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is bamboo better than cotton


Panda and Sparrow bamboo babygrow – £14

We love this baby grow from Panda and Sparrow but it did start a debate in the whatidlove team about the real story behind bamboo.

As a fabric it is stronger than cotton, lasts longer, is better at moisture wicking, keeps you warmer in winter, cooler in summer, is hypoallergenic and super soft, and is even hailed as providing UV protection – so what’s the problem?

We know that it is super eco to grow – needs no watering, compared to cotton which uses 2700 litres of water for the cotton required to produce a T-shirt; or persticides as it is naturally anti-bacterial. It even sucks carbon dioxide from the air and releases oxygen into it. We also know that when harvested it regrows at 120 cm a day, with no need to replant the crop, and it biodegrades efficiently, unlike the 30-40 years it takes nylon.

Well – the growing of bamboo is environmentally friendly but the manufacturing of bamboo into fabric raises environmental and health concerns because of the strong chemical solvents used to cook the bamboo plant into a viscose solution that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into yarn for fabric. So it may not be the super hero we want it to be, but in that much it is no different from most fabrics.

So I suppose the conclusion is that we should never be fooled by marketing, that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, and that as soon as the miracle eco fabric emerges we will certainly all hear about it.

Is it better to get it cheap or to get it right?

As Black Friday is yet agan foisted upon us, in spite of the fact that the USA is turning it’s back on the whole concept, we have been debating the benefits.

Fat Face have come up with a “Thanks for giving” campaign as an alternative to black friday – giving 10% of all profits from 26th to 30th November this year, capped at £250,000, to local charities selected by their staff – what a cool idea. It’s actually very clever as by doing this they are avoiding undermining the value of their product and making you, the customer, feel like real mugs if you happen to buy before or after this period.

Surely it can’t be good for retailers, or the economy, to undermine the value of their products like this? and do we, the customer, really buy things we want with this sort of panic pressure put upon us.

Well, as you might expect, the whatidlove team believes that people should buy exactly what they love, or better still list it and have  a loved one buy it for you. If this desired item is cheaper on black friday then brilliant, but we are going to be the girl on the right and do things our way, and not follow the crowd this black

The body renews itself every seven years – now it’s time for your ring

wedding ring , enagaement ringMy engagement ring fell to pieces the other day – the gold claws finally released their diamonds and sapphires and now I am left with the dilemma of what to do.

After a few months not wearing an enagement ring I realised how much I missed it, but also how dated the style was and began to think that it was time to move on – much easier to change your ring than your partner – right?

But you don’t have to wait for catastrophes to happen as it’s perfectly OK to re-design your ring when you feel you have grown out of it – after all, would your choose your wedding dress you wore seven years on? And if your partner bought it as a surprise, and it was, but not in a good way, how long do you have to wait to avoid hurting your loved one’s feelings – the important thing is that your relationship is standing the test of time, not your ring!This ring is from designer Ruth Tomlinson whose work I particularly admire, but I’d love to see what alternatives are around for anyone who feels like sharing.

227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper in Britain alone


227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper – that’s how much we use in Britain alone. If we wanted to wrap up the world we could do it 9 times! So it seems only logical in the war on waste that we do our best to avoid this waste, especially if we can do it without compromising on the fun of unwrapping presents this Christmas.

The Japanese are particularly enlightened with their furoshiki wrapping aka knot wrapping. Here are a few great tips and techniques for using fabrics to wrap your gifts, and below is a video made by the people at Lush who sell a fabulous collection of vintage scarves.

Use a Lush knot wrap to package a present, and then the lucky recipient can use it again for their own gifts, or wear it. Once you’ve added a vintage scarf to your basket, they pick one of their lovely scarves at random to send you. Surely it’s worth a go in the interest of enjoying Christmas the eco-friendly way.

How a wish list can save the day

honeymoon, anniversary, weddingAs any couple will tell you, the occasional argument, to reach an agreement, air a grievance, or just to let off steam, is an important part of a relationship. And we are told that when your partner buys you a gift that is not what is wanted or needed this can sometimes lead to varying degrees of friction, something that seems to happen on all occasions but particularly when there is a big anniversary coming up.

So, if they haven’t yet cottoned on to the joys of wish lists as a way to ge tthe perfect gift then here are a few tips on how to get around these situations and make them productive instead of destructive:

  1. don’t interrupt – I know this is bad as I do it the whole time, but I do see that it shows little respect for your partner as it suggests that your point is more important than theirs….which it might be, but patience is the key! unless talking to your children of course (only kidding).
  2. try to stay calm as rising levels of aggression or accusation really don’t HELP!
  3. try to focus on how things make you feel rather than on their behaviour, so instead of “you always buy me kitchen utensils” perhaps “all these kitchen utensils just make me feel like my place (not plaice – could be misleading) is in the kitchen”
  4. use your body langauge well, so look them in the eye (not constantly, obviously as that could be interpreted as a bit psycho) and make sure that your body is turned to them (unless you are in the car…and driving…. of course).

But best of all, suggest they set up a wish list as then everyone will be happy and you can revel in their gratitude.

Do we really need everything we buy?

baby wipes warmer

Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer

Having recently been talked out of buying a Spiraliser by a good friend who insisted that, after the first few “experiments” with it, it had been consigned to the same cupboard as the bread maker, ham slicer, and ice cream maker, I began thinking how many things on our wish lists were actually necessary.

This is a particularly sobering thought if you are setting up a list, say a baby shower list, where other people will be buying, or contributing to, your aspirational must haves.

So, a few tips on what you may find you don’t really need:

    1. a changing table – far better to use/ get a pretty dresser with a mat on top and plenty of room for wipes and nappies. It won’t be long until your baby will be on the move ….. with you on his/her tail for that opportunistic nappy change.
    2. wipes warmer – see pic – need I say more?
    3. baby blankets – yes, I know they are very appealing but soon they won’t be big enough! Maybe get a bigger one that can double as a fab scarf for the deserving mum…as you ARE worth it!
    4. baby shoes – photo opportunity if you are a Kardashian possibly, but of no practical use for a baby who isn’t yet walking, especially as there are so many gorgeous baby booties and socks, why would you?
    5. bassinet – I admit that I had one of these for my first born, but only really as I was renting at the time and really felt the urge to decorate something so went to town on sewing all the bassinet bedding. But again, the baby will soon be too big for it, and it’s just not practical for shopping or driving around with.

I’m sure that those of you compiling lists would have something to say about this – what are the essentials and what are not? Maybe we could save fellow listers some money here.

Get what you want not what you need – really?

I saw this written in a shop window today, hot on the heels of having watched the Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall’s War on Waste programme on TV last night and am beginning to feIMG_0570el a bit conflicted in the run up to Christmas.

I completely get that people who work hard like to buy themselves a treat every now and then, and that what you need is often not seen in that light.

I suppose that’s fine as long as it’s something you will treasure for a long time and in due course recycle appropriately……but then you are entitled to your own opinion…or are you, when the world is suffering from an excess of over supply and waste.

All I feel absolutely sure of is that you should certainly be buying other people what they want and need, ideally by using a wish list, as that is one waste that you definitely don’t have to incur. The whatidlove site exists to help you do this but we will be happy however you achieve it #waronwaste

Charitable donations can be part of your wish list

great ormond street, charity, donationAs you add things to your list, don’t forget that you can always put donations to charities on there – as many as you like, for as many charities as you like.

Simply copy and paste the donations page onto your wishlist using the window shopper, as you would for any other item you are adding to a list.

You can add as many charities as you like – simply list a target amount, and for quantity, as many donations as you’d like at that amount, and then share your list.

We see lots of lists which have nothing but charitable donations on them which really makes our day and reaffirms our faith in humanity – you guys!


Top of my wish list – classic style with a touch of James Bond

Jigsaw Dovima evening jacket £229 and trousers £120

Jigsaw Dovima evening jacket £229 and trousers £120

If, like me, you are forever looking for that killer outfit, but have ideas way above your budget, this Jigsaw suit is brilliant.

You can wear the trousers to work, with that Gillian Anderson silk shirt you bought a while ago, or something crisp and white, and possibly some leather skate shoes….or put the jacket over any evening outfit to vamp it up…..but the best look of all, I think is the suit worn as ….. a suit.

Beautiful and useful it is (as Yoda would say) so a big favourite with our no-waste ethos, but it is also a classic that will never go out of style and therefore represents a great buy.

I for one will be putting it on my Christmas wish list for contributions from friends and family who want to see me step out of my shell suit for a change…not really…but maybe.

Vegetables anyone … for your bouquet that is!

This from the Telegraph 

wedding bouquet

Well, I suppose there would be no waste as you could whip up a heart warming soup while the bride changes into her going away outfit….and whatidlove is a big fan of no waste.

Of course, that is only if the person who caught the bouquet was prepared to part with it.

For me, holding a bunch of cabbage would not replace a good squirt of Chanel No. 5 as a crowd pleaser, but feel that with a bit of creative flair this might just work, and certainly be an original touch.

Herbs, on the other hand, as with flowers, have special meeanings so perhaps a combo of thyme (courage) with lavender (undying love and devotion)…..but beware of a multitude of meanings. Juniper for example is probably best confined to a trusty gin and tonic.