23 January 2015

[DIY Clutch Display] Pallet Power

Last weekend my guy and I signed up for a market stall down here in Texas. It was the first time either of us had done one and we got pretty pumped gearing up for it, finalising our products and displays.

We'd spotted some pallets in a pile outside a gas station near our house and carried them home two-by-two like the piston rods of an old steam train. They were dirty as sin, but after a quick scrub, the wood beneath revealed itself, and the hot Texan sun dried them in minutes, readying them for transformation.

I'd bought chalk board markers thinking I'd be able to get what I wanted on there with ease, but they were too thick and didn't come in enough colours so I switched to acrylic paint for polite precision.

I'd planned on painting both sides with text, but ended up using some push pins for the remaining 'curtain' as I needed more space for bags. In hindsight I wish I would have separated the left side text in two to create more space but I'm far too lazy too ... but here's your how to:

What You Need
- Pallet
- Chalk Board Paint
- Acrylic Paint 
- Paint Brushes

How To
ONE Clean your pallet 

TWO Paint the pallet 'curtains' the colour of your choice

THREE Use a pencil to draw on your design

FOUR Paint your design 
FIVE Set up your stall

13 January 2015

[Crush On Things] Threads 4 Thought Sustainable Apparel

My guy bought me some bad ass yoga pants for Christmas which have been featured frequently as my staple apparel over the last few weeks as we casually convinced our baguette filled butts to get going within the cosy walls of San Antonio's loveliest studio, Southtown Yoga ... or lying around in bed on laundry day.

To top off their mermaid-ish marvellousness, these tantalising tights are made from 100% recycled materials (recycled polyester from waterbottles) and come from lifestyle brand Threads 4 Thought, a site offering sustainable apparel.

The company is committed to ethical production as well. With water being the key component used in manufacturing and dying clothing, they source many of their products through a city in China called Weihai which has one of the most advanced water recycling programs in the world, with 82% of all the water used throughout the city being purified, recycled and reused again (in the western world the best we've done is 20%).

The workers who produce the clothing are paid a fair wage and work 40hr weeks in a safe, clean environment. The clothing is produced with Organic Cotton and/or recycled polyester, which is made from recycled waterbottles. 

Finally, with each $100 purchase, 10% is donated to the New Roots Campaign which helps refugees who have been granted sanctuary in the United States, many of whom come from agrarian backgrounds, rebuild their lives using skills already learned.  

Brings a whole new meaning to a sweet stretch.

x Holly

7 January 2015

[FAIR TRADE TREAT] Sashka Co Bracelets

This Christmas I was meeting my partner's family for the first time and was stuck on what to get them, especially the ladies. Originally, I'd thought of giving them each one of my clutches, but having never met any of them, wasn't completely sure my style was there style, or that they were even the type that liked clutches to begin with.

Around the same time, I was contacted by Ethical Box to see if I'd be interested in selling my clutches on their site. Always one to procrastinate the task at hand, I spent then following hours exploring every inch of their site and it was though this deep creeping that I discovered Sashka Co.

Their bracelets are handcrafted by artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal and purchased for fair trade prices from the artisans themselves, empowering Nepalese artists, especially Nepalese woman, to rise above the poverty line and encourage sustainable development within the community.

I've long been a fan of giving friendship bracelets as the gifts to a new friend or family member and had recently committed to buying strictly fair trade, eco friendly goods, so Sashka Co met my mood magnificently, and I immediately ordered three.

Though I'm sure we've all enjoyed our fair share of shopping in the past few months, if you've got a new loved one to gift, or are feeling like indulging in a little January pick me up, they're currently offering FREE SHIPPING and 20% OFF each purchase with their discount code: SHOP20

You'll find all their goodies here: http://sashkaco.com/

x Holly

14 December 2014

Ethical Sustainable Handmade Christmas Gifts

I shop online almost exclusively - partially because I like to rock an all-day PJ - partially because I can ensure what I'm purchasing is up to my ethical shopping standards without depleting my entire data plan.

This year I've committed to buying, for both my personal 'needs' and friend/family holiday gifts, items which meet my aesthetic desires and quality requirements while also satisfying the ethical/sustainable rules I've set for myself.

Since not everyone in my life wants a Leotie Lovely clutch, this means delving deep the the depths of the internet to find gems hidden under the waves of paid advertisements from big bad brands. A lazy gal's treasure hunt of sorts.

As I made my way down the holiday list of my ever growing family this past month, I discovered a few goods worth sharing which just might hit your last minute holiday shopping needs, or at the very least inspire a smile:

Like American Apparel but without all the sweatshops and sexual assault claims. HORAY! It costs about the same amount of cash to get all your cosy comfys but they come from a company committed to sustainability with products made from sustainable fabrics, dyed with non-toxic low impact/natural dyes and washed with their G2 Eco Wash which uses 60% less water. Their products are produced by factories which are certified under Fair Labour Association & Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production.

Super beautiful handmade phone cases made from eco friendly materials, recycled plastics and eco friendly ink

It was slim pickinz in the ethical sleep and slink wear departments, until Luna Hava came along. They've got beautiful pjs and lingerie using ethically sourced and sustainable fabrics, handmade in England.  (pic via http://rachelmanns.com/studio/)

I spent about 12 hours searching for an ethically produced, sustainable, handmade wallet for my sister and this company was the very best I could find. Though they use leather (produced from bovine animal meat production) their slow fashion ethical practices and sustainability processes are incredibly impressive and the people who work there are truly kind. I adjusted the embellishment on mine to make it match with the Souk Soiree clutch but it looks great as is too.

Glass beaded bracelets handcrafted by artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Each purchase empowers Nepalese artisans to rise above poverty through fair trade and enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth.

This beautifully British company makes in-ear headphones in a variety of colours for £25.00 (the same price as Apple's worms). They have FSC certified plantation hardwood chassis housed in 100% recycled packaging. To top it off, they plant a tree for every 100 products sold, and are members of 1% For The Planet, which united 1,200 companies to give to 3,300 not-for-profits resulting in more than 100 million dollars given back to mama earth.

8 December 2014

Best Buds: Eco-Friendly Earphones & Headphones

Despite efforts to live a sustainable lifestyle, my partner and I have managed to wreck at least ten pairs of headphones and earphones between the two of us in less than six months. 

The blame lies partially with the creators of these wastefully produced products, but principally, with my partner and I who are guilty of buying cheap goods 'on the fly' to scratch the immediate itch of our 'pressing needs’ ... while being irresponsibly wild and carefree with the sole enabler of our musical wanders.

To remedy our cyclical sins, I went on a hunt for well made ethically produced headphones and was pleasantly surprised by the quantity of quality sustainable aesthetically pleasing goods, produced by small businesses committed to eco friendly products, who also happen exemplify exemplary philanthropic activity. 

If you have a need for headphones, you probably like music, and therefore probably know this name. Bob's relatives created a company called House of Marley with a full line of over, on and in ear headphones made form sustainable materials and FSC certified woods. To top all that goodness off your purchases support the 1 Love Foundation which is dedicated to giving back through charities that empower individuals to take action for sustainable and responsible living. Their current campaign, Million Acts, calls for people around the world to commit an Act Of Love, Act Of Kindness, and/or Act of Community to help strengthen nations around the world and build a compassionate global community. 

This beautifully British company makes in-ear headphones in a variety of colours for £25.00 (same price as Apple's worms). They have FSC certified plantation hardwood chassis housed in 100% recycled packaging. To top it off, they plant a tree for every 100 products sold, and are members of 1% For The Planet, which unites 1,200 companies to give to 3,300 not-for-profits resulting in more than 100 million dollars given back to mama earth. 

Made with reclaimed wood upcycled from discarded furniture and flooring industries, LSTN has a full line of slick and sustainable over, on and in ear headphones. While their goods bring music to your ears, your purchase literally brings HEARING to the ears of another, as the company supports Starkey Hearing Foundation with each purchase. Their website has videos of their charity work which will move even the darkest souls to tears, gives a whole new meaning to sharing music.

So, whether you're replacing your own headphones or putting things under a holiday symbol for someone you Love, just a few extra dollars will get you to your goal while doing good for the earth and others. Win. Win.


27 November 2014

Make It Mean Something: Ethical Box Elation

I put a call out on Facebook asking for ideas of markets to sell Leotie Lovely pieces this holiday season and was almost immediately led to a site I’d subconsciously imagined creating and consciously dreamed of finding.

My Messiah came in the form of an online marketplace cleverly titled Ethical Box, which is in the midst of creating an online community for ethically minded people to buy and sell products made with the earth and it's inhabitants in mind. 

And the products ain't your classic 'green gal' goods. They only launched last month and they've already got enough wonders in the woman's section to get my christmas list crawling:

Ethical Box embodies the change I hope to see, and help create, in the fashion world and beyond. Their tagline: Forget The Ego. Embrace The Eco, politely nudges ones mindful shopping intentions, simplifying their beautifully articulated mission statement. 

Intended for those fed up with the waste and destruction of today’s fast fashion, their hope is To create a place to buy fashion that you can be proud to wear. Fashion that makes you feel as great as it makes you look. Fashion with a positive impact, without compromising on style, which means beautiful products that won’t cost us the earth, our health, or the rights of our fellow human beings. “

They’re the first who’ve brought an Etsy like approach to the ethical shopping world as they strive to create a meaningful marketplace, helping to shift the online shopping world to engage in a greater good, by simplifying the (sometimes exhaustive) search to find products created with the intentions of integrity and love, rather than greed and selfishness.

The online marketplace will open it’s street level doors for their first pop up event this weekend – so if you’re in the holiday shopping mood and happen to be in London adjust your compass slightly north east of Oxford Street instead:

29th and 30th of November
Beach London
20 Cheshire Street –
E2 6EH

If you're like me and prefer to shop under the duvet, their online doors are always open and ever growing right here: http://ethicalbox.co/


18 November 2014

Make It Mean Something

Our little world needs to see some change and the quickest/easiest way to get to it, is adjusting our daily and seasonal habits.

Over the next month those in the western world will whip wildly through a list of loved ones, excitedly purchasing delicious and delightful declarations for them as part of the traditions that fall during this season.

There are a multitude of beautiful things which result from these celebrations, many revolving around Love and kindness, which is why it seems slightly ludicrous that we express our positive feelings for others by spending money on items produced with the opposite emotions and intentions.

There are many suggestions to be made about how we can change our daily lives to improve the social, economic, political and ecological situations we’ve found ourselves in, and I don’t pretend to have the answer to any of them, but I would like to challenge myself, my loved ones, and the world at large to make the choice to #MakeItMeanSomething, through our actions, purchases and beyond.

This challenge is an easy one to commit to, to close your purchasing scope a bit by committing to adhere to one, a few, or all, of the suggestions below while exercising your purchasing power, this Holiday Season, and (if it suits you), in the year(s) to come.

*#MakeItMeanSomething #Top20*

If you're gonna buy:
1. buy less
2. buy something with meaning
3. buy local
4. buy handmade
5. buy ethical
6. buy sustainable
7. buy organic
8. support a small business / musician
9. Buy vintage/second hand
10. Recycle, upcycle, repurpose

Or don't buy it at all:
1. adopt a pet in need of rescue
2. volunteer time
3. donate money
4. hold out a helping hand
5. write a letter/poem
6. paint a picture
7. build a sculpture
8. bake something
9. make something
10. find a cause to care for

To partake in this challenge - just do it - and hashtag #MakeItMeanSomething if you find a moving moment.

Big Hug x