5 Sustainability Lessons from Bhutan

Bhutan, a relatively small country with a population of around 750,000 people, nestled deep in the Himalayans, between China and India, is now the only carbon negative country in the world. The 72% forest coverage and low production of CO2 has transformed Bhutan into a “carbon sink”, absorbing over 6 millions tons of carbon annually while only producing 1.5 million tons.

However, this is not accidental; Bhutan has a number of policies and national programs in place to protect the country’s environment, society, culture and traditions.


  1. High value, low impact tourism

Kingdom of Bhutan’s travel policy is “high value travel, low impact/ volume tourism” to keep its exclusivity and ensure travellers are getting an enriching experience there while avoiding mass tourism that might negatively impact the environment and society.

The country requires a visa ($40 per day), and tourists must pay the “Minimum Daily Package” that can only be arranged through an officially approved travel tour or agent. The package costs around $250 per day during high season, and $200 per day during low season and includes majority of things you would need such as accommodation, food, tour guide, camping and trekking equipment, as well as a $65 daily sustainable development fee. This model allows Bhutan to ensure there is a limited number of tourists in the country at a time.

2. Focus on population happiness rather than economic growth

Political decisions in Bhutan are mainly based on their Gross National Happiness growth index rather than Gross Domestic Product  growth index, placing more importance on wellbeing of the population and environment rather than economic growth at the expense of the environment.

3. Nature preservation

72% of the country is still forested and a ban is put in place to ensure forested areas will not drop lower than 60%. A ban has also been put on export logging and the government has started to provide rural farmers with free electricity to lessen their dependence on wood stoves for cooking.

Bhutan also set a Guinness World Record in 2015 by planting almost 50,000 trees in just 1 hour and in 2016 tens of thousands of people turned up to plant 108,000 trees to celebrate the birth of the prince (talk about a great birthday gift!).

5. Ambitious plans to continously improve

The country is determined to further minimise their environmental impact and has put ambitious plans in place for that. By 2030, Bhutan plans to reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, change all cars to electric cars, and have 100% organic food by 2020.

Watch this inspirational TED talk by Bhutan’s Primer Minister Tshering Tobgay about the country’s mission and commitment to the environment.

Why are vintage bags a good investment?

Shopping vintage is one of the best ways to find unique pieces that don’t break the bank or the planet. Vintage bags in particular have been increasingly regarded has great investment pieces with unique period pieces or classic luxury designer bags increasingly going up in value. An example of this is the classic Chanel flap bag, that has risen in value by more than 230% in the last 12 years as reported by FT.

Here is why going vintage for your next bag purchase is a good investment:

  1. You get more for your money

One of the more obvious reasons for shopping old rather than new, is that you can find some pretty good deals out there which means you get more for your money. Yes, it involves a lot more rummaging or research trying to find what you’re looking for, but that’s part of the fun.

2. Certain classic pieces can go up in value

For designer bags, the classic Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes, are always in high demand and the quantity available out there is limited which means they are likely to keep going in value. These are also pieces that have high quality of craftsmanship and generally people that do buy them, keep them in very good condition which makes it easier to resell. Certain unique period pieces, although harder to find, can also keep going in value.

vintage bags investment

Photo: collagevintage.com

3. You get something unique

One of the main reasons so many of us enjoy vintage shopping is the ability to find unique pieces. When most of today’s fashion on high street is mass produced, finding a unique piece is a true joy.

4. Vintage doesn’t necessarily mean poor condition

A lot of the bags you find in thrift or vintage shops are in pretty good condition although you should definitely be aware of any stains, scratches or faults before buying to make sure you’re happy with your purchase. If you’re worried about the “storage” smell, stains, or any faults there are quite a few professional cleaning and repair options out there that can help restore the bag.

5. It’s more sustainable

Buying second hand or vintage, even if you don’t always do it, is still more sustainable than always buying new. And with such a large array of choice out there it’s not hard to find something special that you’ll cherish forever.

Top 7 tips for eco – friendly Halloween costumes

A holiday loved by children and adults alike, Halloween is just a few days away and we couldn’t be more excited! Instead of buying each year a new costume that has potentially been made through questionable manufacturing practices and that you are less likely to reuse, here are our top tips on how to make your Halloween costume this year more eco-friendly as well as more affordable.

eco friendly halloween costumes

  1. Check your existing wardrobe

Previous costumes that can be easily re-updated with some accessories, or makeup is one of the easiest, most sustainable and cheapest ways to dress up for this Halloween. Alternatively, see what clothing pieces you have that when styled together with some creativity, can easily become a great and unique Halloween outfit.

2. Look through the recycle bin

Cardboards, papers, can be easily painted and cut to help accessorise an otherwise boring outfit.

3. Use existing makeup or borrow from friends

Instead of buying face paint see what colouring you can do using existing makeup. Alternatively, see if friends have leftover face paint. If you need to buy remember to buy organic face paint that’s kinder to your skin.

4. Costume swap with friends

Costume swapping with friends is another easy solution, great for reusing previous costumes, and let’s not mention- free!

eco friendly halloween

Gif: 20th Television

5. Check local thrift stores

Whether you’re just looking for accessories to add to your costume or a full look, local thrift stores can be great for finding great and affordable used fashion.

6. Focus on accessories or clothes you are likely to reuse

Fashion trends always come back in style. Pieces from the 90s, 80s, 70s, can be easily repurposed for today’s style.

7. Use natural materials for accessories

Flowers, leaves, cones can provide great accessories for your look. Admittedly they might work easier if you’re going as something nature- related.

Now time to get even more excited for Halloween!

halloween sustainable costumes

Nike’s Flyleather is here to change the trainers industry

In 2012 Nike introduced the Flyknit technology which allows them to produce light, strong and adaptive footwear with 60% less waste than the industry footwear manufacturing average. This technology has been used for the production of several of their trainers including running, training, basketball, football, tennis and golf.

As part of their Flyknit technology, the new Flyleather shoe has been introduced for the first time during Climate Week. As described by Nike, the Flyleather is a super material made with at least 50% recycled natural leather fiber and water power. During a typical leather manufacturing process, 30% of a cow’s hide is discarded, Nike uses the discarded leather scraps from the floor of tanneries and transforms them into fiber which then goes through a hydro and finishing process to fully complete.

Nike flyleather sneakerAccording to Nike, overall Flyknit uses 90% less water, 80% lower carbon footprint, 50% recycled fiber and is 5 times more durable, making it one of Nike’s more sustainable innovation ever and a game-changer for the trainers industry.

nike-flyleather stats

“The earth is the athlete’s biggest playground, so one of our greatest opportunities is to create breakthrough products while protecting our planet,” says Hannah Jones, Nike Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of the Innovation Accelerator.

Nike is kicking the Flyleather off with the Tennis Classic – now available on the Nike website and selected stores, followed by the Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Cortez and Jordan 1.

10 Simple Ways You Can Make Your Travels More Sustainable

Travel is such an enriching experience for most of us and it has never been easier for people to travel and discover destinations around the world. However with such an increase in tourism it’s more important than ever that we pay attention to sustainable tourism and making our travels more eco-friendly. Here are 10 simple tips:

sustainable travel tips

  1. Research local sustainable issues

Different destinations deal with different environmental issues. Research beforehand what are the key ones to help you be extra aware of them during your travels as well as seeing if there is any small thing you can do to help.

  1. Eat locally grown produce

Small owned restaurants that focus on locally grown produce in season are not only great for supporting local businesses but are also a great way to experience the culture and taste delicious food.

  1. Buy locally made souvenirs from local crafters

Avoid the mass marketed knick-knacks that are mostly imported from abroad and rarely actually come in use for anyone. Instead, if you want to bring something back for friends or family, focus on local crafts that help tell a story.

Never buy wildlife products as this will only just help boost this black market.

  1. Focus on sustainable transport where possible

Where possible, try to rent a bike, walk or take public transport rather than renting a car or taxis.

  1. Book sustainable accommodation

There is an increase number of stylish and affordable eco-friendly hotels and hostels around the world, as well as apartment or room rental websites which makes it so much easier to live sustainably while abroad.

  1. Don’t leave towels on the floor

If staying in a hotel, remember to hang the towels after shower as that’s the universal sign that you would like to reuse them rather than have them washed daily.

  1. Bring a refillable water bottle and skip straws

When travelling you might be tempted to buy plastic bottles of water, bring a refillable water bottle and skip straws offered in restaurant or bars.

  1. Avoid taking paper tourist info

Instead of taking too many paper maps, brochures or other tourist info pamphlets, download apps on your phone with all the necessary info such as offline maps.

  1. If shopping, bring your own reusable bag or backpack

Bring a reusable bag or backpack when shopping to avoid having to take plastic bags from sellers. Any trash you might accumulate while out, hold onto it till you find somewhere to recycle.

  1. Research your tour operators

If you are hiring any tour operators, make sure their practices are environmentally friendly and they help make a positive difference to the people, the wildlife and the environment.


Burt’s Bees has Launched an All-Natural Beauty Line

Burt’s Bees, famous for their beeswax based lip balms has now launched a full beauty line made from natural ingredients. The launch is accompanied by the “I am not Synthetic” campaign aimed at promoting the notion that natural beauty is best achieved through effective, natural products rather than synthetic ones, and women have the power to choose the best for their skin.burts bees beauty lineThe makeup line will include lipsticks, foundations, blushes, mascara, liner and shadows, and items will range at an affordable price point between $9 to $17, and none of them contain parabens or petroleum. According to Burt’s Bees website most of the natural ingredients come from red raspberry oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax, bamboo oil, and meadowfoam see oil.

The website also contains makeup looks, swatches, an online shop and more information on the products: http://www.burtsbees.com/shop/makeup/


See the campaign video below:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBPI9pWNuDI&w=560&h=315]

10 Eco- Friendly Ways to Detox & Relax at Home

Sometimes work can get pretty crazy busy and when that happens we tend to forget to spend some time on ourselves but if we don’t, we risk to burn out. Here are 10 ways you can detox and relax at home.

eco friendly way to detox and relax

  1. Meditation

Put some comfortable clothes, light some incense sticks or your favourite scented candle and spend a few minutes when you get home after work to try to meditate and relieve yourself from the stress of the day before doing anything else.

  1. Stretch

Stretching after a long day at work can make your body feel “alive” again especially after spending the whole day at a desk staring at a computer screen. Try some yoga, stretching, dancing or just having a walk outside.

  1. Read something inspiring

Avoid opening your computer or starting to check your email again as soon as you get home from work and instead pick a book that inspires you and that can help take your mind off work-related things.

  1. Turn off your phone

A hard one to do, but try to turn off your phone as much as you can, as often as possible, when you’re at home to avoid the temptation of checking messages, emails, or even social media updates.

  1. Beauty pamper

A mini home spa such as a nice face mask, foot spa, accompanied by a glass of wine can do wonders to relieve stress.

  1. Avoid processed or (bad) fatty foods

Although having “junk food” might seem like a great idea when you’ve had a bad day, it will only make your body feel worse soon after. Instead focus on healthy meals that you enjoy. Fruits, fresh veggies, dark chocolate, grains are full of nutrients that give you more energy and help fight depression.

  1. Creative offline hobbies

Another great way to avoid connecting again to the internet is finding an offline hobby you enjoy. This could be anything from painting, gardening, crafting or just doing a puzzle.

  1. Put some clean bedding & PJs

There’s something about fresh and clean smelling bedding that instantly gives you that cosy feeling and helps you have a better night sleep.

9. Keep your place smelling fresh

Certain odours can change your mood. Open the windows to get in some fresh air and have some beautiful smelling flowers and plants around the house.

Similarly, you can try some aromatherapy by dripping some essential oils in your palms such as lavender or tea tree and then taking a deep breath.

10. Have a friend over

If you’ve had a particular hard day at work, there’s nothing better than having your best friend over to have a relaxing evening together, talk it over, and play some board games. We all can feel so much better after getting off our chest what bothers us.

Top 5 Ways Instagram is Influencing Green- Living

how is instagram influencing green living

Sustainability, conscious living, green tech, have become some of the most discussed topics in recent years and Instagram is now one of the platforms where a lot of these conversations are happening. The social media channel has a large, global active user base (800 million monthly active users), and is a key channel for businesses to promote their products.

Here are the top 5 ways Instagram is influencing consumer decisions related to green living:

  1. It’s an easy to understand educational and inspirational source

Some things on Instagram can be a bit unrealistic however a lot of them are also feasible or within reach. The platform can be a great source for healthy recipes, sustainable home décor, sustainable fashion style, green beauty reviews, and many more. And with a high number of eco specific influencers that provide great sustainable tips and ideas in a more personal and easy to understand way, it makes it much easier for everyone to start making steps towards a greener way of life.

  1. It allows small businesses to showcase their eco-friendly products

Instagram makes it much easier for smaller businesses to reach consumers and showcase their eco-friendly products by building a loyal community around their brand that also acts as their ambassadors. This can be much more difficult to do on search engines or other social media platforms if you’re a small business with limited marketing budget.

  1. It also helps bigger brands tell their story

Bigger brands and companies are also able to connect to conscious consumers and tell the story of the steps they are taking towards sustainability as well as allowing people to ask questions around their practices and impact on the environment.

  1. Widens the reach of green innovation & trends

There is a lot of exciting innovation happening in a range of industries and the social channel makes it easier to discover the latest advancements in green tech, sustainable fashion, green construction, and much more. This helps to keep the momentum and get more and more people excited about a green way of life.

  1. Fits the current always-connected consumer

All of the above of course wouldn’t be possible if Instagram didn’t have the huge, engaged community it currently has. This type of content consumption fits with the current consumer that is constantly online, and wants easy and fast to digest information on the go.

Top 7 London Vegetarian & Vegan Food Markets

london vegetarian and vegan markets

  1. Broadway Vegan Market

The new Vegan Market is a weekly vegan market open every Saturday from 10 -4pm in London Fields. It includes 30+ vegan food and drinks stalls from a wide range of cuisines so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Website here.

2. Hackney Downs Vegan Market

Previously held monthly, this much loved vegan market is now a weekly thing! Find them at Hackney Downs Studios every Saturday and browse the array of vegan food stalls, art and more.

More info here.

3. Vegan Nights London

An evening market located on Brick Lane at Old Truman Brewery this is a perfect after-work foodie affair. Next event is on 28th November and the entry is free but get there early as there is limited capacity and last event was so popular some didn’t get to enter.

Check their Facebook page to keep track of line-up of traders and for next event https://www.facebook.com/vegannightsldn/

4. Brixton Vegan Market

Although a one-off event at the moment, head to Brixton Market on Sunday 29th October for its first all Vegan Market from 9am to 3:30pm. The market promises to bring a range of food stalls from international street food to sweet vegan treats.

Line-up to be announced but expect so keep an eye on the event page here.

5. VegFest UK

VegfestUK are the organisers of some of Europe’s vegan events with 15 years experience so expect the ultimate vegan festival. The event will take place on October 21st & 22nd at Kensington Olympia and will include over 250 stalls as well as talks, workshops and cookery demos.

More about the event and ticket information here.

6. Greenwhich Market (not purely veggie but with good veggie options)

Although not purely a vegetarian or vegan market, Greenwhich Market offers a good variety of veggie food options from vegan burgers to vegan cakes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables stalls. Open daily but check out the stalls rotation on the website.

7. Kerb Camden Market (not purely veggie but with good veggie options)

A newly refurbished market at Camden Market, this daily 34-trader strong food market is perfect for having a short break from exploring Camden to grab a bite to eat. Vegan and veggie options available, check out their website for more info:


Why Gucci’s Fur Ban is a Game-Changer

Gucci’s President and CEO Marco Bizzarri announced this week that all future collections starting from next year will be fur-free as well as pledging to auction all past manufactured fur garments and donate the profits to benefit animal-rights charities.

Bizzari said the move represents “our absolute commitment to making sustainability an intrinsic part of our business” and credits the ability to make this move possible to Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele who was appointed in 2015.

The news comes after fellow Italian brand Armani announced last year to stop using fur in its collection and Gucci will now join 40 other organisations that make up the Fur Free Alliance aimed at putting an end to the animal cruelty in the fashion industry.

This is seen as a game-changer for the fashion industry as Gucci, part of the Kering group that also houses Stella McCartney, is one of the most known luxury brands with stores all over the world. The brand was ranked by Forbes as number 47 World’s Most Valuable Brand and as reported by Kering, Gucci saw a remarkable growth in the first quarter of 2017 with 51.4% increase in sales and 11% shares jump.

Unfortunately the number of luxury fashion houses that are fur-free is still quite low so hopefully as a brand with such high consumer awareness and customer base, this will make a great positive impact in terms of encouraging more consumers to see fur as outdated and cruel, as well as serving as an example to other big luxury fashion houses to join the movement and produce fur-free innovative designs.