Christmas Presents with Purpose

While the approach of Christmas definitely has it good bits (I love a mince pie and have never got over my crush on Noddy Holder…). The excess, waste and pile of crap you feel you might have to get for your nearest and dearest however is not so appealing….a few tips from us at NukuNuku from how we are trying to change our Christmas this year….

Keep someone warm this Christmas – a useful and thoughtful gift.
  1. Secret Santa from the Chazzer – My extended family have agreed to do a Secret Santa for the adults – books from the charity shops. Used this app to draw the names and boss them into it DrawNames via WhatsApp. Easy Peasy and feel very virtuous now having given my Christmas spends to Oxfam and Amnesty in North Laine.
  2. Gig! Extended family all go out together – great idea from a friend, all 3 generations (including 72 year old Auntie) going to see The Killers together in Southampton. Making memories not landfill!!!! Genius.
  3. Buy Quality like NukuNuku Haramaki that are built to last for years, keeping their shapes and made in the UK from the best quality cotton. When your fabrics do come to the end of their life make sure you recycle them and they can go onto be turned into clothes again or as sofa stuffing etc. We take ours to H&M where we get a £5 voucher for each bag of waste fabrics.
  4. Shop local and keep it to the smaller non-chain shops. Locally, the North Laine Christmas Shopping Night is 5th December and I am hoping to drag my kids round to get in the Christmas spirit, eat free mince pies and sample stuff. Further afield but still local for us is the Steyning Late Night Christmas Shopping which I would highly recommend. It is really festive and has the fabulous independent Steyning Bookshop handing out handmade free mince pies. Seabirds will have a stall and be selling our haramaki at this and The Tempest Christmas Fair. 

    Bright red haramaki for kids and adults
  5. Shop Social – find Social Enterprises that are using their profits to do good. Like our friends at Seabirds! They got into the Social Enterprise UK’s Christmas Gift Guide this year and we at NukuNuku are supporting their ‘Give Presents With Purpose this Christmas’ campaign.

“It couldn’t be easier to give PresentsWithPurpose and really make a difference to people’s lives this Christmas, simply by buying your gifts from a social enterprise – whether that’s coffee providing jobs for people experiencing homelessness to luxury skincare supporting people with disabilities”  Please share the gift guide with your friends and encourage them to buy social and give presents with purpose this year!

 

Now over to you – your tips and suggestions please!

Pregnant or breastfeeding friends? A haramaki is the perfect gift!

 

 

Story of the Seabirds

The Seabirds in Brighton sell our haramaki as core-warmers to their sea swimmers. Here is their story:

Story of the Seabirds…..

 

Cath and Kath LOVE the Sea and Swimming in it. Our first winter swim-through was 2017. We didn’t plan it, we just never felt like stopping. It never got too hard or painful and always felt worth it. It made us feel happier and kept us buzzing. It very quickly became the thing that we hadn’t realised we needed but really, really did and we recognised the huge benefits to our wellbeing from it. Couldn’t give it up. So glad to have found it. So became a bit ‘evangelical’ about the whole sea swimming and wellbeing thing…

 

Swimspiration

One day when we were having a swim and floating about on some pretty bouncy waves we thought – we could share this with other people – everyone should be doing this! – its so good for our wellbeing. This is how Seabirds was born. The name came from Cath, she realised one day that they had become ‘those old birds that get in the sea every day’ that she had admired from afar while staying dry (how did I live without the sea in my life??!!! Cath). Now proud to embrace this title and new life enriched by the sea, we called ourselves and our venture, Seabirds…..

 

Social Enterprise

We didn’t want to start a charity knowing the vagaries of funding and grants etc. We wanted to run our project sustainably and self sufficiently – so we started a Community Interest Company with the profits going to fund Seabirds’ ‘Water and Wellbeing’ community work…..

Seabirds’ Wild Swim Shop

We sell swim stuff in our online Wild Swim Shop and we run courses, talks and sessions. All profits go towards our Salted Wellbeing work. We source swimmy items that make sea swimming more comfortable – robes, goggles, hats, tow floats etc. We take the quality and ethics of the products we source very seriously. We spend a lot of time choosing and testing before we decide to sell them (a fun bit!)….

 

‘Women Wellbeing and Water’

Sea swimming is free and available to all, in theory…but there are many obstacles that people face getting in the water or even considering it an option. There are many residents of Brighton who never even visit the beach. We know how much the cold, the community and being immersed in nature help us and we want others to realise this too. So our main aim is to get those who would not normally easily access sea swimming as a tool to maintain wellbeing and yet are in great need of it. We got lottery funding to run our ‘Women, Water and Wellbeing’ course in 2018 with local mental health charity Threshold to refer participants to us. It was a great success and we plan more for next ‘warm season’.

Salty Seabirds

Our swim community (currently at over 1000 members!) was born when we held our pilot session for our Women, Wellbeing and Water course and many of the participants wanted to keep swimming then and there. It is an unexpected joy to be part of a thriving flock of fellow sea swimmers. Swimming, silliness, support, handstands, hugs, friendship and general playful messing about and cake. Its all bloody brilliant. An inclusive community where all are welcome. Turns out we all need more of this in our lives!

So that is our Seabird story (so far anyway!). You support our work everytime you buy your swim stuff from us and share our social media posts. Thank you! We genuinely do little happy dances every time we make a sale. Do come for a swim and share the swim love with us if you haven’t already, it has changed our lives and we are very glad.

 

With love,

 

Cath and Kath

Directors of Seabirds Ltd, Community Interest Company

Seabirds love a haramaki

Women, Wellbeing and Water with the Seabirds  

A guest post from Seabirds who stock NukuNuku Haramaki in their Wild Swim Shop:

Who are the Seabirds? We are two sea swimmers heading into our 3rd winter of cold water swimming. We loved the positive impact on our mental and physical health, the sense of community and the ‘play’ of cold water dipping. We wanted to spread the swim love but we didn’t want to be a charity reliant on the vagaries of grants and funding.  So we formed Seabirds Ltd and we opened our online Wild Swim Shop. The aim being that we sell high quality swim stuff and profits fund our ‘Wellbeing and Water” courses. Our swim group – Salty Seabirds‘ is currently at over a 1000 members (thankfully they do not all turn up for a swim at once!)

Sea swimmer with core-warmer in red

Of course it can really bloody cold in the sea and on the beach as we get changed. The haramaki – or core-warmer as we call it to keep it simple with those new to the idea – as proved invaluable post swim. Mostly (but not exclusively) women, the Salty Seabirds’ fingers tend towards the totally numb in the depths of winter. This is not time for bras. Pulling on a core-warmer is much easier and more effective at warming us up. We can use it to hide our boobs when getting changed on the beach (should we feel the need – most don’t care!)

Salty Seabird Post-Dip in Core-Warmer in Black

All profits from Seabirds’ Wild Swim Shop go towards more courses supporting people to get into the sea for their mental wellbeing. When you buy from us you are helping people who need the solace of the sea find it! As we come up to Christmas please think of shopping from social enterprises such as ours so your gift gives twice. Check out our ‘Gifts for Swimmers‘ section for all your swimmy friends and Share the Swim Love 🙂

Cath and Kath Seabird xxx

Core-Warmer reviews from Seabirds’ Website:

I swear by these in the winter – makes a huge difference. Really helps you warm up quicker after a swim. I wear mine ALL THE TIME 🙂 (Elaine, Cumbria)

A small thing that makes a big difference. An essential peice of kit to help you warm up quickly after swim. Lovely quality and a good price. (Samantha, Brighton)

I was sceptical at first but now I swear by these. They can make all the difference when warming up after getting out of the water. Great for period pain too! Shove a mini hot water bottle in there…fantastic. (Sarah)

Seabirds Wild Swim Shop promotes Salted Wellbeing!

Why wear a haramaki?

Black NukuNuku Haramaki worn to keep muscles warm
Photo Credit @polelux

Sceptical and think you don’t need one? You may be if you haven’t yet tried them (but you will be hooked when you do!) You can test it out by tying a scarf round your waist to try the effect. Soon you will see that having the core of your body insulated raises your body temperature all over. This is because the inner organs are warm, increasing your circulation, which spreads heat all over your body, even to the toes and fingers:

Gardener Emma in a grey haramaki

Vascular surgeon Eddie Chaloner (in the Daily Mail).’When the limbs are exposed to colder temperatures than the torso, blood vessels in the arms and legs constrict. Blood then bypasses the limbs and floods to the torso. Being wrapped around the stomach will help the body to maintain its core temperature so that it doesn’t lose heat.’

Christine wears her pink haramaki as an accessory

So basically, warm your core to warm you all over. You can wear them over or under your clothes and you need a snug fit.

Our Haramaki will help you maintain an overall warmer body temperature and so suit anyone who needs extra warmth – those who work or play outdoors in all seasons from gardeners to sea swimmers, those who need to keep warm and stretchy such as pole dancers, aerial athletes, yoga practitioners etc. They are great for health problems such as period pain, back ache, chronic fatigue, Raynauds etc etc.

With and Without Haramaki Thermal Image

PS. Two recent comments on one of our Facebook Ads suggest that a vest would have exactly the same effect (thanks ladies!). Are they are better than a vest? Yes! Here is why – because they don’t show through your clothes (unless you want them to), they don’t ride up like vests can, they extend down to cover more of you where you want it and you don’t feel like you are wearing too many layers. And key point (especially for those of us women in the merry perimenopause) is that you take them off easily when you get too hat and without stripping right down! Vests are great, haramaki are even better 🙂

Great for cyclists

Haramaki: Great for market traders

 

“Discovering haramaki has made my days at the markets so much nicer! My back and bum where I feel the cold the most after the first couple of hours outside are covered by the  haramaki which makes a massive difference. I am looking at the wrist warmers next….”

Happy customer, Katja of InkyKat Studios

Our haramaki and other ‘bits warmers’ are great for those on market stalls. They tend to be outside and standing around quite still – definitely going to be feeling the cold. We have a few customers who report how useful our haramaki are for keeping them warm when working outside – today we feature one of those, Etsy Seller extraordinaire, Katja of InkyKat Studios….

Despite loving printmaking Kat only discovered screen printing a few years ago when her mum bought her a three day course in screen printing for her birthday. “I just loved how, by using paper cut templates, you can create these clean crisp images. Printing on fabric allows me to add another dimension to my work by utilising some of the gorgeous prints I come across.”. Kat does commissions which make fantastic presents. Many people get their pets, or kids done as beautiful gifts.

Kat sells her beautiful hand cut screen-prints on Etsy and at various craft markets at the weekends throughout the year. She is currently developing a clothing range hand printed with her designs onto organic cotton t-shirts, bags and sweatshirts.

Many of the markets Kat sells at are outside or poorly heated and the traders can get really cold however many layers they put on or hot tea they pour into themselves. Now they have the answer! Warmth from the core with a haramaki 🙂

This all helps with NukuNuku‘s mission, keeping the nation warm, one core at a time…..