My most recent favourite ethical purchases.

As consumers we hold so much power and our buying decisions matter. Simply put, demand drives offer and companies follow consumer choices. This is a basic market principle that we all understand but often forget when making our purchases.

At the end of the day, what we buy is what we believe in, what we choose to support and, ultimately, what we want to see more in the world of. Thus, it is important to be mindful not only about what and how much we buy but also why we buy it and from where. Rather than buying by impulse, we should be striving to make informed and conscious purchasing decisions. By investing into sustainable, eco-friendly and fair trade products we are collectively effecting change. We are also supporting companies whose work is focused on making our planet a better place for all living things. Throughout the past years, I have definitely become more aware of what I consume and of where I choose to spend my money. I take pleasure in doing my own research about cruelty free, socially and environmental conscious brands/products before making some of my purchases. This way I can make sure that they are aligned with my ethics and personal values.

In today’s post I would like to share with you my most recent favourite ethical purchases! This is not a sponsored post. As I have said before, I like to use this platform to share with you what brings me joy and that is what I am just about to do now. So let’s jump right into it! 🙂

  • Solid shampoo bar from Living Naturally

I have been wanting to buy a vegan soap bar for ages and I finally got around it! I went to London last month for my sis’ graduation, who is as passionate about environmental sustainability and plant-based food as I am. She took me to a vegan supermarket called Green Bay, located in Hammersmith. Despite its relatively small size, it had a wide selection of products, ranging from food to healthy and beauty items. I was very happy to see that they had shampoo bars from @livingnaturally. This is a sustainable and certified vegan brand that only uses plant-based, organic and ethically-sourced ingredients. It is also a family-run business, whose products are produced in the UK and free from parabens, palm oil and artificial additives or fragrances. Just the kind of company I am more than happy to support.

I bought the “coconuttey” shampoo bar, which contains natural ingredients like coconut milk, avocado and coconut oil. It came in a cute cotton bag, meaning that no plastic was used in its packaging whatsoever. I find that plastic is still a recurring problem when buying sustainable products. It upsets me because I think it sorts of defeats the purpose if you know what I mean. Anyway, as I have only used this shampoo bar twice so far, it is still quite early to share my feedback on it. I am planning to do a proper review in due time (once I have used it for a considerable period of time).

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(retail price:£5.99)
  • Insulated tumbler from Klean Kanteen

I have been on a quest to find that perfect eco-friendly travel cup that is leak proof and that actually keeps beverages warm. Two important criteria that my two previous travel cups were not able to meet. I also wanted a tumbler that was small enough to carry around but big enough to fill with a regular size cappuccino. So now that I have finally found it, I could not be happier! #win The one I bought is from Klean Kanteen and it  is made of stainless steel and BPA free. In fact, Klean Kanteen was actually the first company that publicly addressed the dangerous effects of BPA to human health. It is a family-run business and B-corporation*, based in California, that likes to give back to the community. The company is involved in various projects and initiatives related to public health, sustainability and environmental responsibility. In order to reduce single use waste they sponsor local events and festivals. They also partner with organisations that work to reduce plastic water pollution as well as to preserve water and land. All in all, a real great company that cares about the people and the planet.

*a title acquired when certain social and environmental standards are met.

 

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(retail price: 19.95€)
  • T-shirt from ARMEDANGLES:

Ever since I heard about the Rana plaza disaster and attended a Fair Fashion festival, I have become more ethically aware when it comes to clothing. As my concern about about where, how and who made my clothes increased over time, I started to read more and more about fair trade fashion. That is how I come across with ARMEDANGLES, a German fair trade and organic clothing brand.

This t-shirt is actually the very first piece of clothing from them that I own but, now that I value quantity over quantity, it will not surely be the last one.

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(retail price: 32.90€)

I bought this t-shirt a few weeks ago and I am so pleased about it. First of all, it is very reassuring to know that it was produced in a sustainable way that is neither harmful for the planet nor for the people. Secondly, it is made of 100% organic cotton, which makes it a super comfy tee to wear. Thirdly, I love the empowering sentences printed on it:

“We all play a part. We are game changers. We are an inner winner.Nothing to lose.”

While it is true that not every piece of clothing that I own has been ethically made, it is also true that I am now certainly more committed to not only buy less but buy well. This is because I want my clothes to last longer and I want my purchases to benefit the planet as well as the people sourcing/producing them.

Armedangels really strikes me as a business driven by the genuine desire to create positive change; not only when it comes to social but also when it comes to environmental sustainability. I was positively surprised by their packaging. Just have a look at it:

 

 The t-shirt came in a box made of grass paper that is grown in a sustainable way. If you are interested in reading more about the entire production process, please click here 

 

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I hope you liked to read about these products. Please let me know if you have heard about any of these brands before and/or if you own something from them. Also, I’d love to know about some of your most recent (or not) ethical purchases! 🙂

To wrap it up, the power of our choices as consumers makes us agents of change. Our choice of buying from sustainable and ethical companies tells others to stop treating clothes and animals like they are disposable, cut down on pollution and treat their workers right. As consumers we are in a privileged place to demand transparency from companies and together we can push towards a circular economy. Together we can reduce our environmental footprint and create real and long-lasting social sustainability. Plus, is it not so reassuring every time we buy an item that somehow contributes for the sustainable future of us all? Is it not beautiful to respect and value the planet that we have? ♥

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

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In love with my bamboo toothbrush from Humble Co.

I think that our beautiful world could only benefit if we were all a little bit more mindful about the things we buy and consume; especially those we use on a daily basis like our toothbrush. I have bought my very first bamboo toothbrush around one year ago, at Vegenement, which is a Vegan Festival that took place where I live ( Utrecht, The Netherlands). Since this same festival took place again this year, just about three weeks ago, and I went there… you can guess what happened. I bought myself another bamboo toothbrush! 🙂 I am very pleased for having swapped my regular plastic toothbrush for a sustainable bamboo one. Hence why I am here today: to share my reasons for this happy swap and perhaps to motivate those of you who don’t have a bamboo toothbrush, to buy one and give it a go.

So, what do I like the most about using a bamboo toothbrush?

  • Contrary to plastic, bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, an attribute that offers a long-lasting protection against harmful bacteria. This way, I do not need to worry about potential nasty bacteria growing in my toothbrush
  • By choosing to use a sustainably-grown bamboo toothbrush, I am lowering my impact on the planet and ensuring that it will not be yet another toothbrush lingering in a landfill ..or, even worse, in our oceans and beaches. If it ends up there, it might end up by being consumed by marine life, which subsequently causes them harm. Also, a bamboo toothbrush does not contribute to air pollution as it so happens when the ones made of hard plastic are burnt (they release a toxic and greenhouse gases)
  • Bamboo is a material that is totally biodegradable (and can even be composted) and sustainable. It is actually the fastest growing plant on earth (i.e self-regenerated, rapid growth rate, super adaptable and resilient). Also, due to its naturally-occurring antimicrobial agents, its cultivation does not require the use of fertilisers or artificial pesticides, making it toxin-free.

I love to support any businesses and brands that are aligned with my personal values and interests (sustainability being one of them). It makes me truly happy to come across with entrepreneurs and business owners who are trying to make this world a better place.

Despite not doubting that most manufacturers of bamboo toothbrushes are a passionate bunch striving for greater sustainability, I think that is important to choose well. I must say that I could not be happier and more satisfied for having bought this last bamboo toothbrush. It is from the Swedish brand The Humble Co. and after some research and digging, I was amazed to find that this is not only a brand that cares about environmental responsibility but also about social responsibility. Thus, if you are looking to buy a bamboo toothbrush that is from a sustainable, transparent and trustworthy brand, I’d totally recommend Humble and Co. Here are all the reasons why:

  • It is 100% recyclable! .. but how so?

– The handle it is made of sustainably-grown bamboo which is 100% biodegradable as I have mentioned above

– The bristles are made of nylon-6, which is a long-lasting hygienic synthetic material with a low carbon footprint and that degrades over time

              – The box in which the toothbrush comes is made from recycled materials and its wrapper is compostable and made from plants (seriously, how awesome is this?)

  • It is organic, vegan and cruelty free, which means that you can rest assured that the bristles are not made of pig hair
  • It is BPA free due to its bristles being made of Nylon-6, a material that is naturally free from this toxin
  • You can choose between soft and medium bristles, which are actually the only two “hardness” types recommended by dentists
  • I really like its design and the toothbrushes are available in 6 different colours
  • I really value what this company stands for. It is an environmentally conscious brand that not only is aware of the plastic problem and of oral health care not being uniformly accessible across the nation but that also works to tackle these issues.
  • Every purchase goes towards funding professional and healthcare projects that benefit children in need. With its profits, Humble Co. donates either physical products (e.g. oral care products) or monetary resources to those that need them the most. This just confirm the company’s genuine intention to make a positive impact. It makes me feel good to know that by buying a bamboo toothbrush from Humble Co., I am supporting a business that is actually making a change in the environment and in the lives of many children
  • The toothbrush is developed by dentists who have put significant time into testing and refining proccedures to meet our needs. Knowing that my eco-friendly toothbrush was designed and produced under the guidance and supervision of professional assures me that it is adequate for my oral health care needs.
  • It has an affordable price (3,95€)

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Switching to a bamboo toothbrush might seem like a seemingly important thing but I, firmly, believe that it is by taking these seemingly irrelevant “SMALL steps” that we can make a “BIG difference”.

 

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Do you also own a bamboo toothbrush? If not, has this post somewhat convinced you to buy one? 🙂

Brief disclaimer: I am not being paid to promote this product nor was I offered it for free. I am just sharing a product that I have purchased because it has the potential to help us save the planet and because I love it.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Creamy Shower Foam from “Bilou”

Heya there x

It is June and time for another review on one of my favourite body care products at the moment: the Fizzy Berry Gentle Cream Foam from Bilou (short for Bibi Loves You).

 

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One of my best friends kindly offered me this shower foam and …little did I know that I would fall in love immediately with it! I am truly satisfied with its creamy texture, easiness to apply, great scent and cute design (as you can see from the pictures above). You can find below in greater detail all the reasons why I like this product so much:

Things I love about it:

  • Its sweet but gentle raspberry scent that leaves my skin smelling wonderfully. If you are someone who, just like me, is quite selective when choosing a skin or body care product because you really care about fragrances, then this shower foam will not disappoint. Its sweet scent is pleasant and not sickly or too intense.
  • The fact that it is a 100% vegan, cruelty-free and chemical-free product. There is absolutely no animal torture involved and its ingredients are all natural with no parabens.
  • Due to great ingredients like aloe vera, almond and avocado oils, its texture is very creamy leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft.
  • You only need a small amount of the foam to benefit from its washing and cleaning properties. Contrary to other types of shower foams that I have used before, a little amount of this shower foam goes a long way, making it a long-lasting product.
  • Adorable-looking packaging that does not easily spill out like many shower gels
  • Its super affordable price: 3,95 euros (200ml).

What I consider as Cons:

  • Even though the aerosol can is 100% recyclable, I don’t think of it as an ecological packaging
  • The product is only available in a few number of European countries. Currently, you can find it in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia and the UK.

For those of you interested in the ingredients that this creamy formula has, here they are: Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Butane, Dipropylene Glycol, Propane, Parfum, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Sodium.

Whenever a product sparks my interest, I always like to do some research about the brand, its founders, range of products available, etc…Thus, I would also like to share with you a number of interesting facts about the brand “Bilou“:

  • It is a brand started by a German Youtuber and her boyfriend, who seem to be both very passionate about the bodycare range they have launched together
  • There is a total of eighteen scents of shower foams available and all of them are rather original and yummy! Can you imagine how tasty scents like “cotton candy” and “tasty doughnut” must be?
  • Bilou has also three other body care products available that I can’t wait to try! They are a gentle cream foam (i.e body lotion in foam form),  gentle hand foam (i.e. hand lotions in foam form) and “2 in 1” body spray
  • All products are manufactured by mid-sized family businesses that are located in Southern Germany, which shows that the company values quality and sustainability over profits. I love to support brands that have an inspiring philosophy behind and that truly add value and make a difference in the market of vegan beauty products.

FINAL VERDICT: Will I buy this shower foam again when it runs out?

De-fi-ni-te-ly yes because its pros far outweigh its cons. I will certainly be buying it again but perhaps I will try another scent because I am super curious about all the other available scents that sound super tasty. I also want to try the body and hand foams from this brand as I have never tried a body lotion that it is not in a cream form.

Were you already familiar with this brand? Have you tried any of the body care products from “Bilou”? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

 

Much love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

British rose hand cream from Body Shop

Heya there,

Today I am here to share my most recent skin care addiction: the British rose petal-soft hand cream from Body Shop.

My boyfriend kindly surprised me with this hand cream three weeks ago and I have been using it daily since then. I think he was pretty aware of the miserable state of my hands or perhaps just sick of hearing me complaining all the time about how my hands are dry and cracked ever since I moved to the Netherlands haha! Either way, offering me this hand cream was a really thoughtful gesture that I appreciated a lot. Plus, offering me this specific hand cream – from the “British Rose” Ultimate Collection – could not have been more appropriate given the fact that my boyfriend is British himself haha.

I know that the hand creams from Body Shop are super popular and probably most of you have or had one at some point but for some strange reason I had never had one from Body Shop myself. I have bought their body lotions, which I absolutely love, but never their hand creams. Anyway, that is about to change because I am loving this hand cream so far.  It is made with roses grown organically and hand-picked on a rose farm located in Herefordshire, England and it really smells like roses.

Things I love about this product:

  • Its pinky colour and long-lasting scent. It does not have an artificial scent like many hand creams have. Its strong fresh rose scent gives me all the Spring vibes!
  • Does the job perfectly: It leaves the skin moisturised and my hands feeling super soft.
  • It is quickly absorbed and does not leave your hands greasy
  • Perfect smooth texture: not too runny and not too thick
  • High quality affordable product (5,50€/ 30 ml)
  • Super handy size, making it perfect for on-the-go hydration. You can easily carry it wherever you go
  • There is no animal testing involved

For better results on really dry hands, and due to its quite light formula, I’d advise you to apply the cream thoroughly a few times a day. If you are not big on floral scents, you can always go for another scent. Bodyshop offers quite a wide range of fragranced hand moisturisers. Some of them are more mild than others so it is just a matter of you trying a few and see which one you like the most.

Have you tried this specific hand cream from Body Shop? If so, what do you think of it? Or do you use another hand cream from Body Shop? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

 

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Toothy tabs from Lush

When it comes to 100% natural and cruelty-free cosmetics products, Lush is definitely my favourite go-to brand! I admire what they do so much and I feel like the company deserves a blog post entirely dedicated to its amazing work against animal testing and across the areas of corporate social and environmental responsibility. ♥

Today I am here to share my review about their toothy tabs, which is nothing more than a solid toothpaste. Quite cool hey? I have been wanting to try them ever since I have first heard about them and, finally, I have now had the chance of trying!

The toothy tabs I have bought are the ones called “Limelight”, containing only fresh ingredients. These tablets are extremely simple to use and have a super lemony taste, which I love. You just need to chew one tablet and then use your wet toothbrush to brush your teeth as you would usually do.

 

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Things I love about the product (i.e. the Pros):

  • Its pleasant taste and freshness. Due to their lemon, lime and spearmints oils, these tabs leave you not only with a clean mouth/teeth but also with a nice and fresh breath
  • The toothy tabs come in a range of six different and interesting flavours (some stronger in taste than others). All of them are made from natural oral care ingredients, where there is no animal testing involved
  • The tablets come in a container that is made from recovered plastic from the oceans
  • As it is a dry toothpaste you can take it with you on the plane without any issues. It is also a super handy item to carry (no risk of leakage) and travel with
  • In terms of teeth abrasivity, also known as RDA (“Relative dentin abrasivity”), these tablets are situated on a low end of the scale. Their RDA test score is 64, which is considered as a low level of abrasivity. You can check it yourself here: Relative Dentin Abrasivity

The Cons:

  • Sadly,  the toothy tabs do not contain fluoride, which I consider quite important to prevent tooth decay
  • Additionally, they do not contain any ingredients that help with teeth sensitivity either
  • When compared to the average price of a regular toothpaste, these tabs end up by being relatively costly. The price of the various toothy tabs (in the Netherlands) ranges from 7,95€ to 9,95€. The limelight toothy tabs cost 7,95€ and I bought mine with 50% off. However, keep in mind that this kind of deals only happen occasionally
  • As each box contains 40 tablets, you can easily finish it within 2-3 weeksFINAL VERDICT: I think that this tasty, solid and 100% natural toothpaste is another great idea from Lush. If I would consider buying the toothy tabs again? Yes, definitely. However, I would most likely wait to buy this product when Lush offers 50% off on it again.

Let me know in the comments if you have you tried any of these toothy tabs and if not, would you be willing and curious to do so?

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

My most recent favourite cosmetics (cruelty free)

Today I want to tell you about two cosmetics products that I have bought recently and that I am truly in love with!

The windy and cold Dutch weather (to which I will never get used to haha) makes my skin super dry. Sick of feeling my skin so dry, I decided to go on this ceaseless quest for the perfect body scrub! (…) As I am a huge advocate of natural ingredients and of cruelty-free cosmetics brands, I was supper happy to find this sugar body scrub from & Other Stories!

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For a better exfoliation experience, I apply it before getting my skin wet and I massage it in a circular motion on up the body.

Things I love about this product/brand:

  • It has such a fresh and lovely scent that makes me daydream about summer days spent at the beach
  • Does the job perfectly: It leaves the skin super smooth and moisturized due to having Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil as one of its ingredients
  • High quality affordable product
  • Cruelty free brand – No tests on animals whatsoever
  • Sustainable brand – Once I finished my body scrub, I just need to return the empty containers to one of the stores and I will get one voucher with a “10% recycling treat as a thank you” Seriously, how awesome is this? We need more of these initiatives in the beauty and fashion industry! The environment highly appreciates.

 

My other favourite product is this anti fatigue  and refreshing eye stick from Bodyshop;

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I don’t really get dark eye circles but I do get that “eye puffiness” sometimes. This cutie came to my rescue and I am so happy to see that it works: it cools, moisturizes and revives the area around your eyes. It literally glides on gently and it does not drag the skin.

Things I love about this product/brand:

  • It is non-sticky and super super easy to apply
  • The effects of refreshing the appearance of eye tiredness are instantly visible after application
  • It moisturizes the skin due to being enriched with vitamin E (coming from its wheatgerm oil ingredient)
  • Cruelty free brand – no tests on animals whatsoever

 

Both these products have now become a staple in my life and I strongly recommend you give them a try!

After all, by buying cosmetics from cruelty free brands we are showing our support to these companies whilst sending the message that we, as customers, value and care about animal welfare. We are entitled to buy whatever we wish to and nobody should be demonized for their choices. However, at the end of the day we are all trying to be the best version of ourselves and to make a positive impact in this dear world of ours; gradually making more informed and conscious choices is just a step forward in that direction.🌹

 

Lots of love in your way,

Blissfully Grateful