London's ethical food & fashion guide

The articles written by BICBIM founder Lizzie Rivera…

  • StandardFairtradeFortnightAd

    Evening Standard exclusive: watch the new Fairtrade Fortnight advert – and its very clever twist

    In the Press

    The new advert for Fairtrade Fortnight starts with a scene Londoners see every day – promotional street sellers asking people to sign up to a new fruit and veg box scheme.

    The filming then switches to a recognisable scene from TV, exhausted and struggling children, forced to work to help feed their families for low wages.

    However, these impoverished kids are not in Africa. They are on the well-heeled streets of London, in the back of a charming sounding ‘Farley & Bell’ van, working to deliver people’s fresh but cheap fruit and veg.

    The advert asks, “Would you still love a bargain if we brought these problems closer to home?”

    It’s a clever twist on an all-too familiar supply-chain tale that many of us feel we have no control over…

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  • StandardSafiaMinneyInterview

    Evening Standard: interview with Safia Minney

    In the Press

    This year’s London fashion week was notoriously edgy, mixing grit with glamour as the backstory of a city of contrasts proudly took centre stage.

    A new documentary, The True Cost, by film maker Andrew Morgan tells the story of our high-street fashion stores – but not as we know them. Morgan travels from Bangladesh to Texas to go behind the scenes of ‘fast fashion’.

    It, too, is a tale of contrasts. Fashion is a $3 trillion a year industry, but human suffering is tightly woven with environmental destruction in the countries where manufacturing is outsourced…

    Here, designer Safia Minney gives us the lowdown on why sustainable fashion is finally starting to stand out from the crowd…

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  • StandardOrganicMilk

    Evening Standard: six reasons to drink organic milk

    In the Press

    Ever since we were weaned from the bottle and onto flat whites, our love of milk has gone hand in hand with our appreciation for its calcium-rich (good for the bones) and protein-filled (good for everything) qualities.

    That is until new diets, animal rights campaigners and price wars started to give it a bad rep… But, the frothy tide is turning once again as the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign highlights the benefits of organic milk.

    Here are six reasons why you should switch to the organic stuff if you haven't already…

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  • StandardTurnYourNoseUp

    Evening Standard: what are Dominic West, Sadie Frost, Sting and other celebrities turning their noses up at now?

    In the Press

    A new two-minute film records the reactions of Dominic West, Jeremy Irons, Jon Snow and other high-profile celebrities as they watch a documentary about industrial pig farming.

    Visibly distressed by scenes of pigs isolated in small cages and chewing metal bars and piglets crammed in together pens, the celebrities appeal to viewers to choose RSPCA assured, Outdoor Bred, Free Range or Organic pork in supermarkets.

    Since its release, celebrities including Joanna Lumley. Stephen Fry, Sting and Trudy Tyler, have posted selfies of themselves pushing their noses-up piggy-style in support of the ‘Turn your Nose up’ campaign, started by charity Farms not Factories.

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  • Standardtwodollartshirt

    Evening Standard: would you buy this $2 t-shirt?

    In the Press

    You spot a pop-up vending machine selling white t-shirts for £2 in your high street.

    You insert your money, and select your size. Then a short film appears on the screen, revealing the ‘true cost’ of the t-shirt: a grim snapshot of the appalling working conditions of the person who made it, who is earning less than the minimum wage.

    You're given the choice of whether to continue with the purchase or to donate your money to a charity supporting exploited workers instead.

    What would you do?

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  • IndyFairlyTraded

    Independent: Sainsbury’s launch ‘Fairly Traded’ tea sparking outrage from Fairtrade

    In the Press

    Sainsbury’s will start selling its own-brand tea under a new “Fairly Traded” label, sparking a fierce backlash from the Fairtrade Foundation, which currently has its brand on the tea.

    The foundation said that it is concerned that the new “untested model”, which the supermarket is due to start using in an open-ended trial next month, will not help the most marginalised tea farmers and producers.

    In Malawi, one of the countries to be enrolled in the new “Fairly Traded” pilot scheme, 75 per cent of the population already live below the international poverty line…

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  • IndyForaging

    Independent: beauty of the foraging feast

    In the Press

    On glorious spring days, such as we’ve had over the past week, there are few places better to be than the wild and beautiful great British outdoors.

    The countryside is in bloom and ripe for the picking, offering up fresh flavours and unique textures from field, or park, or beachfront, to plate.

    We are amid a wild-foods resurgence, our interest for foraged plants and herbs piqued by world-famous restaurants such as Copenhagen’s Noma – and celebrity chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – which have long promoted the virtues of locally sourced, uncultivated ingredients.

    “Seven years ago, people would look at me weirdly and ask what I was doing. Now people stop to ask what ingredient I’m picking,” says Wross Lawrence who forages full-time in East Sussex between March and October…

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  • IndyBloodOrangeSeason

    Independent: Blood Orange season

    In the Press

    The new year brings with it new and exciting opportunities – including the peak of the relatively short Blood Orange season.

    Also more elegantly known as Blush Oranges, they are at their sweetest in January and February, because it’s the drop in temperature during the cold nights that follow warm, Mediterranean winter days that turn the citrus fruits a deliciously deep red or vivid orange with red streaks.

    Typically only available until March, these winter specialities are tangy and juicy, and packed with Vitamin C. They make a delicious sticky sauce for warming winter main courses and a beautifully vibrant substitute for citrus desserts.

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  • IndyIsItEthicalToEatMeat

    Independent: Can eating meat ever be ethical?

    In the Press

    Meat has been so cheap for so long that it became easy to forget exactly how it is produced. However, various food scandals, including the horse-meat controversy and, most recently, the marketing by Tesco of a range of meats, labelled with fictional farms to convince us it was somehow from a more wholesome source, has made many people think twice about what they are eating.

    The reality is pretty grim.  At one end of the spectrum, factory farms keep tightly packed animals indoors, feeding them grains to fatten them up quickly, before slaughtering them on huge production lines. This method of production accounts for a staggering 70 per cent of the 75 billion animals farmed worldwide each year, according to Compassion In World Farming…

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  • IndyEthicalGifts

    Independent: ethical Christmas gifts to order from the comfort of your sofa

    In the Press

    The best Christmas gifts are thoughtful and original. A token – no matter how big or small – that shows the person receiving it that they’re special and you’ve been thinking of them.

    Each present in this list is unique, expertly crafted by hand or in small batches by up-and-coming or established designers that you won’t find on your average high street. And the best bit? You can order these truly unique gifts from the comfort of your sofa.

    And the even better bit? Each brand behind each product is committed to be being truly ethical and sustainable – offering good working conditions and paying fair wages to their employees and making sure the materials they use are not destroying the earth. And you can’t get more thoughtful than that. . .

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  • IndyFairtradeFortnight

    Independent: Fairtrade fortnight asks how good is your morning cuppa?

    In the Press

    Britain is known the world over for being a nation of tea-lovers, drinking a staggering 165 million cups of tea a day. Every Brit knows that all problem solving starts with a hot, sweet cuppa. Did you know a good cup of tea can literally help set the world to rights, too?

    But ‘good’ doesn’t mean made with water heated to the optimum 96C, tea leaves brewed for exactly two minutes, and served in a porcelain cup.

    It means intrinsically good – made with top-quality leaves plucked by farmers who are paid a fairer wage so that they can feed their families and pay for their children to attend secondary school.  It means looking for the Fairtrade label in the supermarket…

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  • IndyFashionRevolution

    Independent: Fashion Revolution

    In the Press

    The ethics of a £2 trillion fast and cheap fashion industry are under the spotlight this week as shoppers updating their spring wardrobes are being asked to look beyond the labels and think about who’s making their clothes

    Six of the world’s top 20 richest people are in retail – including billionaires Amancio Ortega from Zara, and Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LMVH (which owns Louis Vuitton).

    At the other end of the scale, 90 per cent of the 75 million people who work in fashion and textiles across the globe have “no possibility of negotiating their wages or conditions”, according to IndustriALL Global Union.

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