Happy Favourites of October 2018

Tiger – October has flown by so quickly I didn’t even realise it started. This is largely due to one reason – Tiger. If you follow me on Instagram you already know that at the beginning of the month I got a small addition to my family in the form of our ginger kitten Tiger. He is the cutest, the friendliest, the liveliest, the craziest and the hungriest little creature, who is making us smile every day and has us sleep deprived ( who would’ve thought …). He loves to sleep in any human lap and if you put him down he either crawls back into your lap or starts running around like crazy. Also, he has a lovely loud purr that relaxes everybody. It is very difficult to leave the house with such cuteness in it!

Happy Favourites of October 2018 - byLiiL

Friends’ Wedding – My friends got married in the beginning of October and I was lucky to witness their beautiful ceremony and fun party. It was definitely a day of love and merriness and left everybody feeling happy.

Taking care of Cats – And following the wedding me and my fiance got to take care of their cats. We luckily live close to them and therefore were able to spend every day a bit of time with the wonderful felines. Meeting new animals and winning their trust is quite a wonderful experience!

Circular Economy Hotspot Conference – I got an opportunity to attend the Circular Economy Hotspot conference held in Glasgow and I was so impressed with how motivated everybody was to make our planet a better place. I got to hear a talk from Scottish First Minister about their plans for Circular Scotland, from organisations working on circular Glasgow and what the chair of United Nations Environmental Protection is planning. I also learned why recycling plastic is problematic at the moment and what innovations there are to replace plastic in Scotland. I am really impressed with all the companies collaborating to make Scottish businesses more circular! Overall the experience was amazing and really inspiring!

Happy Favourites of October 2018 - byLiiL

Watch

Fashion’s Dirty Secret – Talks, investigates and reveals some of the secrets fashion industry has and how they impact the planet. Everybody should see it to understand the enormity of the problem! I was surprised that people didn’t know there is a problem with the fashion industry. However, not so surprised to see the big brands refusing to even talk about these issues nevertheless of talking sustainability at Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Makes me a bit scared for leaving a big amount of sustainability into their hands. Watch this (available on BBC iPlayer) and then send an email to your local governmental representative requesting legislation to keep our planet safe!

Emma Watson Interviews Reni Eddo-Lodge – Emma interviews the author of “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race”. They discuss feminism and race and how why these topics are still important in our today’s society.

The Ivory Game – A documentary on Netflix telling why and how the elephants are in danger of dying of our planet. It is devastating but also very informative.

I Tonya – I watched it because of figure skating, however, there was very little figure skating in the movie. Instead, it showed how pr and branding orientated the United States is (or was I am not sure) to the point that they will not send the best athlete to the world podiums just because of their image. And how they put down the people with a bad image. It was sad and showed the problems of the poor, different and women.

Support

Bristol Cloth Crowdfunder -“What’s missing from the UK is a locally-sourced and manufactured cloth for designers to work with, and we’re setting out to change this by creating the Bristol Cloth: A sustainable, bioregional material that regenerates rather than degrades our land and natural resources.” Sounds great, doesn’t it!

Right to Repair – It is time that technology companies would let us repair our devices to lengthen their lifecycle, instead of having to buy a new one all of the time.

What were the happy favourites of your October?

With love,

Lii

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us?

Whenever I find a new fashion brand or a shop I am always excited by the imagery and marketing message they are telling me. It is obvious the modern successful brands are good at providing a persuading brand image. They get me wanting a new piece of clothing or buy into their message and it is only after the sustainable fashion movement became a driving force that we’ve learned how the fashion industry works and what we are supposed to be looking for when choosing a new product or a brand to by into. But how available is the information to the general consumer? Not very, as many companies rather through around green buzzwords rather than back them up. In the last 5 days, I’ve stumbled upon 3 new brands which sounded interesting and I had to message all 3 of them questioning the information missing from their sites and confirm whether they are as sustainable as they claim to be.

It is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and many companies like to hide things that we consumers wouldn’t like to see or we might stop buying from those brands.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

ANIMAL CRUELTY

The public outcry after we saw the tortured angora bunnies in a Chinese factory. Did those companies really not know what was happening to those animals, or were they hiding this from their consumers? Animal cruelty still happens throughout the fashion supply chains.

Leather is a very much unregulated trade, unlike fur, because the consumer presumption is that leather is always a by-product. It is often not so, especially if it’s something else than cow leather. Animals might’ve been kept in poor conditions. Fur on the other hand, due to consumer outcry, is strictly regulated even more so than wool industry. Wool, which is one of the greatest fibres can be cruel to animals. The animals can be kept poorly and shearing them is not always stress-free. In addition, some of the sheep have been bred to provide certain wool for the consumers use.

Look for brands that are selling cruelty-free products, who talk about how they treat their animals. The smaller the brand the better, as with big quantities they don’t have the time to take care of their animals.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

TOXIC CLOTHING

Do you know if your clothes are good for the environment or to you? There is a lot of information about how the production of clothes in many cases is dangerous to the labour and how the factories pollute the surrounding waters and the environment. Companies and factories have tried to keep this a secret, but the truth has come out. However, what is less talked about but as relevant is how the toxins might still be in the clothes we wear every day on our skin. You wouldn’t put toxic beauty products on your skin so how is clothing different? It is not.

When attending a talk in Berlin during a green fashion week about innovative textiles I heard a woman ask why aren’t we just coming up with a new textile which is originally good for us rather than incorporating good ingredients into textiles that are not so great?

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

I hadn’t before this thought about how toxic our clothes could be to us and it horrifies me know the way we think about fashion. I’ve come across many young women who want to find fashion that is brightly coloured, sequined, tight, different and CHEAP. Cheap clothing comes from Asian factories which do not have as stringent laws against chemicals as in Europe. The bright colours so sought for are the result of chemicals added to the die. And to transport these clothes without mould and wrinkles into our stores they are sprayed with chemicals. Manmade fibres are made with petrol based fibres that are full of chemicals and cotton is grown with pesticides. All these chemicals still exist in our clothes when we wear them and through friction and heat, they get absorbed by our skin.

We want these clothes and the companies hide these facts from us. In Europe, the law only requires companies to tell what fibres the clothes are made from, not what chemicals were used to make them. However, those chemicals can affect skin irritations, allergies and other more problematic health conditions. Some chemicals often found in our clothes: pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame retardants, other carcinogens and lead.

Read more about toxicity in clothes from Leotie Lovely, World Threads Traveler, Mochni and Eluxe. In fashion look for brands that produce clothing with toxic free dies and garments made closer to home require fewer chemicals to travel with.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

WASTE

It is widely known that the clothing we throw away becomes waste, but as recently reported to surprised and outraged consumers, companies burn the clothes they have produced too much off. It was Burberry that was under fire lately, but Burberry is only one of the many many big fashion corporations that do this. And it is not only clothes but fabrics and materials as well. When interning for a fashion company even I saw it and couldn’t fathom the waste of all the beautiful fabrics that many of us interns could’ve used on our Uni courses. And this is not talking about the waste that accumulated from designing (all the paper and energy), sampling (fabric cut offs, sample garments) and the production (fabric cut offs, thread etc.). And although that is the waste the company accumulated, you are paying for the waste. The garments are priced to cover for the waste materials as well.

Look for small brands that make fashion in small batches. This reduces the waste they create and supports their trade.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

SALE IS ONLY AN ILLUSION

It should be a common knowledge by now that outlet’s do not really sell designer clothing, but rather poorer quality clothing that they can attach a designer label on. The fact that the design labels have agreed to this is astounding, as those clothes still represent the brand even with the poorer quality.

However, what is not as commonly known are the discounts in stores. They claim to be to sell off the rest of the stock before the next season’s clothing and where that might’ve been the original reason and still one of the reasons, the bigger reason is consumers want the discounted items and wait for it. When much of the stock is sold at the discounted price the original price is steeper so that the stockholders will still get their share from the sales.

Support small brands that might not do so many sales, but who also rarely overprice their products. The customer service you get from them is also priceless!

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

CONTRADICTION TO MARKETING MESSAGE (OR GREENWASHING)

  • Using sustainability as a marketing tactic to sell products.
  • Companies providing a good message, but not doing the work behind the message.
  • Marketing a new innovation but not telling the whole truth.

Fashion companies are very skilled at branding and marketing an image that consumers want to see. That image sells, but only few will look behind the image to see whether the message is true to the core. Since sustainability and ethical fashion has become somewhat of a trend movement many companies have seen the potential to make money out of this by either selling a message that they are doing their bit for the fight (and really are not) or selling products with positive messages about saving the planet or feminism, with products that are more harmful for both. Beyonce’s Ivy Park line has been under scrutiny for promoting empowered women, but seemingly not empowering the women who made the clothes. SZA promotes sustainability and dumping plastic on clothes that are made by Champion, a company not so sustainable or one producing without plastic. Even though the proceeds go to fund the charities fighting for these problems the merchandise should not add to the problem. And then there are the feminist t-shirts that are made by women who are definitely not empowered.

Then there is the other side where small companies are trying to innovate something new and promote themselves tot he bigger audience with their innovation but leaving out information. I have been so excited to hear about fashion made out of waste products such as milk, apple waste, banana, lotus flower and seaweed. All renewable and sustainable options, however, not all are what they are marketing. Fabric made out of seaweed only actually has 4% of seaweed and the rest is cellulose, lyocell. However, at least Seacell does provide this information when looking for their specs, whereas other companies don’t. Bags cannot be made 100% out of apple waste, they need a binding agent, however, we do not read about that even though the company claims to be transparent.

Look for the information the companies tell you and question it. Ask them questions about their products and depending on their answers you can see how open they are about their products or whether they still want to hide something.

 

Ethical and Sustainable fashion is not all about making the world a better place. It is also about making better decisions for yourself and your health.

 

Unfortunately, companies are not happy to reveal information that is not entirely positive and often we might be sold something that isn’t entirely true. We can’t always blame the faces for what fashion industry is like, however, if we all question how the clothes are made, who made them and what chemicals were used to make them we might see change. Remember to share your findings with others, but to also be kind to those brands who are striving and working to be better. It is time for the fashion brands to stop hiding behind the closed doors!

Pictures by Godisable Jacob.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017

UprootedNaomi Novik

A modern fantasy story with kings, queens, dragons and wizards. The story is a fascinating tale where good and bad is not so black and white. It is a bit predictable at times, but interesting none the less. I found the protagonist a bit annoying at times and the characters are not as well developed, so the story is driven by the plotline. 4/5

The Colour PurpleAlice Walker

This book is based on a time after the slavery. It follows a woman who is passed from her fathers home to her husbands home as she is passed on. It discusses her depressive life, women’s position in the world at that time and the family life. It sounds depressive, but the plotline gets more positive the more you read it and I absolutely loved the characters in the book. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Versions of UsLaura Barnett

This book tells a story about two people with three different scenarios of how their lives might have happened and how they will end up in some way together no matter what. It discusses love, infidelity, regular family life and unsupportive relatives. This book reminded me of One Day in a way, but not as romantic. Still, it made me shed a few tears. 3/5

ParadisoDante Alighieri

The second book of the Divine Comedy tells how the protagonist is climbing into heaven through the different levels of purgatory where souls are repenting for their misgivings before they can get to heaven themselves. The third book is a bit harder to read than the first one, especially as the characters can be unknown which makes the relevance hard to understand. There is an appendix where it explains most lines, but it is even harder to go back and forth while reading. 3/5

The Secret HistoryDonna Tartt

A book that surprised me a lot! A different type of murder mystery, where the murder itself is not the mystery but the reason behind it. It is a very sophisticated book with interesting characters and setting where they study classics. Made me also interested in studying classics, or at least reading more about it. The book is long but reads well and I found every chapter interesting. 4/5

Cradle to CradleWilliam McDonough

I’ve written a whole post about this book before and you can read about it here. It introduces a design philosophy where nothing is wasted and all the ingredients are collected and reused again. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The PowerNaomi Alderman

The power is a dystopian story. It entertains the idea that women get a new part in their bodies which gives them electric powers and therefore power over men. The book follows several interesting characters both female and male through this time when men are afraid and take rash decisions to protect themselves and women get aggressive. The book provides an interesting idea of how people might react in such a situation. This was a fascinating book and I would definitely recommend reading it. 4/5

FatedBenedict Jacka

This is definitely a young adult fantasy book which follows the protagonist while he fights bad mages. Some beings in the story are interesting, but the plot is very predictable, names unimaginative and it is very cheesy most of the time and made me cringe hundreds of times. I didn’t enjoy how he wrote about women, which wasn’t rude but not considerate as well. 2/5

PurgatoryDante Alighieri

The third book of the Divine Comedy was even harder to read than the second. In it the protagonist is trying to get used to heaven, understand it and love everything, especially God unconditionally. It is hard to understand and very slow to read although it is not long. 3/5

Nicholas and AlexandraRobert K. Massie

A history book telling the story of the last tsar and tsarina of Russia. It is a sad, although, highly fascinating explanation on how they lived, what were they like and why the people of Russia misunderstood them, and how all of it resulted in a revolution. You really get a sense of what their lives were like and what it was like being an aristocrat in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Paper MagicianCharlie M. Holmberg

The story is about a young woman who has just graduated from a mage school and is now set as an apprentice to a paper mage where she is to become a paper mage herself, although she is not looking forward to that as she would rather do any other magic than paper. The story takes her on a horrific adventure to save her master and fall in love with paper magic. The storyline moves well but is naive and a bit childish. 3/5

FashionChristopher Breward

This is a book on the fashion history, however quite superficial at that. It was lead by the emergence of the designer and their fame. The book did introduce quite many interesting points on why history moved with fashion in a certain way, but it missed many other factors. The language was dry to read and therefore the book was not very enjoyable. 2/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

What books have you read recently?

With love,

Lii

Fashion Revolution Week

I am sure all of you have seen “Who Made My Clothes?” posts on Instagram and Twitter for the past couple of days. If you haven’t, you should definitely read this! As I’ve written before and many others before me, fashion is a very polluting industry and can be very harmful to the human race as well. People who make clothes for the many multimillion-dollar fashion companies do not get the same benefits as the companies do. Mostly these people work in unsafe environments, are treated inhumanely and do not even get compensated accordingly. When shopping for fashion we rarely stop and think about this, however, for some, it is their everyday life.

Fashion Revolution and SUSS Kickstarter - byLiiL

Fashion Revolution is a movement to change this and for the week of 24th to 30th of April they ask everybody to ask “Who Made My Clothes?”. Sometimes the answer can be easy. There are many designers who boast about their local production and hand-made goods. In most cases, however, this is not so easy to answer. Big companies like to hide their manufacturing practices. It is not really media friendly when people find out that the company has been exploiting children or the building collapsed killing hundreds of their employees. So it is left up to us, the consumers to put the pressure on these companies to change the way they do their business.

Fashion Revolution and SUSS Kickstarter - byLiiL

To join the movement and change the way fashion companies do their business ask them “Who Made My Clothes?”. You can learn more about the movement from the Fashion Revolution website, including the Fashion Transparency Index, the garment worker diaries, information what the price behind your garments means and much more. I spent literally the whole day perusing this website. In addition, you can check their Instagram account to follow the journey of the movement.

Fashion Revolution and SUSS Kickstarter - byLiiL

Additionally, you can support those brands who are being transparent and are trying to make a difference. I’ve posted about SUSS Instagram account before and how they have the greatest tips to be a more sustainable fashion shopper. Well, now they are in the process of starting up “A pop up concept store promoting a lifestyle for a healthier and happier planet.” How amazing is that?! I can’t wait! And if you want to support them you can fund them on Kickstarter until Monday 1st of May. So hurry up!

How do you support sustainable fashion?

With love,

Lii

5 Easy Sustainable Fashion Changes

Following from the 5 easy sustainable changes I wrote previously I thought of sharing some advice relating to fashion items, which are much more of the interest to me.

5 easy sustainable fashion changes - byLiiL

1. Only wash your clothes when you really need to wash them. Clothes do not require to be washed often and especially if you have them from natural fibres (cotton, wool, silk, linen) they are good for much longer than synthetic fibres, which often make people sweat more. Air your clothes well after wear instead and they may last you longer and in better condition.

5 easy sustainable fashion changes - byLiiL

2. Investigate what clothes you really like to wear. Look into your closet and check which clothes you wear often, what style and colour they are and, which ones you rarely or not at all. Knowing the style of clothing you are comfortable with will help you when you shop, as it can reduce impulse buys of trendy fashion that you might not actually wear in the end. So really dig into why you like and don’t like particular clothing. Good examples for this are this anti-haul post and this spring wardrobe post.

3. Take care of your garments. Repair the rips, sew back buttons, take them to the seamstress to fix bigger problems or fit it to your shape and clean as instructed. Did you know that many people would rather through the garment away rather than sew back a button, which is easy and pretty quick to do as well? Caring for our garments will make sure they last longer and will not end up filling our landfills.

5 easy sustainable fashion changes - byLiiL

4. Invest in pieces that you know you will be wearing a long time. I would say do this after the number 2, once you actually know what you like and feel comfortable wearing. I find that when I invest in clothing I take much better care of them, I spend money on things that I really want and can see myself wearing a long time. Not always, but often when you spend more on a garment it is made with good materials and craftsmanship, unlike the high street garments on the market which are designed to fall apart after few wears. Check this post out.

5 easy sustainable fashion changes - byLiiL

5. Donate and sell the garments you are no longer wearing. There are so many charity shops which will take all your donations and either resell them or recycle them into a new use. Many of the garments we are not wearing can be also sold to new owners who will love them. You get rid of an item you don’t like without it landing on the landfill and get money for it! Ebay and Depop are good places to check where you can sell your items.

 

Do you have any additional sustainable fashion changes to my list?

With love,

Lii

Inspiration of the month – Iris

It is hard not to see Iris Apfel in the media. The bright, colourful old lady with an attitude. I got intrigued when I saw Netflix showing a documentary about her and while watching it I got inspired.

Inspiration of the month Iris - byLiiL

Iris Apfel has the right attitude in life, it is an experiment and the whole point is to be happy. She does not really shun people for the way they get dressed ‘as long as they are happy’, but the fashion in general for everything looking the same. And this is what I have thought for a while now whenever trying to shop for clothes. No matter what shop I go to, I always see the same stuff. How boring!

Iris Apfel sees the world differently. She sees how the designers and the media are moulding what we should be wearing and how we should be behaving, and we listen blindly. She celebrates her wrinkles for the experience and wisdom she has collected them with and she dresses as extravagantly as what makes her happy or suits her mood. It is no wonder that people love her, as she is the image of rebellion against the mainstream media and fashion (which undoubtedly will be taking inspiration from her).

Inspiration of the month Iris - byLiiL

Although, when admiring her no-nonsense attitude and the sense of experimentation with colour and style I do wonder how this irrational shopping for items so many, that do not even fit into her own house, suit into my view of sustainability. They do not, actually. Even when watching the documentary I was thinking of how horrible it is how much she was acquiring and owned. However, she did live in a different time when the problems we are fully aware of now were not a common knowledge. Shunning the mainstream fast-fashion Iris has acquired most of her collection while travelling or from interesting little shops, which has probably been local stores with local production. In addition, she is donating big amounts of her ‘collection’ to museum or curators, which means they are not hitting the landfills.

Inspiration of the month Iris - byLiiL

I would never recommend acquiring such a big collection of items of any kind, however, what I think should be taken from the documentary and Iris herself is the sense of exploration and adventure to your style and to your life. Be happy! Do not let others tell how you should be happy and live life to the full. And what I am saying, do consider the environment while you are doing it! You can find the documentary on Netflix or check more about it from the website.

Pictures are from here and here.

What do you think about Iris Apfel?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week -Gilmore Girls and Christmas

5 Ways to help you reduce your footprint

This blog post has some great ideas for a more sustainable life.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Gilmore Girls and Christmas - byLiiL

Emily Millichip

Last weekend we travelled through to Edinburgh to visit the Emily Millichip pop up shop. She is a local designer with some amazing accessories and garments in the most beautifully coloured tropical prints! And if you missed it, don’t worry. She sells a lot of her stuff online as well. Check her out here.

Gilmore Girls night

It has been hard to miss the fact that Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life came out last week. I was so excited about it, that I planned a gilmore girl day with my friends. Yummy snacks, coffee and gilmore girls for the whole day. Yey!

 

Happy Favourites of the Week - Gilmore Girls and Christmas - byLiiL

Doctor Strange

I do like to see a blockbuster movie just the same as the next person, but I am not a big fan of Marvel movies. Some of them are better than the others, but they all follow pretty much the same recipe. Doctor Strange, however, I liked. It was different, with the magic and amazing visual in the movie I enjoyed watching it!

Christmas

I think this will be on the happy favourites list for several times in a row, but I am a Christmas person. Few more Christmas decorations, poinsettia and some nice advent calendars make this time of the year very exciting!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Gilmore Girls and Christmas - byLiiL

These flowers

These flowers in this picture made me so happy. They are so beautiful!

 

What have been your favourites of the week?

With love,

Lii