My week in Thinx

My mum taught me the value of “make do and mend”.

It’s a shame it took me so long to understand the brilliant logic of it.

A clever shopper and budgeter, Mum buys good quality products every few years and when they’re a bit tired or need a bit of help, she fixes rather than buying unnecessarily buying new stuff. Heels, bags, coats, jumpers, boots. Why throw out a beautiful, classic, quality product if it just needs to be resoled or have a couple of buttons sewn on?

I’m now in my late 20s and have spent too many years and far too much money on disposable fashion and accessories. That includes underwear. Money spent on flimsy, poorly-made sweatshop items that, eventually, were relegated to my period collection (everyone has one and if they say they don’t, they’re lyin’).

I’m done with wastage.

So after a few months of seeing Thinx on social media, I decided to buy a cycle set of three pairs to get me through a few days. I picked the high-waist, boyshort and hiphugger in black … JUST IN CASE THEY DIDN’T WORK. Thinx say these each can hold up to two tampons’ worth. I put them to the test.

Here’s what happened.

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I Thinx these are fab.

I did a lot of washing. Having three pairs of undies on high rotation meant a lot of washing. Luckily it was a case of rinse, wash, dry and wear. Thinx take a really long time to dry – obviously – because they are made of stronger stuff than just thin cotton. The hygiene obsessive in me meant I hung them on anything that was in full sun, because there’s no better antiseptic, really. I was a little concerned that they could smell, due to the nature of what they do (ie, collect blood) but it seemed fine.

They didn’t leak. No, really. They didn’t leak. Everything else usually does. Win! I felt confident. Not sure I’d wear white, but I felt dry and happy.

My body reacted differently. I didn’t get extra cramping. Unfortunately the pain was still as bad as ever (I get terrible cramping that leaves me horizontal and dry heaving and sometimes vomiting during my curse week) but not having tampons to exacerbate the problem (and they do) made a world of difference. I can’t help but feel like my body was able to do its own thing in its own time. Thinx felt like my body was able to do its thing … but gently. That can only be a good thing, right?

I know I’m saving money and helping the environment. A cycle set cost me about $100 neat. A basin of cold water doesn’t cost a lot of money. Air and sun drying costs nothing. I would typically spend about $15 all up on feminine products each month, costing me about $180 annually. There is no rubbish to dispose of and no wastage of any kind. I recycled the packaging! These are all pluses.

They were super comfy. The sizing was good and didn’t punish my poor bloated belly. For super puffy days, I chose the high-waisted panties, which were soft and didn’t feel like a girdle.

In short, yes I’d recommend them. Or at least say, give them a go.

FYI I bought these myself and Thinx have no idea I’m writing this. I was 100 per cent ready to admit they were a failure in the case that they just didn’t work for me, but they did work for me and my body. I like!

 

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Wonderf-oil

I really love beautiful bottles, interesting textures and beautiful scents. So it’s pretty lucky that one of the best ways to treat your skin and hair is in the form of oil, which is often housed in the nicest bottles, with a gorgeous, viscous texture and often smelling heavenly!

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Oily goodness.

So what do I use them for? Well everything, really.

Jojoba oil by The Jojoba Company is good for moisturising dry patches and removing stubborn marks. I use it to melt really hardcore eye makeup. Technically not an oil, but a wax, its composition is also the most similar to sebum which makes it ideal for topical use. It also doesn’t go rotten easily, making it an ride-or-die cupboard staple. It feels lovely on the skin and not too slippery or greasy. It dries down quickly with a nearly scentless finish and leaves skin and hair feeling well-moisturised. Jojoba oil was used by native American tribes for skin and haircare, as well as wound treatment. I once read that when the British made contact with native American tribes, they were surprised to see how beautiful the womens’ skin was. Jojoba!

It’s also fun to say.

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Pretty jojoba berries.

OUAI Rose Hair and Body Oil is a fast-absorbing product that I use after shaving my legs and on the dry ends of my hair. Smells great and works pretty nicely. Don’t put too much in your hair though, unless you want to look greasy.

Thursday Plantation lavender oil is one I use for anything and everything. I make DIY household cleaners, put it in the bath, use it on cuts and pimples, sprinkle it on linen and rub it on the temples of headachy family members (and me, obv). Lavender oil is antiseptic and a great calming oil. Before bed I drink lavender tea, but made from buds – not oil! Essential oils are rarely recommended or even safe to ingest. Best to get it in dried tea form and go from there.

Fur Oil. Chances are you’ve seen this on Instagram.  It is, indeed, an oil for your pubic area. It contains tea tree, clary sage and grape and jojoba seed oils to keep anywhere you grow hair nice and soft and it prevents ingrown hairs. What’s not to like? Extra points for celeb factor – Emma Watson swears by it. Smells like lemons.

Bio Sculpture Cuticle Oil once again, jojoba, plus almond, avocado and vitamin e. Hopefully will help restore my nails back to health. Also smells lovely. I like the brush applicator. Dries down nicely, not too greasy. Perfect just before bed.

Anine Bing Savage Rose perfume oil I am not sure about the composition of this perfume oil, but its scent is just beautiful. A really complex rose fragrance, sweet but also a little bit dark and sultry. Really unusual! I’ve asked Anine Bing about its cruelty-free status. Fingers crossed it’s aok ✌️

BONUS ROUND! Coconut oil. Yes, it’s everywhere. Yes, you’ve heard about it ad nauseam. But it has multiple benefits. I use it to make vegetable soups, I rub it into my hands after working in the kitchen and will use it to dislodge really tough eye makeup. I even used it in the bath as a DIY face mask – pure coconut oil massaged onto my face. And I sat in the bath and sweated it out and waited for the coconut oil to melt. Heavenly. Yes, there was a big chance it could have resulted in zits but this time it didn’t. But it did fix a few dry patches and plumped up sore, tired, sad winter skin in a matter of 30 minutes.

So, how do you use oils?
AL x

Honey, honey

When I was a little girl, one of my biggest fears was bees … until I got stung.

Then it was all ok and the pain was minimal, but the guilt I felt after accidentally squashing that little fuzzy bug with my hand, was awful – it was so pretty and I knew it had an important job to do. Since then I’ve been fascinated by watching bees work and fly, by the pollen they keep in little bags on their wings and legs. Just beautiful.

But I don’t just love bees because honey is delicious. Oh no. Did you know that bees are imperative to our lifestyle too?

You might have heard some buzz (!) about the threat of bee extinction. It’s not just climate-change “propaganda”. This is a very legit problem we have to contend with in our changing world, after treating it like shit for the past few centuries. And we’ve really messed with the bees and other pollinators, like fruit bats, birds and butterflies. Losing our pollinators would mean the end of plenty of food groups, as well as have a massive and devastating impact on agriculture and the environment in general.Every animal has its place in the ecosystem – and perhaps none so important as the bee. VICE summed this up very neatly here.

So – why’s it happening? Deforestation, pests, insecticides, pollution and climate change are all to blame for the decline. It’s hard to find exact figures, and especially global ones, but scientists are concerned enough about it to be documenting die-off rates.

The National Academies in the USA estimated, in a 2006 report, that 75 per cent of the world’s flowering plant species rely on pollinators.

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Buzz.

So basically, we need bees. And you’ll probably agree after reading the next bit …

Thanks to pollinators, you can (at present) enjoy the following foods, care of the following creatures:

ALFALFA: leafcutter bees and honey bees

ALMOND: honey bees

ANISE: honey bee

APPLE: honey bees, blue mason orchard bees

APRICOT: bees

AVOCADO: bees, flies, bats

BANANA: birds, fruit bats

BLUEBERRY: More than 115 kinds of bees, including bumblebees, mason bees, mining bees and leafcutter bees

CARDAMOM: honey bees, solitary bees

CASHEW: bees, moths, fruit bats

CHERRY: honey bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees, flies

CHOCOLATE:  midges (flies), stingless bees

COCONUT: insects and fruit bats

COFFEE: stingless bees, other bees or flies

CORIANDER: honey bees, solitary bees

CRANBERRY: More than 40 native bees, including bumble

DAIRY PRODUCTS: Diary cows eat ALFALFA pollinated by leafcutter and honey bees

FIG: 800 kinds of fig wasps

GRAPE: bees

GRAPEFRUIT: bees

KIWIFRUIT: honey bees, bumblebees, solitary bees

MACADAMIA NUT: bees, beetles, wasps

MANGO: bees, flies, wasps

MELON: bees

NUTMEG: honey bees, bird

PAPAYA: moths, birds, bees

PEACH: bees

PEAR: honey bees, flies, mason bees

PEPPERMINT: flies, bees

PUMPKIN: squash and gourd bees, bumblebees

RASPBERRY and BLACKBERRY: honey bees, bumblebees, solitary bees, hover flies

SESAME: bees, flies, wasps

STRAWBERRY: bees

SUGARCANE: bees, thrips

TEA PLANTS: flies, bees and other insects

TEQUILA (AGAVE): bats

TOMATO: bumble bees

VANILLA: bees

So what can be done?

Firstly, stop using nasty chemicals in your garden. These kill bees and they’re also really bad for you. There are plenty of eco-friendly and effective options around.

Making your garden bee-friendly is a great and also aesthetically pleasing way to help the bees. Planting fragrant flowers and herbs will bring them into your garden and keep them healthy and busy. Lavender is my personal favourite!

You can also buy bees and install beehives at your place if you have the room. Some local councils will give you a beehive and bees to kickstart the process.

One of my all-time favourite companies, Weleda, is a champion for bees. In fact, they provide bee habitats to schools around the country to get kids interested in bee conservation, while actively participating in it. More information about their Bee B&B Hotel project is here.

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Source: Eco Watch

Laundry day

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Splish splash.

Am I a weirdo? But I just love doing laundry. Not so much hanging it out (if it’s cool and breezy) but a beautiful warm and sunny day out at the line is a perfect way to get some sun and be outdoors. And then folding clothes and watching a little telly is such a nice way to zone out.

But one of my favourite things to do – and I do think it’s part of self-care – is washing my lingerie.

I only figured out how to take great care of my bras and undies when my mother-in-law was horrified to see I’d been throwing them in the washing machine with the rest of my clothes. She suggested washing them separately in a sink or basin instead to prolong their life. I was wondering why I’d been getting so many pulls in my other clothes. Bra hooks!

Now, filling up a basin with warm water and fragrant, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free laundry liquid and lovingly washing my smalls is such a pleasure to do. Also, less waste! Less water usage, less wrecked clothes and lingerie. Fabulous.

So what am I using to stay green? The Laundress’ Delicate Wash for a weekly bra wash. If you don’t sweat much there is simply no need to wash your bra more often. And there’s a Delicate Spray to freshen them up, as needed. Lovely and so nice on the skin! It’s awful when a detergent makes you want to rip your skin off.

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Making laundry fun.

Another recent discovery is Bosisto’s Allergen Laundry Liquid. I love to wash my towels and sheets with this, it smells so fresh. Throw a little vinegar and bicarb in, and they’re beautifully-scented, soft and clean. No need for a hot wash that way. Then straight out into the sun for its antibacterial properties.

For a normal, family-sized load, I love Ecostore’s laundry liquid. And straight out to the line, no tumble drying if I can help it. Have a little read of this Guardian article about the impact of doing laundry on carbon emissions.

Do you do anything special with your laundry?

AL x