Meet the makers
I was given my first sewing kit for my 9th birthday and my love of sewing began. I had in truth been in love with textiles for a very long time before that day. I loved my Nanna's heavy turquoise silk cushions, my Aunty's woolly pom-poms, the fine, golden embroidery of my parents bed sheets and, most of all, the smooth satin edge and tightly woven cotton threads of my blankie.
All throughout my life I have been drawn to the fabrics of the world around me. Unfortunately the textile industry is incredibly costly to both the environment and to the people who work within it. Our demands for fast, cheap, seemingly disposable textiles create atrocious levels of exploitation, waste and pollution.
But we need clothes. And towels, sheets, dishcloths, tea towels, face washers and so on. So what can we do? We can choose better!
Textile Enthusiast is all about helping people choose better quality natural textiles for their homes and their bodies. Simple changes in choices of everyday items do make a difference. My items are made at home, at the kitchen table instead of in a sweat shop. Every piece of cloth is cut to ensure minimal waste and offcuts are salvaged.
I upcycle, recycle and salvage textiles to keep the lifecycle of that valuable resource going a bit longer. Quality new fabrics are chosen and sewn carefully to ensure that you will get the best possible wear from your items. I want them to be useful, used again and again and again, and to bring you joy for years to come.
Rebecca Gaspert, Director of Bodecare, has been in the health and beauty industry for 20 years. Bodecare pumice products are sourced from a Fair Trade Company in the Philippines that supports women and children globally. Their pumice is 100% Pure Volcanic Pumice, which is porous so does not mildew and absorbs excess moisture. The timber handles are made from recycled palochina timber sourced from reused packing crates.
Bodecare manufacturers provide an ethical working environment for their staff who are protected by the international Labour organisation.
Green Dandelion is not only a retailer of eco products with a cause, but also a maker. We have always aspired to keeping things 'simple' in the Green Dandelion household, which for us has meant using natural eco-friendly products, supporting local artisans, farmers and small businesses, buying in bulk, reducing waste by reusing (or hoarding as some would say!), and buying pre-loved over new, making things from scratch or fixing things ourselves wherever possible.
This ethos has lead to not only the Green Dandelion store, but also a small range of handmade cleaning and laundry products made from all natural, environmentally and human friendly ingredients. These are available from our bulk jars by the 100gm, so buy as little or as much as you like. You can also bring your own jars or containers to fill, or we have a few in stock you can choose from.
Boomerang Bags Toowoomba
Boomerang Bags is a grassroots, community driven movement that works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities to make Boomerang Bags using salvaged materials.
Volunteers get together for sewing bees, a cuppa and a chat and upcycle donated materials into these reusable beautiful bags that provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags .
Litter Free Living
Litter Free Living was founded by Kylie Etheridge, a qualified primary school teacher and now a stay at home mum of four. Kylie saw first-hand the litter children brought to school in their lunch boxes and decided that her children would have healthy homemade lunches and snacks without negatively impacting the environment. She did not like putting packaged foods into her children’s lunch boxes, however plastic containers were tricky for her young children to open by themselves, lids were being lost and she was not able to fit all of the containers into the lunch boxes. Due to this she designed and handmade reusable sandwich wraps and sandwich and snack bags and was soon asked by friends to make and sell them. Within 12 months Kylie sourced a supplier and started Litter Free Living, developing products which would allow her family and other families to reduce their use of disposable plastic.
Araliya Community Company
This amazing group of women show how with determination and a little help, a fair trade industry can grow from a small idea.
It all started when a group of Nuns from Rome began a school for the hearing impaired in Sri Lanka. They saw the need for an income for the mothers of these children and began a working group with them in the kindergarten of the school. From these small beginnings the Araliya Community Company began.
The women are employed in part time permanent positions, working five half days per week at award wages, with a pension provided at retirement age. Working in eight small groups, close to their homes, each member owns a share of the company and each group elects their own board member, contributing to all of the company’s decisions.
In 2015 they completed the building of a factory allowing the women from Katana a permanent place to work from. With the growing demand for their products in Australia, the Netherlands and now also America the community has expanded to employ more women from the local villages.
The products sold by this wonderful company not only allow these women to earn an income, but provide a network for social change and group discussion, and also contributes to the Don Severino Fabriani Institute for hearing impaired.
The Araliya Community Company make coconut fibre string products; Hanging Planters, Trivets, Placemats and decorative Doormats, as well as recycled paper products.
Eco Max Brushes
Our Eco Max Brushes are handmade in Sri Lanka by a small family run business that prides itself on creating beautiful, sustainable brushes while providing employment and training for women from a nearby slum.
This allows the women to earn a living wage and a bonus scheme increases their weekly pay. Their children are also encouraged to continue their studies and pursue further education.
Unfortunately the slum is prone to flooding and during the wet season the women and their family are often forced to leave their home and move into the factory. There has been ongoing negotiation with the local government about relocating these families to flood free land close by and it is hoped that this will soon occur. The company has put aside extra finances to help with the women’s relocation which will allow, with the amount provided by the government, for them to rebuild their homes.
Eco Max Brushes use only natural vegetable fibres, are biodegradable and sustainable. The brushes are registered with The Vegan Society and we are working closely with the women to develop new brushes using new fibres.
Nature Lunch Box is a 100% Australian owned company committed to providing a healthy and sustainable solution to the use of plastic lunchboxes. The company was founded by Maria, mother of two young boys. Maria and her cancer specialist husband have become concerned about the use of plastic, a petrochemical substance, in the use of lunch containers. The chemicals present in these products may leach into food, despite it being labelled “BPA Free”.
Research has indicated a link between the use of plastics and childhood cancers, hormonal disruptions, obesity, hyperactivity, asthma and kidney disorders. Concerns have been raised that environmental factors, including the use of plastics, is potentially responsible for Australian men having the highest rate of testicular cancer.
Lately we have seen the emergence of plastic BPA free containers. However, the BPA used in the production of these products has been substituted through the use of BPS, which in and of itself is a less than desirable substance. Early studies have shown a possible link between BPS and hyperactivity in the animal world.
The use of plastics has exploded in the last 50 years and is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Most people will come into contact with BPA and other noxious chemicals in daily life. Although some plastics are recyclable, they are designed to last forever and most end up in landfill, the marine environment, where they suffocate and poison animals, our coastlines and beyond. Ditching cheap plastic containers benefits not only the planet, but your own health.
Being unable to find suitable alternatives to plastic for her own boys, Maria was motivated to create her own range. Materials such as glass, bamboo and stainless steel are recyclable and can be used over and over.
Our mission is to start from the beginning and create an awareness, with each meal, that food can be non -toxic - just the way nature meant it to be!
Green Essentials is a family based, focussed and driven company providing Green everyday essential items everyone needs to live. Their everyday products are designed to replace plastic items currently populating the marketplace, to help ensure the health and well being of our future.
If You Care
If You Care believes in preserving the earth’s precious and vulnerable environment by making it easy to go green. If You Care offers a wide range of environmentally friendly kitchen and home products that you will use every day, like kitchen bags, recycled foil and parchment paper baking rolls, baking cups and more.
All of the paper products used by Green Dandelion are REAL 100% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED PAPER made by Ecocern. Thirty+ years ago Ecocern began manufacturing genuine 100% post-consumer recycled paper and packaging products. All natural, unbleached, collected from Australian households and industry, and Australian owned and made.
Low grade, post-consumer paper scrap from households and industry is available in glut proportions. Ecocern gray copy paper is made from this local low grade scrap and is totally unbleached. Further, this paper is diverted from landfill where it produces large amounts of methane, a toxic gas environmentally.
Using paper products made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper scrap supports our ecology as well as the local economy.
Green Dandelion also stocks Ecocern Recycled Dog Litter Bags and Scoops.
MiEco started with a view to present a range of environmentally friendly products that save time and money. The MiEco philosophy is that "It shouldn't cost you the Earth to save the Earth".
Most people don’t even think about disposing of their toothbrushes - they are just something we use and discard. The Eco and Environmental bamboo toothbrushes are the MiEco answer to the huge amount of land fill the simple plastic toothbrush creates. MiEco is proud to have this product in their range, and have a goal of one bamboo toothbrush in every home in Australia.
Living a sustainable life means better health for us and for our world.
On starting a café business in Melbourne in 1998, siblings Abigail and Jamie Forsyth became increasingly concerned about the volume of waste their business and customers were generating. They explored many alternatives to disposable coffee cups and decided that not only were existing options unsuitable for specialty coffee, they importantly hadn’t won the hearts of consumers.
Ceramic mugs were heavy and breakable, Thermoses were bulky and unattractive, and both options were made of materials that make them difficult to recycle at the end of life. After a light bulb moment while heating milk in her daughter’s sippy cup one morning, years of reusable coffee cup design ensued and a movement that actively encourages reuse behaviour was kick started. People purchase KeepCups because not only do they love the way they look and feel, they also form a positive habit of reuse.
KeepCup is from Melbourne, Australia with love. The environmental footprint of the KeepCup is reduced by local manufacturing. KeepCup also equates to less plastic – after just 15 uses a KeepCup Brew breaks even with disposable coffee cups.
KeepCup is a sustainability campaign supported by a product. Many small acts make a phenomenal difference.