Recycle Less: September Challenge. Did I Do It?

Last Month in Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life Label and My September Challenge I set myself a September Challenge. Aside from gym leggings and socks not to buy any other item clothing for the month of September instead shopping my wardrobe. Did I do it?

Technically yes. Technically no. 

Technically yes: I did get a pair of gym leggings and much needed socks. Socks can be expensive! I prefer Decathlon invisible trainer socks for the gym, running and everyday socks and while they’re cheapish €4.99 for 2 pairs, 6 packs add up.  

If we’re going calendar dates from ‘money’ to ‘money’ I did more or less do the challenge. If going full calendar month from the 1st to the 30th no. I’m not a zodiac monkey for nothing. 

Technically no: I did get a hoodie under the pretence of teaching classes when it gets colder. However as for now it’s the only decent looking jumper I have until a coat or jacket hides jumpers, I’ve been using it as a regular hoodie. Naughty Nat. 

My Mum every year gives my sister and I winter coat money, although we can use it for what ever we want. I always forget every year she does and trust me my sister and I buy coats, shoes or bras with it. I usually wear a winter coat for 2 winters with the money covering a coat and maybe a bra or pair of shoes. It wasn’t my intention to get an in-between autumn and winter and in between winter and spring jacket. I saw one and decided it would break up being dressed all in black when short puffer jacket season starts. Buy it now before when I need it for when I can only find big winter coats. I’ll be shopping for a big non down winter coat then anyway. So, this is a grey area under my Mum’s saying if you see it, get it, as you might not see it again along with another of her’s it’s only a bargain if you need it.

Continue reading “Recycle Less: September Challenge. Did I Do It?”

Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life label and My September Challenge

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:

Continue reading “Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life label and My September Challenge”

What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks

Leave it to my washing machine to have a breakdown in a lockdown. For various reasons I didn’t via the landlord get a new machine until a few weeks ago, making in about 6-7 weeks of hand washing. With my 6-7 weeks experience of hand washing I’m sharing what I learnt manually washing clothes, towels and linen. Exciting huh?!

Source Giphy

Washing machines revolutionised the world. They free up time. They do the dirty hard work. All you have to do is pop the load in the machine, press a few buttons, leave it to do it’s thing, you go do other stuff until it bleeps all done, either air dry every thing or tumble dry. Done. I line dry which requires:

Timing. I couldn’t wring all the water out. It’s physically impossible. Not even a washing machine can unless it tumble dries too. I had to check the weather a few days ahead to plan laundry days for drying on the balcony. Thankfully I have a bath and the washing rack fitted in the bath to catch the run off. However leaving like that overnight nothing dried. I could have put a towel underneath the rack and let it air dry in the living room, but that would result in parquet water damage. Thankfully there were only a couple of stormy days and I wasn’t wearing much. Clothes were on repeat in lockdown and it was mostly lounge clothes. No pretty outfits. 

I already hand wash my bras so I thought I had how to hand wash down. Nope. You need buckets. A few buckets. I already had a bucket and salad spinner for help drying my bras (trust me. It’s a game changer!) but soon realised I need another. Thankfully my local big supermarket, the cleaning bucket isle wasn’t tapped off out of bounds. With 3 buckets, bowls I learnt:

You have to run an little bath with liquid (preferably environmentally friendly laundry detergent. I use magnesium balls (I use another brand) learning buying the gentlest for sensitive skin liquid detergent again is expensive) then add the clothes. Rather than dump them all in, each individual item you swish around a little, rub fabric together to start to lift dirt, repeat a few times like how a machine does. When all the items are in, swish them around some more. I found with towels I had, dump the water and start again with the detergent. One ‘wash’ wasn’t enough. I then left them overnight for the detergent to I dunno, lift anything else with enzymes. That was the easy part.

Source Giphy

Rinsing is the harder part. I’m dreading the next water bill. Although it’ll be interesting to see if hand washing vs washing machine uses more water. To ensure all the detergent is removed you have to rinse, rinse, rinse baby. I found the easiest way again was individually as each item and type of fabric holds the detergent at different rates. Cotton Continue reading “What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks”

Nerdy Stuff You Notice Travelling. Information Signs California

It’s amazing the things you notice travelling outside your natural habitat. One thing that stood out for me on holiday earlier this year in California was the information signs.

Signs I’d seen a million times in photos and on TV in a pinch me moment I’m seeing in person. Universal information signs that need no words, but sometimes leave you guessing optical illusions or alternate different meanings. The for real am I here info signs? Or anywhere in the USA if you live outside of the USA. The psychology behind them. Knowing most people look down or only a little ahead walking. The grammar’s different too. I find the USA English uses a more formal language with signs than UK English making them seem at times a little old fashioned and proper.  

One of my favourite signs that caught my eye were No Dumping signs next to road drains. I’m a sucker for animal designs so of course I noticed these. I think every town has a different design. I didn’t get all train spotting looking out for them. Just when I came across them.

San Francisco Continue reading “Nerdy Stuff You Notice Travelling. Information Signs California”

Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2

Welcome to another Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2! As some you may know I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption. I’ve always said beauty products after food are the the hardest plastic area for me to reduce. Thankfully with hair care, it’s getting easier to go plastic free with solid shampoo and conditioner bars! However just like their liquid counterparts it takes many frogs to find the right ones.

I’ve found some bars might contain too much sulphate that make my fine hair go crazy frizzy. Nobody wants that! I also feel sometimes the ingredients are a little more concentrated being in a bar. Just like with all my beauty products I always go for cruelty free products, vegan a bonus. I prefer natural clean products and try to avoid nasty ingredients such as parabens, petrochemical ingredients and its derivatives, SLS etc. I avoid palm oil if I can as I prefer orangutangs. I’m not perfect, some nasty ingredients slip through as I sped read the label, or it’s a derivatives or an alias I’m not familiar with. With make up I opt for cruelty free, clean as possible ingredients however it’s harder with make up than skincare to avoid the crap free ingredients. My skin type is oily, combo, sensitive, acne and needs all the help it can get with anti aging. My hair type is fine, gets greasy quickly and is prone to damage even though I don’t colour it or use any heat treatments on it. I often get OWay rebuilding treatment

One thing I have noticed with solid shampoo and conditioners is the price. It’s a lot kinder to the bank balance. Depending on the size they also last longer. This I find interesting as many natural liquid shampoos and conditioners cost almost 3-5 times or more the price of a bar.

Solito Herbal Solid Shampoo. Neutral For All Hair Types 

This did what it said, neutral for all hair types. I was sad when it had it’s last lather. It kept my hair happy and shiny in 3 countries with 3 different climates. It left it feeing clean, happy, a little shiny. It’s scent didn’t really smell, it lathered nicely, it was a great everyday shampoo. I would repeat buy however:

It contains propylene glycol, petrochemical derived. I’ll admit I over looked it at the time as the previous solid shampoo bars made my hair a little crazy Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2”