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 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.
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.
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?
It is quite unbelievable that I am only learning about this amazing mall, in Sweden Eskilstuna, now, when it has been open since the year 2015! As the title says there is a mall that solely sells repaired and recycled goods, in addition, they actually recycle and repair the items in the mall. How cool is that?!
The mall takes household item donations, which they then sort into workshops to be recycled or repaired and then sold in their boutiques or if there is no use to the donations they send them to the recycling centres. They have 9 running stores and 3 small pop-up stores that sell anything from furniture, computers, clothes, building materials, toys, you name it. In addition, they have the organically focused cafe and a restaurant to feed the hungry shoppers and educational centre, conference hall and a meeting room.
The team behind the mall is aiming to “make it the best town to handle waste-management” and hope the customers will bring in their unwanted items and stay to look for what they would like from the stores available to them. This sounds so exciting I wish there would be one in every town! It creates jobs and reduces the waste burden on the local governments. This is a great effort to make a whole town more sustainable!
I wonder whether this kind of a mall would be successful in a town where people are not as sustainably conscious and happy to buy second hand? Would you like to visit a mall like this?
You can read more about the mall from here1 and here2 and visit their (unfortunately it is all in Swedish) website, picture from here.
Many of us wish we knew more about sustainability, ethics and how to protect our planet, but with contradictory information, it can be difficult to know what we should do. I compiled here a number of free online courses, as you know how much I love them, which you can take to learn more about sustainability. Choose the one you like!
- Sustainability, Society and You – Join us for an introduction to the major global issue of sustainability and discover how you can have a real impact on our future.
- Introduction to Sustainability – This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations.
- Making Sense of Climate Science Denial – Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.
- The Science and Practice of Sustainable Development – Learn the science and policies that drive sustainable development and how leaders can work to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
- Food Security and Sustainability – Learn how to apply systems thinking to improve the environmental sustainability of food production systems.
- Circular Economy: An Introduction – Learn how to contribute to a sustainable economic system by implementing novel business and design approaches. Concentrated on design.
- Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation – We will debunk common assumptions around what resources are needed to begin acting as a social innovator.
- The Age of Sustainable Development – Gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
- The Meat We Eat – The Meat We Eat is a course designed to create a more informed consumer about the quality, safety, healthfulness and sustainability of muscle foods and address current issues in animal agriculture in developed and developing countries.
Do you like takin free online courses?
I stumbled upon Anek. (Anekdot) by scrolling through Instagram and started following instantly ones I learned it’s sustainability merits. Not only are the pictures beautiful and inspiring, the brand has some excellent sustainability credentials.
The feeling you first get from the Instagram account is easy, lazy summer days, beautiful and a little bit sneak peak. I could easily like every single photo I see! Already in their Instagram bio they assert to fight the mass-production and it’s mediocrity in craftsmanship. Great, right! Well, a closer look at their website got me even more excited. It is a brand created by a Swedish-born Sofia, who studied in Italy and got her experience in London. She maintains the brand from Berlin, where she handcrafts every single piece sold. The materials used in every piece are cleverly sourced from production leftovers, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock and vintage trimmings. This means the collections are designed based on what is available and therefore many items are very unique.
I loved the look of the lingerie but was quickly disappointed by the sizing of S-XL, which is not often suitable for a woman with a bigger bust. I hope at some point, as they are making each garment for the customer, that they would also make it to the measurements and more colour! I would definitely be first in line to try that!
I got really excited about their bikini line, especially with the Versatile bikini, which could be worn in many different ways and is made out of quality performance fabric!
And the reason I wanted to write about this brand is their transparency. There are so many sustainable brands, who are not quite as honest about how they source their materials. With Anek. they tell with each of the garments how they sourced the materials and from where, even if it is not sustainable, which is absolutely fantastic! It definitely makes me trust the brand much more and I feel stay tuned to what they get up to in the future! Find the brand website here.
Have you heard of Anek. before?
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.
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.
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.
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. 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?
Happy New Year! I know I am a bit late, but this being the first post in this year I just had to celebrate it! As I was working very hard just before the holidays, I spend my free time literally just resting, relaxing and eating. I had planned to make goals for the following year and lot’s of other things that I don’t usually have time for, but hey ho, the relaxing really rejuvenated me and now I am ready for this year. Last year was the first when I really made goals. I was not happy with my life at that point, mainly because it had no direction and once I had thought about where I want to get I started making goals to keep me in focus. Turns out last year, although many would say was hard and unfortunate, was for me personally enjoyable and successful. I am pretty sure this is due to making goals and not using time on something I don’t see has any place in my life. So naturally I made goals for this year as well and will share few of them with you.
If you have been reading my blog, you might have noticed that I like to develop myself, my skills and learn new things. So most of my goals are in some ways to do with self-development.
- Learn German – I have been studying german on Duolingo for ages, but I always seem to forget to do it and fall back. Now I am planning to really stick with it raise my fluency score.
- Read 24 books – This was my goal last year, but I felt short of it by 3 books. I got stuck on a book, which wasn’t bad it just wasn’t moving forward. This year I will beat this goal!
- Do yoga consistently on a weekly basis – I love doing yoga, but when I get busy and tired I talk myself out of it. I know how good yoga is for me, so I need to be stronger than that and get a grip. 3 times of yoga a week and I am sure I will feel better!
- Develop my photography skills – I’ve had some lovely comments here on my photography, which I absolutely love to read. I like taking photographs and I want to improve in it. Mostly I want to improve the style of my photography and train my eye to take good photos.
- Learn more about sustainability, especially withing textiles – I need to read more blog posts, articles, books and watch documentaries on this. Although, I think often that I know a lot I know I have only scratched the top of the issue.
- Learn to keep plants alive and thriving – I love plants and flowers, but do not seem to be able to keep most of them alive. I seem to be over watering everything except for my succulents which I leave week after week unwatered and they are thriving. I will get a book on how to care for my plants and will do my best at keeping them alive. If there is anybody who would like to help me with this I would love some advice!
What are your goals this year?
I am still gathering my thoughts after last week so I will rather share these 4 articles/posts with you that should bring some inspiration into the start of this week. Have a good one!
20 ways to experiment with sustainable living
This post is pretty much what I would have wanted to write! Worth a read and worth a try!
All about jeans and sustainability
Excellent post, talking about jeans and their impact on the planet. This blog is great for all the other sustainable topics as well!
Seven Award Season Films
Lauren from My Two Pence listed seven films that she cannot wait to see and after watching all the trailers I agree with her! Especially on my list now are ‘Arrive’ and ‘The Handmaiden’.
6 Women Who Won Historic Firsts
After what happened last week, this article will hopefully lift your mind. Amazing women making things happen!
Pictures are from here and here.