This is a little off topic from what I usually post on here, but I haven’t been on too many adventures lately so it’s about time I branched out (although t-minus 28 hours till our next long haul trip)!
I’ve been a vegetarian for two and a bit years now, but I have only recently taken a long hard look at my other purchases – from my wardrobe to my make up bag – and realised that I have never put much thought into where these items actually come from, who’s making them, and how they are being made.
I’ve had so much cool stuff pop up on my social media feeds recently, from people coming up with bright ideas on how to tackle the ever growing problem of plastic, to designers who are focusing on longevity instead of profit.
So this article is a virtual high five to brands that are doing really cool stuff, and doing it with the planet, people and animals in mind.
Ever since my trip to Norway four years ago I have had a weakness for anything remotely Scandi, including the Fjallraven Kanken backpack (both functional and beautiful), which I was gifted with last Christmas (thanks mum!)
If you don’t know about this brand, they sell rad outdoor gear, such as clothing, accessories and tents. They believe in making durable products that will last a lifetime and therefore won’t have to be replaced. They’re also nature enthusiasts and take part in conversation projects, such as saving the Artic Fox from near extinction.
Lush well and truly have my complete and utter devotion. From my shampoo and moisturiser, to my mascara and toothpaste…and everything else that gets put on my skin. There is no greater joy than popping in on my lunch break to grab a hand massage, try some free samples and leave with a bag full of magical lotions and potions (but mostly bath bombs). With names like Fizzbanger, Intergalactic and Avobath how could you not? These guys are marketing extraordinaires.
Did I also mention they fight animal testing and encourage you to recycle by giving you a FREE face mask for every five pots you return to their store (grab the Brazen Honey for ultra silky skin!)? They also do lots of other wonderfully responsible things, including ethical sourcing and using only the best and freshest ingredients.
Lush, I worship at the alter of your Fair Trade organic cocoa butter temple!
This brand has an awesome start-up story and Yvon Chouinard is a truly inspirational businessman, environmentalist and explorer. If you love a good podcast then check out NPR’s How I Built This, where Yvon describes how Patagonia started out, by making climbing gear for him and his friends that they couldn’t find elsewhere.
Like Fjallraven, they sell outdoor gear, originally for alpine climbers but they have since branched out into a number of other planet friendly sports (so none that involve engines or motors!).
Patagonia’s philosophy is “100% For the Planet”. Their mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” They create Fair Trade clothing out of recycled bottles, organic cotton and hemp. They’ll also repair any products you buy from them, rather than encouraging you to buy a new version.
Matt’s just started reading Yvon Chouinard’s book ‘Let My People Go Surfing’, a business book on how to be a totally rad boss and make a living without losing your soul.
As a parent to a furry ball of love, I am against animal testing when it comes to vanity products. That’s why I have given my make up bag a makeover, so that it now contains only animal friendly products! Check out the video further down this page for more information on why making this switch is important.
I love e.l.f cosmetics because they’re actually affordable. I don’t really go all out on make up so just need the basics and they do this well. All ingredients used in e.l.f. cosmetics are vegan friendly. They also support PETA and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.
So if you’re looking for a new guilt-free mascara, bronzer or moisturising lipstick, check out some of their top rated products.
Anyone that knows me well, will know that I have lived in DMs for the past ten years or so. However, since becoming a vegetarian, wearing animal products didn’t really sit well with me.
Earlier in the year I sold my collection of leather Dr Martens, from my beloved cherry red boots to my chunky Clarissa sandals (which my sister claimed to be “the ugliest shoes she’s ever seen”) and used the money to invest in a vegan pair, which so far have been equally beautiful and comfortable.
The brand say that “The materials used are acutely vegan-friendly but this has not precluded quality, replicating our standard footwear down to the very last detail, even boasting a more natural feeling classic heel loop.” So still anarchy worthy footwear!
Well Made Clothes is a Sydney based website that sells local, sustainable, and fair trade clothing. You’re probably imagining some dowdy, hippie looking ensemble made from bark and leaves, but WMC is far from that. Don’t you know sustainable clothing is so in vogue right now?
Ethical doesn’t have to mean drab. They sell clothing that looks good and is good because they “care deeply about people and the environment, but also care deeply about looking good”. Amen to that.
Some of the items on WMC are more than I would usually spend on clothes, but I’m trying to cut out fast fashion and invest money into pieces that are going to last the distance from designers that are responsible. They actually offer the option to pay for clothing in instalments if you can’t pay it all up-front which is very handy!
The creators of WMC decided to create the website because the “fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil, and is responsible for countless human rights violations. It’s hardly ever covered in any detail, or taken seriously, by mainstream media.”
Also worth a mention…
Keep Cups – my new favourite accessory, which comes in all the colours! Take it to your local coffee shop. Some cafes even reward you by giving you a discount for using these sustainable cups. I got a free hot chocolate when I purchased mine. And why, I hear you ask, do you need a reusable cup when you can recycle the disposable ones from your favourite barista? Well, it isn’t guaranteed that these will actually be recycled.
Toothcrush – these are eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes that are delivered to your door. Why it rocks? Every year the world throws away literally billions of toothbrushes – endless pieces of plastic that go straight into landfill. Toothcrush brushes are made from sustainably sourced bamboo, a biodegradable and renewable material grown in certified sustainable bamboo plantation.
Bright Vibes – these guys are all about “counter acting the negative and fear driven press and news that surrounds us everyday.” Instead of treating global warming and pollution as an impending doomsday, they inspire people by offering useful, practical advice on what we can be doing to “heal the world and make it a better place” (MJ, early 90s).
If you want to know a little more about why responsible spending is so important, check out these videos.
What is the true cost of our clothes?
PETA cruelty-free make up campaign
If anyone has any recommendations on other products, brands or designers doing good for Mother Earth please feel free to share it in the comments below.