I was working with the Fashion Revolution team at London College of Fashion. I really needed a swimsuit for a trip to the Bahamas and heard that AURIA swimsuits were for sale at the EMG Progressive Fashion Concept Store in Beak Street, Soho, just a few blocks away.  I found the perfect swimsuit!  As it’s Fashion Revolution Week, I, of course had to ask the question #whomademyclothes?IMG_0095

 

AURIA’s swimsuits are made from Econyl.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 17.18.30

According to their website ‘the innovative ECONYL® Regeneration System is based on sustainable chemistry. With this process, the nylon contained in waste, such as carpets, clothing and fishing nets, is transformed back into raw material without any loss of quality.

fishing nets
And here are the people who made my swimsuit …

Paolo here in the #ECONYL plant? He prepares nets for regeneration
This is Paolo in the ECONYL plant He prepares nets for  regeneration

this is Ivo with some nets to be turned into #ECONYL yarn

This is Ivo with some nets to be turned into ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that we regenerate into #ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that is regenerated into ECONYL yarn

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the#ECONYL regeneration process

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the ECONYL regeneration process

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the #waste material that will become #ECONYL yarn

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the waste material that will become ECONYL yarn

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality #ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

You can find Boro always around our bobbins of #ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality!

You can always find Boro around the bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality

Bobbins of our #ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn't get to our clients if it wasn't for Muamer

Bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn’t get to clients if it wasn’t for Muamer

And all of this recycled fibre then gets made into gorgeous AURIA swimsuits

I’m really happy to see that ECONYL is able to answer the question #whomademyclothes and show me the faces of everyone who has helped to make the fibre for my new swimsuit #imadeyourclothes

Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, High in ProteinGluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers

It was recently my 21st birthday, resulting in an indulgent few weeks involving lots of sugary and fatty foods. A few weeks and a few too many cakes later, I need to get back on track.

My key tip to a maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always a good breakfast. Having a good wholesome breakfast full of protein, carbs and healthy fats, not only keeps you fuller for longer but sets you up for a great start to the day, providing you with energy to get up and make the day your own.

My go-to get back on track breakfast is Quinoa Porridge.

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is gluten-free, high in fibre and high protein grain. During the Incan Empire, it was referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.

Nowadays, it’s hailed as a “Superfood”. Quinoa is a great choice (especially for Vegans and Veggies) as its high in protein and unlike other grains, contains all the essential amino acids, so is a “complete” protein. Quinoa also contains antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and a portion contains 30% of your RDA for magnesium and 15% of Iron (both essential during your time of the month).

What I love about this recipe is the ability to mix and match and adjust the recipe to your preferences. Today, I had a chai spiced quinoa breakfast with raspberries, chia seeds, yoghurt and a bid drizzle of almond butter. Other times I love the indulgence of adding a teaspoon of cacao powder and having a chocolatey treat. Another favourite of mine is lemon and coconut quinoa porridge.

Feel free to experiment with any combinations and let me know how you get on.

Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers
Quinoa Porridge
Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge

Serves 1

30g-45g  Quinoa or Flaked Quinoa
150ml Milk of Choice (I use almond milk)
150ml Water
½ tsp Desired Spices (Usually, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and occasionally turmeric or vanilla)
40g+ Fruit of Choice (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, Lemon and apples all work well)
Pinch of salt

Optional add-ins

10g Nuts (I usually use pecans or Almonds)

If you’re feeling adventurous, grate half a courgette in. Adds double the volume for an extra 10 calories.

Cacao powder if you want an indulgent chocolatey feast

20g of Protein Powder for an added protein kick (I usually use Pea protein but Whey works well too)

 

Optional Toppings- Mix and Match to your heart’s content

Nut butter (I always choose almond butter!)

Dollop of yoghurt

Mixed Seeds

Drizzle of Agave syrup, Honey, Date Syrup, Choc Shot or another sweetener

More fruit

Desiccated coconut

Chocolate buttons or pure cacao melts luxuriously on top

 

How to:

Place the milk, water, spices, quinoa and pinch of salt in a saucepan on a medium heat.

Pop the lid on and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.

Cook until a preferred porridge consistency (I like mine thick). With standard quinoa, this will take about 25 mins but flaked quinoa will take less than 10 mins.

Transfer to a bowl and go wild with toppings

Enjoy

Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers

 

Cotton is one of the world’s dirtiest crops.

When you pick up a cotton T-shirt on the High Street, and only wear it a couple of times, do you ever stop to think about the impact which the water used for that garment has had on the local environnment? Probably not. Your average cotton T-Shirt has comsumed a staggering 2700 litres of water on its journey from the cotton field to the shop where you bought it.

“The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, causing human misery, enormous cost of life and gigantic environmental devastation” Katharine Hamnett

The World Bank estimates that around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. The textile industry is second only to agriculture as the biggest global polluter of clean water.

The water needed to grow cotton threatens precious water resources for local people. The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world, home to millions of fish and surrounded by fishing communities. Now covers only 10% of its former surface area and holds less than 10% of the volume of water it held in the 1970s. Why? Demand for cotton.

NASA made the shock announcement that a large area of the Aral Sea had completely dried up. Beyond the loss of fresh water and their livelihoods, local communities are also suffering from carcinogenic dust from the lake bed being blown into their villages.  As we are talking about water, I won’t even start on the forced labour of thousands of people sent to work to pick cotton every harvest by the Uzbeki authorities.

Source: USGS/NASA

Source: USGS/NASA

According to Frances Corner in her book Why Fashion Matters, if we all extended the lifecycle of our cotton garments by 9 months, this could reduce the water footprint of our clothing by 30%. Surely 9 months isn’t too much to ask?

This week, Greenpeace released a new Detox Catwalk video. At the same time, they released new rankings to show which companies really are detoxing their supply chains and which ones are greenwashing or taking no responsibility for their toxic trail. See the rankings here

 

On Thursday, the Oceana Junior Ocean Council Fashions for the Future event took place at Phillips Auction House in Berkeley Square, London. Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Since 2001 Oceana has protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean, including innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. Find out more about Oceana here


Oceana finale

 

CEO of Oceana, Andrew Sharpless, said:

“If you care about biodiversity, save the oceans.
If you care about climate change, save the oceans.
If you care about jobs for coastal communities, save the oceans.
If you care about human health, save the oceans.
This is the single thing we can do to make a difference for the future”

Festivals can turn out to be an expensive weekend, with most major festivals now charging around £200 for the weekend ticket, and this doesn’t even include food, alcohol and transportation costs. According to the Daily Mail, the average festival-goer will spend £423, which is way out of my student budget! Last summer, I went to four festivals: Glastonbury, Latitude, Y Not and Leeds – none of which I paid for.

In this post I’ll let you into my secrets of a cheap weekend full of music.

 Volunteering

At Latitude and Leeds, I volunteered with an organisation called Hotbox Events. I can’t recommend this organisation enough. Not only did we have luxuries such as hot showers, free tea and coffee making facilities and electricity for phone charging and the indispensable hot water bottle, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I made many friends, with whom I hope to remain in contact.

At Latitude, I worked alongside security as a member of the arena team for two 8-hour shifts, which I found passed quickly and were extremely enjoyable. By pure chance, my position was on the backstage access gate and I had conversations with people such as George Ezra, Danielle and Este Haim, members of Clean Bandit and Temples. This was fantastic as I could still hear the music from the main stage and the security guards kept bringing us tea and coffee. I honestly had a fantastic time during my shifts.

Latitude Festival

Chilling one afternoon by the main stage at Latitude Festival

During Leeds Festival, I was working as a CAT (Campsite Assistant Team). My duties essentially comprised of wandering around the campsite with ghost-buster style water backpacks for controlling any fire that was above knee height, aiding people with directions, lost and found and general welfare.

The perks of this shift (apart from the rather attractive fluorescent tabard) was that campers always seemed so happy to see you around the campsite and offered us so much free food it was unbelievable. People also offered us alcohol, which regrettably we couldn’t take during shift. It was amazing how much the festival-goers appreciated us and it made us feel like we were really making a difference to the atmosphere and safety of the campsite.

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards at Latitude hotbox events

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards

 Small Festivals

If you’d rather not volunteer at a large festival, try going to smaller festivals, tickets are less than half the price and the weekend always turns out to be just as enjoyable.

I’ve been going to a small festival called Y Not for over 4 years now and the weekend ticket cost around £85 (even ‘cheeper’ for early birds). Headliners included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, White Lies, The Fratellis, Frank Turner, Newton Faulkner, De La Soul and many more great acts. Not only was the music incredible but Y Not always have such an friendly, youthful atmosphere, with the average age range from 16- 24. If you’re looking for a non-stop party weekend, then this is the place to go on a budget.

Y Not is a great place to go with friends fun

Y Not is a great place to go with friends

Here’s a student twist on the classic, and delicious, Easter biscuit.

Most recipes use currants, but students are far more likely to have raisins in their cupboard than currants. What do you do with currants anyway, apart from making Christmas Cake? I’ve also added a bit of an alcoholic twist to the recipe.  The fact that the kilner jar was already half-empty by the time I took the photo says something about how delicious these biscuits were!

Easter biscuits with boozy raisins_2

 

Ingredients:

100 g butter
100 g caster sugar plus a further tablespoon for sprinkling on top
Half juice and rind of a lemon
½ tsp mixed spice (if you don’t have mixed spice, use cinnamon and nutmeg)
200 g plain white flour, or try 1/3 tapioca flour and 2/3 plain flour.
1 egg (separated)
50 g raisins
Tbsp alcohol (ideally limoncello, vodka or brandy, but most alcohol will work)

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F
  2. Cut your raisins up – you want them to be about the size of a currant. Put them in a bowl and cover with the alcohol of your choice.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. This is easiest with an electric whisk.
  4. Cut your lemon in half.  But…if you don’t have a juicer (who does as a student) and want to get more juice out of your lemon, you should cut it in half lengthways instead of widthways.  Stir in the  juice and rind of half lemon. mixed spice and the egg yolk.
  5. Take the raisins out of the alcohol and add to the mixture. Add the flour and mix it all together into a stiff dough.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 1/2cm thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle with the label soaked off. You can even shape them with your hands by rolling into small circles and flattening.
  7. Cut into circles if you have a biscuit cutter. Or be creative and cut into shapes like easter eggs and hearts. Place on a greased baking tray.
  8. Bake  for about 12 minutes. If they don’t look as if they have started to colour and the dough still looks uncooked, pop them back in for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  9. Take the biscuits out of the oven and brush the top with a little of the egg white. You won’t use much of the egg white, so you could always make a few macaroons with the rest – they take minutes to make. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top. I use coconut sugar for most recipes, but white caster sugar looks prettier here.
  10. Put the biscuits back in the oven for about 3 minutes, until they are a beautiful golden colour.

Enjoy with a cup of tea. And remember, an Easter biscuit is not just for Easter….