Now that the days are short, evenings are dark, and temperatures are sinking lower and lower, there's never been a better time to enjoy time at home. Is there anything more heavenly than a cosy sofa, a soft blanket, a good book or movie, and a cup of tea?
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist, and vegan fashion expert.
Actually, there is: all of the above, but with the added feeling of knowing that your homeware is ethically made, so no one had to suffer for it – and your home comforts put minimal strain on the planet's resources.
The best thing you can do to ensure your abode is as ethically decorated as possible is to choose vegan-friendly interiors. Animal agriculture, which includes wool, fur, leather and other animal-derived fabrics, is one of the leading causes of the climate crisis. Raising animals for human consumption leads to global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity among other things – that leather sofa or wool blanket doesn't sound so comfortable now, does it?
Instead of wool, choose soft and comfortable organic cotton blankets from Lüks Linen – produced in small, family-owned ateliers in Turkey, the brand's throws and blankets are GOTS-certified where possible and offer a variety of muted colours and unassuming patterns that will bring a calm atmosphere to your home. Spread one over your bed covers for added cosiness – alternatively, drape it over a sofa or a chair.
Next up, move away from conventional cotton – this material, while natural, can place a big strain on our planet due to its use of water and chemicals. 10,000 litres of water are used to make just one kg of conventional cotton, so unless you are using organic, be aware of the water waste that cotton entails. Pesticides and chemical fertilisers are also commonly used in the process.
Try to go cotton-free and choose bedding that's gentle on your skin as well as kind to the planet with Ethical Bedding, whose sheets in subdued tones are made from organic eucalyptus fabric and sustainably sourced bamboo. The eucalyptus Tencel used by the brand is made in a closed-loop process which re-uses all the water and chemicals that have been used in the production. This brand will ensure that your good night's sleep comes from the spotless conscience of knowing that you're making the kindest choices you can for your home.
Nothing creates ambiance like a scented candle – a subtle scent really has the power to set the tone for how you and any visitors feel in your abode, which is why scented candles remain a home-décor classic. Some candles offer all the scent, but are also harsh on the environment: paraffin waxes release toxins into the air and could also be harmful to the health of the people present in the environment where they burn. Sun.day of London is a home-fragrance apothecary offering candles, diffusers and room mists with a botanical base. Their handcrafted products are all vegan and free from synthetic perfumes. Each candle is made from coconut and palm-free oil waxes, using plant oils and botanical ingredients to bring scents to every space. The UK-made apothecary jars that the candles come in will lend a quirky and sophisticated design touch to any room.
Making your home cosy for winter should count as self-care – and nothing makes a home feel as welcoming and inviting as knowing that every detail in the space was chosen with care, to avoid harming the environment. If kindness starts at home, you couldn't be off to a better start.
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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