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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Grab yourself a cheeky pair of Monkee Genes

If you've been looking high and low for a decent and affordable pair of jeans but don't want to compromise your ethics, Monkee Jeans might just have that special pair you've been searching for...

Written by Rachael Millar

treesSMALL

All photographs © Olga and Ania Mici?ska

One cold rainy morning back in October consisted of a trip down in the direction of Deptford to check out the 12th Deptford X Arts festival. After frequent wrong turns, viagra 100mg map gazing, standing in the map, asking for directions I stumbled into the Viewfinder Photography Gallery and the work of Ania and Olga Micinska.

The exhibition also happened to be part of two other cultural festivals running concurrently: Photomonth and the Big Draw.

Despite the rain and TFL’s apparent desire to make journeys between the East and the South East as difficult as possible, the work of the Micinskas’ was a pleasure to behold.

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The series of photographs depicts one or another of the twins bending their bodies into a variety of urban architectural features that are synonymous with most if not all European Cities. Accompanied by the titled “Nestled” the twins appear to have made a nest in the most unlikely of urban locations.

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The series lends to the impression or question of humans being out of place in the environment of our own creation; the uncomfortable metropolis appears difficult for the body to experience at ease. This feeling of disjunction within the urban jungle is never more apparent than when a tourist, new in a big city, is reliant on maps and blockbuster sightseeing spots to navigate their way through various city planners’ ideas of a navigable livable city.

Appropriately it is this position of the tourist from which the Micinska’s leap into their project: “we didn’t exactly deny our tourist status; on the contrary we thought about our situation more insightfully and the state of being home for a long period of time.”

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Examining the relationship between tourist and traveler they portray their journey through that of the tourist snap, albeit less of a snap more of a lengthy mediation on what it is to inhabit a city through their medium format Pentacon SIXTL and Yashica (6 x 6 format). These cameras’ physical presence extends the body’s circumference of a space.

The Twins never reveal in which city or country they inhabit during the photographic series. Instead architecture bleeds into architecture, undercarriage into undercarriage. We inhabit a world where the only flowers exist in carefully constructed flowerpots along the sides of the road.

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Examining the photographs drew an awareness of the fragility of the human physiology and the hardness, which surrounds us on an everyday basis.

What is undeniable about this lovely photographic series is the presence of play within each of the photographs; hiding behind benches and in children’s playground brings a sense hide and seek into the proceedings.

What’s more this exhibition draws attention to the range of creative expression that is constantly being presented in London, whilst this exhibition fell into the jurisdiction of three cultural exhibitions, it also brought to my attention the variety of galleries present in South East London (Deptford/New Cross/Peckham area). Whilst much has been written about how South East is the new East, there is limited attention donated towards the actual quality of the work present in the South East. Deptford X threw open the doors of Bearspace and Pony gallery both of which feature bookshops and Pony even functions as a café.

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The current show at BearSpace is Goblet by Julia Alvarez

For more information about Deptford X please see  here.
HETTY ROSE - HR Keep and Love 3

All imagery courtesy of Hetty Rose.

Upcycling, symptoms the practice of reusing old clothing in new designs, case is having something of a vogue moment. Amelia’s Magazine have frequently featured work by designers who recycle vintage pieces, including MIA and Clements Ribeiro. Next to step up to the mark is foot wear designer Hetty Rose.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 front view

Hetty’s shoes are made from recycling old Kimono fabrics. The shoes are all unique and made to fit, providing a truly individual shopping experience. Within an industry saturated with boring ballet flats and static stiletto heels, Hetty Rose shoes offer something different. Now in her third Kimono inspired collection, there’s plenty to choose from to (literally) stand out from the crowd.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 back view

The use of Kimono fabrics draws attention to the historical story behind the shoes, something which often appeals to vintage shoppers. These fabrics were once worn by Japanese Geishas in a world that has slowly disappeared post World War II (Think: Memoirs of a Geisha for inspiration). The hidden story of these fabrics makes these shoes even more desirable in my eyes. Who wouldn’t want to walk a mile in the shoes (almost literally) of historical women miles and years apart from us?

Keep and Love 1 back view

What’s also great about the collection is that it’s simple. These aren’t off-the-wall, barely wearable designs. Instead they are shoes your mother might even pick out. Flats feature vibrant, colourful prints but in classic, comfortable shapes. Strappy t-bars come in beautiful fabrics, and round-toed platform heels look positively walkable. Very much Eastern in influence, these pieces aren’t something you would find easily on the high street. With their unique patterns combined with simple designs, these shoes wouldn’t fit in with the hordes of uncomfortable, uninspiring bad boys out there at the moment.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 front view

The most attractive quality of the shoes lies in the tailoring service. Each pair of shoes is made specifically to fit your feet perfectly à la Cinderella’s glass slipper. The shopper chooses the shoe, selects the fabric, measures her own feet and waits for her perfect pair to materialise in Hetty’s workshop. And hey-presto, shoe magic is done!

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 close up

So who is Hetty Rose? Well, unsurprisingly, Hetty is a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion in Footwear Design and Development. She set up her own business in 2007 and has been stocked across the country (and abroad) ever since. Find her at Cerise Boutique, Che Camille Boutique, Last Boutique and The Natural Store in the UK or online at her website.
HETTY ROSE - HR Keep and Love 3

All imagery courtesy of Hetty Rose.

Upcycling, purchase the practice of reusing old clothing in new designs, is having something of a vogue moment. Amelia’s Magazine have frequently featured work by designers who recycle vintage pieces, including MIA and Clements Ribeiro. Next to step up to the mark is foot wear designer Hetty Rose.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 front view

Hetty’s shoes are made from recycling old Kimono fabrics. The shoes are all unique and made to fit, providing a truly individual shopping experience. Within an industry saturated with boring ballet flats and static stiletto heels, Hetty Rose shoes offer something different. Now in her third Kimono inspired collection, there’s plenty to choose from to (literally) stand out from the crowd.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 back view

The use of Kimono fabrics draws attention to the historical story behind the shoes, something which often appeals to vintage shoppers. These fabrics were once worn by Japanese Geishas in a world that has slowly disappeared post World War II (Think: Memoirs of a Geisha for inspiration). The hidden story of these fabrics makes these shoes even more desirable in my eyes. Who wouldn’t want to walk a mile in the shoes (almost literally) of historical women miles and years apart from us?

Keep and Love 1 back view

What’s also great about the collection is that it’s simple. These aren’t off-the-wall, barely wearable designs. Instead they are shoes your mother might even pick out. Flats feature vibrant, colourful prints but in classic, comfortable shapes. Strappy t-bars come in beautiful fabrics, and round-toed platform heels look positively walkable. Very much Eastern in influence, these pieces aren’t something you would find easily on the high street. With their unique patterns combined with simple designs, these shoes wouldn’t fit in with the hordes of uncomfortable, uninspiring bad boys out there at the moment.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 front view

The most attractive quality of the shoes lies in the tailoring service. Each pair of shoes is made specifically to fit your feet perfectly à la Cinderella’s glass slipper. The shopper chooses the shoe, selects the fabric, measures her own feet and waits for her perfect pair to materialise in Hetty’s workshop. And hey-presto, shoe magic is done!

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 close up

So who is Hetty Rose? Well, unsurprisingly, Hetty is a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion in Footwear Design and Development. She set up her own business in 2007 and has been stocked across the country (and abroad) ever since. Find her at Cerise Boutique, Che Camille Boutique, Last Boutique and The Natural Store in the UK or online at her website.
I’m not going to lie, shop When I saw the image above of Pyramiddd I was a little scared about meeting them. They looked like Trouble. Kinda like something from Nickelodeon that had grown up and learnt swear words.
Recently, viagra sale they were over on a mini European tour, one of these dates was a support slot for The Filthy Dukes at Dingwalls in Camden. For their performance Ryan seemed to be going for a 80s aerobic instructor vibe whilst the rest of the boys sported some beautiful dresses. After watching their vavavibrant show in which Cindi Laupers “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” got the Pyramidd treatment, I met Josh and Ryan for a chinwag. I wasn’t so scared after Josh told me he liked my dress.

J: We should trade dresses; I like your dress better.

I like your dress, I was thinking, you all have perfect arms for dresses. Like how arms should look in dresses.
R: Like girly arms?

No, Like how arms should look.

J: I have been working out a lot, like everyday. I’ll do 200 push-ups every morning.
R: He will be in the van doing push ups. And then pull ups too. And then bench-press Shawn. He will move up to me pretty soon.

You guys like to keep fit then?
J: We speed walk sometimes, have you ever seen it? It looks really weird but it feels good. It’s like some sort of gay dance.
R: They have to keep both feet on the ground.
J: Ryan has really good form now. It’s really fast; you have to use your hips a lot.
(Ryan at this point shows how it is done. Josh wasn’t lying, He dose have good form.)

Its like a fast gay guy walk. Where would you do that?
J: Wherever. We like Basketball, but we can’t bring it with us. No one plays here! Soccer sucks so much. It’s like the most boring sport ever.
R: Plus you get to see a lot more when you speed walk

And you only have to think about your feet, No hand eye co-ordination to think consider.
J: Yeah, You don’t need a ball.
R: And actually, flat shoes are the best for speed walking, they form with you feet. You want your feet to be able to move and bend. These are my speed walking shoes. They look cool because they r purple on the bottom
J: And Ryan jump ropes a lot too.

Like for boxing, do you box?
R: I box a little recreationally, mostly just to stay in shape.
J: And because the drives are so fucking long, being in the van for like 8 or 10 hours and we drive ourselves, getting out doing jump rope, its just good to move
R: Even if we are at a gas/petrol station we can get out and just do jump rope. It feels good. It kinda messes with your shins after a while. They will get sore.

Yeah, don’t do it on hard surfaces.
J: Yeah, and you have to stretch a lot.

So, is this your first time in Europe?
Both: As a band, yeah.

You have done London, Paris and Amsterdam, that all for now?
J: Yeah, that’s it, it’s a really short tour, Most dates are in London, 4 shows in London

That’s a lot!
J: Yeah its a lot…one of them didn’t count though, so…

Why not? Was it shit?
J: Yeah, that’s it exactly … I’d rather not talk about it. We will just let that go!
R: I’m sure even pearl jam plays bad shows.

Ok then, how have you found the reception in Europe compared to the US?
J: Its different. Well, we’re brand new here so people don’t know us, but I feel like it has been pretty good. Starting with Amsterdam until now all of our shows have been good!
R: I feel like it’s comparable to our first US tour. Our first us shows people didn’t really know who we were so people just watching checking us out, but then our second time in the US people knew who we were, so they were having more fun and dancing. Here its our first time people are checking us out, they don’t know who we are, but they are still really receptive.

You have plans to come back?
J: Yeah we are talking about Glastonbury. We are going to focus on recording for the next few months and try and build on our new name.

You like the UK so far? Done all the stuff your meant to do, like fish and chips?
J: Yeah but I’m never gonna do that again, that was so gross! I fucking hate British food, everything is just fried or made of potato, like chips. It’s fucking disgusting. I just want a salad! Maybe it’s just where we have been because we don’t really know where to find good food. But I had horrible fish and chips, it made me sick.

It is probably on a par with American food, American foods not that nice.
J: That’s not true, American food is a mixture of all different cuisines. Portland has the best Thai food, I have had better Thai food in Portland than Thailand. The greens are fresher, Portland is right in an area where you can get fresh vegetables easy.
R: Yeah there’s a lot of local farms everywhere, its near the coast too. The cities all have pretty good food. Maybe in the mid west smaller places you get stuff closer to English food, like really bad food, no offence! No, I’m sure there’s really good food here, You have to seek it out and pay more for it.
J: Yeah, Indian food.

You miss Portland since you have been away?
J: I do. I miss the food. The food is better than any other city that I have ever been to. It’s cheaper and it’s a higher quality.

Its quite a small city too isn’t it?
J: 200,000. no 2million.
R: met area 2million, actual city 500thou.

I read today that Portland holds the Worlds Oldest Teenage Drag Queen Pageant, I’m guessing this is why you all have cross dressing tendencies?
J: I didn’t even know about that! I just grew up around it. My Mom was a fag hag. One of her best friends is a Liza Minnelli impersonator at a club and I would go see it. They used to have underage nights that I’d go to with my Mom.

I’m guessing you were going for the Oliva Newton John look tonight, Ryan? You didn’t go the whole way but you had this awesome top, which I want by the way…
R: Josh found that in Reno!
J: That looks really good on you! It’s like Grandmas gambling jacket.
R: It’s amazing, when you see something on someone that looks really bad and cheesy if you put it on someone young it can look really good.

How much you pay for it?
J: A few dollars.
R: Reno has amazing thrift stores! They are all broke so they move into small trailers and give away all their clothes.

You are still based in Portland?
R: They kicked us out of Portland, we changed our name to get back in. Nah, we are still in Portland.

That’s where you record and live, that’s your base?
J: For sure. I hope so forever, I can’t see myself living anywhere else apart from maybe Japan.

You not going to go to LA OR NYC?
J: We talked about moving to LA, just for the weather, but I hate it so much, the culture is so horrible it would just be too much. It’s expensive to live there too. Ryan used to live there.
R: I did used to live there.
J: *Insert A-List Celebz Name* tried to sleep with him! He worked at a studio and you drove her home right? And she invited you in and showed you her bedroom. Before she was married, when he was like 14.
R: I was 20!
J: But you looked 14 when you were 20?
R: That’s true I looked young when I was 20.
J: Girls love young guys, do you like young guys?! Like really young guys?
(At this point, Lloyd from the X-factor comes into my head. I then before I know it find myself giving a slight nod…is this wrong?!)
J: A lot of my girl friends do like really young guys, they like the sensitive feminine thing, like they don’t know what they are doing yet.

How long have you guys been as this foursome?
J: Valentines Day, so less than a year.

You feel set, ready to take on the world?
J: Yeah, we feel confident!
R: Yeah, we are always going to be making adjustments and improvements to everything. Especially as we play more and more we will learn what we need to do to be better, but as far as the members go yeah.

You all seem to have a million interments each, this must be quite hard to juggle?
J: It fucking sucks to load and unload our equipment. Every time we carry our equipment I’m just like, “Why don’t we get rid of some of this shit?! We don’t need all this shit!”. We used to have more, we used to have 2 whole drum kits. It was crazy, its still crazy!
R: We were thinking about getting a pair of decks and start mixing the songs together and just dance all we need then is dresses. It will be like girl talk.
J: Yeah, You seen girls talk?

No. (For some reason Dreamphone came into my head.)
R: Laptop. Band. Mashed up. Great.

I’ll google him.

(I did. It’s not the magazine I got when I was 10 that had ponies or puppies on the cover. I believe he is a man and he is responsible for this.)

(I bloody love it)

Watch ooot for episode two when Josh and Ryan talk more about food, video games and Beyonce.

I’m not going to lie, approved When I saw the image above of Pyramiddd I was a little scared about meeting them. They looked like Trouble. Kinda like something from Nickelodeon that had grown up and learnt swear words.
Recently, information pills they were over on a mini European tour, prostate one of these dates was a support slot for The Filthy Dukes at Dingwalls in Camden. For their performance Ryan seemed to be going for a 80s aerobic instructor vibe whilst the rest of the boys sported some blooomin’ beautiful dresses. After watching their vavavibrant show in which Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” got the Pyramidd treatment, I met Josh and Ryan for a chinwag. I wasn’t so scared after Josh told me he liked my dress.

J: We should trade dresses; I like your dress better.

I like your dress, I was thinking, you all have perfect arms for dresses. Like how arms should look in dresses.

R: Like girly arms?

No, Like how arms should look.

J: I have been working out a lot, like everyday. I’ll do 200 push-ups every morning.
R: He will be in the van doing push ups. And then pull ups too. And then bench-press Shawn. He will move up to me pretty soon.

You guys like to keep fit then?
J: We speed walk sometimes, have you ever seen it? It looks really weird but it feels good. It’s like some sort of gay dance.
R: They have to keep both feet on the ground.
J: Ryan has really good form now. It’s really fast; you have to use your hips a lot.
(Ryan at this point shows how it is done. Josh wasn’t lying, He does have good form.)

Its like a fast gay guy walk. Where would you do that?
J: Wherever. We like Basketball, but we can’t bring it with us. No one plays here! Soccer sucks so much. It’s like the most boring sport ever.
R: Plus you get to see a lot more when you speed walk

And you only have to think about your feet, No hand eye co-ordination to think about.
J: Yeah, You don’t need a ball.
R: And actually, flat shoes are the best for speed walking, they form with you feet. You want your feet to be able to move and bend. These are my speed walking shoes. They look cool because they are purple on the bottom
J: And Ryan jump ropes a lot too.

Like for boxing, do you box?
R: I box a little recreationally, mostly just to stay in shape.
J: And because the drives are so fucking long, being in the van for like 8 or 10 hours and we drive ourselves, getting out doing jump rope, its just good to move
R: Even if we are at a gas/petrol station we can get out and just do jump rope. It feels good. It kinda messes with your shins after a while. They will get sore.

Yeah, don’t do it on hard surfaces.
J: Yeah, and you have to stretch a lot.

So, is this your first time in Europe?
Both: As a band, yeah.

You have done London, Paris and Amsterdam, that all for now?
J: Yeah, that’s it, it’s a really short tour, Most dates are in London, 4 shows in London.

That’s a lot!
J: Yeah its a lot…one of them didn’t count though, so…

Why not? Was it shit?
J: Yeah, that’s it exactly … I’d rather not talk about it. We will just let that go!
R: I’m sure even Pearl Jam plays bad shows.

Ok then, how have you found the reception in Europe compared to the US?
J: Its different. Well, we’re brand new here so people don’t know us, but I feel like it has been pretty good. Starting with Amsterdam until now all of our shows have been good!
R: I feel like it’s comparable to our first US tour. Our first us shows people didn’t really know who we were so people just watching checking us out, but then our second time in the US people knew who we were, so they were having more fun and dancing. Here its our first time people are checking us out, they don’t know who we are, but they are still really receptive.

You have plans to come back?
J: Yeah we are talking about Glastonbury. We are going to focus on recording for the next few months and try and build on our new name.

You like the UK so far? Done all the stuff your meant to do, like fish and chips?
J: Yeah but I’m never gonna do that again, that was so gross! I fucking hate British food, everything is just fried or made of potato, like chips. It’s fucking disgusting. I just want a salad! Maybe it’s just where we have been because we don’t really know where to find good food. But I had horrible fish and chips, it made me sick.

It is probably on a par with American food, American foods not that nice.
J: That’s not true, American food is a mixture of all different cuisines. Portland has the best Thai food, I have had better Thai food in Portland than Thailand. The greens are fresher, Portland is right in an area where you can get fresh vegetables easy.
R: Yeah there’s a lot of local farms everywhere, its near the coast too. The cities all have pretty good food. Maybe in the mid west smaller places you get stuff closer to English food, like really bad food, no offence! No, I’m sure there’s really good food here, You have to seek it out and pay more for it.
J: Yeah, Indian food.

You miss Portland since you have been away?
J: I do. I miss the food. The food is better than any other city that I have ever been to. It’s cheaper and it’s a higher quality.

Its quite a small city too isn’t it?
J: 200,000. no 2 million.
R: Met area 2 million, actual city 500,000.

I read today that Portland holds the Worlds Oldest Teenage Drag Queen Pageant, I’m guessing this is why you all have cross dressing tendencies?
J: I didn’t even know about that! I just grew up around it. My Mom was a fag hag. One of her best friends is a Liza Minnelli impersonator at a club and I would go see it. They used to have underage nights that I’d go to with my Mom.

I’m guessing you were going for the Oliva Newton John look tonight, Ryan? You didn’t go the whole way but you had this awesome top, which I want by the way…
R: Josh found that in Reno!
J: That looks really good on you! It’s like Grandmas gambling jacket.
R: It’s amazing, when you see something on someone that looks really bad and cheesy if you put it on someone young it can look really good.

How much you pay for it?
J: A few dollars.
R: Reno has amazing thrift stores! They are all broke so they move into small trailers and give away all their clothes.

You are still based in Portland?
R: They kicked us out of Portland, we changed our name to get back in. Nah, we are still in Portland.

That’s where you record and live, that’s your base?
J: For sure. I hope so forever, I can’t see myself living anywhere else apart from maybe Japan.

You not going to go to LA OR NYC?
J: We talked about moving to LA, just for the weather, but I hate it so much, the culture is so horrible it would just be too much. It’s expensive to live there too. Ryan used to live there.
R: I did used to live there.
J: *Insert A-List Celebz Name* tried to sleep with him! He worked at a studio and you drove her home right? And she invited you in and showed you her bedroom. Before she was married, when he was like 14.
R: I was 20!
J: But you looked 14 when you were 20?
R: That’s true I looked young when I was 20.
J: Girls love young guys, do you like young guys?! Like really young guys?
(At this point, Lloyd from the X-factor comes into my head. I then before I know it find myself giving a slight nod…is this wrong?!)
J: A lot of my girl friends do like really young guys, they like the sensitive feminine thing, like they don’t know what they are doing yet.

How long have you guys been as this foursome?
J: Valentines Day, so less than a year.

You feel set, ready to take on the world?
J: Yeah, we feel confident!
R: Yeah, we are always going to be making adjustments and improvements to everything. Especially as we play more and more we will learn what we need to do to be better, but as far as the members go yeah.

You all seem to have a million interments each, this must be quite hard to juggle?
J: It fucking sucks to load and unload our equipment. Every time we carry our equipment I’m just like, “Why don’t we get rid of some of this shit?! We don’t need all this shit!”. We used to have more, we used to have 2 whole drum kits. It was crazy, its still crazy!
R: We were thinking about getting a pair of decks and start mixing the songs together and just dance all we need then is dresses. It will be like Girl Talk.
J: Yeah, You seen Girl Talk?

No. (For some reason Dreamphone came into my head.)
R: Laptop. Band. Mashed up. Great.

I’ll google him.

(I did. It’s not the magazine I got when I was 10 that had ponies or puppies on the cover. I believe he is a man and he is responsible for this.)

(I bloody love it)

Watch ooot for episode two when Josh and Ryan talk more about food, video games and Beyonce.

MGO12ST PURPLEAll images courtesy of Monkee Genes

If you’re bored of what’s currently on offer when it comes to buying jeans, healing then look no further than the up and coming organic and ethical denim brand Monkee Genes. Devised in 2006 by the people behind Road Denim, buy information pills Monkee Genes fill a hole in the market for affordable denim manufactured with a conscience and a real sense of identity.

new MG12BA

Monkee Genes is the first jeans label to achieve the Soil Association organic standard and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This guarantees not only that no chemicals or pesticides were used in the production of the raw materials, sick but also that at every stage of the supply chain standards are vetted. The ethos of the company is to manufacture with conscience and without sweatshop labour, ‘No Blood, No Sweat, No Tears.’

MGOIB

With an attractive and easy to navigate website Monkee Genes makes shopping online an enjoyable experience. Or if online shopping doesn’t do it for you, the brand is also available in large branches of Topshop, and will be stocked in River Island in the coming months, bringing ethical jeans to a high street near you.

pork-pie

The jeans start at around £40 and the most expensive are £50, so they certainly won’t break the bank. Styles range from super skinny to flared, with the current best seller being the Inky Blue Skinny jeans. The colour palette is wide ranging, including plum, charcoal, apple green, electric blue, olive and fuchsia. Also all of the jeans are unisex, which ensures interesting and fresh shapes. Also for sale are cute pork pie and taxi driver hats and individual embellished bags, purses and interchangeable waistband labels.

ROXY BAG

Often the connotations of eco friendly clothing are unfavourable to say the least, with words like ‘hemp’ and ‘sludgy colours’ rearing their ugly heads, but Monkee Genes flies in the face of these stereotypes and offers a fresh and vibrant range of innovatively cut jeans in exciting colours for people who want to shop responsibly.

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