SUSTAINABLE LEATHER COLLECTION: HAND-CRAFTED WALLETS + ACCESSORIES

sustainable leather blog caramel wallet

Looking for the perfect gift for that special XY human in your life? Our sustainable leather collection of wallets and accessories have arrived. Slimline with minimal embossed designs, we have curated pieces to please the masculine nomad in your life. The full range includes leather wallets, passport covers, headphone organisers, and key holders.

Each piece is hand-crafted from ethical cow or buffalo leather which has been sourced from Rajasthan in India by Matr Boomie. Many of the people who live in this region choose Hinduism as a way of life.

WHAT IS HINDUISM?

Considered one of the most ancient and complex religions of the world, Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. Karma – the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds – is also highly valued and respected.

WHY ARE COWS SPECIAL?

sustainable leather collection blog post image 1

Hindus regard all animals and living beings as sacred. The cow in particular is symbolic of all living creatures, as it is considered to be a generous, tolerant, strong, and docile animal. It is well respected and honoured throughout India for its sustenance and nourishment with its continuous milk supply. In many households throughout India, cows or buffalo are honoured family members and they are not harmed or killed for any reason.

HOW IS LEATHER SOURCED?

When a cow does die, either of natural causes or by accident, their skin is used for making leather products such as bags, accessories and other functional items. In much earlier times, the skins were processed in villages; however, due to hygiene reasons it is now processed in tanneries using vegetable dyes.

WHERE CAN I FIND SUSTAINABLE LEATHER PRODUCTS?

Our sustainable leather collection from Matr Boomie are handcrafted using traditional techniques merged with modern design. These curated pieces from roads less travelled, are the ideal gift for free-spirited vagabonds and bohemian gypsies.

Peruse our full Matr Boomie collection of sustainable and ethical leather products here.

With wander + lust,

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TEN REUSABLE PRODUCTS TO REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE

 

how to reduce your plastic waste with reusable products

 

#dryjuly ? That was for 2016 health conscious humans. This year, we’re determined to reduce our plastic, by choosing reusable products which create lasting change #choosetorefuse #plasticfreejuly

If you’re looking for kick ass solutions to help you reduce your plastic, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 reusable products.

Do you want to save this list for later? Download our freebie which includes our Top 10 reusable products and 10 tips for a free  alternative.

10.  REUSABLE FOOD POUCHES

The product every ‘on-the-go’, kitchen goddess (or lord) needs for ethical living. The clever brand Kai Carriers have designed a full range of pouch sizes and slick accessories (check out their dissolvable labels – my new favourite plastic free addition).

9.  BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHESbeeswax wraps honeytrap and bamboo toothbrush

I love that these can be tossed into the compost after you’ve finished with them. I love the colours of Mama Bear’s colour range helps you decipher your own toothbrush from the rest of your tribe, the Environmental Toothbrush is simple yet effective, and I’m about to try Green and Kind which also have charcoal bristles. Most are available in a soft version for children, or there’s also the corn starch based Jack and Jill toothbrush (which is super cute).

8.  REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS

Endless options here and no excuses. Pick them up from your local supermarket, op shop, or even make your own! I use my Hew Shop market bag daily and there are great options available from Justice Kiss and She Made This.  I’m also crushing on Eleanor Ozich’s beautiful selection of market shoppers and tote bags (also available for your mini).

7.  REUSABLE STRAWS

Ever Eco copper reusable straws available from flora and fauna or oh naturalI may have died and gone to plastic free heaven. I’m putting it out there that reusable straws are about to boomsville and every hip ‘n happen’ hang out will be using them. We have the Ever Eco Bent in fancy Rose Gold Edition.  Check out Aussie based Flora and Fauna for their epic range of reusable straws or Oh Natural for the up and coming New Zealand alternative.

6.  REUSABLE NAPKINS

Reduce your landfill and supermarket bill, and fancy up your feasts with cloth napkins. Beautifully soft and absorbent, and they wash up like new, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the change earlier.  

Enjoying our Top Ten Reusable products count down? Download our freebie and you’ll get the PDF with alternative free options to these products!

5.  SILICON LIDS

reusable silicon lids to cover bowls and glasses

Glad wrap (shudder) no more! Pop a Charles Viancin silicon lid over your salad bowls, jug, roasting dishes, and even your glass of vino for an air tight seal. #plasticfreejuly perfection and your guests will compliment you for bringing botanically on trend bowls to your next mid winter Christmas or winter barbeque.

4.  REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES

Your kids all have a reusable bottle, so why wouldn’t you? We love S’well bottles, and I purchased ours from Good Thing. GoodFor also have a lovely selection of thermal drink-bottles at an affordable price. They’ll keep your hot drinks hot, and your cold drinks cold for 24 hours.

3. BEESWAX WRAPS

honeywrap and bohome and roam napkins in coral

I’m a pretty avid Honey Wrap user; but, I love that Beeswax wraps are so readily available now.  Made from beeswax and fabric, you can find them in the design and colour that suits your kitchen decor and mood. Feeling a little hippie? DIY your own with this quick tutorial from Eco Deals.

2.  REUSABLE COFFEE CUPS

These are a must have. If you’re going to make one change this #plasticfreejuly make it this one and help prevent single use coffee cups ending up in landfill and our oceans! Keep Cups are the worldwide leaders, and with their playful colour combos and sizes available for your cortado to your extra large caramel latte they’re hard to beat.  Available widely throughout New Zealand and Australia.

1.  REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS

reusable produce bags available from Pouch Products, Eleanor Ozich, and The Green Collective

Lightweight and transparent, produce bags are the ideal transporter for your fruit, veggies, nuts, and dried fruit. I even use them for storing Georgia’s bib’s and facecloths (who has time to fold anyway?).  Keep a few in your reusable shopping bag, the car, or in your handbag and you’re always good to go! My recommended produce bags can be found from; Pouch Products, Green Collective, and Eleanor Ozich. These bags are so versatile I’m naming them my #plasticfreejuly2017 number one reusable product.

Whether you’re ready to use one, or all of these products, every time you replace a single use plastic, you’re making a significant impact on the environment. Say no to plastic where you can AND remember that you can recycle your soft plastics at collection centres such as your local Supermarket, Four Square or the Warehouse.

Want to remember our top ten? Looking for free alternatives to the products listed above? Download our Freebie for another ten great tips.

With wander + lust,

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HOW TO GROW YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS OF FAIRTRADE

#Ethical #Sustainable #Organic #Fairtrade . These hashtags are going gangbusters on Instagram.  

The media is naming NZ fashion brands who are scoring highly on ethical survey rankings (and shaming those who are not).  

Brands are popping up with the term ‘fair trade’ in their tag-line.  Consumer products are marked with the fairtrade label. How often have you wondered what the term actually means and wanted to broaden your consciousness of the fair trade movement? Read on to learn more and click here to receive our fairtrade freebie.

So there’s fair trade, and then there’s fairtrade. Confused?

In a nutshell, fair trade refers to the social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming.  The fashion industry began to pivot following the Rana Plaza factory collapse where thousands of Bangladesh garment workers were killed under forced working conditions.   This sparked the Fashion Revolution ‘who made my clothes’ campaign. This is a global movement which is largely acknowledged during the same week as the Rana Plaza disaster (April 24th – 30th). Broaden your awareness of this inspiring campaign here.  

When the word ‘fairtrade‘ is used in its entirety, it is referring to the certification system that protects farmers and workers by ensuring they are paid a minimum price for their goods.  You can learn all the details about the fairtrade principles here.

The fairtrade mark enables consumers to identify products that have met the internationally-agreed fairtrade standards. Products that carry the mark have been independently audited across the entire supply chain.  In New Zealand, it can be found on consumables such as; bananas, coffee, chocolate, and sugar; and on non-consumables such as; cotton, gold and beauty products. Learn how to become a more ethical supermarket shopper here, and find the fairtrade mark next time you purchase one of these products.

Many of the BOHOME + ROAM suppliers are members of the Fair Trade Federation, with a few belonging to the World Fair Trade Organisation, the Fair Trade Forum India, or at the very minimum they operate under the fairtrade principles and tell a story through social impact.  

The Fair Trade Federation is a community of businesses committed to 360° fair trade.  Its members work closely with small farmers and artisans to ensure good wages, safe working conditions, environmental responsibility, and economic growth.  To become a member, businesses undergo a vigorous screening process. Verification is based on the Fair Trade Federation principles and they uphold the highest standards of fair trade business practice.

Want to keep growing your consciousness of the fair trade movement and fashion revolution? Over the next month social media will go viral with Fashion Revolution week and World Fair Trade Day.  Click the links in this paragraph or on the image below to find out how you can contribute to spreading awareness. Remember to use the hashtags #fashionrevolution #whomademyclothes #fairtradeday on social media.

To celebrate fair trade, we’ll be offering exclusive deals to our special BOHOMERS.  Sign up to our newsletter here so you don’t miss out on the good stuff.

Plus, if you join our newsletter, you’ll receive 10% off to spend online at bohomeandroam.co.nz . Claim your fairtrade freebie now.

As always, we love hearing from you.  Leave us a comment below.
With wander + lust,

FIVE SIMPLE TIPS TO BECOME A MORE ETHICAL SUPERMARKET SHOPPER

It’s confession time.

I used to be a terrible food shopper, and quite honestly, sometimes I still am.

Walking mindlessly from aisle to aisle, filling my trolley with convenient and high energy treats, not taking the time to consider the impact on the environment (or my body), or the amount of single-use plastic I was supporting to find itself in landfill or in our oceans.  

This mindlessness had to stop.  I began educating myself.  I googled reusable products. I baked and cooked more wholesomely.  I went to one of Kate Meads’ Waste Free Parenting workshops.  I followed Eleanor Ozich, Sarah Wilson, and more recently Buffy Ellen who all continue to inspire me everyday to live life more simply and ethically.   

Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t been ‘reborn’ as an ethical, sustainable ‘hippy’ who is making perfect choices at every crossroad. But, I have been developing awareness and educating myself when it comes to my consumer choices.  As a result, I have developed some tangible, affordable, and time efficient strategies which have helped me to become more ethical.

Wherever you prefer to shop for food, whatever your budget, whatever your lifestyle and meal plan for the week – here are my five simple tips you can adopt into your food shopping routine to become a more ethical (and happier) food consumer.

Also, be sure to read right to the end of the blog post to get the link to our Fair Trade Freebie.

#1 HAVE A GIGANTIC SUPPLY OF REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS IN YOUR CAR (+ IN THE PRAM)

 

So, the obvious, right? I know as hubby reads this he’ll rolling his eyes as it’s such a simple tip that everyone is already doing. But, whenever I look around at the supermarket I see so many people using plastic bags. I’m convinced that not all of these people would choose plastic bags as the ‘transporter’ for their consumables by preference.  

More than likely, the reason is that remembering to put reusable bags into the car is the last idea on your mind.  Not to mention if you’re constantly switching your car with your other half, and taking turns at who picks up the shopping each week. The car switch-a-roo caught me off guard so many times.

First world problems, yes.  But, it’s a worldwide problem that needs to be first on our list to change.  

I mentally bashed myself the first few times when I had every intention on taking my canvas, yet forgot.

If you’re finding yourself in this predicament:

  1.  Have an oversupply of reusable bags. Load up both cars with a heap (and the pram with one).  
  2.  Keep your bags in the same place you keep your keys for the car.  
  3.  Move the bags back to the car as soon as you’ve finished unpacking.  
  4.  Put a recurrent reminder on your phone to put the bags in the car right before shopping time.
  5. Write ‘remember bags’, at the top of your shopping list.

OK and if all these fail and you still manage to get to the supermarket without them, ask yourself, is it really worth burning more carbon to drive home and retrieve your dusty canvas bags? Although, I do highly recommend going back for your wallet if you’ve forgotten that. Guilty.

On a serious note, if and when you forget your reusable shopping bags, take a big breath, stock yourself up with more reusable ones while you’re at the supermarket, try again next time, and recycle any plastic bags you picked by using the soft plastic recycling bins.  You can recycle soft plastics at supermarkets like Countdown, New World, Four Square and at the Warehouse.  Check out the link here to find your closest bin.

After I had mastered remembering my shopping bags routinely for food shops, I also made the decision to stop using those suffocating fruit bags.  Visualise those cylinder reels of plastic which require the dexterity of a surgeon to tear off and open.

Instead of summoning my fruit to plastic doom, I’d have liberated oranges and onions rolling around in my shopping trolley. Meanwhile the checkout operator would be rolling their eyes at my chaos as they attempt to pass me a plastic bag.

So I knew there was a better, ethical way, and I was determined to find it.

#2 USE REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS

 

Reusable mesh bags have re-established order to my shopping trolley.  I recommend Pouch Products Produce Pouches and Green Collective Goodie Bags which are both made from a durable, stretchy, virtually weightless mesh fabric, strong enough to hold 3kgs of fructose and fibre. They are the ideal temporary home for your fruit and veggies and they are also great for making cheese, nut milks, or as a simmering pouch of herbs and spices for mulled wine or casseroles.

I also avoid purchasing fruit and veggies that are conveniently packaged in plastic. Carrots, potatoes, capsicums, and tomatoes are becoming familiar companions of pre-packaged plastic.  Or, (my personal favourite), the dreaded avocado trio that sit in a plastic and polystyrene coffin, that are cheaper than purchasing three single avocados.

Sometimes being ethical comes at a cost; but, the bottom line is that supply is driven by demand. Each time you opt for an item without plastic, you’re casting a vote toward a less plastic, and more ethical society.

#3 LOOK FOR RECYCLABLE PACKAGING

 

My super-ego tells me I should be super-mum who manages to make all of my family’s food from scratch.  But, let’s face it. I have a small human who seems to consumes three times her bodyweight in food each day. Sometimes we eat whole-food, home-made meals, and sometimes we do not.

I choose to not get myself all worked up because I added some processed items to my food trolley that come in a plastic packet.  We’re big fans of Organic Rice Crackers in my household.  

However, I do take a few moments to look for the recycle logo on packaged products.  

It’s not as simple as looking at a cardboard item and assuming it’s recyclable just because it’s made out of paper.  For instance, tetra paks are lined with a metallic substrate which requires a specific recycling facility to process it (i.e., they are not recyclable in all regions of New Zealand).  Yoghurt containers are also only recyclable in selective regions.

If you’re keen to find out more about what recycling numbers mean and how they apply to where you live click here.  

Remember that you can recycle your soft plastics at your closest stockist here.  Just be sure to wash out your plastic (as you would with your recycling) before recycling them in the soft plastics bin.

#4 PURCHASE FAIR TRADE (WHERE POSSIBLE)

 

Coffee, chocolate, bananas. We all know that these are the obvious fair trade consumables.

But, how often do you actually look for the fair trade logo when you purchase them?

Did you know that in some supermarkets, bananas are almost the same price regardless of whether they are fair trade or not? Yet, the humans at the beginning of the chain are the ones that either suffer or benefit from our decision.  Our consumer choice directly impacts on their livelihood.  So go on, pay that extra 50 cents for fair trade bananas.  

I now avoid buying bananas unless the fair trade option is available.

If we all made this small, yet powerful ethical choice, we’ll spark a radical banana movement.

Take free range eggs for example, 10 years ago, there was only one option for ‘free range eggs’ nowadays, it’s about 50/50.  Yes ‘free range’ eggs are another debate in themselves, and there are lots of great people out there choosing vegan, or housing their own chickens.  My point here is that that the supermarkets have changed what types of eggs they sell has been ultimately driven by consumer choices.

Trade aid have also launched a fantastic range of fair-trade products which are now available at most supermarkets, and includes sugar, coconut milk, and chocolate.  The Trade Aid mint crisp chocolate block is fast becoming a favourite in our fridge.

I’ve also recently discovered that Macro Organic has a lovely range of Fair trade coffee from Peru.

We’ve got a great fair trade freebie for you at the end of this blog post, so be sure to read our last tip  below.

#5 BUY IN SEASON AND LOCALLY MADE

 

Lastly, a great reminder that if you’re choosing in season you’re buying local.  The benefits of this can be directly felt on your wallet and your body. Plus you’re helping to save on carbon when you’re choosing to purchase NZ oranges versus USA ones and you’re directly supporting the NZ economy.

Remember, that not every trip to the supermarket, local butcher, fruit and veggie shop, or farmers market will be perfect – especially when you arrive hungry. The right ethical decision won’t always be easy, and we won’t always make it.

But the important message is that knowledge, preparation and a little more awareness in what you are choosing are essential for becoming a more ethical supermarket shopper.

To say thank you for reading our blog this week, we’ve got a Fair Trade Freebie for you. Click here or the link below to get it!

FREE TRADE FREEBIE

Remember to share your education with others, and with us. We always love to hear your ideas and see your posts on facebook and instagram.  Simply use hashtag #bohomeandroam to get our attention or email us at hello@bohomeandroam.co.nz

With wander + lust,

FAIR TRADE FREEBIE

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | TURKISH TOWELS

 

Selam BOHOMERs.

As I write this blog post we are on our way to Blenheim (via Nelson) for the wedding of a couple of crazy lovebirds. This time, we are Georgia-less (and dog-less), our first weekend away since our little pixie was born, and our first wedding since our own! As per usual I made the most of the travel limbo time (thanks to the 50 minute airline delay) by writing this Product Spotlight on our luscious Turkish Towels.

Hands up who’s seen a Turkish Towel for sale on onceit, rolled up in a basket alongside a garden flamingo at Collected, or, seen glossy images of Turkish Towels on Instagram? Now, hands up who’s still unsure what a Turkish Towel actually is (beyond, perhaps a towel that is of Turkish origin?).

I wasn’t entirely sure either.  All I knew was that some of these mysterious ‘Turkish Towels’ were labeled ‘made in China’, others were soft and luxurious, some felt ‘starchy’ and they all seemed to come in a range of colours and designs and appeared beach appropriate.

So let’s start at its origin.  A Turkish Towel, also called a pestemal, hamman or fouta, is traditionally woven by woman on hand looms to produce a large and flat cloth. Pestamals were greatly favoured by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire while relaxing in Turkish Baths, (the Hamman) which is an important part of Turkish culture.  Since it’s creation, the Hamman has been much more than just a place of relaxation. A regular trip to a Turkish bath was a ritual for cleansing and purification.  It was intimately bound to everyday life, a place where people of every rank and class, young and old, rich and poor, townsmen or villagers, could go in freely.  Turkish Baths continue to be an ideal gathering point to meet, catch up with family, friends and to celebrate major life events such as weddings and births.

Turkish towels are made from Turkish cotton – a premium type of cotton with extra long fibers. Longer fibers = fewer joins + stronger + smoother threads. Because of this unique characteristic of the cotton, Turkish towels are notorious for becoming softer, fluffier and more absorbent with successive washings.

A ‘worn in’ Pestamal is as absorbent as a traditional towel, dries super quick, is extremely space efficient and easy to carry. These features make the Pestemal a perfect accompaniment for the beach, bathrooms, travel, pools and the spa.  Double them up as a throw, wrap or blanket and they are ideal for babies and kiddo’s too.  Pestemals are so much more than a beautiful piece of linen hanging on your towel rail. Versatility, tick. Functionality, tick. Aesthically pleasing, tick.

So, if you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking, right so I need a bit of a Turkish Towel or two in my life, where shall I get my Pestemal from?  What’s the difference between the specimens I see for sale online and in stores? Factory made, or hand-woven?

Sadly – like the shrinking nature of many ancestral skills – the majority of Turkish towels are mass produced in China with poor quality cotton. These ‘replicas’ are far diluted in their functionality and beauty.  Fortunately, a few families in Southern Turkey continue to handloom Turkish towels, in collaboration with fair trade organisations and businesses.

So the next question really is, how can you tell the difference between machine sewn versus hand-woven?

Tip number one.  A hand-woven Turkish Towel will feel starchy to begin with.  If it feels soft and lush, it’s unlikely to be a true pestamal made out of those long cotton threads (as I mentioned earlier).  But fear not!  You can speed up the softness and absorbency of your pestamal by soaking it in a bucket of cold water for 24 hours before washing it normally (in cold water and with mild detergent). Avoid fabric softeners – they will damage the cotton.

Don’t rate yourself as able to identify high quality linen when you see it? (unlike my hairier other half, Dave, who continues to surprise me with his ability to pick high quality silk from a barrel of textiles with his eyes closed).  Here’s tip number two – like most high quality, fair trade products – the price tag will give you an indication.  My rule of thumb for purchases I make these days is, if an item retails for X dollars, how much could the person who made it have been paid? Generally speaking, a Turkish towel, of the highest quality Turkish cotton (which has been hand-woven under fair trade conditions) will retail around $80 – $140 NZD.

Tip number three.  Go to BOHOME + ROAM and see for yourself.

BOHOME + ROAM Turkish Towels are currently sourced through Home & Loft, which are US based, and Turkish in heritage.  David and Handan spend the US winter in Istanbul, working in collaboration with the artisans to produce their designs and creations.  You can shop our hand-picked selection here.

As a blog special, we’re offering 20% off our full sized Turkish Towels for one week only.  Just use the code ‘ TURKISH20 ’ at check out to redeem this offer.  Be quick BOHOMERs, this offer expires on Friday the 17th March.  You’ll get free NZ shipping for orders over $75 too.I hope you’ve enjoyed our first product spotlight.  We’d love to know what you think (leave us a comment below!), or even if you want to say “selam!” we’d love to hear from you.

Feeling a little shy to say hello? We get ya! You can still sign up to our newsletter here so you don’t miss out on the good stuff.

With wander + lust,

 

 

HELLO HUMANS

As I write this, my little family and I are travelling to Lake Rotoiti for a couple of days of sunshine, pressed grapes, and great company with friends. We’re listening to “My Baby” a Dutch band we discovered two days ago from one of our buddies from Holland, while our little girl Georgia naps in her car seat next to my thrifted cowgirl hat and our newly soaked Turkish Towels.  No doubt she’ll be a little sad when she wakes up and realises her buddy Charlie (our oh so loyal golden retriever) won’t be on this trip.  Driving beside me is my hubby, Dave (my partner in crime + the level headed brains behind BOHOME + ROAM).  We’ve been bantering about our next big trip later this year to Italy and we’ve decided that Hong Kong and India will be our ideal stop overs.  Our conversation has led to discussing Turkey’s political climate and (don’t even get me started with a certain someone who rhymes with LUMP) which fills my soul with both a deep sadness and also gratitude.

This is BOHOME + ROAM.  We are a little family with wanderlust in our souls, deep curiosity for the planet and the variety of humans that inhabit it, lovers of the unique and handmade, and although I fall short on a daily basis, we aim to live life more sustainably, more ethically, and more free.

Yes, BOHOME + ROAM is an online store that sells homewares and accessories.  Yes, our products are hand made by humans and each piece is completely unique, one of a kind, and personally handpicked by hubby and I. Yes, we choose to work only with other humans who operate under the fair trade principles. Because, we believe in empowering other humans to rise above poverty in a sustainable way, and we believe that this is the right way of doing business.

But, BOHOME + ROAM is also much more than an online store.  It’s a journey, an adventure, our creative output. Each day, we are trying to make choices in line with our ethos, and our blog endeavours to capture this. Maybe, if you choose to come roam with us, it might inspire you to do the same.

With wander + lust,