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Evaluating and shopping for natural products

17 Jan

This video is a general overview of some toxic ingredients and a bit of a shopping guide. Hopefully you’ll find it useful! There are some links to other, excellent, shopping guides and ingredient lists below the video.

Just Beautiful Personal Care Products Shopping Guide (

Dirty Dozen Pocket Shopper’s Guide (David Suzuki Foundation)

Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics (Environmental Working Group)

*edit* Maybe a list of the ingredients I name in the video would be helpful! Should have posted this originally:

  1. Synthetic/coal tar dyes
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Fragrance/parfum
  4. Hydroquinone
  5. Mineral oil (another note: it coats your skin, locking in moisture, which is the so-called “hydrating” effect advertised for certain products, but it prevents the skin from releasing toxins; it’s an artificial way of having “hydrated” skin)
  6. Parabens
  7. Polyethylene glycol/propylene glycol (and 1-4-dioxane)
  8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  9. Talc
  10. Triclosan
  11. Oxybenzone (disappointingly, is present in my Origins lipstick)

Why make the switch? Why choose natural cosmetics?

26 Dec


Studies on phthalates:

and the Wikipedia entry:

On using disposable goods

8 Oct

When the Swiffer came out, I was mildly horrified. A chemical-soaked synthetic cloth that you use once and toss? Ick. Then came all the other Swiffer-brand products, like that WetJet thing. I am seriously grossed out by the proliferation of these so-called “easy” cleaning solutions that add to the absurd amount of garbage generated by a typical household. I am grossed out with myself sometimes too, what with my reliance on paper towels and plastic produce bags and all. But let’s not be to hard on ourselves; and there are solutions, easy ones too!

I recently heard about and check out what I found:

The cure for Swiffer-itis! Forget about buying refills of disposable cloths – get the reusable ones instead. They pop into the washing machine after use, easy-peasy.

You could argue that although the site is pushing for reduced consumption through re-use, they do offer some disposables and are, like all company, out to make money on consumer goods. Although there are some single-purpose and/or not necessarily essential items on the site, I like the tone, the fact that it’s a 1% For the Planet member, and the accessibility of their message. Most of us are trained to like the glossy shopping experience, and re-useit has bundled it’s message effectively in that respect.

They have cute tutorial videos, a mythbusting section, and various fact-sheets – lots of info! So check it out!

Sunday Happy

26 Sep

This photo made me smile:

photo by The Sartorialist

I just had to put up this photo from Jil Sander’s Spring 2011 collection. These incredible saturated colours are really refreshing after what feels like an eternity of drab. Maybe it’s just that I live in a city where bright colours don’t get much of a chance, what with 3 fairly cold seasons. Winter coats are usually muted or dark, stores here mainly stock neutrals and softer colours (and generally those that don’t are the ones that cater to a younger clientele), but more than anything, buyers’ choices lately are just one big snoooooooooore. Why Montreal, a fairly adventurous city overall, should have a flat-lining fashion scene (in terms of selection, diversity, and innovation), is a mystery to me.

All social commentary aside, I hope Raf Simons‘ use of colour is as thrilling to you as it is to me, or that you’ve found something else to make you smile on this rainy Sunday.

30 Apr

you’re welcome, veggies.