What's In Our Carry On Bag?

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We feel truly blessed that we're able to travel to amazing countries all over the world. Whether we're travelling for business or pleasure, there are a few key staples that we never leave home without:

 Sunscreen- because our mothers still call to remind us daily

Choosing the right natural sunblock can be daunting. There are quite a few products on the market, and let's be honest, most of the natural options are thick, white, and very slow to absorb, leaving an unwanted white sheen on the skin's surface. Don't fret, we've found some great natural options that provide SPF without the thick white texture. Our favourites are Coola for our body and Consonant for our face. 

Ear Plugs & Eye Mask

Is it just us, or is there a perpetual rooster crowing and bright lights anytime we're trying to sleep? All kidding aside, these lifesavers come in handy on long plane rides, bus rides, and when trying to sleep in past beautiful early morning sunrises. Our favourite is Saje's Soothing Herbal Eyeshade.
Turkish Towels
 Ok, so this one is a no brainer. We always have at least one Turkish Towel in our carry on. We use our towel as a blanket on the plane, a towel and a sarong on the beach and a shawl for those chilly nights. Our towels are light weight and dry super quickly, making them the perfect travel companion.
Paw Paw Ointment
This stuff is amazing! We use Paw Paw almost as often as we use coconut oil! It's a healing ointment made from fermented papaya, and contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It's great on cuts and minor open wounds, insect bites, dry and chapped skin,  rashes, minor burns, scalds, and sunburn. It also works well for chapped lips and minor eczema. Lucas' Paw Paw is our favourite.
Peppermint Oil & Lavender Oil
Equipped with our arsenal of Paw Paw, peppermint oil and lavender oil, there isn't much we can't handle! Interested in learning about our favourite uses for these two essential oils? Check out our blog post on Three Essential Oils That We Can't Do Without.
Portable Speaker- because music is life
We never travel without our portable speaker, and trust us, we're the life of the party! Our current favourite is the waterproof portable bluetooth speaker by JBL.
Books
Travelling is a great time to catch up on our reading. From long plane and train rides, to relaxing days spent on the beach, we love getting lost in a good book. What's on our reading list? Have a look here.
Happy Travels!
XOXO
Stray & Wander Team

How Do I Choose the Right Turkish Towel?

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We often get questions about how to choose the right Turkish towel. While much of it has to do with selecting a pattern and colour that you find appealing, choosing the right weave, and the right towel size for your needs is also very important.

Here are a few tips to help narrow it down:

HAND TOWELS

Don't let the name fool you, these small sized beauties are just as versatile as their full-sized counterparts. They're very tightly woven and super absorbent. Here are our favourite ways to use them:

  • hand towels
  • tea towels
  • hair towel
  • hot yoga towel
  • gym/sports towel
  • baby burp cloth
  • table covering

FULL SIZE TOWELS

Looking for the perfect beach towel?

We've definitely got you covered. Generally, we recommend choosing one of our tighter weaves if you'll be spending lots of time on the beach. Our general rule of thumb when choosing a beach towel is that the tighter the weave is, the less sandy your bum will be!

Here are our top towel recommendations for sand-free sunbathing:

  • Cove Towel
  • Harbour Towel
  • Rio Towel
  • Brook Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Yara Towel

Looking for a towel for your home?

Good news, this one's easy! All of our towels are great for the home. Go ahead and experiment with colour, texture, and pattern. A simple and inexpensive way to update a powder room is by adding beautiful Turkish towels for pops of colour and  texture.

Looking for a new scarf or shawl?

Our full sized towels all make great scarves and shawls. There are no bad choices, however, we generally recommend our looser weaves and stone-washed towels because  they have a plusher and softer feel. We just LOVE feeling cozy!

Our favourites:

  • Maya Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Wavy Towel
  • Kai Towel

Looking for an a multipurpose towel?

From the beach, to camping, to the cottage, we've got you covered. Both tight and loose weaves make great all around towels.  

Here are a few of our favs:

  • Cove Towel
  • Rio Towel
  • Maya Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Yara Towel

Have you chosen your towel? If so, have a quick read here to learn how to take care of your handmade beauty.

Still not sure which towel to choose? Not to worry..shoot us an email at info@strayandwander.com and one of our towel experts will be happy to help!

 

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team

 

 

Shop For A Cause- Lucid Sample Sale

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Today we set up shop with half a dozen other like-minded ethical brands in Toronto to raise money for an amazing cause that’s close to our hearts. A big shout out to our pals at Lucid Communications for organizing this Sample Sale For A Cause. Today, we are not focused on profit, but on raising as much money as possible for Second Harvest, an incredible local grassroots charity. Along with the other brands participating in this event, we’ll be donating twenty percent of today’s sales directly to Second Harvest.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Second Harvest, they’re a Toronto-based charity, and are in fact the largest food rescue organization in Canada. As a global thought leader on food recovery, their goal is to drastically reduce the amount of food wasted while ensuring people have access to good, healthy food they need for success. Second Harvest works across the supply chain from farmer to retail to capture surplus food before it ends up in the landfill and negatively impacts our environment.

Since 1985 they have rescued and delivered more than 127 million pounds of food and prevented over 70 million pounds of greenhouse gas equivalents from entering our atmosphere.  Currently, they rescue food from over 470 donors and deliver that food to 253 social service agencies in Toronto and food hubs across Ontario, providing enough food for 30,000 meals a day.  It costs Second Harvest under 40 cents to provide 1 meal to someone in need.

Join us today at 1179 King Street West, Suite 018 from 12-8pm to get some incredible deals while shopping for a great cause.

 

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team

Featured Retailer: Shea Organics

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Shea Organics is a beautiful new shop in Collingwood, Ontario that’s been receiving lots of attention! They offer a wide range of all natural, fair trade, vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics, skin care and accessories. Their mission is to educate the community on why clean, eco-friendly beauty is crucial not only our health, but to the planet’s health as well.

Aside from a gorgeous collection of our Turkish towels and blankets, Shea Organics carries an amazing array of high performing natural brands such as Graydon Skincare, Lines of Elan and Elate Cosmetics to name a few. And it gets even better; they proudly support female owned and operated businesses. In fact, 95% of the brands they carry are women-run! Their product offerings are carefully curated to ensure that everything is sustainably made, organic, fair trade and Canadian. This is definitely our kind of shop!

Why We Only Use Organically Grown Cotton

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                             PART  I

A mere 1% of the world’s cotton is grown organically. The other 99% is produced conventionally, with a heavy reliance on pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and other toxic chemicals (Textile Exchange, 2010).

OK, but why does this matter? Why should I choose organic? What are the negative implications of conventional cotton, and why is organic cotton SO much better?

Here’s what we know:

  • STRONG CHEMICALS are used in cotton production, both to help the cotton grow and to keep pests away. The use of these chemicals has caused those exposed to them (animals and humans alike) to suffer from disturbing health consequences. These effects include pesticide poisoning as well as nervous system, and reproductive system impairments (Environmental Justice Foundation, 2007).
  • On the other hand, organic cotton is produced using natural processes. This ensures both the health of the cotton and of those exposed to it. These methods include: using crop rotation, introducing beneficial insects to control pests, and using the technique of mixed cultivation (Environmental Justice Foundation, 2007). The use of natural processes over toxic chemicals means that those exposed to the crop in production (people, animals and the environment) are less much likely to experience negative side effects.
  • The production of conventional cotton creates unnecessary amounts of CO2. In fact, conventionally grown cotton has been named the world’s most polluting agriculture commodity by the Environmental Justice Foundation (2007). It’s reported that 1 ton of this cotton produces more than 1,750 kilograms of CO2 (Cool Cotton: Organic cotton and climate change, 2015).
  • THE BETTER OPTION: organic cotton, which produces 46% less CO2.
  • Conventional cotton also has a tremendously negative effect on our water sources. For example, it takes two and a half thousand litres of water to produce a simple cotton shirt. In a world where clean and safe drinking water is a scarcity, this is mind blowing.
  • Alternatively, organic cotton uses much less water during production. Organic farmers are also much more likely to use rain water over irrigation systems. It’s estimated that organic cotton is 80% rain-fed (Organic Cotton is Better For the Environment, 2014), which places less strain on the waterways of the growing regions.
Aside from the strong environmental argument for using organically grown cotton, the health reasons are equally compelling. Keep an eye out for PART II of this post, where we’ll look at why organic cotton is the healthier choice.

 

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team

 

Works Cited:

Textile Exchange (2011). Cotton for the 21st Century: An Introduction to organic cotton. Retrieved from http://farmhub.textileexchange.org/upload/learning%20zone/Cotton%20Briefings%20separate/Organic%20Cotton_An%20Introduction.pdf

Environmental Justice Foundation. The Deadly Chemicals in Cotton. Retrieved from https://ejfoundation.org/resources/downloads/the_deadly_chemicals_in_cotton.pdf

Organic Cotton is Better For the Environment. (2014). Retrieved from http://aboutorganiccotton.org/environmental-benefits

Cool Cotton: Organic cotton and climate change. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.soilassociation.org/media/6491/cool-cotton-organic-cotton-and-climate-change-2015.pdf