In 2018, the world is more obsessed with fast fashion than ever. We’re buying more and throwing away more, and it’s having a detrimental impact on our environment.
From over-farming cotton to chemical use in the manufacturing process, there are lots of ways that that new winter wardrobe is damaging not only your bank account but the Earth, too.
In the run up to London Fashion week, here are five reasons to switch up your wardrobe and start avoiding fast fashion for the good of the planet.
The dying process
Globally, chemical use in the clothing dying process is the second largest pollutant of clean water. Last year, Greenpeace conducted research on a number of garments from big brands, and confirmed the presence of banned, hazardous substances on every item.
The chemicals used by clothing manufacturers can be carcinogenic and have negative effects on hormones.
Make sure to check clothing labels for words like ‘antibacterial’, ‘wrinkle-free’ and ‘stain-resistant’ – all of these can imply that potentially harmful chemicals have been involved at some point in production.
Polyester is a popular material because of its durability and cost, but when put into the washing machine, polyester garments shed microfibres.
These tiny bits of polyester pass through water treatment plants easily, and end up adding to already rising levels of plastic in our oceans, which can be detrimental to marine life.
Where possible, avoid Polyester and go for more natural products like hemp.
Unsustainability of cotton farming
Although it’s widely used in more ‘eco-friendly’ clothing options, cotton farms account for 16% of the world’s insecticide releases.
Most commonly used is aldicarp, a chemical that can be fatal to humans. Not only is it harmful for the individuals working in cotton production, but traces of these chemicals remain on your garments, even when they’re hung in your wardrobe at home.
Try to choose clothes that are made from organic cotton instead.
Investing money in good-quality, ethical garments can save your bank account in the long run. Instead of buying and throwing away an entire wardrobe every season, try to choose items that you’ll happily wear for the next few winters.
Go for things that’ll last longer, so you don’t have to contribute to the millions of tonnes of clothing that end up in landfill every year.
It was recently discovered that leading fashion house Burberry burned almost £30m of unsold clothing, accessories and perfume last year. According to the BBC, lots of companies are often taking part in what’s considered fashion’s “dirtiest open secret”.
If the fashion industry continues to excuse such behaviour from not just Burberry, but the many other multi-million-pound fashion brands, the environmental damage could be “potentially catastrophic”.
There are brands out there that are already offering ‘refurbished’ versions of their clothing that has been thrown away, including North Face.
Do some research and see if you can pick up a refurbished item next time you make a big purchase – you might just save yourself some money too!
A note on eco-washing
While awareness of eco-friendly fashion is definitely on the rise, we’re encouraging people to think about the products they use to wash their clothes too.
Conventional laundry products tend to include ingredients that are derived from petroleum, that are non-biodegradable, and that are harmful to our water systems.
Switch to an eco-friendly option such as our own Lavender laundry liquid to get the same results without the same environmental damage.
Our aim at Bio-D is to make products which don’t cost the Earth, and we work consistently across all our production processes, from the ingredients we put in our bottles to the packaging we use to make them, to protect our planet. Thank you for your support!
With 55% of UK consumers shopping at independent retailers once a week or more, it’s safe to say the nation loves its local stores. You may have noticed on our social media channels that we do, too!
Because we’re an independent company, only stocked by other independents, we’ve been showing some of our favourite stores a little love on our social media channels lately.
But why is it important for us to shop at independents, and what are the benefits of choosing the little and local stores? Here are 4 reasons to start supporting your independents (if you haven’t already).
Diversity on the high street
Choose to shop locally and you’ll be able to find lots of unique stuff that you can’t get anywhere else.
From the work of local artists, handmade clothes and homeware, to the freshest bread and cakes, it’s easy to find all the best products in your area if you know where to look.
You could save some cash
Buying a product from the supermarket? Then there might be lots of people involved in the deal. From growers and suppliers to delivery drivers and the store itself, everyone needs their share of the price you’re paying.
Shopping with independents means you’ll be paying for a much shorter supply chain, so the cost of the products won’t be hiked up to pay for everyone involved in getting that product to you.
It’s good for your community’s economy
Research shows that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to only 40p from larger stores. That 63p is spent with other independents and means the community can thrive.
High streets populated lots of independent businesses have a positive impact on local house prices too!
And better for the environment
Not only do local stores tend to stock seasonal products that haven’t been imported from thousands of miles away, they also use way less packaging.
If you’re lucky enough for one of your nearby independents to stock Bio-D, you can save your old bottles from the landfill, and refill them with our products.
Over the last few years, lots of people have grown more conscious about their impact on the environment, and there’s been a rise in the popularity of eco-friendly festivals.
However, most of our favourite music and comedy weekends are not so great for the earth. From plastic cups, plates and cutlery, to fast food in throwaway containers, there are lots of ways festivals can be damaging to our environment. The main culprit? The sheer amount of rubbish left behind by the thousands of people attending.
Although the following tips may seem like tiny contributions, they can make a big difference to the impact festivals have on our earth. Here’s how to do your bit, have fun, and have your most eco-friendly festival season ever.
- Bring a reusable cup
Whatever your drink of choice at festivals, it’s important to stay hydrated. Rather than spending all your cash on overpriced water in single-use plastic bottles, take your own reusable cup and fill it up for free.
Were you one of the lucky winners in our giveaway? A festival is a perfect place to take your brand-new Bio-D Chilly’s tumbler!
- Choose a greener glitter
Festivals are a great place to get dressed up and cover yourself in glitter, but the more commonly used stuff is made from a mixture of aluminium and plastic. When those tiny sparkles are washed down the drain at the end of the weekend, they become a threat to marine life.
Instead of the usual stuff, do some research on biodegradable glitter. There are a few great independent brands available online, so you can shimmer all night long, without harming the planet.
- Reduce and recycle your rubbish
When all the fun’s over, the clean-up has to begin. Tonnes and tonnes of trash is left behind at festivals every year, in fact, the Glastonbury 2017 clean-up reportedly cost £785,000 and the time of more than 1,000 volunteers.
Take a bag with you, and make sure not to leave any of your rubbish behind; some festivals even offer cash rewards for people who help out with the clean-up. Just make sure to re-use and recycle everything you can.
- Take your tent home
Invest in a good-quality tent that you’ll be able to use for many festivals to come, then remember to pack it up and take it home with you every year.
In between uses, to prevent it from going mouldy, thoroughly clean it with an eco-friendly soap. Mix our Washing-up Liquid with some water, and use it with a cloth to wipe away all the dirt from your tent. Just make sure to let your tent dry before you put it away for next time.
- Clean your clothes the eco-friendly way
When you’ve managed to get home in one piece and shower all the dirt away, you’ll probably have some very muddy clothes to deal with.
Our Laundry Bleach will get stubborn stains out of your favourite band tee, and our Laundry Liquid with Lavender will have everything smelling fresh again.
Got any more festival tips? Let us know over on Twitter.
It is known as the beautiful game, but this year’s month-long FIFA World Cup is set to generate tonnes of waste as spectators and fans cheer on their respective teams in the biggest football tournament on the planet.
Only one nation can be the winner of the coveted trophy, and the same can be said for a title a little less in demand - the producer of the most waste.
Using data from World Bank's What a Waste report, we've created a league table ranking all 32 of the qualified nations by their rubbish generation in KG, per person per day.
Switzerland comes out on top of the (rubbish) pile, producing on average 2.61kg of waste per person per day - the equivalent of more than six footballs.
England, representing the United Kingdom, places as the 8th highest waste generating nation.
At the other end of the table, the South American country Uruguay produces the least waste - just 0.11kgs per person per day, which is the equivalent weight of two referees whistles.
The global focus on the World Cup offers an opportunity to think about the impact football fans (ourselves included!) can have on the environment.
Over half of our range now uses packaging made from 100% recycled waste, and we're aiming to make that our entire range by the end of the year. Now come on England!
In celebration of National Vegetarian Week, we’ve teamed up with famous food writers, Áine Carlin and Katy Beskow, who’ve shared a few special vegetarian recipes inspired by the ingredients in Bio-D products.
Áine, author of the new book COOK SHARE EAT VEGAN, has selected crispy cinnamon potato tacos with lime and jalapeno soured cream, influenced by the lime in one of our hand soaps, plus gingerbread bites to satisfy those with a sweeter tooth.
Eat. Clean. aims to get people talking about the environment and the impact our everyday tasks can have. We want food lovers all over the country to start thinking more about the impact kitchen products – such as washing up liquid and hand soap – can have on the Earth.
Every year, the UK produces millions of tonnes of single-use plastic, which takes hundreds of years to decompose. It’s harmful to our planet, to people and to wildlife, which is why we’re working hard and leading the fight against plastic pollution.
LittleMissMeatFree, or Katy as she’s usually known, has shared three recipes for us from her most recent Book, 15 Minute Vegan: Comfort Food – all featuring naturally-derived ingredients found in Bio-D products.
Her herby white wine mushrooms on toast contain rosemary and thyme, while her coconut, cucumber and garden mint raita and Instant mango fro-yo contain lime – just like our hand washes.
After cooking up a storm in the kitchen, cleaning up with Bio-D means you’re not only treating yourself with a delicious dish, but also backing the fight against plastic pollution. More than half the Bio-D product range uses 100% recycled packaging, and we’re aiming to make sure all of our packaging is the same by the end of the year.
Plus, did you know we’re the only environmentally-friendly cleaning product manufacturer to pass the test for use in commercial kitchens?
Get involved with Eat.Clean. and tweet us with photos of your take on Áine and Katy’s recipes – make sure to include the hashtag #EatClean so we can see what you’ve been up to.
We've teamed up with Áine Carlin, the UK’s best-selling vegan author and creator of the new book COOK SHARE EAT VEGAN, who has selected two vegetarian recipes for our Eat. Clean campaign inspired by the naturally-derived ingredients in our products!
Crispy cinnamon tacos
with a lime & jalapeño soured cream
SERVES 4 – 6
There are few things in life that give me more pleasure than tacos. With endless filling possibilities, wrapped in either crispy or soft tortillas (both have their virtues), they are the food equivalent of ‘onesize-fits-all’. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t relish wrapping their lips around one and if I ever did, I’m fairly certain we would not get along. If you’re seeking a fail-safe dinner party hit then these crispy cinnamon tatties – my current favourite taco incarnation – are most likely it, though I guarantee most questions will be about the lime and jalapeño soured cream, which is borderline life-changing.
750g salad potatoes, halved lengthways and cut into 5mm thick slices
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
grated zest of 1 lime
sea salt flakes and black pepper
Lime & jalapeño soured cream
150g cashews, soaked and drained
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños
sea salt flakes and black pepper
Sweetcorn & radish salsa
100g sweetcorn kernels, preferably raw
4 radishes, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
sea salt flakes and black pepper
10–12 taco-sized tortillas
200g rocket leaves
- 1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan), Gas Mark 7.
- 2. To make the soured cream, place the cashews in a blender with the measured water, lime juice, vinegar and jalapeños. Season and blend for at least 10 minutes, or until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes, bearing in mind that the cream will go through several stages until you achieve the desired smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- 3. Place the potatoes in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the cinnamon, cumin and coriander, then drizzle with the maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season generously and toss to combine. Roast in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until golden and crisp, shaking the pan from time to time. Remove from the oven, season and toss through the chopped coriander and lime zest.
- 4. To make the salsa, place the sweetcorn kernels in a large bowl with the chopped radish, celery, spring onion and chilli. Add the lime zest and juice, season generously and stir to combine. Add the parsley and dill, stir and set aside until needed.
- 5. Heat the tortillas on a lightly oiled griddle pan and keep warm in a clean tea towel.
- 6. Spread each tortilla with a light smear of soured cream, then top with some rocket leaves. Followed by crispy potatoes, sweetcorn salsa and some more soured cream. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice, dust with cinnamon and serve.
Sticky gingerbread bites
SERVES 10 –12
I don’t really play favourites when it comes to baking but I must say I have a serious weakness for gingerbread. More like a tray bake, these small squares are sticky sweet and seriously moist – perfect for eating alongside a festive cocktail. I like to pile them up high on a cake stand and either paint them with edible gold leaf or sprinkle them with gold dust. Demure they are not, and all the better for it.
110g plain flour
50g spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
pinch of sea salt flakes
1 small banana
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger,
peeled and grated
120g light brown sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
1 tablespoon maple syrup
125ml soy milk (or other plant milk)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon satsuma juice
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
handful of pomegranate seeds
edible gold leaf or dust (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan), Gas Mark 5. Line a 30 x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.
- 2. Sift the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a large bowl.
- 3. Mash the banana to a smooth purée and transfer to a separate bowl along with the grated ginger, sugar, black treacle, maple syrup, soy milk, water, oil and balsamic vinegar. Whisk thoroughly until completely combined.
- 4. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the wet mixture and fold together gently to form a batter.
- 5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a wire rack.
- 6. Meanwhile, add the glaze ingredients to a shallow frying pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes until reduced, thickened and syrupy.
- 7. While the bread is still warm, pour or brush over the glaze, covering it entirely. Sprinkle over a generous handful of pomegranate seeds and for a final, festive flourish, paint on some edible gold leaf or sprinkle over a little gold dust, if you fancy. Leave to cool completely before cutting into bitesized squares.
We've teamed up with vegan food writer, cookery tutor and chef Katy Beskow, aka LittleMissMeatFree, who has released three recipes from her recent book 15 Minute Vegan: Comfort Food (Quadrille £15, photography: Dan Jones) in support of our Eat. Clean. campaign!
Chestnut mushroom bourguignon
Delight dinner guests with this deep, boozy, herbed bourguignon. Mushrooms absorb lots of liquid, so cook them in a separate pan to the base sauce to keep them at their best.
2 tbsp olive oil
600g (1lb 5oz) chestnut (cremini) mushrooms, brushed clean and halved
6 shallots, halved
1 carrot, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
3 tsp plain (all-purpose) flour
200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) red wine (ensure vegan)
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
150ml (5¼fl oz/generous ½ cup) hot water
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the mushrooms over a medium–high heat for 10 minutes until softened and fragrant.
- In a separate large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the shallots and carrot over a medium–high heat for 4 minutes until the carrot begins to soften.
- Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary, and sauté for a further minute, then sprinkle in the flour and ensure the vegetables are well coated.
- Pour the wine and ketchup into the shallot pan, stir through and allow to reduce for 10 minutes, adding the hot water when the sauce starts to thicken.
- Spoon the cooked mushrooms and any juices into the saucepan and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Coconut, cucumber and garden mint raita
Cooling and refreshing, this raita is a vital addition to any Indian-inspired meal and delicious served with Naan chips.
You can find many brands and varieties of coconut yoghurt in supermarkets and health food shops. I’d recommend choosing an unsweetened version for this recipe.
8 tbsp chilled unsweetened coconut yoghurt
¼ cucumber, finely chopped
Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 1 unwaxed lime
Pinch of sea salt
Spoon the coconut yoghurt into a large bowl. Stir in the cucumber, mint and lime juice, and season with sea salt to taste.
Instant mango fro-yo
Frozen mango chunks are available in large supermarkets. Stock up and use them in smoothies, puddings and curries.
When I lived in the city, I loved eating a tub of frozen yoghurt on a hot day. I was lucky to find a wonderful shop (that I passed on my way home from work throughout summer) that sold a vegan version. No matter where you are, stopping and having a moment of calm is good for the mind and body; this instant fro-yo will transport you to somewhere tropical.
Serves 2 generously
200g (7oz/½ cup) frozen mango chunks
5 rounded tbsp coconut yoghurt
Juice of 1 unwaxed lime
Add the frozen mango, coconut yoghurt and lime juice to a high-powered blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Here at Bio-D, we're very passionate about helping to reduce plastic consumption and are wholly in support of World Earth Day this Sunday 22 April – the WED campaign this year is End Plastic Pollution.
You can read a very thought-provoking (and terrifying) blog post by Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, here.
We’re really pleased to announce further roll-out of our 100% recycled packaging: all of our 500ml spray bottles are now made from 100% UK post-consumer waste. (And we’re incredibly proud to be the first UK producer of home cleaning products to have taken this step in ensuring our packaging isn’t made from virgin plastics!)
We’re all starting to know the drill by now when it comes to reducing plastics consumption, but here’s our sales manager Emily with her top everyday tips:
BAG IT: I have tons of reusable shopping bags stashed everywhere: in coat pockets, in my desk drawers at work and stuffed in other bags (in bags in bags in bags etc) – basically everywhere I can to ensure I never need to buy plastic bags again.
BOTTLE IT: Like many people, I started 2018 vowing never to buy plastic water bottles or coffee cups. I admit I’ve been caught out once or twice when buying takeaway tea, but I am much more conscious about it, and as with my shopping bag stash, I’ve started leaving reusable bottles and cups at work and in different handbags etc so I’m never without them.
SHOP LOCAL TO AVOID PACKAGING: I try to buy things like fruit and vegetables from local shops, where I can get them in small quantities and they’re not encased in a ridiculous amount of surplus packaging.
CHECK THE LABELS: I avoid products with microbeads and check to see what packaging is made from – there are still very few brands using 100% recycled packaging unfortunately, but many have pledged to improve the situation over the coming years.
Here at Bio-D, we’re committed to seeking sustainable, planet-friendly means of getting our products into customers’ hands. We’re extremely proud to have launched our new packaging, made from 100% recycled materials, earlier this year, and we’re thrilled by the response we’ve had to the new bottles to date.
Here at Bio-D, we’re proud that our products are vegan and are accredited by The Vegan Society. As 2018 and this year’s Veganuary loomed closer, we thought: ‘if our products are vegan, perhaps we should be too!’
Nine of us have signed up for the challenge of trying out veganism this month, led by our sales manager (and committed vegetarian) Emily, and our MD (and committed non-vegetarian) Lloyd.