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Mother's Day: An Ethical Gift Guide
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Mother's Day is just around the corner. Can you believe that it's already March? If you're still struggling for March 11th gift ideas that fit your ethical mantra, look no further. I've scoured Etsy - the internet's haven for handmade ethical and eco-friendly goods - for some perfect gift ideas that are thoughtful, high-quality, and easy on the environment. Check them out below and psst... all images have been borrowed from their respective sellers.

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A great way to ensure your gifts will be continually used and loved is to make them practical. We've all received presents that are pretty but useless and so they sit around unused for years on end until we finally feel able to throw them away with only a small pang of guilt endured.

Reusable washable cotton rounds like these from Leave No Traces are a great option because almost everyone's mum will use them occasionally. Not only are these cotton rounds well-presented in their own pretty wash bag, but they ensure that we aren't going through obscene amounts of throwaway cotton - a fibre with its own environmental baggage.

These are great for using with a natural makeup remover, like this Purity Facial Cleanser (in glass) from Ravenscourt Apothecary. This cleansing oil is made from 100% natural ingredients and can be customised in terms of which essential oils are used for the scent. Ravenscourt have been a favourite of mine for a while and I also love the look of this cute tea-themed perfume sampler set. These are also scented with nothing but essential oils and tea infusions.

Another practical yet thoughtful option comes in the form of this vintage wicker wine holder picked by Fetch and Sow. I've been browsing this Etsy store for a while as I love their funky vintage homeware picks. Buying secondhand is one of the most sustainable ways of shopping and something like this would be valued by any style-conscious wine lover.

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If you're not so confident with something so practical, you can never lose with a good candle. I have chosen this 100% soy coffee candle from Octo London as it's 100% vegan-friendly and it comes in a glass jar that can be easily cleaned out and reused after the candle has been burnt. Octo London have a varied range of these beautiful natural candles, again all scented with nothing but essential oils.

For the new mums, a beautiful hand-dyed and handmade muslin blanket, like this one from Cocoon and Butterfly makes the perfect gift. The blankets are made-to-order and are all dyed using plants. This lovely dusty pink colour comes from avocado stones. This blanket can be used for a variety of things such as a baby swaddle, a nursing cover, or a changing mat. 

If you're into giving cards, why not this one from UniqueCardsandArt made from recycled card and seeds. That's right - this card can be planted after it has been enjoyed. With a bit of love (and water) this card will break down and grow into wildflowers. Perfect for a mother who loves gardening.

Finally, I've chosen these recycled silver hoop earrings from Nude Ethics. I love the design and style of these earrings and I feel they're classic but also trendy enough to work for all kinds of mums. Recycled silver is great as it allows for some gorgeous high-quality jewellery while still being better for the environment.

Hopefully you've now got some fab gift ideas for Mother's Day that are both thoughtful and ethical. For more ideas you can check out Etsy's own Mother's Day edit. I'd love to hear any additional ideas you have in the comments below! 

This post contains affiliate links. 
Thank you in advance if you choose to use one!

Review: Inika All About Eyes Set
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As you may have already been able to tell, I've really been enjoying Inika at the moment. I recently reviewed their Certified Organic BB Cream and I've also been testing a whole host of their products. Today I'm going to be talking about their All About Eyes gift set that includes both their bestselling Long Lash mascara* and the brand new Liquid Eyeliner*. You also receive a rather snazzy gift bag that is perfect for carrying round your everyday essentials. I'm a bit of a seasoned pro when it comes to liquid eyeliner and so I'm very picky about performance. Having yet to find a natural liquid eyeliner that really ticks all the boxes, I was keen to give Inika's offering a whirl.

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I was intrigued by Inika's new liquid eyeliner mainly because of its packaging. Pre-natural/cruelty-free/vegan my liquid eyeliner of choice came in a very similar design. I found the long felt-tip nib extremely easy to use and I pretty much didn't stray until I learnt of the brand's dirty dealings in animal testing. Generally, I found the liner to be okay. In comparison to other natural liquid liners I have tried it goes on quite strongly upon first stroke. However, I did find - as shown above - that I had to keep dipping the nib back into the liquid as I found the product disappeared from the applicator super quickly. In addition to this, the nib is extremely hard and so product was easily moved around and almost even removed while you were trying to apply it. This also wasn't the most comfortable thing on my eye. Given the eyeliner's price, I would expect something a little more comfortable/easy to apply. Considering the fabulous quality of Inika's other products, I was a little disappointed by this. For now I have keeping to a non-natural (but still cruelty-free and vegan) alternative.

Fortunately, the mascara more than enough made up for the liner's poor performance. I've fallen pretty much head over heels for the Inika Long Lash mascara. The matte packaging looks super luxe, the brush is perfect for easy application, and the formula is super long-lasting. I don't wear mascara that often but when I do, I instantly reach for this. I can trust it to make me look more awake, and make my eyelashes look lovely, luscious, and long. Despite its focus being on lengthening, it's also really black and decently volumising. 

Overall, I think this is a good set if you are wanting to give either the mascara, liner (or both) a go. Unfortunately I cannot see whether or not it is still available but you can get the mascara or liner seperately from LoveLula. 

This post contains affiliate links. 
Thank you in advance if you choose to use one!

Introducing | Wearth London Ethical Department Store
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"We partner with British brands who fit our ethos of promoting sustainable and ethical shopping in the UK. Our aim is to create a bustling online community where people can find brands which align with their values, whilst creating a platform for small independent companies to grow."
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A big thank you to Wearth London for sponsoring this post. I recieved this product to review, but all opinions are my own.

Today I'm sharing something with you that I'm very excited about. Wearth London is a new ethical online department store offering beauty, home, and other categories of products that are all ethical, vegan, and sustainable. Wearth London champions independent brands and offers eco-conscious consumers access to these brands all in one place. Brands are chosen with ethics and sustainability in mind, with all options being vegan-friendly and zero-waste in direction. Their strict ethos of glass packaging, cruelty-free ingredients, and transparent production mean that you can easily shop and be sure that everything aligns with your own ethical priorities. 

After a browse of their website, I treated myself to these beautiful earrings from Smoke and Ash. Sarah of Smoke and Ash is an Essex-based jewellery-maker (yay local), and the majority of her pieces are made from recycled silver. In addition to this, her business cards are made from recycled t-shirts, she donates to the Marine Conservation Society, and each pieces comes with this wonderful reusable cotton bag for safe-keeping. The earrings are excellent quality and look so lovely when they catch the light. I have been wearing them non-stop since I recieved them. It sounds silly, but I also love that the hooks are flat rather than round... it's the little things. 

Shipping through Wearth London was quick and I was generally very happy with the buying process. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my eye on a few of their other offerings like these stacking rings also from Smoke and Ash; these soaps from Soap Daze; and this beautiful ceramic expresso cup from Nina+Co. 

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I decided to ask Edward of Wearth London a few questions so we could get to know them a little better...

Introduce us to Wearth London.
Wearth is a sustainable and ethical online department store selling products from a range of independent UK brands which make high-quality stylish products whilst taking the environment seriously and being ethically minded. We launched at the end of October with 20 brands and now we have over 30, from natural skincare to reclaimed furniture. What I think sets us apart is our transparency and our aim to keep our customers informed. For example, we try and keep the amount of plastic sold to an absolute minimum and you can see exactly what packaging has been used for the product itself and the delivery. We also have a range of visual tags (e.g. handmade, plastic-free, made in the UK) making it easier for people to quickly see the main values of each product. We have also created a new innovative way of shopping where you can the discover products which have these certain values by using our shop by values page.

What was the inspiration behind starting your own online department store?
The idea for Wearth came about around a year ago when we were both still students (Imogen is still finishing her degree at Manchester). We felt firstly that retailers could do more to reduce their impact on the environment and the more we learnt about how plastic was destroying eco-systems and killing animals the more we felt we needed to do something. At the same time, we also could see lots of exciting new brands coming out which genuinely cared about their impact but often it was difficult to find them without really searching hard on the internet or social media. This is where we decided that there was a need for an online department store which brought all of these brands together, making it easier for people to find brands which have aligned values with theirs, be it being zero waste or made in the UK.

How would you describe your ethical ethos?
Our ethical ethos in general is being exploitation-free. This means that we try and ensure that the products we sell do not exploit the planet, factory workers or animals. In each of our departments we have certain criteria to help adhere to this ethos. For example, for our natural beauty department we have carefully selected brands which make their products in small batches in the UK with all natural vegan-friendly ingredients and that they also use glass packaging. Likewise, our jewellery is all handmade by small independent jewellery designers who use recycled silver, reducing the demand for newly-mined silver which has a devastating impact on the environment.

Why is offering vegan products important to Wearth?
Having all of our products vegan-friendly is something which was very important to us right from the start. Imogen has been a vegan for over 2 years and she felt that it was difficult to find products which not only aligned with her aim to live more zero waste but also were vegan. I have been vegetarian for over a year now and we both wanted to create an online store where people could shop with confidence knowing no harm was caused to animals. As the animal agriculture is also one of the leading causes of devastation via pollution, climate change and deforestation, we also wanted to ensure we weren't supporting these industries in any way. 

If you see anything you like, you can 10% off your first order by signing up to the Wearth London newsletter!

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Conscious Changes
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Today I wanted to talk about a bit of a hot topic, and that's the idea of living slower and more consciously. I have touched on this before in my posts on easy zero waste changes and my 2017 good intentions. 2018 is going to be a big year: I shall my finishing my Masters degree and hopefully, by the autumn, my boyfriend and I will have moved in to a place of our own.

Some of my goals for 2017 included keeping up with my fitness, increasing my use of reusables, and buying less fast fashion. As much as I do thing there was a bit of a dip mid-year, at this point in 2018 and I am doing all these things. I now go to the gym for weight training 3-5 times a week, I use reusables 99.9% of the time (I even bought a safety razor), and I have rarely had to resort to fast fashion. I bought a few naughty things before my holiday in June after freaking out about finding clothes for the hot weather but, other than that a few recycled pieces from Monki/Weekday, all my purchases have been second-hand. A particular highlight are my amazing vegan Dr Marten boots that I purchased very lightly used from a seller on Depop (my new favourite app). I've also picked up a few really lovely pieces of workout wear from ethical and recycled brand Sundried via their Amazon shop. I've been super impressed with everything and I definitely plan on doing a post about a few more sustainable activewear brands.

I've been trying to pare down my belongings (and my environmental impact) this year in preparation for moving out around autumn-time. This seems like a never-ending process. My life still seems to create a lot of waste and so I feel like I am forever getting rid of bags of stuff but not actually getting anywhere in terms of de-cluttering my belongings. For now, I have another wardrobe purge planned for this month and then hopefully I can tackle one area of my life a month until I see some improvements. One area that I have managed to pare down is my beauty drawer and so you may be seeing less and less beauty posts in these parts. I have a few reviews to get out but after that, I plan on really only buying what I need and buying them as sustainably as possible. One makeup brand that is particularly intriguing me for this reason is Canadian brand Elate Cosmetics but unfortunately there is not currently an EU/UK stockist. They use sustainable bamboo packaging and many of their products (also vegan) are available as refills. If I'm honest, I've just got a bit sick of all the plastic in the green beauty space.

This was just a short update but hopefully soon you'll be seeing lots of lovely new content on KV. As ever, if you have any suggestions for content - especially in the fields of sustainability and minimalist-type stuff - please let me know either by email or via Twitter!

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