Welcome to the ES Shopping Shortlist, your monthly round-up of the need-to-know newness out right now. Make a cuppa and take a seat, we’re diving right in.
Much as we loathe useless allocated ‘days’ (example: Nothing Day, Jan 16 - why?), this month is Plastic Free July, an entirely worthy 31 days dedicated to doubling efforts to wean ourselves off the thoughtless single-use stuff that’s choking the continents and poisoning the seas. There’s ways to do it beyond getting a reusable water bottle or buying fresh tupperware for your lunch (although these are applaudable first steps, for sure) - read how various brands can help your mission below.
On the sports front, it’s all very much happening. Football, cricket, tennis, rugby; if there’s a ball and a pitch involved, you’ll find us whooping and cheering beside it - wearing a suitably crowd-pleasing outfit, naturally. If your sunshine wardrobe feels lacking, there’s plenty of cool new things to pick up in the summer sales, which are currently in full swing. See our roundup of the best fashion sales to spend your paycheck on.
And last but not least, after a minor setback, July 19 should see all Covid restrictions dropped and life returning to some semblance of normality. Hug your mates, dance in a club, shop like your overdraft is limitless. London, it’s time to emerge.
Here’s the top buys and splash-out spends we’re loving this July.
Waken gives us something to smile about
Eco mouth care warriors Waken is expanding its range from flavoured mouthwashes into two toothpastes. One will be in tablet form, housed in a glass jar (bonus: they’re waterless too, so perfect for travelling or stashing in pockets for the post-July 19 Walk of Shame), the other is a gel which comes in an aluminium tube made from reused strips of the material. Priced from £4, they are admittedly a bit dearer than traditional options, but hey - what cost to save the planet?
Plastic Free July - the brands to know
SHO: make a range of reusable products that are eco-friendly, sustainable and cut the need for single-use packaging.
SodaStream: love sparkling water but hate the piles of plastic bottle debt incurred? Switch to SodaStream which carbonates tap water in a flash. Kits come with a My Only Bottle on the go, which you can slip into your bag for H20 on demand.
Organibox: If you're sick of the sight of unnecessary plastic in the fruit and veg aisles on your weekly shop, switch to Organibox. The company delivers fresh and tasty produce using only recycled materials for packaging, which can then be recycled or better yet, thrown in your compost bin. Win-win.
Ekologik: a clean house minus the guilt? Say hello to this new refillable range of sustainable cleaning pods. Just mix each sachet with water in your reusable spray bottle, and away you go. More haste, less waste.
Time to sizzle with Fine Food Specialist
When the sun comes out, Britain sizzles - in more ways than one. Good weather means a green light for BBQs, but why not take it up a gear with some seriously delicious cuts from Fine Food Specialist? The company has just dropped three incredible one-of-a-kind gourmet BBQ boxes in time for the heatwave.
Choose from the Gourmet BBQ Box (£68.95), which is packed with French and Italian sausages, Wagyu burgers, Iberico Pork and a 500g Argentinian Ribeye Steak. Or, keep the whole family happy with the Ultimate Burger Box (£59.95), a selection of truly decadent burgers plus treacle smothered bacon and plenty of buns for all your huns.
As for us, we're going for the Steak Experience Box (£64.95) which comprises the aforementioned Argentinian Ribeye, plus a USDA Prime New York Strip Steak and Wagyu Chuck Denver Steak with some bone marrow butter for good measure. Salivating yet?
Whoa-oh those Summer Lights
Hosiery brand Heist has launched an essentials range for summer styling. The Summer Lights capsule collection is available in either black or white, and includes a vest, shorts and pants made in puppy-soft fabric that you’ll want to spend all season in. Designed as foundational wardrobe pieces, wear them day or night, at home or away.
Sustainable bridesmaids dresses at Nola London
With weddings back on the schedule, you may be looking for new frock to wear to upcoming celebrations. But if you're the bride, you're probably shopping around for your bridesmaids. Nola London is a new bespoke bridesmaid dresses brand with a sustainable twist; the brand adopts a slow, local approach, making frocks to order in a small London atelier, thereby supporting UK craftsmanship, cutting carbon emissions and avoiding waste by only making what's needed. What's more the timeless-look collection is nice enough to wear long after the I Do's, styled for work, play and everything in between.
Dressing for two with Somebody’s Child
For those with a little person to not only keep alive but clothe too, you may welcome the news that stylish fashion brand Nobody’s Child has dropped it’s first ever mini-me kids collection - and it’s called Somebody’s Child. Cute, no? Featuring matching and complementary looks, there’s now no need to wish they made the outfits in adult sizes too.
Regencycore gets racy at Lovehoney
If you’re yet to be broken from your Duke’s spoon reverie, indulge your love for all things Bridgerton at Lovehoney. The sexual happiness people have dropped the second installment of it’s ‘Wild Anticipation’ lingerie line and it’s got more frills than a Regency ball. With an inclusive size range (from UK6 to 4XL), there are sets, bras and bodies in pastel and bold colourways galore to swoon over.
Is it us, or is it getting hot in here? Prices are certainly sizzling at Lovehoney, where the two week July sale is in full flow, with as much as 70 per cent off! Get adult toys, accessories and bedroom from as little as a fiver. Cheap thrills are waiting.
A spot of bother no more
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that zits suck massively, especially in adulthood when one might assume that the days of adolescent acne were done with. Whether you’ve got an under-skin lurker that just won’t budge or a hormone-triggered population that’s set up shop right over your chin, ZitSticka’s new bumper box should send them packing.
Containing 20 self-dissolving spot-busting sticker patches, each carries a payload of micro-dart tech. This means that the formula (which contains famous spot vanquishers, salicylic acid and niacinamide) gets delivered to exactly the right spot, as it were. Job done.