What’s in my Beach Bag

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My beach/pool essentials:

Sunscreen is a must. I’m currently using Eco Cosmetics SPF 30, which is an okay sunscreen. The ingredients aren’t the best compared to other eco-friendly sunscreens, and I don’t like the feeling of it on – it’s kind of sticky, though I prefer that to a greasy sunscreen – so I want to try some other brands as I still haven’t found one I love.

Hat and sunglasses, again for sun protection. (Both pictured are secondhand)

 A water bottle – my husband and I always bring our S’well (pictured) and Soul bottles on any outdoor adventure. You have to stay hydrated, especially on a hot day!

Snacks are also essential. I like to bring fruit in my bag, and on a hot day, juicy fruit is especially delicious. Veggies and hummus are also great, and although it’s not the healthiest, we’ll usually pick up a bag of chips on the way too.

– Something to read. I love lying outside with a book and am a huge fan of e-readers because of how compact they are. I also always have podcasts on my phone, and on a lazy beach day we might listen to some episodes as well.

– Of course I need a swimsuit. Earlier this summer I was still using a swimsuit that I’ve had for over 5 years but unfortunately, this was its last summer, so I recently ordered a new one from Underprotection.

Towels are another obvious one. I don’t want to wreck our nice bath towels, so we usually also bring a blanket to lie on. However, I’m getting a Turkish towel for camping/outdoor activities because they are light, easy to pack, quick drying and really versatile – you can also wear them! For examples of these towels check out Coyuchi (US), Ottoloom (NZ), and Karawan (FR) – which I’m ordering from Avocado Store.

– Finally, this is not an essential, but I’ll often throw rose water or a hydrosol into my bag. When it’s really hot out, a mist spray is so refreshing! I particularly like chamomile because it can be calming to the skin, and I’ll usually dilute a chamomile hydrosol with some water in a little spray bottle.

I carry everything in an organic cotton tote bag. 🙂

 

To wear over my swimsuit, I like a loose jersey tunic or dress. My navy tunic is perfect because it’s comfortable, cool, easy to get on and off, and covers my shoulders where I usually burn.

 

5 Seriously Cool Conscious Brands

If you still think that sustainable fashion = crunchy granola clothes, these 5 brands prove that those days are over.

 

Deadwood

The Swedish brand Deadwood makes leather jackets from 100% recycled leather. We know that leather is bad for the environment, and so are a lot of vegan synthetics, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a biker jacket. Re-purposing and up-cycling leather is the perfect way to extend the life of existing materials and avoid supporting the cruelty and harsh impact of leather and synthetic leather production.

 

Zero Waste Daniel

If you associate patchwork with quilts and grandmas, prepare to have your world changed with Daniel Silverstein’s patchwork garments. Using factory scraps, Zero Waste Daniel creates new textiles while producing no fabric waste themselves and fully embracing a zero waste mindset (Daniel is also the co-owner of Package Free Shop with fellow zero-waster Lauren Singer). I Iove this creative approach to waste, design, and textiles, especially with pieces like their Bowie shirt.

 

 

Complexgeometries

The brand I most lust after and wish I could buy every piece from is Complexgeometries. They are Canadian and have beautiful draped garments and unique silhouettes. With fast fashion and brands competing to keep their prices down, we see a lot of the same easy-to-sew cuts and fabric saving shapes, but with Complexgeometries you can see the creative design and pattern-work in each garment. I love their style, and as someone who really enjoys pattern-drafting and draping, I can’t help but geek out over their designs, a lot of which are versatile/transformable and can be worn different ways.

 

Reformation

Sexy skin, flirty dresses, and trendy cuts, Reformation has a huge collection of styles for the weekend, weddings, the office, or a night out. All of their clothes are made in their LA factory – some from vintage and deadstock materials – and they share the C02, water, and waste impact of each garment.

 

Dedicated 

Dedicated rises from the organic t-shirt fog (seriously, how many brands are making organic tees now?) with their graphics and prints. Another Swedish brand, Dedicated does street wear well, especially for men. All my friends that I’ve shown their stuff to who don’t prioritize sustainability love their styles, and that’s the best way to get people into conscious fashion!

 

 

Find more conscious brands in the directory.

100% Pure Lip Product Reviews

(This post contains affiliate links, for more info see disclosure policy)

When switching to more natural beauty products, I think the lips are the best place to start, because you ingest a bit of whatever is on your lips. One of the first natural lip products I tried was a 100% Pure lip glaze, and 100% Pure continues to have some of my favorite lip products- they’re all fruit pigmented, how cool is that!?

 

Lip Glaze

I love the texture of these; they are creamy with build-able colour, and I haven’t had any issues with my lips feeling dry. I’ve used the colours Cabernet (a classic red), Coquette (nude-ish medium pink) – a great everyday colour – and Elderberry (sheer pink/red) which is more sheer than the others, more like a tinted balm.

Coquette
Elderberry

Honestly from these photos it doesn’t look like much of a difference in colour, but Coquette is quite a nude pink compared to Elderberry, which is more of a sheer blue-ish red.

 

 

Pomegranate Oil Anti Aging Lipstick

100% Pure lip stick review - Calendula

I have this in Calendula which is peachier than I was hoping for (my photo looks very orange). The issue I have with ordering lip products online is that a lot of the shades look similar, and it’s very difficult to know what the colour is like from a photo. I try to find different videos and photos of swatches but it can still be difficult. As a lipstick, it’s nice and wears well, although in comparison to the lip glazes, the colour is more matte and I find it a bit drier.

Calendula

 

 

Lip & Cheek Stain in Cherry (only one colour)

This is very different from their other lip products; it’s a build-able stain and can provide a very vibrant pink with a few coats. I really like the colour of it and the control you get with the application, but it’s not moisturizing (although I don’t find it drying either), and putting a balm over it takes some of the product off and makes it so that it doesn’t ‘stick’ anymore. It also has a very bitter taste. I don’t actually mind it, but you definitely realize it when you lick your lips, so I would avoid it if you don’t like lip products with a weird taste. It claims to be a cheek tint as well, although I rarely use it on my cheeks, because it dries quickly and is difficult to blend in.

Lip stain – Cherry

 

 

Lip & Cheek Tint

This I use more as a cheek tint, but it’s also nice on the lips. It’s like a tinted balm and you can build up the colour. I used to have it in Shimmery Strawberry, but when replacing it decided to go with one without shimmer and got Pink Grapefruit Glow instead.

Pink Grapefruit Glow

 

 

Have you tried any 100% Pure lip products?

 

5 Product, 5 Minute Makeup

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(This post contains affiliate links, for more info see disclosure policy)

 

It’s summer so I try to keep my makeup light and natural, also including sun protection. This is the super quick and easy makeup look I’ve been wearing most days using green, versatile products. It also is perfect for travelling and packing light.

5 Product, 5 Minute Makeup - Green Beauty

 

Products used:

1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer in Creme (I’ve used both Creme and Alpine Rose, both are a little too dark but Alpine Rose is a bit better for my skin tone)

2. Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer in Barely Beige

3. Red Apple Lipstick custom eyeshadow palette (colours I used are Brownie Points for eyebrows and Black Magic for eyeliner)

4. 100% Pure Maracuja Mascara in Blackberry (I would not recommend the blackberry shade if you have blond eyelashes like me as it can be very purple, the black or brown is probably better)

5. 100% Pure Lip and Cheek Tint in Pink Grapefruit Glow (Shimmery Strawberry is also a great shade if you want some shimmer)

 

 

 

Why I No Longer Buy From Matt & Nat

I used to be a huge Matt & Nat fan. The first bag I invested in over 10 years ago was from Matt & Nat, and since then, almost all of my bags have been Matt & Nat. But sadly, this is no longer the case.

First of all, I want to say that I love their styles and that they’re vegan, and the bags can be very good quality (I still have that first bag!). I used to recommend them for all these reasons, but have now stopped promoting them and removed them from my directory. Here’s why:

 

They’re not transparent and I can’t get any information about their manufacturing.

About two years ago I was looking for a backpack, and I of course checked out Matt & Nat. Reading through their website, I had some questions about their transparency page and manufacturing process, especially since they moved their production from Canada. I don’t like companies that use vague/general statements like “the conditions of the workers developing it are up to par with our standards” so I sent them an email asking for more information about their ethical/labour standards, whether they worked with a lot of factories or just a few, and asked them to elaborate on their SA8000 certification, because the website only says that “One of our factories operates by the SA8000 standard“. I got a response saying, “I have forwarded your inquiry to the appropriate representative who will be able to give you more information on this“, and then… Nothing. After a few months I sent another email, and again, no response.

I also took part in Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign asking Matt & Nat “Who made my bag?” which, unsurprisingly at this point, also got no response.

 

I regret buying the backpack from them, even though it’s the perfect size and I love the style because I also learned that:

The majority of their bags are made from PVC.

We know that synthetic vegan leathers are not good for the environment, but PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is significantly worse than the other common material PU (polyurethane), as it has a negative impact throughout its production and life cycle and may also possibly be hazardous to our health. On Matt & Nat’s website they say that “PU is always preferred over PVC, as it is less harmful for the environment“, so I assumed that most of their bags were PU. They also present themselves as being an eco-conscious company, using recycled bottles and cork (and it is awesome they use those materials!), but it turns out a lot of their bags are still PVC. The bag’s outer material is also not included on their website listings, so it’s very difficult to know whether or not a bag is made from PVC.

I checked the tags on my bags, and most of them, including the backpack, are PVC. Currently Matt & Nat’s ‘Dwell’ and ‘Vintage’ collections – which make up the majority of their bags – are made from PVC.

 

Finally, Project Just also recently released a profile on Matt & Nat that confirmed my worries about their transparency; their investigation also found that there is no information about whether or not Matt & Nat monitors any of the environmental impact of their supply chain.

 

So, in conclusion, I think their quality is a big pro, and I like that they’re using materials like cork and recycled PET. But until they offer more information about their manufacturing process and their current and future use of vegan leathers/PVC, I don’t feel comfortable supporting them and can’t help but feel there is some greenwashing going on.

 

 

What are your thoughts on Matt & Nat?

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Items in my summer capsule wardrobe:

Tops

1. Knit draped tank – DIY (video)
2. White silk tank – DIY (video)
3. Purple tank – Comazo | earth
4. Blue bustier/crop top – DIY (video)

5. Black v-neck tee – Funktion Schnitt 
6. Brown oversized tee – (dyed)
7. Navy tee – Lanius
8. White linen tee – Lanius

Layers

9. Gold/green blazer – secondhand
10. Beige cardigan – 5+ years old
11. Blue “denim” shirt – secondhand

12. White draped jacket – 5+ years old
13. Denim oversized jacket – secondhand

Bottoms

14. Black denim shorts – secondhand
15. Green belted shorts – Armed Angels 
16. Light jeans – MUD Jeans
17. Black knit trousers – People Tree *

18. Linen midi skirt – NotPerfectLinen
19. Floral pencil skirt – secondhand
20. Red maxi skirt – 5+ years old

Dresses

21. Tank body-con dress – secondhand
22. Floral linen dress – DIY
23. Navy tunic dress – People Tree *

24.Grey/black silk dress – 5+ years old
25. Grey Tee dress – Kowtow
26. Navy maxi dress – 5+ years old

Accessories

27. Backpack – Matt & Nat – I used to support them but no longer do which I explain in this post.
28. Beige cross-body bag – Angela Roi
29. Black wide-brim hat – secondhand

 

My capsule is adapted from the Project 333 concept and as explained in the video, from this capsule going forward I’m no longer including shoes.

 

 

 

*indicates an affiliate link, thanks for supporting me by supporting these great brands! For more info on the use of affiliate links please see my disclosure policy.

Ben’s Summer Outfit

My husband Ben has also been building a more conscious wardrobe so I’ll occasionally share some men’s looks and brands.

Being quite tall and slim, Ben often has difficultly with secondhand shopping and ordering clothes online so the majority of his clothes are from local ethical/sustainable stores.

 

Ben is wearing:

Nudie Jeans Co. skewed stripe tee

Bleed Clothing shorts

Natural World slip-on shoes – organic cotton and rubber

 

Bought from Green Guerillas and Fairfitters in Cologne.

 

 

Find more menswear brands in the directory.

Can’t wear the same outfit twice

I was inspired by this image on Instagram by Project Stopshop to talk about the disposable nature of fast fashion. Unfortunately, the idea of not wearing the same outfit twice is too real and can be found all over social media.

The fast fashion business model is about selling a high volume of clothing with a quick turnover. To do that, they need people to be shopping continuously. Brands entice customers by keeping prices low, having new items in store weekly, and marketing to encourage people to always want new things. This is also heavily fueled by media and by celebrities who want to sell more and more product/ads to the point where clothing is seen as a disposable item and “wearing the same outfit twice” is viewed negatively… I’ve actually seen people apologizing on social media for posting clothes they’ve previously worn 🙁

Consider everything that goes into making a single garment – for example:

It’s devastating to think after all this, a garment might be worn once, maybe twice, and then thrown away (the average American throws 70lbs of textile waste into the landfill each year). When people pay very little for an item, they’re not as likely to take care of it or repair it, or to feel bad throwing it away.

 

The “disposable” idea of fashion needs to change.

 

We should be proud to wear (and be photographed in) the same outfit twice! I love getting complimented on a piece and telling someone I’ve had it for years; those pieces are so much more special than anything new🙂

I also really like the #30wears campaign promoted by Livia Firth, which encourages you to not buy something you can’t see yourself wearing at least 30 times. This is the easiest way to have a more sustainable wardrobe, perfect for someone getting started thinking more about their clothing impact, and it’s also an easy change to make – it doesn’t require a higher budget or time to research, you just need to ask yourself:

“Will I wear this at least 30 times?” 

 

 

Are you a proud outfit repeater?

 

Affordable Sustainable Fashion

Ethical and sustainable fashion brands are more expensive but building a conscious wardrobe doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. Shopping secondhand is not only incredibly sustainable but can also be very affordable. Buying locally from thrift stores or online re-sale sites means you can still buy the brands you like without supporting their unethical practices.

Second-hand sites:
Depop
Ebay (look into the sellers to make sure they’re not just re-selling new clothes)
Poshmark
ThredUp
Tradesy

Vintage stores:
Beyond Retro (UK)
Etsy vintage
Rokit (UK)

Second-hand ethical brands:
Green Eileen – list of stores in the US
Bead & Reel Rescued Collection

You can find discounted ethical fashion brands at Love Justly

People Tree sample sale in London – they also have pretty good sales sometimes online

Clothing Swapping/Swishing:
Clothing swap Meetups
Swap Style
Rehash
also check local community events or host your own clothing swap party!

 

Minimalism and having a capsule wardrobe has been life-changing for me, there not only are numerous benefits in how it’s helped me be happier with my wardrobe, get ready faster, and define my personal style, but it also has allowed me to buy less and spend more on the items. I buy a combination of conscious fashion brands and secondhand so I can buy a piece or two from a sustainable brand and anything else I need secondhand and stick within my budget.

 

 

Guilt & Judgement Doesn’t Help

I think the idea of being “perfect” with ethical and environmental movements can actually be damaging to getting others involved. Guilt and judgement often doesn’t motivate people, it makes them defensive and can actually strengthen their position.

There unfortunately can be a lot of toxicity in online communities and personal discussions, and I think it’s important to try and communicate in a positive and encouraging way.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

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