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5 easy ways to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen

The news is full of stories about climate change and it can be very frightening.

However if everyone made small changes to their everyday life then it could make a huge difference to the future of our planet. I’m by no means an environmental expert but here are some tips to help make your kitchen a bit more eco-friendly.

1a. Reduce single use plastic – loose fruit and veg

Everyone knows the amount of plastic floating around the oceans and sitting in landfills is super bad news. Once you start thinking about single use plastic you see it everywhere! An easy way to reduce your plastic intake is to buy your fruit and veg loose instead of prepacked. Many of the supermarkets are now offering plastic free choices for their fruit and veg which is great news. Better yet, why not shop at your local greengrocer and support a small business.

eco friendly plastic free shopping

1b. Reduce single use plastic – weigh shop

As well as fruit and veg you can buy all sorts of your store cupboard essentials without plastic. Pasta, rice, dried fruit, spices, pulses and much more can be found at weigh shops. You can bring your own containers to fill up with as much or as little as you need so it helps prevent food waste too. These are popping up all over the country now so keep an eye out for one coming to your town soon. If you live around Newcastle Upon Tyne I recommend Buy the Kilo in Tynemouth (pictured), the Weigh House and Nil Living in the Grainger Market, The Little Refill Shop in Seaham and The Honey Tree in Heaton.

Buy the Kilo eco friendly plastic free shopping

1c. Reduce single use plastic – bring your own containers

It’s great to see that lots of the supermarkets are now encouraging this. Instead of buying prepackaged meats and cheese, you can take your own container to the butcher and deli counter at larger supermarkets. This prevents the use of plastic trays which are difficult to recycle. Plus the choice of cheese at the counter is much bigger than off the shelf, and the meat tastes fantastic.

2. Eco friendly cleaners

Have you ever thought about the amount of harsh chemicals that are released into the environment from cleaners? Or the amount of plastic you have stored in your cleaning cupboard? Thankfully there are now lots of options for more eco friendly cleaning products. One of the biggest names in eco friendly cleaning is Ecover. This brand is widely available and is often found in refillable shops too. I also thought the “doesn’t cost the earth” range by Wilko is good as it’s all made from sustainable plant ingredients and packaged in 100% recycled bottles. Plus their washing up liquid is one of the only washing up liquids that doesn’t irritate my skin.

To reduce waste even more you can fill up your cleaning products at a refill shop. Again these are becoming much more common so you may already have one near you without knowing about it. I use the concentrated cleaning gel from Alternative Stores which is just around the corner from me. You dilute the gel at home with water and a little goes a really long way so it actually works out far cheaper than ready made cleaning products! If you’re in Newcastle Upon Tyne there’s also the One World Shop that offers refills as well as Buy the Kilo, Nil Living and The Little Refill Shop mentioned earlier.

3. Freeze leftovers

The amount of food waste produced in the world is just crazy. Over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste. This is such a simple issue for you to tackle at home. Meal plan what you’re going to eat for the week then just buy the food for those meals and snacks. Then if you have any food left over from your meal don’t throw it out! Use a tupperware or a glass jar to freeze your leftovers for a really quick meal for another day.

4. Find plastic alternatives

Take a look through your kitchen cupboards and fridge. What items could you swap to be packaged in something other than plastic? I’ve switched to milk in returnable glass bottles from a local farmer, cola in cans instead of plastic bottles, and mixer drinks in glass bottles instead of plastic. (For any dark and stormy fans Belvoir’s ginger cordial that comes in a glass bottle is divine.) These were really simple switches that have reduced my plastic use hugely.

Interesting fact about aluminium – did you know that there is no limit to the amount of times aluminium can be recycled? This makes it the most recyclable of all the materials. Plus the energy that’s saved by recycling one aluminium can is enough to power a TV for three hours!

5. Ditch the cling film

Of course I couldn’t make a blog post about an eco friendly kitchen without mentioning beeswax wraps. These fantastic creations have completely changed my kitchen habits. Instead of wrapping bowls and food in cling film, use a beeswax wrap instead.

Cling film can’t be recycled so every piece that was ever made is now sitting in a landfill or polluting our oceans. Beeswax wraps are reusable, much prettier than cling film, and can be composted at the end of their life. To find out more about the beeswax wraps, check out this blog post.

Drawn by Rhiannon beeswax food wraps fabric

You can also take your beeswax wrap to the cheese counter and take your chunk of cheese home wrapped in the lovely fabrics.

To shop the full range of reusable beeswax food wraps, click on the pictures above or click here.

If you have any more tips about how to make your kitchen more eco friendly or if you want to recommend an eco friendly shop near you, comment below!

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Made by hand from start to finish

Rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads being made by hand

At Drawn by Rhiannon everything is done by hand from start to finish.

Every item begins with an image drawn by hand by me which I scan in to the computer to make a digital fabric design. I then make all the items myself on my industrial sewing machine. I also make all the packaging myself, photograph the items and edit them to make them as clear as possible. Finally I list them on my website and write up a description for every item. It really is all done by hand!

To show you what I mean here’s a rundown on how the new rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads were made by hand, step by step. (You can take a look at the finished product on my website here.)

Step 1: Drawings

I love that every fabric I design begins with one of my drawings. I use all sorts of materials to draw with but for the rubber ducks I decided to use promarkers. These pens are brilliant for creating bold graphic designs which was exactly the look I wanted for the ducks. I chose a selection of rubber ducks from my collection (I have almost 100 now!) and started to draw. I initially sketched the ducks in pencil to get a rough outline to work with. Then I went over the lines I was happy with with a black marker and coloured in the shapes. These are the pages from my sketchbook that I scanned in.

Step 2: Digital print design

Once I’m happy with the drawings it’s time to make the digital print design. The drawings always need a bit of cleaning up so I go around the edge of the drawings erasing any fuzzy edges from the scanner. Thanks to the bold line work and colours, the duck drawings scanned in really well and were fairly simple to convert in to digital images. Next I make sure the colours are where I want them to be. For example, some of the ducks had scanned in with bolder colours so I wanted to make sure that the colour depth was even across all the ducks. I never want to over-edit on the computer otherwise the drawings will lose their hand-drawn character. 

I had a good idea in my head about how I wanted the duck print to look which made it easier to arrange the design. Sometimes I’m not sure how I want the finished design to look so it can take a long time to work out a composition that I’m happy with. For the rubber ducks I simply wanted them in lines with a half drop repeat.

Step 3: Making

When I’ve finished the design, I send it to a fabric printing company in London. They print my designs on to the fabrics then send it back to me to be made in to all sorts of different items. 

With the reusable makeup remover pads there are quite a few steps required to make them. First of all I have to cut out the printed fabric and the backing fabric. For the back of the pads I use a soft cotton towelling that I source locally.

 

Once the fabrics are all cut out it’s time to start pinning. About 70% of making anything seems to be pinning!

 

After pinning everything in place I sew the two sides together on the industrial sewing machine. I then topstitch around the whole pad to make sure it’s really secure.

Rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads being made by hand

Then I repeat the whole thing four more times to have a total of five makeup pads per pack. The final stage in the making process is to make the little wash bag that the pads are stored in. I make these with tulle that I buy locally so that you can see which design pads are inside each bag. It’s also a handy little bag to keep for washing the makeup pads in so that they don’t escape and get lost in the wash.

Step 4: Packaging

I include an information tag with the reusable makeup remover pads which also gets made by me. I designed the tag on my computer to include how to use the pads and the cleaning instructions. These tags are then printed on to card and cutout using my cricut machine. The cricut machine saves me a lot of time and cuts a lot more accurately than I would!

Step 5: Photography

Once the makeup pads are made, in their little bags and tied with a tag, they’re ready to be photographed. I do all my product photography myself in my studio. Luckily my studio has nice big windows that let in lots of natural light so as long as the British weather is being kind, I can usually snap some pretty good product shots.

Then it’s just a case of editing the photos to fix the lighting and make sure the colours are true to life. Finally they’re ready to list on the website!

I always write a small section about the inspiration behind the print design for a personal touch and make sure important details such as size and fabric type are listed.

You can see the finished listing here – https://www.drawnbyrhiannon.co.uk/product/reusable-rubber-duck-makeup-remover-pads/

 

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Gift wrap

Adding gift wrap to your order will make your purchase extra special.

There are two options for gift wrap – Christmas gift wrap and other occasion gift wrap. Being eco friendly and using no plastic is very important at Drawn by Rhiannon. All the elements used in these wrapping options are either recyclable or reusable and there’s no plastic to be seen!

Christmas

If you select the Christmas gift wrap option, this is how your item will be wrapped. It features Christmas print kraft paper tied together with red twine and finished off with a festive cinnamon stick and jingle bell. A hand written charity Christmas card will be included so please leave your gift message at checkout. (If you would like to know which charities are being supported this year please get in touch.) Your order can then either be sent to you or it can be delivered directly to the recipient. Just type in whichever address you would like it sending to at checkout.

Other occasions

If your order is for a birthday gift, an anniversary present, a well done surprise or any other occasion, this is the option to choose. Your item will be wrapped in blue kraft paper and tied together with blue polka dot ribbon. A hand written note card will be included so please leave your gift message at checkout. Your order can then either be sent to you or it can be delivered directly to the recipient. Just type in whichever address you would like it sending to at checkout.

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Brand new items in the making

New fabric from Drawn by Rhiannon

With the arrival of the new fabric last week, it’s time for a whole range of new items.

January was a super busy month designing lots of new prints. It’s one thing seeing my designs on my computer screen, but seeing my drawings printed on fabric is still amazing! I’ve got a busy couple of weeks making lots of lovely new items for you all so I thought I would list everything I’m making so you can see what’s going on. If you would like to pre-order anything before it goes to public sale, please get in touch!

Passport covers

Kingfisher
Giraffe
Ladybird
Sheep
Banana
Panda
Cow
Blue tit
Bee

Giraffe passport cover
Giraffe passport cover

Coin purses

Bananas (random pattern on a blue background)
Bananas (stripes on a white background)
Cats
Rubber ducks
Llama
Puffin
Cows
Rabbit
Sheep
Ladybird
Panda
Bee

Llama coin purse
Llama coin purse

Wash bags

Ladybird
Rubber ducks
Puffin
Panda – SOLD
Cow
Sheep
Bananas

Puffin wash bag
Puffin wash bag

Aprons

Kingfisher
Llama
Bee
Bananas
Teacup – SOLD

Bee apron
Bee apron

Reusable makeup remover pads

Squirrels
Puffin – SOLD
Ladybird
Blue tit – SOLD
Rabbit
Bananas
Panda
Kingfisher
Pineapple
Flamingo
Elephant
Peacock feathers – SOLD
Bee x 4 – 2 SOLD

Elephant reusable makeup remover pads
Elephant reusable makeup remover pads

Reusable beeswax food wraps:
Snack size and lunch size

Bees
Kingfisher
Puffin
Ladybird
Flamingo
Panda
Bananas
Pineapples
Dinosaurs
Unicorns
Blue tits

Banana reusable beeswax food wrap
Banana reusable beeswax food wrap

Don’t forget to comment below or click here to get in touch if you’d like to reserve any of these items.

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New fabric coming soon! What prints do you want to see?

Drawn by Rhiannon is ordering more fabric this week! Get in touch to add your request.

It’s that time again when new fabric is on its way!

After a super fantastic festive period, it’s time to restock on lots of items. New fabric here we come! The beeswax wraps have now completely sold out so I’ll be making a HUGE new batch of those, but what else would you like to see?

Drawn by Rhiannon beeswax food wraps fabric
Reusable beeswax food wraps fabric

I’ve designed lots of new prints in the new year so I’m really excited to see those on fabric. Have you seen the panda print and banana print yet?

With summer holidays on the horizon I’m planning on making a whole new range of passport covers. What designs would you like to see on the passport covers? So far I have planned bees, blue tits, bananas, sheep, cows, pandas, kingfishers, rabbits, ladybirds and giraffes. Are there any other prints you’d like on them? Let me know by commenting below!

Drawn by Rhiannon lovebird parrot passport cover
Passport covers are a great way to make your passport stand out from the crowd. What prints would you like to see on the next batch of passport holders?

Another best seller at Christmas was the fabulous reusable makeup remover pads. These completely sold out at the Christmas markets so I’m going to make a big new batch of these too. What designs would you like to see on the makeup pads? Let me know!

Drawn by Rhiannon reusable flamingo makeup remover pads
With a pretty printed side and a soft towelling side, these reusable makeup remover pads are an essential part of any beauty routine.

And of course there will be more of your favourites like coin purses, makeup bags and aprons. Anything else you’d like to request? Just let me know! New fabric will be ordered on Friday so don’t miss out.

Drawn by Rhiannon fabric order
If you want to request any items for the next couple of months, please let me know this week!