Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

Hello, loves, and welcome back to the blog! Today we are honoured to feature the amazingly beautiful  “Peta Approved” Vegan Fashion Line by LANIUS.

As you all know, I am such a big supporter of sustainably vegan brands and also those who are doing their best to provide sustainable and vegan options for our community. Ethical fashion is a big passion of mine and I had the best time shooting for this new PETA approved (woo-hoo!) fashion line. Our social media inbox is always flooded with messages about ethical fashion, so let’s get to it!

FASHION WITH RESPECT FOR
PEOPLE, ANIMALS & ENVIRONMENT

LANIUS has three guiding principles:

Love Fashion.

Think Organic.

Be Responsible.

In today’s fashion highlight, we are going to break down everything that makes LANIUS great. We will chat about sustainability, production, transparency, and ethics.

Let’s get educated on the Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS!

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

A Brief Overlook of LANIUS

  • Slow FashionSlow fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and more. The team of Lanius creative designers produces new LANIUS collections twice a year in their Cologne workshop.

  • Sustainability is at the forefront of their minds: LANIUS uses materials produced according to controlled ecological standards. Season after season, Lanius invests intensive research to become even better, even more sustainable and to be able to offer you even more beautiful qualities.

  • Natural & Organic Materials: Natural materials are the key to high-quality. Organic cotton, organic linen, hemp, tencel, and more are used to create their gorgeous pieces.

  • Cruelty-Free: Today we are featuring the “Peta Approved Vegan Fashion Line”, but what about the other fashion lines held by Lanius? Out of love and respect for animals, Lanius uses neither real fur nor down. When it comes to wool, they stick to a strict “no-mulesing“ policy. To learn more about their practice, please click here.

  • Responsible: Lanius assumes responsibility for people, animals, as well as the environment. The production sites comply with social and environmental standards, which are regularly checked by independent institutions and the company themselves.

  • Fair Working Conditions: Lanius has production centers in Lithuania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Turkey, Peru, China and India. Each one of these amazing centers is held to the highest standards.

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

LANIUS Founder: Claudia Lanius

Claudia Lanius had a strong vision when she started up the LANIUS brand. She envisioned a fashion brand that combined eco-friendly materials with fair working conditions, feminine silhouettes and the perfect fit. It’s pretty easy to see that she has successfully turned her vision into a reality and has inspired brands all over the world to take crucial steps in becoming more sustainable, ethical, and conscious.

The creative designers of LANIUS create TWO new collections each and every year. Compare this with the fast fashion’s industry 52+ collections each year, and you will begin to see just how miraculously slow and sustainable LANIUS truly is. LANIUS uses the highest quality materials, with strong attention to detail, and creates fashionable pieces that will last the test of time.

LANIUS is, in all regards, exactly what we need in this fashion world.

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS: Transparency is Key

When shopping via the LANIUS website, you have the options of selecting Detail, Sustainability, Care, Material and Production. This is probably one of my most favorite features of the LANIUS site. The transparency of this company is so very refreshing! With just a click of a button, customers can make educated decisions on their clothes and know that they are supporting a wonderful company that stands behind strong ethics. Imagine if all brands were as transparent as this one?

Vegan Fashion Lanius

We at WonderMamas were so very excited to see “production” as a category that is easily accessible when shopping. This production category let’s the consumer know where the clothing was made, a bit of background information, certifications, and fair trade conditions. Just marvelous.

Fair Fashion by Lanius

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

Sustainable development is based on the so-called three pillar system: economic, environmental and social. The folks behind LANIUS see sustainability as a future-oriented and ongoing process. They take into consideration the people, animals and the environment. LANIUS’S defining strength is the ability to produce fair, high-quality and eco-friendly collections season after season.

How does LANIUS stay committed to their values?

Here are a few wonderful ways:

  • LANIUS is a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified companyThis provides a uniform certification process in the production of sustainable textiles. A product receives the GOTS seal when the entire supply chain, from cultivation to production, is certified in every step. The seal is renewed annually and the companies are subject to regular checks.
  • The bioRe® FoundationWith every purchase of the LANIUS charity shirt line, 3 euros per shirt will go to the school project of the bioRe® foundation, thus enabling the preservation, expansion and operation of a school for the children of the LANIUS organic cotton farmers. The bioRe® Foundation has been supporting infrastructure development in India and Tanzania since 1997, thus ensuring the sustainable improvement of the living conditions of farmers’ families. The main focus is on the cultivation of organic cotton as a sustainable livelihood, as well as the areas of health, education and livelihood.
  • #NoPlastic Initiative: Through better packaging, organic textile, clever caring, and recycled fibres, LANIUS is fighting back against plastic on a daily basis.
  • Natural Dyeing: This was so very exciting for me to see! Natural dyeing produces 97 % less water contamination compared to conventional dyeing, Energy savings of up to 30 %, and is Gentle and natural to the skin, because it’s free of harmful chemicals. LANIUS is committed to creating more pieces with natural dye. Check out the full break down here!

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS: Peta Approved!

So now to the most exciting part, the Vegan Fashion Line! I am thrilled to share this with you all. Let’s take a look!

The vegan fashion line by LANIUS is everything that you would expect from a company with such high standards. The fibres are top of the line, the pieces are absolutely timeless, and you can feel good purchasing something for yourself without worrying about the high consequences of fashion. I love that LANIUS took the time and effort to become Peta approved certified through the application and interview process. This really shows how much they honour the vegan lifestyle and I truly appreciate that.

What is the “Peta Approved Logo”?

The “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo allows companies that sell apparel, accessories, furniture, or home decor to highlight their vegan offerings, helping consumers find animal-free products at a glance and make purchases that align with their values.

Ethical consumers can rest assured knowing that the entire article, as well as its manufacture, are free from animal ingredients.

‘As more and more people decide to live vegan – for the sake of animals, the environment and their own health – …we try to offer more and more vegan garments at LANIUS as well. The PETA “Approved Vegan” label marks our vegan garments and assures that the entire article as well as its manufacture are free from animal ingredients.’
Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

The vegan collection is not small in any way whatsoever. I actually attempted to count how many options LANIUS had in their vegan collection, and it was well over 150+ (possibly way more, I had to stop scrolling!). Each piece is just as beautiful and timeless as the next. When scrolling through, you will see a few fibres stand out : Tencel Lyocell, organic cotton, organic linen, and recycled materials. The fashion pieces vary greatly and you can come here to find a great collection of capsule wardrobe pieces, staple items, formal wear, outdoor wear, and so much more.

Here are a few of my favourites from the collection:

Soft Sheath Dress

Soft Sheath Dress: 48% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 47% TENCEL™ Modalfibers | 5% elastane

Casual Marlene pants Lanius

Casual Marlene Pants: 82% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 18% linen

Lanius Kaftan Dress

Kaftan Dress: 82% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 18% linen

As an ethical fashion researcher and consumer, I was thrilled to see the large selection of cuts, colours, and styles. I often feel as though we have very limited options in this ethical fashion world and this is not the case with the LANIUS vegan fashion line. One thing that I was not too thrilled about was the sizing options that are offered. After looking through the site, I noticed that the sizes only range from a size 34-44. This would equal to a size 2-12 in the states.

I also noticed a lack of diversity and sizing in the models.

I am hoping that LANIUS will make more ethical pieces that are size inclusive, showcase the clothing in various sizes, and also showcase the clothing on a more diverse group of models. These are rather large issues in the sustainable and ethical fashion world and we do need to speak up about it as consumers and bloggers.

And that is it for us today, folks! Gosh, I love ya. Thank you so much for being here, for reading my articles, and for supporting my work every single day. I am so truly honoured to have you all in this community. A quick heads up on this blog post: LANIUS has sponsored my work here but has in no way pushed me or leveraged me to speak in any which way. I have truly fallen head over feels in love with this brand and cannot wait to share more about them with you all in the future! I highly recommend bookmarking their website for when you are in need of an ethically made, high quality, fair trade, and gorgeous number for your closet.

Chat with you all soon!

Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

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Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe: My Fall and Winter Capsule Revealed!

My Full Fall and Winter Capsule Wardrobe Revealed!

Welcome back to the blog! I recently chatted on our Instagram and Facebook stories about building my sustainable and ethical capsule wardrobe from scratch and I am so thrilled to finally share it with you all! I began my journey to a capsule wardrobe about two years ago when our family made the decision to live as mindfully and sustainably as possible. Read more

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zero waste period guide
Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Treating Your Body (and the Environment) Right!

Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Figuring Out What Works For YOU!

Welcome back to the blog! If you missed our latest Instagram post where talked all about the magical vulva and vagina, then please check that out on your way out of this blog post. So many of us do not even know the correct name for our genital area and I find that to be a crucial first step to understanding our beautiful bodies. I have found that loving ourselves is one of the BIGGEST steps we can take in this journey to a healthier, more environmentally friendly and more self-compassionate self.

One of the ways that I show my body and my natural surroundings how much I love them is by choosing all-natural and safe products. This includes my shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and even the products that I use for my monthly cycle. A zero-waste period is so much easier, so much more budget-friendly, and so much prettier than we could have ever imagined. Today, I hope, will be the LAST time you ever place anything toxic or disposable into your precious body. In this blog post we will dive into the magical world of a zero-waste period and just how beautiful (and comfortable!) it can be.

Zero Waste Period

Tampons and Pads have been a part of our lives since most of us received the gift of our cycle around puberty. Commercials, media and good old’ peer pressure lured us into the world of bright-colored plastic-tubed tampons that we somehow figured out how to shove up our vaginas (I’ll never forget that first day, pretty sure that scarred me for a while) or big old disposable pads that never seemed to sit quite right. If one could not afford a tampon or a pad, which is quite common at these high prices for single-use items, then we were forced to roll up some toilet paper into a makeshift pad and hope for the best. Can I just say…Thank goodness those days are over! Today I am going to educate you all on the much better options. Better options for our bodies, our wallets, our environment, and our future. Let’s do this!

A Zero Waste Period: Why Traditional Tampons and Pads Need to GO

Interestingly enough (but not surprising), the astounding waste that disposable tampons and pads create is pretty hard to track down. Turns out, this plastic waste is deemed “medical waste” and was left unnoticed for years. Rough estimates show that in 2018, those with cycles in the U.S. purchased over 5.8 million tampons and ONE human being, in their lifetime, could use anywhere from 5-15 THOUSAND pads and tampons. Guess where those thousands of pads and tampons end up? Yep….in the trash bin.

If you would like to read a ton more on how plastic became such a “norm” in the menstrual world, check out this amazing blog post by National Geographic. It’s a fantastic read!

Toxic Shock Syndrome

I’ll never forget that day in the theatre class when I was just 17 years old. I had finally got up the nerve to try out a tampon for the first time (pads were driving me absolutely nuts) and within hours of inserting, my skin turned pale white and I nearly fainted in front of my teacher. I attended an all-girls high school right outside of Chicago at the time and the very first thing my teacher asked me was, “Are you wearing a tampon?”

Looking back, I cannot even believe it. How many girls had nearly fainted, or fainted, in front of this woman in all her years of teaching at this school? I was sent to the nurse’s office and then the doctor. Turns out, I was one of many who got Toxic Shock Syndrome from the use of tampons. TSS is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Each year toxic shock syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 people but the numbers have been on the rise since the popularity of tampons has increased.

Toxic Shock Syndrome began when the tampon companies introduced artificial fibers into the tampons for better absorbency. These fibers are still used today despite this issue and this is something that we all need to be aware of.

Toxic Chemicals Found in Tampons

Toxic chemicals found in tampons include aluminum, fragrance additives, alcohols, and hydrocarbons. Some tampons also contain dioxin that is leftover from bleaching. Dioxin is a very toxic chemical that has been linked to cancer and is not even legal to use in Europe.

A Zero Waste Period: Making the Switch!

Zero Waste Period

I am going to list all of the zero waste period options from my least favorite to my favorite. It should be noted that I didn’t HATE any of these options, but I do have favorites when it comes to comfort, personal preference, and what works for me. If you love my least favorite, then it’s all good! It’s all about what works for you. I do recommend giving them all a try and even using all of the options – I bounce back and forth between all 4 options depending on how I am feeling that month and also on how heavy or light my period is. Our body is constantly changing.

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Period Cups

Reusable Period Cups

While I do believe that these are the most popular (I’m assuming due to the huge social media impact and super busy lives that most of you lead), these are number four on my list of favorite options. If you do choose the cup, I recommend the Lena Brand!

First, let me tell you why these cups rock:

  • Reusable! Just wash them out and you are set to use again and again and again!
  • Compact and come with a little bag for your purse/backpack/pocket.
  • Very aesthetically pleasing
  • Do not contain any harmful ingredients!
  • The cups move with your body; you can dance, run, swim, jump or, if you are like me, sleep all day haha.
  • Different sizes for different ages and size.
  • SUPER afforadable. I mean…..SUPER DUPER affordable.
  • The cups simply collect the blood without absorbing or drying out your sensitive insides.

Sheesh, these really do sound amazing, huh?! So why am I not a big fan? I guess it’s just my personal preference but I do not like inserting anything into my body. Again, just a personal preference.

A few things I noticed about the cups that I did not like:

  • While this is washable and reusable, if you are not in a certain type of bathroom then it’s a pretty big mess. I was in a public restroom with the sink outside of the bathroom stall and I was in a sort of a period emergency situation haha. Let’s just say…I do not recommend using these if you have a heavy month and will be using public restrooms a lot!
  • Insertion: Again, I do not like anything in my body. The insertion process was just uncomfortable (as are tampons for me) and I never like to do it. I will say though, once the cup is inside, I could not feel a thing!
  • Smell: After about 1 month of use, there was this smell that I could not get off of the cup. Thanks to bloggers like EthicallyKate, I found out that placing the cup in the sun cleared this up right away! This is a really big tip for those of you who want to use the cups. The sun is a great disinfectant and works like magic.

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Pads

Period Pads

Third on the list, The amazing and super cute reusable period pads! I have talked about this before, but when the boys first started to cloth diaper, I used the extra bamboo inserts for my periods. I LOVED them! About 4 months later, they needed more inserts for their growing urine needs (hahaha!!) and I decided to purchase some pretty reusable pads for my bathroom. I actually keep these in a pretty golden vase right above the toilet and use them as needed.

Why Reusable Period Pads Rock:

  • No need to insert anything into your vagina; just snap them onto your undies and you are set!
  • Super easy to wash, I wash just like I do my cloth diaper inserts. I use soap nuts (any detergent will work) and when finished, I hang dry in the sun. They are totally dryer safe too.
  • Gorgeous – the prints are so cute and they snap into little squares that fit right into the palm of your hand.
  • Absorption: They absorb surprisingly well and I have yet to have any issues in that department.

So Why Number 3 on the list?

  • As many of you know, I ride my bike at least 3-4 times a week with the boys attached with the bike stroller. Oye. These pads are not meant for cycling at all. The snaps at the bottom of the underwear dig right into my body from the cycling seat and it hurts. Best for doing everything BUT cycling haha.
  • A bit bulky: I am a tight and yoga pant wearing lady who doesn’t pull out the jeans unless I’m feeling fancy. These are just a tiny bit (really not bad at all) bulky and not the best for yoga pants. These are fantastic for jeans, dresses, and skirts!

A Zero Waste Period: Free Bleeding

Zero Waste Period

I’m actually laughing as I type this right now because I am assuming there are a ton of you with faces like, “What the HELL?!”. Yes, I thought the same when I first found out that folks still do this. Of course, we all know that there were times when we free bled all over the world because tampons and pads were not in existence until pretty recently. However, why would anyone continue to do this today?

It’s actually pretty amazing. I was talking to this woman who told me that she has been free-bleeding for 10 years now and can control her body. Meaning, she can control when the blood was released from her vagina and when it was to stay put. I couldn’t believe it…so you know what I did? I tried it for myself!

For the entire year of 2017, I free bled.

I talked about it a few times but mostly I kept it to myself and just did my thang. I did as the woman said and bought two, thick red towels that I used when I was at home. For the majority of the week, I simply walked around with just the towel wrapped around my waist (no underwear) and had a t-shirt or sweater on top. Anytime that I felt the release of blood coming, I would either walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet or I would use the red towel to wipe it up. I am not even kidding you, within 3 months I was so confident in my practice that I would walk around town with nothing on. My body and I were completely in-sync.

Now, if you are going to go this route, you have to take the entire menstrual cycle (4-6 days) easy and really be aware of your body. This practice is best for those who can stay at home for the duration of the cycle to get used to it. I would suggest this to stay at home moms, bloggers, or anyone who works from home. It’s amazing how we have lost this natural connection to our bodies through the use of tampons and pads. If you can, give it a whirl!

So, do I still Practice this? Yes! Not all the time, but anytime that I am home, it’s just me and my towel. I did start using option number 1 for whenever I do yoga.

A Zero Waste Period: Period Panties

zero waste period panties

We made it to my number one zero waste period option: The Period Panties! 

I cannot tell you how much I love these period panties. They feel just like regular underwear with just a tad bit of extra padding (which I just call comfort) added to absorb the blood. There are NO leaks. All comfort, no leaks, feels like you are wearing nothing…how can you beat this?!

I have only ever tried the period panties by the Wuka brand. I am sure there are a ton more options out there but I do love this brand.

Why Period Panties Rock:

  • Feels like regular underwear. Yes, I do wear these even when I am not menstruating!
  • Absorbs like a champ: I have never had a leak in all the time that I have used these panties.
  • Holds at least 20ml of blood, which is about 4 tampons worth.
  • Wuka panties are made by MicroModal fabric that is CO2 neutral and 3.5x softer than fine cotton.
  • It can be worn under workouts pants, jeans, skirts, all of it. They are a dream.
  • Vegan approved!
  • Different undies for different days: You can opt for light, medium and heavy flow. I have just the heavy flow ones and I adore them so much.
  • All age approved and different sizes for different ages!
  • Comes in a “first period” pack for our first timers! I love this so much. I feel like this makes that day really special instead of scary. The box contains period panties (based on age), a wash bag and a booklet on everything period!
  • Washes like a champ!

In the red tent, the truth is known. In the red tent, where days pass like a gentle stream, as the gift of Innana courses through us, cleansing the body of last month’s death, preparing the body to receive the new month’s life, we give thanks — for repose and restoration, for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs, and that life costs blood.”
Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

That’s all for today, folks! I hope this blog post helped and please feel free to leave a comment about your own journey or to ask any questions! Heads up, we did use a few affiliate links (for the cups and the pads I believe) and will receive a small commission if you purchase through them. As always, we truly stand behind the products we link. Thanks for stopping by!

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Nordgreen Watches
Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen: Sustainable, Ethical and Timeless

Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen: Sustainable, Ethical and Timeless

Welcome back to the blog! Today we are super excited to feature Nordgreen Watches, a beautiful, timeless, and sustainable wristwatch company that has created gorgeous watches for both men and women alike.

As many of you know, we only work with companies when we are in need of a sustainable/ethical item because we are minimalists to the core and refuse to take on what we do not actually need. Doing this would defeat the entire purpose of what our website is all about!

Martin has been looking for an ethical and sustainable watch for quite some time now. We have browsed a few of the sustainable shops around our town but he just could not decide. He wanted a men’s watch that was rugged, classic, minimalist, and very durable.

Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen

When the folks behind Nordgreen Watches reached out to me, I immediately checked out their standards, practices, transparency, and background. I was so impressed! I called up Martin and later that night we looked through the website together to see if anything would actually work for his capsule wardrobe (check out our full blog post on building your own capsule wardrobe here!).

As soon as Martin laid eyes on the Nordgreen Pioneer watch, he got so excited! We flipped through the options and were so happy when vegan watch options were not just there, but there were MANY options. Usually, if a company offers vegan strap options, the options are far and few between. Martin was able to check out the vegan leather bands of different colors, rubber bands, and a variety of mesh bands. We both fell in love with the Nordgreen rubber watch band and now Martin is the proud owner of this gorgeous beauty!

Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen

Nordgreen has captured Danish design principles in three distinctive models, each under $250

The Story and Sustainability Practices Behind Nordgreen Watches

Pascar and Vasilij

Two life-long Danish friends who share a passion for watches. Their dream and mission are to deliver true Scandinavian design and lifestyle to everyone.

“As watch-lovers, we believe all watches should have the highest quality and best design.

As Danes, we believe in companies that are honest, sustainable, and that put others first.

As consumers, we couldn’t find any affordable watch company that embodied all of these things.

So we created it.”

Nordgreen watches

This gorgeous rose gold Nordgreen pioneer women’s watch with the mesh strap is one of the top sellers for women watches by Nordgreen. This danish watch has such a beautiful take on minimalism. 

Chief Designer of Nordgreen Watches

The Chief Designer behind these amazing watches is none other than Jakob Wagner, one of Scandinavia’s most heavily awarded designers. Jakob has the ability to bridge the gap between great aesthetics and functional products that each and every person can incorporate into their lives. An art that many designers struggle with, separating the good from the great.

Sustainable Production of Nordgreen Watches

Nordgreen works with a premium quality production partner, a fully integrated watch producer headquartered in Hong Kong with a factory in Shenzen. The production partner is Danish-owned, securing European work ethics and standards.

Nordgreen Watches: Valuing the Workers

While working with high-quality sub-suppliers, including Japanese and Swiss mechanism producers, their partner offers a various spectrum of employment benefits, such as free education and language courses for further training and development and free insurance for the workers and their families.

Strong Work Ethics behind Nordgreen Watches

In order for the folks behind Nordgreento to guarantee the best quality, not only for the Nordgren timepieces but for the supply chain, working conditions, and quality control, the founders visit the production partner on a regular basis. To avoid extensive logistics and unnecessary transportation, all non-European orders are fulfilled directly from the warehouse in Asia and all European orders from the distribution center in Denmark.

Nordgreen Watches Giving Back Program

For each watch sold, Nordgreen empowers its customers to give back to one of three causes. The unique serial number provided on the back of each watch allows them to track the impact that your donation has made. Access to clean water, a clean environment, and a full education should be a right for all, and it is important to the folks behind Nordgreen that their watches inspire a connection, not just between watch and owner, but amongst everyone.

https://nordgreen.com/?utm_source=BL_wondermamas&utm_medium=referral

“To do things the Danish way means to do things with pride and purpose – we don’t settle for anything less.”

Nordgreen watches

Both the Men’s Watches and Women’s Watches of Nordgreen are high-quality, sustainable and beautifully crafted. Customers are able to choose between a silver, gunmetal, or rose gold case, which can then be customized even further with Nordgreen’s interchangeable straps that come in a multitude of colors. The Philosopher is available in 36mm and 40mm sizes.

Big Thanks to Nordgreen Watches!

The folks behind Nordgreen watches were kind enough to gift Martin this beautiful men’s wristwatch. While this is so, every single word of this blog post came straight from us and we truly believe in this sustainable and high-quality brand. I am so excited for Martin to have found his capsule wardrobe watch! Don’t forget to use the code: VMAMAS15 for 15% off your Nordgreen Watch. Thanks for joining us for this review of Nordgreen watches!

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Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery
5 Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery Brands : Holiday Gift Guide 2019

While Jewelery is gorgeous, fun, and a sure fire way to make someone swoon….the jewelery industry is quite scary. 

Whether we are talking about the horrible environmental impacts of mining or the horrendous working conditions, one thing is clear: We need to wake up and become MUCH more conscious of who we are supporting with our hard earned money. By giving money to the companies who do not care, we are funding their horrendous acts. Read more

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The best zero waste holiday gift guide
The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas (Part 1)

**This is part one of a two part zero waste gift guide series for The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas. Part one includes items for purchase and part two is ALL handmade/DIY**

“Zero Waste” may just seem like another buzzword right now, but it is so much more than another trend. Choosing to lead a more zero waste lifestyle opens up our minds and hearts to so much more than we ever imagined. When our family made the switch to a zero waste lifestyle and home, everything in our lives changed for the better. We became more conscious of our consumer decisions, we reduced our waste by well over 70% (that’s huge!) and we slowly but surely began to live more intentionally.

This Christmas, you have the opportunity to give the gift of so more than a “material good”. These gifts are INSPIRING. Who would you like to inspire this year?

Read more

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7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday
7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Here’s 7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday!

Black Friday Sucks….but these 7 Brands Do Not.

Black Friday. Ohhhhhh Black Friday. This day is one that I dread more than “Massacre a Turkey” day and for good reason; it’s a day that is bad for our mental health, our budget, our savings, the environment, the economy and so much more. The endless discounts, the ridiculously (already) low prices that seem to magically slash in half as if by a miracle and horribly distasteful marketing schemes to make you THINK that you need these things in order to be happy.

Well, we have had enough. For those of you who choose to completely NOT shop on this day? I applaud you. It’s a great stand to take and one that is admirable in every sense of the way. However…I do understand that Christmas is less than 4 weeks away and having a bit of a discount on your gifting helps.

SO, I went ahead and gathered 7 of our favorite sustainable, ethical and fair trade brands that not only offer very appropriate discounts (meaning it’s small because they are honest and true companies), but they also GIVE back. By supporting these folks, you are supporting amazing charities, projects or donations.

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Noctu Organic has some of the softest and gorgeous pajama sets I have ever laid my eyes on. Their pieces are organic, sustainable, fair trade and perfect for gift giving.

“For every single purchase made this weekend we are doubling our donation to the World Land Trust and saving 20 square meters of endangered wildlife across the globe in the most endangered areas. That’s 20 square meters for ★ Every ★ Single ★ Purchase.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

I own several of Organic Basics Bralettes, undies and they are also my go-to for activewear. I could not recommend them enough!! Check out my full blog post on OB here.

“Our Black Friday sale starts NOW. Save up to 30% on everything and we’ll plant 50m2 of wildflowers for every order placed — helping to restore habitat for bees and other pollinators.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Patagonia needs no introduction but let me just say, this is the NUMBER one company in my book. Did you hear that they just opened up a second-hand store?!

“Patagonia is making it easier for concerned citizens to double their positive impact on the planet. Make a donation to a grassroots environmental NGO fighting to protect our home planet. Patagonia will match it, pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

That is why this holiday season, Patagonia is matching all donations made in support of grassroots environmental organizations through Patagonia Action Works from 29 November (Black Friday) until 31 December 2019. Additionally, we are providing a platform for you to give the gift of giving and donate to an environmental protector in the name of a loved one.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Nomad’s Clothing is one of my all-time favorite brands for women. The pieces are unique, one of a kind, made to last and gorgeous. Check out my full blog post on them here! 

“We’re not running any ‘Black Friday’ offers – instead, once again we are donating 50% of all sales on Friday 29th November to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – a charity that is changing the lives of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.

50% of all orders placed on www.nomadsclothing.com on Friday 29th November will go directly to Newlife.”

Home Goods that are sustainable, fair trade, FAIRLY PRICED, and offer a lifetime warranty? I mean….come on. Check out our full blog post on this home good favorite brand of mine here.

“Our Get One Gift One is live from 6am and will run until midnight on Monday. You get 20% off everything using code GOGO20 when you checkout and for each order placed we will gift a peshtemal to homeless charity Knight Support.”

This zero-waste makeup company has been on my radar for quite some time. I love this offer, I adore that they are taking this initiative and I want to hear all your reviews on them!

“With sustainability at the forefront of everything we do at Elate, we are eliminating waste by embracing minor flaws and giving these Perfectly Imperfect Bamboo Capsule Palettes a new chance to thrive. ⁠

?#GreenFriday is tomorrow, and we’re thrilled to share our sustainable promos:⁠

?One tree will be planted for every Elate product ordered Nov 29th- Dec 2nd through our initiative with @OneTreePlanted.⁠”

Another great company that has blown up over the years is TenTree. They are a very giving company, black Friday or not, and I highly recommend them for my fellow outdoor lovers.

“At this point, pretty much everyone knows what Black Friday is. It’s an unofficial shopping holiday that takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Black Friday has built for itself a reputation for overconsumption and bad human behaviors, but for many businesses, it’s an important day. Black Friday helps businesses get in the black – turning a profit for the year. Unfortunately, the mentality around black Friday now focuses mainly on consumerism without much thought for the planet or its people.

We’re not perfect either, but we’re doing our best. Planting trees is our biggest priority – we plant ten trees for each item purchased. That’s why here at the center, we don’t do Black Friday. We do Green Friday. Our goal for the week of Green Friday 2019 is to plant 1,000,000 trees! Making a profit is important for any brand, but for us, giving some greenback to the planet is even more important.”

There you have it! Happy Donating!

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The Tote Project
The Tote Project: Fighting Human Trafficking with Each and Every Purchase

When did we allow fashion companies to have the power to destroy our home? Allow them to secretly (and not so secretly) deny basic human rights to our fellow human beings?
.
When did we, as a collective society, go blind?
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Child slavery, human trafficking, sexual abuse and even death….all for a 5 dollar t-shirt? All so that we could fill our homes with more and more cheap crap.

When did we forget our values??
When did we forget that we are all equal?
How could we forget that we ALL deserve fair wages, safe working conditions, basic human rights, and the right to work of our own free will?
The Tote Project

The Tote Project: Fighting Human Trafficking with Each and Every Purchase

What is Human Trafficking?

According to antislavery.org, Human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. In other words, trafficking is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them.

People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced prostitution, labor, begging, criminality, domestic servitude, marriage, and organ removal.

Contrary to a common misconception, people don’t necessarily have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place. In fact, transporting or moving the victim doesn’t necessarily define trafficking.

Many people who fall victim to trafficking want to escape poverty, improve their lives, and support their families. Often they get an offer of a well-paid job abroad or in another region. Often they borrow money from their traffickers in advance to pay for arranging the job, travel, and accommodation. When they arrive they find that the work they applied for does not exist, or the conditions are completely different. But it’s too late, their documents are often taken away and they are forced to work until their debt is paid off.

Human Trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry with well over 20 million victims; 26% of those victims are children.

One of the scariest things about human trafficking is that it happens right in front of our eyes but many of us have no idea what to look for. For a full list of way to sight human trafficking, check out this very educational page.

If you think you’ve encountered a victim of human trafficking, call the NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE NUMBER:
1-888-3737-888

How Fay Grant and Michelle Chavez Fight Back

the tote project creators

The creators of The Tote Project, Fay and Michelle, have continuously fought back against human trafficking by putting the workers FIRST. They partner up with only those who ensure no slavery exists in the supply chain and DEMAND ethical manufacturing. When businesses put a demand for better working conditions and better treatment of their workers, change DOES happen. When we, as consumers, support those who take these steps to secure a better future, WE are also demanding change!!

To top it all off, these women work with the outstanding organization Freeset Global, which is a fair trade business that offers employment to the survivors of the West Bengal’s sex trade. Through Freeset and The Tote Project, these brave women finally get what they deserve; fair wages, pension plans, occupational therapy, health insurance, and literary and budget lessons.

Every single worker on this planet deserves to be respected, paid fairly and work in a safe environment of their own free will. We must demand this.

The Factories

the tote project factories

If you thought these ladies were done demanding change, just wait until you hear about their sustainability practices!

First off, the factories are in partnership with Oasis bags and are dedicated to empowering women in Kolkata, India. Many of these women go on to become full-time seamstresses and some have even opened up their very own tailoring businesses!

Sustainability practices include fairtrade certified cotton, solar panels, energy-saving LED lights, high promotion of cycling to work (70% of workers cycle!) via interest-free loans from the company, and atriums/ventilators installed for energy savings.

The Tote Project

The Products

The Tote Project

I have been using my Free to Explore Tote since September of Last year and the Free to Grow Tote and Free to Inspire Pouch since a few months ago. I can, without a doubt, say that these are the BEST totes and pouches that I have ever come across (and I come across a ton of totes in my line of work!).

The totes are LARGE. As most of you know, I bike ride vs drive a car and these totes are my go-to for bulk product buying at the markets and lugging it all back home in the bike stroller. With just my two totes I can carry an entire crate of fruits and veggies (I’m talking a LARGE crate that Martin has trouble walking up the steps haha). These totes will never fail you. They are super thick, super durable and just absolutely gorgeous. I used my free to explore tote for my primary purse until the free to grow one came in and then I switched!

the tote project tote

The pouch is a dream; it holds ALL of my products. Not just my makeup….but my makeup, face wash, lotion, oils, brush, and toothbrush. ALL in one bag. It’s a must-have item for anyone who needs their products in one fits all bag ( like me!). It’s been a big time-saver for camping, travel and just day to day organization.

Giving Back

Last but not least, The Tote Project donates 10% of all profits to the Two Wings Foundation. 

“At Two Wings, our mission is to empower survivors of sex trafficking to identify and pursue their dream vocation through mentoring programs, life skills classes, and career training workshops, creating the path for a life of financial and physical independence. “

I had never heard of this organization until The Tote Project came to our doorstep and I am so thankful for that day for so many reasons. Watching the videos of the survivors of the human trafficking industry really lit a fire under my butt to get to work on spreading awareness. This needs to stop. It MUST stop. We have to take a stand.

the tote project

We are so honored to have Tote Project Goods grace our home. I am so thankful to have come across this brand through deep research into sustainable living and, of course, so excited to share them with our community today.

**Fay and Michelle were kind enough to gift our family with the following totes and one makeup bag. I cannot even begin to tell you how many uses we have gotten out of these gems. I use them EVERY single day!! Although the items were gifted, the review is all my own and I only ever share items that we cherish in our own home. 

The Free to Grow Tote

Free to Explore Tote

The Free to Inspire Pouch (I use this 5 times a day!)

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Plaine Products
Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products

Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products:

Our Choice in Zero Waste Bathroom Products for 365 days and counting…

If you have been tuning into our Instagram or Facebook stories, you may have seen me chat a few times over the course of the year about zero waste bathroom products. After 365 full days of review, we are 100% certain that these products will suit EVERY single home. They are that good.

As a Latin woman with very thick and unmanageable hair, I was at a loss with how to go about turning my once plastic-filled bathroom into a zero-waste one, but all of my fears were set aside after finding this product line. I came across Plaine Products while researching after a horrible run-in with a zero waste shampoo bar that left my hair feeling like it needed to go into rehab. Luckily, once this precious box arrived, my hair, body, and face were just lavished in the best quality ingredients a gal could ask for.

Did I mention that they are kid-safe? Yes!

Before we get started, Plaine Products was kind enough to offer all of our followers a 20% off discount code

Please enter WonderMamas20 at checkout!

How It Works

To start, simply head to the Plaine Products website and choose your “box”. For reference, we chose the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, face wash and face lotion for our box*. Let them know where to send the box, what kind of subscription timeline you prefer, and do not forget to include your discount code (WonderMamas20 for 20% off!).

Sit back and wait for the box to arrive. You will receive all of the bottles securely tightened with a bottle cap and twist on pumps to attach, once opened. Once the bottles are empty, simply rinse out and send back with the return label, but KEEP the twist on pumps. The pumps will be used for your NEXT box of bathroom supplies! Return the used bottles in the same box that they came in (returns are free!) and continue this process over and over again.

While you can easily get a one time box, that would not really make sense in keeping your bathroom zero waste. I highly recommend signing up for a subscription box and keeping your bathroom free from plastic for good! It may take a bit of trial and error to get your exact time frame down (the time in between receiving your next box), but we figured it out within 2 months!

Plaine products zero waste bathroom products

Plaine Products Our Zero Waste Bathroom

The Ingredients

Plaine Products zero waste bathroom products

Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products

All Plaine Products Bathroom Products Are:
  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and palm oil
  • Blended with whole essential oils (instead of synthetic fragrance)
  • Vegan and have Non-GMO ingredients
  • Designed to biodegrade
  • Baby safe and hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-Free, Leaping Bunny certified
  • Free of single-use plastic

We currently use the Rosemary Mint Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner, and this was directly from the bottle: 

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Non-GMO | Biodegrable | Sulfate-Free | Color Safe | Palm Oil Free

We are proud of our organic & natural shampoo ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Saponified Oils of Coconut and Safflower Seed, Guar Gum and Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen). Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Ricebran Oils. Extracts of Chamomile and Quillaja Saponaria. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts. Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra and Potassium Sorbate. Scent: Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, Essence of Rosemary, Mint, and Vanilla.

Our Review PLUS…

Review of Plaine products

The coolest thing about reviewing these products for 365 days and counting is that we have had the chance to have families and friends from all over the World come and try out our products!

  • First up, my mother told me that the shampoo and conditioner “smelled absolutely delicious and made her hair feel very silky”. She has coarse hair like me so that is a huge compliment!
  • My father does not have much hair (haha), but he LOVED the smell of the body wash!! He was all about it!
  • My grandmother and cousin came in from Mexico and both adored the products so much that they were featured in several social media story posts chatting about how much they admired the company and their amazing ingredients!
  • My girlfriend Kellee, who is an amazing flight attendant and travels all over the World, came in to visit us for a week and could not get over how much she loved the products. She ordered some for herself!
As for our own family, I will never use anything else for my family. We are all thrilled with the products, the design, the simplicity, and the results.

My hair has life and volume again, my face is always break-out free and I trust the ingredients as if I made the products myself.

Plaine Products was founded by two sisters, Lindsey & Alison Delaplaine, who had dreams of fighting the global plastic crisis.

Lindsey spent 10 years living in the Bahamas and witnessed, first hand, the plastic crisis washed up on the beaches. She took a look around her own bathroom and realized changes needed to happen. Instead of looking to others to change the world, she decided to change it with the help of her sister. Gosh…I admire that.

If you did not already know the scary truth about plastic, here it is:

Every single plastic that has EVER been made (EVER) still exists.

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste every single year. Of that 300 million tons, 78% is not reclaimed or recycled.

Lindsey and Alison spent a year researching natural products and ingredients. They were set on staying true to their toxic-free, and cruelty-free standards. These women try and personally approve every single product in the line; as do their children and husbands!

**Lindsey and Allison were kind enough to gift us with our Plaine Products goods but every single part of our review is honest, tried and tested (365 days worth of trial!). As you all know, we take our reviews very seriously and would never work with or share a company that we do not use (and love!) first hand. I do hope you give Plaine Products a chance and reduce plastic in your own home!

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