OOTD: Alchemist

Scrolling down the sustainable webshop http://www.watmooi.nl I found the Dutch brand: Alchemist. Alchemist is a high-end fashion brand that makes clothing from sustainable fabrics. The brand was founded by the Dutch designer Caroline Mewe. She is based on Amsterdam. For her collections, she combines influences from her childhood in nature with the inspiration she draws from the city.

Fair and sustainable fashion is at the core of the brand. For the brand, is important to know in which countries, by which people and under what conditions the clothes of Alchemist are been made. The team visits their producers at least once a year, to monitor the conditions on site. The producers have a certificate for social-ethical business practices. Alchemist has signed the International Sustainable Clothing and Textile Covenant and is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. As a result, they are certain that the factories with which they work are controlled and that the workers work under good conditions.

Alchemist produces two collections per year, always paying close attention to the fact that the designs can easily be combined with earlier collections. Their quality requirements are high because what is well made will last a long time.

On these series of pictures, I am wearing the pink voile ruffle blouse. The pictures were made in The Netherlands by Marisa Elisa Photography.

A Sustainable Mess

Alchemist Dutch Fashion Brand

“Alchemist believes that people are not isolated beings, but are connected to their environment.”

Dutch Fair Fashion Brand

What I´m wearing:
Blouse // Alchemist via www.watmooi.nl (Use my code ‘Alisson’ to get 10% discount)
Pants & vintage sunglasses // Second-hand from a charity shop
Bag // Denise Roobol
Shoes // Toms

Use my code ‘Alisson’ to get 10% discount on the whole collection of www.watmooi.nl

With Love,
Alisson

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Washable And Reusable Products: ImseVimse

ImseVimse is a Swedish brand of reusable textile products. It started as a cloth diaper brand but it has expanded and now they make washable products for women as well.
In order to protect the environment, for all of their products ImseVimse uses cotton that is organically cultivated. Like this, they can be certain to offer clean and good products.

The production takes place mainly in Europe, primarily in Latvia and in Turkey. They impose strict demands on suppliers and manufacturers. And carry out annual checks on the working conditions in their factories. All of their products meet the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for textiles. Which means they are sustainably produced and have been tested for harmful substances.

The motto of the company is to create good products that matter and make a difference in the world. ImseVimse’s head office is based in the Swedish city Visby, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From their collection I got the following products:

IMG_1378
Pantyliners, baby bibs, washable wipes, and cleansing pads
IMG_1382
These cleansing pads are washable, ideal for makeup removing.
IMG_1390
The pantyliners are made of 100% organic cotton. These pads are perfect to combine with a menstrual cup.

From the baby collection, I use the all-in-one cloth diaper.

I hope you like this brand and give it a try.  In The Netherlands, you can buy ImseVimse at the webshop www.GreenJump.nl

With love,

Alisson

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30 Really Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic is a big problem for the environment. It ends up in landfills and it’s regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. It does not biodegrade. Ever. It just sits and accumulates in landfills and in the oceans forever.
It might be difficult to stop using plastic from one day to the other, but little by little it is possible. You don’t have to do them all every day, but every little effort makes a difference. Here are my tips:

  1. Use cotton swabs made from paper.
  2. Use a menstrual cup or reusable cloth menstrual pads. Instead of disposable tampons and pads.
  3. Use a safety razor instead of disposable razors. This is a little investment (around €30) but it will last a long time.
  4. Use soap bars for your body and hair that is sold without packaging. The shop Lush is a great place to get all your beauty goodies package-free. Even shower gel!
  5. Use body scrubs made from natural ingredients. Some scrubs are made with tiny synthetic particles called microbeads.
  6. Use make-up products that come in sustainable packagings. For example check the brand Lush or Boho.
  7. Use cloth cleansing pads instead of the disposable pads made from cotton.
  8. Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  9. Brush your teeth with toothy tabs instead of regular pasta from a tube.
  10. Use a deodorant that comes in a carton package.
  11. Wrap your food in beeswax instead of plastic food wrap.
  12. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters. Or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  13. Pack your lunch in reusable containers or invest in a set of metal Tupperware.
  14. Make your own cleaning products. I clean a lot with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
  15. Use a soap bar to wash the dishes instead of liquid soap.
  16. Buy cleaning brushes from metal and natural fibers.
  17. Avoid getting a receipt as much as possible. Some receipts are coated in a thin layer of plastic that makes them unrecyclable.
  18. Use reusable cotton bags when you do the groceries. Make sure you always have a bag with you.
  19. Don’t use plastic bags for your fruits out of the supermarket. Pack them loose in your shopping car.
  20. Pack loose vegetables like green beans, tomatoes or champignons in paper bags. Most of the supermarkets have them. But, more ideally it would be if you bring your own veggie cotton bag.
  21. Buy pasta, rice and some other dry foods in a carton box instead of a plastic package. Or buy them in a bulk store and bring your own containers.
  22. If you commute to go to work or school and can’t function without coffee, get a reusable coffee cup and use it.
  23. Get a glass or a stainless steel water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.
  24. Buy laundry detergent in a cardboard box instead of a plastic bottle.
  25. Buy clothes from natural fabrics instead of synthetic fabrics. Every time a garment made of a synthetic fabric is washed, it releases tiny particles that end in our oceans. Threatening the animals and plants.
  26. Order your drinks without plastic straws.
  27. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
  28. Use reusable cloth diapers, baby wipes, and bibs.
  29. If you are breastfeeding use reusable nursing pads.
  30. Use wooden toys instead of plastic toys. Wood is a more sustainable material and lasts long.
Picture form @simply.living.well

I hope you get inspired and see how easy it is to make little changes that have a big impact on our environment.

Interesting documentaries about these topics:
A Plastic Ocean – Watch on Netflix
Plasticized – Watch Here
Garbage Island: An Ocean of Plastic – Watch Here
Chasing Coral – Watch on Netflix

With Love,
Alisson

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What I Have Learned In Six Months Of Motherhood

Motherhood is challenging and tiring and beautiful and tiring and beautiful. Above all, it is the most magical experience I have been blessed to have. It’s been six months since I gave birth to my baby girl. She came into my life and made me do all kinds of changes in my career, attitude, and personal life. So far she made me a more happy and complete person. Here are some things I have learned:

1. I can do a lot with little sleep. Those sleepless nights during university were just a training.
2. Still, sleep is very important. When I’m short on sleep, every little thing makes me feel overwhelmed. The best that I can do is to ask for help and take a long nap. Happy and rested mama = Happy baby.
3. I can relax even though the house looks like a war zone.
4. I don’t mind the way I eat anymore. Goodbye glamour, hello eating with a spoon.
5. Sometimes I have the time to cook something, but I can only eat it two hours later. Say hello to cold food. And cold coffee. And tea.
6. I can cook, organize, feed the dog, all while carrying my baby. I have discovered a strength in me I didn’t know it existed.
7. Instead of sleeping when the baby sleeps, I relax by sitting down, picking a book, cooking, watching series. This way I really rest instead of stressing out about actually sleeping.
8. Sacrificing things for my baby has been surprisingly easy. It’s not always fun, but it’s ok.
9. Going out for a walk is the best remedy for feeling overwhelmed.
10. I don’t have much time to play with my dog anymore. That makes me feel sad sometimes. Then I just remember that this is temporary and I feel good again.
11. Grandparents are the best. So are aunts, uncles, and cousins. Family, in general, is pretty awesome to have around with a baby.
12. My breast are two magical things full of love in the form of milk. They make as much as my baby needs. I learn to trust my body and understand that it is connected to my baby’s needs.
13. Breastfeeding is beautiful. Tiring and hard, yes, but it connects in magical ways. As time passes, breastfeeding is less painful but it never stops being hard.
14. I feel very proud when I can recognize my baby types of crying. I was so scared I wouldn’t.
15. Routines with a baby are very hard to maintain. One day it works, the other it doesn’t. But it’s ok. I don’t stress about it anymore. I learn to become flexible and to go with the flow
16. Babies grow by the minute. One day she looks cute in her new outfit, the next day she needs a bigger size.
17. Every baby is different. There is no valid reason to compare your babies development to others. I celebrate my baby’s milestone in her own time.
18. I have to cut my baby’s nails every two to three days.
19. Cloth diapers are easier to use than everyone thinks.
20. It’s just a phase. That is my mantra every time we are going through a rough patch. Nothing lasts forever.
21. Babies are strong. They are not as fragile as I thought.
22. Everyone has parenting advice. It comes from a good heart. I am getting better at having the ability to thank people for their compassion and then move on.
23. It takes double as long to get ready to go anywhere.
24. Taking care of the baby is a day and night task.
25. “Is she sleeping through the night yet?” This is the most common question I get asked.
26. I might be tired and grumpy but as soon as my baby smiles at me, all the grumpiness disappear.
27. Postpartum body is different for every woman. It might take one month, three months or even one year to have your body back to how it was. But its ok. I am gentle and thankful for my body.
28. I feel proud of myself. And I realized that I am doing the best I can. That already makes me a good mother.
29. I feel blessed to have an engaged partner. He has been ‘hands on’ since my pregnancy. I couldn’t have done all of this on my own.
30. Fathers are as important as mothers. Sadly they don’t receive the same attention as mothers.

POSTED LF1_3283
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Each month is getting better and better. I get more used to the responsibility of raising a baby. It gets easier and more fun. How is it for you? Let me know in the comments below.

With love,

Alisson

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OOTD: Komodo

Strolling down the sustainable webshop www.watmooi.nl I discovered the English brand Komodo. Their goal is to design beautiful clothes and at the same time to bring fair jobs in developing countries. People who work hard to make our clothes deserve respect and fair wages. The founder of Komodo believes that it is a privilege to be able to dress stylishly. But it is the responsibility of today’s fashion designers to make that style fair and sustainable. For the garment workers and for the environment.

Komodo works according to the SA-8000 standards in the factories in Bali and Kathmandu (SA stands for Social Accountability). Because of this, you know for sure that the workers get a good salary, there is no child or forced labor, there is a safe and healthy working environment, there is a clear approach to the prevention of accidents at work, there are clean sanitary facilities and clean drinking water, there is a maximum on the number of working hours per week; no more than 48 hours and 12 hours of overtime. We might think this is obvious, but sadly enough it is not in a lot of third world country factories.

On these series of pictures, I am wearing the Remia sweater made from Organic Cotton. The pictures were made in The Netherlands by Marisa Elisa Photography.

Sustainable fashion brandSustainable Fashion LondonKomodo Sustainable Fashion BrandSustainable Fashion NetherlandsSustainable Fashion Blog

What I´m wearing:
Sweater // Komodo via www.watmooi.nl
Pants, shoes, and jacket // Second-hand
Bag from vegan leather // Denise Roobol
Sunglasses // Dick Moby Amsterdam

With Love,
Alisson

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Wat Mooi – Sustainable Fashion Favorites For The Autumn

Sustainable fashion has the bad reputation of being hippy, lumpy, itchy, hempy and unstylish. Nowadays producing ethical fashion and good looking pieces is becoming more of a priority for brands. It can be hard to look for those brands but luckily some web shops make it easy for us to find them. I want to show you my latest discovery: www.WatMooi.nl. This webshop only sells clothes from sustainable brands. Every brand chooses its own way of making sustainable fashion. Some brands pay particular attention to people in developing countries, other labels try to be gentle with the environment as much as possible. Completely sustainable does not exist yet, but it is important that some brands are doing the best they can at least.  After checking out their current collection I listed out my favorite items to make this a sustainable autumn season.

Pink ruffle blouse

This pink ruffle blouse from the Alchemist is romantic, tough and bohemian. Easy to combine with jeans or a skirt. The blouse is made of 100% viscose.

Yellow and beige sweater

Sustainable sweater Trui Wol Recycled Stripe Honey
This striped sweater from the Dutch brand Alchemist is a basic must-have for the autumn and winter. It is fairly made from recycled wool. Nice to combine with sneakers or with boots.

Pink, grey and yellow sweater

This gray knit sweater from the Dutch brand Alchemist is great for the coming season. It is made with responsible animal-friendly wool. Wool is a great material. It is soft and warm. Note: better wash it by hand.

Colorful stripes sweater


Stripes are always a good idea. The color combination of yellow, white, red, dark blue and light pink provide a real fashion look.  The sweater from Armedangels is made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.

Pink sweater

Soft pink is a color that is becoming trendy more and more. This sweater from Armedangels is made of 100% organic cotton. A lovely sweater that is easy to combine and is both sporty and classic.

Indoor baseball jacket

This baseball jacket from King Louie Organic is great to wear indoors. It is soft and comfortable. The jacket is made from natural synthetic fibers. The zipper is nickel free.

Black biker jacket

This biker jacket is made of vegan suede. This is made in Italy from PET bottles and recycled polyester. Recycling means a reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The jacket is made by hand in Portugal. So you really have a unique and timeless item in your closet that you can enjoy for years.

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for sustainable clothes and accessories you give it a try and check WatMooi out. You can shop online HERE

With Love,

Alisson

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12 Loco Things Dutchies Do Part 2

This month I celebrate that I live in The Netherlands for three years. It’s the third country I have lived in and the third one I call home. Before NL I lived in Germany. I thought I didn’t need to integrate or learn about the culture anymore. But the past three years have totally shown me the opposite. I already blogged about 12 crazy things that Dutchies do, but today, I want to share with you twelve more habits that I haven’t seen people doing in any other place I’ve lived before. Get ready!

1. Bread
Dutch people love bread. For breakfast and for lunch, bread is the Dutchies favorite food. Every Saturday before doing grocery shopping, a good Dutchie makes space in the freezer to be sure that the four extra loaves of bread will fit so a happy week can begin.  Dutchies know every trick on how to unfroze bread. The favorite trick is to put the bread on top of the heather or on a spot where a sun ray is shining.

2. A closet full of food
A typical Dutchie house has a special place, mostly under the stairs. Full of food! They call it a ‘voorraadkast’. Three pots of peanut butter, five bars of chocolate, twenty different kinds of cookies, chips, cans of soup, bottles of cola, beer, cleaning stuff… Dutchies are well prepared in case of… war? a surprise party?
Dutch Funny Habits

3. Birthday calendar
The best place to remember when ‘tante Marijke’ has birthday number sixty, is in the comfort of the toilet. Dutchies love to hang birthday calendars in their bathrooms. More precisely in the guest bathroom. It’s very handy to remind yourself that you have to send a ‘verjaardagskaart’ when you are doing your business.

4. But please only one
When you get invited to have a coffee at the house of the parents of your Dutchie partner, remember to answer with the word ‘lekker’ when they ask you if you want coffee. Besides coffee, you will be offered cookies, chocolate OR cake. OR, not AND. This means you are expected to eat only this one thing you choose. If you happen to eat more than one piece, you can expect a comment like ‘Oh, but you already had one’ or ‘you must be hungry’. It makes you feel very guilty about eating two or more pieces of sweet. This rule applies to birthdays as well. There might be three different cakes. But you are allowed to choose only one piece.
Dutch Vlaai

5. Is water not ok?
As soon as you visit a Dutchie, you will be asked ‘Wat wil je drinken?’ (What do you want to drink?). Coffee, tea, something fresh, juice? You are not even done hanging your coat and you are already welcomed with that question. If you politely answer the question with just some tap water, your Dutchie host will surprisingly repeat that you could get a soda or a juice instead. Dutchies don’t like to offer water. I guess they don’t want you to think that they are cheap?

6. Camping
A well-respected Dutchie goes or has been going to ANWB’s recommended campings of the south of France and Italy in the summer. When I hear my Dutch partner talk about camping, I imagine a tent in nature, ‘The Revenant’ style. Oh, how wrong I was. Dutchies go camping deluxe. They take their whole house with them (camping version). From cutlery, pans, pots, cups, chairs, fridge, heater, veranda to air mattress plus bed. Dutchies have all they need to go camping for weeks. The campings have, all they need to survive in nature. Washing machines, restaurants, swimming pool, disco, pubs…
Dutch Camping7. The (test) emergency alarm
Don’t be scared if you hear a frightening sound on the streets in the middle of the day. It’s not that the Hunger Games have started. It’s probably 12:00am on the first Monday of the month. The day where the emergency alarm gets tested in the whole country. Dutchies are used to it and just ignore it. I keep on fantasizing about being the chosen one to represent my district. Now for real. What happens if there is an emergency on the first Monday of the month at 12 o’clock?

8. Dus
If you want to show off in front of your Dutch friends or colleagues, just add the word ‘dus’ (‘so’) in all of your sentences. At the beginning or at the end, Duchies use the word ‘dus’ a lot! It can be used to communicate a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It can be everything from an angry stopword to a suggestive come on and more.

9. Fireworks
Most countries will have a few safe firework displays on New Year’s Eve. It starts at midnight and lasts around 20-30 minutes. And that’s it with the fireworks. Everyone can go back to the party. On the other hand, in The Netherlands, the fireworks are the party. Every year Dutchies spend a lot of money and go fireworks-mad. The steady stream of fireworks begins the 31st of December around noon. Climaxing with utter chaos at midnight. Grown-ups and !children! will light up the fireworks one after another until around 2:00am. I’ve never seen anything like this. I might be a party pooper, but this custom I dislike a lot. And by the way, my dog as well (he’s from Spain).

10. Dutch old houses… why?
Most of the old houses in The Netherlands are designed very weirdly. In theory, the idea is good. It’s all about hygiene. But in practice: super annoying. I am talking about having the toilet separate from the shower. Not only in a different room but on another floor! And how about the mini sink that you can’t actually use, so you end up washing your hands in the kitchen. And please! Why old houses have dangerous stairs?

11. Geslaagd!
Walking around the city at around June – July you will wonder two things. The first is why do Dutchies hang the Dutch flag in the middle of the summer. And the second is why is there a backpack hanging below the flag? Well, Dutchies are very proud to announce that they have a graduated kid from school. So proud the whole neighborhood should know. I think this weird tradition is actually cool! I guess this is a way of saying goodbye to school and embrace new changes.
Funny Dutch Habits

12. December
December is the most wonderful time of the year. Dutchies makes sure of that. The celebrations start on December 5th with Sinterklaas. A holy old man that comes all the way from Spain on a steamboat to bring you presents. You set your shoe by the chimney and Sinterklaas, fills it with treats. Then the 24th there’s Christmas evening, the 25th is the first Christmas day where Santa Claus (or the Kerstman) brings more gifts. And because two days of Christmas is too less to get around to all friends and family Dutchies also celebrate the second Christmas day on the 26th. So much Christmas. I love it!
Sinterklaas and AmerigoI´m going to leave the ‘haring”, the real-life doll when someone turns 50 and some more loco things for next year. For now, I can only say that even though the Dutch culture is different than mine, I have learned to like it and embrace it. Some things I find funny, others I really like and I´m learning from them.
Thanks to all the Dutchies that have embraced me and made me feel welcome in The Netherlands the past years.

With love,

Alisson

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Read 12 loco things Dutchies do part 1

Sustainable Sunglasses from Dick Moby

On my search for sustainable sunglasses, I found the Amsterdam based brand: Dick Moby. Tim and Robbert are the founders of this cool brand. They went on a surfing trip and were confronted with this huge plastic-in-the-ocean problem. With a big love for the sea, which surfers and sailors usually have, Tim and Robbert are motivated to start a sustainable company. They address the plastic waste problem by making high-quality sunglasses out of biodegradable and recycled plastic. In 2014 ‘Dick Moby’ was founded.

They produce their eyewear without creating more waste in the process. The glasses are handmade in Italy. In their collection, they offer different shapes, colors, and styles. From hipster to retro, they have all kinds of cool frames. The glasses are made with UV protective lenses. Thus, perfect for the summer.

Recycling is at the core of this brand. The cleaning cloth that comes with each pair of glasses is made from recycled PET plastic bottles. One cloth is made of approximately seven used plastic bottles. The leather case that comes with every pair is also made from recycled leather.

In July I went to their sample sale in Amsterdam and got myself these sunglasses:

 

med_res

Which one is your favorite? Check their whole collection at www.dick-moby.com

With Love,

Alisson

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Learn About: Semi-Synthetic​ Fabrics

In this new series on my blog, I explain about natural and synthetic fabrics. There is a category that fits in the middle, which I am going to write about here. I am talking about semi-synthetic fabrics. Those fabrics are made from a combination of a natural raw material with a synthetic material. The most common natural materials are wood pulp, beech trees, eucalyptus tree, and bamboo.
Today, I am explaining to you the advantages and disadvantages of the most common semi-synthetic fibers.

Rayon

is fabricated from wood pulp. It is combined with synthetic materials through a chemical process and then turned into fibers.
Rayon is:

  • Soft
  • Cheap
  • Smooth
  • Easy to dye
  • Comfortable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Versatile – It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, and linen

The disadvantages of rayon are:

  • Bad quality
  • Pills easily
  • Wrinkles
  • Shrinks
  • Loses appearance and shape when wet
  • There are toxic dyes and bleach in the production process
  • Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used in the production
  • Because it comes from trees, it might contribute to deforestation problems

Rayon fabric

Viscose

is a type of rayon. Both rayon and viscose share the same manufacturing process but they differ in the materials used. Rayon can be made with cellulose from a variety of plants, viscose is made from wood pulp or cotton linter.
Viscose is:

  • Soft
  • Cheap
  • Breathable
  • Easy to dye
  • Smooth – Drapes beautifully
  • Feels like silk – Known to be a cruelty-free kind of silk

The disadvantages of viscose are:

  • Difficult to wash
  • Not durable – due to its high concentration of caustic soda
  • Prone to stretching and bagging
  • Loses appearance and shape when wet
  • Highly absorbent – Which may result in spots
  • There are toxic dyes and bleach in the production process
  • Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used in the production
  • Because it comes from trees, it might contribute to deforestation problems

Modal

is a type of rayon, made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, from beech trees. While rayon may be made of the wood pulp of a number of different trees, modal uses only beechwood
Modal is:

  • Soft
  • Shiny
  • Comfortable
  • Absorbent
  • Easy to care

  • Easy to dye

  • Smooth – Drapes beautifully
  • Feels like silk – Known to be a cruelty-free kind of silk
  • Breathable – Good material for sport clothes

The disadvantages of modal are:

  • Prone to stretching and pilling.
  • There are toxic dyes and bleach in the production process
  • Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used in the production
  • Because it comes from trees, it might contribute to deforestation problems

Modal fabric

Lyocell

is a type of rayon. Made by dissolving bleached wood pulp.
Lyocell is:

  • Soft
  • Absorbent
  • Expensive to produce
  • Shiny – Silk appearance
  • Very strong when wet or dry
  • Resistant to wrinkles
  • Easy to wash

  • Drapes well
  • Can simulate a variety of textures such as suede, leather, and silk
  • The production creates little waste

The disadvantages of Lyocell are:

  • Prone to pilling
  • Uses a lot of chemical in the production process
  • Difficult for dyes to bind to it – The dyes required are toxic

Bamboo

is a fiber that is extracted from natural bamboo. The production is similar to the one of rayon, but instead of using wood pulp, it uses bamboo.
Bamboo is:

  • Anti-static
  • Easy to dye
  • Soft – With a texture similar to silk
  • Breathable and absorbent – It keeps the skin dry and odor free
  • It has the ability to regulate body temperature
  • The production doesn’t need pesticides or fertilizers
  • The plant grows very fast – It regenerates after being cut without the need of replanting (similar to lawn)
  • Biodegradable

The disadvantages of bamboo are:

  • Pills very easy
  • There are toxic chemicals in the production process
  • The fibers absorb a lot of sweat and can encourage microbial growth

Bamboo fabric

While the production of semi-synthetic fibers uses natural raw materials, the transformation to fabric and garments use many harsh, even toxic and chemicals in the processes. As you can see, all of the fibers have advantages and disadvantages. I personally find semi-synthetic fibers too harmful in general. I prefer to buy and wear garments from natural fibers as much as possible. This is a personal decision but whatever you choose, it’s good to know about the fabric of your garments. I hope you find this information useful and will help you to become more aware of semi-synthetic fabrics. If you want to learn more about natural and synthetic fibers, you can read my latest post about this subject here, and here.

With Love,

Alisson

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Learn more about cotton and polyester
Learn more about natural fabrics
Learn more about synthetic fabrics

Learn About: Synthetic Fabrics

In the journey towards a more sustainable wardrobe, I came across the topic of fabrics. The production of garments whether from natural or synthetic fabrics cost a lot of resources. Natural fibers have a better impact on the environment than synthetic ones. But in order to know more about this topic, I will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the most common synthetic fibers.

Polyester

is the most common synthetic fiber in the market. Chemical reactions are necessary in during the production of polyester and that involves coal, petroleum, air, and water.

Polyester:

  • Strong
  • Flexible
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable
  • Resists wrinkles
  • Doesn’t shrink
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to wash

Disadvantages of polyester:

  • Not breathable
  • It builds up static
  • Can cause bad smell
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • The production requires a lot of energy
  • Causes an allergic reaction in some people
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans
  • It is difficult to dye, which requires a lot of toxic dyes and bleach in the production process

Polyester fabric

Acrylic

is made from a polymer. It is like polyester, a petrochemical fiber. The fabric is often used for sweaters, as linings for boots and gloves, as well as in furnishing fabrics and carpets. Some acrylic is used as a less expensive alternative to cashmere.

Acrylic is:

  • Soft
  • Lightweight
  • Warm – with a wool-like feel
  • Colourfast
  • Machine washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Inexpensive

The disadvantages of acrylic:

  • Painful to knit with
  • It is flammable
  • Pills easily
  • It builds up static
  • It doesn’t breath
  • Can cause bad smell
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • It’s hard or even impossible to recycle
  • The production requires toxic chemicals
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans

Research has found that acrylic is responsible for releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles (microplastics) per wash. Five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester. ( “Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks”)

Green acrylic fabric

Nylon

is a petrochemical man-made fiber. It was developed in order to make a synthetic replacement for silk.

Nylon is:

  • Strong
  • Weather resistant
  • Versatile
  • Water repellent
  • Machine washable
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable
  • Inexpensive

The disadvantages of nylon are:

  • It builds up static
  • It can irritate the skin
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • The production requires toxic chemicals
  • Energy-intensive
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans

Nylon fabric

Spandex

is made from petrochemicals as well. It is also called Elastane or Lycra and it’s usually found blended with other fabrics.

Spandex is:

  • Elastic
  • Stretch
  • Retains its shape

The disadvantages of spandex are:

  • It breaks down over time
  • It becomes brittle
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • Energy-intensive
  • Polluting to make
  • The production requires toxic chemicals

Spandex

Rayon

is a fiber that is extracted or fabricated from wood pulp. Rayon is considered as a semisynthetic fiber.  It comes from wood but in order to make the fibers, it is combined with synthetic materials. Types of rayon include viscose, modal, and lyocell. Each of which differs in the manufacturing process.

Rayon is:

  • Versatile – It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, and linen
  • Easy to dye
  • Soft
  • Smooth
  • Comfortable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Cheap

The disadvantages of rayon are:

  • Bad quality
  • Pills easily
  • Wrinkles
  • Shrinks
  • Loses appearance and shape when wet
  • There are toxic dyes and bleach in the production process
  • Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used in the production
  • Because it comes from trees, it might contribute to deforestation problems

Rayon fabric

As you can see, all of the fibers have advantages and disadvantages. I personally find synthetic fibers too harmful in general. I prefer to buy and wear garments from natural fibers as much as possible. This is a personal decision but whatever you choose, it’s good to know about the fabric of your garments. I hope you find this information useful and helps you to become more aware of synthetic fabrics. If you want to learn more about natural fibers, you can read my latest post about this subject here.

With Love,

Alisson

Learn more about Natural Fabrics
Learn more about cotton and polyester

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