Concrete Planters: The must have item for your plant babies this Spring/Summer 2019

Hello friends! I know what you might bet thinking, concrete planters aren’t a new concept or a brand new invention. Planting, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, is back in fashion in a big way with the rise of conscious and mindful consumerism. More and more people are looking to have plants in their homes because of their health and well-being benefits. As proven with Biophilic design, just having plants in your home can help improve the indoor air quality in your home and also improve your mood and mentality.

This is one of the many reasons why concrete planters have become the must have interior accessory to coven. No two planters are the same, even when created with the same mould. There are so many different colours, shapes, patterns, sizes and textures available when it comes to concrete planters, so I am not surprised that they have become to popular!

Below I have listed some of my favourite designer makers that create their own concrete planters with a twist. Once you see what they have lovingly crafted, you will be sure to want some of their concrete planters in your own home!

 

Molley Designs

Emma Molley is a designer-maker and concrete wizard. Her concrete accessories are so incredibly unique! Molley is experimental with her creations with shape, texture, colours and patterns which really sets her products apart from the mass produced homeware accessories you see online or on the high-street.

Succulent plant pots:

(Image credit: Molley Designs, Etsy)

These succulent planters are perfect for this who are not green thumbs and want real life plants but without the hassle of having to water them every day. How gorgeous does the organic, rough texture on the concrete look against the vibrant green leaves of the succulent plants? A great meeting of industrial style and nature.

Macrame concrete sphere plant holders:

(Image credit: Molley Designs, Etsy)

A clever twist (pardon the pun) on her spherical concrete tea light holders, changing them and adapting them into hanging macrame planters! I love the contract between he rough exterior and jagged edges of the concrete against the soft, colourful thread of the macrame. This would make a great focal point in a corner of your room above your reading nook, above your bed as a canopy, in your office space above the desk or displayed proudly for all to see in your window. Each individual macrame piece Molley has created is unique and these would look fantastic in a bohemian interior scheme as well!

The Summer Collection:

(Image credits: Molley Designs, Etsy)

These are probably my favourites from Molley Designs of all time! Colourful marbled effect concrete planters! It’s such a fun and vibrant take on the usually grey concrete plant pots. How gorgeous do these look? These are perfect for colour lovers that are looking to add something truly special to their home. What’s even more fantastic, is that all of Molley’s creations are multi-functional. If you feel these are too pretty to be used for plant-life, you could use them as candle holders or a jewellery dishes instead!

To check out more of what Molley Designs has to offer, just take a look at their Easy page here.

 

Concrete Candy

I have been a big fan of Concrete Candy’s products for a while now. Sarah, the founder of Concrete Candy, has a genius way of playing with colours and combining different materials to create truly one of a kind pieces.

(Image credits: Concrete Candy)

I love the contrast and also harmony of the concrete base and the colour tops. No two plant pots are the same, with the tops being made up of different materials such as resins or jesmonite. They come in many different colours, finishes and sizes, with some of the tops having an almost terrazzo effect to them. These planters go with any interior scheme and are one of the most instagram-able and stylish concrete products I have seen.

(Images Credits: Concrete Candy)

Concrete Candy also don’t do just plant pots. They have an array of different products available from coasters, wall clocks and incense holders to lollipop and pudding inspired sculptures, Candy Concrete’s accessories are works of art.

If you want to see what else Concrete Candy have available, simply just check out their website here.

 

Fruit Salad Studio

Fruit Salad Studio is an independent homewares and decor shop based in Brighton. They make some wonderful little plant pots that are perfect for your succulents and other plant children!

(Images Credits: Fruit Salad Studio, Etsy)

What I love about these plant pots is how organic the colours and textures look within the marble effect pattern of the concrete. All the colours work well together, especially the terracotta orange where it looks like rusty copper, which really adds to and fits in with the industrial, rustic feel of the plant pots. The dark grey and white pots look stunning when paired with a pink backdrop and would work well in both masculine and feminine schemes. These would make the perfect gift for loved ones or be the perfect accessory for your windowsill or desk, be it at work or at home!

You can see all of the different planters Fruit Salad Studio has for sale here.

 

Green Living Glasgow

I pretty much squealed with excitement when I saw these planters! How adorable are these Bulbasaur and Oddish concrete plant pots!?

(Images Credits: Green Living Glasgow, Etsy)

These pokemon planters are perfect for a little planting starter pot for little ones (or pokemon loving adults as well). Children now days are always watching tv at home or on their own iPads or gaming with friends online, and with consumers and younger generations becoming more environmentally conscious and aware, what better way to start teaching little ones on how to look after plants and to take care of plants (and also the planet) than these Grass Pokemon inspired plant pots? Any kid (cough-adult-cough) would love to have one of these in their room! I mean… I really want one for myself! Now if only someone could create a Gloom themed planter or even Ivysaur or Venusaur.

Not only do they sell plant pots, but you can also purchase little plant friends to go with them from their online store!

You can see their range of plants and planters here.

 

Crafty Little Cactus

If you are really a bit more worried about the carbon footprint in regards to delivering your concrete planter, then there is a designer-marker in London that creates Bulbasaur and Oddish planters.

(Images Credits: Crafty Little Cactus, Etsy)

Crafty Little Cactus have a variety of different concrete plant pots that are the perfect homeware accessory for a geeky friend or to fill your geeky needs! Not only do they have pokemon planters, but they also make concrete planters inspired by other franchises such as Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy.

(Images Credits: Crafty Little Cactus, Etsy)

How cool are these Star Wars themed planters and this Groot plant pot? These would be the perfect gift! Only difference I can see between the two Bulbasaurs is that Crafty Little Cactus looks to be a bit smaller in size, however you can still use it as a starter pot. How adorable would a larger succulent look on tieback of this little Bulba? Definitely thinking of getting one for myself!

(Images Credits: Crafty Little Cactus, Etsy)

Crafty Little Cactus also have different shapes and sizes of planters available for those that aren’t that in to comic books and sci-fi! Look at these adorable little geometric planters. These look ultra-modern and sleek, and I love that you can either have them sat on their own or stack them up to create your own work of living plant art! All of these items would make beautiful gifts, even the more tongue in cheek ones. Another pot that I would have to buy! It’s just too good to pass up. I can also see a few that I may have to buy my partner as well.

You can check out all of Crafty Little Cactus’ glorious geeky accessories here.

 

Maison Des Pauvres

Maison Des Pauvres is a Hampshire based company owns by two sisters that have a love and fascination with concrete. Their ethos is to find the beauty within the imperfections of the material and celebrate it and they are inspired by the Japanese view of Wabi Sabi. Each product is hand mixed, hand proud, painted and sealed to ensure that you get the highest quality product.

(Image credit: Maison Des Pauvres, Etsy)

Their products certainly are unique and beautiful with it’s imperfections. I love the contrast between the rough gold paint and the dyed concrete, where you can see the porous exterior showing through in the cracks of the paint. I also love that their concrete planters are solid with their colours, which sets them apart from other designers. I can really see these being styled within a gorgeous kitchen that has brass or gold accessories on the handles and lights, or on a coffee table amongst some gilded coasters or candle holders (which these talented ladies also sell in their shop). I’m especially obsessed with the concrete gold moon wall hanging plaque. May need to get my hands on one of those!

You can see the whole range from Maison Des Paupers on their etsy shop here.

 

DIY Concrete Planters

Want to try your hand at making your own concrete planters? It’s super easy to do and inexpensive to make. Below is how I made my own concrete planters when I was studying at Uni a few years ago:

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(Images Credit: My Own)

All you need is:

  • Concrete mix, which you can buy from any DIY shop
  • An old juice carton or ice cream tub
  • Scissors
  • A stirring stick
  • Water
  • A cup (preferably paper) as the hole in the plant pot (I used styrofoam cups back then, which I now know is a big no no, so please do use recyclable paper cups or a solid cup that you don’t mind reusing for concrete planter moulding)
  • A scalpel

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 19.48.03

(Images Credit: My Own)

Cut the carton in half or to which ever desired height you’d like your concrete planter to be. Really have a look at the carton and where about you want your plant to pop out from.

(Images Credit: My Own)

Once you have done that, mix up your concrete with water. What I did was I just kept adding a little bit of the dry mixture and water together until I was happy with the quantity and consistency. When you’ve reached a stage that you’re happy with how the concrete mixture is looking, tap the carton or tub on the table top or on the sides to let out any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped when you were mixing it all together. Then place the cup in to the centre and press down. Secure the cup with masking tape (again, silly young naive me used sellotape, which did the trick but is not very environmentally friendly) and let it dry for 24 hours. Once that is dry, you can cut away the card or tub using a scalpel.

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(Images Credit: My Own)

And ta-dah! You have your very own concrete planter! I love how mine turned out and I still use them today! I love how you never know how they are going to turn out and every plant pot is unique. For example, I used an left over plastic soup pot for the rounded one that came out really smooth and sleek, yet the orange juice carton’s exterior texture is all rough, rustic and organic.

 

I have a feeling that I may end up accumulating quite a few new concrete planters by the end of the month! What do you think? Are you loving the concrete planter trend? Would you want to try and make your own? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Danica x

Christmas Gift Guide: Beautiful and unique gifts from 3 Designer Makers you need to check out

I am a firm believer in buying gifts that are truly unique and the best way to get something for your loved one is a present that no one else is going to have. With all the adverts on tv, we can get enticed in to buying from large supermarket stores and retailers, but what about those with independent businesses?

It’s so important to support local and small businesses, because purchasing from them really does help, makes a difference and you just know that they have spent a huge amount of time and effort making their products to sell. You know it’s going to be high quality, handmade/designed and one of a kind! Not only will it make the designers happy, but it will also be a more thoughtful gift than buying something everyone else will have!

Below are some really cool online independent designers, makers and entrepreneurs that I think you should check out either for yourself or your loved ones this Christmas!

 

LP Style House

(Image credit: LP Style House)

LP Style House is an interior accessories brand that specialises in hand drawn and painted patterns that are digitally printed on to fabrics and made by hand in to cushions, wall hangings and key rings. Lee Puddicombe is the design genius behind LP Style House, who has a background in art and design. The patterns he designs are bold, fun, colourful, vibrant and just absolutely stunning! Which is a complete reflection on who he is and his personality. If you’re looking for something to brighten up your home for next year or to put a smile on your loved ones face, then LP Style House is a one stop must shop destination for all your interior needs! The inks used are water based and digital printing is less wasteful than hand printing, so Lee’s products are environmentally friendly as well!

 

Holly the Illustrator

(Image 1 & 4: Holly the Illustrator. Image 2 & 3: My own)

Holly the Illustrator is the design love child of Holly Walsh, who as you can guess is an illustrator. Holly’s work can be seen in a number of magazines where she’s done design work for front covers and full page spreads! There’s something really special and whimsical about Holly’s style of drawing that people are drawn to, and I’m sure that you will be the same! Over on her Etsy, she has tons of products to browse and fall in love with, for example: postcards with her illustrations on them in delicious pastel colours, an adorable naughty kitty christmas card and a 2019 calendar! Perfect as gifts this festive season. She also has some badges and little sleeping crescent moon accessories for sale. I have some myself and I can honestly say it is incredible, amazing quality and I love them!

 

Molley Designs

(Images: Molley Designs)

Molley Designs also specialises in interior accessories! However their designs and items are beautiful in a truly unique and different way. Designer maker Emma Molley is someone that loves to utilise her creativity through her hands and is fascinated with the materials she can use to create truly gorgeous pieces that anyone would be proud of displaying in their home! From planters and candle holders made from concrete to intricately laser cut wooden coasters, there is something for everyone over on Emma’s Etsy page! Her products are eco-friendly as well because the materials are sustainable!

 

Honestly, I think these guys designs and products are fantastic and will really make a statement this season!

 

What do you think? Should we be shopping more with local businesses? Do you buy from designer makers yourself? Who are your favourite designers to buy from?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Dx

 

 

 

Sustainable Saturday: DIY Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table

I love upcycling and creating new items or products out of existing materials or furniture. I have this thing for coffee tables, as it’s something that helps anchor a room, in fact i feel like a living area is not quite complete without one or even side tables!

front page(Image credit: My own styling shot in the style of Anthropologie)

I’ve made a few coffee tables from reclaimed wood or pallets before, and today I wanted to show you how to create the one in my styling shoot that I did in the style of Anthropologie that you can see in the image above.

What you’re going to need:

  1. Reclaimed pallet wood. You can either find a wood pallet from your local garden centre or see if there are in or outside of any skips, even at the back of supermarkets or industrial buildings/estates. I’ve often been lucky with asking some garden centres and them being happy to give me pallets as they end up being given more even when they don’t need them. For this project, I got my pallet wood from the Southampton Wood Recycling Centre for really cheap!
  2. A saw. Be it handheld/manual or with an electric saw. The latter is definitely easier but if you are strapped for cash and work space, a hand saw is the way to go!
  3. Sanding paper or an electric sander.
  4. A power drill. This is a must.
  5. Screws.
  6. Screw driver.
  7. Metal hairpin legs. I got mine from eBay, and they are recyclable because they are stainless steel and have not been coated or painted.
  8. Thinner pieces of wood for the underside.
  9. A tape measure.

The pictures in this post are from when I made the table, and they were only going to be used for my project as evidence of me making the table, so… Just be aware, they are not my best!

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First, I measured the pallet wood lengths using my tape measure to work out how many planks I would need for the surface of my table and how long they should be. I then marked using a pencil (you can use a pen if that makes it easier to see) to show where I needed to cut the wood. Using a tv stand and existing coffee table as my workbench, which is very unprofessionally but also very student-on-a-budget-like, I cut the pallet wood where I marked it to get the planks at the right size I needed. This takes a bit of elbow grease but is a great workout!

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I then sanded it all by hand and placed laid them out to get a feel for how the table top will look.

Next, I took the thinner planks of wood and laid them on top of the pallet planks to measure out how long they needed to be. I cut these to size as well and made sure that they would fit snuggly within the space left by the hairpin legs. I started placing some screws in the predrilled holes of the table legs in to the planks to start securing the ones on the edge in to place, ready for the smaller planks to be added on.

After that, yup that’s right! I hand sanded the smaller planks as well. I then took some nails and a hammer and attached them to the pallet planks. This helps support the table top and keeps tit all together and level.

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For extra support, I added in some wood blue between the tiny open spaces between the planks. This helps lock everything together and strengthen it some more. The glue dries clear, however if you want to make it even more inconspicuous, you could mix in some sawdust as well. Leave the glue to dry and…

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TA DAHHHHHH!

It’s all done! How great does that look!? Ok, admittedly this final reveal image is a bit yellow, I took it at night. However, it does look awesome in the styling shots like the first one in this post and in my blog post about the styling project based on Anthropologie which you can look at here.

This was such a great little project within a project, because it was inexpensive, did not cost a lot of money and only took a little bit of time and effort. I was so super proud of this and it worked really well for the styling shoot. I still own it now and I will most likely be keeping this table for a very long time. It currently lives as a display table for my indoor plants. I’ve left the wood bare for now, as I may want to paint it or add a stain to it in the future. I love how it looks at the moment, an eclectic mix of modern and rustic.

What do you think? Have you created anything you’re proud of and have kept for you home? I’d love to know and see what you have created!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Danica x

 

 

Sustainable Saturday: The Best Places to Shop for a Plastic Free and Zero Waste Lifestyle

Hello friends! Ever since the second season of Blue Planet aired, there have been some major changes being made in laws regarding the production and sales of single use plastics across the United Kingdom. Supermarkets and huge brands are having to look at other ways to keep their products fresh without these singles plastics, and all establishments that sell food or drink are starting to use paper straws instead of plastic ones.

It is amazing that this one programme has delivered such an important message, one that has shocked it’s viewers and has made all of us realise the impact we have on our planet! However there are still some companies that aren’t quite there yet, and whilst some of these bans and laws are still being put in to effect, these shops may take just as long or possibly longer to phase out their single use plastics for more renewable and sustainable packaging and products. This in turn makes it difficult for us at home to really start making a difference in our day to day lives.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 20.43.40(Image credit: My Own)

I will admit that as someone that really cares about the environment, I have been finding it hard to break the habit of buying plastic things when it’s so convenient and almost everything is wrapped or stored in plastic. But, I have started to make small changes that has kicked off my journey, and with a bit of effort everyone can do it, too! I started off by switching out my plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one I bought off of Amazon. I’ve started making it a habit to wash out any plastic produce containers, cartons of juice or tins/cans before placing them in the recycling. I have two separate bins in my own bedroom as well, one for usual waste like sweetie wrappers and another just for recyclables such as paper and card. Making small changes like that will help kickstart your journey on to becoming more environmentally conscious and friendly.

Below I have put together a list of online stores that promote and sell products for eco-friendly living. I’ve added quite a few so you can look at some that may be more local to you. This is a bit of a hefty post, you have been warned!

Bambaw

(Image credits: Bambaw)

Bamboo are a company from Belgium that are encouraging consumers to ditch plastic for renewable, sustainable and long-lasting products. You can find them on Amazon, where they have a range of different homeware and hygiene products, such as bamboo straws that come with a tiny brush for cleaning them, a stainless steel razor with a bamboo handle, reusable bamboo paper towels and bamboo fitted bed sheets. Bamboo is a renewable source and is one of the fastest growing woods in the world and it can be grown almost anywhere in the world, which make sit the perfect sustainable wood to use  for making fabrics, furniture, accessories, etc., you name it!

Zero Habits

(Image credits: Zero Habits)

This website is probably one of my favourites! I’m a sucker for natural and organic beauty products, which if you’ve read any of my older posts you’d already known from my obsession with LUSH, and Zero Habits delivery on all things health and beauty (except for make up). They sell bars of soap, shampoo bars, dental floss infused with activated charcoal, solid on a stick or in a jar toothpaste, bamboo and cotton buds, solid or cream deodorants, reusable make up wipes and cotton face clothes, there is so much to see, buy and try out! What’s also impressive about all these products is that the packaging is also environmentally friendly and recyclable. It’s either in a box made from card, in a cotton bag, in a glass jar or a tin container. These beauty items are also cruelty free, and are listed as vegan. Some of the products have beeswax in them and are listed as vegan, which means if you are vegan, it depends on your own definition of veganism and whether or not this means it’s vegan to you. Each to their own opinion.

(Image credit: Zero Habits)

As well as selling environmentally friendly, organic and cruelty free non-tested on animals beauty products, they also sell sustainable items for the home! Like Bambaw, they also sell their own bamboo straws, but they also stock a range of different kitchen utensils and items for food and drinks. They sell cooking spoons, baby spork and bowl, and tongs all made from bamboo, beeswax food wraps and stainless steel containers, canisters and cups. Zero Habits also supply organic and eco-friendly soap-nut shells that are apparently good for all allergen sufferers and kinder to your clothes. It also comes with a small muslin bag to put the shells in for when you need to do a load of washing. They also stock a natural stain remover the helps get rid of enough the toughest of stains like red wine from your clothes.

(Image credits: Zero Habits)

To even further promote and supply the perfect items for a zero waste lifestyle, Zero Habits supply objects and products for when you are on the go. This ranges from reusable bottles and resale bamboo coffee cups, to bamboo cutlery and cotton, netted grocery bags for when you buy loose produce from farmers markets or even at your local shop.

(Image credit: Zero Habits)

They also supply a range of starter kits for each category mentioned above! They all come neatly packaged in a box. To top it all off, they even have a vintage section on their site where they sell old vintage glasses and bottles, tumblrs and ceramic spice jars! Honestly, I think I’m in love!

Less Plastic

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 22.35.06(Image credit: Less Plastic Homepage)

With powerful messages and images straight away on their homepage, Less Plastic aims to encourage the British population to  refuse the use of single us plastic, only use useable items and reduce their part in plastic pollution. Less Plastic is a family run business based in Devon, UK, and started in 2015 as a response to the concerning amounts of ocean plastic that are washing up on beaches locally and across the UK.

“We offer inspiration, strategies, educational resources and in-person talks to enable individuals, businesses, schools and organisations of all sizes to use less plastic.” – Amanda & James Kettley, Directors of Less Plastic

Less Plastic provide a range of tips and tricks on how to live without plastic and also arrange beach clean ups in Devon in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage. This is something I find fantastic and really creates a community spirit amongst those that live locally to the beach. They also offer advice on how to start your own ocean clean up event.

(Image credits: Less Plastic)

They also have an online shop selling items that are ocean friendly for on the go meal times. This ranges from reusable cups, metal lunch boxes, stainless steel straws to reusable sealable food bags that aren’t made from plastic.

Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage is an environmental charity that aims to help protect the ocean and wildlife. The charity was founded after surfers complained about literally having to swim through sewage when they went out to catch some waves. Yes, literally. I know, it’s gross. This of course had a disastrous impact on the beaches and Surfers Against Sewage worked hard to clean up our waves here in the UK.

“The campaign grew loud, proud and strong and thanks to the passion and perseverance of our members — the UK now enjoys some of the cleanest beaches in Europe.” – Surfers Against Sewage

However, this wasn’t the only problem they’ve had to face when trying to keep the shores of the United Kingdom clean. Even with the sewage problems sorted, they still have plastic pollution to deal with as it is not only an eye-sore, but it’s killing marine wildlife, releasing harmful toxins in to the water and is getting in to our food chain.

(Image credit: Surfers Against Sewage)

They have an online shop where you can buy some pretty stylish clothing apparel with cool slogans across them, all about saving our waves and made from organic cotton! You don’t have to be a surfer to buy and wear these items. They also have clothing for children as well! I think I’m going to get myself some t-shirts!

(Image credits: Surfers Against Sewage)

They also sell accessories like these tote bags made from cotton or form recycle bouncy castles, how cool is that!? I love the bright colours! Or how about a comb made form recycled plastic or a sterling silver wave ring? These would make great gifts for people and the bags are good essentials for when you go out shopping.

(Image credits: Surfers Against Sewage)

And, of course, they sell products to promote zero waste living. I find the coconut scrubber made from coconut hair fascinating! Such an amazing idea! They sell products for on the go like the activated charcoal water bottle, or metal water bottles and bamboo fibre reusable coffee cups, as well as a camping mug and stainless steel straws. The money from sales go towards helping keep our waves, oceans and shores clean a tidy from pollution.

Anything But Plastic

(Image credits: Anything But Plastic)

Anything But Plastic is another eco friendly shop that sells products to help you lead a zero waste lifestyle. They sell some of the same brands and items as Zero Habits do, with some that are different such as mascara in a small glass tube, eyeliner in a tin and a shaving kit that comes with a shaving brush and soap. I like that they have some lovely styling images to show how these products can be used and how they work.

Ethical Superstore

(Image Credits: The Ethical Superstore)

The Ethical Superstore is exactly as it sounds! They literally sell everything and anything that supports fair trade and eco friendly living. They sell similar products to the stores mentioned above, but they also cater to almost every other aspect of life.

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

They sell organic and fair trade clothing for all genders and children and provide eco friendly laundry detergent to wash your clothes with! They also stock a load of different eco friendly cleaning brands. I personally love Ecover as I’ve used their detergent before, but I have heard good things about Method. Both brands are not tested on animals making them completely cruelty free and Ecover’s packaging and plastic bottles are biodegradable! Method’s are recyclable.

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

What about stuff for the home? The Ethical Superstore has that covered as well! From cooking appliances to furniture, dinnerware or bedding, they have it all! Some of the kitchen appliances are made from plastic, but this is due to the fact that you would be using it more than once. They have some gorgeous dinnerware sets that are hand made, which means no plate is the same and it adds interest and style. How about a rug made from recycle cotton? A pair of book ends shapes like a bicycle made form bicycle chains and a fruit bowl upcycled out of old keys? Recycled fabric storage baskets, fair trade and sustainable wood furniture, eco-friendly throws and cushions, and recycle glass vases and glasses? The list goes on!

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

It doesn’t stop there! They even have the outdoors as well as indoors covered where plants and the environment are concerned. Compostable leaf bags, hedgehog igloos and bug hotels, grown your own mushrooms, fruit and herb kits for being self sufficient, hanging baskets and planters, a planter upcycled out of an old tyre… It honestly feels endless. (Probably like how this post is feeling.)

You can find many of the cleaning supplies in most supermarkets across the UK, however some local shops and smaller convenience stores won’t stock them. This online store has basically done all the hard work for you and will save you time trying to find them on the shelf.

The Wise House

(Image credits: The Wise House)

The Wise House pride themselves on helping their customers make an easy transition to being eco-friendly at home. They offer a similar range of products to the others but also some with differences.

(Image credits: The Wise House)

All of their textiles are made from 100% cotton. They sell products for the home such as cushions as well as for the kitchen in the form of tea towels, aprons, fabric lunch box bags, tea pot cosies. One thing they have that is different from the rest is cotton bowl covers, which is perfect for any vegans looking to be eco-friendly in the home and don’t want to use beeswax food wraps. They do sell beeswax food wraps, but they also sell cotton sandwich bags and covers. They also sell a bamboo and cotton “None sponges” for the washing up. These cotton products all come with cute little pattern designs on them and the bowl covers come with some cool graphics and slogans. My favourite from this is the one with marine life on it that says “Be part of the solution, not the pollution.”, which really sends a message, doesn’t it? The pineapple one is quite funky, too!

(Image credits: The Wise House)

As well as homeware and food storage solution, they also sell products for health and beauty. Natural soap and deodorant, all cruelty free and vegetarian and vegan friendly.

 

Now of course using metal tins, boxes or containers would be preferable to using plastic ones, it should be noted that using your plastic bowls and lunch boxes is still eco friendly as they are food grade safe and will still have years of use left in them until they break or you are in fact done with them. Buying metal bentos is amazing but only if you have a real need for them. Metal is also a very important material and resource, even if it is renewable and recyclable. And if you have food that needs to be reheated in a microwave on your lunch break, a metal lunchbox is most definitely not a good idea for that purpose, so keeping your microwavable tupperware lunch boxes is still good, though if possible you could still take it in a metal bento and transfer it’s contents to a microwavable plate instead.

If you’ve made it this far, firstly, well done! Secondly, I hope this has helped you find places and ways to begin to become more efficient and conscious about what you use when going about your usual daily activities, and how you can start to lead a more sustainable lifestyle!

I certainly will be referring to these stores for my own day to day needs and I hope that you have been inspired to do the same!

For anymore eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan and vegetarian friendly gifts, clothing and products check out my post I wrote for christmas last year here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Danica xx

Surface Design Show 2018: My Top Picks

Last week I went to the Surface Design Show 2018 in London at the Business Design Centre. I like going to exhibits or trade shows to see what companies and manufacturers are creating in the interior and architecture worlds, to see what is in trend, to find out about new materials, inventions and technologies, colours, textures, and I also love to see how they display these wonderful surface designs and ideas!

IMG_E4326.jpgSurface Design Show inside the Business Design Centre, Islington, London
(My own image)

This was my second year going to the Surface Design Show, and I did find that it was a lot of the same companies that displayed last year, which is not a bad thing! It means it’s great for that business, that they are so popular that they can exhibit again and grow their customer base or catch up with any existing customers and clients in person.

There were also some that I didn’t recognise from last year, which was cool to see and refreshing. With all that in mind and without further delay, below are my favourite displays and exhibitors from Surface Design Week and why!

 

Innerspace

IMG_E4361Innerspace Stand
(My own image)

Innerspace is a family run and independent company from Cheshire that create interesting, innovative, textural and stunning hard surface materials to be used in interior spaces, be it offices, restaurants or hotels.

IMG_E4365Close up of wall panels
(My own image)

This display was by far my favourite, and I’m guessing you can already see why! I had a lovely chat with their managing director, Richard, who designed the display. We talked about the display and the work they do. The display was designed by Richard and inspired by the work of artist Charlie Edmiston, with it’s geometric shapes in the different finishes and materials the company makes, which makes it truly eye-catching from any level in the Business Design Centre and a perfect homage to Edmiston’s bright, juxtaposing paintings.

IMG_E4363IMG_E4364Tile sized samples of the different wall panels and wallpapers they produce
(My own images)

They had these little samples out of their panels that can be installed at any size the client desires, some with coloured wood, hay, moss and even dried flowers. I asked about the moss and flowers, and Richard explained to me about how they are preserved. They dry out the moss and flowers, but they preserve them with non toxic chemicals and keep them bright and colourful with food safe dyes (so essentially food colouring) which is just amazing! This way it is sustainable and eco friendly, and you know that you aren’t exposing yourself to harmful ingredients or toxins with these installed in your office, restaurant or home. I loved that this display was so interactive, where customers and clients can really feel, look at, pick up and mix and match the samples to get some ideas for their spaces. This is something that’s really important when exhibiting at a show like this and Innerspace definitely delivered!

IMG_E4359Playing around with samples
(My own image)

I couldn’t help myself and started playing around with their samples that were out on the table there and then, creating a scheme in my head and looking at how these different materials could work together. It made me seriously consider having a moss feature wall or even a small board for my room. They can make these panels in a tile format so that it’s easy to install and you can mix and match with the different materials they have to offer, to create a unique design on your wall, or they can even create rolls of the hay and wood surfaces for even easier application if you wanted a whole wall of it, which is also then better for the environment as it’s using less materials but will still have the same effect as having solid wood on the walls. Find out more about Innerspace on their website!

 

Finsa

IMG_E4340Finsa Stand
(My own image)

Another display that was eye catching! It was made entirely out of MDF! This MDF shown by Finsa is called Superpan, which has a chipboard core, allowing it to be able to carry a lot of weight, making this material perfect for kitchen cabinets, chairs, tables, counter tops, stairs and even floors and ceilings! Very impressive!

IMG_E4341.jpgTable top, plate and cutlery made out of laser cut MDF
(My own image)

Finsa had a table and kitchen set on display that was made out of the same material. The whole stand was designed as if it were someone’s home, which you could then interact with and explore through virtual reality! I’ve never done virtual reality before, not even in gaming, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was pretty genius! You could see what colours and finishes the MDF could be produced in. This material can be used in a variety of different interior spaces such as offices, residential, third spaces, used for doors, in vehicles and in retail design. They offer alternative finishes on top of the MDF boards such as melamine, laminates and veneers.

Find out more about Finsa here.

Petrus

Petrus Stand
(My own images)

These concrete tiles in Petrus’ display really caught my attention, especially in these colours! They’re so gorgeous and I love that you can see a bit of texture where the concrete dried with a few air bubbles in them.

Close up of concrete wall tiles
(My own images)

Another thing I found amazing about these tiles is how 3 dimensional they are. Petrus have a whole range of tiles that are different shapes, sizes, colours and designs. Some have lines carved in to them, some have raised geometric shapes that create shadows and pick up on lighting in interesting ways, creating dimension and variety. Find out more about Petrus here.

Tile of Spain

IMG_E4330Tile of Spain Stand
(My own images)

I automatically fell in love with this display. I went to Spain back in October 2017 for the first time ever and loved seeing all the different tile designs they had in the towns I visited, so this display really called out to me!

Different Spanish tiles on display at Tile of Spain
(My own images)

Tile of Spain had lots of different tile companies from Spain exhibiting within the space, full of a variety of different styles, shapes, colour combinations, textures, 3-dimensional elements and patterns to look at. The companies on display are listed below:

Cas Ceramica
Ceramica Elias
Cevica
Dune
El Barco
Equipe Ceramica
Harmony By Peronda
Roca
Zirconio
ZYX by Colorker

There were so many different tiles in the space that I couldn’t pick a favourite as they were all so stunning! Find out more about Tile of Spain here.

 

Pintark

IMG_E4373Set up inside Pintark Stand
(My own images)

The whole of Pintark’s display was covered with panels and boards of upholstered shapes in leather and other fabrics, mixed with metals and veneers. The detail in some of their designs was amazing, like the fan shaped leather covered tiles, each had their own colour combinations and quilted or embossed patterns on them which could create a really unique and visually contrasting wall.

Different displays of materials and surface displays by Pintark
(My own images)

It’s fantastic how they have taken these materials and thought of new or inventive ways to use them, such as combining metal, leather and wood to create a tessellating triangular and geometric wall-cover design, or creating a lighting panel with the same materials in a honeycomb pattern. I also love the large rose artwork they created out of small bits of rolled up mixed colour fabrics and split them up on to separate tiles, creating something that could be a stand alone art piece in anyone’s home. Find out more about Pintark here.

Treniq

IMG_4391Treniq Stand
(My own image)

Treniq is like the Facebook and pinterest of the Interior Design world. An international social network for professionals in the industry, where you can build relationships and make connections with other designers as well as find furniture and products to use in your projects. You can find out more about Treniq here.

Timber Terrazzo, Coffee Grounds Bowl & Mushroom Mycellium
(My own images)

Though I found that all really interesting, what fascinated me the most was the range of materials, surface designs and products they had on display that showcased new inventions and technologies in the product design industry, especially the products that were sustainable and made from recycled materials. A terrazzo made from left over bits of timber, a bowl made out of old ground coffee beans and a materials made out of mushrooms and plant fibres!? How cool is that!? I thought these were so clever and amazing! Click the images to enlarge and find out more about what these materials are made out of!

IMG_4387Faux tiles, planks and panels made from recycled or mixed materials
(My own image)

They had tons of things on display, such as magnetic putty, glass fibre concrete, recycled plastic that looks like wooden planks, eco-friendly panels made from combined newspaper, cardboard and office/forest waste products, there was so much to look at or fan girl over. Find out more about them in the pictures below!

Glass Fibre Concrete slab, Environmental Composite Panel, Recycled Plastic plank, fused and recycled Glass and Ceramic silicastone and Magnetic Putty.
(My own images)

There it is! My top picks from the Surface Design Show. Did you go to the show? If so, did you see any of these on display? What did you think? What were your favourite designs or displays this year? Comment below!

Have a great week everyone!

Danica x

 

Sustainable Saturday: Christmas presents

Let’s talk Christmas presents. I know this is a bit late in the game/month, but hopefully this will help if you want to be a bit more environmentally conscious this holiday. Every year we spend lots of money on gifts around this time for our family, friends and loved ones. Often these gifts are stored away, possibly forgotten or waiting to be used, or they are used straight away, once, a few times and then thrown out at the dump and end up in landfill, unable to biodegrade. This is not great news for our planet, that is already struggling with it’s high temperature rising seas, plastic contamination and greenhouse gases.

Why not try going green for christmas? You can decorate your home sustainably and make your own christmas decorations, find out more here. You can make more conscious decisions by shopping locally and organic at farmers markets, supermarkets, bakeries and butchers. And for the presents, below are a few gift ideas for your loved ones:

Bathtime

A gift that is always given every year is lotions, potions and smellies. Why not give your loved ones some packaging free bath time presents that are also made form natural ingredients?

Lush has a whole range of package free or “naked” cosmetic products, from shower gels, soaps, scrubs, moisturisers, shampoo and conditioner to face masks, bath bombs and oils.

Naked Shower Gels:

 

Naked moisturisers:

 

Soaps:

 

Bath bombs and oils:

 

For the children, mouldable, colourful soap:

 

(All Images: LUSH)

There are so many more products on their website and in store. Some of their products do come in containers, but that is ok. Why? Because they recycle them and reuse them once you’re done with the product. They have a 5 pot scheme for face masks where every 5 pots you return empty, you get a free fast mask of your choice, and those pots you’ve returned are reused for more masks or other lotions. What’s even better is that all of their ingredients are 100% natural and organic, and sourced from fair trade suppliers, they are cruelty free which means no animals were tested on at any time during the making of these products or after, the products are vegetarian and vegan friendly (though not all of their products are vegan) and majority of them are self-preserving, so they won’t get old and mouldy. Other great brands to shop with that are cruelty free are The Body Shop, Superdrug and M&S’ own brands, which are all leaping bunny registered/certified. All these brands also sell their own make up which are also cruelty free and some are organic/made from natural ingredients.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 20.43.40(Image: My Own)

What about the tools used for personal hygiene? Why not buy them a set of bamboo toothbrushes for Christmas. Toothbrushes are made of plastic and therefore non-recyclable and just end up in the waste line and pollute our oceans, harming saline that mistake it for food.

 

(Images: Anything But Plastic & Zero Habits)

You can find bamboo toothbrushes practically anywhere! I got mine from Amazon, but there are also websites that are dedicated to promoting a waste free lifestyle such as Anything But Plastic and Zero Habits that sell their own bamboo toothbrushes, amongst other things such as sponges, dental floss, deodorant and organic soaps which all come with no plastic!

Clothing and Accessories

What about clothes? This can be tricky because you may think faux leather is sustainable, but it isn’t. However if you or your recipient are against using real leather because you’re vegetarian, vegan or just don’t like the fact it comes from animals, then here are a couple of things that you can get for your loved ones:

 

(Images: Amazon)

Cork is a sustainable material. It is believed to be endangered, as it has been cultivated too soon before it is even ready to be harvested. However there are protected forests where farmers are using sustainable practices, ensuring that they are only harvesting the tree’s bark at the right time, and planting more in the process. These cork handbags and wallets are the perfect leather alternative, as the material is durable and naturally anti-bacterial. You can find these items online on Amazon, however Corkor have their own website with an amazing range and Frog Plop do make up bags, wallets and purses as well at a lower price.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 21.22.17(Image: Boots)

I think we can all agree that every year at christmas, this is a present that everyone seems to get, and that gift is socks. Boots are now selling socks and tights made out of bamboo! I know that sounds odd or like it might be rough to the touch, but believe me, I own a few pairs myself and they are the softest socks I have ever worn.

 

(Images: H&M Conscious Collection)

There are tons of eco-friendly, sustainable, organic clothing brands out there. H&M have their own clothing line made of recycled materials called Conscious and they encourage customers to recycle any of their own clothing to them so they can be repurposed in to something new.  People TreeMUD Jeans, Armedangles and Here Today Here Tomorrow are other great sustainable clothing brands that use natural and fair trade materials.

 

(Images: Pela Case)

How about an environmentally friendly phone case for Christmas from pela case? Pela case create phone cases from plant-based and recycled materials, and is combined with a starch based biopolymer, meaning that this phone case is strong, shock absorbent and, here’s the fantastic part, it’s 100% compostable, which means if it does break, it’s ok, you can add it to your compost pile or bin and it will biodegrade and become food for you plants and the earth. How brilliant and innovative is that!? GENIUS! I’ve got to get myself one. These phone cases come in all colours of the rainbow. The down side? They only stock iPhone cases at the moment, BUT you can preorder an android case for when they are released.

 

Toys

Now, what about the presents that are usually bought for children over Christmas? The toy industry is probably one the busiest this time of year and many toys now days that are found in shops or advertised on tv are made of plastic and are easily breakable. Why not try buying something that will last after your little one is done with it?

 

(Images: Eco-Tots, Natural Baby Shower, Mee Mee London, Conscious Craft, Eco-Tots)

Eco Tots, Natural Baby Shower and Mee Mee London all have great toys and clothing that are organic, made from natural or recycled materials and are eco-friendly. Conscious Craft has a range of natural and environmentally friendly art materials, crafts and activities that children can get creative with.

You could also make your children or friend’s children toys yourself. You could make a rag doll or teddy or dinosaur out of scrap fabrics! Cut out and sand down your own shapes from scrap pieces of wood!

For the Home and Lifestyle

Perhaps you want to buy something for a friend or family member that has just moved house, or know that there is something they need in their home that they haven’t quite gotten around to buying themselves?

 

(Images: Amara & H&M)

Maybe some dinnerware such as plates, bowls and cups? Bamboo is such a versatile wood that it can be made in to almost anything such as bowls and cups, as well as place mats or table runners. These bamboo kids dinner set from Ekobo are perfect for any friends or family with little ones. This recycled glass cake dome by Nkuku would make a lovely edition, especially with any christmas cakes or mince pies on display inside. H&M also have a whole range of recycled, organic and fair trade items for the home in their Conscious collection, which are also very stylish, like the tropical leaf-print duvet cover set. I’m seriously contemplating buying myself that duvet! Habitat have a range of bamboo or objects and furniture made from recycled material on their site that would make perfect additions to anyone’s home!

 

(Images: Mind The Cork)

How about these cork placemats, cork leather cushions, plant pots and japanese stab bound books from Mind The Cork? I think this may be my new favourite sustainable homeware shop! The cushion is gorgeous!

 

(Images: Zero Habits)

Zero Habits has a few things on their site for the home and for on the go, such as stainless steel lunch boxes, infuser and reusable metal bottles, bamboo sporks, steel containers and cotton produce bags to use when your are doing your weekly food shop.

 

(Images: Also Home)

Also Home is a shop that sells hand crafted and sustainably sourced homeware and lifestyle products, such as 100% cotton and linen cushions, bedding and tableware, mango wood and bamboo plates, bowls, hand cartable dinnerware, canvas tote bags for shopping and more!

You could also make your loved ones something for their home. Maybe a cushion from scrap fabric, a bag or pencil case? You could make them a sign or paint them a picture and frame it? Make a woven wallhanging or macrame hanging plant holder. I love handmade gifts! They are the most thoughtful because of the time and effort put in to them and they will hold more sentimental value.

 

I hope this post has helped you think of new ideas for gifts this Christmas! What product has stood out to you in this post? Would you like any of these products as Christmas presents? Let me know in the comments!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Danica x