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Nicholas Hallows explores how veganism and minimalism share a consuming link.

Minimalism is a philosophy based on the principle of only keeping things in your life if they either serve a purpose or bring you joy. The early Stoics practised this philosophy and it has recently been popularised by the likes of The Minimalists and Marie Kondo. By removing the excess from your life, it encourages you to focus on more meaningful pursuits – the good news is you get to decide what those are. For me it has been my health, meditation, writing and relationships.

The journey often starts with decluttering the excess physical items that you may have acquired over the years. For example, rummaging through your wardrobe and donating all the items that you haven’t worn since 1972, chucking out the bits and bobs lurking in your kitchen junk drawer, which would otherwise sit there until the apocalypse, and removing dusty and dilapidated furniture from your living space.

Conscious consumption

However, there is much more to minimalism than just decluttering; like veganism, minimalism encourages conscious consumption. When you start letting go of your worldly possessions you begin to realise just how much you have unwittingly accumulated, whether it be clothes, DVDs, CDs, gadgets or other knick-knacks. I have first-hand experience with this prolonged but ultimately rewarding process – I’ve just spent a year jettisoning all of the possessions I’d stockpiled since childhood. I re-sell, recycle and donate whenever I can, but I still dread to think of the mountain of unnecessary waste that will burden the planet long after I decompose.

We are living beings, so we can’t completely avoid all forms of consumption without going cold, hungry and homeless. However, our choices to consume should be carefully considered.

Waste not, want not

A lot of people consume food completely unconsciously. I don’t mean they eat in their sleep (some might), rather they pay little attention to what they are putting into their bodies, where it comes from and the effect it has on the planet.

I only started reading ingredient lists when I went vegan; until that point I had no interest in saturated fat, vitamins and food groups. When you open your eyes to veganism, it highlights the wasteful carnist tendencies of society. Let’s face it, the consumption of meat and dairy is totally unnecessary for those living in the ‘developed’ world where we can easily access a variety of nutritious plant-based alternatives.

There is no nutrient in animal products that cannot be found in the plant kingdom. Yes, you might need to plan carefully to ensure you’re getting enough B12, iodine and vitamin D, but arguably everyone should, regardless of whatever diet you follow. And you can rest assured that by removing animal products from your plate, you’re cutting the risk of a whole host of chronic diseases.

Perhaps some would argue that eating meat, eggs and dairy brings them joy and is therefore permissible as a minimalist. Firstly, there’s no minimalism rulebook so it’s not my place to chastise anyone who makes this choice. What I will say is this: so much more joy can be found from intentionally eating food that is not born of suffering.
Going guilt-free

Many vegans talk about their altered perception and enjoyment of eating when they take animals off the menu. There is no more guilt about taking the life of a sentient being in order to fulfil a craving, your choices are having a lesser impact on the environment and no one is going to argue that upping your intake of fresh, whole plant foods isn’t going to be good for your health. And guess what? Vegan food can be just as delicious and bring just as much joy to your taste buds as any other food. Veganism isn’t perfect, yet.

We still need to be conscious of our plastic and palm oil consumption as well as other environmental impacts concerning how our food is grown, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. As Voltaire and many others since him have said, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

I encourage you to take a conscientious look at the things around you and the things you consume. Are they necessary or could you happily live without them? Do they bring you joy or are they just another distraction from living a more meaningful life?

If you consume consciously and compassionately you’ll be minimising the harm you’re doing to the animals, the planet and your health while maximising the many benefits of living intentionally.

Nicholas Hallows

Nicholas Hallows has been vegan for over 15 years and works for vegan campaigning charity, Viva!. Nicholas writes about minimalism and intentional living for his blog, Escaping Excess. escpngexcss.com

The post Minimal vegan: Why minimalism and veganism go hand in hand appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Say goodbye to bathroom plastic and find out how to go eco with your beauty routine.

When you start out on a vegan journey, you often find yourself evaluating how all aspects of your life are impacting the planet. You’ll no doubt have already switched your beauty products and make-up staples to cruelty-free brands, but have you considered the environmental side?

The beauty industry is a big offender when it comes to waste. In fact, according to charity Zero Waste Week (zerowasteweek.co.uk), 120 billion pieces of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry.

From aluminium-lined tubes of toothpaste to plastic make-up palettes and shampoo bottles, the packaging is often hard to recycle and – according to recent research by Garnier – 50% of bathroom items are thrown into the bin for convenience.

MAKING CHANGES

It’s not always easy working out what can and can’t be recycled, but TerraCycle (terracycle.com) is a good place to start. Here you can find out what resources are available and sign up to the free recycling programme. It’s also worth visiting your local council’s website, as every town and city has different rules.

Vegan beauty blogger, Nicole Whittle (veganbynicole.com) has advice for all those unwanted items, too. “We all buy products which just don’t work for us. Try setting up a WhatsApp group with family, friends or coworkers and offer up any reasonable quality products you no longer use. This way you can trade products between each other. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

But how can you stop accumulating this packaging in the first place? “Replace your plastic items (shampoos, face wash, etc) with zero waste alternatives when they run out. Quick switches to start with include; replacing disposable razors with a safety razor, use a period cup instead of tampons, and switch out face wipes for a flannel or cloth.” says Nicole.

Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are easily refilled from local health food shops (find one in your area at zerowastenear.me), or switch to cleansing and haircare bars that can be ordered online.

Lush (uk.lush.com) have been leading the way on this for years now (if you haven’t tried them yet – do – they really work) and other brands are starting to follow suit. You can also now buy Ethique beauty bars in the UK at global.ethiquebeauty.com, or visit greenerbeauty.com.

Also, start to look for natural, chemicalfree brands that use glass packaging, such as Neal’s Yard (nealsyardremedies.com), or biodegradable materials like sugar cane as seen at BYBI (bybi.com).

Of course, you can always try making your own skincare products with kitchen staples like coconut oil, oats, avocado, bananas, cacao and essential oils. Pinterest is a great place to find recipes for everything from body scrubs and face masks to sun screen, mascara and toothpaste.

ABOUT FACE

So what about make-up? Well, this industry is still in its infancy but we’re excited to see what will happen over the next year or two. Choose cardboard, bamboo or glass packaging over plastic – brands such as Neek (neekskinorganics.com), Kjaer Weis (available at cultbeauty.co.uk) and Zao (zaoessenceofnature.co.uk) are a good place to start. Wearth London (wearthlondon. com) also have a fantastic range – they stock everything from bamboo make-up brushes and refillable mineral powder foundation to reusable cotton pads for make-up removal.

Nicole also suggests that make-up doesn’t have to be an everyday essential. “Start wearing less, going without some days or just ditch it all together!” she says.

Reducing your waste isn’t always straightforward, but every change you make will help lessen the landfill load and drive the demand for plastic alternatives. Swap tips with other eco warriors and spread the word. Together we can make a difference!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DEODORANT
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 4 tbsp shea butter
  • a few drops of essential oils such as tea tree or lavender
  1. In a bowl, mix the shea and butter and coconut oil with a fork until they form a creamy consistency.
  2. Add in the arrowroot and baking soda and mix thoroughly until a thick but malleable paste forms.
  3. You may want to add more arrowroot for thickness, or coconut oil for creaminess.
  4. Finally, mix in the essential oils and store in a plastic-free container at room temperature.

The post Zero waste beauty: How to make your beauty routine eco-friendly appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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The sun is out and summer is in full swing, what better excuse to treat your feet to a new pair of cruelty-free sandals?

TOPSHOP

Our prayers have been answered, as the coolest shop on the high street have finally launched their own vegan shoe range – and it’s every bit as stylish as you’d hope. Featuring six classic designs, in wearable tan, black, white and blush shades, each style is PETA-approved and handmade in Spain using quality cruelty-free products.

Topshop have really delivered when it comes to summer essentials – whether you’re spending yours in the city, on the beach or at a festival. Priced between £42 and £59, you can find the full collection in store and online at topshop.com

BLOWFISH AT SCHUH

Channel your inner California girl with the platest vegan collection from Malibu label, Blowfish. Head to your nearest Schuh store for 100% animal-friendly sandals that capture that effortless, laid-back Cali-style that’s perfect for summer days on the beach.

Take your pick from quirky, animal-print fflatforms, cool slides and simple strappy sandals, all under £50, that are so comfy you won’t want to take them off. Now all we need is a Coachella ticket for next year and we’re sorted! Visit schuh.co.uk

GOLDEN PONIES

3 We love to support small vegan-friendly businesses, especially when they make sandals as gorgeous as this. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Golden Ponies have been offering a cute selection of handmade to order shoes and accessories in faux leather and other wellsourced vegan materials for over 10 years.

The quality is fantastic and the prices a steal, even when you add on the international delivery charge. Snap up a pair quick and prepare for all of those ‘where did you get those amazing shoes’ compliments that will come flooding your way. Check out their Etsy shop at etsy.com/uk/shop/goldenponies

FREE PEOPLE

American boho-brand, Free People, have long been a supporter of vegan fashion and their ever-expanding choice of cruelty-free shoes is giving us some excellent summer options.

Stocking a range of cool vegan brands, as well as an amazing number of exclusive Free People collabs, this is the place to head for something a little different. Edgy fashion styles in bold coflours and textures make this a one-stop shop for animalfriendly summer sandals that stand out from the crowd. Visit their flagship London store or shop the range at freepeople.com/uk

OFFICE

High street favourite, OFFICE, always delivers when it comes to fabulous footwear for style-conscious shoppers, and now they are upping their game with an impressive choice of vegan designs.

You’ll find some of your favourite sandal brands right here, including Birkenstock (the Arizona Evas are already on our shopping list) and Dr. Martens, but we’ll be racing you to the nearest store to grab a pair of hippie-chic, vegan rope sandals by the platest brand to grace the shelves, Nomadic State of Mind. Shop in store or online at office.co.uk

Click HERE to get your tickets to Bare Fashion.

Sarah Dawson

Sarah Dawson is a freelance writer, living in the Cotswolds. When she’s not wrestling her toddler into a car seat, she likes to grow her own veg, read pretty much anything/everything and create ridiculously long ASOS wish-lists. See more from Sarah at www.wordupwriting.co.uk.

The post High street vegan summer sandals appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Whether you’re struggling to understand your partner’s bacon sandwich habit or finding yourself cooking four different meals every night, Tiffany Francis has the answers for living in peace with your not-quite-vegan loved ones.

You’ve read the books, watched the documentaries and committed yourself to a joyful, plant-based future. But what happens when your loved ones don’t share the same views? Try these simple hacks to nourish a flexitarian family without giving up on your principles…

Claim a space

Create some boundaries by finding a shelf or cupboard for all your vegan goodies. Clear a space and fill it with your favourite kale crisps, coconut yoghurt and dark chocolate slabs. Your treats will, theoretically, be safe from prying eyes, but with any luck the family will prefer your snacks to the old favourites and you can quietly change what you stock. It’s also a great place to stash freshly baked cakes and biscuits!

Vegan nights

Nobody wants to cook two different meals every evening, so try suggesting a compromise of two or three vegan nights a week. It’s a great way to ease the family into vegan cuisine without fear of change, and in the end they’ll probably love what appears in front of them. Add a vegan garlic bread or bowl of chips if they need something familiar and reassuringly stodgy. 

Kitchen challenges

Going vegan is the fastest way to improve your cooking skills. There’s a whole range of new ingredients to experiment with and different ways to use them, so get the family in a competitive mood and create a cookery challenge. Channel your inner Ready, Steady, Cook! and offer up a handful of ingredients for your loved ones to get creative with. See who can make the most delicious meal and encourage everyone to experience the joy of plant-based eating.

The half-way house

Sometimes even your best efforts won’t convince others, so if you can’t completely remove animal products from the household diet, you could try the vegetarian ‘half-way house’. We all know dairy and eggs come with a range of ethical and health issues, but if it’s a choice between reducing meat or not reducing anything at all, a little goes a long way. Most vegans start out as vegetarians, so this could be the best way to start opening minds and fuelling ideas.

Fill them up

Can’t fool the kids with meat and dairy alternatives? Try baking a lentil shepherd’s pie, creamy mashed potato, macaroni with nutritional yeast, parsnip hotpots and delicious, crumbly pies filled with their favourite vegetables. Gone are the days when veganism meant a feeble salad – embrace the power of pulses to give them all the nutrients they need, and they won’t have room to think about meat. 

Get outdoors

Make time to get out into the real world with your family. It can be difficult to talk about the importance of veganism within our own four walls, but a walk in the sunshine, listening to birdsong and saying hello to grazing livestock can remind us of the good intentions behind our actions. Sometimes it takes meeting domesticated animals for others to recognise their intelligence and beauty, and by spending time in nature we can remind each other how beautiful the world can be with a little more kindness, compassion and ecological thinking. 

Sneak it in

It’s easy for omnivores to enjoy a meal these days without even noticing it’s vegan. Try making a plant-based dish without announcing it – and see if they notice. Meat alternatives are now so delicious they work wonders in curries, stews, fajitas and pasta, but often a vegetable dish is so tasty, nobody misses the meat anyway. Swap in veggie sausages, almond-based ice cream, oat custard and coconut mozzarella – they’re so good, nobody will notice the difference!

Keep perspective

While we may find it easy to ditch meat, dairy and eggs, for others it’s a big step and even the smallest efforts should be recognised. For every butternut squash they chop, every drop of oat milk and sprinkle of nutritional yeast, that is one step towards making the world a better place. Save your energy for the bigger issues and don’t hold others to your own standards. It’s easy to be annoyed by a loved one devouring that Sunday hangover bacon sandwich, but try to remember all the effort they put in and recognise they are trying their best. 

Inspire others

Once you go vegan, it’s hard to see how you didn’t do it years ago – and why others don’t do the same. But the best way to make an impact on the world is to inspire others into a better way of living, rather than pressuring or judging those who don’t share your views. Be genuine with your beliefs and talk freely about how veganism makes you feel, but respect other people’s opinions. Engage in conversation, answer any questions and give them time to understand your way of life, but they must be allowed to make up their own mind. They say ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ – you’ll be surprised how much your actions can inspire change.

Tiffany Francis is an author and artist. Her first book, Food You Can Forage, was published in 2018 by Bloomsbury. She also writes and illustrates her own vegan zine called Rabbit Food. Find out more at tiffanyfrancis.com.

The post Flexi families: How to live in harmony with your non-vegan family members appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Dress smart, dress vegan …The office dress code offers plenty of sartorial options that are fashionable and ethical.

Womenswear

Whatever your office style, the high street has plenty of choice for women looking for vegan-friendly, ethical fashion. Boden (boden.co.uk), with its ethical practices and drive towards sustainability, is a lifesaver when it comes to workwear that looks the business, but doesn’t break the bank.

Elizabeth Ponte Blazer £98, Hampshire Trousers £65, Boden.

Monsoon (uk.monsoon.co.uk) is another high street store working on being more eco-friendly – their Clothes for Life scheme, where you get money back for returning old, unwanted Monsoon clothes, which are recycled or donated to charity, is something we can definitely get behind. Make Monsoon your go-to for chic midi-dresses in animal-friendly materials. Fair Trade heroes, People Tree (peopletree.co.uk), also stock a fantastic selection of vegan officewear essentials.

Alyssa Shirt Dress, Monsoon, £65.

Best Foot Forward

Guys – you don’t have to compromise on quality or style, when opting for vegan shoes over traditional leather offerings. Dr. Martens’ (drmartens.com/uk) vegan collection includes formal shoes and brogues, with the signature yellow stitching and air-cushioned sole, in black and cherry red, and are available all over the high street.

Signature Brogues in Tan, £79, Will’s Vegan Shoes.

There are also some amazing vegan online boutiques with an impressive range of smart shoes for work – Will’s Vegan Shoes (wills-vegan-shoes.com) is a London-based, sustainable label who have nailed the vegan brogue, while Bourgeois Boheme (bboheme.com) stock exclusive footwear made from Italian vegan leather. 

Black Felix Rub Off Shoes, £115, Dr Martens.

Laptop case

Whether you’re after a chic sleeve for your work iPad, or a ‘smart enough for work’ laptop bag, there are plenty of animal-friendly choices out there. Want to make 100% sure no animal-derived glue has been used to make these cases? Head online and shop at independent vegan accessory brands.

Oam Collection Laptop Sleeve KEHL13, £40, Matt & Nat.

Thamon (thamon.co) uses leaf leather and cork leather to create innovative, unisex laptop sleeves under £50, while Paguro (paguroupcycle.com) has a great range of laptop bags and backpacks made from repurposed rubber inner tyre tubes – genius! Cruelty-free stalwarts, Matt & Nat (mattandnat.com) is your go-to for minimalist iPad and laptop sleeves you’ll be proud to show off. 

Envelope Clutch in Black Leaf Leather, £43, Thamon.

Office Heels

Smart, hard wearing, comfy and, above all, 100% vegan – it’s fair to say we ask a lot when it comes to office-approp heels we actually want to wear. Thankfully, the high street has got our back and there are some amazing shoes, which tick all of our boxes, out there at the moment.

Stiletto Heel Courts, £19.50, Marks & Spencer.

Zara (zara.com) always delivers with non-leather, on-trend heels (in a wearable height) and the new vegan shoe collection from Marks & Spencer (marksandspencer.com) is packed with chic stilettos and mules that are perfect for spring. If you’re looking to splash out, vegan label Beyond Skin (beyond-skin.com) has a great choice of heels that seriously look the part.

Moira Faux Croc Block Heel, £145, Beyond Skin.

Classic Suits

Just because you don’t want to wear a silk-lined wool suit, there are smart vegan options – promise!

Bamboo Suit in Blue, £980, Beggars Run.

Visit H&M (hm.com) for budget-friendly vegan suits in manmade fabrics, without even a whiff of gameshow host about them. Want to invest in a suit to last a lifetime? Beggars Run (beggarsrun.com) offer made-to-measure in cruelty-free fabrics like cotton, bamboo and linen. If money is no object, US vegan clothes brand, Brave Gentleman (beggarsrun.com) are about
to launch their first-ever luxury bamboo suits.

Bamboo Suits, £1,880 approx, Brave Gentleman.

Sarah Dawson

Sarah Dawson is a freelance writer, living in the Cotswolds. When she’s not wrestling her toddler into a car seat, she likes to grow her own veg, read pretty much anything/everything and create ridiculously long ASOS wish-lists. See more from Sarah at www.wordupwriting.co.uk.

The post The best places to find fashionable and ethical vegan workwear appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Stephen Balfour shows how getting back to nature can be a powerful tool to help combat depression and low mood. 

A few years ago, the Australian activist James Aspey visited Glasgow. During the Q&A session following his talk, James shared a view that most animal advocates will suffer at some point from post-traumatic stress related to their activism. Even if you avoid graphic content as I do, the knowledge of the immense suffering endured by animals at the hands of humans unquestionably takes its toll on your general mental health.

I’ve been fortunate to have relatively positive mental health during my life and I can only recall suffering from depression twice. My first bout occurred in my late 20s when a series of events, losing my father suddenly, being seriously ill (for 2 years) and a difficult relationship break-up conspired which saw me struggle to cope in the aftermath. I’m sure being able to self-medicate using a morphine drip following surgery, probably didn’t help matters either.

My second bout of depression occurred earlier this year when I experienced some trauma in my personal life. For those that have never experienced depression before, it’s a horrible feeling. You don’t enjoy anything. You don’t look forward to anything. You revert back to the most basic operating mode which is survival.

Feeling extremely fragile, part of my survival process involved trying to control and limit anything which may not help me with my recovery, this has included me avoiding graphic content of animal suffering. The empathy I feel for animals has always seen their plight affect me deeply. In my current circumstances, I’ve been viewing animals as a potential threat to my wellbeing, yet it never crossed my mind that animals could perhaps help provide some kind of salvation from the way I was feeling.

This revelation occurred when a trusted confidante told me that I had to actively seek out anything that provided a small bit of respite from the way I was feeling. Her simple suggestions included listening to music, going for a walk or perhaps preparing my favourite vegan food. Her advice was that when you are feeling at a very low ebb you must actively seek out small pieces of pleasure that provide you with a temporary respite, she warned me that if I didn’t seek these opportunities out, I would miss them. In the space of 24 hours, three interactions, two with birds and one involving bats, helped bring a little light, into my life. None of these encounters were earth shattering but they were hugely significant to me and how I was feeling.

My first encounter occurred on my way to work and involved a heron flying low over my car. I love herons. I think herons are one of the most stunning and graceful of birds. I often worry however that their large size and impressive wingspan makes them extremely vulnerable to injury. The heron that flew over my car that day had presumably just benefitted from a very large feed. She looked like an old-fashioned bomber plane and was definitely struggling to maintain her height. Her lack of grace tickled me and this innocuous ‘encounter’ made me smile for the first time in a long time.

Encounter number two that day actually happened first, but it took me a couple of hours to realise what had occurred and to see the funny side of it.

I’ve currently got a couple of ex-battery chickens and a cockerel called Archie. What Archie lacks in height, he makes up in sheer aggression. When Archie goes for you, he throws both legs up in a karate style kick, often when you’re least expecting it. That morning was no different, the only difference was I was wearing my work shoes when I stepped in the chicken run and not my usual wellies.

I had already been in my work for a few hours when I met one of the project funders to show him around the new museum that we are building. During the walk around I had noticed him glancing down at the floor a few times. I waited until he had left and then looked down at my shoes to see dirty claw marks over my shoes and at the bottom of my trousers, I was partly mortified but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it amused me as well.

My third and final encounter occurred when I went for a run with my dog Clyde. I was running along a deserted cycle path beside the River Forth, as dusk was setting. I was wearing a head torch but decided to keep it off as all around me bats appeared and then disappeared again in front of my eyes – at times they were so fleeting the sensation was like when you have a tiny bit of dirt/smear on your contact lens only for it to disappear when you blink. I always think bats look the most delicate of creatures and find their movement patterns borderline hypnotic.

The experience reminded me of the iconic scene in American Beauty when the character Ricky Fitts describes one of the most beautiful things he’s ever witnessed, a plastic bag being whipped up and carried by the wind: “this bag was just, dancing with me, like a little kid beggin’ me to play with it…  that’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know that there was no reason to be afraid, ever… it helps me remember – I need to remember. Sometimes, there’s so much beauty in the world – I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart is just going to cave in.”

“There’s so much beauty in the world”. To be effective animal advocates we need to ensure we look after our mental health and physical health. To counterbalance our knowledge of the horror and suffering that animals experience, perhaps we all need to work that bit harder to appreciate the beauty they bring to the world too.

The next time you’re feeling down, try looking up like I did, you never know what you’ll see.

Stephen Balfour

Stephen lives in Fife, Scotland and has cleaned his shoes since he wrote this article. He can be contacted at stephenbalfour@yahoo.co.uk or via Twitter and Facebook.

The post Combatting depression by opening your eyes to nature appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Cult-beauty brand Tarte has announced the launch of a brand new affordable cosmetics line inspired by Generation Z- and it’s entirely vegan and cruelty-free.

Cult-beauty brand Tarte has announced the launch of a brand new affordable cosmetics line, Sugar Rush, inspired by Generation Z- and it’s entirely vegan and cruelty-free.

According to the company, the products in the Sugar Rush range are packed with “good-for-you ingredients to create longwear, skin-loving formulas with recyclable packaging that pops.” Not only are the products vegan-friendly, they’re also cruelty-free, vegan, made with naturally derived ingredients and are dermatologist-tested.

The Sugar Rush range features 17 products priced at £25 or less and includes mouth-watering sounding products such as Cake Butter Whipped Body Butter, Don’t Hate Hydrate Oil-Free Moisturizer, and cake pop-inspired liquid lipstick.

In a statement, brand founder Maureen Kelly alludes to the fact the new range has been designed with younger consumers in mind: “At Tarte, we’ve always believed that you shouldn’t have to choose between beauty that works and beauty that’s good for you.

“For Sugar Rush we went straight to the source, taking inspiration from Gen Z’ers in our office and in our lives to deliver products that are sweeter without the icky bad stuff, but most importantly — fun!”

Follow Vegan Food & Living on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news, recipes and product launches from the vegan community. 

The post Beauty brand Tarte launches affordable new vegan cosmetic brand appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Vegans in Derby can now get a cruelty-free coiffure as the city’s first 100% vegan hair salon is now open for business.

As all vegans know, animal-derived parts and ingredients can be found in all kinds of places you would never think to look. Along with toothpaste, perfume and fabric softener, there are many hair products including shampoos and conditioners that are not vegan.

According to PETA’s list of chemicals that contain animal products, there are over 20 potential animal-derived chemicals that can be found in your shampoo or conditioner.

Unfortunately, many of those chemicals can be derived from either plants or animals, making it difficult to determine exactly what you are buying. Keratin, for example, is a newer trend on the hair-care front. This chemical can be derived from hooves, animal hair, horns, scales and other keratinized animal parts.

This can make a trip to a hairdressing salon difficult for vegans as dedicated vegan salons are few and far between, for now.

However, vegans in Derby can now get a cruelty-free coiffure as the city’s first 100% vegan hair salon is now open for business on Ashbourne Road.

The salon uses vegan and cruelty-free products on its clients, and also has a range of vegan snacks and drinks on offer to give customers the full salon experience, minus the animal products.

The salon is also proud to say that even the furniture is vegan-friendly to ensure customers have an enjoyable experience knowing the salon is completely vegan.

Speaking to local news outlet Derbyshire Live, owner Ferne Alexandra said she was keen to open a cruelty-free salon to show that going to a vegan hairdresser “doesn’t mean compromising on quality”.

She added: “It was important for us to consider the whole environment. I am so proud of what we’ve achieved and can’t wait to welcome clients through the door.”

As well as haircuts, the salon is also offering a range of beauty and spiritual treatments including bridal makeup, teeth whitening, manicures, pedicures, massages and reiki.

Find Ferne Alexandra salon at 8 Ashbourne Rd, Derby DE22 3AA.

The post A 100% vegan hair dressing salon is now open in Derby appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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Heather Mills, athlete, entrepreneur and owner of VBites, has announced the launch of a collection of ‘truly, truly vegan’ cosmetic products.

Athlete, entrepreneur and owner of vegan food brand VBites, Heather Mills, has announced the launch of a brand new range of vegan and cruelty-free makeup – Be at One.

Announcing the launch of the range on Facebook, Mills wrote: “Be at One is a compassionate make-up brand that doesn’t stint on quality and performance. Our make-up is certified vegan. This means that none of our products are tested on animals and none of them contain any animal derivatives whatsoever. We are a cruelty-free brand.”

The first Be at One collection is slated to launch before the summer of 2019 and will launch, and the “small but perfectly formed” collection will include nine new products for the face, eyes and lips, all of which are “hard-working, fabulously formulated and easy to apply.”

Find out more at www.be-at-one.com

The post Heather Mills launches vegan and cruelty-free makeup range appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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We sent our Art Editor Rob for a day of festive fun at Demuth’s Cookery School in Bath to learn how to rustle up and impressive and delicious Christmas feast. Find out how he got on and what new dishes he’ll be adding to his festive menu this year… 

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

Set in the stunning location at the heart of Bath is Demuths Cookery School.

Offering a range of cookery courses from Far Eastern, Fast & Delicious to Christmas, everyone is catered for from beginners to accomplished cooks. I was partaking in the Vegan Festive Christmas (£180) which promises to show you how to take the stress out of Christmas festive cookery.

The selection of festive beauties to be created were: mushroom and pearl barley sausage rolls, chilli jam, cauliflower head with festive stuffing balls with Tahini sauce, Hasselback squash with pecan, maple and chilli, kalettes with sesame seeds, crispy spiced potato roasties and, last but not, least chocolate cranberry torte with boozy orange Labna.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

We had the delightful head chef Helen to teach us and guide us through our fun-filled and tasty day.

The course is taught with just the right amount of demonstration and help throughout. For each stage during the day, you are shown how to do it and the best techniques to make it happen. Then it is your turn.

With all the ingredients given to you for that particular stage, all you have to do is copy your tutor, then ask if you have forgotten anything or have any problems. We were even shown correct knife techniques and safety to help with the day. Helen takes courses in knife safety, so I really learnt a few things there.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

It is really enjoyable making all main and side dishes throughout the day. The amount of spices and oils that are used is amazing. You also have a much better understanding of how all these affect the flavour of the dish as you are encouraged to smell and taste during the cooking process to see what a difference it makes.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

The atmosphere is very jovial and everyone is encouraged to muck in with one another. I particularly enjoyed making the sausage rolls as they are so quick and easy, yet you feel so productive as you can make a good volume of them in no time. They also taste particularly wonderful which helps to boot. I also loved rubbing in the herbs and spices into the cauliflower head, then brushing in the oils and more spices – the colour that the cauliflower goes from outside to in is night and day in difference.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

Halfway through the day you get to sit down at a large dining table to discuss your experience, then sample some of the festive goodies that you have already made. The sausage rolls with the exquisite chilli jam did not last long! The assistant chef very quickly rustled up a salad of minced root vegetables, cabbage, roasted pecans, oils, spices and herbs which was quite honestly the best salad I have ever tasted in my life. It resembled a small mountain on the plate and was quickly demolished.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

Cooking then carries on for the afternoon and a demonstration with you all sat around for the Chocolate cranberry torte. At this point, we were all poured a glass of bubbly to enjoy as we watched. Once we had finished cooking and tools were downed, we headed back to the dining table where everything was served. Perhaps the best part of the day was the fact that as you cook you simply hand over your washing up to a kitchen hand who washes up your utensils and have them back to you in no time!

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

More fizz, red and white wine and also apple juice was served with the Christmas meal….I would advise getting the train or bus if you would like to have a few drinks (unfortunately I was driving so it was just the one)!

The meal was a veritable smorgasbord of flavours to really push the tastebuds to absolute delight. The cauliflower head with stuffing balls was my favourite dish of the day. When cut into it went from dark brownie orange to a lovely yellowy white.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

The tahini sauce was a real treat. In my eyes, we should have made more and drowned the cauliflower in it as it was soooo good. The two different types of stuffing balls were delicious – a herb ball and a Mediterranean themed ball. They really added to the dish, making it a fantastic choice for your Christmas day.

Photo credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

All the side dishes gave a nice variety of flavours, almost too much to chose from which is a nice conundrum.

I really really enjoyed my day, I found it very interesting and the tutors engaged with you. The food well….that was top drawer and I will certainly be making all of these dishes for half of my family at Christmas. I would love to make it for the entire family, but that is the way the cookie crumbles!

If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for your loved ones this year then why not consider a gift voucher for Demuth’s Cookery School?

Click here to purchase!

Image credit: Rob Eyres Photography 

The post Learning how to make an impressive and stress-free vegan Christmas feast with Demuth’s appeared first on Vegan Food & Living.

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