Category

Life & Style

Life & Style, sponsored

Shop Plastic-Free Products Easily With The Ideal Sunday | AD

This article on plastic-free products made easy is paid-for content in association with The Ideal Sunday.

Sunday is grocery shopping day in our house, and I’ll tell you what is not my ideal Sunday. Trying but failing to buy the plastic-free products I need at my local shops. Supporting your local high street is brilliant, but when your local high street doesn’t cater to you then it is frustrating. My ideal Sunday would instead involve quickly and easily finding the products without plastic I need online, in one place, and then getting on with the rest of my day.

Thankfully, The Ideal Sunday has stepped forward to make my vision of a stress-free Sunday a reality!

Who Are The Ideal Sunday?

The Ideal Sunday is a new UK-based eco-friendly, plastic-free, and zero waste online store that was set up in 2020. As well as bringing you a great range of ethically made sustainable and plastic-free products, all made in the UK, they also plant a forest along the way. The Ideal Sunday plant a tree, in collaboration with Ecologi and the Eden Reforestation Project, with every order placed. If you want to do more, you can add extra trees at the checkout. This adds more trees to The Ideal Sunday’s future forest.

Offering sustainable and plastic-free swaps to their customers is great. However, The Ideal Sunday goes one better and through their blog, they also offer a knowledge hub to help their customers learn more about how to create a sustainable future through making sustainable swaps. This guide on alternatives to tin foil, for example, is a really useful read.

With a focus on friendly service and community, The Ideal Sunday seeks to be the online version of your favourite local store. You know, where the shopkeeper always remembers your name and asks you how your day is going. But one where you get a side order of sustainability knowledge too, every time you pop in.

Plastic-Free Product Shopping Made Easy

The Ideal Sunday has a great range of plastic-free products that support a sustainable lifestyle. Broadly categorised into three main product categories: personal care, household, and plastic-free on the go, let’s take a whistlestop look at each department.

Zero-Waste Personal Care Products

A selection of plastic-free products available from The Ideal Sunday, including bar soap, deodorant in a tin, and natural bamboo plasters.

The first stop on our tour of The Ideal Sunday is the zero-waste personal care products section. Here you’ll find solid soap bars, like these deliciously scented bars from Kleen. This 100% vegan soap is handmade in the UK using only high-quality, natural ingredients with packaging that is recycled and recyclable. Essential oils, such as cedarwood, ylang-ylang, patchouli, and vetiver, provide a moreish fragrance.

Talking of smelling good, The Ideal Sunday carries a range of plastic-free deodorants, such as this tea tree and lavender deodorant from Zero Waste Path.

And, if you need to stock up your household first-aid kit, then pick up these Patch plasters. Made from bamboo, these plastic-free and home compostable plasters are hypoallergenic and perfect for those with sensitive skin. 

Plastic-Free Household Products

A selection of zero-waste household products available from The Ideal Sunday, including solid dishwashing soap, compostable kitchen cloths, and concentrated cleaning products.

Shopping for conventional household products is hardly a treat. However, The Ideal Sunday has turned a mundane activity into a delightful experience. Browsing their beautiful plastic-free household products section is a visual feast for the eyes, and is great at giving you inspiration for your sustainable home.

For the kitchen, you’ll find plastic-free dishwashing soap bars to concentrated refill cleaning products and to home compostable sponge cloths. In fact, The Ideal Sunday has everything you need to give single-use plastic the heave-ho in the kitchen.

Of course, it’s not just cleaning products that The Ideal Sunday sells. In the household section, you’ll also find seriously useful items such as wireless iPhone chargers made from recycled plastic waste to reusable coffee filters, and even plastic-free ground coffee.

Sustainable On-The-Go Products

Sustainable products for a plastic-free life on the go, including reusable shopping bags and plastic-free food saving products such as silicone bags.

And for when you are out and about, The Ideal Sunday is there to help you live more sustainably on the go.

In The Ideal Sunday’s On The Go collection, here, nestled amongst a whole range of plastic-free lifestyle products, you’ll find stylish reusable shopping bags from ethical brand Kind. These funky bags are each made from 6 recycled plastic bottles, and hold the equivalent capacity as 2 to 3 regular shopping bags, up to a maximum of 20 kilos. They’re super for stashing in your bag so that you never forget a reusable shopping bag again.

For food on the go, you’ll also find useful items such as these silicone zip-lock pouches and silicone stretch lids from Green Island. These great value products make packaging a plastic-free lunch a breeze.

Q&A Time

Whilst we are here perusing the shelves of The Ideal Sunday, I thought it would be interesting to have a quick Q&A with Will, the founder of Ideal Sunday. Here’s what Will had to say about all things The Ideal Sunday and eco-friendly living in general:

So Will, to kick things off can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m originally from Adelaide in South Australia but have been living here in the UK since 2016.

I love to travel, and I met my partner Victoria whilst travelling in Barcelona. She’s British, hence the move to the UK. I initially studied architecture at university – this was my first foray into sustainability. I then taught myself web design and development when I moved to London, which gave me a bit of an edge when starting The Ideal Sunday.

Outside of work I am a big fan of food and exploring new places. One of the things I love about the UK is that with every new turn you find new places to explore. I’m also a big fan of sports (playing and watching) and generally keeping active. I’m currently training for the Hackney Half Marathon, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the ski resorts will be open this winter and I can get out in the mountain air!

And what prompted you to start The Ideal Sunday?

It was actually a combination of a couple of hard realisations, along with a really happy day that prompted me to start The Ideal Sunday.

I knew I wanted to do something to help tackle plastic pollution more generally, and we were discussing some ideas on a walk through the woods on a sunny December afternoon – you guessed it, a Sunday. It was one of those days that made me reflect and really appreciate the natural world around us. On our way home, we all agreed we’d had ‘The Ideal Sunday’, and this is where the name came from!

The Ideal Sunday is unique to each and every one of us. For me, it’s a time for relaxation, reflection, and an appreciation of the beautiful world we all live in.

A few weeks after that, in January 2020, I was lucky enough to take a trip to Diani Beach in Kenya. It’s the most beautiful place. Think white sands, clear water, and skies full of colourful sails from windsurfers. But in amongst all of this, I was overwhelmed at the prevalence and the impact of plastic pollution. We took a trip to visit the national parks, and even amongst the most breathtaking landscapes, it was often punctuated with plastic waste that had built up along the streets and highways. It felt that plastic had become part of the environment.

To think that my little company could change this oversimplifies the issue. There are lots of factors at play. Infrastructure, lack of choice, availability, and accessibility of alternatives to name a few. However, for me, it was a real eye-opener and a realisation that change was definitely needed.

Another eye-opener for me was when I started to research this industry. I thought I was pretty on top of living a sustainable lifestyle. However, the more I read the more I realised there were so many more changes I could make! I figured if I didn’t know about them maybe there’s a lot of other people out there who don’t know either. It was my aim to change this!

You have a big focus on plastic-free products. What was your first plastic-free swap?

I think a lot of us subconsciously make decisions to avoid single-use plastic every day. I’ll take a water bottle with me when I travel or I’ll buy loose bananas instead of the ones in the bag. My first ‘conscious’ plastic-free swap, though, was a pack of beeswax wraps from BeeBee & Leaf. They are a versatile alternative to plastic cling film, and you can wrap just about anything with them. Think leftovers, fruit, veg, nuts, and herbs. You name it, you can wrap it!

What’s your biggest tip for living a greener lifestyle?

The biggest tip I’d have for living a greener lifestyle is to leave yourself time to plan. Trying to be plastic-free in a world that still relies so heavily on plastic means it can be really challenging to make conscious choices in a rush. And don’t be afraid to be creative. We were talking to a stallholder at a market near us at the weekend, and she said that someone had come in with an old (hopefully clean!) pillowcase to bulk buy pasta! I love that prep work and the ingenuity.

As the UK starts opening up again, it can be really tough to make greener choices while travelling. Your options are often limited. We got the train down to Cornwall a few weeks ago. The trip takes over 5 hours and I knew that anything coming along in the refreshment trolley would be covered in plastic. The night before we left, we made up some fruit and yogurt straight in the yoghurt pot. We also packed some sandwiches and leftover fruit from our Oddbox delivery into Tupperware and we were all set! We also raided the supermarket bakery section at the railway station. Plastic-free and delicious!

Another important tip to remember is that living a greener lifestyle isn’t an all-or-nothing thing. No matter how small, every positive change you make is still progress. If everyone made a little bit of progress then the world would be a much greener place.

And lastly, I’d love to know what you have planned next?

We have some big plans for our small business!

In the future, we’d like to create our own product line of eco-friendly must-haves! If you have any ideas then let us know in the comments. We’d also like to introduce a product recycling scheme so you can return things that aren’t accepted by your council to be recycled responsibly.

Lastly, we’d like to start a store in Australia as we’ll be spending a lot of time between the two countries in the future. It will be a priority of ours to source locally produced products wherever possible to limit the carbon footprint of ourselves and our customers.

Thanks so much, Will, for these insightful answers! And If you are keen to shop for plastic-free products, then do visit The Ideal Sunday’s website. Don’t forget to check out their great blog, and do follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Fashion, Life & Style

Where to Buy Ethically Made Plus Size Clothing in 2021

Are you looking to buy sustainably and ethically made plus-size clothing? Here are ethical clothing brands that cater for women up to a UK size 38.

Moral Fibres readers first asked me about sustainable and ethical plus-size clothing about seven years ago. At the time, I planned to write a blog post, similar to my guide to ethically made clothing. However, after doing some fairly intensive research, it seemed there were only a handful of US brands and nothing UK-based. It was a woeful picture.

The average woman in the UK is a size 16, but for a long time, the UK ethical clothing scene was not representative of this at all. Make no mistake, ethical fashion still has a long way to go in terms of representation. However, things are slowly changing. Now there are more sustainable brands catering to the ethical plus-size clothing market.

Where to Buy Ethically Made Plus Size Clothing

Here are nine brands producing ethically made and beautiful plus size clothing, and that cater for up to a size 38. Some will even create clothing for you at any size, and won’t charge you any more for this.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

The price range key for this guide is:

 £ = Under £50 | ££ = £50 – 100 | £££ = £100+

The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Emperor's Old Clothes for plus-size ethical clothing

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

All of The Emperor’s Old Clothes ethical clothing is handmade in Brighton, plus they cater for sizes up to size 24.

Here you’ll find one of a kind clothing, created from vintage and dead-stock fabric by people paid a living wage. The Emperor’s Old Clothes also invest in their local community with free sewing traineeships to encourage the continuation of their craft.

They have a strict zero fabric waste policy in their Brighton studio. This means that all of their garments are made from the end of roll fabrics. What’s more, the remnants created during the cutting of their garments go to making their accessories. Any leftover scraps from this are then either donated to local craft projects, textile recycled or made into scrap kits so you can get crafty at home.

The Emperor’s Old Clothes are also working to make their products as financially accessible as possible for their customers without compromising on their living wage ethos or the quality of their products. As such, they have introduced payment plans. Now customers can spread the cost of their ready to wear and design your own garments across 2 to 6 months rather than having to pay in full upfront.

Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective ethical clothing

Caters up to UK size 26

Price range ££ – £££

If you are looking for inclusively sized and ethically made activewear, then look no further than Girlfriend Collective. Catering for up to a UK size 26, and available via Sancho’s, their activewear is made from recycled plastic. Meanwhile, their t-shirts and tops are made from Cupro. This is a fibre made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. What’s more, all of their clothing is made in SA8000 certified factories. What this certification means is that it guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions, and zero forced labour or child labour.

What’s more, through their ReGirlfriend Scheme, Girlfriend Collective takes back your old Girlfriend Collective pieces. Here they are recycled and turned into brand new Girlfriend Collective pieces, rather than being downcycled into insulation products. And if the warm glow of doing something good wasn’t enough, then by way of thanks, you receive $15 USD towards a future purchase.

Gudrun Sjoden

Caters up to UK size 24

Price range ££

Ethical clothing can sometimes be a little monochrome. If you like brightly coloured and/or brightly patterned clothing, then worry not – this can still be bought ethically up to a UK size 24 at Gudrun Sjoden. Here you’ll find colourful eclectic clothing made ethically, and often organically.  If pattern isn’t your thing, then you’ll also find solid coloured ethical basics.

To be honest, I was at loggerheads of including Gudrun Sjoden in this article, because at the time of putting this article together (July 2021) I couldn’t find a single model above a size 10 modelling their clothes. I questioned Gudrun Sjoden about this via email and they told me:

We have several different seasonal collections per year and we use models of all sizes and backgrounds but unfortunately in this new Autumn collection, the models used are of a smaller size. Please be assured that if you purchase a garment that turns out to be totally unsuitable you can return it to us for exchange or refund.”

I don’t think that this is good enough, and Gudrun Sjoden can and should do better in terms of representation. However, I don’t want to not include Gudrun Sjoden in this article because options for plus-size ethical clothing are more limited.

Kitty Ferreira

Caters up to UK size 26

Price range: £££

Kitty Ferreira is a Black-owned brand that makes stylish ethical and sustainable clothes perfect for work or for special occasions.  Catering for up to a UK size 26, all of their clothing is made in London using upcycled and hand-dyed fabrics. Here, they use natural dyes, created using pomegranate and onions skins for a low environmental footprint. 

Kitty Ferreira doesn’t photograph their clothing on models, so unfortunately I don’t have any photos to show you!

Lora Gene

Ethically made clothing from Lora Gene

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

Lora Gene makes beautiful ethically made clothing that caters up to a UK size 28. And as a certified B-Corp, this means that Lora Gene meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 

Lora Gene’s main priority is to minimise waste in every step of the product life cycle. From the production of sustainably sourced materials, design, manufacturing, storage, transport, marketing, sales, reuse and recycling – Lora Gene takes responsibility for everything that they create. And unlike fast fashion, Lora Gene’s approach involves prioritising quality over quantity at all times.

All of Lora Gene’s garments are made to order, so you need to allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery.

Palava

Ethical and sustainable plus size clothing for women

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

Palava’s uniquely printed dresses and skirts are made from organic cotton in Europe and the UK and cater for up to a UK size 28. These seriously beautiful ethical clothes are so joyful!  

All of Palava’s dresses, skirts, trousers, tops and coats are ethically made in a small family-run factory on the outskirts of London.  And to minimise waste, all of Palava’s accessories are made from the leftover fabric after their dresses and skirts have been cut. Any scraps too small for their accessories get sold in fabric bundles for crafters and home sewists. What’s more, all of Palava’s packaging is now plastic-free.

Take 10% off your first order by signing up for their newsletter.

Sadie Alys

A guide to ethically made plus-size clothing, including Sadie Alys who will custom make clothing catering to any size.

Caters to any size – Sadie Alys will make custom clothes for any size at no additional cost

Price range: £ – £££

Sadie Alys is a made-to-order, custom-sized, slow fashion brand handmade in North Wales. Their aim is to make a positive impact on the fashion industry by making inclusive slow fashion for everyone. As such, Sadie Alys will cater for any size, at no additional cost. This really is plus size ethical fashion at its most inclusive.

Dungarees and skirts are Sadie Alys’s speciality – from long to short dungarees, as well as dungaree dresses to funky skirts. These are handmade from organic cotton and printed with eco-friendly inks.

As everything is made to order, this allows for less waste and unneeded fabric, helping to lighten the environmental load further. Because of this, please allow up to 5 weeks for your item to be made and dispatched.

Seasalt

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range: £ – ££

Offering inclusive sizing at really reasonable High Street prices, many of Seasalt’s* clothes are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. In fact, Seasalt was the very first fashion company to achieve Soil Association GOTS certification back in 2005. They’ve continued to do great things by bringing sustainability to the high street, whilst catering for a wide range of sizes.

Again, despite catering for up to a UK size 28, I could not find a single model above a size 10 modelling Seasalt’s clothes. This lack of diversity is disappointing from Seasalt. I’d like to see them do better.

Snag Tights

plus size ethical tights from Snag

Caters up to UK size 38

Price range: £

Snag, who are famous for their tights, don’t just sell ethically made tights. Oh no, as well as fun patterned tights and plain tights, here you’ll also find leggings, t-shirts, skirts, swimwear, and chub rub shorts, all ethically made and catering for sizes up to a UK plus size 38. That’s not a typo, that’s a size 38. Did I mention their prices are incredibly reasonable? Oh yes. I couldn’t find a single item over £40. Snag says that they keep a fixed margin, so they are able to pass any savings on to you.

Snag says that they are committed to doing things ethically and sustainably. As such, their entire clothing range is made from materials that are carefully considered, and all of their factories treat their workers fairly and pay living wages.

What’s more, Snag Tights are now fully recyclable. Snag has created a process specifically for their tights that turns your old tights into permanent industrial components. You can post them back to Snag for recycling (only Snag tights are accepted right now). You do have to pay postage for this, but the good news is that Snag is currently working on funding for you to send your tights back to them for free.

How To Make Ethical Clothing More Representative of Plus Size Bodies

Of course, there are many more ethical brands that don’t cater for plus sizes. Brands tell me they cater to perceived demand. If there is a particular brand that you would like to shop from that doesn’t cater for you, do email them and tell them you would shop with them if they made clothes that cater to more representative sizing. I also make a point of asking ethical fashion brands I work with if they have limited sizing options, about their plans to introduce greater size ranges to let them know that this is an important consideration for customers.

What If I Can’t Afford to Buy Plus Size Ethical Clothing?

I have aimed to cater to a wide range of price points in this article. However, if plus size ethical clothing is still out of your reach, then it’s important to remember that you don’t have to buy ethical clothing to support the ethical fashion movement. From supporting the right’s of garment workers across the globe to pressing brands for greater transparency, and calling out greenwashing when you see it, there’s much that can be done to support the movement, and those most negatively impacted by fast fashion.

As always, do let me know if you come across any more ethically made plus size clothing.