Journal

10 Ways To Live More Sustainably in 2018

Reposted from my store blog HERE

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The environmental crisis is one of (if not) the biggest our generation will face. I think  the biggest reason I have reservations about having children of my own, is that I have serious concerns about what quality of life they would even have in decades to come.

Species are dying off at a rapid rate, oceans are overfished and polluted, poisonous gases are pumped into our air whilst our green spaces (which turn carbon dioxide into oxygen) are being destroyed.

There’s so much to fix and it can feel seriously overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin. But big changes start with small steps; start 2018 off right with 10 simple ways to reduce your environmental impact.

 

1. GIVE UP THE PLASTIC BAGS

Did you know a single plastic bag can take anywhere between 10-1000 years to decompose in the environment? You can’t recycle plastic bags and they’re actually a horrid invention. When left, animals can eat them or get tangled in them – often resulting in death.

A great way to cut plastic bags out of your life is to buy cotton or calico tote bags. They’re super strong (so no more bags snapping on you from an overloading cashier) and they’re reusable.

I used to forget them all the time, so now I keep one folded up in the pocket of each of my go to bags and jackets. I think I’ve had to get one plastic bag in the past 2 months since, so it’s deffo a trick that works.

If you don’t already have one, why not grab one of ours (with our snake emblem; designed by the wonderfully talented Mercedes Bellido, here).

 

 

2. CUT DOWN ON PACKAGED FOOD

This is honestly easier said than done, but supermarkets are not sustainable;
– They mass raise animals (often in abhorrent conditions)
– They mass grow greens which destroy soil from overuse of fertilisers and pesticides.
– The large quantity of fresh produce usually means there’s a lot of food waste
– Most products are packaged in cellophane plastic wrap, which can’t be recycled.
– Grocery stores don’t separate any food waste from the packaging, resulting in large quantities of un-recycled trash.
– Grocery stores often discard what they consider to be aesthetically unpleasing fruit and vegetables – which are perfectly edible. This to me is completely mental and the most first world bullshit if ever heard of.
– Grocery stores often sell fresh produce in bulk, which is more than most people need for what they plan to cook. This promotes food waste at home.
About two years ago, I started buying more often from the local butcher and greengrocer, and let me tell you now; the food is so much better quality. The food is sourced locally from independent farms so animals are kept and slaughtered humanly. Fresh produce is sold by weight, so i can buy only what I need (and they use paper bags!!)
One thing friends have said is they don’t have time to do multiple trips a week to buy local produce; so what I do is I buy joints of meat, cut them into portions when I get home and plan my meals. I’ll keep things I want to eat during the week fridged in tupperware and then freeze the other portions to eat at a later date. It’s a great way to avoid unnecessary food waste.
Another great option is to try and find a delivery service that specialises in sustainable produce. I used to use Bearfaced Groceries when I lived in manchester, though I think they may have since closed down 😦

 

3. USE ALTERNATIVE SANITARY PRODUCTS 

I’ll be honest, I’ve only got onto this one recently but I was actually shocked when I saw how long it takes for sanitary products to break down.

A single tampon can take 6 months (not including plastic applicators) whilst sanitary pads can take 500 years due to their use of crude oil plastics. Women have approximately 456 periods a lifetime according to a study – which can cost over £18,000. So not only are periods wrecking the environment (and great knickers everywhere), but they’re wreaking havoc on our bank accounts too.

I think I speak for earth and women everywhere when I say, fuck you Aunt Flow. But fear not, there are alternatives! THINX is a underwear brand that offer period proof pants (they literally hold 2 tampons worth!)

Thinx Period Proof Underwear

Image from www.shethinx.com

Sure spending $30+ on a single pair of pants seems steep (especially when you’ll need a few to see you through the period), but long term you’ll be saving a ton of cash and can sleep better at night knowing hundreds of used pads aren’t hanging out in a landfill somewhere until 2517 (ewwww).

Second up, is a period cup; these bad boys are literally cups you put inside which you can rinse, clean and re-use. I’ll admit, this one doesn’t seem like something I’ll try just yet but I’ve heard a lot of great reviews. I think once you get past the initial hesitance, they’re actually great. Have you tried any of these or even something not mentioned? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!

 

4. CONSERVE ENERGY

Use rechargeable batteries for anything that requires them, as batteries take 100 years to biodegrade in the environment.

Another thing to do is use timer plugs. I was absolutely criminal at leaving my iPhone plugged in and falling asleep with the tv on when I got my first flats – which definitely resulted in some savage bills and major guilt about wasting energy. For the low price of £3, you can buy a timer which turns everything that should be off at a certain time. You’ll find your energy usage will drastically drop – resulting in lower bills and all around less self hatred.

 

5. DONATE OR RESELL

Got clothes you don’t want to wear anymore? Donate them to your local charity shop or eBay them. It’s true what they say – one mans trash is another mans treasure. I’ve actually found some of my favourite pieces on eBay and in charity and thrift shops.

 

6. SHOP SMART

As well as buying second hand, do your homework on brands you shop with. ‘Eco friendly’ and ‘conscious’ are buzz words that have been thrown around a lot this year, even by huge high street stores. But what they don’t tell you is that although their fabric may be slightly more environmentally sound, their production methods certainly are not. This includes using labour in countries where workers are not fairly compensated and factory regulations are relaxed.

There’s a lot of great pioneers for the sustainability movement, like Reformation and Stella McCartney. But those brands aren’t exactly accessible to everyone. Ultimately, investing in well made pieces of clothing will save you money and cut down on waste.

A great way I realised this was with my denim. When I was younger I would go through at least 5 pairs of jeans a year; bought for about £30 a pair on the high street. They would always be misshapen on the knees or be coming apart at the seams within a couple of months. Eventually I started investing in a good pair of Levis (new and vintage). It’s now been 2 and a half years and you know how many pairs i’ve bought? 2. They set me back £80 a pair (£160 total). Had I continued my previous buying pattern over those 2.5 years, I would have spent £375 on over 10 pairs of substandard jeans. In the long run i’ve saved £215 and a lot of trips to the charity shop!

 

7. BUY A LOT OF COFFEES? GET A REUSABLE CUP

My cat recently smashed my reusable porcelain coffee thermos and I’m immediately hating it (cheers Ralph). It kept my beverages hot, cut down on waste and stopped metal dust getting into my brew when at the work bench (a triple RIP).
Although most coffee comes in cardboard cups with plastic tops, which separately are recyclable; it’s estimated that on average, only one in 400 cups are actually recycled! That’s really bad, especially if you think about how many tired humans there are on this planet that need that fresh cup of liquid life at the start of the day.
One of my favourite homeware stores, Red Temple Prayer (and fellow British grown brand), do some killer thermoses. I’ve just asked for this Back Sabbath inspired cup for Christmas!
Take a look at their wares and cut down on the excess paper cups!

8. SAY NO TO BOTTLED WATER

Although I love a cold bottle of water as much as the next person, bottled water isn’t great. Think of all the plastic and carbon emissions created just to transport that stuff around – it’s just so unnecessary when we have access to clean water at home.
If you live in a hard water area, like we do; a great way to get your fresh water fix is by investing in a water filter. I never liked the idea of cartridge filter jugs because they’re a) expensive to replace, b) need to be replaced often and c) have plastic chunky filters.
I recently found a great alternative by Black and Blum which uses activated charcoal to clean the water. Not only does it look beautiful for the dinner table but the charcoal lasts 6 months before it needs to be replaced. They even do a travel sized range for those of you on the go here.

9. GET ACTIVE

I’ve got family members who use their car for everything, even going to the corner shop! Stretch those legs and walk every once in a while if you have a car – your body and the planet will thank you!

10. R E C Y C L E 

When you realise how long things take to break down, you’ll definitely think twice about tossing your trash in any old place. I have also sworn off tinfoil since finding out it does not biodegrade at all, which is a shame but I mean, who can justify it.

Paper, cans, glass, fabrics and most plastics can all be recycled. If you go through a lot of packaging (I know I do as I have a business), pay for extra recycling bins on your local councils website. We have 2 brown bins and 2 blue bins because my studio is at my house, it takes up garden space but honestly it’s worth it.

 

How long does it take to break down:

Cigarette Butts – 10-12 years;

Monofilament Fishing Line – 600 years;

Rubber-Boot Sole – 50-80 years;

Foamed Plastic Cups – 50 years;

Leather shoes – 25-40 years;

Milk Cartons – 5 years;

Plywood – 1-3 years;

Painted board – 13 years;

Cotton Glove – 3 months;

Cardboard – 2 months;

Styrofoam- It does not biodegrade;

Nylon Fabric- 30-40 years;

Tin can- 50 years;

Ropes – 3-14 months;

Waxed milk carton- 3 months;

Aluminum cans- 200-250 years;

Train tickets – two weeks,

Canvas products – 1 year;

Batteries – 100 years;

Lumber- 10-15 years,

Sanitary Pads – 500-800 years;

Wool Clothing- 1-5 years;

 

Know of any sustainability tricks or products I need to try? Leave your recommendations in the comments! 

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Journal

10 Things To Watch This Winter

It’s freezing cold and the festive holidays are upon us. Wrap up, hit the lights and delve into my personal television favourites.

Dark

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A lot of people are claiming this to be similar to Stranger Things, but honestly this is much darker and explores some really heavy themes. I don’t want to give to much away but all i can say is i watched the whole series back to back in one day (that’s 10 hours straight) and it had me asking WTF aloud at least once an episode. If you’re into gritty dramas, science fiction and horror – this is well worth a watch. (Netflix)

 

The Sinner

I stumbled upon this by accident but I was utterly gripped from start to finish! The story is about a young mother who randomly murders a stranger during a visit to the beach with her family. The mystery doesn’t revolve around who did it, but more so why. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming and I’m preying for season 2. This is now on Netflix for those wanting to watch it in the UK.

The Disappearance

Currently still watching this but I’m thoroughly enjoying it! This limited run Canadian series follow a family torn apart after their youngest member disappears whilst doing his annual birthday treasure hunt. Long buried secrets are brought to the surface as the family desperately tries to uncover the mystery surrounding that the disappearance.

Mindhunter

I’m a self confessed serial killer obsessive (but not in a ‘writes to murderers asking them to marry me’ kinda way). I’ve always been interested in what drives a person to commit such horrific acts of violence, and this was really the perfect show for me.

The series is based on the early career of John E Douglas – the OG criminal profiler who created the system in which law enforcement now use to understand (and categorise) the behaviour of violent criminals. He talked to some of the worst in history; including Ted Bundy and Dennis Rader, so you can expect some pretty twisted conversations throughout. If you’re into the macabre and a great 70s soundtrack – look no further.

 

Stranger Things 2

I binged this within a day and my only complaint about this season is it ended far too soon. Good soundtrack and a classic fight between good and evil.

(Also just date me Steve, I promise I’ll always appreciate you and your 80s haircut.)

Liar

I don’t usually watch ITV because it tends to be tack, but I really enjoyed this series and I’m glad it will be back. It follows the story of a woman who wakes up after a date with a seemingly nice successful guy only to accuse him of sexual assault. The story twists and turns and will have you not sure who to believe until the very end. A really great thriller.

The Killing Season

This came out a year ago but I really enjoyed it and I’ve been waiting on season 2 to come along (fingers crossed) since. Two documentary film makers travel along inner sections and state lines to investigate a string of disappearances and killings, theorising there could be more active serial killers than originally thought. This is really dark but a totally gripping watch.

Real Detective

A re-enactment show that isn’t tacky; it’s basically investigation discovery meets True Detective (season 1). Each episode interviews retired detectives who talk about the worst cases they ever worked on and it’s true what they say; reality really is stranger than fiction. They have an array of decent actors in the stories, including Michael Madsen from Kill Bill. My boyfriend and I watched season 1 and 2 together (and we both cried at the last episodes of both seasons). They save the absolute worst for last and still to this day it makes me (a hardened horror and true crime obsessive) feel uneasy.

Mr. Robot

Oh Elliot, how I’ve missed you. If you’ve not seen this series, then stop what you are doing. Get season 1 up immediately and binge up to where we are now (season 3). It’s so spectacularly shot, the characters are complex and as a whole, it has more twists than a 90s M. Night Shyamalan blockbuster. You won’t be disappointed.

Vice Principles

Okay I’ve been getting all dark so it’s time to lighten it up – I don’t want anyone getting seasonal depression because of this list.

Vice Principles is that beautiful balance between making you want to hit your own head against a wall because it’s so unbearably cringeworthy and just straight up hilarious. It follows two vice principles and their power struggle to become top dog at North Jackson High. It’s got great plot twists and writing throughout. I promise you’ll enjoy it if you liked Eastbound & Down.

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Journal, Personal Style, Styling

The Age Of Aquarius with Hannah Mae Clark

Last winter in a freezing turn of the century building, I met up with photographer Hannah Mae Clark to collaborate on a long overdue photoshoot for my A/W 16-17 Star Child capsule collection. We had emailed back and forth building our mood boards up months prior, basing the shoot on our favourite musical muses from the 60’s and 70’s.
This was a perfect theme for us, as my dad (a talented multi instrumentalist and music producer) owned a studio space in Hull filled with beautiful vintage instruments and equipment that he had been collecting since he was a teenager.
If we couldn’t get any more fortunate, after putting a Facebook casting post out, a friend reached out to me recommending her sister Lydia (who happens to look like she could be a long lost 3rd child of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg.) I was absolutely ecstatic and began feverishly collecting clothes to shoot, most of which were generously provided by dreamy Aussie label Lenni.
You can browse the inspiration for the shoot here
Photography by Hannah Mae Clark
Makeup and Styling: Me
Clothes:
All Jewellery by The Serpents Club
Grey Kimono Dress by Reformation 
Star Neck Scarf – Vintage
Pinafore Dress by Olive Clothing
Mustard Shirt by Chloe
Sparkly Top – Lenni The Label
Longline Bralet – Topsop
Silky Kimono Top – Asos
Black Flares – Models Own
Wooden Platforms – Topshop
Starprint Dress – Lenni The Label
Bodysuit – Reformation 
Soundtrack:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/emilymaet/playlist/3J4xC4yx2vXYTPtXaTHS5u

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Journal, Personal Style, Styling

All Star Spangled With Nowhere To Go

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This morning I awoke to an eagerly awaited parcel containing the top of my dreams –  the Realisation Par Bianca‘ blouse.
This coveted top amongst foxes worldwide has been on my to buy list since it came out and honestly, my soul needs it in every colour and print imaginable. At a price tag of $140 plus shipping and import charges – I unfortunately just couldn’t justify it as a recent and relatively broke graduate (how I mourn the days of getting a huge chunk of money every 4 months, that was the fucking one.)
After adding anything and everything Realisation Par to my eBay notification list, I found that the garm gods had shined down on me, offering the navy star print in my size. I pretty much watched it like a hawk for the final hour and went in for the kill, with great success. And i’m so glad i did; it’s so delicate and beautifully made it almost feels like a crime to wear it.
Unfortunately living in England where the weather is schizophrenic most of the time, I couldn’t commit to wearing this braless like i’d have liked to. I instead decided to wear it with a skinny bralet to spare me the embarrassment of nip slipping a total rando in the street.
I paired it with the greatest jeans i’ve ever owned (the Mile High skinny jeans by Levis), a pair of wedge espadrilles (how cliche of me) and my fave vintage clutch. I’m absolutely loving this whole basket trend at the moment but I just don’t feel quite Jane Birkin enough to pull it off; it looks a bit too kitch on me. This deep navy leather weave clutch I acquired whilst working for a vintage store is the perfect balance for me.
If you’re also feeling this outfit, i’ve linked to the stores below along with some more bank friendly alternatives.
Tie Front Star Top – Bianca by Realisation Par // HERE (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE)
High Waist Jeans – Mile High by Levis // HERE 
Woven Leather Clutch Bag – Vintage // Similar HERE, HERE & HERE
Espadrille Shoes –  Florence & Fred // Similar HERE, HERE & HERE
Mesh Bralet – Asos // Similar HERE, HERE & HERE
Necklaces – Coin Necklace // HERE
                     Leaf Necklace // HERE
SOUNDTRACK
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