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Eco-friendly Valentine's Day

With Valentines’ Day around the corner, why not make yours an eco-friendly day? Here are some ideas to impress your partner from dawn till dusk!

Breakfast in bed. Nothing like waking up to a cup of freshly brewed organic coffee and a kiss, followed by a full English Breakfast, using free-range bacon and eggs fresh from the farm, some freshly baked sourdough bread and some organic tomatoes.

Valentine’s gift. Surprising your partner with a gift is always a winner on Valentine’s Day, but instead of buying freshly cut flowers, why not buy a potted plant, or plant a tree? Or why not order an ethical gift box to be delivered to your partner at work?

Relax. After work, why not set the scene with some natural candles and treat your loved one to a relaxing massage using some lovely essential oils and natural skincare products?

Eat in. While your partner is still on cloud nine after their massage pour them a glass of organic/vegan sparkling wine whilst you get cooking! Spoil them with only the best organic vegetables, free-range meat or prepare a vegan feast!

Pop the question? Now is the time to pop the Big Question with a beautiful ethically sourced ring or just show your love with a stunning reclaimed silver bracelet.

Snuggle up. Watch a romantic movie together and tuck into some organic or Fairtrade chocolates to finish off a perfect day!

 

To find your local, ethical, planet-friendly businesses, search the Livewell Directory

DEPLOY sustainable fashion

w/c 3rd Sept was Zero Waste Week:

The environmental crisis caused by the wastefulness of the fashion industry is at forefront of current discussion. It is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world and landfill waste rivals the plastic pollution of our oceans.

Visible waste of discarded garments from unworn/unwanted fast fashion is well documented, but this doesn’t include the hidden waste of the ‘chaotic’ fashion supply chain, estimated in 2017 to be at least 2.4 billion garments (approx. 3-5% of 80bn-100bn garments produced per annum)*.

We can no longer even finger point at the high street fast fashion, as recent media coverage discovers fashion’s dirty secret to include Burberry burning some £90M worth of excess stock.

DEPLOY is an innovative clothing brand, founded in 2006 with a mission to make fashion sustainable. DEPLOY pioneers a customer-centric process, reducing the waste endemic throughout the supply chain, starting with designing for end-customers’ needs as opposed to the brand’s agenda.

DEPLOY’s 3 STEPS TO ZERO WASTE:

  1. Multi-functional design that maximises resources to minimise waste:

We listen carefully to our customers and design timeless, high-quality, and multi-functional garments that conserve resources whilst better serving customers in desirable, lasting ways.

  1. A customised supply chain that produces and upcycles in the same process:

We produce locally with long-term partners to the highest quality and in small batches to avoid overproduction and enable custom-requirements. At the same time as producing all fabric offcuts are salvaged for reuse in contrast detailing, trimmings making, and into handmade accessories of our sister brand Hennumi Millinery.

  1. Start from sourcing environmentally; finish with customer service/aftercare:

DEPLOY garments are made with environmentally certified fabrics, can be worn in multiple ways and be further custom-fit or re-designed over-time to update in style, fit, and function. There is minimal left-over stock as DEPLOY clothing is treasured by wearers and end-of-season stock are purchased and valued by customers with less disposable income who also wish to buy into the DEPLOY way of sustainable style.

Credentials:

  • Interviewed by BBC World News, Radio and TV on our pioneering way of sustainable fashion
  • Selected by the EU as one of the 40 top emerging designers to showcase in Paris, Tokyo, and New York Fashion Week
  • A Finalist of the prestigious Drapers Awards and to have dressed guests for the Royal Wedding, and celebrities for the small and big screens.

Press Quotes:

  • “Takes ‘green’ to a new level”_ BBC WORLD NEWS
  • “Realises women’s long-standing dream”_ VOGUE
  • “It won’t be long before the rest of the world catches on to DEPLOY”_ HARPER’S BAZAAR
  • “DEPLOY’s interchangeable clothes are a godsend” _ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE
  • “Exciting innovation and lasting fashion”_ MARIE CLAIRE

Find their listing on Livewell Directory

Sloppy Tunas eco-friendly swimwear

Sloppy Tunas create eco-friendly swimwear made from 100% recycled polyester. It takes approximately 7 plastic bottles to make each swimsuit.

Read below our interview with Sloppy Tunas to find out how they started and what their future plans are.

 

  1. How did you first realise that you could make ethical swimwear out of plastics directly taken from the sea?

Our initial idea was to make sustainable swimwear, but when we first started we didn’t even know that recycled polyester even existed. We spent a couple of months researching different materials and compositions. We finally found some companies that used recycled polyester to make different pieces of clothing. So, we went on to look for different suppliers. After reaching out to many different manufacturing companies and being told many times that recycled polyester was impossible to find here in Spain, we found a supplier that offered the exact prime materials we were looking for.

  1. How does the breakdown process work from plastic bottles to swimwear?

The process is rather complex compared to your average swimsuit or piece of clothing in general. First, through a local foundation, we recover the plastic from the ocean. This foundation works closely with the fisherman of the Mediterranean coast and encourages them to keep all the trash they pick up from the fishing nets and put it into different containers.

After the plastic is collected, it is sorted into different categories and what we especially use is PET. This plastic is crushed into small pieces, melted into pellets and then processed into high quality 100% recycled polyester. After we have the fabric we cut and sew them into Sloppy’s. All of this process is done between Spain and Portugal.

  1. Will there be a Sloppy Tunas swimwear for women in the near future?

I think this is the question we get asked the most! It’s something we definitely have in mind. We also understand that the women swimwear market is a little more complex, and before we dive into this market we want to make sure that the recyclable materials we currently use are also compatible with women’s swimwear.

  1. What are your long-term aspirations for Sloppy Tunas?

Our goal with Sloppy Tunas is to raise awareness about plastic pollution, by offering fashionable and sustainable clothing. We believe that everyone has the power to save the planet, and by just doing some small things in our everyday lives we can have a huge impact on our beautiful planet.

Apart from making swimwear we also take part in beach cleans on the Barceloneta beach, for u,s it’s also a great way to raise awareness of the problem that we are faced with. At the end of the day, we want to be a catalyst for change.

  1. Who chose the name and why?

Glad the name has sparked some curiosity! When we started this project, we knew that if we were going to make something ethical and sustainable we wanted to make it fun and appealing for the younger consumers too. Currently, a lot of ethical brands are targeted to older consumers. But we wanted to change that and offer fun and trendy swimwear at a competitive price.

The actual name Sloppy Tunas represents two of the most important things here in the Mediterranean. Tuna is one of the most common species found in the Mediterranean Sea, and Sloppy represents the young and nonconformists that are currently revolutionizing the way we go about things.

  1. Do Javier Bardem and his charitable work with plastics know you exist and if not why not? When will we get to see a picture of him in his Sloppy Tunas!??

We are huge fans of Javier Bardem, unfortunately, I don’t think he knows about us yet. But we won’t stop until everyone knows about Sloppy Tunas and what we stand for.

 

To view ethical fashion brands visit Livewell Directory

 

Arborea ethical Jewellery

When I started crafting I had no job and was looking for a quick fix to make some money. I thought to myself “I’ll just start making and selling jewellery, then I can contribute to running the house”. Now, in hindsight, that was way too optimistic but my journey from then to where I am today has been an exciting ride.

I started off making cheap and cheerful beaded things which looking back were probably better off in the recycling bin but I really enjoyed it as a hobby. For a couple of years, I continued to make these trinkets, doing a bit of hand-stamping too (to the detriment of my wrists!), until one day I decided to brave it and learn how to do some silversmithing. After learning the basics, I was combining silver and resin jewellery with real flowers. Now I really struggled with making the perfect resin items and became really uncomfortable in the knowledge that resin jewellery is, in fact, non-biodegradable plastic, so I decided to continue with silver.

I was lucky enough in 2016 to get a job working in conservation, where I advise on land management and legally protected sites across East Devon. My work gives me a thorough understanding of how we affect our environment and that what we are doing to the environment reflects what we are doing to ourselves. Being so focused on this in my day-to-day work it started to come across in my jewellery, I was only buying recycled silver sheets and wire and my pieces usually had something to do with nature or wildlife – this is when Arborea Jewellery was born. I chose this name as Arborea is Latin for ‘tree’ as I was making a lot of metal clay leaves at the time, and every animal and plant has its own Latin name.

For the last few years, I have been self-taught, honing my skills in saw piercing, soldering, stone-setting and playing around with various techniques, deciding what fitted with my brand and what I was REALLY terrible at (like enamelling!). I joined a Facebook group called Eco-jewellery makers where I found a lady who sells beautiful gems reclaimed from vintage jewellery. I noticed that most jewellers who claimed to use recycled silver weren’t using recycled silver chains so I did lots of research and found a company who makes them and shared this with the group. I also came across a few lovely people who sell responsibly-sourced gems from mines that are conflict-free and fair-trade, allowing the mines to return to nature with as minimal intervention as possible. These important materials are the foundation for all of the items I make and I feel so much more comfortable with this knowledge.

I am always on the hunt for ways to be eco-friendly, with recycled packaging, renewable electricity, re-using chemicals to clean the silver after firing, and even just around the house – I have a HUGE box of recycled toilet roll in my bathroom! So you can see that this isn’t just me trying to fit into a marketing niche but it is my lifestyle, for example, my small garden is taken up by a wildflower meadow, a vegetable patch and bird boxes.

I believe that what we do not know, we do not care about and what we do not care about we do not try to protect. This is why I include snippets of interesting information with my jewellery items, be it leaf or animal, to show that it’s not only what we wear but it’s also what we stand for.

Go to the Arborea Jewellery listing on Livewell Directory for more information.

Denys & Fielding deckchair

When Cat and I first started having ideas about Denys & Fielding, we wanted to create a range of products for the home and garden that was a little different from the norm. Something that had colour, personality and style. Above all, we wanted our range to be joyful –  a little escape from the hard work, long hours and the stresses and strains of life.

This train of thought very quickly led us onto how we wanted our products to be made. A much bigger question. I’ll be honest, it’s not been easy. It took six months for a British manufacturer to even speak to us about producing our fabrics. We’ve had suppliers approach to work with us on the basis that they offer a sustainable solution, only to find out that their interpretation of ‘sustainable’ isn’t quite the same as ours. It’s not that they have been deliberately vague, it is just that there are so many grey areas. Sustainability is a word that has a really wide interpretation. Making decisions about new product lines is always difficult, as quite often, there is some kind of compromise. For example, our new range of serving trays are made in the UK, made from recycled materials and recyclable themselves. However, at the moment, most of the UK recycling facilities wouldn’t be able to recycle them. So, while we hope the recycling industry continues to develop new techniques and facilities to process more and more materials, we’re working with our supplier on ways to enable customers to send back their tray in years to come, so that the tray can be recycled and the customer can claim some kind of reward for their efforts. This is not easy when you are a small company, just starting out, with little ‘clout’. These challenges are continual, but for me, it is extremely important that we keep doing our best and keep trying to make the best decisions possible. It also has helped us shape our own definition of ‘sustainable’ and how it applies to our product development. We’ve kept it simple and have two overriding criteria.

Firstly, a love of making things is one of the defining characteristics of being human. The simple act of making something keeps people, communities and societies happy. While the UK is a mature market, we need to keep productive and keep making. Aside from the obvious carbon footprint savings, I’ve learned so much by being able to work closely with suppliers that we can meet or ring at the drop of a hat. It creates an energy which is wholly positive, no matter the inevitable failures, and problems along the way. Offshoring manufacturing may provide financial gain and a cheaper product for your pound, but I think we lose in other ways, some of which are far more long reaching than we might first suspect. So, where we can, we’ll always try and make everything in the UK. The only exception to this is our deckchair frames. It just wasn’t possible for us to source UK made frames, and believe me, we tried! The wood is imported but sourced as ethically as possible. It is PEFC certified, meaning it is from well-managed, sustainable forests. The frames aside, all of our products, packaging, even our cushion fillers, are made in the UK.

Secondly, our original intention – to produce home and garden wares that add a little colour and joy, still stands. The thought of having them made by people working in conditions which are the opposite of ‘joy’ just feels completely wrong. Now, clearly, not everyone working in factories overseas are in sweatshops! Nor is everyone working in the UK having a jolly good time. But, by ensuring that the majority of our goods are made here, and all are hand finished by us in the UK, we feel that we can maintain a more transparent supply chain. As a small business, with little time or resources to double check factories and environments around the world, this is important. We want to be open and confident about the provenance and creation of our products. And by hand making what we can, and sticking to local suppliers for the rest, we can do just that.

Have we got it right? I doubt it. But, as a small company, it’s within our gift to keep moving forward, keep positive and keep challenging the status quo.

Visit our website to view our products and to find out more.

 

Liz Ridgway, Co-Founder and Owner of Denys & Fielding 

we-are-livewell-directory

Dear Friends,

Thanks for joining us in our vision to create a kinder and fairer planet for all! We are very excited to finally launch the Livewell Directory, which we have been working on behind the scenes for the past 6 years.

To celebrate the launch of the Directory in the UK we are offering the first 1000 businesses a free 12-month listing! There are many other benefits to signing up with us as well, so if you are an ethical business in the UK and want to join the Directory then please register today! We are planning to launch in South Africa later this year, so if you are a South African business, then you can sign up to receive our launch alert.

Livewell Directory is the only UK Directory that endorses known certifications to ensure ethical standards. All listings on our directory are approved according to strict criteria within the Food, Retail and Wellbeing categories. You can view the Directory to find your local, ethical Food, Retail or Wellbeing business and look out for exclusive discounts for Livewell users!

The Directory is very close to our hearts and we hope that our community of like-minded people will grow and that together, we will make a difference by changing our shopping habits and becoming conscious consumers. Please sign up to our community newsletter where we will share news, blogs, tips, recipes and product reviews to promote healthy and sustainable living. Of course, listed businesses are also welcome to blog about issues close to their hearts and we will also welcome guest bloggers from the various certification bodies that we endorse.

Currently, we are a small team, but with a BIG vision and therefore we will need some reps to help us spread the word. Find out more about us, or contact us if you are interested in becoming part of our team. Livewell Directory is not just about us though, we also believe in sharing the love and helping other like-minded organisations and charities.  When we are fully established we plan to support three charities. One to help wildlife and the environment, one to support the welfare of farm animals in the UK and one which empowers young people to take charge of their lives in South Africa.

We would love to hear from you and to do so you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn! Join in the conversation and share any ethical products you’ve found or amazing food at restaurants, cafes etc. If you’re a business and have found a great ethical supplier, please share this with us too. We will be sharing our listings with you, so we’re all helping each other celebrate ethical business and living, eating well! We have created two private Facebook groups, specifically for ethical businesses to network with each other. You can join the Livewell Pioneers UK, or the Livewell Pioneers South Africa and get talking!

Please share the love and help us grow!

The Livewell Team xxx