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This Because

My good friend Zoe has just set up quite a brilliant thing: This Because.


This Because is a website containing a carefully curated collection of products that are made resourcefully and help people live generously. It gives you a selection of products that aren’t just self-serving, products that benefit others in the process – be it sausages where a portion of the cost gets donated to impoverished areas, or upcycled purses that helps raise money for Women for Orphans and Widows. Products range from food to household items to clothing and each product tells the story of the cause and/or craft you’re supporting with your purchase.

DIY Environment

My Not-So Sustainable Secret

Two words: cat blogs. Just kidding. It’s one word and it’s Paperchase. Yes. I love Paperchase. Aisle upon aisle of brightly coloured, super organised, shiny, lovely stationary.

Sometimes I justify my love for stationary products, the same way any addict would do. I think about the 150,000 some odd trees I’ve planted in my uni summers. (It doesn’t matter that the contract that we planted for was Kimberly Clark and all those trees will become toilet paper, not nice notebooks ..) I also think about all the good stuff that graces the pages of the virgin-paper notepads I like writing in. All of the ideas and actions and planet saving work I do in my job must offset those 50 little pages of chopped down trees, right? Sadly I know it’s not the case.

As a present from my friends at Do The Green Thing, I was given this note pad.

You see they know all about my addiction and saw this as a corrective measure. And I’m pleased to say that it has tipped me over the edge.

I don’t expect paperchase and other stationary suppliers to go all eco overnight, so until then I can:

A) invest in recycled paper stationary which can be very beautiful and highly practical (and not have a shouty, worthy message on the front cover)

Exhibit A:

(A very nice notebook from Enlighted Crafts. 100% recycled paper and cotton. The Green Desk also has some nice stuff and I’ve recently come across Greenvelopes, an american startup that makes nice reusable and durable envelopes.)

B) still shop at paperchase but only buy stationary that doesn’t pillage forests (of which they do have!)

C) make my own.

Exhibit C:

(To do lists formed by old scrap paper and the ring from a binder)

Exhibit D:

(Envelopes made from old calendars/magazines/any thick material)

I really do love Paperchase but this is one of those habits that a small does of creativity can fix.


Swap Shop

Nice jeans, eh? I inherited them last week at a clothes swap at Green Thing HQ. Inspired by The End of The New, a fashion conscious experiment in not buying new clothes, I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of friends and colleagues in the same room with bags of old clothes and swap around. And that’s exactly what happened last Wednesday evening.

I also managed to bag this lovely yellow terrycloth Lacoste dress. Perfect for the beach.

It was amazing sharing experiences of our wardrobes and stories about just how much stuff we all owned but either never wore, wore until it went out of fashion or wore it thin. I think most people walked away pleased with their ‘new’ items of clothing and hopefully we will all think a bit more before we buy throwaway fashion. Even though it’s cheap and accessible, I’ve found that clothes that have a history and have been loved are the best. With swap parties because everything is valued the same, you end up coming away with things you may have never worn before and you become a bit more creative about what you wear and how you wear it.

There are plenty of places to swap clothes with people online, like The Big Wardrobe and Posh Swaps. And, if you’re really keen just organise one of your own. No experience necessary!