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RUBYMOON x SPORTIV’ @ Mode City Lyon – An Insight
07/07/16

As you are probably well aware of, if you follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, we have been preparing tirelessly for Mode City Lyon for weeks (and weeks, and weeks!) now.  Mode City is one of the biggest lingerie and swimwear trade shows in the world, and is taking place this week between Friday and Sunday at the Eurexpo exhibition centre in Lyon, France.

 

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This year is set to be a particularly exciting one, too.  Not only is it the first year that RubyMoon will be exhibiting, but also the first year that the show will include a women’s active wear event – this has been called ‘ Sportiv’ ’.  Sportiv’ will include both a conference program and a concept store, which brings together a selection of cutting-edge and inspiring active wear brands in a space dedicated to taking a 100% feminine look at sports.  The store has been set up to showcase a selection of the best that the fitness wear sector has to offer in terms of clothing that combine chic, eye-catching aesthetics with high-performing technical qualities.  And, as you will also know if you follow us on social media, we have recently released some very exciting news – RubyMoon is one of the exclusively selected brands that is going to be featured within the Sportiv’ concept store!

 

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The store has been introduced as a way to help meet the growing demand for women’s active wear, that has come as a result of an increased interest among women in sports and exercise.  In France particularly (a country which boasts the second largest market for women’s active wear in Europe), the popularity of ‘wellbeing sports’ has soared, and there are now 8.5 million runners and a 32% rise in the past two years in women runners in France alone.  Interestingly, a survey conducted by the FIFAS in September 2015 also reveals that 29% of French women runners are motivated by aesthetics (their physical appearance), and 46% are also eager for advice on active wear and wellbeing sports, especially from stores’ salespeople.

 

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This is important because it presents a new challenge to existing sportswear brands; they must begin to be fashion, as well as sports-led.  The Sportiv’ event will also include in-depth conferences featuring presentations by and discussions between activewear sector experts, to help brands to understand how to best cater for women in the wake of this new social trend.  RubyMoon is proud to be a brand that is also led by not just by elegant aesthetics and high performance functionality, but by beautifully human ethics, too. The profits from our gorgeous, high-quality swim and active wear are all invested to provide loans to female entrepreneurs in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Ecuador. The loans provide these women with a means to develop their own businesses, increase their income, and consequently improve aspects such as them and their families’ health, nutrition, education etc., gradually and sustainably lifting them out of poverty.

 

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Obviously we are a little biased, but we do think this makes us truly unique… And, we’re even kind to the environment too, as we use ECONYL® regenerated yarn in the fabric we make our garments with. ECONYL® is a special type of nylon that is made from fishing nets that would otherwise pollute the sea bed and its ecosystems. Plus, combined with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™, it makes for a really durable fabric, producing long-lasting, high quality and eco-conscious swim and sportswear! We can’t wait to spread the RubyMoon love as part of Sportiv’ as well as at our own F70 stand within the main exhibition. See you there!

Shopping for Good: The Sustainable Development Goals and You
22/06/16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Have you heard of the Sustainable Development Goals? Chances are, no, because neither had I, until I started working as a summer marketing intern for RubyMoon.

This is probably because our every day lives are saturated with the immediacy of buy now, think later, and very often sustainability is neither at the forefront of production lines nor consumption choices. Fashion, food, technology – it’s all getting faster, leaving us with increasingly less time to consider how it may have arrived in this shop, on that plate or in our hand and what actually goes into making it. The fashion industry is now the second largest polluter in the world, second only to that of oil, and its environmental impact is more than a little frightening.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a new and universal list of 17 goals that want to slow the pace of this whirlwind consumer culture, instead redrawing the focus to spotlight the potential for the more wholesome and equal existence of a global society. These goals hold huge promise for good, especially within the fashion industry, and were set at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in late 2015, to be used by member states to frame their policies and agendas over the next 15 years. Some of the goals include ending poverty and hunger, and ensuring the health and well-being of all, reducing inequalities within and among countries, achieving gender equality, and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns that favour the wellbeing of all humans and ecosystems. At a simple level, these goals want to make humans, their societies, and their environments happier, helping them to live more equal and self-sufficient existences.

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What is surprising is how quickly these goals are able to move from an abstract to a concrete level, through only a little bit of research and making small changes to shop a little more sustainably – something I have only realised since beginning my work with RubyMoon. On a grand scale, ideas such as – to take the first goal of the seventeen – to ‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’ may seem a little daunting at best. However, in my short time so far working for the company, I have realised that it is in the many small steps towards this larger end goal that progress is made. At the centre of RubyMoon comes the idea of female empowerment; the 5th SDG, which wants to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. This goal is particularly important because it is women who are so often in charge of household spending, and furthermore, as RubyMoon’s own director Jo Godden identifies, it is women who are most likely to then spend that income on improvements in the health, nutrition and education of the whole family, but particularly children. In this respect, the empowerment of women organically contributes to the ending of poverty and hunger, improved nutrition, health and wellbeing, and the education of all ages from the individual outwards – the first four SDGs.

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RubyMoon is a unique business that is able to help to achieve this because all profits from the sale of its garments are invested to provide small loans to women in developing countries. These loans, which can be from as little as £15, enable women to develop and stabilise their own occupations and businesses, providing them with a reliable means to securing their own income. As opposed to charity, micro finance (the umbrella term for the lending of small amounts of money to entrepreneurs and businesses in the developing world) then enables women and their families to become more self-sufficient and empowered in lifting themselves slowly but surely out of poverty. And it does not end there. Once the loans are repaid, all monies are reinvested into RubyMoon, expanding the company’s range, to reach a wider market and hence give out more loans. The company’s own goal of supporting and improving the lives of 36,000 women by 2025 then becomes one contributive piece in the puzzle for a better global future.

At a corporate level, RubyMoon and other similarly ethical, eco-friendly companies are beginning to implement a new and positive dynamic within the fashion industry, fulfilling many of the SDGs along the way. And at an individual level, these companies empower us, too. In being given choice, we are also given the power to make a difference. As environmental consciousness has become more embedded in our everyday lives, measures such as turning off lights, recycling or reducing food waste have become habitual. So why shouldn’t we also be able to make a difference through our choices as consumers? The good news is, we can. Instead of buying a bikini from a high street store that will last the two week beach break in Turkey but then begin to sag a bit on the bum, lose its elasticity around the neck, or discolour from the sea and the sand, the ethical options provided by sustainable fashion companies such as RubyMoon are intended to last much longer (5 times longer, to be precise). Sustainable fashion is designed specifically to give you far more wear for your money (and far less frustration as you won’t feel like you have to buy a new bikini every year).

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This is because one hugely important factor in making fashion more eco-friendly is reducing the amount of waste that is produced by individuals as well as companies themselves. According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), prolonging the life of our clothes is the single biggest thing that can be done to reduce the negative environmental impact of the clothing industry, and extending the active life of our clothes by just 9 months would reduce water, carbon and waste footprints by 20-30% each. This statistic is shocking because it proves that if we were all to shop a little smarter, we could radically change the way that the fashion industry impacts on the environment, saving ourselves money at the same time. So, all in all, it’s a win-win situation. Through shopping ‘for good’, and supporting more ethical and sustainable brands like RubyMoon, we can not only continue to do our bit for the environment – whilst at the same time even offering a leg up to families in developing countries – but we even get a better deal in terms of design and durability, with products lasting far better in the long run. With a little bit of research, shopping sustainably becomes a small and easy, but incredibly rewarding step that we can all make towards a greener, brighter future.

SDGs images sourced from: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda.html

From #GymToSwim – Introducing ‘Zarina’ Multi-Sports Bra!
19/03/16

RubyMoon is excited to announce our CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN which went live today! You can purchase our latest versatile sports bra – a bra that can used both in the gym and to swim in! To make sure that you don’t miss out, here’s the link to our crowdfunding page! 

Here at RubyMoon, we believe it is important to celebrate inspiring women, which is why our bra is named after Zarina, an entrepreneur that we have assisted through Lendwithcare – an initiative of global charity CARE International.

The Zarina Multi-Sports Bra is made from Xtra Life Lycra, a material with high tensile strength that retains shape for longer. Not only that, but it is also proven to be chlorine and suntan cream resistant for more than 100 hours of exposure!

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Compared to similar products, RubyMoon’s inventive garments are certified five times more durable. This bra has been designed to ensure maximum comfort with no under-wire, a four-way stretch, a wide under band and racer back, consequently preventing any rubbing or pinching during exercise. In addition to this, the moisture wicking and anti-odour properties allow you to feel fresher for longer.

Not only is the swimwear made with comfort in mind, it is also ethically and environmentally conscious. Instead of using petroleum to produce the nylon for the fabric, RubyMoon uses waste fibre from ‘ghost’ fishing nets, producing 42% less carbon emissions. The swimwear is also manufactured locally in Europe, in an ethical and transparent manner.

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Microfinance and Zarina Bibi

Lendwithcare coordinates a microfinance scheme between lenders in the UK and entrepreneurs in developing countries which Rubymoon contributes all net profits towards. Microfinance involves providing small loans to women, enabling them to start their own businesses which consequently lift women and their families out of extreme poverty. Once the loan is repaid, this is reinvested back into Rubymoon products, allowing increase in sales to correlate directly with social impact. To date, RubyMoon has supported 163 women and will support a total of 36k women by 2025.

Zarina Bibi is from Kasur, a town in the province of Punjab in Pakistan. She is married with four children – one daughter and three sons; her husband and two of her children work, earning on average 22,000 rupees per month (152 pounds). For the past nine years, Zarina has been running a business extracting yarn from home. She buys damaged and used sweaters from producers and the local market, Landa Bazar of Kasur.  She then extracts the yarn from the sweaters with traditional machinery made from wood and sells the yarn to power looms, earning approximately 4,000 rupees (28 pounds) per month. Zarina is a client of Lendwithcare because she requested a loan in order to purchase more sweaters for her business.

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OUR CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
17/03/16

Last week RubyMoon wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day with other wonderful women in our community and join in the spirit of sharing ideas and passions and inspiring one another! So we held an event inviting women engaged in social enterprise and pioneering business’s aiming for change.

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Fifty wonderful women joined us in SILO for an incredible three course, waste-free sustainable meal where everyone shared ideas and many gave small presentations about why they had started their personal ventures and the importance of these for the community. RubyMoon’s founder Jo Godden spoke about why RubyMoon believes this can be the year for women to shine and how ethical business practice will one day be all business practises!

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Other incredible speakers included Tamsin Lejeune, entrepreneur and founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum and Laura Coleman founder of the Brighton-based ONCA gallery. All the women agreed that it’s our passions and need to protect what we love that’s drives us to fulfill our potential and achieve great feats in how we engage with the world.

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We asked all the guests to write on our ‘sharing space’ board, giving their details for something they could offer in terms of a skill and in return something they may need for their enterprise. We were so happy to see everyone sharing ideas, making contacts and contributing wonderful unique skills! It is women who are the changemakers, investing great intelligence, determination,  heart and grit into making our community and our planet a better place. We want to thank all our women who came for a fantastic evening and SILO for their incredible menu! Let this be the first of many!

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RubyMoon at WOW festival!

Last weekend the RubyMoon team were lucky enough to go to Women of the World festival at the Southbank centre!  Attended by over 20,000 women (and men), the festival celebrates women’s achievements in the fight for equality and the greatness all women offer the world. It is a weekend of talks and raising awareness, challenging stereotypes and bringing issues to light which are being overlooked in the UK and internationally.
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Some of the incredible speakers included Annie Lennox and Caitlyn Moran, amongst many other influential women passionate about women achieving their potential.  The RubyMoon stall was situated amongst women with fantastic causes including innovators like ourselves such as the team behind Mooncup and women running incredible projects such as Project Embrace, encouraging young girls to love their natural selves and teaching body positivity!

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 (Yasmine and Som spreading our message!)

We were showcasing samples from our new collection and talking to wonderful women about our upcoming crowdfunding campaign and the importance of ethical fashion and our aim to bring socially responsible swim & activewear into the mainstream! Our work helping women through LendWithCare is something we want to share with other social entrepreneurs and changemakers whose fabulous work we witnessed for ourselves!  It was inspiring to find so many women in tune with our cause which we want you to be a part of! Our crowdfunding campaign launches on Saturday the 19th march, and we’d love for you to join the women of the festival in supporting us!

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New Year, New Sports! Which will you try?!

So far this year has revealed unprecedented engagement with a new trend, that of health and wellness.  From Veganuary to Athleisure to Yoga, we are witnessing a shift in consumer behaviour with more and more people choosing to buy products that promote long-lasting satisfaction and environmental and ethical transparency. RubyMoon Design is committed to producing swimwear that is not only fashionable and durable, but also ethically and environmentally conscious.

Participation in sport is a significant part of the recent health and wellness trend, with increased participation in intensive activities such as Yoga and Pilates. With this in mind, RubyMoon has picked a couple of sports that are well worth trying this year!

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Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

SUP originated in Hawaii in the 1950s and has become increasingly popular over the last few years. According to SUP World Mag, the International Stand Up Paddling Magazine, “Balance, strength, and endurance are exercised whether you are paddling or just balancing on your board”.boardPaddel1_3501

Although it might look straightforward and pretty relaxing, it’s a killer workout, especially for the core muscles. The core back and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance. In addition to this, the back, arms, and shoulders are used to propel the Paddleboard in the water. It also allows you to practice staying upright while paddling, which improves your sense of balance helping your abilities in other sports. What’s particularly great about paddle boarding is is that you can do it on rivers, oceans, lakes, with waves or without waves, making it super versatile and as intense as you like.

Yoga

Originating in India, Yoga practice has been around for about 5,000 years but in more recent years, this sport form has become particularly popular, trending as part of the wider health and wellness trend. From Bikram Yoga to AntiGravity Aerial Yoga, there is no single, suitable type of yoga. You can now even take your cat to your yoga class, in the all new ‘cat yoga sessions’ introduced by Catmosphere, a Space Cat Café in Sydney, Australia.

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As some styles of Yoga are more vigorous than others, you can pick the one that reaps the effects you most desire. Although they vary in degree depending on the type of yoga, general benefits include increased energy levels, flexibility, strength and better balance. Some studies suggest that anxiety and depression decrease and cognitive functions such as concentration, memory and attention improve.

Some argue that Yoga is not solely a sport, but also a lifestyle, a way of living. It’s important to emphasise that Yoga is process- oriented, implying that there is always room to improve, and greater focus on ‘how’ to execute a movement i.e the attitude, rather than reaching a certain goal. In essence, yoga is non-competitive.

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Why not combine both SUP and Yoga?! Yes, this actually exists! With SUP Yoga, the paddle board adds an element of constant, unpredictable motion which improves focus and balance, consequently enhancing your yoga experience.

With so much to try, everyone can get active in 2016! We are getting ready to launch our brand new range of swim and sportswear  including the Zarina multi-sports bra is perfect to get you in the mood for a brilliant new hobby! We hope you’ll all check out our crowdfunding campaign launching on Saturday the 19th of March!

JOIN US ON MARCH 8TH AND BE A PART OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
01/03/16

 

International Women’s Day on March 8th is fast-approaching and there are many exciting and inspiring events occurring all over the world that highlight the achievements of women! The United Nations regards International Women’s Day as a time ‘to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities’ [i].

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Therefore, not only does International Women’s Day mark a period of celebration, but also an important time to reflect on the achievements that have been made and consult on issues which must still be addressed.The first ever National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February, 1909. This day was designated by the Socialist Party of America in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York which saw 15,000 women march through the city demanding better pay, shorter hours and voting rights.

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Since then, the world has undergone significant change in both perception and practice of women’s rights. In 2015, countries adopted a new sustainable development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the culmination of a two-year negotiating process that comprises of 17 new Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets that aim to ‘end poverty, combat inequalities and promote prosperity while protecting the environment by 2030 [ii]’. What distinguishes the SDGs from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is that they aim to address the root causes of poverty and inequality and not only reduce cases of such. The new sustainable development agenda also places particular emphasis on women; some of the key targets of the 2030 agenda include [iii]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In honour of International Women’s Day, RubyMoon will be hosting and participating in a number of dynamic and inspiring events! On March 8th, we will be hosting an evening full of tasty, zero-waste food and listening to positive stories from an inspiring community of women effecting change in their field! For more info, check out our eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/we-celebrate-international-womens-day-tickets-21134849905?aff=ebrowse

We are also delighted to announce that RubyMoon will have a stand at the Women of the World Festival! We will be showcasing our new collection and would love to see as many friendly faces as possible. For those who are unaware, Women of the World festival is a celebration of women and girls realised through a diverse range of talks, films, music, workshops and stalls which highlight the achievements and struggles of women around the world. WOW attracts a diverse range of speakers including Malala Yousafzai, Annie Lennox and Vivienne Westwood, all bringing attention to women’s issues. In the past, a staggering one million people have been involved in over ten WOW festivals across five continents .  This years festival will take place at Southbank Centre in London between 8-13th March.

[i] http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/

[ii] http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/post-2015

[iii] http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/

THE HEROES OF EDUCATION
19/02/16

Here at RubyMoon, we believe in the power of the individual. Each of us has the potential to contribute to the betterment of our surroundings, but we require education and access to resources. This is why we support Lendwithcare, an initiative of CARE International, which lifts women out of economic instability, allowing them to invest in the future of their families.

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Growing up, I rarely appreciated the role of my teachers at school. My friends and I would constantly think of ways to cause havoc or happily encourage any form of disruption initiated by others. Often in society we underestimate the power of education and therefore take teaching for granted. However, teachers are the pillars of society, and without them, society would not progress, socially, economically or spiritually. Our experience as learners is determined by the education we receive; how often does our motivation to pursue an interest or career stem from an inspiring teacher? Undoubtedly, the education system is not perfect and teaching is challenging which is why it is no surprise that secondary school teachers are included in the UK government’s Shortage Occupation List. However, as an apology to my teachers and upon realising that education is truly important (more the latter), this piece is a celebration of educators and those striving to bring about positive change.

There are many examples of women who, under exceptional circumstances, have taken extreme measures to ensure that education is accessible to others. Sakena Yacoobi is the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an initiative that grew from the closure of girls schools by the Taliban. Established in 1995, AIL provided education for 3,000 girls in Afghanistan in underground home schools. Troubled by the situation in her home country and concerned for the wellbeing of others, Sakena decided to return to Pakistan after pursuing her studies in the United States; during this time, Pakistan was home to millions of refugees from Afghanistan. Since 1996, AIL’s education and health programs has benefited 12 million Afghans.

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Of course, the establishment of schools posed tremendously difficult challenges. The education of women was banned in areas controlled by the Taliban, contributing to an environment of distrust and fear. During her travels to different educational gatherings for women, she was stopped several times by a group of armed men, who insisted that they also wanted to receive education. Initially, Sakena did not fulfill their wishes, but after a few encounters, she started training them. Through this they “became the best trainers, learned English, computers skills and became guides for others”. With reference to this, she powerfully states in her TED Talk, “Education transforms people. When you educate people, they are going to be different. We cannot only educate women, we must educate men also”.
Watch the TED Talk here!
https://www.ted.com/talks/sakena_yacoobi_how_i_stopped_the_taliban_from_shutting_down_my_school#t-884316

Yasmine Paymani

THE SPONGE SUIT: A GAME-CHANGER IN WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY!
09/02/16

 

The ocean represents one of the most valuable resources on earth, teaming with life and humbling potential for alternative power sources. Over 90% of the open ocean remains in complete darkness, with new life appearing frequently. Unfortunately, the ocean also serves as a dumping ground for pollutants, chemicals and other harmful waste, causing marine life to decrease, consequently threatening the world’s largest ecosystem.

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[Source: National Geographic]

With this in mind, Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan together with two other researchers have designed a swimsuit that is economically sustainable and environmentally proactive to address the detrimental contamination of the ocean. Divided into two parts, 3D print least plastic and a filler material called the “Sponge” – made of sucrose – this swimwear takes the swimming experience one step further-an eco-friendly bikini which actually cleans the sea!

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[Source: http://www.youreshape.com/9au7/]

Winning first place at RESHAPE’s 2015 Wearable Technology Competition, the Sponge Suit embodies exactly this, defying the rules of typical swimwear with its recyclable properties and ability to “clean” the sea. Once the sponge material has worn out, this can be recycled and replaced with new pads.  According to a UC Riverside press release, the “sponge” repels water while absorbing harmful contaminants; it is particularly porous and therefore permits high absorption (up to 25 times its own weight) depending on the type of substance.  Importantly, the sponge does not allow the contaminants to have contact with the skin, trapping them in the inner pores of the material.

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[Source: www. http://www.youreshape.com/9au7/]

Wearable technology is the latest in the string of technological advancements in recent years combating environmental issues. With fashion designers already embracing the idea of digital printing, re-programmable and recyclable technology is the latest in design innovation! The Sponge Suit is a work in progress and we are yet to witness ​large-scale impact. Nevertheless, this product is an incredible technological innovation. Futuristic fashion is a step in the right direction!

For more info, check out http://www.youreshape.com/9au7/

Press release: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/32330

THE ECO-TOURIST DREAM: SARINBUANA LODGE!
29/01/16

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Sunset on the First Day Climbing Mount Rinjani with Mount Agung in the Distance, Lombok, Indonesia. OK, so I’ve just realised how sunset heavy this blog is getting. 4 days in a row is a little bit silly. This sunset definitely has to be the most well deserved so far though…after walking constantly uphill for 8 hours, climbing a total of 2000 meters! Not something I ever feel the need to experience again….or atleast not in the near future. You can see Mount Agung and Mount Batur, Bali in the left of the photo with the three Gili Isles just visible in the break in the clouds, just off Lombok. Without a doubt the best place I have ever and probably will ever camp!

At RubyMoon, sustainability on our planet is a paramount concern, which is why global deforestation is a huge and heartbreaking problem. So it’s comforting to know that small-scale, eco-outposts are emerging in the most beautiful outreaches of the world, with the insight of both local communities and experiences of eco-pioneers!

Eco-tourism is becoming ever-popular as more of us have wanderlust for the world’s beauty. However, we still want to do right by our environment by keeping our impact to a minimum. We now have the option of holidays and travel to destinations where self-containment and sustainable living is not only possible, but luxurious!

Inspired by the balinese culture and nature, Sarinbuana Eco Lodge is nestled high in the rainforest overlooking the plains of southern Bali. This is the life work of Linda and Norm Vant Hoff who proclaim ‘Keeping things close to nature and the environment, is the simple message here’. The Vant Hoff’s experience in permaculture have allowed them to introduce rotational and multiple crops to sustain an eco-tourism business so the village is largely self-sufficient!

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Lush soil, tropical rain, low cost of living and an astonishing amount of sunshine has something to do with it success, which contributes to the financial support of 25 local families.

When Rebecca Jones visited the stunning eco-lodge, she experienced  the intricate way life works there. This is what she discovered at Saribuana;

“Our guide, Wayan, one of the many women involved in the running the lodges, showed us around the villagers plantations and pointed out vanilla, chocolate, coffee and an amazing array of fruits and spices”.

Life is not always easy here, and often there is problems with harvests. Wayan points out  mildewed or rotten pods on the Cocoa Trees and Mangosteen fruit dropping off the branches, half the size they should be. The rains are late this year and now they have come, the soil is too wet for the vanilla.

‘Diversification is the key to keep the income from crops all years round. So we must introduce new crops and improve our knowledge’ says Wayan. The big news is that they are no longer felling Mahogany trees to build houses. ‘We are learning from the mistakes of the West’, she says. Instead they now have a replanting scheme for faster growing and sustainable varieties as mahogany does not regenerate quickly.

The Eco Lodge itself boasts a mature vegetable garden which supplies the restaurant. Daily menu specials include exotic and mouth-watering mixes of both western and Balinese food, so splendid in presentation. Tofu, chicken and delicious fish substitute meat for the most sustainable farming possible.

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We had one excellent lunch of grated raw vegetables and herbs, wrapped in lettuce leaves including Bali Basil and Bruschetta with a homemade dark bread and hiding avocado and fresh tomato chunks. All so delicious! We drank jugs of water straight from the mountain streams.

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Education plays an important part in the ethos of this eco set up and the local children receive free lessons both in English language and in the importance of preserving their environment. I spoke to Valentina, charged with keeping the children absorbed in playful study. ‘This week the children have recycled plastic and cardboard packaging to make musical instruments’ she told me.

After a long day of getting to know the environment, what better than to sit on the balcony or private Tree House; and watch the sun go down over the tops of the palm trees with an ice cold beer. We are allowed a few naughty treats and Bintang is the national brew!”

For an experience like Rebecca’s take transport from Denpasar Airport, Bali  which can be arranged with the staff for £20. Alternatively you can make your own way with a 4×4 but be prepared for single track, tight curves and partially collapsed roads (it’s not a secret hideaway for nothing).

For more info and to book your own getaway, see www.baliecolodge.com or email ecolodgebali@yahoo.com