Christmas is just around the corner. This is the most joyous season filled with family, friends, and food. And let’s not forget about presents. If you want to make this Christmas year a more special, try giving an experience instead of a physical thing. The research proves it, experiences makes you happier than things. I have gathered some ideas for you. Here they are:
High-tea: Invite a friend to spend a couple of hours with you while eating the tastiest cakes, scones, and cookies.
Brunch: If the person you are giving the gift is not a sweets lover, going for brunch is a better option than high-tea. This gift is a great option to catch up and spend time together. My favorite brunch place in the city I live in is Het Lokaal.
Ice skating: Invite a friend or your group of friend for an ice skating afternoon. Grab your favorite scarf, gloves, and hat and enjoy the day in the ice.
Museum tickets for two: Get cultural and go to a museum with a friend.
Movie tickets for two: Is there a new movie coming out? Go watch it with your BFF. At the cinemas, you can grab some candy, popcorn and invite the drinks.
Bowling: Invite your family or group of friends to a bowling night.
Escape room: The best experience to see the personalities of your friends while having fun solving riddles.
Yoga/Dance/Sport passes for a month. Depending on the interests of your friend you can give a monthly pass to their favorite activity. It can be yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, hip hop etc.
Wellness day for two: Spend the day with your friend or partner relaxing in the sauna. Or chilling in the swimming pool.
Facial: A great gift to pamper someone you love. My favorite beauty salon is Frank and Olive.
Cooking classes: Take a class with a friend or partner and learn how to cook a different type of cuisine.
Musical classes for a month: Has your friend or partner wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument? Surprise them with a month of classes. Book the best piano teacher in Amersfoort here.
Photoshoot: Give your friends pictures they would like to hang in their living rooms. Starting at €50 you can book this talented photographer.
Food subscription box for a week: Give your friend a time-off from going to the supermarket by giving a meal box. Try for example the vegan box.
Second-hand shopping gift card: Give your friend a gift card to buy second-hand designers clothes. For example from The Next Closet. Choose your own amount, add a personal message and contribute to a more sustainable world. Order it here.
Scrolling down the sustainable webshop http://www.watmooi.nl I found the Danish brand: b.young. B.young is not per se sustainable, but they are making a change and started a line called b.fair. The intention is that in the future all of the b.young items will be sustainable and ethically made. B.fair is all about responsible production, sustainable materials, minimizing waste and exploiting new opportunities to reduce any negative impact that the production might have. As well as fair and ethical working conditions. B.fair’s suppliers are carefully selected to ensure they share the same values on business ethics, rights, and fair working conditions. They continuously monitor the factories with regular visits and inspections, focused on improving the health and safety of the employees involved. For their pieces, they use organic and BCI cotton, lyocell, recycled wool, and recycled polyester. For the packaging, labels, hangtags, and bags they use recycled materials.
On these series of pictures, I am wearing the b.fair black Fiorella blouse. The pictures were made in The Netherlands by Marisa Elisa Photography.
What I´m wearing:
Blouse // b.fair via www.watmooi.nl (Use my code ‘Alisson’ to get 10% discount)
Pants jacket // Second-hand
Bag from vegan leather // Denise Roobol
Shoes // Ehtletic
Use my code ‘Alisson’ to get 10% discount on the whole collection of www.watmooi.nl
Christmas is just around the corner. This is the most joyous season filled with family, friends, and food. And let’s not forget about presents. Shopping for presents can be a hard job. Even harder if you want to give something ethically made, organic, vegan and that it’s actually worth to have. To make the search easier, I have gathered some gifts ideas for you. From most affordable to most expensive here they are:
Zero waste goodies
From bamboo straws to naked soaps. The webshop bag-again.nl has a wide assortment for a zero-waste start. Prices start from €3,95 Soaps from Dr. Bronner’s
Fair trade, organic, cruelty-free, vegan and SLS-free soaps. The pure Castile soaps are made from vegetable oils and do not contain any synthetic detergent.
Shop at Holland and Barret or online at biggreensmile.nl Prices start from €4,50
Beauty products from Weleda
All of the products are made with organic ingredients. Are free of synthetic compounds or toxic chemicals. Instead, they use flowers, fruits, roots extracts, minerals, and essential oils.
Shop at Holland and Barret, Ekoplaza, Natuurwinkel or online at biggreensmile.nl Prices start from €4,99
Bamboo charcoal sponge from Benecos The products of Benecos are made from natural ingredients. Are free from paraffin, parabens, silicones, PEG, synthetic color, synthetic fragrance, and synthetic preservatives. This 100% vegetable Konjac sponge Bamboo Charcoal with mineral-rich charcoal powder cleans the pores to remove blackheads and dirt.
Shop online at the webshop solobiomooi.nl Price €7,99
Socks from Qnoop.
Ethically made in Portugal from organic cotton. Each pair has a button and a loop so you don’t miss again your socks after doing the laundry.
Shop them online at Qnoop’s website or check their points of sale. Prices start from €9,95
Beauty tea from Cedar + Stone
This tea is also a good product to add to the bath. It contains herbs that help to strengthen the hair and nails. The tea mix is all made with natural ingredients. It has no additives or caffeine.
Shop online at the webshop nourishednederland.com Price €12,- Giftset from Lush Lush makes fresh, handmade and cruelty-free cosmetics. They have a lot of vegan products and also a lot of package-free products.
Shop at Lush’s website or on one of their shops. Prices from €12,50
Jewelry from A Beautiful Story Necklaces, armbands, and earrings ethically made in Nepal.
Shop online at watmooi.nl (Use my code ‘Alisson’ for 10% discount, or check A Beautiful Story’s points of sale.
Prices from €12,96
Erasable books from Greenstory
The notebooks you can customize with different clickable pages and add-ons. They have a monthly planner page, to-do page, bullet journal page and more. Plan, wish, draw, create, and erase what you no longer need.
Shop online at ourgreenstory.com Price starts from €13,50 Nail polish from OZN
This is a vegan and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional nail polish.
OZN uses alternative solvents and compounds that are biodegradable, do not damage your health and do not pollute the environment.
Shop them at OZN’s website or via kenkoshop.nl Price starts from €14,90
Boro MiniBaby goods 100% plant-based baby products colored with plants and roots. They sell blankets, linens, bibs, muslin swaddles and more. All made in Amsterdam.
Shop them online at boromini.com/shop Prices start from €14,95
Aromatherapy box from Tisserand
Pure Essential Oils and aromatherapy products. You can get a set for sleep, travel survival, daily essentials, feel-good essentials, peaceful night, de-stress and energize.
Shop it online at the webshop biggreensmile.nl Price starts from €15,50
Pure, natural & organic matcha green tea.
Shop it online at kenkoshop.nl Price starts from €15,95
Charcoal face mask from Sukin
Sukin is a skincare brand from Australia. The products are made from natural ingredients. Are cruelty-free, sulfates and paraben-free. Sukin is 100% Carbon Neutral and the packagings are recyclable. The face mask contains bamboo charcoal as the key ingredient. The skin is left moisturized and nourished by avocado, coconut and rosehip Oils.
Shop them at Holland and Barret or online at biggreensmile.nl Price €15,95
Giftsets from Naif
The skin care products of Naif are made with natural ingredients such as flaxseed oil, avocado oil, and tomato extract. The brand started in 2013 as a baby skin care brand. Now the brand has expanded and also makes products for women.
Shop at the Etos, Holland, and Barret, or online at biggreensmile.nl Prices start from €17,95
Raw Halo chocolate gift box
Raw chocolate. Vegan, made with natural and organic ingredients. Sweetened with coconut sugar.
Shop it online at kenkoshop.nl Price €21,50
Boho beauty box
Bo.ho is an eco-friendly French makeup brand. The products are made from natural ingredients, are cruelty-free, vegan and organic. All of the packagings are recyclable.
This gift set includes an eyeliner, a mascara, and a red nail polish.
Shop it online at the webshop solobiomooi.nl Price €22,95 Book: This Is A Good Guide by Marieke Eyskoot
This book is filled with practical tips about sustainable fashion, beauty, food, baby products, home, work, and leisure. You will find the right addresses, beautiful brands, inspiring insights, surprising facts, and useful solutions. The book is in Dutch and in English.
You can buy it online at bol.com, at a bookstore or at a concept store. Price €24,-
Hammam towel from Happy Towels
These towels are made of bamboo or organic cotton and are ethically made in Turkey.
Shop online at happytowels.nl Prices start from €25,-
Kenko essentials gift box
Kenko is a Dutch multibrand online shop. They sell only eco-friendly products. They put up together a gift box with different products. Perfect to try out new organic brands.
Shop it online at kenkoshop.nl Price €29.99 I hope this guide helps you to find a gift for this season. But remember that the most sustainable option is to give nothing. There are other options like giving things that you own and don’t use anymore. Or books that you read and don’t need to keep. Another gift you can give is to donate to a cause in the name of the person. And lastly, you can give someone an experience. Going to the cinemas together, go for a snack, go to the woods. Those kinds of experiences are very valuable. Time spend with a dear person is the best present. (If you ask me)
Congratulations for wanting to start a sustainable wardrobe. The first thing you need to know is that it will take some time before you have a wardrobe that is 100% sustainable. But don’t be discouraged. You have taken already a good step. The following tips will help you to achieve a sustainable wardrobe:
Start by unsubscribing from all the newsletters from fast fashion brands. They make it really good to make you feel that you need to buy the newest trends.
Do a closet detox. Organize your closet by taking every single item out and place them on your bed or the floor. Take one by one the items back in the closet. Before you do it, ask yourself the following questions about each item:
Does it still fit?
Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
Would I wear it again?
Do I love the way it looks on me?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then put the items back to your closet, if the answer is no, put them aside and start making two piles:
To donate: If the clothes are too worn out or need to be fixed.
To sell: If the clothes are still in a good state to give it a second round.
A Closet detox will help you to clearly see what are the clothes that you have and like to wear. Make sure you keep only clothes that you actually wear.
The next time that you need to buy something new, try first to go to a second-hand shop. Or to a vintage shop. When buying something new ask yourself questions before buying it like, ‘How often will I wear this?’
Buy clothes that will last, and avoid any piece that looks like it’s going to pill or brake after a few washes. Check the stitching and material for quality issues.
Take better care of your clothes. The way you treat your clothes has a bigger effect on the environment than their production. Wash your clothes if it’s really necessary. Taking better care of your clothes increases their lifespan.
Let your clothes dry naturally. The drying machine wastes a lot of energy and money.
Make your clothes live longer. When your favorite piece break, get it to the tailor and ask if the piece can be fixed. Many textiles can be recycled or reused, and clothing in good condition should be donated or go to someone else.
Last summer during my stay in Mallorca I discovered the sustainable Spanish brand Thinking Mu. They sell clothes and accessories for man and woman. For their pieces, they use natural organic fabrics like hemp, cotton, merino wool, cashmere, banana fibers (made from banana leaves) and chrome-free leather. They also use recycled polyester from plastic bottles. By this, the brand helps to keep the oceans clean and the marine life to thrive.
Most of Thinking Mu pieces are ethically made in India. They have a long-term relationship with the same garment workers, ensure fair labor practices and offer safe working conditions. The knit collection is produced by a team in Barcelona at a factory that is specialized in knit and it is one of the leaders in the Spanish business.
Not only Thinking Mu make their products in an ethical way with sustainable materials, but they also make them look fun with unique prints and embroidery.
On these series of pictures, I am wearing the ‘Jersey Las Vegans Flock’. The pictures were made by Marisa Elisa Photography.
There’s not a single Thinking MU product which isn’t socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible.
Every fabric has a story about sustainability and fair-trade to tell.
What I´m wearing:
Jersey // Thinking Mu (organic cotton – fair-trade)
Pants // Second-hand from a charity shop
Shoes // Second-hand from a swap party
Bag // Denise Roobol
Sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects.
This implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s lifecycle from design, raw material production, manufacturing, transport, storage, marketing, and final sale. To use, reuse, repair, remake and recycling of the product and its components.
Fair or Ethical Fashion is clothing that is made taking into account the wealth being of the garment workers. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, fair wages, improvement of the worker’s quality of life, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.
Slow fashion advocates the principle of producing fewer new items. And only produce items of good quality, in a clean environment, and fairness for both consumers and producers. Slow fashion also means, to stick with what you have for a long time. Some elements of the slow fashion philosophy include: buying vintage clothes, redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, making clothes and accessories at home and buying garments that last longer.
Vegan fashion is clothing and accessories made from cruelty-free sources. Where no animal products were used in making the garments and gear, and no animal was harmed. Vegan fashion doesn’t use any leather, wool, feathers, silk or fur. Instead, the clothes are made from fabrics such as cotton, linen or hemp. Manmade materials such as polyester, acrylic or nylon. And innovative materials like pinatex made from pineapple leaves or mycoworks made from mushroom skin.
Organic fashion is clothing made from materials grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. The production ensures that there is no use of pesticides in the growing process. Organic fashion takes care of the health and land of the farmers. Organic clothing may be composed of cotton, jute, silk, ramie, or wool.
Minimalist fashion is a lifestyle that implies to have as little as possible. Minimalists stick to a limited color palette. Mostly monochromatic. The wardrobe consists of low-key but timeless pieces that work every day, no matter what’s fashionable at the time. This promotes less consumption.
I hope you understand now all about sustainable fashion. Is there anything you would like me to research and explain to you? Let me know in the comments below.
Autumn, is here. That means the rainy season has officially started. In order to make the bike rides to the market, to the store or to the pub more comfortable it is recommended to have a good rain jacket. Most of the rain jackets are made from polyester. This is one of the best materials to make water resistant garment. Even though this material is not sustainable at all, I discovered some brands that use recycled polyester to make their jackets. By recycling, we are not increasing the demand for new plastic and are helping to give new life to what otherwise would have ended up in the trash.
Today I listed out my favorite rain jackets for you:
Maium is a Dutch brand. They make rain jackets from recycled plastic bottles with a PU coating. The jackets are wind and waterproof with double welded seams. The jacket can be washed at 30°. (See an outfit picture here)
This leaf printed raincoat from the Danish brand Becksöndergaard has a loose fit. You can wear a sweater or another jacket underneath. The raincoat is water resistant. An ideal jacket to wear while biking.
This green blue unisex jacket from the Danish brand Rains is made of 50% PU ECO tex 100 rubber and 50% recycled PET. The jacket has a soft touch, is wrinkle-free, and waterproof. The jackets are slightly oversized so it can be worn over a normal coat.
Röhnisch is a Swedish sportswear brand. This green raincoat you can wear when you go to the forest, the beach or the gym. The nickel-free zipper at the front also opens at the bottom allowing you to move freely. The coat is water and windproof. Shop Röhnisch with 10% discount by using my code ‘Alisson’ here.
This white dots-yellow raincoat from the brand Thought is made from 100% Recycled plastic. The coat can be folded away into its own pocket. Making it very handy to bring always with you in your bag.
6. Insane In The Rain
This raincoat is from the brand Insane in the Rain. The coat is made from recycled PET bottles. It uses between 17 to 23 plastic bottles per coat. The jacket has a flared model, zip and pockets at the front and a hood with drawcords.
I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for a raincoat, you give it a try and check these brands. Do you know a brand I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.
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.
“Alchemist believes that people are not isolated beings, but are connected to their environment.”
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
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:
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
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:
Use cotton swabs made from paper.
Use a menstrual cup or reusable cloth menstrual pads. Instead of disposable tampons and pads.
Use a safety razor instead of disposable razors. This is a little investment (around €30) but it will last a long time.
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!
Use body scrubs made from natural ingredients. Some scrubs are made with tiny synthetic particles called microbeads.
Use make-up products that come in sustainable packagings. For example check the brand Lush or Boho.
Use cloth cleansing pads instead of the disposable pads made from cotton.
Use a bamboo toothbrush.
Brush your teeth with toothy tabs instead of regular pasta from a tube.
Use a deodorant that comes in a carton package.
Wrap your food in beeswax instead of plastic food wrap.
Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters. Or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
Pack your lunch in reusable containers or invest in a set of metal Tupperware.
Make your own cleaning products. I clean a lot with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
Use a soap bar to wash the dishes instead of liquid soap.
Buy cleaning brushes from metal and natural fibers.
Avoid getting a receipt as much as possible. Some receipts are coated in a thin layer of plastic that makes them unrecyclable.
Use reusable cotton bags when you do the groceries. Make sure you always have a bag with you.
Don’t use plastic bags for your fruits out of the supermarket. Pack them loose in your shopping car.
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.
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.
If you commute to go to work or school and can’t function without coffee, get a reusable coffee cup and use it.
Get a glass or a stainless steel water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.
Buy laundry detergent in a cardboard box instead of a plastic bottle.
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.
Order your drinks without plastic straws.
Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
Use reusable cloth diapers, baby wipes, and bibs.
If you are breastfeeding use reusable nursing pads.
Use wooden toys instead of plastic toys. Wood is a more sustainable material and lasts long.
I hope you get inspired and see how easy it is to make little changes that have a big impact on our environment.