Adam has mentioned the reuse of seatbelts before, but seatbelts and diaper bags are not something that would normally go together. But Sparkability has funky diaper bags made out of seat belts that just blow my mind. And I would be fine with just the bag (even if it is US$165), but a changing pad, water resistant laundry bag and a key hook are all included. There's even enough room for an extra change of clothes or a blankie, without looking like you're about to ascend Everest. Comes in 4 colors (red, pink, blue, black). [Elana]
Before the ladies and handbag-wearing men amongst you reach for wallets, stay yourself - the Solarjo solar purse is still a prototype. Happily, Joe Hynek's Louis Vuitton-style number should be a real world product in 2006, and he reckons it'll cost around £170. For those of you quite rightly wondering what the point of a solar purse, it's this - a portable power supply for any gadget capable of USB-charging, be it phone, camera or MP3 player. Sign up for an on-sale email here. [found via Media Guardian]
Meet the apex of Christmas clothing: an organic cotton t-shirt emblazoned with an iPod-immersed chicken. Part of a 4-strong Home on the Farm range by west country husband and wife team, Glo4Life, it's one of the few well-designed organic tees out there. I also rate Howie's sloganeering ones and American Apparel's. The 'pod chicken tee costs £25 over at Glo4Life's slick web shop. More kudos for you, less chemicals for a farmer.
If you're reading this from the US, please feel free to yawn away - you probably read about the credit card- and note-holding Jimi many moons before David Cameron's ascension. For anyone slumming it in the UK, however, this is your first chance to buy the 100 per cent recycled plastic wallet. We have Howies to thank for bringing the green style icon to these shores, although it's rather cheekily selling it for £15 - twice the $15 US price. Stocking filler, anyone?
As Ben Elton so eloquently put it, you know it's cold out 'when your nipples are bigger than your nob.' Now, I don't think many nob-owners will be rushing out to buy this girly beaded scarf from Bishopston Trading, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't buy it as a Xmas gift. Although it ain't woven from organic cotton and doesn't carry the new Fairtrade badge for clothing, Bishopston says it is made by Indian tailors paid an above-average wage and guaranteed year-round employment. And since Bishopston's been in this business for a while, I'm inclined to believe it. £10 to you from here.
Reclaimed leather, 1950s' fabric panels, velcro fastenings... what more could you want from the first TRAID Remade bag to go on sale online? A leather belt made with a bird design featuring vintage fabric, you say? Funnily enough that's on there too. Regular Hippy readers will know TRAID from a while back - they take donated clothes and recycle them into new ones - but previously you had to live in London or Brighton to get hold of its range. For blokes, there are also some neat t-shirts in TRAID's new winter stock, although you can only buy them instore. The bag's £35 from Get Ethical. TRAID's store list is here.
Big news today: the first Fairtrade clothes went on sale at the weekend. One of the first out of the blocks is Epona Sport and its panopoly of ethical hoodies, the £30 ladies' version of which is pictured. By an ethical hoody, I don't mean this black hoody only buys locally-sourced food and has high moral standards; instead, I refer you to the fact that the cotton's bought at an above-market rate, thus guaranteeing a cotton farmer's living. The Fairtrade crew point out the 'urgent need for Fairtrade cotton in the context of low world cotton prices' and says the first stuff will come from India, Peru, Mali and Senegal. In addition to Epona, there are nine other Fairtrade clothes shops in the UK, including Hippy regulars such as Hug, Gossypium and People Tree. The full list of Fairtrade cotton suppliers is here.
There are plenty of occasions when you'd want to bulk buy 20 bespoke organic cotton t-shirts. On a group holiday to a particularly tacky destination, for example, as a gift for fellow running/theatre/cooking club friends - or just for those times when you want to give twenty of your mates the same t-shirt. You'll be introducing a score of people to the luxurious-feeling delights of organic cotton and - being bespoke - you can stick logos, daft messages and embarrassing artwork on Indigo Clothing's tees. An order of 20-24 will set you back £15 for each t-shirt including embroidered fronts. Indigo Clothing
There's a reason Brits whinge about the weather - and it's because we don't have a clue how to dress for it, wearing suede jackets, canvas shoes and denim in the middle of a thunderstorm. My solution: mandatory trips to outdoor shops such as Snow and Rock, Cotsworld Outdoor and Rock and Run to purchase waterproofs. Specifically, the Patagonia Men's Infurno Jacket in the picture, which is made almost entirely from 100 per cent reclaimed and recycled polyester (the fleece is the only textile that's 'virgin'). Naturally, it'll also keep wind and rain at bay. And the black one doesn't scream 'climber geek' too loudly. It's £180 over at Mountain Factor.
If Saturday mornings aren't made for lying in bed wreathed in reams of organic cotton sheets, I don't know what they're made for (bicycle trips to local, seasonal and ethical retailers, perhaps?). Fortunately, there's a huge choice of organic cotton bed linen and the Renforce set in the picture is one of the more affordable starting at £42 for a single duvet cover and pillow case, going up to £85 for a super king duvet cover. Also worth a look are the waffle sets - not edible, sadly - over at Natural Collection. That's it from me: I'm back off to bed for now.
Let's say you have a current bank account with the ethically-minded Smile, shares invested with Triodos to help wind turbines and a Greenpeace credit card for making big splurges. If you ticked all the above you would surely qualify as ethical money royalty. You would, but chances are you'd still be carrying your filthy lucre in a wallet made in China from chemical-filled leather. Which - in a slightly long-winded manner - is where this recycled leather wallet enters. Made from old leather belts in London, Paris and Los Angeles, it's a choice Xmas present which comes in four versions for ethical money princes and princesses. The cheapest is £87.50; they're available at Nigel's Ecostore (formerly the Insight Ecostore).
For ethical cash, go to Aberdeen
Yep, it's that time of year to start donning hats with daft ear flaps and silly tassles. Instead of getting a £5 knock-off down the market, spend a bit more - £24, to be precise - and buy one of these People Tree Bo Beep ones. They're made from 100 per cent wool by mums in Kathmandu, Nepal, and People Tree funds half the running costs of their kids' primary and nursery schools. It's enough to make you feel warm inside as well as outside. People Tree [found via Eco Monkey]
Being a twentysomething bloke, I don't pretend to understand much about high heels. I do know, however, that this mighty pretty Beyond Skin pair have a wonderful touch of the fairytale and are made in a commendably ethical fashion. They're put together in the UK, for a start, making them rarer than a decent single in the Top 40. Better still, they're wholly built from vegan materials. Buying from Beyond Skin also has its upsides, as the company's dedicated to sourcing 'eco-friendly' materials and an unspecified amount of revenue goes to unspecified ethical charities (I've asked). The £150 Lorelei pair in the picture are but one of five different heeled shoes and boots from the ethical shoemaker's new range. Check Beyond Skin's site to order; Equa stocks Beyond in London.
Bear with me on this one - it's not as dumb as it first sounds. The bag you see modelled on the left is a paper rucksack designed for light loads and those times you want to take stuff out - food, par example - and dispense with the bag. It's made from recycled paper that can be recylced again or chucked somewhere to rot (check this composter and this wormery). Personally, try as I might, I still end up with reams of plastic bags that serve the same purpose. If you've managed to kick the plastic habit and fancy a greener disposable bag, however, snap up ten for £3 on Paper Rucksacks' website. [thanks, Katie]
Clocks going back, temperatures plunging, rain coming in horizontally... It's a fair bet that right about now you're on the verge of dropping the cycling commute. But hold those public transport horses. For, lo, there is a way to keep cycling throughout the grey months and it involves getting kitted out with winter clothing. After a breathable and waterproof trio of jacket, trousers and gloves, the next thing on your list will be shoes. These Specialized Buzzsaws aren't designed specifically for roadbikes or commuting and there's nothing especially green or ethical about their construction. They are, however, very comfy, relatively light, warm yet non-sweaty, blessed with a sock-protecting boot design and completely waterproof (I've tried them). Unlike some cycle shoes, they also look innocuous enough to wear off the bike. In the UK, they're going for £80 over at Evans.