New Organic and Fairtrade Clothing Website

Where my clothing comes from is something which has been close to my heart for a long time, ever since I first found out how clothes are usually made: in poor conditions, with slave labour, using cotton grown with a lot of chemicals, and/or synthetic materials made from petrochemicals.

Fairtrade Organic Hoodie with Om Symbol

From that point on, I tried my best to only buy ethical clothes made with natural materials, although due to price and availability this usually meant buying secondhand clothes. So, I’m really excited to announce the launch of my new website, Zazeka.com. If you’ve been following my work for a while, you will know I’ve dabbled in this area in the past, but now I’m really happy with this new project.

All the clothing we sell is organic, (most of it 100%, although some products have small amounts of synthetic materials) and all is made by Fair Wear Foundation members, a non-profit organisation striving to improve working conditions in the textile industry. Some items are fairtrade and some are ultra low carbon footprint, generating 90% less carbon emissions than equivalent items. (Yeah, I know, it would be great if everything was fairtrade and low carbon, but that’s not available at the moment.)

Organic Women's Sweatshirt Organic Low Carbon Men's T-Shirt Organic Women's T-Shirt Organic Low Carbon Woman's T-Shirt

Please visit the site to see the whole range. If you want one of the designs on a different item, just let me know and I’ll set it up. I’m going to be adding more products and more designs – so let me know if you have ideas for designs you’d like to see.

I’d love any feedback you might have…

Ethical Organic Cotton T-Shirts

Edit 3 Oct 2018 – this post is obsolete, I’ve added a new post about Zazeka, my new organic clothing store. and I’ve updated links in this post to point to the new site.

About 7 years ago, Jolita and myself had the idea to produce organic, fair trade t-shirts. Because for me, buying clothing is very difficult, I cannot bear to buy cloths made with slave labour, which unfortunately is most of them.

Abstract snail and flowers t-shirt

The first t-shirt design by Jolita

At  that time, our plan didn’t happen for various reasons, although we did produce a fair trade organic cotton shopping bag.

So, fast forward 7 years, and we finally have organic ethical t-shirts and other clothing for sale. We even started with one of Jolita’s designs from 7 years ago, I still think it looks great! The blank t-shirts are made in India in wind powered factories where the workers are paid a fair wage. They are then shipped to the UK ready for your order. Once an order is placed, the t-shirt is printed with your chosen design with eco inks in another wind powered factory.

Here’s a design I came up with for raw fooders:

Broccoli power ethical organic t-shirt

Delivery is usually next working day, and is free to the UK Mainland if you spend over £50 (on clothing, this is completely separate to the main Funky Raw shop).
Edit: Delivery is free on all UK orders on the new website.

We also have ethical organic cotton hoodies and jumpers:

Broccoli power hoodie Womens ethical organic jumper



Summer Joy men's organic hoodieSummer Joy women's organic jumper

 

Click to view the whole range.

For Sale: VW Camper Van, cheap but needs TLC

Edit: This van is now sold.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember this post where I told you all about the VW Camper van we bought and moved into. Well, five years later it is now time to sell the van. Unfortunately it is not in good condition any more and really needs someone who knows what they are doing to buy it and fix it up.

This van is currently in Portugal, but we will be driving it up to London in September ready to be sold (it is UK registered). As we won’t be in the UK for long I’d like to at least provisionally arrange the sale before we arrive.

Basic specification: VW T4, 2.5L Petrol (with GPL conversion which doesn’t work properly and not economical to fix), Automatic gearbox (replaced a couple of years ago), Left Hand Drive (imported from Germany, great for travelling in Europe), first registered 1993 (K reg), LWB (Long Wheel Base), fixed high top, Westfalia California Club conversion.

I’ll list some of the major parts and their status:

  • Side sliding door is very broken, it’s fine when it is closed but falls off when you open it – there is a technique for opening and closing it, but it really needs fixing.
  • Engine is doing quite well. Approx 291,000 km (approx 181,000 miles).
  • It does have some kind of problem that no-one seems to understand, it sometimes makes a sound and jerks a bit when changing gear, usually when going up a steep hill – the guy at the auto-gearbox garage said that it wasn’t a problem with the gearbox.
  • There is a leak in the radiator system and it needs topping up after almost every journey – I keep trying to get it fixed but it is never completely fixed.
  • Ignition switch is a bit dodgy, but there is a technique to starting it which works fine once you know it.
  • Fuel gauge doesn’t work most of the time. Fuel tank is 80 L but recently I’ve only been able to get 60 L in it, don’t know why.
  • Temperature gauge doesn’t work most of the time
  • Fair bit of rust, but so far nothing which is a problem for the MOT
  • Fridge is broken
  • Tap leaks a little bit (only when turned on)
  • Twin burner gas stove works fine
  • Fiamma wind out awning works fine (this is attached to the side of the van), really useful to give some shade in summer.
  • Also includes a full awning, although we have never used it, we didn’t take it with us travelling as it took up too much space inside the van
  • Mains hookup works fine, with 2 European type sockets in the van.
  • Heater in campervan part doesn’t work (heating in cab when engine running works fine)

The “rock and roll” bed is great, we find it very comfortable and fairly easy to set up. There is lots of cupboard space and storage space. Driver and passenger seats are “captains chairs” which swivel round to allow 4 people to sit around the table, and provide space to make the bed. There are two tables, a small one which is attached and easy to just lift up, or a larger one which is stowed away in the top bed area.

Seats 4 when driving (it has 4 seat belts), and sleeps 4, two on the main bed downstairs and 2 in the bed above which pulls out on runners, although it is designed for children, not for claustrophobic adults! The mattress for the upper bed is missing – we just use that top area for storage.

The layout is great with the kitchen at the back, which can be used even when the bed is out.

There is currently an 80 watt (at least, it might be 90 watt, I can’t remember) solar panel attached to the roof and a 1000 watt inverter which I am allowing for in the price, I could remove these if you don’t want them. This is connected to the two existing leisure batteries which power the lights, tap and 12v socket, and the inverter for using some mains powered equipment (we use it for a blender).

MOT until end of September. I’d prefer to sell it without a new MOT. The last few years it has cost around £1000 to put it through the MOT. If you want to buy it with an MOT I would be happy to sell it for £1000 extra and put it through the MOT for you. (Based on a firm sale with deposit, only cancelled and deposit returned if it can’t get an MOT or would cost too much to get an MOT)

Edit: This van is now sold.

How to save money on your fuel bills

It’s all over the papers: gas and electricity prices are rising, and rising fast. Which makes now a great time to think about eating more raw food! Yes, when you eat raw food you save money on fuel used for cooking. And you get more nutrition out of the food, which helps with the rising food prices.

You might not think of winter as a time to start eating salads, but raw food isn’t just about salads. Using chilli and other spices you can make raw food that makes you feel warm inside. Also, raw food doesn’t mean cold food; food should be at room temperature (not straight out of the fridge), but you can warm food up gently. Soup is a good example of this, you can make a raw soup and warm it gently, using much less energy than if you were cooking it. You shouldn’t let your food get over about 40 degrees C, think about body temperature (37 deg) if you have trouble remembering.

Here’s a spicy chilli sauce recipe you can use to heat up any raw dish:

Grind up coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Add some fresh chillis, garlic, flax oil (or other oil), garam masala (or other spices) and blend (or grind, probably could do this in a pestle and mortar if you chop the chillis first, and save even more energy).

Positive Advertising

I saw an advert in Kentish Town tube station today, it went something like “Need Energy? Try fruit.” I couldn’t believe it! It was sponsored by Camden NHS (National Health Service). I’ll try and take a photo of it next time I’m over in that part of town…

Walking

Just found a great new website www.walkit.com. There are loads of route planning websites out there but they are all for driving, this is the first one that is specifically for walking routes. On the surface there might not seem like much is different, but try using a normal route planning site and end up taking a 3 mile detour when you could have just walked ‘the wrong way’ down a one way street! They also plan to add lots of off road walking routes which would be wonderful.

What are you searching for?

For all my websites I get detailed visitor statistics and one of the things I can see is what search terms people used to find this blog, some of which I found amusing:

recipes for brockley soup

That’s the users miss-spellings of broccoli, which just happens to be a place round the corner from where I live! So no broccoli soup recipes on this site yet, just some photos of the Brockley Nature Reserve!

chocolate bar made with magic mushrooms

Well that one definatly sounds interesting, I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe I should 😉

what fruit contains the mineral zeolite

I thought I should answer this one. According to Wikipedia “Natural zeolites form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater”, so as far as I know, you won’t find them in fruit.

And finally:

aligator riding

What connection this has with my blog, I really have no idea!!!

What’s in a name?

I was out on one of my walks around the area (looking for more places to find wild food!) when I came across a shop called “The Organically Minded Grocer”. I was mildly excited “will this be the closest organic shop to where I live?” was the question on my mind. Well, my excitement didn’t last long, as I looked through the fresh fruit and veg I didn’t find a single organic item! On further inspection I found some organic herbal tea and a tin of organic something or other, but nothing to satisfy this raw food eater.
I can just imagine the following conversation:

“Yeah, I’m organically minded too.”

“That’s great. Can you recomend somewhere local I can get some organic produce?”

“Ah, you misunderstand, I don’t actually eat organic, I just think about it.”