Latest news on ethical and eco friendly living in the United Kingdom

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Clothes, shoes and accessories

Marine Ingredients in Cosmetics: Sustainability Implications 21.10.12

The cosmetics industry is increasingly turning to the sea and oceans in the search for new ingredients. Although many novel raw materials are emerging, the development is raising many questions about sustainability. Can the cosmetics industry learn from the food industry and prevent damage to marine eco-systems when sourcing?

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Paraben-Free Cosmetic Formulations Gaining Popularity 03.05.12

New alternative preservation systems for cosmetic products are gaining popularity. In its new Technical Insights report, Organic Monitor finds the move to new alternative preservative systems is driven by high consumer demand for natural & organic cosmetics as well as the growing trend of formulators avoiding parabens.

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UK’s Natural and Organic Awards 2012 Winners Announced 04.04.12

BBC star Kate Humble hailed the “incredible passion” of the natural products industry as she announced the Natural & Organic Award winners on Sunday 1 April. Around 450 industry professionals saw her present the awards, jointly hosted by Natural Products magazine and the Soil Association. This year’s Natural Products Outstanding Achievement Award was won by Green & Black’s co-founder Craig Sams.

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How to harness ethical shopping’s ’floating voters’ 03.02.11

Ever since they first entered public consciousness in the late 1980s, a great deal of time and money has been spent pondering the mysteries of the ethical shopper. How many of them are there? How influential are they? Where do they shop and what makes them tick? writes the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Stephen Rylance

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Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Highlights Need for Positive Change 02.11.10

Practical sustainability initiatives for the beauty industry were extensively discussed at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit which came to a successful close in Paris at the end of October. Held at the Paris Marriott Champs-Elysées hotel, the summit was organised by Organic Monitor and brought together 180 senior executives from 26 countries. Source:Organic Monitor

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Labour Activists slam Bangladesh Garment Workers Wage Proposal 28.07.10

Garment-workers unions and labour-rights organisations have reacted with indignation and disappointment at the newly-proposed increase of minimum wage in Bangladesh’ garment industry. Yesterday the National Wage Board recommended an increase of the minimum wage to 3000 Bangladeshi ’taka’ (€33). Source: Clean Clothes Campaign

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2 short satires from War on Want condemns ’sweatshop’ brands 24.06.10

Campaigners today step up their drive for a watchdog to prevent supermarkets abusing suppliers’ workers by launching new films which satirise overseas sweatshops. Source: War in Want

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Lidl Retracts False Claims of Fair Working Conditions 02.06.10

Consumer and worker rights organisations are celebrating a historic victory after the giant German retailer Lidl agreed to withdraw public claims that its goods were being produced under fair and decent working conditions. The agreement was reached following a legal challenge, launched by the Consumer Agency Hamburg, which accused Lidl of engaging in false advertising.

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UK Organic market drops 12.9% in 2009 14.04.10

Organic sales in the UK had a terrible year in 2009, after a decade of double digit annual increase, last year saw a 12.9% drop in total sales to ₤1.84 billion, from a high in 2008 of ₤2.113 billion. Particularity hard hit was the organic meat and prepared food sectors, while organic milk, baby foods and home cooking ingredients held up and cosmetics and health product demand increased. Early signs from 2010 indicate a slow resurgence with projections of between 2-5% according to the newly released Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2010.

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Fairtrade and Fairmined gold standards launched 18.03.10

Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) launches the first ever third party independent certification for gold, opening up market opportunities for millions of impoverished artisanal small-scale miners and their families.

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Nike agree to stop buying Amazon leather following Greenpeace report 28.07.09

The global sportswear company Nike has announced that it is to stop buying leather from the Amazon region of Brazil, following concerns that its shoes and trainers could be driving the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest and contributing to climate change.

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Mothers of Innovation: One Mum leads a fight against the recession! 28.07.09

Reports on the Credit Crunch have indicated that it is affecting women in employment more than in previous downturns. New website Mothers of Innovation aims to be an antidote to recessionary gloom and a breath of fresh air for working women and mothers in the UK.

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57 Fairtrade beauty products hit the shelves 24.06.09

From today(24th June) the public will be able to buy Fairtrade certified beauty products including lip balms, face masks, body butters and shower gels from 5 companies including Boots, Bubble & Balm, Essential Care, Lush and Neal’s Yard. Each beauty product contains one or more Fairtrade certified ingredient such as cocoa butter, shea nut butter, sugar or brazil nut oil, benefitting disadvantaged producers from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  To date, 57 beauty products have been licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation and it is expected that many more will follow.

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Global Natural Cosmetics Market: The Battle of the Standards Gains Pace 15.06.09

The final version of the Cosmos standard has recently been announced. The launch comes after six years of negotiations between the leading natural & organic cosmetic certification agencies in Europe: Soil Association (UK), BDiH (Germany), Ecocert (France), Cosmebio (France), ICEA (Italy) and Ecogarantie (Belgium). Combined, these agencies provide certification to about 1,000 cosmetic companies and 10,000 products.

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Is LVMH buying half a conscience with 50% of Edun? 15.05.09

The French haut couture mega group Louis Vetton Moet Hennessy has just announced it is buying a stake in Edun; the organic clothing company launched by Ali and Paul Hewson, aka Bono, according to reports in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (14th May).

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Colour and luxury fabrics mark the 2009 Spring/Summer Collection at DeviDoll.com 07.05.09

Mociun, Doie and Fin feature fresh and strong ethical couture collections at DeviDoll for Spring/Summer 2009. The focus is on florals, fine tailoring and colour, all in organic cottons, silks and bamboo making for a beautiful, eco-conscious spring/summer season. By choosing a tightly knit collection of key pieces mixed in with chic essentials, DeviDoll is helping customers ‘curate their consumption’ whilst staying true to their individual fashion style.

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Prinmark Protest 2nd May 01.05.09

Campaigners will protest on Saturday (2 May) at British fashion retailer Primark’s huge new two-floor store in London over poverty wages for garment workers. Activists, including teenagers, from the fair trade fashion company People Tree and anti-poverty charity War on Want will hand out leaflets to shoppers, calling for a living wage and an end to the exploitation of garment workers making clothes for Primark.

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Cotton On: Conference 9th May 30.04.09

A groundbreaking conference to be held in Bristol on 9 May will present a new vision for sustainability in the cotton industry. ‘COTTON ON!’ will be introduced by environment journalist Lucy Siegle and will offer expert speakers from the Department for International Development, Soil Association Oxfam, Fairtrade Foundation, Labour Behind the Label, Gossypium, Monsoon, and more.

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The European Natural Cosmetics Markets 2009 18.03.09

New research by Organic Monitor shows that that the mainstreaming of the European natural cosmetics market is leading to increased market segmentation; new entrants and existing suppliers are developing products for specific consumer segments and sales channels.

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Carbon Reduction Label is the new fashion for spring 17.03.09

In a UK and fashion first, the retail sector is launching a groundbreaking range of carbon labelled clothing this week. The carbon footprint of the T-shirts was calculated by the Continental Clothing which manufactures and supplies the T-shirts and certified by the Carbon Trust.

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Recession fashion stays globally Fair 26.02.09

Gossypium are launching their fashionable answer to the global recession by turning their trademark organic and Fairtrade cotton into a jewel of a dress this Fairtrade Fortnight.

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The Birmingham Remade Fashion Fair 2009 12.02.09

The Birmingham Remade Fashion Fair will take place on 21 February from 11 am - 5pm at Birmingham’s Custard Factory Gallery.

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Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 starts 23rd February 05.02.09

Members of the public can join team Fairtrade for some free sporty fun and games at the public launch of Fairtrade Fortnight 2009. The two-week annual campaign (23 Feb – 8 March) highlighting global inequalities in trade and promoting Fairtrade products, kicks off with an action-packed event on London’s South Bank on Sunday 23rd February 2009 (11am-4pm).

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Get Ethical this Christmas 03.12.08

With the crowds abandoning the High Street for the comfort of online shopping, there’s still the issue of visiting several different stores to get everything you need for Christmas gifts for friends, family and colleagues. There is a great – and green – solution now, with online ethical store Get Ethical www.getethical.com

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Ethical Consumerism Report 2007 28.11.08

Household expenditure on ethical goods and services has almost doubled in the past five years according to the eighth Co-operative Bank Ethical Consumerism Report published 30th November 2007.

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Nappies- The Natural Choice 31.07.08

The prevailing myth about washable (cloth or reusable) nappies is that they are difficult to use, smelly and unpleasant to wash. This is far from the truth. The design of modern cloth nappies is such that they are easy to put on and easy to wash argues the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Real Nappy Network Co-ordinator Gary Lamont.

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Growing a green Baby 15.03.08

Linda Sones, from sonesuk.com, the online organic baby clothes retailer, writes about how to give your baby the best start in life by choosing a sustainable road.

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Debenhams 4th supermarket to confirm ban on Uzbek cotton 05.02.08

Since the start of 2008 Tesco, M+S and Matalan have also announced a ban on cotton sourced from Uzbekistan. Now Debenhams, who had already placed Uzbekistan on the banned countries list, has now reaffirmed that it will not be doing business in the country.

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2.4 billion items of unworn clothing in the British wardrobe 01.02.08

Almost half of the clothes in Britain’s wardrobes go unworn, a new survey from Oxfam and Marks & Spencer has shown.A YouGov report, commissioned to mark the first day of the M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange, shows that 46 per cent of people’s clothes - an estimated 2.4billion items - have sat gathering dust on shelves and hangers and were not worn once in the last year.

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Having Kids Can Turn You Green – says Arabella Miller 17.01.08

A recent survey from UK organic children’s clothes company, Arabella Miller, found that 62% of parents said that they made greener choices after having children and 80% now defined themselves as a “green parent.”

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Tescos to ban Uzbek cotton over child labour abuse 15.01.08

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) applaud Tesco’s breakthrough decision following ongoing discussions with the campaigning group to place a ban on all cotton sourced from Uzbekistan for its clothing range, homeware and corporate purchases.

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Adili.com 1st ethical fashion company to launch on AIM 04.12.07

One of the leading ethical fashion sites, adili.com, has announced that it is floating on AIM to raise money to drive their development. Adili.com’s Chief Executive Adam Smith talks to naturalchoices about this audacious move.

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Ethical market worth £32.3bn in 2006 30.11.07

The Co-op Bank’s ethical consumerism report for 2006 show the sector has grown from 29.3 billion in 2005 to £32.3bn in 2006. Household spending on ethical goods and services is now £664, up from just £366 in 2002 an 81% increase in five years.

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Top 10 luxury goods companies fail WWF sustainability test 29.11.07

A new report launched by WWF today, called ‘Deeper Luxury’, examines the environmental and social record of some of the world’s top brands, including L’Oréal, Hermès, Tods, Tiffany & Co and Swatch, and asks that celebrities should not promote or endorse environmentally damaging products.

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1 in 5 brides want a greener wedding 23.10.07

It would seem today’s bride has more on her mind than just her wedding, as weddingchaos conducted a recent poll and found that more than 1 in 5 brides (21.2%) did consider the environment when planning their big day.

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Organic cotton demand set to double in 2007. 24.07.07

The battle for UK’s influenced consumers has moved out of the food halls and into high street fashion. New Look and H&M have now joined the growing number of high street fashion chains who market organic cotton based cloths.

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Eco-Centres and Courses – by Terena Plowright 06.07.07

Throughout the UK the galaxy of courses and hands on training around living a more sustainable life is breath taking. Published by Green Books, this is a comprehensive guide of fun and interesting days out for both adults and children.

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Who are today’s ethical consumers? 03.07.07

Peter Shield, editor of Natural Choices, looks at the latest research on ethical consumption, and how ethical consumers profiles have changed in the last six years. Which sectors will continue to grow and what are the blocking points?

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Plastic Ain’t My Bag- campaign builds for Christmas 2007 12.06.07

We Are What We Do, the people who brought us “I’m not a Plastic Bag”, and "Change the World for a Fiver", launches its first high profile national campaign to unite shoppers and shops for a plastic bag free Christmas.

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Carbon footprint labelling finally gets of the ground 31.05.07

Ian Pearson, Minister for the Environment, announced that DEFRA, is to develop a carbon foot print labelling scheme to show consumers the production, transport and disposal impact of products.

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Bags of Change- Over the shoulder ethical loyalty scheme 26.04.07

A cool organic hemp-cotton tote bag that gives you 5% discount on Fairtrade and organic products in your local independent shops- not accepted at any large multiple superstore.

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Fairtrade fastest growing sector in the UK market 26.02.07

UK sales of Fairtrade products have almost doubled within the last 12 months and now stand at least £300 million per year, according to the Fairtrade Foundation, which is now seeking £50 million from governments in the UK and abroad to finance its growth.

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Marks and Spencers kicks off 2007 with a £200 million eco-plan 24.01.07

“Plan A” is a 100 point, 5 year programme to make the high street retailer carbon neutral, and set new standards in ethical retail, as well as end all waste to landfill sites, increase sustainable sourcing and help staff and customers to lead a healthier life.

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Levi’s launches organic 506 and 570’s jeans 26.11.06

Levi’s is the first major brand to address organic issues. In October it launched a totally organic jean based on the 570 design for women and the 506 for men. Produced in Hungary every aspect of the jeans production is based on organic materials, from organic cotton, to coconut shell waist button to non-galvanised fly buttons.

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