What footprints are you leaving behind?

What footprints are you leaving behind?

5 Top tips for reducing your baby and child’s clothing consumption.

You don’t have to be a hippy to care about the planet and just because you’re a mum doesn’t mean your bubs tiny footprint needs to leave behind a huge carbon footprint for them to grow up into. You can help the planet from just considering what clothing your buying for your bub.
Ask yourself these questions when buying clothing for your children.
1.    Is it made from good quality fabrics like bamboo that can last as hand me downs to future children or can be passed on?
2.    How many wears will they get out of it before it’s too small? Could you buy a size or two bigger to get the most wears out of it?
3.    Will it match with other items in the wardrobe? This also helps for more clothing combinations which = less waste
How many items in your baby or child really able to wear in a week? Do you need heaps and heaps of options? Or are you better with practical items you wear and leave out the rest? How can you adjust your buying habits?
It’s best to have a capsule wardrobe. For example, for a little girl in summer – 3 pairs of shorts, two skirts, five tops that match with all bottoms for best combinations, three pairs of shoes (sneakers, sandals, dress shoes), and for winter you could add pants, tights and jumpers.  Having a capsule wardrobe can reduce the need for excessive clothing consumption and save you money every season.
4.    Do you have a friend with a child younger or older than yours? Could you share the clothes or receive hand-me-downs? This same concept applies to all things really, consider your kid’s toys and many other baby accessories.
5.    Don’t forget to on-sell your items or keep them in storage for the next child.
We would love to hear any other tips you might have for reducing your child’s clothing consumption in the comments. Want to start being better on the environment? Explores some of our bamboo baby products!
A huge thanks to Angela Mulvay for contributing her thoughts here!

The Future of Sustainable Fashion

Most people don’t realise that they can change the world by just changing the clothes you wear. So, what is ‘Sustainable fashion’ you may ask? Sustainable fashion also called eco fashion is a combination thing like fair work conditions, to the dyes you use in clothes, to the fabric the item is made out of and where it’s made (carbon footprint).

These products are classed as sustainable because they use less water to produce eco-fabrics like bamboo and hemp etc. Reducing pesticides being used and by getting items made in sustainable fashion factories where the pay rate and working environment is clean and fair can make all the difference.

By simply buying or changing to using sustainable fabrics, for example, bamboo. You are not only reducing your carbon footprint immensely, but you can take a step into reducing your wardrobe waste. Feel better about the clothing your wearing because you’re making a difference in the world.

Here are some tips for a future living with sustainable fashion.

1. Donate any unwanted clothing to charity so it can be re-used and doesn’t end up in a landfill.

2. Reduce your wardrobe waste by creating a capsule wardrobe and only buying things that you will wear. A capsule wardrobe is formed by just buying tops and bottoms that go with other items in your wardrobe, creating less waste and more wardrobe outfit combinations. According to whowhatwear.com.au, It is estimated that on average people only wear 20% of their wardrobes.

3. By just changing your wardrobe items to basic bamboo underwear, bamboo clothing, you can reduce your carbon footprint dramatically. Sticking to only the required basics and doing them in bamboo will reduce the need to produce cotton or other synthetic clothing products that have a significantly negative impact on the environment.

According to many studies, bamboo is an amazingly sustainable fabric, because bamboo uses no pesticides to grow it, it is classed as a weed because it produces so quickly. It is naturally anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and anti-static. Most non-sustainable products that claim to be ‘anti’ something use pesticides or chemicals to get it that way. But not bamboo, it is naturally an eco-product without trying too hard. Amazing. Consider reusable bamboo nappies for your babies and your positive impact on the environment will continue to improve!

4. Sustainable fashion doesn’t just stop at just fabrics, it can be the shoes you wear, to the hat on your head or even the toothbrush in your mouth. Look around your home and decide to make the change, the planet with thank you later. Don’t forget to donate these items where you can to reduce landfill.

We hope these simple tips can help you get started on a better future with sustainable fashion. Let’s help the planet one sock at a time.

Danielle Duncan

Founder

You & Bamboo

 

What makes a eco consumer?

What makes a eco consumer?

How much are you willing to pay as an environmentally conscious consumer? Neilsen recently conducted a study asking consumers if they would prefer to buy products and services from companies that implement programs that give back to society. In addition participants were also asked if they would be willing to pay more for extra those services… are you?

For the purposed of the study Neilsen labels the socially-conscious consumer someone who ‘is willing to pay extra’. Interestingly, the study that 63% of participants found to be socially-conscious consumers are in fact under the age of 40 and 66% of all surveyed identified environmental sustainability as a cause for companies should support.

I personally find these two finding as encouraging, a confirmation that the younger generation are becoming more aware and concerned with the environment and our personal impact on it. Being from the younger generation myself, I often find myself disheartened at the thoughtless consumer actions of those around me. My personal observations lead me to conclude that this is caused by naivety more than anything else.

Unless you go looking for a environmentally conscious ‘green’ magazine or blog, the documentary on global warming or witness evidence of the global warming media debate, there is often not much given on what it actually means to make sustainable consumer choices.

It’s almost as though the media unless your referencing the rare environmentally conscious magazines like Byron Bay’s Echo, the media avoids the topic entirely. For example we are encouraged to stop using plastic bags, but so many people I have asked aren’t really clear on why this is so important, they didn’t weren’t aware that when placed in landfill plastic bags can take over a hundreds of years to degrade, many had never thought either of what this means for all the plastic bags we have been consuming over the last twenty or so years… they are still there sitting in landfill.

Another interesting finding of this study is that 95% of conscious consumers will trust recommendations from people they know, again it is confirmed that word of mouth is one of the best marketing methods. Perhaps we are the markers of our own future, we need to bring it to the attention of our own media, perhaps it is our responsibility now…

What are you putting on your skin?

What are you putting on your skin?

Scientist’s claim 60% of what is put on the skin is absorbed into the body’

So many of us think about what we put into our bodies when we eat,  but have you ever thought about what you put on your skin? The Ibis world report 2012 states that the skincare industry in Australia has had an annual growth for the last financial year of 1.9%, one of the only industries unlike retail itself in which experienced a market decline of -0.7%. But my question is how many of you actually think about the ingredients within the skincare products you use?

Unfortunately, unlike food in Australia, retailers do not have to heavily brand their products if they contain harmful substances, which so many of them do. The other disappointing element of Australia’s skin care industry is that so many brands now label themselves as ‘natural’, ‘eco’ or ‘green’ and yet they are still full of harmful chemicals like parabens.

Take Parabens for example, they are an extremely common chemical family primarily used in skincare, haircare and many pharmaceutical produced, because they are a cost effective preservative. However, it is these parabens they have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors. Parabens have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen, a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer (Wikipedia 2012). Parabens are also claimed to be the cause or stimulus for many individuals who suffer from dermatitis.

So many of us now consciously choose not to eat, preservative, chemical based foods, as we just know these ingredients are not good for us. What I now ask is why not think about the other things you place into your bodies. It is claimed that 60% of what you place on your skin is absorbed into the blood stream, this is where the chemical’s of you food end up and this is how they are pumped around the body and end up causing harm.

Be aware of some of the most harmful chemicals now found in skincare products.

1) Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl Paraben
Some combination of these synthetic ingredients are in almost every skin and hair product made today, apart from those that are certified organic. These chemicals are widely known to be highly toxic, but are extremely cheap and effective in preserving the skincare product.

 

2) Propylene Glycol is a Petroleum by-product is a synthetic ingredient used as a humectant (to increase skin hydration and product absorption into the skin. This same product is also used as an industrial anti-freeze to de-ice airplanes! This toxic ingredient causes many allergic reactions. Research data states that through skin contact it can cause “liver abnormalities and kidney damage.”

3) DMDM Hydantoin – Yet another preservative, a Petro-chemical used as an anti-freeze in cars. Studies have found that use of this product within skincare will enviably increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis.

4) Sodium Laurel Sulfate a highly toxic synthetic substance (used for foaming abilities) found to cause urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections, genital disorders, eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions.

5) Synthetic Colors – Labeled as FD&C or D&C often standing for Doctrine or Covents, followed by a color number such as FD&C Red 6. These highly toxic substances are usually coal-tar based and have been linked as cancer causing agents.

6) Synthetic Fragrances – Most Products will simply say “Fragrance” which means any combination of the cheapest 200 synthetic, toxic ingredients the company can find. Causes headaches, dizziness, rashes, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritations etc.

7) Triethanolamine (TEA)/Diethanolamine (DEA) – Used to adjust the pH balance, but toxic and causes eye problems, and dryness of skin and hair. DEA has been linked with kidney, liver and other organ damage according to several government-funded researches. One study found that the topical application of DEA in rodents resulted in anemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord. Even more disturbing was that several animals died before the study ended. Approximately 200 million pounds of DEA are produced annually in the U.S., most of which goes into personal care products.

8) Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea – Used as a preservative, but a primary cause of contact dermatitis. You might see these toxic chemicals under the names Germall II and Germall 115, which release formaldehyde at just over 10°.

9) Behentrimonium Chloride – Toxic ammonia compound. Ingestion can be fatal. Concentrations as low as 0.1% can be irritating to the eyes and cause necrosis (tissue death) of mucus membranes.

10) Titanium, Zirconium, Benzalkonium, Bismuth, Antimony (*1), Barium (*2), Aluminum, Tin, Chromium, Benzene & PCBs. –According to Dr. Hulda Reghi Clark, all of these ingredients are extremely dangerous. *1 – Breast cancer cases show Titanium, Zirconium, Benzalkonium, Bismuth, Antimony, and Aluminum accumulation in the breast. *2 -Barium is described in the Merck Index as a “caution”. ALL water or acid soluble Barium is POISONOUS! 10ed. P.139, 1983.

 

References

http://www.organichealthandbeauty.com/10-Most-Common-Chemicals_ep_55-1.html

http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=1879

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