• Zoe

The Make and Create Conscious Christmas Gift Guide 2020



It's HEEEERE! I've been working on this bad boy for weeks - and I've got some AMAZING brands to share with you - to inspire you to shop small and shop ethically this Christmas. All the brands included in my guide are trying their very best to tread lightly on Mother Earth as they run their business, and they are kicking ass while they do it. And best of all - they are all led by WOMEN.


Pssst - head over to my Instagram account here to find out how you can WIN YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING from this lovely lot. Yep - you read that right. Your WHOLE Christmas shopping. Done. Tick. And all from ethical brands. Whaddaya waiting for?! GO GO GO!



So without further ado - here is my Conscious Christmas Gift Guide!


1.CharKnots: @charknots https://www.casaethica.com/vendor/charknots/



First up in my conscious Christmas gift guide is the wonderful @charknots - who makes the most gorgeous macramé creations using recycled cotton twine. Charlotte sells her wares via @casaethica which is a new online marketplace that focuses on selling products by ethical brands who's values are rooted in creativity and inventiveness without harming Mother Earth.

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Here's what Charlotte has to say about her business:


"CharKnots is a brand born out of a love of sustainability, houseplants, and playing with colour. I had made macrame plant hangers as gifts in the past and finally decided to start the brand in the summer of last year. Working with just a spool of rope and my hands is so therapeutic and keeps me inspired to see what I can create next."

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I asked Charlotte about her ethical values and eco-credentials:

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"For all of my pieces, I use 100% recycled cotton rope. I try and create as little waste as possible and utilise waste rope in any way possible by making earrings, or pom poms to add to plant hangers! I use 100% recyclable paper packaging and use plant-based inks for all my branding."

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Charlotte's favourite product to make is her market bags - she finds the whole process meditative and she uses her market bag every day - aren't they beautiful?

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Finally - I asked Charlotte for a random fact about herself - here's what she had to say!

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"I have over 80 houseplants and I've named each one.. 😂" - she sounds like a woman after my own heart - house plant daft, meditative macrame enthusiast - and best of all she makes BOOBS out of macrame - out her amazing booby wall hanging here!

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Charlotte is most definitely 100% Make and Create approved! ✅❤️🙌


2. By Bri Jewellery @bybrijewellery https://www.bybrijewellery.com/shop


Next up we have @bybrijewellery who creates the most beautiful Art Deco inspired jewellery pieces and I. Am. Obsesssssed. Bri is another fellow Casa Ethica seller - an amazing online ethical marketplace I'm part of - which is perfect for a conscious Christmas gift!

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I asked Bri about her business and here's what she had to say:

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"I started Bybri Jewellery in 2017, mainly as an outlet for my own ideas, a chance to play and to become even more passionate about handmade and handcrafted items. I wanted handmade items to be accessible to everyone. Art Deco inspires my work, as do colourful buildings and artists such as Sabine Marcelis."

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Bri has some great eco-credentials too:


"I hand make my items in small batches, using recycled metals as much as possible. I believe this approach combats fast fashion and fleeting trends which produce so much waste.

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I asked Bri what her favourite product to make is:

"I love the process of making my new bracelet, the Bowline Bangle. I love the intricate winding and knotting of the gold wire!"

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I actually watched the video she put up of her making this - and I can see why it's her favourite!

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Lastly, a random fact Bri is that she's currently in the process of making her own wedding rings! What an amazing thing to be able to do!

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I'm in love with Bri's jewellery collection - its simple, geometric elegance at it's finest.


3. Tatty Moo @tatty_moo https://tattymoo.com/


Julia Brown is the hands, body and soul behind @tatty_moo which sticks two fingers up to the fast fashion industry by only using dead-stock fabric, damaged fabric, donated clothing and fabric remnants in her designs.

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I asked Julia about her business - here's what she had to say:

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"I left my fashion career behind me in 2017 after seeing so much textile waste on the streets of Leicester following a factory visit. I'm now taking in dead-stock and unwanted textiles to save them going to landfill.

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Early on in lockdown my parents bought me a laser cutting machine which I've been using to make eco accessories and home decor using sustainably sourced FSC certified timber."

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Julia is constantly inspired by her creative 7 year old son, who loves colour, adventure and nature

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Julia's favourite products to make are reworks and upcycles using her client's old clothing. She loves it because "It's totally personal and unique for them, and a joy to bring new life into their wardrobe."

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And finally - I asked Julia for a weird random fact about herself - here's what she said!

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"The weirdest fact about me is that I lost my last baby tooth when I was pregnant with my son. It had always amazed my dentist that I kept it in such good condition until I was 31. However saying that it fell out as it got stuck on a drumstick lolly 🤣"

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We love Julia's whole business ethos and think she's doing an amazing job.


4. Leim @weareleim https://weareleim.com/


I am SO excited to talk about these guys. Have you ever stood naked in a pub toilet cubicle with your jumpsuit round your ankles wondering why no-one has invented a better way of going to the toilet when wearing a jumpsuit?! Well Leim HAVE INVENTED IT!

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I spoke to Henrietta of Leim to find out a bit more about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I started designing the jumpsuits for Leim in 2018 but only officially launched in Jan 2020. I realised that it was ridiculous that you had to take the whole jumpsuit off when you needed the toilet. I like clothes that are practical but also beautiful, so I decided to do something about the jumpsuit-problem!

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My friends are a constant source of inspiration, as well as the people who buy the jumpsuits. I am also inspired by textures - which can make me imagine how it's going to look.

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I asked Henrietta about Leim's ethical and eco values - here's what she had to say:

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"All the jumpsuits are made in small quantities by myself. I source sustainable fabrics including GOTS-Certified organic cotton and linen. If I can't get organic cotton I choose ones that have been dyed with OEKO-TEX dyes - a sustainability standard which ensures the dyes used aren't harmful. I also try to work with suppliers who have a connection with the mills they get their fabrics from - it's super important to me that my supply chain is ethical."

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Henrietta's favourite product to make is her new style - The Alex ezp Boilersuit - she states:

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"it's quite a complicated pattern so it takes a long time to make - but I also feel the new styles are really 'me'."

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And finally - I asked Henrietta for a random fact about herself:

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"I'm an almost completely self-taught sewer! YouTube has been my very best friend for the past 2 years 😂"

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A self taught sewer smashing it in a much needed practical twist on the jumpsuit. That's our kinda business!


5. Works Beautifully @worksbeautifully https://worksbeautifully.co.uk/

If colourful stationery with something to say is your jam - then look no further than Works Beautifully - whose gorgeously designed ranges have something to SHOUT about mental health, LGBTQ+ pride, veganism, feminism and more.

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In her own word's - Kirsty says her products are for "people who love colour, who want their voice to be heard and who are proud of exactly who they are." And that is something we are TOTALLY down with here at Make and Create HQ. 🙌

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I spoke to Kirsty about her business, and here's what she had to say:

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"I started Works Beautifully in April 2016 while working as an Assistant Manager at a coffee shop. I started by selling digital prints of my illustrations on Etsy. I could have never dreamed that 4 years later I would be illustrating and running a small business full time! In September 2019, I left my employment and went full time with Works Beautifully, which allowed me to create a much better life for myself in terms of my mental and physical health. I was struggling to work full time in my Pre-School management job as I had been diagnosed with Endometriosis and my mental health was suffering as I was in the middle of my infertility journey. So being able to go full time doing something that I really loved, and allowed me to work in a healthy way was amazing!"

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"My work is inspired by colour and giving people a voice. A lot of my work is themed around ‘I Have A Voice’, including LGBTQIA pride, feminism, mental health and veganism. It’s so important to me that people have a voice and the way I can encourage that is to create artwork that people can wear and view that makes them feel proud of who they are."

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"I use fully recyclable packaging and reuse packaging such as bubble wrap that I receive in personal orders. I focus on recycled and recyclable materials in my paper products such as wrapping paper and gift tags, and a lot of my items are made to order so there is no waste."

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We love your business Kirsty! You are smashing it!


6. Studio Ides @studio_ides https://studioides.co.uk/


If there was ever a year that needed jewellery this colourful to exist - it's 2020. Just LOOK at those colours! EYE-GASM!

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The genius behind these designs is Kirsty who runs Studio Ides - she hand makes bold, colourful statement jewellery from polymer clay and resin.

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I asked Kirsty about why she started her business and what inspires her - here's what she said:

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"I started my business almost a year ago as a way to be creative and create things I loved but couldn't find to buy. As well as to fit around my newly extended family - we welcomed our first baby in 2019.

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My background is in Interior Design and I used to work as a Prop Buyer in film & TV. I find inspiration from many places but mostly interior design, architecture, nature and pattern design."

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Having an ethical business is important to Kirsty, and so she ensures that every single piece of clay she buys is used her work meaning there are no waste products from her design process. She makes her creations in small batches or makes to order, ensuring she doesn't have masses of surplus stock. She has also made sure that all her packaging is paper-based and recyclable.

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Her favourite products to make are her new collection inspired by the Northern Lights. She states: "The duo-chrome colour-shift on them is unreal. They are hand-cut and hand-painted using ethical mica powders meaning that every pair of earrings is completely unique!"


We absolutely love the colour popping jewellery that Kirsty makes and think they would make the perfect Christmas gift for the most colourful person in your life!


7. Inspiration Her @inspiration.her https://inspirationher.com/


Inspiration Her is the creation of Gabriele - who makes the most beautiful, boho 14k gold filled jewellery from her home in Lisbon, Portugal.

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I asked Gabriele about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I started Inspiration Her in Spring 2019. I had been making jewellery for myself and for my friends for a few years before that and I really wanted to share my work with the rest of the world. My main inspiration comes from all the different colours, shapes, and forms of natural minerals and crystals."

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Gabrielé is passionate about making her business as sustainable as possible - she is partnered with One Tree Planted so $1 from every order goes towards these guys who plant a tree! Yay trees! 🌳❤️

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Gabriele also had this to say about her work:

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"I believe the most sustainable purchase is the one that will last you for years and years to come, that's why I choose to work with high quality gold-filled. Unlike 24K gold plated jewellery, gold-filled jewellery can last beautifully for a very long time, yet it is still affordable. I make all of the pieces myself and I choose my suppliers very carefully to ensure that everybody in the supply chain is treated and paid fairly."

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I asked Gabriele about her favourite jewellery pieces to make: " I love love love crystals, so any piece of jewellery with a beautiful crystal is a delight to make!"

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Your jewellery is beautiful Gabriele, and so are your eco-conscious values. Amazing!

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Inspiration her ships internationally - so you can still shop for Gabriele's beautiful creations even though she's based in Portugal! Yay!


8. Alice Acreman Silks @alice_acreman_silks https://www.aliceacremansilks.com/


Next up is Alice Acreman Silks - and I can't wait to tell you all about Alice's amazing business. Alice is a fellow Walthamstonian, so it's even more exciting! She makes the dreamiest, sets of silk pyjamas you've ever seen - amongst many other gorgeous creations.

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I spoke to Alice about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I first began way back in 2014 when I printed a very small collection of Silk Scarves but it wasn't until 2017 that it grew from a hobby to a business. After working for a huge fashion brand, I realised I wanted to be able to create more unique designs with environmentally conscious processes. My work is inspired by science, nature, mythology, and travel. I love combining exotic botanicals with pretty British florals and contrasting them with geometric shapes in unusual colour combinations."

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Alice has excellent eco-credentials too:

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"I aim to support charities and environmental issues with my work. I currently donate to Rainforest Foundation UK with all pieces sold in the Enticement collection which illustrates creatures from legendary stories told the native Amazonians. I am also helping to fundraise for several UK based charities this season. I've donated pieces to some fundraising events and profits from my 'Prowl' Vegan Suede Cushion are going to 'Mosiak' who help refugees go to university."

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Alice - we absolutely love your work - it's utterly stunning, you are smashing it girl!💪💥


9. Head and Hands @headandhands_ https://www.headandhands.co.uk/


Next up is Amanda's business Head and Hands. Amanda is another fellow Walthamstow based creative, and we share a lot of similar ideas and values - so it's lovely to be able to include her in this guide. I asked Amanda about her business and what inspires her - here's what she said:

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"I founded Head & Hands in July 2016, inspired by my chronic illness. I wanted to create a welcoming sanctuary selling products and running workshops that explore the art of slowing down and self-care, two of my biggest lessons in looking after my wellness. I'm inspired by nature walks, self-care rituals, handmade creations, beautiful design, earth-kindness, and slow mindful crafts."

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Amanda runs a sustainable business by supporting small-batch indie makers who craft handmade, cruelty-free, and sustainably packaged products with love and good intentions. She sells these both on her online store and in local Walthamstow shop The Everyspace.


I asked Amanda for a weird fact about herself - here's what she had to say!

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"I started rollerskating a year ago, at the ripe age of 31! I was terrified, could barely stand up, let alone roll forwards. Yet I was utterly committed to learning. Most of all I felt determined to push past my negative self-talk about being useless at sports, accident-prone, and fearful and prove that with dedication, I could do it. In spite of falling hard on my coccyx in the first month and being a painfully slow learner, I persevered. It's become my absolute favourite hobby and a surprising part of my self-care, as well as amazing for my mental health and confidence. You can see more @amandino_skates :)"

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We love what you're doing Amanda! Amazing work!


10. Protean London @protean_e17 https://www.proteanlondon.co.uk/

Keeping it in The Stow for this next one too - another E17 smasher!

I spoke to Michelle who owns Protean London about her business and what inspires her - here's what she said:

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"My favourite pastime of shopping in charity shops and London markets such as brick lane and portobello led me to start Protean in 2004. I decided to make a small range of tops and dresses cut from the vintage silk scarves I had collected.

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I supplied a few independent stores before being picked up by both Topshop & Urban Outfitters where I had my own concession for a number of years before burning out and concentrating on being a full time mum.

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After rediscovering my passions I'm now focusing on made-to-order, sustainable, luxury hair accessories and silk sleep masks. I'm inspired by vintage, unique, and forgotten prints, the 1970s, and Biba."

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Michelle keeps her business sustainable by creating slow fashion, handcrafted pieces made in London by really experienced seamstresses who love what they do. She only uses vintage, 2nd hand or deadstock fabric in her work.

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Michelle's favourite products in her range are her silk sleep masks. She feels the small-sized scale of them really highlights the prints and the fact that they are reversible means that they always come out slightly different each time offering a nice surprise!

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Such gorgeous products! Love!

11. Sugar Storm Studio @sugarstormstudio https://sugarstormstudio.com/links/


Next up we have Sugar Storm Studio which is run by the simply lovely Charlotte. Charlotte makes her own range of kick-ass clothing and accessories

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I spoke to Charlotte about her business - here's what she had to say:

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"I started Sugar Storm Studio in 2017 after finding myself bored and uninspired by fashion, and unable to express myself freely. I wanted to create a business that celebrates individuality, self-expression and having fun with fashion and creativity. I am always inspired by people living unapologetically and being themselves in the world. My illustrations and designs are inspired by alternative music and style, tattoos and DIY fashion."

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Charlotte also told us how she keeps her business sustainable and ethical:

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"Sugar Storm is plastic-free, the clothing is made almost exclusively from organic cotton, and I only work with products and companies that share my values and who are transparent about their processes, materials and working environments."

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I asked Charlotte about her favourite product to make:

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"I love screen printing, so I think the screen printed t-shirts are my favourite to make. It's a very satisfying process and I love seeing the products come to life step by step."

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Your designs are brilliant Charlotte! We love the energy you're putting out into the world, and love that you are trying to tread carefully on Mother Earth whilst you do it. Top work! 🙌


12. Mythn @mythynofficial https://mythyn.com/links


Look at those dreamy pictures....aren't they just begging you to take a relaxing bath? Our next brand in the gift guide is Mythyn who make botanical bath, body and homeware products.

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I spoke to Mathilde who owns Mythyn about her business and what inspires her:

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"I started because my very sensitive skin was giving me no end of trouble while using mainstream beauty products, and when I tried to find kind to sensitive skin alternatives they were made from little or nothing natural. I'm inspired by nature and the seasons. Transitions are amazing reminders to take stock and enjoy each and every day.

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Everything we create is natural, cruelty-free and ethically sourced. We aim to create guilt-free mindful experiences that feel truly enjoyable.


My favourite products to make are our soap bars because there is something magical about how all the ingredients synergize together to create both a practical and highly enjoyable product to use."


Gorgeous products - absolutely beautiful.


13. The Add Oil Mama @theaddoilmama https://theaddoilmama.com/


Next up we have @theaddoilmama, run by Ellen who makes her own rollerball essential oil blends.

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I asked Ellen about her business - here's what she had to say:

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"I started my business in 2018 when I moved to Northern Ireland from New Zealand. I started teaching workshops on essential oils in my local area. This year in July, I launched an online store with my own handmade essential oil roller blends. I love learning and sharing what I've learned (I'm a piano teacher too!). It was natural for me to share my own wellbeing journey with people in my community."

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"I love opening a bottle of essential oil and smelling its scent. It can bring back a memory or allow me to feel a positive emotion. I studied the different plants and started to blend different essential oils. I now have 3 different collections of essential oil roller blends available in my store."

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I spoke to Ellen about her eco-credentials - here's what she said:

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"I'm big about reducing harsh toxins in products - skincare, beauty, household, fragrance. It's better for us and for the planet. We use 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils (no synthetic fillers) in our roller blends and teach the importance of safety when using essential oils."

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Ellen's favourite product to make is The Mama Collection essential oil blends. As she hopes these blends will provide support to mothers as they did for her during her own pregnancies.

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Lovely stuff. Thanks for talking to us about your business Ellen!


14. I Self Care @iselfcare_uk https://www.iselfcare.co.uk/


Next up we have @Iiselfcare_uk which is run by Jess. Jess makes beautiful scrunchies and sleep masks which are all hand-dyed using natural plant dyes sourced from her own garden. She also has a gorgeous range of hand made candles and soaps.

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I spoke to Jess about her business and how it all began - here's what she had to say:

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"I Self Care was launched in October 2020, but actually started back in 2015 when I was asked in a therapy session what my self-care for the weekend was going to be. I was really upset by this question as it highlighted how disconnected I was from my self. From that session onwards I have been on a self-exploration and inner healing journey. The two have coincided beautifully.

I'm constantly inspired and motivated by nature, following the seasons and creating work alongside the seasons is my favorite part of the business."

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I spoke to Jess about how she keeps her business sustainable - and here's what she said:

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"I decided very early on that I would rather not start a business if it was to have a negative impact on our planet. We have an abundance of lovely "stuff" on earth that people can buy. I would never be comfortable simply adding to landfill. Instead, I create sustainable, easily biodegradable products, 100% plant-derived and with a function (mainly to support rest and to make you comfortable, two of my favorite things)"

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"I absolutely love dyeing the fabrics. It's a great healer and connector for my inner child. I was very creative as a kid, and always dreamed of having a house full of creative paraphernalia and being immersed in projects, and that's exactly how it is. Creating new hues and testing new extraction methods is so exciting."

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Wow. What a beautiful, sustainable and ethical way to run a business. And we are ALL about encouraging self-care here at Make and Create - so I really love what you are doing Jess.


15. Ashleigh Brown Studio. @ashleighbrownstudio https://www.casaethica.com/vendor/ashleigh-brown-studio/


Next up is @ashleighbrownstudio who makes gorgeous quirky and colourful stationery and gifts. I spoke to Ashleigh about her business and here's what she had to say:

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"I started my business last Christmas after struggling to go back to work due to ill health. I needed the flexibility of working at home. I'm inspired by everything colourful, vintage advertising and illustration, and people who use unusual materials within their work."

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Ashleigh tries to work as sustainably as possible within her business:

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"I made the decision to print to order with the bulk of my paper goods because I didn't want to have lots of waste or dead stock at the end of each season. This means that I only use the ink and paper required for each order instead of buying bulk in each design. Working with paper is important as it's all recyclable too. My packaging is paper and I'm working on becoming completely plastic free. My favourite products to make are my cut out cards because I get to make them by hand and it's something I find quite cathartic."

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We loved hearing about your business Ashleigh! Gorgeous work.


16. Callie Pettigrew Stylist @callipettigrewstylist https://www.calliepettigrew.com/


Next up we have @calliepettigrewstylist who designs her own range of eco-friendly event stationery and prints.

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I spoke to Callie about her business - here's what she had to say:

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"I started my business last year (2019) after years working in the events industry as I wanted to work on projects that inspired and excited me! I designed these prints & postcards as a pivot in the first lockdown, when the events industry shut down! I really do take my inspiration from everything around me! That can be from interiors and design, to architecture, places I’ve travelled, fashion, print & illustration. It’s what keeps my ideas fresh!"

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Here's what Callie had to say on championing sustainability as a small business:

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"It's SO incredibly important for us as businesses to do what we can to change our habits around sustainability. All of my event stationery and products are made using 100% recycled paper stock, as is all of my packaging, and all my Christmas workshops have a focus on sustainability and repurposing materials/reducing waste around the festive period."

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Great work Callie!


17. North Lane Crafts @northlanecrafts https://www.casaethica.com/vendor/north-lane-crafts/ https://www.casaethica.com/vendor/north-lane-crafts/


What a year, eh?! But thank fuck for people like North Lane Crafts who are making living in a pandemic SO chic darling. I spoke to Jane who runs North Lane Crafts about her business - here's what she said:

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"I started my online business this summer. North Lane Crafts has been born out of a love of fabric and a passion for reducing waste. I had plans for my business long before face masks and COVID19 were part of our vocabulary, yet lockdown gave me the push I needed to get up and running."

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"I love textiles and being in London with so many opportunities to see exhibits and exhibitions feeds my creative juices. This year, I made a shift, looking inward, and thinking about what is important to me. In March, I started to photograph the disposable masks I found almost daily, discarded in the street. That really pushed me to make my masks more readily available."

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"It is my mission to use only sustainable fabrics sourced from deadstock, vintage, and textile waste. I also love creating my own fabric through upcycling vintage clothing and natural dye processes. I also donate a portion of the profits of North Lane Crafts to a charity called “Global Girl Project” which mobilizes young women across the globe to become leaders and initiate and implement social change within their communities."

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" I love piecing together designs from small remnants. The first few masks I made were from beautiful fabrics I had saved not knowing what I would do with them. I cut fabric to maximise the use of the material and make unique designs."

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