Review: Ethical Underwear Series (Mighty Good Undies)

Wow, is this becoming a weekly thing again? Don’t you worry, I’ll probably fall off the bandwagon and in no time be super slack with my blogging!

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That being said, I know, I still have to do follow up reviews for the ones I reviewed last year. And honestly, I feel it’s better than the one month follow up – as it has been FOUR months now! This wasn’t done intentionally, but it will mean you’ll definitely get to see how the underwear holds up. After all, you may be paying a premium for the ethics, but quality is also a huge factor when it comes to “investing” some money in fancy pants underwear.

This week, I’ll be reviewing Mighty Good Undies!

Might Good Undies is an Australian brand – while, it isn’t made locally, they do focus on ethical and sustainable underwear.

But let’s get down to business. How did these undies hold up after four months?

First of all, each individual pair of undies comes in a lovely cloth bag. I’ve been reusing them for produce and also bulk food stores, so they’ve certainly come in handy.

In terms of quality, Might Good is right up there. You can see in the photos above that the stitching is holding up really nice after 4 months.

One thing to consider is the sizing. It is super small. So, I would suggest going a size up or even two sizes up. I got a size Australian 10 (and I’m normally a size 6-8) in undies, but they were still a little tight on me.

Now down to the tests!

The first try test: The first thing I noticed was that they were tight, as mentioned above they do run a little (or very) small. However, the quality is really good (and months later, the quality is still really good).

The jeans test: Wearing tight jeans are fine. I did see the “line” underneath my jeans, mostly because they were a little tight. Bright side the underwear didn’t feel uncomfortable or bunched up.

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The dress test: you can see a big line in the dress. It grabs at the butt cheeks more, which to be honest makes it great for a “workout” underwear and it kinda supports you, and won’t ride up your bum. I did try out the g-string for this, and honestly, this one is really hard to review, mostly because the g-string was a little too small for me, so they were super uncomfortable. The hip hugger and granny pants would be my choice in underwear

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The strap/support test: No test here! As I didn’t get to try out the bra/sports bras

The sitting down all day test: The hip hugger was pretty comfortable to sit down all day in, but again, the g-string wasn’t comfortable as I went a size too small. The granny pants were comfortable as first, however, they were running on the smaller side for me so after a day of eating I really felt the band dig into my stomach. Again, it’s important to note that the sizing does run small, so it’s difficult to review properly in terms of comfort. The hip hugger did fit great though!

The itchy breasts test: n/a

The one month test: As I said, there will be no follow up review for this one! I’ve been wearing these for the last few months, and the quality has held up.

Review: 3.5 out 5 stars (If you’re looking to support an Australian brand, this may be the underwear for you. The quality is really great. I took some points away as sizing does run small, very small. So, if you’re keen on purchasing these, go a size up or two. I also took some points away, as the printed on label at the back – became itchy at my back when the label started to crack. Not pictured, but I tried to scratch off the label, which helped a lot. It seems like all negatives! But it truly isn’t, the review is a little skewed due to sizing. But the quality is really good, worth your money if you’re looking for quality and ethics)

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You can purchase Might Good Undies HERE.

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Recipe! Chilli con veggie

Title: Chilli con veggie

Prep Time: 30 mins (but you will require 8 hours in the slow cooker or an 1.5 hours in the pot)
Serves: 8

chilli con veggie

A slightly different spin on the con carne version. This recipe is still packed full protein, but with beans and is so easy to meal prep!

Ingredients & Directions:

1L of homemade veggie stock
3 cup of dry beans (whatever is fine, make sure you soak your dry beans overnight)
2 onions (finely chopped or one leek)
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp ground cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 nob of freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp tomato purée*
1 tsp of chilli flakes (I tend to use 3-5 tsp as I like it hot, but you can omit if you don’t like spicy food)
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp cacao powder (optional)
2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
salt to taste

If you own a slow-cooker:

  1. Soak dry beans overnight with water (if you are using chickpeas, make sure you soak it with baking soda. This will make your chickpeas less dry)
  2. Drain beans
  3. Sauté onions & garlic in a pan with olive oil. Sauté until clear. Add spices. Cook until fragrant. (Trust me, you’ll know what I mean, you can really smell the spices)
  4. Add tomato puree
  5. add canned tomatoes and stir until combined
  6. Pour into a slow cooker & add veggie stock & beans into a slow cooker & leave for 8-10 hours.
  7. Add the salt at the end, to taste
  8. If you like, add 1 tbsp of cacao powder for added richness. Before you add the powder, get a small bowl & add the cacao in there. Add a cup of chilli sauce into that small bowl & stir until lumps are gone. Then pour that into the rest of the sauce. This will prevent giant lumps of cacao powder floating around in the actual sauce

If you don’t own a slow-cooker:

  1. Soak dry beans overnight with water
  2. Drained beans
  3. Sauté onions (or leek) & garlic in a large pot with olive oil. Sauté until clear. Add spices. Cook until fragrant. (Trust me, you’ll know what I mean, you can really smell the spices)
  4. Add tomato puree
  5. add canned tomatoes and stir until combined
  6. Add veggie stock & beans and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender
  7. Add the salt at the end, to taste
  8. If you like, add 1 tbsp of cacao powder for added richness. Before you add the powder, get a small bowl & add the cacao in there. Add a cup of chilli sauce into that small bowl & stir until lumps are gone. Then pour that into the rest of the sauce. This will prevent giant lumps of cacao powder floating around in the actual sauce

*have leftover tomato puree? Don’t fret! You don’t have to throw it out!

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I buy tomato paste in a glass bottle. And for any of the leftovers, freeze into an ice tray. Just under 1 tbsp fits into a block/cube. Once frozen, place cubes into an airtight container. Whenever, you need tomato paste just pop in one or two cubes of frozen tomato paste. Works a treat! And almost no waste!

DIY: Cloth Napkins

Paper towels were actually one of the most recent things I converted to. It was kinda crazy how many rolls of paper towels we went through. At one stage, after attempting to reduce our waste for a few months, our bin was no longer full of food scraps or bits of plastic but instead, used-up paper towels!

I learnt that paper towels can be composted, which at the time I didn’t know (is that silly??), but once I converted to cloth napkins, I couldn’t un-see the waste of paper towels.

Of course, this isn’t for everyone. And I’m not going to preach to you, I mean, can anyone ever hear anyone, when they’re standing so high up on their soapbox?

But being a cheapo, what hooked me in was the idea of saving some dollars, and having a bunch of cloth napkins on hand can save money in the long run. Meaning more money for more burgers or soy lattes! But mostly burgers.

You might not have any “old” clothes on hand to make into rags (I didn’t either), so I bought a whole bunch of large tea towels and cut them into quarters. I placed them into a container and whenever there was a spill, I would pull one out and wiped that whole mess up.

Afterwards, I would put them in the washing basket, to be washed at the end of the week. Instead of going through rolls a week, we probably go through one  roll every two months.

Yup! Let me be 100 here (apparently, that’s young people slang for truth bomb), my partner still uses paper towels on occasion, although he has slowly reduced his consumption. Ultimately, I want to say that you can’t convert everyone to using cloth napkins (or any lifestyle really) and that’s okay. This isn’t about how many people you can convert, it’s not a cult or cross-fit

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Review: Natural Toothpaste Series – Pure & Green Organics

This week’s review for natural toothpaste is “Pure & Green Organics”

If you want one word for this toothpaste it’s “MINTY” – heck, I’ll be using this word so much that you’ll probably get really tired of me using that word! I’m not joking, maybe only a little bit, but mostly not, I seriously can’t think of another word other than MINTY!

Ingredients: 

Now, down to the tests!

Cleanliness test: I have to say it’s cleans really well, just as good as the Dr Bronner’s one or your standard supermarket toothpaste

Foam test: There’s only a very slight foam. You’ll get to see how it “foams” in the next test.

How it looks when it brushes test: I figure the only way to explain how it brushes/looks like when brushing is to actually record it. So here you go!

Excuse the giant-ass pimple on my cheek! I’m a couple of days away from “that time of month” – aka menstruation, aka period, aka the blood bath

Taste test: While brushing, the taste is great. It’s MINTY. Like really MINTY. The after taste, however, isn’t too pleasant, but it isn’t horrible. I definitely preferred the Dr Bronner’s one in terms of taste. It’s a little sweeter. However, the Pure & Green Organics is SUPER SUPER minty, which leaves my mouth feeling fresh (and my tongue a little tingly)

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Fresh breath test & morning breath test: Super minty (didn’t I tell you, I would use that word a lot??) and it actually leaves my mouth feeling fresh (and I don’t need to brush my tongue).

Overall: Ultimately, if you’re looking for a natural toothpaste and can’t use straight up baking soda, this is my pick so far. Just on minty-ness alone & it’s palm oil free!

I would give this a rating of 4 stars out of 5 (minus half a star for the plastic tube & another half a star for the slight bitter “after taste”). Please note, I can recycle the tube at Terracycle or at Biome stores.

If you’re keen the toothpaste is available here!

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Review: Ethical Underwear Series (Hara The Label)

Oh, this “weekly” ethical underwear series, isn’t really weekly isn’t it? More like fortnightly and to be honest that’s probably more attainable between my working, loner and sleeping hours! My problem is I have ideas and make too many of them at once. Then work or life or solitude gets in the way and I feel guilty about not committing to my “ideas” completely or to the desired schedule! I mean, I think I said I would have my cracker recipe up three times now (three or four Mondays ago) and still no cracker recipe is up. Any who, I’m rambling again and this is a “review” blog post!

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This week I’m reviewing an Australian label!

You can view Hara The Label products: here

Again, I should note that while I have received these samples at no monetary cost of my own, I’m not getting any a commission out of this. I reached out to companies I felt were ethical and open with their processes. And companies I thought you would be interested in.

Blah, blah, blah. Down to the details!

Firstly, I wish! That isn’t my butt!

I trialled three items from Hara The Label range:

> g-string – https://www.harathelabel.com/products/charcoal-eva-g-string
> low cut bra – https://www.harathelabel.com/products/charcoal-stella-low-cut-bra
> low waist undies – https://www.harathelabel.com/products/charcoal-maya-low-waist-undies

One of the things that I really like about the Hara Label is that they use sustainable and natural dyes, and it’s all made in Melbourne, Australia. The founder is Allie Cameron.

Allie was travelling through India and was horrified by the chemical run-off into the rivers. I asked her if she was always interested in sustainability, or if it was this particular moment that spark change within herself.

I believe in Nature. I feel so deeply that we are the environment that we live in, it is our home so to support the earth and work with it not against it is supporting ourselves, is turning to ourselves and saying I love you enough to care. When I am in nature I feel overwhelmed by the beauty and then when I turn to see destruction happening against it, it’s confusing but it motivates me to keep fighting for it. I see the fashion industry heading in a direction that is in no way in support of the environment we live in and I knew that there was something I could do that could help this. I have always been interested in living in align with our natural state and with the planet and HARA is a manifestation of this desire.

When browsing through Hara The Label website, one of the things that struck me of the use of “real” humans! Yes, models are real, but sometimes they’re also photoshop. I love how stretch marks, bruises and hairy armpits weren’t photoshopped out. I asked her if this was a no brainer?

All women are beautiful in their own form. We are here as a community, to empower women to love themselves, be themselves, love the human body and care enough to care what we put on it. For too long now we have been told the same story over and over again on what beauty looks like, how we should act, what we should say, and its old news, it’s tiring and we are in a new age where we have come to the realisation that beauty is on everyone and why not celebrate that.

Feminism for HARA is a movement to empower women to release their inner flame and be who they are with no guilt/shame. To be who you are, love who are you without having to explain yourself. To find the trust within yourself, to surrender to yourself, to turn to yourself and say I see you and I love you.”

Sizes range from XS to XL. I’m normally a size 6-8 (Australian) and chose a small, in the top and bottoms. This actually was a perfect size for me! So, it’s fairly true to size.

All of their products are naturally dyed, cut, sewn, packaged and shipped in Melbourne, Australia. So, that’s a bonus for any Aussies out there 🙂

Here’s a photo of one of their workers!

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Okay, okay, you probably want to know how the underwear went?

Tests are below

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The first wash test: If you read my first instalment of the series, you know that I always wash my underwear before I wear it. Mostly, because you know. Germs. (Even if there aren’t any, I can’t get this out of my head!)

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I wash all my underwear in a cloth laundry bag in the washing machine. I may have time to cook a few things from scratch, but I don’t really have time to wash my undergarments by hand!

After the first wash they turned out good. The steams didn’t come apart and the colour didn’t fade.

The first try test: The first thing I noticed was that unlike the White Rabbit underwear, it wasn’t as soft. But unlike the White Rabbit underwear, I feel this great for the “active” human. I wore the underwear on a 5 hour hike and they were super comfortable and I felt “supported” in my butt and also le’ boobs.

I got the small in the bralette and underwear. I feel as if they are truer to size than the White Rabbit one.

The jeans test: Wearing tight jeans are fine. I couldn’t really see the “line” underneath my jeans, which is a bonus. Plus the underwear didn’t feel uncomfortable or bunched up. Wearing the g-string showed no line at all. Although I have to admit it kinda felt funny near my vagina region – BUT I don’t ever wear g-strings, so perhaps those who wear it more often than I do might have a more comfortable time wearing it in tight jeans

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The dress test: you can see a big line in the dress from the bikini cut underwear. It grabs at the butt cheeks more, which to be honest makes it great for a “workout” underwear and it kinda supports you, and won’t ride up your bum. So, I also tried the g-string to see how it went underneath a dress! No lines, it looked like I was wearing nothing, which is the point? I’m still not a huge fan of g-strings in general, but I can see it’s purpose. I even slept in it overnight and didn’t have a sleepless night pulling at the string, so that’s good considering I felt so uncomfortable in the tight jeans. So conclusion…if you’re a frequent wearer of the dental floss underwear, then you’ll probably find it super comfortable

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The strap/support test: Again, I can’t really give a test on “support” because I don’t have a big chest. But the bralette had a really good “fit” and for me, there felt like a lot of support.

The sitting down all day test: Not much to say here. It’s pretty darn comfortable!

The itchy breasts test: Yeah, this is still a weird test! But what better way to test if a “bra” is comfortable? I wore the bralette/bra on a 5-hour hike. It was hot and I was sweating. I tell ya, I’m not a sweater, but walking up a mountain and pulling myself up a rock wall was pretty tough. The great thing is, I didn’t feel this bralette/bra at all. AT. ALL. This is huge for me! If I’ve been working up a sweat for hours, like hiking, a bra normally always makes my boobs super itchy. But this didn’t! 😀 And it was very strange not scratching my boobs while hiking!

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The one month test: Stay tuned! I’ll follow up with this in a month and see how the quality holds up.

I don’t really want to give it a rating until I know how the quality holds up. But so far it’s looking really good. It’s a really simple day-to-day underwear. I love how it’s been naturally dyed, so you know there isn’t any funny business going on

Next up I’ll be reviewing Nisa – Ethical Underwear (a New Zealand brand!)

Review: Natural Toothpaste Series – Urthly Organics

This week’s review for natural toothpaste comes in a glass jar! Unlike the Dr Bronner’s one, this one isn’t for everyday use. It contains activated charcoal which is known to whiten teeth. Because of this, I didn’t actually want to do the review over a week, but instead two weeks. To give it a chance to see if it actually works.

Is charcoal safe?

Activated charcoal is safe to ingest, however the abrasiveness of the mineral can damage the enamel of your teeth if it’s scrubbed against them. Be very careful to only lightly graze teeth when applying the activated charcoal

Source: https://www.123dentist.com/whitening-teeth-activated-charcoal/

Like using baking soda it’s important to not scrub too hard on your teeth. Be gentle! I also use a “soft” brush, and after years of using “medium” to “hard” I’ve realised that I’ve been a little rough with my gums and teeth!

Here’s a pic of the jar.

Ingredients: 

Now, down to the tests!

Cleanliness test: I have to say it’s cleans really well. Even with the charcoal. It doesn’t leave your gums black or grey.

Foam test: It does foam up a little which I was a little shocked about!

How it looks when it brushes test: I figure the only way to explain how it brushes/looks like when brushing is to actually record it. So here you go! Also, you’ll see how it foams up a little

 

Taste test: I was not a fan of the taste at all. I thought that perhaps I could get used to it, and while it did taste “less bad” over the two weeks, it wasn’t something I got used to.

Fresh breath test & morning breath test: As this isn’t your standard everyday toothpaste – it doesn’t do a great job at making your breath “fresh”. To be honest, I’m not really sure if these tests apply. So technically an “N/A”

Overall: Ultimately, if you’re looking for a natural and low waste alternative to whitening your teeth this is probably the way to go. It won’t whiten your teeth overnight. But you’re also not putting harsh whitening chemicals on your teeth and gums. After the two weeks, my teeth did seem a little brighter, although being a natural alternative I would prefer to use this over a month and see how it goes. Mostly, to determine if there is a significant difference in my pearly whites!

Right now, I would give it a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. The taste isn’t the best so I deducted points for that! But points for being low waste and an natural alternative to whitening teeth! (Stay tuned I’m going to update this at the end of the month, and will let you know if there’s a significant difference in brightness from the charcoal toothpaste – so the rating may change)

If you’re keen the toothpaste is available here!

I was also using the Dr Bronner’s toothpaste injunction with the charcoal toothpaste

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Review: Ethical Underwear Series (White Rabbit)

The first instalment of the “ethical underwear series”!

I wanted to review a series of ethical underwear brands, because for so long I focused on ethical clothing, but I’ve never extended that philosophy to my undergarments. I’ve always bought cheap underwear because it was affordable. I realised cheap doesn’t exactly mean “affordable” in the long run. They seemed to last a month before falling to pieces. They pretty much become see-through!

So, I wanted to dig deeper and research some ethical underwear brands. I don’t mind paying more for something if it will last longer in the long term. It’s more economical that way, and also better for my trash bin. And yes, I have a trash bin which isn’t a jar!

All the brands highlighted in the ethical underwear series have sent photos of their factories or have okayed me using their images of their factories – I think this is so important. If a company promotes itself as being “ethical” then their factory conditions should represent that. And in some part, that’s why we’re spending more – not only for quality, but for better working conditions.

I just wanted to say, that I actually had some ethical brands say yes to sending me a sample, but I never heard from them again when I asked about their factory workers and if they could send over some photos. For me this is a big red warning sign that they aren’t as transparent as they seem or promote to be. So, all the brands you will see in this series are completely transparent. Moreover, they were super friendly. To the extend where I’ve convinced myself we’re best friends. But the reality is I have no friends!

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I just also wanted to state, that not all of the items that I owned in my life are “ethical” – I don’t believe this is achievable for everyone. Heck, I have apple products and I know their production lines aren’t the best ethically (f*ckin’ hypocrite – but I’ve had my laptop for 8 years…so quality!). I mostly wanted to do this series to highlight some ethical brands that I feel that you would be interested in – particularly if your on the market for some ethical underwear!

The first brand up is “White Rabbit” – here’s their website: https://www.whiterabbitny.com/

Mariana is one of the owners of White Rabbit New York and started up the company along with Cristian.

I asked her why specifically underwear? After all, we rarely put any effort into our underwear, at least I don’t. So, I’m always curious, why someone enters into the realm of ethics – particularly when it’s not the most financially lucrative “business model”.

Here’s what she said:

I started White Rabbit because I was looking to upgrade my underwear drawer but I was not convinced by /  didn’t identify with existing brands. I wanted a brand that made great quality, simple everyday basics and that had values I could stand behind (fair, environmentally conscious, putting women first). So we created White Rabbit

To be honest, Mariana was probably the most open of all the companies I dealt with. Big tick! She sent multiple images of their factories and working conditions, which is great. And she offered to send more!

I have an “unboxing” of the garments are on IGTV. Sorry, I deleted the video and can’t seem to add it onto my blog, but it’s still available here: https://www.instagram.com/simpleishliving/ (on IGTV)

Please note that I’m from Australia, so I understand the “carbon footprint” of shipping an item from overseas. But I honestly, wanted to review different brands of ethical underwear, so that people from Australia, North America and Europe could “try-them-out” if they wanted to. (These continents make up about 80% of my readers)

So, now what about the undergarments? Sure they’re ethical but are they any good??

First up, they are so incredibly soft and actually really pretty looking. Comfort along with style, it’s not something you get often. My favourite was the Madison Bikini Set:

Sizes range from XS to XL (in some cases XXL). I’m normally a size 6-8 (Australian). So on the safe side I chose a small, although I could have went with an XS. There’s actually a lot of give in the underwear and it probably runs a little bigger than normal sizes. And I’m Asian, so my booty isn’t very big so I could have gone XS. The great thing is they are in the process of making all their packaging plastic free and extending their sizes range. Bonus!

The first wash test: Before I wear my new underwear, I always wash them. Cause, you know…you know!! Plus it’s a good test to go through. Does it remain in good condition after a machine wash? Please note that I wash all my undergarments in a cloth laundry bag. I just find that the straps don’t get all tangled in the wash. And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of “hand” washing my undergarments unless I’m travelling. Good news is, they’re just as soft after the wash from when I first received them. Plus the seams were still in tact.

The first try test: The first thing I noticed was that is was super soft. Like the softest underwear I’ve ever tried on. My only issue is that I wish I got a smaller size as it didn’t fit around my booty perfectly. The XS would have been perfect.

The same with the bra. I got a 34A, but could have gone with the 32A.

So, that’s just something to keep in mind. There is “give” in the underwear, so don’t be too worried about going smaller. (At least in my opinion)

There was some “gathering” at the seams after the first day at wear, but I think this inevitable considering the design. The stitching is still very solid.

The jeans test: Wearing tight jeans are fine. I couldn’t really see the “line” underneath my jeans, which is a bonus. Plus the underwear didn’t feel uncomfortable or bunched up.

The dress test: you can see a little line in the dress from the underwear. But you’ll get that with most underwear, unless you’re wearing a G-String. White Rabbit does sell G-Strings, but I didn’t try this. To be honest, I’m not really a G-String fan, but I know some people who live in them, so the next few brands I’ll be testing g-strings as well!

The strap test: The straps are soft, and there’s a lot of give in the clip thingys. I don’t know what they called, so here’s a pic.

I can’t really give a test on “support” because I don’t have a big chest. But the “Prince” style surprised me. There was a lot more support in this even though there wasn’t any underwire. Sizing wise I could have gone the XS, but it was still super comfortable.

The Prince Set

As mentioned I could have gone with a 32A in the Madison. They were however super comfortable. And I honestly love the detailing on it. (See here for website photo)

The sitting down all day test: To be honest, I barely noticed the underwear at work. Sometimes, it felt like I wasn’t wearing any at all, which is weird. I tell ya, they’re super soft! And comfortable.

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The itchy breasts test: Yeah, okay. This is a weird one. But some bras just make my boobs really itchy. I figure if it happens to me, chances are it happens to other people. These don’t make my boobs itchy! Tick!

The one month test: Stay tuned! I’ll follow up with this in a month and see how the quality holds up.

I don’t really want to give it a rating until I know how the quality holds up. But so far it’s looking really good – it has both style AND comfort which isn’t something you would normally get in fancypants underwear. I would recommend them on this alone. Plus they’re also super transparent about their working conditions, which is awesome.

Next up I’ll be reviewing Hara The Label.

Ramblings…sponsored posts: should I or shouldn’t I?

It’s something that I’ve been thinking of lately. Payment for a post. Of course, I would only select products from companies that align with my values. I’m not complete sell out, just a little to medium sized one.

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I receive requests on a daily basis, asking me what my “rates” are for a post. And to be honest, I say no and decline. And also…I have no idea what my “rates” are!! I’ve never asked for a payment for a post, and it kinda feels weird thinking about it. Like how much is too much? How much is too little? Should I even be asking for money from a small business? Do you care if I do a sponsored post? Am I a business now? What the f*ck is an influencer? Does this make me a sellout? Or is it okay to be compensated for my work?

I started this blog and my Instagram page to chronicle my journey of living a lower waste lifestyle. I do all of this on my spare time (end of sob story)! I didn’t expect people to follow along, I guess I just wanted my shy(ish) voice out there. I wanted a place where I could write about how I’m trying to be a conscious consumer, or at least “more” of an conscious consumer. Heck, I just wanted to be a better human, and thought other people might want to as well. I also wanted a place to keep myself accountable. To stay on track – publicly!

It brought (and still does) brings me joy running this blog and my Instagram page. Of course, it doesn’t all the time. I have my moments with it. Particularly, as someone who spent a year away from social media before starting up my socials again – could I be spending my time more productively elsewhere? It’s something I reassess on a monthly basis.

But, I genuinely enjoy coming up with products to review or talking to businesses about their manufacturing processes. I’ve learnt so much. Not only from the businesses but also from the community in general. It’s such a supportive network, which I love. And it brings a little warmth to my heart reading messages from people telling me I’ve helped them along in their journey. For once, in a really long time, I feel like I have purpose.

A part of me is hesitant to dip my toe into sponsored posts mostly because I hate disappointing anyone, particularly, a loving and caring community such as this one. I’m a pushover and a huge people pleaser. It’s a horrible (yet, also, awesome) part of my personality. I’m more understanding because of it. I play peacekeeper a lot. But sometimes, it also means I don’t take the risks I need to because I’m afraid that I’m not pleasing everyone.

Sponsored posts are contentious. How can you promote a conscious lifestyle and promote products for cash? It seems pretty ridiculous and also like a contradiction. Isn’t your blog about Simple Living??? 

Well, yes and no. The “ish” is there for a reason – to show that I’m not perfect. I’m full of contradictions, but mostly it shows that I’m imperfect and I’m still very much a consumer – we all are. Being alive is to consume. And honestly, my blog has never been about perfection, and trust me I tried being “perfect” and that just made me horribly unhappy.

While I have received some products from companies (which I fully disclose), I don’t actually get paid for my reviews or my Instagram posts. I come up with the ideas for reviews or for a series, mostly because I think people might find it interesting and mostly because I, myself, think it would be interesting. I’m 100% honest with my reviews and try my best to go through a number of tests that you would actually do in real life. For the very few products that I do accept as “gifts”, I only choose products from companies that I feel people will be interested in, and of course, and the company must align with my values.

I should state that I am an recent affiliate of Biome but to be honest I don’t really feel like I am one, as long before I became an affiliate I was shopping almost exclusively at Biome to buy my “low waste” products. (Oh, I get it, the irony of buying something to reduce waste)! Does this constitute as a sponsored post? I personally don’t think so, as for one, I’ve made $0 from it and most of the products I’ve reviewed from Biome are actually products that I paid for myself. So, if people want to know where I got a product, why not share an affiliate link on my blog? (Even though I forget to add the links almost 90% of the time)! So, I don’t actually feel like I’m selling out on this one, but you might differ on this statement of course.

But, sponsored posts are something that I’m considering. I would love to do this full-time, and the only way is to get paid (yet only for things I’m passionate about). For now I have a office job and work fairly standard hours. So, I’ll continue to run this blog and Instagram on my own time. But will it be run on my own money like it currently is? I honestly don’t know. I hope if you see a sponsored post from me in future, you realised it’s not because I’m selling out (only like 49% selling out), it’s mostly because I genuinely believe in the product and feel that it could bring some sort of value to your life, and heck, it also has to bring value to my life as well. And yeah, of course, it will align with my values!

Side note, have you seen this new Mercedes with Nike wheels car? It’s amazing, it’s cured my acne and now I can travel at the speed of light.

*Sponsored by Nike and Mercedes*

*Kidding, not sponsored. But maybe it is*

*Stop confusing people, this isn’t a sponsored post*

*Or is it?*

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Review: Natural Toothpaste Series – Dr Bronner’s

The first instalment of my natural toothpaste reviews. I understand completely that not everyone can use straight baking soda on their teeth everyday. Heck, I can’t! I have a permanent retainer and can only use DIY toothpaste a few times a week (dentist orders). So, I wanted to test out a few “natural” toothpastes, because I figure there are a few people who probably want to switch to a natural toothpaste, but are not quite ready or can’t use DIY toothpaste.

I think this is important. We can’t all fit into a perfect label – each one of us are different. Each one of us are living in different circumstances, different bodies, different health boundaries. These toothpastes are not zero waste, but instead it’s a more natural alternative. I will also be comparing these natural toothpastes to one that I made at home – it might be interesting particularly for those who are wanting to make the switch.

Ingredients:

Cleanliness test: I have to say it’s cleans really well. Better than your standard supermarket-bought ones

Foam test: it doesn’t foam. It can take a while to get use to, particularly if you’re not used to foamy toothpaste. But honestly, after a couple of days you’ll get use to the grit.

How it looks when it brushes test: I figure the only way to explain how it brushes/looks like when brushing is to actually record it. So here you go!

This is a very odd video indeed…but hey, sometimes it’s easier to explain via video.

Taste test: Taste wise, it’s pretty damn minty and it’s actually really close to “supermarket” bought toothpaste. Even my partner said he would use it, and he pretty much dislikes anything “natural”. I actually think this will be a really good bridging toothpaste – particularly if you want to transition to DIY/low waste toothpaste. It’s kinda got the feel of a homemade one, but tastes sooooooooo much better

Fresh breath test: My breath wasn’t actually that fresh after brushing. It cleaned my teeth so well, and my teeth and gums had a minty freshness to them, but breath wise it wasn’t the best. My tip would be to brush your tongue. This will infinitely help the status of your breath!

Morning breath test: When I didn’t brush my tongue, my morning breath was pretty horrible – at least for the first few days. Afterwards, it kinda felt like my mouth adapted and it was all good. Even on those times I forgot to brush my tongue

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Too much info I know!

Overall: Ultimately, if you’re looking for a natural alternative but not quite ready to brush your teeth with straight up baking soda, this is a really good “training wheels” toothpaste. I would honestly buy this tube again, but will need to see how the others are first!

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Rating: 4/5 stars (minus 1 star for not leaving my breath completely minty – but brushing your tongue will help remedy this)

If you’re keen the toothpaste is available here!

Next up for review: