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MAD Blog Awards 2011

Nomad Clothing - ethical clothing brand

When I conjure up the fashion styles of the 80’s I’m always reminded of gaudy power suits, woolly leg warmers and Madonna-style fingerless gloves. However, despite decades of dubious fast-fashion, there is woman’s clothing brand that has remained resolutely on-trend and ethical – that company is Nomads.

Trading since 1989, Nomads was set up by Duncan and Vicky, a couple who fell in love with India whilst backpacking, who decided to share their passion for the country’s ethnic clothing by bringing to the rest of the world.Nomad Clothing - ethical fashion

Designed for the ‘individual woman who sees life as an adventure’ Nomads’ beautifully feminine clothing range is, and has always been, fair trade, ensuring their local producers are treated fairly and have sustainable, profitable standard of living.

A member of BAFTS, The British Association for Fair Trade Shops, Nomads believes in the policy of ‘trade not aid’ and through meeting strict fair trade guidelines they promise fair trade clothing without comprise.

As sustainability is key to their continued success Nomads also promote traditional crafts such as Embroidery and Tie Dye in order to keep these traditions alive and provide vital income for villages.

In addition to this, they continually strive to reduce the environmental impact of their products and have yet again added a new collection of organic cotton to their range, one of which I have been lucky enough to review.

Nomad clothing - ethical fashionThe flattering fitted V Neck Printed dress with gather side tie design I was sent is a joy to wear. Not only is it versatile, easy to launder and keeps it’s shape, the indigo dress has a gorgeous ethnic-inspired print of hibiscus flowers and leaves which I love.

Made from 160gsm organic cotton slub jersey the dress fits beautifully, is lightweight and cool to wear (perfect for humid summer days) and ideal for work or play!

The style is not something I would have normally chosen, however I have to confess, it really does suit me. It fits like a glove, not too tight, not too loose and looks effortlessly fabulous to boot.

For those of you who, like me, want to do your bit for the environment but don’t want to compromise on quality and style, Nomads is the ethical clothing and fair trade fashion brand you have been looking for.

To find out more about Nomads, their beautiful ethical clothing range and their commitment to the environment take a look at their website, here




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WaterAid MakeItHappen campaign

With fresh water quite literally ‘on tap’, it is not surprising that many of forget how lucky we are to have one of life’s necessities permanently available to us.

Indeed, we are so used to having clean water pumped to our homes many of us abuse this privilege. More often than not we waste this natural resource through poor habits such as leaving taps running when we clean our teeth or watering our gardens with drinking water, rather than using the plentiful (and free) supply of rainwater which we could harvest.

However, in many countries across the world there are millions of people who do not have this luxury, people who, on a daily basis and through no fault of their own, put their lives at risk because they have no other choice.

According to a WHO/UNICEF report compiled in 2014, it was estimated that a staggering 750 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population!

Either due to poor infrastructure or bad management of services, those living in poor communities are forced to collect water from wherever they can. Dirty rivers, ponds or disease-infested streams are often their only source of cleaning, cooking and drinking water, which leaves many of them, mostly children, suffering from water-related diseases, such as diarrhoea.

Shockingly UNICEF* report around 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s over 1,400 children a day!

As Beauty Chiimbwe, a mother from Kayola village in Zambia knows only too well, collecting water from an unprotected hand-dug pond puts her family at risk every time they use it.
Regularly sick with diarrhoea from drinking the water, She has to take her children to the clinic two or three times a month, which is a long cycle ride away – often in the dark.

She understands the importance of safe water, hygiene and basic toilets but there are no facilities in the village. She says that if there was a handpump close to home life would change and she would be happy.

That is why it is important, as one of the lucky ones, that we use our voice to make safe water a basic right for everyone.

Wateraid’s #MakeItHappen campaign aims to get taps and toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030 and all you have to do to help them achieve this goal is to sign their petition.

To find out more about this life-changing mission and what WaterAid do , take a look at this inspiring video and then sign you name.

This post has been sponsored by WaterAid but all thoughts are my own.

*Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed – Progress Report 2014, UNICEF, September 2014.

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The Cup of Tea challenge

A little ago I had the pleasure of meeting artist Andrew Martyn Sugars to discuss the Eden Project’s Big Lunch Extra’s event that we’re taking part during the Bank Holiday weekend, 23rd – 24th May.

As well as the BLE event we talked about many things, including his inspiring green innovation challenge, the Cup of Tea challenge.

I think it’s a brilliant idea, I’m sure you will too, so over to Andrew to describe the challenge in his own words.

When I met the wonderful Queen of Easy Green, the Cup of Tea Challenge was very much in it”s planning stage. We’d met to discuss a regional event for Big Lunch Extras and I just got carried away waving my arms and enthusing about an idea based on making a cup of tea.

It’s evolved out of the discussions with members of a transition group exploring ideas of how to engage and involve the residents of Belper with something fun. The group invited me to get involved as I potentially had a solution to a problem they had. In discussing the problem we actually evolved something else we’re calling the Big Energy Project. The cup of tea challenge is the first activity of this project.

The Cup of Challenge

According to the UK tea and infusion association 165 million cups of tea are consumed everyday in the UK. That”s about 3 cups a day for each of us.

The cup of tea challenge follows a journey of arriving at a cup of tea. The twist for the journey and where the challenge originates is to find an alternative method to heat the water, the challenge being to use something other than mains gas or electricity. The journey could also be to make cold brew tea.

taking on the Cup of Tea ChallengeI’ve taken the cup of tea challenge in our back garden. using a converted gas bottle as a wood burner we heated up enough water for two cups of tea. the effort was filmed and it’s viewable on Youtube.  I found doing the challenge with the children to be quite fun and encourage you to consider attempting the challenge with your family and friends. It’s a simple idea and fun to do with the potential to inspire others through the sharing of the results.

Social media has established itself as a means of communicating ideas and we’re interested in using it to share what we do so we can see other solutions to the cup of tea challenge. I used the hashtag #OurCupOfTea so it’s easy for others to find.

Ahead of the launch in June, the project is looking for early adopters.

Do you have an idea for how you would make your cup of tea ?

Whatever your idea might be I do urge you to remain vigilant about being safe.

The challenge is open to everyone to have a go and share their story via social media. To help you to get started I’ve some questions for you to consider. Think of them as guidelines:

  • Who can you ask to help you?
  • Who will document and share the story of your cup of tea?
  • Do you want to safely heat up enough water to make a cup of tea or make cold brew tea?
  • When are you going to attempt the challenge?
  • Where are you going to make the attempt ?
  • Can you extend your method to make cups of tea for those with you?

I hope to have whetted your appetite to have a go and look forward to seeing your most excellent solution to the cup of tea challenge.

Andrew Martyn Sugars lives in Derbyshire with his partner, three children and dog called Maybe.

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Longer Lash - natural eyelash conditioner

As a child I was really fortunate to have the longest, lushest eyelashes, the envy of my mum and her female friends.

However, with age that honour is no longer bestowed upon my eyes, but annoyingly has transferred to my young boys, whom, of course, do not appreciate it one bit!

Not a fan of false eyelashes and as a contact lens wearer weary of filament-loaded eyelash extenders, my options for recreating my once luscious lashes have been limited, but hopefully not anymore. There may be hope on the horizon in the guise of Green Esthetics’ natural eyelash conditioner, Longer Lash, which I was sent to review.

A blend of all natural ingredients plus polypeptides, Longer Lash claims to help lashes grow longer and thicker by encouraging growth on a cellular level within 4-6 weeks.

Applying along the lash line and brows to condition and stimulate growth, Longer Lash is paraben-free, fragrance free and does not contain propylene glycol and phenoxyethanol, a preservative that has been linked to dermatitis and which has quite recently been banned from organic products by ECOCERT.

Paraben-free Longer Lash - natural eyelash conditioner

Recommended for use on make-up free, oil-free eyes the clear serum is easily applied to the base of the upper eyelashes with the delicate applicator brush. Upon application a very slight tingling sensation can be felt, more of a warmth, than an irritation, which disappeared within seconds. After which make up could be applied as normal, when the serum had completely dried and absorbed into the skin.

Two days in have a noticed a difference? No I haven’t, but of course it is far too early for Longer Lash to have worked it’s magic, that’s why I’ll be posting my update in a month’s time. So, to find out how I get on, keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime, to find out more about Longer Lash and Green Esthetics other products, head over to their site


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Soft & Gentle's new Skin Science compressed deodorant

‘For every million cans produced there’s a saving of 7.7 tonnes of aluminium, that’s equivalent to 4,000 aluminium bicycles!’

Just one of the many incredible statistics that I was sharing at Soft & Gentle’s Skin Science product launch in London yesterday.

As their Eco Expert, I had the pleasure of explaining to a host of beauty journalists and bloggers how Soft & Gentle’s new Skin Science compressed can range is significantly reducing the environmental footprint of aerosol deodorants whilst helping consumers make a greener, more sustainable living choice – all without compromising on performance and price.

Green living expert, Lyndsey Young at Soft & Gentle product launch

Reducing the gas propellant by 54% and aluminium packaging by 29% per compressed can (compared to Soft & Gentle’s standard 150ml aerosal anti-perspirant deodorant) Soft & Gentle’s compressed cans are half the size and much lighter than their original counterpart, yet offer the same level of protection and last just as long.

Soft & Gentle Skin Science compressed can product launch

Using less aluminium, less waste and transport savings, 39% more compressed cans can be loaded on one pallet compared to 150ml aerosols, Soft & Gentle’s compressed aerosol deodorants offer positive environmental benefits across the lifecycle of the product.

Indeed, we’ve estimated, if all of Soft & Gentle’s customers simply switch from 150ml to 75ml compressed cans, a staggering 1647 tonnes of CO2 could be saved in just 12 months!

An outstanding achievement which is not to be sniffed at!

To find out more about Soft & Gentle’s new Skin Science range and their compressed classic range visit


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