Our 2017 Eco Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Samantha and I are sharing our favourite finds for a possible Eco Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one – women, men, and even a gift from your little ones. We’ve stuck to all UK based businesses and artisans, most of them small independent businesses. You’ll also find we’ve tried to include ideas across a span of costs, with only one true ‘blow the budget’ gift.
In putting together this guide we discovered that neither of us celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way. I’m sure lots of people choose to celebrate their love and gratitude towards each other on a daily basis. But for those who are looking to give something special or just a token of their love, here are some ideas.
Personalised Valentine’s Biscuits
The Kitsch Hen is run by a former TNWC Real Bride, Caroline (part one + part two of her wedding is not to be missed). Her iced biscuits are homemade from locally sourced ingredients, and all handstamped. We love this option because it can be personalised to a meaningful message – lyrics from ‘your’ song, a love quote from your favourite novel, or just a simple ‘I Love You’. A scrumptious Eco Valentine’s Day gift.
You Are My Favourite Valentine’s Day Card
Our friend Lucy Says I Do always has a fab offering of Valentine’s Day cards, and we love this design. Short and sweet, perfect for anyone not wanting to give an overly mushy card full of text. Printed onto FSC approved card and with a brown kraft envelope it’s a great card for the eco-chic.
Fairtrade Gold Heart Ruby Ring
We are bringing you another instalment of our Meet the Maker series today. As we proudly support independent businesses we feel that it is always great to get an insight into the people behind them. We love to hear how they started out, their inspiration and how the service or products they provide are extra special for a couple planning their wedding day.
Today’s makers are husband and wife team, Elaine and Jason Foreman. They are the founders and designers behind the innovative hybrid ethical man-made diamond rings company KinetIQue. Their story and products are both fascinating so lets find out a little bit more about them.
Hi Elaine and Jason welcome to our Meet the Maker series. To get started, as your business is so unique, how would you explain a man-made diamond? Are you able to tell us a bit more about what they are?
A laboratory grown diamond is a diamond. There is no difference between a diamond occurring naturally and a laboratory grown diamond except ‘origin’. Pure man-made diamonds, are literally grown from a seed crystal and are pure Sp3 Carbon, like mined diamond.
We have co-created the world’s best Hybrid Diamond – The IQ Diamond which is simply the evolution of the diamond. They benefit from excellent eco credentials. They can also have greater clarity than most retail earth-mined diamonds and are less expensive.
The IQ Diamond, which is currently only available through us, consists of two components, hence why it’s called a Hybrid Diamond®. We have explained the complex process on our website if you wanted to know more about how they are created.
A Day in the Life of Bride and Bloom: crafting wedding flowers from Worcestershire fields to beautiful seasonal bouquets
I am always so delighted when our flower farmers get in touch to say they have a set of A Day in the Life photos to share with our readers. Bride and Bloom are one of our newest additions to our eco wedding directory, and whilst I do get to visit a number of our recommended suppliers, it’s always nice to find out more in these kind of features.
You can see ‘behind the scenes’ with a number of our other flower farmers by visiting our A Day in the Life archives, or for similar posts check out our Meet the Maker series. What I particularly love about today’s feature, is that fellow mum and flower farmer Hannah, had her little girl along to help her pick flowers for the wedding.
What’s also special about this feature, is that at the end of the post we’ve shared photos from the wedding that Hannah of Bride and Bloom was working on in her A Day in the Life. Over to Hannah to share her day in the life at Bride and Bloom…
Our 2016 Eco Christmas Gift Guide
It’s December and we want to help you with your gift searching with our eco Christmas gift guide. Samantha and I have been scouring the internet to bring you our favourite eco-chic finds – from gifts to decorations to wrapping.
You might think ‘not another Christmas gift guide’ but we promise ours is a bit special because all the items we’ve chosen have eco credentials, all come from UK based businesses (many of them small independent businesses), and we’ve kept the majority of items affordable with a few luxuries thrown in.
The items in our eco Christmas gift guide are handpicked by us because we feel they are truly worth sharing – they are not just what’s ‘on trend’ or cool this year. We’ve also included direct links to where you can buy the items to make it even simpler. So go dive in and support our ethical British businesses.
If you love a more rustic and natural Christmas style, then check out all blog archives for natural Christmas decorating ideas and DIY projects – my personal favourite being the DIY guide for making snowflakes from vintage doilies.
Decorations for an Eco Christmas
First up in our eco Christmas gift guide – our favourite eco Christmas finds for decorating your home…
Snowflake Garland from Paper Tree
This pretty paper snowflake garland is a super version of those handmade paper ones you (attempt) to make. Plus, these 14 handcrafted snowflakes unfold to create a 3D effect.
Eco Credentials – Made from recycled and FSC paper; Paper Tree are members of 1% for the Planet and give 1% of our sales to environmental organisations.
Beeswax Christmas Tree Candles from Gold&Black Candles
Beeswax is the ultimate candle and with it’s gorgeous gold colour couldn’t be more glorious at this festive time. Made by hand from 100% pure beewax the set of 3 Christmas Tree candles urn for approximately 8 hours each.
Eco Credentials – natural beeswax; gift box from recycled board and paper covering from sustainable forests.
Mistletoe Wreath from Paper Tree
A beautiful hand crafted paper mistletoe wreath with raffia hanging string and ribbon. The mistletoe is hand crafted from eco-friendly saa paper – we love this.
Eco Credentials – Made from recycled and FSC paper; Paper Tree are members of 1% for the Planet and give 1% of their sales to environmental organisations.
Rustic Driftwood Christmas Tree Decorations from Emma Lane Designs
With Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve less than two months away what better time for a round-up of our favourite 16 ethical engagement rings. With those two days the most popular days in the whole year to get engaged, I imagine there are a lot of (slightly anxious) men and women out there with rings on their mind.
Why choose an ethical engagement ring?
There are all kinds of ways to propose these days, but it has never been easier to choose an ethical engagement ring. What do we mean by ‘ethical’? We are talking about engagement rings made from fair trade gold and silver, recycled gold and silver, and ethically sourced diamonds and other precious gems. In addition to this, many of our recommended wedding ring suppliers are offering more unusual creations using sea glass, lab grown eco diamonds, and sustainable wood (more on those below).
Whatever you choose, do not underestimate the impact made by your choice to propose with an ethical engagement ring. Now onto our top 16 of the most beautiful and unique ethical engagement rings, all available to buy from our recommended suppliers collections.
Modern Ethical Engagement Rings
The teardrop shape of this ethical solitaire diamond engagement ring gives it an interesting twist that will set you apart from the usual diamond engagement ring. Designed by Glasswing Jewellery on a dainty recycled gold band, this is one of my favourites. Buy it here.
Slade Fine Jewellery always come out with some beautiful designs, part modern but with a liberal sprinkling of Tolkein-esque elvish magic. We were particularly captured by this grey rosecut diamond set against that earthy yellow gold, which in this case is recycled eco gold. Buy it here.
The warmth from the rose gold and the ‘rubover’ setting of this solitaire ethical engagement ring from long-time fair trade gold and silver champions CRED Jewellery, create a modern but romantic feeling ring. Buy it here.
Our behind-the-scenes tour of the flower fields and confetti shed at Shropshire Petals plus a giveaway
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of a day trip to visit Shropshire Petals, wander their fields cutting flowers, playing with confetti, and learning about the process of how they transform these beautiful blooms into the petal confetti that will shower you on your wedding day.
I met up with fellow TNWC wedding photographer Sarah from The Little Caravan Photography, and together with our little girls we were treated to the most wonderful tour from Ashley at Shropshire Petals. Sarah captured these awesome images from our day and I’m delighted to share them and our experience with you all today.
Confetti giveaway and discount
To celebrate our visit to Shropshire Petals, we have teamed up to giveaway a pack of 10 Petal Pouches that come filled with your choice of confetti. For more details and to enter head over to our Instagram where we’ll be holding the giveaway.
For anyone getting married or looking for confetti for a wedding, Shropshire Petals have an exclusive 10% discount off orders over £50 for our visitors, full details here.
Homemade dark chocolate dipped peanut butter and raspberry jam wedding favours from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman
One of my other loves in life is food and cooking, and wherever possible using wholefood ingredients rather than that processed nonsense, so you can imagine my delight when I was given the opportunity to share a new cake and patisserie book with you (and give a copy away – more details on that below).
Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman is full of delicious sounding recipes using whole, natural and nourishing ingredients, and is totally free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar for those who are avoiding those foods. Not only is this a great recipe book for home baking, but it is also full of recipes that I think would be great for weddings – which is why I felt I wanted to share it with you.
Having a lovely flip through the book, I ear-marked a number of recipes that I thought would be idea for a wedding, so if you are planning to DIY some of your wedding, here are my thoughts on some edible homemade projects.
DIY sweet treats for your wedding
There are two pages of recipes for truffles, including the scrummy sounding Blackcurrant truffles and Camomile and honey ‘white chocolate’ truffles – all of which I thought would make thoughtful homemade wedding favours.
What about making your own Fresh mint thins (think fresh mint leaves covered in dark chocolate) to decorate your wedding cake?
Seasonal wedding ideas:
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