Category Archives: Green fashion

Could Period pants save the planet?

OK, here I go again with grand claims of planet saving credentials, but I just can’t help myself when I come across a new sustainable solution which makes my life greener AND easier!

For those who have been with me since the beginning of my lazy green journey, you may remember I took the plunge a few years back and switched to using a moon-cup (if you not, you can read ‘Are mooncups just for hippies?’ HERE)

I decided to ditch the pads and tampons after I discovered the staggering fact that an average woman throws away an estimated 100-150kg of feminine products into landfill in her lifetime. That’s a lot of needless toxic waste backfilling planet Earth, for something as natural as about 16 teaspoons (average) of blood! That’s not to mention the incredible amount of toxins which leak into our bodies every time we use tampons. It was a no-brainer for me to switch to something less intrusive on my body and the planet.

After getting over a few hick-ups which made my green bathroom look more like a scene from Carrie – I nailed the technique and me and my cup have been besties ever since. It turns out they aren’t just for hippies, and over the last 3 years it has saved me a shed tonne of money and prevented over 150 additional tampons floating around aimlessly in our oceans.

The future of periods

But this isn’t the end of my eco period journey. A lot has changed in 3 years, and sustainable solutions to menstrual care has turned into an innovative industry. Ladies, we have moved on from seas sponges and make-your-own fabric pads with poppers – I’m talking about beautiful, practical and, dare I say, menstrualy liberating, period undies!!

When I first saw the likes of menstrual guru Claire Baker wearing Thinx period pants this summer I knew I had to get with the times and upgrade my monthly gear. But in the spirit of keeping things local and low carbon I wasn’t sure how I felt supporting an Australian brand.

Ask the periods Goddess and she shall answer: meet WUKA wear, a new UK based company bringing the technology of period pants to our fair land! I had to get my hands on a pair to find out once and for all if these are the future solution for bleeding women across the planet.

The Goddess must have been doing her magic, as the day my pair arrived I started my bleed. As someone who bleeds intermittently (sorry guys I should have warned you at the beginning of this blog, but I guess you should know these things!) it is a rarity to have a period these days.

I put on my pants and prepared myself for potential embarrassing trouser stains and walking like I’d just riden a horse across Europe.

The first thing I noticed was actually how comfy they were. As a size 12 clothing, WUKA sent me a size medium and they fit me well. The soft and stretchy fabric (apparently called Lenzing® MicroModal) is just the kind of comforting undie you want at that time of the month, and I actually barely noticed the absorbent moisture barrier and built in pad that makes it period proof. It certainly didn’t feel like I was carrying a brick between my legs. Nor did it feel like I was bleeding down my leg – dirty smelly hippy credential downgraded!!

Appearance wise, personally for me they won’t win awards for sexiness. They are practical and comfy – the main two things you want during your bleed. The sizing is generous and you feel like everything is safely tucked away but breathable. They are a little low cut though, so if you suffer with cramps or bloating on your lower abdomen I would recommend getting a size up.

Keeping up with the flow

Interestingly WUKA wear can hold at least 20ml of period flow or light leaks – around 4 tampons worth. So, depending on your flow you can wear them up to 8 hours on light days, or 4-6 hours on your heavy days or all night. I had a light to medium bleed whilst wearing these, with one day of heaviness, and not once felt like I was wearing a wet nappy or that I was leaking. Win!

They have two inner layers – a durable, waterproof fabric with antibacterial properties that doesn’t stain, and an absorbent fabric blend – so it felt much more absorbent than just a pad or sponge. And in fact, it was incredibly liberating to free bleed (as nature intended) rather than plugging it with something. This is a controversial thought, as in many cultures the lack of menstrual products is an issue – but I personally love the feeling of bleeding unaccompanied. Though I generally have a light flow so it’s less of an issue for me.

But what do you do with a pair of bloody pants I hear you cry?! Well first, they aren’t as messy as you might imagine. The fabric really is very absorbent. At the end of the day just rinse them in some cold water and pop them on a 40C wash! You will need to allow time to dry naturally (which is good as tumble driers are deffo NOT very eco), though mind took a couple of hours to dry by the heater.

If you have heavier bleeds I would either invest on a couple of pairs or only use them on lighter days.

Verdict

Am I ready to ditch my moon cup bestie completely for the pants? Not quite. Though I surprisingly loved my pair of WUKA and would definitely sport them on the first or last day of my bleed, I still do like being able to collect and engage with my blood. It sounds weird but I can see a lot about my womb, and overall, health by seeing the color and amount I bleed. From an ecological point of view, I also wouldn’t want to do lots of washing if I solely replied on the pants.

But overall my period pants have joined my small but loved lazy green toolkit and I would highly recommend ditching the tampons and pads for good and giving these babies a go!

Try a pair of WUKA

WUKA period underwear currently cost £24.99 including free postage in the UK. This is marginally more than you would pay for something like a mooncup, but I see it as equally good value for the lifetime wear you can get from them. They are FAR cheaper than a lifetime of buying tampons that’s for sure!

 

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A Lazy Guide to Buying Vegan Friendly Shoes

Being completely oblivious to the latest trends and fashions has its benefits. I spend very little money on clothes, happily avoid horrifying changing room mirrors (or at least my reflection in them) and I rarely have to upgrade my clothes and shoes unless they are literally falling apart. Win win!

I usually take the zero waste approach to clothing and either do swapsies with my friends or buy in charity and second hand stores, but every now and then I have to venture out and kit myself out with some new garments. This has been true over the last couple of months as I’ve had to transition from flip flop tie dye wearing traveller hippy, to semi professional city dweller as I settle into my new life in Sydney. 

Shoes in particular have been on my mind of late and – as anyone who has ever tried to navigate the world of ethical clothing will know – there is usually the choice between stereotypical ugly clunky vegan footwear or highly bespoke, beautiful but deadly expensive clogs. 

So what is the deal with footwear and vegans anyway? Whats ethical and whats not? and more importantly, where on Earth can you get some decent vegan footwear at a reasonable cost?!! Fear not my lovelies, I may have a couple of answers…

Continue reading A Lazy Guide to Buying Vegan Friendly Shoes

Staying cool with Royal Robins for an iconic royal visit 

The last two weeks in India has flown by in a magical, colourful blur and it feels like I have been here for years. I have seen sunrise ceremonies on the river Ganges in Varanasi, been serenaded by Indian army veterans on a steam train in Shimla and browsed through rainbow markets of fresh produce in Ragasthan. The sights, sounds and smells of India charm the senses and no day is ever the same. Well, there’s actually thing thing which stays consistent everyday: the scorching heat!   Due to an irregular monsoon this year (is this the effects of climate change?) India is experiencing higher temperatures than what is normal for October and we have been facing days of 36-40 degrees in most areas.   It’s almost impossible to walk around for long during midday and I spend every single day red faced and sweaty as I try to find yet another sweet lime stall to quench my thirst. 

Continue reading Staying cool with Royal Robins for an iconic royal visit 

Easy T Shirt Hacks for the Lazy Seamstress

I can’t believe its already day 5 of Zero Waste Week and what a week it’s been!! I must admit, I’ve been a terrible blogger and been so knee deep in my last week of work and packing to move house, that I haven’t had much time to blog!

But it’s not all been zero waste naughtiness over here, and I’ve been having lots of fun passing all my unwanted belongings on to friends, and on sites like Gumtree and Streetbank.

However, some items – especially clothes and small reusable containers – are actually easily upcycled with a few very easy tweeks, to breathe new life into them. So, though I have been looking at things as I pack thinking “will I miss it in the year I’m away, or should I part with it now?” I’ve also found myself asking “could I use this in someway in my backpack?” It’s a travel hoarders dream!!!

My very good friend Emily recently inspired me with the idea of T Shirt Hacks; quick and easy fashion updates which don’t involve a thread or a needle. My idea of upcycing heaven! This is perfect for making the clothes I’ve been wearing all summer in the UK, new and exciting for my summery days on the road!

I had a little dig to find some examples of how Emilys hacks works in reality before I braved a pair of scissors to my clothes on my 2 weeks off before my flight, and it appears there are 100s of ways you can update a simple T shirt with no sewing skills whatsoever! Here’s just three of them:

Continue reading Easy T Shirt Hacks for the Lazy Seamstress

Is Cornwall a new hub for ethical fashion?

I think we’ve all experienced that feeling of excitement, which quickly turns to anxiety, when a special invitation leaves us freaking out about what to wear. It’s one of the oldest and most unavoidable situations, no matter how comfortable and confident you feel within yourself. Whether it’s a party, wedding, conference, or simply meeting someone new for the first time, we all want to make a good impression and visually represent who we think we are inside.

So, when I was recently invited to attend the Observer Ethical Awards, with the scary sounding dress code of “Sustainable style”, I experienced this vain but natural freak out. If I could even claim to have some form of style in the first place, I would feel a little less nervous. But unfortunately, my outfits usually consist of charity shop hauls and friends hand-me downs. Naturally due to my “make do and mend” approach not simply  that I’m a complete fashion-phobe!

However , determined to at least attempt some kind of eco sophistication, I did some digging to see if I could find my own unique sustainable style, without spending more money on one outfit than I would normally spend in a year at the Cats Protection charity shop!

The good news is, my search was easier and closer to home than I thought. It turns out Cornwall is already a bit of a hub for eco fashion, so I don’t have to roam too far to kit myself all green and shiny!

cornwallmap

Like many counties across the UK, Cornwall has always been extremely proud of its own home-grown produce; not least because down here we see ourselves as a county within itself! From clotted cream and pasties, to tin mining and the iconic surf culture; Cornwall naturally and seamlessly balances both its historic and modern identities. So it shouldn’t really be any surprise that 5 of the best ethical fashion brands happen to be Cornish… Continue reading Is Cornwall a new hub for ethical fashion?

Bourgeois Boheme: From Shoe Apathy to Shoe Passion

For those of you who have ever met me in person, you’ll know that I am the least fashionable person out there. I take the ethos of reduce, reuse and recycle to heart when it comes to clothes; and prefer a rummage in a charity shop rather than a credit card binge on the highstreet. This serves three main purposes:

Firstly, I don’t contribute to the throwaway fashion economy, in which you can buy a whole outfit for less than the person who made it earns in a year. Secondly, and rather vainly, I don’t have to feel old and frumpy in the latest fashions; choosing instead to stick to my 90s grunge look which has served me well for the majority of my 20s. Lastly, and most lazily of all, I don’t have a clue when it comes to “ethical fashion” and prefer to hide away from having to actively research the rabbit warren which is the clothes and shoe industry.

If only Vivienne Westwood could come shopping around Truro with me, and help me find a bargainous green outfit which makes me feel 3 stone lighter. But alas! The trains getting down here are a bloody nightmare. But even the most clueless of us occasionally fall in love. And when I fall in love, I can become pretty wistful and dreamy. Meet the Amanda Blue – the most beautiful shoe I have seen in my life. Continue reading Bourgeois Boheme: From Shoe Apathy to Shoe Passion

Plastic Bottle Fashion

Along with my purse, phone and keys, I carry my bobble water bottle wherever I go. It’s not necessarily that I’m a big water drinker (in fact, sometimes I can go all day without drinking any at all) but I never want to be caught short and forced to buy bottled water from the shop. Ever since I discovered more about the devastating effects of plastic pollution,  the idea of buying water bottled when its readily available in taps makes no sense to me.

That said, we all get caught out once in a while, and the fact is that billions of plastic bottles continue to be produced worldwide. But what if these bottles could be recycled, and re-appropriated into something useful? Well I recently came across a company who is trying to salvage our plastic bottles, and turn them into things we can wear and use; and a lot of big brands are in on it.

Continue reading Plastic Bottle Fashion