All you need to know about Ethical Jewellery

Jewellery may be frivolous and thrilling, it may be sentimental and nostalgic, but the reality of production can be a different story.

 

As with all areas of fashion it is very easy to overlook the journeys our products have been a part of. In an era of disposable, cheap and fast fashion, we need to take a very important step back and reassess why and how products are made and delivered to the consumer.

 

The jewellery industry is one laden with controversy and occasionally alleged corruption. Unethical sourcing of gemstones and metals, in particular Gold - can have catastrophic effects on communities, their people and their environments.

 

When one first begins looking into the ethics of mining, it can feel overwhelming. An initial gut reaction may be to boycott the industry. However, according to the Fairtrade Foundation “an estimated 100 million people worldwide rely on small-scale mining to support their families and communities”. This means the answer is not to avoid and abandon the industry, but to push and fight harder for fairer, ethical mining and sourcing that supports these artisans and small-scale miners.

 

We need to push for fair pay, environmental protection and health and safety regulations.

 

Fair Pay:

 

When no monitoring is put in place, small scale miners are very often exploited financially by being offered worryingly low prices in exchange for precious metals and are given no other choice but to accept. With such low payments being made, these miners are unable to make a fair living and are prevented from investing in safe equipment. So as a result, people are forced to continually work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.

 

Health and Safety:

 

It’s a serious concern that mercury is often used to extract precious metals, with no safety regulations in place. Mercury is a toxin which sadly causes harmful effects to the human body such as birth defects, kidney damage, digestive and immune disorders as well as having a serious deleterious effect on water supplies, fish and environmental contamination. Without proper investment and pay, miners are unable to handle these chemicals safely thus being unable to protect themselves and their surrounding environment.

 

Precious Gemstones:

 

Gemstones are equally troubling when we begin to look deeper into their sourcing and supply. Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds and Diamonds to name a very few are often subject to exploitation. Not only can the sourcing put human life and the environment at risk, but the journeys that the precious stones take are also highly vulnerable to corruption and conflict. Knowing where your gemstone comes from and the journey it took is the suppliers' and jewellers' and maybe to some extent the consumers' responsibility. We have to work together - it is time to buy mindfully and to start to think of the wider implications before we purchase.

 

The good news…

 

The good news for gold is that Fairtrade has done incredible work to ensure artisans and miners work in safe and non-hazardous conditions with strict requirements when mining for precious metals. These requirements include: safe handling of chemicals when used, environmental protection, women's rights and child labour protection. Fairtrade also ensures a fair price is always given for the gold, in line with global prices thus avoiding the previously mentioned exploitation. Buying ethically sourced metal means you are supporting an industry that so many rely on for their livelihood, whilst ensuring the process minimises risk and corruption.

 

With regards to gemstones, although there is not one governing body to ensure ethical mining is promoted and followed, there are a number of programmes and mines around the world that are committed to sustainably sourcing using high-tech and safe equipment. Certain places even run projects such as reforestation and water filtration systems as a way of protecting the land and communities. 

 

Now what..

 

With regards to wider accessibility: due to ethically sourced materials currently costing more, sustainable jewellery is sadly perceived as a “luxury item’ - but this does not have to be the case. Although it is true that ethically sourced jewellery will come at a slightly higher price, this doesn't mean it should be thought of or sold as an exclusive product. If that were to be the case, sustainable fashion would never become mainstream and no noticeable changes to this huge industry would ever occur.

 

To encourage and speed up change in perception, such change has to come from designers and ultimately consumers. It’s the good-old supply and demand story… the more demand there is for ethical jewellery, the more investment and support these organisations will get.

 

The question is: Do you really want to adorn yourself with jewels at the cost of someone else's well-being and environmental harm?

 

Thankfully a number of jewellers such as Hammered are starting to encourage and offer another alternative. Hammered is a London based enterprise run by jewellery designer Aimee Schmidt that works hard to offer an ethical solution without massively inflating the price tag. Hammered is 100% committed to producing contemporary jewellery that looks deeper behind the fashion. It was formed from a passion for design and a passion to change the status quo in the jewellery industry, proving sustainably sourced highly desirable jewellery doesn’t have to be unattainable and elitist!

 



About the writer:

Aimee Schmidt is a jewellery designer living and working in London, UK. She is passionate about society’s responsibilities for promoting and securing ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials. Accordingly Aimee supports Fairtrade gold and uses ethically sourced metals and gemstones in her pieces.

Her signature designs are characterised by hammered textures, reflected in her company name and are inspired by architectural and structural forms.



 

 

GIFTS FOR VEGANS

Vegan Valentine's Gifts for him & her

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The date is approaching, there is JUST A FEW DAYS left for Valentine's day and we know you are wondering...

What is the best gift for him?

What should I get for my girlfriend this year?

You do not have to go very far to find the perfect VEGAN & ETHICAL gift for your partner, we have the best gift ideas. Original, fairly made, cruelty free and charming gifts to show your love on Valentine's Day.


ETHICAL GIFTS FOR HER

 

 vegan bags, BEAUTy & CANDLES


VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR HIM

VEGAN WALLETS

ORGANIC+FAIR TRADE SOCKS & UNDERWEAR



8 Tips to Become a Vegan and Maintain a Social Life

Veganism has changed from being a health trend to a personal commitment to improving one’s lifestyle.


The International Vegetarian Union defines veganism in two ways. First, it is a way of living to exclude all forms of cruelty and exploitation of all animals as sources of food and clothing. The other definition is that it is a dietary practice of completely staying away from animal produce like meat, fish, poultry, animal milk, and its derivatives.

 

Switching to a vegan lifestyle entails a lot of proper planning, hard work, motivation, and discipline. Your body should both be prepared physically and mentally before moving to a plant-based diet. Becoming vegan also means there are a lot of restrictions when it comes to eating out, but it’s not a difficult road with the right preparations.

go-vegan

 

Here are some helpful tips if you want to make the switch but don’t want to limit socializing with your family, friends, and colleagues:

 

1. Research and collect facts

 

The first step here is you have to know by heart the basics of veganism, the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the ways on how to live a sustainable vegan lifestyle. Research first on what you’re getting into before entirely deciding to go for it. Identify your main reason why you want to become a vegan, and from there build a good foundation and plan appropriately on how to change your lifestyle.

 

The next step is to be well adept of the food that you are allowed to eat. Having broad knowledge of what to use as protein sources like milk, cheese and others; helps in slowly sinking veganism into your system, and your brain will unconsciously adapt to the change. You also need to know where to buy your grocery and where to get vegan products. Here are some of the ways to do that:

●       A good idea is to have contacts with local growers in your community and ask them if they can supply you with a weekly harvest of their fruits or vegetables.

●       You can also avail of food delivery services that supply vegan meals and snacks to offices such as SnackNation. This kind of services is very helpful and convenient for people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle but don’t have time to prepare their own food.

●       You can also go to weekend markets where local farmers sell fresh produce.

●       You might be worried about your protein source. There are a lot of plant protein sources such as soy, beans, quinoa, tofu, etc.

●       There are also vegan protein powders that you can incorporate into your shakes and juices.

 

Like any lifestyle choices, switching to veganism requires dedication most especially if you are used to consuming a lot of meat. Do a lot of research, read blogs and books, and communicate with other vegans to know their experiences, tips, and tricks. The research part does not stop in the planning stage but throughout the whole process so you can consistently practice veganism with ease.

 

2. Establish your reasons for veganism

 

Establishing your reasons for veganism can help you stay on the path while maintaining a good relationship with others around you.One major aspect of veganism is about the plant based diet. Another aspect of veganism is also about respect and practicing ethics of not using animals and any derivatives as sources for food and clothing and even subjects for experimental purposes.  There are a lot of reasons why people decide to become vegans. Some of the reasons are:

●       Animal welfare issues concerning the slaughter of animals for human consumption

●       Issues on environmental impact associated with increased carbon footprint because of animal farming like air, land, and water pollution because of animal wastes produced, and the use of resources, such as fossil fuels, in the practice

●       Addressing the problem of world hunger by promoting plant sources as efficient food sources

 

Some practitioners have sworn to the benefits of switching to this lifestyle, but some would oppose that there is no better protein source than meat. If you want to become a vegan and maintain good relationships, then you should get a firm grip on your reasons and don’t get dismayed or discouraged when other people don’t share your point of view.

 

3. Make a gradual shift

 

Going vegan is not an overnight success, but it’s not hard. One common mistake of anyone who is trying to go on the vegan lifestyle is that they set a day when to start their journey to good health. The drawback of this strategy is that there is a high probability of failing in the first few weeks because the body was not able to adapt slowly to the change in food intake. To avoid this from happening, you can do the following:

●       Gradually introduce the vegan diet to your daily routine by first doing a no-meat day once or twice a week and then increasing the number of days of going vegan in the succeeding weeks.

●       On the days that you allow yourself to eat meat, go ahead and hang out with your buddies; but you don’t need to worry about the days you don’t eat meat since there are a lot of vegan meals available in restaurants..

●       Another way of slowly transitioning to veganism is to start snacking with only fruits, vegetables, and vegan products.

●       Prepare your snacks before you go out of your home and bring them whether you’re at school or work. Some healthy snacks options are apple slices, oranges, peaches, and celery sticks.

 

4. Get Involved in Vegan Communities

 

It’s always nice to talk to people who understand you and have the same interests as you. After all, becoming a vegan is a lifestyle choice. Having the right support system that will help you achieve your goals and sustain a vegan lifestyle is essential to a successful transition to being a vegan. You don’t need to move and find another place to live. You can do any of the following:

●       Connect with other fellow vegans through social media or join blogs and forum discussions

●       Participate in local meet-ups

 

For new vegans, this is a very useful tip so that you will learn a few tips in veganism. Your questions such as what are some vegan restaurants in your area, where to shop for vegan products, and how many servings of protein should you eat daily can be addressed by other practitioners who are more than willing to help you.

 

5. Be an advocate of non-food vegan products

 

If you want to take your switch to the next level, you can also try embracing the whole vegan lifestyle. You might be thinking that veganism is mostly about plant-based diet, but it also an advocacy in fostering compassion and respect for animals and mother nature. Vegan products are not only limited to food products but also include clothing and cosmetics.

 

Here’s what you can do:

●       Consciously choose to buy cosmetics such as makeup and facial oils that are vegan and cruelty-free

●       Buying winter clothes with animal fur is a big no-no

●       Choose vegan leather, organic materials, and knitted fabrics

●       Promote the use of products that are eco-friendly, ethically made, and not tested on animals

 

This option of choosing to buy non-vegan and organic products reduces the build-up of harmful and chemically toxic wastes in the environment. This results in regulating and preventing pollution in lands and bodies of water. This particular aspect of veganism has not been limited to vegans but also to other people that do not practice the vegan lifestyle.

 

Veganism opened up new perspective in the society. It has moved up to be a social responsibility in raising environmental awareness more than the need to conform to the said lifestyle.

 

5. Go for sustainable living

 

When you’re switching, it’s important you learn to make your own food. One great practice is planting your vegetables. Because one of the main reasons of veganism is self-sufficiency in food sources, vegan practitioners are starting to grow their food in their garden. The following are the benefits of growing your own food:

●       You’ll have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables

●       You can buy fewer ingredients from the grocery store and save some money

●       If you have a bountiful harvest and there is enough supply for the entire household, you can either give your produce to your fellow vegans or join weekend markets where you can sell your products. Through this, you can make money and new friends, too.

 

You can also effectively reduce waste by removing non-edible parts of fruits or vegetables and turning them into compost. This can be turned into an organic fertilizer that you can use in your garden.

vegan food

 

6. Be creative

 

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to go to your kitchen and do some serious meal preparation. Meal preparation can be boring and tedious especially if you do not know how to spice up your food and create alternatives. Being creative means modifying your favorite dishes to be meatless or vegan friendly.

 

You can experiment by cooking your favorite homemade recipe and using tofu or mushrooms as a meat replacement. There are many video tutorials online about vegan cooking that you can watch and learn from. Make sure that you prepare your meal yourself as this is a good way to learn the use of certain vegan products in a wide variety of dishes.

 

7. Explore other vegan options and alternatives

 

Another great way when making the switch but maintaining your social life is to ask your friends and go for a culinary adventure. Set a date and ask them to try a new Indian or a Greek restaurant. Trying out international culinary dishes will widen your palate and will give you an idea on how you can prepare recipes that are vegan friendly.

 

Some culinary dishes from around the world are kimchi, soba noodles, mandu, tempeh, baba ganoush, and hummus, which are all vegan. Exposing yourself in other culinary flavors will make your vegan meal planning easier as there are a lot of ingredients that can be used as alternatives.

 

8. Share your advocacy with others

 

When you’re having reunions or small family gatherings, whip up your favorite vegan recipe and share it with them. Let them know that vegan food is not just healthy but delicious, too. As a part of the veganism advocacy, it is your social responsibility as well to properly disseminate information to others that vegan is not just about the food but more of a lifestyle that makes you kinder to the world.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The hardest part of it is starting, but once you have the right mindset and motivation, the rest will come easy. Like any other lifestyle change, becoming a vegan will affect a lot of areas in your everyday life, but planning it properly, sticking to it, and never giving up will make your new lifestyle more sustainable in the long term.

 

With determination and proper support system from people with the same advocacy, switching to vegan will be easy and enjoyable. It is truly more than a diet, but a lifestyle change since it will open up a new perspective and appreciation in your way of living. It is a way to be more respectful and empathetic in the world you are living in.

 

10 Surprising Benefits Of Organic Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil as the name suggests comes from the “hip” of a rose behind the flower. The seed comes out when the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen. Then the oil is extracted from the seeds, and although it comes from the fragrant rose flower, the rosehip seed oil has a woody smell with a rich golden or orange color. Many skincare companies like Kosmea use the best rosehip oil to treat skin conditions because it’s a great source of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and minerals.

vegan beauty

 

Rosehip oil is believed to have originated from the Native Americans and the ancient Egyptians. They believed in the oil’s healing properties and was used to soothe cramps and tummy aches. They’ve also used the rosehip oil as an alternative to citrus in relieving colds because it’s rich in vitamin C, which is almost double the vitamin C content of citrus.

 

Then in the 1980s, the rosehip oil was discovered to be a fountain of youth for the skin. With extensive research, it showed that the oil helps to regenerate skin. It could minimize scars and erase fine line and wrinkles. It could also even out the skin tone and remove blemishes. The rosehip oil is easily absorbed by the skin making it more effective and is a primary ingredient in ethical skin care products.

 

You’ll be surprised at what an all-natural and organic rosehip oil can do for you and your body. Here’s a list of some of its surprising benefits:

 

1. Moisturizing



In the world we live in today, we are always subjected to harsh elements that make our skin dry and dehydrated. Pollution from vehicles, dust, dirt and the sun’s extreme heat and UV rays expedite the aging of our skin, and when it lacks moisture and nourishment, it could cause a lot of skin problems. It’s vital that you keep your skin nourished and moisturized.

 

With its nourishing fatty acids, the rosehip oil is a great moisturizer. It’s a dry, non-greasy oil and it penetrates the skin quickly without the oily residue. Many people use the oil topically like any lotion or moisturizer and have seen significant effects. You can also add a few drops of oil to your daily moisturizer to dramatically increase its moisturizing effect. Rosehip oil will then decrease traces of dry skin leaving it with a healthy and youthful glow.

 

2. Treating Wounds

 

Wounds are not only delicate and painful while it’s still fresh but can also produce ugly scars. It’s important to treat them properly, especially post-operation wounds because once they develop a bacterial infection, it can go from ugly to horrid. No one wants to have incisions because of an inevitable operation, and no one would want to have scars reminding them about it.

 

Because rosehip oil is rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, it’s been used long before our time, during the ancient civilization in healing wounds. With the help of many studies and research, it’s been discovered that it actually helps regenerate damaged skin tissues.  These effects are observed when the rosehip oil is used to reduce postoperative scars with daily application of organic rosehip oil because of its regenerative properties.

 

3. Evening out of Skin Tone

 

The skin’s exposure to the UV rays of the sun is very dangerous. It could lead to discoloration and dry skin. This is common in warm and tropical countries, and people are more exposed to photoaging or dermatoheliosis. This is manifested by dark spots caused by excess melanin which look like having the world map on your face. It’s really very unattractive, and many women suffer this condition especially when living in a country where summers are longer or living near a beach.

 

Rosehip oil has been tested, and it has shown to erase this hyperpigmentation and evens out the skin tone by combatting free radicals that can cause sun damage. With the help of its vitamin E content, it improves skin tone, pigmentation, and texture like a charm. This vitamin A-packed oil along with its essential fatty acids are easier to use and milder than lemon which is what many people rub on their skin to make it lighter.

 

The problem with lemon is that it can be irritating especially for sensitive skin while the rosehip oil is a subtle but very effective way to take those blotches off your skin.

 

4. Firming Skin

 

The skin’s firmness fades with age. Sagging face or loose facial skin is not only a problem for older people but even for younger ones having premature skin aging. It can be depressing for a lot of women to look ten years older than their real age. For a lot of people, this can cause damage to their self-esteem and self-confidence.

 

More and more women who are experiencing this problem use rosehip oil to regain the skin’s elasticity. It helps in tightening the skin and reduces the sagging on the face and the body.  A few drops of the oil in the morning and at night will work wonders to your skin and delay aging. That’s because of the ability of the oil’s antioxidants, vitamin A and E and the essential fatty acids it’s rich with to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers.

 

Rosehip oil also has an astringent property that minimizes the pores leaving you with tighter and more youthful skin.

 

5. Treating Dull and Dry Hair

 

Most people consider their hair to be their crowning glory so it needs the best kind of care. Imagine if every day is a bad hair day, you may just think of cutting your hair down. If your locks are dull and developing split ends, try applying warm rosehip oil and gently massaging your scalp to have it absorbed well. This will ensure that your hair will get full nourishment with the oil’s nutrients.

 

You can also apply a good amount at the end of your hair to treat the split ends and give your hair a more smooth and bouncy look. Rosehip oil can help your hair look more nourished and full of life.

 

6. Reducing Wrinkles

 

Premature skin aging is a result of long-time exposure to the sun or when the skin isn’t properly hydrated. The skin develops wrinkles or also known as crow’s feet which may be irreversible when not treated the right way. The same goes for women who are in their forties and beyond because collagen production slows down with age. Some may not accept that they’ve come to the age when they should expect wrinkles on their faces, so they turn to beauty products and essential oils to reverse the clock on their faces.

 

A study showed that wrinkles were visibly reduced using rosehip powder. After eight weeks of treatment on both mature and prematurely aging skin, the fine lines around the eyes are virtually gone. This proves that the rosehip oil is an excellent anti-aging product that will take years off your face without the harsh chemicals.

 

With the rosehip oil vitamin C stimulating collagen production, you can say no to botox and other chemicals invading your body. The use of rosehip oil is a safer and natural way of rejuvenating and restoring your skin’s elasticity.

 

7. Boosting the Immune System

 

Your immune system is composed of cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that work together in fighting infections and diseases out of our body. Our body needs a lot of vitamin C to have a better immune system. It aids in the production of red blood cells by proper absorption of iron. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production for healthy bones and muscles.

 

Amazingly, rosehip oil is rich in vitamin C which boosts the immune system. Rosehip oils turned into a vitamin C supplement does a great job. There’s also the Rosehip tea that can be a good alternative for regular ingestion of rosehip oil. 

 

8. Relieving Arthritis

 

People who have arthritis suffer a great deal of pain especially in the cold months where the joints seem a little more inflamed and stiff. It could go on for weeks even months at a time and moving around is a tedious task. Rosehip oils can be taken internally and externally as topical relief that benefits arthritis patients. Because of the oil’s rich vitamin C, polyphenols and anthocyanins, it reduces the inflammation thus relieving pain and prevents further damage in the joints. 

 

A meta-analysis displayed a significant reduction in osteoarthritis pain using rosehip powder compared to placebo. Although the meta-analysis focused on rosehip powder and arthritis, other application of this oil could be used for different types of pain. This result opens a wide range of possibilities for the rosehip oil’s capability.

 

9. Fighting Acne

 

Acne is produced when the skin’s oily substance called sebum plugs your pores. When bacteria develops an infection, there will be inflammation, and severe acne can occur. These are red swollen bumps in your skin, usually the face and can leave ugly acne scars. You may wonder why rosehip oil is good for the skin when acne develops from oil. The difference is that the rosehip oil doesn’t leave any oily residue once the skin absorbs it.

 

With the rosehip oil’s anti-inflammatory property, it will significantly reduce the swelling on the acne and continue to heal without leaving a scar. It will also help in reducing the discoloration and evening out your skin tone. The oil’s vitamin A content combined with linoleic acid helps in regulating the sebum production to prevent acne from coming back.

 

As a cure, rosehip oil can help in getting rid of acne marks and scars. With proper washing and cleaning of the skin, the rosehip oil will drastically improve your skin’s protection against the dreaded acne and the scars they leave behind.

 

10. Treating Oily Skin

 

Contrary to what you would think that the rosehip oil will just add to the oiliness of your skin, it will actually do the opposite. Your skin secretes excess oil when it’s undernourished and dry. That means you have to treat your skins dehydration to stop it from being oily and the rosehip oil will not leave any greasy feel to your skin. The oil penetrates deep into the skin and nourishes your skin with its essential fatty acids.

vegan beauty oil

 

Final Thoughts

 

If the ancient Egyptians used rosehip oil for their beauty regimen, that explains why Cleopatra is a symbol of beauty and charm. She could have used this very same oil during her days. Although there is no official statement about the healing properties of the rosehip oil, it has been proven to improve skin cell longevity and delay aging.

 

Since there are no adverse side effects, you won’t go wrong with the safe and organic rosehip oil instead of the commercially-created ones. What better way to get your youthful glow back than this natural and organic way.

 

 

GIFTS FOR VEGANS

THE BEST ETHICAL VEGAN CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Ethical gifts for vegans | Christmas gifts guide Australia

FASHION

Vegan fashion isn’t vegan food - How & Where to buy it?

We cannot go through life without buying certain things, no matter how spartan or minimalist we may strive to be there are something things we simply cannot avoid.

Eating being a great example.

The vegan movement is growing rapidly and teaching huge amounts of people every year how they can eat more ethically whilst having less impact on the planet and at the same time reduce the suffering of animals. It’s quite easy to eat vegan in this day and age.


_ VEGAN FOOD VS VEGAN CLOTHING _

Now, we all have to wear clothes, right?

Unfortunately it is harder to wear ethical clothes than it is to eat vegan for a couple of reasons:

  • Firstly: Labelling

Food labelling is very comprehensive and shows every single input that you will consume within that labelled product .    

Clothing simply doesn’t have the same level of accountability when it comes to the make up of your clothes.

Often dyes and glues used in clothing can contain animal products or harsh chemicals, conveniently for the clothing industry the labelling laws mean consumers are blissfully unaware of the impact their clothing choices are making.

This can make sourcing ethical clothing much more difficult than choosing which sandwich has the  better moral consequences.

ethical fashion labels

  • Secondly: Advertising rules

Anyone can advertise their clothing as “ethical” and people have varying degrees of what ethical is to them, to some businesses it just can be an excuse to increase profit margins.

For example there are a lot of “ethical” products originating from developing countries being pumped out of sweat shops and under slave like conditions, likewise in these developing countries the environmental protections we enjoy in a country like Australia or similar simply do not exist and often harmful practices are used in the manufacturing of these products.

Also “vegan leather” is often cited as being ethical despite it being unsustainable and often produced in questionable conditions.

who made your clothes?

So how do consumers ensure they are purchasing a truly ethical fashion product?

At Velvety we spend a looooooot of time searching for and doing research on different products to ensure they meet our values, sadly most products we find fall short of what we require to become a velvety product.


OUR FIRST TEST IS:

  • What is the product made of?

If the material is not cruelty free, is unsustainable or at the very least not recycled/upcycled then straight away there’s no point looking at it further for us.

 

OUR SECOND TEST IS:

  • Where and how is it made?

If the product is made in the developing world then independent certification such as fair trade is the best way to ensure there is no slavery or super exploitative practices are  involved in the manufacturing.

There have been so many products that look great from the outside that we would have loved to have stocked but we just couldn’t verify that the manufacturing process was 100% ethical.

If there is no independent third party certification of fair trade or like then without actually visiting the facility you will never know just what is occurring there.

Some of the independent certification bodies we trust are:

THE THIRD TEST IS:

  • Is it affordable and fashionable?

We want ethical clothing to be main stream and not just limited to high society, there are some products that tick all the boxes but just have too high a price that we can’t justify.


Velvety needs to change the world and if the world is to change everyone needs to be involved not just the wealthy.

 

We do all the hard work sourcing these products so that all you need to do is find the product that suits you and let your conscious rest easy knowing you’ve made an ethical decision.

We are always on the look out for more products to bring to the public in a simple one stop online shop, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@velvety.com.au if you or someone you know produces ethical fashion. We stock everything from men and women’s clothing, to bags, jewellery+accessories, soy candles and beauty products and anything in between which catches our eye.


  • Check this link for some more vegan related products!

FASHION

Vegan Pineapple Leather | Pinatex | Ethical Fashion

The world is changing.

The fashion industry is changing.

The way we create things is also changing.

 

Pinatex, a new revolutionary material created and developed for a Spanish woman, Dr Carmen Hijosa.

 

But what is Pinatex?

"Pinatex is a natural, sustainable textile made from the fibres of pineapple leaves, which are the waste from the pineapple harvest. Because the leaves are the by-product of an existing industry no additional land, water, fertilizers or pesticides need to be used to product them, so the raw material has a very low environmental impact compared to other textile crops".

 

What is the process?

"The fibres that make Piñatex™ come from pineapple leaves. The fibres are extracted from the leaves during a process called decortication, which is done at the plantation by the farming community. Furthermore, the by-product of decortication is bio-mass, which can be further converted into organic fertilizer or bio-gas.

Both the extraction of the fibers and the consequent bio-mass will bring added revenue stream to the  farming communities.

The fibres then undergo an industrial process to become a nonwoven textile, which is the base of our material Piñatex™.

The final step in the making of Piñatex™ takes place at a textile finishing company in Spain, where our unique finishing process is done before being shipped all over the world."

 

Is it 100% Cruelty free?

"Yes, no animal by-product is used in any stage of the production of Piñatex."

"We have been certified as “Vegan Fashion Label” by PETA* and received their Innovation Award (2015), which was a first for a raw material."

 

What about Pinatex uses?

"Piñatex is a mass-produced sustainable and versatile textile oriented to the following industrial sectors :

FASHION AND ACCESSORIES

FURNISHINGS

CAR AND AERONAUTIC INDUSTRIES"

 

Where can we find bags made of Pinatex?

At Velvety, you can find some beautiful bags from the brand Maravillas Bags, Camille, Eve & Adis, Grey Whale and The Ahimsa Collective. Have a look here: www.velvety.com.au

Velvety is an ethical but also vegan online store based in Melbourne, Australia.

All products you can purchase from us are fairly made and cruelty free. You can also find a great variety of upcycled and organic fashion products but also a beautiful range of vegan beauty and our own label of eco soy candles.

Information from this website: www.ananas-anam.com was used for this post.

For more information about the process visit:

https://www.ananas-anam.com/responsibility/

INSPIRATION

16 Tips to go plastic free - Guide for a plastic free life

- Useful & easy tips for going plastic free -

plastic free shop

Most of us are aware that our plastic and waste production is a huge global
challenge. However, many still struggle to go plastic free or make a significant reduction in their day-to-day waste. But it’s actually super easy once you get started and I promise that once you do start you’ll never look back. So here are some super helpful tips that reduce your waste, with the added benefit of supporting small businesses and actually saving you money in the long run.


Environmental problems can feel overwhelming at times but remember every bit counts and little things really do make a big difference. If you don’t believe this then try sleeping with a hungry mosquito in the room.


1. Invest in a water bottle


A staggering 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles are bought each year! Plus the plastic used in these bottles are full of BPA’s and potentially harmful chemicals that you’re putting in your body, especially when left in the sunlight. Purchase a re-usable water bottle and get in the habit of always bringing it with you.


2. Keep a cutlery set in your bag.


There have been countless times when I’m out and about and some amazingly delicious smell from a takeaway shop wafts over and completely catches my hunger off guard. Keep a set cutlery in your bag and you’ll never have to use single-use plastic cutlery again. If you know you’re going to buy some takeaway lunch or dinner bring a container from home and ask them to use that instead of a disposable plastic one.


3. Carry a keep cup.


Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year!

Purchase a re-usable
coffee cup

or if you forgot one, ask to have your coffee in the store. When did our lives get busy? It’s very easy to get swept up by the daily grind, spending each waking moment rushing from one task to another. Take the time to stop, sit down in the coffee shop and indulge yourself in the precocious moment of a freshly made coffee. Take the time to really taste the coffee, appreciate it’s smell and the warm fuzzy feeling it creates within you. The universe will survive if you’re 5 minutes late.


4. Ask for no straw in your drinks.


500,000,000 straws are used every day in the US alone! You read that number right! Say only 1% of these end up in the ocean, that’s 5 million straws into the ocean every day from one country! Many bars, restaurants and take-away places automatically put a straw in your drink so get into the habit of asking for no straw with each drink you purchase. Either drink your beverage without a straw or invest in a stainless steel or bamboo one.


5. Keep a fold-up re-usable bag in your pocket, bag or car.


Make this a habit and you will never be caught off guard without a shopping bag. If you do drive to the supermarket and realise that you’ve forgotten your bags just put all your groceries straight into the trolley, wheel the trolley to your car and unpack your groceries straight into the boot.

 

6. You don’t need plastic bags to line your bin!


This is probably the most used argument people use to justify why they need plastic bags. Instead of this, put some newspaper at the bottom of the bin to soak up any liquids and then just dump your rubbish straight in there as normal. When your kitchen bin is full just tip all that rubbish straight into your street bin and then wash out your kitchen bin with a hose. If your bin is not made of solid plastic or metal and does need bin liners purchase some reusable bin liners instead.


7. Start a veggie patch.


Gardening is one of the purest and most overlooked human pleasures. There is something so special about nurturing a seed and creating new life. Make use of the spaces you got! Even if you live in an apartment you can still put little herb or veggie pots on your windowsill or balcony or start a veggie patch on the grass outside your house or apartment on the street. Or you could join a community garden!


8. Start a compost bin or a worm farm.


A great way to get some incredible nutrient-rich soil for your veggie patch is with a compost bin. There are some beautiful, compact, odour-free worm farms that fit perfectly into your kitchen if you don’t have a garden or huge compost tumblers for households that create a lot of food scraps and have the space.


9. Use your containers to refill.


When you’re at the shops try to purchase products in glass containers instead of plastic, for example with honey, tomato sauce or other condiments. However, if you do end of with these containers instead of throwing them away re-use them for re-fills or food storage. Empty hummus container? Try making your own hummus or go to a deli ask them to use that same container.


10. Buy loose leaf tea.


Tea is beautiful, but buying tea bags adds a lot of waste: from the tea bag itself, to the tea labels and most importantly the fact that most tea bags all come individually wrapped within the packet. Invest in a metal tea strainer and purchase loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. This not only saves waste, but loose leaf tea often has a stronger flavour, means you are putting less unknown substances into your body, and also saves you money, with loose leaf tea on average 2.5x cheaper than tea bags.

loose tea leaf


11. Seek out plastic free grocery items.


Purchase bread in a paper bag from a bakery, buy beans, grains, seeds from a bulk scoop place, bring your own containers to delis, make your own muesli bars or snacks, don’t purchase fruit wrapped in plastic and make your own DIY cleaning products. Who gives a crap is a great toilet paper company that uses no plastic and donates 50% of its profits to building toilets in the developing world.


12. Choose clothes made of natural fibres.

This one is a little hidden killer. Did you know that when you wash synthetic clothing tiny fibres make their way from your washing machine into the oceans to then be eaten by animals. A single acrylic garment can release nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash!

Purchase clothes made of natural fibres such as
organic cotton, bamboo or hemp.

Also let your clothes dry naturally
instead of using a drier. If you have some synthetic clothing, wash these fabrics in a special bag designed to trap them.


13. Cut down on the Uber eats/takeaway delivery/frozen convenience meals.


This is a hard one for many people. I know Uber Eats or that frozen lasagne is amazing for those tired nights in, but all that food comes in plastic disposable containers. Instead enjoy cooking a meal, or prepare some meals in advance that you can defrost easily for times like these. You could also go out and eat in at the restaurant instead. If you do have to order takeaway keep the containers and use them to store food, to prepare homemade frozen meals or as a spare container
for a lunch on the go.


14. Swap plastic out everywhere!


Did you know that every toothbrush that has ever existed still exists today!
There are many innovative and sustainable businesses out there who have
created plastic free alternatives for many products: bamboo toothbrushes,
bamboo pens, bamboo phone cases, plastic-free deodorant and toothpaste,
paper-stick cotton swabs, coconut fibre kitchen and pan scrubbers, vegan wraps, a diva cup instead of pads or tampons, cloth nappies instead of disposable ones, soap, shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles... the list goes on!


15. Think holistically.


Although plastic is a significant problem, it is only one part of a much bigger problem. To live a truly sustainable life you can’t just improve one area. Instead, it is a complete transformation and connection of all parts of your life together to ensure that what you purchase, what you put on and into your body, and what you create have a positive impact for all living beings, all future beings and planet. 

 

- So some other things to think about - 


• Did you know that the single biggest impact on climate change is actually
the meat and dairy industry? The simple act of reducing your meat and
dairy consumption has a huge and instant impact on reducing climate
change (going vegan alone on average cuts your total emissions by
half). Red and processed meats are known carcinogens so cutting these
out also creates a healthier diet and saves real animal lives.


• Many well-known skin care, make-up and body products actually contain
a heap harmful and known carcinogenic chemicals, parabens and
numbers, or use unsustainable palm oil (check those fine print
ingredients). There are some apps out there that help you look up those
nasty chemicals and identify if their harm index, but the safest bet is to
make the switch to organic and natural products.


• Buy fruit and veggies in season and go to the imperfect range to help
reduce global transportation emissions and waste.

• Cycle or walk to work, car-pool or get public transport. 4/5 of cars driving in peak hour traffic contain only 1 person. This is a huge waste of
resources and makes traffic significantly worse.


16. Inspire others.


We are all in this together. Just one person making a positive switch to live a sustainable life can inspire so many more. Encourage and inspire each other, contact businesses who use excessive packaging, lead by example and give your friends these handy tips. We should all be so proud of the efforts we are making and work together to ensure our planet stays beautiful.

monstera plant

 

About the author: Jacinta Bowman is passionate about living a sustainable and planet-friendly lifestyle and loves to inspire others to do the same.

FASHION

Sustainable Vegan Bags - WHAT IS VEGAN LEATHER?

VEGAN BAGS

ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE FASHION

 

Nowadays, there are quite a few fashion brands all over the world making vegan bags, it's not difficult to find them, it's also not too difficult to find a great variety of designs and styles. 
However, it becomes a bit more difficult when you are trying to find a bag that is vegan and also ethically made, eco-friendly and sustainable.

 

First thing to consider:

WHAT IS VEGAN LEATHER

"Many major vegan leather brands claim their products are made of ‘eco friendly’ PU (Polyurethane) microfibers, used because their ‘feel’ is similar to that of leather, and it can be imprinted with grains that mimic suede and natural skins. But make no mistake–there is no such thing as ‘eco friendly’ PU.

In the production of microfiber-based synthetics, textiles and polymers are often layered together and compressed several times through metal rollers, then submersed in a coagulation solution to solidify. This chemical process requires excessive levels of toxic substances like dimethylformamide, which has also been linked to cancer and birth defects, and acetic acid, high doses of which can damage skin and eyes."

----

"Despite these eco-horrors, many eco-warriors find vegan leather production even worse. For example, the manufacture and incineration of PVC-based synthetics produce one of the most toxic chemicals known to man: dioxins. Found in almost every single modern human’s body, dioxins promote developmental disturbances and increase cancer risks tenfold.

Since plastic-based synthetics don’t fully biodegrade, they produce micro-particles that are ingested by animals and thus enter the food chain at all levels: even Arctic polar bears have been found to have dioxins in their bloodstream. When it does break down, vegan leather releases phthalates—initially added as a softening agent—which subsequently enter the food chain and the atmosphere, causing breathing problems, breast cancers, hormonal disruptions and birth defects."

-Eluxe Magazine

 

Want some more info? 
https://eluxemagazine.com/magazIne/what-the-heck-is-vegan-leather/
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-dark-side-to-vegan-leather-is-far-from-ethical-20170314-guxkn4.html


SO THE QUESTION IS...

Are we helping animals by choosing a bag that is not made of leather but microfiber instead?

Yes, of course we are!

But...are we helping the environment too?

The answer is...no.

And also...something very important! Are we paying for a bag that has been made by happy workers? Workers that get the right salary wages and conditions?


Sometimes we just want to make our purchase easy and feel good by knowing that we are supporting a vegan brand that cares about animals, however sometimes we just need to spend an extra minute trying to find that item that really ticks all the ethical boxes. It will be always your choice, but you need to know that it is a choice!

 

To help you in this search we created Velvety

An ethical, sustainable and of course vegan store that will make your eco vegan purchases easier! At Velvety you can find a selective range of bags, wallets, backpacks and more
that are handmade, ethically manufactured and sustainable. We do not carry bags made of 100% vegan leather, we only carry bags made of cork, upcycled materials, real leaves and pineapple leather. We care about animals, the people and the environment
and that's why we decided to only focus on real eco-friendly bags and accessories.

Have a look at our range and get inspired by colours, materials and textures :)

Vegan cork cutches

CLUCTHES

MADE OF CORK, LEAF LEATHER & UPCYCLED MATERIALS

pinatex bags

BAGS & HANDBAGS

MADE OF PINATEX, CORK, LEAF LEATHER & UPCYCLED MATERIALS

Vegan backpacks

 BACKPACKS

 

MADE OF ALL SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

+

GIFTS FOR VEGANS

VEGAN GIFTS FOR HIM | ETHICAL FASHION AUSTRALIA

VEGAN GIFTS FOR HIM

 

VEGAN GIFT IDEAS FOR men

Let us show you some of our featured products for him!

ALL ETHICAL, SUSTAINABLE & CRUELTY FREE!

 

ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHING, FAIR & ECO


VEGAN WALLETS


ORGANIC + FAIR TRADE UNDERWEAR


ORGANIC + FAIR TRADE SOCKS


STILL NOT SURE? 

A GIFT VOUCHER IS THE BEST WAY TO SHOW SOMEONE YOUR LOVE.

A VELVETY GIFT VOUCHER MEANS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL, IT MEANS YOU ARE GIVING SOMEONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE THEIR GIFT FROM OUR RANGE OF VEGAN AND ETHICAL CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES & BEAUTY PRODUCTS.

THANKS FOR CHOOSING ETHICAL!

 

Remember: When buying at Velvety you are not just supporting an ethical small business, you are changing the world, changing the fashion fast industry and helping animals!

We donate a % of our profits to Big Sky Sanctuary, so when you purchase a vegan product from us, you are already supporting such a beautiful cause. Please, find more about our charity program here: BSKCHARITY

 

GIFTS FOR VEGANS

12 Ethical & Vegan gift ideas | Vegan fashion guide Australia


 12 ETHICAL & VEGAN GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN & WOMEN AUSTRALIA

- VEGAN FASHION GUIDE -

 

Choosing the perfect vegan gift for someone you love isn't always easy, also trying to find the best ethical and also vegan gift can be really difficult!

That's why at Velvety, we want to help you to find the best ethical & vegan products for those you really care giving you free access to this beautiful guide and list of vegan gifts ideas.

We guarantee that all the products you are going to find here are vegan, but also cruelty free, fair trade, handmade, some of them made of organic cotton or upcycled materials, and of course, ethical and sustainable.

At Velvety we care about products that respect humans, animals and the planet.


soy candles

1. Velvety Eco Soy Candles

Vegan candles hand made using organic vegan wax in Bunyip,

Australia.

The perfect gift for those who enjoy natural & charming goods.


vegan-jewellery

2. Vegan Jewelry

Handmade jewelry for those who love creative but also sustainable accessories.


vegan-wallets

3. Vegan Wallets for Women

Ethical wallets made from the most sustainable materials such as cork, real leaves, pineapple leather and more.


vegan wallets

4. Vegan Wallets for Men

Ethical wallets made from the most sustainable materials such as cork, real leaves, pineapple leather and more.


ORGANIC COTTON + FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED SOCKS - Handmade in Germany

5. Organic Cotton Socks

Vegan, fair trade and organic cotton socks for men and women.

The perfect gift for compassionate creative people.


recycled notebook

6. ECO ACCESSORIES

Sustainable belts, notebooks, beanies, scarves and more.

Surprise some one with a notebook made of leaves!


organic-clothing

7. Sustainable Clothing for Women

Eco-friendly clothing brands for those women that love wearing organic and fairly made garments.


vegan-handbags

8. Vegan Handbags

Vegan but also sustainable and ethically made bags made from real eco materials such as pinatex, leaves, cork or upcycled garments.

Surprise her with a unique environmentally friendly bag!


organic-trunks

9. Organic Men's Underwear

Fair trade and organic underwear for the men you love!

Great quality and affordable prices!


vegan beauty box

10. Vegan Beauty

Unique curated selection of Australian made skin products and gifts boxes.

Perfect for those women that love natural and non toxic/nasty products.


vegan backpacks

11. Vegan Backpacks

Vegan but also handmade upcycled backpacks totally unique!

A fantastic gift for adventurous people!


vegan clutches

12. Vegan Clutches & Purses

Creative, sustainable and of course vegan!

Perfect for Summer, parties and events!


Find more awesome ethical and vegan products on

www.velvety.com.au

Your store for sustainable fashion, beauty and more!

FASHION

6 Ethical Fashion Brands You Can Shop In Australia

ethical fashion brands

WE LOVE SUSTAINABLE,

VEGAN & ETHICAL FASHION 

 

Ethical fashion is growing, and thanks to that today we can find fully sustainable brands that care about the environment, animals, and their workers.

 

Buying ethical fashion

We are supporting a great cause and helping in a massive way to change the course of the fast fashion industry, towards a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle, which in the long run benefits us all.


In this post, we will introduce:

6 ethical fashion brands

New clothing and accessories that can all be found at Velvety. All these brands have something in common, they are all ethical, use organic or recycled materials and are produced in a fair way.

 

1- Armedangels

Ethics: Fair Trade certified, GOTS certified

Category: Clothing

Based in: Germany

About them: Great style, modern but elegant, sophisticated and trendy. I remember the first time I saw this brand online. I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing! A huge ethical and sustainable store with the kind of fashion items that most women love. But the best part? A human company behind all these organic (GOTS certified) garments and an impressive way of creating them, always working with the Fair Wear and Fair Trade associations to guarantee the best ethical practices in regards to workers and labor conditions. 

Considering all this... Stocking Armedangels at Velvety was a MUST!

Shop all ARMEDANGELS

 

2- Bloi

Ethics: Ethical production, handmade, GOTS certified

Category: Clothing

Based in: Barcelona

About them: I will never forget the day I discovered this brand! I was in Australia when a friend from Barcelona sent me a picture of their physical store with the message: "Lorena this store may interest you for your project"

When I visited their website I quickly fell in love! Beautiful and charming garments made of organic cotton (GOTS certified) and handmade in Barcelona (my beloved city). In that moment I realized that they had to be part of Velvety yes or yes! So 1 year later on a trip to Barcelona I visited them and met the lovely people behind the brand, Nuria, Ernesto and their rescue dog. It was not surprising to see that behind great brands there are always great people making things happen.

Shop all BLOI

 

3- Numon

Ethics: Ethical production, handmade, vegan, eco label certified

Category: Bags and accessories

Based in: Barcelona

About them: What to say about Numon? An incredible brand located very close to Barcelona that makes the most beautiful and unique vegan upcycled, bags, backpacks and accessories always using forgotten/wasted materials. I met Nuria (the maker and designer) in Barcelona possibly 10 years ago. Back in those days I remember admiring their products, I never forgot them and the first brand I knew I would introduce to Velvety would be NUMON. And that's how it all started! A big thanks to Nuria and Ramon (the ones behind the scenes) for making such an amazing product 100% vegan.

Shop all NUMON

 

4- Indecisive

Ethics: Ethically Handmade, Zero-waste, Organic, Vegan

Category: Clothing

Based in: Australia

About them: Australian made and sustainable! Indecisive could be our most luxurious yet modern and affordable brand at Velvety. Their transeasonal garments are simply pieces of art that will make you feel unique when wearing them! The best part is knowing that you're wearing upcycled garments, they consist of wasted textiles from the fashion industry that are usually discarded and considered trash, Indecisive rescue them in perfect condition and make their stunning collections. They also use organic materials such as bamboo to create relaxed modern pieces. Something really important for us (and you don't see it very often) is that all their pieces are made to order, this way Indecisve ensures that there are no wasted garments and this is  the best way to ensure a sustainable production, don't you think?

Shop all INDECISIVE

 

5- Thamon

Ethics: Ethically Handmade, Vegan, toxic free

Category: Accessories

Based in: London

About them: With Thamon I discovered that yes...there are more sustainable options to vegan leather and of course to real leather! What an amazing company, concept, and product! Great style and quality for people interested in making more sustainable choices and "wear leaves, not leather". Thamon creates their own leaf fibre from sustainably sourced tree leaves and the result is amazing, that's why we carry  their range at Velvety, with the goal of bring more and more of their products to Australia, this is the kind of vegan leather we want to offer to our ethical customers.

Shop all THAMON

 

6- Elpis

Ethics: Ehically Handmade, Vegan, toxic free

Category: Accessories

Based in: Thailand

About them: Another great brand that makes sustainable bags and wallets (among other things) from leaves! The result is urban bags and wallets made from natural raw materials that respect the environment and remind us that simplicity is the key to living in harmony and respecting life. We can guarantee you wont see these unique patterns anywhere else as each product has a unique natural pattern. The colours change every season reflecting the natural beauty of the leaves for that time of the year.

Shop all ELPIS

 

I believe nowadays, vegan and ethical fashion can be easy to find if you search for it, but  ethical, vegan and sustainable...can be a bit more tricky,  that's why when I started Velvety I strived to create a one stop shop where ethical consumers could ensure they were making the best decisions when it came to respecting animals, the planet, and people.

 

For further information about certifications visit:

https://www.fairwear.org/

http://www.fairtrade.com.au/

http://www.global-standard.org/

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/

 

 

 

FASHION

2 Sustainable & Ethical fashion brands that you need to know about.

INDECISIVE

Love being INDECISIVE? 

 You will now! 

Welcome to the new fashion brand gracing the Velvety collection. INDECISIVE. 

This sustainable, Australian clothing brand also makes in Australia! That's rare. 

The hand picked selection is carefully cultivated to suits VEGANS. Lorena being vegan herself, is dedicated to providing the best selection of Vegan fashion and lifestyle products. Making it so much easier to buy all Vegan, Ethical and Sustainable at Velvety. In our oversaturated globalised world it's so important to consider what you buy, from who and how. 

See the whole range of organic and upcycled fashion garments that Velvety carries: