It’s rare that you’ll find a minimalist blogger writing about – or recommending – products or services. That goes against the grain, right?
Minimalist or not, we are all consumers. We consume to survive and to function in society. However, our journey towards minimalism or simple living may help us to be more intentional in our purchasing. We may become curious about where our clothes were made, wonder if the packaging from our foodstuffs can be recycled, or whether the products we use in our home are helpful (or harmful) to the environment.
Here’s where some new UK brands are setting out to make a difference to the way we buy and consume everyday things. Changemakers to the core, these people are running purpose-driven businesses designed to have a positive impact on both people and planet.
I did a bit of research and was amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of these small businesses that are definitely putting values first, so I thought I’d share them with you. Let me know what you think! Do you choose to buy certain products because the values of their company align with yours? Note that I have not been sponsored to write this post; it’s simply for interest and to get the conversation going.
Splosh is first on my list. It offers an innovative approach to how we buy and consume home cleaning and laundry products, which made me curious to find out more. The Splosh method means that you buy a starter kit of the basics, followed by re-usable refills that come directly to you in the post. The company claims that its products are not only great value but they are more convenient and miles better for the environment. As soon as my current batch of ECOS washing liquid runs out, I’m going to give this a try.
Anna Brindle’s runs ethical clothing company, Lost Shapes, selling fair wear certified, organic cotton and sustainable fabric tops that are hand printed with original designs. We all know that the most ethical way to consume clothing is to buy secondhand, but if you don’t want to do this (for whatever reason), it’s great to know there are companies out there, making clothes on home turf and selling directly to the customer. Anna’s designs are fun and easy to wear. Check out her ‘optimist’ collection. I like her slogan: Another nice day, which works well whatever the weather!
If you’re into ‘cool clothing that tells tales’, also check out:
Where does it come from?
Imagine buying something and being able to trace its entire journey. Jo Salter wanted the assurance that the clothes she was buying for herself and her kids weren’t contributing to cruel labour practices or contributing to the world’s pollution problems. So, she set up Where does it come from? which allows the customer a chance to trace the story of each item purchased by typing a unique code into the organisation’s website.
Jake and Maya Kids
Jake and Maya Kids pride themselves on waste reduction, offering clothes that grow with your kids, as they include adjustable features to maximise the lifespan of each garment. If you have little ones, this sounds fun, especially if the clothes can be passed down from one child to the next.
Bough to Beauty Bespoke
Not a beauty business as you might infer, Bough to Beauty Bespoke is a UK-based organisation run by Vix Lawson using laser engraving to create name badges, coasters, keyrings (and more) out of sustainably-sourced wood. If you’re an events company, in particular, how lovely it would be to produce name badges for delegates that they can take away and re-use?
I love their little challenge:
“Do you take your own bag to the shops? Ever considered taking your own badge to work events?”
Upcycled gifts with a social conscience
Harjit Sohotey-Khan’s approach is to partner with social enterprises in India to produce a range of handmade accessories made from upcycled materials.
How many organisations can claim to espouse fair trade and zero waste, as well as using upcycled materials that are made by hand by artisans from women’s cooperatives?
Harjit’s www.jewelledbuddha.com sells beautiful scarves and necklaces whose proceeds are improving the lives of the artisans who make them. If gifting is your love language, it’s worth checking out these unique designs. They’re not cheap, but then you wouldn’t expect them to be; they’re beautiful and made to last.
Deodorants with a difference
Angela Manton treads as gently as she can with her own consumption, seeking out eco-friendly and ethical options whenever she can. It follows that her natural deodorants contain ingredients that are kind to the body. When washed away, they also pose no threat to marine life. Packaged in plastic-free packaging too which also helps the environment, her company, Earth Conscious, supports the Marine Conservation Society with donations from its sales.
I sent for one of Angela’s vegan lavender deodorants, which I’ve trialled for the last few days. I liked the gentle fragrance; the application was straightforward and – most importantly – it did its job.
Whilst we’re on the subject of personal products, boys you can look away now.
Designed by women for women, Mooncup® is – and I quote – “the original, soft, medical-grade silicone menstrual cup designed by women as the convenient, safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads”.
I’ve tried this product for the first time recently and I can simply say that I really wish I’d used it before. It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve trimmed the stem to the perfect length, you’re good to go. Not only is this product good for the environment, given the reduction in waste, but it’s good for your purse, too. Once purchased, a Mooncup will last several years. In my case, it’ll probably see me out. Even better, Mooncup’s doing some amazing charity work, which is both humbling and inspiring.
What about you?
Do you have a preferred supplier of ethically-sourced, sustainable goods whose products you love? If we’re going to buy something, it’s great to know that we’re contributing to the greater good in so doing.
It would be good to see your recommendations, so feel free to reply below.