• Question The Ethics | Sustainable Fashion | Ethical Activewear

    We live in a culture where burying your head in the sand is not acceptable. The fashion industry is the 2nd largest pollutant, widely known for terrible and dangerous working conditions, but still we sit back and do not ask our favourite brands simple questions like ‘Where is your product made?’, ‘Why is this so cheap?’ and ‘What are your environmental policies?’

    Activewear brand Sundried believe enough people care to launch our brand with impeccable ethical credentials. Hand made in Portugal. Completely traceable. We are also urging consumers to ask their favourite brands about their ethics. We have set-up the hashtag #QuestionTheEthics so you can start challenging brands you buy from.

    Sundried Production

    Sundried Hand Made in Portugal

    Read more about the ethics in the fashion industry.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Squirrel Sisters

    Interview Q&A with founders of Squirrel Sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell by Sundried

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, founders of popular health food brand Squirrel Sisters, about developing and growing a thriving female-only business with no investment. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Squirrel Sisters? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    We are Gracie & Sophie Tyrrell founder of Squirrel Sisters (and we are actually sisters). Squirrel Sisters is a health and wellness company with range of award-winning healthy snacks that are available across the nation in Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, BP M&S forecourts and WHSmith.

    Health, wellness, food and how it makes us feel has always been a passion of ours so we started Squirrel Sisters as a blog in 2014. Our blog gained a large following quickly; People connected with our mission and the fact that they are two normal girls with a busy lifestyle that want to enjoy life while feeling great.

    With a growing following we saw an opportunity to turn our blog into a business so after much planning and preparation we launched our snack bars in November 2015, which we already had the recipes for (Gracie used to make them for Sophie due to her gluten intolerance).

    We have had no investment to date and are an all-female team and big fans of female empowerment. Not only are we entrepreneurs but we are also authors, having recently published our cookbook, Naturally Delicious Snacks & Treats, which was just named the top 9 best healthy cookbooks by The Independent.

    Squirrel Sisters products are for people that are hungry for easy, energising, positive choices. Choices that feel good to make.  Choices you don’t need to think twice about.

    We are on a mission to help you your TREAT YOUR HEALTH... because we believe healthy doesn't have to be tasteless or restrictive. It can be indulgent and delicious!

    Squirrel Sisters healthy food protein snacks Sundried interview entrepreneur

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    The biggest challenge we’ve faced is hiring; it’s really hard to find people that are as passionate as you are about your own business. We’ve made a few mistakes with hiring but it’s all a learning experience.

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Balance is so important… it’s so easy to burn out these days so we do take it seriously, especially because we are a health and wellness company. We eat really well because we know that it helps us feel good and we both have ways that we like to wind down like going to a gym class or having a glass of wine with friends. If you’re tired then you won’t be productive so in order for the business to run smoothly we need to be feeling good so we do a lot to make sure that we have a good work-life balance.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Squirrel Sisters?

    The best part of our job is getting to work together. We get to bring our passion to life and do it together, which has been an incredible experience; supporting each other through the ups and downs and being there for each other through more stressful times. The other amazing thing about working together is that we completely trust each other and have each other’s best interests at heart, which is invaluable in business.

    healthy food snacks protein gluten free recipes Squirrel Sisters

    What does the future hold for Squirrel Sisters?

    We are already available in over 1000 stores across the UK including Waitrose, Morrisons, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Ocado, Selfridges, WHSmith and hundreds of independents delis, cafes and supermarkets but we want to double this!

    By end of 2019 we want to have doubled our distribution by rolling out into more stores that we are currently stocked in and securing new retailers including more major supermarkets (who we are already in talks with).

    We have new product development (NPD) that is ready to go including some new flavours as an extension of our current range as well as slightly different formats including share bags.

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Success doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of hard work and you need to stay motivated. Passion is crucial; you have to be passionate about whatever it is that you are doing because if you don’t have the passion and the belief then it won’t work. It’s all about passion, persistence, and patience

    Quickfire Questions

    Coffee or tea? Tea

    Summer or winter? Winter

    Gym or outdoors? Outdoors

    Weights or cardio? Cardio

    Sweet or savoury? Savoury

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Health Data From Your Wearable Devices Can Prevent Major Diseases

    health data medical devices wearables fitness news

    Unlike in the past where many of us had to visit health facilities numerous times to monitor our health progress, these days technology has greatly advanced in developing electronic medical wearables that collect vital health information. With this technology, it is now very simple to know our health status and remotely send health data to physicians. Once they have the data, they will analyse it and form a basis from which they will advise on healthy habits to keep off or maintain to prevent major illness.

    Additionally, wearable devices allow doctors to keep a 24/7 track of their patients’ health progress in relation to how they are responding to certain drugs and strict adherence to medications. This way, they will give accurate diagnosis that will not only help to effectively manage their patients’ health, but also prevent their conditions from progressing further to terminal unmanageable diseases.

    How Can Health Data From Your Wearable Prevent Major Disease?

    Medical wearables have proven to be very effective at collecting health data that is used to analyse the health status of the body. With such information, individuals can make a well-informed decision when it comes to deciding lifestyle adjustments that are aimed at preventing life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes among others. There is wearable technology that has proven helpful to prevent major diseases says Alex Tchablakian, COO at Letstango.com. Here is just an overview.

    Preventing Breast Cancer

    The cancer of the breast is one of the most common cancers. Actually, it comes second after skin cancer in the US. This type of cancer can affect both sexes although it is very common in women. If detected at its early stages, breast cancer is 100% curable. Well with breast wearable device, women can now put a smile in their faces since this cancer in now preventable with early detection before it aggressively advance to the infectious stage.

    One such wearable device that accurately monitor breast cells activity is the iTBra developed by Cycardia Health. This wearable comes in the form of dual patches that are inserted on each breast and worn together with a bra. The iTBra has proven highly accurate in detecting breast cancer when compared to the mammogram test where in some past instances the later failed and delayed preventive treatment. The breast wearable detects cancer by monitoring cellular changes in temperature arising from metabolic activities of the breast.

    Well, you only need to wear the iTBra patches twice a month. These are then connected to a computer or smartphone through the USB or Wi-Fi where the health data is remotely sent to Cycadia Health Lab for analysis who will in turn send the results in a matter of minutes.

    Cyrcadia health iTBra cancer prevention treatment fitness health wearable technology

    Preventing major disease from UV exposure

    The UV light brings positive benefits to the body. Among them being production of vitamin D that helps with bones, improves certain types of skin conditions like psoriasis, and helps with moods. However, environmental exposure to UV rays is associated with ill health implications such as immune suppression, sunburns, skin ageing and worse still skin cancer.

    The main challenge arising from UV is that it is hard to tell whether the environmental exposure is harmful and before even you realise the health damage is already done. To prevent diseases attributed to UV exposure, MC10 have developed L’Oréal’s UV sense wearable that helps you to monitor both time and duration that you stay outdoor exposed to sun’s UV radiation.

    To collect the health data, L’Oréal’s UV sense is simply placed on the thumbnail exactly the same way you do with artificial nails. This wearable doesn’t need a battery to operate and data can be analysed on the smartphone. With this information, you can plan your day well and limit outdoor activities that are exposing you to UV.

    L'Oreal UV Sense wearable technology

    Monitor your child's health

    Unlike us adults, babies are highly prone to sickness simply because their immune system is still developing. As a nursing parent, you will always be worried since every second counts when you have just received a call that your child is unwell. What is even worse about this is the challenge in discerning what exactly s/he is ailing from especially if s/he is yet to develop speech. This can leave you confused and not knowing what will soothe the child to stop crying.

    There are various wearables that you can get for your child to help collect health data that can be sent to the paediatrician for analysis. One such wearable that you can use is the SPOtwo. The wearable is worn on the infant’s foot for comfort.

    The SPOtwo collects real time health data which can be sent automatically to the doctor through a mobile device. This way, he will be able to monitor the vital signs of the child while at the same time quickly responding to health risk before it progresses to anything serious that may endanger its life.

    wearable technology child health

    Monitor your heart health

    There are quite a number of conditions that affects the heart that are commonly attributed irregular heartbeat, clogged vessels, weak valves, lung disease, heightened blood pressure to mention a few. The advancement in  heart wearable technology has made it very easy to collect heart data that can be used to diagnose heart conditions and monitor its activity. For instance, if your wearable device signals a high blood pressure, this means that you should exercise more to burn to burn more fats which will come along with burning fats constricting the arteries.

    A typical example of heart wearable device that you can use to collect health data is the KardiaBand. This wearable records heartbeat by simply placing putting a set of your fingers on the KardiaBand which placed close to the phone. In less than a minute, the ECG will display on your smartphone which will then announce whether your heartbeat is normal or irregular. Lastly but not least, this wearable is capable of detecting urgent heart issues requiring medical attention and precaution measures that you should take to prevent a heart attack.

    There are many health benefits that come along with using medical wearables. The health data gathered helps us to be wise in preventing lifestyle activities that may expose us to major diseases.

    About the author: Alex Tchablakian is COO at Letstango.com – leading online shopping destination, Alex is a die-hard lover of games, apps and gadgets. His aim is to help users to discover and choose the right product. You can reach him at alex@letstango.com.

    Posted by Guest Account
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founder Of Primrose's Kitchen

    Founder Q&A Interview with Primrose Matheson Primrose's Kitchen

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We chat with the founder of natural health food brand Primrose's Kitchen, Primrose Matheson, about building a successful business from scratch and the lessons she has learnt on the way. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Primrose's Kitchen?

    Primrose’s Kitchen started as a result of my own struggles with my health and from a desire to get more fresh fruit and vegetables into my diet whilst creating a quick-to-assemble meal that could be eaten any time of the night and day.

    What motivated you to develop the idea?

    I had glandular fever and chronic fatigue which motivated me to look at my diet and create meals that really nourished me.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    The biggest challenge was creating my own factory space. There was no one who had the equipment to air-dry and make the products in the strict way that I wanted them made in order to maintain their fresh goodness so I had to build one myself using loans and applying for grants.

    healthy food granola muesli Primrose's Kitchen nutrition

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Living in the beautiful Dorset countryside helps a lot. I walk my whippet Isla first thing in the morning and nourish myself primarily with the foods I grow, make, and forage so I know they are as nutritionally rich as they can possibly be. Supermarket vegetables are days old before you finally eat them.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Primrose's Kitchen?

    The most exciting part of the business is seeing my product on the shelves in store and the positive feedback from customers who have gained a real benefit from enjoying them.

    What does the future hold for Primrose's Kitchen?

    We are always looking at developing new products and going forwards will be looking to moving into new categories.

    Primrose's Kitchen healthy nutrition

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Find a good mentor to share the ups and downs and employ people whose strengths are your weaknesses.

    There are always going to be things you are not so good at but there are people out there who will be great at those things and actually enjoy doing them. Passion is the key part of success in any industry I believe.

    What's your favourite product in the Primrose's Kitchen range?

    My favourite product currently is our banana and turmeric soaked and sprouted granola, it is a delicious caramel flavour.

    Quickfire Questions

    1. Coffee or tea? Herbal tea – haven’t done caffeine since I was 12
    2. Summer or winter? Oooh both? I love open fires but love swimming in the sea on a summers evening….
    3. Hot yoga or regular yoga? Reformer Pilates
    4. Granola or muesli? Granola with coconut yogurt
    5. Stay in or dine out? Dine out.. love being cooked for!
    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Mindful Chef

    Sundried interview the founders of Mindful Chef

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We chat with the founders of Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe box delivery service, about growing their hugely successful business and balancing work with life. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Mindful Chef? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    Giles: We're a health-focused recipe box company set up by myself, Myles and Rob. Mindful Chef was born one summer's evening in 2014 when we were on a fishing boat off the beautiful Exe estuary bringing in the day's fresh catch to the local villagers. We thought to ourselves, how could we replicate this on a national scale, and have never looked back.

    Myles: We're on a mission to make healthy eating easy and do so by delivering all the pre-measured ingredients and recipe cards you need to cook up nutritionally-balanced dinners in under 30 minutes. Since our launch in 2015, we've shipped over 10,000,000 ingredients from incredible small farms across the UK and are now voted the UK's #1 recipe box by thousands of customers on Trust Pilot.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    Giles: We were confident with the concept but getting things off the ground logistically was pretty tough and we spent a lot of long weekends packing up the boxes and delivering them ourselves!

    Mindful Chef certified B Corp ethical business

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Giles: It is important to have 'me time'. So whilst I work hard during the day, for long hours, I make sure that for some evenings or weekends I have total switch off periods where the mind is allowed to rest and think about something other than work. This creates a far superior work ethic and output when you get back into it the next day.

    Myles: In today's fast-paced world it can be pretty difficult to switch off but we try our best to promote a 'work hard, play hard' attitude. We encourage our team to take lunch breaks from cooking up lunches together to team workouts and even taking the office puppy Toby out for a walk.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Mindful Chef?

    Giles: For me, it would probably have to be our initial crowdfunding campaign in 2017 when we raised  over £1 million in such a short space of time and gained backing from some incredible sports stars including Victoria Pendleton CBE, Sir Andy Murray, and Will Greenwood.

    Myles: Another thing we are incredibly proud of is our work with the charity One Feeds Two - for every meal a customer buys, we donate a school meal to a child living in poverty. We've donated over 900,000 meals so far and are close to our goal of 1 million! This also contributed to becoming a certified B-corp in 2018, essentially using business as a force for good and striving for more than just profit - focusing on people and the planet.

    Giles: Of course none of this would be possible without our amazing customers!

    Mindful Chef ethical farming sustainability

    What does the future hold for Mindful Chef?

    Myles: Our focus for 2019 is to continue our mission to make healthy eating easy for as many people as possible and grow our Mindful community. We are working with some exciting names in the health and wellness industry including Olympians Jessica Ennis-Hill and Victoria Pendleton, "The Happy Place" super mum Fearne Cotton, nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, as well as our extensive team of inspiring ambassadors. Watch this space!

    Giles: Product-wise we have also just launched our new 15-minute meals, to make healthy eating easy even on the busiest of evenings and have an exciting menu collaboration in March. There's plenty more to come later in the year.

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Myles: Set up a support network. I was very fortunate to have two other brilliant, smart friends to work with. A lot of entrepreneurs start out on their own and it can be a very lonely place to find yourself. If you don't have co-founders to lean on think about getting yourself a mentor. Someone with experience that you can speak to and learn from - it can be really helpful.

    Giles: Focus on delivering something that people need. Something people really need. Test it and launch an MVP quickly to ascertain whether there is appetite there in the real world. Then pour your heart and soul into it. The worst case is you learn heaps and go back to the day job a richer person in terms of skills and experience gained.

    What's your favourite meal on the Mindful Chef menu?

    Myles: Teryaki salmon with crispy kale
    Giles: Thai pork meatballs and courgetti soup

    Quickfire Questions

    (Myles answers first, then Giles) 

    1. Coffee or tea? Tea, Coffee
    2. Summer or winter? Summer, Summer
    3. Gym or outdoors? Outdoors, Outdoors
    4. Weights or cardio? Smart weight training can double as cardio, Weights
    5. Stay in or dine out? Dine in with Mindful Chef :) Dine in
    Posted by Alexandra Parren