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Linen and why we love it

Contrary to popular belief, a Tasmanian summer can get warm, occasionally-dare we say - hot! In the midst of a beautiful and somewhat warm Tasmanian summer, we thought we'd share some facts about a favourite summer fabric of ours: linen.

Linen is a natural fibre made from the flax plant. Cultivation of flax requires less pesticides and water than cotton and also fares better in terms of water toxicity, making its production relatively eco-friendly.


Linen a very resilient fibre and is stronger than cotton. It also looks great on and being anti-static and anti-cling, sits away from the body and drapes beautifully.

Linen is an air permeable fibre that quickly wicks and evaporates moisture, acting as your body's own personal cooling system. This is why it's a great fibre to wear in summer. In fact, this fibre is so absorbent that it can soak up to 20% of its weight in moisture before feeling damp or wet! And did we mention that linen is also hypo-allergenic? 


Yes, we love linen here at ecoHaven and hope you do too!

 


Information sourced from:
https://texeresilk.com/article/benefits-of-linen
https://www.linenme.com/news/benefits-of-wearing-linen-clothes-in-summer/
worldlinen.com/eco-friendly/
envormation.org/environmental-footprint-of-clothes-and-comparison-of-cotton-and-linen-flax-fabric/

ecoHaven's Christmas gift guide part 4: gifts for your best friend, sister, or maybe yourself!

Officially at the pointy end of Christmas present buying, it's nice to leave the best to last. Today we've complied a list of beautiful, ethical and sustainable gifts for your best friend, for your sister or maybe a cheeky present to yourself? I'm sure you've earned it!

Cloth and Co. Scarves

Silk and cotton blend pom pom scarf by Cloth & Co - sustainable ethical luxury
Cloth and Co are a new label for us and we are very excited to have a small collection of their summer-weight scarves in store. Cloth and Co. partner with women's cooperatives and rural artisan communities to handcraft the most gorgeous pieces, all made from natural fibres. From their gorgeous linen scarves to an amazing blend of cashmere, Merino and silk hand-dyed ombré scarves, you really can't go wrong.

2. Temono Hand Bag

Hand crafted leather bags by temono
Made in Melbourne from ethically sourced kangaroo leather, Temono make the most perfect hand bags. Many of the staff here actually own one! In our opinion, Temono make handbags that are the perfect size, sits beautifully on the body, doesn't wear out, has the right amount of pockets and looks so gorgeous! 


3. Serena Rosevear Ceramics


Serena Rosevear makes gorgeous ceramics from her studio in Launceston. We just received a collection of her beautiful pourers, in different sizes and three colour ways.

4. Mia Fratino Wrap


Mia Fratino makes the most beautiful cashmere pieces and her wraps are especially gorgeous. So easy to wear, this is a piece that looks great on everyone and can be styled in so many ways.

5. Little Lari Earrings

Recycled stirling silver jewellery, hand made in Tasmania
Lari makes beautiful, unique earrings in her studio in Salamanca. Hand made from recycled sterling silver and reclaimed vintage kimono silk, Lari's earrings are loved by locals and tourists alike and she's developed a bit of a cult following here in Hobart. 

We hope we've helped a little bit with your Christmas present ideas. From all the staff at ecoHaven, we wish you and you family a wonderful Christmas and joyful new year.

ecoHaven Christmas gift guide part 3: the dreaded Secret Santa present

Instilling fear into many, the yearly Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gift hunt can be a painful way of reminding us how much we don't know our co-workers. This present is often chosen last minute, over-budget and with a pang of frustration. To end the yearly cycle of Secret Santa regret, we've picked out 5 budget-friendly gifts that almost anyone would love.

1. Bahen and Co. Chocolate

Bahen and Co chocolate at ecoHaven
Almost everyone loves chocolate and this chocolate is extra special. Bahen and Co use honourably sourced cocoa and choose to roast, stone-grind and make their chocolate in small batches in Margaret River, using vintage machines (a bit fancy). Oh, and did we mention the beautiful wrapping paper? This chocolate is also vegan and gluten free, making it an easy, safe and delicious gift.

2. Mokosh Soap


Another gorgeous brand made in Western Australia, Mokosh make amazing, 100% certified organic skincare. Their soaps are luxurious and very special, handmade from coconut and cacao butter and scented with ingredients including rose geranium and sandalwood. Divine! With their organic credentials, exceptional quality and beautiful packaging, Mokosh soap makes a great gift.

3. Wingnut and Co. Cylinder


Have you spotted our collection of Wingnut and Co. handmade ceramics in the window? These beautiful ceramics make great gifts, especially the teeny weeny XS cylinder, perfect for sitting proudly on a shelf and popping a couple of little flowers in.

 

4. Myrtle and Moss Essential Oil Diffusers


Myrtle and Moss are known for their fresh, floral and citrus scented skincare, but did you know they'd make reed diffusers too? Yay! Coming in their well-known, delectable fragrances, the reed diffusers make a great gift for almost anyone.

5. EcoHaven Gift Voucher


When all else fails, give your Secret Santa the gift of choice! No price too big or small, gift vouchers take the pressure off and lets your Secret Santa shop for what they really want at their leisure.

We hope we've helped you out with your Secret Santa conundrum. Next week we'll share our final gift guide: Christmas present ideas for your sister, best friend, or maybe a cheeky Christmas present to yourself!

ecoHaven Christmas gift guide part 2: gifts for young women

This one's for all your wonderful daughters, nieces and all those gorgeous, young women in your life. Young women can sometimes be a bit tricky to shop for, but can also be really fun to shop for too! At ecoHaven, we've got a nice little collection of fun and colourful gifts, that also happen to be beautiful, ethically sourced and sustainable.

1. Kester Black Nail Polish

Kester Black nail polish are amazing quality. Not only are the nail polishes made in Australia, but they are also 10-free, which means they don't contain any camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, DBP, xylene, formaldehyde resin, parabens, phthalates, frangrances, animal derived or tested ingredients. Phew! With a collection of fun colours and names like 'Cherry Pie', 'Buttercream' and 'Gold Digger', they're hard to resist.

2. Adventure Pants


Adventure Pants, aka the fun leggings make an excellent gift for the young and the young at heart. Made and screen printed in Melbourne, Adventure Pants are known for their fun colours, quirky prints and excellent quality.

3. One Seed Perfume

If someone asked me a couple of years ago if I could name a beautifully scented, 100% naturally fragranced, vegan, cruelty-free perfume that is also made in Australia, you might as well have asked me if I could find you a unicorn! Then I found One Seed, who make the seemingly impossible, so very possible and amazingly scented too! We know that perfume can be a very personal choice, which is why we've stocked up on some sample packs (pictured) containing 7 fragrances from the collection so that she can sample and choose her favourite scent at leisure. 

4. Kowtow Clothing


 Kowtow are known for making gorgeous, flow-y and unique pieces in fair trade organic cotton. The painterly and fun Frank top is especially gorgeous and looks good on pretty much everyone, especially that gorgeous, young lady in your life.

5. Mabel Jewellery

Jewellery makes an easy yet thoughtful gift and (in my experience anyway), is well received. Made in Hobart from reclaimed wood and Eco resin, Mabel make unique, bold and easy-to-wear earrings, cuffs, bracelets and rings. Yay!

ecoHaven Christmas gift guide part 1: gifts for men

Christmas Shopping. Those two words can bring the usually cool, calm and collected people in our lives to an audible, red-faced, sweaty-palmed panic; but it doesn't have to be that way!
To make it as easy as possible for you to find beautiful, sustainable and (not to mention) thoughtful gifts for the special people in your life, we thought we'd share our favourite ecoHaven gift ideas in a 4-part blog series, starting with gifts for men.

Men can be difficult to buy for. Is it just me, or are the men in your life more unhelpful when it comes to Christmas gift ideas? My mother and sister will give gift suggestions or put off purchasing something they want  so that someone can get it for them, but this concept seems lost on many men in my life, who just shrug their shoulders and mumble something about not caring, which is so unhelpful! I shouldn't be so quick to judge, I'm sure there are men out there who 'get' Christmas shopping, I just don't happen to know many of them.

1. Conscious  Step Socks 

The age-old "I don't know what to get him, so I'll get him socks" cliche is not lost on us, but seriously, who would be disappointed with Conscious Step socks? Made from fair trade organic cotton, Conscious Step donate a fixed amount with each pair of socks purchased to fund charitable organisations.

2. Untouched World Linen Shirt

 Does he need a new shirt? We have a really lovely linen shirt by Untouched World in store that is casual enough for weekend wear, but could easily be dressed up for workwear too.

3. Hunter Lab Skincare 

Whether he likes a bit of pampering, or just has a few wrinkles creeping in (hint, hint), Hunter Lab has some great Australian made skincare products for men. The Daily Face Fuel is our favourite, a fast absorbing moisturiser lightly scented with passion fruit, but seriously, all their products are great!

4. Smitten Merino

Does the man in your life like supporting local companies? Is he sporty, or does he enjoy wearing good-quality, comfortable clothing? If you answered yes to any of these questions then maybe it's worth giving Smitten a look in. Smitten are known for their Tasmanian made superfine merino wool, which is durable, thermoregulating and just so soft and comfortable on. We have some great men's Smitten tops and accessories for casual and active wear, which I'm sure he'll be more than pleased with. 


5. Graine Leather Goods

Our new leather stockist Graine make timeless leather goods. Beautifully designed and handcrafted in Melbourne using sturdy Australian leathers, I don't know of many guys who could turn down a Graine business case or weekender bag.

We hope we've inspired you with Christmas present suggestions for those tricky men in your life!


Next on the blog: presents for your daughter, your niece and all those gorgeous, young women in your life.

Instagram inspiration: ecoHaven's favourite insta accounts to follow

Oh Instagram, what a beautiful time waster you are! Definitely our favourite form of social media at ecoHaven, we've discovered many inspiring photographs and new stockists through Instagram.
Here are ecoHaven's top 7 accounts to follow:

Discover Tasmania
@tasmania

With over 300,000 followers, chances are you're already following them!
This Instagram account showcases beautiful images from around Tasmania and is loved by locals and tourists alike. On rainy, grey days it's nice to be reminded about our gorgeous state.

Shift
@shift_style
As well as publishing an insightful blog about eco fashion and conscious consumerism, Ash from Shift delivers us a delicious, daily dose of sustainable fashion via Instagram, and we couldn't be more delighted. Shift provides a platform for sustainable brands to shine, reminding us that sustainable fashion can also be stunning and that a shift in our thinking and purchasing is important if we want to make a change. Definitely worth a search.

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
@bonorongwildlifesanctuary

Cuteness overload! Bonorong post pictures of gorgeous native rescue animals which tug on the heart strings. A good 3 minutes on their Instagram feed boosts my mood, reinstates my trust in the goodness of humanity and leaves me feeling all goo-y and love-y inside - not to mention equipped with a few fun animal facts! Go on, have a squiz.


Provenance Growers
@provenancegrowers
With gorgeous photos of mostly-edible plants, Paulette from Provenance Growers provides a beautiful and very personal insight into the bounty, joy and sometimes heartache of growing food. You can tell there is so much hard work and passion behind these photos, proving limitless knowledge and inspiration for their extended family of Instagram followers.

Lisa Kingston
@lisakingstonflowers

Lisa's gorgeous Instagram feed contains snaps of her beautiful, sustainable flower farm in Margate, the stunning arrangements she creates for local businesses and events, and of course, her amazing flowers! She has a stall at Salamanca Market, a firm favourite of ecoHaven when we need to give the store (or ourselves) a bit of tlc.

Sustainability In Style
@sustainabilityinstyle
Katie Roberts from Sustainability in Style is a pretty amazing individual. She's an ex-fashion environmental scientist with a major in sustainability, currently studying her masters with an e-book on the way! Her feed feels very personal - which is why we love it - and is full of insight, tips to living a more sustainable life, her eco style finds and a good dose of her own struggles and triumphs of living sustainably.


ecoHaven
@ecohaven

We know we're tooting our own horn a bit, but this shop is our pride and joy.
We love our stockists, we love sustainable fashion, our customers, our boutique and our beautiful Tasmania. We hope some of that love rubs off on our Instagram feed.

One last thing: We also love to follow the journey of our amazing stockists on Instagram, who work hard to create sustainable fashion and natural products for us. We'd love to add you to the list, but that would create a VERY long list, much longer than anyone wants to read.

Our 5 favourite dresses for Spring (that also work for year-round wear)

Here at ecoHaven, we love a good dress. A dress is probably the most versatile piece you can have in your wardrobe. We love how they can be worn to work, dressed up with heels and jewellery for a wedding or dressed down with a sun hat and comfy sandals for weekend wear too! Dresses are also great for year-round dressing, just add leggings, a long sleeve top, a cardigan and scarf for winter.

Here are our 5 favourite dresses in store at the moment, loved for their comfort, flattering fit and versatility:

 

 

The Gently Unfurling Sneak Tri-layer Dress


This dress is a little bit special and feels like a minimal, modern take on the flapper dress. The Tri-Layer dress can easily be dressed up for evening wear and has just enough swish for dancing.


Untouched World Linen Shift Dress


A gorgeous little shift dress, this one sits just above the knees on most people (the model is very tall!), with lightly textural linen in that perfect shade of blue that goes with practically anything.
Being a true shift dress, this piece looks amazing on almost any shape and layers beautifully for year-round dressing.

Smitten Audrey Dress


The Audrey dress is also another beautiful and super-comfy merino dress from Tasmanian brand Smitten. With its 3/4 sleeves and shift shape, it looks gorgeous on almost every body, making it a favourite amongst staff and customers alike.

Kowtow Road Trip Dress


We've named this piece the chameleon of the dress world as it can be worn in so many ways. The dress can be worn with or without the tie, worn cinched in, tied at the back or open for a relaxed tent style, which makes it a perfect maternity dress. If that wasn't enough, the dress is also reversible! What can't this dress do?

 

Smitten Boat Neck Maxi


The boat neck maxi is a firm favourite of ours and transforms the wearer into a more elegant version of themselves. This dress now comes in three more colours: black, storm teal and a black and grey stripe. This is an excellent dress for summer, but looks just as great with boots and a cardigan for winter and made from merino, it's sure to keep you feeling cool in summer and warm in winter.

 

We hope you like our picks for dresses this Spring!

5 Family Friendly Spring Activities in Hobart – School Holidays


With the school holidays fast approaching and the weather getting warmer in Hobart, we thought we’d put together some fun outdoor activities to keep the family entertained.

1. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Spring has sprung and this very special wildlife park is booming with native baby animals. Bring the family, learn about our native animals, hop around with the kangaroos and see if you can spot some baby Tasmanian Devils in their nest. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary operates Tasmania’s wildlife rescue service, so any support you can give helps to rescue and rehabilitate as many Tasmanian native animals as possible.

2. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

With the weather tempting us outside and Spring bulbs bursting with colourful flowers, there’s no better time to pack a picnic and spend the day at the Royal Botanical Gardens. With an array of beautiful gardens to explore and wide open spaces for the kids to run wild, the Botanic Gardens have enough to keep the whole family happy.

3. Bush Adventures

The City of Hobart Bush Adventures program has lots of fun activities for children and adults to get to know the bushland areas around Hobart, as well as learn about the critters that call these places home. From expeditions and activities lead by Flora the Explorer to breakfast with the birds, there’s a Bush Adventure to suit everyone.

4. Pipeline Track

Take your family for a walk along the Pipeline Track and feel the city disappear behind you. We love finishing off our walk with a barbecue at the Waterworks Reserve.

5. Rektango

For an evening activity, bring your family to Rektango in the Salamanca Arts Centre courtyard on a Friday afternoon between 5.30 and 7.30pm to have a boogie to some local bands. There’s also drinks to keep the adults happy too, just make sure you bring a warm jacket and your dancing shoes.

A chat with local jewellery designer Little Lari

Hobart jewellery Little Lari
Nestled in a boat yard in Hobart's historic Battery Point, it is pretty obvious why Larissa Kemp, the force behind jewellery label Little Lari, has chosen this spot for her studio. It's a small creative hub of designers and makers settled on the banks of the Derwent River with what is arguably the most stunning scenery Hobart has to offer.
I popped in for a cuppa and a chat with Larissa about her work and inspiration.
What is your background and what studies have you undertaken for your jewellery making? 
I was lucky enough to go to high school in New Zealand, where we learnt how to do traditional bone carving. This was the start of my love of jewellery making.
I moved to Hobart about 14 years ago and found an art and craft design course at TasTAFE with a major in jewellery.
Local jeweller Little Lari
Can you tell us about the materials you use in creating your jewellery?
I mainly use sterling silver. All of the metal I use is recycled - this is really important to me, as getting metal out of the ground has such a negative environmental impact.
I also use vintage kimono silk that I stitch inside earrings and brooches. This helps to satisfy my love of colour.
Jeweller Little Lari working with recycled sterling silver
We particularly love your simple design aesthetic, which creates such timeless pieces. Can you tell us where your inspiration comes from? 
That's a tricky question. Sometimes my inspiration comes from something I've seen in nature; sometimes it is as simple as playing around with leftover materials and seeing what can come of the scrap; and other times it's an exercise. The Nest Brooch was born out of me trying to make something asymmetrical. I naturally lean towards symmetry and my muscle memory also kicks in, and my hands will make the same turns with the pliers and the metal. I end up repeating the same shape again and again. So I have to close my eyes and think of something else so that each piece will turn out differently.
We have seen you release a new range of jewellery this year, using bonded silver and copper, which is quite different to your other styles. Are there any other new projects on the horizon for Little Lari
I hope so!! Give me an extra day in the week, and I'll see what I can come up with! I have loads of ideas tumbling around in my brain - it's just a matter of having the time to get them out. They do come out eventually! 
Little Lari Paper Fold Earrings - bonded copper and sterling silver

Buy Less, Buy Better

"Buy less, but buy better" is a phrase that has been doing the rounds of the internet in the past few months, and a concept that we completely agree with.

A couple of generations ago, well made clothing was the norm and it was expected that any new clothing item would be made to last and often sewn by hand. However, this is no longer the case, with the majority of garments being made in overseas factories from inexpensive and poor-quality fabrics, with underpaid workers in the industry suffering mistreatment (weigo.org). As well as the price and standard of clothing decreasing, our volume of purchase is increasing at an alarming rate.

Many garments are purchased with the intention of only wearing the item a few times. In fact, a recent British study by Bernado's found that the average women's garment is worn only 7 times! But why? And what can we do to combat this problem, which is not only putting more waste into our landfill (an amazing article by Luz Claudio 'Waste Couture' goes into depth about this), but is also fuelling an industry that under-pays and mistreats its workers (weigo.org).

 

Eco-fashion advocate Livia Firth believes "...we need to buy clothes that we love. Clothes that will sustain our wardrobe for years to come" and we couldn't agree more. A tip she gives is to ask ourselves if we can commit to wearing a garment at least 30 times. If not, why not? If you can't commit to wearing an item this many times, then what is the point of purchasing it? Firth's insight begs us to stop and think about our fashion purchases.

In this throw-away society, where a t-shirt can cost less than lunch, we're becoming more detached from our possessions. Shopping has become a mindless impulse rather than a treat. Let's make shopping special again! By consuming fashion mindfully - by purchasing with real thought and intent, questioning the item's origins, quality and by questioning our own needs before purchasing, not only will we make more thoughtful and wise decisions, I also believe that we can rekindle the joy of finding 'the perfect piece'.

With sales galore, Spring fashion just around the corner (scary, I know) and marketing campaigns tempting us in, it is hard to stay strong, but I promise that if we all commit to buying less but buying better,we'll all be happier about our purchases and love our new clothes even more.

 

 

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