HJ Fantaskis | 19.12.12
In this post of our series, Gifts That Don't Cost the Earth, we let our blogger loose on her favourite ethical fashion brand of the minute.
Buy a Pants for Life package for £170 and get twelve pairs of Fairtrade, organic cotton bottom-huggers in fabulously bright colours, delivered to your door four times throughout the year.
You’ll be getting them at a discounted rate (25% off their full price) and £15 from your order will go straight to their charity working to prevent child labour in India. Win!
They've opened The Loom, Stitch and The Wardrobe pop-up for Christmas in Sloane Square, and are open until 5th January - I recommend you take a stroll over to visit, and see the other wonderful ethical fashion brands also in the space (like Arthur&Henry). 261 Pavilion Road, Off Sloane Square, London, SW1X 0BP
And - on a final note - speaking from experience, Pants to Poverty undercrackers are exceptionally comfortable and wash brilliantly well (the colour of my 2010 purchase ain’t run yet).
HJ Fantaskis | 18.12.12
This gorgeous gift set for new mums and tiny babies will make a wonderful present this Christmas.
Green People offer a tremendous selection of multi-award winning skin and hair care products that are gentle on the skin and the planet.
You can rest assured when you're giving a Green People gift, no animals were tested in the development of the product, it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals and has the stamp of approval of the likes of The Soil Association.
Their skincare for big people is as delicious as their range for tiny people.
The organic trio of baby salve, lotion and wash is mild and gentle and perfectly soothing for bedtime and breast-feeding. There's a little girls, little boys and unisex gift sets in the range.
What's more, it's the perfect stocking filler at £15.95!
In the Hello Baby gift set, you'll find:
Soothing Baby Salve, a natural rescue salve that soothes baby's dry and irritated skin (suitable for little bottoms and relieving soreness of breast-feeding mums).
Dry Skin Baby Lotion, an ultra-gentle moisture ideal for baby massaging and moisturising.
Baby Wash & Shampoo, a cleansing wash gently scented in relaxing lavendar (perfect for winding down before bedtime).
HJ Fantaskis | 09.10.12
The campaign released their briefing paper, Have You Cottoned On Yet, with a bold statement across the front page:
"Organic cotton delivers proven benefits for people and the environment - when it comes to making sustainability claims you can trust, nothing beats it."
In this blogpost, we'll summarise and review the report's findings and explanations.
The paper has a welcome habit of citing its sources for its claims. The references are a good mixture of scientific journals, and also reports from groups such as TRAID, Environmental Justice Foundation, and Government agencies in the UK, UN and India.
The briefing paper (well-designed and takes no more than half an hour to read) spells outs the key benefits organic cotton production offers.
Give control to farmers, not GM companies
GM giant Monstanto is highlighted in the report - 95% of the cotton seed market in India is controlled by Monsanto. This is bad for farmers for many, many reasons but the paper primarily focuses on Bt cotton, a GM crop that's been widely commercialised across India. It's not performing as touted by the GM companies, and is driving farmers in far worse poverty, and debt (and, in some cases, to suicide).
The benefits of growing organic cotton - in this instance - is that small-scale farmers are able to produce the cotton without having the buy the expensive GM cotton seed, pesticides and fertilisers. Farmers are able to work within their limits and environment, in a sustainable way, releasing them from the grip of GM giants' control.
Eliminate hazardous synthetic pesticides
The sheer scale of pesticide use in cotton farming is staggering - in developing countries, cotton is thought to account for 50% of pesticide use. As a result, up to 77million cotton workers suffer from poisoning from pesticides each year - usually through direct contact with the pesticides, or from freshwater pollution.
Organic cotton, the report tells us, is the safer option for the farmers and local communities. Synthetic pesticides aren't used in the production, and the toxic impact of cotton farming is removed.
Help farmers feed their families
Most of the chronically hungry people in the world are small-scale farmers in the developing world. Cotton farming takes up huge amounts of arable land. This monoculture (constant production of one crop) is bad for the environment, the quality of the soil, and forces the farmer to buy his food - leaving him vulnerable to price spikes and food shortages.
The report explains that organic principles require farmers to grow a diversity of crops. This maintains healthy and fertile soil. Some of the crops can be a source of food, and excess food can be sold at local and regional markets. This combination provides the organic farmer with financial and food security.
Save precious water
Greenhouse has recently been working with Wonderwater, an initiative that highlighted the use of water in agriculture. Textile production is the second highest consumer of water, and cotton is high on the list. The complete irony of the situation is that in places where cotton is grown and farmed, it's also very likely that the region suffers from water scarcity.
Organic cotton saves water. The report notes that 80% of organic production is rain fed, rather than irrigated - preserving important groundwater stores.
Have You Cottoned On Yet highlights a quote from Water Footprint Network Director Ruth Matthews: "Our study shows that organic farming can significantly reduce the grey water footprint of cotton by avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilisers that pollute waterways when they run off from farm fields.”
Combat climate change
There's two prongs to this argument: increasingly frequent extreme weather events are wiping out cotton crops, and for non-organic farmers this can be completely catastrophic. And, the production of synthetic agrochemicals has an enormous, and destructive, carbon footprint.
In a nutshell, organic cotton farming uses less energy and healthy organic soil stores more CO2. The mixed crop growing (noted above) means that if one yield fails, because of climate change, it's not so completely devastating.
The Greenhouse Verdict:
We highly recommend you take the time to sit and read this excellent, easy-to-digest report, and check out their new website too. Both will arm you with credible information, and help you make an informed decision on whether or not you want to buy organic cotton.
HJ Fantaskis | 26.09.12
In this edition of our Organic September series, we look at Organic Fashion.
Recently joining the Greenhouse PR Team is HJ Fantaskis, a Digital PR & Sustainable Fashion consultant. She takes us through her pick of the best of affordable, organic fashion.
Komodo are probably my favourite brand for sustainable fashion. Founded by Joe Komodo in 1988, Komodo have grown and expanded to become an internationally-recognised brand, pioneering in ethical and eco-friendly fashion.
Their collection, especially their latest Autumn Winter collection, tends to be constructed with a mixture of fabrics, favouring a hemp and organic cotton mix.
Notably, Komodo is one of the few ethical fashion brands that offer several pieces that would be suitable for the office.
If you ever get a chance, head over to their Covent Garden store. I stumbled across the store early in the new year, and left with what is, undoubtably, the most gorgeously-fitting coat that I have ever owned.
You cannot have a post on organic fashion, without mentioning Monkey Genes. Possibly because they were the first fashion brand to come with the Soil Association's very own stamp of approval, but definitely because they offer a well-cut, responsibly-sourced denim collection.
Phil Wildbore, founder and designer of Monkee Genes says it best.
Denim is a difficult issue for sustainable fashion folk. It's a labour- and water- intensive process, and some finishing processes (especially sandblasting) to get the jeans looking battered before you've even put them on is literally a death sentence for the labour workers. However. Monkee Genes works scrupulously with their garment workers and, by sourcing from organic cotton farmers, the land is protected and respected too.
Being the London-Cornish hybrid that I am, you can imagine my delight when I discovered Seasalt. I visited their Falmouth store this summer, and it's absolutely gorgeous. (Plus, they're opposite both an award-winning fish & chip shop, and the sea front - you can guess where I headed as I left the store, laden down with bags full of sale goodies as I was.)
Seasalt are not an exclusively organic cotton brand - they offer a lot of bamboo and even a Cornish-Made collection; but a quick search for "Organic Cotton" brings up over 500 products for you to choose from.
Seasalt are my go-to brand for wardrobe staples and casual sweaters. They cater for a range of ages, and have a nice selection of menswear - something that as a menswear specialist in ethical fashion can be a nightmare to find.
If you've ever sought out 'organic fashion' on the Internet, you'll probably be familiar with People Tree. They’re perfectly accessible (in price and design), and you’re likely to find them featured in the print media, when the fashion editor of a glossy decides to be deeply innovative and focus on ‘eco’ fashion for a 4-page spread.
I love their organic, Fairtrade jersey cotton range (so, so soft!) and I usually pick up one or two tops each season - to replace the Dorothy Perkins Teeshirts of Old lurking in the depths of my wardrobe that have finally lost all colour, shape and meaning, and need to be relegated to Traid.
Admin | 10.09.12
This week, in our Organic September series, we're celebrating our favourite organic beauty brands!
Green People was founded by Charlotte Vohtz who simply wanted to ease her baby daughter's eczema symptoms, aggrivated by household chemicals. Dismayed at the lack of 'non-synthetic' skin care products, she set about to blend and formulate her own natural skin care products.
Today, Green People has grown to become a gorgeously organic beauty brand. The brand rejects harsh synthetic ingredients which are prone to drying out skin and hair, and use plant extracts and essential oils to offer effective, organic skin care. None of its products contain SLS, parabens, ethyl alcohol or artificial fragrances.
Green People also support charities with related environmental concerns and each year 10% of its net profit is donated to charitable causes.
"I love Green People - we use all their products - from shampoos (and you only need a little!), to their gorgeous facial oil, to their natural suncare collection." - Anna, Greenhouse Director.
Neal's Yard Remedies
Driven by their passion for a 'more natural, less synthetic' approach to health and beauty, Neal's Yard Remedies has developed a full range of body- and skincare products.
Their range doesn't contain synthetic colouring or fragrances, parabens or GMOs and taking care of the planet as seriously as they do about you. They also carry the Soil Association and Carbon Neutral certification!
They've recently launched their Bee Lovely collection, a range for all the family, with moisturising organic honey and deliciously energising orange and mandarin essential oils. 5% of each Bee Lovely product sold will be donated to a charity.
"One of my favourite products is the Mothers Massage Oil. I have been a Mum for over 12 years now - but I still love the gorgeous massage and bath oil." - Anna
Barefoot Botanicals' Barefoot SOS collection is a welcome relief to sufferers of very dry skin, including eczema and psoriasis. Their high quality blend of natural, botanical extracts and essential oils in their skincare range provide comfort and protection to problem skin.
The Rosa Fina collection for those whose skin just needs a good dose of TLC. The facial serums, lotions and cleansing milks contain extracts of the precious wild Chilean rose; clinically proven to dramatically reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and scar tissue. And, the collection smells gorgeous!
Balm Balm's fans include Holly Willoughby, Hannah Tointon & KT Tunstall. No wonder - Balm Balm is Soil Association certified and offers a wonderful range of lip balms and essential oils.
Husband and wife team, Glenda & Haydn, have dedicated Balm Balm to promoting the welfare of animals and organic-certified ingredients.
Lavera have committed to bringing their customers a range of organic cosmetics, skincare and sunscreen. They even offer a range of vegan-friendly products!
Their cosmetics have been celebrated by beauty editors and make up artists, and Jerry Hall describes them as 'a favourite in my bathroom!'
Lavera also offer a range of self-tanning lotions; a very welcome addition to the world of eco-friendly beauty.
Admin | 05.09.12
This week, in our Organic September series, we're celebrating the delicious food and drink from our favourite organic farmers and producers!
Plus, Greenhouse Director Anna Guyer gives us her insights and shares with us why she loves these organic farmers and producers.
Riverford Organic Farms
Riverford Organic Farms are a group of four farms, who all grow, pack and deliver vegboxes locally, from the original farm in Devon, as well as Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.
The vegboxes are, on average, 20% cheaper than supermarket organic veg, and both veg and meatboxes also have delicious recipes for you to try with your weekly delivery of fresh, organic produce.
They also have a range of scrumptous organic meatboxes, eggs, milk bread and other kitchen cupboard essentials.
Anna says: 'I love my Riverford fruit & vegboxes! The produce is always super fresh, tastes fantastic and is such good quality. On top of that you have reassurance that Riverford have looked into the most environmentally-friendly way of delivering to your door (with the assitance of University of Exeter, who undertook a food miles study) and grown in an organic way with no pesticides too.'
Also a home-delivery service, Vintage Roots are suppliers of carefully selected, high quality organic wines.
They've got a whole selection of red, white, bubbly, and beers, ciders and spirits - available to order by the bottle or the case. Perfect.
Anna says: 'If you are a wine lover like me, choose an organic delicious wine from Vintage Roots. Wines with no chemicals also seem to eliminate handgovers!'
Planet Organic is a small chain of 5 London-based organic supermarkets. The team have searched high and low to bring you the best in organic, seasonal produce to the centre of London.
They advocate that their organic food be authentic and ethical, freshly-prepared and tasty - and not just another 'convenience store'. They also have a preference for buying British first.
We love their ethos (and love their chicken & apricot sandwiches more).
Anna says: 'If only Planet Organic had a national network of stores - what heaven to have an organic supermarket near you.'
The British, family-owned dairy farm in the heart of Somerset make the most some of the delicious organic dairy produce, including Yeoghurts (brilliant) in a variety of flavours, milk, butter and cream.
Anna says: 'For delicious real fruit Yeoghurts and a series of fabulous (or do I mean awful?) cow jokes for your kids. Particular favourites around my kitchen table include, "Why was the cow wearing the plaster?" - "Because it had a little graze!" And, "What do cows talk about in the dairy?" "This, that and the udder."'
'Because there's no point being rudely healthy on a sick planet'
With the aim of making breakfasts worth waking up for, Rude Health cereals are a very good start to your day.
The seriously tasty organic cereal company also have a gluten-free option, and one specially made for the small people at your kitchen table.
Anna says: 'If you want a healthy, life-giving cereal, Rude Health makes you feel good just by looking at it.'
Admin | 29.08.12
On Saturday, it's the beginning of Organic September - a month-long celebration of organic food, textiles, and beauty products.
Organic September is a Soil Association initiative, educating consumers on the benefits of buying organic goods and encouraging them to support sustainable farming when they shop.
Soil Association will be hosting a stream of events and promotions with their partners, and there will plenty of opportunity to try some delicious organic produce around the UK (and, we note with pleasure, quite a few organic wine tasting events).
Throughout the month at Greenhouse, we'll be publishing a series of posts on our favourite organic foods, fashion brands and beauty products.
Organic September Pledge
This month, will you join Greenhouse and take the Organic September Pledge, to start buying at least one extra organic item in your weekly shopping?
The figures from Soil Association are quite startling.
"If everyone in the UK spent just £10 more on organic products each year, then the market would increase by about 30%. This would secure more land to be farmed in a healthy, sustainable manner." soilassocation.org
If you're on Twitter, send us tweet when you've taken the Organic September pledge - we'd love to hear from you!
How else can I get involved with Organic September?
Take the Soil Association shopping survey, which will help them get a broader, clearer picture of how available organic produce and goods are in your local shops and supermarkets. Plus, by taking their survey, you can be entered into their prize draw to win a Crazy Jack Organic hamper!
Host an organic fundraising feast, to support the vital work the charity promoting organic food and farming.
Anna will be hosting an organic feast this weekend, feeding her friends and family a delicious meal of barbecued organic Tamworth pork sausages, organic salad and roasted vegetables from her weekly Riverford Veg box.
We'll post up some photos on Twitter next week. If you host an organic feast (to help raise funds or just for the pleasure of a good meal), tweet us your photos - we'd love to hear about the delicious food and drink you'll tucking into!
Soil Association's five reasons to go organic
You can be safe in the knowledge that hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and MSG are banned under organic standards.
You can be safe in the knowledge that hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and MSG are banned under organic standards.
Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow - guaranteeing a truly free-range life.
Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. In fact, plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.
GM crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Choosing organic is an effective way to avoid GM in your diet.
Greta Jonyniate | 13.02.12
We just love Green People and their mission to promote an organic lifestyle. They are committed to offer products that are 100% natural, gentle, organic and highly effective. Green People believe that you have a fundamental right to know exactly what is contained in the products you are buying and therefore give full ingredient disclosure on all of our products.
They also support charities with related environmental concerns and each year 10% of our net profit is donated to charitable causes linked to 'green' or environmental issues.
If you are also a fan of Green People, then please vote for them in the Observer's Ethical Awards Retail Category.
The Observer is offering a brilliant prize for one lucky winner - a trip to Denmark, sailing with DFDS Seaways and staying at an eco friendly Scandic Hotel!
So here is how you can vote for Green People and be in with a chance to win a lovely holiday:
1. Click on this link
2. Fill in your details (first name, surname & email address) & click submit
3. Click on the retailer category then click nominate now
4. Type Green People in name of retailer box & click submit
5. Click finish at the bottom of the page. All done!
Our top 5 Green People products
We love this refreshing, natural deodorant with a gentle scent. It’s also made without pore-clogging Aluminium, Parabens, ethyl alcohol and artificial fragrances, which means it’s probably the purest deodorant that nature can offer.
Intensive Repair Shampoo & Conditioner are just fabulous! Really good natural hair care products for coloured & treated hair.
All Green People's organic sun lotions are carefully formulated with more than 80% organic ingredients to keep skin beautifully moisturised. The SPF 15 with tan accelerator is our favourite, easy to apply and gives really good sun protection to fair skins, in very hot and very sunny conditions. Also, 30p from the sale of this product goes to Penny Brohn Cancer Help Centre.
A brilliant natural toner! This product is a refreshingly light with proven anti-ageing benefits. Small tip - combine it with any foundation for day-long cover.
This truly remarkable anti-ageing oil for face, neck and décolletage smells gorgeous smell and really makes a difference!
Greta Jonyniate | 12.09.11
September marks the annual celebration of all things organic and here at Greenhouse PR we are very passionate about it. We would like to encourage everyone over the course of this month to ‘give organic a go’ and learn more about the benefits that organic offers us, our soil, our animals and wildlife -promising a healthier planet for all of us.
Organic farming does not use synthetic pesticides and is good for the soil
Organic farming works in harmony with nature rather than against it. This involves using techniques to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural environment or the people who live and work in it. Over the last thirty years, intensive farming in the UK has led to dramatic erosion of the soil, a fall of up to 70% of wild birds in some areas, the destruction of ancient hedgerows, and the near extinction of some of the most beautiful species of butterflies, frogs, grass-snakes and wild mammals. Organic farming releases less greenhouse gases than non-organic farming - choosing organic, local and seasonal food can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Organic foods are healthy, GM free & taste better!
You may be surprised to know that over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported each year to feed the majority of non-organic livestock which produce pork, bacon, milk, cheese and other dairy products. Going organic is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food. Fresh organic produce contains on average 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce. When you buy organic food you know that it’s not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally-grown apple has 20-30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after rinsing. Trust your instincts, and go organic!
Organically raised animals are more ethical
Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow - guaranteeing a truly free-range life. Organically raised animals are not given antibiotics; the overuse of antibiotics in factory farms has contributed to pollution problems and outbreaks of many deadly diseases. Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. In fact, the UK Government’s own advisors found that plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.
Organic clothing is one way to live a "greener" lifestyle that supports the environment
Organic materials are grown toxin-free, reducing the amount of toxic chemicals we ingest and release into the earth. If you have skin sensitivities, the pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and artificial dyes present in regular cotton can aggravate dermatological conditions.
Kenneth Hill | 11.10.10
Yeo Valley busted out its £5 million advertising campaign this weekend, slotting in an ad on X-Factor that features rapping farmers putting the cool in sustainability, things organic and Yeo Valley, the UK's largest organic brand.
The new rap ad knocks one out of the park: a smart, funny, catchy, unexpected spot, placed on the top-rated TV show in the UK, posted online and poised for viral sharing. The song and the rapping farmers are irresistibly fun (you can download the ringtone), and will go a long way in giving a whole new rap to sustainably produced, organic food.
The four young farmers - plus extras including Yeo Valley staff, their cows and an awesome owl known as Ted -- serve as the hippest ambassadors ever for the West Country and Yeo's suite of organic products.
"Our farmers aren’t rapping about their bling, girls and fast cars but instead about our cows, tractors and wax jackets — matters a little bit closer to home," blogs Ben Cull, head of brand marketing at Yeo Valley, on the company's new interactive web site.
Yeo's new site sports links to their presence across social media platforms (profiles at twitter.com/yeovalley, Facebook, and "YeoTube"), plus personable and accessible video clips featuring founder Mary Mead, and son Tim who runs the Blagdon-based, family-owned dairy farm that prides itself on being a "real place" working in harmony with nature.
Admirably, Yeo Valley has a strong commitment to maintaining a low-carbon footprint, too. For example, their new pots are 100% recyclable and made from 80% recycled material, they use green energy to run the dairies and they employ double-decker trailers to move more product which results in fewer lorries and less fuel.
Bottom line: this ad is a true winner.
PS: It won't hurt the image of the Young Farmers' Clubs either. Peace out.
- Clean Energy
- Eco Commmunities
- Eco Heroes
- Eco Media
- Ethical Finance
- Green Living
- Green Technology & Design
- Guest Bloggers
- Morning News
- Social Media
- Weekly Greenhouse Updates
- Morning News - Friday 24th May 2013
- Morning News - Tuesday 21st May 2013
- Morning News - Monday 20th May 2013
- Morning News - Friday 17th May 2013
- Morning News - Tuesday 14th May 2013
- Morning News - Monday 13th May 2013
- Morning News - Thursday 25th April 2013
- Exhibition showcases sustainability leaders’ wishes for the future
- Morning News - Tuesday 23rd April 2013
- Morning News - Monday 22nd April 2013
- National Trust commits to renewable energy
- Morning News - Tuesday 16th April 2013
- Anna Shepard
- The Sustainable Business Lab
- The Soil Association
- Adam Vaughan
- Business Green
- Dot Earth
- Environment 360
- Environmental Graffiti
- George Monbiot
- Green Futures
- Green Inc.
- Green Thing
- Guardian Environment
- Huffington Post Green
- Jonathon Porritt
- Julia Hailes
- La Tierra
- Mother Nature Network
- Recycle This
- The Alternative Consumer
- The Daily Green
- The Oil Drum
- Transition Culture
- Zero Carbonista