Would you like to know where to find recycled umbrellas? It rains a lot in England, so everyone has an umbrella. But millions are made (usually from nylon or plastic) and get discarded each year. So purchasing a quality one that uses up plastic waste, is a great idea. And unlike clothing and cloths (which require microplastic catch bags to stop fibres breaking off in the machine), umbrellas are just wipe-clean, so a good invention to use up recycled plastic. It’s also obviously waterproof, ideal for when you get a traditional downpour!
This recycled plastic ‘London’ umbrella is made from recycled plastic bottles, with a sturdy bamboo handle. The fun design in bright colours, quickly folds away into its own protect bag, with wrist strap. This design not only helps to remove plastic from our waste system, but a portion of proceeds goes to support Marine Conservation Society, a charity that is dedicated to protecting our oceans.
Have you heard the story that you should never stand under an umbrella, if there’s a thunderstorm? It’s true, but not why you think. It’s not the metal. It’s because lightning tends to strike the tallest thing. If you are holding the umbrella, that could be you.
Would you like to know where to find sustainable raincoats? It rains in England. A lot. So nearly everyone has a raincoat. But did you know that most conventional raincoats of quality are covered with toxic sprays? When time comes to replace, here are more sustainable options.
Many eco raincoats are made from recycled plastic bottles. Is this safe, considering plastic has hormone disruptors? Obviously you don’t want to use for clothing next to a child’s skin (and definitely not for baby clothing). But raincoats are not touching our skin, and they do keep out the rain. Organic cotton raincoats are great.
Dr Martin Mulvihill (a chemist) says that it takes 38 days of a water bottle being heated to reach unsafe levels for water you ingest (not fabric on your skin). So he says unless you are working out in 150 degrees, wearing recycled plastic clothing is not likely to be a problem. Be concerned about the finish (used to stop wrinkling). However always wash recycled plastic clothing (and synthetic materials) in a microfiber catch bag, to stop microplastics breaking off in the machine.
- Thought offers quality organic raincoats, with no toxic coatings.
- Nomads Clothing offers an organic cotton raincoat, made with 90% biodegradable materials and a water-resistant organic cotton canvas outer and soft viscose lining. The simple flattering silhouette has practical pockets, a removable hood and drawcord-adjustable waist.
- Seasalt (Cornwall) offers fully waterproof raincoats, made from an eco-friendly alternative to oilskin. Tested in Cornish windy rain, you will however have to ‘read the ingredients’ of each, as a few have leather trim, and there is no filter.
Sustainable Raincoats for Children
- Frugi (Cornwall) has its own line of bright fun rainwear, made from recycled plastic bottles. There are raincoats and waterproof trousers, with bright fun rubber wellies to match. EverCreatures also makes good rubber children’s wellies. They come in various designs from a sunflower to unicorn puddles to Loch Blue Nessie! They have zip fastenings with a chin chard and a storm placket with double closure, to protect against the elements. They also have elasticated cuffs and reflective print details. Includes a dipped hem to keep bottoms warm and dry, and a label to write your little one’s name on. Keep away from direct heat sources, like radiators.
- Billycoats & Raincoats make children’s raincoats from old tents! Discarded tens at festivals are a real problem in England. With designs inspired by the Brecon Beacons, these are lightweight and bright with chunky YKK zippers (plastic) and deep pockets for snacks and finds. For ages 2 to 9, with free repairs in the first year.
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