My favourite pair of shorts from summer 2019 still had some life in them for this summer. The only problem, they had faded so much in the wash I felt embarrassed to wear them.
Out of nowhere I got the idea to dye them. They’d take dye being linen. Next step was buying the dye. I was convinced buying clothes dye in Spain would be hard. It wasn’t. My local supermarket had the colour I wanted, sky blue.
I put off for dying them for a few months thinking it’ll take a long time and finding the right moment. Sometimes there is no right moment. One day in July I decided to dye them, rather than keep looking at the box.
Dying them was so easy! Straight forward steps. I’m not sure I put enough salt in as I got distracted counting how many spoonfuls I was putting in (tip: if you’re dying items in the bathroom and have 2 toilets and others around, tell them to use the other bathroom. There was big eye roll moment of ‘Dude! Can’t you see what I’m doing?! Use the other bathroom!’). I thought the bathroom would be the best place to dye them. Easy clean up and the dye wouldn’t stain the bath. The box came with 2 packs of dye and one pack of fixer. Salt not included. The brand also does its own dying salt however as I was already feeling guilty over the toxins in the dye I used regular sea salt. Which is also cheaper. I used 1 pack of dye based on the weight of the shorts.
Fast fashion is one of the world’s number one environmental polluters from the amount of water used in crops and production, pesticides growing crops, petroleum extraction for man made fibres, water pollution from dyes used, poor working conditions and pay of those in the garment industries and unworn or barely worn clothes going straight to landfill.
I’m no angel when it comes to clothes. I shop at Zara, H&M, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Fabletics none of which are known to be the most environmentally friendly businesses. I have a budget for clothes and always try to get the best quality I can. Over the past few years I’ve been buying less clothes. Winters are easier than summers. Normally my summer clothes only last a season, two if I’m lucky. I live in Spain so it gets hot, but I cycle everywhere, I swim (more dip in the sea), I wear a rucksack, clothes and fibres get ruined quickly with sweat, sunscreen, salt water, abrasion from cycling and my rucksack. Summer clothes aren’t meant for cycling or rucksacks however cycling’s my transport and I’m not taking a change of clothes with me. I try to choose carefully clothes I think will last more than a few washes and try to get basic colours or a few colour tops. Summer though I like colour and wear those t-shirts or bottoms out. More expensive doesn’t always mean better quality either.
I noticed last year Zara started basics in organic cotton with this year a much bigger change in Indtiex brands, such as Zara, Pull and Bear, Zara Home and Oysho to name a few. They have a Join Life label which explain how much of the item is either made with organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide, recycled cotton or water used. Garments produced under the Join Life label use better processes and more sustainable raw or recycled materials.
All items produced under this label have to ensure suppliers achieved A or B in social audits. All wet process factories such as tanneries, laundries, printing, dying suppliers have to score A or B classifications and pass environmental assessments. In addition products manufactured using raw materials or production techniques have to be of environmental excellence.
The Join Life label is split further into 3 categories according to their website:
I mentioned a few weeks ago in a Weekend Friday Favourites I was trying out a DIY body butter and would share the recipe and results. I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption and am also looking for a more hydrating body lotion.
Please scroll down for the recipe if you want to skip skin history and the why’s I tried DIY
While I have oily skin, my body always feels dry unless it’s moisturised. I’m not sure if this is because it’s eczema prone so is maybe drier or it’s so used to daily lotion it knows when it needs more.
I’ve always gone for cocoa butter based lotions due to cocoa butter hydration properties. It’s good against stretch marks and cellulite. For years I used Palmers Cocoa Butter with no issues. I stopped using it as it contains palm oil I try to avoid as I prefer happy orangutangs in rainforests and petroleum or paraffin which I also avoid. Some of the brands other products use shark oil. Being vegan, that’s a no. I used Alba Botanica Hand and Body Lotion Cocoa Butter (now discontinued) until iherb.com stopped shipping to Spain. When they resumed I didn’t want to spend as much on shipping. It’s hard to find in Spain good cocoa butter based lotion so I’ve been compromising. The Body Shop is too expensive for what I get through. I found a great band The Organic Shop and currently use their Bourbon Vanilla Body Mousse, a shea based lotion (ingredients are listed incorrect). However they’re not the same as cocoa butter lotions and I messed my skin up last year with mineral sunscreens. I also find that sometimes The Organic Shop just sits on my skin no matter how much massaging in and feels dry later on. If it’s humid after a shower, it doesn’t seem to massage in at all. In the winter after showering I change back in PJ bottoms for 15 minutes for the lotion to absorb, not my leggings absorbing any.
Having eczema sensitive skin I always opt for environmentally friendly laundry detergent that’s fragrance free. Eco friendly as I care about nature, fragrance free and harsh toxic, chemical free as I never know when I have a bad flare up usually once a year what caused it.
I used the laundry Ecoegg for about a year and as promised an update on its use. It was fine for the first few months, then I started not to be happy with it. It’s cheap. I only paid about €15-20 inc shipping for refills throughout the year which is great. I for sure noticed I wasn’t buying laundry detergent every month and the pennies saved. The white balls are mystery however they are harmful chemical free, biodegradable and vegan which react with the water. The black tourmaline pellets to lift stains by energising the water. Ecoegg state what the tourmaline pellets do, but I find it shady they don’t mention what the white pellets are made of. I did find one site that listed the ingredients but as it’s not Ecoegg themselves I can’t be sure it’s the complete list of ingredients. They recommend disposing of the used white pellets in the bin as they haven’t been tested on wildlife or plants (so how eco friendly? The ingredients separately are? Together are? They contradict themselves here by saying not harmful to aquatic life). I think for light washes it’s okay and at low temperatures. However it’s not great on whites, leaving them grey. It also washes out colours from clothes. This could be the dye, cheap clothes but after one wash, lighter colours such as pinks, greens they started to fade noticeably after just one wash (see photo below). It could also have been that my washing machine died this year and wasn’t washing as good as previous.
Earlier this year we had holiday vacay in the USA. Hawaii and Northern California. I was so excited to see what Wholefoods Market had in the way of plastic free kitchen cleaning utensils, cosmetics. Okay, I was excited for the whole shop. Here Europe we hear a lot about how good it is. The London one a few years ago I was impressed by so I was hoping the range would have grown. Just before going I had found an online plastic free shop, stalking a few items I thought I could get in America cheaper. I’ve come to the conclusion I have to stop thinking that organic shops are onto plastic free alternatives unless they started catering for plastic free alternatives demand.
To be honest, Wholefoods was a little dissapointing. Not from the kale point of view. So many varieties and a large stock of it. Here it goes quickly. The Wholefoods near Sand City the cleaning isle I walked down a few times without noticing. I wasn’t looking for products I was looking cleaning and kitchen utensils and they were just added bits hanging of the shelfs. The Wholefoods near Redwood Shores was better. The time we got there after out exploring we had just enough time to race around the produce sections.
Our last morning before returning we stopped by Half Moon Bay and oh my. New Leaf is like Wholefoods on speed. The best vegan BLT sandwich and huge cosmetic section. Again the cleaning utensils still not as plastic free as I’d hoped however I had to put things back as the suitcases were already full. A long winded way of saying the best place to buy plastic free utensils is still online. Edit: while editing I’ve found a few plastic free stores in Barcelona. You bet in phase 2 I’m dropping by. I’ve already checked their online shops and this girl’s excited.