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.

The 27 Club Mixtape

Yesterday I turned 27 and surprisingly did it rather respectably. The weekend started with champagne breakfast, leading to a stop-over in Cheltenham, a lovely bubble bath (don’t have that luxury at home), beer and fried chicken, finally finished reading Frankenstein, then a walk up Malvern Hills, and ended with noodles, Blue Planet II and Stranger Things.

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But turning 27 and having a chilled-ish weekend gave me time to think of the ’27 Club’ and those iconic stars that died way way way too young. So in homage, here is my ‘27 club mixtape‘ which you can listen to and follow on Spotify:

  • Amy Winehouse – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
  • The Doors (Jim Morrison) – The End
  • Rolling Stones (Brian Jones) – Midnight Rambler
  • Friendly Fires (Richard Turner) – Photobooth
  • Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues
  • Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
  • Nirvana (Kurt Cobain) – Lithium

Happy (or emotional) listening guys xxx

5 Fairtrade Faves

Happy Friday guys!

October is Fairtrade month, so here are five of my Fairtrade favourites:

  1. Bananas – I have at least one banana a day, they couldn’t NOT be top of my list. Always make sure they are organic AND Fairtrade (good for the worker and the environment).e39735728ce807279bf68871862cce30
  2. Jyoti Fair Works – Earlier this year I bought a beautiful skirt from Jyoti who are a German-Indian fair fashion label. Seriously check them out because their designs are great and they do some amazing stuff with their workers and supply-chain.
  3. Divine Chocolate – Not just tasty and Fairtrade, Divine scored really highly with Ethical Consumer magazine on their supply-chain management, company ethos, environmental reporting and animal welfare.Divine - Jenny Botwe_Anidasonyame 750x482
  4. People Tree – I’ve got a few People Tree items in my wardrobe now. They are very reasonably priced and stylish, great for wardrobe essentials.fullsizeoutput_fe0
  5. Honeystreet Handmade – You might remember that I’ve written about these guys before, their body butters are just brilliant. wftd6

Well there they are.

Hope you have a great weekend! xxx

Autumn clean & a challenge

Fashion these days is fast, we are buying and chucking away clothes more than ever. Most clothes that are bought are made unethically, using unsustainable materials, tonnes of water and energy and producing lots of waste. They are cheap and disposable.

I started an ethical transition with my wardrobe last December, and this autumn I’m having another major clear out because I still have way too many clothes that I really do not need.

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In the clean out process I was cut throat, if I couldn’t see myself wearing it at least 30 times it was gone. This is called the 30 wear challenge. The other weekend I dropped four bags off to charity shops and I’m selling some stuff on Depop. I thought I was doing alright at it, until… Labour Behind the Label asked if I would like to join their challenge…

Every year Labour Behind the Label host the six item challenge in Lent which is designed to test our reliance on fast fashion and raise funds to help garment workers. Basically the idea is simple – you select six items of clothing from your wardrobe and pledge to wear only these every day for six weeks. Crikey!

They tell me not to panic and that you can have unlimited access to underwear, accessories, footwear and sportswear. But your main items of clothing – dresses, trousers, tops, skirts, jumpers, shirts or cardigans – must remain the same throughout.

I don’t know if I can do it? Can I really dedicate six weeks to wearing just six items of clothing? So this is where I need your help, I’m down for doing it, but only if some of you will do it with me! So… any takers?!

Feminism Up

Feminism Up is a monthly online newsletter that aims to encourage discussion around sexism and inequality. It is ran by Kath at Binging on Beetroot and I was recently very honoured to be asked to write an article for it.

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The newsletter comes out on the 1st of every month and I’m sure November’s issue will not disappoint. It would be amazing if you could subscribe to the newsletter. To do it, head here.

Short and sweet post today, but with the #metoo movement I felt it was relevant to share and it is something I feel very passionate about.

Ciao xxx

Pick Up a Pumpkin: soup recipe

Today we went pumpkin picking at Cattows Farm, Leicestershire. I picked one to cook and one to carve.

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I made soup with the one to cook, here is my vegan pumpkin soup recipe, perfect as the days get chillier and nights get darker.

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  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 white onion
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Fresh ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  1. Pre-heat oven to 240℃
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half through the stalk, scoop out the seeds (save the seeds to roast), then cut each half into chunks
  3. Place onto a baking tray, brush each chunk with rapeseed oil, season with salt and black pepper, then place into the oven for 30 minutes
  4. While the pumpkin is roasting, put a dash of rapeseed oil, chopped onion and ginger in a pan to fry, once the onion has some colour put it on a low heat to simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Scoop out the roasted pumpkin and add to the onions and ginger, then add the vegetable stock, nutmeg, cinnamon and more salt and black pepper to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes
  6. Finally, blend the soup to a smooth puree

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As mentioned above, save those pumpkin seeds to roast as a tasty topping or snack.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180℃
  2. Scrape the seeds from the pumpkin, clean off all the pulp and give them a rinse
  3. Spread them onto a baking tray, spray with rapeseed oil and season with salt and black pepper (or any flavour you like!), then place into the oven for 10 minutes

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