The Eco Essentials To Consider When Packing Your Hospital Bag

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As you near the end of your pregnancy one of your most pressing tasks will likely be packing your hospital bag...but with so many lists and suggestions out there it can be difficult to know where to start. What do you really need with you to make labour and your few days in hospital easier, more comfortable and an overall positive experience? Rather than a full blown list I’ve broken it down into categories so you can decide for yourself which items will be the best fit for you and your preferences. 

Pass The Time

There’s no telling how long labour will last and you may even find yourself with some time to spare after baby arrives (ambitious...maybe!), so think about what will help you pass the time while keeping you in a positive and relaxed state of mind. Consider entertainment you might enjoy, download some movies or tv shows to binge or have a good book or magazine on hand to help provide some distraction. For more calming options you may want to have a speaker with you and prepare a relaxing playlist or look into some soothing essential oils to diffuse or rub on your pressure points to help you reach a state of zen.  

Keep Mum Comfortable

Your comfort in the hospital is of the highest importance, so whatever you can do to make sure you feel good will be well worth it! Remember you’ll likely be spending a lot of your hospital stay in bed so comfortable pyjamas that are covered up and nursing friendly will be key. And don’t forget warm slippers or socks so you can easily go for walks when the four walls of your room get too much! For heading home, and when you want to feel a little more human during your stay, be sure to also pack a comfortable outfit that should almost definitely include your most loved pregnancy leggings! Check out these sustainable maternity lingerie brands for some beautiful organic loungewear options. [Link to 5 Sustainable Maternity Lingerie Brands]

Care Down There  

Now for some necessary items that you may prefer not to think about but will go a long way for your wellbeing post delivery. It’s all about being gentle down there so when you’re stocking up on maternity pads look for organic cotton options like these from TOM Organic to ensure you get the greatest comfort along with a more sustainable option. You may also want to consider underwear that will comfortably and easily hold your maternity pads, again organic cotton options will provide you with the highest comfort and breathability. I’ve also heard amazing things about the benefits of having a peri bottle and natural herbal sprays to help ease your discomfort in the days following birth.

For Baby

Baby won’t actually need much during his or her first few days of life in the hospital so go easy on how much you pack, even though I’m sure you have so many cute options! One or two outfits including a beanie and a warm blanket for the trip home is all you need. Essentials for baby are often provided by the hospital, be sure to check beforehand, but as long as you’re set for when you get home keep your hospital bag focussed on your needs. If you’re after a special coming home outfit for baby check out these adorable sustainable baby brands for inspiration. [Link to 5 of our favourite ethical and sustainable baby brands]

Don’t Forget Your Support Person

Lastly have a think about the needs of your support person so they can be 100% focussed on you and your wellbeing during your time in hospital. If you have a long labour your support person is likely to get hungry and you might be grateful to have your favourite snacks on hand afterwards as well! Packing snacks from home and a reusable water bottle not only means you’re prepared but also reduces your waste during your hospital stay. Make sure your support person has a copy of your birth plan and has other necessities like phone chargers, relevant contact phone numbers and any insurance or ID information covered as once you’re in labour these will likely be the last things on your mind. They will also require a bag with clothes packed if they’re staying and don’t forget the good camera, pictures on your phone might not cut it in this scenario!

This article was created for and originally published on The Green Hub

5 Ethical Maternity Lingerie Brands For New Mums

Whether you’re planning on breastfeeding or not there comes a time during your pregnancy when maternity lingerie will be a necessity. This can be yet another daunting task on your road to motherhood as it, once again, involves areas of your body that have changed and grown! To take the stress out of your lingerie shopping, whether you’re investing in nursing bras or simply need maternity pyjamas for your impending hospital stay, check out these awesome sustainable options that will have you covered no matter what your needs:

Belabumbum

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This brand, hailing from Brazil and pronounced bela-boom-boom which means ‘beautiful bum’ in Portuguese, focuses exclusively on maternity and nursing wear and believes mums and mums-to-be need to take a moment to care for themselves. I’m sure we can all agree that’s something we can get on board with! In addition to this mission Belabumbum was founded as a social enterprise, with care, ethics and dignity in all of their work interactions built into the brands approach from the very beginning. Working with 9 factories across South America they nurture entrepreneurs and boost job security through microlending, lower profit margins and smart supply chain management.   

This ethically sourced range includes nursing bras, maternity sleepwear and also a selection of activewear styles, plus you can even get coordinating sleepwear for Mum and baby, too cute!

www.belabumbum.com

Sorella Organics

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Independent Australian label, Sorella Organics, builds their range of sleepwear and loungewear for men, women and expecting mums exclusively using certified organic and fair trade cotton fabrications. But their commitment to ethics and sustainability doesn’t stop there; collections are made both locally and in Fiji, where founder Anna McGregor spent 3 years upskilling workers in cutting, sewing and finishing to help build capacity and create opportunities for workers to partner with other Australian brands, contributing to sustainable employment. Because of her efforts Anna has become an honorary member of Ethical Fashion Forums Fellowship 500, an industry body for sustainable fashion.

With beautifully soft, all organic sleep and lounge collections you’ll find everything you need for relaxing at home in those last months of pregnancy and first few months with baby when your comfort will be key!

www.sorellaorganics.com.au

Boob Design 

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Boob’s patented nursing collection began when founder, Mia Seipel, realised that mothers, just like super heroes, deserve the right gear. Almost 20 years later and the brand now makes clothes for all stages of motherhood with a focus on double function pieces suitable for pregnancy and nursing. All of this combined with their dedication to use 100% sustainable materials, responsible production through building long lasting relationships with factories that share their human rights and environmental values, and having all products certified according to Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex to ensure no harmful chemicals are present, makes Boob Design a leader in sustainable maternity wear. 

For all of your maternity and nursing wardrobe needs from bras to dresses, swimwear to leggings, look no further. These pieces will live in your wardrobe for a long time and Boob Design will even take back what you’re done with to ensure they keep their clothes in the loop.  

www.boobdesign.com

Top Secret

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With a range catering to all of your nursing needs, Top Secret Maternity was founded with a desire to help expecting mums nurse discreetly in public. Creating collections that are fashionable, functional and versatile enough to take you from pregnancy to nursing and beyond remains the brands main focus. Top Secret Maternity achieves all of this while also producing all of their garments locally in Australia from all Australian made fabrics; and with their fabric supplier, garment maker and warehouse all based in Melbourne they’re also reducing their carbon footprint. If all this wasn’t enough the brand is also accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. 

This carefully curated collection of thoughtful designs, which includes a selection of plus size garments, will help simplify your nursing journey.

www.topsecretmaternity.com

Majamas

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Committed to making beautiful clothes that don’t destroy the planet, Majamas produces all of it’s garments locally in the USA with fabrics that are also locally made. The brands women’s, maternity, baby and soon to be mens ranges all focus on the use of organic cotton or other more environmentally conscious fabrics like Tencel, Modal or recycled polyester. Local production is what helps Majamas ensure no chemicals are present in their garments, waste water isn’t dumped into the oceans and their garment workers are fairly paid, meeting founder Germaine Capiro’s mission to build a brand centred around responsibility to the environment regardless of the cost.

Discover responsibly made maternity and nursing friendly bras, sleepwear and more plus check out their cute pieces for baby while you’re at it.  

www.majamas.com

This article was created for and originally published on The Green Hub

Baby Registry Must Haves For The Sustainable Mum

Becoming a Mum opens you up to a whole new world of products, whether they’re baby, maternity, postpartum or nursing related it can be very overwhelming trying to determine exactly what you’ll need once your bundle of joy arrives. It's also pretty common that a lot of the necessary products aren’t very helpful when it comes to living sustainably and reducing your waste! So for all of you eco Mamas out there I’ve compiled a list of the must have items that will help you start your new adventure with a baby as sustainably as possible.

Modern Cloth Nappies

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This is a big one and the most obvious contributor to that waste factor I mentioned, yes your baby will go through approximately 2,500-3,000 nappies in its first year on earth, wow! Thankfully there are amazing and easy to use solutions out there these days in the form of modern cloth nappies (or MCN’s as I’ve discovered after reading a few too many Mummy blogs!). The initial cost may seem like a large outlay but in the long run you’ll be better off and will also be saving half a wheelie bin of rubbish from ending up in landfill every week according to Pea Pods. Their adjustable sizing system for nappy covers, bamboo inserts and 100% biodegradable bamboo liners mean these nappies will last your baby from newborn right through to toddler all while being sensitive on their delicate skin and much better for the environment.

And if you’re struggling with the idea of reusable nappies there are more environmentally friendly disposable options, like Thank You Nappies that use sustainably sourced wood pulp in their lining and no chemicals. Plus your purchase helps provide maternal and child health care for Mums and Bubs in need.

www.peapods.com.au

Plastic Free Dummies & Teethers

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I imagine babies aren’t the best at keeping track of their stuff, making dummies one item that you could easily go through a lot of! And with so much plastic already out there in the world why would we unnecessarily add more to it, not to mention risk our babies putting hazardous materials in their mouths. Hevea Planet has a simple solution, offering pacifiers and teethers made entirely of natural rubber sourced from rubber trees, which makes them not only safe for your baby but also completely biodegradable. Babies can go through 10-20 pacifiers in a year so to help reduce waste Hevea Planet also runs an upcycling program to bring new life to used products.

www.heveaplanet.com

Reusable Breast Pads  

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If you’re planning on nursing your baby then breast pads are a must, but just like with other feminine hygiene products they can create a lot of waste depending on your flow. Look after the planet and your sensitive and hard working nipples by using washable breast pads like these ones from Breastmates. They’re made from super absorbent bamboo to prevent any embarrassing leaks and provide the most comfort! They can be thrown in the wash, and the dryer if you need them in a hurry, plus according to Breastmates they get better and more absorbent with age. What’s not to love!

www.breastmates.co.nz

Organic Wraps

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Having baby close, especially in the early days, is so important and helps solidify the bond between baby and parent...and with the use of a wrap carrier you’re also giving yourself some much needed hands free time! Hug A Bub offers sling and tie wraps, so you can choose your preferred way to carry baby, all made using 100% certified organic cotton and certified Fair Trade manufacturing. As well as being better for the planet this will ensure maximum breathability for you and your baby, especially during the warmer months. Plus for every wrap purchased Hug A Bub will plant a tree in countries devastated by deforestation.

www.hugabub.com

Organic Skincare

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When it comes to bath time we all want to make sure we’re using the safest products possible on our baby’s delicate skin, so investing in organic skincare is key. This bis made easy with Australian made and owned brand Bubba Organics which offers a full range of products for bath time and changing all made locally from 100% natural ingredients, ensuring your baby care products are free from harmful chemicals and not tested on animals. Bubba Organics focuses on minimising their impact on the earth through all aspects of their business including using locally made eco friendly packaging, and as a new Mum the bottles pump functionality will be a lifesaver when you have your hands full.

www.bubbaorganics.com.au

Organic Cotton Bedding

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Putting your little one down to sleep (which hopefully happens often!) you want to be confident they’re resting peacefully with organic cotton sheets that are free from any harmful chemicals and provide maximum breathability. With the amount of time babies spend in their bassinet or cot, investing in organic sheets is well worth it and Babu has you covered on all fronts with a variety of sizes available. Using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, bottom sheets are fitted at all four corners and top sheets are fitted at the bottom two corners for maximum safety. You’ll even find organic cotton swaddles and bath towels to ensure baby goes from bath time to bedtime sustainably!   

www.babu.co.nz

Sheepskin Rug

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When it comes to a multi use and long lasting product you can’t go past a sheepskin rug to keep your baby protected and comfortable. Used for generations as the perfect mat for playtime which can also go from your cot to your pram to a simple floor rug or chair throw down the track. Ecowool sheepskin rugs are New Zealand made from happy, healthy sheep that roam free in unpolluted alpine pastures. The natural qualities of Ecowool sheepskin rugs keep baby at the right temperature, absorbing up to 30% of their own weight in moisture without feeling cold or clammy. They’re also tanned to infant use standards and have minimal fibre loss. Tummy time never looked or felt so good!

www.ecowool.com

This article was originally published on The Green Hub

Influencer Spotlight: Kira Simpson from The Green Hub

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I'm so excited to introduce The Green Hub, a wonderful website covering all things sustainability and lifestyle, and the inspiring founder and driving force behind it, Kira Simpson! The Green Hub offers a wealth of knowledge and inspiration with articles about sustainable beauty, fashion, travel and more to help you live your best sustainable life. As you may already know I have recently become a style contributor on The Green Hub thanks to connecting with Kira over social media. Kira has been a big inspiration for me on this journey when it comes to looking beyond my wardrobe and creating a more sustainable lifestyle as a whole, so it's an honour to share her story. I'm sure she'll provide inspiration for you just as she has done and continues to do for me. So dive in as Kira discusses her journey so far, how The Green Hub came to be and dishes her best advice on how sustainable living can be achievable for anyone!


What inspired you to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

I studied biology and environmental science at uni. It opened my eyes to some of the major issues facing our planet, but my lifestyle changes didn’t really start until a few years later. Using natural cleaning products was the first change I made, followed by investing in a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. The rest just followed from there.

Why did you decide to start The Green Hub?

While writing an old failed blog, I came across other eco bloggers on social media who wrote about ethical fashion. Here I was being an awesome greenie using my KeepCup and writing about climate change. I was like, what on earth is ethical fashion?! It was a pretty shocking discovery. That was kind of the turning point. Updating my wardrobe and discovering new ethical fashion brands was really the catalyst for starting The Green Hub.

How do you balance living sustainably with an urban lifestyle?

I’m all about convenience so I implement systems which work for me and my lifestyle. I rent so my compost system is easy to use and portable. I have no interest in growing my own food so I buy in season produce locally from farmers markets. I love skincare and makeup but I’m terrible at making my own beauty products, instead I support mostly Australian made natural and organic beauty companies. The balance comes from making sustainable lifestyle choices which work for me, without sacrificing the things I love. 

How have you implemented sustainability into your wardrobe?

I have a few rules I stick to. These are my values and may not work for someone else: 

  • Supply chains are a complicated business and finding a fashion brand who can trace their entire supply chain from seed to garment is rare. In a perfect world, complete transparency would be the norm but until that day comes, I’m satisfied with tier one factories (where the final garment is made) certified as being clean, safe and the workers are paid a fair and living wage. 
  • I (mostly) look for clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, hemp and vegetable tanned leather. If I can’t find these then I’ll buy from brands using deadstock or recycled fabrics.
  • I buy for durability and longevity. I will always choose ethical and sustainable brands first. But, if I can’t find something, say a pair of shoes I need, then I purchase from the not so ethical brand. There’s no point buying an ethically made piece if it’s just going to fall apart after a few wears and end up in landfill. Which is why I buy leather bags and shoes because most vegan leather is just plastic. 
  • I buy second hand. It’s not always my first choice but a great, cost effective option for when I can’t find what I need new or affordably. 
  • I don’t follow trends and buy clothes which suit my body type and my lifestyle. I live in Queensland where it’s hot most of the year and I also work for myself. I live in loose cotton dresses and have a stupidly large collection of straw bags. I’ll still be wearing these long after Instagram influencers have moved onto the next trend!

What would you say to someone who wants to live more sustainably but is finding it overwhelming?

Start small. Make one new change every week or month and don’t be too hard on yourself when you have setbacks, because you will. Even the most seasoned ‘greenies’ fumble and falter. Also follow blogs, sites and social media accounts of people who have started making the changes you want to make and connect with people on a similar journey. Having a support network helps!


To build your network of support for your sustainable journey let Kira lend a hand and check out The Green Hub website, sign up to the newsletter and follow their social media accounts for ongoing inspiration.