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

 

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

 

Himalayan salt lamp and its benefits

Heya,

I finally bought myself a Himalayan salt lamp and I am pretty stoked about it as I have wanted to have one for ages. I got super curious since the very first time I heard about them.

I read a lot about the health properties of Himalayan salt lamps and their connection to ions before buying mine and I though I would share with you my findings.

First of all, it is important to understand what are ions and how they affect us.

Ions consist of molecules (i.e. groups of atoms) that have either gained or lost an electrical charge. When atoms/molecules have more positive electrons than negative, they carry a positive charge, being denominated as “positive ions”. Similarly, when they have more negative electrons than positive, they carry a negative charge and are therefore “negative ions”.

Ions are present in the air we inhale daily. Whilst negative ions can be mostly found outdoors (as Nature is their main source), positive ions can be found indoors. This is because Nature is the main source of negative ions and the electronics we possess at our house and work are the source generating positive ions.

Scientists claim that positive ions lower its delivery and sap our body of energy, which may lead to headaches, drousiness, infections, depressing mood, anxiety and breathing difficulties. On a more felicitous note, negatively charged ions are known to affect us positively because they facilitate the absorption of oxygen. They have the power of elevating our mood by increasing our levels of serotonin and of stabilising our blood pressure; boosting our immunity; increasing our body’s alkalinity;strengthening our bones and even of speeding up physical recovery. Sounds pretty amazing, does not it? This is because when negatively charged ions reach our bloodstream, they generate biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin. This subsequently improves our mood and energy levels and balances our mental health, alleviating feelings of depression, lethargy and stress.

The fact that negative ions are created in the Nature might explain why we can feel so renewed, energised and refreshed yet calm when we go on a hike in the mountains or just spend some time waterfalls or at the beach.

Now that I have shortly explained what ions are and how they can affect us, it is time to introduce the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps and show their link to negative ions.

I have gathered in the list below the benefits that are, from my standpoint, the most important:

Cleanse and purify the air. Salt lamps have the amazing power of hygroscopy, which basically consists of the process of attracting and absorbing water molecules that are present in the air into the salt crystal. Because the salt lamp warms up due to the heat generated by the light bulb inside, the water evaporates back into the surrounding environment and the particles of dust, pollen and other bad contaminants remain trapped and “stuck” to the salt.

Reduce allergies and breathing problems. Due to their cleansing property (already mentioned above), it has been commonly reported that Himalayan salt lamps reduce allergies and improve breathing problems like Asthma. The results are said to be felt within just 1-2 weeks.

Neutralise electromagnetic radiation. We are constantly exposed to electromagnetic radiation (EM) flowing from the electronics we have at both our house and workplace. These electronics produce positive ions which affect negatively our mental and physical health. Constant or long-term exposure to EM is widely known to have harmful effects to human health. Increased stress levels, chronic fatigue, insomnia and immune dysfunction are just some of its potential dangers to us. As Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions, they assume a crucial role in neutralising this radiation.

Promote a better sleep. We all know how important it is to get good quality of sleep in order for us to feel and perform at our best. Sleep quality is worsened by the exposure to a high concentration of positive ions, which, as mentioned earlier,  reduce both the oxygen and blood delivery to the brain. If you are like me and like to sleep in complete darkness, you can simply leave the salt lamp on during the daytime and turn it off before going to sleep.

Improve our energy, mood and concentration levels. Negative ions enhance serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter known as a “mood stabiliser” and that directly influences dopamine (i.e. the so-called “happiness hormone”). Since this neurotransmitter is responsible for how much contentment, satisfaction, relaxation and peace we feel, having balanced serotonin levels is pivotal for our well-being. Thus, as salt lamps generate negative ions, they boost our serotonin levels, leading to increased energy and mental concentration and to improved mood.

Beautiful piece of decor that creates a peaceful atmosphere and space . From a decor point of view, Himalayan salt lamps are also a wonderful acquisition to our homes. I personally love the warm glow that my Himalayan salt lamp irradiates. Its amber/pink-ish colour is just so soothing and calming and helps me to have a more mindful space around me. It is such a pleasurable moment for me to sit comfortably on my bed after a long day and read a great book in the gentle and relaxing glow of a salt lamp.

Environmentally-Friendly source of light. This nice ambient light is also eco-friendly and low footprint. My research showed me that there are still many salt rocks reserves around the world and it is estimated they will still last for another 350 years if the extraction continues with the same pace it currently has. Plus, the light bulb inside the lamp consumes a really small amount of energy.

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Himalayan salt lamps exist in various sizes, shapes and colours and ech one of them is  naturally unique. The bigger/heavier the lamp, the greatest are its benefits.

I am very happy for having added this beautiful element to my little world and I can’t wait to enjoy all its amazing benefits. As I strongly believe that Himalayan salt lamps lead to a better overall sense of health and wellbeingI totally recommend you guys to get at least one for your house or workplace.

Let me know in the comment section below if you found this post useful or if you own a Himalayan salt lamp and are therefore already familiar with its benefits! 🙂

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful