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Together For Our Planet campaign announces Wales’s award-winning green small business



Onesta with product

CLOTHING business Onesta will be highly commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition today at a special awards ceremony hosted by Intuit at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow.

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own climate commitment.

The lifestyle brand, based in Carmarthenshire, Wales, were highly commended in the micro business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing eco-friendly materials locally, removing toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and re- purposing fabric scraps to make sustainable products for Surfers against Sewage.

Gabriella Diana, CEO and Founder of Onesta, said:

“It feels great to be part of a group of like-minded businesses that have come together for the good of the planet. The community and resources make a difficult challenge seem attainable.

“Saying you will do something is the easy part but joining together and making those changes, holding ourselves accountable, is what makes a Hero of Net Zero. We are honoured and incredibly grateful to be selected as a finalist and honoured to be invited to the awards ceremony at the COP26.”

Onesta won over the competition judges for their actions taking great strides in limiting waste in their business using circular economy principles and for reducing their carbon footprint by a tangible amount.

The business provides high quality, timeless clothing for men and women. Onesta meaning honesty represents their transparent approach to work; from the way they source and make clothing to protecting workers, the environment and upholding animal welfare.

The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The competition was supported by BT, SSE and NatWest Group, who contributed a prize package worth £4,500 for the winners in the micro business category, PPE manufacturer Design Abled, of Stanmore, in Harrow.

The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith. He is today due to present Onesta and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with awards and celebrate their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus.

The event will be live streamed from 11.45am on the UK government’s YouTube channel. 

UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said: 

“I am delighted to be celebrating The Heroes of Net Zero today at our special COP26 event. Representing a diverse range of industries and locations, the finalists spotlight the actions that UK businesses of any size can take to cut their own emissions and help us build back better.” 

Chris Leahy, Global Corporate Affairs Leader at Intuit QuickBooks said:

“UK small businesses will continue to play a critical role in building a more climate-positive future and we are proud to have sponsored these awards to showcase the winners’ great achievements. We will continue to work closely with SMEs, to support them as they commit to carbon reduction through our partnership with Together for Our Planet.”

Gabrielle Ginér, Head of Environmental Sustainability at BT said: 

“I am very pleased to see that so many small businesses have signed up to net zero targets. The winners showcased innovative and inspiring ways of reducing their impact on the climate and environment. I hope they will serve as exemplars for many more small businesses to take climate action.”  

Nikki Flanders, Managing Director of Energy Customer Solutions at SSE said:

“The Heroes of Net Zero competition has been a great opportunity to celebrate success and inspire businesses across the UK to take action. We’re excited to work with winners Design Abled and VMI.TV, helping them to further accelerate their journeys to net zero with our Energy Manager consultancy.”

James Close, Head of Climate at NatWest Group said: 

“It is inspiring to see small and medium size enterprises doing so much to commit to a net zero future. Not only is it good for their businesses, it’s also good for their customers and the planet and sets a great example to others.”

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The 10 powerful stain removers you already have in your kitchen



DID you know that you can remove grass stains with bicarbonate of soda, and that milk can work wonders with juice and ink stains? 

If your fabric has a tannin stain, don’t use soap on it – and if you have protein stains such as milk or egg, then cold water and soap are the answer.

These tips and many more are included in a new, free e-book from natural cleaning product company ALLAVARE. 

The company’s founder Ed Willes has put together his definitive cleaning guide which will enable you to save money and protect the environment while removing stains with ease.

ALLAVARE makes all its products at its headquarters in rural West Wales and sells them via its website and in selected shops across the UK. The business has its roots in a book of “cleaning remedies” created in the last century by housemaid Bette Smith. 

Bette grew up in London and went into service in 1922 at the age of 14. Starting out in Belgravia, she went on to clean in some of the UK’s most prestigious houses. She made her own cleaning products following formulas passed on by her mother, and collected them together in a book.

Bette became good friends with Ed’s mum Vanessa Willes and the secret formulas in “Bette’s Book” were first produced commercially by Vanessa’s company, Mangle & Wringer. 

Now, having moved from the Cotswolds to a farm in Llandeilo, Vanessa has handed Bette’s Book and the company to Ed, who has rebranded it as ALLAVARE (from the Latin “to wash”) and launched an extended range of products based on Bette’s cleaning remedies.

All ALLAVARE’s products are sustainable and contain no harsh chemicals, petrochemical ingredients, fillers, artificial fragrances or dyes. They rely on simple, natural ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar and coconut oil. With an eye for recycling, they come in metal tins and refillable glass bottles.

Now, by sharing many of Bette’s secrets in an e-book, Ed hopes to help his customers get even more out of natural cleaning.

Ed Willes said: “We believe in helping our customers save money and protect the environment, so I decided to share many of the secrets from Bette’s Book with your customers for free. Her cleaning ‘remedies’ as she called them are simple and effective, and more people should have the chance to share in this knowledge. The e-book outlines the key types of stain and how to tackle them using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard – and it includes recipes for cleaning scrubs and sprays, loo cleaner, floor cleaner and more.”

To download the full e-book head here:

10 natural stain removers and how to use them

Bicarbonate of soda

Use for: mud, grass and perspiration

A fantastic natural stain remover. It is safe and non-toxic and works on most surfaces to clean and deodorise them. In the laundry it can be added to hand washed items to help break down protein stains. As a stain remover, make into a paste with a little water and leave on for 30 – 60 minutes.


Use for: grease stains

Sprinkle onto fabric and rub gently. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes and brush off. Launder as normal.


Use for: tannin stains

Mix glycerine 50:50 with water and work into the back of the stain. Leave for 30 minutes. Launder as normal.


Use for: juice stains and washable inks

The original enzyme cleaner.

Lemon juice

Use as a: mild bleach

Apply directly to the stain and leave to dry. This is particularly effective on white fabrics and if left in the sun works doubly fast. On coloured fabrics a colour test is recommended.

Eucalyptus oil

Use for: grease stains, oil and tar

A naturally distilled oil. Add a few drops directly to the stain and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rub gently for thick tar stains. Air dry and repeat if the stain isn’t completely removed.

Soda water

Use for: tannin stains

Great remedy for coffee, tea, wine and other tannin stains.


Use for: grease stains

Great for collars and cuffs where it can be rubbed on prior to washing in hot water. Never use soap on tannin stains.

Washing up liquid

Use for: grease stains

It should preferably be a colourless, biodegradable, plant based detergent, which is fragrance free. Apply directly and agitate the fabric. Rinse in hot water.

White vinegar

Use as: a mild bleach

Perfect for use on urine stains as a deodoriser, mud and grass. Soak for 1 – 2 hours. On coloured fabric a colour test is recommended.

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Transport for Wales release statement about rail strike impact on services



THE BIGGSET rail strike in 30 years is predicted to bring the rail network across the UK to a halt later this month as thousands of staff stage a mutli-day walkout.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced the strike action will take place on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June, which will significantly disrupt the rail network across the whole of the UK.

More than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to take part.

Transport for Wales (TfW) is not one of the operators in dispute with the RMT however services across Wales will be seriously disrupted.

A TfW spokesperson said: “The industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means we will be unable to operate our rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.”

“The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended, with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in South Wales.”

“There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action. We will release more information as soon as possible.”

“Customers with existing tickets for travel from Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June can use those tickets anytime between now and the 20th. Alternatively, customers may claim a full refund by contacting”

“In the meantime, we are suspending sales of Advance tickets for the first three strike dates to minimise the number of people disrupted. Customers should continue to check our website, and the websites of other operators, for updates.”

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Owens Group shifts gear to join Pall-Ex Group



CARMARTHENSHIRE based haulage firm Owens Group has strengthened its service offering by becoming shareholder members of Pall-Ex Group.

The family-owned business is a renowned name in the transport industry, employing around 1,000 people across the UK. Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, commemorated with a special one-off livery.

Reaching this milestone is testament to the quality lead approach of the business and its drive to deliver constant improvements for its stakeholders.

One such advancement is the recent opening of its new flagship facility in Bynea, supporting the business with its logistics, pallet distribution, bulk haulage, and express & home delivery services.

The Group’s quality is backed up by a range of accreditations and awards, including CILT National Road Safety Award, FORS Bronze accreditation and ADR certifications.

This commitment to excellence is a value it shares with Pall-Ex Group and its shareholder members across the whole of the UK.

Owens Group joined Pall-Ex in February and took ownership of longstanding Fortec member Celtic Couriers in late 2021.

For the Pall-Ex network, Owens Group covers parts of the CF postcode area, whilst Celtic Couriers makes collections and deliveries throughout the SA postcode area for the Fortec network.

From day one, Owens Group has been a family business, founded by Huw Owen in 1972. Now Group Chairman, Huw was awarded an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to employment and the community in Llanelli and South Wales.

Overseeing the daily operation of the business is Ian Owen, Managing Director of Owens Group.

Speaking about the factors that made the business choose to become shareholders in Pall-Ex Group, Ian comments: “Being a part of the Pall-Ex and Fortec networks will give the Group another service offering for its customers, with a euro pallet option alongside the standard pallet option.

“As shareholder members, we are working with likeminded, dedicated transport companies who are all invested in the success of the network.

“We are proud to have such a successful history as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, and this is just the next step in our success story.”

Pall-Ex Group’s Managing Director – UK Business Units, Barry Byers, oversees the Pall-Ex and Fortec networks.

He visited Ian and the team in Llanelli to welcome them and to see the celebratory livery himself.

Excited to have Owens Group onboard, Barry comments: “Owens Group have a rich history of quality, pride and success and are a renowned name in UK and European logistics.

“I speak for everyone at Pall-Ex Group when I say we are very excited to welcome them to both of our networks where they will deliver excellence throughout South Wales.

“Welcoming Owens Group to our networks signifies that Pall-Ex Group’s shareholder opportunities are the best in the sector, and that our model works!”

To find out more about Pall-Ex Groups shareholder membership offering, please visit:

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