Beyond Cotton: Exploring Bamboo as a Sustainable Fabric


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There has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of clothing choices in the last decade. From fast fashion to textile waste, consumers are increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives. One such alternative gaining traction is bamboo fabric as a versatile and eco-friendly material for textiles, particularly in blankets and clothing. Bamboo fabric is considered a sustainable choice for the conscientious consumer, and it could be the ideal fabric used by manufacturers in the future. Whether it’s bamboo blankets or bamboo clothing, the fabric could replace cotton.

Bamboo Grows Quickly Without Fuss

Bamboo is a fast-growing grass native to many parts of the world. It possesses remarkable properties that make it an ideal candidate for textile production. Unlike cotton, which requires vast amounts of water and pesticides to cultivate, bamboo grows rapidly with minimal water and no pesticides. This makes bamboo cultivation far less resource-intensive and reduces the environmental footprint associated with traditional cotton farming.

Bamboo plants proliferate quickly and can be harvested annually without the need for replanting. This regenerative quality makes bamboo a renewable resource that can be cultivated without depleting the soil or harming ecosystems.

Is Bamboo as Good as Cotton?

What sets bamboo fabric apart in the realm of textiles? The answer lies in its unique characteristics. Bamboo fabric is exceptionally soft and smooth, with a luxurious feel that rivals silk. Its natural moisture-wicking properties make it highly breathable and comfortable, making it an excellent choice for blankets and clothing, especially in warm climates or for those prone to sweating.

Furthermore, bamboo fabric is hypoallergenic and naturally antimicrobial, thanks to bamboo's inherent antibacterial properties. This makes it an ideal option for sensitive skin or individuals prone to allergies. Unlike synthetic fabrics, which can trap odour-causing bacteria, bamboo fabric remains fresh and odour-free even after prolonged wear.

bamboo clothing

A Biodegradable Fabric

In addition to its comfort and health benefits, bamboo fabric is also biodegradable, unlike many synthetic textiles that contribute to the growing problem of textile waste. When disposed of, bamboo fabric decomposes naturally, returning to the earth without leaving behind harmful residues or microplastics.

Sustainable Production Methods

The production process of bamboo fabric further enhances its sustainability credentials. Unlike conventional cotton processing, which involves harsh chemicals and consumes significant energy, bamboo fabric can be produced using eco-friendly methods. The most common method, known as the mechanical or "retting" process, involves crushing the bamboo plant to extract its fibres, which are then spun into yarn. This mechanical process eliminates the need for toxic chemicals and reduces energy consumption, resulting in a more environmentally friendly end product.

Bamboo fabric production boasts impressive water efficiency compared to traditional textile manufacturing. Bamboo requires minimal irrigation to grow, and the retting process consumes far less water than the water-intensive processes used in cotton production. As freshwater resources become increasingly scarce, the water-saving benefits of bamboo fabric production are particularly significant.

What are the Challenges of Bamboo Fabric?

Despite its many virtues, bamboo fabric is not without its challenges. Critics point to the chemical processing methods sometimes used to produce certain types of bamboo fabric, such as bamboo rayon or viscose. While these processes can be less eco-friendly than mechanical methods, responsible manufacturers are increasingly adopting closed-loop systems and eco-certifications to minimize environmental impact.

Concerns have been raised about the environmental and social implications of bamboo cultivation, particularly in regions where it is grown on a large scale. Clearing land for bamboo plantations can have adverse effects on local ecosystems and biodiversity if not managed sustainably. Additionally, there are concerns about the working conditions and fair labour practices in some bamboo-producing regions. As with any industry, transparency and ethical sourcing are essential considerations for consumers seeking truly sustainable products.

Bamboo fabric offers a compelling alternative to traditional textiles for blankets and clothing, with its softness, breathability, and sustainability credentials making it an increasingly popular choice among eco-conscious consumers. While challenges remain in terms of production methods and sourcing practices, the potential for bamboo fabric to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry is significant. By supporting responsible manufacturers and choosing bamboo products, consumers can play a part in promoting a more sustainable and ethical approach to fashion and textiles. As we continue to seek alternatives to conventional materials, bamboo stands out as a shining example of nature's bounty harnessed in harmony with the planet.

bamboo clothing

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El Camino Bracelets - wear your travel memories


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family travel

I've been lucky enough to have travelled regularly since I was young, it went hand in hand with growing up with an ex-pat mum and having family halfway around the world. My passion for travel only grew as I entered my twenties and spent over 2yrs working and travelling across Europe and solo interrailing. Even my time in the UK has seen me live in Edinburgh for 18 months and Cornwall for a year before settling in Wales. 

Since having kids my love for travel hasn't changed, if anything I want to show them this beautiful world and wild outdoor spaces before we potentially lose them. I live very much by the ethos of leave no trace and I don't tend to pick up souvenirs when travelling except the odd postcard, so being able to see, track, wear and share our travel milestones together with El Camino has been great, it's the perfect sentimental gift for those who live for travel. 

So what is El Camino exactly

It's the original travel bracelet and ultimate keepsake, handmade right here in the UK and are currently worn by over 78,000 travel lovers. You can customise your bracelet, necklace or anklet and add the Countries and Cities you have ticked off your bucket list as well as Seas, Oceans, Regions, Animals and custom steps. 

For my El Camino bracelet, I decided to make a "family bracelet" and added countries the kids and I have visited together as well as oceans we have travelled on and regions. The kids and I have already ticked off 11 countries and cannot wait to add more to the bracelet which has already become very sentimental and meaningful to me and I really hope we add many adventures to it together before the kids grow up and head out on their own adventures. 

If you are looking for something truly unique to document your travels then El Camino is a fantastic wearable way to do that. 

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20 Family Friendly UK festivals 2024


Family festival

One of the things that helps me through winter and spring is knowing that the festival season is on the way! Summer festivals is something that has been a part of my life since I was a teen and I love that it's also ingrained in my children's lives and has become something we all look forward to year on year. 

The music, food, camping, freedom and escape from reality for a few days, regardless of the weather, never fails to be a fun and wholesome experience. The great thing about festivals in the UK is the abundance of choice, each festival is slightly unique meaning that most music and food tastes can be catered for and you're sure to find a festival that piques your interest. 

Both of my kids have been going to festivals and camping overnight since they were 5 months old, so yes it's more doable and a lot of fun! Of course, some festivals are more suitable for younger children than others so here is a list of some of the best family-friendly festivals taking place this summer. 

family camping

1. Elderflower Fields, 24th-27th May, Ashdown Forest Sussex

Elderflower Fields is a small, safe and family-focused festival that offers the chance for kids to get outdoors and have a wild weekend of family adventure, sports, nature and arts in a countryside setting. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Adult weekend tickets start at £175 and children's tickets at £91

2. The Big Retreat Festival, Pembrokeshire 24th-27th May

My kids and I have done the Big Retreat twice and it's a fantastic family festival in an incredible location. With a focus and well-being,  your ticket gives you. access to over 300 experiences from yoga to foraging and bushcraft, live music, incredible food and a great kids program that runs alongside this. So far Lucy Spraggan and The Feeling have been confirmed for the lineup. Adult weekend tickets start at £220, youth tickets £80 and under 5's free

The big retreat

3. Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, 31st May – 2 June 2024

Wychwood Festival was the first festival I took my eldest to and it's a great starter festival for families as it's well-contained and has everything you need for a fun weekend. They always have a fantastic lineup along with hundreds of free family activities including circus workshops, crafts, aerial shows and yoga. So far the lineup consists of Texas, Ocean Colour Scene and Seasick Steve. Adult tickets with camping start at £169, Youth tickets are £84 and under 10's are free. 

4. The Eden Festival, Moffat, Scotland, 13th-16th June

The Eden Festival in Scotland is proud to be a family-friendly festival with activities for all ages. There is a kid's craft tent, creative spaces, a family well-being area with yoga, meditation, mother circles and sound baths, Over the weekend they will also have messy play, graffiti workshops, circus skills, a treasure hunt and kid's parade. So far the lineup includes Mr Scruff, Leftfield and The Zombies and weekend tickets start at £155 for adults, £75 for teens and £20 for under 12's (free for under 5's)

5. Guilfest, Guildford, Stoke Park, 29th-30th June

I will always have a soft spot for Guilfest as it was one of the first festivals I worked at during my student days and even though it had a break for a few years, it's back and its such a fun and family-friendly festival with an eclectic lineup. While there is no camping this year there is plenty of places to stay locally and this festival is only minutes from the train station. This year they will have a kids' area, arts and crafts, bushcraft, cinema tent and games tent and the lineup so far includes The Stranglers and Sam Ryder and weekend tickets are £88 for adults and £44 for under 18's

family festival

6. Isle of Wight Festival, 20th-23rd June

The Isle of Wight festival is one of the UK's original classic festivals and its main focus is the music, meaning you can expect an incredible lineup but saying that they also offer plenty for the younger festival goers including lots of fairground rides and a special Kidzone area. Last year Kidzone put on theatre shows, storytelling, magic, dance and discos, circus skills, forest school and craft activities. The lineup so far includes Green Day, Pet Shop Boys, McFly and The Streets to name a few. Weekend tickets for adults are £269.95, teens are £225.95, 9-12yrs £14, 3-8yrs £8.40 and 2 an under are free. Day tickets are also available at £120 
7. Timber Festival, Feanedock, The National Forest, 5th-7th July

The Timber Festival is a unique and all-encompassing festival with a focus on nature, the environment, sustainability and creating a sense of community. There is just so much for families and children to do here, from workshops, talks, skill sessions, music, building and a large woodland playground. There are also some fantastic speakers for all ages that will inspire. Tickets are income-based and weekend tickets start at £150 for adults and £55 for children

8. Vintage for Victory, Cardiff, 12th-14th July

We attended this boutique vintage-themed festival last year and my boys absolutely loved it. Now in its 7th year, Vintage for Victory celebrates all that was great from the 1940s, 50's and '60s and you can expect lots of music, performers, reenactors, vintage fun fairs, food, fashion, outdoor cinema and plenty to keep children entertained including full-sized replica Spitfire and Hurricane along with re-enactment RAF flight crew to tell you all about the Battle of Britain, the people and planes. Last year they also had lawn tennis, vintage cars on show, a miniature railway and lots of street food. Weekend tickets for adults are £60, 16-21yrs old are £50 and under 16's are free, a camping pitch for 4 nights is £50

family music festival

9. Big Love Festival, Monmouthshire, Wales, July 18th-21st

Big Love is a small 4-day music festival set in the glorious Welsh countryside with over 130 acts across the weekend as well as circus performances, cabaret, kids tent, workshops and more. They haven't yet announced their lineup or confirmed activities but this festival while small is a popular one. Weekend tickets start at £150 for adults, teens (13-17yrs) £60, child (5-12yrs) £5 and under 5's free

10. Latitude, Suffolk, 25th-28th July

This longstanding festival is always a popular one and for good reason, a stellar lineup, beautiful location and a huge host of things to keep the kids (and teens) entertained, in fact too much to mention and I'd recommend checking out this page for the full list. Despite being a larger festival, it's very family-friendly with a dedicated family camping area. The lineup so far includes Kasabian, Frank Turner, London Grammer and Rick Astley and it's going to be an action-packed weekend although it's also one of the more expensive festivals with adult weekend tickets £308, teen tickets (13-15yrs) £190, children's tickets (5-12yrs) £28 and under 4's free

11. Deer Shed Festival, North Yorkshire, 26th-29th July

A three day wonderland of music, comedy, arts, science, theatre and sport for all ages, set in beautiful North Yorkshire parkland. Unlike other festivals they don't have "kids-specific areas" but instead the whole site is accessible to everyone and all ages and there is going to be a lot of music, theatre, workshops, cinema and plenty more to get involved in. The lineup so far includes The Coral and Bombay Bicycle Club and adult weekend tickets start at £179, 16-17yrs £100, 6-15yrs £75, 4-5yrs £50 and under 3s are free

Green gathering
At The Green Gathering 

12. The Green Gathering, Chepstow, 1-4th August

The original off-grid festival! Four days of low-impact living in an area of outstanding beauty, every nook and corner bursting with music, creativity, natural abundance and once again plenty for children of all ages including teens. I took my boys here a few years back and we loved it, it's very much about the experience and feel-good sustainable factor and there were so many workshops for the kids as well as circus skills, a library bus, crafts, music, hang-out areas and games. The lineup is yet to be announced although usually focuses on alternative and local acts and adult tickets start at £150, 16-17's £100, 11-15yrs £65, 6-10yrs £30, 2-5yrs £10 and under 2's free

13. Valley Fest, Bristol, 1st-4th August

Bristol’s Lakeside Food and Music Festival, is set in the stunning Chew Valley with incredible views, amazing food and a fantastic family-friendly lineup. I've taken the kids to this before and there is always an array of things to do, from puppet shows to a fairground and play area, workshops and crafts. There are also plenty of food options for all ages. The lineup so far includes The Feeling, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Tinie Tempha and adult weekend tickets start at  £172.78, teens (13-20yrs) £129.59, kids (4-12yrs) £37.79, and under 3's are free.

Valley fest

14. Lakefest, Herefordshire, 7th-11th August

Lakefest set in a beautiful location at Eastnor Castle has quickly grown in popularity on the festival scene, with a combination of great activities and a family-friendly feel this is one to put on your list. The children's activities include everything from creative crafts and fairground to more high-octane shows of wrestling and BMX. The lineup includes The Libertines, Olly Murs and Jake Bugg and they offer a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children under 18 for £349 including camping with access to the site from Wednesday to the Mon morning. 

15. Camp Bestival, Shropshire 15th-18th August

Camp Bestival offers up two family-friendly festivals during the summer, with the first taking place in Dorset in July and another in Shropshire in August. Designed by families, especially for families, this highly popular with festival-loving parents, it's worth booking in advance if you plan to go. There is so much going including a rock climbing wall, skateboard ramps and lessons, SUP, painting, fashion workshops, a silent disco, a woodland tribe and the list goes on. The lineup includes McFly, Faithless and Paloma Faith and weekend adult tickets start at £210, teen tickets (13-17yrs) £155, older child tickets (10-12yrs) £128, child tickets (5-9yrs) £108, younger child tickets (2-4yrs) £85, 1 and under free

16. Just So Festival, Cheshire, 16th-18th

A family weekend adventure beyond your wildest dreams and having done this festival twice with my kids and highly recommend it, you will have an unforgettable weekend of mischief, mayhem, and magical moments creating memories to last a lifetime. The program is packed with music, performance, food fights, anarchic play, and imaginative worlds, nature, magic and is non-stop fun from start to finish. Unlike some other festivals, your ticket includes all the activities, workshops and camping. Adult weekend tickets start at £208.65 and children's tickets are £88.65, day tickets are also available. 

Just so festival

17. Gone Wild, Devon,  22nd-25th August

Bear Grylls wild adventure take on a family festival has gone from strength to strength and now they have two festivals, one in Norfolk and one in Devon. The festival was made with families in mind and offers over 100 activities from shelter building to skateboarding and tree climbing, along with some inspirational speakers including Bear himself and a rather impressive music lineup to boot including Sam Ryder, Ocean Colour Scene and Ash. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children start at £499, they also have separate adult and children tickets.  

18. Between the Trees Festival, South Wales, 22nd - 25th August

A 4-day, nature & science-themed, indie-folk festival in a Welsh woodland by the sea. A small festival with a family feel and plenty for kids including pirate fun, workshops, forest school, dance and drama sessions. There is an eclectic mix of folky and indie music on the lineup along with some great talks, walks, wellbeing sessions and permaculture and a host of the best local street food vendors. Adult Weekend tickets are £155, children's tickets (4-17yrs) £55 and under 4's are free, day tickets are also available. 

19. End of the Road festival, Dorset, 29th Aug - 1st Sept

A great way to wave out the summer with the End of the Road festival at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset. Another long-standing festival that always attracts a great crowd with a fantastic music lineup and family-friendly features such as family camping and kids' area and activities. They haven't finalised everything that is going to be on offer but so far the music lineup includes Idles, Slow Drive and Sleater-Kinney. Weekend adult tickets start at £255, youth tickets (13-17yrs) £180, Child tickets (6-12yrs) £80, young child (3-5yrs) £60 and 0-2yrs are free.

20. Harvest Home Festival, Mendip,  30th-1st Sept

Only in it's 2nd year, this small and community-driven festival is fantastic, we went last year and it was a great way to wave off summer. Set in the Mendip Hills, the campsite is spacious and safe for children to run around and there is plenty to do that's included in the ticket such as nerf zone, archery active, outdoor cinema, climbing wall, fire shows and live music. The tickets haven't gone on sale yet but last year early bird tickets including 2 nights camping, started at £49 for an adult and children were £34 and under 3's were free - this is just a guideline on the prices from last year. 

family festivals uk

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Wahaca Oxford Circus - Family review



When it comes to travel and eating out with kids, you want to go somewhere that is within a reasonable budget (which isn't always easy in London) and you know there will be something for everyone and balances dishes with depth for adults and fun favourites for kids. This is where Wahaca comes in, it offers up a delicious and creative take on Mexican food along with great choices for younger diners and it's one of our go-to places in Cardiff so we decided to try out the Oxford Circus location on a recent trip to the capital. 

Close to Oxford Street and Oxford Circus Station, its central location is perfect after a long day of adventuring and offers a relaxed and cool place to recharge and refuel. I would advise especially in the summertime to book in advance although in the quieter months, you can usually find a table, which is what we did and the staff were really friendly throughout the meal. 


What I love about Wahaca is the array of nibbles and small plates, making it a bit of a sharing experience which is perfect when you have kids. We always opt for some nachos and guacamole to start and we all dive in. I also treated myself to one of their delicious virgin mojito mocktails which I highly recommend. 

The menu also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options with black beans and three cheese quesadillas and sweet potatoes and feta taquito being favourites of mine. The kids opted for the "build your own taco" bowl which is great for kids who want to try new things or are picky eaters as they can create their own taco's just as they want them. 

build your own tacos

You really can't go to Wahaca and not finish the night by dipping some delicious churros into chocolate sauce, which once again also makes for a great sharing dessert.

Wahaca is perfect for families, adults can enjoy some cocktails or mocktails, kids can build their tacos and the food is always fresh and tasty so everyone wins. 


Disclosure - Wahaca invited us to try their menu. Words and opinions are 100% my own 

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