Since the beginning of the credit crunch, allotment gardening has experienced a boom with 100,000 people currently on council waiting lists for their own patch of soil. Whether you’re planting fruit or vegetables or just a colourful crop of roses, gardening – always a British favourite – has become fashionable once more. While there’s more to gardening than keeping up with the Joneses, investing in the right accessories can be beneficial too. Whether warding off sunburn or just making sure you don’t get scratched, eco-friendly gardening garb is some of the most stylish around and is ultra practical to boot. We round up the five pieces that you need in your toolkit.
People Tree crochet straw hat, £43
Why we love it: According to the dermatologists at Olay, 80 per cent of premature ageing comes from too much exposure to the sun, so try swapping sunscreen for a chemical-free and considerably greener sun hat. People Tree’s Fairtrade straw effort is our favourite.
For more information, go to: www.peopletree.co.uk
Traidcraft natural gardening gloves, £3.99
Why we love them: Thorns and sharp stones are, along with weeds, the bane of most gardeners’ existence, so some sort of protection for fingers is a gardening essential. Traidcraft’s natural latex gloves are made from Fairtrade rubber and have a Fairtrade cotton lining for comfort. They’re also very reasonably priced, so it won’t be the end of the world if they get snagged on a particularly persistent thorn.
For more information go to: www.ecocharlie.co.uk
Greentips Wellington boots, £45
Why we love them: The world's first Fairtrade wellies, Greentips’ boots are handmade from Fairtrade wild rubber and come in a rainbow of colours. Ultra comfortable to wear, the wellies have practical grippy soles, which contain no plastic or chemical fillers.
For more information go to: www.thefaircorp.com
Preston Bissett Nurseries and Country Shop tool belt, £9.55
Why we love it: Great for holding loose bits of string and your spare trowel, the natural canvas tool belt is tough as well as stylish. Better still, it’s totally Fairtrade and made using traditional means.
For more information go to: www.thenurseries.com
Visionary Soap Rosemary and Lavender Gardener's hand salve, £6.25
Why we love it: Great for days when your hands have mired in mud, dirt and grime, and need a little TLC. Softening and soothing, the balm smells lightly of herbs and sinks in instantly. Non-gardeners will find it also works well on cuticles and for smoothing away hard skin on elbows and heels.
For more information go to: www.visionarysoap.co.uk
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