Reins Clothing

Reins Clothing,

Hi! We are Reins clothing, and we believe that little steps make BIG impacts. Our small team of artists, skaters and independent women, is on a mission to bring to you a brand that is not only environmentally conscious, but actively impacts our Mother Earth in a positive way! 

Not only this but we believe sustainability is a lifestyle choice that should never be kept out of reach for those less financially inclined. And we find it so often that it is! We hope to bridge this gap between sustainability, affordability, and of course… adorableness. Sustainability and style is the Reins way. 

Rhi, Reins’ mother, is a beautiful and vibrant coastal gal! The sea being a forever fixture in her life, she feels passionate about its preservation and protection. This is where inspiration is drawn for our unique and playful designs! We are always working with up and coming local designers, and our up and coming drop is with none other than Liverpool based ‘Intangible Objects’! We have loved working with intangible’s owner Lydia on our new range and we cannot wait for you to see it! 

Another enticing aspect of Reins, is we absolutely love the communities built around skating, and surfing! You will see this influence in our drops to come. We believe that these communities are amazing for self development, and allow a creative and active way to express oneself and release some endorphins! So if you follow our journey, you’ll discover some amazing kid prodigies in the ways of surfing and skating, representing Reins in some of the coolest ways you could imagine. 

As a sustainable based, and eco friendly company, our main ethos is PROTECTION ! It is our duty to do everything that we can to protect our mother earth from harm, and that is why we only work with companies and distributors that are circular or have progressive environmental standards at their core. This is why we will now be working with hemp fabric! Hemp has some incredible environmental aspects, and makes for a much more sustainable way of manufacturing! 

Mimes Reusables

But it is often the small steps, not the big giant leaps that bring about the most lasting change. 

We started Mimes Reusables because we realised that positive climate change doesn’t happen overnight and it sure doesn’t happen by us all doing it perfectly. Real change happens when we all make a small shift in our consumer behaviour. One of the easiest way of achieving this is by swapping to stainless steel reusable water bottles.

Sustainable ways to deal with the ‘cost of living’ challenge

Simon Eardley

We are all feeling the impact of rising costs, higher inflation and trying to make budgets stretch that little bit further. Turmoil across the world is having a big effect on our daily lives and that often means that our priorities shift with concern for the environment or sustainability playing second fiddle to feeding ourselves with the same amount of money each week or getting to and from work with fuel prices substantially more than they used to be.

Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. 

It is estimated that, in the UK, 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted per year which totals to costs of something like £10.2 billion each year or up to £400 per household per year – it might even be more.

Food waste is a massive problem but there are solutions out that and they needn’t bust your wallet either. I’ve recently discovered the ‘Too Good To Go‘ app from reading Eco Communties Tellus Magazine which is available for download in all the usual ways.

The app links you up with food and other outlets who have items that would otherwise go to waste and whilst they might not be at their very best, they are perfectly edible and as the app’s name suggests, are far too good to do in the bin! Take a look at this bundle of fresh fruit and veg from the great Hoole Food Market on Faulkner Street – all for just £2.99!

What a shame it would have been to see that load of healthy food go to waste and in rescuing it from being discarded, it’s a fantastic way to help your weekly budget stretch a little bit further.

Win win as far as I can see!

The Battle of the Packaging

Helen Tandy, Director, Eco Communities

This blog came out of a combination of WhatsApp messages, a chat in the pub and an email.

We somehow got onto the topic of Beer in bottles and cans last night visiting the new That Beer Place venue in Chester, not sure why as we were on draught ale. A guy Rhian knows mentioned the shortage in materials to make bottles at the moment, and that reminded me of an unread email I had from Toast Ales I have just gone back to read.

Cans have a much lower carbon footprint than bottles – less than half of the emissions (cans weighing in at 126g CO2 versus bottles at 284g CO2). Benefiting from g lightweight (heavy glass means more emissions in transport) and widely recycled (85% of aluminium cans go another round).

You might see less glass beers around the shops, the rise in production costs are expected to result in a global shortage of glass bottles as the price is expected to rise by as much as 80% the Grocer reports.. READ

Toast gives you these tips for bottle lovers.

1. Recycle your empties (if you live somewhere without kerbside collection of glass, you might have a local campaign on your hands!)
2. Support local breweries – imported bottles of beer have been on a long, carbon-intensive journey so it’s better to buy local! 

We absolutely agree with it’s winner, get down to your local, draught beer is a package free winner, make sure the pub uses steel returnable Kegs and that your drinking from reusable glasses of course…….

Read more on Toast Ales and its Impact Report which is where its data here….

Help us to create the Cheshire Cup

In 2019 10.8 million people took away a coffee from a coffee shop in the UK . We can’t keep creating this single use cup waste. We need a reuse system that works and we think Cheshire deserves this.

That 10.8 million cups equates to 16% of the UK population. This equates to 55,080 coffee cups just in Cheshire West which could well have been single use. Less than 1% of single use coffee cups are recycled as they need to go to specialist recycling facilities as most are a mix of paper and plastic. Some businesses have tried to become more responsible and gone for the compostable versions, the difficulty here is that these require industrial composting that’s not available in most locations in the UK and so they are thrown away into general waste in the region. The optimum aim is for a circular economy, no waste as in nature.

What we propose is deposit return style scheme, where a deposit is paid for the reusable coffee cup, a small deposit say £1 is paid for the cup itself. The take away coffee and cup can be taken off the premises, but the cup can then be taken back to the same café the next day or handed into another participating café for a new clean cup or refund.

30th May 2022 Update

It’s a week later – thanks to those of you that donated to get us to 20 backers and the CWAC funding we are now at 70% – YEYYYYYY – we have 91 days to raise the rest. If you can spare a few pounds it would be absolutely fantastic.  ANOTHER £2,202 💸NEEDED 😀

If anyone has any fund raising ideas let us know, we have a couple of events coming up. Green Expo and Festival for the Future we could use to raise some funds. 🥤


What we’ll deliver:

  • We will deliver a reusable cup scheme in Chester as phase one

Why it’s a great idea:

We are all human and ww go out without one of those reusable cups we bought and fancy a take away coffee, so we end up using a single use cup with we then throw away. Cafes are using single use cups which go into general waste or end up in our environment, parks and oceans. If they are branded they can also result in bad press for a business. What about the Carbon Footprint of Single use Vs Reusables?

A disposable cup uses 110g of CO2e A reusable cup made from polypropylene and manufactured in the UK has a lower environmental impact than single-use paper cups after just 3 uses. After 7 uses the environmental impact is 41% less, after 182 uses (6 months) the impact is 95% less.

SO A WIN WIN It could also help to put Cheshire on the map as one of the most sustainable regions in the UK.

Please support our Spacehive funder – we understand times are tough and money is tight. Why not pledge the cost of a reusable cup to us £10 – it all helps.

Call to Chester businesses

Have you been reading more about Net Zero and sustainability?

We are reaching out to highlight a few projects that we are working on right now in your local area that might resonate with your business.

Eco Communities is a Community Interest organisation created with the aim of promoting and supporting green, eco, sustainable and plastic free projects and businesses in the region.  

In December of 2018 we achieved Plastic Free Chester status with Surfers Against Sewage, in order to do this, we needed the support of over 30 businesses in Chester, all of whom swapped out or completely stopped using three items of single use plastic within their business. We have created a project Sustainable Cheshire to carry on the plastic free initiatives and open up the aims around sustainable business and sustainable living.  

First off, we want to put Chester on the map for sustainability and part of this is to renew Plastic Free Chester. We also desperately want to bring a city-wide reusable cup project to the region, starting in Chester working with the organisation behind Shrewsbury Cup. 

But how does my business fit in? 

 If you not already part of Plastic Free Chester, maybe now is the time to get involved.  

 Another key component of Chester’s green revolution is our support of the Refill campaign, a campaign set up where businesses in your local area will sign up to mark themselves as a business that invites people to come to refill their water canisters and bottles to cut down on plastic waste. 

Lastly, we are currently raising money to bring in a reusable cup scheme for hot drinks. How much do you spend on single use take away cups? The Cheshire Reusable Cup scheme could reduce littering in our city, reduce our carbon footprint and long term reduce business costs.  

The main problem around reusables is that people forget to take one with them from home. What if they could get a hot drink from one shop paying a deposit for a reusable cup, then drop the cup off at another participating business in Chester?  

Lastly, thank you for your time and we hope to hear from you so that you can join our community and we can help support each other and the planet

What is this?

By Helen Tandy, Founding Director, Eco Communities

This fantastic building on the River Dee is a Hydro Electric Power Station. I have lived in Chester now for nearly 30 years and always wondered why it had been left to go to ruin. I even pre invested in a project to renovate it around 5 years ago that wasn’t viable in the end.

I am working with Jane from CHASE* in connection with the Green Expo 2022, a 3 day event of stalls near the Chester Hydro Power Station. But the Green Expo is much more with a Business Conference, Awards Dinner and Youth Conference.

I learnt so much more about the hub from Jane’s conversations while we were promoting the Green Expo at the Vegan Fair on Saturday. Did you know the Hydro Hub used to generate almost half of Chesters power as clean carbon free electricity, from 1914 to 1949. We had it so right in Chester all those years ago and then we stopped, such a shame.

I have since researched to find it’s a Grade II listed building, converted into a waterpumping utilty after its 40 years power generation before ceasing operation in 2015. The University of Chester’s plan to reinstate it was found not to be feasible, it was felt the turbines would attract the Dee’s migrant salmon. Not a great end for the salmon.

So after all these years it was great to hear about CHASEs plans for the Hydro Hub to redevelop the building as a visitor and education centre. CHASE is working alongside Cheshire Historic Buildings Preservation Trust to develop designs and plans for operation as an education centre for schools, residents, visitors and potential new business hub. The focal point for residents, schools and visitors to learn about what a low carbon world will look like and how all aspects of our lives will change as new technologies remove emissions from our industry, commerce, agriculture, homes, transport and food.

A hugely exciting project and fitting that CHASE put forward the idea of an annual Green Expo alongside the River Dee to support its project.

So Green Expo is a trade show and sustainability fair. An opportunity for local businesses and charities to showcase their sustainability plans, products and services. The general public will have opportunities to buy products while learning about technologies and career opportunities. The Eco Communities and CHASE team will be very very busy, we are all volunteers and so if your interested in helping over the 3 days do let us know. But whatever come along, support the event and share it with everyone you know.

*Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises CIC, or “CHASE”, are a Community Interest Company like Eco Communities.

Save the earth one litter pick at a time.

Eco Communities ask you to act as part of ‘A Billion Acts of Green’ this Earth Day and become a volunteer

Today April 22nd it’s Earth Day, Earth Day started in 1970 and now has more than a billion people taking part to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation. By taking part in activities like picking up litter and planting trees, we’re making our world a happier, healthier place to live.

Better yet, an action that affects the world around you. A Billion Acts of Green are happening across the planet. From students in classrooms to organizers in their communities to officials in government there are ways for anyone of any background to make a difference. Start small and go big — or start big and stay big. Either way, keep coming back, keep taking action and join the movement to change the world.

Eco Communities are celebrating earth day by launching its volunteering programme. LINK

Did you know that one of the most popular Acts Of Green is joining a clean-up. Eco Communities aims to make ‘Cheshire Green’ and ‘Keep Cheshire Clean’ but they can’t do this without you.

Helen Tandy, Director of Eco Communities said “It was fantastic to see lots of solo litter picking over lock down and the start-up of groups like Chester Wombles, which now has around just under a thousand members. But we are more about group litter picks, you can make a big difference to an area in a short space of time and get to chat with new people and make friends. This is why we applied for the councils Climate Emergency Fund to  create litter pick hubs. Places where you can get hold of equipment bought with our funding and encourage group picks. We are now calling on residents to get in touch to volunteer.

For those of you part of our Carbon Footprint Friends project using Giki it’s also one of the steps – more info on this step – CLICK HERE Litter picking is good for the planet and your wellbeing. Take action on the three ideas below, click on the action.

 1. Register to volunteer this earth day.

 2. Join Carbon Footprint Friends via Giki, already registered take take some new steps.

3. Join our Might Network Chat Platform and talk to each other – share and learn

They will then keep in touch with you regarding Litter Pick Hubs near you and litter pick events.

To add some extra fun, Eco Communities are running a competition over May and June to get people signed up over the region, the lucky winner will get an Eco Starter Kit worth over £50.  Want to know more about the litter pick hubs see button.

Eco Communities Main Website –

How Volunteering can Inspire you to make a Difference

What is Volunteering?

Volunteering means giving your time and abilities to aid others (usually a non-profit organisation like Eco Communities) without reward. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.

Our Volunteering Experiences

I was brought up with volunteering around me, both my parents were involved in various activities. From scouting to amateur dramatics to name just a few, it was part of my upbringing and I even helped with Girl Guiding as a teenager and into early adult hood. I then became more concerned about the environment and joined what was a very small group with Friends of the Earth in Chester, where I made some lifelong friends. I have supported the Women’s Institute, but now my time all goes to progressing our work with Eco Communities. As a Community Interest Company with no paid roles we rely on volunteers. All four directors work full time, as do all our Steering Group members so we rely on volunteers to make the projects tick…..Helen T

Why not volunteer with us

You can get involved in volunteering with us in lots of different ways from just a litter pick to helping to organise events we have so many varing roles:

Small – you could choose to stay solo and perhaps get involved in litter picking using our new to be launched – litter pick hubs. You could come along to one of our Chester group litter picks and meet new people, and give up a couple of hours of your time once or twice a month. If either of these sound up your street – provide your information here.

Medium – If you have a bit more time you could get involved in our Plastic Free Cheshire/Sustainable Cheshire project. This involves one or more of the following activities: Engaging with the community where you live around litter and single use plastic. Talking to business to encourage them to reduce single use plastic. Engaging with local schools.

We need to support at the following events:

  • Vegan Fair – 14th May, Outside Chester Town Hall
  • Green Exposition -16th to 18th June, Castle Drive, Chester
  • Festival for the Future 9th July, St Marys Creative Space, Chester
  • Festival for the Future, 23rd July, Northwich Museums
  • Great Big Green Week Cheshire Festival, 24th September, Grosvenor Park Chester

More– why not become part of our Steering Group and help us to make Cheshire the most sustainable place to live, through green projects, tackling litter, reducing single use plastic and helping people reduce their carbon footprint… Interested in event planning? We are always working on a few events at any one time.

If you are on the fence about diving into a new volunteer experience or have doubts about whether or not volunteering is right for you, you might find yourself surprised at just how much you can gain from taking the plunge. Why not speak to one of the team and ask any questions.  Email witgh your contact information.

Is Fast Fashion Destroying our Planet

Helen Chambers, Director Eco Communities

This week I have been re-reading the book Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas and it has reminded me about what a mountain we still need to climb in terms of solving fast fashion.

There are many astonishing stats in this book (and I would highly recommend reading it) but one that I wanted to share was that 1 in 6 people on Earth work in fashion. Yet 98% of them do not earn a living wage! When the author of another book I’ve been reading recently The Day the World Stops Shopping asked the CEO of a large fast fashion factory in Bangladesh what price increase would be needed per garment to make a difference to this, his answer was 2 cents! That would give him the ability to pass onto his workers an 8% raise and improve their working conditions. The crazy thing is we would all as consumers pay it, so why isn’t it happening?

In my twenties I was oblivious to the fact that 10% of greenhouse gas emissions come from clothing and footwear, I had no idea that my addiction to always having a new outfit for every outing was damaging the planet so much.

How things have changed. I find it a lot easier now to avoid fast fashion for a number of reasons; I now know the damage to the planet, I’m older so don’t get invited to as many places (unless it’s a kids birthday party), I have more disposable income so when I feel I need something I can buy better quality with sustainable materials (BAM is my favourite). It also helps that we have been living in our homes for the last 2 years so not had much need for new clothes! But I know for many it is part of their identity and it can be harder to make the move away from fast fashion.

For those who don’t know I work for a company called Giki who help individuals to live more sustainably. I thought I’d share some of their top tips on how to reduce our consumption:

  1. The most sustainable clothes are those in your wardrobe. Ask yourself do I really need it? Could I borrow it or get it second hand?
  2. Will I wear it more than 30 times? And will it last that long if I wanted to?
  3. Can I afford to buy better quality made sustainably?
  4. If you think you are ready for a challenge why not try to buy nothing new for 3 months
  5. With the average item now only being worn 7 times before it is thrown out why not try a clothes swap? Just footprints in Chester Forum are hosting a clothes swapping event on Saturday 19th March. I’ll hopefully see you there! (see details below)
  6. Read more from the experts on fast fashion like Fashion Declares and research organisation Ethical Consumer (see below)

Fashions Declares is asking for an urgent shift in behaviour to cut carbon emissions and avert the climate, ecological and social crisis we face. The founding signatories are key enterpeneurs in the fashion industry, including Safia Minney who founded, People Tree.

‘Fashion has the power to shape culture and behaviour beyond the industry itself. As a bottom-up movement, Fashion Declares will create a network of individuals from right across the sector.

Ethical Consumer look at 28 brands run by dedicated individuals with a passion for clothing and the planet – read its article ‘Who’s who of ethical fashion brands’