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Ideas For Your Ethical Kid’s Bedroom

ethical kid's bedroom

Looking for some inspiration for your ethical kid’s bedroom? Here’s how we kitted out our daughter’s bedroom, to help give you some ideas of what to look for.

We don’t often buy furniture for our home, but when we do we like it to last a long time.  We’ve just had to transition our daughter’s room from a nursery to a toddler’s bedroom. Therefore, I thought I’d share with you how we did it, as we tried to decorate as sustainably and ethically as we could.

Our Ethical Kid’s Bedroom

The Bed

Our daughter had been happily sleeping in her cot for the best part of a year. However, between Christmas and New Year she mastered the art of skillfully and stealthily climbing out of it in one silent manoeuvre.  Worried about a potential injury, especially if she started climbing in the middle of the night, we swiftly dismantled the cot. I then put the cot mattress on the floor for her to sleep on whilst we made arrangements for a new ‘big girl’ bed.

I initially thought about getting her a toddler bed. But then I thought she’d only be in it a year or two before we would need to get her a single bed.  This didn’t seem particularly sustainable or purse-friendly – it wasn’t what I had in mind for a kid’s ethical bedroom – so I got busy scouring Gumtree. On my first search, I came across a beautiful secondhand single bed for only £30.  The lady selling it was moving house and had no room for it in her new place.  

Roping in a favour from a friend with a van we picked up the bed. It had a few paint marks on it but after a quick scrub with some warm soapy water, a scouring pad, and some good old bicarbonate of soda and it came up trumps!  We hope it will last at the very least until our daughter leaves home (in the very very distant future)!

uk made mattress

The Mattress

The bed came with a mattress but I feel a bit funny about secondhand mattresses. What can I say, in my time I’ve lived in too many badly furnished student flats! Therefore the lady selling the bed came down in price for me as I left her the mattress.  

I struggled to find an affordable eco-friendly mattress for our ethical kid’s bedroom. John Lewis has a hemp one, but at £425 it was quite considerably out of our budget. Instead, I went down the most ethical route I could within our tight budget. As well as budget-busting mattresses, John Lewis also stocks a good range of UK-made mattresses. These are reportedly made from ‘responsibly sourced materials’, which start from £60 for a single.  

I wasn’t sure how a cheaper mattress would stand up over the years to repeatedly being jumped up and down on by a small person. Therefore I opted to go for their £100 mattress in the hope that it will last a long time.  I can report that it’s incredibly comfortable. So far I think it was a good choice!

ethical mattress

I found a bed guard in my local Barnados charity shop for £3.99. They have a dedicated children’s shop near me that exclusively sells donated baby and toddler equipment, clothes, toys, and everything else. On the day I visited, I had my pick between four different bed guards!

The Duvet

For the duvet, I wanted one that was easily washable in the washing machine, and ideally would be both eco-friendly and ethical.  In the end, I found one in Marks & Spencer for £29.50. It’s made in the UK and its anti-allergen filling is made from recycled plastic bottles.  It can be washed in the machine up to 50°C too, so it fitted the bill perfectly.  For chilly nights I also picked up a vintage hand-crocheted blanket on eBay.

The Bed Linen

We already had a load of spare pillows so didn’t need to buy any. However, we did need bedding – the final item we needed to finish our ethical kid’s bedroom.

We don’t have any independent department stores or textiles shops near us. Therefore, I did a quick search online and found Palmers Department Stores – a family-run independent business based in Norfolk. They were having a good sale on textiles and were running an extra 10% off promotion that I found on their Facebook page (who needs Amazon?!).  I managed to pick up some duvet covers there. I didn’t want anything character-based or overly kiddie that she’d probably grow out of in a few years, so went for something fresh and floral instead.

Our daughter absolutely adores her new “big bed” and we love her ethical kid’s bedroom.  For us the most important thing is that she is sleeping through the night in it, so we’re calling it an all-around success!  Although her bed isn’t particularly kiddie the rest of her room has her toys, books, and prints on the wall,  helping to create a fun room for her that can easily be adapted as she grows.

NB: It goes without saying that this is not a sponsored post – everything featured are items we bought ourselves. However, the * symbol denotes an affiliate link. This means I may get a very small percentage for any purchases you make using these links. This helps support the running costs of the blog and keeps it free to read for all.  Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Home, Home and Garden

The Most Ethical Supermarkets In the UK Revealed

Wondering who the most ethical supermarkets are in the UK?  Read on for the full results.

For a long time, we relied upon online deliveries from the supermarket. In an ideal world, we would have shopped locally and bought ethical and organic produce from markets and growers.

However, a combination of living semi-rurally in a small village with only one small convenience shop and a butcher’s, and a once-weekly visit from the fishmonger’s van meant it was difficult to shop in any other way. For a start, we’re vegetarian, so the butchers or fish van was of no use to us. The other issue is that we didn’t have a car, and all the other time pressures of life, such as jobs, a small child, social lives, etc, simply meant that ethical supermarket alternatives weren’t accessible to us.

For quite a few years we had a supermarket order delivered fortnightly to us.  In between deliveries, we topped up on things we need from the local shop. Like many people, it was what was available to us.

A couple of years ago we tried a local vegetable box scheme, and it just wasn’t for us.  Not knowing which vegetables were going to arrive made it difficult for us to plan meals around, and our food waste increased. Instead, we try and grow our own herbs and vegetables as much as we can in the summer.

We’ve had a few hits. A veritable courgette explosion! A whole summer of never having to buy lettuce! We’ve also had a few misses, including one very wet summer a year and a half ago where slugs ate EVERYTHING that dared to as much as poke its head out of the soil. But by in large our food came and still comes from the supermarket.

Which Supermarket Is The Most Ethical?

ethical supermarket shopping

I thought I’d look into how ethical the main seven supermarkets in the UK are to see which are the most ethical.  We use Sainsbury’s and I had always assumed them to be a tiny bit more ethical than Tesco. However, according to the Ethical Consumer this is sadly not the case:

supermarket ethical rating uk

Ethical Consumer rank brands out of 20, and anything scoring under 11 is deemed poor. It’s clear that supermarkets have a long way to go until they are even close to being remotely ethical.

What Can I Do?

Holding our supermarkets to account is key to bringing about ethical change. These places will only change their practices when the Government introduces legislation or taxes, or because of mounting public pressure. For example, some supermarkets and brands have switched to plastic-free teabags because of mounting consumer pressure. Therefore, any chance that you get to sign any petitions or send emails, Tweets, or Facebook comments to supermarkets related to the ethics of supermarkets then it’s important to do so.

For example, Greenpeace is currently running a petition to ditch plastic packaging. Meanwhile, Change.org is currently running a petition on supermarkets for them to source fruit and vegetables ethically and sustainably. Any chance you get, basically, call supermarkets out for unethical behaviour.

Other Alternatives

Local independent shops are your best alternative. If you don’t have any near you, then another thing that you can do, if it’s within your budget, is to instead buy your dried and tinned goods from more ethical mail order retailers. These include:

  • Planet Organic*. This is the UK’s first ethical and fully certified organic supermarket that delivers nationwide. 
  • Ethical Superstore*.  They sell a wide range of fairtrade and organic essentials and specialty food and drink, and again deliver nationwide.
  • Good Club*. An online ethical supermarket alternative selling vegan, gluten-free, and organic produce, which they ship nationwide. They’ve recently expanded to offering a zero-waste bulk food home delivery service, which I’ve tried, and loved. New customers can use the discount code AW10 to enjoy free delivery and £10 off your first order. 
  • Abel & Cole*. Depending on where you live, Abel & Cole may deliver to you. Abel & Cole deliver seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes, as well as pantry staples.

Even buying some food from a retailer like one of these, and supplementing with produce from the local supermarket is one way to reduce your reliance on the supermarkets.

Of course, this isn’t an accessible option for everyone, and that’s why it’s vitally important that we all put pressure on supermarkets to change their ways, so that ethical supermarket shopping can be eventually available to everyone.