NEWS AND REVIEWS OF ALL THINGS ECO.

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A FESTIVAL FOR THE SOUL

How about a festival that soothes and cleanses the mind, body and soul and encourages respect for all life and the planet? Spirit fest does just that – celebrating life & spirituality through art and music, but also offering healing workshops, cocoa ceremonies, tantric dance, yoga and much more. With hot showers, a steam sauna, veggie, vegan and raw food. This festival is perfect to round up a summer and to enter Autumn with a cleansed body and mind. www.spiritfestuk.org

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A DEEP PROBLEM

Heard of microbeads? Now scientists have discovered more tiny plastic terrorizing our oceans through none other than your favourite fleece. It turns out that when we wash  clothes containing any synthetic materials, microfibers are released – with nearly 50% of these making it through to your local wastewater treatment plant and into our oceans. This is particularly dangerous, as they have the potential to poison the food chain. Luckily plasticpollutioncoalition have found some ways you can help prevent this. click here

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CONSCIOUS JERSEYS

When you think of Nike it’s likely that sweatshops and a big trainer-shaped global footprint come to mind. However, the sports brand is moving in the right direction. Last year they released a sustainability report that reveals it hopes to double productivity whilst halving the company’s environmental impact. Keeping to their word, Nike have unveiled designs for the new eco conscious Golden State Warriors’ basketball jerseys – there will be created from polyester and recycled water bottles harvested from the ocean. Nice.

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A KITCHEN MIRACLE

The ‘Taihi’ bin is revolutionizing waste recycling by making it a lot more kitchen-friendly. Food waste bins tend to be a bit messy, a bit ugly and a bit smelly. This device however features a double-lidded system that extracts the liquid from the waste, storing it in a separate compartment. The compartment can then be removed to instantly feed household plants, and also be easily cleaned. It’s also been beautifully designed, so it won’t be an eyesore in your kitchen.

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CITY OF THE FUTURE

Designer Stefano Boeri is branching out from his skyscraper ‘forests’, to building an entire forest city in Liuzhou, China – that will fight the increasing issue of air pollution naturally. The 40,000 trees will absorb almost 10,000 tons of CO2 and other pollutants a year whilst producing a huge amount of oxygen, making it a much cleaner environment for the 30,000 people it will host. When can we move in?  

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MARA HOFFMAN

Although not created with sustainability in mind, after learning the impacts the clothing industry has on the world, Mara Hoffman decided to instigate change. Now committed to responsible manufacturing practises and using eco-conscious or sustainable materials where possible, they have addressed the issue and act as an example to other fashion labels. Eco stuff aside, they make beautiful summer clothing perfect for trips abroad, and we’re big fans of their bright, printed swimwear. www.marahoffman.com

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WHAT A WASTE

Trump may think climate change is a hoax but that hasn’t stopped New Jersey passing a new law requiring the state to develop a plan to cut food waste in half by 2030. 40% of food produced in the U.S. is thrown out.  Not only is that a waste of money and food, but it is also a waste of cropland and energy. Plus, the rotting food releases methane, so it’s a great place to start for a greener future!  

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ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH

Leave your wellies at home and head to Benicassim in Spain this August for one of the biggest reggae festivals in Europe. Over 8 days, Rototom Sunsplash brings the biggest acts from all around the world, with artists such as Seun Kuti and Chronixx performing this year. The festival encourages an eco-conscious community, even planting trees in the campsite area. Sunbathe on the beach, do a workshop, or even see one of the artists speak in the day and then…

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A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Believe it or not, air pollution is the world’s single largest health risk, causing seven million premature deaths every year. Green City Solutions however have harnessed the power of nature to create the CityTree, which has the same air-purifying effect as 275 trees in the space of one. The CityTree stemmed from the discovery that moss cultures capture more pollutants than any other plant, plus it can even sustain itself through solar panels. Let’s hope they catch on!

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A PLANT-COVERED PARADISE

Plant-covered buildings are taking over and we’re not complaining! Both beautifully designed and eco-friendly, Jean Nouvel has released plans for a 90-metre-tall hotel in Sao Paulo’s historical district that will have plants and trees growing from each terrace, mimicking the environment around it. Scheduled to open in 2019, the hotel will contain both guest rooms and apartments, and even luxuries such as three swimming pools and a spa.

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SHAMBALA FESTIVAL

Shambala Festival is an award-winning green event, hosting a diverse mix of acts, ranging from music to acrobatics. 100% renewably powered, 100% vegetarian, and each year improving its recycling rates – it sets the standards for other festivals trying to be more green. One food stand even has a chickpea mincing bike to make falafels! And if the inevitable festival muck is getting to you there’s the option to drink champagne in a hot tub by the lake…mmm.  www.shambalafestival.org

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PAINT IT CLEAN

Graphene is an astonishing material that is both flexible and stronger than steel. The Graphene Company have utilized its powers to create an eco-friendly paint which is also long-lasting – ‘Graphenstone’. It is superconductive so acts as an insulator meaning you can switch off the central heating and air-con, helping both your pocket and the environment. Plus, a little goes a long way, as only one liter of paint is needed to cover eight square meters twice.

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CLEAN GRILLIN’

As soon as the sun’s out, so are the BBQs. Although they’re a great way to spend a summer’s day they don’t come guilt-free. Traditional charcoal has a huge carbon footprint and is even causing health implications for those inhaling the fumes. The ‘CasusGrill’ however has come to the rescue by using bamboo charcoal – you don’t need as much of plus it emits less CO2. It takes 5 minutes to set up and is biodegradable, so you can grill in peace.

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REFORMATION

Started by Yael Aflalo in 2009, Reformation is a clothes brand on a mission to inspire a sustainable way to create and wear fashion. Pieces are created in their headquarters in downtown L.A. or produced by responsible manufacturing partners in the U.S. or abroad. They have a huge selection, from simple everyday items to beautiful dresses and bridal wear, all made from upcycled sustainable fabrics and vintage garments. Check out the info on how to wash smart on their website aswell. https://www.thereformation.com/

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WHEREVER, WHENEVER

Portable chargers are great for peace of mind whilst on the go – unless you forget to charge them. XDModo have fixed this by creating a device that uses solar energy, so you can charge wherever and you’re not draining any of the earth’s resources either. The ‘Window Solar Charger’ sticks to glass so it can soak up the maximum amount of energy possible, or it also has a handy kickstand. Pretty essential for festivals and holidays!  

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ECO UNDIES

Anekdot Boutique have revolutionised the underwear game, finding a way to make your intimates even more special. Each piece is individually crafted by hand in Berlin, sourcing materials sustainably from anywhere and everywhere. This could be from production leftovers, a factory closing down or vintage trimmings. The designers base each piece around the materials they find, resulting in unique lines that cannot be reproduced. With prices beginning at 39 euros, they’re not asking too much.

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NATURAL HEALING

Whilst some may be looking to the future for medicine, some are looking back, realising the power of remedies that have been lost in the modern world. Anima Mundi Herbals work with indigenous peoples to ensure the most potent and effective products possible, whilst protecting them and their practises to support true fair trade and preserve their knowledge. From energy-boosting tonics to detox kits, there’s something to benefit everyone, and their beautifully designed packaging make them perfect presents.

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BREATHE IN NATURE

Forget vaping, how about a smoking device that also combines the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy tailored to you? Whether it’s to relax, increase energy, focus or improve memory, there are loads of different blends to choose from. Monq have recognised the increasing disconnect between humans and nature that is causing “technostress”, and so have created ‘Therapeutic Air’ that harnesses the power of plants, yet is accessible in the urban environment. Oh, and it’s recyclable!  www.monq.com

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I AM NOT A VIRGIN

To help reduce the huge amount of waste the fashion industry produces, ‘I AM NOT A VIRGIN’ creates high-quality comfortable but sexy clothing made from recycled plastic bottles combined with polyester & cotton. As well as helping to reduce the amount of plastic bottle waste ‘I AM NOT A VIRGIN’ is in the process of developing an innovative new fabric made from PET and discarded rice husks. And with 3% of sales helping local environmental issues – what’s stopping you! www.iamnotavirgin.com

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POLLUTION! WE SEE YOU!

Ever wondered how much pollution you come into contact with each day? Look no further, designer Nikolas Bentel has created ‘Aerochromics’ a range of shirts that change colours and patterns when they come into contact with pollution and radiation in the air.  Bentel wanted to create something that not only starts a conversation about pollution but also actively participates in the discussion. The shirts cost between $500 – $600 but are definitely worth it in this day and age. www.aerochromics.com    

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BIODEGRADABLE LIP… BALM

Dreamy Orange Vanilla, Tingly Fresh Mint, Cheery Lemon Coconut, don’t they just sound so scrumptious! Fable Naturals have concocted a trio of nourishing organic lib balms that are packaged in cardboard tubes made from 100% recycled paper. Using Fairtrade cocoa butter and olive oil, the balms leave your lips feeling wax free and moisturised. Once finished, the tubes are fully compostable and will degrade in a home compost bin! Voila

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A SHADE OF SUSTAINABLE

Introducing Wooda, stylish organic sunglasses made from sustainable and resistant wood. Created in Ibiza, each pair embraces the moods of the island ‘fusion, passion and creativity’. Available in a range of colours and finishes such as purple, yellow and grey – each pair are light, waterproof with stainless steel springs. How would you look in Wooda shades? www.woodasunglasses.com

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PUNTA ARABI, HIPPY MARKET, IBIZA

This colourful explosion of everything ‘peace and love’ has been in existence since 1973 when Hotel Club Punta Arabi offered the hippies a chance to sell their handmade products. Since that very day, the Hippy Market has flourished into a must see destination. The market is full of beautifully handcrafted organic and eco-friendly products. With an abundance of vistors, colourful stalls, live music and food this gem has and will continue to run every Wednesday in Es Canar, Ibiza.

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SELF SUFFICIENT SOLAR POWERED TENT

A self-sufficient camping tent, what’s next? Winner of the coveted Red Dot Award and conceived by a group of Korean designers, this outdoor camping tent includes a Solar-Air Tube system that captures the energy from the sun, to not only use within the tent as electricity but also to help keep the tent heated in the winter or cool in the summer. And if that wasn’t enough, the sound drum function can filter in all the sounds from nature… hmmm.

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‘MADE IN INDIA’

Behno is a new ethical fashion line which marries beautiful textiles, hand-made from industrious Indian women with the key eye of designers in New York. After visiting India, Shivam Punjya Behno’s founder found that 90% of India’s clothing factories are driven by women. Shocked by the disgusting conditions and dismal pay, he created Behno. Combined with a large non-profit company, plans are to create a new factory in Gujartat, with fair wages and safe working conditions. http://behno.com/

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CONSCIOUS = ZERO WASTE

With daily life becoming more hectic, many people are utilising meal delivery services and welcoming the convenience. Bhagavat Life have created ‘Wellness Meals’ which are not only made from fresh, organic ingredients based on Ayurveda principles but offers completely plastic-free meals. Substituting plastic for meals delivered in reusable bags and stainless steel containers. We would keep reusing these guys if we were you! www.bvtlife.com

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A CARROT A DAY… KEEPS THE BLEMISHES AWAY

The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser is a balm cleanser packed full of goodness. The balm includes various ingredients such as jojoba oil, renowned for regenerating skin cells. Shea butter which helps treat skin conditions including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and allergies. Beeswax with its antibacterial properties, helps keep skin clean and the list goes on! This pot of wonderfulness is key to keeping that radiant all natural glow.

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ZARA HITS THE HIGH STREET WITH SUSTAINABLE STYLE

Everyone’s favourite highstreet shop Zara has at long last launched a sustainable collection for AW16, expertly made from organic cotton & recycled wool. This collection is classic tailored Zara pieces, with oversized coats and bell-sleeved dresses & tops – perfectly on trend for AW16. But the good news doesn’t stop there, Zara is also committed to using 100% recycled boxes and has a recycling programme for your old clothes – drop them off in store or they’ll even collect from your home.

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GET YOUR ECO ROCK ON WITH FELDER FELDER

To our utter joy and surprise one of our favourite designer teams, Felder Felder showcased a sustainable SS17 collection during London Fashion Week. Aptly titled Eco Rock, the Felder twins unleashed the most sexiest and contemporary set of sustainable clothes we have ever seen. Up cycling past collections & making a Carbon Free dress out of the same sustainable fibres as a BMWi car, this is definitely a sustainable collection of clothes for the modern women – atlast!    www.felderfelder.com

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SHAMPOO BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

Solid shampoo bars are packed full of natural ingredients that do wonders for your hair & the environment. These small bars last longer than 2-3 shampoo bottles and of course cut out all that unnecessary packaging. Lush cosmetics and Ethique Beauty are the places to shop for this necessity. One of our favourites from Lush is the ‘Jason and the Argan oil’ bar – this rose scented Argan oil packed bar left our hair beautifully soft with a bouncy conditioned feel and smells divine.

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CREATE PERFECT BALANCE WITH YOUR SKINCARE

Samaya is an all natural skincare brand based on Ayurvedic principles. Working in harmony with your specific dosha to create ‘samdosha’ – perfect balance. We tried the Pitta Hydrating cleanser full of natural ingredients including Jasmine, Neem, lotus, turmeric and saffron. Immediately we were struck by how beautifully it smelt – a smell that lingers, relaxes you and creates inner calm. Super gentle on the skin, it removes all traces of make-up and leaves the skin feeling soft and well hydrated. www.samayaayurveda.com

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ECO FRIENDLY CASHMERE

Everyone loves the feel of cashmere against their skin but in reality the production of cashmere is dangerously damaging to the environment. Lucky for us animal rights campaigner & vegetarian Stella McCartney has designed an Eco friendly cashmere collection. Made using Re.Verso a regenerated cashmere fibre consisting of post-industrial textile waste developed in Italy. This Eco-friendly cashmere impacts the environment 92% less than virgin cashmere. Let’s hope other fashion houses follow her lead. www.stellamccartney.com

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US NAVY TURNS SEAWATER INTO FUEL

The US navy succeeded in turning seawater into fuel a few years ago but hardly anyone is talking about it, eventhough this could have massive implications on the worlds dependence on fossil fuels. The scientists managed to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater converting the two gases into hydrocarbon liquid fuel after 10 years of experiments. Amazingly, this liquid fuel can power jet engines with no harmful byproducts. However, it may take another 10 years for it to be commercially viable.

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BRONZING BEAUTY

Certified vegan and coloured from natural minerals the Benecos Naural Fresh Bronzing Duo is the ideal way to create a sun kissed glow. The bronzer and rose blush can be blended together or used individually to create a tanned complexion. Full of organic oils including macadamia seed, castor seed & sunflower seed, this bronzer is moisturising to the skin & light to the touch. With 3 for the price of 1 and at such an affordable price, who wouldn’t love this compact bronzer. £6.95 pravera.co.uk

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I SPY DENIM

We all hate to part with our favourite pair of jeans, well don’t despair, those once over worn denim trousers can be made into a stylish pair of sunglasses, bringing your favourite back to life! Mosevic uses unwanted or damaged jeans and turns layers of demin into unique eyewear. Handcrafted in the beautiful town of Cornwall, each pair of sunglasses are completely different, with flashes of colour and distinctive textures. www.mosevic.com

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NOT REALITY TV DOCUMENTARY

“…to save our planet we need to mobilise like we did during World War II…” Powerful words from Academy Award- winning filmmaker James Cameron speaking at The Democratic National Convention. On the night saw the premier of Cameron’s new short film, Not Reality TV – produced with Maria Wilhelm and narrated by Signourey Weaver. The film focuses on the catastrophic effect of global warming, it also attacks Republican nominee Donald Trump for his fierce denial of climate change. Notrealitytv.org

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PLASTIC NOT SO FANTASTIC

Plastic Pollution causes havoc with Mother Nature, killing marine life, clogging our oceans and landfills. Polyurethane is the most widely used plastic in the world, from bottles to shopping bags, each taking thousands of years to decompose. To combat this growing issue, Scientists have developed an innovative way of turning plastic waste into usable fuel. A process that could help preserve clean, renewable energy for the earth and those living in it!

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BAGS BUILT TO LAST A LIFETIME

Made from salvaged filter clothes thrown away by breweries only after a few weeks use and climbing rope thrown out by gyms when no longer usable, Rewilder bags are lightweight, strong and durable. Lovingly handcrafted and made to order by best friend Jen & Lisa in their Los Angeles studio. Each bag uses 100% reclaimed material, looks beautiful, respects the environment and is super easy to clean. These bags will surely last the test of time. www.rewilder.com

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THE URBAN FARMER OF NEW ORLEANS

The devastation left from Hurricane Katrina still haunts the communities of New Orleans today. Meet David Young the urban farmer who is transforming vacant lots in the Lower 9th Ward, into sustainable orchards. These orchards provide free or low cost healthy, affordable food to those who need it. With around 30 plots and having built the largest aquaponics system in New Orleans, over 2,500 pounds of food was given out last year to the local community. capstone118.org

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GO GO GOGORO SCOOTERS!

Earlier this year, Gogoro launched its stylish electric scooters to Europe, Berlin to be precise! The ground-breaking new vehicle sharing service hopes to bring clean driving to cities around the world. In partnership with Bosch Coup, Gogoro have 200 Smartscooters located in four neighborhoods in Berlin. Residents are able to rent a Smartscooter for 3 euros for 30 minutes or only 20 euros for the whole day! www.gogoro.com

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COULD THESE RECYCLED JEANS START A TREND?

Teaming up with clothing Start-up Evrnu, Levi’s has launched the first pair of 511 jeans made from recycled cotton. Using a new fabric-recycling technology, worn clothing can be dissolved into a new, high-quality thread. This is excellent news as around 11 million tons of textile waste in the US alone ends up in landfills every year. Is this the beginning of a conscious change in fashion?  

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SL Shanth Kumar/ 2016 EPOTY
ENVIRONMENTAL PHOTOGRAPHER OF 2016

Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder of how beautiful the world is, captivating photography can help jog our memories. The 2016 Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition, shortlists 60 environmentally-conscious images that will be exhibited at the Royal Geographical in London from June 29 to August 21. Go see. (Photo credit: SL Shanth Kumar/2016 EPOTY)   http://www.rgs.org

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THE CORAL REEF HAS ALL THE ANSWERS

With the ever growing diagnosis of cancer and world-wide epidemics of malaria, Ebola and Zika, scientists are on a quest to find new ways to protect human life. As intelligent as the earth is, the answers can be located with the organisms living in the coral reef. Such organisms play a decisive part in drug development. Unfortunately we are in the midst of the longest coral bleaching events in history – are we are killing the cure?

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COPENHAGEN FASHION SUMMIT

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit took place last month, leading voices in the world of fashion, business and enterprise came together to question the industry’s responsibility in environmental change. Unable to ignore the severe impact the fashion industry has on the planet – plagued by severe ecological and social challenges such as carbon emissions, high water usage, unsuitable working conditions and more the summit addressed eco-friendly initiatives that will see an innovative approach to ethical fashion. copenhagenfashionsummit.com

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THE ALL NATURAL LIQUID EYELINER

Enhance your eyes the natural way with Benecos natural liquid eyeliner in black. Quick drying and easy to apply, not only will this eyeliner create that long lasting dramatic flick but it is full of natural ingredients that are kind to your eyes, including organic flower extracts & jojoba oil. £5.95 pravera.co.uk

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