Posts in ETHICAL BRANDS
Old Faithful Co & The Goodwash Company

Since moving to Cardiff I have been loving getting to know other small businesses in the area, and meeting up with them and hearing about what they are up to has been so inspiring and encouraging.

Today I am so excited that I am collaborating with two of the businesses that I got to know recently and I am running an awesome giveaway on my Instagram account of their gorgeous products. If you head over to my Instagram you can find out how to enter but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here about what products are up for grabs and what I love about them.

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All of the products (yes even the soy wax candle can be used on skin after its been melted and then cooled slightly) are skin care products because I have to be honest I have slightly neglected my skin over the summer. So this is a bit of an autumn/winter skincare care package and has all sorts of goodies to make your skin feel great again.

The first company I would like to introduce you to is Old Faithful Co.  They create really lovely unisex products that have been really thought through. The thing I really love about all of the products are the scents. I do like floral scents but often products aimed at women I find too sickly sweet and intense. The Old Faithful Co products have really interesting smells and a lot of them are very earthy and woody and combine incredible quality organic oils. Having chatted to Gareth about his products I can assure you he is so passionate about the quality of the ingredients he uses and goes out of his way to source and find the best. This is so reassuring especially at a time when people including me are becoming so much more aware of what they put on their skin and what ingredients are actually good for us and which are not (except after talking to Gareth I realise I still have so much to learn!).

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One of their products that I have always wanted to try and have since fallen in love with is the makers balm. I sometimes get really dry and cracked skin on my hands in winter and I am pretty sure that this is going to do wonders in helping with that. The consistency makes it feel really lovely on the skin but it also feels extra healing and moisturising. I had some dry skin on my hand where I had burnt myself and it made it feel better and softer really quickly. I love that it was designed with makers in mind, and was formulated to start off with for a ceramicist who was really struggling with dry skin on her hands. If you work with your hands you are going to love this balm but really it is great for anyone who suffers with dry skin on their hands.

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 Next up we have the Reunion Cleanser. I have been terrible at getting into the habit of using a cleanser in the past but I think this has converted me. I couldn’t believe how good my skin felt after using just once (seriously so silky smooth) and so I am excited to see the effective it has after using it every day for a while. I love the process of massaging the cleanser into my face and then placing a hot flannel on my face to steam it. It really felt so good. As with all the scents from Old Faithful Co it was not too overpowering and smelt earthy and subtle but luxurious at the same time.

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And finally there is the Hammam Moisturising Serum. I really enjoyed using this. It has a really woody peppery smell which is lovely and unisex (men this one is great to use after shaving). I was worried it would feel too oily on my face but that wasn’t the case at all. The process of gently massaging it into my skin was great and made it feel really soft and supple straight away. It feels really restorative and absorbs quickly so you aren’t left feeling like you have any heavy product on your skin. I am definitely going to start using this as a regular moisturiser for my skin.

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Now lets move onto The Goodwash Company. These guys are all about luxury products that feel great to use but also that DO good. They are a social enterprise and so 100% of their profit goes towards supporting local projects that improve the lives of people and animals. All of their products are cruelty free and are sourced from the finest natural ingredients. (same with Old Faithful Co). Its so reassuring as we all try and take care of skin but also care for the environment and world that we live in more.

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This hand wash and lotion both have a beautiful floral smell but that is quite subtle and not too overpowering. They feel really nice and light and refreshing on the skin. As a designer I always care about the packaging too and I really love the simple monochrome labels on these and think they would really add a touch of luxury to your bathroom or kitchen. They both felt really good to use and I like things that make every day tasks like washing your hands feel a little more luxury. Its such a simple little treat for the hands.

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And finally is this candle. It comes in a beautiful glass jar and then packaged in a really beautiful little bag. All the details have been thought about - even the matches. Mandy who runs The Goodwash Company mentioned that even this candle could be used to moisturise your skin because it is made with 100% natural oils, and I have to be honest I was a little sceptical. but When I first burnt it I though I decided I would give it a go. I blew the candle out, let the wax cool slightly and then just scooped a bit out and rubbed it on my hands and I have to admit I was so pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I would have ever have thought to try this (and I guess probably best not to try with any old candle) but the wax on my hands actually felt incredible - the texture was rich and nourishing and my hands felt amazing and so soft afterwards. It was also a really lovely fresh smell which I enjoyed being able to smell on my hands for hours afterwards!

So there you have it - all of the products that you can win in this giveaway. Having met the people who run both of these brands I can’t recommend them both to you enough. They both have gorgeous packaging, incredibly luxury and quality ingredients and are just something a bit different from what you might normally buy. I love that they care about the environment and being cruelty free and using all of their products felt like a little bit of spa luxury at home - and I am definitely going to make sure over Autumn and Winter I take much better care of my skin using these products.

If you have any questions about any of them feel free to get in touch and don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE.

Ethical Brands - Tilly + Cub

Last month I shared about Neals Yard Remedies to kick off my ongoing series sharing ethical brands that I love and think others might be interested in. This month we have something totally different - let me introduce to you Tilly + Cub

I first stumbled across Tilly + Cub on instagram when I discovered their absolutely stunning Moses baskets. We borrowed a Moses basket when Reuben was born which has now been returned, but seeing these made me want to have another kid, so that I had an excuse to get one of these beauties! My favourite of course, is the super simple and plain style with the black handles but if you're more of a colour lover there is such a gorgeous range to choose from. 

Anyway, having another baby just to buy a Moses basket is definitely a bit extreme - but lucky for me they do other beautiful baskets that can be used around the home. Jo very kindly sent me this absolutely stunning mama poppins basket. What I love about this basket is that it is so versatile, functional but also looks beautiful incorporated into your room decor. I really struggled to decide what to use it for to be honest, as there are so many potentials (maybe I need one for each room!) - but I decided to go for filling it with some lovely items for guests when they come to stay. I will keep it in the guest room stocked up with blankets, nice books, a candle and some pampering goodies. 

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Our house is a total mess at the moment as it is being decorated, but I am so happy to have beautiful items like this basket which I know are going to add the perfect details to rooms when they are decorated. 

Also, since receiving this basket I am pretty much set on getting the mini basket to match for Reuben to use for collecting things, or storing his treasures. I also think the mama poppins baskets would be great for storing toys in a play room to keep things neat and tidy.

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Now I should probably get onto the ethical side of things since that is what the series is really all about. All of the baskets are fairly traded. If you're not aware of what fair trade means for the maker - well, companies have to reach a very particular set of criteria in order to be classed as fair trade. This means that the workers are treated well and work in good conditions. A lot of it is things that we take for granted, but they get a fair wage, toilet breaks, help and support with education for their children and are able to support themselves and their families.

Tilly + Cub are also committed to giving 5% of their sales to charity and they support five different charities at the moment (they keep the list of charities updated here) - Afrikids, Sands, Tommys, Pregnancy Sickness Support and Pandas UK.

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The baskets are hand woven in Ghana, Africa using Elephant grass. The brightly coloured baskets are dyed using plant based and non-toxic dyes to give them their colour and beautiful patterns. And the lovely thing about them being hand made is that each one is unique and you can find a really special item for your home. 

Although I like the look of the brightly coloured baskets, I really love this natural one I have with the black handle. It is just simple and classic and will go with everything. Hopefully when our house is looking a bit more photogenic I will share some photos of it in situ doing its job of making our guests feel welcome and loved. 

If you had (or have) a mama poppins basket what would you use it for? I would love to know! 

Ethical Brands - Neals Yard Remedies

I have been thinking about my blog a bit recently and the sort of things that I want to share - and although my main focus is going to be graphic design and all things creative, I want to share more lifestyle bits and pieces here too, as I want my blog to be about living a creative life not just about the things that I make or that inspire me.

One of the things that I feel passionately about, is having a positive impact on the world that I am living in, and sometimes that can be a really hard thing to do. I think I have mentioned it before, but I used to work in a Fair Trade shop and used to give talks in schools and at conferences on the topic. While I was in London I got so distracted by starting my career and relationships and just life in general, that Fair Trade and making good choices while shopping sort of fell off my radar a little bit. 

Anyway I have started to think a lot more about it - and with minimalism and capsule wardrobes being all the rage at the moment and talked about a lot, it has made me think that I want to be making fewer purchases but maybe paying a bit more money for quality, but also trying to choose brands that are doing good things and having a positive impact. I have been growing my list of ethical brands that I love and support and so I thought I would share them here with you too in a series of blog posts.

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First up I want to share a bit more with you about Neals Yard Remedies. I have been a big fan of Neals Yard Remedies for about 7 years now - probably since I moved to London and discovered their lovely shop. I have been using their face creams for ages and have a particular favourite that I buy. They last for ages so although it can feel like a lot of money to spend on a face cream, for the amount of time they last me it feels worth it. 

I was pretty excited when I checked on the good shopping guide and they got a score of 100. That is the perfect score and shows that being ethical and sustainable in all areas really is at the heart of their business. The only issue with them really is the cost - they are quite pricey - but since I am attempting to streamline what I consume that hasn’t put me off. 

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Everything they produce contains the maximum organic content possible, and so you are not getting any of the emulsifiers, surfactants or detergents that you will find in other skin products (and yes I had to google surfactants!) - They believe that organic is better for people but also for the planet. I have definitely realised that there are a lot of products out there that promote themselves as being organic but aren't always as organic as it would first appear and so it definitely pays to read the ingredient list on products you use on your skin. Neals Yard are pretty up front about their products and what is in them. They are aiming for things to be as organic as possible but not everything can be 100% organic because not all products can be based solely on agricultural ingredients. A lot of their extracts are 100% organic though and it is something they are constantly working on. All of their products are free from animal testing, and one thing that I am really pleased about is that they have a packaging strategy. This means that they have plans and aims to make sure their packaging has a minimal impact on the environment. As a designer too I like that despite all that their packaging is still attractive and really good quality. (I am actually planning to save the glass jars the face cream comes in to make my own candles with). A lot of their products are accredited by the soil association.

I thought I would share a couple of my favourite products but there are so many more that you can explore. 

1. Body Butter

I was given this body butter as a gift and I love how it makes my skin feel. It is quite thick but makes my skin feel really soft and well moisturised. I have mainly been using it on my legs but it is good for all over. It smells amazing and so feels like a very relaxing treat to use. I find with all the products I have used that they go a long way too. You don't need to use much each time and so the pots really last. 

I was given this body butter as a gift and I love how it makes my skin feel. It is quite thick but makes my skin feel really soft and well moisturised. I have mainly been using it on my legs but it is good for all over. It smells amazing and so feels like a very relaxing treat to use. I find with all the products I have used that they go a long way too. You don't need to use much each time and so the pots really last. 

I started using their shower wash recently and again just really love the smell and how it feels on my skin. It feels nice on my skin and it's something very simple but makes me happy in the mornings.

I started using their shower wash recently and again just really love the smell and how it feels on my skin. It feels nice on my skin and it's something very simple but makes me happy in the mornings.

I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that make up wipes are not great for your skin but these ones are full of good things non of the nasties - and I love them for the ease! Perfect for travelling and just getting rid of all the make up and grime at the end of the day. 

I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that make up wipes are not great for your skin but these ones are full of good things non of the nasties - and I love them for the ease! Perfect for travelling and just getting rid of all the make up and grime at the end of the day. 

I never really considered Neals Yard for make up and they don't have a huge selection - but I was on the hunt for a new mascara and decided to give this one a go. If you like big dark chunky eyelashes then this is not the mascara for you though. It is really good at elongating the lashes, and it keeps them very separated rather than clumped together. It has a very natural and elegant look which I like. If you don't wear much make up but just wanted to add a touch of mascara to lengthen your lashes then I think this would be a great choice for you. 

I never really considered Neals Yard for make up and they don't have a huge selection - but I was on the hunt for a new mascara and decided to give this one a go. If you like big dark chunky eyelashes then this is not the mascara for you though. It is really good at elongating the lashes, and it keeps them very separated rather than clumped together. It has a very natural and elegant look which I like. If you don't wear much make up but just wanted to add a touch of mascara to lengthen your lashes then I think this would be a great choice for you. 

Now this is the sort of product that I would have scoffed at in the past. My face regime was definitely minimal, but I started trying this facial mist out recently and I am actually quite a fan. I am often tired (thanks to a toddler) and sometimes just need a bit of a lift. I have found that a bit of a spritz of this actually helps a bit. Its a nice refresher and as with all the Neals Yard stuff I have tried it smells so lovely. I would definitely recommend this as a non essential treat item, and would probably be great if you were travelling and your face just needed refreshing every now and then. 

Now this is the sort of product that I would have scoffed at in the past. My face regime was definitely minimal, but I started trying this facial mist out recently and I am actually quite a fan. I am often tired (thanks to a toddler) and sometimes just need a bit of a lift. I have found that a bit of a spritz of this actually helps a bit. Its a nice refresher and as with all the Neals Yard stuff I have tried it smells so lovely. I would definitely recommend this as a non essential treat item, and would probably be great if you were travelling and your face just needed refreshing every now and then. 

I have some other Neals Yard products that I am excited to try, and if any of them are really good then I will share them. One that I am really excited about is this diffuser and some of their essential oils. I am hoping they will help me relax better in the evenings and hopefully sleep better too. 

This post is not at all sponsored by Neals Yard but because I love the brand so much I did sign up a few months ago to be an independent consultant. It means that I have my own shop front with them which I can promote and if you buy from there then I get a percentage of the sale. (All of the product links above go to my shop front). So if you have been thinking about trying any of their stuff then head over to my shop and check it out. You can also get in touch with me directly if there is anything you want to order and I can place the order for you. If you do that I can send little samples of other things for you to try or you can also combine it with an order from my stationery shop to save on shipping. Just let me know! I really do love this brand and so am very happy to shout about them.

Keep an eye out for my next ethical brand feature, and if you have any questions about Neals Yard just let me know, I would also love to hear if you already shop with them what your favourite products are?