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16/05/15: Ethical Stores

One part of my "good for me" checklist is buying ethical.  It's not always easy but as ever the internet is our friend here and I thought it would be good to share a couple of those that I've been browsing recently.

Bam Clothing
As you might have guessed, this site sells Bamboo clothing.  You can see from their FAQs that they take ethical sourcing seriously.  Also, their clothes happen to be some of the softest I have ever worn and their socks are actually magical - no stink!

10/05/15: Silk Naturals Chromatic Cream Eyeshadows

Silk Naturals is an amazing American site.  Filled with simple products at brilliant prices (even with conversion from $ to £ and shipping costs factored in!), I've spent more time than I care to admit browsing their wares. 

05/05/15: The Real Beauty Manifesto

With the existence of certifying bodies like the Soil Association, Ecocert, Cosmos it's nowadays relatively easy to source organic or natural products. However, that's usually just a small first step for me and many other "greenies" - there are plenty of other issues we want to consider before parting with our money and supporting that brand: What's in it? Who made it? Was it farmed ethically and responsibly? Does the company look after its producers? What about animal testing? Can I recycle the packaging? Is it a reasonable price? 

One of the most frustrating things I found when I first started looking for greener alternatives was that although sometimes I could hit upon one brand that ticked enough of those boxes, finding another took a whole new search and set of questions. My standards were more than just "is it organic?"

The Real Beauty Manifesto recognises that many people have those same standards. It's a group/movement of like-minded businesses and individuals centered around organic and natural beauty brands, and united by common goals, values and ethics - and marked out by their use of the RBM logo (top left).

Real Beauty ManifestoWhat
A set of core values that an individual or company signs up to adhere to in their business practice.  These are:
  • Purity – we avoid all harmful chemicals and toxins in the products we sell and promote natural and organic living to safeguard our health, our planet and our children’s future.
  • Compassion – we aim to be considerate as companies and as individuals. We refute the need for animal testing in any form during the production of beauty products and refuse to sell or stock any products tested on animals.
  • Honesty – we oppose promoting unrealistic beauty ideals that contribute to the increasing number of young people developing negative body image, low self-esteem and eating disorders. We aspire to promote equality and operate without prejudice.

02/05/15: Ten minutes with... Annie from Hello Purple Clouds

Yay, it's Annie!  I first met Annie for lunch, a natter and a shop in Whole Foods Cheltenham and then again at the Green Beauty Meet in Reading in October last year but I'd been reading her blog for a good while before that - one of the first posts I clearly remember reading is this one which first introduced me to the idea of a Foreo.  Her blog is warm, friendly (just like her) and informative -  I've been reading along ever since. 

Annie kindly agreed to take the time to answer a nosey woman's questions, and her responses are below!  Keep reading to find out more about Babylon 5, how her blog started and green beauty favourites.  Enjoy :) 

Last thing you do at night? Kick the cats out of the bedroom (they take up far too much room on the bed) and exchange I love you’s and goodnight kisses with my husband.

Top tip for being happy and healthy? Lots of fresh air, eating a rainbow of veggies and fruit and keeping processed foods for occasional treats is a good basis for keeping healthy. For me, there are three key steps to happiness: learn to love yourself with all your imperfections, don’t put too much emphasis on material stuff and laugh a LOT.

Brands/bloggers/people that inspire you?  I could spend a lot longer than 10 minutes on this! In the natural beauty world, it’s brands like Lyonsleaf, Angela Langford and Sophia’s Choice who all put so much of themselves into flying the flag high with passion and blogs like Sugarpuffish, Ana Goes Green, Well Meaning Being and My Zero Waste. Outside of that, I have huge admiration for Queen Rania of Jordan who is so active in improving the lives of children and the disadvantaged, not just in Jordan but across the Arab world. She’s strong, educated, passionate about does so much to change the lives of the vulnerable – what an amazing female role model.

Favourite TV series? It hasn’t been on TV for years but it has to be Babylon 5. I get my fix by re-watching the DVDs every year or so and it’s still as great every time; our Maine Coon, Zathras, is even named after one of our favourite characters from the series – yep, I am a complete sci-fi geek (live long and prosper)!

Product you wish you'd invented? It has to be the flushing toilet. We take them for granted but having spent a lot of time in parts of the world where holes in the ground have to do, I REALLY appreciate a nice, clean loo!

Favourite skincare item? I have very dry skin and couldn’t manage without facial oils. My favourites are Bodhi and Birch’s Desert Rose, Angela Langford’s Repair and Renew, OV Naturals Triple Rose and Antipodes’ Divine Facial Oil.

Favourite cosmetic item? I’m not big on make-up so it would have to be lip balm (does that count as a cosmetic item?), in fact, I am a little bit obsessed and usually have at least 20 on the go at any one time, but they do all get used.

Your guilty pleasure? Judge Judy! We don’t have TV at home but whenever I stay anywhere with a TV, I am glued to her shows. I just love the way she takes down all the idiots who bring cases before her and the by-play between her and Bird is hilarious.

Favourite book? It’s so hard to pick just one. Probably Lord of the Rings, I have read it literally dozens of times and Tolkien’s imagination never fails to astound me. Other favourites are Under a Calculating Star by John Morressy and anything by M R James.

Why did you start your blog? It sort of started by accident. My husband used to tease me about how so many conversations I had with friends and family ended up being about natural beauty and green living. He joked that I should write a blog about it instead of getting on my soapbox and so Hello Purple Clouds was born.

Which product would you recommend to anyone starting out in green beauty? A good natural cleansing balm is a great place to start, deeply cleansing with all natural ingredients lays the foundation for good skincare. My current favourites are Steam Clean by Skin & Tonic and Lyonsleaf's Beauty Balm. Both have simple ingredients but are super effective.

Proudest/most exciting moment in your blog career? I had a lovely email a couple of months ago from someone who said that they had been following my blog for a while and felt that the posts I had written had really helped her in transitioning to a green beauty regime. I was so touched by this, not least because this was someone I didn’t even know existed. She had never commented on a post or tweeted me but that she had taken the time to email me and been able to make some changes as a result of what I had written was so rewarding.

You can find more of Annie at Hello Purple Clouds, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

Go say hello! :)

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