Farming is in Annabel Makin-Jones’s blood. She is a fifth generation Yorkshire farmer, having run the family farm near Leeds for the last 15 years. With over 1200 acres of arable land, Annabel also takes charge of 1,800 tonnes of strawberries each year. Forever restless, she wanted to create something more, and Tame & Wild was born. As a Leeds girl myself, I love championing women in the north that are breaking the mould and doing extraordinary things, just like Annabel.

Inspired by a desire to create a natural alternative to alcoholic options, Tame & Wild was designed to be enjoyed at the same occasions, but is light, sophisticated and simply English berries and botanicals with sparkling water, but like fine wine or gin the craft is not in the ingredients, but in how they’re brought together.

We spent some time with Annabel to talk all things self care, her plans for the future and more…

Previously a fruit farmer and bee keeper. How long was the idea for Tame and Wild in the making?

In farming, being ahead of the curve, finding ways to diversify can make the difference of surviving to thriving.I am always thinking my brain never switches off. I have a filling cabinet full of business plans that never quite hit the mark.

Annabel explains her inspiration: “I was out with friends and I was driving – and the non-alcoholic options were limited to sparkling water or drinks full of sugars or nasties.I spotted a gap in the market for a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink.

“Just because we’re not drinking alcohol, doesn’t mean we should be forgotten about. I still want something delicious with a sense of occasion andnot to be fobbed off with an elderflower cordial– so I set to developing a range of natural drinks that can be drunk on their own or as a mixer inspired by the flavours of the English countryside.”

How do you want people to feel when they drink your products?

Special, I want them to enjoy a sophisticated drink in a beautiful glass over ice with a cocktail garnish. It should be a treat, an indulgence.Tame and Wild is for people who care where their food and drink comes from. Its low in sugar and low in calories but totally sophisticated with no artificial additives.

In 2020, what are your plans for the brand?

To gain listings in the very best establishments from spas to hotels to restaurants. To capture an audience with our English flavours and craftmanship and to help educate consumers on how to make better choices and enjoy the produce we have at our finger tips.

Where can people buy your drinks?

Online with Amazon and through our own website and at high end farm shops, hotels, gastro pubs, restaurants and bars.

Are there plans to expand the range in future?

We’ve just launched a new Damson, Rosehip and Passionflower flavour.

This year we’re focussing on gaining wider market share and new listings, its and exciting time for Tame & Wild and the response has been fantastic. 

For any aspiring entrepreneurs, what advice would you offer?

“Women in business owe it to help others in business. That karma comes back. There’s enormous support in a network of female colleagues.Our brand mantra is BE TAME OR WILD, but above all, be yourself.Work hard, play hard and don’t have boundaries to what you can achieve, believe in yourself and you will achieve.”

What are you doing to make your brand sustainable?

We start with sustainable principles, no plastic—we use glass bottles, we only use recyclable packaging. Our offices are heated by solar panels and the water comes from our bore hole on the farm. We champion British produce and flavours ensuring food miles are minimised and we make the drinks in our own county – Yorkshire.

Sustainability is a huge part of my business’.Pollinators, bees, they are vitally important to what we do and in the circle of life. We are doing everything we can to help protect them so we have huge “bug hotels” on the farm to make sure they have a great habitat to live in and we also donate to conservation charities for every bottle sold.

Why is this something that interests you?

Sustainability should interest everyone. We have a duty to look after the world that we live in and protect the planet. As a farmer I know this more than most.

What does self-care mean to you?

Eating and drinking well, making time for pilates and getting a great nights sleep. This can be very difficult running 3 business’ and a start-up with two young children, but I do try to look after myself, I am a huge believer in alternative health and natural remedies.

Outside of work, what do you do to switch off?

Either cooking with my children (we love a themed night) or friends to come for dinner and enjoy great food and drinks whilst discussing this fast-paced world that we live in and what we have achieved that week!

Tell us your favourite quote to read when you lack creativity?

“Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites and scares you at the same time.”

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your travel bucket list?

Golden Triangle in South East Asia. Nestled between Burma and Laos. Lush jungle, mist-shrouded mountains, hill-tribe villages and tranquil views of rice paddies. A wonderful dream to ethically interact with lands biggest mammal; the elephant.

Kratom is a dietary supplement used to help with stress and anxiety. Kratom is a plant-based substance related to coffee and has grown in popularity in recent years. It originates in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Myanmar, which have hot and humid climates. Kratom is a newcomer to the Western world, but it quickly gains popularity due to its positive characteristics.

The white kratom leaves contain a wide range of chemicals biologically. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, the most active Kratom alkaloids, are the most active compounds. Mitragynine has the same effects as opium in that it mimics molecules in the body that reduce pain and stress. 7-Hydroxymitragynine has analgesic actions in the body. The alkaloid in Kratom binds to opioid receptors in the brain, lowering tension and making it an antidepressant and anti-anxiety. It also improves energy and concentration.

What Is White Kratom?

There is no denying a wide range of Kratom alternatives available. For example, the White Kratom is one of the most popular types for its anxiety-relieving and concentration properties. How do you choose the Kratom strain to fulfill all of your requirements?

The white veins on the leaves of the White kratom give it its name. Veins ultimately turn green and red as the plant matures. White Vein Kratom increases energy levels and improves physical and mental alertness. It’s ideal for people who take Kratom first thing in the morning. Another advantage is that it might assist you in dealing with the effects without causing you to lose control. As a result, it is appropriate for students taking exams.

How White Kratom Helps Students to Focus During examinations?

Relieves Anxiety

Students who have a history of poor grades are likely to be nervous about exams. Parents and peer pressure frequently misled students into assuming that their exam scores were final. It has the potential to become toxic and make the learner mentally disturbed.

The anxiolytic properties of White vein Kratom can assist in alleviating exam anxiety. Since fear can lead to mental and physical illnesses, it is effective. Kratom’s alkaloids bind to opioid receptors in human bodies, causing mind-altering effects. They can assist in avoiding depression by reducing anxiety attacks.

Uplifts the Mood

Though White vein Kratom is one of the top recommendations for treating or preventing certain illnesses, some people may use it as its stimulant. This Kratom strain can also make you feel good or “high.” This nutritional supplement will not get you high like cannabis, but it will make you feel good and boosted. As a result, more people will use or consume it to lift their moods, especially during exams.

If you’ve been having trouble during the week, give this white vein strain a try and see how it works for you. Since the stimulating effect isn’t too significant, please don’t hesitate to use it. Moreover, It also does not provoke drunkenness.

Lessens the Examination Stress

White Kratom is a popular option for people suffering from anxiety and despair. This is due to the reason that white veins can help you feel less worried and stressed. If you’re stressed, depressed, or anxious about your exams, prescription medicines may help you relax. On the other end, the white strain is currently preferred by most people because it is all-natural and has other advantages in addition to lowering stress responses. White strain assists in producing happy hormones by interacting with opiate receptors. As a result, you’re experiencing a sense of calm.

Aids in the Correction of Sleep Cycle Issues

Anxiety and fear can cause insomnia and vice versa. Sleep deprivation can impair memory, frequent distractions, and panic attacks. As a result, fear and anxiety regarding exams and outcomes may arise. Apart from that, greater doses of White kratom have substantial anxiolytic and muscle-relaxant actions.

Is white Kratom Safe to Consume during Examinations?

Kratom is a safe and an effective supplement. When you know how to utilize it, it will not hurt your body. However, due to its opioid-like effect, Kratom may interact with medications. The most delicate white kratom strain for exam anxiety is White Kratom. If you’re taking any additional medications, you’ll need to track how your body reacts. Other treatments may benefit from the use of Kratom. However, it will never be able to take the place of one. So, before you try Kratom as a substitute, talk to your doctor.

Different doses may have different reactions in your body. To keep on the healthy side, look at the labels and ingredients. Take tiny amounts appropriate for your body, and don’t be overwhelmed by what you find on the internet.

How do you use White Maeng Da Kratom to improve your focus?

Due to the tremendous potency, you must be cautious with your dosage. Since the White strain is the most powerful, learn everything about it. It is not a product that should be consumed with caution. However, to avoid sleepiness, the quantity must get carefully monitored. You’ll obtain precisely the right results without getting lazy and lounging around on the couch.

Smaller doses will work best for you if you are a novice. As a result, 1 to 1.5 grams is ideal for a first-timer. The objective is to avoid indulging in a quantity that could result in an unpleasant experience. You can gradually raise the dosage once your body and mind have become accustomed to it. After a while, you can increase your dosage to 1.5 to 3 grams for more effective results.

Kratom more than 5 grams is a no-no, especially if your sole purpose for ingesting it is to improve concentration. If you use too much of this strain, the side effects can be unpleasant.


Kratom is one of the most recent natural supplements to hit the market, and it’s swiftly gaining traction with students worldwide. It has several impacts, including increasing energy, enhancing focus and motivation, and making challenging activities feel more achievable. This article includes all the white maeng da benefits needed to stay focused in your exams days. It is, however, a chemical that, if not used properly, can lead to addiction, which is why dosing should be consumed with extreme caution.

Kratom provides all of the benefits when taken in tiny doses. So if you’re deciding on using it as a focus boost when you study, small amounts will be more than enough. Give it a shot, and you will notice why Kratom is becoming popular all over the globe.

Barboun, Shoreditch’s new Mediterranean locale, is anything but traditional. Sure, there are of course all the Levantine-inspired dishes that will certainly impress even the most discerning foodie, but what truly impresses, is how Barboun takes all the flavour and charm of a traditional Levantine bistro and blends it with the modernity that would attract the Shoreditch crowd and then some.

Our girl Hannah Tan-Gillies, ventured out to sunny Shoreditch to sample Barboun’s brunch offer, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

First off, the restaurant itself, covered in pale wood, terracotta tiles, and stylish mid-century pendant lighting is the picture of Scandi coo. One look at the menu though, and you will see where the Mediterranean influences lie.

The cocktail list is impressive indeed and we recommend starting with the Elderflower Spritz, a refreshing concoction of Tanqueray, St. Germain Elderflower, and Franklin & Sons Mallorcan tonic – a delicious cocktail that will easily transport you to a beachside café along the coast.


The flatbreads, while a relatively unusual brunch choice, are a revelation and offer excellent value for money. The ‘Choke Hold’ named after the delicious artichokes that are the heart of the dish, come with spinach chermoula and creamy kefalatoryi cheese.

The Smokey offers delicious burnt aubergine with rose harissa, a delicious take on a traditional mezze classic, while the ‘Abrakebabra’ is of course, a tongue-in-cheek homage to everyone’s favourite late-night wrap. This flatbread blends pulled beef, spicy tomato and garlic yoghurt – proving you can’t go wrong with a classic.

The Turkish platter is an excellent sharing plate, perfect for a brunch date with your pals and comes with a delicious spread of feta, kasar cheese, olives, boiled eggs, pastirma, preserves and toast. It goes exceedingly well with the Elderflower Spritz too – as we quickly discovered.

Finally, don’t leave Barboun without sampling the sweets on offer. The banana pancakes are fluffy without being too doughy, while the Burma Baklava (a must-have in any Mediterranean joint) was unsurprisingly delicious. The piece de resistance of the dessert menu though, must be the Fried Simit, a hot and cold sensation of fried caramel ice cream with yellow peach and hazelnuts. A final flourish to a delicious brunch that has certainly added some Mediterranean sunshine into an otherwise dreary London afternoon. We shall soon be back to get our Barboun fix.

To book a table or for more information visit

Luxury hotel turndown services elevate the guest experience by preparing the room for a restful night’s sleep, often including thoughtful touches like chocolate on the pillow, soft music, and dimmed lights. These personalized amenities, integral to luxury hotel turndown services, ensure guests feel pampered and valued

Sleep is always on the agenda. Luxury hotels around the world compete for the most opulent turndown services for guests to have the perfect dreamy slumber. We have rounded up the top five services from historic castles to London hideaways and cruises on the world’s most famous waterways…

Castell Son Claret, Mallorca

Castell Son Claret is an ultra-luxury hotel, on the beautiful Island of Mallorca in the Balearics. The hotel merges pure nature, relaxing luxury and culinary delights. It is no wonder that it is a member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World.’ The former 19th-century castle, meticulously renovated in 2013 by the Kühne family welcomes guests to a unique experience. Surrounded by lavish gardens, the 41 rooms and suites are of contemporary design, many featuring terraces and their own garden or a private pool.

On arrival, guests are met with homemade ‘tostas’ of butter bread with dates and dried apricots, all washed down with homemade lemon and orange marmalade made fresh from produce in the gardens. Whilst at dinner, (the hotel is home to the only two Michelin Star restaurant in the Balearic Islands, named Zaranda) the hotel will turn down the beds in the sumptuous suites and leave different homemade pastries that change on a daily basis. Guests can snuggle down with a traditional Mallorcan Ensaimada by chef, Fernando P. Arellano, made with Mallorcan Black pork lard ‘Saïm de porc negre’, a chocolate and praline cupcake, a Castell lemon and Mallorcan olive oil cupcake or a crispy Castell butter cookie. Sweet dreams!

The Strand Cruise, Myanmar

The Strand Cruise operates luxury river cruises between Bagan and Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar. Airy and plush, the famed Strand Suites feature a king bed, floor-to-ceiling windows with a separate private balcony from which to sit and gaze at the river and landscapes during the journey. Guests can relax in total intimacy in the sitting area complete with sofa, armchair and low table or sit at the desk and journal about the once-in-a-lifetime journey. Each evening, a different turn-down gift appears in each of the ship’s 25 cabins that reflects the experiences passengers have had during the day. The service allows guests to reflect on what they have seen and to dream of what they will encounter the following day. Turn down gifts placed on the beds include a Strand Lacquer box – produced in the ancient lacquer workshops in Bagan, handmade wicker Slippers, a sand or water painting and a traditional Longyi worn by Myanmar people, which passengers will have learnt how to tie during a demonstration that day.

luxury hotel turndown services

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, Italy

The five-star Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese offers guests an exclusive sleep menu for the ultimate rest and relaxation while staying at the new, chic hotel in the heart of the romantic city. Guests can choose a range of pillows to suit the way they sleep and even the positions they sleep in. This includes the Reverie Douceur; a natural square pillow, with its fluffy, cosy comfort which is ideal for those who sleep on their stomach, or the Reverie Contact; a natural but firmer pillow which is advised for those who sleep on their back.

The hotel also offers a Room Mist which is a signature scented product; an elegant French blend of citrus and white sandalwood for a sense of warmth, to enhance the fresh, crisp design of the bedrooms and suites. The scent can be requested before bed, for the ultimate slumber. For that extra element of TLC, Sofitel Rome has a selection of indulgent baths to choose from, ranging from therapeutic bath salts, soothing fragrances and bath bombs, to natural sea sponges and scented candles. Guests can also order from the hotel’s reading selection, to fully wind down between calming baths and a dreamy night’s sleep, whilst lying beneath the subtly lit Baroque-inspired ceiling frescoes which create the illusion of an open sky. A sleep service like no other.

Corinthia Hotel, London

The Corinthia Hotel London is right in the bustling and busy heart of the capital, on the corner of Northumberland Avenue and Whitehall Place. The hotel is home to 283 bedrooms, 52 of which are suites and seven that are extravagant penthouses. Contrary to its central location, the hotel creates an oasis of calm and tranquillity. The opulent Garden Suites overlooking the beautifully manicured courtyard are a testament to this and are a true botanical haven in which to unwind in the city. All beds at the hotel are turned down each night and each guest is given a lavender bag for a soothing night’s sleep as well as a William Curley chocolate for those midnight feast cravings!

Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa, Thailand

At this sumptuous Thai resort on Phuket’s western coast, guests can laze the days away at the beach, and then return to the dreamiest sleep. The ‘Slumber Guru’ service at Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa is a calming ritual that begins with a candlelit milk bath, where guests can sip herbal tea or Italian hot chocolate in the tub. Post-soak, there’s a soothing massage with lavender or ylang-ylang essential oil. Sleep awaits in a bed made with the guests’ personal pillow selection, misted with a relaxing spray. A lavender silk eye mask is left by the bed by staff as well as ear plugs to drown out any unwanted noise, for the perfect night’s sleep and sensational dreams.

Dressarte Paris is the fashion brand created by Nathalie Neuilly. Not only is she well traveled (she puts us to shame, having lived across five countries), she also created her brand with an amazing unique selling point from the get go – to be the first sustainable, virtual atelier. She realised she must not be the only woman that struggled to get tailor made clothes, custom cut to their body size, without having to visit and this is when the company was born.

We spent some time with her to find out more…

Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching Dressarte Paris…

I’ve grown up having my clothes tailored in an atelier run by my mum. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to design clothes, select fabrics and have the garment tailored perfectly to your body measurements.

However, I didn’t dream about a career in fashion, so I studied international business and politics in the Netherlands and France and then worked as a corporate auditor and consultant for a French company. When living in Paris I caught myself thinking quite a lot about designing clothes as I couldn’t afford high-end items that I really liked. When wearing clothes I was often asked where I bought them as they were truly unique.

I often heard from my women colleagues that they couldn’t find the clothes of their size or style. Although Paris is brimming with boutiques, it doesn’t make it easy to find a Perfect Garment. Thus, I saw there were other women like me who had no time to visit a tailor but wanted to have clothes customised and tailored to their body measurements.

Being fashion conscious and sustainable is at the forefront of what you do, why is this important to you?

The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries on earth and waste is at the very heart of fashion. The US has generated 15 million tonnes of textile waste each year for the past 20 years. The UK sent 235 million items of clothing to landfill.

In Dressarte we’re committed to reduce the waste caused by the fashion industry by creating custom-made & made-to-measure garments from up-cycled fabrics.

A few years ago not so many people talked about sustainable and conscious fashion. While bespoke clothing has always been one of the best examples of conscious and slow fashion, where the labour is very much appreciated.

We design clothes together with clients and produce unique pieces to clients’ body measurements in a family run atelier. As you might know, one of the main reasons for returning clothes online is the wrong size. By producing clothes according to clients’ body measurements, we eliminate this issue, which is great for clients and for the environment as well.

Before launching Dressarte I visited partners in Italy and noticed that the warehouses were full of fabrics. So, when producing clothes we mainly work with high-end sustainable up cycled and recycled clothes sourced from France and Italy.

Who is your ideal customer?

Dressarte woman is an achiever, she is confident and loves expressing her own style. To us every woman is ideal and we believe that clothes should be made to highlight her individuality.

How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?

Empowered. As you can see, the ethos of our brand is to encourage women to feel more confident by creating clothes they really feel like wearing no matter what the trends or other people are saying.

We all have different body shapes and sizes and it might be quite challenging sometimes to find clothes that fit well and meet our style expectations. So, we give clients a chance to get involved into the design process and order garments they would love and wear for years.

Are you planning on extending the range in future, if so, how? What are your plans for the brand in 2020?

We’ve recently showcased our sustainable wedding collection in the National Wedding Show in London.

Since Dressarte was launched online bespoke service has been extremely popular among future brides (and bridesmaids as well) who are struggling to find THE DRESSES that fit well and reflect their style and personality.

Everything starts with a simple questionnaire that clients fill in on the website indicating their preferences for style, fabrics, budget but also their body shapes as it will allow to offer the most suitable designs.

Once the form is submitted, Dressarte stylists and designers create sketches of unique beautiful dresses that can be tailored especially for a client in a family-owned ethical atelier.

What might seem like old school and super expensive, can be actually entertaining, fast and quite affordable.

How much does social media play a role in your business?

Since launching Dressarte, we’ve been very active on social media, mainly on Instagram. We were lucky to get support from different communities like @Instagramforbusiness who featured our brand. We’ve been quickly surrounded by sustainability-driven people as well. That helped us a lot to boost brand awareness.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

I love travelling too! So far I’ve lived in 8 different cities across the world and travelled to more than 30 countries.

I’ve recently spent some quality time in Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand. It’s a great place to recharge and now I’d like to discover more this part of the world and visit Myanmar and Cambodia.

Japan is definitely at the top of my bucket list. I love discovering new cultures and I know that Japan has so much to see.

For any one aspiring to launch a company, what advice would you offer?

Don’t be afraid to start. It might seem that you don’t have enough experience or knowledge, but it doesn’t really matter as long as you keep doing what you love.

A lack of experience or knowledge doesn’t mean a failure, it means doing things differently.

Where can people find out more?

Our concept is online based and our website is the right place to learn more about us and start creating one-of-a-kind garments with us:

We’re also very active on social media, feel free to connect with us on Instagram and Facebook.

Hands up if you’re already thinking about what to have made by Dressarte Paris? We know we are!

Harry and Meghan have really kicked off the conversation around unsustainable travel.

The pair are used to flitting around the globe on private jet – as many royals and celebs are. But after being called out on their luxe commutes, the pair has set about cleaning up their acts.

They now travel on commercial airlines and Harry’s even launched his own sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst.

Royals aside, travel lovers tend to be a pretty woke set of people.

We want to experience different cultures, fresh ways of thinking, and alternative sights, smells and tastes.

Despite our desperation to trek hundreds of miles in order to see the sunrise from a different bed however, many of us wildly expand our carbon footprints during our travels.

After spending hours on a carbon-guzzling plane, we then continue to wreak destruction with our plastic bottled water buying and DEET mosquito sprays.

But it’s not hard to be greener on the road. We can still enjoy our beautiful planet without destroying it.

A really easy place to start is in reducing how much plastic you use on the move.

It’s not just the fact that plastic doesn’t biodegrade; plastic pieces attract cancer, hormone-disrupting, diabetes-causing chemicals the longer they stay in the sea. And that plastic then enters the fish we eat, the water we drink and the salt we use.

And that bioaccumulation of plastic – the fact that it’s getting into our food chain – should freak us out. You can cut a huge amount of your own exposure to it going vegan… but you’ve still got to drink water and use salt for seasoning.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Luggage Hero, Brits rank #1 in Europe and #3 in the world for highest carbon emissions from air travel. We produce 27.39 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – just behind the USA and China (two much bigger countries).

Don’t fret; you can still travel without burning the world to the ground.

So, here are a few tips sustainable globetrotting:

1. BYO keep cups and refillable bottles

We’re getting used to handing our bamboo cups over at Pret for our midweek lattes or using a S’well bottle down the gym, but how many of us remember our keep wear when we go on holiday?

Loads of airports now offer water fountains to fill up after going through security, while all-nighter street coffee chains will give you free tap water.

On holiday, drinking coffee in a street-side cafe is a total luxury. Stop, enjoy and drink from the crockery provided. If, however, you have planes or trains to catch, whip out your trust keep cup and save on the plastic.

Try a S’well Stainless Steel Travel Mug (£30, Amazon) which can keep drinks cool for 24 hours or hot drinks hot for 12.

2. Pack water purifying tablets

When you’re travelling somewhere super exotic, it can be tempting to rely on bottled water. After all, no one wants to risk spending their holiday staring down the inside of a toilet for the sake of a drink.

But you can buy water purifying tablets which take all the nasties away.

One tablet purifies one litre of clear water; simply drop one in and give it a shake. Wait for 30 minutes and you’re good to drink, cook, clean your teeth, wash food etc. Just remember to avoid any water that looks cloudy or muddy – or doesn’t come from an actual tap.

Purify your evening water before you leave for the day and stick it in your fridge, and purify your morning water before you go to bed – then you’ve got a constant ready-made supply.

Try Boots Micropur Water Purification Tablets Extra Strength (£7.99 for 50 tablets, Boots)

3. Travel slower

We’re always in a desperate hurry to get to places but half of the joy of travelling is in the journey rather than the destination. Going by land is also a lot more carbon-friendly than traveling by air.

Wanting to explore Europe? Try interrailing. Want to see America? A Greyhound bus will take you all over. Asia has incredible, old railways that are worth seeing.

There’s life outside of air terminals – travelling slower will make the ultimate destination even sweeter.

4. But if you have to fly, say yes to non-stop flights

Journeys with stop-overs may be slightly cheaper but flying non-stop reduces the amount of CO2 and energy emitted because planes aren’t having to take off more than once.

25% of fuel is consumed during take off – once you’re airborne, the plane actually becomes way more energy efficient.

It also means you can get stuck into the inflight booze trolley without worrying about having to get off any time soon…

5. Choose green airports

What makes an airport green? Well, some have pretty extensive recycling schemes, sustainable building designs, reduced noise pollution, and emission controls for airport vehicles.

Boston Logan International, Zurich, and East Midlands Airports have all been recognised for their environmental efforts.

6. Pack lighter

It’s a tall ask for most of us but it is worth taking a capsule wardrobe rather than a million different dinner dress options – and not just because it’ll help you avoid any excess charges.

The more your baggage weighs, the more the plane has to carry – making it less carbon-efficient.

7. Choose fish-friendly sunscreen

An estimated 14,000 tonnes of suncream ends up in the ocean every year as a result of us slapping on the factor 50 and heading out for a refreshing dip.

While being sun-safe is obviously a good thing, not all SPFs are equal in the impact they have on the environment.

Many are packed with chemicals that poison coral reefs and fish populations.

Avoid products that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, and look instead for mineral-based SPF formulas with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Try creams like REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 Mattifying Broad Spectrum Face Suncream (£30, which is vegan, cruelty-free and totally free of chemical nasties – all while boasting pollution-resistant properties.

8. Try a plant-based adventure

Going vegan is one of the best things you can do for the planet. If you can’t face a life without Brie however, why not just commit to plant-based life in the run-up to your travels?

Alternatively, try setting yourself a challenge of being vegan for your next trip. Loads of us end up eating pretty boring stuff when we’re travelling (meat and veg…seafood and salad) but apps like HappyCow and TripAdvisor are bursting with veggie-friendly recommendations all over the world. Chances are, you may start exploring areas more if you’re not tempted to nip into the first bistro you come to.

Remember too that not every country has the same animal welfare standards when it comes to meat and dairy so if you are concerned with how your dinner died, you may want to opt for a safer, plant-based option.

9. Borrow what you don’t already own

We consume way too much these days – with much of what we buy ending up in landfill.

Rather than buying new stuff before you jet off, see if you can borrow items from your mates. Going trekking but don’t have a suitable backpack? Why not put a shout out on social media to borrow someone else’s? You’ll be saving cash and energy for something you may only use a few times at most.

10. Go the path less travelled

Over-tourism has become a massive problem in certain parts of the world.

While many countries rely on tourism for their economy, the holiday industry has destroyed some areas by pricing local renters and business out, log jamming narrow roads with tourist vehicles and scaring wildlife away.

Thailand’s Maya Bay (made famous by The Beach), for example, has been liked to New York’s Time Square due to the numbers of people turning up – desperate for the perfect Instagram. It’s now been closed in a bid to preserve what’s left of it.

Venice is the front line in the battle against over-tourism in Europe – a sinking city which sees 25 million visitors a year. By 2025, experts believe it’ll be receiving 38 million tourists annually.

The solution? Go to lesser-known places.

Instead of Venice, try somewhere like Slovenia. Skip Bali for Raja Ampat (also in Indonesia). Instead of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, visit Myanmar’s Bagan (a complex of 2,200 temples).

In an ideal world, no one would fly and we’d all be content with going off-grid for months at a time. But time is precious; we don’t want to waste what little time we have on this planet not seeing as much as possible – and sharing our treasures.

Being greener is all about doing what we can.

While there’s no such thing as ‘offsetting’ carbon emissions, you can commit to making small changes like being more conscious about the products you buy and their impact on the environment or reducing your luggage load.

Happy sustainable travels!

Eva Meijer personally sources, designs and produces one off beautiful gemstone jewellery for her business Eva Gems and Jewels. Visiting Bangkok, the world’s trade hub for colored gemstones, Eva searches for rare and unique gems to place within her bespoke pieces or to hold as a future heirloom.

We are interested at #TeamCoco to find out more about Eva’s background, how she got into rare jewels, and what her favourite pieces are from her latest collection.

Q. HOC. You come from a non-jewel based background, can you tell us what industry you started your career in?

A. Eva. After law school in Holland, I used to work as an international corporate lawyer for an American multinational in Geneva and in my native Holland. So that was slightly different!

Q. HOC. Can you tell us how you first got into making unique jewellery, especially using rare gems and jewels?

A. Eva. Well, we had just finished a big cross-border finance project in the Dutch office and I felt that I was ready for a next adventure in another country again!

I also missed being creative and so, inspired by the effortless Italian & French fashion and colored gemstone jewelry from my youth (I spent all my holidays in the South of France, close to the Italian border and often still do actually!) and my mum’s fashion sense, I decided to go from black-and-white contracts to colored gemstones.

I always loved the ease of style of the Italians and French, and how they use accessories to dress up a simple outfit into a head-turning look. I sensed how this creative part was missing in my life. I literally wanted to add more color to my life!

While putting on my own gemstone earrings, I recalled how I’d always been fascinated by gemstones and realizing that I didn’t know much about gemstones, I knew I had to study again: I went to look for the best gemology course I could find in color stones.

This took me to Bangkok, Thailand, the world’s trading hub for colored gemstones where I lived for a small year.

That’s where I fell in love with colored gemstones and their stories; so much so that I wanted to share this knowledge with people in the West, who mostly don’t know much about these rare, exquisite gemstones.

Q. HOC. You travel far and wide to source the most beautiful rare gems for your jewellery, do you have a favourite part of the world to source the gems?

A. Eva. My favourite remains Bangkok, the biggest player in the global colored gemstone trade. This is the place where all the rough gems – coming from mining areas, such as Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Tajikistan to name a few – end up. In Bangkok the stones are then cut, polished and treated, where necessary (plus it happens to have the most delicious food and a lifestyle I love, but that’s a minor detail of course).

I also love going to Hong Kong, which hosts the biggest gem fair in the world. Funnily enough, the biggest colored stone fair is no longer in Bangkok but in vibrant Hong Kong although the global day-to-day colored gem trade still mainly takes place in Bangkok.

Q. HOC. We are loving your motto that ‘all jewellery should be worn daily, not just for special occasions’; do you have a favourite piece from your current collection that you would wear from morning to night?

A. Eva. Thanks! Well, actually all pieces can be worn from day to night… I notice that it’s more a mindset issue that prevents women from wearing exquisite jewelry pieces during the day. The great thing about fine-quality colored gemstones is precisely that they have the strength to be worn every day contrary to lower quality gemstones which more easily scratch or break. It’s a strange contradiction, isn’t it? That we often prefer to collect more jewelry pieces of lesser value and quality and wear them the whole day while you’d be better off focusing on fewer yet higher quality pieces that actually can resist much more of the daily wear-and-tear!

Somehow many of us still believe that beautiful pieces should be saved for the weekend or a special celebration. I think we need to celebrate each day! And ourselves first of all. Nobody can do that as well as we can ourselves.

It’s a bit like beautiful lingerie: why would you wear that during the day when nobody can see it? Simply because of the way it makes you feel. It’s your indulgence. Your pleasure, there and then.

And although everybody can see your jewelry, very few people will have heard of the stones which I use in my jewelry pieces. Even fewer will have seen them before. So, others might not even know how special these stones are. I feel it’s most important that the woman who wears them knows. It’s her personal mystery and internal pleasure that makes her feel precious, treasured and sparkle! The stones help her express what’s already inside her.

But back to your question… My favourites pieces are the Unbearable Lightness earrings with special green and blue aquamarines, and small pink sapphires paired with the ring Curvy Does It which is set with a bright pastel pink spinel gemstone and bubblegum pink sapphires twisted around it. A perfect set to combine with jeans and blazer, with a corporate outfit in the office and oh so dazzling for an evening cocktail as well!

Q. HOC. Do you have a best selling piece that you have been asked to recreate time and again?

A. Eva. I have recreated the ring Lavender Fields a few times as engagement rings. But with different stones and in different colors, tailored to the style and personality of the woman who will ultimately wear it. Each piece is one-of-a-kind because I only source one stone of each variety, color and shape that strikes me as particularly beautiful.

This ring is especially well suited as an engagement ring I think because it’s contemporary, quite clean but not minimalistic. It’s a great design to start your fine gemstone journey with.

Q. HOC. Your Instagram (@evagemsandjewels) showcases your designs beautifully, do you find social media helps to promote your brand?

A. Eva. I’m still finding my way in the world that is social media I have to say! It’s necessary to be visible but, like many creatives, I struggle with sharing my work or journey all along the way… And perfectionism is not always helpful either!

With Pinterest we managed to get traction much more quickly and now we’re working on optimising it further so it brings more of those views as leads back to the website. Like all social media, it takes time and you don’t want to spend all your time on it either.

For my price point, what has worked best thus far is through intimate, in-person events, personal appointments, and word-of-mouth.

Q. HOC. Do you follow jewellery fashion trends when it comes to your designs?

A. Eva. Actually I don’t. I focus on sourcing exceptional colored gemstones in fashion-forward colors and then let the stone guide me in the design by matching it with other stones to create unusual color combinations, often with asymmetrical elements but no complicated designs. The stones are so unique, I let them do the talking! And I somehow felt when I started that colored stones would become more popular, especially among older Millennials.

I do get inspiration from fashion, architecture and my surroundings during travels which show us the most beautiful color combinations possible. People can get so restricted by following ‘trends and rules’, like ‘you should never combine reds, oranges and pinks’. They are one of the best color combinations actually! Remember Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent.

I love layering colors of closely related hues but also blocking opposing colors for a more unexpected look.

Q. HOC. Do you remember your first piece that you made and sold?

A. Eva. My first sale were two lighter blue aquamarines and one darker violet-blue tanzanite which I turned into a ring for another lady. The different blue hues of these three stones set together resulted in a lovely combination!

Q. HOC. Did anyone offer you any good advice before launching your business that you still remember to this day?

A. Eva. There was this old-fashioned cartoon in my dad’s office I remember as a child. One of a well-to-do gentleman sitting comfortably on a beautiful chair with the text below ‘I sold cash’. And another photo of man, not so well-off… who looked miserable and with the text below ‘I sold on credit’.
Perhaps you know it! It keeps reminding me that the most important thing to focus on, especially as a young company, is generating cashflow and liquidity… without that, you cannot do anything.

It will not only enable you to build a nicer website (if you need that later on) or hire someone else, it will also fuel your enthusiasm as to why you started your business in the first place. It keeps you going basically, also through trickier times.

Q. HOC. Did you have any knock-backs or set backs before launching, and if so how did you bounce back from them?

A. Eva. Yes, by losing my focus and thinking I need to do all the aspects of business right here and now. This meant my work and day became ineffective and I had to take a step back. I worked (and still do) with business coaches – in person and also online – who made me realise that.

I came to understand that most business tasks are actually confined to a particular stage of business. So, as start-up you don’t have to think of sales funnels or having the most effective SEO on your website, or even about posting on Instagram every day (which everybody says you should)… Your only focus should be to get in front of clients, refining your offer and fine-tuning your ideal client profile.

It’s powerful (and very scary!) to let go of many things and only focus on one or two things. Headspace also helps me with that! I try to start each day with 10-mins of breathing as I call it. It’s still a learning curve but it’s already great to be aware of what I’m doing. That helps me a bit already to adjust and move on.

Q. HOC. If you were to offer one piece of advice to someone thinking of getting into luxury jewellery designing, what would it be?

A. Eva. Keep It Simple… You can get lost in so many aspects of your business: sourcing the materials for your jewelry, looking for new suppliers, creating designs, email marketing, social media, creating a beautiful website, photography, video, blogs, promotion, press, many areas of which may not be your natural skill and which you may have to learn from scratch…

People often say ‘stick to your strengths’ only. True but as a small company you need to do many different things. And you need to learn many skills, especially during the first years. So that when you can hire other people or freelancers, you can delegate a good system to them instead of a mess…

If you feel overwhelmed by all the things you can work on any day, try to stick to learning one new skill (like Instagram or Pinterest) in addition to your most important job: getting clients, looking for clients, trying to meet with clients, sending messages to potential clients.

Once you’ve become good at the one skill and a system has been created around it, you can perhaps delegate it to someone else or automate it. Then you can try to learn another new skill. But finding clients should never disappear off your radar. Something I need to remind myself of as well! It’s easier to focus on my website or learning to get better at copywriting but what have I done today to meet new people? Keep it simple…

Thank you for taking the time to answer all our #WomenWorldwide questions for House of Coco Magazine.

Visit Eva Gems and Jewels for more information. Instagram @evagemsandjewels.