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27
Aug

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The days are getting warmer and we have a spring in our step, which can only mean one thing – our brand new Spring Issue 27 is out now! For this special ‘slow living’ edition we’re finding out how scaling back, getting out of the fast lane and spending more time just ‘being’ can help us live better, more fulfilling lives – with thoughts on slow parenting, slow business, slow food, slow thinking and more from Ellie Beck, Carolyn Tate, My Darling Lemon Thyme, James Tutton of Smiling Mind and others. Our cover duo Amanda and Andrew of Church Farm General Store talk about living the good life in their unique converted church home and garden in a small town in NSW, while Belinda Evans from eco weaving and accessories label Alchemy talks finding inspiration from nature and crafting a simple, purposeful existence. Elsewhere, there’s women’s health with Dr Libby, a Melbourne cafe that’s serving up happiness, an ethical fashion startup that supports women affected by conflict, an Indigenous health project that’s giving hope to a remote community, and wisdom from ethical farming guru Joel Salatin. Plus, there’s all the usual natural beauty, sustainable style, cool crafts and lots of other lovely stuff. Grab a copy from your local newsagent or independent store today, and then put your feet up, take a deep breath and enjoy. We hope it inspires you to stop and smell the flowers this spring!

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20
Aug

Mindful Leadership Forum2

We spend much of our lives at work, and, thankfully, more and more companies are cottoning on to the fact that mindfulness can work wonders for productivity rates, job satisfaction, happiness levels and general wellbeing – with Google, Yahoo! and other tech giants investing in lunchtime meditation sessions and mindfulness education for their staff. But what difference could mindful leadership make to people’s professional lives and overall satisfaction levels? Organised by Sydney-based organisation Wake Up Project (see our interview with founder Jono Fisher in our current kindness-themed Issue 26), the upcoming Mindful Leadership Forum aims to explore this topic and give people the tools they need to ‘create well-being, innovation and productivity in your workplace’. Aimed at business leaders, executives, academics, consultants, professionals across all sectors and anyone in charge of leading a team, the forum features talks from leaders in the fields of business, science, the arts and society – including Marc Lesser from Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, Anakha Coman of Intel’s Awake@Intel mindfulness program, and the mind trainers for the South Sydney Rabbitohs  – exploring key areas such as self-awareness, authenticity and compassion. This two-day event runs from 27 to 28 August in Sydney – get your tickets here and learn more about injecting a little mindfulness into your management style, bringing out the best in your people and encouraging others in the industry to follow your lead.

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11
Aug

Faye de Lanty - Salvos Stores

Get ready to rock some secondhand style this August during National Op Shop Week, which runs from Sunday 23 to Sunday 30 August. This year, Salvos Stores are supporting the ‘Op Until You Drop’ campaign with the launch of their Style Army, which encourages consumers to support the Salvos by hitting up their local store and having a good old rummage for one-of-a-kind pre-loved threads. Pop along to the Salvos Street Boutique as it travels around Australia during Op Shop Week (dates and locations are on the Style Army website). In every location, you’ll find vintage and recycled wares from your local Salvos store and get treated to a fashion show curated by fashion blogger and Salvos brand ambassador Faye de Lanty. If you’re in Sydney, don’t miss the Style Army launch at Wynyard Park on Monday 24 August, where Faye will be dishing out her sensational style tips. Support the Salvos in style and op til you drop!

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16
Jul

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Looking for something splendid to do next weekend? Why not head on down to this year’s Splendour in the Grass – a three-day celebration of good tunes and good vibes, set in the lush surrounds of the North Byron Parklands from 24 till 26 July. Highlights of the musical variety include Florence and the Machine, Xavier Rudd and The United Nations and Boy & Bear, while over in the craft tent there are plenty of classes to get your creative juices flowing – think piñata-making workshops, quilt-making classes and a brooch-making session with Beci Orpin. Designer Rachel Burke of i make. you wear it. (featured in Peppermint Issue 24) is the official Splendour Craft Captain, so there’s guaranteed to be glue guns, pom poms and glitter galore! And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, there’ll also be a pop-up version of Southside Tea Room, run by Patience Hodgson from The Grates. The little people in your life will be enthralled by the magical offerings at Little Splendour, where they can wear themselves out with live performances, bouncy castles and giant board games. And from a sustainability perspective, Splendour in the Grass certainly walks the talk, with a number of impressive environmental initiatives including a carbon offset option for festival-goers, on-site eco cops, a tree-planting program (last year they planted over 1700 native trees), waste and recycling programs, and their special eco camping area – Camp Little Foot(print). Let the festivities commence!

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15
Jul

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Queensland’s tropical north has become home to a colourful new fashion label that draws on the spirit of two ancient cultures. Cairns-based Mainie Designs, created by Charmaine Saunders and Denis Keeffe, blends traditional Aboriginal artworks from the Yuendumu community of Central Australia and the luxurious fabrics of the famous ‘Silk Road City’ of Hangzhou in China. Newly launched this month, the initial collection includes nine scarves and wraps made from 100% silk, all beaming with vibrant hues. Named for the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories they represent, the collection is made up of stunning styles including a ‘Water Serpent Sarong Wrap’ and a ‘Fire Stone Scarf.’ At the heart of the brand lies a strong commitment to fair trade principles, with all Aboriginal artwork acquired ethically under license through the internationally acclaimed Warlukurlangu Art Centre, which has long been a stronghold of traditional Warlpiri arts, language and culture. The full collection is available on the brand new Mainie website, as well as in selected boutiques, retailers and galleries.

 

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6
Jul

Ajahn Brahm - Peppermint

Did you catch our interview with renowned Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm in the ‘It’s Cool to Be Kind’ feature in the latest issue of Peppermint? Based in Perth, WA, Ajahn Brahm is a prolific author, engaging public speaker and active teacher of Buddhism – and those living in WA can experience his wisdom in person this August at the 9th Global Conference on Buddhism, Resolving Conflict with Mindfulness. Featuring more than 20 speakers over two days, the conference isn’t just for practising Buddhists – it’s suitable for anyone interesting in the teachings of this gentle religion, including how mindfulness and meditation can be used to deal with conflict as well as enhancing many other areas of our lives. The weekend covers topics such as wellness, emerging technologies (featuring a Q&A with artist Neil Harbisson, one of the world’s first cyborgs), depression and suicide, Buddhist journeys, and past lives, hypnosis and psychic phenomena. The innovative and exciting speakers include professor of mathematics and astronomy Bernard Carr, Triple J star and Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire, Tibetan-Nepali movie star Lhakpa Tsamchoe (who co-starred with Brad Pitt in the 1997 Hollywood movie Seven Years in Tibet) and the author of Buddhism for Mothers Sarah Napthali. The conference runs from 8-9 August 2015 at the Perth Conference Centre. Get your ticket from their website and find out more on how mindfulness can help with living a contented life!

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23
Jun

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It’s no secret that we’re big fans of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia. An emphasis on people and planet over profit has always been at the core of the company’s philosophy – from its early years when founder Yvon Chouinard began selling climbing gear out of the back of his car to its current incarnation as a much-loved international brand. We hosted Social and Environmental Responsibility Manager Wendy Savage at our Brisbane Fashion Revolution Day event back in April, and we recently caught up with her to find out more about Patagonia’s groundbreaking sustainability initiatives and why brand collaboration is key for the future of ethical production…

What is your background and where did your passion for corporate social responsibility come from? 

When I went to school, corporate social responsibility (CSR) did not exist.  I studied Sociology and then went on to do a masters in International Business but always knowing that I wanted a job that can help make a difference. I stumbled into CSR by chance and it became my calling. I got to mix my passion for business with my goal to have a job that made a difference somehow. The first 10 years of my career in CSR I worked at a consulting company helping brands set up their CSR programs and educating suppliers on social and environmental responsibility. Part of our job requirement and training was auditing, so I audited factories in many countries and a variety of industries. This field experience helped us all understand the issues and create realistic solutions that could actually be implemented within the supply chain or within a brand. Three years ago I was fortunate to join Patagonia and now manage our global Social Compliance and Traceability supply chain program. I now get to see the real positive impact a brand can have on the environment and the workers making its products. {continue reading…}

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18
Jun

Lisa x Vege-2

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Need some new threads that blend sustainability with style? Vege Threads have got your wardrobe wants all stitched up. This Adelaide-based eco fashion label produces a range of simple, versatile clothing for women, men and kids. Their Australian-made line is now certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and their Autumn Winter 2015 range heralds a shift towards increased onshore production, with local processes, ACO dyes and smaller freight runs. All cotton used in the range is 100% GOTS certified organic and knitted in Australia, and all cotton garments have been dyed here, while all tencel processed and plant-dyed in Indonesia is 100% organic.

Vege Threads’ relaxed, easy-to-wear styles and natural colours  are designed to fit every age and shape across all seasons, and the new collection embodies their trademark minimal aesthetic. Characterised by mustard browns and olive greens, bold blacks and indigos and soft greys, the range includes a limited run of cotton knitwear and beanies and new tie dye yogawear alongside classics such as maxi dresses and long-sleeve tees. Make your winter even more wonderful with a Vege Threads Organic Cotton Tank dress (worth $119.95) , as worn by Lisa Mitchell in the above photos! All you need to do to win one of these dresses in a colour of your choice (black, dove grey or grey marle) is comment on this blog post before 4pm on Thursday 25 June and tell us where you’d wear your new threads.  

 

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17
Jun

Samorn Sanixay Peppermint Samorn Sanixay Peppermint1

Have the beautiful natural dyes of Eastern Weft caught your eye in the current Winter 26 issue of Peppermint? Following ancient Lao traditions, the label’s founder, Samorn Sanixay, is pioneering the use of organic dyes in Australia to add vibrancy to handwoven silk and cotton textiles. Drawing colours from native flora and, in the case of this gorgeous ‘compost scarf’, from salvaged food scraps, Samorn is on a mission to make the creative process of organic dyeing accessible to everyone. Her latest venture is a program of Natural Dye Workshops at Sydney Community College in Rozelle. Taking place during June and July, the sessions span three hours and begin with a walking tour of the local neighbourhood to forage for berries, leaves and flowers. Samorn then teaches participants how to make vibrant dyes from the found materials before applying them to fabric to create multi-coloured patterns. At the end of the session, each participant will take home the pure or Eri peace silk scarf they dyed during the workshop – a truly priceless souvenir. There are two workshops scheduled for the coming months – visit the Sydney Community College website to reserve your spot and learn the art of natural dyeing from one of Australia’s best!

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16
Jun

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If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then surely sanity must equate to change. Today, at the Ethical Fashion Forum‘s SOURCE Summit 2015, I find myself in a room full of people who collectively feel that in the fashion industry, this must be the case. Everyone here is a change maker, a trail blazer, a pioneer… so what is it that this one-day conference is offering that has brought business leaders, designers and ethical and sustainable fashion start ups out in their droves, some of them even flying in from abroad?

Sarah Ditty, Editor in Chief of SOURCE doesn’t pull any punches in her introduction to the day. ‘People don’t trust brands anymore’ (according to Havas Media Meaningful Brands) – a pretty powerful opener to SOURCE Summit 2015. She talks about how disasters like the Rana Plaza, the horse meat scandal and the latest Fifa corruption contribute to a general feeling of distrust from consumers. In the case of fashion and textiles, Baptist World Aid Australia’s Behind the Barcode report, suggests that 91% of companies still don’t know where their cotton comes from, and with consumers gradually asking for more and more transparency, this is just not good enough.

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People are beginning to expect brands to not only be more transparent, but to play a bigger role in their communities and in their collective wellbeing. ‘If you’re still seeing your business as a factory… then you’re going to be left behind and you need to “take a ‘quantum leap into the future,”‘ Sarah quotes Havas Media Lab Director, Umair Tarique. It’s 10 am in the morning and the tone has been set for a future thinking forum, and for the day’s debate and conversation on transformative ideas and technology within the ethical fashion world. {continue reading…}

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