Category: Ethical

Phluid x

Clothes are so ubiquitous it’s easy to take them for granted: fripperies, feathers and function. Except they unconsciously say so much – they are our inner identities reflected back to the world.  Those moments when you have nothing to wear? It’s really because there’s nothing to express who you want to be that day.

But what if the freedom we believe in is really a myth? What if society has conditioned our thinking so much we no longer notice the rules, the divisions and the assumptions they lead to?

And there are many of them: Blue for a boy, pink for a girl, pretty dresses for girls that look sweet but don’t take into consideration climbing trees and protection against skinned knees, trousers for boys that metaphorically take on another meaning, T-bars for primary school girls, running shoes for boys, Pedestal high heels for women: the literal presentation of an object of desire: Look sexy, feel sexy they shout. Taxi shoes! We laugh, the truth covered by humour, falling for the fantasy rather than admit they’re restrictive, tortuous and totally lacking function.

What about sizing? It’s another hidden form of segregation: There’s the designer labels who don’t make anything above a size 14 – what’s the message they’re giving?  That only the rich are perfect?  Or that designers only want to hang their clothes on hangers, not real bodies, real people? But we still let them, maybe one day hoping that person will be us, another part of our insidious cultural brainwashing. What about the clothes store that allegedly offer larger sizes except they never have any in stock? Is it because they can’t understand why someone with that body would want to wear it? Is that really their choice to make? When what’s available for one body isn’t available for another it’s limitation, restriction, and control.

Gender is another straitjacket demanding clothing conformity, every store with racks of clothes marked out for one type of person only, the changing rooms following suit.  Who has decided these divisions?

Certainly not PhluidPhluid is the first gender neutral store that’s just opened in New York as a place without judgement or fear where it’s the clothes that do the talking, not our mental labels. Phluid says we have the ability to imagine a world without ‘because we do’ traditions and outdated rituals that don’t work.  They say it’s up to us to open our eyes and fix it: Acceptance, balance, integrity, intention are so much more appealing.

 

(All pics Phluid)

Personally, it’s such a relief to see a store that celebrates what makes us different whilst cherishing what makes us the same: We think choice is freedom, but it only is if that choice is available to everyone.

 

Laters, Kate x

Soap.Co x

Just when you think capitalism and the need for profit at any cost has snaked it’s way into every aspect of our lives a company comes along that blows your handcrafted socks off: Soap Co. is one such beauty.

 

It goes without saying they only use natural botanicals, nourishing vitamins and pure-essential oils.

It’s also interesting that their eco credentials impressively stack up: Their bottles are made from old milk bottles, their plastic film is made from reusable wood pulp, their sticky labels can be composted, their paper is both recycled and recyclable and their glue is non-toxic and biodegradable.

But taking the social responsible crown by a storming majority: Their products are handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind (hence the braille), disabled or otherwise disadvantaged.

This is a social enterprise that proves there doesn’t need to be a trade-off between award winning design, product, eco awareness and social purpose – this really is the best of the best.

(All pics Soap Co.)

 

And I for one won’t be buying my rose oil from anywhere else.

Laters, Kate x

Tara x

Tara Button and her website Buymeonce are a blast of fresh, spring air.

Tara’s concept is simple – our lives have been stuffed full of things we’re told we need that lets us down so she has been on a mission to track down the best quality and investment pieces that every house actually needs.

 

 

 

 

This resonates so much it almost hurts: I too am tired of this modern life that believes it can tell me who I am through the purchase of a skin cream, what I need: permanent upgrades and who I should be: spending lots of money, constantly implying that the real me isn’t good enough.


Just open your eyes to the insistent message of the season: Spring clean your wardrobes/house/family/life  – it’s time to refresh!…The underlying, insidious message being that we will make you insecure to make you buy more.

(All pics Buymeonce)

Is it norm corm in the extreme? I don’t know. But what I do know is that we can’t spend our way to happiness and something needs to change. This seems a very good place to start.

 

Laters, Kate x

Ashya x

The marmite of the bag world: The fanny pack, the bum bag, the bag that is awesomely functional but struggles to be beautiful.  Until now.

Feast your peeks on these beauties: Made by Ashya, a Brooklyn based design label who wanted to produce an unconventional and reimagined look for a luxury bag.

Bumbags have always had a place in my heart – I possess two – but high on the lust list has been a leather utility styled version with a masculine edge: These tick that long sought for box.

The company takes it’s eco credentials seriously – the bags are produced locally in NYC’s garment district, as is the hardware used.

(All pics Ashya)

 

They’re not a cheap option, but that’s the incentive of buy less, buy better.  This is an investment that will just get better with age.

 

Which has to be a good thing.

Laters, Kate x

I spy x

 

 


Is it possible to be unflamboyant yet charismatic?

The washable paper bag Collection from Uashmama would shout a resounding yes!


The vaguely eastern exotic name is actually designed and handcrafted in Tuscany by a company created by 4 sisters in homage to their mother.Made from a 100% washable cellulose eco-friendly material, the paper is made using virgin fibre from cultivation not deforestation, it’s lightweight but feels like leather and washes like a fabric and the price point is excellent: from £8 to £116 (the man who’s so hard to buy for? Nailed.)

(All pics The Future Kept)

 

Honest, thoughtful and self effacing: Feel the force.

Laters, Kate x

Elvis & Krasse x

Elvis & Krasse are one of those companies that make you wish you were them.  At their workshop based in Kent, they rescue raw materials destined for landfill and recraft them into authentic luxury items. Donating 50% of their profits to charity means their Godly status is secured.

 

Two projects are their mainstays – working with de-commissioned fire hoses that once lived in hell and are now made in heaven.

 

 


And working with Burberry on the global issue of leather waste, using their cast offs to create inventive designs.

 

Their products are built to last, combining world-class handmade craftsmanship with timeless design.  And they also repair for life for free. Yes. You can read that again and believe it.

Loved and honed into existence, this is one Company to remember.

Laters, Kate x

Earth. Food. Love.

Earth. Food. Love is the living proof that stereotypes get it wrong.

Set up by former footballer, Richard Eckersley and his wife, Nicola  Earth.Food.Love is a revolutionary zero waste supermarket in Totnes, Devon, where all packaging is banned.

Customers are expected to bring their own pots, jars, bags to carry their produce home.

Amongst the razor blades and bamboo toothbrushes with replaceable bristles, there’s even a grind your own nut butter machine.

‘We want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth.  We believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet too.’

 

Fingers crossed this is the start of a new trend, coming soon to a High Street near you..

Laters, Kate x

Great Granby x

How do I love Granby? Let me count the ways..

I love it because it’s a creative company that has grown out of a community-led re-building of a neighbourhood in Liverpool.

I admire it because it’s products are made by many hands.

I adore it because it invites chance and improvisation as a friend.

So every product, and every product of a product, is different.

(All pics Granby)

What’s not to love?

Laters, Kate x

The Cold Zone x

The pictures were a little bigger on Pintrest, but that’s not to say the idea isn’t.  This electricity banning underground concept fridge by Studio Floris Schoonderbeek has been added to the dream board for a self-sustaining shack by the sea.  Would lighting be solar..or a candle in a lantern? Nice problems to have.

 

Laters, Kate x

Ikat x

The word ‘ikat’ derives from the Malay-Indonesian word ‘mengikat’ which translates as to tie or bind.

The creative process is an oxymoron where the finished result is a blurred image but the techniques are complex requiring tying, dyeing, untying, re-tying and dying again of the multiple threads in precise colours and positions.

The finished work is fluid, vibrant and capture a certain spirit.

(All pictures Pinterest)

Colourful shadows in a neon-lit world.

Laters, Kate x