Naturally drawn to Sarah Lazarovic’s book A Bunch of Pretty Things I did Not Buy because of its neon orange cover and hand written type, I almost read the whole book in the shop (not because I didn’t intend on buying it) because it sucked me in. Lazarovic takes you on a journey – her journey tracking the relationship she has with stuff and her decision not to buy things. Rather than reiterate a narrative around how bad fast fashion is for this world, she crafts a charming and powerful manifesto “The buyerarchy of needs” illustrated through personal anecdotes and a guide to buying things that are made to last, encouraging readers to think before they spend.
This month Do The Green Thing in collaboration with WWF UK and Pentagram have launched 29 Posters for a Planet, a collection of inspiring posters made by world class creatives in support of Earth Hour. Earth Hour is the world’s largest mass participation event, where people switch their lights off between 8:30-9:30pm on March 29th to show their commitment to the planet.
This year’s contributor list is impressive. Supporters include Roald Dahl childrens’ book illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, Obama’s 2012 Design Director Josh Higgins, fashion designer Paul Smith, Google Labs Creative Director Tom Uglow and many more.
The Things You Already Own
This video is worth 27 minutes and 53 seconds of your time. It’s more than a story about a brand doing something differently. It’s the story of a way of being; a life with more.
At a time of year where we are bombarded with messaging about buying and needing to own the latest and greatest things, Patagonia has emerged as a grounding force for people who value quality and the things they already own.
The Worn Wear initiative is incredibly refreshing. The idea that you’re buying something for life is the way it should be. Telling stories and creating emotive narratives around objects isn’t a new idea but it’s a powerful one. We all have items of clothing that we don’t want to get rid of. Ones that have traveled with us, been there for big moments, ones that carry a sentimental value. We keep these things. We treasure these things.
Ignoring the small matter that is my deathly allergy to bee stings, Petalon is my kind of business. It’s a brilliant combination of local, sustainable and beautiful. For just £20, Petalon offers people a lovely bunch of flowers sourced from the Flower Market based on what is freshest and in season and then they get delivered via bicycle to you. For every bouquet purchased, they donate £2 to the Capital Bee project, which aims to protect the declining bee population.
Bicycles Made from Old Cars
Rather that rot in a junkyard, these guys are turning old cars into bicycles. What an amazingly appropriate upcycle. A highly polluting vehicle to a zero-emissions one. Lovely stuff.
When I was a kid, my sister and I used to love Red Truck Tuesday. It was the day when a special red rubbish truck would go around the neighbourhood and collect peoples big unwanted items to divert them from landfill. Missy and I used to find all sorts of treasures just siting on the curb, including one of these:
This week sees the launch of London’s first ever Good and Green Guide – a carefully curated guide book that helps visitors and residents of London navigate their way around in a sustainable fashion. It’s timely for London as millions of visitors will be coming into town for the upcoming Olympic games and they’ll be able to experience an alternative way of spending their time and money here.
The Search for Second-hand Clothes
Inspired by the lovely Liv (@theendofthenew) I decided 2012 would be the start of me buying as few new clothes as possible. Women in the UK waste £1.6 billion on clothes they’ll never wear and 1.2 million tonnes of this goes to landfill. Not so good for wallets or the environment.
In my bid to not buy new, I’ve spent a lot of time pounding the pavement trying to find good places to shop.
Decent charity shops are sometimes hard to come by. You either find ones with prices too high (yes even though it’s for charity, it’s hard to reconcile paying more for something used than you would for it new) or ones that tend to have not so stellar stock or ones that are brilliant but far away (case in point: Whitstable – amazing but too far to travel for clothes on a regular basis) So I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favs.
Oxfam, Dalston Junction.
- This shop is big. And it works on a coloured label tag (ie: yellow labels, all £1). Plenty of bargains and a sizable homewares section. Best purchase here? A bright yellow leather clutch.
Save the Children Shop, Clapham.
- Located on a road with plenty other charity shops and good for an afternoon adventure, loves this massive shop. It’s the kind of place to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. Although chaotic there are loads of bargains and plenty from my personal favourite decade, the 80s.
RSPCA, Stoke Newington. (aka The new kid on the block)
- For moments when you’re considering popping in to the high road to buy a staple wardrobe item (black cardigan, white vest top, you know, those things) this is the place to go. They’ve got lots of stock and a good amount of ‘work clothes’. There’s also a Mind shop close by that’s also quite good. I bagged myself some Kurt Geiger pumps for a fiver last week. Score.
Salvation Army, Mare Street, Hackney.
- If you’re after vintage but don’t want to pay the premium for something from past decades, this is your shop. The store is relatively new and has some usual but lovely clothes. Especially dresses. And shoes.
Lama’s Pyjama’s, Roman Road.
- Lama’s is particularly good for accessories like belts, shoes and costume jewellery.
YMCA, Goodge Street.
- This used to be my favourite place to go on lunch breaks with @jocorrall when I was at Do The Green Thing. It’s full of good (random) t-shirts and has lots of nice coats.
If you can think of any others I should add, please do share. I’m a bit biased to North-East London but that can change!
A Green Christmas
This is a little thing I wrote for Book Magazine about having a holiday season that’s not full of waste and useless gifts.
To read the full article CLICK HERE.
Ten cents a tree
It was both the best and worst job of my life. Treeplanting. 3 month stints in the bush in northern Ontario and British Columbia for two summers.
I can’t wait to see the full version of this documentary. Treeplanting is one of Canada’s youths favourite past time. Almost like a rite of passage. Why? I’m not sure. Everyone will give you a different reason. Some like the money. In fact, most like the money. Others like the experience. Regardless of motivation, every person that tree plants comes out of the bush a different person than when they went in.
Everyone that I planted with has the same grin on their face when they’re in a toilet and the dispenser says Kimberly Clark, the company we planted for. I planted hundreds of thousands of tree that will one day end up as toilet roll.