Hello? Sunshine is Calling – Come Outside!

Going outside and having more sunny days than before are associated precisely with spring. When greyish snowy clouds scatter, and the first flower blossoms show, you may know that you are about to spend a lot of time outdoors. Maybe you will be playing basketball with friends, riding your bike in the village, jogging in a park, walking a dog or quietly reading a book on a lakeshore – the spring is lovely for so many reasons that it would take too much time just to try and list them all. What unites these activities is fresh air and sunshine leading your every step and ensuring only the best emotions. However, every minute spent outdoors can be overshadowed by bright sun and heat. How can we prepare for it and face every adventure as bravely as could?

Some say they can sunbathe for hours and it would still not be enough, while for others, five minutes spent in the sun is already too much. Sunbathing, no matter how fun it may sound, is a very responsible activity because sun rays affect us and our skin even when the weather may look cloudy. To protect you from painful experiences, today we will talk about the sun and sunbathing's three significant problems – sunburn blisters, skin pigmentation, and heatstroke.

Why Little Sunburn Blisters Hurt So Much?

Rising temperatures mean more time spent in the fresh air and lighter and more comfortable clothing. Although winter or autumn clothing can also be comfortable, in the spring, we all enjoy wearing short-sleeved shirts; we start pulling dresses and skirts out of our closets and say goodbye to jackets and coats for at least half a year. No matter how much fun it is, this time also means that our skin will be more exposed to the sun, so the joyful moments outside can end up in unwanted tan lines, usually accompanied by painful sunburn blisters. 

Sunburns are pale-coloured blisters on the skin's surface that occur from a few hours to a day after sun exposure. Although it may not seem so scary, we start to feel pain around the burnt areas, which is difficult to bear after at least a day. We then struggle to find a comfortable position to sleep or sit; we experience pain while putting on clothing and having any other skin contact. After a while, the skin begins to peel off, and sunburns start to fade and heal. However, if the sunburn is more dangerous, it will be more painful – it means you will probably have watery blisters and bursting them can lead to an infection. In this situation, the healing process would be much more complicating, and there is a greater chance of having scars. 

It is essential to understand that sunburns are often accompanied by certain health complications – vomiting, pain, chills or fever, dizziness, and more. On the other hand, sunburns are relatively easy to prevent – more about this at the end of this blog!

How and Why our Skin Change Colour?

It is widely acceptable to distinguish people into several races by their skin colour. However, there are many different skin tones among more than seven billion humans – after all, even in cosmetic shops, we see many different tones to suit clients' needs. But now, let's ditch cosmetics and talk about something more serious. Intentional sunbathing and frequent visits to the solarium force our skin cells to produce more melanin – a natural skin pigment responsible for our eye and hair colours. Therefore, the more time we spend in the sun, the more melanin is produced and the more tanned we get. 

The overall process now seems quite simple; however, there are two different types of melanin. Eumelanin gives the skin so much wanted brown shade and tan, while pheomelanin production results in red burns and is far from what we would like. The oddities do not end here either, as after sunbathing, we can see different skin colour patches – pigmentation differences. One of the possible causes of skin pigmentation is the production of melanin, but in many cases, it can also mean the growth of bacteria, blood vessel changes, inflammation, etc. For this reason, it is essential to look at sunburns and skin discolouration responsible as more prominent and more noticeable pigmentation patches, for example, can mean a higher risk of getting cancer. 

We must mention that a change in body colour is more of a cosmetic thing than negatively affecting physical health, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

How Does the Sun Penetrate our Bodies and Heads?

Staying in the fresh air and engaging in various activities is fun until we start to feel the harmful effects of heat and sun. One of the most relevant problems and, sadly, one of the least understood by society is heatstroke. People of all ages can experience a heatstroke, while considered the most dangerous for children, the elderly and those with heart problems. Heatstroke happens due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, resulting in the body's inability to control its internal temperature. Elevated body temperature can lead to pain, dizziness, vomiting, disorientation, cramps, fainting and even a severe loss of consciousness. 

Heatstroke is not a simple problem like sunburns and blisters that can be solved on your own – once you feel the symptoms of a heat stroke, you should immediately end whatever you are doing and visit specialists. While it is quite a severe problem, it is relatively easy to recognize the upcoming threat and prevent it from happening. Symptoms of heatstroke include non-sweating despite high temperature, weaker and more dull breathing, muscles pain, etc. We have already mentioned that after having a heat stroke, the body is unable to control its internal temperature – due to that, our internal organs start to heat up and shut down. In general, not paying attention to the symptoms can be very painful and lead to complex and long-term health problems.

Nevertheless, it is pretty simple to avoid such things – one needs to drink more water, cover the head with a hat or a scarf, from time to time spend some time in shadows, and spend time outdoors when the sun is least active, in morning or afternoons. At noon the sun is at its highest point, so we feel the most extraordinary heat – we advise everyone to have a little siesta after eating lunch and plan activities in less sunny hours.

What's the Secret of Enjoying Sunshine?

From what we have told you today, it is easy to understand that the sun is both a positive and a negative thing. To enjoy its rays so that you do not regret it after, we must face it prepared. We already mentioned drinking loads of water and enjoying the sun in later hours, but in addition to all this, we need to take care of our skin as for it, the UV rays are the most damaging.

The skin needs to be taken care of before sunbathing, during, and after. Before spending time in the sun and wanting the most beautiful tan, dermatologists advise moisturizing the skin as much as possible because dehydrated skin is more exposed to UV rays. You may use creams and lotions to help restore and strengthen the protective layer of the skin. Secondly, you should exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells. However, it is important not to overdo it as the skin can become irritating – consult your cosmetician before the sunny season to have the most fantastic skincare products waiting to be used. What else can be done? You should include as much carotene and Vitamin E in your daily diet as you can eat. Choose orange vegetables and fruits, have carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins for lunch and mangoes for a healthy snack. Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oil, almonds, nuts, so sun protection is essential and really tasty.

Diving into adventures sounds like a lot of fun as you are excited to know where they would take you. On the other hand, sunburns and blisters are the exact opposite, and although extreme, the pain can be unbearable. To have a beautiful tan and avoid blisters' formation, you need to expose yourself to the sun progressively. Therefore, few shorter sessions are better than one long. At the same time, dermatologists advise smearing the skin with a high protection level sunscreen, which will lessen harmful UV rays and guarantee an even tan. Do not forget - it is better to hide in shadows from time to time than to lie in the sun all the time.

To protect the skin after sunbathing, you need to use nourishing cream, body butter or lotion – our cream is perfect for that! It will cool the skin after heat, allow it to relax and restore moisture levels. Besides, the cold shower works as well as applying aloe vera gel! However, if safe sunbathing techniques have not worked as you wished them to and you have burns on your skin, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the treatment and use our balm to speed the healing process.

Spring and summer are great times for adventures, but like any of them, your need to be prepared and think before doing. Be aware of sunny dangers to avoid regretting your decisions later. Enjoy spending time in the sun!

There's Nothing More Natural than Easter - and Tastier!

What is greener and warmer than Christmas but equally joyful and lovely? Of course – it’s Easter! For some people, Easter is just another weekend in the middle of the Spring season, while for others, it is a long-time celebration of rebirth and hope. With its roots hiding very far in the past, the modern-day Easter holiday is just as colourful as many of its symbols. Today we will flip through the pages of Easter’s history to reveal some interesting facts about its original celebration, unity with nature and Earth, and increasing trends. Let’s Spring festivities begin!

Do Traditional Approach Still Works?

One would not be mistaken when speaking about Easter from a religious point of view – the celebration takes place in more than ninety countries worldwide! As described by Britannica’s credible authors, Easter is a principal festival of the Christian church, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Despite two millennia passed since its earliest recorded observance, the tradition to celebrate on the 16th day of the first full moon of Spring lives on. Due to moon cycles, Easter’s exact date varies from March 22nd to April 25th, but agreements to make this date fixed never received much support. This year, we will celebrate Easter on April 4th. Some believers will only do so about two weeks later—this is another strange thing as some Christianity branches use different calendars (more on this in our Christmas blog).

In Unity with Nature

Even though a paragraph earlier we spoke about Easter deriving from faith and religion, some are more willing to accept celebrations roots reaching even further back in history; thus, continuing to debate the Easter’s linguistic origins. There is an approach recognizing Easter as a pagan festival with close ties to celebrating Spring equinox, which marks the arrival of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere; surprisingly – people from Southern Hemisphere still celebrate Easter despite living in a middle of autumn! This year, Spring equinox fell on the same day – March 20th – as Earth Day. Since thousands of years ago, people mapped their life according to nature’s patterns; therefore, the day when the amount of darkness and daylight is identical made a pretty huge impact and allowed renewal.

Most Easter symbols are indeed related to nature. We sure all know the Easter bunny as a friendly fictional character who scatters around colourful painted eggs for little kids to find. As childish as it may seem, rabbits and hares get involved in the whole Easter thing due to being the symbol of fertility – Spring is the starting season of sowing crops and vegetables, so including rabbits into the mix does make sense. Similarly, the egg is one of the most well-known Easter symbols – its nature is commonly used to explain resurrection and return to life. You may now ask why these eggs were decorated as colouring seem to cover up their natural character? Well, the answer is quite simple as bold colours are easier to notice when the hunt begins and, of course, the metaphor of life is colourful.

Is it Still About Easter?

Easter and its symbols have been inseparable from one another for more than a few hundred years now. Little did people back then knew that one day their ideas and traditions would bring fortunes to sellers and businesses all around the world! Easter now as, any other national or international holiday, is commercialised and thematically put on every little piece of food or garment to sell it and make a profit from what once was a natural and pure celebration. From a marketing perspective, anything with Easter symbols sells very quickly, leaving only a handful of items to put on sale after the holiday ends. As we once talked about putting more effort into gifting and choosing more natural, hand-made presents, we often receive cute greeting cards complemented by edible bunnies or chocolate eggs – well, demand gives birth to supply.

While Easter chocolates are tasty, there are many ways to come back to our roots and highlight Easter’s original symbolic purpose – rebirth. Today we will share with you one fantastic recipe to bake in preparation for Easter with the hope of achieving a unique therapeutic effect and taking the stress off your shoulders – the recipe is so easy! Besides, we cannot maintain close physical contact with people we love this year again; we responsible picked out the recipe, which is perfect for baking treats, packing, and sending them for our family and friends to try. 

Biomedicanna’s team wishes you a lovely Easter! Stay safe!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients (12 servings):

• 60 g of coconut/olive/vegetable

• 200 ml of unsweetened plant-based milk

• 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

• 8 tablespoons of maple syrup (or any other sweetener)

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

• a pinch of salt

• 150 g of ground almonds

• 150 g of gluten-free flour 

• 2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder

• ¼ teaspoon of baking soda

• 100 g of fresh/frozen blueberries

Cooking instructions:

• preheat the oven;

• place the coconut oil into a bowl and melt – skip the step if using other types of oil – add milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and almonds;

• sift in the flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix – do not be afraid to add more milk if the mixture is too dry;

• add fresh or frozen blueberries and gently fold them in – if you use frozen ones, take them out of the freezer seconds before this step as it stops them from colouring the batter blue;

• divide the batter into equal parts of muffin baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius – eat while hot, freeze if baked too much and enjoy!

Time to Put the Coldness Aside - Back to Nature!

Spring is by far the most exciting season for all of us working at Biomedicanna. After strongly finishing with the most stressful Christmas period, we spent some time cosily hibernating at our homes and getting to know every centimetre of our sofas. With the winter already behind our backs, we are back in the business with more bright ideas than ever before. As we dedicated the month of March to help everyone experience the rebirth of nature, today we will share our thoughts and tips on making yourself best friends with nature once again after spending what seems like an eternity inside, both willingly and following worldwide health requirements. 

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With the last bits of snow finally melting away, the spring comes bringing out new adventures and outdoor activities, which we’ve been dreaming to try and experience for the whole winter season. Spring and the return to nature may seem like a usual and yearly practice, but we seem to forget the essentials during the rest of the year. Year after year, thousands, if not millions of people from all across the planet, face numerous mischiefs and not-so-positive surprises carefully planned and masterfully executed by Mother nature as they leave their homes to spend more time in the fresh air. 

However, it is long known that any fresh-air activities increase our brain functions and, therefore, we feel so inspired and energetic, more motivated and full of new ideas. As there are more advantages than disadvantages of spending time outdoors, we just have to be prepared for what is throw at us once we face the spring for the first time this year. Hold on tight as today we will present you four spring-associated negative unexpectedness and how our products can help you hack it!

Insect bites. Even though the summer is when the highest insect activity is recorded, that does not mean bugs will be patiently waiting. With the first rays of spring sunshine, bugs crawl out from the tiniest cracks to annoy us for one more season. We soon will witness bug bites' most common symptoms, such as swollen bumps, itchiness, inflammation, and pain. Although smalls bites may not look like a huge problem, insects carry various diseases, which can irreversibly change people's lives. Ticks can pose a significant risk for humans and our pets as these insects have such diseases as Lyme disease, paralysis, anaplasmosis, etc. While mosquitoes also carry various viruses, only several species found in Europe or the USA can do that. 

One of the easiest ways to prevent bug bites is to plan fresh-air activities accordingly. Many cities and towns use various repellents to keep insects and ticks out from public parks and squares, but if we decide to spend time in woods or exploring natural grasslands, it is up to us to the proper protection and gear. First of all, ask for professionals to help when choosing the right insect repellent as they all are not equally effective. Secondly, wear long sleeve shirts and layer your clothing to limit the naked skin's surface as much as possible. Suppose bugs have already bitten you, use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain or, better, keep the bottle of our CBD Cooling Gel within an arm's reach. In that case, this product miraculously relieves inflammation and provides a cooling effect to minimise itchiness. 

NOTE. If a tick has bitten you, go to the nearest hospital to have it safely removed. If you have already removed it yourself, keep the tick in a glass container to carry out research and learn whether or not the tick carries out any life-threatening diseases.

Bruises. Spring is the official time for getting back on our back and our feet leaving the cosy sofas alone. As we had spent a significant period safely tucked in our homes, our bodies have forgotten what active leisure means. Therefore, as we come out to spend more time in nature, our muscles are tenser, which leads to almost double the number of casual trips and falls. Everyone knows that before getting involved in any activity, one must warm up the muscles and prepare them for the increased workload. The opposite, of course, also causes numerous bruises, muscle and joint pain, which will quickly ruin the happy spring spirit.

Bruising is the process when the impacts break capillaries just under our skin’s surface. Quickly blood starts leaking out and forms a mark, which changes colour from almost black to slightly yellow before disappearing. It is relatively easy to prevent bruising, yet we can only minimise it rather than eliminate it in a split of a second. To have a bruise as small in size as possible, once we had an impact, we must cool the blood vessels to reduce the swelling and significantly shorten the amount of time the bruise needs to heal completely. While an ice pack might be convenient in such situations, not everyone carries it on casual trips to nature. We strongly advise you to make a bit of space on your backpack or purse and have our CBD Cooling Gel with you wherever you go. 

NOTE. In cases when the impact has been too strong, and the blood comes gushing out of the wound, apply pressure and try to stop the bleeding. Then, go to the nearest emergency room or hospital to have a professional look at your injury and provide you with the necessary treatment and medicine, rehabilitation. 

Allergies. Spring marks new beginnings, and one of them is the beginning of allergy season. We have already covered the topic of summer allergies in one of our previous blogs; however, spring allergies are a completely different sphere to discuss. Various allergic reactions are our bodies’ immune system dealing with harmless substances that found their ways of getting into our bodies. Most of the time, such substances are harmless, for example, dust, mould, pollen, etc. However, our immune system perceives the so-called invaders as harmful and start producing antibodies to attack the allergens. The most annoying thing about allergies is that one may experience it as a tedious and frustrating process of sneezing, runny nose, and sometimes higher body temperature. In contrast, others may experience no side effects of spending spring in fresh air when plants release pollen.

As pollen can travel great distances with just a tiny gush of a spring breeze, the only place we are safe from it is indoors. However, with proper preparation, we can enjoy fresh air and nature without fear of getting an allergic reaction. Firstly, allergy is something only a professional doctor can diagnose, so no one should try to heal themselves from itchy eyes and nose, sneezing or coughing, as these are also the symptoms for many other health emergencies. Secondly, certain medications are a huge help for people with various allergies, yet they can only ease the symptoms and not get rid of the problem itself. On the other hand, the stronger one’s immune system is, the easier and quicker for him or her to produce the antibodies and fight the allergens. Therefore, our CBD Oils Drops Raw (5%) is a perfect product to increase one’s overall wellbeing and have a robust immune system.

Skin problems. Our skin reacts to the tiniest minor changes, so our skin is quite natural to respond to massive seasonal change – harsh winter weather gives up its place for pleasant spring breezes and warmer temperatures. While it is nice to finally spend more extended periods in fresh air without the risk of freezing, our skin has a different opinion. There are at least three problems that our precious skin has to deal with once we step into the new season. Firstly, it is acne breakouts caused by rising temperatures and excessive sweating. Secondly, it is contact dermatitis, but we should not discuss it any further as it is closely related to allergies. Another skin condition is seasonal eczema, which is also caused by seasonal changes – warmer temperatures, fungi, humidity changes, sweat, etc. Besides, spring sunshine can also lead to specific skin problems, but we will discuss this topic in our blogs next month – be patient!

Even though all skin conditions we presented are pretty severe, some of their treatment methods are very simple. For example, a proper skincare routine, including moisturizers, facewashes, serums or masks, can significantly improve one’s skin condition. It depends on the exact skin type, whether specific products will help your skin feel fresher or not. We have an organic and vegan cosmetics line, which connects ecological practices with high-end products. CBD Glide Gel provides much-needed moisture without being sticky and, together with glycerine, gently pampers the skin. On the other hand, CBD Silk Balm nurtures the skin with quality elements, reduces itchiness, and protects the most vulnerable skin layers.

Interview with Rosita: Sustainable Clothing is Much More than You Might Think

It is worldwide acceptable to celebrate spring just like any other season. However, here at Biomedicanna, we know that spring is much more important to us and our lives than we might think in the first place. As nature rebirths, we, the people, change in many ways, starting with practices that are closest to us. Clothes are often called our second skin, which must transform together with us and embody sustainability and responsibility to ourselves and everything around us, or that’s how it used to be. Today we invite you to rethink fashion and start diminishing the impact our clothing habits have on nature.

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As the first month of spring is already half over, we share with you our fantastic interview with Rosita. Rosita Kužmarskytė has been working as a freelance fashion designer and product developer for several years and recently opened her fashion design studio 'KUZ', which helps fashion brands and emerging designers run a responsible and efficient fashion business.

-Rosita, tell us a bit more about yourself and your work as a fashion design studio founder.

-I am the founder of the 'KUZ' fashion design studio. Every day, we help ambitious people and small companies start their clothing businesses by providing guidance and assistance. This activity idea came to me quite organically. After finishing my university studies in fashion technologies and business, I moved to Riga, Latvia, but finding a job seemed very tricky as I did not know the local language. Therefore, I decided to start freelancing and doing what I knew best at that time. During my studies, I did an internship in London, where I could perfect my skills in technical drawings. Technical drawings are the main tool to transfer rough ideas to technical language, which can be used and understood by pattern makers and tailors. Orders to draw technical sketches started piling up very quickly, together with questions regarding materials, contacts of professional tailors, etc. I soon expanded my services – everyone was interested in learning how the idea of clothing on paper gets turned into reality because you do not have to be a professional with lots of experience to understand the basics of the process. 

At one point, I had so many orders that I had to give out some of them to my colleagues, hired a tailor myself, but I burned out quickly as it all became too much for me. I seriously thought about quitting freelancing and applied for a junior designer position in Poland's fast-fashion company. Things were going well – I successfully went through three of four selection stages and was one of few people out of one hundred something group to get an invitation to an interview. The last stage showed to be too tough for me, and it crushed my creative spirit as after being declined, only one tiny step stopped me from getting that job. Besides, I was told I would only be allowed to create one particular type of clothes, for example, pants; designing pants for one week seems fine, but three months or three years seemed to be too much for me. I am an extrovert, and I want to express myself differently through different projects; therefore, the mentioned job would be too monotonous and boring.

That was the turning point when I decided to move back to Vilnius, Lithuania, and open my fashion design studio. I gathered a small team, and the motivation was so strong it only took us a month to finish the studio, and the majority of the equipment – mannequins, sewing machines, materials, etc. – were our own as we all come from the same background with the same dreams. That was the beginning; however, I still do not call myself a designer to this very day – I design commercial clothing, and there is not much artistic inspiration in what I do every day. Well, I need the inspiration to create, but the process is very different. I make up the mood board, see which lines and styles work and which do not; once I come up with this structural work, I start combining the whole collection and developing the things that look great.

-Was it difficult to find new clients? Were they surprised about your studio's work? 

-Soon after the studio's opening, various orders started to accumulate, revealing clients' needs. For some time, we worked only with foreign clients; I thought that Lithuanians did not need my services. Therefore, I did not advertise my studio much. However, a few posts and comments in various Facebook groups were very significant – surprisingly, there were so many people interested in the KUZ activity. It turned out that Lithuanians as well want to get broader consultations regarding clothing design. The times when we only cared about selling some colourful sweaters are behind – creators wish to have a unique and responsible clothing development process. 

Sustainability practice in production made-to-order is not common yet. This method is applied when garments are made only when the business gets orders from their customers wishing to buy them and prevents businesses from having unnecessary stock. Usually, enterprises announce that they are collecting orders to purchase a specific clothing model, and after two or three weeks, buyers receive the finished product. Now everyone is so impatient and wants to get the product as soon as possible, but this habit does not go hand in hand with sustainability. The made-to-order business model fits my fashion design studio's idea because it allows brand creators to concentrate only on the artistic (research) side of clothing, not worrying too much about the technical work that my team does. 

-Do clients usually accept the idea of sustainability behind the made-to-order clothing well?

- We offer our clients this model, but we cannot force them to choose it. As we work with many different businesses and individuals who have different needs, ideas, and opportunities, the made-to-order model, of course, does not fit everyone. In most cases, the company's choice also depends on the buyer – some buy deliberately and are okay with waiting; others shop impulsively and choose trendy things combining eco-friendly fabrics and material for packaging. There were many cases when I did not accept the order as people asked me to design and make technical drawings based on items from luxury, high-fashion brands. Such inquiries oppose my approach to clothing design – I do not want to ruin my well-being for additional finances. My work goal is to be surrounded by like-minded persons, and working with this type of person is more of a joy. 

Regarding sustainable fashion, each person or brand that contacts me with their clothing ideas is unique and exciting. For example, one of my clients wanted to incorporate their country’s national clothing patterns into the modern streetwear design – the final work is breathtaking - colourful & empowering. The business owner brings her own story into the brand based and production is based on the made-to-order model. In this case, sustainability does not mean producing minimal amounts of items or using certified cotton only – it’s also about bringing a unique story to the market.

-Getting back to the studio, what are the services that your studio offers?

-We engage in the designing process, starting with the idea and bringing it up until the manufacturing. We create clothing pieces, consult and help explain what businesses need to put into their brand's product to stand out from the competitors, what materials they should use, how to communicate clothing's quality, etc. We discuss all of this during the first meeting, which usually lasts longer than the rest of the process. Then a structured search for inspirations takes place, later come technical drawings, and if the clients are happy, we do a mock-up to see which materials would look better. Later pattern makers prepare the patterns according to which we prepare prototypes and show them to our clients for their feedback – maybe the pockets are too low or too high, perhaps the shoulders are too broad. We get notes on every little detail and send comments to our pattern makers to make adjustments. 

This process takes up one or two, a maximum of three prototypes, to perfect the piece to the client’s perfection. Later a pre-production sample reaches the tailor to be followed accurately. It’s interesting how several years ago, this whole process used to be considered unnecessary. A designer or a person with an idea came up to a tailor with rough sketches or just pictures to follow. A tailor is a person to cut and sew the fabrics in high quality but not read the client’s mind, and that is followed by dissatisfaction, anger, and miscommunication. Many times people give up not understanding why their idea couldn’t be realised. The whole process of collecting ideas, thinking everything upfront, and combining design and tailoring skills makes most of our daily work allowing designers to enjoy their artistic process and tailor‘s receiving clear orders on how to prepare their garments. This process minimises the sampling stage leaving clients with faster and better results which links perfectly with sustainability.

Not only are we talking about sustainability with our clients, but we are also trying to be an example to others. After projects, our studio fills with various fabric pieces, but none of it ends up in a landfill or somewhere else – we use them for other projects and ideas. Disapproved prototypes are also transformed into other pieces of clothing (prototypes too). When we cut materials, we try to place everything as neatly as possible to have as little clothing scraps as we can, which can’t be achieved with large manufacturers because saving time is more important for them than saving fabric or the environment.

I also notice that people prefer to wear clothing that does not wrinkle, so naturally, brands would want their clothing to be made using such materials. Usually, they use mixed materials, cotton and polyester, which are the most harmful to the environment as no one can recycle them. In the studio, all prototypes are made using a hundred per cent cotton material, which we can later take to recycling centres. We can recycle all genuine and not mixed materials; otherwise, we can still transform them. 

-You talk about the technical side of designing clothes more often than you mention actual design work. What is the reasoning behind that?

-Despite having a university diploma in fashion technologies and business, design is a more personal activity. I studied design independently as I spent most of my time in Riga in a library reading books and taking courses about it. 

When I design clothes, most importantly, I try to meet consumers' needs and think about producing costs, materials, sewing technologies, longevity and durability, versatility and comfort, ways of reusing clothes, etc. Versatility and the ability to transform one piece of clothing into another, I think, are some of the most important properties for which I look in clothes. 

However, from every service that we offer in our studio, design and concept creation are my favourite tasks. During the meeting with clients, I try to get to know them and their viewpoints as best as possible – their style, aesthetics, target price, etc. Many clients allow me to have complete artistic freedom, but what is beautiful and pleasing to me will not necessarily be liked by them. My thorough questionnaire may seem a little annoying to some clients– does she have no idea that she is trying to get everything from us? No, I have many ideas, but it would be naive to think that different people's views will always coincide. There are, of course, times when I do lack the inspiration to design. Still, after cultural and branding research, I come back knowing what message the brand tries to communicate for its customers and make that message more persuasive and influential.

-You previously mentioned that while designing the original clothing, you already think about how it will look after transforming it into another item. Is such a trait personal and authentic, or is it becoming a rule that all designers and companies follow?

-Yes, this has already become necessary in the fashion industry. As for me, transforming clothes and giving them a second life is quite essential – my grandma was a tailor herself, and we together re-sewed many second-handed men's jackets into women's coats. Such a hobby began a long time ago, but at that time, we did not think about sustainability – we looked for ways to be more pretty cheaper.

In a broader sense, sustainable clothing is much more than only using recycled, certified materials or transforming a piece of clothing into a different, more useful item. Many companies boast about their sustainability, but maybe only one per cent of all their activities are sustainable. However, it is still better than nothing. We can also understand sustainability from a logistical point of view – if a brand sells their items only in their native country, they are sustainable as they avoid additional transportation costs and eliminate the effect that transport has on the environment. The product packaging can also be recycled; thus, sustainable – same with multifunctional items, quality materials, capsule collections, 3D clothing design software, etc. 

When planning their next collection, designers always need to think about the future of created garments – if we want to be sustainable, how can we achieve this goal? There are many sustainable innovations already adopted by fashion designers and various brands, so sustainability is no longer just second-hand clothing or cut-and-sewn shirts. Only recently, sustainability became a cool thing or a trend.

-Why do you think we are still struggling to convert the fast-fashion industry into a sustainable market fully? Is this at all possible?

-In my opinion, fast-fashion will never entirely disappear – we can only limit its severe impact on the environment. Fast-fashion symbolises cheap and economic practice that is accessible to everyone, and to be honest, not everyone can allow themselves to buy sustainable clothing items as their production is more expensive than fast-fashion items. For example, in fast-fashion fabrics, five hundred tailors can work on a different part of the garment and finish sewing thousands of t-shirts in one day. Suppose we follow the made-to-order model in sustainable business. In that case, there will only be as many items as needed, and one tailor will cut and sew each clothing item individually. 

What we can do in this case, albeit in a small part, and try to reduce the harmful clothing industry’s effects. We can see those fast fashion companies adopt various aspects of sustainable fashion, but their work is still a different practice.

-You briefly mentioned the hobby that you and your grandma shared. Do you still own some of those transformed items?

-Ironically, I hated transformed coats for a very long time as everyone around me wore trendy jackets from various shops, and I wore coats. Now I cannot imagine my life without coats – I do not even know how many coats I own! The majority of them are transformed – my grandma re-sewed many of them, many I did myself.

-Second-handed and transformed clothing make up a significant part of your life. Maybe you remember when the last time you shopped fast-fashion brands online or in the store was?

-I need to think about when it was. (laughs) It might be last summer in Riga, but regarding fast-fashion, I only shop there for plain white t-shirts. Everything else I buy in a second-hand shop called Humana, find on Vinted or design and sew myself. I even regret spending money in fast-fashion shops. Besides, I prefer to organise my closet and dress following capsule collection’s principles, so fast-fashion shops are too trendy for me. 

-What was the most valuable clothing item you managed to find and buy at a second-hand shop? Is it possible to find some hidden gems there, or is it happens only in the movies?

-I usually do not visit second-hand shops on the day when they have new items delivered – I'm not too fond of crowds in there, and besides, I am not a big fan of great designer names. However, once I went there on such a day and saw clothing items from high-fashion stores, they tend to sell quickly. I also nearly witnessed a fight between a few ladies for a designer bag – I do not know whether it was worth something, but it was fun. (laughs) Sometimes second-hand shops even sell new and never-worn items, so it is worth checking them.

-Maybe you have some advice you can share with our readers to help them have a more sustainable relationship with their wardrobes, shopping habits, clothing style?

-My first advice is to clean your closet, sell or give away clothing that does not fit you, or you just do not want to wear anymore. It might look like after that you will have nothing to wear but will see, there are even easier to mix and match between and come up with a fresh look. Next thing, shop responsibly, meaning buy only when you know at least five other outfits that could go together with your new item. Lastly, look for local fashion designers, visit pop-ups, and, of course, second-hand shops.

-Thank you.

Less Is More - Welcome Minimalism into Your Life

Many different changes are continually taking place in nature every single day. Here at Biomedicanna, we believe that people are only a part of this unique system, so we must respect all the natural processes around us and change our lives accordingly, with the goal of not to interfere but to adapt. As we are stepping into spring, we dedicated an entire month of March to highlight the importance of preserving the most precious things and dropping off unnecessary and excess practices. Today we will share our insights on making specific changes both at home and in your lifestyle and focusing only on those things that are really worth it.

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We consider spring a perfect time for changes – as nature is waking up, we also have to wake up after three long months of winter laziness. However, this does not mean a simple getting out of bed in the morning; emotionally, waking up means making necessary and healthy changes. Some of the things that require the most changing and renewing are our homes after the winter, yet we are certainly not talking about layers upon layers of dust or those nasty cobwebs hanging in the corner. There are vast amounts of unnecessary things in our homes that used to cost us a lot of money and now are just hindering our lives. After all, it is very challenging to say goodbye to them, donate them, sell them, or generally get rid of them.

Nevertheless, these positive changes are necessary, and it is better to make them sooner than later as minimal life is much healthier. Minimalism is a lifestyle that frees us from clothes, appliances or goods which make us feel depressed and emotionally drained rather than joyful. Although minimalism has become more and more popular lately, a much more critical philosophy lies behind this trend – how can giving up things help us feel the fullness of life?

Minimalism - Passion, Mission, or else?

For quite a long time, Minimalism was known as an art, music and architecture style that opposed abstract expressionism and promoted objective, logical, and schematic solutions. Clean lines, geometrical shapes and repeating patterns all moved the focus from work itself to the environment in which it gets positioned, played, or demonstrated. Soon enough minimalism was thought about as modernism as the majority of minimalistic art creations were made out of such materials as concrete, glass, metal, etc. Minimalistic movement gradually grew into the worldwide notion that less is more and throughout the years it, of course, crushed all of the borders and dominated more areas than just visual and performing arts. 

Fashion was one of the first areas to which the minimalistic virus spread. Designers soon started to position fabrics and forms over the functionality (these scales later shifted significantly) and create clothing using only monochromatic tones: black, white, grey. Massive social and political changes accompanied the fashion industry’s shift from an overload of accessories to simplifying everything that gets on the runway or in high-street shops. While we are not going to focus on different perceptions of minimalism in fashion, we definitely must highlight its influence on widely acceptable social practices. With growing consumerism and massive amounts of trash and non-recyclable materials accumulating each day, minimalism has also become a way of life destined to have as little belongings as possible and discover many more noble things.

Minimalism - Emotional Attachments and Decluttering

Minimalism from one perspective may seem like complete nonsense, yet from the other, it is a way to help the planet while at the same time helping ourselves. Being generally described as a way to find freedom, the minimalistic approach suggests people live with as little belongings as possible because it allows them to live in a more spacious environment directly and figuratively. Minimalists refuse to own any excess stuff and choose to invest in themselves and their families, friends by creating precious memories rather than holding onto meaningless possessions.

Nevertheless, this lifestyle does not mean disowning everything or being altruistic - minimalists advocate for a simple but not dull environment. You can still have some necessary belongings, yet you should be willing to get rid of things you have not been using for more extended periods. As nowadays we can rent almost anything for as long as we need, the whole idea of owning those things and paying full prices is just silly.

Many people, not only minimalists, know that personal possessions often cost us tremendous headaches and other problems. Our belongings trap us in a vicious circle of indecision, and the more we own, the more helpless we are. The truth is that unnecessary things clutter both our living space and mind, making us worry and overthink as we cannot think straight about organizing them in real life and our minds. Things around us distract us from everyday tasks and, of course, from quality self-care, making us more prone to depression and other mental illnesses.

Getting rid of everything we have to carry on our shoulders will increase our happiness and free our time, but this process is complicated even for professional psychologists. We are struggling to say goodbye to our belongings as we have individual relationships with them. We emotionally attach to things that we link with emotions and experiences when we should either carry those emotions in our hearts and thoughts or get rid of them at all. It takes a lot of time and courage to cut the chains connecting us to our possessions, but in a longer perspective, it is worth it. 

Minimalism - a Mental Shield from Acquiring Too Much

Minimalism is both a way of thinking and a way of like, because in both cases, we detach ourselves from the unnecessary and leave only those who are worth it and enrich our lives. Yet, we would not have so many things if we did not acquire them in one way or another. Many people still think it is appropriate to bring bulky household items or useless souvenirs as gifts - such pieces will only accumulate dust and use space, but their value is little to none. It is quite hard to say goodbye to gifts from our family members, friends or colleagues as we mentally link such items with the love we get and fear to lose these connections while getting rid of things we neither use nor need. In such situations, we must live as an example as we start gifting others our attention, positive emotions and experiences rather than useless stuff. 

Next, we can buy such unnecessary items ourselves. While we are digging the hole and cluttering our lives, it is much easier to come out of the mentioned situation when compared with getting rid of gifted items. We tend to buy things impulsively without thinking about whether we need them or not. After such shopping sprees, we quickly start to regret purchasing something, yet we stall from returning or regifting items as we link them with our labour efforts to earn money in the first place. Secondly, we start to think we may need such things in the future, so it is better to be safe than sorry and have them despite not knowing exactly when we will use them if we are going to use them. 

Minimalism is an approach condemning consumerism, which is fed to humanity every day through different channels. Various marketing strategies get into our heads and make us think we need each and everything we see in stores or online. However, there are several ways to shield ourselves from acquiring too much stuff, which would eventually complicate our lives. Firstly, we have to shop responsibly and quit making impulsive decisions. Therefore, you should think before buying any more expensive item at least for a week before making a purchase; a week is usually enough to rethink our priorities and make some changes to our shopping lists. If you still feel a great desire and need for a specific product after a week, you should make a purchase, yet if you do not have those feelings, you should leave the item sitting on a shelf in a shop. Secondly, have a monthly or weekly budget and do not dare to go over it! As we shop to mask our emotions, we should wait until we have our emotions and feelings under control to avoid impulsive shopping and unnecessary belongings in our home.

Minimalism - a Way to Say Goodbye and Improve

Not acquiring useless things or trying to do so is one thing and getting rid of them is another. Minimalism, however, takes care of both and highlights the importance of saying goodbye to things you will not need from now on to the future in a very focused and respectful way. You may have seen some videos where influencers share their experiences after rummaging through their belongings and choosing what to keep, sell or donate, and get rid of completely. Even if it may sound like a minimalistic approach, we still are left with plenty of stuff that will not bring any value. It is encouraging to donate particular possessions before paving a way to a landfill for them. It allows us to live more sustainably and eco-friendly; selling things before getting rid of them helps owners gather funds to invest in experiences and emotions worth more than silverware or clothing. 

The minimalistic approach to getting rid of new things is to own as less as possible but still meet your needs. One of the best ways to limit yourself to a certain number of belongings is to gather them all into one place as if you were packing and moving out, and throughout a week, only take what you need leaving unnecessary items in a pile. After a week or one and a half, take all that you have not used and get rid of them – sell, donate, or generally get rid of it if their condition does not allow them to be used for one or another. You will be surprised by how little items you are regularly using versus how many just take up space without doing anything useful. Remember, you should not limit yourself to a hundred or fifty belongings just because professional minimalists do so – start by making small steps to achieve significant results both emotionally and physically. 

Minimalistic approach frees us from unnecessary items which haunt us every day – be brave to say goodbye to them once and for all. Carefully plan and rethink your priorities to live more happily and healthier. Mental freedom is just as important as decluttering your physical environment, yet the first is sometimes harder to achieve. We encourage you to try our products to relax and help yourself develop better and more valuable solutions for your outer comfort and inner peace. 

The Ugly Truth About Summer

Welcome to summer allergy season! Spring’s over, but you’re still stopped up, sniffly, and sneezing. Or You may feel as though you have year-round allergies, and you may be right… See what's most likely to be causing you to sneeze and wheeze as the months go by. It keeps going long after April’s showers and May’s flowers are gone. Many of the same triggers are to blame. Once you know what they are, you can take steps to get treated.

Pollen Is the Biggest Culprit

Allergic to tree pollen? Trees are usually done with their pollen-fest by late spring. That leaves grasses and weeds to trigger summer allergies. Although tree pollination can begin as early as February, it can last through May. That means you might need to slog through spring allergies for four long months. Grass pollen can also emerge this time of year in some parts of the country.

The type of plant to blame also varies by location. Those most triggering plants that likely to make you sneeze or sniffle during the warmer time of the year include:

Plants

Grasses

Ragweed is one of the most common summer allergy triggers. It can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind. So even if it doesn’t grow where you live, it can make you feel bad if you’re allergic to it.

Nevertheless, not only flowers and pollen can trigger most symptoms:

Smog: It’s Worst This Time of Year

Summer air pollution can make your symptoms worse. One of the most common is ozone at the ground level. It’s created in the atmosphere from a mix of sunlight and chemicals from car exhaust. Summer’s strong sunlight and calm winds create clouds of ozone around some cities.

Critters That Sting Are More Active

Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, fire ants, and other insects can cause allergic reactions when they sting. If you have a severe allergy, a run-in with one of them could lead to a life-threatening situation.

Insect bites usually cause mild symptoms, like itching and swelling around the area. Sometimes they lead to a severe allergic reaction, though. Your throat feels like it’s swelling shut, and your tongue might swell. You could feel dizzy, nauseated, or go into shock. This is an emergency, and you'll need to get medical help right away.

Tiny Things Grow in Warm Air

Molds love damp areas, including the basement and bathrooms. Their spores get into the air and set off an allergic reaction.

Microscopic insects called dust mites peak during summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and nest in beds, fabric, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air and set off sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.

Although the Summer is already in its mid-run, and it seems as June has passed like it wasn’t even there, but for someone who suffer from summer allergies will know what it means like when you can’t wait for the day to be over.

Let’s see what each month of summer has in particular; and which plants bloom specifically on each month, when talking about allergies:

JUNE

June is a key grass pollen month in many areas, and it's likely that grass pollen will start to trigger your spring allergies by this time of year if it hasn't already. As the days get longer and the temperature gets higher, you'll probably want to spend more time outdoors. If you suffer from spring allergies, you may have good days and bad days — the temperature, the rainfall amount, and even the time of day will affect grass pollen levels, and you'll need to adjust accordingly.

JULY

The good news is that by July, grass pollen should sub-side and you might feel like your spring allergies are finally becoming manageable again. The bad news is that July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds, so if you're allergic to molds and spores, too, you may feel like your allergies never end. Mold can grow on fallen leaves, compost piles, grasses, and grains.

Mushroom, Moss, Mini Mushroom, Sponge, Autumn

AUGUST

August is a prime month for people with summer allergies to mold spores, which peak during hot, humid weather. You might want to stay inside on days when the mold spore count is particularly high. The best way to keep away from these allergens is to run the air conditioning.

Talking about late summer, August is very related to September, because they are both almost transition to Autumn and even Winter:

During the late summer/early fall ragweed is the most common cause of Autumn allergies. Depending on where you live, ragweed-fueled Autumn allergies can start already in August and continue through October and possibly November. Pollen grains are lightweight and spread easily, especially on windy days. The more wet and windy autumn is in your area, the more easily the pollen spreads, and the worse your symptoms will feel.

What’s the solution?

Avoidance

Take steps to avoid seasonal allergens. For instance, use an air conditioner with a HEPA filter to cool your home in summer, rather than ceiling fans. Check your local weather network for pollen forecasts, and try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high. At times of year when your hay fever is active:

It’s also important to avoid cigarette smoke, which can aggravate hay fever symptoms.

CBD

When allergies won’t let up, more and more people are using CBD for allergies to help them manage their symptoms naturally. Using CBD oil for allergies may help you avoid having to take medications that can leave you drowsy. CBD is fast becoming a popular way to promote a better balance throughout the body. To understand if it’s right for you, however, it’s important to know exactly what it is:

CBD Oil For Allergies

As interest has increased in the healing properties of cannabis, attention is being paid increasingly to cannabidiol, also known as CBD, one of over 100 active compounds in the hemp plant. Industrial hemp is a close cousin of marijuana, but the difference between hemp CBD and THC is that hemp has trace THC amounts of no more than 0.3% concentration by weight (by comparison, marijuana can have concentrations over 30%). This means there’s no such thing as a “CBD high” — it’s perfect for letting you explore the benefits of cannabis without risking a psychoactive effect or failing a standard drug test. This makes CBD great for allergies, if you have to get back in the game fast.

Allergies And The Immune System

When you use CBD oil for allergies, you’re using it to promote a better immune system. An allergic reaction is when your immune system responds to the presence of a foreign substance, an allergen. This response to the allergen results in watery eyes, a runny nose, increased sinus pressure, puffiness, and difficulty breathing — all the symptoms allergy sufferers are familiar with.

CBD for allergies should not be used as emergency intervention in the case of an acute allergic reaction or anaphylactic event. In these cases, medical intervention is needed, and CBD is a supplement and not a drug. Daily use of CBD supports a healthier endocannabinoid system, which in turn, helps regulate your body. It is this regulating effect that makes it so effective for those who suffer from allergies.

The best cure is most often prevention, that means making sure the immune system is strong and healthy before an attack occurs. CBD oil for allergies is best taken daily as part of a self-care routine. Here are couple of ways to include it in your daily regime:

Remember one very important thing – allergies don’t just happen. They take months or even years after exposure for your immune system to develop an allergic response to an allergen. A healthier immune system is less likely to create an exaggerated threat response. When taking CBD for allergies, you’re prompting your endocannabinoid system to create a boosted immune system.

Take care of yourself. Stay healthy!

Yours, truly

Biomedicanna Team

If You have any question, contact us!