Saturday, 22 April 2017

Earth Day - A Rant & A Plea

Today is Earth Day. A day we all should take as an opportunity to do something for the planet that is feeding, housing and clothing us, that is providing for us. Without Earth and her generosity, we would not exist. And we are a part of nature, not apart.

Which is why today I would like to ask you to consider your consumption habits. To maybe start doing one fashion related thing for more sustainability.

When I started looking at the production of fashion, especially the lower price tier brands I was appalled. People (mostly women) working under almost slave like conditions. And not only in so called 3rd World countries, no right under our noses here in Europe. From what I read, the U.S has their share of sweat shops too.

Toxic dyes being led directly into rivers because where they are, no one but those poor sobs that live downstream and whose livelihood depends on that river care (truth be told, in a chain of events that stuff sooner or later effects a whole many more people it just takes awhile to arrive at your backyard) Corrupt governments, sure, but I just as much blame the company that gave the order for 23445656840 pieces of a blue dyed top to sell for 4€, because let's be honest, if they can sell it for 4€ and make profit, just how much is left for the production chain? And the worker that's at the bottom of that chain? Could you live of that? Well neither can they really, even tho their country is "cheaper". They survive, just tho. Kinda. That's pretty close to slavery.

Of course, if you confront them they are all like "Oh we didn't know that, we highly value blablabla, all our contractors are asked to uphold high standards, they must have taken subcontractors etc. We Company X, are innocent". Trust me. If I know about those practises, they know about those practises. At least some seem to take steps into the right direction thanks to public outcries.

My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment and the 8 Piece Funky Wardrobe (now 12) were born because of what I found out about fashion production, the impact it has on lives and the planet and a good hard look at myself, my whys and my hows.

Once I started to speak out (moderately I thought) about these things and promoted less shopping and consumption, I became somewhat of a persona non grata. Ehmbeh, I calculated that in. It doesn't take rocket science to understand that for a company that survives by making the ordinary people buy always and ever more crap (it's crap, mostly, that doesn't last you the season) a blogger that talks about mindful spending & consuming and aiming for less but better isn't the best promoter. Some "co-operations" I cancelled on my own because I - just - couldn't. Others I would have kept, but alas the company decided otherwise. I don't regret my decision. The Earth and the people that are suffering so we can have masses of cheap products, fashion or otherwise, are worth more to me than what I got from some of these co-operations.

So today on Earth Day I would like to ask you to do some research yourself into the conditions under which the big mass of clothing is made. Research local alternatives. For Germany/Europe: I've bought some items from Hess Natur and am happy with the quality. They also offer for today to either save 20% or donate 20% of your basket to WWF.

If you cannot afford the prices of some eco labels, I understand, especially in regards to kids clothes, so just consider buying less. Really think about whether you having those additional two tops is worth the price that's behind that small price tag. Maybe you can just be as happy in your other tops. Beauty doesn't come from fancy clothes alone.

Start with one small thing today that changes your habits towards more eco-friendly. It doesn't have to be clothes necessarily, but hey, this was/is a fashion blog, so that's my entry point. And don't tell me that you are just a small wheel in the machine, that you alone cannot change the world. Because I will reply you "Right, but when you start and I start and 100.000 other people start ... that's surely going to make an impact." I always have to think about the ending of Bug's Life in those cases. The single ant wasn't stronger than the grasshopper and so they lived in fear and servitude. Once they realised that they are a hell of a lot more ants than grasshoppers ... well the reign of the hoppers ended.

Some things to start today:

- buy less
- walk more
- turn of the tap whilst brushing those teeth
- turn of the light when you leave a room and don't go back immediately
- plant something
- research clothing production
- research food production (do you know what goes in there and how it's sourced, i.e. palm oil?)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Funky 12 Piece Wardrobe for April 2017-18

Okay, so as promised, here is the new list. Since it is already April, I'll run it until April 2018. Buying only 12 major pieces of clothing/shoes/accessories is the goal.

As with last time I did this, replacements of basic articles like simple t-shirts, longsleeve or tank tops, underwear, socks, that simple black pair of leggings are fine. However just like last year I will try to avoid buying socks since I didn't really make a dent in my stash. Could, sure by tossing some out, but I don't see the point in being wasteful either. Swapping clothes doesn't count towards the limit.

Honestly, with continued practice, not buying seems to become easier, so I have hopes of being able to do better this time around. I've been to Germany over Easter and I can proudly say I didn't buy a single piece of clothing or accessories. So the money I saved can go towards one really fancy thing from my wish list. And thus, without further ado, here it is:

My "Want to Buy" - List:

- A Black or Brown Satchel Style Bag

The one I currently have is starting to fall apart and the brown ones I tried didn't last longer than a couple of months before serious damage happened Honestly I've been very Bazinga about buying bags in the last months, so I don't think I'll have any troubles holding out for the perfect one

- Maxi Skirt

I have the perfect for me maxi skirt. But it has some ironing damage. Thus I need to replace it. A maxi skirt for me is a very delicate matter (like all bottoms) so I'll definitely hold out for the right one. Black would be the color of choice, but we'll see.

- Knee-length Skirt

A "I can do anything in this" skirt. Lounging on the meadow, having a stroll in the city, going to a party... Preferably boho compatible. Again, I'm in no rush other than feeling the drag of winter dressing.

- Grey Skinny Jeans

Mine have ehr issues. I don't want to wear them anymore. Doesn't feel comfortable pulling them up all the friggin' time. The grey pair is washed out beyond belief and has some discolouring going on. I wouldn't mind that so much, but as I said, they are uncomfortable.

- A Pair of Cowboy Boots

What can I say, I've become a true boots fanatic. I almost never wear high heels anymore.

- A Silver Ring

Okay so actually two. One for my left middle finger and one midi ring for my right hand. I want the metal to be at least Sterling Silver and maybe with a real gem for the normal ring.

That's pretty much it on my "Want"-list for the moment. I'll leave the rest open to surprise "Oh my gosh, look at this..." encounters with things to adorn myself.

As an aside, I'm going to extend this project to books and try to limit myself to at most buying 1 book per month. Not because I think you could ever have enough books, but because I have a huge back log of unread ones that I want to tackle this year.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

What I read on the Internet #21

Wear your best personal Feng Shui Color - Okay, I've got  problem here ;-)

How to Break Fast Fashion Addiction, Interview with E. Kline (Overdressed)

Is Organic Cotton Really Better?

60h/week Child Labour for Fast Fashion

Eco-Fashion Predictions for 2017 - Ecouterre

How To Stop Shopping - Jenny Mustard *Video*

Herbal Hair Rinse - Basmati Tea for your locks

Real Talk about Real Love - Danielle LaPorte & Terri Cole *Video*

The BlaBlaMeter - For all writers, this is a tool to figure out how much BS is hiding in your text ;-)

Nifty Infographic about the Brain

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

What Happened to the No Shopping List & Style Changes

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you cannot help but have noticed that my style has changed quite a bit in the last year. And I'm obviously not talking only the hair color here. For which, by the way I'm still unsure what to do. Keep them blond or go back to red? Right now I don't even know if I want them short anymore. They are a mess.

Anyway, my style changed. Take it as a reflection of inner changes that started some time ago, got a big boost in Summer 2015 and then slowly became an integral part of my life. With some labour pain. Transitions can be awkward and uncomfortable if they mean leaving an old lifestyle behind that you've grown used to. That feels comfortable because you know it so well. That is ... safe. Sort of. Only that it isn't because it keeps you in a rut. And 2016 has been one long slow transformation and rebirth process for me. Honestly, 2017 couldn't have happened too soon.

But I digress again. My style changed and obviously not everything from my old wardrobe was of interest anymore. The purging that accompanied my Capsule Wardrobe Experiment helped because I pretty much only kept those things that fit my current style vision of myself and what I wanted to communicate to the world about my inner workings.

In retrospective, maybe that unhappiness with my then current style catalysed the wish to try a capsule wardrobe. If you ever think about doing a somewhat radical style change, I'd recommend doing a round or two of capsule. It did teach me a lot.

So what happened to the "only some restricted shopping allowed" in wake of a style overhaul?

Well, I failed. And I didn't.

The good news first. Most of the items on my "No Shopping" list have indeed not been bought. Up till today I didn't buy any tank tops, bags, shoes. Actually, by now I've gone a full year without buying new shoes. I have one "new" cross body bag, which I got from a swap with my sister. And I got rid of 3 bags from my stash that where either broken or outgrown. So far I haven't replaced the two bigger bags as nothing really called to me.

And I did not buy the following from the "Limited Shopping Allowed" list: platform sandals (and I think I'm gonna pass entirely). The perfect for me black skirt. I'm still searching for that one. Otherwise fancy tops. No fancy tops.

Now the "bad" news. Other than a pair of high waisted black pants, which I found thrifting, I did buy 3 pairs of harem pants. I bought one graphic print sweatshirt because it was way colder during one week in Germany than anticipated. I bought several pieces of silver jewelry but I solemnly swear they are all meaningful to me and I plan to wear them for a long time. In fact, I've basically been wearing the same pieces over and over. So there's a big box of custom jewelry going towards the "winter sister swap". A new maxi dress that was just too enchanting to pass up. I also got a new long cardigan, a pullover. With all of that, I'm afraid I'm already slightly (*cough*) past my 8 pieces. Sigh.

Oh well. The good thing is, with the set goal of what I need and what I don't, I was able to be much more intentional with my shopping. And way less impulsive. A lot more went out then in. 

I will make another list for 2017 and try my best to stick with it this time, because I found it beneficial in a lot of ways. For example the above mentioned curb of impulse shopping. The emerging ability to spend my money consciously on things that are in support of my values instead of just filling up the trunk with cheap trends. Actually saving money to spend on experiences.

So how was your year 2016 fashion wise?

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