I’ve reached a point where I feel pretty comfortable with my eating habits and life as a vegetarian, so it was only a matter of time before I turned my attention to another cause.
And it seems that doing research about where my food comes from has led me to reflect on where my possessions come from, too. Specifically, I’ve been wondering whether the clothes and accessories I normally buy are made in an ethical way.
Sadly, I suspect the answer most of the time is no.
This needs to change, but it’s not that simple. Having looked on the websites of several ethical fashion providers, I’ve found that I simply can’t afford to spend that much money and I’m definitely not the only one. But then again, I’d rather buy less, save up, and put my money towards a brand whose ethics I believe in.
In the meantime, I reverted to the old I’ll put it on my wishlist move, and I was very lucky to unwrap a saddle bag from Matt & Nat on my birthday last month. So in honour of this rather beautiful creature, today’s post is my first-ever What’s In My Bag?
About Matt & Nat
Matt & Nat is an ethical, vegan accessories brand. They don’t use any leather or animal-based materials to make their products and their approach is as eco-friendly as possible — they use recycled materials when they can and all their bag linings are made out of recycled plastic bottles. Sounds good to me!
In my bag:
When I was working in London my workmates and I were obsessed with hand cream, applying it almost hourly. I have a lot of hand creams on rotation at home, but my product of choice when out and about (or sat at a desk) is almost always Soap & Glory’s Mini Hand Food. It has the classic, floral, S&G scent, it sinks in quickly, and it moisturises the skin on your hands.
I also carried anti-bac around — the people who shared the toilet on our floor had the most disgusting habits and I am scarred for life. I’m not quite so germ-phobic now I’m away from all that but I still carry it around, just in case. Sugar Crush is much nicer than your average hand sanitiser, with a lime and vanilla scent, although you still get an underlying whiff of that chemical-laden anti-bac smell.
My regular purse is too big to fit in this bag, so I transfer my debit card, ID, and some cash into a smaller coin purse instead. I’m pretty sure this one was from Primark years ago, so I’d like to replace it with something a bit more eco-friendly, but still works just fine so I’ll keep it for now.
In my bag:
No handbag is complete without a lipbalm (or three) and my current poison of choice is Skin & Tonic’s Peppermint Lip Balm, which feels kinda tingly and freshens you up even if you don’t have any mints to hand. Most importantly, it’s very soothing on sore lips.
I’ve also started taking Skin & Tonic’s Mini Calm Balm out with me as a sort of experiment. Every time I feel stressed I put a little bit of the lavender-scented balm on my wrists (by my pulse) to see if it makes a difference. And while it certainly makes me stop and rationalise everything, I’m not sure whether it’s the balm or the action of using the balm that are having an effect. Either way, I’m enjoying using it.
In my bag:
I have the worst hay fever in the world at the moment (I’ve just bought a tonne of eye drops, nasal spray, and antihistamines because I can’t cope) so tissues are essential for when sneezing fits take hold. Which they do. Frequently. *sighs*
I know most people prefer to have their music on their phone these days, but I love having an iPod and take it everywhere with me. At the moment I’ve been enjoying Florence + The Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club, and the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack (I’d make an excellent Gaston).
What do you keep stashed in your bag? And what are your thoughts on ethical fashion? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!