6 ways to an amazing (eco-friendly) New Year!

Wow, what a year it's been. It's almost time to say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019. We have so many exciting projects coming up this year, and maybe the biggest one is publishing our first book!So how can we celebrate New Year's Eve in an eco-fashionable manner? Well, we thought a lot about that and here are some of our best tips.

  1. Made a vegan or vegetarian New years eve dinner.

  2. Buy recyclable stockings

  3. Rent an outfit or check out eco-friendly brands or second-hand clothes. If you live in Norway you should check out Fjong!

  4. Decorate with crystal glasses from a flea market and make lovely drinks.

  5. Buy organic champagne or natural wine!

  6. Write down your resolutions for the next year, and include a paragraph on what you hope you achieve in the eco-friendly category.

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Greater than A! Norwegian brand leading the (sustainable) way

This year world champion Aksel Lund Svindal created his own stylish and sustainable clothing brand, and we are super impressed! We had a small chat with them and they told us all about the collection and how they carefully consider every single step in their production process, from choosing materials, what stores to sell in and how they hope to change the textile industry. They are super careful when choosing what material they use, from the thread to not creating clothes with too many details on so they can be easily recycled after use.

"WHEN THOSE WHO INFLUENCE STARTS TO ADVOCATE SUSTAINABILITY,

WE ACTUALLY STAND A CHANCE TO SAVE THE WORLD." Greater than A

Greater Than A´s ambition is to make great looking clothes for everyday use with design and quality to make them last for years. This year they will launch their first collection for women and we are super excited!

Hidden gems in Oslo!

Luckily you don't have to travel far to take a little break from your daily life. All you need is a staycation! Vacationing in your home city is not only more environmentally-friendly, but it can help you discover some hidden pearls in your hometown, just like we did in Oslo.

//Heldigvis trenger man ikke alltid å reise langt for å få et lite avbrekk fra hverdagen. Det kan du få til akkurat der du er, og er kjent som konseptet staycation. Å feriere i egen by er jo også så utrolig mye bedre for miljøet. Oslo er en perle. En staycation her gir rom for å oppdage sider ved byen som man kanskje ikke gjør i en ellers travel hverdag.[AD]We were so happy when TOMS asked if we could share our best staycation tips in Oslo with you, while at the same time showing their amazing vegan shoes. And you guys, did you know that for every pair of TOMS you buy, you are also buying a pair for a child in need? We LOVE conscious brands that give something back to the world.// Derfor ble vi så glade da TOMS lurte på om vi kunne dele våre beste staycation-tips i Oslo med dere, samtidig som vi kunne vise fram deres fantastisk fine og behagelige veganske sko. Og dere; visste dere at for hvert par man kjøper gir TOMS et par sko til et barn som nok trenger det enda mer. Vi elsker og heier på merker som gir tilbake og har en ektra omtanke med det de gjør.Morning bath at TjuvholmenOkay, so Tjuvholmen is hidden!? Well it might come as a surprise that we included this in our guide since it's a typical tourist attraction in Oslo, but the hidden magic is taking a morning bath here while the city is asleep. This spring we put extra effort into jumping in the ocean as often as possible. Right after waking up, we have thrown on a bikini or bathing suit and biked down. The extra little joy comes from passing all the guys in suits in this business area. On the pier we usually meet a few regulars in their robes who are discussing the temperatur in the water, and how much (or little) it has changed the past 24 hours. We say hi to everyone, regret the decision for a brief moment because it looks friggin cold, and then decide to jump. Nothing can compare to that feeling. It cures everything from headaches, tight backs and stress to morning grumpiness.//Morgenbad på Tjuvholmen Ok, er Tjuvholmen plutselig skjult nå?, tenker du kanskje. Vi er enige i at "alle" vet hvor dette er, men det er de færreste som møter opp tidlig om morgenen for verdens diggeste morgenbad! Denne våren har vi gjort en ekstra innsats for å bade så ofte som mulig. Så fort vi har våknet, har vi hevet på oss bikini eller badedrakt og syklet den korte veien ned til Tjuvholmen. Ekstra gøy er det å se at folk i dress er på vei i andre retninger. På brygga står det gjerne flere faste morgenbadere i morgenkåpe og diskuterer dagens temperatur, og hvor mye (eller lite) det har forandret seg de siste 24 timene. Vi hilser på alle, angrer et lite sekund fordi det ser forbanna kaldt ut, men hopper i det. Og verdens beste følelse får man i havet. Det renser opp i gruff og trøtthet og hodepine og hva det måtte være. Og vipps er dagen startet på best mulig måte!Photo: Martine StenbergHovedøyaOur second advice is to take the ferry from Aker Brygge to one of the beautiful islands just a few minutes outside of Oslo. It just costs you a regular bus ticket and is much calmer than the usual overcrowded beaches in town. It takes such a short time to get out there, and you get so much out of taking the trip. We really started wondering why we don't do this more often. Bring a towel, blanket, something to read, watermelon and a lovely lunch, and enjoy a perfect staycation at one of Oslo's pearls.//HovedøyaVårt andre tips er å ta fergen ut til Hovedøya eller en av de andre øyene som Ruter-fergene går ut til. Når sola skinner er gjerne steder som Huk og Paradisbuksa overfylt av mennesker, så hvis man vil ha en litt roligere dag er definitivt Hovedøya å anbefale. Det tar latterlig kort tid å komme seg dit fra Aker Brygge, og vi skjønner egentlig ikke hvorfor vi ikke gjør dette oftere. Ta med håndkle, pledd, noe å lese på, vannmelon og en digg lunsj, og nyt en mini-ferie på en av Oslos definitivt fineste perler.We hope you were inspired to take a new look at Oslo with your vacation shades on (and hopefully a pair of TOMS on your feet) and feel free to share your best staycation advice with us in the comments.//Vi håper du ble inspirert til å ta en titt på Oslo med feriebrillene på (og gjerne et par TOMS på beina), og del gjerne dine beste staycationtips i kommentarfeltet!

Eco-fashion advice from A Green Heart

About a year ago I wasn't a conscious consumer. I visited fast fashion stores weekly and didn’t pay much attention to what I heard about the industry being unethical and bad for the environment. I really don’t know what happened, but one day I started to research and what I found was so shocking, that I changed my behavior almost overnight. I was wondering why people didn’t talk more about this, and how I could become a more eco-friendly and ethical consumer. I felt like doing something, and my blog et grønt hjerte (a green heart) was born, to collect and share the information that I found, and hoped that other people would follow and get inspired.

The third most polluting industry

So why is this so important? The clothing industry is the third most polluting industry in the world, and the second largest consumer of water (reformation). In addition to this, it uses around 20 billion pounds of chemicals every year. Many of these chemicals are damaging and toxic to the environment, for our own health and for the workers that make the clothes. To give an example, you need 18 bathtubs of water to make one single cotton t-shirt, and in addition to that, you have the very damaging chemicals added in the process (reformation). Did you know that you can find traces of the chemicals in the fibers when the t-shirt has reached your local store? And that regular cotton, which is considered a natural material, is one of the materials that use the most chemicals? (onegreenplanet).

"(...) you need 18 bathtubs of water to make one single cotton t-shirt (...)".

Eco-friendly choices

Luckily, when I started my research, it turned out that there is quite a lot you can do to become a more conscious consumer! I found that the common excuse we so often tell our self "I’m only one person, what difference can I do?" is not at all true. There are already many ethical and eco-friendly labels out there. These brands choose more environmentally friendly materials and don’t use harmful chemicals. These materials can be organic cotton, bamboo, tencel, and hemp.

"My favorite brand that uses up-cycled materials is the Danish brand Sissel Edelbo, that redesigns vintage saris that are pre-loved and used by Indian women".

Recycled materials like polyester and wool can also be good eco-friendly options, as well as up-cycled materials that are being redesigned to make new beautiful clothes. My favorite brand that uses up-cycled materials is the Danish brand Sissel Edelbo, that redesigns vintage saris that are pre-loved and used by Indian women. How cool is that?! We need more brands like this!

Great material choices

  • Organic cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Tencel
  • Hemp
  • Wool
  • Recycled polyester

Not to forget that we should look for fair-trade brands. If you have not yet seen the documentary "The True Cost", I highly recommend it! It’s an eye-opener about how workers in the fashion industry are being treated, working under horrible conditions and not getting paid enough to provide for a good life for themselves and their families. Therefore I think we should use the power we have as consumers to support the brands that are eco-friendly and fair-trade. Together we can show the fast fashion industry that we want change now, and that we wish for better and more ethical practices for the people that make our clothes. Use the hashtag #whomademyclothes and join the fashion revolution.

Why we need to go from fast to slow fashion

The term slow fashion is getting more attention and it’s a concept where timeless pieces come before trend items and quality comes before quantity. The change to slow fashion means that the insanely many seasons that is seen in the fast fashion industry is being ditched, and that’s really awesome in my opinion. Did you know that some fast fashion labels have 24 seasons during a year? That’s insane! This means that there is a new season every 2 weeks and that they want you to buy the items right away. What this also means it that the items you buy then, will be out of fashion within the next 2 weeks! In other words, the item will then be "useless" and there is now a new trend that they want you to follow.

"I think we all, including myself, could get better at respecting the materials and the labor that has gone into making the pieces of clothing we own".

I think we all, including myself, could get better at respecting the materials and the labor that has gone into making the pieces of clothing we own. To me, it seems like we often don’t really want what we end up buying, and that we just buy it for reasons like "it was on sale" or "it was a bargain", and not because "it was the right shape for me" or "this fits my wardrobe perfectly". Then what happens is that we too often just throw it away, without giving much thought to it, when we have only just used it a couple of times. Even though some of it goes to charity, much of it still ends up at the landfill, and sometimes the items will still have the price tag on them. What a waste of resources!

My best advice

I recommend checking out the concept of making a capsule wardrobe, which helped me change my perspective on what clothes I actually need for one season. It’s also a really good help to get to know your own style, what items you actually use weekly and how to stop the impulse buying. After becoming more conscious about my own actions when shopping for clothes.

"I have also really fallen in love with secondhand and vintage shopping, and now I always try to look in thrift shops to find what I need, before I consider buying something new".

I have also really fallen in love with secondhand and vintage shopping, and now I always try to look in thrift shops to find what I need, before I consider buying something new. It’s like going on a treasure hunt every time because you never know what you are going to find. It’s really exciting! Apps for selling and buying secondhand clothes are also a good option, and repairing old clothes is something I try to consider doing more. If you don't have the skills to do it yourself, ask a friend or take the clothes to a tailor. In my experience, it often ends up costing less than buying something similar new. You also get the added bonus of it getting customized to you, plus you’re supporting a local sewer, their skills and business, it’s win-win.

So next time you want to buy something, start by asking yourself some questions:

  • Do I know of any thrift shops where I could find what I need?
  • Would I wear this item 30 times or more?
  • Can I wear this with multiple items from my wardrobe?
  • And if it’s a new item, is it fair-trade?
  • What materials are used?
  • Do I think that I would still be using this in a year?

Asking questions is a part of becoming more aware and starting the process to become a more conscious consumer. It’s actually not that hard when you get into it, and I think we owe it to the workers and the environment to at least try. Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.Follow a green heart on Instagram, Facebook and visit her magazine for lots of inspiring eco-reading.

How the two young girls behind hejhejmats are changing the world one yoga mat at the time

Yoga is one of those incredible activities that make you want to do better, think better and take better care of your self and others. You show up, take a time out to focus and break a sweat. What would be better than combining this with a yoga mat that is also good for the planet? These girls are just geniuses and are definitely going to change the Scandinavian yoga scene towards sustainability!Get to know Anna and Sophie behind hejhej-mats, how their idea was born, their top three tips on how to live sustainably, as well as their favorite food. Also - go check out their crowdfunding campaign which ends this Sunday the 5th of November.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

We are Anna (25) and Sophie (24) and together we founded the sustainable start-up hejhej-mats. Both of us are passionate about yoga and sustainability. We came up with the idea for our start-up during our time in Sweden, where we both did our Master in Sustainability Management.Photo: Elina Nomad

What is unique about hejhej yoga mats?

Our hejhej-mats yoga mats are fully sustainable as they are made from recycled material and they are recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Most existing sustainable yoga mats are made from natural materials, such as kautschuk. We think, we already have enough resources on the planet and it is not necessary to take new ones to produce high-quality products.Photo: Elina Nomad

How did you come up with this idea and the name of the brand?

As already mentioned, both of us were lucky enough to live in Sweden for one year. During that time, we visited an art exhibition related to sustainability together. In this exhibition, the Turkish Artist Pinar Yolda accused yoga practitioners of acting hypocritically as they often think to live a sustainable lifestyle but practice yoga on a plastic mat which is harmful to the environment. Sophie and I felt touched, and right when we came home we started to look for sustainable yoga mats. Existing mats did not fulfill our sustainability expectations so we decided to create one on our own: a recycled closed-loop yoga mat.The name hejhej-mats shows our connection to Sweden as it is the Swedish way to say hello. We would like to welcome the new life and continuous life we are giving to the resources we use.Photo: Anthony Wagemann

What are your hopes and dreams for the company?

We are just in the last days of our Crowdfunding Campaign and we hope to finish this successfully. With the resources from the campaign, we will be able to put the finishing touches on our recycled yoga mats and to start the first production line. We hope that our hejhej-mats will give yoga practitioners a sustainable alternative when purchasing their yoga mats. With this, we hope to reduce the amount of plastic yoga mats on the market and reduce the amount of plastic trash on our planet in total. We also really hope that our closed-loop hejhej-mats will raise awareness on an individual level on how to deal with your own waste.Photo: Anthony Wagemann

What are your top three tips for living sustainably?

  1. Avoid single-use plastic, such as straws and coffee-to-go cups.
  2. Be aware of the origin of the products you buy and under what circumstances they got produced - as a consumer you can make powerful decisions with your wallet.
  3. Life consciously, take care of the planet, the people around you and yourself.

Photo:Anthony Wagemann

What is your favorite meal?

Right now it is probably sweetheart cabbage from the oven with eggplant-pesto, rocket salad, and parmesan! A friend introduced it to us in Sweden and we still can’t get enough of it.Photo: Elina Nomad

Where can we buy the products?

Right now, you still have the opportunity to reserve yourself our sustainable mats in our crowdfunding campaign. In the future, you will be able to purchase our mat online on our website.

Amazing bikinis that help clean the ocean?! Meet Halla x Halla

These girls design the coolest swim wear we have seen in a while. On top of that, the swim wear is made of recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets! We had to find out more about the creators behind the brand, and how they came up with such a good idea.Photo: @vanhamies

Hi HallaxHalla! Who are the people behind the brand?

Halla Halla is a Nordic swimwear company established by Hanna Chalvet & Salla Valkonen in 2016. We first met in university, studying fashion design, and always talked about our dream of having our own swimwear line. After graduating and adventuring around the world together we decided it was time to pursue our dream and combine our passion for being active, leading a sustainable life, and designing swimwear.Photo: @vanhamies

Why did you chose to make your swimsuits out of sustainable fabric, and how is it done?

After traveling the world together to the most beautiful destinations we realized there was a big problem with the amount of plastic in the oceans. We surfed in the most remote locations among plastic bottles, bags and other items. Paddling in the ocean, getting plastic and other debris stuck on our hands really made us think. We decided we wanted to start a swimwear line that would be sustainable. We did a lot of research and finally found a fabric that could change everything. A fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets! The plastic waste for our fabric is collected through different initiatives and projects and transformed into high quality fabric. Therefore, we are helping clean the oceans by creating our products.Photo: @vanhamies

Where do you find inspiration?

We find inspiration from traveling to tropical destinations, from all the beautiful places and colors. They have inspired us when designing our unique pieces. We want our pieces to look like the sun, waves, sand, corals, making you feel as though you are a part of the ocean.

Why is sustainability important?

We aim to create our pieces with sustainable material, because we want to do our part to save the oceans. Sustainability is a vital key in ensuring that the oceans stay clean and our future generations can enjoy them as much as we do. We want to be a part of the movement to help sustain this beautiful world.Photo: @vanhamies

What are your top 3 tips for a more environmental friendly daily life?

There are so many things you can do on a daily basis to make your daily life more environmentally friendly. The key things are to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  1. Reduce: Use & buy less! Try to for example take shorter showers and use less electricity.
  2. Reuse: Try to reuse! Always take your tote bag when getting groceries and never forget to bring your water bottle with you.
  3. Recycle: Remember to separate your waste because it might be transformed into something new!

Finally, where can we get our hands on the gorgeous swimwear?

Our Halla Halla swimwear is only sold in our online shop at hallaxhalla.com! More stock coming soon!Check out HallaXHalla's webpage here, on Instagram and Facebook.Photo: @vanhamies

Superbra!

Etter en liten pause fra matverdenen er vi tilbake en tur med en stor anbefaling av det norske merket Superbra! Vi skal friste med noen smakfulle oppskrifsforslag med Superbra tomatsaus og ketsjup, nemlig pasta med auberginetomatsaus og søtpotetfries med ketsjup. Enklere blir det nesten ikke.Superbra baserer alle sine produkter på helt naturlige råvarer, uten tilsetningsstoffer og andre ting som ikke hører hjemme i matlaging. De har allerede en haug med produkter ute på markedet, samtidig som de er i gang med å utvikle flere nye produkter. Ute i butikkene  kan du finne blant annet Superbra risotto, müsli, pizzasaus og bygotto.Pasta med økologisk tomatsaus av aubergine og soppSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCTo til fire porsjoner:

Kutt opp sopp og aubergin i terninger. Varm to spiseskjeer olivenolje i stekepannen, og stek aubergin og sopp til bitene blir gjennomvarme. Når det er ferdig, tilsetter du Superbra tomatsaus i stekepannen og lar det stå på lav varme. Kok deretter opp pastaen sammen med hakket fersk timian, grovt havsalt og pepper. Stek til slutt spinaten sammen med to fedd hvitløk og pinjekjerner. Bland alt sammen, og server en nydelig pastarett på få minutter. Søtpotetchips med Superbra ketsjupSAMSUNG CSC

  • 2 søtpoteter
  • 1 timian (fersk)
  • havsalt

Sett ovnen på 180 grader på over- og undervarme. Skrell søtpoteten og kutt den i avlange skiver. Ha over olivenolje, havsalt og timian. Sett dem i ovnen i ca 30 minutter. Deretter skrur du over på varmluft i 10 minutter for å få dem ordentlig crispy. Server sammen med Superbra tomatketchup.SAMSUNG CSCInnlegget er skrevet i samarbeid med Superbra, og produktene anbefales på det varmeste!

Fashion Revolution

1397637729_Fashion-Revolution-Day-Jo_2For noen dager siden ble det arrangert noe som heter Fashion Revolution med formål om å gjøre moteindustrien mer gjennomsiktig. Ideen ble til på bakgrunn av en ulykke i Bangladesh i 2013 hvor en hel fabrikk kollapset på grunn av usikkerheten til bygget og 1133 mennesker døde. Det har vært mange mindre pene hendelser opp gjennom tidene, og det blir viktigere og viktigere å få frem hva som faktisk skjer bak veggene.maxresdefaultIdeen er utrolig kul, og det er en oppfordring om at man skal ta på seg et plagg man har, vrenge merkelappen så man ser hvem som har produsert den, og deretter legge ut bildet på instagram og tagge #whomademyclothes. Dermed oppfordrer man de ulike merkene til å svare på hvordan klærne faktisk blir produsert.fashion-revolution-day-537x402Flere kjendiser slang seg på bølgen, blant annet Lily Cole og Stella McCartney. Stella er kjent for å være en skikkelig økochick, som vi har skrevet om tidligere!Fashion-Revolution-Day-Thumb-Screen-Shot-2015-04-24-at-11.35.11-PMFormålet med det hele er å skape en moteindustri som verdsetter mennesker, miljøet, kreativitet og som fordeler profitten jevnere utover verdikjeden. De mener at alle har ansvar for å forsikte at dette skjer, gjennom å gi sin stemme!Fashion Revolution arrangeres 24 April hvert år, så neste år er det bare å hive seg på. Det var jo kanskje litt dumt at vi ikke skrev dette for en uke siden, men noen ganger går ting litt i surr. Bedre lykke til oss neste gang. Det er uansett kult å følge med på hva som skjer etterhvert som de får svar fra de forskjellige produsentene! For mer info kan du lese på hjemmesiden deres her, eller følge dem på instagram under navnet @fash_rev

Stella McCartney - Kul økochic

Stella McCartney var tidlig ute med å fronte økologiske produkter og mote som er bæredyktig. Hennes standpunkt er at hun lager klær som er ment til å vare lenge, og som ikke skal skade miljøet. Filosofien baserer seg på at det er bedre å gjøre noe enn ingenting, og at alle kan gjøre små forskjeller som virkelig har betydning i det store bildet. Hun oppfordrer alle designere til å tenke på hvordan og hvor de produserer klær og hvilke materialer som brukes, fremfor å finne ut hvilke nye it-plagg som skal lages hver sesong. På et godt grunnlag kan man deretter lage attraktive, lukseriøse, vakre klær og tilbehør som varer lenge.77431Stella har vokst opp som vegetarianer (som sin far) på en økologisk gård på landet i England, og det var dermed naturlig for henne å ta avstand fra å lage klær på en måte som skader miljøet og dyrene. Hun forklarer at grunnen til at hun ønsker å produsere klær på denne måten ikke kun handler om at hun ikke spiser kjøtt, men også hvordan produksjonen av ubæredyktig skinn og pels påvirker miljøet.Hun forteller av over 50 millioner dyr blir drept hver år alene for moteindustrien - noe hun jobber flittig med å påvirke andre designere og klesprodusenter til å bry seg om. Den rå damen har vunnet priser som "Fashion Designer of the Year" i 2007 og 2012, og har vært den mest googlete motedesigneren.stella-mccartney1Noen av problemene med å forsøke å lage økologiske plagg er at det ikke alltid er like mye materiale og farger som er tilgjengelig. Det er mer etterspørsel enn det er materiale tilgjengelig - og det er derfor ikke mulig å lage lukusmoteklær ut av 100% bæredyktige klær enda. Hun forteller at hun forsøker å bruke så miljøvennlige materialer som mulig, men at det ikke går på bekostning av kvaliteten på klærne.StellaMcCartneysunglasses2Det er mange som mener at fokuset på øko-mote og bæredyktighet i denne bransjen kun er en trend. Stella mener at dette godt er mulig, men at det viktigste er at det bringes stor interesse omkring temaet fordi uten jordkloden har vi ingenting lengre. Det merkelige er hvordan motebransjen er en av de tregeste bransjene til å utvikle seg innen dette området.stellamc_summerHun påpeker at ingen er perfekte, men alle kan bidra med sitt - som virkelig vil utgjøre en forskjell. Selv kjører hun bil, flyr mye, selger klærne sine utenlands og bor i et fint hus med strøm, men bidrar med sitt gjennom å resirkulere, stille kritiske spørsmål ved ting og generelt forbedre seg der hun kan! En virkelig kul dame som drar i gang trenden med bæredyktig mote - we love!Noen av hennes mest populære miljøvennlige produkter kan sees her - blant annet solbriller, clutcher, undertøy, sko og en hel kolleksjon i samarbeid med Adidas.Litteratur:Stella McCartney og bæredyktighet http://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/us/stellas-world/sustainability/