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ERIN KAY WILLIAMS

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How Can We Help Reduce Water and Ocean Pollution In Our Day to Day Lives?

Water must be the one item that the majority of us take for granted. Remember when you used to be asked what three items you would brin...

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

World Environment Day; Why We Should All Care


I spend a lot of my time thinking about our planet, wondering what we can do to help it and how our small decisions have an impact on the world around us. You see, I have always believed that just because my actions may be small doesnt mean they don't matter. I hear many people say 'well, it's not like I can make a difference' but you see you can. We all can.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Sustainable London; The Three Stags, A Sustainable Restaurant.


I've come to realise where I work, JLL, has a lot more'extra curricular' activities than some other work places in London. One of these extra curricular activities is called the Dining Club. I'd heard about the club through our sustainability team due to the restaurant that was being visited, having a sustainability focus. Naturally I was excited to try out new places in London and having the opportunity to meet new people whilst doing this was of course a win win.

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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Brand of the Week; Salt Gypsy



I love the ocean, there is no place as calming as the sound of waves crashing and the sight of the white froth as the ocean dancing across the front of the beach. If there was one thing I wish I could do well in life, I think it would be to surf.


Sadly, I don't live by a beach and the UK doesn't quite have the same appeal to dive into the very chilly sea as places like Australia, but that doesn't stop me dreaming about my life as a pro surfer in an alternate universe. Australians love for surfing on the other hand can be indulged a little easier, this maybe why they have so many incredible swim wear surf brands around and why, some of them are doing things a little differently.


I had never really thought about the impact surfing had on the oceans but it's suprisingly high with plastic and rubber being used in wetsuits and boards. The use of recycled materials is therefor pretty important to reduce the damage  and waste the hobby (or career if you're lucky enough) creates.


This was the belief of the founder Salt Gypsy. The brand arose after the founder had lived in the tropics whilst surfing a lot. She because very aware of the sun damage that was taking place when she was in the sea. Although there were plenty of rash vests available, she realised that there was nothing available to protect your legs and so rash leggings was how the brand started.


Today, Surf Gypsy i a leader in ethical surf wear which has been made from recycled fishing nets found in the ocean. This means that there is not only less waste in the ocean, but also less fossil fuels being used to create the products as well (to create synthetic fabrics like nylon, fossil fuels are required).


It's safe to say there isn't a piece from their collection I don't want. Now I just need to book a holiday to somewhere walk so I can grab one or two pieces from the collection. Sadly I'm not sure Newquay would allow for just the rash vest and bottoms.

What do you think of surf gypsy? Do you know any other ethical swimwear brands?

Love
Erin



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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Fashion Revolution Week; What I learnt

Fashion Revolution Week. E.K.W. Blog

Fashion Revolution Week takes place once a year on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which killed 1138 people and injured many more on the 24th April 2013. An event that many people are unaware of and an event where many fashion brands did not know if their clothes were even being made there. The worst part of the disaster was that it was preventable. Many workers had asked not to be forced to work in the building that had large cracks up the side and was known to be unstable, but due to no workers unions, and no voice, the workers, predominantly women had no choice but to enter and lost their lives as a result.

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Sunday, 29 April 2018

A weekend in Eindhoven; A Sustainable City Guide


Not planning or looking at a destination before going away is not something I would normally even consider, yet appearently its becoming a thing. First with Llandudno and then again with my recent trip to Eindhoven.


I went away with Ellie and Lily, two girls I was lucky enough to meet at a travel blogger event two years ago and have stayed friends with ever since. We had discussed going away for some time and when ryanair released their flight sale on January 1st it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Through a flow of whatsapp messaged and my crappy signal our only criteria were for the flights to be cheap, at reasonable times and for them not to be to long. Next thing I know I'd agreed to a trip to Eindhoven and it's safe to say I had not googled the destination apart from to check the weather before we landed at Eindhoven airport.

What I soon came to realise though, was that there was more than meets the eye with this city. Turns out it's moving towards being a leader in sustainability as well. Now what were the chances of that?

So here's my slightly sustainable guide on how to spend a weekend in the city, if you, unlike us, are researching the destination before arriving.


Where to stay?


Due to there being 3 of us, naturally rooms can be a little harder to find but we found a quadruple room at Sandton Eindhoven Centre. The room was a really good size and the beds, super comfy. The only downside was the lack of a full length mirror which is never ideal with 3 girls in a small space but for under £80 for two nights and a mere 5 minute walk over the canal to the main town centre, the location really was perfect.


What to do?


Eindhoven is in a phase of complete regeneration. The town has created a bike highway on every main road in the city, meaning you feel like you're more likely to be hit by a bike than a car. They have also started a major regeneration project, following public consultation and are on a mission to reuse as much of the original Philips warehouses (Philips was started in Eindhoven and the name is EVERYWHERE). This area is called Strijp-S District and is by far the coolest place I have ever visited within a city.



Strijp-S



Strijp-S is unlike anywhere you are likely to have visited before. As you walk out of the city you'll walk past the football stadium, past some beautiful new apartment blocks and then you'll reach what feels like a disused area with cafe's and warehouses. The area however is far from disused, in fact there's more than you can ever imagine going on. Restaurants, skateparks, and incredible re-purposed and vintage furniture shops are located within the district.


Following the paths and street art you'll come to even more gigantic warehouse style buildings. Inside are more independent shops and cafes from bike stores to your fancy clothing. The entire regeneration has considered the environmental impact and thus, reusing as much as possible.


It's an area of open space and creative ideas all coming to life. We even walked past a graphitti class taking place with all generations involved making you feel like you'd just walked into an incredible community.

Street Art



I am a big sucker for street art and so, upon seeing a few cool pieces on instragram we went on a hunt for more. Strijp-S is definitely the heart of most of these pieces. As you walk towards the discrict you'll pass a huge football mural. Further along the road at the start of the flat buildings you'll find a beautiful tropical piece.


Enter into the main warehouse area and the most incredible shop you've ever seen (and where I want to buy all my furniture from when I eventually have a home), and you'll find street art on every outside wall of the skate park.



Back in the centre of the city you can find two incredible murials located up a side street right in between Vue Cinema and Happiness cafe near Sissy Boy. There were so many more that we didn't have time to find which are located on the edge of the city as well. Every single one is unique and beautiful!

Shopping



To not include shopping in this list would seem wrong. Sadly due to the lack of space in my bag I didn't end up purchasing anything but I would highly recommend a wander through Sissy Boy for beautiful homeware. For more sustainable fashion why not have a check out G-Star Raw. Yes, they used to have a uncool rep but did you know they have produced the most sustainable jeans ever!


Eindhoven also has a few other gems such as the reshape store which is a second hand store for the salvation army and second floor, which is also meant to be pretty great for your sustainable fashion needs (vintage galore). Finally, go and visit Gusy Projects, I challenge you not to want to turn the shop into your home. I have never felt more comfortable in a space in my life, shame I don't have an endless budget, shipping container or house to fill with all their beautiful items.

Museums



Eindhoven is most famous for the brand Philips. You soon notice this with the Philips name plastered on lots of buildings. This heritage that the people from the city are so proud of also means you can visit the Philips museum should it tickle your fancy. If not, why not head to the Van Abbemuseum (which was conveniently located right by out hotel).

Where to eat?



La Gitana



We somehow ended up eating at really sustainable restaurants whilst we were away (I blame the city being sustainable in general).


First up was an incredible all you can eat tapas restaurant named La Gitana that I still keep raving about. The food was amazing and really reasonably priced and the sangria was delicious as well. The best part, you have your table until the restaurant closes and you can order 6 dishes at a time every 15 minutes. We racked up 33 dishes between us which is more than I ever thought possible! 

Happiness Cafe



Healthy food, tick. Vegan menu, tick. Super tasty pancakes, tick. Beautiful aesthetic, tick. Yep its the perfect insta spot from beautifully present food, to a pretty interior but the restaurant is more than just pretty.


The food was also fantastic whether you fancy breakfast, brunch or lunch. Think London's farm girl but should I say, better!

Food Market



The food market is located just of the square by the church. Trying to figure out how on earth it works is a little daunting but the mood and drinks options are amazing. You need to arrive early (or late) to get a table and trust me it makes everything easier. Once you've got a table, feel free to download the app and you can order drinks and food from the app which is pretty cool. You can then also wander round the food stalls and some will allow table service. The atmosphere at the market is amazing, and the food looks incredible. We spent our Saturday night drinking wine and soaking in the buzz around us, it was truly fantastic.

Happy Italy



Food that is locally sourced, using  natural ingredients and for really reasonable prices. What more could you want? We ate at this restaurant on our second night in the city. The portions are huge and exceptionally delicious. A quick word of warning, they only take card which was a little shock to us.


So there's my whistle stop tour of things all Eindhoven. I have definitely added the destination as a place I would love to revisit, it really is a gem!

Have you ever been to Eindhoven? Would you like to visit? Where are your sustainable destinations?

Love
Erin

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Salcombe Gin Tasting Experience


I am a bit of gin lover (you may know this from my instagram) and so, when my dad bought me a gin making course for my birthday it was safe to say I was a little excited. It took me a few months to pin down a date but last month I finally got around to booking it and it was so much fun I naturally wanted to talk about it on the blog.
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cruelty Free Beauty Review; Body Shop Banana Shampoo and Conditioner

The Body Shop Banana Shampoo and Conditioner Review | www.e-k-w.co.uk

I haven't written a beauty review in what seems like forever but I thought it was about time I shared some of the great products that I have found and tried out over the past six months, which are of course, cruelty free.
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Brand of the Week; Booja Booja

Ethical Chocolate Brand Booja Booja

It's Easter Sunday and most people will be feasting on a chocolate egg or two so it seemed fitting to talk about a fantastic UK brand with delicious chocolate and great morals named Booja Booja.
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Friday, 23 March 2018

How Can We Help Reduce Water and Ocean Pollution In Our Day to Day Lives?


Water must be the one item that the majority of us take for granted. Remember when you used to be asked what three items you would bring to a desert island when you were younger? Well, I don't really ever recall water being chosen as one of those three things.

 The majority of us don't bat an eyelid when we are thirsty because we can just turn on the tap. The reality of it though, is that water is the foundation of everything we do and need to live. This World Water Day had me thinking long and hard about our impact on the world and our water supply and how our actions mean more than we think. So here are some everyday things we can all do to not just help ensure water is available for everyone, but to also allow our water to remain as clean as possible.


Clothing

 You may have heard the word micro-plastics floating around a lot recently. It's a scary prospect that the majority of bottled water has microplastics. These microplastics can come from many sources from plastic breaking down in the ocean to our clothes. Our clothes are where we can have the highest impact in reducing how many microplastics we release in the water. So what can you do? Well, we aware of how many synthetic fabrics you're buying. When possible try to keep to natural products like 100% cotton. If you own synthetic products such as sports leggings and swimwear which most of us do, firstly reduce how often you need to wash these items, secondly, wash them at a colder wash and thirdly ensure that your washing machine is full. Will more items in the wash, this reduces friction and therefor reduces the shedding of the unwanted particles. Last but by no means least, if you wash with laundry powder, switch to laundry fabric. The powder can have a scrubbing effect which loosens the fibres and thus releases microplastics. Should you want to go further, there are now bags where you can place your synthetic garments in the wash so that the microplastics are caught such as the guppyfriend which you can also check out should you wish.


Glitter

I'm a big glitter fan which is why I have included it on the list because in reality, glitter is very harmful for the environment. Why? Well, most of us when wash glitter straight down the sink with water or in the shower and so, an already small piece of plastic enters the water system and then continues to be broken down which can prevent it from being filtered out. The glitter issue has become something I am very aware of and there are so many fantastic alternatives available now instead, such as glitter made from eucalyptus trees and other biodegradable brands. So this summer when you're getting ready for festivals, I hope you can hear my nagging voice telling you to get something which doesn't have a detrimental impact on our water and ocean life.


Tea and Coffee

As a nation of tea lovers and fast living, tea bags and disposable coffee cups are an every day occurrence. Tea bag however have plastic infused fibres in the bags themselves and coffee cups are lined with a polyethylene which just as in teabags, breaks down into tiny pieces which disposed of. What can you do, well there are now some tea brands that don't use plastic in their bags, or you can opt for loose tea leave which is an easy and guaranteed alternative. For coffee cups its simple, start carrying your own or choose to have your drink actually in the cafe instead of as a takeaway, meaning you also take a 5 minute brain break as well.


Organic

Last but by no means least is about shopping organic. Whether this is in your food or your clothes, organic simply means that no pesticides and herbicides where used to treat the item before hand. This means that these items haven't contributed to chemical run offs which effect water ways, soil but also human health if you live in an area where high levels are used (there are cases of whole villages in India who grow cotton, having highly disabled children due to the chemical run of used on the cotton and land). 

As consumers, we have to take responsibility of our own actions to help keep our oceans and water systems as clean as possible. We don't yet know the true extent of the damage caused by our actions but if microplastics are anything to go by, we need to all help in what ever way we can to reduce our impact.

Love
Erin
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