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It’s been six years since COP21, the birth of the Paris Agreement and a defining global move from international leaders to limit global warming to the famous 1.5°C figure. Fast forward to last week and COP26 has been a major talking point, rightly so; this year’s United Nations climate change conference, grabbing the attention of more eyes across the globe than ever before. Hosted in Glasgow, the 120 parties in attendance introduced promising plans to fight alongside our planet. As for the changes we can expect to see, here is a run-down of what the next decade of climate change activism will look like, with the help of one of the fiils family, sustainability advisor, Ahsan Syed.


Fossil fuels, the alliterative culprit of our emissions emergency, were the first to find themselves in the hot seat. For the first time in COP conference history, 23 countries, including Indonesia, Spain and Ukraine, took one very big step forward, committing to the phasing out of coal. We love our little wins here at fiils, but this is a colossal conquest for the climate.


Compromise came from developing countries agreeing to the phasing out of fossil fuels. Despite activists pushing for a complete shifting away into greener energy territory, it still marks a notable turning point, as explained by Ahsan. “Although climate activists didn’t get the results they wanted, and the specific wording was watered down from phase out to phase down, this is still a very positive outcome.”

What does this mean for us?

Adopting a ‘new normal’ means we can make our own impact in reducing CO2 and hold Mother Nature’s hand along the way, coined by Ahsan as “voting with your dollar”. Opting for sustainable switches and ‘putting our money where our mouth is,’ investing our pounds in carbon neutral, refill and reuse options means a cut down in production and transportation emissions, a cleaner conscience, cleaner air.


The good news is that developing countries including India, one of the world’s leading Co2 emitters, are set to receive support from more affluent areas of the globe, emerging from COP26 with a solid path to a lower emissions future. “The Glasgow climate pact includes more specificity – the phase down of fossil fuels, contributions to developing countries, setting more stringent targets in 2022, these will all help ensure that countries continue to actually make efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.” Leading us on to our next champion for the planet, renewable energy.


In a breath of fresh air, it was also announced that China and America, two leading greenhouse gas emitters, turned their focus to renewable energy, set to develop new technology and implement plans to increase its use and prolonged success. “We have achieved leaps and bounds in energy efficiency and also alternative energies; in a lot of places around the world, solar wind is the cheapest form of power that you can have.”


With renewable energy followed a focus on emissions and a promised 30% reduction in the next 8 years from more than one hundred countries. Over the past decade, carbon emissions increased by 1.47 billion metric tonnes, 29% of this emerging from transportation. To counteract this and steer us in the right direction, automotive companies promised to produce ONLY zero emissions vehicles globally by 2040, a welcome change and one we are already seeing in our cities, streets and everyday lives. “We’re constantly moving in the right direction, our cars are more efficient than they ever were, we’ve gone leaps and bounds in technology. We’ve installed the technology and put filters in the tail pipes – the air coming out of a tail pipe is cleaner than the air that went into a vehicle fifty years ago.”


Aside from our buying habits, simple lifestyle switches have a knock-on effect in reducing emissions, aside from the obvious of monitoring our energy intake at home or opting for a sustainable supplier:


  1. Did you know that opting for a vegan diet reduces your carbon footprint by 25%? Switching to dairy free milk reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 49%!

  2. Swap out your takeaway coffee cups for a reusable one. A stainless steel alternative works for your coffee and your water.

  3. Opt for natural cleaning product alternatives – you can make your own using cupboard essentials (but do your research!), or invest in a refillable system.

  4. Buy recycled toilet paper to help close the emissions loop.

  5. A simple one: keep on recycling!

  6. Plant some bee-friendly flowers and help nourish our buddies aiding in natural food production.

On to fixing our forests!

Brazil, home to the Amazon rainforest, alongside 129 other countries, agreed to the halting of deforestation and land degradation. Over the past year 1.9 billion trees have been planted, a huge step to regrow not only our home but the natural domain of our wildlife.


Giving some TLC to our trees can also be done from the comfort of your couch, shopping with brands working alongside Ecologi. We put our pounds towards planting, with 5,987 trees already planted in our very own fiils forest. Ecosia is another great way to give back to your forests for free, a search engine donating 80% of its profits to reforestation.


In an optimistic, planet productive end to COP26, we can stay in the loop with the world’s collective efforts with COP to become an annual event. “There was a lot of countries committed to revisit their 2030 targets by the end of 2022, next year’s COP.”


We’re making progress. Our ozone layer is healing, a lower emissions future is on the horizon and industries are adapting, meaning we are well on our way to becoming more climate friendly consumers and taking a smaller carbon footprint step in the right direction.


For another fiil of the COP26 climate action, head over to our Instagram for a discussion between fiils founder, Anna and sustainability advisor, Ahsan Syed, HERE.

22.11.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

I am sure we have all been there. You are at your local drugstore or supermarket and you are trying to choose the right shampoo for you. Or better, for your hair. But how do you choose the right one? No one has ever taught us how to choose shampoo, am I right? It’s always like this, and it never gets easier.


I know what you are thinking, shampoo is just shampoo. And I am not sure how to change your mind about it just yet, so please bear with me and read through this. I promise it will not be a waste of your time.


Picture this. You are staring at shelves packed to the brim with a million different options: straight hair, coloured hair, curly hair. But also shampoos claiming to fix your split ends or your brittle hair. How can a product do it all, in reality? And how am I to choose a shampoo based on these claims that I know are really not realistic? On top of that, with all the available options and formats on the market now, how am I to make a simple choice on shampoo? And is it even a simple choice to make, really?


I feel like, in this day and age, we are very much fed so much information all at once. And we kind of get very overwhelmed. Particularly when we speak about sustainability and climate change, so much is out there and we need to make sense of it all. Am I meant to switch to a shampoo bar? Do I jumps on the no-shampoo shampoo wagon? And what about packaging – it is a plastic bottle? Can I recycle the box in which my shampoo bar was living? Do I make sure all the cardboard pieces of it, including the ink, are okay for the planet? What is good and what is not? But also how good is this going to be for me, my hair and my beliefs? How do I choose shampoo?

SO WHY FIILS?

When I was offered the opportunity to write a post on my experience using fiils, I was elated. As a follow up to that post, I can only confirm that not only have I thoroughly enjoyed the product Anna has created, but I also admire her stand on sustainability and single-use plastics. But I am sure if you are here you know plenty about the brand. And if not, let me help you with that.





Fiils was founded by Anna with the intent of putting change ahead of trends. In the beauty industry (but in so many other industries too!), we are all aware of the copious amount of waste resulting from following new trends. It’s bound to happen and it has been like this for so long. But what if there is a way to address this and make an impact by changing the rules?


Fiils is here to disrupt the industry with products not only for hair but for the body too. Everything they make is done using only the highest quality, completely natural ingredients. And with sustainability and the planet always in mind.


Anna and Bilguissa are all here for that. And so are we, to be fair. You might have read about our initial thoughts on fiils by reading our post. And after having given this shampoo enough time, we’re here to tell the tale.

HOW DID WE CHOOSE SHAMPOO BEFORE?

Well, it goes without saying we are always influenced in our choices, even when we do not realise it. So it also is no surprise when I tell you that I choose a shampoo based on what other people were picking. Not going to name names, but I was overly excited at the thought of being able to pick my scent and colour for the formula. And I am sure that says it all. I had no clue about what goes into a shampoo – let alone having a clue on how to choose a shampoo! If it was for me, as long as it was pink and smelled nice, it was good.


But I didn’t know that’s not enough. At least, I now know it was not enough. There is plenty that goes into a shampoo, and I am sure we all barely know what’s good and what’s not so good for both our hair and scalp. Chatting to Anna and Bilguissa made me realise that, while my previous choice of shampoo was not so bad in terms of ingredients, I was ordering a product that had to go through such a long mileage to get to me that all my good intentions were thrown out the window the moment I pressed BUY on their website. And that the colour and scent do not make a shampoo a good one.


WHAT HAIR TYPE AM I?

My hair is very thin and straight, extremely fragile and tends to fall quite easily. Fine hair is the kind of life that picked me, not vice versa. My scalp is oily, extremely oily, and also very much sensitive. Any change in shampoo is very much a danger zone to me. I would always end up with dandruff and a very itchy scalp whenever I switched shampoo. So you can imagine my fear and anxiety behind switching from a product I had used for more than 3 years to a product I didn’t even know about. I am glad to say I was oh so wrong.

HOW TO CHOOSE SHAMPOO: THE TRANSITION

Yes, my previous shampoo was SLS-free as my current choice. But with all the added silicones and fancy colours and scents… was it really a good choice? Since I switched to fiils, my hair is a lot easier to detangle, quick to style and not as dry anymore. I was sceptic about it and worried about any reaction my scalp could have. Of course, yet again, I was proven wrong. No dandruff, no itchiness, no change whatsoever to an already stressed scalp. Yes, my scalp is still oily, but not as fast as I used to get it. I can feel my hair getting fuller, thicker. It looks a lot healthier now than it has ever been before. And I have not changed anything in my diet or in my habits with vitamins.


So can choosing the right shampoo really make a difference? I guess it can indeed.

Since I haven’t mentioned it before, my hair care routine – and subsequently, my hair care products range – is pretty much just shampoo. I do not use conditioner as my scalp is already oily and my hair tends to stay pretty soft without the need for it to be conditioned. I do not do hair masks, nor do I use hair oil because there is nothing more annoying than oily hair to me. The oily scalp is something I just have been struggling with for since I can remember, and no shampoo has been able to help me contain that. Not until I switched to an SLS-free shampoo.


And how did I choose said shampoo? Out of sheer luck. And while the excess oil is not controlled fully, I cannot really complain. My switch was easy and pain-free, with no dandruff and no itchy scalp, ever. Of course, I know that I don’t want to strip my hair of those natural oils that are meant to protect it. I want the moisture to stay, I don’t need to start dealing with dry hair and a dry scalp!

THE NEW REFILL PRACTICE IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY

I must admit that the whole reuse, reduce, recycle mantra has taken a long leap in most industries, the beauty industry included. And while the work of some is definitely what I like to call a pretty façade, we need to focus on the brands doing real good for the planet. Again, I hear you: how can I be an impacting force when I choose my shampoo?


Well, just check what shampoo you are currently using. Is it safe for you as much as is it safe for the planet? Can you recycle that plastic bottle and top? Will you be able to reuse that bottle somehow? If the answer is no to 2 out of 3 of these at least, then you guessed it. Switching to a refillable option like fiils has made me more coherent in my choice of living a sustainable life through most aspects of my life. All I need to do is order when needed, refill my reusable bottle and make sure I do not get any pumps unless I need them. And with fiils, you will be able to do that not only for shampoo and conditioner but also for body care products. If this is not a win, I don’t know what is.

So, to confirm, these are the steps to choose your shampoo in a nutshell:

  1. Check the ingredients list, you don’t want a shampoo made 90% of water and chemicals you cannot even read from the label, let alone know what effect they will have on both you and the planet;

  2. Check the packaging, is it really as sustainable as they claim it to be? Will you be able to recycle it? If not, is there a similar product that you can use instead?

  3. Assume you will need time to adapt to the new formulation, do not give up on it right away. Everything needs time to start working for you, so make sure you follow the same procedure you’d have with skincare and try stuff out;

  4. Do not assume everything you see it’s gold, and not everything that works for your friend or mum or sister will work for you. We are 3 sisters with very different hair, and as such very different needs: it’s not a one type fits all, and it shouldn’t be;

  5. But most importantly, do not throw out what you are currently using to move onto better products. The beauty industry accounts for 120 billion units of packaging created every year, just think how much of this will end up in landfills and our oceans. Finish that product first!




Guest written by: Simona, founder of The Grumpy Olive blog

04.11.21 | POSTED BY Fiils