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Can you wash cashmere in a washing machine?

Most cashmere items will advise dry-clean only. This is because dry-cleaning gives a total guarantee that the item will not shrink. However, not only are these cleaning solvents bad for the environment, they’re also highly damaging to cashmere fibres. Its the equivalent of giving your cashmere a perm.

Cashmere wrap from Alabaste.com

So, yes, you can wash your knitwear, but unless, your garment is really soiled, there’s actually no need to wash it. To store, simply pop into a protective bag and place in the freezer. Unlike Carrie from SATC, and her oven storage, this is where I store all of my knitwear and superfine jersey tees. Its cold storage at its best. Kills bacteria and protects your most-prized garments from moths.

How to do it.

When it comes to washing, simply place your item into a mesh bag to prevent snags, and pop into the machine on a HAND WASH / DELICATE cycle at 30 degrees. If you follow this step-by-step, you will have no problems and your cashmere will stay soft and luxurious. Use only delicate detergents and no softeners.

No need to dry-clean.

Here are my favourite non toxic detergents:

  1. Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day
  2. The Laundress’ Wool & Cashmere Shampoo
  3. Ecover Delicate Detergent

Of course, the other guarantee to prolonging the life-cycle of your cashmere is to be discerning: choose quality over price. Mongolian Cashmere is known to be the best in the world because of its long fibre length. The benefit to the wearer is less pilling – those little balls that form with the day-to-day friction of wearing. Whilst it is not possible to eliminate them totally, buying quality cashmere drastically reduces the amount of these little balls appearing.

Lastly, always dry your cashmere as flat as possible and never wring dry or spin in the machine. And always dry out of direct sunlight. A little bit of love goes a long way.

I hope you found these tips useful.

A x

Top 10 safe suncreams.

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In my last post I’d identified some nasties to avoid when buying sunscreen. Bear in mind that not all synthetic ingredients are harmful, some man-made chemicals are totally safe for humans and environment.

There are physical/mineral barrier creams – those that reflect the suns rays. And there are synthetic/chemical sunscreens – those that are absorbed into the skin and absorb the UV rays.

Image from Odylique

Then there was this!

Upon researching awesome products, I found some alarming data from amazing website: Odilique (I’ll be sharing one of their products later). They report the following: “The reason we choose to apply sunscreen is to protect our skin, but some chemicals such as cinoxate and octocryelne are linked to skin irritation and photosensitivity (a reddening of the skin resembling sun burn) – a little ironic! Since 1930, there has also been a 1,800% increase in malignant melanomas alongside the use of sunscreen rising exponentially. Considering we are spending more time indoors than ever, this is not a statistic to be ignored and it might be time for us to take more of an interest in what lurks in our skincare products. If you are suffering with a skin condition, such as eczema, the best sun cream to use is one that is organic and as natural as possible.”

Read the full post here.

Switching to a non-toxic sunscreen is vital! Here are some winning brands keep us protected and safe at the same time. Revolutionary!

Top 10 sun protection products

  1. RAW ELEMENTS. The Feel-Good SPF 30 moisturising cream, non-nano Zinc Oxide and Reef Safe. Does what it says on the tin. No chemicals, no preservatives, no fragrances. BUY NOW

2. AMAVARA. The Transparent Facestick. SPF 50 and non-toxic. Their SPF 50 products have a high concentration of non-nano zinc oxide (22.5%) as the only active sunscreen ingredient and are uniquely formulated to be not only safe for your skin, but good for it too. BUY NOW

High SPF from Amavara

3. ODYLIQUE. Family-friendly cream, SPF 30. NO synthetic UV filters, preservatives, silicones, fragrance or colour. The first ever sun screen both organically certified and approved by the Fairtrade Foundation. BUY NOW

4. AETHIC. The luxury SPF – Triple filter. At Aethic the key word is compatibility. Their products have to be compatible with your skin, work well to protect and rejuvenate your skin and also leave our planet intact. Suitable for all skin types. BUY NOW

5. ELI & YOU. Water Resistant SPF – This family-friendly sunscreen from Eli & You is perfect for protecting your loved ones while you enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a mineral-based sunblock made with zinc oxide, with a powerful Sun Protection Factor of 40+ for long-lasting effects. Eli & You Sunscreen shields your skin against UVA and UVB rays, and is also water resistant. BUY NOW

6. DRUNK ELEPHANT. The Tinted SPF – A tinted, physical broad spectrum sunscreen that delivers powerful UVA/UVB protection and helps aid in the prevention of free radical and oxidative damage as well as photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion. Plus, a hint of tint for a gorgeous, glowing finish. BUY NOW

7. DRUNK ELEPHANT. For the face – A sheer physical sunscreen that delivers powerful broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and helps aid in the prevention of free radical and oxidative damage as well as photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion. BUY NOW

8. BABO BOTANICALS SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion. The zinc formula is ocean-safe and effectively protects your skin from sunburn. This sunscreen is also sulfate-, paraben-, phthalate-, fragrance-, and dye-free. BUY NOW

Available from GOOP

9. Good for Sport – Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen.  This sunscreen has a perfect score on EWG, and doesn’t contain any biologically toxic chemicals. It is water-resistant for up 80 minutes and is absorbed easily by your skin. BUY NOW

10. No fillers – RAW LOVE sunscreen in a tin. This sunscreen is very concentrated so you can apply just a little to protect your skin. It contains cold pressed unrefined coconut oil, raw shea butter, non-nano zinc oxide, sesame oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax. BUY NOW

RAW LOVE Concentrated formula – a little goes a long way.

I searched, but could not find any hair protection products for the sun – so if you know of any, please send them my way!

What I also found whilst researching products to feature, is that many claims are made about reef-friendly/eco-friendly that still contain the big offenders. Obviously, none of those were included here, but my advice is to scour the ingredients list so that you can make the most informed decision. Also, try to avoid the sun at its peak hours to be totally safe. We all need some Vitamin D, so moderation is the key!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share your thoughts.

A x

Next up: Feel-Good Fashion – Natural versus Synthetic fibres. This will be an insightful post about how to consume fashion responsibly. Follow my blog to receive this post straight to your inbox.

The musings of a, not-so-good, fashion, skincare and domestic product consumer.

1980.  That’s the year I was born. It was the year of the Rubik’s Cube, Post-It notes, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and the average cost of a house was £13,650.  A year later, MTV was launched, CD’s were the new way of listening to music and IBM’s first home computer became available to buy! So much has changed in that time its almost unfathomable. Since I entered my 39th year I’ve been reflecting on my health, well-being and all of the things that I take for granted. I would advise that if anyone reads this blog that I am certainly nowhere near perfect and this is a journey that I am starting and learning from. 

The only thing I ever use Post-Its for: To Dooooooooo

Musing over all the products that I have put on or in my skin since 1980.  How many of them were harmful?  How many of them were synthetic? I find myself wanting to know more as I stand in aisles faced with products including ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  I made a quiet decision, this year, not to shop the latest high street trends – because its mostly made of polyester (plastic) and acrylic (oil-based) – through boredom, and focus my energy on more creative outlets.  Just stop and wait a minute.  Do I need that “amazing copy of a designer printed dress”? Or will it just end up in the pile of clothes that I give away every 6 months?  Even just writing that seems crazy.  What have I been doing?!

Then, let’s talk about the amount of fake tan that I’ve been slathering myself in for over 20 years.  Yes, I started making myself streakily orange when I was 14. I had an athletics meet and was so envious of all the tanned girls, I decided to “Tango” myself.  It was before I knew to exfoliate and moisturise, so, inevitably, the end result was not good.  Who knows what was in those formulas?  Then there’s all the shampoos, bubble baths, perfumed body milks, cleansers, toners, hair dyes, gels, sprays, bath bombs, glitter balms, formaldehyde-filled nail polishes, CFCs, deodorants, suncreams.  I dread to think how much of this stuff has stayed in our systems.  Where to start?  There is a lot of stuff to cover!

I want to find products (that work) and home-remedies and formulas that alleviate the pressure we put on the earth, its ecosystem and our own bodies.  I want to find symbiotic wellness and grooming products that don’t harm our oceans or animals.  I want to know more about how we can help to slow down mass-consumption and throwaway fashion.  I want to understand what I can do to minimise my own brand’s carbon footprint and lengthen product lifecycles.  I also want to champion the people that do produce and keep skilled work alive.  Vegan and man-made innovation versus traditional leather and animal fibres products will also be looked at. At this stage, I am open-minded to look at these areas from all angles.

Shoe blocks and traditional methods

There are many exceptional people campaigning and living this more conscious life and, although I am late to the party, I want to improve things.  I want to do my little bit and learn as I go.  Where I used to covet fashion in all forms, ignorant to provenance or fabric composition, now I’d like to find ethical brands, vintage collectors, artisans creating pieces for longevity, where the producers are doing their best to reduce the waste and damage that production can cause. Also, I want to understand how many of the ingredients used in everyday products is harmful – I think this will be an eye-opener for sure!

Its not possible for there to be a countdown to a specific end-goal as I think this area is so vast, but in a year’s time I want to look back over these posts and be able to say: I made a difference.

A x

Disclaimer: All ideas expressed on my blog are my own. If I inadvertently offend someone, or you find fault in my facts, please express your views kindly.  Spread the love.