Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Purr-fect Pieces of Ethical Design

Looking for something fair and sustainable that will get your sense of style purring? Check out these fabulous ethical feline finds =^..^=

David Meowie Pillow by Two Lost Souls -Bowie and kittens? What a winning combination! How adorable is this handmade pillow case plumped up with recycled plastic faux down
Meow or Never Sweatshirt by Vaute Couture - Keep cute and warm with this organic cotton top! It's also a great way to start a conversation about the awesomeness of adopting shelter animals :) 
Love Cats Rings by Sarah Healy Design NYC - Inspired by the song 'Love Cats' by The Cure, this super sweet ring has been carefully crafted by hand. PLUS 10% of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the ASPCA
Cat Backpack by Little Frenchy - Tired of your boring bag made from synthetic fibres? Then check out this blast of sunshine and kitties made from certified organic cotton and natural dyes
Tiger T-Shirt by RCTees - A beautiful tiger face has been lovingly hand printed onto this organic pima cotton shirt
Vintage 1980s Michaele Vollbrach Maxi Dress - Wonderfully quirky, this vintage dress is fantastic for fabulous winter layering
Kat and Mouse Shirt by Pini Piru - This funky kids tee depicts the epic rivalry between cats and mice printed using water-based ink on a 100% organic and fairly traded cotton tee
The Grin by Pini Piru - Another crazy cat character from this Netherlands-based label graces a fairly traded and organic cotton tee
Fat Cat Coin Purse by Blue Q - This serenely happy orange kitty coin purse is made from 95% post consumer recycled material and is sure to put a smile on your dial!
Cat Ballet Shoes by FC Select - These 100% vegan flats are simply adorable! I'd like to know if the cruelty-free materials are also sustainably sourced...stay tuned :)
Leopard Shoulder Trim Dress by Ruby Rocks - Fierce AND fairtrade = WIN! Made in a small factory in Bali, Ruby Rocks knows each and everyone of their employees and ensures they're not only paid an above average wage but also receive healthcare for themselves and their family members
Kitten in Hammock Necklace by Unique Art Pendants - Need a buddy while you're out and about? Why not this little fella? This cuddly pendant has been handmade

Live in the Meow Tee from People Tree - This lovely tee has been handmade by the artisans of Assisi Garments in India using fairtrade and organic cotton fibres
Black Cat Dress by Leah Goren - I definitely have my eye on this dress for summer! The dress is made from 100% organic cotton sateen and the cat print is 100% cuteness
Leopard Ring by Love Hearts and Crosses - This 100% porcelain leopard just wants to hug your hand! Each spot has been hand painted 
Two Peas in a Pod by Nic and the Newfie - Loving this pair of mischievous Siamese cats watching a bumblebee! This super comfy looking sweatshirt is made from a combination of organic cotton, recycled polyester and rayon. Also thumbs up to pockets!
Leopard Jumper by ASOS Africa - Be an urban wildcat with this handmade jumper which has been crafted under fair conditions in Africa. This top is part of a wider collection  produced in collaboration with a rural Kenyan community north of Mombasa

Georgie Kids T-Shirt by Stella McCartney - Um cat cuddles all day??? Yes please! Loving this certified organic cotton tee from Stella's high-end ecofashion label
Feeling warm and fuzzy after all this kitty-themed design? Then why not look up your local cat shelter and ask if you can volunteer for a few hours? One great thing you can do is to give them all a lovely brush and a kind word =^..^= That's how I found my little rescue boy while living in the Fiji Islands :)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Little Green Wedding

"I love thee - I love thee,
'Tis all that I can say
It is my vision in the night,
My dreaming in the day
~Thomas Hood

I thought it might be nice to share with you just a few examples of the simple green touches I incorporated into my recent wedding ceremony and reception!

Ryan and I wanted to keep cut flowers to a minimum, selecting native and locally-sourced species. Our florist was amazing, producing vibrant bouquets and button-holes showcasing Australia's eye-catching flora! 

One of our decorative themes were stars, so you can imagine how excited I was when I came across star-shaped eco-confetti! Each star is made from 100% biodegradable rice paper. We poured the stars into reusable cardboard cones and placed them on the chairs for people to use at the end of the ceremony. I also put some aside for my flower girl to throw as she walked down the aisle - to her utter delight!

It might sound crazy but I actually found my dress in the first 3 hours of wedding dress shopping in the first store I visited! I fell head over heels for my 1950s vintage beauty by renowned designer William Cahill with its exquisite hand-stitched flowers. Of course Ryan and my shoes were both vegan along with Ryan's belt!

Two of my astoundingly talented bridesmaids hand-crafted dresses for themselves and my two other bridesmaids using locally-sourced materials. To fit in with my vintage dress, they worked from a 1950s pattern. 

For my insanely adorable pageboy who is currently obsessed with all things Iron Man, I ordered a special handmade bow-tie from Look For Me Bowties

To decorate the reception tables I alternated succulents potted in sweet little silver buckets with tea light candles on top of a hessian runner. The succulents, created by the amazing 2Petals Floral Design, doubled as my bonbonniere for each guest to take home and enjoy.

Also throughout the room we'd strewn wheat-grass planted in repurposed glass jars and upcycled pianola scrolls with LED lights inside (prepared by my friends and classmates from the Centre for Sustainability Leadership). 

After the best evening of our lives - family and friends were taken home in a bus we'd hired to get them all home safely :-) x

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Kind Sponsor: 9 Amazing Ethical UncommonGoods

In a world of fast factory fashion and cookie cutter design it's a relief that there's still a craving for the singular, the extraordinary and the outstanding. In short, goods that are in fact uncommon. I'm delighted to introduce you to this month's Kind Sponsor - UncommonGoods - a refreshingly unique online marketplace established in 1999 with its headquarters based in New York City.

When I first came across UncommonGoods I was immediately impressed by their passion for showcasing original designs and handcrafted gifts that were deliberately created in harmony with animals, people and planet. Here's a quick snapshot of how this commitment to kindness is being incorporated into everything thing they do:
  • People: Their lowest-paid seasonal worker earns 50% above minimum wage and employees are offered health, wellness, and counseling services as well as onsite childcare
  • Animals: None of their products contain leather or fur
  • Planet: They highlight items that are made from recycled or upcycled materials and they give to charities that are protecting vital ecosystems such as forests
At the core of this business is the belief that creativity and the expression of individuality represent two great human treasures. 

Here are my 9 (an uncommon number) favourite handmade and recycled picks from their current selection:

1. Typewriter Key Necklace - What a great gift idea! Each necklace is handmade in the USA and Mexico from authentic typewriter keys from the 1920s to 1940s. This super fun upcycled piece is from UncommonGood's exclusive range of personalized jewellery, click here for more options.

2. Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit - Surely nature is the most beautiful artist of all? I'm loving this stunning reclaimed wood display by Heather Auchter, which can be placed both horizontally or vertically depending on your aesthetic needs.

3. Upcycled Solar Watch - Wear the watch of the! Made in Japan from recycled PET fabric, this solar-powered watch can last up to 3 months between charges. What a great daily reminder that the time to be sustainable is always now :)

4. Kantha Patchwork Belt - Tired of boring belts? Then these beauties might be just what you're looking for! Handmade by fair trade artisans in India, each belt is made of five different recycled quilts sewn together using traditional Kantha stitching.

5. Baseball Bat Bottle Openers - Last year I visited the U.S. for the first time and this included taking in a Red Sox game in Boston. I had an absolute ball (see what I did there?). These funky bottle openers are handmade from genuine Major League game-day bats and each one comes with a story detailing its unique history!

6. Fern Frond Earrings - Inspired by the laurel wreaths strewn throughout Greek imagery, artist Katie Lime has captured the essence of both nature's beauty and humanity's skill with metal in her handmade earrings. You can find more stunning handmade gifts for women here.

7. Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys - Playtime at the seaside is simply more fun with eco-friendly toys like this bucket and shovel set made from a special biodegradable material. 

8. Spiro Stemless Wine Glass Set - Artist duo Carrie and Patrick Frost create gorgeous and distinctive pieces handcrafted using recycled materials. I think these glasses are so lovely and it's brilliant that each of your guests will have their own pattern to enjoy :)

9. Personalized Family Art - This is such an adorable idea! Talented mother and daughter team Mary and Shelly Klein create special family portraits using sustainable materials such as hemp, organic stretched flax and cotton. 
You can find even more
surprising personalized gift options here!
Want to connect with UncommonGoods? You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram