9 Things to Know About Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic Waste

Making products out of recycled plastics is amazing and it still blows my mind how plastic can be turned into fabric.

So when Clearwaters footwear got in touch to show me how they are tackling ocean and landfill waste by turning plastics into shoes, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

I talked to Clearwaters co-founder Sean Evans to find out exactly how plastic is recycled into their gorgeous, cosy slippers and what more we can do to make recycling plastics a mainstream thing that we can all benefit from.

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Sustainable and ethical gifts from Madagascar

Handmade ethical embroidered Kindle Case madagascar ethical gifts

Madagascar ethical sustainable gifts Kazy Anastasy, Vololonirina Marie Cleire, Rasoamihanta Elyse

I’m fascinated by people who go away on holiday and come back to completely change their lives. Sarah Brown, an art lecturer from Leeds, went on hols to Madagascar and saw how extreme poverty has affected women there – she saw a lack of self belief, poor living conditions, no access to paid employment and illiteracy. She decided to do something about it so left her job, moved to a small village in the South East of Madagascar called Sainte Luce and set up Stitch Sainte Luce embroidery project to teach women how to create beautiful products which Sarah now sells online at stitchsainteluce.org.

Take a look and you’ll see traditional creativity mixed with bold graphic prints. Really love the first one which looks fresh and modern.

Handmade ethical embroidered Kindle Case madagascar ethical gifts

Purse by Esterline madagascar ethical gifts Madagascar Olga with cushion ethical gifts madagascar Make-up bag by by Didiane ethical gifts

Creating and selling these products brings in an income stream for the women and they also learn new skills. What I also love is the fabric is recycled and the products are brought back to the UK by volunteers who are on holiday in Madagascar so no additional air miles are expended. Stitch Saint Luce is supported by SEED Madagascar, a charity which aims to help people, animals and plants of Madagascar in a sustainable and ecological way.

Do check them out and consider them for any gift buying – beats an ordinary purse from the high street for sure! The products are also available on Etsy.com: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/StitchSainteLuce

 

New eco-shopping app launches in London

urbit app shopping review blog post

urbit app shopping review blog post

I love hearing about new places to shop for eco and ethical products so I was recently introduced to a new shopping app called Urb-It. It’s a Stockholm-born app that’s now available in London and delivers purchases from any retailer on the app in an eco-friendly way to a London address of your choice.

The concept is simple, you browse and shop through a selection of curated products from one of the cool retailers such as Ethical Collection, 58 Lifestyle or The Idle Man and your products are delivered from their London stores or warehouses by one of the Urb-It team by bike, public transport or foot making it an environmentally low-impact way to get your home/office delivery. Depending on what time you order and where the store and where your delivery location is, you can get it the same day or even within a few hours.

I put an order through from two different retailers at around 1pm and by 5:15pm the lovely Urb-It delivery girl (pictured below) had arrived at the Healthista offices where I work on Edgware Road with my parcel of goodies. Just like an Uber app I was able to track where she was at and what her expected time of arrival was going to be. You can even organise a return free of charge. Move over Urban Outfitters!

urb-it delivery app review
My Urb-It delivery girl who picked up my orders from two London retailers and delivered my shopping by bike

There’s an A-Z range of retailers on the app, mainly independent boutiques, designers and makers covering jewellery, clothes, gifts, lifestyle, home and even delicatessen foods, flowers and artisan chocolates. There are lots of beautiful, high end products as well as some lower priced items under £20. Delivery is £9.99 which is obviously more expensive than a postal delivery but this is same day.

I realised going through the A-Z list of retailers is a great way to discover new labels and independent designers too.

With £100 to spend on the app I headed straight to The Ethical Collection and picked O My Bag Canvas Toiletry Bag, £34. Fair trade made, vegetable tanned and made with no harsh chemical dyes such as chromium PCP and minimal waste. Oh, and super super stylish. My kind of product!

urbit app ethical collection bag inside shopping review blog post.

I then checked out the homecare products and found some great looking organic and sports washing detergent (domesticated I know, but they looked so good!) by Totally Swedish from The Idle Man, £14.90 each. I also bought a silver bottle stopper as it’s just one of those things I don’t own and have never got round to buying or asking for it as a gift. So now I own a very lovely, elegant one (pictured above).

urbit app ethical shopping organic detergent review blog post.

There were just a handful of retailers on there when I did my shop in September but now there are many more and a huge product range so do check it out, especially if you’re in London and want to avoid the high street (who wouldn’t say no to that). You’ll also find some really cool unique products without having to search the internet for hours. Available on Apple Store now.

In My Wardrobe: New Veja Trainers

New trainers! Veja trainers. After years of following the brand, I’ve finally got round to buying a pair. For me, Veja is a brand with the most amazing ethos and commitment to everything related to making a product: the environment, ecology, fair trade, workers and style.

Veja trainers Aida Shoreditch

The soles are made from Amazonian rubber trees (instead of usual petroleum-derived rubber) and help to provide an income for 60 Amazonian families as well as provide an incentive to keep trees up and not deforest.

I love the transparency in the who, where, what and why of Veja shoe-making – check out the video below to see more about how the shoes are made, and the brand’s inspiring commitment to workers and sustainable materials.

By doing things differently they can attempt to distance themselves from worker exploitatio and environmental degradation which is sadly the usual result of most things we produce and consume. Instead, I feel like there’s a lot of respect for people and the land, and that’s my kind of brand.  Read more about Veja materials and projects here

If you’re due a new pair of trainers, and want a decent alternative to the usual suspects, Nike et al, then check out the endless number of Veja stylesAnd if, like me, you try to minimise consumption of leather and animal materials, then many are almost vegan. Some are totally non-leather, others have some or very little. I believe mine (above) have a little bit in the V cut-out. Although I would have preferred a totally non-leather pair, from what I’ve read, Veja leather is said to be eco-tanned without chromium (a lingering pollutant) and with knowledge of the source and living conditions of cattle.

Check out the online Veja store (they ship to UK from France) as well as a few boutiques around London. I bought mine up from the gorgeous Aida in Shoreditch for £75.

Let me know if you have a pair, buy a pair or love them as much as I do. @YanarBeauty

PS – this is NOT a sponsored post. Just genuine love for a decent brand! x

Fashion made from recycled car parts

Yes, you read that right – one of my favourite press releases of late – Ford, the car manufacturer, challenged 10 emerging fashion designers to create pieces using recycled Ford car parts and textile waste. Dresses, shirts, jackets and skirts were made from seat covers and other parts and shown at Hong Kong Fashion Week. An inspiring piece of news for the possibilities of recycling, and the future for sustainable fabrics…

Ford fashion recycled material car parts

Ford already uses plastic bottles and post-industrial waste to make recycled fabric as part of its upholstery in its cars so it partnered with Redress, a Hong Kong based charity that promotes sustainability in the fashion industry, to see how designers could transform materials and waste from vehicle production.

The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was born and held during Hong Kong Fashion Week. From ten finalists from around the world, including UK, there were two winners, from Malaysia and Sweden

How did they do it? If, like me, you’re intrigued as to how you get from plastic bottle to bolero, check out this video which explains how to make fabric (polyester) out of recycled bottles – it’s amazing!!!

 

I can’t believe the whole recycling process is so long and intricate; so many miles, countless stages, so much energy and hours of manpower (someone has to manually fish out the floating bottle lids from pools of broken down plastic?!). This complex process is carried out in China and probably only possible because of cheap labour. So now you know what happens to our plastic once we’ve chucked it in the recycling box – a long and arduous journey to reincarnation.

Ford fashion recycled material car parts 2

Ford states that ‘on an annual basis it recycles enough plastic bottles and postindustrial waste to make more than 1.5 million yards of recycled fabric.’

This recycled fabric is then used as car seat covers, an initiative that has apparently been so successful Ford has committed to using at least 25% recycled fabrics in every car. Some, like this one, uses 100% recycled fabrics.

Ford fashion recycled material car parts 4

Interestingly, I’ve been told that Ford is also working with Heinz to investigate the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable plastics. It’s also decreased water use in its vehicle production, from 64 million cubic meters to 24 million cubic meters so it seems like Ford is on a bit of a sustainability mission.

It feels a little weird talking about a car manufacturer on an eco beauty blog but as I’ve always said, let’s champion the brands trying to tread more carefully on the planet – the fact that it’s a car manufacturer makes it all the more interesting.

I think innovation in sustainable fabrics is really cool and even high street stores – Marks & Spencer and H&M – are getting involved and experimenting with recycled fabrics.

Hopefully in the future we’ll see more and more products and materials made from post-consumer waste and hopefully it will become a second nature thing for brands and manufacturers to use recycled materials as a first port of call instead of virgin plastics.

I guess it all comes down to economics at the end of the day, so if and when virgin plastics become too expensive to use, brands will be forced to innovate and turn to recycling post-consumer waste. It’s not inconceivable that day will come sooner rather than later and thankfully there are already brands leading the way.

Ford fashion recycled material car parts 3