Read more about the article Become your own Brand: Sustainable sewing
Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash buttons speaking

Become your own Brand: Sustainable sewing

In sewing an item from scratch – either using purchased materials or upcycling old items – you will experience the time, skill and patience it takes to create an item of clothing or accessory. Your journey to self sufficiency moves forward, and mending, fixing, upcycling and creating new, bespoke/tailored and exciting items becomes an enjoyable hobby: you become your own brand!

If you are interested in sustainable sewing projects, or maybe have been motivated to look into this more during COVID-19 lockdowns, here are a few ideas, patterns and links – I just hope that in inspires just one other person to replace one item which they usually buy, with a home-made / upcycled item:  By sewing your own clothing and/or accessories, you are choosing a leisurely, more sustainable lifestyle and, at the same time, making a stand against fast fashion.

Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash
Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash

Your sewing skills can be used to dramatically reduce the number disposable items and products you use.

IMAGE Fewer disposables = less in landfill = more pennies in your pocket = you and the planet that little bit happier

Here are a few ideas to get you started – small steps make a huge difference! (Remember: google is your friend, and there are sew many patterns, instructions and videos out there, you are bound to find instructions and/or a tutorial which suits you and your capabilities!)

At the end of the day, the possibilities are endless…. If you need something, look online to see how to make it yourself!  Upcycle old clothing into bags, wraps and even into NEW clothing items! You can let your imagination go wild, learn some new skills, and create a more sustainable way of living.

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Read more about the article Buy Local: Focus on Yarn
Photo by Mahyar Motebassem on Unsplash

Buy Local: Focus on Yarn

If, like me, often purchase beautiful yarns for knitting, crochet or even weaving, one small change you can make to reduce your carbon footprint is to #BuyLocal. We are not short of amazing yarn mills, spinners and/or even hand dyers in the UK – look out for them in your local shops or support them via their websites!

As you are looking through the below, PLEASE let me know if I have missed any and I will add them!

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Product Review: Ocean Saver – Cleaning detergents

I picked up some Oceansaver Anti Bac and a reusable spray bottle from Weigh of the World a few weeks ago, and it is sooooooo amazing and easy to use! So far I have only tried the Anti-Bac, with great results – others are to follow!

By using Oceansaver refill drops, the retailers will transport less water, which means fewer trucks on the road, helping to reduce carbon emissions. Also, because you are re-using your spray bottles, Oceansaver drops were developed to fight single-use plastic and preserve our oceans and sea life – A great range of home cleaning solutions made with plant-based ingredients, totally biodegradable, lab tested and proven efficacy.

Oceansaver is committed to finding affordable solutions without compromising on quality or effectiveness. They take an innovative approach to all their products and packaging, ensuring they use the latest in recyclable and biodegradable materials.

These are really easy to use too!

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Is the ‘Tiny Home’ movement finally catching on in Britain?

Guest Blog Post by David Blackhurst

For those who don’t know what it’s all about… There is a global trend which is growing in popularity around the world. The UK is now catching up! The basic premise is around minimalism, what do you actually ‘need’ to live and be comfortable?

When you start to strip away the shiny baubles, what we actually need/use on a regular basis surprises most people. I lived on a narrowboat for three years, but soon had to adapt to the ‘limited space’. At first I had things in storage, but over time I came to realise that (after six months) I hadn’t actually needed anything which was in the storage unit I was paying for.

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Keep the High Street Shops ALIVE… help them THRIVE!

In November 2019, Eco Store, Weigh of the World, in Northwich opened - THIS was a game changer for me! Local, and a brilliant concept! (you can read my blog post here). In addition to buying my fresh fruit & vegetables from John Griffiths' Green Grocers in Northwich, between the two of these shops, I found that I had 99% of what I needed! However, many small, independent shops, both in Northwich and elsewhere, are experiencing a massive decrease in sales, despite remaining open during the lockdown - people are doing their main shops in supermarkets. Before your supermarket shop, visit your local, small businesses first! Then only go to the supermarket if there is anything which you are unable to obtain! It is more important than ever that we support our local businesses - especially through this time of crisis! Furthermore, buying locally reduces food miles, helps alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution and cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions. With that in mind, I have collated a list of independent shops in NORTHWICH who are still open and operating, and what shopping options are available. Independent Northwich Shops Open/Online during Lockdown: Abda's Coffee Shop: Coffee and Tea can be ordered through their Facebook Page.Artisans Online: The Northwich Artisan Market is now online!Crafty Stitches: Online orders are being taken for delivery on FacebookFirthField Pet Stores: Open for business.Ginger & Browns: Pet Supplies at Blakemere - Open for online ordersJohn Griffiths' Greengrocers: 10 Witton St, Northwich -…

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COVID-19: Staying Home, Staying Safe and keeping up with your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Part 6

Keeping safe within your home

The Government guidelines on all aspects of reducing the spread of COVID-19 are clear. The symptoms to look out for, and guidance for managing them, are regularly updated on the NHS or WHO websites.

In addition to my previous posts about wearing a mask, creating different zones in your household, washing hands and using hand sanitiser, etc. in order to reduce the spread of this awful disease and protect your household, family, friends and the public, there is an overview of other things you can keep in mind (what myself and my carer do), for your convenience below.

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Product Review: Lavandi Organic Vegan Lip Balm

Lavandi were kind enough to provide me with some of their Lip Balm for testing. This is a product which I have absolutely LOVED…. definitely a favourite of mine!

What I liked most is the fact that Lavandi are based in Northwich, Cheshire, where I live! Lavandi have seen the need for change and have created a range of recipes that are all-natural. Lavandi’s Organic Vegan Lip Balms are made from certified Organic ingredients, we have combined some of the best Botanical infusions, Unrefined Oils and Butters to create a range of Organic Vegan Lip Balms, that have incredible Moisturising, Repair and Taste.

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Product Review: Salt of the Earth

This product intrigued me – not only is it plastic free, but it also consists of the subject of my PhD: Salt!

Salt of the Earth crystal deodorants work by leaving an invisible layer of mineral salt on the skin which work to inhibit the growth of odour causing bacteria. This is a good product if you wish to avoid plastic packaging!

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Product Review: Reusable Sanitary Products

Periods: not the most pleasant thing to write about, but a monthly occurrence which, for the majority of UK women, results in repeated purchases of sanitary towels and/or tampons. This included me until this week.

I had ordered a number of sanitary towels (and a menstrual cup) from Peace With The Wild to be delivered (and they arrived just as my period came). Such a colourful array of colours! I was quite excited opening the package!

I received:

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Bamboo Toothbrushes

I have bought a variety of Bamboo Toothbrushes over the past 6-9 months, all of them wear well, do the job, are nice to hold, and I can dispose of them in good conscience. I have to admit, though, my favourite so far has been the Bamboo Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles by TEVRA - my teeth feel a lot cleaner with the charcoal bristles! Additional Attributes Plastic-freeZero waste - ie packed in all recyclable material!Dentist Approved: Not only is this toothbrush excellent for the environment, but it is also good for you. The toothbrushes all feature high-quality dental grade bristles, just like your plastic toothbrush at home. You will get the same clean, healthy teeth without any of the waste.Medium Bristles: They are stronger but gentle enough to not to cause enamel damage while delivering plenty of polishing power. GUARANTEED – If you do not like this toothbrush, TEVRA will refund the full purchase price - basically, you have no excuse not to try it! They also have their own Vegan Dental Floss and Refill Pack! This will be reviewed later! EDIT: I have recently read that the toothbrushes which I bought most, and favoured, from Tevra are "BPA-free Charcoal" - tested with a flame, and they melt rather than burn, so I suspect that there is some polyester in them. So, It is sadly it is not 100% compostable - despite what is openly advertised . I did, however, find a blog post on this subject which may be…

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