Category Archives: Guest Post

5 Ethical Commitments From Fashion Brands

5 Ethical Commitments From Fashion Brands You Need To Know About

Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of pre-cruise shopping? This guest post by Wayne Thomas gives you a few things to consider if you want to make ethical choices.

Ethical concerns are becoming an integral part of the way fashion retailers do business. As more information comes to light about the negative impact fast fashion has on the environment and those who work in the industry, consumers are driving demand for ethical commitments from the brands they know and love.  

From raising money to fund causes they care about to addressing human rights issues in the manufacture of their products, we are asking more than ever of the world’s biggest producers and retailers. In this post, we look at five ethical commitments from brands you need to know about.  

Fundraising  

One of the simplest ways brands can commit to a more ethical way of working is by raising money for causes their customers believe in. Did you know that high-street giant Debenhams has a £1 million fundraising target each year? This is alongside the many other steps Debenhams have taken in recent years to make their operations more ethical.  

Reduction In Landfill  

Much of what we buy and wear ends up in landfill. It is a sad byproduct of our throwaway culture, but one which brands are now starting to address. Clothing brand Nobody’s child have committed to reducing landfill as much as possible. They only manufacture their collections in small runs, reuse fabric where possible and donate any excess fabric to local colleges. Also, at & Other Stories, Monki, and other H&M Group brands, customers are able to recycle old textiles in store and receive discounts and incentives.  

Ban On Animal Testing And Use 

Some of the biggest brands have now committed to banning animal testing, fur (including feathers) and angora in all of their productions. Big names which have recently committed to stopping the use of angora wool include Gucci, Calvin Klein, Gap and Ralph Lauren.  

This is not only reserved for the fashion space, but in the beauty industry too. There has been a significant increase in the number of vegan and cruelty free brands on the market which has forced even the biggest beauty houses to consider their animal testing practices and the ingredients they use in their products.  

Eco Packaging  

It is not just the goods themselves, but the production and disposal of packaging that is causing major disruption to the environment. You may have already noticed how much excess packaging comes with your favourite parcels, but did you know many brands are now taking measures to reduce the packaging used? For example, the cult skincare brand Glossier now allow you to decline their signature pink ziplock and sticker pack to reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging.  

Sustainable Supply Chains  

Ethical concerns go further than the store you buy from. Brands are now committing to ensuring that their ethical commitments extend through to manufacture and sourcing of materials. According to charity The Chain, who monitor supply chain practices, Adidas, Lululemon and Primark are leading the way when it comes to rectifying human rights issues, listening to the voices of workers and overall monitoring of supply chain practices. For example, Adidas has long-term relationships with most of its suppliers. 

What commitments do you like to see from your favourite brands? Let us know. 

Here are some of our favourites;

7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

World First Hybrid Electric LNG Icebreaker

Fred Olsen Guests Fund Fifth RNLI Lifeboat



How to Plan a Romantic Cruise Holiday 

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you another great post by guest blogger Wayne Thomas.

There can be few things in life as romantic as life on the open sea. Cruising is growing in popularity year-on-year and with so many destinations now available for you to cruise to, it’s easy to see why.   

Some 27.2m people cruised in 2018, up 10% in 2016, and with facilities improving and service standards on the rise, that boost in numbers is set to continue.  

With lavish dinners, stellar entertainment and a myriad of activities to do – and that’s just on board – cruising has long been the choice for couples and families looking to escape. But cruise companies are increasingly catering for romantic getaways.  

Cruises are, in many ways, inherently romantic by their very nature. The itinerary is decided – a combination of cities and the open sea. You share new experiences and adventures with the person you love, as the ship takes you to the places along the route and sets you up for another day where you can create endless memories. Couples’ private dining options, tailored massages, exclusive entertainment, cruises have it all.   

And to help you book the perfect trip, here are our key tips on how to plan your next adventure.  

1. Pick a point on the map 

The sheer variety of options you have are extraordinary. Venice, the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Norway, California. The options are extraordinary and apparently endless.

Cruise ships now visit more than 100 countries across the world and allow you to explore stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, incredible and varied wildlife and animals, as well as some of the most celebrated cities on earth. So, before you do anything, decide what kind of cruise holiday you want to go on, narrow down the options and make your choice. You can even go on round-the-world cruises for up to 245 days a year. 

2. Get the boring bits taken care of 

Once you have booked, you will no doubt daydream about all the magnificent experiences that await, but before you get carried away make sure you have everything taken care of. Do you need inoculations where you are going, have you taken care of your travel insurance? In some countries, such as Thailand, travel insurance is now mandatory, so please make sure you check and get it booked – especially as you’ll be visiting different countries.

Once these bits are arranged, you can relax and start researching the wonderful destinations that await, so that once your cruise liner drops anchor you can make the most of your time on dry land. 

3. On-board extras  

Once you have chosen your destination, make sure you spend some time looking at all the options your cruise company offers once you are on board. Many will arrange private, romantic sunset dinners, others will offer special couples’ massages.

There will be plenty of options for you and your loved one, but don’t leave it until you get on board or you may find you have left it too late and availability is limited. You have been warned. 

More by Wayne Thomas: The Best Destinations To Cruise To On Your Babymoon

Best Destinations For Your Babymoon

That’s me onboard Royal Princess when I was expecting Josh. There is nothing like a cruise when you are pregnant. You can just sit back, relax and switch off.

Each cruise line has different policies on how many weeks pregnant they will accept women to sail with them. Check the terms and conditions, or mention it to your travel agent prior to booking. Most cruise lines allow women up to 24 weeks pregnant, however others will go as far as 28 weeks. In this guest post, Wayne Thomas shares tips on the best destinations to cruise to on your babymoon. 

If you’re looking for the perfect way to relax whilst pregnant, then look no further than a cruise holiday. With every opportunity for Mum to kick back and lots for the rest of the family to do, plus plenty of ports to head into, it’s a vacation that will make everyone happy.

by Wayne Thomas

So, the question is, where to go? Here are the best destinations to cruise to on your babymoon.

Caribbean Dreaming

Caribbean cruises stop off at some wonderful family-friendly locations. The stunning beaches and relaxation spots of the likes of St Lucia and Antigua compete for your attention with the duty-free shopping mecca that is the Cayman Islands. The islands are all swarming with cultural hotspots too, from the Spanish colonial buildings of Havana to the plantations of Barbados.

Enjoy the romance of Havana, Cuba

What all these destinations are well-equipped to do is minimise the stress of holiday making. If your travelling companions want a bit more excitement, there are plenty of diving opportunities available while you sit back and take it easy on white sands or put your feet up on a deck chair. With a gentler pace of life, a tropical paradise might just be the perfect tonic for you.

Beauty of the Baltics

If you’re a fan of history and culture, then a cruise in the Baltic sea could be right up your street. Admire incredible Russian churches before making your way to bustling cities like Copenhagen and Stockholm for a taste of the cosmopolitan lifestyle. There’s incredible architecture just about everywhere on this journey, not to mention Oslo’s glittering window lights that reflect on the water’s surface.

Nyhavn buildings in Copenhagen, Denmark.

You’ll get to experience the best cuisine from so many different countries, which is great for all those cravings you’ll no doubt be having. Sample dumplings stuffed with meats and tossed in thick stews and broths, or give pickled vegetables a go and choose from cabbage, beans and beetroot. Do be careful, though, as there are some foods you should avoid when pregnant. These include things like certain soft cheeses, partially cooked eggs, pâté, and raw fish; make sure you research risky foods thoroughly before travelling.

In terms of scenery, you really won’t find better than this. Experience archipelagoes and stretches of beach, which contrast with Soviet landmarks dating back to WWII.

Escape to the Fjords (with a taste of the arctic)

To experience natural wonders like nowhere else, set off on a cruise to the Fjords. The northern lights are simply unmissable. They are nothing short of magical as they paint the night sky different shades of green and pink. You’ll stop off in picturesque towns with cobbled streets and cathedrals after drifting past snow-capped mountains along still, reflective water.

As you head further north, the cooler climate provides the perfect excuse to wrap up warm and cosy up under blankets on the deck of the ship. Alternatively, watch the world pass you by through your cabin window while holed up with a comforting warm drink – the ultimate way to relax!

Aurora borealis above the snow covered mountain in Lofoten islands, Norway.