10 September 2018

Eight Positive Brands Autumn Season

Written by Published in Ethical Shopping
O My Bag Amsterdam
Castronovo Chocolate
Tabitha James Kraan
Dr Jackson’s
Jackson & Seddon

Shopping isn’t the answer to the needs of the world. We know this. But more start-ups are writing business plans with the welfare of others in mind, and consumers are happy to pay extra if it means that things will improve for someone else. Here are eight of our favourite ethical, sustainable brands for autumn

texttabitha james kraanTabitha James Kraan

Haircare – whether that’s styling at home, getting a cut or indulging in a well-deserved treatment – is about much more than looking good. Organic brand Tabitha James Kraan believes that feeling good should come first, and the beauty will follow. Whether you use Tabitha James Kraan products at home, or visit their boutique Cotswolds salon, you’ll find that the experience is designed to be holistic.

Yes, the end result is gorgeous, healthy, happy hair, but Tabitha James Kraan aims for more than that. The brand considers the health of mind, body and soul, as well as hair, through the therapeutic aromatherapy blends used to scent their award-winning products. And using the chemical-free formulas they’ve developed, containing hero ingredients that benefit the body just as much as the hair and without harming the planet.

A favourite product at Tabitha James Kraan is the ‘Youth Dew’ Scented Organic Hair Oil.

Hair oiling is not only a step in a beauty routine – in many cultures it is an age-old tradition viewed as a weekly essential rather than an indulgence. In India, hair oiling is based on Ayurvedic principles, and is even prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors to treat a range of conditions. Oiling your hair not only provides a host of benefits for hair and scalp, but for overall well-being, too.

The sense of tranquillity that’s created by taking time to look after yourself goes a long way, but, when done correctly, this wonderful ritual helps to boost circulation throughout the body, and soothes and balances the scalp.

Tabitha James Kraan Scented Organic Hair Oil is certified organic by the Soil Association (99%) and is made with 100% natural ingredients.


TextAurumAurum by Guðbjörg

Icelandic jeweller Aurum was founded in 1999 by Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, goldsmith and designer, and Karl Jóhann Jóhannsson MBA, who run both the label and the Aurum store and workshop in the heart of Reykjavík’s city centre.

Aurum takes its name from the first letters of the words Ambition, Understanding, Responsibility, Unity and Mindfulness. The brand puts great emphasis on design, product development, quality and customer care. Their recycled sterling silver jewellery is inspired by nature and evokes natural patterns in pieces that are modern and timeless.

Aurum source materials from certified fair trade companies, and all packaging is environmentally friendly. The brand incorporates sustainability principles throughout the company’s operations, such as using only recycled and re-refined precious metals and certified and conflict-free precious stones and diamonds.


TextO My BagO My Bag

O My Bag is an Amsterdam-based brand producing fairly made leather bags and accessories for women and men. The brand’s vision is to produce bags that not only look good, but also make a positive difference in the global community.

Made from a unique kind of eco-leather, an O My Bag is a piece you can flaunt without guilt. This is due to a cleaner, safer tanning process, a reduced carbon footprint and leather that is made with respect for the environment. With every purchase at O My Bag, consumers contribute to fairly paid jobs, safe working environments, equal opportunities and women’s empowerment, improving life and work prospects around the world. Every year, 1% of O My Bag’s turnover is donated to different social projects such as the Brickfield Schools.

At the same time, O My Bag proves that an ambitious approach towards making the world a better place doesn’t mean compromising on good design. O My Bag creates timeless, long-wearing investment bags that look better the more you use them. Their effortless designs come in classic shades such as camel, black, navy and green.


TextChristinaMERELY ME.CO

When textile artist and head designer Madera E. Rogers created her first paper accessory for sale eight years ago, it was an African-inspired wedding necklace that was a revolutionary piece of wearable art – for both body and soul. In Rogers’ collections of eco-conscious products, each piece celebrates individuality, true recycling and Rogers’ vision of self-expression in the real world. MERELY ME.CO’s story encourages its consumers to celebrate the power of seeing – life, self and the planet – differently. 

MERELY ME.CO is a New Orleans-based lifestyle company that produces clothing, shoes, jewellery, accessories, greetings cards, hand-crafted gift pouches and other products that serve as a tool to guide the curious consumer’s green journey. With recycling as the key principle behind the crafting of products, each item is handmade. All jewellery and accessories are made from at least 85% recycled paper and unwanted fabric scraps from clothing. Packaging and garment hang tags utilise 100% collected recycled products. Even the buttons, closures and pins are made in-house – and the brand is proud of that level of detail. Through the recycling of donated paper products, Rogers strives to make the unusable uniquely beautiful, and to educate about what it means to live consciously. 

MERELY ME.CO is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and elevating sustainability through recycling while catering to an earth-friendly audience who love looking classically good. 


TextDrJacksonDr Jackson’s

A sustainable, science-led cosmetics company that creates natural skincare products and organic herbal tea blends, Dr Jackson’s believe in beauty that is clean, safe and, most importantly, effective. The products combine meticulous research with the finest ingredients nature has to offer.

All Dr Jackson’s ingredients are rigorously tested in the lab to ensure the utmost purity, as well as being ethically sourced. Formulations are free from parabens, sulphates, artificial fragrances and any synthetic ingredients that aren’t kind to skin.

Alongside skincare products, Dr Jackson’s range of organic herbal tea blends perfectly complements their philosophy of holistic beauty, believing that what we consume is just as important as what we apply to our skin.

The brand’s minimalist packaging is just as carefully researched as the cutting edge formulas inside it. Foil printing, plastic wrapping, artificially coated or bleached paper are all avoided, along with polyester ribbons. Instead, Dr Jackson’s is committed to seeking out green alternatives, from recyclable glass jars and recycled kraft paper boxes printed with soya ink, to the tea jar seals, which are made from biodegradable eucalyptus wood pulp.


TextCastronovoCastronovo Chocolate

Imagine savouring a square of chocolate the same way you might enjoy a fine wine or spirit, chocolate whose complexity takes you on a journey from its first melt to its long-lasting finish. Chocolate that has been made with care from heirloom cocoa beans that are fermented, roasted and ground to release their full flavour.

A food previously regarded as a sweet has matured into a luxury.

Castronovo Chocolate is passionate about preserving heirloom varieties of cocoa that are sustainably grown under rainforest canopies. Many of Castronovo’s cocoa beans are harvested by indigenous people in remote villages, who use their income to protect their culture, their land and their peace. By sourcing the cocoa through direct trade and with transparency, the brand ensures farmers are paid a fair wage for their work.

The turning point for Denise Castronovo, head chocolate maker, was realising that flavour has largely been engineered out of mass-produced chocolate, leaving it flat, expressionless and dull to the taste. Knowing that chocolate has a rich history in Latin America and more flavour notes than wine, Denise started making chocolate in small batches using methods that predate mass production to create some of the finest-tasting chocolate on the market. Castronovo makes single-origin dark and dark milk chocolate, in addition to a few chocolates with flavour infusions such as white chocolate with lemon or mocha.

Established in 2013, Castronovo has won numerous prestigious awards from the International Chocolate Awards World Finals, The Academy of Chocolate Awards in London and the Good Food Awards in the USA for its fine flavour, direct trade practices and sustainability mission.



A clothing brand that reinterprets textile heritage in prints that tell stories of where and why they were made, Matter makes unique garments while cherishing the twin ethos of comfort and versatility.

Matter’s mission is to impact change beyond textiles by making rural artisan production sustainable, shifting designers’ approach to their processes and inspiring consumers to value provenance. The brand believes in products with story and soul, and it is with this philosophy in mind that Matter uncover heritage prints from the archives of artisan communities with simple yet compelling stories.


Matter source heritage prints and styles while reinterpreting them in a modern manner. They believe that the cultural history of many nations lies in their textile heritage, and it is through the continuation of that narrative, in the prints and crafts of the artisan communities, that the brand pays tribute to their tradition.


Matter see sustainability as a journey, with actions taken shaping its impact. It’s about the decisions made every day, as individuals and businesses, collectively effecting greater change. Matter’s desire is to go beyond their commitment to ethical production and eco-friendly materials to align themselves with sustainable practices across the entire production and design process.


TextRobJackson & Seddon

If the thought of organic artisan wine makes you wince, think again. Jackson & Seddon are a UK-based importer bringing their stock in from small, independent producers in Italy. The brand chooses to work with sustainable boutique winemakers: real, hard-working farmers who live in tune with the seasons and pour their heart and soul into producing the perfect bottle of wine. These farmers produce fewer than 70,000 bottles of wine a year, which, in contrast to the larger producers that sell in the region of 35 million bottles a year, makes the wines Jackson & Seddon import genuinely exclusive.

All of the wines sourced are made using organic methods, involving a minimal amount of intervention from the winemaker, and no pesticides are used at all during the lifespan of the vines. Organic wine sales have increased 22% this past year, as consumer demand continues to grow within the UK for more organic and sustainable products.

Every bottle of wine Jackson & Seddon imports to the UK is hand-selected by Rob Seddon, self-proclaimed wine nerd and owner of Jackson & Seddon. Rob spends a huge amount of time with each of the winemakers. He walks the land they work, learning the history of their family farm and gaining a deeper understanding of the passion they have for their unique way of life.



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