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Paper Saver Peppermint magazine

Two hundred and thirty kilograms – if you’re anything like the average Australian (computer converts included), that’s the total weight of paper you’re likely to consume this calender year. Sick of seeing mountains of the stuff binned in his own workplace, Melbourne architect Jon Yong had a cracker of an idea to help office types and creative folk reuse their white waste in an elegant, practical fashion. The Paper Saver may look like a regular notebook on the outside, but it’s what’s inside – or rather, what’s not inside – that counts. Its simple synthetic-leather case can snugly fit up to 50 leafs, but without a single page pre-inserted, it’s up to you to rummage in the recycling bin and find your fill. Lined, gridded, blank or coloured: if one side is plain, you can use it again. And when you’ve exhausted your supply, simply remove and recycle your notebook’s insides then find a new stack to reuse. Rescuing paper that would otherwise have been binned too early, the Paper Saver proudly proclaims to be ‘the last notebook you’ll ever need’.

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David Jones goes ethical. Image via Germaine Leong

Walking into a busy department store and finding yourself surrounded with nothing but ethical products sounds like a distant dream. But what if your local mall became the next ‘it’ destination for conscious shopping? If David Jones gets its way, all 39 of its retail branches will soon be one-stop shops for brands who demonstrate a commitment to workers’ rights and responsible environmental practices. Last week, CEO Ian Nairn told the Sydney Morning Herald about DJs’ ambitious new plan to fill its racks and shelves with nothing but “sustainable, environmentally friendly, and child and slave-labour free” items. It’s certainly an admirable vision, but is it an achievable target? {continue reading…}

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Bag yourself a gorgeous Coconsa bag made from leather and authentic African fabrics, and you’ll be the talk of the town! ‘Coconsa’ is also the Ghanaian word for gossip, and the word on the street is that this up-and-coming luxury accessories label is setting some serious style trends (and if you’ve picked up a copy of our current issue, #25, you’ll have spotted Coconsa in our Limelight section). Founded by three sisters, Coconsa not only produces quality pieces that are designed in Australia and made in Ghana, but gives a percentage of its profits to charities that support disadvantaged women in both countries. We’ve got one of their gorgeous ‘Bella Roma’ handbags bags to give away, made from 100% genuine leather and African fabrics and valued at $200 – to enter, just comment on this post by 4pm AEST next Monday 25 May and tell us what handbag essential you can’t live without.



Fair Fashion Installation Hey there, Melbourne fashion mavens – make sure you get yourselves along to the Fracture Gallery at Federation Square this week to check out the Fair Fashion Installation. This fun and inventive display involves a series of mannequins that have been dressed by Melbourne-based fair trade and/or ethical fashion designers, and the line-up of labels is pretty formidable: there’s work by Bhalo, Kowtow, Otto & Spike, Etiko, Jane Heng, Seven Women and The Social Studio. Every garment on display is accompanied by details about its production process and makers, and the installation is designed to demonstrate the importance of supporting fair trade and ethical fashion brands. The event is on until this Friday 22 May, so catch it while you can – first in, best dressed!

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Butterfly Foundation

One of the most insidious issues affecting people from all walks of life, eating disorders are the deadliest of all psychiatric illnesses. With more than 1 million Australians having suffered from an eating disorder in 2014, it’s a problem that seems at once too big and too personal to tackle. But there are things we can do as a community to celebrate diversity and take a stand against body shaming. The annual Don’t DIS My Appearance appeal raises precious funds for The Butterfly Foundation by urging us to shake off negative stereotypes and give bad body image the flick. There is a fresh crop of famous faces fronting this year’s TV campaign, including Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Brooke Satchwell and artist Ken Done, but the movement relies on people power to spread its core message. Celebrate your own colourful character by painting your middle fingernail – a small gesture that’s designed to spark conversation with peers and strangers alike. Donations raised throughout May, including 100% of profits from the online sale of Faby 5-free nail polish, will go towards mental health research and frontline support services. Put your finger on the pulse of another great campaign and help bring healthy body image back into daily dialogue.

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Winter is coming, and there are few better ways to stave off its chill than by wrapping yourself in some soft, snuggly layers of Australian Merino wool from Woolerina. This innovative clothing label sources all its wool directly off-farm from Glenwood Merinos in New South Wales, a place where the sheep are happy and healthy and subject to minimal chemical intervention and no mulesing. Woolerina’s classic and comfortable range for women, men, children and babies is all made in Australia, and the company is licensed with both the Australian Made Campaign and Ethical Clothing Australia. They’ve got plenty of style to back up their sustainability, too, from gorgeous printed leggings and scarves to versatile basics such as crew-cut t-shirts and simple sweaters. Check out the collection online and get ready to rug up this winter!

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Hanging Willow

Oh, how time flies! 2015 is certainly ticking on, but there are still plenty of events and fundraising challenges coming up in the second half of the year to test your mind and body while raising money and awareness for some very important causes. If you’re not one to shy away from a challenge, here are a few save the dates that we’ve got marked on our calendar for the months ahead.

In case you missed it, the Ethical Living Challenge officially kicked off today. With 21 days of practical advice delivered straight to your inbox, it’s an ideal way to start your journey towards a more holistically ethical lifestyle. The first of this month also marks the launch of Mindful in May, another online campaign that combines meditation challenges with fundraising. If you want to test your body as well as your brain, it’s not too late to sign up for Live Below the Line 2015. Pledge to spend a week on a $2 per day food budget, share the experience with your friends, and help raise funds for education providers in Cambodia.

Launching on May 8, this year’s edition of Fairtrade Fortnight is just around the corner – visit their website for tips on hosting an event to mark the occasion. Or if you live by the mantra of ‘less is more’, there’s not long to go until Plastic Free July and Buy Nothing New Month. The latter takes place every October, and is the perfect challenge to help you pinch some pennies and sharpen your swapping skills. Do It In A Dress is again raising funds for girls’ education in Sierra Leone this year, also in October. While there are plenty of campaigns happening to help you put the ‘fun’ into fundraising, there’s no better time than the present to lend your support to a good cause without expecting anything in return. To pitch in for the emergency relief effort currently underway in Nepal, make sure you read-up on what Oxfam, Australian Red Cross and UNICEF are doing on the ground. Calendar by Hanging Willow.

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It’s time again to celebrate the mums, grandmas and special female caregivers in our lives. With just a week or so left until Mother’s Day, we think it’s best to say thanks for another year of love and care with a little something she can treasure year-round, too. We’ve rounded up seven special, ethically made gifts that are best served with breakfast in bed and are sure to warm any mum’s heart next Sunday May 10th – not that you need reminding!

1) Travel Pack (beauty serums and oils handmade with organic, vegan and cruelty free ingredients; bottled in recyclable packaging), $35, from Tula Naturals, an Australian-owned beauty brand who blend their products in Queensland. See below for details of how to win!

2) Wingtip Scarf (hand-dyed and made in Canada by the Krista Norris Collection), $78, from Orange Oranges, a small business based in Brisbane who have a keen eye for vegan, recycled and ethically manufactured products.

3) Tunnel Dress (ethically printed and sewn in Australia and Bali), $160, from Leonard Street – an Australian label from designer Amanda McCarthy that celebrates colour and print with garments that are made to be cherished and loved for years.

4) Succulent Heart Centrepiece by Fleurieu Gifts (hand-assembled in South Australia), $49.99, from Down That Little Lane, where a global community of talented artisans and small-scale makers come together to sell their wares.

5) Lacebark Layer Top (ethically made in New Zealand), $169, from Chalkydigits, the Kiwi fashion company who are committed to local manufacturing, environmental protection and using sustainable, traceable materials. See below for details of how to win!

6) Pure Australian Recycled Wool Cushion (designed and made in Tasmania from Australian wool), $119, from The Spotted Quoll Studio, who recently collaborated with the iconic Waverley Mills to produce their new range of winter accessories. See below for details of how to win!

7) Limited Edition Mother’s Day Beauty Box (filled with natural and organic products worth $70), $34.99, from Flora & Fauna, who source products exclusively from suppliers who share their vision for organic, paraben-free beauty products that are never tested on animals.

For a chance to WIN one of three Travel Packs from Tula Naturals, a Lacebark Layer Top from Chalkydigits or a Pure Australian Recycled Wool Cushion from The Spotted Quoll Studio, leave a comment below telling us which gift you’d like and something you most admire about the special mother figure in your life. {Entries close 12 midday AEST Monday 4 May, 2015}.

This post includes products from our advertisers, whose brands we love. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Peppermint possible.



Emma Crane

Many of us want to live more ethical lives, but knowing where to start can be tricky. So it’s just as well that Emma Crane, an enterprising University of Melbourne student and passionate advocate for human rights and sustainability, came up with the Ethical Living Challenge, 21 days of activities and resources designed to help you make the world a better place. The action kicks off on 1 May, so we caught up with Emma to discover the story behind the  challenge and the sort of impact she hopes it’ll have.

What was the inspiration behind the Ethical Living Challenge?

I originally developed the Ethical Living Challenge (ELC) two years ago as part of my UNICEF Young Ambassador role, but decided to do it independently for logistical reasons. Since then, I’ve had amazing encouragement from family, friends and companies such as Ethical Switch (who are sponsoring the challenge). It’s really inspiring to have the support of people who really see the merit in the project – they truly believe in its potential to educate and motivate people on issues of ethical living and social justice. Their enthusiasm has been inspiring to me and often reminds me of the reason I created ELC: to fight for the rights of others, to be a voice for the voiceless and to inspire an inter-generational commitment to ethical living. {continue reading…}

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Fragrance is a powerful thing – just one whiff can lift your mood, remind you of a special person or transport you to a far-off place. And if you’re a fan of sublime scents made from all-natural ingredients, you’ll be fawning over the range from newly launched perfume brand van der Faun. Carefully handcrafted in Australia in small batches (and never tested on animals), each bottle of this luxury fragrance contains a delicately balanced blend of certified organic sugar cane ethanol and certified organic essential oils – with no harmful nasties like synthetic chemicals or artificial preservatives. Inspired by the traditional perfume houses of France, and available in two distinctive scents to suit your mood, van der Faun is a real breath of fresh air from the often-toxic perfume industry. We have two van der Faun fragrances, Hummingbird and River, (worth $79.99 each) to give away! To go in the draw, leave a comment below telling us which scent you’d like and why using organic beauty and personal care products is important to you. {Competition closes Thursday 30 April 2015 at 5pm.}



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