“I can’t save the world alone!” – The myth threatening our environmental progress.
Sceptics are arguably a bigger threat to our environment than climate change itself.
Over the years, there have been multiple articles suggesting we all stop caring – from ‘the earth is homeostatic’ to ‘it simply won’t get too bad within our lifetimes’, and the reasons have always been entirely disprovable. One recent article has particularly angered us here at RubyMoon – an Alden Wicker article entitled ‘conscious consumerism is a lie’.
The article highlights the three main points targeted by sceptics in their arguments against acting in favour of the environment – and the three ways of thinking that we need to change.
1.) The misrepresentation of research findings.
A lot of statistics that you see being used to defend non-environmentally friendly behaviour have been taken completely out of context, or just based on poorly executed research. For example, the Wicker article’s main argument is grounded on research by Csutora in 2012. The author split participants up into those acting ‘green’ and those acting ‘brown’, based on a largely irrelevant scale – one which looked at recent changes to behaviour. This put those who hadn’t recently altered their environmental behaviour in the wrong category, meaning the conclusions drawn aren’t completely valid. If reading an article that doesn’t sound quite right, make sure to look into their supporting research to assess whether something has been misinterpreted.
2.) Seeing throwaway fashion as too strong a force to argue with.
Wicker’s article adopts the attitude that it simply doesn’t matter whether we recycle our clothing or not – sooner or later, some future owner of the garment won’t end up recycling it, and it will end up in the same place as it would if we just threw it away now. Frankly, if we all held this opinion, of course all clothes would get thrown away! We simply need to encourage everybody to donate their clothes to new homes rather than throwing them away, and hopefully the quantity of waste being produced will fall. It is also mentioned that you need to be “privileged” to afford ethically made clothes – again, not true! The vast majority of sustainably made fashion is of extremely high quality in comparison to high street clothing, which is designed to wear out in order to encourage future purchases. Ethical fashion items last longer, so you don’t need to buy as many – which works out at the same, if not a lower price.
3.) Thinking that you are not powerful enough.
The Wicker article suggests that the only way that us mere citizens can make an impact is to give all our money to powerful organisations with a voice. Contrarily, there have been many instances of communities coming together to make a difference – such as in the Noord district in Amsterdam where households have come together to collect their plastic recycling and take it to a local drop-off point. This is rewarded with ‘green coins’, which are accepted in exchange for discounts at 30 local businesses for things such as half-price beers, free chocolate or discounted yoga classes. Talking to your neighbours about the environment could result in something really effective coming into place.
More locally, the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership aims to help residents waste less food, Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project takes waste wood from local builders and recreates it into a reusable product, and Hanover Action promotes sustainable living and attitude change through various community events like zero carbon energy BBQs and film showings of environmental documentaries. All of these programmes are community-run and have resulted in massive waste reduction.
Even individually, we can make a massive difference to the environment. Things such as eating less red meat, properly considering our clothing purchases and walking or cycling rather than driving or using public transport are all proven to really help the environment in terms of reducing emissions.
Here’s a list of 50 more ways to help the environment that can be implemented at home.
To quote Anita Roddick, “If you think you’re too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room”.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is no “hoax”: What does this mean for the fashion industry and in general?
Earlier in June this year President Trump made the shocking announcement that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris agreement. This pivotal agreement, signed by 195 nations, is one of the first deals that unites the world in a collective fight against the burgeoning climate change problem.
Living under what has been deemed, the age of the Anthropocene (or the age of man); such a step is one towards undoing the careless and relentless damage done by humans, to our beautiful planet. The Anthropocene marks the period from which humans began to significantly impact the earth, and is posited as being from the 1800s; the beginning of the industrial revolution. Now, as we try to reverse this impact, the phrase ‘all hands-on deck’ does not emphasise enough the need for a worldwide collective effort. Ironically, or perhaps scarily, the U.S. is one of the largest contributors to atmospheric carbon dioxide in the world. Trump infamously quipped that climate change is “a hoax”. Such a regressive attitude paves the way to transforming the U.S. back into a 19th century miner fuelled energy economy. One can’t help but feel that this blatant denial and ignorance, could be material handpicked from an environmental dystopian novel by the likes of Margaret Atwood.
So, what is the agreement?
The aim of the agreement is to lower greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, whilst keeping the global temperature well below 2.0C. Each country must regularly plan and report on its own contribution to fighting global warming. In a more inclusive and accessible move, poorer countries are also provided with “climate finance” by richer countries, to develop renewable energy. By removing any financial barriers, poorer countries (who may face more pressing issues such as extreme poverty or hunger) can more effectively contribute to the cause.
Although not a legally binding agreement; it is one that can be considered as being tightly bound up with the maintenance of reputation. Trump’s withdrawal was met with condemnation and anger across the world. French President Emmanuel Macron reacted tellingly through his re-appropriation of Trump’s own phrase: #makeourplanetgreatagain, whilst other leaders pleaded with the President to reconsider his decision. Trump’s reasoning stems from misinformed ideas that the agreement is damaging to the US economy. Others believe it comes from his desire to revive the mining industry- following his mass support from the ‘rust belt’ during the elections. Interestingly, the only other two nations to refuse to be part of the agreement are Nicaragua and Syria. With one being in the midst of civil war, Trump’s decision looks even more reductive and unjustified.
What are the repercussions for the fashion industry?
Research by the Global Fashion Agenda have found that Trump’s decision will cause the sector’s CO2 emissions to increase by 60%- to nearly 2.8 billion tonnes per year by 2030. If the government is not pushing for more sustainable practices, where is the incentive to be more sustainable? If it’s cheaper and easier to run on without having to invest in renewable energy, having to pay fairly and source ethically- then why would a profit-making company do this? Furthermore, without facing any consequences or accountability, this leaves the field wide open for a continued cycle of unethical and planet destroying practices- at the hands of the latest trends and whims of throwaway fashion.
However, against all depressing odds- many high-profile companies and fashion labels have spoken out against Trump’s decision. Tiffanies and Co, Nike, and Levi’s, among others, have expressed their continued commitment to try and lower emissions; despite now facing challenges because of Trump’s actions. For example, Levi’s emphasised how costly waste reduction can be– and how previous government incentives had allowed this to be done more efficiently and cheaply. Now, less incentive and support slows down progress being made. Levi made the following statement on the subject:
“The Administration’s decision to back out of the Paris Accord will not change Levi Strauss & Co.’s commitment to reducing our impact on the environment; and we will continue to pursue technologies that can reduce the apparel industry’s environmental impact.”
Furthermore, the chief executive of the Global fashion agenda and the organiser of the Copenhagen Fashion summit, Eva Kruse, highlighted the long term financial gain in being committed to reducing emissions around the world: up to 67 billion annually. Trump’s self-proclaimed position as ultimate business mogul is once again questionable with such blatant dismissal of fact, one that suits his isolating and backwards looking ‘America first’ agenda.
It seems that Trump’s decision to “get America out” of the agreement is one that is contested by not only other world leaders, the business world’s biggest names (such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google); but by the people of America too. A study by Yale university (2017) found that 7 in 10 Americans wanted to remain a part of the agreement– in comparison to the mere 13% who wanted to withdraw. 30 states in America are dedicated to continuing the current climate policies and reducing emissions- a ray of hope within an otherwise dark outlook.
By Roisin McCormack
The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: 37 Items or Less
You may have heard of the term ‘capsule wardrobe’, essentially meaning a wardrobe containing a few items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion quickly, that you really love. We’d hope we all have something similar in our own closets, but how many clothes do you actually own? 75? 100?
The capsule wardrobe challenge encourages you to never own more than 37.
And it’s actually easier than it sounds.
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great idea if you’re interested in minimising your wardrobe and embracing slow fashion, since it encourages you to stick to a few staples rather than buying into tons of fad trends. Some guidelines just encourage a minimalist collection of less than 50 pieces of clothes, shoes and outerwear, but to build a wardrobe that you can term a “capsule wardrobe”, the strict limit is 37. (Pyjamas, accessories, fitness clothing and anything for a special occasion doesn’t count).
The reasons people opt for a capsule wardrobe will generally be either for personal ease, or for the environment.
Looking at it from a personal angle, capsule wardrobes are EASY. Once you’ve got yourself down to 37 pieces, you don’t have to worry about matching colours or styles – you know they all go together. Every item is something you genuinely love, so you will never be stuck rummaging through a stuffed wardrobe with nothing to wear. It also costs less, since you’re not buying as much, or even doing as much laundry.
But more importantly, capsule wardrobes are an excellent way that you as an individual can do something great for our planet. You’re far less likely to throw clothes away after purchasing but never wearing them, and due to the number restriction, you won’t be buying as many clothes to begin with. This means less of consumers’ money going towards the fashion industry, the second most polluting industry in the world, which in the long-run could result in production of clothes slowing altogether.
Here’s how you can do it…
1. Start by clearing your wardrobe out.
To start with, only keep the things you absolutely love. Anything that you’ve not worn for a year or more, doesn’t fit you, or can’t be mended, should be donated to charity or recycled – make sure they aren’t binned. We are throwing away clothes far too often and this can completely counteract the positive impact that the capsule wardrobe is aiming to have. The rest should then go into storage – it seems daunting to throw away such a large quantity at once, and you can’t always predict what you’ll miss, so keep everything hidden out of your wardrobe until you’re certain you don’t need it.
2. Live with what you’ve got for a while.
This is likely to put you at way under 37 items. But getting to grips with how small your wardrobe is will give you an idea of what’s missing, and hence, what you need to purchase. You can then make a note of what you need, rather than going shopping straight away and making assumptions of what to get.
3. Add the items you need.
To get yourself up to a comfortable number of pieces, buy things that fit your body shape. (There’s a fab body shape calculator here – so you can figure out what fits best). Clothes that are a flattering shape will look good regardless of any current fashions, so being able to identify these in stores is a great start. Since you’ll be wearing the same clothes more often, invest in some higher-quality pieces that won’t wear out easily. The extra money you’ll have spare can be put towards purchasing from cruelty-free brands, ensuring your clothes don’t come from companies that mistreat their workers or the planet.
4. Remove and replace, in balance.
Once you’ve got your 37 items, you’re good to go. If you notice at the end of a season that you wore any particular item less than three times, give it to a better home and find something to replace it that you will use more. Swap clothes in and out of storage depending on the time of year – remember, anything that’s not in your wardrobe doesn’t count towards your grand total.
Tip: Try the three-of-each rule – one casual, one dressy, and one in-between for each clothing staple!
Are you ready to commit to the capsule wardrobe challenge?
A list that’s sure you to make you GREEN with envy: Brighton’s top sustainable hot spots
Brighton is a bustling haven of sustainability. With saving the planet at the very heart of its politics, (it still reigns champion as the ONLY Green constituency in the country); such an attitude is palpable as one walks through the city.
As you worm your way through the North Laine’s, (a symphony of seagulls providing a backtrack to Brighton life), you can’t help but notice that there are nearly more food options available for vegans than non-vegans, a rare find. Chic boutiques boast ethical and sustainably sourced clothing, small organic and sustainable food markets sell reasonably priced groceries, and a totally vegetarian shoe shop stands out. The city also teems with students and young creatives, further creating a vibe of futurity that is so important as we strive for a sustainable future. Indeed, it is a perfect setting for RubyMoon to flourish under, and draw inspiration and encouragement from like-minded people and businesses.
So… here’s a roundup of some of our favourite ethical shops and collectives in Brighton:
The Fair Shop, 21 Queens Road:
With a motto of “Live Fair, Love Fair, Be Fair”, they essentially do what it says on the tin; stocking a range of different brands all with pristine ethical credentials. Their clothes are gorgeous, reasonably priced, and guilt free- the brands having been approved by the World Fair Trade Organisation.
Wolf and Gypsy, 30 Sydney Street:
A personal favourite now, Wolf and Gypsy’s window display and store layout is devilishly enticing, but their attitude to throwaway fashion is even more so. Upcycling vintage clothing to suit a more modern wardrobe, re-patching and mending garments so as not to waste them-they’re encouraging the upcycling of clothing in style.
Love that Stuff, 9 Mermaid Walk, Brighton Marina:
The simplicity of their ethos, “Handmade Stuff that Lasts”, does not take away from the importance of it. Located on Brighton Marina this shop sells a range of Fair Trade household items, clothing and accessories sourced responsibly from around the world. A perfect place for buying ethically minded gifts.
Vegetarian Shoe Shop, 12 Gardner Street:
This Brighton based store solely make vegan friendly shoes. Using a replacement leather material that hasn’t harmed any animals or the environment; for once you can treat yourself to shoes and feel less guilt at the gaping hole in your bank account… Their shoes are also breathable, and all products are shipped worldwide after popular demand.
Silo, 39 Upper Gardner Street:
‘A pre-industrial food system’ that uses pure ingredients, ensures clean farming, and operates a zero-waste policy. They source their produce locally, meaning they reduce food miles, and what’s more; their food is real and totally unprocessed, better for our bodies, and the environment. The interior of the restaurant is also a feat in itself- everything being upcycled from things that would have otherwise been wasted. A minimalist, simple design that hipsters would cry over.
Terre a Terre, 71 East Street:
This acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, born in 1993, is one of the original ethical restaurants in Brighton. Their decisions are driven towards recycling, waste management, giving something back to the environment instead of simply taking. Their food is outstanding, acting as a real tourist attraction in itself.
Infinity Foods, 25 North Road:
This worker co-operative has one of the largest selections of organic vegan and vegetarian foods, cosmetics, and household items in the South East. If you want to shop more organically but not break the bank, this is the place to go. They also have an instore bakery, and have now opened Infinity Foods Kitchen around the corner; a perfect stop for a spot of vegan friendly lunch.
HiSbe, 20-21 York Place:
HiSbe- short for ‘How it should be’ is marketed as ‘a supermarket revolution’. A social enterprise model that wants to put happiness before profits, this sets an example for all the major supermarkets. They source their products locally, pick seasonally, consider waste, farm ethically, and pay all their staff and suppliers fairly.
The Revival Collective:
Brighton based ethical fashion and lifestyle blog is a go to for tips on how to live more sustainably- and in style. An accessible and aesthetically pleasing feast of clothing and make up guides, recipes, and thought-provoking think pieces. Watch out for the events they put on like clothes swaps and documentary showings around Brighton too.
This vegan student food blogger/ Instagrammer will inspire you to get more creative, and ethically conscious, in the kitchen. With tips on where to get the cheapest vegan ingredients, as well as general food inspo, she’s bound to become a household name in the Brighton food scene.
Clothes Swaps- Rags Revival Clothes Swap:
Otherwise known as ‘swishing’, this collective organise meetups that provide a more economical, and environmentally way of shopping. One woman’s rags is another’s riches, so check them out on Facebook and get involved.
There are regular beach cleans in Brighton, helping to protect wildlife. A fun and active way to get involved with the Brighton community whilst doing something good for the environment. The next #pier2pierbeachclean takes place on Saturday 15th July.
Written by Roisin McCormack
Ocean’s Angels- Are they really answering our sustainability prayers?
As summer is well underway, many will now be diving into continental seas, or perhaps dipping tentative toes into slightly colder water here at home. For those of you making a splash, now seems a good time to raise awareness concerning the high levels of waste plastic in our oceans; and point to those who are making waves in innovative technology and design to overcome our ocean’s burgeoning problem.
Plastic waste now accounts for up to 80% of the total debris in the oceans. It is the number one source of pollution in the oceans, and is symptomatic of the disposable lifestyle many are defined by. Killing over a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year, tainting the natural beauty of coastlines across the world, and disrupting an entire eco-system, our throwaway use of plastic is not sustainable. However, there are now designers (like here at Ruby Moon) trying to wean themselves off what ethical designer Cyrill Gutsch’s calls, the plastic “drug”- by using recycled ocean plastic, fishing nets and debris in their products.
Adidas and Stella McCartney : Parley Ultra Boost X Trainers made from Ocean Plastic
Adidas, (who in the past have been known for their unethical practices) have teamed up with sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney, and environmental group Parley for the Oceans, to create a running shoe. While it is currently only the upper that is made from recycled ocean plastic, each pair of shoes does contain up to eleven plastic bottles. The trainers signal a change in direction for Adidas as a brand and the trainer industry itself. In a clever marketing move the first 50 pairs could not be bought, but had to be won in a video competition requiring entrants to demonstrate their commitment to ending single use plastic items.
Following the success of this enterprise, they have joined forces again in creating a collection of swimwear made from upcycled fishing nets and debris.
G-Star RAW- Pharrell Williams
Similarly, Dutch denim company G-Star RAW have launched a collection of denim garments made from recycled ocean plastics. In collaboration once again with Parley for the Oceans, as well as textile company Bionic Yarn, the tag line: “Turning the tide on ocean plastic pollution” indicates a change in the fashion world and the insurgence of recycled plastic as a breakthrough material. Their partnership with singer Pharrell Williams also signals the ever-increasing presence of celebrities in the fight for sustainable fashion. (See recent blog post on 10 Celebrities endorsing ethical fashion).
While such efforts by G-Star and Adidas do exemplify a positive new trend developing among fast-fashion brands; questions can be raised about the genuine intentions of such marketing- and the actual sustainability of products. Using plastic to make denim for example, whether recycled or not, fails to consider the future of the product within the cradle-to-cradle design structure. Recycled plastic still ultimately remains non-biodegradable. 100% organic cotton could be considered as a more appropriate or sustainable material for making denim.
Such a failure to consider the life-cycle of a material, could point to the possibility of these products, which are marketed under the guise of sustainability; being sold simply to fill the gap in the market, and jump on the sustainability ‘band waggon’ that is increasingly gaining momentum.
Similarly, the Adidas trainer (as mentioned before) is marketed as being “Made from Parley Ocean Plastic”- yet only a minor part of the shoe is made so. If we are to be purists about the sourcing of materials and the actual sustainability of them, (as we are here at Ruby Moon), these factors then have to be considered.
Spark- Recycled Plastic Beach Huts
Parley for the Oceans work with Adidas and G-Star has now also influenced architecture designers. Spark’s series of beach huts in Singapore resemble giant pine cones, and are also crucially made from recycled ocean plastic. Their location along the East Coast Park not only works practically by providing shade for tourists, but act as bold visual reminders of the effects of ocean plastic.
Terazzo Effect Table- Brodie Neill
Brodie Neill’s terrazzo effect table is carefully curated from small pieces of plastic, recovered from beaches in Tasmania, Hawaii and Cornwall. The blue, white, brown and green chips of plastic merge beautifully into a speckled top resembling the ocean. Neill’s work was commissioned for the London design biennale in 2016, the theme being centred around ‘Utopia by Design’. Neill’s use of the recycled plastic for his work in relation to this theme, interestingly highlights the role this material could play in the creation of a better world; Utopia meaning an imagined place where everything is perfect.
Lush- Green Spun Knot Wrap:
Lush have introduced a more old-world way of packing products- that does not involve wasting paper. The innovative and sustainable mode of knot wrapping something, pays homage to the Japanese tradition of “Furoshiki”. Wrapping a product in a beautifully decorated piece of reusable material, not only looks more presentable when giving gifts, but saves the planet. They can also be used to wrap your lunch, act as an individual hair scarf, or an impromptu picnic blanket- who knew one item could have so many potential uses?
Sustainable Development Goals ARE ‘Life Goals’
You may have heard or seen the phrase, “#Life Goals” splashed across social media recently. A fabulous, minimalist mansion with pool overlooking Californian coastline. A model-esque couple camping in scenic countryside with absolutely no sign of rain, cows, or cow dung. A woman doing yoga and drinking a fruit smoothie and posting about it on social media, at the same time. The posts captioned “Life Goals” (always accompanied with the heart eyes emoji), as inspirational as they can be: fail to include a bigger, and more pressing picture.
I would like to highlight a new set of ‘life goals’ that should be taking precedence and getting more attention on social media. With our climate situation growing ever scarier, and extreme poverty rates and inequality continuing to persist across the world, it’s time to discuss the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. If there ever were a set of goals aimed at creating a good life for all, and that work at “transforming our future”, these are it. Having been mentioned in a blog post on Ruby Moon last year, let’s return to this important step one year on and see how things have changed.
In September 2015, the UN introduced a set of 17 goals for countries to adopt, all aimed at driving towards a more sustainable future. These goals include; No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Gender Equality. Doubtless, some are slightly more ambitious than others, yet the provision of a solid set of targets for countries and businesses to follow is a step in the right direction.
Prior to their release, it should be mentioned many of these goals were already at the core of Ruby Moon’s values. We can proudly say that we officially align with 6 of the targets, which are listed on our products tags. Needless to say, we aim to uphold all of these tenets, with sustainability at the very heart of the business.
Our sustainable six are:
No Poverty, 2. Gender Equality, 3. Decent work and economic growth, 4. Responsible consumption and production, 5. Climate action, 6. Life below water
It’s been 2 years since the goals were put into place- how effective have they been?
Surveys taken in 2016 showed that businesses were being slow to take on the goals effectively. There is still a disparity between those businesses who have sustainability at the helm of their business plan, and those who still see it as an inconsequential ‘add on’. In fact, fewer than half of global businesses plan to even engage with the goals (Ethical Corporation’s State of Responsibility Report 2016), particularly in the US.
An article in The Guardian revealed that subsequently there appears to be an increasing trust issue between consumers (interestingly, especially with ‘millenials’) and businesses; with 81% of millennials believing it is the task of the business to achieve these SDG’s, yet they fail to.
There still appears to be an imbalance between attitude and actual action. What has to be considered however, is the very breadth of the goals and the difference in urgent need for them depending on the country.
For example, it was revealed that some goals have been more successful than others. Climate action was paid the most attention by businesses (63%), yet the broader and as mentioned, slightly more ambitious goals such as zero hunger and zero poverty, were less supported (20% and 22% respectively). This may have something to do with the priority the goals have, based on the individual countries need for them. In developed countries, such primary issues such as hunger and extensive poverty may be less of a pressing issue than in developing countries; instead more focus might be placed on more post-consumerist issues such as climate change.
This considered, the SDG’s are still getting out there, with certain companies such as Siemens, Marks&Spencer, Danone and and UniLever being praised for their action on specific SDG’s- their very creation serving as a universal acknowledgement for a need for them. They do say admitting there is a problem is the first step in fixing the problem.
So how can you make these your new ‘Life Goals?
The Sustainable Development Goals website offers ‘The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World’. You don’t have to be part of a business to help save our future, you can simply do it from your couch! Tips and tricks like turning off lights, using refillable water bottles and buying clothes sustainably are all easy and accessible ways that you can help.
These Sustainable Development Goals should be everyone’s ‘life goals’.
Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/30/businesses-ignore-un-sustainable-development-goals-survey
An ethical summer holiday packing list
Summer is officially here and it’s the perfect time to take some time off work and head away to sunbathe by the sea, whether that’s your local beach or a plane’s journey away! As with any shopping spree, we’ve got to remember to shop sustainably when looking for some last-minute holiday purchases. Here’s a compilation of brands you can look to for all your summer essentials!
The number of days you’re going away for will determine just how much you need to pack in terms of clothing. Remember to bring a jumper for the cooler nights, and bear in mind that you’ll often be wearing little more than your swimming costume so there’s no need to bring your whole wardrobe!
Recycled or second-hand clothing can be bought from websites like People Tree, Bushbells, Rokit or Beyond Retro, or you could try Ebay or your nearest charity shop to pick up some new pieces at a fraction of their original price. For comfy but light closed-toe flats, we recommend Toms, and recycled tyre flip-flops from The Whale Company if you’re looking for something a little lighter.
You’ll obviously be needing some swimwear to soak up the sun in, so head over to the Rubymoon website and sign yourself onto our mailing list to receive 10% off your order. Try some recycled denim sunglasses from Mosevic, and you’ll need a beach towel such as the above pictures organic cotton towel from Etsy seller BloomOfCotton.
To carry all your makeup, try a makeup bag from Neema. Non-animal tested makeup can be purchased from Barry M, The Body Shop, Soap and Glory or Natural Collection. You’ll be needing more cruelty-free toiletries such as natural deodorant from Earth Conscious, sunscreen from Kiss My Face, soap from Lush and shampoo and conditioner from Yes To Blueberries.
On top of everything else, it is also useful to bring a portable charger like this one from Ethical Superstore, a reusable water bottle from One Green Bottle, and some bamboo pocket tissues from Who Gives A Crap.
Once you’ve packed all of this, plus your tickets, passport and foreign currency, you are ready to go with a suitcase full of ethical and sustainable products – have a lovely holiday!
HOW TO: Host a Vegan Summer Garden Party!
It’s no secret that summer is our favourite season. Days by the beach, walks in the sun, and of course – evening garden parties. But at RubyMoon, we love animals just as much as parties, so have been doing some research into which kinds of foods to serve to make sure our evening do is cruelty-free.
So, here’s a collection of some of our finds! There’s a section for everyone; whether you’re health-conscious, short on time, looking for some unique ideas or catering for the whole family – we’ve compiled our FAVOURITE vegan recipes for your summer garden party!
HEALTHY: At just 35 calories each, these egg-free mini quiches seemed too tasty to say no to!
EASY: A must-have for a garden dinner, this tomato pasta salad looks pretty simple to make.
DIFFERENT: Mexican potato skins, again relatively easy but quite unique.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY: And for the kids, smoky mini pizzas that can be topped with anything you fancy!
HEALTHY: A relatively healthy option, fruit salad – again, easily changeable to suit your tastes.
EASY: With just ten minutes prep time, lemon tarts are another summer favourite.
DIFFERENT: Banana and coconut cookies – an interesting combination of three ingredients that really works.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY: The combination of orange and carrot in these fruit juice lollies adds a few more vitamins into pudding!
HEALTHY: Although cocktails will never be overly healthy, this recipe for vitality vodka contains five different fruits and vegetables!
EASY: Here’s a mango and pineapple rum punch which only needs mixing together and you’re good to go!
DIFFERENT: A cocktail with only a hint of alcohol, pomegranate gin fizz is a lovely light choice for summer.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY: This two-step passionfruit syrup cocktail can easily be converted into a mocktail for the children.
And your final three ingredients? Plenty of iced water, a chilled music playlist (we’re loving this one), and some good company!
Ten Celebrities Endorsing Ethical Fashion
The ten household names that you may not have realised dress sustainably!
1. Emma Watson
Of course there couldn’t be an article about ethical fashion without mentioning Emma Watson, one of the most notable celebrities using their platform to incite positive change worldwide. Emma runs a website, Feel Good Style, promoting sustainable fashion and beauty brands, and has worked with fair-trade brand People Tree on three collections of organic, fair trade clothing. She signed up to Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge in 2015, vouching that every piece she wears on the red carpet will be sustainable.
Emma Watson in a jumper from Zady, a brand aiming to combat child labour, CO2 emissions and the throwaway nature of fast fashion, and Veja trainers made from recycled plastic and wild rubber.
2. Livia Firth
Film producer and wife of actor Colin Firth, Livia is arguably one of the biggest names in ethical fashion. As the founder and creative director of the brand Eco Age, Livia works with fashion businesses to develop sustainable solutions to the working of their company. Eco Age awards the Green Carpet Challenge Brandmark to brands in recognition of sustainable pieces or collections and encourages celebrities to wear these pieces to high-profile events, thus raising the profile of sustainable fashion within the public eye.
Livia Firth in Sergio Rossi’s shoes and bag, both of which were given the Green Carpet Challenge award.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has quite a history in creating ethical and sustainable fashion, having worked on eco-friendly fashion lines with names such as Ecoalf and designer Stella McCartney. A notable collaboration was her fashion line produced with Amour Vert, consisting of shirts made from organic fabrics and low-impact dyes, where each sale corresponded to one tree being planted in the Tahoe National Forest.
Gwyneth wearing a jumper from a line of sustainable knitwear she created with Chinti and Parker.
Singer and producer Will.i.am has teamed up with Coca Cola to create Ekocycle, a brand aiming to emphasise the importance of recycling to the younger generation by turning old aluminium and plastic waste into clothing, luggage and bicycles. Ekocycle has collaborated with multiple household names to produce sustainable products, including Levis’ Waste-Less jeans, Beats headphones by Dr. Dre, and a range of outerwear with Adidas.
Will.i.am wearing an Ekocycle shirt at the brand’s New York launch.
5. Sir Richard Branson
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, has publicly spoken about the necessity of sustainability initiatives within business. In 2014, he and Vivienne Westwood launched a new range of Virgin Atlantic uniforms for pilots and cabin crew, to put his ethical fashion values into practice within his own company. The uniforms are all made from recycled materials, mostly a recycled polyester from old plastic bottles.
Some of the eco-friendly uniform options for Virgin staff.
6. Anne Hathaway
Although this has not yet spread to her entire wardrobe, actress Anne Hathaway has recently been noted to only wear vegan shoes at public events. She has endorsed ethical shoe company Beyond Skin in multiple photoshoots, personally requesting that her footwear be from this brand, and ensured that during production of 2012 film Les Miserables, her character Fantine was always dressed in animal-free shoes.
Anne wearing cruelty-free stilettos by designer Giuseppe Zanotti at the 2013 Oscars.
7. Natalie Portman
Vegan actress Natalie Portman mirrors her ethical diet in her clothing choices. She publicly wears ethical and sustainable fashion brands on red carpets, including dresses by H&M’s Conscious range and eco-friendly designer Stella McCartney. In a 2015 short film for Miss Dior, Natalie requested that her Dior shoes were re-designed to be leather-free. Most profoundly, her wedding ring is ethical; it is entirely made from recycled platinum and conflict-free diamonds.
A close-up of Natalie Portman’s wedding ring at the 2012 Oscars.
8. Pharrell Williams
Pop singer Pharrell Williams has used his profits to create positive change through becoming the company director of the brand Bionic Yarn. The company tis to reduce plastic pollution in oceans, using recycled coastal and marine plastics in its fabrics, to create functional and aesthetic clothing pieces. Pharrell is also involved with a denim line, RAW for the Oceans, which also uses recovered plastics from oceans and sustainable dyes to create blue denim jeans.
Pharrell dressed in a Bionic Yarn jacket.
9. Christy Turlington Burns
Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns recently worked on Amber Valletta’s series of short films, Threading: Driving Fashion Forward, which aimed to raise awareness of the issues of waste, violations of human rights, toxins and environmental impact within the fashion industry. Her non-profit organisation Every Mother Counts assists women in developing countries, describing the garment industry’s abuse of workers for the purpose of profit as a ‘failure of conscience’.
Christy in a dress by designer Stella McCartney, who uses organic fabrics in her designs and renewable energy in her stores.
U2 singer Bono is the founder of ethical fashion brand Edun Apparel, which he co-owns with his wife Ali Hewson. Their aim was to prove that a for-profit business can still treat its workers well no matter what stage of the production chain they are at. Edun has a strong trading relationship with multiple developing countries in Africa, supports community-based initiatives and is partners with many African artisans and artists to create fashion pieces.
Bono and wife Ali wearing Eden x Louis Vuitton bags for the Louis Vuitton Core Values campaign.
Why Straws Are For Suckers!
RubyMoon has seen a lot of press lately with regards to the detrimental effect of plastic straws pollution- from creating hazards to marine life in our oceans to clogging up landfill sites. Who can forget the facebook post of the turtle, in pain and bleeding, as a nasty straw was removed from its nostril? There is simply no need for plastic straws when biodegrable paper ones and re-usable ones are so readily available. We also heard about a great scheme in Brighton that is ending plastic straw use by innovative pledging across the city. Or- as Treehugger suggests, by introducing a tax on plastic straws ?
Which option do you think is better to change behaviour?
Twitter link to #StrawsAreForSuckers