Welcome to another Beauty Finds! This edition is soap. More specifically body soap. One of the first things I switched out when I started wanting to use less plastic was shower gel. Its alternative being soap. An old fashioned bar of soap which I think now is having a huge comeback as people leave plastic bottles behind.
And not just any soap! Firstly it has to be cruelty free, plastic packaging free, palm oil and it’s derivatives free and petrochemical and it’s derivatives free along with being free of a host of other nasty ingredients. With most of my beauty products I try to think about the environment after products have been washed or flushed down the drain. Just like all my other beauty products, in addition to being cruelty free, palm oil and petrochemical and their derives free (I might allow 4th or 5th generation petrochemical) I do my best to avoid parabens, phthalates, SLS, PEGS and a load of other nasty ingredients. I choose to avoid palm oil as I prefer orangutans. Its alias like petroleum can be tricky. I try if possible not to go coconut oil as it’s crops can be just as bad as palm oil crops. If I can I prefer to use sustainable palm and coconut oil. With skincare it’s bit more tricky so I go for cruelty free and try to avoid some nasty ingredients. My skin type is oily, sensitive, acne and now those wrinkles! Body skin type dry.
I was sad when I finished using this as I know I won’t be able to get it again. It was a USA find earlier this year on holiday from Wholefoods. Blackberry scented but not if you get me. It’s a little more musky than I go for but I liked it nonetheless. It didn’t irritate my skin, it left my skin hydrated, I liked it’s creamy texture and it didn’t leave scum marks in the shower that are a bugger to clean off. It’s scent so strong that between uses it lingered in and around the bathroom. Even the packaging I saved to write it up still has its scent. As for the packaging, I like it for what it is. Undyed cardboard to fit its rustic feel. The only cons I have are: the colourings as it what they are, is it vegetable colouring, is it natural, is it environmental friendly and the fragrance oil: what is it in case of reactions. Would I repurchase? Yes if I could get it in Europe.
Another USA find I was sad to finish. I found this in a weird organic, super health food shop in Oahu. An expensive health food shop. But it is on an island with prices higher due to import. There’s nothing fancy about Sappo Hill’s packaging. Only plastic the price sticker. It comes in a display box which you select from. It was also the cheapest cruelty free soap I found in the USA and for now in Europe that’s plastic packaging free.
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.
Welcome to another Recycle Less! For the past few years I’ve been cutting down my plastic waste, trying to buy less, reuse, repurpose and find plastic free alternatives.
Food and cosmetics remain my number one plastic waste. Thankfully more brands are using bio degradable plastics and glass bottles. Sometimes however the price tag is still too high. Sometimes there isn’t a plastic free alternative. Sometimes you look at the label on glass bottle, realise the sticky label’s plastic. Sometimes you know the ingredients in the skin care or hair care bottle is better for you and the environment when washed or flushed down the drain, however the bottle’s plastic. One thing I am noticing is European supermarkets like Carrefour and Alcampo own brands are finding plastic free alternatives. For example going back to foil and cardboard for chocolate bars, while other main name brands are still wrapping chocolate in plastic. It’s a small step in the right direction.
Plastic free bottle cleaners have been on my to buy list of ages however the prices were never right or they didn’t ship to Spain. Cleaning bottles I was relying on shaking soapy water in the bottle after the last bottle cleaner plastic bristles disintegrated and letting water run into the bottle until no more suds were left. I’d completely forgot about replacing them until checking Amazon basket total they were in the save for later basket. The bristles are sisal bristles are made from the agave plant with a soft cotton mop like end. They work great. I still have to let the water run rinsing out suds, however the bottles are so much cleaner. I like that they come in different sizes and lengths. Rather than use the spilt ring, I use an old keyring carabiner, hanging them on a hook next to the sieves and colanders.
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: