobs disappeared when production was moved to the Far East.

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I suffer really badly with cold hands (cheers Raynaurd’s disease) and a few months ago my Mam surprised me with some Turtle Doves finger-less gloves (rhymes!). Considering they are finger-less they amazingly cure ‘white finger’.

 

Turtle Doves don’t just make finger-less gloves, they do all sorts of top quality, cosy and ethical products. It’s getting colder every day and Christmas is looming closer and closer, Turtle Doves would make a great present and if you join their Friends Club they’ll give you 10% off your next order.

Ethical Men’s Clothing

On Sunday it was International Men’s Day. To show appreciation for my male followers, I thought I’d share some ethical men’s clothing (also ladies… Christmas is coming up… present suggestions for your Dad, Brother, Boyfriend?).

Brothers We Stand

Providing the basic essentials made in a wind-powered factory from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles.

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Ecoalf

Making products out of things like plastic bottles, old coffee grounds and fishing nets.

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Idioma

Have an aim to enhance foreign language learning and cultural awareness through ethical clothing.

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Thought

Contemporary pieces that are effortless to wear and sustainably made. Pieces designed to be love-forever classics.

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Know the Origin

Made from organic and fair-trade cotton, KTO shows full traceability from seed to shop.

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Cock and Bull

Using organic, recycled, reclaimed, locally sourced and Artisan textiles and collections predominantly made in the UK.

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Winter Coats

I suddenly realised earlier this month, when it started to get cold, that I didn’t actually own a winter coat. And so… the hunt began. All I wanted was a plain, black, warm coat. Not much to ask you’d of thought?!

What I found was a great selection of ethically made coats, but they were wayyyyyy out of my price range. Here’s some of my favourites:

 

Lanius – €299,90

 

Jan’n June – €230

 

Langerchen – €279

 

Lowie – £389

As these lovely coats we’re a tad (*cough cough*) too expensive for me, I admitted defeat and looked at high street brands. I had a 20% off Sparks voucher for Marks & Spencers to use and so bit the bullet and bought a coat from there.

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In theory, this coat is exactly what I wanted. Plain, black and warm. It comes in 8 different colours and is a fraction of the cost compared to the coats mentioned earlier (£119, but I got it for £95 with my voucher).

 

M&S aren’t the worst offenders in the fast fashion industry. They have very good policies, are one of the first high street retailers to start being transparent and even have an interactive map on their website where you can find information on their supply chain. But as mentioned in one of my previous posts where I investigated into ‘Who made my clothes?’ for an M&S shirt, there have been some scandals regarding sweatshop conditions, using Syrian refugees for labour and UK worker union issues.

My search for a winter coat has proven that sometimes the ethical choice is much more expensive. But I shan’t feel guilty for this high street purchase. It is not just buying from ethical brands that will encourage fast fashion retailers to become more ethical, it is about buying less and asking brands the question ‘who made my clothes?’ over and over again.

This is a coat I love. It will be taken care of and worn for years to come. Moral of the story; if you cannot buy ethical, buy less, and buy something you love.

Live Coco

Every year, the world uses over 3.6 billion toothbrushes. Every year, we throw about 2 billion of them away – most of them end up in landfills and oceans. The majority are made from plastic which does not biodegrade.

In my music festival post a few months back I mentioned my Humble Brush (made from a biodegradable bamboo handle and nylon-6 bristles) which I use for holidays, weekends away and work trips, but whilst at home I use an electric toothbrush. You’re supposed to change your electric toothbrush head every 3 months, so again, that is a lot of plastic going to waste.

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I spent some time searching for an electric toothbrush head solution and came across Live Coco, who provide an Oral B toothbrush head that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. It’s also made with charcoal bristles which are supposed to help with whitening and removing bacteria.

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Luckily I have an Oral B toothbrush, so these heads are perfect for me. Unfortunately though I haven’t managed to find any other brand solutions that are reasonably priced out there. I’ll keep looking, and when I find some I’ll share with you. Or better still… if you’ve managed to find any, comment below!

StreetLink

This week has brought us the first frost of the year. I was shocked to wake up Monday morning and have to use my scraper for the car windscreen. Whilst I do love these fresh frosty mornings, it does prompt a thought for those who are sleeping rough on our streets.

There is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation, and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all. Government street counts and estimates give a snapshot of the national situation. The latest figures showed that 4,134 people slept rough across England on any given night in 2016 – a 16% increase compared to the previous year, and more than double the amount in 2010.

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Sleeping rough is horrendous at the best of times, never mind when temperatures are hitting minus figures. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do when you see somebody that is homeless. Personally, I want to help, but I’m not sure giving that person some money is the best way. I know that if I donate to a charity, that money or clothing can go further in helping a homeless person, than giving a person a couple of quid. But how are homeless people found by these charities to receive that help?

A great app, StreetLink, is there for you to record when and where you have seen a homeless person. Dead easy to do. Head to your App Store, search ‘StreetLink’, download and then when you next see somebody sleeping rough follow the prompts on the app for information to submit. The StreetLink team will then ensure the person sleeping rough is connected up with the services, accommodation and support available in their local area to help them away from the streets as quickly as possible.

StreetLink is currently only available in England and Wales. I know I have followers from all over the world, so if you have a similar scheme in your country, please share in the comments section to promote that great service to others.

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Guppyfriend – Microfibres Solution

Plastic is a problem and a lot of the time we think of bottles, bags, packaging. But synthetic clothes (think sports gear, polyester shirts, nylon tights) also cause environmental problems. Every time you wash a piece of synthetic clothing plastic microfibres get into the water stream heading into our rivers and oceans.

The Story of Stuff have developed a brilliant short film on microfibres, definitely check it out! In overview the problem is that there are 1.4million,trillion microfibres in our oceans and rivers which are toxic and are eaten by fish causing them to become sick, which ultimately works it’s way up the food chain to us.

Tonight Blue Planet II is on again, such a great programme. Sadly those amazing creatures are just bobbing around and unconsciously consuming toxic particles caused by us. So what can we do to prevent putting microfibres into our water?

  • Buy clothes made of natural materials
  • Use liquid and less washing detergent
  • Wash less often
  • Use a Guppyfriend!

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Until we completely change our consumption behaviours, the Guppyfriend is a good way to reduce plastic pollution from our clothes. It’s basically a bag you pop synthetic clothes into before putting it into your washing machine, collecting the microfibres. Simple but effective.

Head to STOP! MICRO WASTE, a non-profit organisation in Berlin, to get your very own.