Posted on

A Day Out at Macclesfield’s Treacle Market

I hopped off the train in Macclesfield unsure of where I was heading. Trusty google maps guided me to Macclesfield’s Treacle market. Living closer to Manchester’s city centre, I felt like I hadn’t been anywhere like this is ages and it got me thinking about where I want to spend my money and what on. Mirroring the 10s of market stalls were the likes of TKMAX, Costa Coffee and Debenhams.

What is it about us that makes us all love consuming so much? Why do we get such a thrill out of spending our hard-earned money on something unnecessary that we feel that we deserve?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ease, convenience and low cost that these large chain stores provide, however there is something a little more satisfying about buying a unique, well-made and ethical product.

Whilst it may appear that I am still at the whim of capitalism as I was enjoying perusing round the Treacle Market, I felt it was more singular shopping experience than your average Sunday morning in Manchester’s Arndale or Trafford Centre.

In huge supermarkets and retail stores you’re confronted with an overwhelming amount of choice, and usually a worker who knows nothing about what you’re buying (and doesn’t care for that matter). These mainstream, glossy shops took a backseat on this fresh sunny morning. Behind every stand and stall was the creator, designer or antique finder of the items I saw in front of me. You could chat to the individuals involved in fashioning the homemade pie, Christmas decoration or cosy hoodie and find out exactly how it was made, where the items were sourced and who designed it.

I stumbled across the Inland Sea stand and was welcomed by the friendly face of Adam. I walked away with my first purchases from Inland Sea, a “Born in the City” t-shirt, and the “Sling Inland Sea Wave” bag.

 

Adam informed me that the t-shirt was made from 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled plastic bottles. My mind was blown that a t-shirt so soft was made in part by plastic bottles! If I am correct, 5% of the money from my purchase is to go to the Surfer’s Against Sewage – Plastic Free Coast Lines Campaign, who help people protect the coastlines they love! Below is a (oh so slightly awkward) picture of me wearing the weekend purchases!

The bag I learned was made from a combination of post-consumer recycled organic cotton and post-consumer polyester. I always keep a canvas style bag like this tucked in my rucksack, so I’m not caught out having to buy a new plastic one (1.75 billion single-use plastic bags were sold by UK retailers last year whaaaat!).

 

I think my point is that sometimes if you spend a little more, you get a whole lot more back. Although shopping should never just be about gratification, there is a wonderful feeling that comes from knowing your t-shirt hasn’t been mass produced somewhere in Asia, that is has minimal environmental damage, and stands for something I can believe in.

 

I will definitely be visiting the Treacle Market again!

 

 

Posted on

Oz in the year 2000 – Part 1, Deb’s Kombi, Byron and Death Boxes

Buy ethical clothes

Date: 10/02/00

Estimated read time 2 minutes

Brat and Bignut, venture to the otherside of the world to rediscover what being 18 years old is all about and maybe come out the other end as men…

We leave our cold dull rainy days in England to arrive in Sydney in the middle of their beautiful Summer on 10th February the year 2000.  Eventually, find our way out of the city to arrive at Newport to stay with Bignut’s Mum’s friends Jenny and Jamie from back home who emigrated over here years ago.  They live on Scotland Island which is one of the islands within the Sydney area, there are just a few scattered houses on the island and you have to get a speed boat there every day.  So we settle into Oz life with bottle after bottle of VB, VB, VB and more VB please mate…

Awesome T-shirtsOnce we find our feet, and get climatised it’s time to jump into backpacking life and head to Colloroy Backpackers for a week.  Our first quest is to find a van, so we can start to travel… We meet an old dude called Jon who leads a mysterious life.  Meet a French surfer who said ‘he surf Mudacca 3 metre’… After looking around a bit, going to the car market at Kings Cross which is like a grave yard for backpackers vans and their owners we eventually notice a Kombi campervan for sale.  The girl who owns it is called Deb’s, a lovely lesbian girl who has properly looked after the gorgeous 1974 1.8 4 star automatic sky blue VW Kombi, she throws in a load of camping gear, some bikes and these epic cow skin seat covers, all for $5250.  We had no clue if it was a good deal, neither of us had the faintest idea about engines, the van just looked awesome and we were in love, with the van not Debs…

Surf Wategoes - Byron BaySo we leave the hectic city of Sydney in our trusty sky blue Kombi and head North.  We stop along the way at Port Maquarie which is about 350kms from Sydney and meet our first fellow travelling back packers called, Lee, Jess, Ben, Lisa and Toby.  All from England, Lee and Jess are from the Isle of Wight, Ben and Lisa from Yorkshire and Toby is from Plymouth.  They had all met while travelling and were travelling round Oz together in their vans.  We have a great night with these guys and discover the infamous ‘death box’ backpackers wine drinking option.

We say bye to the guys and head 400kms further north to Byron Bay, a super cool hippy surf town which you never want to leave… We bump into Toby and the guys by pure coincidence and they invite us to come and stay at the Byron Bay beach camp site, as they had this little trick to open the security barrier meaning we could stay for unlimited nights for free, or until we got thrown off.

The Wreck Surf Spot - Byron BayOne late afternoon there’s a good swell running and we head out to The Pass, a world famous super long right hand point break which wraps around Cape Byron.  Being 18 year old inland kooks we had never experienced a proper right hand point break and the intense hidden rip that pulls you down the point and towards the town.

Trying to ease ourselves in further down the point neither of us could even get even near the take off zones, having paddled for what seemed hours and hours we both lose each other as the sun is quickly setting. Bignut appears after dark an hour later at the camp almost crying saying he’s been dragged down the point right into town and had to walk about an hour back! Hahaha!

So we discover a much more kook friendly waves at the bays further round the cape and hang out at a super chilled longboard point break type wave called Wategoes and the main town beachie called Shipwrecks and get trained up to return to The Pass.  We settle in the Byron lifestyle, visiting the 24 bakery for Lamington pies, drinking lots of VB, more death boxes, hangin with Wild Ricky, going to terrible nightclubs and hitting on beautiful chicks.

One day we decide to take a trip inland through the lush rainforest surrounded town of Nimbin, which is basically the drug capital or ‘Amsterdam’ of Australia.  The drive takes around 2hrs through deep green tropical hills and roll on for miles and miles.  You catch faint wafts of marijuana that must be growing in the fields we pass.  Nimbin, ar Nimbin, what a spin out place… that is super dodgy… but a great place to stock up on cheap amazing herb and weed cookies!  We leave the tripped out town of Nimbin and head back to the camp in Byron.

We have about another week or so in Byron, living the life most 18 year olds only dream of but we have to head back South to Sydney as our friend Sally is coming over from England and will be travelling with us for a while.  Brat, hadn’t actually met Sally before, Bignut had met her whist raving on disco biscuits and discovered she was off to Oz on her own and wanted some guys to hook up with, she seemed like a super top gal so Bignut invited her to join us.  The journey South was awesome, we stopped at various spots such as Cresent Head, which is another classic right-hand point break, take a dirt track road which leads to numerous empty beach breaks, surf with dolphins, have campfires on the beach and free camping.  We pick up our first hitchhiker called Jon, a really nice English guy travelling solo, we take him to a beautiful little town called Mullaway where he’s meeting his girlfriend.

T-Shirts for charityWe surf various spots along the dirt track which is really designed for 4x4s, the Kombi see’s us through just about.  We hop on a car ferry to cross the river to Port Maqaurie.  South of here we stay at this super mysterious spot called Seal Rocks, it has a 1980s Goonies vibe about it.  There was a big swell running with a protected right point working where we score some good little waves.

The spot on the other side of the point is called Treachery, where it was huge and blown out, we vowed to return though as we had heard a monster lived in the woods and the waves at Treachery were awesome on it’s day.

We carry on South to Sydney when KABOOM!!! Disaster strikes!

Tune in next week for Part 2!

Posted on

A Solution to Plastic Pollution

A solution to plastic pollution

Problem

Everyone used to love plastic, it was great! We had plastic furniture, plastic toys and even plastic leather – or pleather if you want to get technical about it.

The thing is plastic is now a major worry for modern society and our global environment. Plastic is out of control! Someone needs to take it’s car keys away and call a taxi.

A solution to plastic pollution

Have a look around you now, how much plastic can you see? It’s everywhere! The fact is plastic will never disappear once it’s produced as a consumable good. That toothbrush you used this morning, that plastic bag you used today, even the plastic toy telephone you had as a kid (come on, we all had one.) Ultimately they will all be disposed of and will make their way into our oceans and groundwater.

Bad times, eh? Bad for us, our children, our children’s children and the worst news for our environment and the creatures we share it with. So, how about we do something about it and work together to find a solution to raise awareness?

Solution

It’s not all doom and gloom however, there is now serious hope and a solution which has been developed by brilliantly named Dutch inventor Boyan Slat. Back in 2013 at the ripe age of 18, Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Clean Up and decided to defy the sceptics that the world would never get rid of it’s plastic pollution. He went about inventing a solution to collect the plastic from the oceans so it could be then recycled.

By utilising the ocean currents, this simple but hugely effective and scalable invention could actually be the solution to clean up our oceans and help rid plastic from the food chain.

Watch all about how this is going to be achieved here:

There are various ways to support the fight against plastic pollution, here at Inland Sea we have created a T-Shirt you can buy which donates £5 of every sale to Surfers Against Sewage. This will then be used to help raise awareness and combat the issue.

Raise awareness of plastic pollution

Other useful links and ways to raise awareness and funds for projects which will help tackle the issue;

The Ocean Clean Up

Surfer’s Against Sewage

Plastic Oceans

My Plastic Free Life

Posted on

One Love!

Manchester Bee T-Shirt

Hey! And welcome to Inland Sea!

You probably already know a bit about what we are doing here so I won’t go over old ground, but we are crazy excited about the future and having you involved.

Manchester Bee T-ShirtWe have now launched the website with four T-shirts which are now ready to buy.

The One Love T-Shirt is designed by the mega-talented Beth Travers and was designed in response to the tragic events that hit Manchester in May.  £5 of every sale of this T-Shirt will go to We Love MCR Charity.

The Born in the City T-shirt is designed by Adam Costello the founder of Inland Sea and has been created to raise awareness of plastic pollution and litter in the cities around the UK.  £5 of every sale of this T-Shirt will go to Surfers Against Sewage – Plastic Free Coastlines campaign.

Hey, so go buy! And thank you for being apart of the journey!