Tuesday, 16 July 2013
I'm a big fan of novelty jewellery, so when I spotted Just Trade's tweet about a carrot brooch I simply had to investigate. On their website I found lots of other fruity/vegetable-y delights, including a watermelon and a radish, all of which would just belong on the lapel of my velvet jacket.
The brooches are made by the Zoe Project, one of several producers that Just Trade work with. The Zoe Project is based in two shanty towns in Peru, where 23 ladies combine their crochet skills with 'contemporary design training' to produce this unusual collection of jewellery.
As well as providing a more reliable source of income, bringing the ability to pay for medical care, homes and education, the project has allowed many of the women to work from home, giving them an opportunity to spend more time with their families.
The brooches retail at £9.50 each. To browse the collection, click here.
P.S. There are also animal and flower brooches!
Sunday, 14 July 2013
My quest for ethical shops in Paris recently took me to the 14th arrondissement, to visit the super trendy 9km shop on rue des Plantes. The shop caters for both men and women, featuring a range of ethical, minimalist clothing with an urban feel.
Brands included Stanley Stella (my favourite item being a rather cool 'Gone Fishing' t-shirt), organic t-shirts and underwear from Kolam Collection, and, to my delight, jeans and chinos from Monkee Genes. I was also happy to find a selection of organic canvas shoes in the store, from the brand Natural World.
The shop was quite small but great for wardrobe staples (including hoodies), and cool printed t-shirts. I visited during the bi-annual French 'soldes', but they do a rather cool offer which is kind of like a restaurant set menu: 1 pair of trousers, 1 plain t-shirt, and 1 pair of shoes for €100 - a really amazing offer for an all-organic outfit!
2, rue des Plantes
Like 9km on Facebook
And if you're in the area, check out rue des Thermopyles, an incredibly beautiful little road that feels more like rural France than the heart of Paris - don't forget your camera!
Sunday, 7 July 2013
As someone who is shortsighted, I have always found sunglasses shopping really difficult and expensive. Each summer for the last 3 years I've launched myself enthusiastically into a search for the perfect retro frames, but the cost was a deal-breaker once actual prescription lenses and subsequent lens-thinning are added on (let's face it, there's not enough sun in England to make it worth paying loads).
The quest continued earlier this summer, given that Paris is a little sunnier! I spotted Jimmy Fairly on the ethical section of Nettement Chic, and soon found several frames on the site that fitted my retro requirements. After a bit of investigation, I realised that the lenses are FREE if you're prepared to leave them un-thinned and without anti-reflection coating (although seek some professional advice if you're using them for driving). How can they afford this? By designing and making their own glasses, they can cut out the middle man. Hooray!
Jimmy Fairly operate in a similar way to Toms: for every pair of glasses bought, they give away a pair to someone in need, through their partner institutions Voir la Vie, Peuples d'Himalaya and Emmaüs.
After bit of umming and ahhing over whether they would suit me (the problem with not actually being able to see how you look without your own glasses on), I decided to purchase the Monroe frames - €95, all included! And when I realised that the graded tint didn't work for me, they exchanged the lenses for plain ones, also for free. I was really impressed with their service, especially given that I was a particularly annoying, indecisive customer.
So without further ado, here are my new sunnies. Oh... and freshly cut new hair. Hehe.
I tried to take a close up to give an idea of the quality, although it's not very clear. But I'm very impressed with the overall construction of the glasses and would recommend them!
If you're unable to visit the shop, they have a free returns policy to put you at ease when choosing some frames.
What do you think of them? Do you have trouble finding good prescription sunglasses?
P.S. This post is not sponsored in any way - I just love the sunglasses!
Monday, 1 July 2013
Could there be anything more perfect than these printed high-tops from ethical shoe brand, Veja? The print is actually an aerial photograph of the Amazon rainforest, taken by Stanford scientist Greg Asner, and the whole effect is wonderfully 90s. And 'Wonderfully 90s' are not two words I ever thought I'd put together.
Anyone who has had the (dis)pleasure of being in the same room as me for the last few months will testify that I have been trying to decide whether or not to buy them approximately 24/7 for a ridiculous amount of time (if they weren't so expensive, they would have been on my feet a long time ago!).
The cream-coloured versions are now sold out on the Veja website, but they have just got some blue versions back in stock. And a little bird (i.e. the web page I open every day) tells me that they are on sale on Asos. Sadly, not in my size, but at least that makes it easier to decide.
P.S. For a little summary of what makes Veja ethical, see my previous post here.