As a brief intermission from our fashion diaries, please enjoy our maiden voyage into beauty territory.
The more you read about lük beautifood's Lip Nourish balms, the more you realise that you'd be hard pressed to find a product that has been created more thoughtfully and intentionally. lük beautifood focus on three fundamental pillars when creating their products, which include being food active (using a "potent mix of active foods that feed your skin with nutrients, hydration and protective antioxidants + anti-inflammatories while actively contributing to your health and wellbeing"), toxin free (not using any "toxic ingredients that are known endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic or linked to cancer including preservatives, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and fragrance"), and 100% natural ("no synthetic ingredients").
lük beautifood also aim to make every effort that they can to ensure that their products leave the smallest footprint possible. Plus, their products are not tested on animals and are proudly made in Australia following the guidelines for COLIPA & TQM systems.
Winner winner chicken dinner.
Learn more about lük beautifood's philosophy and ethos here.
Aside from being incredibly affordable (seriously affordable), e.l.f. brings us the goods by being our vegan friends, meaning that e.l.f. products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This is done through replacing key ingredients with vegan alternatives - for example, replacing beeswax with synthetic beeswax, and lanolin with Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. It also comes as no surprise that e.l.f. is also against animal testing and do not endorse such practices. So many reasons to rejoice!
Thanks to e.l.f. for making it so accessible and easy to make better decisions!
LUSH boasts a long and comprehensive list of ways in which they are attempting to implement best practice. Not only are they active in fighting against animal testing, but they're also committed to sourcing and buying their raw materials/ingredients ethically. 100% of their products are vegetarian and handmade, 83% of their products are vegan, 60% are free from preservatives, and 46% of their products require zero packaging (naked packaging).
Read more about LUSH's story here.
Back in June, we learnt of a little app that was set out to capture our KINGDOM. hearts and make life a bajillion times better. Five months later, that app has landed, and we could not be any more excited!
Good On You is a Sydney-based organisation that aims to help consumers make better decisions by gathering data on over 1000 brands and giving them a rating based on their ethics. These ratings are based on the way in which brands and companies address three main areas: people (e.g. supply chain, labour, worker safety, living wage), the environment (e.g. sustainability, direct and indirect impacts, waste, use of hazardous chemicals), and animals (e.g. use of fur and angora, whether 'mulesing' is associated with wool production, whether and how leather is used). Most of the ratings also include detailed breakdowns of this information so that you can check it all out for yourself!
This brilliant new app builds upon the work that other great organisations such as Fairtrade Australia, Ethical Clothing Australia, and Baptist World Aid - amongst many, many others - are already doing. We love that there are increasingly more accessible resources to help us out with shopping ethically Now it's literally as easy as searching by brand, product or store - yew!
Thank you, Good On You, for creating such an awesome digital sidekick for conscious consumers! Knowledge and understanding are two of our best weapons, and you guys are ace for equipping all of us.
We will be sure to use the Good On You app for #youareKINGDOM2k16!
Back when KINGDOM. first started, I noticed a particular Instagram follower who was super active on our profile. I thought, "You are super nice, and in return, I shall stalk your profile (because that's a reward somehow?)." I did just that, and lo and behold, I stumbled upon one of the greatest discoveries I have ever made. I have not stopped Insta-stalking since.
Everyone, meet Ghitta Laskrouif - fashion designer extraordinaire behind the brand, Ghitta laskrouif, hailing all the way from Morocco. Ghitta, everyone; everyone, Ghitta.
Coming from a background in fine arts and fashion design, as well as coming from a traditional family that was particularly skilled in crafts, Ghitta was always set to create something unique and full of character. After graduating from fashion design in 2007, Ghitta ventured into freelance work, collaborating with other designers, as well as studying and researching textiles and other designers. It was in 2014 that she took the leap and launched a brand of her very own.
In Ghitta laskrouif's first year, Ghitta designed two collections, which included enough items to fill up your entire wardrobe. From jewellery, shoes, and accessories to dresses, trousers, and outwear, Ghitta laskrouif covers it all. Inspired by daily life and her Afro/Arab/Berber heritage, Ghitta creates an aesthetic that represents an active, avant-garde, modest woman through loose-fitting, slightly androgynous clothes with minimal cuts. Amongst Ghitta's favourites is her collection of berrad (teapot) scarves and shawls (they're some of our favourites too!).
It doesn't just stop there either! Ghitta is also a country ambassador for the unbelievable movement, Fashion Revolution! Ghitta explains, "Fashion Revolution is a global coalition of designers, academics, writers, and business leaders calling for systemic reform of the fashion supply chain, and trying to awaken people's conscience about fashion and especially fast fashion system." After following the campaign in 2014, Fashion Revolution approached Ghitta about becoming the country co-ordinator for Morocco, which was AOK with Ghitta, "Every time I have the chance, I try to explain what ethical fashion to people, how it's important to know the true cost of our clothes and the companies that we support , who made it, where it's made - we need to know the story of our clothes. There are a lot people involved the the whole process of creating clothing! At the moment of purchase, most of us are unaware of the processes and impacts involved in the creation of a garment." For example, Ghitta states, "According to the Danish Fashion Institute (2013), fashion is the world's 2nd most polluting industry."
For Morocco in particular, "the textiles and clothing sector plays a major role in the country’s economy. It is the top industrial employer, providing about 200,000 jobs to 42% percent of the labour force working in the industry." However, Ghitta points out an other impact that the global fashion industry is having on her home country,"An unfortunate side effect of the current model is the loss of crafts, culture and skills because people are purchasing foreign labels more than local ones!" When you see the pieces that Ghitta and other artisans create, you'll understand exactly how much of a shame this is!
Therefore, being such an active advocate for ethical fashion, are Ghitta's own creations ethical? You'll be pleased to know that they are! The most incredible characteristic that you will notice in any Ghitta laskrouif piece is that it is slowly and carefully handmade. Each piece represents a journey of coming into being. Moreover, they're not ethical because she's following the current trend; they're ethical because it's embedded into her lifestyle, "I've grown up in countryside and the lifestyle is so different! We enjoy, take time and pleasure in everything. I learned to make everything in slow mode but when i moved to Casablanca city, it was the total opposite! Everyone is either in a hurry, or already out of time! This transition influenced my choice to make an ethical brand. I wanted to create something slow, made with pleasure and contrasting the city lifestyle - so [my label] is ethical because everything is handmade. I make all of the accessories and clothes samples by myself, and when sourcing materials and textiles such as embroideries, crochet, knit, weave, and prints, I collaborate with local artisans."
So what does the future hold for Ghitta laskrouif? Well, as keen as we are here in Melbourne to purchase and support her work, we need to calm down because Ghitta only just launched her most recent collection! The next few months will see Ghitta focusing on reproducing items for buyers and looking for more opportunities to sell her designs. If you live outside of Casablanca, but you're still keen to purchase Ghitta's designs, you may have to wait a little while. However, there is a small collection of Ghitta laskrouif accessories available on Japanese online boutique, ChatRubis.
Congratulations, Ghitta, on all of your success and everything you have already accomplished! We love what you do, and we want to support you in whatever way we can. We admire your passion for championing positive causes, and love your determination and heart to see an industry revolutionised for the benefit of the world and all who inhabit it. We hope to take KINGDOM. to Morocco one day to visit you in person, so get ready because I have a feeling when Ghitta laskrouif and KINGDOM. combine forces, there will be a lot of noise!
As some of you may know, my sister is getting married in September, and talk about all things engagement/wedding/marriage has been non-stop since October last year. So naturally, I've also been planning my own imaginary engagement/wedding/marriage simultaneously, sans any foreseeable love prospects of the horizon (I'm not weird).
Rings have been a big part of this delusional journey, but thank goodness Bario Neal exists because I think my quest for the perfect engagement ring and wedding band is over. Having said that, there are still about 589 ring combos that I'm tossing up between. This is serious business, guys. Please take note.
All jokes aside (though, I'm not really joking), my heart is SET on Bario Neal, and with good - nay, great - reason.
Based in Philadelphia, Bario Neal creates handcrafted jewellery using reclaimed precious metals, Fairmined gold, ethically-sourced stones, and prioritises low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. They are committed to environmental responsibility, ethical practices, and marriage equality. All of this is brilliant news!
Let's chat about their Fairmined gold for a second though because this really has my heartstrings tugging. A few months ago, Bario Neal released a new range of 14K and 18K Fairmined gold bands. The Fairmined gold certification ensures that the gold used has been ethically extracted by artisanal and small-scale miners who are certified under the Fairmined standard. Moreover, the miners all adhere to strict environmental, labour, and social and economic development standards, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and mining on a small, environmentally conscious scale. And for an extra dimension of awesome, Bario Neal offers most pieces in their fine jewellery collection in Fairmined gold upon request. All of my ethical yellow gold dreams have come true.
It doesn't just stop at rings either. Bario Neal crafts beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces, hair pieces, and custom pieces as well. I've never considered piercing my ears more seriously just to wear their wonderful pieces. Some of my favourite pieces are below, including the Oji ring, which I have worn everyday since it arrived in the mail.
A massive round o' applause to Anna Bario and Page Neal for creating their innovative and ethically conscious brand. KINGDOM. loves to support those who promote positive values through what they do, what they create, and what they say. Thank you, Bario Neal, for upholding integrity in your craft, and for using your skills to improve the state of the world one [jewellery] piece at a time.