Inspiration of the Month – Have the courage to change things

A couple of days ago I went to the New Lanark to check out the historic mills that made famous by Robert Owen and his revolutionary way to conduct his business. I thought I was excited to just see the textile mills and especially the ones that are currently working. However, I was quite surprised to learn about how Robert Owen lead the way to revolutionise the industrial working and living environment of his workforse.

Inspiration of the Month - Have the courage to change things - byLiiL

At a time when business men and company owners wanted to be profitable rather than have healthy and happy employees, Robert Owen saw the benefits the happy community of worker would provide to the profits of his business. Since buying New Lanark mills from his father-in-law, Owen starts his “Great Experiment” in 1800. He reduced the daily working hours for all his employees, banished work from children under 10 years of age, introduced healthcare for all his employees, and a sickness fund alongside it, he build co-operative store so his employees could buy quality goods for fair prices, he build a school for children, introduced childcare and evening classes for working people. He and his philosophy were ahead of its time by over a century. He was world renown for his content and healthy employees with healthy and well-mannered village children and a profitable business model. He was a philantrophist, early day social entrepreneur and although currently his model of small communities of workforse might be connencted to colonies, the basic prinsiple of how to treat employees is still something every company should strive for. Listening and reading about his business model made me think how the world would be a different place if all the other textile factories worked in a similar way!

In addition to the exemplar way to treat the workforse, New Lanark was a great example of how to be nearly self-sufficient. It was built on a riverbank on a side of Fall’s of Clyde, where they produced their own hydro electricity that powered the whole mill. Robert Owen’s philosophy and work was the model for current working conditions, health care, co-operative movement and education that we currently have.

Inspiration of the Month - Have the courage to change things - byLiiL

I am extremely inspired by Robert Owen’s thinking and if you were inspired as well go check more about New Lanark and Robert Owen’s work here.

 

With love,

Lii

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What Was I Up To In August

August was again very busy for me, mostly working and working some more. I am so happy it’s finally September and I have my two little holidays to relax and rewind! I am also more excited about this blog and the direction I am going with it with more sustainable and fashion posts, as apparent from the posts in August (I hope you like it as well) and following the inspiration of new month and new beginnings.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Enjoying the Little Moments - byLiiL

I started posting Sustainable New of the Month, which is just a collection of sustainable articles I’ve found very interesting although there are many more! I shared TED talks about sustainability and talked about Sustainable Fashion terminology. I wrote reviews on Before the Flood and Chasing Coral documentaries, which I do recommend for you to watch. In addition, I wrote opinion pieces questioning whether Big brands are stealing small brand’s thunder and Why do we expect fashion to be cheap.

The FINE Deodorant - byLiiL

Otherwise, my month was slightly better with finally finding amazing natural deodorant and sharing with you the amazing Lush cuticle cream. I’ve also been really enjoying books and my friends’ company, and the little moments in life!

 

What were you up to in August?

With love,

Lii

Why Do We Expect To Buy Cheap Fashion

It is a question that makes me think almost more than any other. I expect it, even though I am trying to be a more ethical shopper. Everybody I know expects it or at least say they can’t afford to buy anything more expensive than the regular high street items. I did research into this topic and I’ve read books on it and it still baffles me, but I’ve found few points that seem to pop up with most people. I know that this is a generalisation and you might not expect fashion to be cheap or you expect it for a different reason, but I hope it might make you think about it anyway.

Used To It

We are used to buying cheap fashion. We are not used to fashion lasting us long neither in quality or style preference, and we are not prepared to pay more money for something that isn’t lasting.

We Want To Get Money’s Worth

We want to get as much for our money every month and do not see fashion as an investment piece. Unfortunately, I see this problem with many other things in life as well. Fashion used to be an investment, or rather not disposable. Garments used to cost a lot of money and people took care of their garments so they would last. Now we want new clothes for different social occasions, we want to eat and party out, we want to go to the movies and possibly buy a present for somebody. Instead of saving to buy a garment that will last years, we buy the one that was suitable enough with a great price for this month.

It is the standard we expect

It is the standardised price. I am not saying it is the standard, but rather we all have in our minds a price that we are not willing to go over in each item. With technology we expect a higher price than with fashion, nevertheless, it costing just a fragment of the selling price for the company to produce. But technology is not quite as disposable as fashion is. We do not realise that we are not paying for the item to last, but rather support the unsustainable practice of sweatshop labour and profit for the high street brands.

Extra Value

When we pay “extra” price for any item we expect it to offer more for us; either a perfect fit or a superior quality. For people to use more money on fashion (or anything else) we require more value.

Lifestyle

In today’s world, we are not used to people making clothes themselves. We are at awe if somebody can make a garment themselves, although there was a time when women were expected to know how to make garments, or we do not believe they can make the garments well. Today we don’t see those who make the garments, we can just expect them to be in the stores. Today consumers expect that shops will answer their every need and want in an instant and those shops that do will succeed. Media from fashion magazines to blockbuster movies makes us want the image and the lifestyle of those incredible women with their incredible bodies and beautiful fashion items. Department stores and high-street fashion houses offer us the fashion items for cheap to achieve the feeling of that lifestyle and our peers offer us the agreeable response when we buy new stuff all the time.

What Value Does Fashion Bring?

The value fashion brings to one’s life is fleeting. It is the experience and thrill of finding a new item that fits into the person’s lifestyle at a bargain price. Once home, if the fashion item is still favourable, it is the experience of flaunting the fashion item in front of friends and family and getting those few compliments. It is the feeling of being trendy and wearing the image of yourself that you are dreaming of. And in most cases that is it. The garment will be forgotten when new ones arrive. It is rare when I hear people talking excitedly about a fashion item that they’ve had for months (or years) unless it is an expensive designer bag/shoes. It is rare for people to have staple pieces of fashion in their wardrobes that they feel good for more than a couple wears.

I’ve heard many people say that they can’t afford to spend £/$100 on a pair of jeans and quite frankly neither can I, but then again I can spend £40 on a pair of jeans once a year or spend more on a pair that is good quality with proper durable fiber and it might last me a lifetime. I am no longer happy to pay for high street retailers profits without getting much in return. I do see that the standard price of fashion is not at a correct point because I know what goes into really making fashion and it can’t be achieved with as low a price as the high street. For me, quality and ethics are a value when I buy fashion and when I buy it I do expect it to last me long if it doesn’t I know to question the brand that sold it to me.

Pictures are from this Pinterest board.

 

Why do you expect fashion to be cheap and what are you paying for then?

With love,

Lii

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Sustainable or ethical fashion terminology can often be quite confusing. You check a website and they use a bunch of words that sound like it’s a good thing, but you are not actually sure what you are supporting there. So I decided to share few of the words here. Many of them might be familiar to you, but hopefully, some that might help you when trying to shop sustainably!

Alteration – Altering a garment to make it fit better. Sometimes this term means a place where you can get your garment altered or fixed.

Artisan – Tradition craft and ancient techniques of craft work, very skilled usually made by hand and also usually culturally based.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology - byLiiL

Ethical Fashion – Often considered as the term to describe fashion with human rights connection, however, it can mean anything including animal welfare and the environment. This is a confusing term and can mean different things to different people.

Carbon Footprint – The amount of carbon dioxide emitted through daily actions into the atmosphere.

Carbon Neutral – No carbon emission.

Circular Economy – System to minimise waste and regenerating energy through closed-loop systems.

Closed-Loop System – A system which consistently reuses its waste, therefore, doesn’t discharge any waste.

Cradle-to-Cradle – Essentially close to the circular economy and closed-loop system, but cradle-to-cradle is a school of thought which builds on the effective design of ingredients that last and can be reused and are safe for human consumption and the environment.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Fair Trade – A mark/brand for products that have been produced in fair ways; paying a minimum living wage or higher, healthy working conditions and training for employees. It is also considered an organised social movement to help battle the sweatshops.

Fast-Fashion – The mass production of garments/accessories/shoes for the high-street stores. These are produced as quickly as possible (some even in two weeks) and as cheaply as possible. Often inspired or copied by the designers or independent companies and in general are of lower quality (in material as well as make).

Natural Fibres – Fibres of plant or animal sources such as cotton, linen, wool etc.

Organic Cotton – Cotton grown without pesticides or modified seeds.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Pesticides – Toxins used to kill pests that are harmful to plants and animals. Can cause irreversible damage to the animals (those who eat the animals) and the soil.

Petroleum-based fibres – Fibres that are made of petroleum-based chemicals (plastic). Is not environmentally friendly and can have possibly toxic fibres mixed within them. Polyester, polyurethane, nylon, acrylic.

Second-hand – Items that have previously been owned.

Slow Fashion – A social movement to combat fast-fashion and mass consumerism. Generally referring to buying less and smarter, such as buying timeless pieces that are of high-quality.

Supply Chain – A chain of processes and companies involved in manufacturing and distributing fashion or any other goods.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Sustainable Fashion – A design philosophy that does not harm humans, animals or the environment, but rather is a process of creating goods indefinitely. At the moment this term is used quite loosely and can refer to designs that follow one or more various ethical/sustainable design principles; using recycled or organic fibres, not using animal products, using end-of-line fabrics and so on.

Sweatshop – A factory where working conditions can be dangerous and inhumane, often underpaid and overworked.

Transparency – Being transparent about the manufacturing of goods and the production processes, often means that these can be traceable. A movement battling sweatshop production and toxic release into the environment.

Upcycled – Used goods reused and made into something of higher value than it was.

Vegan-Fashion – Fashion that is made out of animal-friendly and cruelty-free materials. Although this sounds good, the problem often is that they use petroleum based fibres such as polyester, nylon and acrylic.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Do you have terms that you would like to share or others that you would like an explanation to?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable News of the Month – July 2017

Sea Shells For Sale: A New Source Of Sustainable Biomaterials – Discarded molluscs are a big waste that could potentially be turned into a circular economy.

Remote Sensing Technologies Key To The Future Of The Oil Palm Industry – We know that the oil palm industry can be very harmful to our environment and animals, but it is also a very productive crop meaning companies will want to harvest it. This article discusses the possibilities of making it more sustainable.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Biodegradable Cleaning Products And Eco-Friendly Plastics From Mushroom Waste – Each week more than 50,000 tonnes of mushroom waste is generated in Europe alone. How great it will be if this can be generated into something else?

Sourcemap, Provenance Harness Supply Chain Mapping, Blockchain Tech to Power Robust Traceability Platform – Traceability for brands and customers.

Meet the Company Refusing to Accept When a Lithium Ion Battery Is ‘Dead’ – Different solutions for Lithium Ion batteries to reduce wastage.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Target, Stella McCartney Strike Up New Partnerships to Drive Sustainable Textile Solutions – Research into sustainable cotton production.

British Retailer Tesco To Detoxify Clothing – How Tesco is joining other brands at aiming to remove toxic chemicals from their clothing supply chain.

The Next Step In Sustainable Design: Bringing The Weather Indoors – How nature and weather affect our mood and mental health, and the way design can support it.

 

Have you read any interesting sustainable news lately? Share them in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

Introducing – 1 Dress 14 Styles by Doo.Bla.Vey

The minimalistic and sustainable brand Doo.Bla.Vey caught my eye some time ago when they were doing their Kickstarter project, but I didn’t look into the brand until much later on. Similarly to Honest Rosie, a brand which I wrote last about, Doo.Bla.Vey is rocking minimalist principles trying to reduce how much women are buying and dumping fashion. Their vision is to “design multi functional and purposeful clothing toward a minimal, longer lasting wardrobe”. The founder, designer Jiayin Zheng, has so far only designed one dress – the W dress, but styling one dress in 14 ways seems to be so promising I am excited to see what else she will bring in the future!

Introducing - 1 Dress 14 Styles by Doo.Bla.Vey - byLiiL

Doo.Bla.Vey wants to do things ethically and they source their fabrics from surplus vendors and manufacture garments in Taiwanese factories that offer fair wages, good working conditions and skills training for employees.

I am really looking forward to seeing more from this brand, not only for what they design but to see information on their sustainable practices as well! At least they want to spread the message of reducing the mass consumption which is great! I would also like to see designs with less open back for women who would like such a choice. Check their website here and their great Instagram page here. All of the images are from those two sites.

Have you heard of Doo.Bla.Vey before?

With love,

Lii

5 Articles for Sustainability, Charity and Body Confidence

The Trouble With Charity – This post pointing out the trouble with companies using charity as a bandage on all the problems they are causing in a world is on point and a very interesting and intelligent read which will provide you with a new viewpoint.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

How To Have The Confidence To Wear Whatever You Flipping Want – Cynical Duchess writes about her experience of body positivity, self-confidence and how to feel better about yourself in a beauty controlling society.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of Sharing Your Blog With Friends And Family – A post that not only provides you with tips for telling about your blog to friends and family but empowers you to speak and be proud of what you want and like.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Entertainment - byLiiL

The Myth of Size Small – An article empowering women to think outside the size box and rather dress to look great, whilst explaining one theory why women want to dress in a size small.

Is Ethical Fashion Elitist – Questioning whether it is fair to expect everybody to afford ethical fashion.

 

Do you have any articles to share write them in the comment box below?

With love,

Lii