Minimalist Packing Guide
Minimalist Packing Guide for a 7-Day Vacation (Ethical, Low-Waste, and Sustainable)

Minimalist Packing List

Our family just came back from a magical 7-day vacation in Tuscany and we are already dying to go back. This was one of those holidays where everything just went right. A few days before we were to head out on a camping trip (also fun, of course), our friend called us to let us know that his apartment in Tuscany was available and that we could stay for free. Gasp. Are you serious?!

We had no idea what we were getting into when we hit the road. We had yet to see any photos of the place and neither of us know enough about Tuscany to have any clue as to where the house was. 5 hours later and we were (or so we thought) in the middle of nowhere and driving up a very rough road. It was so rough that I had to get out of the car and push rocks left and right so that our very low car would not get stuck on this extremely steep hill. The boys were ecstatic to see that a tractor was parked in the field and while we were singing along to the “tractor song” (thanks, Blippi), we saw about 200 gorgeous sheep being escorted by 3 magical dogs. I swear….it was straight out of a movie.

minimalist packing

We pulled up to a huge shrub of greenery, a hand made football field, and a shed that looked like it had just been destroyed by a storm (turns out, the storm destroyed way more than that quite recently). To my right a saw a quaint little archway that was covered in purple flowers. The entrance to our home for the week.

We all unbuckled our seat belts and walked slowly towards the purple flowers. As we inched nearer, we saw what was the most magical scene: A traditional Tuscan home in the middle of a farm. No bells and whistles, no commercial property, no modern anything….just….a house that fairy tales are made in.

We walked around the entirety of the house: huge ceramic pots lined the entire property and were full of gorgeous flowers and plants. 3 little cats came to say hello, a bunny bounced by us, 4 massive lizards crawled over our heads, and a very spunky mixed itty-bitty dog came over to sniff us out. Turns out, this little dog lets the families know if the wolves are near. He came in handy on our last night!

The family who resides upstairs was not home but our apartment had a key just hanging there…right in the key holder. This made me smile…and laugh…and take a deep breath. Trust. You don’t see this much anymore.

Minimalist Packing

I took one photo of the house….on our third night when I realised that I had yet to capture the home. Its not a perfect photo, but I love it. It just speaks for itself. No TV, no radio….nothing but our own singing, our own chatting, and lots of laughter. Each night we sat outside and played board games and card games. Each morning the boys ran outside to the garden and rode their bikes all over the farm and chased the kitties with their little “I FOUND YOU!!” screams. Each afternoon we headed to the sea and played in the sand for hours and hours on end. We hit the same gelato shop at siesta time for our mango and strawberry sorbet and shots of espresso. We piled up in the same bed at night and read the 2 same books over and over again until our littles ones drifted off to dream land. Tip toe and tip toe….we opened a bottle of wine and talked. Laughing at random sounds, running inside when the dog shouted “wolves”, and passing out each night in each others arms.

This was the perfect holiday.

Mother and Son in Sunflower Field

Minimalist Packing: The Toiletries

  1. Pit Liquor Deodorant: Martin and I are obsessed with this entire company. This scent is whiskey vanilla which I love and Martin loves the coconut rum. They come in spray bottles and roller bottles. They are glass so be careful! (Use code WONDERMAMAS15 for a discount!)
  2. Jojoba oil: I pick up my jojoba oil from our local farmers market. I add 12 drops of frankincense and 12 drops of lavender essential oils to each bottle before using. This is my face cleanser and face moisturiser all in one!
  3. My bamboo toothbrush. I packed 4, of course, but for photo sake you just see one.
  4. This is my favorite hair brush (I own one hair brush and one comb from this company, Tek Hair brushes).
  5. Plaine Products Shampoo & Conditioner: I do not mess around with my hair anymore and shampoo/conditoner bars. My hair is way too wavy, course, and latin to mess around anymore haha. I nearly destroyed it with the bars. So, I found this amazing company that has a vegan, natural, refillable, and super wavy/curly hair friendly line that keeps my strands hydrated and happy. I would say it resembled the Aveda shampoo line that I was addicted to for years and years before making the switch! If you want to give them a go, you can use the discount code: WonderMamas20. P.s. they do have travel sized ones but with sand and sea water, I knew I had to bring the big ones haha.

minimalist packing

  1. Bandana: This bandana is about 5 years old and I do believe it came from H&M. Probably the only thing that ever lasted this long from that store haha. I use this when I wash my face, when I need a hair band, when I need a head band, etc.
  2. Bandaids. Because….kids.
  3. Georganics crush and brush toothpaste tablets. All you do is pop one tablet in your mouth and begin brushing with a wet toothbrush. Bam – you are set.
  4. Eyelash curler and 100% pure lipstick: I use the lipstick as an impromptu blush as well. This is as far as I go with makeup in the Tuscan heat.
  5. Tweezers: You all know that I only wax (no razor comes near my body) and tweezers are great for holidays for random clean up jobs.
  6. Body wash and shampoo bar: This is all my kids and Martin need. We all share the body wash bar!
  7. Lavera SPF 50 sunscreen: This is made for babies but I love it. It works great and this company is all around amazing. Heads up though: this sunscreen is WHITE. We all look like casper the ghost when we wear it.
  8. Washable and reusable face wipes: These wipes come with this little bag. Once the wipes are dirty, toss in the bag. When the bag is full, simply toss into the wash and start over again. These work great for oil cleansing.
  9. This spray bottle is my homemade bug spray made with lemongrass eucalyptus oil, geranium oil, and cedar wood oil.
  10. The two roller bottles: One has a sleepy roller blend and the other is just a first aid cleaning alcohol that is super handy when the boys get a minor scrape. Just roll this over their cut/scrape and add the bandaid! Genius.
  11. Wash Cloth: This wash cloth is made of jungle vine and comes from A Million Elephants. Made in Laos, this company is one of my all-time favourites for eco friendly and long lasting products. I also packed along their jungle vine produce bag and wallet!
  12. Minimalist Packing: My Choice of Clothes

     

    minimalist packing

    1. White Linen Long Sleeve Button Up by Sundays Designs: I love this linen button up top because it can be worn on its own over a swim suit, tucked into shorts or tied as a cute crop with a Sarong or skirt. I wore this nearly every day on the trip to protect myself from the sun!
    2. Organic Basics Tencel Tank Top: This is one of my all time favorite tanks and I own it in three colors. This looks great with the Patagonia hiking shorts, the linen skirt, and just as is with the panties. It is softer than anything else in my closet!

    1. Linen Button Up Skirt by Sundays Designs: This link is no longer available but any button up skirt will do (or skip all together for a sarong). I wore this a few times for dinner and walking around the amazing Tuscany village.
    2. Encircled 8 Ways to Wear It Chrysalis Cardi: This is supposed to be able to be worn 8 times but I have found out how to wear it 10 ways! I love to use this as a strapless dress and a skirt (not shown on the site, but super easy to make it happen). This is a capsule wardrobe must have.
    3. 5. Athletic Shorts: Any will do. I actually never wore these but I still think they are a smart addition in case you want to work out or go for a bike ride! It was just too hot for any of that haha.

      6. Patagonia High Rise Wrinkle Free Shorts: These are my all time favorite shorts. I ordered these during a huge sale last year and I am just in love. They always look good, sit beautifully on my waist, and are extremely comfortable. 

      7. Kindomshop Dress (This specific one is now gone but there are plenty of options here): I love every single dress from this shop. Just gorgeous and oh so sustainable.

      8. Tet Swimwear Jacqueline One Piece Reversible Swim Suit: One side is a beautiful striped color and the reverse is a very cool green. Love this swimsuit! I used this as a body suit as well and paired it with the patagonia shorts for walking around the town. Paired below with my favorite robe by Luks linen!

      luks linen robe

      9. Striped Bikini gifted from a friend (she ordered the wrong size): I love this swimsuit but low and behold, it only held up for about 5 swims before losing all its color and turning into crap (another big reason why we only shop from sustainable brands). I’ll still keep it but gosh….this just reminded me how much we all need to shop with better brands.

      10. Two sarongs: One short (very old from my closet) and one long from Nomads Clothing UK: I live in sarongs all year round. I wore both of these every single day and I usually sleep in the longer sarong by Nomads Clothing UK. 

      11. Two Bralettes: One from Organic basics in tan and one from Hara the Label in green

      hara the label

      12. One Sports bra from Indigo Luna: The comfiest sports bra in the world in my opinion (I have tried hundreds in my life). Recommended by breast feeding moms everywhere!

      13. Four Panties from Organic Basics, Bhumi Organic and Hara the Label

      14. Two sets of earrings: From our local fair trade shop in town.

      15. Not shown: I also packed two of my Wuka period panties just in case my period came on holidays. Good thinking because it hit two days before we left! I love my period panties…they make periods comfortable.

      Minimalist Packing: The Bag

      pakt bags

      We have had the pakt bag for well over a year now and it’s my go to for pretty much any adventure including this trip to Tuscany. They also have a very cool back pack that works just like a carry on suit case if you are more of a back pack person!

      All of my clothes from above, rolled, and my toiletries fit perfectly into this bag. I also packed along my laptop, charger, documents, my book, and camera supplies. Everything fit beautifully and unpacking is always a breeze. Highly recommend this to anyone looking for a duffel/backpack suitcase option!

      p.s. This works as a brilliant diaper bag as well. It fit all my cloth diapers and the gear needed for our 24 hour travel trip to the states. Just unbeatable.

       

      If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

      Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

      Zero Waste Bathroom Products

      Our Real Life Imperfect Zero Waste Home

      7 Ways Parents Can Save the Earth From Home

      What A Zero Waste Home Actually Looks Like

       

      Welp, that’s all I got for you today! I hope this helps you on your own sustainable, ethical, minimalist, and/or eco-friendly journey. As always, thanks so much for taking the time to visit our little site and thank you so much for all of the support. This post contains a few affiliate links from which we will receive a small percentage of commission. By clicking on the links and purchasing through our links, you help to keep this site alive! Yay!

       

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      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

      Hello, loves, and welcome back to the blog! Today we are honoured to feature the amazingly beautiful  “Peta Approved” Vegan Fashion Line by LANIUS.

      As you all know, I am such a big supporter of sustainably vegan brands and also those who are doing their best to provide sustainable and vegan options for our community. Ethical fashion is a big passion of mine and I had the best time shooting for this new PETA approved (woo-hoo!) fashion line. Our social media inbox is always flooded with messages about ethical fashion, so let’s get to it!

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

       

      FASHION WITH RESPECT FOR
      PEOPLE, ANIMALS & ENVIRONMENT

      LANIUS has three guiding principles:

      Love Fashion.

      Think Organic.

      Be Responsible.

       

      In today’s fashion highlight, we are going to break down everything that makes LANIUS great. We will chat about sustainability, production, transparency, and ethics.

      Let’s get educated on the Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS!

      A Brief Overlook of LANIUS

       

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

       

      Slow FashionSlow fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and more. The team of Lanius creative designers produces new LANIUS collections twice a year in their Cologne workshop.

       

      Sustainability is at the forefront of their minds: LANIUS uses materials produced according to controlled ecological standards. Season after season, Lanius invests intensive research to become even better, even more sustainable and to be able to offer you even more beautiful qualities.

       

      Natural & Organic Materials: Natural materials are the key to high-quality. Organic cotton, organic linen, hemp, tencel, and more are used to create their gorgeous pieces.

      Cruelty-Free: Today we are featuring the “Peta Approved Vegan Fashion Line”, but what about the other fashion lines held by Lanius? Out of love and respect for animals, Lanius uses neither real fur nor down. When it comes to wool, they stick to a strict “no-mulesing“ policy. To learn more about their practice, please click here.

       

      Responsible: Lanius assumes responsibility for people, animals, as well as the environment. The production sites comply with social and environmental standards, which are regularly checked by independent institutions and the company themselves.

       

      Fair Working Conditions: Lanius has production centers in Lithuania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Turkey, Peru, China and India. Each one of these amazing centres is held to the highest standards.

      LANIUS Founder: Claudia Lanius

       

      Claudia Lanius had a strong vision when she started up the LANIUS brand. She envisioned a fashion brand that combined eco-friendly materials with fair working conditions, feminine silhouettes and the perfect fit. It’s pretty easy to see that she has successfully turned her vision into a reality and has inspired brands all over the world to take crucial steps in becoming more sustainable, ethical, and conscious.

      The creative designers of LANIUS create TWO new collections each and every year. Compare this with the fast fashion’s industry 52+ collections each year, and you will begin to see just how miraculously slow and sustainable LANIUS truly is. LANIUS uses the highest quality materials, with strong attention to detail, and creates fashionable pieces that will last the test of time.

      LANIUS is, in all regards, exactly what we need in this fashion world.

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS: Transparency is Key

       

      When shopping via the LANIUS website, you have the options of selecting Detail, Sustainability, Care, Material and Production. This is probably one of my most favorite features of the LANIUS site. The transparency of this company is so very refreshing! With just a click of a button, customers can make educated decisions on their clothes and know that they are supporting a wonderful company that stands behind strong ethics. Imagine if all brands were as transparent as this one?

      We at WonderMamas were so very excited to see “production” as a category that is easily accessible when shopping. This production category let’s the consumer know where the clothing was made, a bit of background information, certifications, and fair trade conditions. Just marvelous.

       

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS

       

      Sustainable development is based on the so-called three pillar system: economic, environmental and social. The folks behind LANIUS see sustainability as a future-oriented and ongoing process. They take into consideration the people, animals and the environment. LANIUS’S defining strength is the ability to produce fair, high-quality and eco-friendly collections season after season.

      How does LANIUS stay committed to their values?

      Here are a few wonderful ways:

      • LANIUS is a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified companyThis provides a uniform certification process in the production of sustainable textiles. A product receives the GOTS seal when the entire supply chain, from cultivation to production, is certified in every step. The seal is renewed annually and the companies are subject to regular checks.
      • The bioRe® FoundationWith every purchase of the LANIUS charity shirt line, 3 euros per shirt will go to the school project of the bioRe® foundation, thus enabling the preservation, expansion and operation of a school for the children of the LANIUS organic cotton farmers. The bioRe® Foundation has been supporting infrastructure development in India and Tanzania since 1997, thus ensuring the sustainable improvement of the living conditions of farmers’ families. The main focus is on the cultivation of organic cotton as a sustainable livelihood, as well as the areas of health, education and livelihood.
      • #NoPlastic Initiative: Through better packaging, organic textile, clever caring, and recycled fibres, LANIUS is fighting back against plastic on a daily basis.
      • Natural Dyeing: This was so very exciting for me to see! Natural dyeing produces 97 % less water contamination compared to conventional dyeing, Energy savings of up to 30 %, and is Gentle and natural to the skin, because it’s free of harmful chemicals. LANIUS is committed to creating more pieces with natural dye. Check out the full break down here!

       

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by Lanius

       

       

      Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS: Peta Approved!

       

      So now to the most exciting part, the Vegan Fashion Line! I am thrilled to share this with you all. Let’s take a look!

      The vegan fashion line by LANIUS is everything that you would expect from a company with such high standards. The fibres are top of the line, the pieces are absolutely timeless, and you can feel good purchasing something for yourself without worrying about the high consequences of fashion. I love that LANIUS took the time and effort to become Peta approved certified through the application and interview process. This really shows how much they honour the vegan lifestyle and I truly appreciate that.

      What is the “Peta Approved Logo”?

      The “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo allows companies that sell apparel, accessories, furniture, or home decor to highlight their vegan offerings, helping consumers find animal-free products at a glance and make purchases that align with their values.

      Ethical consumers can rest assured knowing that the entire article, as well as its manufacture, are free from animal ingredients.

      ‘As more and more people decide to live vegan – for the sake of animals, the environment and their own health – …we try to offer more and more vegan garments at LANIUS as well. The PETA “Approved Vegan” label marks our vegan garments and assures that the entire article as well as its manufacture are free from animal ingredients.’

      The vegan collection is not small in any way whatsoever. I actually attempted to count how many options LANIUS had in their vegan collection, and it was well over 150+ (possibly way more, I had to stop scrolling!). Each piece is just as beautiful and timeless as the next. When scrolling through, you will see a few fibres stand out : Tencel Lyocell, organic cotton, organic linen, and recycled materials. The fashion pieces vary greatly and you can come here to find a great collection of capsule wardrobe pieces, staple items, formal wear, outdoor wear, and so much more.

      Here are a few of my favourites from the collection:

      Soft Sheath Dress

       

      Soft Sheath Dress: 48% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 47% TENCEL™ Modalfibers | 5% elastane

       

      Casual Marlene pants Lanius

       

      Casual Marlene Pants: 82% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 18% linen

       

      Lanius Kaftan Dress

       

      Kaftan Dress: 82% cotton, from controlled organic cultivation | 18% linen

       

      As an ethical fashion researcher and consumer, I was thrilled to see the large selection of cuts, colours, and styles. I often feel as though we have very limited options in this ethical fashion world and this is not the case with the LANIUS vegan fashion line. One thing that I was not too thrilled about was the sizing options that are offered. After looking through the site, I noticed that the sizes only range from a size 34-44. This would equal to a size 2-12 in the states.

      I also noticed a lack of diversity and sizing in the models.

      I am hoping that LANIUS will make more ethical pieces that are size inclusive, showcase the clothing in various sizes, and also showcase the clothing on a more diverse group of models. These are rather large issues in the sustainable and ethical fashion world and we do need to speak up about it as consumers and bloggers.

       

      And that is it for us today, folks! Gosh, I love ya. Thank you so much for being here, for reading my articles, and for supporting my work every single day. I am so truly honoured to have you all in this community. A quick heads up on this blog post: LANIUS has sponsored my work here but has in no way pushed me or leveraged me to speak in any which way. I have truly fallen head over feels in love with this brand and cannot wait to share more about them with you all in the future! I highly recommend bookmarking their website for when you are in need of an ethically made, high quality, fair trade, and gorgeous number for your closet.

      Chat with you all soon!

      If you liked this blog post on the Vegan & Sustainable Fashion by LANIUS, check these other ones out!

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      Sustainable and Ethical Capsule Wardrobe: Fall/Winter Edition

      Full Guide to Sustainable and Ethical Shopping for children

      Ethical Fashion Series Spotlight: Nomad’s Clothing 

      7 Ways Parents Can Save the Earth From Home

       

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      Winter Capsule Wardrobe
      Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe: My Fall and Winter Capsule Revealed!

      My Full Fall and Winter Capsule Wardrobe Revealed!

      Welcome back to the blog! I recently chatted on our Instagram and Facebook stories about building my sustainable and ethical capsule wardrobe from scratch and I am so thrilled to finally share it with you all! I began my journey to a capsule wardrobe about two years ago when our family made the decision to live as mindfully and sustainably as possible. Read more

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      Nordgreen Watches
      Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen: Sustainable, Ethical and Timeless

      Nordgreen Watches of Copenhagen: Sustainable, Ethical and Timeless

      Welcome back to the blog! Today we are super excited to feature Nordgreen Watches, a beautiful, timeless, and sustainable wristwatch company that has created gorgeous watches for both men and women alike.

      As many of you know, we only work with companies when we are in need of a sustainable/ethical item because we are minimalists to the core and refuse to take on what we do not actually need. Doing this would defeat the entire purpose of what our website is all about!

      Martin has been looking for an ethical and sustainable watch for quite some time now. We have browsed a few of the sustainable shops around our town but he just could not decide. He wanted a men’s watch that was rugged, classic, minimalist, and very durable.

      Nordgreen Watches

      *Discount Code for 15% off: VMAMAS15

       

      When the folks behind Nordgreen Watches reached out to me, I immediately checked out their standards, practices, transparency, and background. I was so impressed! I called up Martin and later that night we looked through the website together to see if anything would actually work for his capsule wardrobe (check out our full blog post on building your own capsule wardrobe here!).

      As soon as Martin laid eyes on the Nordgreen Pioneer watch, he got so excited! We flipped through the options and were so happy when vegan watch options were not just there, but there were MANY options. Usually, if a company offers vegan strap options, the options are far and few between. Martin was able to check out the vegan leather bands of different colors, rubber bands, and a variety of mesh bands. We both fell in love with the Nordgreen rubber watch band and now Martin is the proud owner of this gorgeous beauty!

      Nordgreen has captured Danish design principles in three distinctive models, each under $250

      *Discount Code for 15% off: VMAMAS15

      The Story and Sustainability Practices Behind Nordgreen Watches

      Pascar and Vasilij

      Two life-long Danish friends who share a passion for watches. Their dream and mission are to deliver true Scandinavian design and lifestyle to everyone.

      “As watch-lovers, we believe all watches should have the highest quality and best design.

      As Danes, we believe in companies that are honest, sustainable, and that put others first.

      As consumers, we couldn’t find any affordable watch company that embodied all of these things.

      So we created it.”

      Nordgreen watches

      This gorgeous rose gold Nordgreen pioneer women’s watch with the mesh strap is one of the top sellers for women watches by Nordgreen. This danish watch has such a beautiful take on minimalism. 

       

      Chief Designer of Nordgreen Watches

      The Chief Designer behind these amazing watches is none other than Jakob Wagner, one of Scandinavia’s most heavily awarded designers. Jakob has the ability to bridge the gap between great aesthetics and functional products that each and every person can incorporate into their lives. An art that many designers struggle with, separating the good from the great.

      Highlights of Nordgreen

      Sustainable Practices

      Nordgreen works with a premium quality production partner, a fully integrated watch producer headquartered in Hong Kong with a factory in Shenzen. The production partner is Danish-owned, securing European work ethics and standards.

      Valuing the Workers

      While working with high-quality sub-suppliers, including Japanese and Swiss mechanism producers, their partner offers a various spectrum of employment benefits, such as free education and language courses for further training and development and free insurance for the workers and their families.

      Strong Work Ethics

      In order for the folks behind Nordgreento to guarantee the best quality, not only for the Nordgren timepieces but for the supply chain, working conditions, and quality control, the founders visit the production partner on a regular basis. To avoid extensive logistics and unnecessary transportation, all non-European orders are fulfilled directly from the warehouse in Asia and all European orders from the distribution center in Denmark.

      Giving Back Program

      For each watch sold, Nordgreen empowers its customers to give back to one of three causes. The unique serial number provided on the back of each watch allows them to track the impact that your donation has made. Access to clean water, a clean environment, and a full education should be a right for all, and it is important to the folks behind Nordgreen that their watches inspire a connection, not just between watch and owner, but amongst everyone.

       

      “To do things the Danish way means to do things with pride and purpose – we don’t settle for anything less.”

       

      Both the Men’s Watches and Women’s Watches of Nordgreen are high-quality, sustainable and beautifully crafted. Customers are able to choose between a silver, gunmetal, or rose gold case, which can then be customized even further with Nordgreen’s interchangeable straps that come in a multitude of colors. The Philosopher is available in 36mm and 40mm sizes.

      Big Thanks to Nordgreen Watches!

      Nordgreen Watches

       

      The folks behind Nordgreen watches were kind enough to gift Martin this beautiful men’s wristwatch. While this is so, every single word of this blog post came straight from us and we truly believe in this sustainable and high-quality brand. I am so excited for Martin to have found his capsule wardrobe watch! Don’t forget to use the code: VMAMAS15 for 15% off your Nordgreen Watch. Thanks for joining us for this review of Nordgreen watches!

       

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      Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery
      5 Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery Brands

      Sustainable and Ethical Jewelery Always Make the Perfect Gift

      While Jewelery is gorgeous, fun, and a sure fire way to make someone swoon….the jewelery industry is quite scary. 

      Whether we are talking about the horrible environmental impacts of mining or the horrendous working conditions, one thing is clear: We need to wake up and become MUCH more conscious of who we are supporting with our hard earned money. By giving money to the companies who do not care, we are funding their horrendous acts. Read more

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      Mother and son sitting near the bridge in Verona Italy wearing nomad's clothing
      Nomad’s Clothing UK Sustainable Fashion

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      Slow Fashion Series Presents: Nomad’s Clothing UK

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