Thought’s AW20 Inspiration

Thought’s mission is to ‘live more thoughtfully’. They are committed to offering more considered choices and exist to show that there are more sustainable ways to live, dress and be. Thought continue to be leaders in slow fashion by producing classic, timeless pieces that have been designed to last.

Their AW20 collection is made up of timeless pieces that are modern, high quality and seasonless. Thought want their collections to form the foundations of any person’s wardrobe in a beautiful, yet functional way.

For this collection, they have delved into the hidden corners of women’s history for inspiration and shaped their collection around women who celebrated nature and created a legacy that can be viewed and admired today.

Continue reading Thought’s AW20 Inspiration

Zaytoun Palestinian Recipes

Zaytoun was founded in 2004 to support the resilience and livelihoods of Palestinian farmers under occupation through fairly trading their olive oil. Zaytoun was initially funded by hundreds of customers who put up payment in advance of receiving their oil, through this they were able to establish themselves as a UK social enterprise.

Since its beginnings, Zaytoun has continued to evolve and develop and by receiving funding from Triodos Bank they now offer a wide range of Palestinian artisan foods and supported Palestinian farmers to pioneer the world’s first Fairtrade certified olive oil in 2009, sold through the UK market.

All of Zaytoun’s products can be used to make some delicious and nutritious plates of food. Take a look at some of Zaytoun’s recipes below:

Continue reading Zaytoun Palestinian Recipes

Zaytoun and its Producers

Zaytoun was founded in 2004 to support the resilience and livelihoods of Palestinian farmers under occupation through fairly trading their olive oil. Zaytoun was initially funded by hundreds of customers who put up payment in advance of receiving their oil, through this they were able to establish themselves as a UK social enterprise.

Since its beginnings, Zaytoun has continued to evolve and develop and by receiving funding from Triodos Bank they now offer a wide range of Palestinian artisan foods and supported Palestinian farmers to pioneer the world’s first Fairtrade certified olive oil in 2009, sold through the UK market.

Zaytoun also run two trips a year for customers to visit Palestine and learn more about life for a farming family there and bring producers to the UK once a year for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Read just some of the stories of their amazing producers here:

Continue reading Zaytoun and its Producers

What is a Certified B Corporation?

It is becoming more and more apparent that a lot of businesses, particularly large international corporations are not behaving in a way that benefits society. As corporations get bigger they get further and further away from the idea or inspiration that started them up, the focus is no longer on making the best of whatever it is they make, instead the focus becomes entirely on profit to reward shareholders. The drive for profits may encourage them to improve how they do things, improve what they sell to appeal to more people, but the easier route to profit is to make things cheaper, put pressure on suppliers, pressure on the environment, to cut corners, to cheapen ingredients etc. Sadly the majority of household brands take this approach and it is difficult for consumers to know if a company is really acting in a responsible manner and will often hide behind a lot of advertising, most consumers are totally unaware of unethical practices large companies engage in.

Most people would rather buy from a company that does things right, they may be happy to get a few pence off the cost of their products but not when they find out about how that saving was made. Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. B Corporations could help us get around this problem and help people make better choices. Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and non-profits alone so this is where better ran, more ethical and sustainable businesses come in.

The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence:
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
• That we must be the change we seek in the world.
• That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
• That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
• To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

The number of businesses choosing to become a Certified B Corporation is increasing and the certification is becoming more recognised by consumers who want to see businesses working for a better world at the same time as running a sustainable business. Some of our favourite brands on Natural Collection are Certified B Corporations, here are just a few;

Patagonia

Patagonia became a B Corp six years ago, but have been an ethical business from their inception. Patagonia are one of the leading outdoor clothing companies creating organic cotton clothing, sportswear and adventure gear whilst maintaining a sustainable and environmentally friendly business ethic. Their simple and inspirational Mission Statement is “Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Patagonia hold environmental and sustainable values, reflecting the ethos of those who run the company; a passionate crew of climbers and surfers who believe in minimalism, simplicity and style. Many of Patagonia’s clothing garments are made from organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Cafédirect

Cafédirect produce some of the most delicious coffee on the planet, and at the same time act as a responsible, sustainable business committed to Fairtrade. Cafédirect was the first UK coffee brand to be awarded this prestigious B corps certification. Cafédirect has always been pioneering. As well as being the first UK coffee company to be Fairtrade certified, Cafédirect always goes above and beyond to champion better ways of doing business. Unlike any other coffee company, Cafédirect invests 50% of its profits directly back into Producers Direct, a UK charity that works directly with growers around the world.

Badger Balm

Badger is a small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company nestled in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire. Badger uses pure organic ingredients, blends them up to make them creamy, dreamy and ready to soothe, heal, and pamper. Badgers’ products are never tested on animals and contain no chemicals, preservatives, synthetics or GMOs – leaving room only for the best ingredients. Badger work hard to maintain a healthy community-minded business with ethical and charitable social principles.

That is only the tip of the iceberg, we work with a number of B Corps including; Dr Bronner, Divine Chooclate, gNappies, Herbatint, Ella’s Kitchen, Elvis and Kresse
Delphis, Bees Wrap, Cheeky Panda, Tony’s Chocolonely, Preserve, Rebel Kitchen, Yogi Tea, Lilys Kitchen, Pukka Organic, Full Circle and we are adding more and more all the time!

Brand Story: Nkuku

Nkuku produce beautifully handmade home and lifestyle products. Every one of their products has a story to tell through the talented artisans that created them.

Nkuku was founded in 2003 by Ali and Alex Cooke. The brand was inspired after the pair set off on a year-long round the world trip. Through their travels, Ali and Alex were inspired and humbled by the talented craftspeople and their beautiful work. Upon returning from travelling they moved from their busy London home to rural Devon to start their next adventure.

Completely inspired and amazed by their travels, they then started to work with artisans from around the world. Ali and Alex were passionate about supporting and celebrating these artisan skills through bringing their products to a wider audience and sharing their talents with the world.

Continue reading Brand Story: Nkuku

Brand Story: Zao

Zao create premium certified organic, 100% natural, vegan, cruelty free, sustainable and refillable makeup.

Zao makeup is owned by Cosm’Eika France and was co-founded in 2012 by four friends, David Reccole, Phillipe Donnat, Yvan Rouvier and Salima Macozzi Reccole. All four friends love nature and are passionate and conscious of the impact of consumption on the environment.

This is where the idea of Zao came from. The brand was created to align with the strong values of its owners where there was a passion for creating the first rechargeable makeup brand. It was important that the products were 100% natural and because of this they were also certified organic by Ecocert.

Continue reading Brand Story: Zao

Brand Story: Olive Branch

Olive Branch is a Greek company that produce a range of products using classic Greek ingredients with a unique touch. Their olive oil is made on their family farm located in South East Crete. Not only that, they also make chunky olive tapenade, Greek mezze dips and a big range of marinated olives and antipasti.

Olive Branch was founded by Maria Koinaki. Born and raised in Crete, Maria’s family owned olive trees and as a child Maria would help with the annual olive harvest which involved hand picking fresh olives and helping her father take them to the local olive mill.

Growing up surrounded by olives, Maria decided to turn her father’s olive oil into a brand. She knew that everyone used olive oil out of the knowledge that it is good for you, but no one knows why; Maria wanted to change that.

Continue reading Brand Story: Olive Branch

Natural Home Cleaning Tips

Now more than ever we are aware of the importance of our cleanliness, both personal hygiene and around our home. Conventional household cleaners tend to use harsh and sometimes toxic chemicals that are abrasive and can irritate. However, there are much simpler natural cleaning alternatives you can use that are gentle yet effective.

We’ve put together a short list of tips and suggestions for cleaning your home naturally, which you can find below. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you try any, or if you have your own tips to share.

Continue reading Natural Home Cleaning Tips

How Mineral Sun Cream Protects your Skin

We all know that it’s important to get out in the sun as much as possible to get your recommended dose of Vitamin D and increase seratonin levels. It’s equally important to use sun protection every day to stop your skin absorbing harmful rays and to protect against burning whilst reducing the risk of skin disease or cancer.

You can protect your skin by covering up as much as possible while outside and seeking the shade. It’s also important to use sunscreen every day to limit the damage done by the sun. It’s a common myth that people with darker skin don’t need to use as much or any sun cream – this is absolutely not the case as sun cream is the only thing that can protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Mineral sun cream is a great way to protect your skin if you prefer products with fewer ingredients. Regular sun cream is made with ingredients that protect your skin by absorbing the suns rays, whereas mineral sun cream reflects them. Mineral sun creams are made with zinc oxide and titanium oxide, and offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays – which is something you definitely want from your sun protection.

Traditionally people didn’t like using mineral sun cream because it left white residue on their skin. This isn’t the case anymore, advances in technology have meant the mineral particles can be just as effective at a smaller size and are no longer visible.

If you want to give mineral sun cream a try, have a look at our ranges from natural beauty brand Green People, Alba Botanica, We Love the Planet and Shade for some zero waste options too.

Brand Story: Milly & Sissy

Milly & Sissy produce a range of unique powdered beauty products where you simply need to add water to activate them.

Milly & Sissy was founded by good friends Milly and Sissy who both have a passion for animals and the environment. Milly has had a career working in the health and beauty industry and has lived abroad in Asia and Europe. Sissy lives in the Midlands with her family and growing number of animals which includes sheep, guinea pigs, dogs, cats and horses. Combining their passion and talents they were able to create the Milly & Sissy brand. They are always looking for ways to improve our way of living that will have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. They believe that every single person can make a difference based on the small changes that we can make to our lifestyles.

Their aim is to try and reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Continue reading Brand Story: Milly & Sissy