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Five simple steps you can take to live a more sustainable life in 2019.

Shop fair trade and local.

The phrase fair-trade had been established in the public domain long before the recent headline trend of living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. The Fair trade arrangement was put in place so that producers in developing countries would be given a fair wage and social and environmental standards would improve. However, so many people and environments are still exploited for the products they produce and sell. One massive way to make sure that you are buying fair trade and sustainable is to shop locally. Meet the artists, the designers, the bakers, the growers who you are buying from and if you can't meet them make sure the owner has. Take time to understand the process and commitment that every product takes to create. Not only will you be supporting independent businesses or dreams as we like to call them, but we also believe you will be more selective and appreciative of the products you have around you.

Recycle & Up cycle

Recycle, up cycle, recycle. You know the drill and I know the drill. I am sure with most of you this will be preaching to the converted. I know personally, this is something that sits at the forefront of my mind when trying to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle. The long or short of it is anything that we don't actively try to reuse gets chucked into overflowing landfill or ends up in our beautiful oceans. So always just bear in mind what a difference every small piece of recycling makes for our planet. Now as they would say in yoga, here is the intimidate option. Try and eliminate one-use packaging altogether. Hit the fruit and veg market, this means no plastic wrapping and you can pop it straight in your bag for life. Head to specific supermarkets where you can refill your own containers. Stop putting bananas and oranges or in fact any fruit in those plastic bags, they quite literally come with their own little jackets. You catch my drift, in this category, less is always more!

Eat Seasonally

Despite myself having a lifelong commitment to avocados and mangos. I am becoming increasingly aware that consistently eating these tropical delights, particularly year-round is not a sustainable way to live my life. I recently purchased a UK seasonal calendar and despite being worried that my diet would become more limited I have actually found that my range of meals and flavours has hugely increased. As a vegetarian, I am continuously looking for more interesting meals; having the challenge of cooking a meal with particular fruit or veg has made me discover a whole host of new recipes. I tend to find that the earth knows better than us what we need nutritionally, so when you start eating seasonally, your body begins to gage a real understanding of feeling nutritionally balanced.

Water Bottles

Buying bottled water must be up there with one of the most financially and sustainably draining products for the world and your wallet. Water is important, yes but plastic is not. Nowadays there is a host of beautiful and practical bottles that you can carry around with you. Fashion conscience? Why not purchase a beautiful colourful creation? Dislike all plastic? Go for a glass or metal bottle. Many of the metal ones can also often double up as a handy thermos. Like the gym? Every brand, label and gym produce their own easy use bottles for your everyday needs. The other question used to be, what happens when it's empty and I'm thirsty? That's when the Refill app comes into play, this fab little app shows you the location of business who have agreed to fill your reusable bottle for free. They are simply doing their bit for the world and being really great humans like you will be too with your new bottle!

For the bees

Turns out our little black and yellow friends are extremely important for the planet and as key pollinators; the decline of bees also threatens our food and economy. There are many ways you can protect our important pollinators. Firstly, is not harming them. There are many people who suffer from fear of bees. However, they have no intention to hurt you. People fear what they don't understand, so the more you learn the quicker the fear disappears. Secondly, if you do happen to find an injured or tired bee, there are steps you can take to revive it. The RSPB advice is to mix two tablespoons of white granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water and place it next to the bee on a plate or spoon. Now, this may seem like a lot of effort, but I personally feel it is a small sign of gratitude that we can show them for the benefits that we receive daily from having them around. Finally, plant seeds. It doesn't matter if you have meadows or a garden or a modest window box, plant wildflower seeds and enjoy the beauty and the kindness that grows in front of you.

Updated: Feb 13

Like an artistic jack in the box, Rodhus Studios will be throwing open its doors on the 1st of December to showcase the artists, makers and designers who call it their creative home. With over thirty different independent studios it’s the perfect opportunity to buy a gift for a loved one whilst supporting a local business. Plus it's getting chilly and there will be mulled wine and fantastic vegan food to warm your festive heart.

Rodhus Studios is Shiv’s textiles home and the studio space holds a special significance and importance for Shiv, to find out more about this studio and its background you can follow the link below and to the website. http://www.rodhus.co.uk/the-concept/

Rodhus' walls have bared witness to the creation of all of Shiv's unique designs and has become somewhat of a second home. Shiv remains one of the youngest members of the Rodhus community and has found it a huge source of inspiration to be surrounded by a number of expanding business and freelance creatives who have moved their passions into careers. Below Shiv explores why this space has been so fundamental in day to day life of her company.

Working from home wasn't working for me, I wanted more of a work-life balance. When I was working from home, I felt very isolated, I could go days on end where the only person I would see would be my boyfriend. My first studio was located in a large warehouse in Hove, with only a couple of other people. It was used mainly for storage for businesses, it was extremely cold and a little too far out of town for convenience. The worst part about it was that it lacked any sense of community, there wasn't a creative vibe. From there I moved to an office space in Hove, a little closer to the city centre. However, this too didn't feel like home, the space had too much of a corporate feel, the walls were extremely white and the carpet was slightly too perfect. I kept bombarding Richard at Rodhus with email after email, until finally in April 2018 I was able to move into a shared space at Rodhus with Megan a fashion designer and owner of BabyDol Clothing. Everything I was looking for I found. My business had finally found its creative home. This space is perfect for networking, there is a real sense of community which fosters creativity and innovation. You get to explore and experience a wide range of talents as everyone's passions are so varied. Due to this, there are so many fantastic opportunities for collaborations, for example Luke from Laser Swift used his skills and laser cutter in order to produce my weaving frames for my workshops, Tom from Steady On Design made me a peg board to display my purses on for fairs and shows. I will also be using Lily Rigby’s paintings and Spark and Bell lighting in freelance interior design projects that I will be running in 2019. Also, that possibility to share equipment is an invaluable resource. It is a very affordable home for my business.”

Why not stop by for a look around and be inspired by some very creative and talented people!

Never miss a thing...

Follow us on Instagram:

@shiv_textiles & @carmenhd

Or Facebook:

@shivtextilesdesign

www.shivtextiles.co.uk 

It started, as most good stories do, with a weaving workshop. After meeting through a mutual friend, I attended Shiv’s first workshop at Rodhus studios. Here I fell equally in love with the art of weaving and Shiv textiles founder Siobhan. I am still unsure if it was Shiv’s values or passions that first lead me to accepting a collaborative offer to create a blog for the site, but here I am three weeks later ready to give an insight into what we want to achieve with these fortnightly musings.

Shiv approached me with a wealth of knowledge and ideas that she wanted to present through the blog and although I am myself no weaver; I felt our mutual appreciation of independent businesses, sustainable and ethical values, understanding of modern day mental health issues and a passion for the creative, married together perfectly. Each week we hope to inspire you with; interior design tips, lifestyle posts, weaving skills, freelance advice, ideas on how to push forward with your own independent business and the importance of supporting other small businesses along the way.

Shiv has served her time, freelancing and interning at a number of fashion houses and interior design businesses and then moved organically, but by no means simply, to creating and nurturing her own brand and independent business. As the creator, designer and producer or every product available, she has built a business that embodies the creative world and turned a passion into a business. The brand prides itself on providing high quality, handmade and unique sustainable products.

Now a little about me, my name is Carmen and I will be putting finger to keyboard in order to deliver Shiv’s knowledge. I work for a charity Monday – Thursday, then spend my weekends and evenings freelance writing for projects of my choosing. As I have a full-time role; providing me with money to stay alive, I have the luxury of being able to hand pick my projects and I try to do so with a little thought. It is always important for me to collaborate with other artists who ethically and morally reflect my values. Sustainable products, in my mind, need to be pushed to the forefront of the consumer market as we no longer as a planet can support anything else. With a strong ethical conscious and a mutual understanding of the mental health benefits that the creative world can provide, I felt in Shiv, I have met a kindred spirit.

If there is anything you would like us to cover in the blog please do get in contact as the blog is for you. So, join us every two weeks where we hope to inspire, advise, educate and hopefully make you smile.

Never miss a thing...

Follow us on Instagram:

@shiv_textiles & @carmenhd

Or Facebook:

@shivtextilesdesign

www.shivtextiles.co.uk