3 things no.3! || nanas, love & mandarins

Time for another edition of everyone’s favourite game – 3 things!

3 things I learnt/realised/randomly thought about this week || no.3

#1 Nana’s can be cruel

You know it’s time to book an emergency hair appointment when your 90 something glasses-wearing-nana says:

“Oh look at those roots Anna. Are you growing your hair out to go back to your natural colour?”

Touché Nana. Touché.

This is my Nana. See? I told you she wore glasses.

This is my Nana. See? I told you she wore glasses.

#2 That I quite possibly have had too many failed relationships

‘Nuff said really. Or if you now find yourself more intrigued read this for a laugh: The Tragically Failed Relationships Mix Tape.

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#3 Mandarins are a sometimes food

It’s mandarin season in Australia. I would like to warn everyone though that a mandarin is no substitute for chocolate during a craving. No matter what anyone tells you. (Stupid Nutritionists).

In fact, I think they should actually be eaten like this.

Friends for life (and in ma belly)

Friends for life (and in ma belly) … (Green & Blacks Organic & Fair trade Chocolate)

How about you? What things have you learnt/realised/randomly thought about this week?

x anna 

My top 5 (okay, 6) brands to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight!

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! This a great opportunity for us to understand how making more informed choices on the products we buy can have a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate.

The FairTrade logo

The Fairtrade logo

Fairtrade is described by the Fairtrade Association of Australia & NZ (an arm of Fairtrade International) as:

Better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade International have developed a strict global certification process to allow consumers greater confidence when buying everyday products that come from areas in the world where working conditions, rights, and pay can be unethical.

I have worked in India with Oxfam, and Vietnam with CARE Vietnam and I have seen first-hand how the cycle of poverty can grip communities when they are treated unfairly.  Why should we have the benefit of paying just $10 for a piece of clothing if it means a family can’t afford to eat? That doesn’t seem very fair does it?  To understand more about the principle of Fairtrade, check out this previous post.

For today, I’m going to share 5 super duper brands that are working hard to ensure their products are sustainable and ethical. This might mean that they are made using Fairtrade materials, made with sustainable textiles that have been sourced ethically and locally, or they have been able to go that one step further and have had the actual product produced certified under Fairtrade International if it has been made in a developing country (This will be evident by a little Fairtrade logo on the product packaging – and deserves a high 5 for sure!).

  1. Eternal Creation – certified by Fairtrade International. They have some super cute pieces for little ones!
    Eternal Creation Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    Eternal Creation’s Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    2. Green & Blacks Chocolate – certified by Fairtrade International (and is also organic!). It’s now deliciously available pretty much everywhere – so no excuses to reach for that other nasty stuff now!

Green & Black's organic & fairtrade chocolate

3. Nerada Tea Organics Range – certified by Fairtrade International. My 2 favourites are the Green and Chamomile.  You can find this brand in most major and some independent supermarkets.

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

4. Pure Pod – Made in Australia using sustainable materials.  Considered a pioneer in ethical fashion in Australia.

Pure Pod

Pure Pod

5. Sinerji – a sustainable & ethical collection using natural dyes and organic cotton.

Sinerji

Sinerji

And I had better sneak one more in – we can’t forget the love of my life, sorella & me.  Our collection is made using certified Fairtrade cotton (and is also certified organic).  We use an Australian sewer but have been providing skills transfer and capacity building to a small family-run Fiji manufacturer for the past 18 months. We are so excited they are now ready to join the sorella & me team! By providing them an ongoing opportunity for work will ensure sustainable income and at the same time improve skills and employability – both of which are major concerns for most Fijians with its current poor economic conditions and regular natural disasters that destroy many businesses.

sorella & me sleepshirt

sorella & me sleepshirt

Happy Fairtrade fortnight!

Do you have a favourite ethical label? Please share it with the sorella-hood below!

~ anna x

Australian fashion is loaded with toxic chemicals – Organic & Natural fibres are the way to go, says Choice

It’s no surprise for us here at sorella & me to read a report this week by independent consumer watchdog Choice on the toxic chemicals found in Australian clothing and the damage they are doing to our health as well as our environment.

In Choice’s report, Andreas Schimkus, a Senior Advisor from the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TCFA) states:

The most dangerous way for a toxin to enter the body is not through the digestive system, but through the skin

Therefore, any garment in contact with the skin can easily transfer the toxic chemicals used in its manufacture and finishing through to the individual.

Toxic Chemicals are found in garments

Image via Choice ‘Chemicals in Clothing’

Further, and perhaps even more alarming, Schimkus says:

“Products that are made in China for the Australian market could not even be sent back to China, as many of them would not meet the Chinese product safety standards but are acceptable here.”

This is terrifying!

Continue reading

Being fair can go a long way. This Fairtrade Fortnight – ask some questions!

It’s Fair Trade Fortnight! This a great opportunity for us to understand how making more informed choices on the products we buy can have a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate.

Fairtrade is described by the Fairtrade Association of Australia & NZ (an arm of Fairtrade International) as:

Better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade International have developed a strict global certification process to allow consumers greater confidence when buying products that may have come from areas where working conditions and prices paid for goods can be questionable.

I have worked in India with Oxfam, and Vietnam with CARE Vietnam and I have seen first-hand how the cycle of poverty can grip communities when they are treated unfairly.  Why should we have the benefit of paying just $10 for a piece of clothing if it means a family can’t afford to eat? That doesn’t seem very fair does it?

Anna in India with Oxfam

Me with a local Health Worker visiting the Pune Slums in India

(In a simplified way) here is what can happen without ethical and sustainable supply chains: Continue reading