https://uk.buymeonce.com/pages/blog-feed BuyMeOnce UK - Articles & Tips 2018-09-19T17:02:00+0100 BuyMeOnce UK https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-09-19T17:02:00+0100 2018-09-19T17:02:00+0100 Verdict: The Most Durable Jeans Brand in the World James Bates-Prince


We set out on a search to find the most durable jeans in the world. Jeans to last a lifetime rather than a year, jeans with a low cost-per-use, jeans to give you a feeling of ownership and individuality. In combing the world’s top brands we’ve separated the raw selvedge from the overcooked cotton and ended up back where we started: London. The British denim connoisseurs Blackhorse Lane Ateliers are our number one choice for durable men’s and women’s jeans. Here’s why. The best design Blackhorse Lane Ateliers draw inspiration from a time before fashion was cynical. They care about the product and they care about people. Mass consumption, cutting corners, expanding globally; the cornerstones of fast fashion are their nemesis. Every part of their jean has been considered and reconsidered. Durability, style and comfort are at their heart not just on the day of sale, but for the next 10 years. Other jeans manufacturers will use the same top-line denims or fix their jeans for life – companies that we also love to bits – but no other manufacturer so meticulously over-engineers their jeans. For their more premium lines, all stress points are bar-tacked for extra strength, so it’s...]]>
We set out on a search to find the most durable jeans in the world. Jeans to last a lifetime rather than a year, jeans with a low cost-per-use, jeans to give you a feeling of ownership and individuality. In combing the world’s top brands we’ve separated the raw selvedge from the overcooked cotton and ended up back where we started: London.

The British denim connoisseurs Blackhorse Lane Ateliers are our number one choice for durable men’s and women’s jeans. Here’s why.

The best design

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers draw inspiration from a time before fashion was cynical. They care about the product and they care about people. Mass consumption, cutting corners, expanding globally; the cornerstones of fast fashion are their nemesis.

Every part of their jean has been considered and reconsidered. Durability, style and comfort are at their heart not just on the day of sale, but for the next 10 years. Other jeans manufacturers will use the same top-line denims or fix their jeans for life – companies that we also love to bits – but no other manufacturer so meticulously over-engineers their jeans.

For their more premium lines, all stress points are bar-tacked for extra strength, so it’s not just the stitching doing the work. The heritage-style waistbands use one piece of denim with single-needle continuous stitching keeping them flat to the jean and tougher and more aesthetically pleasing. The fly too is one piece of material, a design dug up from the old west.

Rivets reinforce the tough 12oz cotton pockets, and on the front right is printed a promise: “Made by us for life”. Quality and care are stitched into the seams, you can feel it even before putting them on.

The best materials

The words “raw Japanese selvedge” are enough to get any denimhead’s ears pricked. Meticulously created on authentic shuttle looms, it’s heavy and textured, dyed to perfection and unbeatably durable. For those new to luxury denim, there’s a nice guide here. Suffice to say Japanese is the gold standard, and it’s the star of Blackhorse Lane’s range.

It’s also bloody expensive, which is why the unpretentious Blackhorse Lane Ateliers offer a full range of denims to suit your need. They have carefully picked mills in Italy and Turkey to offer more accessibly priced jeans with a quality that matches their Japanese counterparts as near as they can. Delightfully, there’s an organic cotton option too to supercharge your ethical purchase. We like organic cotton.

Next-level transparency

Some things need to be seen to be believed. If you’re in London, it’s simple. Hop on the tube, grab the Victoria line up to Blackhorse Road station and walk about five minutes. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers’ factory sits beside the road, a humble and modestly-sized building.

Fling open the doors and find yourself in denim heaven. Reams of the stuff line the walls. Japanese, Italian, Turkish, their standards, then yet more exotic fabrics, pulled in for research and comparison. The chatter of sewing machines fills the air. Wandering inside you notice that these machines aren’t glossy and modern; like the patterns they weave they are older, mechanical and functional, beautiful in their own way.

A small team of experts fill the work area, heads down, focussed on their craft. Irons hiss and scissors clip. As the jeans take shape, the tasks become more delicate; the inseams fell-stitched plush to the leg, the embossed pockets tightly attached and vegetable-tanned patches are stitched to the waist. On the far side of the factory jeans pile high, new alongside old, long-loved pairs arriving for a free patch-up. You can watch it all unfold as what could be the finest jeans in the world are handcrafted before your eyes.

The best guarantee around

A well-made jean is brilliant thing. But after you’ve invested a chunk of change and given them years of care, you want insurance. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers offer a free repair service for the lifetime of the garment; all you have to do is pay for the shipping and give ‘em a wash.

It's not a replacement guarantee, but with items of clothing we tend to think those policies are more marketing than confidence. Blackhorse Lane will fix your jeans for life, because they know they'll only need a little tlc.

Made in the UK by real people

It’s not easy to make things in the UK, least of all clothes. Manufacturing is seen as costly, and so for most retailers moving production abroad is a quick, obvious decision.

The creator of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is Han Ates; his family have been in the textile industry for generations. Throughout his career he saw denim production go from Europe, to Turkey and then to China, chasing cheaper and cheaper pricing models. Eventually the exploitation, both of the workers and of the natural environment, became intolerable. If he were to return to the textiles industry, it would have to be in a situation where the excesses could be eliminated.

Blackhorse Lane manufacture in London. All of their skilled staff are paid at rates above the London Living Wage and with good reason: they are expert ateliers. Many of the factory staff have their story described in detail on Blackhorse Lane’s site, usually describing Blackhorse Lane as having the finest environment they’ve experienced in long careers.

A wide range, a fair price

At a glance these jeans look expensive. At point of purchase they can be, but for the men's range the options are there. If you don't need deluxe denim and every single feature, you can pick up a more affordable pair. For women the High-Rise N5's stand alone for now but are fantastic value, and will very soon be joined by more.

No matter which jeans you can afford up front, all durable jeans are a canny investment and any pair will be yours for life. After a few years, like the double-locked stitches, you’ll be near inseparable.

Besides the incredible cost for use, take solace in the fact that you know exactly what you’re paying for. High-quality materials, an honest business practice, sound environmental principles and a fair working culture. You’re paying for manufacturing to return to London. You’re endorsing slow fashion and sticking it to purveyors of the throwaway. And perhaps best of all, you’re also getting some cool jeans.

We’re convinced.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-09-14T17:45:00+0100 2018-09-14T17:45:00+0100 How to Build a Work Wardrobe in 6 Easy Steps Georgie Crosswell


It’s no exaggeration to say that a killer capsule wardrobe can transform your working life. An immaculately put together work wardrobe is like a modern suit of armour; not only will it save you tons of time, money and mental energy on a daily basis, more importantly it can lend you the sense of assertiveness and well-being you need to smash your day and ultimately progress your career. It’s definitely possible to create your capsule with clothing you already own - in fact, it’s a great idea - but there’s nothing wrong with carefully investing in key pieces you’re fairly confident you will love, wear and repair to death. Read on for the steps you’ll need to create a killer capsule no matter your place of work. The Key Principles: Capsule. Comfort, Confidence, Quality Capsule. There’s a reason uniforms are a thing; work clothes don’t need to be new and exciting, they need to be fit for purpose. You’ll save so much time and decision-making capacity every morning of your life if you can reach for a small range of reliable items you know you’ll feel good in. Comfort. The last thing you need during a busy day at work is to be...]]>
It’s no exaggeration to say that a killer capsule wardrobe can transform your working life. An immaculately put together work wardrobe is like a modern suit of armour; not only will it save you tons of time, money and mental energy on a daily basis, more importantly it can lend you the sense of assertiveness and well-being you need to smash your day and ultimately progress your career.

It’s definitely possible to create your capsule with clothing you already own - in fact, it’s a great idea - but there’s nothing wrong with carefully investing in key pieces you’re fairly confident you will love, wear and repair to death. Read on for the steps you’ll need to create a killer capsule no matter your place of work.

The Key Principles: Capsule. Comfort, Confidence, Quality

  • Capsule. There’s a reason uniforms are a thing; work clothes don’t need to be new and exciting, they need to be fit for purpose. You’ll save so much time and decision-making capacity every morning of your life if you can reach for a small range of reliable items you know you’ll feel good in.
  • Comfort. The last thing you need during a busy day at work is to be worrying about your clothing or footwear. You’ve got enough on your plate! If thoughts keep flitting back to an itchy seam or a tight shirt that makes you self conscious there’s no way you can be present or focused enough to smash your day.
  • Confidence. To do our best work we all need to feel confident, and the best way to jumpstart that feeling is through clothing. One or two key items that make you instantly feel five feet taller are an amazing secret work weapon.
  • Quality. Especially when you have a capsule wardrobe, your work clothes need to stand up to rigorous daily wear whilst looking professional and put together - quality is key.

1. Identify the style you want to achieve

Window shopping for inspiration is the fun bit! Take some time to figure out the styles you really like, bearing in mind that the majority of your closet isn’t necessarily “your style.” (We stockpile clothing for lots of unfathomable emotional reasons.) Thinking about people from your place of work whose style you admire is a great place to start. Do you love strong tailored pieces or slouchy, oversized garments? Are you more drawn to sophisticated neutrals or bursts of bright colour? Make a note of your preferences.

2. Find 2-3 garments that make you feel unstoppable

Clothing that is a small step outside your comfort zone can be like a magic cloak of confidence on the days you really need it. What are the garments that make you feel on top of your game? Have you always wanted to wear a jumpsuit to work but never taken the plunge? Do heeled shoes paired with a pencil skirt give you a spring in your step? Carefully identifying items that make you feel powerful is a game changer in a work wardrobe.

How to Build a Killer Capsule Work Wardrobe in 6 Steps | BuyMeOnce.com

Above: Thought JumpsuitLemuel MC Jacket; Lemuel MC Skirt; Lemuel MC Dress

3. Identify 2 - 3 versatile hero pieces

The LBD is a classic workwear piece for a reason. It’s not just that a black dress nearly always looks amazing (although it does), but more that an LBD can be both smart and relaxed, professional and stylish in one easy-to-wear garment. Simple, good quality dresses and jumpsuits in neutral or dark colours work in exactly the same way. A work wardrobe should comprise a few of these highly versatile, hero pieces - the ones you can reach for on a rush morning and think ‘thank God that’s there!’

4. Build in basics around your key pieces

Once you have your confidence boosters and your versatile heroes, it’s time to build up from there. High quality basics will help glue your capsule together. Simple black or white t-shirts are a great investment if you’ve got any bright or patterned bottoms, and work brilliantly under strappy dresses and jumpsuits to adapt your wardrobe to different seasons. Likewise, high quality jeans or black trousers can be a morning saviour. Basically, anything that will help pull different outfits together and aid layering. These should ideally be unpatterned and neutral to increase your combination options, but if you just love your colour (and it’s appropriate for your office), stick to block colours and try to stick to a core complementary colour palette.

How to Build a Killer Capsule Work Wardrobe in 6 Steps | BuyMeOnce.com

Above: Both Barrels Backpack; Maxwell Scott Rosa Handbag; Church's Loafers; Swedish Stockings Tights

5. Add in hardworking accessories

Nothing quite elevates stress levels unnecessarily than constantly switching between multiple bags. Finding an amazing work bag that looks smart, goes with everything, is comfortable for your commute, and neatly holds your daily essentials is crucial to a well-oiled work wardrobe.

Two to three pairs of shoes should be enough; a super comfortable flat option and a smarter, dressier option should stand you in good stead no matter your workplace. Comfortable underwear is a no-brainer, and investing in a few pairs of high quality tights that won’t ladder after three wears will dramatically reduce your chances of last minute wardrobe crises on your way out the door.

6. Identify gaps that need filling

Lay out all the pieces you’ve compiled and throw yourself a bedroom fashion show, trying on as many combinations as you can. Note how you feel in each outfit and what is missing. Perhaps you need to invest in one more killer item if your capsule lacks excitement, or a couple more neutral basics will help you get more wear out of key pieces. You might want to even hold off on this step for a while - wearing a capsule over a few weeks can give you a better sense of what’s missing before you invest in anything.


And, you’re done! Once you’re happy, ensure your morning routine (and your laundry routine) is as stress-free as possible by keeping your work clothes visually separate - another rail or a divider within your existing wardrobe works well. If you can manage these six steps you can dramatically reduce the amount of time spent mentally battling your own clothes each morning, leaving you relaxed, put-together and confident enough to smash the day ahead.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-09-07T20:16:00+0100 2018-09-07T20:16:00+0100 What are zero waste dental products and why should you invest? Georgie Crosswell


Zero waste bathroom swaps are some of the easiest to integrate into your life, but if you’ve never used zero waste dental products before it’s understandable to be suspicious. Toothpaste, a toothbrush and floss is rigidly built into our daily routines from the moment we can open our mouths; long before our zombie morning brains can even form a sentence we will stumble to the bathroom and start brushing.   To alter this habit of a lifetime might feel strange, but the fact remains that it’s far healthier for you and for the planet to banish plastic and synthetic ingredients from this daily task. Here’s a breakdown of common questions you might have about zero waste oral care products using our favourite brand, Georganics, as examples. Here we go! Bamboo Toothbrushes What are they like to use and how are they better? Some people find eco-friendly toothbrushes strange at first as the bristles are usually much softer than standard plastic ones. However, most dental professionals agree that softer bristles are best for your oral hygiene. Indeed, research by Monographs in Oral Science found that over brushing with harsh bristles can do more harm than good. Georganics offer a “medium bristles” brush which can be a good place to start; not...]]>
Zero waste bathroom swaps are some of the easiest to integrate into your life, but if you’ve never used zero waste dental products before it’s understandable to be suspicious. Toothpaste, a toothbrush and floss is rigidly built into our daily routines from the moment we can open our mouths; long before our zombie morning brains can even form a sentence we will stumble to the bathroom and start brushing.  

To alter this habit of a lifetime might feel strange, but the fact remains that it’s far healthier for you and for the planet to banish plastic and synthetic ingredients from this daily task. Here’s a breakdown of common questions you might have about zero waste oral care products using our favourite brand, Georganics, as examples. Here we go!

Bamboo Toothbrushes

What are zero waste dental products and why should you invest? | BuyMeOnce.com

What are they like to use and how are they better?

Some people find eco-friendly toothbrushes strange at first as the bristles are usually much softer than standard plastic ones. However, most dental professionals agree that softer bristles are best for your oral hygiene. Indeed, research by Monographs in Oral Science found that over brushing with harsh bristles can do more harm than good. Georganics offer a “medium bristles” brush which can be a good place to start; not as soft as some eco brushes, but not as harsh as most plastic ones. 

In terms of environmental impact, over the course of twenty years one person alone could unnecessarily be sending 80 plastic handles to landfill meaning this simple swap can make a huge difference.

What are they made from?

Surprise, surprise! Bamboo is the primary material. This biodegradable and evergreen plant requires no fertilisers or pesticides and requires little water to grow. Whilst there is some debate over the eco-friendliness of bamboo as a fabric (often questionable chemicals and processes are used to turn this fibre into a soft, supple material) in solid products such as toothbrushes it is usually a very eco-friendly option.

Are the bristles biodegradable?

Usually, no. Fully natural bristles are available if you look hard enough (made from materials such as pig hair) but many people find this distasteful. Bristles in eco friendly toothbrushes are usually made from less harmful materials than standard plastic brushes, and you can always rip out the bristles before composting your biodegradable handle at the end of your brushes life.

Georganics toothbrush bristles are made from BPA-free nylon, a non-toxic synthetic polymer. Some of them are infused with charcoal fibre obtained from bamboo charcoal which is biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free.

Whilst fully biodegradable bristles are hard to come by, investing in bamboo toothbrushes means far less waste overall and makes it more likely that resources and research can go towards improving materials used in future.

Natural Toothpaste

What are zero waste dental products and why should you invest? | BuyMeOnce.com

What’s actually in natural toothpaste?

Natural toothpaste ingredients vary widely from brand to brand. Main ingredients in Georganics natural toothpastes include Calcium Carbonate, shown in a 2005 Caries Research study to effectively enhance enamel remineralisation, and Sodium Bicarbonate, a low-abrasive powder that acts as a natural whitening agent as well as alkalising the pH in the mouth to promote remineralisation.

Virgin Coconut Oil is used as an alternative to synthetic glycerin. This antimicrobial ingredient has been proven to be effective at plaque removal and tooth decay prevention according to a study in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry 2016.

Flavouring is added with organic, food-grade essential oils, which not only offer strong natural flavours (we love the classic English Peppermint) but also offer antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Shea Butter adds a creamier texture and moisturising properties. (You can check out the full list of ingredients on each product page!)

What's the deal with “toothsoap”?

Toothsoap is essentially a solid, foaming bar of toothpaste that is free from nasty chemicals in traditional toothpaste such as glycerine, gently cleaning without being harsh or abrasive. Its simple ingredients are Sodium Palm Kernelate, a sodium salt of the fatty acids derived from sustainable and organic palm kernel oil, Sodium Palmate, a plant-derived foaming agent that also cleanses and removes stains, and organic essential oils for flavouring.

To use it, wet your toothbrush and rub the bristles onto the soap in circular motions and then brush as normal. Whilst tooth soap does feel different to regular toothpaste it’s great once you get used to it and is beautifully gentle on your mouth.

We love the idea of solid tooth soap, especially since it can be so simply and sustainably packaged. This incredibly simple rethink of a daily household necessity could monumentally reduce the amount of waste produced by each household. 

What is activated charcoal and why is it good for you?

Charcoal is "activated" by being processed at temperatures high enough to change its internal structure, increasing its surface area and making it more porous than regular charcoal. Its high absorbency and mildly abrasive qualities make it an effective stain remover, and good for drawing out toxins which can cause bad breath and gum disease, making it a perfect ingredient for natural toothpastes. You can check out Georganics natural activated charcoal toothpaste here.

Natural Floss

What are zero waste dental products and why should you invest? | BuyMeOnce.com

What is it made from?

Unsurprisingly, there is very little difference in the experience of using natural rather than standard dental floss. Natural flosses are usually made using natural silks coated in plant-based candelilla wax; we like Georganics natural floss because it is made using Ahimsa Silk, which is 100% biodegradable and made in a way that is more humane to silkworms than many traditional methods. Their floss also contains charcoal fibre and essential oils for strong natural flavouring and stain removal.

How is it better for you and the planet?

Whilst toothbrushes are at least reusable, dental floss is a single-use plastic that many of us use every single day. The impact of swapping out your dental floss for a plastic-free, biodegradable version can make a huge difference to your personal environmental impact, and the natural ingredients, waxed finish and essential oil flavouring can make for a more pleasant, gentle flossing experience.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-30T13:31:00+0100 2018-08-30T13:31:00+0100 Reupholstery: A Sustainable Solution for your Old Furniture BuyMeOnce UK


I’ve been learning the craft of upholstery for six months. When I set out for my first class at The School of Upholstery in Faversham, Kent, I was expecting to combine my interests in arts and crafts with some practical skills and hopefully sort out my dreadful mock-something, ‘90s dining chairs, which my darling sons had done their best to destroy following a disastrous craft afternoon. I wasn’t expecting that the class would revive my passion for environmentalism and replace my impulsive spendthrift urges with an interest in restoration and conservation. In fact, since starting this course, I have found myself retrieving old furniture from people’s front gardens on the way home from the school run (after checking with them first, of course). Unbelievably, an incredible 1.6 million tonnes of bulky waste, largely furniture, are thrown to landfill each year in the UK. Around 50 percent of this is estimated to be functional with repair. This article is a plea for us to pause before we dispose and first give some consideration to having our furniture altered or reupholstered so that it better meets our needs. Here are some points to consider before you oust the couch. Emma Marsden 1)...]]>
I’ve been learning the craft of upholstery for six months. When I set out for my first class at The School of Upholstery in Faversham, Kent, I was expecting to combine my interests in arts and crafts with some practical skills and hopefully sort out my dreadful mock-something, ‘90s dining chairs, which my darling sons had done their best to destroy following a disastrous craft afternoon. I wasn’t expecting that the class would revive my passion for environmentalism and replace my impulsive spendthrift urges with an interest in restoration and conservation. In fact, since starting this course, I have found myself retrieving old furniture from people’s front gardens on the way home from the school run (after checking with them first, of course).

Unbelievably, an incredible 1.6 million tonnes of bulky waste, largely furniture, are thrown to landfill each year in the UK. Around 50 percent of this is estimated to be functional with repair. This article is a plea for us to pause before we dispose and first give some consideration to having our furniture altered or reupholstered so that it better meets our needs.

Here are some points to consider before you oust the couch.

Emma Marsden

1) Nothing (in the furniture world) is beyond repair.

Paint, sand, wax, glue, nail, whatever it takes, it can be done. During my classes, I’ve seen an ornate French button-back sofa being stripped back to reveal an assortment of structural issues – it seems the upholstery was what was holding the whole thing together. The problematic parts were removed, and replacement wood was fitted in place to stabilise the structure. It will now go on to provide many years of useful and beautiful service.

Reupholstery: A Sustainable Solution for your Old Furniture | uk.buymeonce.com

2) A little bit of imagination goes a long way.

You need to “see beyond what’s there” as a fellow upholstery student put it. The old ‘80s occasional chair with its unfashionable dark cherry-stained wooden arms and legs could look fabulous if sanded to reveal the true blond wood beneath.

3) Let your creativity take control.

Your old bog-standard chair can be reborn into a beautiful, unique and very personal expression of your own style. When you reupholster a piece of furniture, you are released from the constraints of the limited range of fabrics or colours a furniture retailer will have in place: you can have exactly what you like.

There are some amazing upholstery fabrics available out there from designers such as Emma Shipley for Clarke & Clarke, bespoke fabric from Spoonflower or child and pet-proof fabrics from Aqua Clean, which would improve the longevity of your items. If you prefer something simple and natural, look for hemp or wool fabrics or cotton ticking.

If you really want to push the boundaries, you could consider designing your own textiles; companies such as Woven Monkey allow you to upload designs and select which fabric you’d like to have it printed on. Whichever approach you take, you can be sure that your chair will be unique to you. And a further consequence of such a personal investment is that you are more likely to want to care for your furniture and keep it for a long time to come.

4) Traditional reupholstery is an investment worth making.

Using horse hair or coir and creating stitched hessian pads can be a time consuming and therefore expensive business, but it is an investment worth considering. As my tutor Alex Law has written, “upholstery … should stand the test of time and the rigours of use”. An appropriate top fabric of 40,000 rubs or more should last, if properly applied, for around 20 years; the traditional stitched pads underpinning the upholstery could last for centuries!

Reupholstery: A Sustainable Solution for your Old Furniture | uk.buymeonce.com

5) You will be saving the environment.

You are minimising waste, not just of the product, but all the processes that went into making that product in the first place; you can also select materials for reupholstery which are sustainable and eco-friendly. For instance, I have used rubberised coir sheet on several occasions, which is a great substitute for foam. It is made from coir and natural latex, thus avoiding animal products and any harmful contribution to plastic pollution. The other fabrics and threads used in traditional upholstery, such as hessian, calico, linen and cotton ticking, are all naturally derived.

6) You will be supporting local craftsmanship.

I am fortunate enough to watch Alex at work every week, and it never fails to amaze me how he can manipulate and ease the fabric into exactly the shape desired and how the tools he uses seem to become an extension of his body as he works. His 27 years’ experience has surely earned him the title of Master Upholsterer.

I now have six dining chairs to be proud of. They are six of a kind – completely bespoke and original. I actually like them now, and although we got them second-hand and out of necessity, I intend for them to stay as they reflect the style of our house and I know how much work went into restoring them. They are not kid-proof, but the children are now more respectful and careful of them as they perceive their value to me. It has certainly been an investment worth making.

Emma Marsden is a self-employed polymath. A former Social Sciences teacher, she now scrabbles together a living as an occasional A-Level tutor, writer and maker of ethical jewellery and is now venturing into textile design and bespoke upholstery.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-24T11:35:00+0100 2018-08-24T11:35:00+0100 How to Stop Impulse Buying: The Ultimate Guide Tara Button


Hi, my name’s Tara and I’m an impulse buyer! But over the last couple of years, I’ve managed to get my spending under control (even in stationery stores!) by teaching myself how to stop impulse buying. Do you ever look around your house and wonder “how did all this stuff get here?” or get to the end of the month and wonder where all the money went? If this rings true to you, you may have an imp infestation! Yes – imps are those tricksy little creatures that get you impulse buying. But first you need to identify what type of imps you have. We’re going on an imp hunt! Where to look for clues? Scour your bank account, credit card bills and paypal purchase lists for imp trails. These are patterns of behaviour. It might be occasional massive purchases or a pitter-patter of tiny little treats that add up. It may feel a bit scary, especially if you usually try to avoid facing these figures. Block out three hours, screw up your courage and go hunting. Highlight anything you think might have been an impulse buy, whether it was a coffee or a car. Once you’ve got a clear...]]>
Hi, my name’s Tara and I’m an impulse buyer! But over the last couple of years, I’ve managed to get my spending under control (even in stationery stores!) by teaching myself how to stop impulse buying.

Do you ever look around your house and wonder “how did all this stuff get here?” or get to the end of the month and wonder where all the money went?

If this rings true to you, you may have an imp infestation!

Yes – imps are those tricksy little creatures that get you impulse buying. But first you need to identify what type of imps you have. We’re going on an imp hunt!

Where to look for clues?

Scour your bank account, credit card bills and paypal purchase lists for imp trails. These are patterns of behaviour. It might be occasional massive purchases or a pitter-patter of tiny little treats that add up. It may feel a bit scary, especially if you usually try to avoid facing these figures.

Block out three hours, screw up your courage and go hunting.

Highlight anything you think might have been an impulse buy, whether it was a coffee or a car. Once you’ve got a clear picture, you should be able to identify what type of imps you have and learn how to stop impulse buying too.

The treater imp

This imp thinks any occasion needs to be celebrated or condoled with your wallet. It’s Monday, you need comfort cookies. It’s raining, you need a magazine. It’s the weekend, treat time for the kids!  

Little comforts and treats are part of the joys of life, but you need to give this imp some boundaries, otherwise it will just keep pushing for more.

Don’t eliminate all treats, but tell your imp firmly what it’s allowed. Maybe just one posh coffee a week or new toys for the kids once a term. Write down these rules, so the imp can see they are official. Allow for flexibility and spontaneity within the system, but commit that if you’ve had your treat quota for that week or month, that’s it!

Try making a list of free or cheaper treats that you can have instead. If you can, avoid the places that this little imp gets most excited or distract him when you’re close. If you can’t resist McDonalds, call a friend as you pass it by. Throw up barriers so this imp can’t have its way before you’ve even realised what’s happened. Put a 24-hour rule on all online purchases. You can add it to a wish list, but not your cart. Then you can come back to it with a cooler head later.

How to Stop Impulse Buying: The Ultimate Guide | BuyMeOnce.com

The insecurity imp

The insecurity imp is constantly trying to persuade you that you’ll feel better, look better or be better if only you had this, that or the other. If you discover that much of your spending was to cheer yourself up and make you feel better, then you’re not alone! 62% of us have used shopping as a way to elevate our mood.

The insecurity imp is a pretty powerful creature – it lives in your head, but it has the whole advertising and fashion industry supporting its cause. Disarm this imp by avoiding ads as much as possible, and whenever you see one you can’t avoid, tell it “thanks, but I’m fine the way I am.”  

This imp need firm handling. Look it in the eye and tell it daily “No material object can make me a better person. I am enough.”

The “FOMO” imp

This imp is super excitable and is terrified of missing out on a bargain or experience. If you can’t resist a sale situation or you tend to overspend on Black Friday, you may have a FOMO imp problem.

This imp freaks out when something is available for a limited time only because we’re programmed to want things when they are scarce. Be aware that this imp is pushing on a human instinct and have a big human-sized shrug ready in response. Like – “So? They have a sale three times a year!”  

You are more susceptible to the FOMO imp if you haven’t got a clear direction of where you want to be spending your time and money. Make a list of your true priorities and the stuff that’s really going to make you happy. More free time, a creative project, experiences with friends, pursuing a passion. Rank these things and make sure both the bulk of your time and money is spent on the things that matter.

Then use sales to get items you’ve carefully identified as necessary to help you live a life of passion, rather than letting sales manipulate what you want. Never buy something half price that you wouldn’t want or need at its full price.

The guilt imp

Close friend to the FOMO imp, this imp tells you you’re a bad friend/father/wife unless you’re constantly supplying the people around you with material possessions. Flowers when you come over, toys when you come back from a trip, excessive presents, “just because” treats.

Remind yourself that the people who truly love and care for you would love you just as much if you lost all your money and couldn’t buy them anything. Gift these people your time, love and thoughts, not something that will end up stuffed in their cupboard.   

How to Stop Impulse Buying: The Ultimate Guide | BuyMeOnce.com

The curiosity imp

This imp is excited by anything new; it’s a wriggly little thing that can’t handle the idea of things remaining the same. Therefore, any excuse to change it up or “freshen” your look, or buy something new is going to get this imp tapping on the inside of your head telling you that it “neeeeds you to redecorate” or “neeeeds the latest phone.”

The good news is that this imp isn’t all bad. It can be trained to become a helpful part of your life. This is a two-pronged approach.

First, you need to teach the imp to appreciate the items you already own. Spend time imagining if you didn’t have the things you do in your life. Focus on the gratitude for your current sofa, phone, computer and clothing.

Next, turn the imp’s attention to more positive and productive areas of your life. What new thing could you learn about, what new place could you go? What new people could you meet? What new goal could you aim for?

The faddy imp

This imp is pals with the curious imp but is also a massive flake. It gets excited about stuff, gets you to buy all the equipment and then promptly loses interest. The way to subdue this little guy is to give him the benefit of the doubt, but always always borrow rather than buy the equipment. That way, if you discover a true passion you can always upgrade to your own equipment as a reward.

Avoid faddy fashion and décor trends by taking the time to research your true taste. For a full step-by-step guide on how to do that, see my book A Life Less Throwaway.

You may have all these imps or just a couple. Whatever imp situation you’re dealing with, know that all imps fear “The List”.  A well thought through shopping list is your greatest shield, even if it’s just a couple of words on your phone.


But don’t just write a list of things you need to buy, write a list of things you don’t need to buy. If you’d like to see what that looks like check out mine here. In my experience, nothing else has helped as much as this to help me to go imp-free.

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-20T16:33:00+0100 2018-08-20T16:33:00+0100 How to Save Money on Kids Clothes: Introducing Muddy Puddles BuyMeOnce UK


Children are undeniably expensive creatures. They don’t seem to stop growing. Ever. They scamper about the world covering their clothes and everything in their wake with food, paint and all manner of goop – surely it can’t make sense for most of us to buy kids clothes that cost more than the likes of H&M Kids, Tesco and Asda can offer, right? Not quite. Lily Courtauld Switching from low-cost clothing to higher price point brands might not seem like an obvious way to save money, but if the brand in question offers high-quality, long-lasting kit that can really be worn (a lot), loved and handed down to lucky siblings, you will save a lot. We’re not talking about fussy children’s special occasion-wear that you’d probably have to bribe them to go near; we’re referring to the staples of their wardrobe that they wear and use every day in the toughest weather – the items they need to function day after rainy and windy day. According to Nationwide Building Society, the average UK family spends £174.31 per child getting ready for the new academic year buying kids clothes, stationery and school supplies. Given the majority of families (as of 2017) have...]]>
Children are undeniably expensive creatures. They don’t seem to stop growing. Ever. They scamper about the world covering their clothes and everything in their wake with food, paint and all manner of goop – surely it can’t make sense for most of us to buy kids clothes that cost more than the likes of H&M Kids, Tesco and Asda can offer, right?

Not quite.

Lily Courtauld

Switching from low-cost clothing to higher price point brands might not seem like an obvious way to save money, but if the brand in question offers high-quality, long-lasting kit that can really be worn (a lot), loved and handed down to lucky siblings, you will save a lot. We’re not talking about fussy children’s special occasion-wear that you’d probably have to bribe them to go near; we’re referring to the staples of their wardrobe that they wear and use every day in the toughest weather – the items they need to function day after rainy and windy day.

Save money on kids clothes by investing in brands like Muddy Puddles who offer high-quality, long-lasting kit that can really be worn, loved and handed down. #buymeonce #muddypuddles #kidsclothes #savemoney

According to Nationwide Building Society, the average UK family spends £174.31 per child getting ready for the new academic year buying kids clothes, stationery and school supplies. Given the majority of families (as of 2017) have two children, if the clothing and accessories purchased as part of the back to school package could be used for more than one child, significant savings, not to mention stress, could be saved in the long run.

For this reason, and many more to boot, we have fallen for our latest kids brand, Muddy Puddles. Muddy Puddles make affordable high-quality, long-lasting children’s outerwear and outdoor accessories able to withstand the worst weather, live to tell the tale and be handed down for future adventurers to enjoy.

The collection features the essentials your little ones need to survive a British year (e.g. all four seasons in a week). Coats are crafted to technical performance standards; each one is made of tough stuff, fully waterproof and breathable ensuring little ones can experience nature in any condition. We love Muddy Puddles for their practical, no-nonsense approach to kids clothes. Their designs are unisex to add further longevity but always retain a playful feel – your kids will love to wear these clothes which is crucial. Ever tried to wrestle a toddler into a kagoule? It doesn’t usually end well. Their buy-in is essential.

Save money on kids clothes by investing in brands like Muddy Puddles who offer high-quality, long-lasting kit that can really be worn, loved and handed down. #buymeonce #muddypuddles #kidsclothes #savemoney

Primary schools up and down the country are supplied by Muddy Puddles for their outdoor learning sessions – given the heavy use and challenging conditions these garments are subjected to, you can be confident that Muddy Puddles kids clothes are as durable and protective as they come.

Aside from being on a mission to keep children cosy, warm and dry, Muddy Puddles are also working to address the problem of plastic waste. Their latest Eco Splash range is made entirely from recycled single-use plastic bottles. Buying long-lasting clothing is the easiest way to consume in an eco-friendly way while investing your pennies wisely long-term. We love that Muddy Puddles are addressing the planet-wide issue of single-use plastic in such an innovative, practical way as well as offering quality, long-lasting kids clothes to keep your little adventurers happy for the long haul.

Lily Courtauld is the Content Director at BuyMeOnce. After ten years in the luxury fashion industry, Lily now dedicates her time to finding innovative, long-lasting brands for the site and brings her penchant for neoprene capes, jazzy prints and peanut butter into BuyMeOnce HQ.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-13T19:16:00+0100 2018-08-13T19:16:00+0100 Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences Georgie Crosswell


Part of the BuyMeOnce philosophy is that carefully buying things to last a lifetime will leave you with more time, more money and more mental energy to focus on the things that really matter. Instead of finding transitory happiness in buying and hoarding endless stuff (that often gets quickly forgotten about anyway), we can instead collect experiences, spend more time with family and friends, try new activities or immerse ourselves in new cultures. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some incredible last minute travel experiences that we think are sure to make 2018 a year to remember. Intrepid Travel is a great company for packing amazing travel experiences into as much or little time as you have; we love that they're a certified B Corp and that all their trips are carbon offset. (For more tips on travelling mindfully check out our travel resources article and our long-haul travel essentials edit.) So without further ado here are our top travel picks; whether you’re after a whirlwind weekend, an exotic odyssey or a once in a lifetime trip with the family, there’s something for you here.  Wild Mongolia  If you want to forget the madness of city life and escape to a land of rugged scenery, crumbling mountain-top...]]>
Part of the BuyMeOnce philosophy is that carefully buying things to last a lifetime will leave you with more time, more money and more mental energy to focus on the things that really matter. Instead of finding transitory happiness in buying and hoarding endless stuff (that often gets quickly forgotten about anyway), we can instead collect experiences, spend more time with family and friends, try new activities or immerse ourselves in new cultures. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some incredible last minute travel experiences that we think are sure to make 2018 a year to remember.

Intrepid Travel is a great company for packing amazing travel experiences into as much or little time as you have; we love that they're a certified B Corp and that all their trips are carbon offset. (For more tips on travelling mindfully check out our travel resources article and our long-haul travel essentials edit.)

So without further ado here are our top travel picks; whether you’re after a whirlwind weekend, an exotic odyssey or a once in a lifetime trip with the family, there’s something for you here. 

Wild Mongolia 

If you want to forget the madness of city life and escape to a land of rugged scenery, crumbling mountain-top edifices, and wandering nomads then this trip to Wild Mongolia is for you. In 15 days you will get a taste for a simpler life. Live close to the land in traditional Mongolian tents, visit stunning monasteries and volcanic crater lakes, and learn all about this fascinating country that was once one of the largest empires in the world.Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences | BuyMeOnce.com

Sail Italy: Procida to Amalfi

Lasting just four days, this whirlwind yacht trip along the Amalfi Coast is perfect for those looking for a little taste of adventure within a luxurious, relaxing setting. Casting off from the Bay of Naples and stopping at historic Pompeii with plenty of time for relaxation and sampling exquisite seafood, this is one atmospheric escape that won't be forgetten in a hurry.

Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences | BuyMeOnce.com

The Inca Trail Express

The Inca Trail is on many people's bucket list for a reason. This trip is the perfect balance of culture and adventure; in 7 days you will explore the ancient city of Cusco, wander the Sacred Valley, explore the Ollantaytambo ruins and feel tantalisingly close to ancient civilizations at majestic Machu Picchu. 

Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences | BuyMeOnce.com

Unforgettable India

As travel experiences go there aren’t many countries more explosive, immersive and exciting than unforgettable India. On this once in a lifetime trip you will see the highlights in just 15 days, from bustling, chaotic Delhi, to Agra for the Taj Mahal, all the way to Varanasi and the spiritual ghats of the Ganges. The intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of this fascinating country will linger in your memory long after you leave. 

Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences | BuyMeOnce.com

Borneo Family Adventure

If you and your family have a taste for the wild life, this is an unforgettable 11 day adventure in Borneo will entrance adults and kids alike. Swim and snorkel with tropical fish at Pulau Tiga or kick back in the Poring Hot Springs, spot wildlife in the steamy jungle and have magical up-close encounters with Orangutans at conservation centers. The kids will be talking about this trip for years to come. 

Memories to Last a Lifetime: Amazing Last Minute Travel Experiences | BuyMeOnce.com

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-08T12:26:00+0100 2018-08-08T12:26:00+0100 7 Reasons Why a Maxwell Scott Bag is a Great Lifetime Investment Georgie Crosswell


There are many tough, durable bags out there with outstanding warranties - the Saddleback Leather Co. offer a 100-year warranty for example, alongside the slogan ‘they’ll fight over it when you’re dead’ - but for many people a bag is far more than just a vessel for dragging around daily essentials. A good handbag or briefcase can make you feel instantly put together and ready to take on the world. Whilst we don’t encourage disposable fashion, we do believe in carefully choosing good pieces and investing in personal style. Rather than pouring hundreds of pounds into designer bags that might be on trend for a year or two, we think a timeless Maxwell Scott bag - warrantied for 25 years - is worth every penny. Here’s a few reasons why. 1. They’re Fighting Disposable Fashion Maxwell Scott are working hard against disposable fashion culture by making quality and longevity a backbone of their brand. Whilst high fashion is sadly no longer necessarily associated with high quality as it once was in the past, here is a brand offering both strong style and peace of mind that you’ve made a good investment. 2. They’re super practical Unlike some designer bags for twice the price, Maxwell Scott items...]]>
There are many tough, durable bags out there with outstanding warranties - the Saddleback Leather Co. offer a 100-year warranty for example, alongside the slogan ‘they’ll fight over it when you’re dead’ - but for many people a bag is far more than just a vessel for dragging around daily essentials. 

A good handbag or briefcase can make you feel instantly put together and ready to take on the world. Whilst we don’t encourage disposable fashion, we do believe in carefully choosing good pieces and investing in personal style. Rather than pouring hundreds of pounds into designer bags that might be on trend for a year or two, we think a timeless Maxwell Scott bag - warrantied for 25 years - is worth every penny. Here’s a few reasons why.

1. They’re Fighting Disposable Fashion

Maxwell Scott are working hard against disposable fashion culture by making quality and longevity a backbone of their brand. Whilst high fashion is sadly no longer necessarily associated with high quality as it once was in the past, here is a brand offering both strong style and peace of mind that you’ve made a good investment.

2. They’re super practical

Unlike some designer bags for twice the price, Maxwell Scott items are carefully designed to be as practical as possible, especially for modern working life. The Carli backpack, for example, is an elegant bag you can pair with a sharp work outfit to make an impression at an important meeting, but is equally suitable for throwing over your shoulders to cycle home with.

3. They will never go out of style

Impeccable, timeless design is the foundation of the Maxwell Scott brand. All their bags and briefcases walk the line between classic and minimalist styling in a way that means it’s hard to imagine them ever going out of style. Whether for men or for women the rich quality of the leather speaks for itself, offering elegance that can transcend years of fleeting fashion.

4. They’re wonderful for work

It’s hard to underestimate how important work apparel can be; a well put together outfit topped with a great bag is like a suit of armour, helping you to make a strong impression whilst making you feel confident and prepared for anything. Maxwell Scott briefcases and work bags, such as the Paulo 3 Briefcase, are designed to hold anything you might need with a classic, elegant and streamlined exterior to elevate any outfit.

5. They’re great capsule wardrobe pieces

Maxwell Scott bags are the perfect investment for a capsule wardrobe. Their classic designs in natural, neutral colours will go with just about anything, and versatility is built right into the designs. The Lucca bag is a perfect example; this minimal, compact bag has a strap that can be worn on the shoulder, across the body or removed entirely, taking you from brunch to wandering round town to evening glamour with ease.

6. They're Easy to Care For

Maxwell Scott products are made using full-grain vegetable-tanned leather which is renowned for being incredibly durable and easy to care for. Any scratches or marks can be buffed or polished out easily, and dirt can be washed off by gently dabbing with a cloth and a mild soap and water solution. The brand also recommends conditioning your bag with Skidmore’s leather cream to keep it in tip top condition for decades to come.

7. Transparent Manufacturing

Maxwell Scott products are all handcrafted in their factory in Tuscany by 14 skilled leather artisans, many of them family passing their skills down the generations. Whilst some machines from the 1970s are still in use, the whole factory is powered by solar panels, combining the best elements of traditional craftsmanship and modern, forward thinking that we love to see.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-08-03T04:00:00+0100 2018-08-03T04:00:00+0100 How to Care for Iron Pans Amanda Saxby


If you’ve already jumped on the iron pan train, then this article is for you. I’m going to lay down how to care for iron pans and how to avoid some common problems. And if you’ve been thinking about purchasing an iron pan, but still have some reservations, we’re going to address those as well. I firmly believe that a good iron pan is an essential kitchen kit investment that will last your (and likely your whole family’s) entire life. Ready? Let’s get to it! Some Common Cast Iron Pan Misconceptions First, let’s delve into the three major reasons why people shy away from iron pans and attempt to alleviate some of that worry. 1. They’re so heavy! Yes, iron pans can be quite heavy, but no one said you had to wrist-flip a stir-fry in them! In fact, once you plop it on your stove, you don’t even have to move it if you don’t want to. Grab your favourite lifetime guaranteed spatula or flipper and go to town. Most of them are so lovely once cleaned that you can even leave them on your stove top, ready for your next meal. Bonus: a few bicep curls with an iron...]]>
If you’ve already jumped on the iron pan train, then this article is for you. I’m going to lay down how to care for iron pans and how to avoid some common problems. And if you’ve been thinking about purchasing an iron pan, but still have some reservations, we’re going to address those as well. I firmly believe that a good iron pan is an essential kitchen kit investment that will last your (and likely your whole family’s) entire life. Ready? Let’s get to it!

How to Care for Iron Pans | uk.buymeonce.com

Some Common Cast Iron Pan Misconceptions

First, let’s delve into the three major reasons why people shy away from iron pans and attempt to alleviate some of that worry.

1. They’re so heavy!

Yes, iron pans can be quite heavy, but no one said you had to wrist-flip a stir-fry in them! In fact, once you plop it on your stove, you don’t even have to move it if you don’t want to. Grab your favourite lifetime guaranteed spatula or flipper and go to town. Most of them are so lovely once cleaned that you can even leave them on your stove top, ready for your next meal. Bonus: a few bicep curls with an iron pan can be a great workout, and you don’t even need to leave the kitchen. #winning

2. But don’t they rust easily?

Yes, they rust, but not easily. We’re going to show you how you can avoid this in just a few simple steps. No rust, no problem.

3. Okay, well, they’re too much work!

So is a puppy, but you aren’t going to shove him in the cupboard and forget about him simply because little Fido watered the carpet again, are you? Iron pans may require a little extra love in the beginning, but if you put in the time and effort, the subsequent tasks will take all of five minutes and you’ll have a well-behaved pan for the rest of your life.

How to Care for Iron Pans | uk.buymeonce.com

A Few More Reasons to Swap to Cast Iron

Durability. Iron and iron alloys account for over 90 percent of worldwide metal production and have been used for centuries to craft objects we needed to last – everything from weapons to ship hulls to engines to railway tracks to building structures have been made from iron. So if this metal is trusted to keep a building upright, I think we can trust it to survive a few Christmas dinners.

Health properties. Iron is an essential mineral in the human diet; without it, we are at risk of iron deficiency and anaemia, irregular heartbeat, pregnancy complications and delayed growth (in children). It might sound impossible, but cooking in an iron pan can actually increase your iron absorption. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published an article that found “the iron content in 100 grams of spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6mg to 5.7mg after being cooked in a cast iron pot” (source). Furthermore, iron pans are seasoned with natural cooking oils to create their non-stick surface. This removes the danger of releasing harmful fumes into the air while cooking.

Versatility. An iron pan can move easily from hob to oven to grill to open fire pit, serving up endless possibilities for all your foodie needs.

Heat retention. Have you ever cooked something, forgot to keep it in the oven on the warm setting and then ended up serving lukewarm (read: cold) food to your family or guests? You won’t have that problem with an iron pan. Not only does it conduct heat better while you’re cooking – providing you with more evenly cooked food – it also retains heat better than most cookware, meaning your food should arrive on the table piping hot.

How to Care for Iron Pans | uk.buymeonce.com

How to Take Care of Your Cast Iron Pan

Step one: Season it

Most iron skillets will come lightly pre-seasoned, but for best results you should always season your pan two to three times more before cooking with it the first time. This will provide a solid non-stick foundation going forward and make cleaning a lot easier.

Unless you have an extremely well-ventilated kitchen, we recommend seasoning your pan in the oven. While stove-top seasoning is slightly faster, it also creates a lot of smoke. To perform a seasoning cycle:

  • Preheat your oven to its maximum temperature (250°C, gas mark 9) and open all your windows.
  • Using a food grade oil (rice bran or flaxseed are best), rub a couple tablespoons of oil all over the pan.
  • Wipe this oil clean using a lint-free cloth until only a very thin layer of oil remains.
  • Place your pan upside-down on the middle oven rack for 1-2 hours.
  • Switch off the oven and allow the pan to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pan and swipe on a second layer of seasoning while the pan is still warm.

You will want to repeat this cycle two to three times before you use it. After that, this cycle will only be required once a month or so to maintain the non-stick.

Step two: Clean it

People tend to panic when it comes to cleaning their iron pans. Do I use soap? Am I allowed to let it air dry? I think I read somewhere not to put it in the dishwasher…? But it’s actually very easy to clean your pan.

  • Once you’re done cooking, wipe out the pan with a lint-free cloth. Most of the food and oil should come free if you’ve kept the seasoning up to date.
  • If your pan requires a little more elbow grease, wash it under hot running water using a medium bristle brush or sponge. Try not to scrub too much and do not use soap as this can strip the seasoning.
  • Once the pan is squeaky clean, wipe it dry and place it back on a medium heat to fully dry and avoid rusting.
  • Never put your iron pan in the dishwasher or allow it to air dry as this can cause rust.

Step three: Maintain it

Contrary to what people believe, this is the easiest step. Once you’ve cleaned your iron pan and it’s dry, rub a very light layer of oil inside the bowl of the pan to prevent corrosion. Sort of like you would apply a layer of moisturiser after a shower. After that, just keep an eye on the non-stick ability of your pan. If you find your food starting to stick more readily, perform a couple rounds of oven seasoning to get it back up to scratch.

Amanda Saxby hails from the frozen tundra of British Columbia, Canada, and now works as Digital Marketing Manager for BuyMeOnce in London. When she’s not analysing the latest Twitter trends or decoding the optimal time to post an Instagram, she can be found with a whisk in her hand baking up some tasty natural treats for her blog and colleagues. So far, no complaints.

Images by Marc Bates.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-07-24T11:42:00+0100 2018-07-24T11:42:00+0100 Reusable Food Wrap Vs. Cling Film: Which is the superior product? Georgie Crosswell


Here at BuyMeOnce we are, unsurprisingly, already sold on the idea of reusable food wrap,with our favourite being these colourful beauties from The Beeswax Wrap Co.. Whilst they are undeniably a great way to reduce your plastic waste, we can understand that concerns still abound. Cling film has clung tight to our shopping lists ever since its invention in the 50s because it is, undeniably, ridiculously useful. Why should you give up on a time-tested product for these new-fangled, waxy wraps that might make your fridge smell strange? (Wax wraps actually smell luscious.) We wanted to take the time to dig into the issue and see just how reusable food wraps measure up when pitched alongside traditional cling film. We’ll be looking at the environment, usability, usefulness, cost, and health risks, along with hints and tips for getting the most out of reusable wraps if you have them. Let’s get to it. Environmental Impact Let’s get this one out of the way - cling film is terrible for the environment. Designed as a single-use plastic, it’s right up there at the top of the podium alongside plastic straws and plastic cutlery getting top prize for 'nastiest plastics hurting our planet.'...]]>
Here at BuyMeOnce we are, unsurprisingly, already sold on the idea of reusable food wrap,with our favourite being these colourful beauties from The Beeswax Wrap Co.. Whilst they are undeniably a great way to reduce your plastic waste, we can understand that concerns still abound. Cling film has clung tight to our shopping lists ever since its invention in the 50s because it is, undeniably, ridiculously useful. Why should you give up on a time-tested product for these new-fangled, waxy wraps that might make your fridge smell strange? (Wax wraps actually smell luscious.)

We wanted to take the time to dig into the issue and see just how reusable food wraps measure up when pitched alongside traditional cling film. We’ll be looking at the environment, usability, usefulness, cost, and health risks, along with hints and tips for getting the most out of reusable wraps if you have them. Let’s get to it.

Environmental Impact

Let’s get this one out of the way - cling film is terrible for the environment. Designed as a single-use plastic, it’s right up there at the top of the podium alongside plastic straws and plastic cutlery getting top prize for 'nastiest plastics hurting our planet.'

Whilst some single-use plastics are at least recyclable (not a huge saving grace, but better) cling film is extremely difficult to recycle. The resins and chemicals called phthalates that give cling film its clinginess cannot be easily separated, making it too complex a material to break down and reuse effectively.

Reusable Food Wrap Vs. Cling Film: Which is the superior product? | BuyMeOnce.com

You should never put cling film in your recycling bin because a) it will likely not be recycled, and b) it is likely to have been contaminated with food, thereby preventing other valuable materials from being recycled as well.

In contrast, a lot of reusable food wraps can literally be thrown on the compost heap when you’re done with them. Though wraps can be made out of many kinds of fabric, companies we’ve found like The Beeswax Wrap Co. use all natural materials that will naturally biodegrade.

Take home: cling film is terrible for the environment. Reusable food wraps made using all natural materials have almost no impact. 

Usability

Everybody knows how to use cling film, and apart from those times when it just won’t tear off the roll it is phenomenally easy. So, how do reusable food wraps compare?

Like many things, it’s simple once you’re familiar with the product. Using the heat from your hands to gently warm the wax is the way to give it a really good seal, so you should hold your wrapped food for a few seconds once it’s in place. Beginning with a starter pack of varying sizes from small to large will help you make sure you always have the right size to hand.

Reusable Food Wrap Vs. Cling Film: Which is the superior product?

Above: medium kitchen pack and the bread wrap.

Since the wraps must be washed rather than throwing them away, this adds maybe 30 seconds to your clearing up process. You should gently wash the wraps using mild soap and cold water, and for your wraps to last as long as possible they should also be pasteurised every few months.

Though subjective to an extent, the wraps are more pleasant to work with in terms of look and feel. The patterns and colours add interest and uniqueness (great for quick identification), and both the smell and texture are lovely and natural. The smell of beeswax can be strong at first, but fades quickly with use.

Usefulness

There are a few other uses for cling film besides wrapping food which wraps won’t help you with, including covering fresh tattoos, treating burns, and preventing paint rollers from drying out.

The relative rigidity of wax wraps make them a far more versatile and useful product when it comes to food storage. You can fold them up to make boxes, roll them up

Reusable Food Wrap Vs. Cling Film: Which is the superior product?

to create a piping bag, create small pouches for travelling with snacks, and even wrap up bars of soap for travelling. They’re also useful for wrapping any loose produce, bread, fish and poultry whilst out shopping in a neat, plastic-free way.

Take home: cling film is the more time efficient, and may be helpful if you’ve recently started a tattoo business. Wraps are the more versatile, attractive and useful product overall for handling food.

Health

Over the years there has been wild speculation surrounding the health risks of plastic food containers and cling film, specifically that nasty, harmful chemicals contained within the plastics can leach out into your food. Some of the worst accusations have been links to fertility, cancer and foetal development.

In general, a lot of these claims are false. Studies have proven that small amounts of harmful chemicals can be released into foods and drinks under extreme testing conditions, but through normal domestic use it is very unlikely that unsafe chemicals will be released into your food. There are strict laws and regulations against chemical contamination in food contact material, and according to Cancer Research UK no convincing evidence exists to suggest that chemicals found in domestic plastics can cause cancer.

However, this only applies to products used exactly according to instructions. If using cling film in the microwave it is still best to make sure none of the film is touching your food, as this is where research gets hazy. As best practice you should always use kitchen plastics and cling film exactly according to instructions. 

Take home: whilst there is evidence that harmful chemicals can leach out under certain conditions, you shouldn’t be worried for your health using it on a daily basis. Always use exactly according to instructions and take care when microwaving.

Cost

The average lifespan of reusable food wraps can be over a year if you look after them properly, and a standard starter pack costs £20. The starter pack includes one large wrap (good for casseroles and large dishes), a medium wrap (perfect for sandwiches), and a small wrap (perfect for veg halves and jars). Standard cling film wrap costs around 5p per metre in most UK supermarkets. So, how does this cost work out across the year?

Reusable Food Wrap Vs. Cling Film: Which is the superior product?

Assuming someone takes a  sandwich to work every day (around 2m per week), makes a couple of large dishes a week that need covering (around 1m per week) and has some veg halves to use up (around 0.5m per week), then the cling film would come to roughly £10 over the year. 

Take home: cling film is less expensive if used in modest quantities without wastage throughout the year. 

To wrap up (pun intended), the benefits of cling film unsurprisingly lies in its time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Whilst the incendiary health risks are largely untrue, it’s worth being aware that harmful chemicals in plastic do exist, and if they’re not hurting you then they are without question hurting the environment.  

Reusable wraps, whilst a little more expensive and requiring a certain level of care, have longer term benefits when it comes to usefulness around your home and experience of using them. The more creative you get with them the more useful they will become.

Overall the differences and benefits are clear but aren’t all that drastic until you look at the environmental costs. So, if you care about that sort of thing (*stage whisper* ...and you should), we think reusable food wraps are a lifestyle swap and an investment really worth thinking about.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-07-17T04:00:00+0100 2018-07-17T04:00:00+0100 BuyMeOnce Behind the Scenes: GFX Sustainable Fashion Event BuyMeOnce UK


A recycled clothing catwalk show, a clothes swap party, a market selling sustainable clothing and accessories. Stitch that all up with a DJ and launch it in New York’s Brooklyn Mirage. The result? The sustainable fashion party of the summer. Jana Pleyto When the invitation hit my inbox, I knew I had to go. Global Fashion Exchange was holding court in this summer’s Daft Brunch – an open-air disco day party for anyone who loves prolonging the bliss of weekend brunches. Yet GFX Daft Brunch is not all about just grooving to the summer tunes. Held in the vast event space that is the Brooklyn Mirage in New York, there was a marketplace for fashion brands that are ethically made and sustainable, a catwalk show celebrating diversity and recycled clothing, the much-anticipated clothes swap and yes, perhaps a little bit of boogying too. What is Global Fashion Exchange? Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) is the brainchild of Patrick Duffy, a chirpy creative marketing executive whose expertise lies in developing networks, producing events and creating marketing campaigns. The first Global Fashion Exchange event took place in 2013 at Copenhagen Fashion Week, “a tiny event” in Duffy’s own words. Yet this first clothes swap...]]>
A recycled clothing catwalk show, a clothes swap party, a market selling sustainable clothing and accessories. Stitch that all up with a DJ and launch it in New York’s Brooklyn Mirage. The result? The sustainable fashion party of the summer.

Jana Pleyto

When the invitation hit my inbox, I knew I had to go. Global Fashion Exchange was holding court in this summer’s Daft Brunch – an open-air disco day party for anyone who loves prolonging the bliss of weekend brunches. Yet GFX Daft Brunch is not all about just grooving to the summer tunes. Held in the vast event space that is the Brooklyn Mirage in New York, there was a marketplace for fashion brands that are ethically made and sustainable, a catwalk show celebrating diversity and recycled clothing, the much-anticipated clothes swap and yes, perhaps a little bit of boogying too.

BuyMeOnce Behind the Scenes at Global Fashion Exchange's Daft Brunch in New York.

What is Global Fashion Exchange?

Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) is the brainchild of Patrick Duffy, a chirpy creative marketing executive whose expertise lies in developing networks, producing events and creating marketing campaigns. The first Global Fashion Exchange event took place in 2013 at Copenhagen Fashion Week, “a tiny event” in Duffy’s own words. Yet this first clothes swap was so popular it saw 1500 people swap 4717 kg of clothes and ever since GFX has grown into something more.

Nowadays, GFX is an international platform for cultural and clothes swap events and inspirational forums around the world. The aim for their swapping events is to empower consumers to take action for a better environment, all while stylishly updating their wardrobes. GFX previously held a New York event in April to highlight Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeYourClothes, and its London event at the V&A Museum brought in hundreds of conscious consumers who wanted to renew their wardrobes in a fun and sustainable way.

The Marketplace

As with its April event in New York’s Soho Grand Hotel, the marketplace was situated right before the clothes swap area, perfect for browsing whilst waiting for the swapping to start. Local brands displayed their sustainable and stylish fashion items, and in the case of GFX’s Daft Brunch, the brands ranged from vegan accessories, ethically made classic white shirts, and even boys’ hats made out of end-of-mill stock. Outside by the open-air dance floor, organizations such as the Human Rights Foundation and Remake talked to attendees about their current awareness programs promoting transparency in the fashion supply chain and the damaging repercussions of fast fashion choices.

Nearby, Regeneration Magazine, a quarterly magazine about people and businesses creating a better planet, showcased their latest issue on fashion and sustainability. With actress and GFX ambassador Jamie Clayton on the cover, the pages are filled with one-on-one interviews with sustainable fashion leaders, including Brian Linton of United by Blue, a brand we absolutely respect who are committed to keeping trash from our world’s oceans and waterways with each product purchased.

BuyMeOnce Behind the Scenes at Global Fashion Exchange's Daft Brunch in New York.

The Clothes Swap

Before the swap event started, I dropped off my items where they weighed and counted my pieces. I was then given a numbered ticket that corresponded to the number of items I could swap. The cheerful but busy volunteers kept coming into the swapping area with freshly sorted drop-offs, hanging them up on railings or beautifully laying them out on the tables.

Patrick Duffy reigned supreme by the entrance to the clothes swap area, and in his pleasantly buoyant manner, checked tickets and reminded swappers to have fun. All around us were reminders of what GFX Daft Brunch was all about, an event to raise awareness about textile waste, recycling fashion and promoting sustainability. There was a poster stating that “95% of used textiles are recyclable but 85% end up in the trash” for instance, and right next to it was a poster that set out the rules of the clothes swap: “Be Nice, No Hoarding, Give A Compliment,” amongst other rules.

The clothes swap proved to be popular – a line snaked around the marketplace – and Duffy kept everyone upbeat with his running fashion commentary as he played host and stylist at the same time. Hours later, I can still hear him pumping up the crowd by encouraging them to pick up new pieces and greeting newcomers. Spotted in the rails? BuyMeOnce-approved brands like Eileen Fisher, Patagonia and LL Bean, mixed amongst high-street brands and beautiful vintage pieces.

The Catwalk

Packed with plenty of attitude and oozing with realness, this catwalk show was hosted by Runway the Real Way, an organization founded by former model Catherine Schuller in response to the marginalization of plus-size models, minorities and the LGBTQ community in the modelling industry. Wearing recycled threads and holding signs with slogans like “clothing is not garbage,” this is one show that really hammered the message home. Textile waste is prevalent in the fashion industry, but we can do something about it by choosing the right textiles, making our voices heard and diverting usable clothing from landfill through swapping.

BuyMeOnce Behind the Scenes at Global Fashion Exchange's Daft Brunch in New York.

The Result

A week later, GFX released the results of their Daft Brunch Event: 1600 people attended and a staggering 1905 kg of clothing and accessories were swapped or collected. 22 ethical brands participated in the event, and I have nothing but huge appreciation for the 140 volunteers who made everything run smoothly. Anything that does not get picked up during the swap event is donated to I:CO, the world’s largest textile recycling company, to close the loop and raise awareness for alternatives to throwing old clothes in the trash.

As for my swapped goods? My most prized item is a beautiful floppy straw hat that I’ve been wearing every day. I’m happy it didn’t end up in the landfill.

Jana Pleyto now calls New York home, but before that, she grew up in minimalistic, sustainable households in Melbourne and London. 'Mindful curation' may not have been a phrase then, but it turns out she’s been living it all her life! She loves her KeepCup, GIR tools and Swedish Stockings, and she is Head of Brand Operations for BuyMeOnce USA.

Catwalk images courtesy of @rickdavyfwbk and @muscle_park.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-07-13T10:59:00+0100 2018-07-13T10:59:00+0100 9 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption and Save Money Georgie Crosswell


Plastic-free living shouldn’t cost the earth, but unfortunately we live in a world where convenience is king. There are some brilliant brands out there doing great work to fight plastic waste -  including our favourites such as Neal’s Yard, Georganics and Guppyfriend - but they naturally come with a slightly higher price tag than their mass-produced, plastic-heavy counterparts. Whilst we would all love to invest in a more conscious lifestyle it’s not possible or feasible for everybody, and when you find your weekly shop bouncing up the more you try, it can be all too easy to give up completely. Looking at the problem of plastic waste in its entirety can be damaging and counterproductive, a bit like looking directly at the sun. If you can make reducing your plastic waste a slow, steady, thoughtful process then you’ve got much more chance of lasting success. With that in mind, here are 9 habits you can cultivate to help you on your road to a less plastic-filled life, without breaking the bank. 1. Look for less wasteful alternatives as you run out. Don’t try to radically overhaul your entire life in one go, but as you run out of things - perhaps your toothbrush is...]]>
Plastic-free living shouldn’t cost the earth, but unfortunately we live in a world where convenience is king. There are some brilliant brands out there doing great work to fight plastic waste -  including our favourites such as Neal’s YardGeorganics and Guppyfriend - but they naturally come with a slightly higher price tag than their mass-produced, plastic-heavy counterparts. Whilst we would all love to invest in a more conscious lifestyle it’s not possible or feasible for everybody, and when you find your weekly shop bouncing up the more you try, it can be all too easy to give up completely.

Looking at the problem of plastic waste in its entirety can be damaging and counterproductive, a bit like looking directly at the sun. If you can make reducing your plastic waste a slow, steady, thoughtful process then you’ve got much more chance of lasting success. With that in mind, here are 9 habits you can cultivate to help you on your road to a less plastic-filled life, without breaking the bank.

1. Look for less wasteful alternatives as you run out.

Don’t try to radically overhaul your entire life in one go, but as you run out of things - perhaps your toothbrush is starting to look like a dog has chewed on it or you’re out of moisturiser - take a few minutes to research less wasteful alternatives. One small swap every month or so will be far less costly and overwhelming than trying to tackle your entire home at once. 

9 Ways to Reduce Plastic, Save Money and Simplify your Life | BuyMeOnce.com

    2. Invest in a good quality spray bottle and clean with baking soda and vinegar.

    This might sound dubious before you’ve tried it, but it’s actually super easy, it really works and it’s crazy cheap! This video is a great place to start and all you need for a basic cleaner is white vinegar and water. You can also introduce baking soda and Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap.

    3. Practise saying ‘with no straw’ after every drinks order until it becomes an extension of ‘please.’

    Even if they don’t offer you one anyway or there are biodegradable ones on the counter, it’s better to just to say it until it becomes a reflex. Repeat: ‘three strawberry daiquiris with no straws please.’ Again: ‘one glass of orange juice with ice and no straw please’ (for the morning after).

    4. Pack your bag the night before.

    90% of reducing plastic consumption is simply having what you need when you need it (looking at you, reusable shopping bags), so the most effective way to tackle it is to simply be as prepared as possible. A great habit to get into is packing your bag (or at least quickly checking it) the night before where possible. This has the added bonus of vastly reducing your stress levels each morning! Think of a mum lovingly packing her kids bag for school the next day and pack for yourself with the same level of care (because you deserve it.)

    9 Ways to Reduce Plastic, Save Money and Simplify your Life | BuyMeOnce.com

     

    5. Keep a mini kit inside your main bag.

    Again organisation is vital, so make life easier for yourself with a mini kit to carry round small items in your main bag. It can contain things like your reusable straw, a folded up reusable bag, a super handy spork or wax wraps for supermarket produce so you’re prepared with everything you need at all times. Any small pouch you have lying around will do.

    6. Have a place where your reusable bags live.

    Reusable bags are the easiest way to kick the plastic, but they’re also the main culprit of our collective forgetfulness. Within any of your main bags you usually carry around should be a special pocket where your small, scrunchable shopping bag lives. It needs to become second nature to put it back in that pocket the second you’ve unloaded your shopping, before you’ve even had a nibble on those crisps you were saving for the weekend, because simply remembering to put it back isn’t enough for most of us. We love these organic string ones but anything really compact will do.

    7. Think communal.

    Especially if you live in a big city and are sharing with flatmates, we can be so laser-focused on our busy lives that we don’t realise we might be carrying more of a burden than we need. Buying things in bulk with your flatmates that you will all need at some point, like laundry detergent, can ease up on packaging and might mean you can more easily afford eco alternatives. It makes sense to share the things you all need, and making the effort to share when it comes to house duties will promote a happy and supportive home environment.

    8. Save your jars and buy in bulk.

    In a similar vein, try bulk buying food for your family, your flatmates or yourself and keeping manageable amounts in your kitchen. Having beautifully organised cupboards full of daily essentials like pasta, rice and porridge oats allows you to buy in bulk and save on both pennies and packaging. Plus, there’s nothing like a row of pretty jars to make you feel like you’ve got your life sorted.

    9 Ways to Reduce Plastic and Save Money | BuyMeOnce.com

    9. Jump on the soap and shampoo bars craze.

    There’s really just no need for endless piles of plastic bottles piled up precariously in the shower. Bar soaps like Dr. Bronner’s last for ages, come with lovely mild smells and don’t feel too ‘soapy’ on your skin. Some people find these work on your hair as well (ideal for the minimalists out there), but for those more prone to greasy hair then keep Dr Bronner’s for your body and seek out more specialist bars like those found at Lush for taking care of your locks.



    Even if you consciously try to cultivate only one or two of these habits at first, it’s a great way to start slowly working eco-friendly alternatives into your life and your budget in a way that is sustainable for you.

    ]]>
    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-07-09T17:41:00+0100 2018-07-09T17:41:00+0100 Davy J: Strong, Sustainable Swimsuits Made from Marine Waste Georgie Crosswell


    Davy J has found a unique way to tackle ocean pollution with their range of beautiful, eco friendly swimwear that is made from regenerated ghost fishing nets and designed to take a beating. Founder Helen Newcombe recently won Women of the Future Entrepreneur Award 2017 and it’s not hard to see why, especially when you look at the astonishingly fresh approach to resources, materials and environmental impact that Davy J has taken. Exceptional business model aside, we were very impressed with Davy J swimsuits. Here’s why.   How They’re Made Davy J go one step further than using eco-friendly materials and processes by going right to the heart of the issue and starting there. The Waste Collection consciously rethinks the way we use resources, and as well as some stunning designs offers up a tantalising vision of a circular future. Almost one tenth of the the litter polluting our oceans and endangering marine life comes from nylon fishing nets, with around 640,000 tons of nets being dumped each year. Davy J takes this nylon and regenerates it into long-lasting yarn. The best part? The nylon can be regenerated again and again. In fact, Davy J do their utmost to make sure...]]>
    Davy J has found a unique way to tackle ocean pollution with their range of beautiful, eco friendly swimwear that is made from regenerated ghost fishing nets and designed to take a beating. Founder Helen Newcombe recently won Women of the Future Entrepreneur Award 2017 and it’s not hard to see why, especially when you look at the astonishingly fresh approach to resources, materials and environmental impact that Davy J has taken. Exceptional business model aside, we were very impressed with Davy J swimsuits. Here’s why.  

    How They’re Made

    Davy J go one step further than using eco-friendly materials and processes by going right to the heart of the issue and starting there. The Waste Collection consciously rethinks the way we use resources, and as well as some stunning designs offers up a tantalising vision of a circular future.

    Almost one tenth of the the litter polluting our oceans and endangering marine life comes from nylon fishing nets, with around 640,000 tons of nets being dumped each year. Davy J takes this nylon and regenerates it into long-lasting yarn. The best part? The nylon can be regenerated again and again. In fact, Davy J do their utmost to make sure this happens, encouraging you to send back your suit at the end of its life to be responsibly disposed of or repurposed.

    It’s refreshing to find a brand taking such full, unwavering responsibility for the garments they’ve produced, and we hope to find many more picking up the baton in the future. But what about the suits themselves?

    How They Feel

    Here in the BMO office we’ve taken a look at The Little Black Cossie, and the first notable thing is that the fit is extremely snug. I personally experienced a moment of panic whilst pulling it up that I had the wrong size, but this lasted for only a brief moment before realising that this is just one incredibly secure feeling swimsuit.

    This is unsurprising considering the meticulous construction and materials. The regenerated nylon fabric is inherently durable anyway, but then it’s also double lined and finished off with reinforced seams. This is a suit you can feel confident won’t be getting thin, sad patches wearing away at the bum or seams that unravel any time soon. Everything is held in exactly the right place and going nowhere. You feel like you could do just about anything in it including running (which, as bigger chested ladies will testify, is not something a swimsuit can usually accomodate.)

    Strong, Sustainable Swimsuits Made from Marine Waste | BuyMeOnce.com

    Though the strength of the fabric feels great, this does mean you should carefully consult the Davy J sizing guide before purchasing. The black fabric has the firmest hold and is very flattering in the cossie, but for those of us with beautiful curves that are heavier either on top or below it may be better to go for the crop top and briefs combo. Ordering up or down a size could help keep your suit secure and supportive rather than uncomfortable; the waistband of the briefs is extra tight to make sure they stay on in the waves, and the crop offers a little more security than the bikini for keeping the girls in check. It’s always worth taking a little extra time to work out the fit that will best support you and your body. The reward? Swimwear you can look and feel fabulous in for years to come.

    Surprisingly for how sporty the suit feels, it’s also very elegant. The neckline is a low, square scoop that skims the top of the chest, and the cross-back sits just on the lower back, a supportive yet stylish feature that leaves your back muscles unrestricted whilst giving you a beautiful, streamlined shape. Overall, the suit makes you feel strong, supported and stylish - and what more could you really want?

    ]]>
    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-07-05T18:44:00+0100 2018-07-05T18:44:00+0100 Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation Tara Button


      There’s been books galore on how to declutter your life. They teach you how to let things go and organise your things into beautiful, instagramable order. But very few deal with the issue of how all that clutter came into your home in the first place, and how to prevent it from coming back. This is where my technique of mindful curation can help. The full philosophy is laid out in my book, A Life less Throwaway, but I wanted to put the techniques here in a nutshell for the BuyMeOnce community. It’s mindful because it is the opposite of mindless impulse buying, and it’s curation because, like a curator of an art gallery, you carefully choose all the individual pieces you want to bring into your gallery or life, but you also look at the big picture of what all those objects mean and what their effect is when put together.   The five steps of mindful curation are as follows. 1. Take stock of what you have Set aside some time to look through your items methodically. Gather them all together and then identify what your A-team items are in each category. These are the products that you would...]]>
     

    There’s been books galore on how to declutter your life. They teach you how to let things go and organise your things into beautiful, instagramable order. But very few deal with the issue of how all that clutter came into your home in the first place, and how to prevent it from coming back.

    This is where my technique of mindful curation can help. The full philosophy is laid out in my book, A Life less Throwaway, but I wanted to put the techniques here in a nutshell for the BuyMeOnce community.

    It’s mindful because it is the opposite of mindless impulse buying, and it’s curation because, like a curator of an art gallery, you carefully choose all the individual pieces you want to bring into your gallery or life, but you also look at the big picture of what all those objects mean and what their effect is when put together.  

    The five steps of mindful curation are as follows.

    1. Take stock of what you have

    Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation | BuyMeOnce.com

    Set aside some time to look through your items methodically. Gather them all together and then identify what your A-team items are in each category. These are the products that you would reach for first if given the choice. Then make everything else justify its place in your life.

    If an object is not being useful, beautiful or meaningful, then it’s a negative object. Items that have no purpose are simply clutter, or worse, items that we feel we SHOULD like and end up making us feel guilty.

    In the past when I got a gift I didn’t like, I’d put it on a shelf or in a drawer for a couple of years feeling bad each time I came across it for not liking the gift. Eventually, I’d decide it had “done it’s time” and give it away in a big clear out. Madness! Instead, I now recommend exchanging or giving it away the moment you get it. Less guilt, less clutter, same result.

    2. Combat the manipulations that get you buying mindlessly

    Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation | BuyMeOnce.com

    I call these manipulations “the three monkeys of materialism”. While we try our best to live a calm, fulfilled, less wasteful life, these monkeys are hanging off our arm distracting us.

    Monkey one: the advertising monkey

    It talks to you constantly, hundreds of times a day, in fact, about what you should be buying and how good and happy you’ll feel if you give in to it. We all think we’re good at ignoring this monkey and that it doesn’t affect us, but it knows how to whisper to the parts of us that we don’t even know are listening. Recognise that this monkey has power, then look it straight in the eye, consciously look at ads and go “no thank you, I have everything I need to be happy”.

    Monkey two – the trend monkey

    The second monkey makes fun of your shoes! It’s telling you that “you can’t possibly wear THAT again." This monkey can be silenced by taking the time to dig deep into your unique sense of style. When you consciously build a sense of your own aesthetic, you can then dismiss the fads and tell the trend monkey that you don’t give hoot if “spots are in” and “stripes are out” because you’ve taken the time to find what makes you feel fabulous forever.

    Monkey three - the status monkey

    This monkey lives inside your head and is constantly pointing out to you what other people have and whether they are “above” or “below” you. This monkey is obsessed with being on top because in ancient times a human with low status might get kicked out of the tribe and starve – this is one paranoid monkey! The only way to combat it is to concentrate on getting your self-worth from who you are and what you bring to the world, rather than what you have or what you look like.

    3. Discover your purpose

    Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation | BuyMeOnce.com

    This might sound extreme, but it’s worth taking a day to consider what we want our legacy and purpose to be in this world. Modern life is great at distracting us with shiny things when we could be concentrating on things that bring us lasting meaning and happiness, such as experiences with friends and family, creativity and community. Your spending priorities should all go on items that facilitate the purposes you’ve identified.

    Some material items can help with this. For example, a bike can help you explore, stay healthy and go on adventures with your family. A comfy sofa and cooking equipment can create space and time for building your relationships. Some material items may not be helpful towards your purpose, but only you know what these are.

    For example, one person might consider buying a fashion item because it will give her bragging rights. This isn’t helpful. A different person may have mindfully chosen the same item but in pursuit of genuine self-expression. It’s all about being ruthlessly honest with yourself about your motives.

    4. Buy for the long term

    Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation | BuyMeOnce.com

    Once you’ve decided what you need in your life, according to your priorities and values, try to find the longest lasting, highest quality version of that. Not only will this save you the stress of having to fix or replace it as often, you’ll save money in the long term too.

    For ideas of long lasting brands go to BuyMeOnce where we research and compare products to find the ones with the most longevity and sustainability. As the materials and craftsmanship put into them are better these products will generally cost more than the mainstream, but not always. If money is tight, look out for pricier brands in charity shops or second hand.  

    5. Nurture those items that nurture you

    Declutter your life, forever: the miracle of mindful curation | BuyMeOnce.com

    If you’re buying for the long term, you’ll be bringing items into your life which are worthy of being taken care of. There are a few basic maintenance tasks which can drastically increase the longevity of items.

    For example; descale appliances which use water every three months. Condition anything made of leather. Wash gently. Put protectors on mattresses. If items are getting worn, look at ways of reinforcing or protecting them before they are beyond hope. It’s really worth doing. I know if I plump my feather sofa cushions regularly my sofa could last years and years longer than if I let them go flat and I’m saving myself hundreds of pounds with this small action.

    Finally - get to know your local fixers. Your local cobbler, tailor, dry cleaner and ideally the old-school handy-person. The Restart Project in the UK host Repair Cafe’s where you can bring your old electronics and get them fixed for free. Plus, there’s tea and cake!

     

    For a full explanation and step by step exercises, check out my new book A Life Less Throwaway, now available in print, audio and e-book.

    ]]>
    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-28T17:17:00+0100 2018-06-28T17:17:00+0100 BMO behind the scenes: How sustainable are H&M? BuyMeOnce UK


    With the marked increase in sustainable and conscious offerings from big name high street players, we wanted to take a closer look at the sustainability credentials of these brands, starting with H&M. We want to know whether there’s genuine merit in their claims and whether, beyond the hype, their conscious collections offer pieces to be proud of that are worth investing in, or whether they’re yet more of the same dressed up in a little greenery. We’re tempted to congratulate H&M for taking the need for sustainability in one of the world’s most opaque and polluting industries seriously, while bringing the cause to a wider audience and offering something eco to their voracious customers. However we’re also left wondering whether ‘conscious’ and ‘sustainable’ in this context are pure marketing strategy to drive yet more sales without due consideration to what it truly means to produce in this way. H&M was one of the first high street names to venture into the world of conscious clothing, using organic cotton in a limited range back in 2004. But it wasn’t until the brand officially launched a dedicated conscious collection in 2011 that the press or its customer base took much notice. The...]]>
    With the marked increase in sustainable and conscious offerings from big name high street players, we wanted to take a closer look at the sustainability credentials of these brands, starting with H&M. We want to know whether there’s genuine merit in their claims and whether, beyond the hype, their conscious collections offer pieces to be proud of that are worth investing in, or whether they’re yet more of the same dressed up in a little greenery.

    We’re tempted to congratulate H&M for taking the need for sustainability in one of the world’s most opaque and polluting industries seriously, while bringing the cause to a wider audience and offering something eco to their voracious customers. However we’re also left wondering whether ‘conscious’ and ‘sustainable’ in this context are pure marketing strategy to drive yet more sales without due consideration to what it truly means to produce in this way.

    H&M was one of the first high street names to venture into the world of conscious clothing, using organic cotton in a limited range back in 2004. But it wasn’t until the brand officially launched a dedicated conscious collection in 2011 that the press or its customer base took much notice. The collections perform undoubtedly well with each one selling out almost as soon as the glossy campaigns hit public consciousness; pieces often pop up across the resale space with items selling for over the RRP – an clear indicator of continued desirability.

    This year marks the seventh H&M Conscious Collection and what at first appeared to be a foray into the eco world has now emerged as core strategy for the group. The brand makes hefty claims about its sustainability agenda in the recently released Sustainability Report 2017:

    Recycled or other sustainably sourced materials made up 35% (26%) of H&M group’s total material use. The goal is to only use this kind of material in 2030.

    For a brand that produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of material every year, this is certainly no small commitment. And it’s one that would have real environmental impact. Surely a far greater positive environmental and human impact would be to reduce production volume and thus consumer consumption – something which H&M will not do according to Sustainability Manager, Catarina Midby,

    “You could always argue that, of course, in order to be really sustainable, you should cut down on your consumption, but at the same time we are a fashion company and we don’t really want to compromise fashion for sustainability”.

    An interesting choice of words, given the key elements which make up the term ‘sustainability’ are human and environmental resources. When push comes to shove, this statement demonstrates that sustainability remains a priority only so far as it doesn’t interfere with the group’s plans to churn out approximately 50 micro seasons per year (spring/summer, autumn/winter anyone? Don’t be absurd) driving demand for newness and, of course, rapid sales growth.

    H&M launched its first garments made from recycled shore-line waste; Bionic® within the annual H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection.

    This is an interesting initiative; H&M also partner with ECONYL® who specialise in regenerating nylon waste into new fibres. Having met the ECONYL® team at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, we are impressed and encouraged. One of our favourite new partner brands Davy J, makers of beautifully understated elegant swimwear, work with ECONYL® cloth and we are well aware of its benefits. It’s robust and supportive as well as being environmentally positive. We’d applaud the wider use of these yarns throughout H&M’s collections.

    H&M group collected almost 18,000 tonnes of textiles through its garment collecting initiative. That is the equivalent of 89 million T-shirts. 61,000 tonnes of textiles have been collected since 2013.

    The concept, is a good one; practically, what are plans for the collected items? And can the program work to make enough of a difference to offset the damage done by the relentless production of new throwaway collections? The public objective of the program, according to the marketing campaign is to give clothes “new purpose” by breaking them down and creating new garments out of old.

    In a 2016 interview with Eco Cult’s Editor in Chief Alden Wicker, Henrik Lampa, H&M’s Development Sustainability Manager, admitted that the technology wasn’t quite there to process the clothes into new garments. Two years on, has much changed? According to Claudia Marsales, Ontario's senior manager of waste and environmental management, it would take more than ten years to fully recycle the equivalent volume of a days worth of product sold. We know from H&M that their recycling operation hasn’t yet started. The donated clothes for the most part are shipped internationally to be resold as second hand (not the worst plan ever, but not what the campaign promises).

    There’s also the question of timing; H&M launched this initiative at the same time as the Fashion Revolution campaign (a well known awareness campaign in response to the Rana Plaza disaster). H&M maintain that this clash was unintentional but we’re skeptical. Fashion Revolution is a global movement fighting for the same things that H&M claim to be. Is it possible for a brand worth its sustainability salt (not to mention as marketing savvy as H&M) that this could have escaped their consciousness?

    Turning to the conscious collections themselves, it’s clear that sustainability is delivered through materials; Tencel, organic cotton and recycled polyester. This is a step in the right direction, for sure. But what of craftsmanship? Unlike the majority of H&M’s collection, will these pieces last longer than a couple of seasons? If the clothes aren’t made to last, then surely, won’t these garments potentially be yet more landfill fodder along with the majority of the half a billion items produced by H&M each year? To answer these questions fully Instead of offering just our thoughts, we want to bring you fact; stay tuned as we work with some expert tailors to deconstruct the craftsmanship of these garments. More on this soon!

    At BuyMeOnce we’re frequently challenged by our customers on price and asked about how to shop sustainably on a budget; as a high street brand, could H&M be a contender for those who wish to invest in only conscious clothing? It’s true that H&M are trying; they are by far leading the way in the context of fast fashion but still only 8% of their collections are made from sustainable resources according to the Common Objective Report. They are investing in new programs and technologies more and more, so it would not be accurate to say that they are not serious about sustainability. But I do think that we can confidently say that, until there are dramatic changes to their volume production approach, no amount of recycled materials can make a fast fashion brand authentically sustainable.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-19T15:10:00+0100 2018-06-19T15:10:00+0100 How to Create the Best Sustainable Summer Capsule Wardrobe BuyMeOnce UK


    In principle, capsule wardrobes seem simple; adopting the concept and knowing where to begin, however, less so. The summer capsule wardrobe presents its own set of challenges thanks to the demands on us from work, travel and weather. Let BuyMeOnce be your guide to the sartorial challenge of how to create a summer capsule wardrobe. Lily Courtauld Why go with the capsule approach? Our wardrobes can start to resemble caves of doom that stress us out leaving us exclaiming, “Why do I have so many clothes but nothing to wear!” It’s too easy to shop every time we have a slight urge, an event invite comes in or even when the weather changes. As the items steadily build up, our visibility of what we actually own fades away. Embracing the capsule wardrobe approach will help: Save time – freeing up brain space previously spent on figuring out what to wear for other things in your life Save effort – when you have less, you can see what you have and put looks together with ease making getting ready simple and easy Save stress – when you’re confident that everything in your wardrobe serves you for the life you lead, you can wave goodbye...]]>
    In principle, capsule wardrobes seem simple; adopting the concept and knowing where to begin, however, less so. The summer capsule wardrobe presents its own set of challenges thanks to the demands on us from work, travel and weather. Let BuyMeOnce be your guide to the sartorial challenge of how to create a summer capsule wardrobe.

    Lily Courtauld

    Why go with the capsule approach?

    Our wardrobes can start to resemble caves of doom that stress us out leaving us exclaiming, “Why do I have so many clothes but nothing to wear!” It’s too easy to shop every time we have a slight urge, an event invite comes in or even when the weather changes. As the items steadily build up, our visibility of what we actually own fades away. Embracing the capsule wardrobe approach will help:

    Save time – freeing up brain space previously spent on figuring out what to wear for other things in your life

    Save effort – when you have less, you can see what you have and put looks together with ease making getting ready simple and easy

    Save stress – when you’re confident that everything in your wardrobe serves you for the life you lead, you can wave goodbye to frantic mornings trying on outfits before eventually running out the door feeling less than happy.

    How to create the best sustainable summer capsule wardrobe | BuyMeOnce.com

    The Guiding Principles

    For a capsule wardrobe to really work, quality matters. You’ll be wearing your pieces multiple times in different ways, so shoddy products will not suffice. Root out or invest in well-made pieces that can take the strain. Versatility is key. Pieces should be interchangeable for you to make the most of your capsule. An item that only works with or for something specific has no place in a capsule.

    We suggest aiming for between 30-40 pieces (including shoes and accessories) but use this as a guide, not a harsh rule. The important thing is to make your wardrobe work for your lifestyle and that space isn’t taken up by things you don’t wear or use, not sticking to an arbitrary number.

    5 Steps to Take

    Before you start to create your summer capsule wardrobe, consider the following:

    1. Check your diary. What do you have planned this summer? Travels? Weddings? Adventuring? Work?

    2. Location, location, location. Consider where your plans will be taking you and try to be firm with yourself. Ask (answer truthfully), “when and where will I wear this”? If you can’t give yourself an answer, put the garment to one side.

    3. Start with your heroes. Pick out the go-to pieces that you already wear a lot. They’ve already proven their worth and their place in your wardrobe.

    4. Create looks. Try things on in different combinations thinking again about your diary and what you’ll be needing from your summer capsule wardrobe. If you’re pleased with your outfits, snap them on your phone to help you remember what works well

    5. Create space. If, like me, you don’t have a ton of space in your wardrobe, consider storing your autumn/winter wardrobe away. Before you carefully pack it all up, make sure to wash or clean what you can so it’s ready for you when you need it again.

    How to create the best sustainable capsule wardrobe | BuyMeOnce.com

    The Basic Building Blocks

    I wanted to share my summer capsule wardrobe pieces that could work as a starting point to get you thinking about yours. I’m not suggesting that your capsule should consist of just fifteen pieces (but if you can manage it, please share your wisdom!) – this isn’t my full capsule, it’s a list of the basic building blocks that I need for the months ahead. I’ve based my summer capsule wardrobe around a premise of living and working in London, a city with unpredictable weather and punishing commutes on the Underground. I’ve also considered holidays in Europe, weddings and running around after a toddler in the playground.

    • Summer dress: floral belted dress for London day to day and holiday
    • Long-lasting, durable sunglasses: Sungod Sierras
    • Go-with-everything sandals: Birkenstocks, Arizona sandals that are comfortable as well as sturdy
    • Summer jacket: vintage white, lightweight leather
    • Flattering, robust swimwear: Seraphine, black halter neck; originally a maternity swimsuit that also works bumpless
    • Lightweight trousers: Whistles slouchy printed trousers for work and play
    • Denim skirt: vintage Levis black denim – perfect for my toddler days
    • Work and travel appropriate bag: Fjallraven backpack, lightweight and the perfect size for laptop or travel essentials
    • Oversized shirt: vintage oversized men’s shirt, great with skinny trousers in London or as a holiday cover-up
    • Silky jumpsuit: Whistles Tiger print jumpsuit – layered with a t-shirt for work or worn on its own for weddings and holidays
    • White t-shirt: White T-Shirt Co scoop neck, which I wear with everything
    • Comfortable heels: nude block heels for weddings, summer events or work
    • Printed jumpsuit: Lowie Tiger print jumpsuit – layered with a white t-shirt for the city or worn on its own on holiday
    • White sneakers: Veja sneakers which go with everything from skirts to jumpsuits
    • Proper shoes: silver, backless mules that work for the office and any summer event

    Lily Courtauld is the Content Director at BuyMeOnce. After ten years in the luxury fashion industry, Lily now dedicates her time to finding innovative, long-lasting brands for the site and brings her penchant for neoprene capes, jazzy prints and peanut butter into BuyMeOnce HQ.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-15T04:00:00+0100 2018-06-15T04:00:00+0100 How to Care for Your Wooden Cutting Board Amanda Saxby


    Whether you’ve received your wooden cutting board as a gift or treated yourself, you want to take the necessary steps to protect your investment. Here are our best tips for protecting and caring for wooden cutting boards. Why Wood? So why wooden cutting boards over plastic, glass, marble or ceramic? I admit that I find marble and ceramic cutting boards aesthetically very pleasing – in fact, I own two or three of them for serving desserts and cheese plates. The neutral tones and gentle blueish-grey grain make food pop and look more appetising. But I would never use these to prepare my food. Marble, ceramic and glass cutting boards can do extensive damage to your knives by dulling and chipping the blades. Dull knives are far more dangerous than sharp knives because they require more force to use than a sharp knife. More force = accidents.  Dull knives happen for two main reasons: One – When the edge of the blade becomes bent or rolled to one side caused by physical pressure to the edge of the blade, such as when it is used on a chopping material with little to no give. Two – When the edge of the...]]>
    Whether you’ve received your wooden cutting board as a gift or treated yourself, you want to take the necessary steps to protect your investment. Here are our best tips for protecting and caring for wooden cutting boards.

    How to Care for Your Wooden Cutting Board | BuyMeOnce.com

    Why Wood?

    So why wooden cutting boards over plastic, glass, marble or ceramic? I admit that I find marble and ceramic cutting boards aesthetically very pleasing – in fact, I own two or three of them for serving desserts and cheese plates. The neutral tones and gentle blueish-grey grain make food pop and look more appetising. But I would never use these to prepare my food.

    Marble, ceramic and glass cutting boards can do extensive damage to your knives by dulling and chipping the blades. Dull knives are far more dangerous than sharp knives because they require more force to use than a sharp knife. More force = accidents. 

    Dull knives happen for two main reasons:

    One – When the edge of the blade becomes bent or rolled to one side caused by physical pressure to the edge of the blade, such as when it is used on a chopping material with little to no give.

    Two – When the edge of the blade becomes rounded from friction, tearing or abrasion (usual wear and tear), such as when the knife is used on a material that is too hard and resists scoring. This will cause the edge to round from the increased abrasion on the knife.

    Marble, ceramic and glass are too hard of materials to protect knife blades from rolling or rounding, resulting in a dull blade and danger to your fingers. And don’t ever drop them on a tiled floor, or you can say buh-bye to your pretty board.

    While plastic boards generally have more give to them, they are a nuisance on the environment, suck up stains and melt if brought too close to a gas hob or sometimes a dishwasher drying cycle (yes, it’s happened; don’t judge). They should also be replaced every two years because they harbour bacteria more than any other material due to their porous nature. Ew.

    Wood is the best choice. It is a material that has a natural give to protect your blade for longer and is exceptionally durable and nigh-on impossible to break. Plus, if you take proper care of it, it shouldn’t stain, crack or harbour oodles of bacteria.

    How to Care for Your Wooden Cutting Board | BuyMeOnce.com

    Taking Care of Your Wooden Cutting Board

    Once you’ve chosen your wooden board, it’s important that you take care of it. Regular maintenance can protect your board from cracking, warping, mould and naturally-occurring bacteria that can seep into the material and make you ill. Thankfully, this is rather easy to do and only requires about 30 minutes of your time once a month.

    Every time you use the board

    Make sure that when you’re finished with it for the day, you wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water. Do not submerge the board into a sink full of water though, as this will encourage cracking and warping. Scrub the board well and then leave it to dry on its side, propped up against the drying rack or a wall. Do not let it dry flat or directly on one side as this will cause water seepage and potential warping and mould.

    Once a month

    Give your wooden board the spa treatment. Everyone enjoys a little pampering, and your board works hard for you to eat fresh, delicious food every day, so it deserves it.

    First, give your cutting board a salt and lemon scrub down. Grab a small handful of coarse sea salt and sprinkle it across the board, then use half a lemon to rub the salt around the surface of the board in little circles. You’re basically giving your board a good facial exfoliation treatment here. By sanding down the board slightly, you’re removing a very thin layer of the board that has become porous from use and may be harbouring bacteria. The lemon juice will also kill any bacteria and reduce any lingering food smells (like smelly onion or garlic).

    Second, rinse your board off in the sink, giving it a little wipe down with a wet cloth, then leave it to dry completely (as above) before performing the next step.

    Finally, treat your board with a little oil. If you own an iron pan, you’ll be very familiar with this technique. Essentially, the oil creates a thin barrier between the wood and your food, protecting the board and keeping your food from any bacteria. The oil also helps treat the wood, keeping it from drying out and cracking.

    The best oil to use here is a non-vegetable oil. Olive, almond, canola, avocado and other types of vegetable or nut-based oils can become rancid very quickly if exposed to the air. Use a food-grade mineral oil or coconut oil. Personally, I use coconut oil as it has a more stable shelf life and is highly resistant to rancidity.

    Condition your board by taking a teaspoon to half tablespoon sized amount of oil (depending on the size of your board) and rubbing it all over the board in circular motions, making sure to get every side, corner, nook and cranny. Much like you would rub moisturizer into your face. Allow the oil to dry for a couple of hours and then repeat this process a second time. Leave the board to dry overnight and resume using it as usual.

    Although it may require a bit of maintenance once in a while, a wooden cutting board will keep you going right through to a ripe old age. And really, don’t the best things in life often need a little love?

    Amanda Saxby hails from the frozen tundra of British Columbia, Canada, and now works as Digital Marketing Manager for BuyMeOnce in London. When she’s not analysing the latest Twitter trends or decoding the optimal time to post an Instagram, she can be found with a whisk in her hand baking up some tasty natural treats for her blog, Naturally Sweet Kitchen, and her colleagues. So far, no complaints. 

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-12T17:13:00+0100 2018-06-12T17:13:00+0100 UK Made, Uniquely Durable and Just Plain Loud: Minirig Portable Speakers BuyMeOnce UK


    When it comes to electrical devices, particularly portable ones, we’re extremely cautious. But the made in the UK Minirig Bluetooth speaker had a remarkable billing – they call it the best – and we think it lives up to its reputation. Ask any self-respecting audiophile to recommend you a set of portable speakers and the Minirig will come up time and again. They say that these speakers are built by music-lovers, and that comes through in the speaker's loud and proud sound. More importantly for us, a Minirig is designed with durability in its bones and with functionality and long battery life at its heart. It’s no surprise that Minirig emerged from Bristol, a city bathed in sound. A collision of inspiration between engineering departments at Bristol University, the entire design was conceived and constructed around common sense user-friendly principles. The Minirig is a neat 10cm in diameter, with most of that space dedicated to a gigantic 70mm driver powering the audio. The sound is delivered with remarkable clarity, and we haven't dared crank it up to full volume yet. It turned heads in the office at half power. What space there is left in the 'rig is reserved for the similarly massive battery, fit for a mind-boggling 80...]]>
    When it comes to electrical devices, particularly portable ones, we’re extremely cautious. But the made in the UK Minirig Bluetooth speaker had a remarkable billing – they call it the best – and we think it lives up to its reputation.

    Ask any self-respecting audiophile to recommend you a set of portable speakers and the Minirig will come up time and again. They say that these speakers are built by music-lovers, and that comes through in the speaker's loud and proud sound. More importantly for us, a Minirig is designed with durability in its bones and with functionality and long battery life at its heart.

    It’s no surprise that Minirig emerged from Bristol, a city bathed in sound. A collision of inspiration between engineering departments at Bristol University, the entire design was conceived and constructed around common sense user-friendly principles. The Minirig is a neat 10cm in diameter, with most of that space dedicated to a gigantic 70mm driver powering the audio. The sound is delivered with remarkable clarity, and we haven't dared crank it up to full volume yet. It turned heads in the office at half power. What space there is left in the 'rig is reserved for the similarly massive battery, fit for a mind-boggling 80 hours battery life. Other top of the range speakers offer just 15 hours at low volume.

    Encased in anodised aluminium, each Minirig is built to last. They say it can be thrown around a bit, and while we wouldn't advise it, it's clear you'll have to try extremely hard to damage it. It's worth noting that the top is vented and not water-proof  so don't leave it out in the rain. At least without a brolly. If sand gets in it at the beach, Minirig recommend leaving it to dry and vacuuming the top. The speaker can withstand it. The brushed metal exterior is also worth a mention; it makes for a refined look and gives the body a real tactility.

    A one year warranty is included, but outside of the warranty, you can have your speaker fixed for just £24. With every Minirig manufactured in the UK and assembled in Bristol, all the parts needed to repair, recycle and service older products are under one roof. It’s a small company of real people that care about their customers.

    That principle is proven by how they treat advancing technology. They actually offer the ability to upgrade your existing device – say if Bluetooth went out of fashion for a new system or some other functionality was improved – at a fraction of the cost of a replacement. It’s a real antidote to the lowest-bidder, celebrity endorsed world of audio marketing. Minirig want you to have your Minirig, not a new one. They are dedicated to keeping everything they build in use for as long as possible.

    The features keep flowing. Along with being connectable to your phone or other device via Bluetooth, there are also two AUX ports – for those of us who like the way things used to be. We can confirm it's super easy to set up out of the box - it arrived with plenty of charge, and you can get your tunes blaring within around ten seconds of unboxing. The Minirig can even link up to other Minirigs through that connectivity; if you’re so inclined, you could create a shimmering wall of stereo sound with two, three or more speakers. According to the founder David, a frankly ridiculous 80 Minirigs have been joined up before.

    The battery capacity is so large (we have to mention it again…80 hours!) that they’ve even added the capability to charge your other devices using Minirig power. It’s no wonder that these are a festival favourite – aside from the toss-it-around durability, in a pinch it’ll save your mobile phone from an early death.

    We highly recommend you check them out and if you need one, consider buying one.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-08T11:35:00+0100 2018-06-08T11:35:00+0100 9 Ways to Protect Kids from Consumerism and Why It's Important Tara Button


    “But Mum, I need it! I NEED IT! Everyone else has one.” This familiar call of the young human to its parent is heard universally in Westernised culture. It’s a distress call. We are programmed to want social acceptance. It’s not that we simply want to be accepted but that we feel we need to be accepted. In ancient times, if you were rejected by your tribe, you starved or died. No wonder this is a powerful driver for us. In our current consumerist society, and especially as young people, social acceptance and material things have become intimately linked. Tara Button Advertisers use this knowledge to create trends and fads, but now more than ever they are targeting the young. Companies have wised up to how much they can make by turning our children into consumers. When I was a baby, companies spent just £100 million on advertising to kids globally, now it’s £17 billion. Furthermore, brands will give out free goods to pregnant mothers so that their brand gets in front of newborn eyes first. But is materialism, essentially focusing on what stuff we have, so bad? In short, yes, really bad. Materialistic people have been shown to be...]]>
    “But Mum, I need it! I NEED IT! Everyone else has one.”

    This familiar call of the young human to its parent is heard universally in Westernised culture. It’s a distress call.

    We are programmed to want social acceptance. It’s not that we simply want to be accepted but that we feel we need to be accepted. In ancient times, if you were rejected by your tribe, you starved or died. No wonder this is a powerful driver for us. In our current consumerist society, and especially as young people, social acceptance and material things have become intimately linked.

    Tara Button

    Advertisers use this knowledge to create trends and fads, but now more than ever they are targeting the young. Companies have wised up to how much they can make by turning our children into consumers. When I was a baby, companies spent just £100 million on advertising to kids globally, now it’s £17 billion. Furthermore, brands will give out free goods to pregnant mothers so that their brand gets in front of newborn eyes first. But is materialism, essentially focusing on what stuff we have, so bad?

    In short, yes, really bad.

    Materialistic people have been shown to be less generous, less agreeable, less healthy, less likely to help others, less satisfied with their lives, less satisfied with their jobs, less caring about the environment, more likely to gamble, more likely to be in debt, lonelier, worse at keeping friends and less close to the friends they do have. Materialistic kids also do less well at school.

    We know that when we think of ourselves as consumers, we become more selfish and disconnected from others and damage our positive relationships. In 1978, researchers Goldberg and Gorn studied two groups of kids. One group watched a TV show that included toy commercials and the other watched it without. Later, the kids who had watched the adverts chose to play alone with the advertised toys instead of with their friends.

    Unfortunately, the 5000 marketing messages our kids are receiving every day are “you are a consumer”, “buy this”, “eat this”, “watch this”.

    So, what can we do as parents?

    How to Protect Your Kids From Consumerism and Why It's Important | buymeonce.com

    How to Cure Not Feeling Cool

    If your child is worried about not being cool, ask them gently why they think it’s important to be cool. Often it boils down to “the cool people have more friends”. Ask your child why they like their friends. Are they kind, funny, do they like to play with them, do they share or cheer them up? Get them to write down the answers. Tell them that these are the same reasons why people will like them. Tell them also that it doesn’t matter how many friends they have, it’s how close their friendships are that matter. If only a couple of close pals want to come to their birthday, make them imagine how many people those close pals are worth. Dozens! A whole class at least.

    How to Protect Kids from Messaging

    Very young children can’t tell the difference between ads and shows – they absorb it all. It’s also easy for our kids to see the children in the ads who look so happy, excited and popular and assume they need those things to be happy too. When they are old enough to understand, sit down with your kids and watch some adverts together. Talk about them and what they are trying to do:

    • The people on TV have been paid to look like they’re having fun
    • Ads want us to buy more things
    • Ads might not always tell the exact truth
    • Ads can make things seem better than they are
    • Ads try to make us feel like the toys and things we have aren’t good enough.

    To counteract this, make some fun, silly ads for the toys your child has already, and try to encourage gratitude both by voicing gratitude for the things you have and asking your child what they’re grateful for before bedtime.

    Gender stereotypes are rife on TV too, which has the effect of making girls feel like they can’t do certain things and boys feel they can’t express their emotions constructively. Explain all of this to your kids in simple terms, and let your son know that if he wants a doll or if your daughter wants pirate Lego, that’s completely fine.

    Block Those Ads

    As much as possible, try to protect your children from ads. Reducing TV time has huge benefits, especially with young kids. They fall asleep easier, sleep longer and have less aggressive behaviour. It can feel hard to transition away from TV watching when the family is used to watching it a lot. The trick is to be ready with something to do and have the equipment ready. Some ideas could be:

    • Puzzles
    • Crafts 
    • Board games or quizzes
    • Dancing
    • Singing
    • Gymnastics
    • Playing instruments
    • Making up stories or writing
    • Building dens
    • Inventing things
    • Cooking or baking
    • Gardening
    • Science “experiments”
    • Reading
    • Martial arts
    • Meditation or yoga
    • Painting
    • Photography
    • Imaginary games or dress-up
    • Lego 
    • Talking about your day

    If they watch TV where ads can’t be skipped, teach them where the mute button is and make a game of trying to hit it quickly when ads come on. Then teach them that this is the time to go to the loo or see how much of a puzzle they can do.

    But it’s not just TV: 87 percent of the most popular kids websites contain advertising. If you have young children, make a list of sites you’re happy for them to visit and bookmark them. Be aware of what older kids are looking at and where messaging might be getting to them. Try to find ad-free alternatives to their news and media sources and install a good ad blocker, but also be prepared to pay for quality ad-free content.

    How to Protect Your Kids From Consumerism and Why It's Important | buymeonce.com

    The Smartphone Solution

    Smartphones are the perfect device to spread consumerism and discontent. Instagram, in particular, is causing depression because it parades covetable lifestyles in front of your children making them feel inferior, anxious and unhappy with their own “real” lives.

    In America, there is now a pledge to hold off buying kids a smartphone until the 8th grade (around 13 years old), which is working well in some communities. Try to get a consensus of parents to hold off together; the pressure will be much less for the kids to get them.

    But banning tech altogether may not be the answer. It’s important to teach your kids to be responsible with tech in the same way as we teach them to be responsible with alcohol. Both are addictive after all. Teach them by example. Don’t spend hours on your phone and make family time sacred. Don’t let your child go to bed with their phone – put all phones in a basket or drawer to be used again in the morning.

    Talk to your children about phone addiction, about how social media can make you feel, cyberbullying and sexting. Try your best to keep up to date with what technology kids are using to communicate and the issues it can cause.

    Fixing the Fashion Issue

    Once kids start to notice fashion and associate some items with being “in” and some with being “out”, it’s time to talk to them.

    Get them to critically question why people think some things are fashionable and others not. Who’s making up these rules? Why should we listen to them? Empower them to find their own style early on. Encourage them to experiment with different coloured fabrics, shapes of clothes and textures of fabric to decide what they really like. Remind them that there is no right or wrong when it comes to fashion, just like there’s no right or wrong over what is the best flavour of ice cream, it’s all a matter of taste. Most children wouldn’t change their favourite ice-cream flavour because someone else told them to, neither should they change their taste in clothing. This should give them the confidence to reject trends and fads that they don’t personally like and build a wardrobe that is uniquely them.

    Celebrity Influence

    Celebrities (and I include Winnie the Pooh and Postman Pat in this) can influence kids to want certain items. Get them to question why they like the celebrities they do. Looking up to talented performers and artists is natural and inspiring, but let’s encourage kids to use their enthusiasm to work hard on their own talents and passions, rather than consuming the work of others.

    Emphasise what these celebs do rather than what they have or what they’re endorsing. Try to move your child’s thinking away from:

    “She has lovely hair – I wish I had her hair” to 
    “She works hard on her dancing – I should work hard at my piano.”

    “He has this brand of clothes – I should wear that brand” to 
    “He’s discovered his own style. I should discover my style too.”

    “She’s on that cereal box, so I want that cereal” to
    “She was brave in that movie. I can be brave too.”

    When it comes to celebrity endorsements, try this fun trick to let your kids see if they really like the product the celeb is advertising or if it’s just the celebrity they like:

    Take the face of a person or celebrity they don’t like and put it over the celeb’s face in the advert. Do they still like the product? What you want is for kids to learn to buy things mindfully on their own terms and not because they are being manipulated by outside forces.

    How to Protect Your Kids From Consumerism and Why It's Important | buymeonce.com

    Set Shopping Expectations

    Decide as a family how many clothes and toys you’re comfortable with having in the house and then implement a one-in/one-out system.

    You need to be very clear about when things will be bought. If any shopping trip to the supermarket can result in a new toy, you are setting yourself up to be nagged. You might choose birthdays, Christmas and the beginning of the summer holidays for new things. It might be once a term or once a month. Choose when you think is right for your family. Then before a new item is bought, encourage your child to pick something to donate. If they decide they don’t want anything new and want to keep their old things, that’s fine too.

    Avoiding Toy Overload

    One nursery in Germany took away all their toys, and after a few minutes of bemusement, the kids came up with fun games they could play with each other. Kids need very little to be entertained, but by bringing so many toys into their lives, they are denied the opportunity to come up with their own ideas.

    It’s been shown that if kids are overloaded with toys, they can’t concentrate and it causes stress. Get in the habit of keeping toys out of sight and bringing out just a couple of things at a time. Of course, there are exceptions. If your child is creating an imaginary scene a-la Toy Story, let them run with it.

    Think About Your Own Consumption

    Finally, and this may pinch a little, ask yourself with honesty:

    • Do I compare what I have with others and feel insecure?
    • Do I buy things for my kids impulsively, or out of guilt, or ‘“just because”?
    • Do I focus on possessions over experiences or use shopping as therapy? 

    Children will pick up on your habits, so one of the foremost things you can do is learn to control the consumerist tendencies in yourself. This is easier said than done with the whole world screaming “buy buy buy” at you. Give yourself the same kindness as you plan to give your own kids.

    Shield yourself from damaging messages, empower yourself to stand by your own taste and practice gratitude for everything you have right now.

    Tara Button is on a mission to change the way the world shops forever. In 2016 her little idea went viral and BuyMeOnce was born. After working ten years in advertising, she's now using her powers for good rather than evil. Tara lives in Hertfordshire with a murderous cat and a husband she gets to laugh at every day. Her first book A Life Less Throwaway is published with Harper Collins in the UK and Penguin Random House in the USA.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2018-06-05T17:41:00+0100 2018-06-05T17:41:00+0100 5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime Georgie Crosswell


    Finding a pair of durable summer shoes really shouldn’t feel like a gargantuan task. All they need to be is airy enough to keep you cool, yet sturdy enough to stand up to those long summer rambles... Of course, they should also be stylish enough for you to love wearing them, versatile enough to go with everything you own, comfortable enough not to leave you hobbling home in agony and, if at all possible, ethically made. If that feels overwhelming then never fear! We’ve done some digging and come up with five  incredible brands who tick all the boxes. Think stunning craftsmanship, lifetime guarantees, thoughtful design and ethical production with designs for both men and women. Wave bye bye to flip-flops that spring apart at the toe after a single week; these sturdy summer classics will last you a lifetime. Oliberté Oliberté make beautiful, handcrafted shoes each with a lifetime warranty. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also doing amazing work supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Each and every single pair of Oliberté shoes are handmade in their ethically run factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear factory in 2013. The...]]>
    Finding a pair of durable summer shoes really shouldn’t feel like a gargantuan task. All they need to be is airy enough to keep you cool, yet sturdy enough to stand up to those long summer rambles... Of course, they should also be stylish enough for you to love wearing them, versatile enough to go with everything you own, comfortable enough not to leave you hobbling home in agony and, if at all possible, ethically made.

    If that feels overwhelming then never fear! We’ve done some digging and come up with five  incredible brands who tick all the boxes. Think stunning craftsmanship, lifetime guarantees, thoughtful design and ethical production with designs for both men and women. Wave bye bye to flip-flops that spring apart at the toe after a single week; these sturdy summer classics will last you a lifetime.

    Oliberté

    Oliberté make beautiful, handcrafted shoes each with a lifetime warranty. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also doing amazing work supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Each and every single pair of Oliberté shoes are handmade in their ethically run factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear factory in 2013.

    The styles are simple but stylish, the kind you can imagine being just as in love with 50 years down the line. They’re a member of 1% for the Planet, an international organization dedicated to saving the planet by donating at least 1% of their annual sales. They’re a certified B Corporation and Fair Trade certified. They’re really, really hard to fault!

    5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime | BuyMeOnce.com

    We love the Mazowi flats for women, a sturdy yet elegant shoe that will elevate any summer outfit with style, and the Narivo suede shoes for men. These stylish beauties will keep those ankles cool when you need something a little bit more solid than sandals.

    Reef

    Flip flops are hands-down the worst culprits when it comes to throwaway footwear and a bigger problem than many people realize, especially in the developing world. (Ocean Sole is a wonderful charity in Kenya raising awareness one colorful, impactful artwork at a time!) It can be tempting to buy cheap plastic flip flops each summer, but when they’re both damaging the environment and leave you running the high risk of having to hop home across burning hot sand, we think it’s worth investing in quality.

    5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime | BuyMeOnce.com

    We love the Voyager range by Reef. These expertly designed flip flop style sandals are guaranteed for life and crafted from genuine leather, making them beautifully durable and stylish enough to throw on and off throughout the summer. Even better, by supporting Reef you are actively helping support the ocean cleanup rather than adding to the problem. Reef are co-founders of the Better Beach Alliance which supports beach cleanups, trash removal and volunteers!

    Swedish Hasbeens

    Combining a fun and distinctive seventies style with passion for lasting quality, it’s no surprise we’re in love with Swedish Hasbeens. Their shoes are still handmade by skilled artisans in small, traditional factories in Europe using 100% vegetable leather and the best lime tree and alder wood, always crafted from one solid piece. You can feel the quality and durability just from holding them in your hand.

    5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime | BuyMeOnce.com

    The Pearl Sky High Heeled Sandals are perfect for high summer glamour but for a more versatile shoe we love the Suzanne Debutant Clogs. Super pretty but practical, these will go with casual outfits as well as more dressy looks no problem.

    ABLE

    ABLE offer handcrafted goods with a focus on empowering women in the developing world, meaning you get a beautifully crafted product along with the knowledge your money is supporting a great cause. The styles are simple yet stylish, plus ABLE offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime guarantee on all their leather products. We love the Joselyne Double Strap Sandal in metallic (it also comes in cognac and leopard print), the perfect sandal for injecting some low-effort, high-impact glamour into summer outfits!

    5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime | BuyMeOnce.com

    Birkenstocks

    It’s difficult to think of a more classic summer shoe than the Birkenstocks Arizona. Whilst they are known mainly for being plastered to the feet of celebrities over the years, these simple sliders have proved far more than a fleeting fashion fad. They’re cleverly constructed to support the natural shape of your foot, and are made using high-quality cork and leather that mould to your feet over time. We also love that Birkenstocks are designed to be worn-out and repaired; simply return them to the repair centre for new soles, buckles and footbeds at a reasonable repair cost. No matter what the fashionistas are saying, the iconic Birkenstocks will always be firm BuyMeOnce favourites.

    5 Amazing Brands making Summer Shoes To Last A Lifetime | BuyMeOnce.com

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